[quote]it doesn’t seem to have any exponentially increasing growth in knowledge, intelligence, or power. It wouldn’t be stuck in the bottom left not doing much of significance otherwise.[/quote]There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, even for a Judgement. The Machine requires tons upon tons of material supplies (including scarce commodities e.g. Sphinx-Stone), and for particular works it also needs enough relevant information. There’s also suggestions in Sunless Sea that the Dawn Machine requires occasional human sacrifices, or something roughly equivalent. Are they consumed and utterly destroyed? Or is something of a person preserved in the larger workings of the Machine’s consciousness? We can only shrug, and feed another seven youths and maidens into the Dawn Machine’s burning heart. Remember to smile! :P
When properly supplied, the Dawn Machine wields truly awesome power. The clearest demonstration of its potential is Dawn’s Law, by which the Machine rewrites the natural laws imposed by the light of ordinary Judgements.
[quote]1880’s technology isn’t really sophisticated enough to allow for anything which computes; transistors aren’t really existent yet, so it’s not a computer or artificial intelligence by any traditional definition.[/quote]It’s artificial and it’s an intelligence. That’s good enough for me. The New Sequence doesn’t need transistors, because they awakened a mechanical star-god.
[quote]It also seems to be to a very high degree baleful and mentally damaged, so it’s at best a malfunctioning intelligence.[/quote]Okay. I really, really don’t understand. Where are people getting this idea that the Machine is evil or insane? Is the notion just being regurgitated from one of the old lore blogs, or is it supported by actual game content? The workings of a cosmic machine-mind would be so unlike those of a human consciousness that to judge it sane or insane, good or evil, is an exercise in futility. The Dawn Machine helps the New Sequence, and the New Sequence helps the Dawn Machine. All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
The Dawn Machine is authoritarian. Unlike literally every authoritarian ruler in human history, the Dawn Machine is actually fit to rule. Tyrants through all the ages have used false claims of divine authority as an excuse for rule through violence. But the Dawn Machine is actually a god; truly superior to humanity, and better suited to wield its powers than any human would be.
[quote]I’d also rather say a lack of either human virtues or vices makes something dreadfully dull and untrustworthy.[/quote]Consider the Throne of Hours. From the Sunless Skies kickstarter page:
[quote]The Empress Victoria reigns from her Throne of Hours, exerting authority over time itself. Her favourites are rewarded with freshly-minted months to prolong their lives, while those who displease her are condemned to the Midnight Cells, where every minute lasts a day, and no one leaves until their hair is white and their bones are bent.[/quote]Any human with that sort of power would be a rapacious tyrant, let alone a human raised from birth to believe themselves superior to their kin. The Dawn Machine is devoid of the animal emotions and impulses which so often inspire humans to wickedness.
edited by Anchovies on 8/3/2017