Tactical RPG #4 – Races

Here we go. In this post I will discuss the races that shall live on this world, and shall be playable in the tactical RPG that is the subject of this series of disjointed creative ramblings. These shan’t be the only races present on this floating world of ours, but they’re gonna be the playable ones. As for the other races… to be honest, I’ve got a vague idea involving elephant people. But enough of that for now.

Humans
Humans are, of course, a major part of this fantasy world, because I am just as self-centered, egotistical, and species-ist as every other fantasy world-builder ever. EVER. Anyway, the humans of this world are pretty much your typical fantasy humans. Knights, wizards, etcetera, etcetera. A major human city should be called Wyrmspire, because I made up that name for an MMORPG I was designing a while ago and, while the MMORPG sucked, I’ve got quite a fondness for the name. Talking too much about humans is bound to get boring, as we all bloody well know what fantasy humans do. Next.

Dwarves
Fantasy dwarves are, if possible, even more relentlessly clichéd than fantasy humans are. Short, bearded, live in mountains, drink like sailors, gruff but endearing, and so on and so forth until the end of the bloody world. Let’s shake things up a bit – not too much, I like my grumpy drunken midget friends, but just enough to keep people from rolling their eyes with boredom whenever the word “dwarf” gets mentioned.

The dwarves and the humans in this world should be closer than they are in other worlds. In other words, most of the major human cities should have a sizable dwarf minority, and most of the major dwarven cities should have a sizable human minority. With no gnomes in my world (I refuse to let those little comic relief bastards anywhere near me) the dwarves can take the place of master inventors, too. I envision one of the largest dwarf cities to be positioned on the actual underside of the world, with a mass of dwarves experimenting with wind power and other such things – because of course the winds on the underside of a bloody world are going to be crazy.

Elves
Fuck elves. I am so bloody tired right now. I know that I am going to let elves into my world, but I really couldn’t care less about distinguishing them from the horde of other elves out there. Actually, maybe I won’t even let them in. Who knows. I’ll talk about it later… like, when I’m not bone-ass tired.

Halflings
I want halflings in this world… not sure why. I’m sure of one thing though: I am so bloody sick of the term “halfling”. I want to invent something else, but so far nothing has popped up in the odd pile of weird that is my brain. I am also tired right now. Moral of the story: later. Wow, writing a blog when tired is really easy… even if typing is challenging. You don’t have to put any bloody thought into anything, and you don’t care.

Anyway, the halflings in my world are devious rogue-types, always up to mischief. And occasionally they should be pirates. Midget pirates WIN.

Minotaurs
Minotarus! Yay. I love minotaurs. These minotaurs live on islands (that is, other chunks of land floating around one of the main ones) and are pirates. Of course, the method of transportation on this world being weird ships with wing-like canvas objects instead of sails, they’re some pretty badass pirates. Cloud minotaurs. I would bet you money that searching for that phrase on google only gets you this blog.

At home on the islands the minotaurs call home, they should have some kind of rigid imperial deal. With gladiators. To be honest, I’m totally ripping off Dragonlance here, but it’s four A.M. and I don’t care.

Rhokari
The Rhokari are a group of bird-people, simply because bird-people kick ass. They’re human-shaped and sized, but their arms are wings and they’ve got beaks. A lot like those things from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. You know, the bird things… the ones whose names I cannot remember right now. Anyway, the Rhokari live on the side of the world… they build houses and shit on the cliffs. They can’t technically fly, as such, but the thermals floating around the side of the world let the glide upwards. Which sounds impossible, but if worse comes to worst, a wizard did it.

That’s got to be some kind of record for the blog I put the least thought into ever… I should blog whilst exhausted more often. Words just kind of come flowing out… like… dammit, I can’t even think of a good simile. I’m gonna go collapse on my bed, and subsequently be woken up in five hours for a fucking doctor’s appointment. Fuck.

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Tactical RPG #3 – Pantheon

Today, I shall discuss the pantheon of this world in which this game shall be set. These gods are listed in no particular order, they’re basically listed in the order I came up with them.

Archus, King of the Gods
King of the gods. Looks like an aging but muscular man, with a long black beard turning to white in some places. Wields a massive battleaxe. Isn’t really god of anything particularly special, but people worship him anyway because he’s got a habit of smiting those who don’t. Keeps a personal harem of goddesses.

Helena, Consort to Archus
Elected leader of Archus’ harem (it’s a democratic harem). Loves to play all sorts of tricks on Archus, which may range from harmless practical jokes to taking temples dedicated to him and “accidentally” balancing them on the edge of the world. Goddess of trickery, love, and cats.

Anator the Foul
Archus’ brother. Holds a deep belief that chaos is the natural order of things, and thus spends most of his time trying to wake the proto-god. Is constantly foiled in this, a fact that irks him endlessly. Popular with cults, but public worship and organized temples are rare. God of night, chaos, and roosters.

Plaggan, King of the Dead
Ruler of the kingdom of the afterlife. Likes to remain neutral in the eternal dispute between Archus and Anator, as on one hand, he feels he should be pretty evil, what with being the king of the dead and all, but on the other hand, if everything were consigned to chaos, he’d lose his dominion over the afterlife. He dwells on this conflict constantly. Occasionally sends undead minions into the world to do his bidding. God of death, life, and moose.

White Aretha
Daughter of Archus and Helena. Ferries souls off to the afterlife when their time has come, but will not allow people to die if they somehow slain before they were fated to die. Of course, knowing this, people get their hopes up whenever a loved one dies, only to curse her name when it turns out that yes, they were fated to die then after all. Fate’s a bitch. Literally, in this case. Goddess of fate, death, and snow. Is referred to as “white” based on the fact that she chooses to clothe herself entirely in white.

Black Hundriss
Son of Anator and… well, Helena. Long story. Ferries souls off to the afterlife whenever they die, even when (especially when) it’s not yet their time. Is not above messing with things a little to create more death. Arch-rival of Aretha. God of chaos, death, and ash. Is referred to as “black” for much the same reasons as Aretha is referred to as “white”.

Jurgan
Son of Archus and Helena. Is not the brightest of gods. Prefers quaffing ale and chatting with goddesses to doing boring things like interfering with the world of mortals. When he does interfere, it’s usually to start a war. He enjoys bloodshed and that kind of thing. God of war, strength, and bulls.

Rudolphus
Son of Archus and Helena. Is very interested in the goings-on of mortals, and spends much of his time walking among them, disguised as a feeble old man. He looks down upon his brother’s brutality, and spends his time acquiring knowledge, frequenting the great libraries of mortals. God of knowledge, wisdom, and owls.

Omora Agabai
Controls the flow of magic into the mortal world. Is probably on the side of Archus, but who knows? Loves to create problems for mortals, and to basically screw with the heads of everyone, mortal or not. Goddess of luck, magic, and crows.

Zaran
God of the winds. Dwells on a ship that constantly sails the cloud-sea (the world is floating, remember?). Is said to have a beard of cloud, and wield a scimitar the size of a man and made of mithril. Is commonly worshiped by sailors and those who live on the edge of the world. He is one of the most vehement opposers of any plot to return the world to the ground, not because he fears the waking of the proto-god, but because that would deprive him of his cloud-seas.

That’s all the gods I have for now. There are probably more, but these are the really important ones. My favorite is probably Zaran, but that’s because he’s a cloud-pirate-god. Can you GET any more badass? He should have a crew of strange cloud-creatures working for him… yeah.

Next time I’ll discuss the races present on this world, and maybe even talk about the actual game.

Tactical RPG #2 – Mythos

Sorry for not posting the last few days. Various social obligations and various apathies got in my way.

In today’s post, I shall examine (by “examine” I mean “pull out of my ass”) the mythology of the floating world in which this RPG is set. Read the previous post if you have not already. This mythology shall explain why the world is as it is currently. I may change any of this in the future, and there’s also a chance that I shan’t even bother to give most of the gods mentioned in it names. Lazyness.

Okay, creation myth, here we come:

In the beginning, there was chaos. Little chunks of quasi-matter floated all over the place, and strange beasts with far too many tentacles and far too little logic roamed about, devouring anything living they came across. In this chaotic oddness lived an all-powerful being, a proto-god of sorts, and his children. They were fearsome beings indeed, many miles tall with blue-black skin, and no hair whatsoever. Embedded in their skin was said to be diamonds, but no one knows if this is true or not.

The proto-god reveled in the chaos, took delight in it. Thus, when the three most prominent of his children approached him, requesting the creation of order, the creation of a more logical world and more logical beings, he took umbrage, and attacked them. For how long they battled cannot be expressed, for there was a different conception of time in this pre-world, this chaotic dawn. Know simply that it was a very, very long time.

In the end, the proto-god’s children triumphed. They could not kill him, however, for he was far more powerful than them, even in defeat. Instead, they put him into a deep sleep, one from which he would hopefully never wake. To insure this end, they decided to build their new world over him, as a kind of blanket, to insulate him from the goings-on of basically everything.

The children of the proto-god built their world. The first contributed the physical world, forging rock and earth from the chaotic nothingness that surrounded them. The second contributed the workings of the world, the physics and the time of it all. The third created life and the waters. This done, they all joined forces to create the mortal races: humans, elves, dwarves, and so on. They descended to their world, proclaimed themselves the gods of the world, and were worshiped by various awe-stricken mortals.

Things went well for many years. The mortal races built, warred, and did all those other things mortals do. You know. Mortal things.

Suddenly (well, suddenly in terms of mythology… relatively sudden), new gods began appearing. Where they came from was not known, but some surmised that they came from the dreams of the sleeping proto-god, imprisoned beneath the world.

The three god-children waged war on these interlopers. They gathered up all their followers and battled for quite a long time against the new gods and all their followers. In the process, one of the god-children (the creator of time) died. The war raged on for centuries, tearing up the land and doing other such nasty things.

After years of war, all came down to one final battle. The gods and their armies clashed on a great plain. As the battle whirled and flew around them, the greatest of the gods did battle in the center. Such was the wrath of this battle and the anger of these gods that it tore the very world apart, lifting the continents far into the air, and killing many gods (including the god-child who had created life) in the process.

The land flew high up into the air, but eventually began to fall (“eventually” again being on mythic terms… maybe after several years). This panicked the remaining god-child, who was scared that the shock of several continents falling on his head would wake his sleeping, wrathful father, the proto-god. He reluctantly admitted defeat to the new gods, and immediately ran off to hold the continents up. This he does by remaining in a large cavern in the center of one of the continents and channeling his will into making them not fall. So far, he’s been pretty successful. The new gods took over and are the current pantheon in-game.

The plot of the game will revolve heavily around this mythology. I envision the main antagonists being a group of cultists, bent on disrupting the god-child holding up the continents, and thus having them fall to the ground and awake the proto-god, who would then restore the universe to its natural chaos. This is seen as less than ideal by the entire rest of everyone who lives on the world.

It’s not brilliant, as mythologies go, but it serves its purpose. I shall go over the pantheon (or at least the major gods within it) tomorrow.

Tactical RPG Ho!

Yeah, yeah, I’m posting two days later than I said I would. Be quiet. Things got in the way. And by things I mean laziness.

The aforementioned school trip was wonderful. We went to a farm in Canadia. I got cow shit splattered on me. Afterwards, I bitched about it for a good hour or so. ’twas fun. I’d like to say that it inspired me on to greater creative heights, but I’d be lying through my teeth. All it inspired me to do was take greater pleasure in every future bite of burger I shall ever take.

In other news, school is out for me. This means you shall get wonderfulness. I’m not going to touch either of the ideas I mentioned in the last post for now, because I’m just like that. The pirate idea may make its way into future posts… the god idea, maybe not. ’twas half-baked at best.

Anyway, the idea I am currently contemplating involves a tactical RPG. A tactical RPG differs from a normal turn-based RPG in that the controlled characters move around the field instead of standing there like idiots attacking each other. I much prefer tactical RPGs to standard ones. Examples of tactical RPGs include Final Fantasy Tactics and Gladius. If you know neither of those games, go look ’em up or something. I’m too lazy to explain more.

This tactical RPG shall be much like the two mentioned above, only more splendiferous. By more splendiferous, I mean less silly than FFT (final fantasy games in general do not really sit well with me), and less mechanical than Gladius (in which all the battles took place in Arenas, and every one was pre-programmed… no randomness whatsoever. Silly.)

I’ve got many plans for the mechanics of this particular tactical RPG, but I shall discuss those in future posts. For now, I’m going to world-build a slight bit. I only know limited things about the world right now, and I shall expand more later, but for now I shall talk about the things I do know.

First of all, the world this RPG takes place in will be floating. To this, the obvious response is “most worlds are”, to which the even more obvious response is “go soak your head in acid, smartass.” What I mean by floating is that taking the place of seas in this world will be air, a massive abyss of air, thus making the continents large floating chunks of land.

This would lead to some interesting things. The first of which would be the various methods of transportation employed between continents. I envision large ships with davinci-esque machinations (no steampunk though… steampunk is… distasteful)… large flaps of canvas positioned on the sides to take advantage of thermal currents, perhaps? It would make for interesting scenes, certainly. The second thing would of course be cloud narwhals. Nothing could be more badass than a cloud narwhal. The flippers could have evolved into large flaps of skin, used for much the same thing as the canvas flaps on the ships… in fact, maybe that was where humanity got the idea. Cloud narwhals.

The second major thing I know about this world is that there shall be a large pantheon of active gods. I don’t know too much about these gods yet… except for several things. One, it is the fault of one of the current gods that the world is currently a series of floating continents. There’s probably a massive history somewhere along in there, involving cataclysmic events and world-shattering powers and things of that sort. I’ll make it up later.

The other thing I know about the gods is that there should be two gods of death, one devoted to order and the other to chaos. The orderly death knows when everything should die and works toward everything dieing at its intended moment, even if it means fudging the rules a bit. The chaotic death is willing to improvise and does so enthusiastically, merely working toward death as an ideal as opposed to an ideal death. This would have an interesting effect on game mechanics. In places where the orderly death rules, characters could be brought back to life after dieing in battle, as it would not be their time to die, and so the orderly death would rule-fudge. In places ruled by the chaotic death, if a character dies, he or she is dead, expired, gone, kaput. If a main character dies? Game over, man. This would add an edge to gameplay in domains ruled by the chaotic death. Ideally, there should be significantly less of those than of domains ruled by the orderly death.

That’s all I have for today. Next post, I shall either expunge more mechanics from my system or rattle on and on about the world in which we set our scene. Cloud narwhals.

Apologies and Promises

I have not been faithful to you, dear blog readers (who may or may not actually exist).  I haven’t posted in ages, and quite frankly I haven’t done anything large in even longer.  I’m about to go on a school trip.  I shall get back the twelfth.  At that time, I shall begin with the regular updating again, as it shall be summer, and I shall be bored.

Depending on which idea I choose to talk about upon return, you shall get either things involving pirates or things involving gods.  It shall be wonderful.  I leave you now.  Farewell.  On the twelfth, posting shall occur.