Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Traveller Tuesday: KOYNZ!

I our latest game session I thought I was going to freak out my players with a description of a biotech room (complete with furniture that was gently breathing) but no, the thing that disturbed them most was this brightly colored "Saturday morning" commercial featuring loud music, computer animation, and photogenic Zhodani children looking at the screen and shouting "THEY'RE KOYNZZZZZ!"
My use of Traveller setting and dress falls under
fair use guidelines for both Mongoose and Far Future Enterprises.
The Commercial
[Italics: Commercial Spokesman/Narrator with a Toy Commercial Voice]
[Bold: Photogenic Prole Moppets who look at the camera and shout with enthusiasm]

Hey kids! They're the newest rage in the Consulate!

That's right! Now you, too, can command the secrets of the Droyne oracle!

Collect them, chase them, trade them with your friends!

Fun for all ages! Roll them, stack them, flip them, caste them!

Want to know if you'll do well on tomorrow's test? Dying to find out if your crush is crushing on you too? Just consult the Koynz!

Buy the 36-piece deluxe set, get a blank 37th koyn free! Put a picture on it -- your pet, your best friend, even yourself!

Available in 6 hot colors, including pink sparkle!

Expansions coming soon!

The Product
Koyns are, quite simply, mass-produced koynisin that are sold one at a time -- think capsule toys from vending machines -- for roughly 1 Abradlnad each. The only distinction between Koynz and koynis, other than a shocking lack of respect for cultural tradition, is that they are mass-produced from stamped plastic instead of being handmade. Otherwise, the dimensions are accurate. (Weights of traditional koynisin have always varied, as materials range from wood to osmium.)

Koynz colors are gray (the natural color of the undyed plastic), metallic gold, metallic silver, white, light blue, and of course shockingly bright pink with glitter. Colors and faces are randomized within capsules, with gray being most common and pink and the metals being rarest.

The complete sets are rather expensive (over 50 Ab) and come with extras:
  • An instruction manual, bound with an impressive-looking leatherette cover (capsule koynz have a sheet that points you to a website for instructions)
  • A "build it yourself" display case, also made from plastic
  • A bag for holding the koynz (little more than a Chivas Crown Royal bag)
  • The hi-tech Zhodani version of a DVD which includes games which can be played with Koynz -- games like Pogs, and Tiddlywinks, and Checkers, and of course the obligatory fortune-telling oracle. 
But Why?
Currently unknown. It could be as simple as "A Consulate megacorp decided to capitalize on the Zhodani's love of all things Droyne to make a profit" or "Cultural assimilation is the sincerest form of flattery" to something as complex as "A subtle attempt to encourage psionics at a young age" or the obligatory "Sinister forces at work."

How Do Consular Droyne Feel About This?
Bemused, for the most part; a cross between "Bless them, they're trying so hard" and what parents feel when they see their children dressing up in their clothes and pretending to be grown-ups. After all, Droyne children often get into their parents' koynisin and play with them, so this is about as offensive as a Catholic would find an infant teething on a rosary.

This attitude may change, however, if more Koynz are added to the collection.
  • Putting a temporary picture on a blank Koyn ("Oh look," think the Droyne, "the humans paid for a second Void koynis to use as a specific determiner -- well, that's all right I guess") is acceptable;
  • Adding new Koynz which are relevant for the Zhodani -- such as one that represents the Addaxur client race -- will be tolerated as a necessary cultural adaptation;
  • But new Koynz that represent local sports teams, or celebrities, or other ephemeral things, may result in the Droyne taking insult... or they might choose to ignore the whole thing entirely as another silly human fad. 
As of this moment, there are no Koynz expansions, but that may change.

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