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 Post subject: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:50 pm 
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I've decided this forum could use a place for interesting ideas without homes. This is that; an ideological orphanage for story scraps and unused game mechanics. If you have an interesting concept that you don't have a place for and you don't mind sharing, then post it here! If you're looking for inspiration, then just browse around.
Remember: everybody loves feedback on their ideas.

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:55 pm 
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Alright, to start with how about this:

A world where magic is granted by the gods as a sort of handicap to less technologically developed areas. If you want to go one step further, maybe they're doing it to keep technology from advancing.
I often see a magic vs technology theme in fiction, but the only time I've seen it justified is in Type Moon works. Wouldn't magic just be another branch of science to the people of magical worlds? This would give a clear delineation between the two and reason for conflict. I also find it neat that the gods seem to think technology is OP.

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:43 am 
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I like the idea of gods making up for handicaps with superpowers. Probably irrelevant to the story, but some things I always find interesting: How do you define "god" in this world? Is there a conflict between the gods which would explain why they feel the need to create tension between Magic and Technology? Is there a faction which is seeking (or secretly has been) combining the two?

Gods thinking technology is OP is a very tasty thought. Kinda ties in with some theological ideas I've been toying with...basically looking at a few possibilities on the existence of a higher being:
1. A God (or gods) exist, but they aren't perfect
2. A God(s) exists and God(s) is(are) perfect
3. No Gods exist.

So reflecting upon the possible meaning of life:
1. Become better than the creator/enhance the creator (depending on the particular leaning of said god(s) imperfections and your personal ambition)
2. The only thing I can think of is: a perfect being would be incapable of creating new experiences, so it creates perfectly imperfect beings (us) which create new experiences based off imperfect interactions.
3. Live forever, because this is all you get.

I lean towards option 2 because it seems the most fun (it also happens to jusitfy my almost irresponsible need for new experiences). I'm too lazy for number 1 and number 3 is a bit depressing (since a majority of the world accepts mortality as inevitable, which I totally disagree with).

Anyways...thanks TP, I think I'll haunt this section. Hopefully we'll get some company.

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:23 pm 
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You're welcome. I figured a thread like this had potential. I figure as long as we both post a little people are going to have to check the thread out.

I kind of had #2 in mind when I came up with the idea, just so there's somebody there to decide the handicaps. It seems hard to imagine it being a natural process, but I guess it could happen.

    Your talk of gods has me thinking of an old idea of mine- an artificial afterlife. I'm imagining a digital afterlife, but if you want to lean more to the fantasy side of things, it could be a full-blown new dimension. Religious types might see it as blasphemy, atheist could see it as salvation and a humanist triumph. I imagine it would fare well in the marketplace if you want to go that angle.
    The reactions of different religions would be very interesting. Will they believe that the new afterlife is just a simulation and that the real soul passes on regardless? Or that it traps souls outside of the natural cycle? Perhaps this is what holy scriptures referred to all along?

    Story idea: A trucker with a court-ordered breathalyzer in his big rigs takes his daughter across the country on a road trip so he can start his vehicle. Funnier with a fully grown resentful daughter or a little kid excited to go on a road trip and help out daddy?
    Sounds like the plot to a decent comedy movie.

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:18 pm 
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The artificial afterlife idea is definitely interesting. Especially if the time is put in to research the possible reactions and present it in a defining way...

As for the trucker story...I had to read it twice, and then I laughed at how **** up the idea is. "A drunken father forces his young daughter to start his vehicle for him...(near?) murder ensues" The darkest of dark comedies...and even then it would require complete comedic genius to pull it off. Could have been a good satire bit in the early 80s, but society generally agrees that drunk driving is a no-go these days.

Oh, wait...you probably mean the daughter is driving? The little kid part is throwing me off. Could be a bit of fun if the daughter is driving and there is some strange bonding/healing moments between the two...not the kind of movie I'm really into, but it has the possibility to be on par with Silver Linings Playbook...

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:51 pm 
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If going the little kid route then I figure the dad's driving (except maybe for a scene or two). Basically I was going for a juxtoposition between light-earted family bonding and the absurd situation. Somehow the horrible implications never occurred to me. I guess I was just looking at it from a comedic frame of view and figured it would only be an issue when dramatically appropriate.
Guess it still works with the older daughter and you could just have the two bickering the whole way. That or replace drunk with something else. Narcolepsy maybe?

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

TPrizesW
TPortfolioW


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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:21 am 
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It would be hard to do with the drunk angle. Narcolepsy (or Insomnia) seems less provocative and can bring about the same situations and you don't have to pay as much attention to the scenario.

What if Neo wasn't in the Matrix until he took the pill?

You know what I was struggling with when trying to write the other day...how to write from the perspective of a baby. Would it even think in words? If not, how do you convey emotion and experience, while writing, without words?

Edit: to expand on that idea. I struggled with it while trying to write the origin story for Mown's card Trevor the Great. But the struggle led me to want to write about one of my greatest fantasies: "new game+" mode in life. An individual who, at any point in their life, can restart from birth while maintaining all knowledge gained in the previous life.

I think it would be interesting to explore knowledge growth on a different access and to compare ability vs. knowledge with each new birth. It would also be interesting to explore the limitations of the human mind (I don't think the individual would have perfect memory. Rather, at birth, he has all the knowledge he had at the instant he reset. It doesn't mean he'd be able to retain all of it and eventually be omnipotent. He would have to functionally utilize the knowledge, like any other human. Unused knowledge becomes harder to access/forgotten.)

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:33 am 
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Story Idea: The world has invented a scanner which identifies mental illnesses/preferences based upon scanning the memory of said individual. (For example: It can diagnose you with OCD because it can tell that you constantly manifest thoughts or it can diagnose you with bi-polar by comparing all your actions/thoughts/feelings into accurate and digestable data rather than relying on the individuals honesty and extended analytical visits.)

Possible Story Routes:
1. Weird future in which people voluntarily become "Vaults" individuals trusted to maintain utter secrecy of the results for privacy and still give accurate diagnosis...conflict seems pretty obvious hackey, maybe a Serial Killer is identified and the Vault is conflicted about reporting it, or maybe it just deals with the Vaults "PTSD" from exposure to raw unfiltered humanity, or the typical "big bad government" has manipulated the system.

2. Examine the use of said device in Intelligence collection, Investigations, Court Proceedings. Conflict is public outcry of privacy invasion vs. use of said device and its benefits. Possible commentary on Government Collection vs. Corporate Collection.

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:44 pm 
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Novel Superpower - Tool Enhancement
Wow that sounds dirty. It's not though. Simply, whenever you use a tool it works better than it logically should at its intended function. Swords cut better. Coats provide better insulation. Slingshots hurl things further and more accurately. A megaphone might be able to render people deaf.
The limitations:
Tools work better at their intended function and nothing else. A suit of armour wouldn't increase your fighting skills- just your damage resistance. A taser wouldn't become lethal- as a nonlethal weapon it would actually become much safer to use. A toy sword might make action sounds when you swing it, but it will always be a toy and not a weapon. A fake something would becomming more convincing, but would never become the real thing.
On a similar note, something that doesn't work won't get any benefit. A busted radio is still a piece of junk and a transdimensional portal device is something that doesn't exist, so slapping a "transdimensional portal device" label on a radio won't make it do anything.
Finally it must be an object constructed to fufill a purpose. A rock doesn't become more destructive when thrown, or more solid when used as a shield. It doesn't become "more rocky". A rock is just a rock and it has no function.

The biggest problem I see with this is that it might be too flexible. Packing a bag full of basic items will leave you prepared for almost any obstacle. As such, it seems like a hard power to write around. Maybe save it for a side character or a villain.

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

TPrizesW
TPortfolioW


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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:33 am 
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Where does the objects purpose originate from? The mind of the superhero? For instance: If I've never seen an Ice Pick before, I may have no idea that it's purpose as a tool is to chip away at Ice. Looking at it, I may think its purpose it to put holes in things.

Otherwise its a cool superpower. I feel like its been done, but I can recall where. Would there be a part of the superpower which "backfires"? Like the coat overheats the superhero so it must be taken off occassionally?

I've been feeling the urge to take my favorite fantasy novels and write myself into them at integral parts then have the story diverge based on my interactions with the characters/world. A whole sub-theme about masquerading as a God since I come from their "creators" world.

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:40 pm 
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I was thinking the purpose came from whoever made the object, or maybe social norms. Kind of brings up the "what makes a table a table and not a chair" question though.
I wasn't thinking of anything backfiring like that, but it might be cool.

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

TPrizesW
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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:46 am 
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You guys mind if I post a creative question? I was thinking of outlining a Harry Potter meets super hero novel that has power disciplines, similar to magic. How would you organize super powers? Mind, body, elemental, other? Something more nuanced? Just wondering.

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:52 pm 
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I don't mind creative questions. Not entirely sure what you mean by "power disciplines". Are you asking how the Harry Potter world would categorize super powers or vice versa?

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:29 pm 
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For example:

Mind-based powers (telepathy, telekinesis) would be in a group called Mind.
Physical powers (strength, speed) would be in a group called Body.
Fire, water, ice, earth, air-based powers (like flying and pyrokinesis) would be in a group called Elemental.

etc.

I'm working on an outline for a super-powers manuscript, and the protagonists all have uncommon powers that don't belong in a discipline. I was thinking it might be neat to combine the idea of Hogwarts houses with the concept of magical disciplines (prophecy, abjuration, thaumaturgy, etc.), however this requires a level of specificity that needs to be invented. Just wondering how other people would go about it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:05 pm 
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Ah, now I see.
Method 1- Origin of power:
The MMO City Of Heroes had powers grouped by origin- gadgets, magic, mutant, psychic- something like that. Not an academic setting though.
Mutants might benefit from some kind of health/biology program, while Ironman wannabes would probably all take engineering classes. Everybody within a group would share at least a few interests.

Method 2 - Broad Discipline
The mind/body split is a good place to start too. The elemental part really only works if it fits your cosmology. As in, if elemental powers are actually similar in some way and not just grouped together because it jives with ancient Greek philosophy (unless you want to go the "academics doesn't make much sense route").
Magic and science seem like a good way to split the mind category. Body is a little harder. Maybe based on the level of strength it's appropriate to use? Separate classes for apprehending squishy muggles and rampaging demigods, that sort of thing. Also armed and unarmed.

Method 3 - Individual Powers
Super speed? Telepathy? Flight? Those sound like radically different disciplines to me. If it's not how students are grouped then it would at least be a way to come up with classes.

Nothing says students can't be grouped along more than one axis either.

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:06 am 
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Just read a little about the Nuer people of Sudan and their naming conventions seem like a great way to do some worldbuilding. Children are often named after historical events and a person's full name consists of their unique name, then their father's name, then their father's father's name then their father's father's father's...
Going by this convention, you could theoretically have somebody with the full name Treaty Siege Invasion Famine Hurricane. Maybe each individual take up a second name in adolescence and you could get a comprehensive account of their home's recent history. Seems like a neat way to do some exposition.

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

TPrizesW
TPortfolioW


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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:35 pm 
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Watched a video on the cult leader Jim Jones and people seemed to agree that he was a pretty good guy until he snapped and gave a horrible new connotation to Kool-Aid. That got me thinking.

How about a cult leader who is actually possessed or guided by a truly benevolent entity? Perhaps they have mystical powers. This leader amasses a sizeable following and does tons of noble deeds under the control of the spirit. Then the person breaks free of the spirit and things go bad really fast. Maybe they think the spirit was evil and they have to put a stop to this. Maybe they have no idea what's going on. Maybe that person is just a real dick.
Seems like a neat twist to the crazy cult leads to tragedy story. Or it could be a back story for a villain.

Man, looking at my posts you can tell pretty easily who's been studying religion in sociology.

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

TPrizesW
TPortfolioW


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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:38 am 
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Cult leaders always seem like "good guys"...that's how they get a cult.

I like your idea though, I think it would be a really intense read. Understanding the confusion and fear of the protagonist while trying to reconcile your knowledge of the truth. You should go for it!

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:40 am 
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Tempted actually, but I think I'd rather focus my writing on getting onto the M:EM and I already have a character I want to work on.

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

TPrizesW
TPortfolioW


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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:46 pm 
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I thought I must have posted this earlier, but I guess not.
The Aos si are us. Fantasy is full of tales of the Fair Folk. These odd people from a world overlapping our own (or in some tales from across the sea west of the British Isles) are always depicted as a little out of touch with the people they interact with. Their values and their way of doing things is very different ours. Or maybe just different from medieval people's. Perhaps no more different than people from another place... or time.
What if the fair folk are just people from the future, or the medieval future- that is to say, our present? We're (relatively) tall and long-lived like the sidhe. Our values differ greatly from those of old, and I bet we'd be pretty smug in our attitudes with people from the past. After all, they'll come to the same conclusions as us in time. Our technology would be an easy substitute for fairy magic.
So what does everybody think? Is there a story in that?

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

TPrizesW
TPortfolioW


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