Each Cut, Each Slice

February 16, 2019

The wind flows over the ocean in a steady way, as it always has. As it always will.

Xiao’kha called to the wind, letting his hook dance with it before diving beneath the waves. He smiled softly at the soft ‘plunk’ of the heavy lead weight hitting the water and socketed the pole into his fishing junk’s pole-lock and relaxed into his wicker chair. Here, on the waves of the ocean where the land just barely peaked over the horizon, everything was comfortable, as it always was. As it always will.

Not far from where he dozed, rocking with his junk on the waves, Xiao saw another junk gliding across the water. The sails were bunched strangely, though, and its lantern was missing from the fore-end of the boat. It seemed to limp across the waves, searching for a cane it will never find. Slumped against the rudder was a figure, shrouded by the sails and a heavy oiled cloak.

Without a thought, Xiao sprung into action and pulled his line up, grabbed his cargo hook and a rope, and tied the rope off to his mast before jumping into the water and swimming toward the wayward boat. The first fear of anyone on the sea is something going wrong and disappearing into sea. Xiao would do what he could to see that didn’t happen. As he always would.

The boat was from his village. He could tell by the way the junk was bound together, the woods used, the colors it was painted. It took longer than he liked to climb aboard. He was even further disheartened when he saw who it was – the priest’s child. Their son, a young man who was good at heart but protected by the pride of the priest before his own skill and ability.

Xiao wrapped the rope around the junk’s mast, securing it with the cargo hook, and dived back into the ocean to get back to his own ship. He would tow it back. He would bring the boy home. He belonged home, as anyone does.

The Sea wept for him and her waves moved. The Sky howled for him, and the wind roared. Xiao focused with the tiller in one hand and the rope wrapped around another. The ocean guided him and he accepted it, riding the waves but not controlling them. All he cared for was keeping the boy’s boat with him, following him.

He almost lost his arm before reaching the beach. Aching, tired, he pulled the boat behind him onto the shore himself as others rushed forward.

The priest climbed in the boat.

The boy was dead.

He turned his gaze toward Xiao.

“Sho’jan! Murderer!”

With that, Xiao knew he must leave. As anyone would.

Silently, before they could exile him themselves, he untied the rope and left the hook there. He cried softly as he caught the wind to find a new place to fish, as he would live now with the Sea rather than those who birthed him.

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I was thinking about Conflict eras. Nah, let me define it…

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I’ve had this idea kicking around in my head for a while of a boardgame that involves persistant characters. It’d be RPG-like but without set dungeons the way things like Heroquest are using a tile picking mechanic like Betrayal at the House on the Hill. I couldn’t square a lot of the mechanics, though, and how they should work. I think I’ve figured it out, though.

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CAMPFIRE – Mechanics

September 15, 2017

The greaseweed charoot hung loosely in the corner of his mouth, captured but still able to move weakly whenever he spoke. His face was burried in the goggles that looked down at brass cases sized for his pistol and a ring of tiny shaped hammers posed above it. His hand hovered over a complex, poorly arranged keyboard of symbols and strange punctuation arranged in groups that implied cohesion but outwardly made no sense.

“I hate these old models. They’re always so…indiosyncratic.” His voice was once smooth, only now hardened by the constant smoking. Each syllable was puncuated by small bursts of black, oily smoke from his mouth or nose.

“I’m sorry, if I had known a connoseiur was coming I would have invented my own that’d make even less sense. You wanted a bullet press and I found one, got it working, and I’m working on your arm and leg. You could be a little thankful.” Her voice was almost melodic, as if someone who learned how to sing not with drums and strings but with the sound of brass on bronze and steel on iron. Someone who sung while they worked rather than while they played.

“I didn’t say I wasn’t thankful, I just hate what you found.”

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Magic is weird. I’ve already gone over how disorienting it is in the entire history of D&D, how it doesn’t make much sense, how the spells are traditionally rooted in some kind of random assortment of what “feels” right and trying to adjust how powerful a wizard is compared to their compatriots – usually hazarding on making the wizard extremely powerful after a few levels. So first I had to deconstruct that mess before I could get around to Arcanist job descriptions.

But get around to it I am!

So, we know that each Arcanist type will have access to new spell-pieces for making new spells. There’ll also be a list of example spells that show what that kind of Arcanist can do with the pieces they have. Arcanists will be, most likely, the most complex classes to play and have the most flexibility to them. This basically means that the Arcanist player is one who likes to do homework for their hobby. Everyone else will be more about an order of opperations question; when do I do things to get the thing done that I want done. How they do those things is different but it’s the same general idea. Arcanists, though, need to come to the table with these little proofs using weird logic gates that, when finished, we call spells.

So who weaves spells?

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QUEST – Rogue Angles

September 11, 2017

Rogue is such a…broad term. It’s a whole variety of ideas about those who opperate on the edges of law and civilization, whether we’re talking about the thieves who break into secure places or we’re talking about fencers who duck around blows to exploit their opponents’ weaknesses. Not every Rogue is a lawbreaker, but they’re all rule breakers.

Conveniently, while there are huge swaths of archetypes that can be found in the Rogue, they’re pretty simple to to sort into three major archetypes.

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CAMPFIRE – Who?

September 6, 2017

He has power over the cosmos, terrible power. He can erect whole civilizations without a second thought, he can move through time and space at will, and he has chosen to find me. To bring me with him on his journey. And He has brought me here, to the end of everything.

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