Pull out the list of adjectives you wrote down that set the mood for your novel. You used this list for figuring out your setting climate, and a bit for refining your names.
Read them out loud. Then, take out your notes on your speculative element. Read your rules out loud. Try describing how your spec element works in your novel. How do you feel when you describe it? Do you want to giggle? Unless you're writing comedy, this is probably a mis-fit. Do you want to brood? If you're aiming for dark and gothic, then good job!
Also look at what you decided to name your speculative element. Whether you call it "the Force," "mana," "warp drive," "lightships," "cybernet," or "lychan," how you name your speculative element has an impact on how your reader will feel about it. Say the name out loud and decide if you feel the way you want to feel when you read your novel.
Some names and speculative concepts will be fairly neutral and may have no impact on your novel's mood. "Magic" is generic enough to require more description if your characters will encounter or use it in your novel. "Magick," on the other hand, leads you to a little sense of mystery, an enigma.
Rename and rework your speculative elements and their rules if you need to.Aright, so working with the main speculative element of the Jump Drive and the Jump Gate, and how they relate to "Oppressive, Monolithic, Energy, and Defy" I think they pretty well fit. Jumping systems takes a massive amount of energy, and I feel like anyone going through the jump field will feel energized, or at least feel like they got plugged into a wall-socket (possibly without the giant poofy hair effect on the other side, that would be more comedic than I want). Everything smells of ozone and your mouth tastes like battery acid after a jump.
The Jump gates and jump ships themselves are huge; Jump Gates because they have to accommodate the largest ships, and jump ships because of the space requirements needed to power and generate a jump field.
Defy works in my mind because a jump gate takes the often-thought immutable status of space-time and bends it to it's will. It move a million-ton ship 20 light years away in the blink of an eye through the abuse of Relative Astrophysics.
I think those details work, but what about the speculative elements I haven't devoted much time to? There's magic in this world, although that fact is not commonly known at the beginning of the campaign. I don't want to just call it "magic", or at least the energy source that power it. I like "essence", but that doesn't really fit my moods as a name. "Mana" reminds me of Final Fantasy and other video games.
So what powers magic? What is it called? What's the Energy known as? Ether might be a good one. Orgone? Or maybe make up something that has a syntax link to another element. That bears more thought...
I also am not sold on calling the god of the Bathal Host "The Dark One". As a friend pointed out, it sounds like it was named by a twelve-year-old. Maybe something like "Dominius", but not even that sounds right. The trick is I know who the Host's god is, and it's a major plot point to the game. I want her name to matter, not give too much away, and not sound like an enemy from a Rankin-Bass cartoon.
Names are hard, man.
No post on Sunday, but expect a couple on Monday as I get caught up. Looks like I'll be dealing with how my speculative element fits into society, and the I start talking about a character.
It's all coming together.