Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Magic is No Fun; or How Magic is Like Welding

Magic is pure, unadulterated thought-stuffs, pushed out of the wizard's mind into the world of things. This is dangerous, as concepts don't want to interact with things and stuff, they want to be shielded inside sentient minds. They will leap from existence in the real plane to the shelter of any sentient being's brain. But then they will burrow inside your brain like a wild animal during a monsoon, seeking shelter at any cost.

It is never safe to look directly at a spell, the eyes are the window to your soul and to your mind, and the path of least resistance. Magic must be looked at through your peripheral vision or in a mirror, never directly.

Looking directly at a spell is like offering an invitation, handing your neural pathways to the spell like a bundle of fresh candy floss to a child. If you are lucky, the spell is weak and will dissipate. If you aren't, it will root around and get comfortable, leaving you a gibbering mess, repulsed by all magic until the psychic energies finally drain away from inside your skull, leaving you a shade odder and much more neurotic than you were before.

Inspired by Arnold K.'s GLOG wizards and Thuvia, Maid of Mars.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spinning Plates

My current writing work style is to work on one project for as long as I can before draining my 'idea well' and then to start a new project. Then after I have a few projects up and going, I'll go back to my first project. This inevitably leads to a lot of stillborn projects, and a few projects I can never get back to, so I'm going to do a progress report on the projects I'm currently working on:

Unnamed Island Hex Crawl; published by LotFP: ~20% done; I have the map drafted as well as the introduction and a selection of the more dynamic hexes.

Back in Green; Troika! zine: 80% done; getting some editing/playtesting feedback and going to have to commission some artwork

Extinguish the Sun; B/X & BECMI fanzine; 90% done, waiting on a couple pieces of artwork before publishing issue #1

Trampling of the Terrible Tortoise, The; 50% done; small (16pg) B/X Essentials module with artwork by Ian Hagan heavily inspired by Shadow of the Colossus; currently have a basic map and several room descriptions

Unnamed FASERIP Neoclone; 10% done; a retroclone of Marvel Super Heroes but set in a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk setting heavily inspired by Thundarr the Barbarian and Ralph Bakshi's Wizards

Unnamed Bizarro Novella; 5% done; I just have a rough outline for this.

Phantasmagoria; Sword and planet DCC setting; 20% done; I have all of the classes done for this.

Out of these, Back in Green and Extinguish the Sun are both already almost done, I signed a contract to make the hex crawl so that's 100% going to be finished, and I already have an artist for The Trampling of the Terrible Tortoise, so those will definitely be done. The FASERIP neoclone is probably 25/75 on ever seeing the light of day, and the novella is almost certainly not going to. Phantasmagoria is probably 50/50.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bards are Agent Smith

The eternal battle of Law and Chaos, the movements of the planets in the void of space, they're all just steps in a cosmic ballet. You are the only person aware of the music of the spheres that this cosmic ballet is set to, and you are entrusted with making sure that good experiences tragedy before triumphing over evil, pleasing the ballet's empyrean patrons (A.K.A. the players). If they knew about the music, they may loose their way and step out of line, so you must do anything to prevent that from happening.

In this take on bards, they are attempting to make sure that the players accomplish their mission while never finding out about the massive play (of sorts) that they are taking part in. Their magical powers come from having their actions harmonize with the celestial music that drives everyone else's actions. From this, they can vastly increase their natural abilities, and sometimes even perform wholly supernatural acts. If ever a PC finds out too much about what's driving their actions, than it is the bard's job to make sure that the PC doesn't think too hard about the implications, or to stop that particular line of thought in its tracks.

TL;DR: Bards know about the 4th wall and want everyone to put on a good show for the players.