December 28, 2011

Under the Guidance of Will-of-the-Torch...

Mostly posting to say I've not died from alien face-eating disease yet.

But here's a little something I've been working on for my next stint as Game Master. In my continuation of expanding and testing my own little RPG system, I've started working on a teeny-weeny Swords & Sorcery-ish addition if we ever need it. Right now I'm working on the sorcery part. It's mostly just the working concept of spells right now, with 8 tiers (referred to as circinates) of spells. They aren't technically circles of magic, so much as just separate groupings of various schools of spell-casting. I'm not too happy with 'wanderlight's name, as it doesn't quite fit the naming scheme I'm going for. Hell, even the spell 'anemos' was a bit of a pain in the ass to name; you'd think there just was a single term for gill-/water-breathing that I could easily find. Each circinate is considered its own single 'skill' for the purpose of the system's skill structure; archetypes are as close as we get to classes in this game. Anyhoo, below is the basic skeleton of the cumulative list, devoid of proper costs, casting times and other inconveniences beyond a few notes of what each one does.

From the very start I wanted every magic-user to be capable of two things: inflicting harm, and healing it. Magic in this setting is supposed to generally be more primal and elemental in nature. Each spell should have its own aesthetic qualities as fitting to its caster. Another thing I wanted to try avoiding with these spells was make more flexible abilities that weren't as specific and cookie-cutter as D&D's spells tended to be. If outcomes or purposes were somewhat familiar, they would be merged together in the name of versatility.

Damage (1 BP* taken, damage objects)
Mend (1 BP* healed, mend objects)

    1st Circinate
Flare (spontaneous fire to target object or person, 1 damage/10 ranks)
Heal (1d6+1/10 ranks)
Lift (levitate one's self, or other things)
Cloak (minor invisibility and muffled movement)
Stamina (+1d6 max HP 1 minute/10 ranks)
Strength (+1 STR/20 ranks)
Wanderlight (floating orb of light/light spell)

    2nd Circinate
Anemos (allows water-breathing)
Coma (target or targets put in magic sleep)
Drain (drains target STR or HP to 1, DC is points spent)
Expedience (+1 action every second round/10 ranks)
Harm (1d6+1/10 ranks)
Shock (stun, effects increase/10 ranks)
Wallow (become relaxed in environment, mask scent, laugh at mosquitos)
Ward (minor force shields self)
Wealth (transmute material into food, drink, and simple objects)

    3rd Circinate
Open (open portal)
Warmth (resist cold, makes warm)
Cold (resist heat, makes cold)
Ground (resist electricity, makes slow)
Sanctuary (sanctuary)
Seal (arcane lock)
Fireball (fireball)
Fortitude (resistence to poison, disease and radiation)
Attor (envenoms target weapon, teeth or claws)

    4th Circinate
Wall (earth wall)
Noise (spell shield/radius dispell)
salubrity (+1d6 HP healed/10 ranks)
Shuck (ignore 2 damage/10 ranks each hit for duration)
Outstay (+1 CON/20 ranks)
Curse (-1/-5 to specified score/skill/10 ranks)
Wrack (elemental storm 1d6 damage/10 ranks)

    5th Circinate
Sting (enhance weapon or claw)
Hale (cure ailment, poison and diseases)
Shatter (intense vision/nightmare, 1d10 damage, instant fatigue)
Snare (holds individual)
Sending (personal message anywhere, only to reciever)
Vanish (turn invisible)
Raise (bring physical body to animation)

    6th Circinate
Bore (make holes in walls or form pits)
Sweep (obliterates mold, dust, poison and weak beings)
Field (invisible force blocks passage and projectile)
Sap (leeches mana or HP from nearby energies (magic things, people, etc.)
Conjure (1HD/something points, make entity shaped by maker's imagination)
Obscure (changes appearance)
Behold (allows true seeing)

    7th Circinate
Death (ethereal emenation kills the weak, weakens the strong)
Rend (attacks bypass defenses)
Mirror (turn invisible as fake double fools enemies)
Storm (calls forth lightning to strike enemies)
Portal (creates door through solid mass)
Phantasm (manifests spectral entity to assist combat)
Shift (alter appearance and change shape)

    8th Circinate
Petrify (gaze or grasp to turn target to stone)
Wither (inflict life-consuming curse)
Destroy (obliterates target entity)
Wish (alters reality to some degree)
Malign (alter appearance and change shape of others)

*BP stands for Body Point. Characters usually take damage to their BP instead of their CON scores for determining death that eschews hit points.

December 17, 2011

More Internet Fun: 'I Write Like...'

Found this little website called 'I Write Like' through the blog Coasters, Castles, Combustion. The idea is that you feed it a section of your own writing, of which it analyzes your use of syntax, the genre of your writing, style, and word selection to determine which author your writing is most like. For kicks I selected three different segments from some of old short stories of mine to see how consistent they could be. Based on my results, which I'll provide below, I suggest for anyone else trying this out, to submit as long a sample as you can manage for most viable results. Now for my own results:

I write like
Arthur Clarke
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

    A man, clad in space suit, sits alone, bathed in the wash of light from a holofield counting his minutes to the memories of histories gone. Many interesting holo-vids of ancient space exploration captures dance about in a 3-meter by 3-meter sphere around him. His silhouette breaks the image behind himself, and there is no sound to match the footage; he is in a hostile environment, completely sealed from the outside.
    Unclad spacers smile. Their chatter continues unevenly amidst exchanged opinions and laughs, but he doesn't hear them, neither from without nor within his helmet; the audio reciever was set to the mute function.
    He had curled his knees to his chest earlier. Amidst the alien rock, the grit, shreds of plastic, ablative and steel construction, he was his own sole company save the hulking face of a heavily corroded rock devoid of dust. His cold-chilled fingers dragged their hardcap-tips across his visor. That was one of few sounds he did hear, from within his closed world. The dust brought with his gauntleted hands gingerly held to the smoothed visor wherever a scratch of its outer layer sat, but with little effort even his idle body shook the fine stratum free.

My second entry features another space theme, but this time it's a murder:

I write like
Harry Harrison
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Drasniki placed the upturned pot upon the man's skull, only to suddenly thrash against its face with a clenched fist. A superhuman vigor held his limbs and each slam brought horrendous pain to his victim; blood sprang free from his battering hand as flesh and bone alike shattered with every consecutive hit to the inward-dented pot.

And before the slender spacer could come to his senses, the man was dead and his crimson hand had swollen, slick with sticky blood. His thin lungs exhaled with wheezing contractions drawn as evenly as a weakling manning the bellows.

The moment lingered in an unsettling way. Wiry Drasniki was not in the room where his body stood; he did not see the flurry of his coiled fist; he did not witness the wracking bruise of his limb; he did not accept his actions, nor the repercussions of his deed. He sucked air from the scene, standing utterly still as a tick bit at his skull. Its itch gnawed at his scalp, whispering things to his head.

A man had died.
A life was taken.
He had hurt.

His panting shallowed and his eyes stole a hazy focus.

A man had died.
He had taken a life.
He had hurt a man.

The spacer held his breath with the bite of his lip. It was his fault. All of it. With a last, long-drawn and shuttering exhale, the spacer held his left hand before personal scrutiny. His discoloured fingers wouldn't move. A shot of intense pain wracked his entire arm as he attempted to turn his wrist and wiggle his battered digits. His other hand still tightly clenched the silicon panhandle of the pot now firmly stuck to his victim's skull. With no volition of his own would it budge and he was quick to let go, instead turning to attend to his thoroughly broken limb with ginger hesitation.

My third entry featured a man threatened by some vague "orcish" character, where the genre presented could still be considered ambiguous:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

"Merry, merry, merry man! Haha! Shriek, scream, and die!"  The orcish thing knew; oh it knew so well its favorite activities: death, dismemberment, and destruction. Brilliant pass-times for those chaotic, lame sort.

Blair clung to the shadow of the stone arch. The beast was near, and he could not be found, for death would surely take him. His white-handed grip tightened around his beaten crowbar, sprung tight with energy. Its footsteps drew ever nearer, and each plod upon the worked stone floor drew Blair's swing tighter and tighter. It was coming; he could smell its foul odor now, something beyond recollection, something alien.


Afterward, for further interesting value, I combined all three and submitted the cumulative mass, of which my result returned to Harry Harrison. Very interesting, though I must shamefully admit I'm not familiar with too much of his work, however 'The Stainless Steel Rat' seems very much my cup of tea.

Any of you few lot interested in posting your results?