Archive for the ‘fiction’ Category

Jumping Genres!

July 4, 2014

My last post was written mostly with humorous intent, but also was intended to get some thoughts churning. Protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, I wouldn’t derail an existing and relatively serious,steady game so wildly as to put something like the Deck of Many Genres into play. That would be a rather gross abuse of the social contract between GM and players, really.

I would, however, shift genres in a game as long as that made sense within the context of the game… and I would also run a game where the very premise revolves around shifting genres/layers of reality/alternate dimensions where the players move from one genre to the next and possibly back again. It might work best with a certain pre-determined number of predesigned genre/setting/layers where the players will run genre-shifted iterations of the same character/soul/self. I think that could be really, really fun.

Originally I was going to go back to the last post and edit it to that effect, but then after my friend Terry made a comment on his repost that was very much in line with my thinking, I decided this might be better suited if I post it by itself. I’ll share a few specific examples of times I’ve experimented with the genre-shifting concept already in games and found it a satisfying pursuit, point out a few narrative media where this technique or a variant has been used to good effect. I’ve never run a campaign where shifting realities and genres was a major part of the premise, though I have done individual adventures in a couple different systems that explored the concept either seriously or otherwise.
(more…)

Advertisements

Dreams, Memories and Tomorrows

May 24, 2012

(This story bit overlaps with Falling Awake and The Morning Breaks but mostly takes place after both)

It was about 2 or 3 in the morning when Ro finally rubbed her tired eyes and stretched. She could easily refresh herself and go for quite a while without sleeping, but sleeping allowed one to dream and process. Besides, Joseph was only marginally awake and she’d done all she could for this leg of Linda’s journey.

“Okay… I’m going to get a few hours of shut-eye. You do the same, huh?” Her blue eyes rested on the garou male a long moment, expression soft and a little wistful. They’d talked on and off since bringing Linda back to the house. Some surprises and ‘aha!’ moments on both sides led both of them to a greater understanding, she hoped. “Hold her tight and I’ll be back when she wakes, or a little after.”

“I’ll do that,” he said softly and flashed her a charming, white-toothed smile. Joseph was undeniably handsome, but he was also a man that knew how to listen and was good at drawing people out to talk about themselves. Also, he remembered the details later and could retell them to sound more exciting and meaningful than they had to the original teller. “Sleep well, Ro. She’ll be safe with me.” (more…)

The Morning Breaks

May 19, 2012

(The below is a direct follow up to Falling Awake)

Amrita had rolled into lotus after her last pose of the morning, body sweating pleasantly from one of her more strenuous routines. Her connection to Gaia was still strong this morning, and she let her awareness expand in the meditative state, flowing into “all that is” with each exhalation. It was a kind of pleasure that was difficult to explain to anyone who’d never felt something similar, that letting go of the ego-self in favor of the ultimate release into everything at once. But those who’d been there knew it too, and sometimes that had to be enough.

She was deeply aware of the shifts of consciousness in the house. One such shift rang like a bell in her own consciousness, just as the sun peaked above the eastern horizon.

Linda had awakened. (more…)

Falling Awake

April 12, 2012

All was pain and anguish. Howls and the beating of drums pounding in her head, a scratching and clawing beneath her own skin, and a horrid, agonized shrieking that only she could hear.

A powerful, furred set of arms was wrapped firmly yet gently about her and her face was pressed into the chest of their owner, a tender, slim human hand was clasped hard in her ghastly claw, and a cooling, soothing sensation radiated from the little metallic devices that were adhering to her temples. These few comforts she clung to as best she could through unknown hours of suffering.

Again the howling came, and the comforting hand, the supporting arms and the calming devices were gone.

Her eyes closed. (more…)

Awakening: The Battle of Cinder Cone

December 20, 2011

This sequence is a cutscene related to chapters 2-3 of The Enemy of My Enemy, the second story of the Awakening Chronicle.

*     *     *     *     *

Joseph Chases-the-Dream rejoined his pack after consulting with the mixed task force of mages, Garou and Kinfolk that had volunteered to strike at the witches beneath Cinder Cone and found his pack alpha Mingan Leaps-Like-cougar, the Wyrmfoe of the Sept of the Boiling Earth, addressing the several gathered packs. Joseph noted that a ways off from the group stood a tall, ragged bespectacled white man with close-cropped hair: Marcus Falcon’s-Resolve, who had been Ostracized. The other Garou present were ignoring his existence, neither welcoming nor forbidding him: he did not exist in their eyes, and Joseph blinded himself to the disgraced Silver Fang as well.

Mingan spoke: “We of the Warpath shall be the head of the arrow aimed at their hearts. Spear Dancers, follow immediately behind us, and the rearguard shall be the Black Wings,” Leaps instructed them as he reviewed the plan of attack. He gave each pack their assignments of which portions of Cinder Cone’s peak each was to sweep clear.

“The Wyrmbringers have numbers. They have high ground, and distance, and they are armed with silver ammunition,” Leaps stated gravely, “We must advance up a steep slope to fight them, and we have no cover other than what we ourselves can create. (more…)

Awakening: Calling Down the Rain

December 3, 2011

This is a side scene detailing some of the off-camera action from the Awakening Chronicle. It is concurrent with chapters 2-3 of The Enemy of My Enemy.

 * * * * *

Bill and Marco watched through the window as Solomon Wright bani Bonisagus performed a ritual that instantly transported the cabal of outsider mages and consors across many miles’ distance to the northeastern portion of Lassen National Park, and once the wave of magical force passed they looked to one another dubiously. Marco was a dark, heavily tattooed young man of mixed Hispanic and Native American ancestry with spiked hair, a ripped t-shirt and jeans that might have come out of an aerosol can. Bill was close to the same age but considerably taller, and was a lanky but reasonably fit man wearing rugged work pants and a cabled turtleneck sweater. His long brown hair was swept behind his ear for the moment but it was prone to falling free and obscuring parts of his face.

Marco was the first to break the seemingly endless silence, “Doesn’t feel right letting that bunch of strangers go off and fight our battles while we’re just staring at the walls, man.” (more…)

I Am A Dork: Legend of the Archons Edition

November 22, 2011

A number of years ago, while working on Legend of the Archons, my FATE variant, I came up with a character who was supposed to appear in the setting, but I missed some very amusing correlations between him and a certain pop culture figure until very recently. It was pointed out to me when I was explaining him to Alesia, with whom I am working on the LoA story Agents of Change. She took one listen to my description of him and immediately spotted it, and even assumed that it was deliberate… I had to admit to her that it had not been, even though it’s so blindingly obvious. Yeah, I completely deserved the teasing that she gave me over it.

I needed a character who would be a master artificer, weaponsmith and armorer, cunning in clockwork and the crafting of sundry engines of destruction. He was to be physically strong and imposing, and both renowned and fairly wealthy due to his mastery.

He needed to have been taken captive by one of the story’s major antagonists and put to work making those lovely death dealing devices at his captor’s bidding, including a special suit of armor. The idea lay fallow for years because LoA got put on the backburner. Then Alesia and I revived the LoA idea and started working on a collaborative writing project on the subject and I took him out of mothballs.

Not long before I had the discussion with Alesia, I made a cheesy little avatar of him, below:

Dream Avatar
With all of the above in mind, I needed to name him. Since he’s resident in the Dachs region, which is analogous to the highly fragmented western portion of the Holy Roman Empire during the Renaissance, I wanted him to have a solid, strong sounding Germanic name. “Stark” is a German word for “strong,” so I named him Heinrich Stark.
You can stop laughing at me now.
Yeah, he looks like RD Jr. Yeah, he is in a cave with a box of scraps making weapons of mass destruction. No, I didn’t for a moment think of Iron Man when I made him up.
That said… if you’re going to do a thing, you might as well embrace it. As far as I am concerned, I am now under a moral imperative to have Tony Heinrich build himself a suit of clockwork power armor. Yeah baby, it’s going to be awesome.

Awakening: Those Left Behind

November 9, 2011

(This post focuses on what’s happening to some of the various NPCs in the Awakening chronicle in the time around the end of The Enemy of My Enemy, Chapter I)

It had been a bit of a strange day for Joseph Chases-the-Dream, all told.

After putting together a Litany Q&A for Amrita and having to call that to a premature conclusion, he had been left alone with Linda, the attractive yet mousy Kin woman that had recently been adopted into the tribe even though she was a creepy white girl formerly associated with the Black Spiral Dancers. (more…)

Awakening: You’re Family Now

October 12, 2011

This is a side scene/blue book focusing on one miss Linda Lee, who until a few minutes before this scene was Kinfolk to the Black Spiral Dancers, but now has renounced them and been adopted into the Uktena.

*     *     *     *     *

Linda huddled in the ritual robe that Mapiya Sacred Hoop had been kind enough to drape over her thin, freezing shoulders and the moccasins that had been provided for her feet once the Rite of Adoption was completed. Sunset on a mountainside in springtime was no time to be standing around with nothing but some body paint between oneself and the elements. She took a few moments as the Garou cleaned up after their rite to rescue her abandoned overcoat and slip that across her shoulders like a cloak for a bit of extra warmth. (more…)

Awakening: Meanwhile, Not Far Away

October 11, 2011

This is a cut-scene taking place a number of miles north of Prospect Peak during the early stages of The Scouring.

*     *     *     *     *

Not far from the Penumbral representation of Signal Butte, a little bit south of the scar that was the spiritual representation of Highway 44 in the vicinity of Lassen Volcanic National Park, a dingy white-furred wolf loped steadily away from the roiling smoke that rose up behind Prospect Peak. Screams and shrieks of Banes and Glade Children and the howls of Garou could be heard in the far distance if one had ears sharp enough to listen. The wolf had such ears. (more…)