2020/11/19

Playing with Fantasy XXI

RPG thoughts.
  • Think I might just have announcing the name of the spell be how I portray the spellcasting in my Pathfinder-setting fiction. It's got a lot of precedent, if you happened to read the old D&D comics. Think I'll translate the spell's names into the characters' languages (I think the people who speak Common might use the evil-Atlantean language in their spellcasting, though).
  • Decided to redo my Giantish writing. Before I had done an octagon-based script influenced by David Peterson's Irathient script from Defiance, but not an abugida. But Peterson often seems more concerned with scholarly plausibility than production design; a lot of his Defiance scripts just look like some obscure South Asian script you might read on the side of a product from the international-food aisle. There's a delicate balance between too outlandish and too mundane, in SF scripts, and they lean too hard toward the latter side of it.

    Instead I think I'll make up a basic "shapes more or less like the alphabet" script, and then stylize it. Specifically, I'm going to do to it what the Matoran alphabet from Bionicle does to the Roman alphabet, but with octagons. Thinking I'll have the smaller circles be rhombuses. Might also use rhombuses in the corners of the letters for something—maybe you put them in the corners between letters to show word-breaks, and can put things inside them for punctuation. (It's really hard to come up with punctuation for constructed scripts.)
  • I was really struggling with how to do an uncial version of my main continent's human script, but between Cyrillic, Byzantine, Insular, and Continental (half-)uncials, and the Gothic, Coptic, and maybe even Glagolitic scripts, I think I've got a handle on what to do with the letters. Blackletter is giving me a headache, though; think I might have to look at Hebrew as well as the various Latin versions (there are also, nowadays, Cyrillic blackletters; I don't know of any Greek ones, presumably because Greek has about a quarter as many readers as Hangul and thus less market for fonts).

    I'm kinda torn what to do with the "remnant of the evil Atlantean culture" version of the script. Kinda want to do some kind of cursive, like what was eventually the writing system of the Mesopotamian empires (because Aramaic became their administrative language); pre-Chrisitan Mesopotamia was a screwed-up culture. A cursive version of Aramaic is also the basis of the Arabic script that was in turn adapted to write the languages of two of the evilest empires ever, namely the Ottomans and Mughals.
  • It's really hard to write up journals for the PCs to find while exploring a place, revealing other characters' slow descent into madness. Think something along the lines of a Resident Evil game. It's too bad, too, because I really like it as a plot device, but it's taking a long time writing this adventure I'm working on.
  • Kinda torn on whether my ogres ride something like Daeodon or something like Pachyaena. The former has the advantage of being genuinely pig-like (though more directly related to hippos and whales), while the latter has the advantage of being similar to the carnivores ridden by the other nonhumans, though with hoofed toes instead of claws. (Incidentally, big difference between the things formerly included in the creodonts, and Carnivora, is that Carnivora have claws specialized as weapons, while those of oxyaenids and hyaenodonts are just generic claws, like a rat or a hedgehog has—part of why they often have oversized heads and mouths compared to comparable-sized Carnivora.)

    I was leaning toward Daeodon because most mesonychids (like Pachyaena) have flat feet and aren't very fast (the giant oxyaenids I'm considering for goblin mounts are modified in that regard), but then I discovered Pachyaena actually had leg-morphology adapted for running, albeit for endurance not speed. So now I'm really torn. The image of orc/ogre things riding boars is more iconic, for me personally especially because of Twilight Princess, but I can go either way. Then again I can't really find a legendary parallel for what a mesonychid even is, while "whitefang swine" for Daeodon can be a reference to Ysgithyrwyn Pennbeidd, AKA "White Tusk, Chief of Boars".
  • Maybe "disciple" would be an okay term for the class currently known as "magus"? "Adept" actually has the disadvantage of usually meaning "skilled within a specific field", which a magus is not: they're not as skilled as dedicated arcane or martial classes are, they're just better at arcane than martial are and better at martial than arcane are. (Actually their only advantage over arcane classes like alchemist and summoner is their full set of weapon proficiencies, and eventually-full set of armor ones. Well that and they get spells like vampiric touch and can send them through weapons.)

    Maybe something like "erudite", which can of course theoretically be a noun ("an erudite"), but that's hampered by being a "faction" in the Divergent series (those are castes, not factions, since they are supposed to cooperate and factions normally oppose each other, but YA writers are not known for their…erudition). "Proficient" occurred to me but that'd be confusing given the other use of the term in tabletop games—also it's wanton thesaurus abuse (granting Devil's Catechisms have a proper use), but that didn't stop "adept" (ignoring its long pedigree in fantasy) and "expert".
  • My bugbears and hobgoblins (the latter are usually lawful evil, while the former are mainly neutral evil and also have an even chance to be either lawful or chaotic) combine the tyrant archetype from Ultimate Intrigue with the bugbear's fearmonger archetype from the Monster Codex, since the two archetypes modify different things. My goblin god is lawful evil.
  • Worked out the other human script, from the other continent. It looks kinda like an Indic script, with the letters not actually connected by a line at the top, but all the letters still having a line at the top. The vowels are the exception, because they are themselves lines, and stick up above the top line, as well as down below it; everything important about them is below the line of the rest of the text. Presumably they evolved from some kind of diacritic—maybe it used to be an abugida but isn't any more, like 'Phags-pa kind of was.

No comments: