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Unnamed world [Aug. 23rd, 2005|07:28 pm]
Ben
Dropping the 99 wordcount thing because I'm on a computer that doesn't have word processing software that counts words, for the moment. So...

I've been toying with a D&D campaign setting in my head for a bit, because I've been playing it or games based on it's system a lot recently. One of the things which gets glossed over in our games is Alignment, however, which is a pity because that's one of the aspects of D&D that's always fascinated me. Good, Evil, these are not subjective concepts to be argued over by armchair philosophers. They're very real objective forces. A world with Detect Evil and Protection from Law is an interesting world. So I wanted a world where alignment matters.

The Exalted setting has an interesting aspect where each corner of creation has an Elemental Pole. So as you travel closer to the elemental pole of fire it gets hotter and hotter, going from savannah to desert to rivers of molten lava where fire elementals leap and frolic. As you travel closer to the elemental pole of Wood, you go from forest to Forest to It Goes On Forever And It's Full Of Trees.\

So I think to myself, "What about poles devoted to the Alignments, rather than Elements?" What if there was a place that was the source of all Good, or Evil or Chaos or Law or whatever, that you could actually, in theory, visit? In practice, the way would be damn hard, as even the pole of Good has piles of angels who don't take kindly to trespassers of the mortal sort (or any sort, really).

The other thing I noticed is that clerical magic has a lot of cool effects which interact nicely with alignment (Such as Detect Foo and Protection from Foo, as mentioned above). So I wanted to have divine magic be fairly prominent. This being the case, I decided the campaign setting had a lot of gods. Moreso than normal D&D settings, anyway, and divine ascension is also relatively common, and there are a lot of myths about new gods springing into existence (and old gods dying or losing their power, as well). It's not incredibly common, but it happens more often than in most fantasy games, and is a realistic campaign goal (if still a goal to be done over the course of an entire campaign, not a single adventure or two)

I've had a few other thoughts, both explaining the causes of and consequences of some of the above thoughts, but I'll leave you with the basic premises I started with, before I go further. Comments welcome! Thoughts, opinions?
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Product [Mar. 29th, 2005|12:25 pm]
Ben
Imagine a world where all commercials are interpreted literally.

Almost all products are better than anyone from this world would expect. But that’s just scratching the surface of things.

Bags of candy can summon forth rainbows. Body spray can make you irresistible to women, dangerously so. Portable game players can summon forth phantasms and illusions. Just watch commercials for a while and think, for the ones with special effects, "What if this was real?"

The players are agents (soldiers, spies) in the Brand Wars, an open struggle for dominance in the hyper-capitalistic society ruled by the powers of Product.
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"Death at sea" for sale! [Mar. 12th, 2005|07:25 pm]
Ben
Destinies, rather than being intrinsic factors, are actually small crystals, which influence events so their encoded fate comes to pass for whoever owns them. Being physical objects, they can be lost, stolen, traded, etc.

Even though it's nearly impossible to tell what a destiny does, except by studying the history of those who have owned it, destinies will fetch a high price on the open market. This is because most destinies will keep their owner alive until they can be fulfilled. The more one attempts to stall or cheat a destiny, however, the more overt it tends to become.
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Cyberpunk Setting Element [Jan. 13th, 2005|03:01 pm]
Ben
"Rot" first manifests as a discoloration of the skin, which quickly spreads, eating away at the flesh underneath it. It's incurable short of amputation, or removal of the diseased tissue if on the face or torso.

Rot has led to an increase in the development of fully functional cybernetic limb replacements. These are expensive, and most people can only afford them by signing a life contract with a megacorporation. There are, sadly, few palatable alternatives.

The fact that Rot has led to most of the populace effectively becoming property of the megacorporations has not been lost on conspiracy theorists.
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Except maybe call it something else. I dunno. [Jan. 11th, 2005|01:42 am]
Ben
Mojo is the mystical force by which people can shape the world. It is drawn to both coolness and adversity.

Some claim that adversity is merely a form of coolness, and the universe rewards the creation of epic dramas.

Others claim that coolness is a form of adversity, by rebelling against the mundanity and mediocrity of everyday life.

When people use Mojo in large flashy battles, it naturally tends to draw more Mojo to the area.

When an area has high Mojo, people who can use Mojo tend to fight over it.

Such is the way of the world.
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I totally want to playtest this. [Dec. 23rd, 2004|10:56 pm]
Ben
Use Set cards for random task resolution.

Each character trait is associated with a number of elements that can be found on Set cards. The more elements, the stronger the trait. For example, one character might have "Strength: Red, Purple, Shaded."

They test their Strength by drawing a card. If the card is red, purple, or shaded, they score 1. If it's red or purple, AND shaded, score 2. The score needed for success varies based on difficulty.

Having independent elements in an attribute increases the maximum potential score, but also increases the potential to get a low score.
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Stolen Mechanic [Dec. 19th, 2004|11:25 pm]
Ben
(Specifically, I stole it from a friend several years back in a conversation that wasn't about RPGs at all, but, dork that I am, it struck me as a great idea for a game mechanic and I've had it running around in the back of my head ever since.)

Energy is how you to do stuff. It's the difference between being vibrant and ready to take on the world, and worn out at the end of a long day. You get Energy back by eating, chilling out, basically not exerting yourself.

When you're out of Energy, you run on Willpower alone. Willpower is harder to recover, though, requiring a full night's sleep in a place you feel comfortable, or experiencing something that reinforces your fundamental nature.

When you're so benighted as to have lost the will to go on, you can burn Soul. You never get Soul back.
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A new direction? [Dec. 12th, 2004|08:39 pm]
Ben
A sudden idea: Instead of microfictions, why not microRPGs? Just brief sketches of description, maybe a few mechanics or a setting idea, which suggests a more comprehensive and, well, playable design. For example, "Weird Things":

Characters receive 9 appendages to distribute between tentacles, eyes, and mouths.

Tentacles manipulate.

Eyes perceive.

Mouths consume.

These abilities may be literal or figurative.

Each player also writes down three goals on separate pieces of paper, and hands them to the GM. The GM sets aside a number of goals equal to the number of players, shuffles the rest and deals them out randomly. Any player who accomplishes a goal may switch places with the GM. Upon doing so, the old GM removes the accomplished goal from play, and chooses a replacement from the originally discarded group. Play continues.
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Meta! [Nov. 23rd, 2004|06:17 pm]
Ben
Once upon a time, a sorcerer captured a story. The story kicked and screamed, but to no avail.

"Set me free!" it cried.

"No," the sorcerer said. "For I have a taste for worlds, and you have one within you." And the sorcerer licked his lips.

"If you release me, I'll give you a story much richer than I."

The sorcerer saw the trick, but greed overpowered him, for his greed knew he would eventually turn his hunger inward, to the worlds of his desire. "Very well."

"Once upon a time," the story began, "a sorcerer captured a story...."
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This is my own, finally. [Oct. 27th, 2004|09:51 pm]
Ben
I, like all of my people, am humble. I drink from still water with eyes closed. I live in the wilderness, forsaking all company. But occasionally, spirits visit me.

They rustle through the underbrush. But when I try to go outside and catch them, they vanish, leaving only strange works of art. The time I'm not foraging I spend in quiet contemplation of these fantastic sculptures. Do they reflect the images of their mysterious creators? Do any of them reflect mine?

The sin of pride is forbidden Basilisks. I do not know my own face. I occasionally wonder, however.
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