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The World Is Incomplete Improv; Conceptual Weapons for Confused Perceptions
Topic Started: Mar 20 2018, 04:51 AM (488 Views)
Nedben
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Orzic Nedbens

"This game is currently being written. If you experience any technical difficulties, please report them to the narrator on duty." -Enclosed Instruction Book, [Ben please read feeling].

This world is not merely a work in progress, it is actively being made up as we go. Your characters are similarly raw (at least at first); miscellaneous entities ranging from complete (if unfitting) peoples, all the way to generic forms with barely a soul implied in their description. Reality runs on narratives and description, and right now the description is missing and somebody forgot to turn on filler generation, leaving undetailed formless insanity everywhere and it's freaky. Random things will emerge from that sea of maybe and fragments, so you'll have interaction bait accordingly. Essentially, improvise with what tools you have and hope more context shows up.

Unfortunately, you do not (yet) have the right and authority to directly define this mess and end that issue. I actually tried that repeatedly and kept getting 'no thanks', so we'll try it without that. Instead, your main method of defining the improvisational mess (besides screaming at it and by extension the author) will be to use Conceptual Weapons, tools that impose such things as arbitrary ideas or game mechanics into this formless void. Some (most mechanics) are personal tools one turns on and off as are suitable: HP meters in battle, or arbitrary inventory abstractions one can summon or dismiss as relevant. Others (mostly descriptors or environmental effects) are applied to either a target or simply inserted into the area as a packet of world data that makes things happenify: some are reusable, some aren't. Every player starts with at least one, which will be used as their initial means of getting more: they can be simply found in undefined existence, given freely or won from combating random characters, etc. Mundane items also exist, but may or may not prove as useful (or randomly become conceptual weapons on interaction with enhancing concepts). Additionally, everyone is granted the inherent authority of 'interaction confirmation', meaning that once something has been mentioned into existence, it should continue to exist until it is lost, irrelevant, destroyed, confirmed some form of temporary illusion, expires, leaves the area, or otherwise isn't around anymore whatever. This means you can run around spamming a reusable idea and luring things into existence accordingly in order to gain more concepts to apply.

I will mostly be inserting objects based on whatever inspiration hits me and a few RNGs as needed. It is thus in your characters' best interest to scream ideas into the void in hopes it responds with someone or something willing to write you a victory.

The goal is one or more of three things:
-Worldbuilding: build a coherent plot/world to essentially have somewhere reasonable in this ambiguous hellmess to live (hint: use several permanent environmental effect concepts together and keep building)
-Integration: find your way to an existing world and figure out how to merge yourself into it properly, then deck it out until a satisfactory ending is reached (hint: most things that imply 'gameboard', 'ritual competition', 'cheat', or 'switchroom' are almost certainly a start point)
-Godhood: attain omnipotence, or close enough to it that you don't really need more (hint: if it's appeared elsewhere in my writing, say a bunch of gibberish)
These victories are partly intertwined and the hints frankly apply to any component.

Quick Application
 

Name:
Description:
Conceptual Weapon:


Name is obvious. Description can be as brief or as extensive as you like (such as including a reference sheet picture or leaving the section totally blank), but with the exception of personality traits we can assume just sort of developed organically when they appear any large lack of description will be treated as an actual 'feature not described' concept and the narrative will react accordingly when someone tries to inspect it, either substituting it with an abjectly generic quality if other description necessitates something being there, or leaving it indescribably undescribed if not. Conceptual Weapon ranges from you giving me a concept in the form of a word and me doing the interpretative work of what it actually does, or your character having a straight up superpower or magic item.


Here's two examples so you can get a sense of how desperately lenient this game is.

Name: Name:
Description: THE COLOR BLUE IN ALL CAPS
Conceptual Weapon: Landmines (but made out of comically non-landmine materials).

Name: WOULD MANIFEST AS AN ARBITRARY ZONE OF THE COLOR BLUE WHICH IS DESCRIBED IN ALL CAPS WHEN THE NARRATOR FEELS LIKE IT. THEIR conceptual weapon would more or less be the ability to make landmines of various triggers out of virtually anything. You really do not want to know how Name: actually works, but Name: WOULD HONESTLY BE RATHER SANITY-OFFENDING TO WITNESS AND BE RATHER COMICALLY UNDERDESCRIBED IN NARRATIVE UNTIL IT GAINS SOME QUALITY LIKE 'PSEUDOPOD MOTION'. Also, THEY WILL USE LANDMINES MADE OF THINGS TO BLOW UP OTHER THINGS IN ORDER TO WIN CONCEPTS BY COMBAT. Frankly Name: WOULD PROBABLY GO FOR A WORLDBUILDING VICTORY BY PUTTING TOGETHER PARTS OR MAKING SOME FORM OF BIG BANG BOMB, SHOULD THEY BE SERIOUS AT ALL.

Name: Charlotte Augustana Berkmann
Description: A young woman (18 years old) with olive skin, curly grey hair, and hazel eyes, initially dressed in a beige argyle sweater over a matching schoolgirl uniform (but with pants). She likes nature, seasons, gardening, and most smells that people do not automatically find offensive. Her relative composure is dainty and elegant, but she is actually relatively easy to please and is not opposed to running as most children would.
Conceptual Weapon: A nice day out armistice discussion where everyone decides to go to the park and talk out their issues instead of fighting. This manifests as Charlotte being able to calm everyone down to the point an armistice can be declared so leaders can discuss honestly in hopes of reaching a resolution, but when it expires the fighting can resume somewhere else. Also, it works on bad weather and to an extent personal problems (though it's likely to cause musical numbers or poetry in the latter case when 'talk it out' gets invoked). It can be manifested as a sign of authority or a valued item that people are willing to negotiate for, but does not have to be. This does not give away the concept, but it can be used to locate or fabricate relevant items.

Charlotte is relatively self-described, but doesn't have much in the way of backstory or specific connections meaning she could go for an Integration victory with most settings not needing to vastly change herself. Very plot-type conceptual weapon with multiple applications in forcing the author to improvise more, ranging from forcing fights to take a breather and move to a new location, to stopping bad weather events.



So yeah uh. Send help and characters. Let's get this mess rolling.
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NOX
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Name : Cristal-of-twilight
Description : Non indicative name
Conceptual weapon : See description
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Nedben
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Cristal-of-Twilight is instantiated. They are the attribute of 'nonindicative name', and wield the conceptual weapon of seeing descriptions and arbitrarily declaring naming sections not properly representative. A formidable concept denial tool.

You have manifested in a cave of crystalline twilights of varying intensity, growing off lumpy, series-of-blobs-smoothed-together purple pillars and the odd stalactites and stalagmites. The light given off by this manifested zone bathes the distant purple walls in a sun-on-the-horizon soft glimmer. Five exit tunnels are visible: two connect relatively quickly, a third is to the right of that, the fourth is far to the left of the initial pair, and the last is on the opposite end to the right. Each is relatively dark, though the last one is covered by a darker purple curtain (and surrounded by some miscellaneous sugary alcoholic drink bottles of varying liquid remaining, and the faint sound of relentless telenovela background music is audible behind) and the first two have enough light (due to a nearby twilight crystal cluster) to see that they merge into one tunnel.

The tunnels appear to contain several description packets out of your amorphous local sight while still within close range narrative targeting but not extraneously far narrative: the dark ones contain some monsters that prefer darkness, the twin tunnel does in fact actually merge and leads toward an exit from the mountain (apparently you're in a mountain cave, the mouth of which is overlooking a forest). The curtained exit leads into a telenovela plot about fashionable alcoholics.

This is apparently a fairly well-described zone and idea emissions discarded by the telenovela are gradually expanding this phantom versa shell and the plotscope and world thickness of the telenovela world, but the forest is still a relatively amorphous concept and venturing too far may lead to exiting the shard entirely.

Apparently your non indicative name actuated violently into the surrounding environment, as some of the alcohol bottles and twilight crystals are more defined around you.
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NOX
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Crystal-of-twilight (Cot for short) decides to explore the telenovela a little.
It does so with the purpose of gathering some plot threads and consistance from it, and let them free in the forest, to give it more consistence.
(A chill and cheesy consistance, maybe...
but a consistance nonetheless!)

Edit : just a little of a plan for exploring :
If possible, Cot will try to fuse in the shadow of the characters that are leaving the telenovela soon.
Maybe it is possible to grab some unused plots that way.
Maybe even turn the characters into new characters to grab more plot.
(In short : Going full marshadow into the telenovela subspace!)
Edited by NOX, Mar 21 2018, 09:56 PM.
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Nedben
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Orzic Nedbens

Cristal/Crystal/Cot enters the telenovela space. Almost immediately, the Walls of the World exert a faint pressure on your existence that indicates 'if you interfere destructively, you will get written off', but you shake it off since you're here for scouting and gathering disused threads, not wrecking. Since you don't actually exist as a physical form beyond an amorphous conceptual blankness yet, you can watch a plotline at point blank with impunity anyway.

Checking the overall description packet of this reality, apparently it is something about 4 people:
-archetypal eccentric genius guy,
-seductive-type girl,
-the honorable head-of-rich-family strong dude
-and an elegant yet reserved lady
in 2 married couples (genius-seducer and familyhead-elegant), but the guys are cheating on the girls with each other and the girls are cheating on the guys with each other and you are pretty sure The Sims 3 or maybe troll aliens did that first or something. There are about 4 more main supporting characters:
-the mailman and random-part-time-jobs comic relief guy who keeps witnessing all the cheating by accident but has no real interest in watching or revealing any of it,
-the mystic and possibly mildly alcoholic hairdresser woman who's friends with the elegant lady and the seductive girl who keeps getting lured into doing distractions for the two but doesn't know why yet and believes a series of solid excuses,
-the slightly-less-overtly-macho-man cultured high society head of a rival house who discusses business with the strong dude,
-the genius woman who works with the genius dude and will likely define one of the major plot-changing events once she actually finds out the cheating mess and has to deal with it.

In terms of physical space, you seem to have entered one of the backrooms of the bar in a basement that exists but only the other side of it has really been explored, apparently some form of wine cellar and general storage space. Apparently the whole bar is graced with the concept 'a place where the boundaries of reality grow thin and supernatural stuff happens' from a repeated establishing feature a few episodes ago.

The floor is hardwood, the walls dark stone. There's a lot of wine cellar and storage space paraphernalia about, and the stairs upward are on the other end of the room. Unfortunately, you lack Be The Other Guy, so simply endosymbiotizing a character isn't going to happen.

You search the shadowy corners of arbitrary objects for anything lost out of view. You successfully obtained 'amorphous action-capable form: manifest shadow' by scrounging for detached chunks of unused plothook and absorbing a discarded concept! You are now capable of object interaction, in case you weren't before, or...something. Also, you can appear as shadows instead of nothing or unclearness. I'm not entirely sure you want to know what unclearness looks like. The walls of the world are not that disgruntled by your sudden registration as a potential character force, anyway, but the level of actualization you have is still unstable and light.

There's a lot of discarded alcohol bottles around here. The Walls of the World admit you could get away with taking some, since they're not symbolic and replacements will just be written in anyway.
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NOX
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Cot take a few bottles and examines them closely.
Maybe there's something about them that could lead to a plot that never went to be thought of ?

It tries to investigate what is out of the room, listening to what is going up the stairs.

Cot also checks to see if it can still exit this reality by the same way it entered in the realm.
Edited by NOX, Mar 23 2018, 06:06 PM.
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Nedben
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Cot takes and examines some discarded bottles that apparently missed a recycling bin or a serious storage: they're mostly of some vague 'Crystal Spirits' brand (represented by a pillar of those twilight crystals you saw earlier, complete with purple host pillar) in bottles of various colors (a whole rainbow plus transparent, white, and black).

Most of them have been emptied thoroughly, but two of these Crystal Spirits bottles still have contents: a red-bottled pinot noir (2022 vintage, with strawberry) is half-full (with an original stopper-cap thing) with garnet liquid that description confirms is the original content. Some chardonnay in a clear but whitegold-tinted bottle (2038 vintage apparently delivered by 'either time travel or a labeling error' description ambiguous, with a slight bit more oak than it should have such that the whole thing tastes mildly of liquid butter) is also a little over half-full, having been brought in as a random prop during a fortune telling and discarded later.

There are some unlabeled bottles also discarded, but they all description register as 'used consumable non-alcoholic well-being health/mana/stamina restoration potions, with any differences being taste': a red rounded bottle type indicating it's been mixed with more health potion (and tasting of that kids' pink medicine peppermint-strawberry-cherry-something), a green cleaning-product-y shape that indicates a mix of extra stamina potion and equipment restoration ('cleaner it's actually safe to drink though it tastes like pears and grape juice'), a yellow-orange wide-based bottle type that indicates a sort of mania and increased potential/speed type thing ('orange juice that makes you think fast and go fast'), a thin blue bottle indicating a higher water level, nutrient content, and general purity (sort of like transparent soylent, for those who don't care about flavor while still wanting to avoid potion sickness), a white perfume-bottle indicating holiness, revival and debuff cleansing (high power water of life flavor that tastes like regular soylent and was probably mixed with that and holy water), and a black-purple cubic one that indicates safe for the forces of darkness/undead/evil/water-allergic/whatever (and tastes like a mixed soda). These shape and color choices appear to be in reference to a game known as 'Mystic Inn', though the shapes are not as faithful as they could be (presumably to avoid copyright infringement).

Three blues, a green, and a white are unopened, presumably because they were in disliked flavors or were part of a package and some witch didn't want to fill her refrigerator with any more takeout. The rest aren't really worthy of note, though you could probably jam together one or two more out of the remains if you had low standards.

In the process of identifying some of the bottles that looked fuller, the five potions and the two half-full bottles were autonomously sorted and placed in a corner so that you could go back and get them without any hassle if you wanted. Apparently, these bottles are being left down here as a side effect of some offhand reference that some parties spread out into the basement or other back rooms, essentially being concept fallout (though actually modifying the source concept is likely to merit worldwall anger).

Listening up the stairs, you hear standard bar music. You can sense the presence of the bartender as a world guardian for some reason, but would need to check description or actually go up there to sense anyone else besides 'generic patrons' and 'the hairdresser lady' or in detail. You also notice that on the other side of the stairs (hidden behind a storage rack from detailed view earlier) is actually a slightly open door that leads into a moderate-scale brewery labeled Crystal Spirits on the door, presumably where all this stuff is handwaved as being made.

Checking behind the curtain, the entry remains present. There's actually a doorframe delineating the boundary between cave and basement, sort of like a portal shell. Weird.
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Shadowfyst997
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The Dark Wolf General

Name: Ernesto Bandalasasomonsoontalacortez the Third, Esquire.
Description: A small cocker spaniel dog with the minds of a small 3 year old girl, a 27 ear old homeless male, and Jesus, and of course, the dog itself. Capable of Speech. Can lift things with it's mind to simulate "holding them" as if it had hands.
Conceptual Weapon: The afore mentioned light telekinesis, as well as the ability to manifest things depending on which mind is in control. Susie can manifest exploding doll heads, Frank can manifest beer bottles that have been smashed so that the ends are sharp and deadly, Jesus can manifest floating fish that shoot acid, and Ernesto the dog can summon bones which are really tasty.
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Nedben
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Ernesto III manifests at a large boundary between two biomes that stretches at least as far as the eye can see, a rare colossal Sea to Sea. On one side, white paperscape with blue lines and mathematics in the sky. On the other, a black sea of vagueness with small white pathways connecting a series of world nodules.

Which way?
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Shadowfyst997
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The Dark Wolf General

Lets put it to a vote.

Susie thinks the left path sounds pretty.

Frank thinks numbers are scary and is vehemently choosing the right path.

Jesus is confused about which cheek to turn.

Ernesto thinks the right path might have some tasty food.

Right?
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Nedben
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Ernesto III heads to the right, into the murky void of world bubbles and pathways.

Almost immediately, a strong conceptual imposition barrier actuated by the Wall of the World provides an additional delineation transparifield indicating you have formally entered the physicsset of-

The black sea churns, carrying you with it. A conceptual imposition arbitrates a mechanic you don't understand. You have gained the mechanic/conceptual weapon Voidmana-Ladygrail Environment. It is currently being conceptually enforced by this area.

Mana: 100%. Time: 100%. Stabilizers: 0. Please enter Singularity to stall void-drain.

It drags you to a white path, connected to a sphere of grey. The pressure to enter is immense without any stabilizers. You simply know you can-

Blorp. You are shoved in. It is an island of summery grass, and the sky meets the waterline where you have emerged, leaving you dog-paddling in the shallows of the beach before the water really drops deep. A blonde-bunned and high-end-of-human pale-skinned lady with disturbingly, intensely, 0000ff blue eyes, wearing a white sundress and white sneakers, waves to you from beneath a tree atop a central hill, connected to a small brick house with a red tile roof, glass windows you can just vaguely see a modern kitchen inside of, and red-stained wooden doors. She shouts "Do you wanna make a contract?".

Mana: 100%. Time: 94%. Stabilizers: 0. Singularity or other stablespace entered, void drain not a time concern.

The hell is this mechanic?
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Shadowfyst997
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The Dark Wolf General

Ernesto is very confused. He is so confused by the incident of...whatever the hell that was(Do not cuss my son, says Jesus in the back of the mind), it made Ernesto temporarily forget he could talk. Instead he barks at the strange lady for a few moments, but then Susie takes over and says "Hiiiiiiii pretty lady!" And goes running into the house. Once inside, Ernesto takes over again and says "Rawr, rowf! *Ahem* Uhm, I mean, who are you? What contract?"

Frank comes out for a moment to look around the house appreciatively. "Hey lady, nice house!"
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Nedben
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The lady points at your statistics, particularly the Stabilizers: 0 part. This is horrifyingly abstract from an experiental perspective but frankly not that problematic, metaphysical warp spasm aside.

"I'm Jeanne Ulfricsdottir and I want outta here, thanks I keep this place clean but it sucks." she says. "It's this stupid mechanics thing. You need Stabilizers to exist without an authorized existence in certain character-controlled locations, like here. Coincidentally, I happen to be a Stabilizer. Also coincidentally, I in particular want outta this mess. I assume you came in here only to get trapped by the bamboozler. We make a contract, this whole thing fucks itself up into a hammerspace weapon idea, you can swim out, and my little patch of world concept here is something you all can use elsewhere and I don't have to bother. We'll work out the details later because the shoddy thing has no details. Kay?"

She holds out a hand, expecting some form of handshake-pawshake-whatever. The area seems to cloud over for mood lighting purposes.

Mana: 100%. Time: 94%. Stabilizers: 0. Singularity or other stablespace entered, void drain not a time concern. Locationally enforced.
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Shadowfyst997
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The Dark Wolf General

Neither Frank nor Susie pay much attention to this exchange, Susie cooing over the lady's dress, Frank by the house. Jesus begins to quote some esoteric portion of the bible, but Ernesto shooshes him, and grips the lady's hand with her mind, telepathically shaking it. He isn't sure what she would like, but he offers her a floating bone just in case.
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NOX
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Cot goes up the stairs to have a look at what is up there.
It tries to not disturb anything and stay undetected, the best it can.
Edited by NOX, Mar 27 2018, 08:14 AM.
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