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Monday, January 16, 2017

Thoughts and questions on starting setting development.

I have to be honest, and if not here where?
I'm not sure if it's the winter weather, or the holidays. It might be age or it might be frustration over work. I don't know what it is but I have honestly had no interest in running  RPG's in the past two months. I suppose the players in the game I run deserve a better explanation than that one, but I don't have a better reason to offer.

In an effort to get my mojo back I started scribbling in one of my notebooks about a setting. The only rule I gave myself  starting out was "no D&D Fantasy."

A bit on process:
I play video games with my  friends on weeknights. I watch TV with my wife.. I stream videos to my  computer.. It's a lot of empty time. All the while I keep a composition note book, one of those old style black and white jobs on my desk. While nothing else is going on I scribble in any and every game related idea I have. That's my process, as simple as that. when I need something for a game I  open up the  note book and  look for  an idea that fits the bill.

Recently my note-book scribbles have been about settings. starting at first with  D&D flavored with paranormal mystery . Kind of  Ghost adventure-ers.
Then when I decided the mid evil style fantasy isn't the  space I wanted to be in right now I started chopping away at modern myths.

My first question, why  would  "other beings" want to be around us (humanity)?
As a species we do  create a great deal of chaos, a great deal of  psychological static as it were. Rile humans up and we throw off all kinds of frantic energy. Suppose that some  "others" come here because of all that chaotic emotional back ground noise humans generate. What if those "others" come here just to stir up  bad things to create more of that back ground energy, suppose they feed on it.

My second question, why would characters interact with these creatures?
The quick answer is because they can. The characters possess some kind of energy intrinsic to them that allows them to detect and combat these, others.
Perhaps that energy  is what makes the characters exceptional in their normal lives as well. Just a bit more athletic than their peers, or a bit smarter. Talented people, who are in truth channeling dimensional energy with out knowing it. In my head I'm thinking of  characters found in fighting games suddenly dropped into the supermarket. These people stand out, and  are sought by various organisations looking to  stop, combat, exploit, or study  this inter-dimensional phenomenon.

Why  doesn't the military  just gun these "others" back into where ever the fuck they come from?
So I'm thinking the  intrinsic energy  of the characters is the only  way to banish these otherworldly beings. Further more the energy is not transferable , in other words the characters need to make contact with their mysterious foe with either their hands or something held  directly in their hands. In effect we get back to  beating things up with fists, sticks and swords, which is where I want to be.

I made this bullet point list  earlier, shared it with some folks and just kind of left it out there.

Setting idea (Brief)
  • Modern Fantasy, a day from now setting.
  • Some people are exceptional.
  • These people have and are sensitive to a dimensional energy.
  • The energy manifests as the character being talented in their field, but once it is harnessed can be used for more “magical” type effects.
  • This sensitivity causes these people to know when they’re around a pocket dimension, a dimensional being or in an area where the boundaries between dimensions are thin.
    • In resent years our reality has brushed up against a reality whose beings feed off the psychic energy created by humans in stressful of chaotic situations.
    • The dimensional sometimes slip into our world to sow chaos and gain strength form the ensuing emotional energy created.
  • Characters are exceptional humans with the energy that can not only detect dimensional but also banish them.
  • There is an organization dedicated to studying these dimensional events and finding people with the innate talent to help.
  • The characters will be burdened with finding banishing and correcting the work of dimensional beings looking to seed chaos throughout our world.
  • The innate energy in these characters can only be transferred through touch or via objects held by the character, so the only way to defeat a dimensional into get up close and personal.
  • Guns can hurt them physically, but only energy can banish then. Unless a character can somehow imbibe a bullet with their own energy they will never be abler to defeat a dimensional with modern fire arms…….. (finger nail clippings in a shotgun shell perhaps?)
  • The locations are lost lonely abandon places. Closed hospitals, forgotten subway stations, abandon factories. Places a dimensional can roam without being seen until they find a host.
  • Adventures are urban dungeon crawls on the edge of a dark dimension, finding dimensionals, beating them up. mastering the characters innate energy and gathering up alien artifacts.. saving the world from multidimensional chaos and entropy. (RPG stuff, you know)
So now for the question part.
Does this suck 100% or only 75% ?
What system would you use to run something like this in? (my first impulse is to write one, but I 'm not sure I want to get that deep)
What would you add ? (So I can blatantly  steal ideas from people brighter than I am.)

Thanks for reading
-Mark.