General Writing Discussion

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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:39 pm

OMIGOSH THAT ENTIRE THING WAS JUST FREAKING AWESOME.
Also: Drowning Demon/Undead thing = effing scary.
Been thinking about it. Decided I wish to make a comic depicting the events of the sessions, starting from Niccolo's introduction with possible flashbacks to previous adventures. I need help piecing together a decent script, though. I don't need an exact record of what was said; this is going to be an edited and streamlined version with better dialogue. However, I would like a list of events that is at least mostly correct. Can you do that?
Also, been writing a Badass Boast for Niccolo. Will post it later. Decided on using "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes as his theme music, and his Boast is kind of based off of it.
Also, started working on developing classes and race details for Orbahlen. Andre, I could use some guidance from you about this process. How did you go about creating the base classes? I know the hunter is something like a fusion of the Ranger and Rogue with Assassin spells and a focus on undead, but I'd like deeper insight into the process.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby VonGentlemen on Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:08 pm

Why thank you Jake, I do try.
Hard.


And whew, where do I begin?
Making classes is a subject that could fill books. (It does, in fact).
Of course, there is a pretty simple way to break it down* (Simple is relative, of course)

The first thing to remember is the main food groups of classes. They are as follows:

~Glass Cannon (High damage output, low durability)
~Hit-and-run (High mobility, usually medium damage output and durability)
~Tank
~Backbone (usually support classes. Melee ones tend to have medium durability and higher mobility, magic are usually higher damage or supporting spells and lower mobility)
~Hey, how's the weather over there? (high range. Varying damage output and durability)
~Guy-Who-Has-Really-Good-Skills-But-Doesn't-Seem-To-Understand-His-Role-In-Combat-Because-He-Didn't-Actually-Read-His-Class-Sheet-And-Only-Picked-The-Class-Because-It-Entitles-Him-To-Hunt-Witches-And-The-DM-Agreed-To-Give-Him-The-Hat-He-Wanted (Usually has some pretty solid variant skills that give him solid durability and damage output at the cost of limiting his attack options, forcing him to approach battles more strategically, which he won't do)

After you have all that figured out (usually you have at least four or five kinds for every six classes you create), it's time to look at combat styles. The big ones are as follows**:

Melee:***
~Heavy Armor and weapons kind
~Fast swordsman
~Diverse fighter
~Skill reliant fighter
~Mutli-range combativeness
~Kamikaze Fighter
~Well-Rounded combatant
~Fighter with magic abilities

Ranged
~Long distance with interval attacks
~Mid Range sprayer
~Mid range heavy hitter
~Close/Mid range with melee option
~Suppressing attacker
~Ambusher

Magic****
~Buffer
~Healer
~Damage Output
~Skill based
~Mix-and-match


Once you have the archetypes and the roles, it's time to focus on the fun part: Balance!
the idea behind balance is that all of your classes could engage a standard enemy (One capable of damaging them in normal conditions) in conditions perfect for their class and emerge victorious with roughly the same amount of %HP as the other classes with roughly the same Ammo/magic % expenditure as the other classes.

Of course, most classes don't have inherently perfect conditions, which is where special abilities come in.
And speaking of specials, they break down into three kinds:
1.) Abilities that make the combat situation more favorable for the class
2.) Abilities that counter a class's weakness
3.) Abilities that bolster a class's existing combat capabilities.

Classes that rely more on circumstantial situations (AKA Hunter) tend to have skills that serve to tip situations more toward their class's favor, whilst classes that lean more toward a set role (AKA Chosen One) have abilities that bolster their combat abilities corresponding to their class's role. Classes that have set combat roles (AKA Mortician) have skills that negate their weaknesses and make their primary skills more usable.

Once you have this generally figured out, assign an identity to the class, making it relevant to the world. Adding a quote or theme song to a class can help tend to inspire its' identity a little more.

After all that, remeber that each class should have an opposite to balance it out.
For example, a cleric like ability would be owned by a tank, who would be owned by an offensive mage, who would be owned by a ranger, who would be owned by a swift-swordsman, who would be owned by a tank, ect.

After you have a relationship behind characters, feel free to write various classes into roles in the setting. Make classes usually follow some sort of rules or back story.
Get Creative. Experiment.


* This is in no way comprehensive
** There are of course, many, many others. This list refers to the conventionally used ones.
*** Fighter is not referring to a class here, but rather a combatant that uses melee as a primary means of attacking
**** Or whatever the akin to magic is in your setting.


Of course, you could just skip all this needless class making and use a perk system instead, which is totally easier to make and totally more functional.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:43 pm

:o That was truly excellent. You should publish that in some manner. I'm sure there's a wiki out there just dying for a guide like that.
I will get much use from this.
Also, currently finishing a... panoramic picture (maybe?) of all the races, including both male and female versions of each race. I stylized it slightly to look like the pictures of the races in the 3.5 players handbook.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby VonGentlemen on Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:56 pm

Thank, thanks.

And oohhh, I'll have to check it out when it's done.
Sounds exciting!

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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:44 pm

Finished it.
Also, typed this up to go with it:

Races of Orbahlen

Humans
Humans are an old race. Not on an individual level, though. They're old in the sense that they were the first sentient species on Orbahlen, actually achieving a primitive level of civilization before the world was sundered. While only a handful of beings in the world are aware of this, few if any can deny that Humans have had some of the greatest and most wide-spread empires in the history of Orbahlen, or that they are one of the most numerous races in the world. Up until 500 years ago, humans were bitter rivals with the Avians, who matched them almost exactly point for point on the empire-building and population stages.

Avians
The reformation of the world jump-started a number of species on the path to sentience, but none as spectacularly as the Avians. Evolving from a few intermixing bird species into a diverse and anthropomorphic race over a mere thousand years, the Avians were destined for extended periods of greatness. The human kingdoms of the Darba continent were taken completely by surprise when the Avians' first airship fleet (designed and constructed primarily by their Devial slaves) swept in from the horizon and conquered them with ease. This set the stage for hundreds of hundreds of years of conflict between humans and avians, and even in the present there exists a simmering animosity between members of these two races.

Devial
A small and reptilian people, the Devials are clever, inventive, and creative. They also have a history of being tremendously bad at defending themselves. Their society at first was a small, democratic state, encouraging innovation and individuality. They were conquered and enslaved by the avians so quickly as to produce a whiplash effect in many Devials. Fortunately, during the avians' first war with the humans the majority managed to escape Avian imprisonment, and went into business designing weapons and technology for both sides. To a Devial, survival is tremendously important, as you need to be alive and prosperous to properly invent things; holding a grudge is considered unwise and improper among devials.

Spirimen
Countless years (actually just several thousand years) ago, an insane magician succeeded in binding a few hundred energy beings to magical masks, forcing them to live and act in the physical world. The Spirimen are these beings modern descendants, and boy have they taken a liking to the 'real' Orbahlen. So much so that your average Spirimen has utterly dedicated his life to improving the world or protecting it. They tend to be good guys, if a bit zealous and overbearing. They're not plentiful, though; Spirimen women can have a maximum of four children in their lifetime (an arbitrary limit set by the aforementioned magician.) And they tend to get so caught up in questing/saving the world that they forget to breed. Fortunately, they're effectively immortal.

Xalvai
The Xalvai would be the 'more spiritual then thou' race if they weren't so genuinely down to earth... or sky, as it were. The Xalvai were not only jump-started by Amma's sacrifice; they were the first race to recieve the Goddess of Dreams' gift of Magic and Wisdom while she was atoning for sundering Orbahlen. Thus, the Xalvai have developed a deep connection with the energies of the world, instilling them with an aura of zen and power. While the humans and avians built their empires, the Xalvai refined their wisdom and tended to the wounded on both sides, working towards peace and serenity.

Elvan
The Elvan are actually an offshoot of the human race, the remnants of a human civilization in the extreme, deadly wastes of the Paragas continent. Though they have reestablished communications with the world at large, they continue to live in a spartan society on their own continent. A 'native' Elvan is quiet, dour, and tougher then a tank made of biceps; it is said that the only time an Elvan speaks is to unleash a short but scathing and witty two-to-five word comment.

"Half-elvan"
Named by majority observation, the so-called "Half-Elvan" do indeed look as if they are halfway between the appearance of a human and an Elvan. This is actually merely a coincidence. The race is actually the remains of another offshoot of humanity, one that developed over thousands of years in the upper echelons of society in the greatest human empire of all time. Bred to deal with the cutthroat and complex politics of that age, the "half-elvan" possessed such skill in rhetoric that it was said they could convince a rock to grow legs and throw itself off a cliff. When the empire they were bred in was shattered, these manipulators went into hiding, erasing every trace that they were somehow a 'different race' and perpetuating the story that gave them their common name. If you need someone to run a conspiracy or convince water to run uphill, get thee a half-elvan.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby niko2pico on Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:50 pm

To fill you in Jake (heavily paraphrased)
Boring stuff that I don't want to type
Gunta: I'm gonna sell out M
Inky dude: Ok here's 250gp
Niko: Traitor
Gunta: it's all part of my plan
Elliot: i got a plan to ruin his plan
Niko: I bet you didn't count on this in your plan "Rank 1: Flames of Hell"
demon: Which one?
Niko: The one in the stupid hat...
Pain Agony
Gunta: That hurt but I still have 9 health left
Elliot: [beautiful rhetoric] No Gunther is lying I know Where M is, go to the cottage [/beautiful rhetoric] [Telepathy] Play along Niko[/Telepathy] [Saving M's ass] Get the hell out of the cottage and hide[/saving M's Ass]
Gunta: i'ma still alive and still gonna betray you guise
Niko: Ezekiel 25:17. "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the
tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through
the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike
down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you! Flaming Gauss Pulse!![roll]critical[/roll] [damage] 23*2[/damage]
Gunta: I have been shown who is boss
Boring stuff
Gunta: Well I'm dead again.
Pendulum man: [meatphore] Re roll a character or feel the wrath of my word filter [/metaphore]
Gunta: How about I don't remake a character and don't feel the wrath of your word filter
Andre: Well then feel the wrath of mega Zeike and Xivlan!
Gunta: K
Niko: Rank 5!
demon: Which one?
Niko: who do you think
Awesome rank 5
Gunta: Wow
Elliot: They demonstrate. Rank 5
Andre: Ok GTG
Niko: Damn
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:30 pm

Interesting.
Soooo... Patch attempts to betray M/the group based on some magnificent scheme he has in his head, the rest of you say 'f*** that' and save M while proceeding to roflpwn Patch and quote epic biblical phrases, who again meets with Successful!Patch (and probably Hobo!Patch as well), Zeike gets a rank 5, and the session ends? Awesome. Will compose another post to theorize what Niccolo is doing the entire time.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:40 pm

Don't know if this will actually fit into the chain of events, but I figured during this time he seperates from the group to investigate whether he keeps his old job (he doesn't), whether there will be a price on his head now that he's fired (there is and he has to fend off either the first of many assassins or an assassin who will become a recurring villain), and what exactly is in the locked box (he doesn't find out.)
Also, what do you think of the Orbahlen races, both appearance and flavor-wise?
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby niko2pico on Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:29 pm

Yeah so Gunther's character is getting fixed or rerolled. Ha ha ha Mellow Drama. Elliot and I got to see our Rank 5'.

The orbahlen races look pretty good. Where is an evil race though?
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:37 pm

niko2pico wrote:Yeah so Gunther's character is getting fixed or rerolled. Elliot and I got to see our Rank 5'.

The orbahlen races look pretty good. Where is an evil race though?


I wanted to avoid "Always Chaotic Evil" at all costs. All of the races can be evil or good; similar to Eberron, alignments get extremely blurred. Certain races may have tendencies that can be seen as evil (Half-elvan are manipulative and decieving, for example) but those character traits are neither universal across the species nor necessarily bad.

Another race trope I wanted to sidestep (or at least twist) is for humans to be the only 'diverse/jack-of-all-trades' race. In Orbahlen, they actually share that trait with the Avians, who are just as diverse and skillful as humans.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby niko2pico on Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:57 pm

Dreamaniaccomic wrote:
niko2pico wrote:Yeah so Gunther's character is getting fixed or rerolled. Nope No reroll only drama. Elliot and I got to see our Rank 5'.

The orbahlen races look pretty good. Where is an evil race though?


I wanted to avoid "Always Chaotic Evil" at all costs. All of the races can be evil or good; similar to Eberron, alignments get extremely blurred. Certain races may have tendencies that can be seen as evil (Half-elvan are manipulative and decieving, for example) but those character traits are neither universal across the species nor necessarily bad.

Another race trope I wanted to sidestep (or at least twist) is for humans to be the only 'diverse/jack-of-all-trades' race. In Orbahlen, they actually share that trait with the Avians, who are just as diverse and skillful as humans.


But you have an inherently good race. Also instead of two jack of all trade races make instead 0 jack of all trade races, maybe.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby VonGentlemen on Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:51 pm

Oh, you can strike the whole "Rerolling a character" stuff.
Gunther decided to stick with his overly-dramatic self and quit.

Honto.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby niko2pico on Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:48 am

No surprise there. Oh well. Let's see how long it lasts. Also I just don't want to lose him as a friend.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:53 am

niko2pico wrote:
Dreamaniaccomic wrote:
niko2pico wrote:Yeah so Gunther's character is getting fixed or rerolled. Nope No reroll only drama. Elliot and I got to see our Rank 5'.

The orbahlen races look pretty good. Where is an evil race though?


I wanted to avoid "Always Chaotic Evil" at all costs. All of the races can be evil or good; similar to Eberron, alignments get extremely blurred. Certain races may have tendencies that can be seen as evil (Half-elvan are manipulative and decieving, for example) but those character traits are neither universal across the species nor necessarily bad.

Another race trope I wanted to sidestep (or at least twist) is for humans to be the only 'diverse/jack-of-all-trades' race. In Orbahlen, they actually share that trait with the Avians, who are just as diverse and skillful as humans.


But you have an inherently good race. Also instead of two jack of all trade races make instead 0 jack of all trade races, maybe.

I just realized that problem with the Spirimen. You can discount the 'inherent desire to do good' bit from now on. That, and an insane Spirimen who is still intensely bitter over his race's seperation from the spirit world would be a delicious villain concept.
Also, I ended up going with the policy that (at least in the PC's case) all the races are 'everyman.' Kind of. I'll elaborate more once I figure the exact system out.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby VonGentlemen on Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:07 pm

Going off of what Niko said, it is important to consider would be making each race slightly good at various roles. Therefore, you don't so much kill a large amount of diversity that is usually lost in the process of the "All are jacks of all trades" idea. From a worldly standpoint, if each race was at an inherent equal, there would be just about nothing to stop them from wiping each other out.
If you give each race a weakness and strength corresponding to certain roles, you ink out the identity of the race a little more and give the players a tad more diversity.
Also, it might be a good idea to keep the 'good' and 'evil' aspects, only making every race good, but only in regards to their own morality. Therefore it is technically possible for characters to still have a racial identity while not being a Lawful-Stupid or Gary-Sue like character.

Then again, this is just a thought.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby XIVcaliber on Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:23 pm

</lurk>

So, I heard you like paraphrasing? Perhaps so, but the main point here is that I HAVE AN IDEA FOR ANDRE.

HE NEEDS TO READ THIS. IT MAY JUST BRING GUNTA BACK.

So, my personal plan, (Gunther has already agreed with me somewhat) is that Gunther re-rolls a character. Then, by some Dues Ex Machina twist of fate, part of his backstory implies getting a mysterious journal that can only be opened by a true witch hunter. He makes another witch hunter, or perhaps another class, and LEARNS TO DO IT RIGHT. Then, the journal opens up, and Gunther's new character gains the <strike>lack of</strike> knowledge from Patch, as well as his secret plans. Everyone's satisfied, am I right?

If not, buy a dog.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:53 pm

Hm. That's an intersting idea, Elliot. So Gunther's new character would be a kind of "Legacy" character? That could actually play out quite nicely. Will the inheritor of the legacy carry it out, destroy it, or ignore it and create his own? Tons of possibilites.

I just realized I never really did a serious post on the style and flavor I'm aiming for in Orbahlen. I'll be typing one up on Texteditor; I plan to upload said document to DeviantArt. It should help clarify some things about the setting.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby VonGentlemen on Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:03 pm

I've already been working on something like that. I just need some way to make sure that it doesn't result in Gunther using such as an excuse to go right back to where he was.
Also, come up with a way to place his character in the same place you're at?
Hmm. Actually, I got it! Wheee!

Oh, and on a completly unrelated note, CHARACTER THEME SONGS:

Zeike
Xivlan
Patch (According to how he sees his character anyway)
Niccolo
And of course, seeing as she's practically a member of your party at the moment:
M

Or at least, according to me.
This is just what I think.
You'll probably disagree.
Except Niko, of course.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:29 pm

Zeike's song fits perfectly, as is awesome in its own right.
Xivlan's song fits, I guess. I would actually recommend this for him. Fits with his rather 'enthusiastically insane' character.
Patch's song made me think of the 'wandering warrior' which I definetely could see Patch as. He doesn't mesh well with other people, for one.
Your choice for Niccolo's song was definitely fun, but I found one or two others that really fit him, in my opinion.
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Re: General Writing Discussion

Postby niko2pico on Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:30 pm

"Libera Me" gives me chills.
yeah seven nation army is definitely yours
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