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Covenant changes

Since January is our anniversary month, I try to make a point of dusting off the books to make sure everything is still relevant. The kiosk notecards have already been reviewed and updated. The Covenant was due for a shaking out – changes made:

  • altitude restrictions to adjust to our present placement of platforms,
  •  tweaked the wording around ban lines so there would be less misunderstanding,
  • added large airship flight restrictions,
  • restored the airship tethering clause,
  • the notorious roleplay paragraph. You’d be surprised how many people don’t get that we’ve been doing this for over 5 years. 

Only 10 past January. Not bad for Tenk Time.


City-State of New Babbage Covenant. February 10, 2012.

New Babbage is a sooty northern industrial City-Nation of the steampunk imagination, loosely based on the era of 1830 to 1890. Tourists are a common sight and are welcomed. The City has a rich history dating back to an earlier clockwork technological period, hinted at but largely unexplored. What will you uncover?

The City is home to an active roleplay community. RP is 100% optional,  but you can be certain that after 5 years of continuous storytelling, a strong culture and lore has been established. If you have come here for long term roleplay, there is additional information in the information kiosks located around town to help ease your entry. This first and foremost a steampunk city. Characters based in magic and fantasy are strongly advised to consult with the mayor before getting too comfortable.

This estate has been used in numerous machinima. The proper location credit to include in your work is “The City-State of New Babbage”.

We got rules, read them:

NO PUBLIC NUDITY. What you do inside your own building on your own parcel is your own affair, however, I don’t want to hear it when I’m walking by. Fetish clothing that exposes the naughty bits is considered nudity.

VEHICLES will be in kept in theme of the archaic and fantastic. Large- build airships (more than 32 prim) can cause parts of builds they pass over to be deleted and should not be flown south of the city wall due to the density of the cityscape. Derezz your vehicles (and horses) when you are finished with them.

LAND RENTAL. Before you settle here, be aware that New Babbage enforces theme. ALL builds are subject to inspection and approval by sim admin. To purchase rental rights from the city, there is an initial purchase price and then a weekly Tier. To purchase rental rights from a resident, seller must notecard the sim owner to transfer the land and tier meter. 5 days grace is given before land is reclaimed by the State. Grace is not extended to boat slips, row houses, or other non-landed rentals from Mosseveno Tenk, and will be cleared upon red meter.

Your purchase gives you the following rights: Setting parcel music, adding individual residents to the parcel ban list, advertising in classified ads, setting a home point, hosting events, the ability to sell the rental rights to your parcel, and other rights as assigned by the sim owner.

Use of general ban lines, security orbs, or similar devices is forbidden.

Theme compliance is non-negotiable. New Babbage has a harsh building code and it works.

Architecture and texturing: Exterior textures should reflect a northern industrial look and feel with a nod to mad science. Use textures that could conceivably have been used in the late 1800s. Use of “full bright” textures on exteriors is expressly forbidden except where justified by technology. Winter brings deep snow, seasonal adaptation by residents is expected. Architectural styles that do not work in cold climates do not work here either.

Construction phase: Naked or “plywood” prims will not be left out for more than 12 hours. Where builds must be left in progress, construction litter and scaffolding is strongly encouraged.

Greenspace: Refrain from excessive outdoor greenery within the city proper.

Skybuilds: Airships, flying platforms, and other vehicles used as part of permanently displayed builds will not use modern-day technology. Builds must be plausible within the realm of fantastic engineering, not whimsy. Keep your flying rocks and castles above 1000m. Airships parked near ground or buildings must be reasonably tethered.

ALTITUDE RESTRICTIONS. Builds from 0m to1000 meters must be within theme. 1000m to 3500m are out of theme and not policed. Objects higher than 3500m will be assumed to be lost and returned on detection. Floating rocks and sky castles are best kept above 1000m.

Sea builds: Underwater builds must have reasonably credible and visible technology. If it does not float, it must have foundations reaching the sea floor.

Vendors and other miscellany: Make reasonable attempts to prevent hovertext from being visible through an exterior wall. Outdoor vendors may be used by written permission of the sim owner only. Common sense exceptions are made for special events such as dances and regattas.

Signage and Handbills: Modern-day and Mainland style signage will be removed on sight. Make a good attempt to use historic fonts and color schemes that fit with the theme of the city. Handbills may be posted around town to advertise events, provided they are well made in an appropriately vintage style. Handbills are policed by sim admin and may be removed on sight.

Further information may be had from the Builder’s Permit information card, available at the information kiosks in Palisade train station, Canals train station, Port, Clockhaven market square, and City Hall.

The sim owner, Mosseveno Tenk, reserves the right to make executive decisions on any topic in order to preserve the integrity of the theme of New Babbage.

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  1. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk February 10, 2012


    Welcome to the City-State of New Babbage.

    New Babbage is a story told by her builders. It is resident built in keeping with our roots as a city of builders. We work hard on it. It was never designed to be a roleplaying sim.  But I know if you are reading this you probably came for the roleplay that happens to happen here, so here are some notes help you get acquainted.

    Everyday Babbage roleplay is best described as “grey” rp, with a heavy side order of building skills. Building is rp? Well, yes. Yes it is. The story is about the City first.  Stand back and watch a bit before you get involved, then if you’re interested, ask the participants if you can take part. Don’t wedge yourself in, you’ll find your way with a little patience.

    Roleplay is 100% optional. Respect other’s right NOT to opt in.

    Climate, History, & Geography

    It is difficult to say where New Babbage is. It is difficult to say if we are even on the Earth we know, or even if it is the future or the past. For familiarity’s sake, it is best to use the centuries we know from Western Civilization to place the events of our imagined history in the context of time.

    The city was once part of an empire which collapsed in 1750. We were far enough away from the imperial core to weather it better than other places. You will notice a distinct older school of building mixed in with the modern 19th century architecture, these are relics of the imperial period.

    We do know are on the eastern coast of a landmass, against a sea, in northern latitudes. Winters are harsh and and bring deep snows. Heavy fog is common in morning and evening. I strongly recommend using atmospheric shaders with the the “foggy” or “blizzard” environmental settings to fully appreciate the City.

    The sims, in order of appearance on the grid:

    Babbage Square – the industrial heart. Here the Founders, a group of businessmen, chose a Mayor from their ranks and laid out the foundations of a city of industry which would rise from the chaos left after the Collapse of the Old Empire. New Babbage stood alone, an isolated city-state.

    Babbage Canals – the working class waterways. The first expansion to the south continued the original heavy industrial themes. Many say this is still the most classic of the Babbage sims for how it felt in the early days.

    Port Babbage – the modern commercial district. As the industrial fame of the city grew, so did the need for a port that could accomodate deep draft shipping. The port is built over a rocky outcropping that was once home to a large seal rookery. Seal rendering became a lost industry for the usual reasons.

    Vernian Sea – In 1860, Reitsuki Kojima’s invention of pressurized tubing made it possible to colonize the ocean floor. The Vernian complex was originally an undersea mining operation, but it became prohibitively expensive when freight train service was restored to the north. The tunnels were abandoned, then refurbished by utopianists seeking a quieter world beneath the surface.

    Babbage Palisade – once a center of heavy industry, the district has severely gentrified as wealthy industrialists became patrons of the arts. Dogging their heels is a growing class of proto-bohemians, enjoying the residues of patronage and the romance of the ancient city wall. Incidently, the weaponry on the ramparts was installed in preparation for the conflict that was expected in the eventuality of reconstruction and contact by neighboring nations.

    Wheatstone Waterways – Home to a rising middle class, the “New Money” is bringing an upscale air to what was formerly a sprawl of warehouses and public utilities across the canal districts that criss-cross the lowlands between the sea and Iron Bay.

    New Babbage – The first sim placed after the first mayoral election returns to the sooty industrial themes New Babbage was built on. Iron Bay on the southside is home to the famous ironclad shipbuilders. The north side is divided into two districts. The Gut, on the unfashionable west end of Abney Parkway, has become a hive of the city’s more unsavory citizens. Coronet Gardens, on the bluffs overlooking Iron Bay, is a forlorn, neglected park built during the Imperial Period for a royal niece who was sent to marry the Archon in Clockhaven.

    Clockhaven – built during the Age of Exploration, when outsiders first settled in the city as merchant traders. The old harbor has been rebuilt several time due to fires and modernization attempts, until it was finally abandoned by shipping in favor of the Port as the harbor silted up. Modernists cry for razing the old district, calling it a haven for disease and vice. Many traditional craftsmen and tinkers still make their homes there among the narrow streets, living in the same buildings for the have for generations.

    Vernian Deep – The Vernian Undersea Mining Company was forced to halt their southward explorations due to sabotage which led to enormous losses of men, machinery, and money. The saboteurs were never discovered. Some of the wreckage has been recovered, but there is still much remaining for enterprising salvage operators to profit from.

    Academy of Industry – Every studious schoolboy dreams of going to the Academy to become an Engineer. The old Academy  north of Port Babbage and was destroyed in a conflagraton that was believed to have been started by a student experiment. The grounds were closed for over a year until toxicity surveys declared the area safe for habitation again. The militia was required to eradicate a zombie presence before reconstruction could begin.

    North Fells – across the fells are the mountains, amoung which are  many small mining towns which provide the coal and ore used by the City. Some of these towns are Falun, Topperwick, Underwick, and Bump.  Rickets, also known as Bone Fever,  is common in Underwick. The miners are colorful harddrinking folk who are occasionally seen in the pubs of New Babage.

    The Quarry (planning phase)- East of the Palisade is a deep drop off created by the quarry where most of the city stone came from. The river entrance under the city wall is capable of being sealed to prevent invaders from entering the sewer system.

    The Old Quarter (planning phase)- North of Clockhaven and east of the Academy is the oldest part of the city, built to its full glory during the Clockwork Renaissance. The Old Quarter is currently inaccessible due to quarantine imposed by the Church and enforced by the Watch. Supplies are lowered over the walls of Clockhaven every night to support the scientists who have chosen to strand themselves inside.

    You have arrived in New Babbage at the point in history where our long isolation is over. Outsiders have come to our shores again, bringing commerce… and culture. Some have welcomed the change. Others long for the old days and are hostile to strangers.

    The state of Technology

    Our world was changed forever in 1698 when Thomas Savory invented the steam engine to pump out coal mines. The first commercical steam engine came later, in 1832, and then improved just 12 years later when Ordinal Malaprop made it engine driven. By 1840, Salazar Jack had supplied steam to all of New Babbage through a system of subterranean pipes connected to a central boiler at the Kahruvel Steamworks. This was our first public utility. Electricty has been in limited use since 1860, when Marcos Fonzarelli began providing steam turbine generated power to the City.

    A caution to with regards to the Occult

    Witch-hunters, inquisitors, and pogroms are matters of historical record. Babbagers pride themselves on rationality. Magic is considered bunk and hokum by most citizens.  Generally, magic does not work here; even those of magical heritage find it difficult. At best, it just won’t work. At worst — it will botch.  The ley does not flow properly here, drying up one gets closer to the older parts of the city. Magic does not work at all within the “casbah” section of the Old Quarter. The cause of the dampening effect of is one of great speculation , producing fine tall tales over pints in New Babbage’s numerous drinking houses.  If you have a problem with this, there are many, many, many, many, many, many other sims on the grid that will welcome your ippety-bippety-boo with open arms.

    A note about the Church.

    The Church of the Builder is an entirely ficticious entity based on the philosophy of mathematics. The collapse of the Old Empire stalled the intellectual Enlightenment before its reach its full flower. Consequentially, mathematics in our world never entirely divorced itself from occult connotations.  The Church is the last vestige of the Old Empire, and no longer has the politcal power it once had. Additionally, the rise of calculating engines is threatening a way of life for the mathematician-monks, who have supported themselves by hiring out their highly trained minds to support the scientists and engineers produced by the Academy of Industry.

    About Avatars

    Three words: Suspension Of Disbelief. We have been friendly to all sorts of avatars from the beginning, but bear in mind that everyone has their own limits to how far they can suspend their disbelief, and then it breaks. There are many stories in the city; not all of them are going to fit you. “Adult” sexual or powershare situations are particularly not welcome in public places.

    The “Children of Moreau”

    You may hear people referring to Furs as Moreaus. This is a reference to “The Island of Dr. Moreau” by H.G. Wells.


    The Mer are frequent subjects of artists here, as happens in many port cities. Some believe, others do not. There is an established mer culture here, as a careful reader of this notecard will have already discovered.  While most people may not know what a mermaid is, having never actually seen one, they certainly know what one is not.

    Final note

    As Mayor of New Babbage I have a responsibility to my residents. This is our home and we have a right to opt out. Visiting roleplayers have been a source of friction in the past. I am slow to ban. However. The third time I have to IM you to figure out what is going on, it is to say goodbye.

    That being said, welcome to our vision of steampunk.
    Feb. 10, 2012

    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk February 10, 2012

      changes made to this card ton jan. 1st were adding the second paragraph after consulting with some of the rp’ers in town that were more likely to have seen why people were having such a hard time adapting than i was, adding a note about why we call furs moreaus (the term was first used by Kamilah, the Vicerine of Caldedon, who is a white lioness), and pointing a finger at the mer situation, which was alway there before, just not so obvious.

      on a second reading last night i decided to soften the old quarter quarentine to something more voluntary for those that are inside, which feels like a more workable situation.

  2. Gil the Sea Urchin Gil the Sea Urchin February 10, 2012

    Golly Mister Tenk, I’m a child of Moreau, but I only have fur on my head.

    • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey February 11, 2012

      *saves up some shed fur for gluing to naked mer-chins*

  3. Ceejay Writer Ceejay Writer February 10, 2012

    Tiny edit to the Building Permits section:  “The most unpleasant task I have as Mayor is if I have to tell you that your is not going to work here” – should add something after ‘your’.  Such as ‘Build’.

    Also, I have a question regarding the use of fullbright inside shop spaces that are open to the street.  I have seen good use of wall vendors with fullbright, as a way of signaling ‘the shop is open’.  Done with care, it keeps a shop from looking dark and deserted to those using foggy or night settings.  And yes I have a reason for asking. :)  I’ve created some wallmounted vendors that are basically one prim picture frames, with a photo of the item.  I’d like to touch the photo face only with fullbright to give that ‘open for business’ look.  I would probably have a half dozen of these at any given time.   Tell me how your reaction would be to finding this in Tesla’s Port Babbage shops.



    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk February 10, 2012

      ah, those dang tenkisms. thanks, you always find the words i skip.

      fullbright visible from the street is one of those take it as you see it things… i know that vendors need to be fullbright to be effective, most folks use good taste in the matter. i can only recall one shop that had to put in a wall to reduce the amount of vendors that were being seen from the street because of neighbor complaints, that was over near the cathedral. it’s still there.

  4. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk February 10, 2012

    The kiosk cards, in case you haven’t seen them. These are also in the folder i give to everyone as they move in.



    Thank you for your interest in New Babbage.  It is a nice place to visit. Are you sure you want to live here?

    New Babbage is well known for its consistent theme build and is popular with tourists and photographers. Building here can be a frustrating experience. We have a building code to help keep the city looking the way we like it. This has not been an easy task. Steampunk is a broad genre. Not all visions of steampunk are appropriate for New Babbage.

    To be blunt: I cannot offer you the creative freedom that is available on other estates and keep Babbage looking like Babbage.

    New Babbage was built for builders, not roleplayers. Think fantastic engineering, not whimsy.  There are some areas of the city where you will not be able to find pre-fab buildings that are acceptable. This is also not the place for manor houses, vampire castles, or sprawling garden estates. I will happily recommend some other 19th and early 20th century theme sims that may be more suitable for you, such as Winterfell, Steelhead, Steeltopia, Caledon,  Antiquity, Mieville, New Toulouse, Wunderbar, Verdigris, Arkham, the CDS, Seraph City and others that are in a loose association of sims known as “The Steamlands.”

    The most unpleasant task I have as Mayor is if I have to tell you that your build is not going to work here. If you hire an outside builder, be very certain that they are familiar with “The Babbage Look” or there is a good chance that I will reject it, which is no fun for any of us, especially after you dropped a bundle on a builder and texture packs. There is a reason you don’t see high fantasy facades draped in green vines here, and it is not because no one has thought of it yet. Also keep in mind that some builds in town have grandfather approval from the previous administration and would not get past me if they were put down today. Each sim has its own concerns for compliance. I am particularly concerned about the loss of skyline and heavy industry.

    All New Babbage builds are subject to inspection. Here are some tips for newer builders to make it easier on all of us:

    SCALE: Don’t dwarf your neighbors! Story heights must be consistent with the surroundings. Wall heights of 4 to 6 meters seem to work best, larger than 7m looks off. You can do this by prim or by texture.

    TEXTURE: The most common problem with textures is too much saturation. Sometimes it helps to step down a texture by tinting it. If your textures are full perm, you can download them into a graphics cruncher and adjust the saturation and hue to help blend with the environment. The second most comon problem with textures is over-shading, or too much use of black, which creates a gothy atmosphere better suited to other types of sims. This cannot be fixed as easily. Do not use “full bright” on exteriors (except where justified by technology). Use “glow” cautiously, as many folks prefer to view the city with fog settings on.

    NOTES: while you are building, ask for notes. Ask what people like about it, and what they think could be improved.  If you are a new builder or have a weak texture library, consider doing your construction above the 1000m mark until you are ready for prime time. I can fit a platform to your property lines and send it up for you. Be objective: it is your build, not you, that is being critiqued. Most Babbagers are quite willing to help you find things for your build.  If you notice a clusters of green dots staring at the house you just put down, its probably means you’re heading in the wrong direction.

    PLAUSIBILITY: my eye has to buy it. Your engineering must look solid, not whimsical. For example, if you build a 20m high archwork, my eye does not buy it if it is only a quarter meter thick.

    VEHICLE HOMES (i.e. AIRSHIPS) must be in credible scale and be have reasonably compatible techonology to the technology of the City, or they will have to be kept above 1000m in the skybox/platform/OOC zone. The large wooden pirate ship under the gas bag varieties are difficult to accept at theme enforced elevations.

    TERRAFORMING is difficult here, even by people who are good at it.  Requests for basements in canal districts will be denied if it cannot be done cleanly.

    And because it must be said: thou shalt not Caledonicate. If you could have seen New Babbage in early 2008, you would be surprised at how much it has gentrified.

    About the sidewalks and city infrastructure: many parcels are gerrymandered to create anchor points which keep the city streets and sidewalks out of your land’s prim count, even though these objects actually do cross your parcel. Do not remove or return city infrastructure! Contact an admin to deal with it if it cannot be worked around. Additionaly, if you have an anchor parcel somewhere on your property, please keep your prims linked  such that your objects are not counted to the anchor square. You MAY build outside of your parcel border (overbuilding) as long as the objects are anchored back to your land. Overbuilding is encouraged in Clockhaven! I am willing to shift sidewalks around to adapt to your build.

    We have 2 groups, Steampunks of New Babbage is open enrollment and is the general chat channel.  Engineers of New Babbage is the invitation enrollment landholder group and is used for business and by the estate managers. Weekly office hours are conducted over Steampunks chat.

    My office hours are Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9pm SLT. Feel free to bother me then.

    -Mosseveno Tenk
    Jan. 1 2012

  5. Ceejay Writer Ceejay Writer February 10, 2012

    My longstanding offer of free editing for all New Babbagers still stands. Throw text at me in email anytime and I’ll be happy to help!

    Thanks for the thoughts – I don’t want an obnoxious shop and you don’t either, so once I’m set up (hopefully soon after the weekend), just poke me if anything seems too much.


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