Saturday, July 30, 2016

And Another Thing

I have a bad habit of being too taxonomic in my thinking, while also being very wishy-washy and vague. I like to go for 'feeling' when making a thing, pin down why that feeling does what it does, and give as much explanation to back that feeling up as possible. Sometimes I go too deep into trying to justify why things feel the way they do.

But usually I just run solely for feel and a little explanation.

It's why Mister Pig is very obviously a shallow composite between the biblical demon Legion, and a particular gif of a silent French film from 1907. Because pigs and swine have so much negative cultural association in the modern day—being dirty, disgusting, greedy, used as a negative term for police or capitalists or nasty men—to me, that gives a blatant reference to demons a sufficiently nasty feeling.

You've got the biblical demon and its own possible reference to Roman occupation, the modern baggage of pigs being horrible and associated with exploitation and brutality, and the below image all coming together as a thing called Mister Pig. The name is so plain as to seem innocent, I think. So overall Mister Pig is gross and comes across as gross just as a concept.

From 'Le Cochon Danseur'.
I also happen to think giant swine with fangs, the ability to speak, and coiled vipers for a tongue is also a cool thing to see described. The knowledge of how biologically wrong and weird and gross such a being is has the right feel, because it's got that visceral knowledge that pigs and snakes are both real animals even as Mister Pig is not real.

So it's taking known things and making them more unknown.

A thing that does this badly is Genasi, and the aesthetic and feel of Genasi. Daniel Dean over at Basic Red  said it better about how Genasi are taking the unknown and making them known, or at least getting the feel of a creature inherently tied to some element entirely wrong.

The art in particular annoys me, with most examples having fire Genasi have flames in the place of hair, or some art just having them as bald humans with glowing marks on their bodies. And that's not taking the known human form and making it unknown and strange, but just grafting fire onto a human model without thinking of how extensively biology would be changed by being partly made of a combustion reaction.

Like, think of how desiccated they would look, or how melty, or how they wouldn't have skin because meat tissue would literally cook unless the fire was cool or manipulatable. Maybe they wouldn't have fire on their heads near their brains, but across their backs, or maybe their heads are hollow and they have no faces but instead large holes to spit damp ashes and smoke, and their brains are somewhere else in their bodies or spread out down their spines. Because we know how fire interacts with meat and a meat head covered in latent flames just doesn't capture the feel correctly. Have a fire Genasi design built on how we know to contain fire, or feed fire.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


So another session!

People of Interest:
Dom, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny figure who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.

People Met:
Brady Katz, a friendly ginger bartender.

One wooden lockbox.
A bag of femurs, still bloody.
One cleaver and one boning knife.
One bottle of vodka.
Files on Zitia Chrime and Fernando Du Sade.

Aria's fancy cloak.
Dom's pants and Alice's dress.
The assailant's fingers.

Now where we left off Alice had been kidnapped, and Dom and Aria had fled and come back. After a short discussion, it was planned for Dom to go into the sewers with knives to pursue the assailant while Aria conferred with the woozy and worried secretary about the locked room they tried to open last session. It turned out to be records for Viper House.

Alice awoke and feigned unconsciousness for a while, observing that the assailant had a head wound and was stumbling, and attempted to escape to little effect. The assailant replied to 'not even try it'.

Dom headed into the sewers. Aria and the secretary conferred about why the records were locked—because Jenny Bones is secretive about it—and Aria explained that she needed to know if the assailant was possibly a former employee. So the secretary got the key with a great deal of nervousness.

At this point Alice actually successfully made an escape, only to be overtaken by the assailant; they explained why they were capturing her at all: since she interrupted the task the assailant was given, Alice would be taken as a sort of substitute to the rooftops. Mysterious rooftops.

In the records, Aria discovered that out of thirty files from previous employees, only three fit the profile of someone being over six feet to approximate the assailant's height. Of the three were:

  • Fernando Du Sade, who left most recently, due to having lost two fingers to a heavy door.
  • Sal'anglii Chancre, who left due to old age, being seventy-five years old at retirement.
  • Zitia Chrime, who left the longest time ago, due to 'other' reasons. A long postscript explained that Zitia reported constantly being stared at by a mysterious person from atop rooftops.
Thinking that Sal'anglii would be both too old and the incorrect gender to be the assailant, Aria stole Ferdinando and Zitia's records and left Viper House. Back in the sewers, Dom's direction actually took him to the south bay rather than the north wharf, so he scrambled back up to the street and passed by two neighboring houses who appeared to be having an insult-off via signs. Dom also abandoned his pants and shoes at this point.

While Alice and the assailant approached another way out of the sewers, Aria went shopping for vodka, bandages, and painkillers along the streets near the wharf, correctly assuming that the assailant would come out towards the wharf.

Alice then bit his two front fingers off, running off as he screamed in pain and drew the second large crowd of the day. She also screamed for help, which came in the form of one Brady Katz, who threw himself into the water but was otherwise fairly direct about helping Alice run away. However, the assailant had disappeared.

Alice—covered in blood, water, and sewage—then made friends with Brady—covered in water and running mascara—through sheer force of charisma and friendliness. Brought together by the crowds and screaming for help, Alice, Aria, and Dom gathered back together as a group. Aria found that the assailant had likely fled back into the sewers and left his dismembered fingers in the wharf.

With some awkwardness, Brady offered them some respite at the bar he tended and ran, the Yellow Sign. The party took of this offer gladly, and gathered in a booth to decide what to do next.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Here We Go

Well I ran an impromptu game and the campaign is starting up already.

People of Interest:
Dom, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny figure who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.

One wooden lockbox.
A bag of femurs, still bloody.
One cleaver and one boning knife.

Aria's fancy cloak.

So these three gathered in a waiting room in the Viper Street Collections House, each having applied for employment as agents there. During the waiting period Aria sat in a corner and knocked over a potted plant, Alice tried to make friends with the plant, and Dom decided to punch out the room's single lightbulb.

This naturally alarmed the secretary who came in to check, but the partly collectively brushed her off. Not wanting to attract further attention, they barged into the office of one Jenny Bones, the hiring agents and main operative of the Viper House.

Jenny went into the spiel about responsibilities of collections agents, but began floundering when an unexpected detonation went off somewhere on the lower floors. Alice took this opportunity to see what was up; Aria took this opportunity to steal the lock-box on Jenny's desk and hurl it through the window. While Aria and Alice fled to adjoining neighborhood rooftops, Dom began demanding to know what was going on even as their prospective employer was ranting about how they were all spies.

Smoke began to fill the building, and the party regrouped in front of Viper House through different routes. Dom took the lead in investigating what was going on and rushed headlong towards a locked door to break it open, while Aria prepared an impromptu facemask and Alice decided to bring along the worried secretary by managing to win her over completely by the power of friendship alone.

While other employees of Viper House fled, the party went down into the basement where all the smoke was coming from. It was revealed that even in when confronted by thick smoke and the prospect of coughing her lungs out, Alice doesn't crawl anywhere. Dom then ran into a mysterious masked person with armor-piercing sabatons.

When questioned, the masked person explained that their presence was intended as a simple task of espionage and vandalism; unfortunately, since the party had observed them, the task became more violent.

There was a fight. Dom got a toe-spike through the shoulder in addition to his fistful of lightbulb glass and Alice was quickly knocked unconscious after trying to stab the masked person with a splintery bone.

The other two fled—leaving Alice and the secretary to their fates—towards a butchery across the street to borrow knives, cleavers, and fresh bones, and rethink their tactics. By this time a fire brigade had appeared and the party joined them going back down into the basement to face their assailant and rescue Alice.

Neither Alice nor the mysterious masked person were found, though the secretary was found unconscious. However, Aria discovered the remains of a homemade smoke bomb and a large open drainpipe in the basement bathrooms, suggesting as to where Alice had been taken.