View Poll Results: What is your favorite genre?/ What is your favorite level of magic?

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  • Genre: High fantasy/heroic fantasy

    2 25.00%
  • Genre: Mid fantasy

    7 87.50%
  • Genre: Low fantasy

    2 25.00%
  • Genre: Science fantasy

    2 25.00%
  • Genre: Steampunk

    0 0%
  • Genre: Science fiction

    1 12.50%
  • Genre: Post apocalyptic

    1 12.50%
  • Magic: High magic

    3 37.50%
  • Magic: Mid magic

    6 75.00%
  • Magic: Low magic

    2 25.00%
  • Magic: No magic

    1 12.50%
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Thread: CWBP 2 : Determining the genre and era

  1. #31
      Azelor is offline
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    The thing is : difference is great as long as it's not too much. Just enough so it feels unique, too much and it confuses everyone. But the last post was just some incomplete summary.

    I agree modernhamlet, the project is not about assembling a puzzle.

  2. #32
      gspRooster is offline
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    Agreed that we're not trying to put together a puzzle, we need some kind of unifying, homogenous idea, but I also fully understand modernhamlet's concern. As of right now, it looks like we're just aiming for "generic"? While that can be easy, shouldn't we be aiming for a challenge? Something unique and interesting?

    This is entirely plausible while still remaining within the realm of the mid-fantasy genre. But wouldn't it be more interesting to introduce your friends/rpg players to something that they haven't seen yet? Even in the context of something comfortable and familiar?

    I took a couple writing prompts from a website, and I came up with a few ideas. Mull them over.
    Prompt --- My idea.

    The outsiders --- perhaps this world is being visited by people or creatures from a strange land, a strange planet, a strange universe all together, maybe a strange dimension. How would a mid-fantasy realm react, and what would the repercussions be, to an incursion from something severely outside it's own "norm". What if it were visited by a space-faring race that had lost its own homeworld. How does technology collide with fantasy and magic?
    What if they are being visited by beings that once lived on the moon, or if we are working on the moon, then beings from the planet? Even through a magical portal or some dimensional rift, what does the effect of one fantasy world have on the other if two otherwise independent fantasy realms suddenly converged? Or maybe two dimensions have merged into one, and only people with magical talent are able to see the beings from the other dimension, and vice-versa. What happens to a world where a small portion of the population can "see things" that nobody else can, and the majority of people from both dimensions are plagued by the actions and unexplainable terrors of the pull their actions unknowingly have on the other dimension. Does a fire in a firepit in one dimension start a housefire in the other? Is a man standing on a bridge in one dimension seen floating in the sky in the other?

    I was here once. --- What if resurrection is a very real part of the life cycle in this world? How does that play out? What are the physical requirements for that to occur and what are the sociological and geopolitical repercussions of that fact? What about the religious effect on geopolitics? Most importantly, how could you prevent it, and what affect on the world would that have?

    The guilt that haunts me. --- What if every major deed, good or bad, physically brought a demon of some kind into the world? Every life saved or taken had a physical manifestation brought into being somewhere. Free to interact with the world and help or prey on its targets and form coteries of spirits. How does this world stop them? How does this world still exist? It seems like a problem like this would nearly instantly create an interminable tide of darkness if not for some sort of balance between the good and evil in man. But what about the other races, what if their morality is not so ambiguous, and the invasion of dark spirits is something they aim to attain? And what role do the good spirits play, how do they work to protect the world? What of any religious/political ideas surrounding this problem?


    There are ways to do a mid-fantasy world that still allows for a significant amount of "new" and creative ideas that affect both the story and writing side of the world as well as its physical and political manifestations.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by gspRooster; 01-24-2014 at 01:44 AM.

  3. #33
      Falconius is offline
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    Omg, I don't know, but you certainly convinced me we should go balls to the wall with this. Both "the Outsiders" and the "Guilt that haunts me" ideas I found appealing.

    With the outsiders I think its worth while considering how technology is analogous to magic. I'd like them to be somewhat balanced with each other though somehow. Perhaps it's technology the spacefarers no longer really fully understand. Perhaps that is what lead them to loose their place and come seeking shelter on this world?

    I like the "Guilt that haunts" me idea just as baldfaced as it is, but another option is it could also be a mechanism to include or to interface one of the Outsiders idea into the world. Such as deed opening and closing the rift that is intersecting the two worlds.

  4. #34
      OzzyKP is offline
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    Not that anyone cares what I have to say since I just joined, but I'll cast my vote for some kind of steam punk or alternate history.

  5. #35
      Ghostman is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzyKP View Post
    Not that anyone cares what I have to say since I just joined, but I'll cast my vote for some kind of steam punk or alternate history.
    It doesn't matter when you joined. If you can present good fresh ideas or back your opinions with good arguments then people here will care about it, even if they don't agree. You shouldn't refrain from participating just because you're a new member to this forum.

  6. #36
      Jalyha is offline
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    I like the "Ghost that haunts me" idea above, but wouldn't that be reaaaaaally technical for a group project? I mean the *decision-making* on how that works could take years...

  7. #37
      gspRooster is offline
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    I fully expect that everybody will bring something of their own perspective to this project no matter what direction it goes in. This, being the kind of collaborative work that it is, is going to run into decision making issues one way or another simply because it's asking for collective buy-in to a single idea, and that's generally pretty difficult to achieve no matter what the task is.

    It is certainly possible to go with a number of options.
    1 - Go generic, keep many people decently happy by playing to the normalcy of the setting, but you might disappoint people looking for something more unique and new.
    2 - Pick a setting, have a vote, risk alienating a few people in favor of the popular opinion.
    3 - Attempt some form of compromise. Pick a setting through popular vote, then deliberately apply a "reasonable and conceivable degree of ambiguity", and let everybody run with it. This method could help focus the project in one direction, without applying too strictly limiting factors on individual creativity.

    For example...
    A theme like "The Guilt That Haunts Me" actually plays in a positive way to that inherent problem of decision making by introducing a simple, core component. "This is a mid-fantasy setting in which moral and immoral actions have a tangible effect on the social and physical aspects of this fictional world through the manipulation of otherworldly beings." Boom, there's your unbreakable rule. The setting for each contributor has to stay in those basic guidelines, but the rest of the creative process can be left up to them. Much in the same way natural phenomena in the real world was described in different ways by different cultures prior to science deciding to show up and prove that Neptune does not in fact rule the waves and there are no sea dragons causing earthquakes because you didn't sacrifice fifteen sheep on the appropriate day in the appropriate way, etc.

    One person may say it's caused by the way a soul's aura interacts with a naturally occurring catalyst prevalent in their region - we'll say, for the sake of argument, magically attuned crystal formations, and the spirits are selfishly growing on the power of soul's magical interaction with the crystals, somehow syphoning off their power.
    Someone else may say "nope" to the crystals and decide people have a psychic link to an otherworldly dimension that pulls hungry spirits through to our world when a sufficiently enticing action makes them aware of the psychic link.
    And yet another person may decide to go a strictly religious route and define the phenomena in a pure battle of good vs evil manner where our every moral decision increases the power of the beings on either side of that struggle.

    That sort of avoids the whole "puzzle" issue. You have a unifying world phenomena, but with a totally reasonable degree of ambiguity that is very easy to play off as the differing explanations of various cultural perceptions that ultimately lets people still be highly creative without breaking the basic premise.

    Then again, maybe nobody wants to do any of this, maybe everybody was happy with generic? lol.
    I'm just one voice.
    Last edited by gspRooster; 01-24-2014 at 05:55 PM.
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  8. #38
      Jalyha is offline
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    No, no, I get that...

    I guess, probably because I just went through this whole long thing about populations, I was really thinking about what the addition of a life form that comes into being based on the social/moral obligations of another life form would have on the population AND on the geography.

    You'd then need people to agree (or get a majority to agree, because it's a cooperative project) on all the little things an individual mapper could simply decide for themselves.

    Examples:

    1) do the ghosts/demons/spirits have physical bodies?

    If so:

    1a) do they use resources? Build homes? have their own villages/dens/whatever? Those would need to be mapped, yes?
    1b) Do they eat? Drink? Regular food? You'd need more farms in the areas where they congregate, regardless of who is mapping that area

    If not:

    1c) Can other people see your demon, or only you? If you alone, would anyone really talk about it enough to create theories on the concept, in a medieval time period? People tended to push things like that into the water closet...? If other people could see them, they must be made of something? Does that chemical or substance affect the air? The atmosphere? Those changes could affect temperature, growth of plant life, anything!

    1d) If they have a physical presence (or if other people could see them, cause who wants to walk through an evil spirit?) how would that affect the amount of *space* available/needed per capita for your cities/towns?

    1e) If it DOES affect your population, people would obvs try to stop committing any major deeds "good or bad" to control it, yes? So people would be less likely to do *anything* extreme. That includes exploration, founding new cities, creation of weapons, tools, machines... what counts as a major deed anyway? If no one ever does anything extraordinary, then mundane accomplishments/mistakes become great... do these call demons/spirits as well?

    All of these things affect your *people* who, in turn, affect the *land*.

    I have tons more question/examples, but I don't think it matters at the moment. My point was simply that first, if you go too far beyond "generic", you have to get the majority to agree on how much of this information is necessary, and then you have to get them to agree, seperately, on each relevant point.

    And in the growth/development of an entire world, pretty much everything is relevant.

    Now, that's fine if that's what everyone wants to do... but each and every one of those decisions takes time, and discussion, and polls.

    I think the reason so many people are bent on what you called "generic" is because they'd prefer to get things decided, and start mapping.


    Then again, that's all my opinion, and as you said, I'm just one voice.

  9. #39
      Azelor is offline
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    So far, not much has been decided. Well, we agreed on a couple of things.

    For the setting:
    Mid fantasy with mid magic (pretty common fantasy world)

    Era: middle age or renaissance seems the most popular

    Astrophysics: we tried to make it more exotic but in the end it will probably end in something that only have a visual effect (such as having 2 moons but the second one is very far)

    Other suggestions:
    The guy with the weird eyed avatar (Ghostman!?) suggested that people would rather use major magical power source instead of the magnetic poles to navigate/travel. Not that there is no magnetic poles, it's just that people either don't know about it or do not use it. They use magical sources and starcharts to get around.

    modernhamlet suggested a denser atmosphere that would allow flying devices like daVinci or something. But if it's just about flying boats, magic can solve the problem too.


    Aside from that we still need a world map. I see 2 ways to achieve this.

    1: everyone submit a map and we choose the best.

    or 2: we begin to wonder what we would like the map to look like and we build it together. Or one of us build/modify it and wait for approval.
    At the beginning, I wanted to do #2 but too few people seemed interested at the time so I made a contest. It did not really work that well in my opinion. I'm sure 2 would be better. I think someone told me he would like a pangea world. Well that is the kind of suggestion that could start a discussion. So, what kind of world do we want? Any particular geographic elements? We don't need to have the whole world right on the beginning; we can just start with one continent. But the general layout of the world should be completed before mapping regional areas.


    The other thing we discussed was dividing the map for regional mapping. Squared or odd shaped? With or without buffer zones?
    Depending on how Viewingdale work (a mapping software), buffer zones might be unnecessary if it's easy to update. I'll ask Redrobes about that.



    How to create the world:
    1: everyone take some lands and decide what's on it. It end up more a patchwork than a credible world

    2: decide collectively, vaguely what's on the land: approximate countries boundaries, or cultural boundaries, important cities. The idea is to make a credible fictional world that is interesting to read about or playing in a RPG.


    ps: I know that my point of view is totally biased
    Last edited by Azelor; 01-26-2014 at 12:25 AM.

  10. #40
      Azelor is offline
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    It does not need to be generic. I know my description was pretty generic, yet there is room for other ideas.

    hum how about reincarnation instead of resurrection?

    Guilt that haunts: good idea: bad deeds could create the evil monsters that roam the world. I think I already saw this idea somewhere, but I think it could be a good idea.

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