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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:45 pm 
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If reality TV has taught us anything, it's that there is a story in everything.

I'm not familiar with the specific theories you're intending to convert though. And if you arent converting stories, then it isn't too terribly different than a lot of other stories about future travelers.

Another interesting tie in with the idea might be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N,N-Dimethyltryptamine.

Maybe something like the "Machine Elves" seen while hallucinating are time travelers.

I think both directions on the "fairy folk" are great settings for stories...kinda depends on where you take them though. What's the conflict? Or is it more of a Hitchhiker's guide thing where you are just describing a different world.

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:41 pm 
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I've been developing a fantasy story for awhile that has no magic in it, mostly because i found it really difficult to come up with an interesting system for it. I think i finally came up with something the other day, but I'm not sure it's good enough to implement since i wpuld have to make drastic changes to the story to use it. So i figured i'd post it here and see what you guys think of it.

The Gods
The ancient gods are having a conversation as they have been doing since the beginning of creation. Everything that has ever happened has happened because they spoke of it happening. Their words become reality. The actual conversation is impossible for any mortal to understand; millions of words stream out at once, traveling through the universe on the breath of the god it originated from. Depending on how a word is said, it is possible that it will not become reality, instead it will stop at its destination for a time and then fizzle into nothingness. When this happens, the word becomes visible to a certain segment of the population: the scribes!

The Scribes
Scribes are able to sense when magic stops in place. When it does, and a scribe is present, he or she will stop in their tracks and start to look around, smell the air and move in weird ways, completely oblivious to everything but the magic in the area in an attempt to locate it. Once they get the location, they stare at it (as though looking at a magic art poster) until eventually everything goes blurry except for the magic, which now clearly has the shape of a symbol or rune. The scribe writes the symbol onto a scroll, causing the word to disappear. There are only a few scribes who are able to read the symbols, so many scrolls are still unidentified, although this has no impact on their potency.

War and Scribes
Eh, ill try and fill this in later.

Casting a Spell
Anyone can cast a spell and the formula has been known since ancient times. First one must possess a scroll with real magic woven into it (beware counterfeits!), then a circle must be made in the ground. The circle doesnt have to be perfect and can be made with anything on hand. Then the caster sits in the circle with the spell and drops a few drops of blood onto it. Thats it.

Examples of Magic
Have to do this one later as well.

What do you guys think so far?


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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:31 pm 
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Im going to have to make a new post because im using my phone and its making it difficult to edit for some reason. This idea has been in my head for a few days, and i thought it might have potential, but now that i see it written down im not really as into it as i thought id be so im glad i did this. A few things to note:

The gods allow some words a chance to fail. For example, one might say the word 'earthquake', which would then fly off to wherever it was meant to be and become an earthquake. Sometimes the god might choose to let chance dictate whether or not the earthquake happens, so the word would find its location and wait until it either happens or fizzles. While it's waiting, the scribe can sense it and 'capture' it on a scroll.

The story would be told from the point of view of the scribe. All that god conversation stuff would be background mechanics of how magic works. Maybe it would find its way into the story somehow, but probably not in the main story.

War and.scribes- since im probably giving up on this, no point in getting into the politics of the world.

Examples of magic
Tattoo- let's say the scroll has the word 'fire' on it. When the spell is cast, it creates a tattoo on the caster, in this case the shape of a small flame, perhaps on the palm, which grants the caster the ability to shoot fire from the tattoo. This magic drains the caster physically, but can become easier with practice.

Items-sometimes the magic will jump to an item that the caster has broght into the circle. Magic items are extremely valuable and in fact many merchants that get ahold of a scroll will make a huge circle during the casting and bring as many items.he can into the circle to try to get a magic item to sell.

Life-even the great scribes dont know much about these spells. Could be anything from summoning a creature (casters familiar), to turning the caster into a half-human half-animal hybrid, to turning them fully into an animal. High variance.

Big effects-from earthquakes to weather effects etc.


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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:07 am 
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@POS:
I didn't really have anything in mind beyond what I described. I just thought it would be a neat twist.
I read about machine elves before. The idea that maybe a psychoactive compound lets us see a (real) thing we couldn't otherwise perceive is cool. They also have some tones of being beyond human understanding, or not existing on the same level as us. Kinda Lovecraft really.

@Ulcaster:
I like how the gods' conversation is essentially the world itself, and magic is just using the words of the gods. Kind of like how Tolkien's world was created by the singing of the angels. Since the gods literally dictate the world, it only makes sense that their words would have power. A lot of ancient cultures had beliefs like that. Stuff about true names and all that. I really like how it's all about the words, not the wizards. If the word was meant to do one thing, the wizard can't force it to do another.
I feel like there needs to be a deeper meaning behind the spell casting procedure. Why a magic circle and why blood? I want to see the method tied back into the source of the magic somehow. That would be very cool.
Since the godwords basically describe/dictate what's going on in a specific place/time it makes looking for new spells interesting. To find a fire spell, check a volcano. Could you say, find a torture spell by torturing people, or do the godwords only dictate natural events? That's a dark thought.
When you talk about magic being woven into the scrolls, just what do you mean? Is knowing how the word is written/pronounced not enough? Do you actually have to capture a word spoken by a god and bind it into the parchment? Do you lose that spell afterwards?

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:00 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback TP. I gave up on the idea, but a few thoughts off the top of my head:

I wanted the casting to be something simple that anyone could do so magic would be widespread. that was just the first thing that came to me, but i agree with you that it should be tied to the source somehow.
I lke the idea of scribes looking for specific types of spells in locations they would be more likely appear. That never occurred to me, but would open up some interesting storylines and would make it easier to guide the characters to where they needed to be.
I had it that only natural events could become spells to make things a little simpler, but i see the merits of allowing for human events as well. Im not sure which way i would have gone.
Ad far as capturing the spell, i think i need to come up with a system for how it happens. I havent really given it enough thought, but your questions definitely help.
Anyway, im going back to my real story, which i may post here at some point If i ever finish it and get the artwork done.


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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:18 pm 
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@TPMan: There is very much a story in that concept. I've read it in a trilogy titled A Land Fit for Heroes. It runs with your idea of the fair folk.

This is an idea that I initially had for a magic world. I wanted a neat way of drawing mana. I don't think it is a good fit for Magic because it butchers the specialness of magic by turning it mundane.

A bit rough, but I like the basic concept.

Selective activation of gene expression using the ancestral (or mitochondrial) DNA found in the inhabitants of Zu. The humans of Zu have mitochondrial DNA encoding a certain type of factor. Factors are produced by the lymph nodes as part of the immune response. The nucleotide sequence of this mitochondrial DNA depends on the continent that an individual's ancestors originated from. The factors encoded by the mitochondrial DNA produce trace amounts of factors.

Volcanic factors play a role in fever induction.
Tidal factors alter the genome of invasive pathogens, rendering them moot.
Necrosis factors triggers apoptosis (cell death) in the cells of invasive pathogens.
Fecundity factors promote the growth of anti-pathogenic bacteria.

Purging factors promote the uptake of viral proteins by the immune cells to improve the host's immune response to the virus.
These factors can be weaponized if the individual is exposed to an Antigen Domain. The known Antigen Domains are kept under watch by special agencies. Sorcerers, explorers that brave the Chain of Fire find patronage with the island chain’s dominant predators, the reptilian Vashadra, and seek out the Scavli’Jakaul Venjzard veins. Within the veins, the sorcerers are able to harvest a compound mimicking those found in the Antigen Domains. These compounds are distributed via the black market.

Utilization of the factors places stress on the walls of the individual’s blood vessels. Thus it is necessary to undergo routine surgery in which the blood vessel walls are repaired via grafts. Those that gain access to their factors via the black market—these individuals being referred to as warlocks—must find a way to undergo the grafting process without alerting the agencies regulating the weaponization of the factors.

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And in so doing, they will miss the whole **** point.”


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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:33 pm 
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A system of magic based on artistic tribute to the gods. The gods/spirits/whatever are the ones actually doing the magic. To convince them to do magic for you, you need to offer them something they appreciate. Perhaps the gods do this because they are bored in their omniscience and constantly hunger for new stimuli. Your poem/interpretive dance/ whatever may need to be not just good and original, but relevant to your request.

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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: Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:37 pm 
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That sounds fun. A magic system that consists of rap battles and rock-offs trying to convince the gods to help you instead of the other guy.

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:54 pm 
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When you put it that way it sounds even more fun! I'm starting to think this idea lends itself to over-the-topness.
I was originally just thinking it did a good job explaining magical bards and rhyming wizards. I suppose even well-reasoned argument to convince some gods to side with you (Gooo Socrates!).

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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: Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:24 pm 
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Now I want to see a leader give an inspiring speech to his troops for a real, concrete boost.

As for an an actual, new idea. A demon having trouble filling his quota of souls gets a break when he hears a hot tip; rock & roll is turning our children on to Satan! Armed with a surefire solution to his problems, our fiend does everything he can to encourage the phenomena. He gets recruits other demons to the cause and gets in deep when it turns out the souls aren't flowing like promised. Our boy from hell ends up running a sort of moral panic Ponzi scheme.

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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: Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:29 am 
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That sounds fun. A magic system that consists of rap battles and rock-offs trying to convince the gods to help you instead of the other guy.

That was the basis of a Rick and Morty episode :P

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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:37 pm 
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Some ideas I came up with, which I doubt I'll ever actually use for anything:

Demons were originally a race similar to any other. However, they had one notable difference: their souls and names were tied together intimately. A person who knows the true name of a demon can change it. This causes people to turn them into weapons of war, erasing pieces of their personalities and replacing them with magical incantations. The demons that are around now are the mostly-insane remnants of that race, with the strongest demons being the least mentally stable.

There are, as anyone knows, only two elements to the world, those being stability and change, embodied by Earth and Fire. Earth is a single element, ruled over by Gaea, and is the element of all life and structure. Fire, on the other hand, is ruled over by the three furies: Revel, fury of wildfire and destructive change. Madra, fury of hearthfire and stabilizing change. Kemmeth, fury of forgefire and creative change. A mage is a person who has dedicated themselves to a fury, and in that has become inhuman, bound no longer by limits of law and flesh but rather by the nature of their devotion. Those of Revel are bound to live in the moment and act without restraint or mindfulness. Those of Madra must treat others with kindness and offer help to any and all who ask, regardless of personal cost. Those of Kemmeth are always dreaming or creating. (That's about all I have for that one. I don't really know where the plot comes in, is the thing)

Two prophecies come to pass simultaneously, resulting in the rise of a pair of dark lords who are each about equally powerful. Neither one is strong enough to kill the other, so instead they campaign politically against each-other to try and gain enough popular support to take over the world.

You know all those prophecies that mention 'the chosen one'? Same guy. Yes, in all of them. They are as confused as you are.


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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:05 pm 
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@Simicmimic: Sweet. Giving demons a history beyond, "evil is a real force in this world, ergo there are creatures of evil". It does a great job explaining why demons behave the way they do and are as powerful as they are. I'm also a total sucker for that oldest of magical fixtures- true names.

I've come up with something similar to the change/stability thing before. Naturally, I think it is neat. Madra's change, the "stabilizing change" seems like it could belong in the stability camp. Temporary change for the sake of future stability seems, on the balance, pro-stability. Also worth investigating: the nature of things that change in a stable manner, ex. the seasons, which while always changing, are orderly and stable in a broader sense.

Your dark lords sound like the spitting image of my politicians. :D I do like the idea of unambiguously evil beings of power being forced to play nice if they want to continue their battle against each other. Delicious irony. Also, it is basically politics.

Still stuck on the music as magic thing- Modern urban fantasy. The socially disempowered seek advancement through art. I want a JRPG where a lead a crew of rappers through the hood, killin' bad dudes with ill beats.

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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: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:20 pm 
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TPmanW wrote:

I've come up with something similar to the change/stability thing before. Naturally, I think it is neat. Madra's change, the "stabilizing change" seems like it could belong in the stability camp. Temporary change for the sake of future stability seems, on the balance, pro-stability. Also worth investigating: the nature of things that change in a stable manner, ex. the seasons, which while always changing, are orderly and stable in a broader sense.



It's not really a matter of pro/anti-stability or camps. Think of it like how in the eastern elements, elements can bolster each other instead of just countering each other. So in that sense, the realtionship between hearthfire (the stabilizing change element; destructive is wildfire, creative is forgefire) and actual stability is more like the relationship between water and wood.

TPmanW wrote:
Still stuck on the music as magic thing- Modern urban fantasy. The socially disempowered seek advancement through art. I want a JRPG where a lead a crew of rappers through the hood, killin' bad dudes with ill beats.


Kinda reminds me of "Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden", except that that one's about basketball. (I'm not sure entirely why it reminds me of that)

The "Apprentice Adept" books have a somewhat similar magic system for at least some of the characters. The main character uses poetry to cast magic, and there's another character who uses sculptures.

On that note, one cool thing that could be done with this system is to have magic only function at full power through the true expression of the caster's soul. So in an RPG, instead of gathering abstract EXP or something, you could have a character get stronger by being inspired and moving closer to creating a masterpiece. It could be a symphony, or a rap, or a painting, a sculpture, a photograph, a bonsai tree, whatever speaks to that character. You could even have villains who use more mechanical magic, which is inherently weaker but easier to forcibly drill into someone (at the cost of stunting or destroying their ability to exercise true creativity, and thus true magic). I'm seeing villains that founded a wizard school in order to strictly control how magic is used and what magic users think it's capable of.


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 Post subject: Re: The Grab Bag
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:54 pm 
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First, my offering to the bin:
Axes of Reflection
What is the opposite of a microscope? A microscope is a device that allows us to look at things that are smaller than we can normally see. There are two possible axis of reflection- attributes that when reversed, produce something that is the opposite of what you started with. For a microscope you could reverse the direction of the action and produce a device that allows very small things to look at us, or produce a device that allows us to see things that are much larger than what we regularly can see. Isolating these “axes of reflection” is the basis of an entire branch of magic that concerns realizing the unreal.

Secondly, an order of business:
I set this up as a place for ideas for narrative works, but could we perhaps expand beyond? If somebody wants to make this amature game dev hour, or talk about sculpture and music, who are we too stop them? In fact I say we invite them explicitly! What say ye?

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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: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:14 pm 
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Story event: Protagonist shoots at mounted foe. Bullet hits horse and horse falls on foe. Protagonist approaches foes, going in for the kill. Protag checks tells foe that his gun only has one bullet left. Protag euthanizes the horse and walks away.

RPG Item: Super-portable sack. Not as extreme as the bag of holding, but incredibly convenient. The bag is made of a special water-tight silk (or whatever) that collapses in on itself to take up less space. Much as a soldier might use a condom to carry a liter of water, as demonstrated in this technical video:

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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 Jul 12, 2016 8:01 pm 
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Scene:
I'm reading Ken Follet's Fall of Giants. There's a scene where a woman who named her son after a popular politician is aghast when that politician rejects a peace offer. I would have liked to see that scene followed by one where she calls him out, saying, "how will I tell my son that he was named after the man who killed his father?".

Quip:
-"Can you land this thing without crashing?"
-"Not even going to try."

Quip:
(following a failed, spontaneous "plan" of action) "Welp, time for plan A"

Setting, SciFi:
In a world where teleportation was widely available, businesses and residences wouldn't have to be physically accessible from one another.
With travel costs eliminated, prestigious locations would quickly be gobbled up by classy businesses and pricey residences. They could place a rotating restaurant on top of Mt.Everest and not worry about people being unable to reach it. The dream of living on a boat in the middle of the ocean is much more attainable when supplies are just a hop away.
If teleportation became the normal means of transport, then businesses and residences wouldn't have to locate themselves along any sort of street. If that happens, you're unlikely to wander across a business by chance and advertising would play a more dominate role in our lives.
If all locations are equally accessible, most functions would relocate to the place with the cheapest rent. I'd like to imagine such locations as gigantic rectangles of sealed-off rooms. Larger complexes would have lower overheads, and the number of rooms with access to sunlight would decrease according to the square-cube law. Not only would such a world make it easy to never go outside, it would make it easy to never see the sun.
If you want to put a gritty, cyberpunk twist on it, then the connecting hallways- used only for emergencies, would play home to the squatters and shady sorts. The people in power could monitor the transit system to keep tabs on the population. You'd think outside the box by thinking without portals.
You would never need to see your neighbours, or even know if you have any. You wouldn't even know what part of the globe you were on at any given time. If the cost of teleporting is constant across distance, then you might do your banking in Switzerland, grab a bite in Argentina, pick up groceries in China and retire for the day to Iceland. If you had a kid and wanted to add a room to your house, you could just buy the rights to a room in Ethiopia. You'd just go through a teleporter instead of a door to get there.
How would nationality apply in such a world? Would we see a Snowcrash-style franchising of nations, with unconnected areas paying their dues and signing on to join a political amalgam? Perhaps nationality and law would be defined at the personal level, with individual people subscribing to one or more sets of tenets and submitting themselves to one or more justice systems as they see fit.
Just as many people today can't stand to be without access to all the world's information, wherever they are on earth, people in such a world couldn't stand not having physical access to anywhere on earth from any other part of it. The physical world would function much as the internet does today.

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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 Jul 18, 2016 11:10 pm 
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Story (fantasy):
It occurred to me that the story of Exodus makes just as much sense when interpreted as the story of group of nomads held captive by their god. The numerous times that the Hebrews tried to find other gods despite the obvious evidence of Yaweh's existence. It makes you wonder why they would refuse to worship a god whose presence was made pretty clear all those times he burned members of their group to death. I think I straight up reinterpretation of the bible story would be pretty cool. More generally, it would also work as a plot element in a fantasy world.

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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 Jul 19, 2016 3:55 pm 
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Setting (Scifi): The World Engine
I imagine this as the backdrop for a short story anthology.
The world as we know it is a computer simulation. Various aspects of physics are just shortcuts to save on computing power, ex: there being a maximum speed anything can travel at, the probabilistic nature of quantum physics, the gravitational force exerted by otherwise undetectable "dark matter". As time goes on the societies within the simulation learn to take advantage of these flaws to defy physics in more blatant ways- teleportation, unlimited energy, etc. Eventually this compromises the predictive power of the simulation and necessitates its replacement with an even more powerful computer. The world engine ceases to hum.

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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 Aug 03, 2016 10:28 pm 
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Setting:
Inspired by the indie game Nidhog - (actually it's a decent interpretation of the game's setting)
In a society of immortals there are those who crave death. Though "immortal" there is a way for them to die. For society's sake the death rate must be kept low, so death is only granted to those who win the right in competition. Perhaps the excitement of competition and the glory of victory drive many who would prefer to live to their deaths. Not that different from Roman gladiatorial combat, really. I understand that they passed laws to keep senators from competing.

_________________
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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