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Mohs / World of Phlebotinum

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World Of Phlebotinum: Level 2 on the Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness. The universe is full of Applied Phlebotinum with more to be found behind every star, but the Phlebotinum is dealt with in a fairly consistent fashion despite its lack of correspondence with reality and, in-world, is considered to lie within the realm of scientific inquiry.

Anime and Manga
  • Macross has plenty of phlebotinum behind it's Transforming Mecha, but the series mostly keeps things consistent, with technologies gradually improved and modified as the series marches on.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: A lot of the Applied Phlebotinum in this series involves branches of biology and engineering that neither exist in real life nor are ever likely to exist. "Metaphysical biology," for example — Doctor Kozo Fuyutsuki's specialty — is kind of like genetics, only it involves human souls instead of genes. While there is so much bizarre phlebotinum that it's impossible to keep track of what's ACTUALLY supposed to do what, it's still usually internally consistent.
  • Outlanders: While most of the Applied Phlebotinum is derived from Psychic Powers, it's treated fairly consistently throughout, and unlike most Space Opera the series has a rather good understanding of the implications of the scale of a galactic civilization. The series generally stays fairly in line with reality outside of the Phlebotinum as well - the advanced technology built by Earth humans largely qualifies as Speculative Science.



  • Most pinball games with technology and science themes are firmly within Science in Genre Only, but Dialed In! revolves around a new energy source that, when not carefully handled, creates outbursts in the form of natural disasters. It's made pretty clear that few people, if any, have much understanding of this source other than that it's atomic, and the only thing known to the public about it is that it can be stored on a smartphone. The story strongly suggests that Dialed In Electronics, a MegaCorp, understands this energy source and how to use it much better than any outsiders, but they won't reveal anything. The setting of Dialed In! otherwise appears to be mundane.


Tabletop Games

  • The Rocket Age mostly runs on Radium, which apparently allows for ships fast enough to make trips between the inner planets only take weeks and trips to Jupiter only take months. Weaponry tends to be consistently explained and logical, although the setting does of course ignore the energy requirements. However, Rocket Age also includes psychic powers and immaterial beings and offers no real explanation.

Video Games


Western Animation

  • Rick from Rick and Morty is a powerful, universe hopping super-genius, but the show stays pretty consistent in what he can and can't do—it's explicitly stated that he can't bring back the dead, for instance. He can travel to alternate universes, though, which offers the show something of a wildcard in this regard, allowing them to bend the boundaries of the show.

Back to Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness.