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1  Media / Game Journals / Re: Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: Today at 11:44:58 AM
Just then, Crestee and Dincrest walk in, panting from time spent swordfighting.  

Crestee: "Umm, what's with all the sullen looks?"

Sherdal: "Your kitty cat was just about to spill the beans on this whole mess."

Dincrest: "Let's take a seat then."

So everyone sits down on the floor (except for Alexandra who's in another room, but still listening in) and Leona begins her lecture about the Eye of Spacetime, her connection to it, and why she's a cat...
2  Media / Game Journals / Re: Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: Today at 09:08:33 AM
Remember, this is the age of magic so everything is bigger due to magical enhancements.  Note the Artmas.  Nothing that big exists in Crestee's time, but they existed back then.  Granted, they exist where few tread, though Roko's seen one in her travels.  And the house could be like the Weasley's camping tent in Harry Potter.

Oh, and I'm naming the old man Sherdal


Roko: Wait, you all are just gonna trust ol' swampy and his son?  

Crestee: His name is Sherdal and he's my great grandpappy.  And Dincrest is my grandpappy.  The Eye tells me they're above-board*, and besides, can't you see the family resemblance?  

Dincrest: Hey, Crestee was it?  How are you with that sword?  Wanna spar?  

Crestee: I ain't one to back down from a challenge *said with false confidence since she's mainly been wielding the rapier like a riding crop*

Dincrest is a bit perturbed by her lacking technique, but is happy that he breeds a pretty cool granddaughter who, he finds out, is a horse handler on a rehabilitation ranch for rescued livestock animals.  He then coaches her on some of the sword techniques he's been perfecting, mainly through watching animals fight.  No sense letting his blood go out there wielding a sword incorrectly.  

*Crestee learns Copperhead Strike*

Dincrest: Something wrong?  You're looking at me rather strangely.

Crestee: Sorry, it's just surreal hangin' with a not-much-older-than-me grandpappy.  

Dincrest: And I never expected that I'd have a granddaughter let alone a daughter or even a wife or girlfriend.  I know dad and I live in the swamps for good reason, so we're away from the rulers' probing eyes and don't have to fall into lockstep with what "they" want us to do, especially after what happened with my mom.  But I don't exactly meet a lot of girls living this life.  

Crestee: So?

Dincrest: So what?  

Crestee: You ain't gonna ask me about your life in the future?  All the family stories I've heard about you from ma, pa, and uncle?  

Dincrest: Tempting, but no.  I've always been the type to discover things on my own and learn everything the hard way.  I'm stubborn like that, and I get the feeling you're pretty headstrong too.  *smiles* Classic family trait.  Perhaps your existence is a spoiler in my life's story, but now I'm curious to find out how my lineage actually passed on.  And I'd rather "read" that for myself.  Now, let's refine those sword techniques of yours.  *laughs* after all, I don't know if I'll ever get an ancestor-progeny bonding moment like this again.

And thus Crestee continued to practice her sword techniques with "young grandpa," both of them feeling a sense of familial pride; her for the family she came from and him for his family's future.  

*Crestee learns Cottonmouth Sweep*

Meanwhile, Sherdal, Alexander, Alexandra, Roko, and Leona are in the house discussing...

*above-board is cowboy slang for "in open sight, without artifice, or trick." I've been taking slang from http://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-slang.html to pepper Crestee's speech.
3  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: November 26, 2014, 10:16:19 PM
I fired up the ol' SNES and played some Chrono Trigger.  Still a killer classic.  Bringing Crono's friends home to meet his mom never gets old, especially Frog and Ayla.  Also occasionally playing some Chrono Cross- I'm at Fort Dragonia.  And trying to earn some achievements in School Idol Festival. 

But the game I'm most thinking about is the new round robin on this forum.  It ain't quite the " Taressa" one, but it's still loads of fun.
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XV, This is a fantasy based on reality. on: November 26, 2014, 07:33:43 PM
Just like a lot of modern Final Fantasy games, eh?

Funny you say that because my personal problem with modern Final Fantasy games is they're entirely *too* focused.

Final Fantasy XII and XIII are both just a long chain of combat. I mean, XII had that stupid foot race mini-game but it only served to highlight how few distractions there were to take away from all the fighting.

I consider FF7 as the start of "modern" FF, but even that's, what, 17 years old already?  Yikes.  And some of the plots from FFs dating back to that have been more needlessly convoluted than need be.    

Though FF8 is my favorite FF, its misguided focus was one of my problems with it.  With all the epic bombast "Blair Witch space-time continuum" hoosefudge, the game shafted everything that made it great- the quieter, understated, reflective moments.  Those subtle moments were the most powerful ones in the story  That game would have greatly benefited from the virtue of restraint.  I say this in my review of the FF8- Melancholy Tribute soundtrack: http://www.rpgfan.com/soundtracks/ff8-melancholy/

EDIT: It's not lost on me that the FF game I consider my favorite is the one I complain about the most.
5  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XV, This is a fantasy based on reality. on: November 26, 2014, 07:15:17 PM
Just like a lot of modern Final Fantasy games, eh?
6  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: November 26, 2014, 06:33:05 PM
Grim, I was iffy on that too, but it grew on me.  My mom also had to be sold on that idea, and she grew to like it as well.  Yeah, my mom is an avid fantasy reader (she could read Lord of the Rings a million times over and never get tired of it), and I turned her onto Song of Ice and Fire and Mistborn.  So we often read the same books and discuss them.  

As for my reading, well... as several of you know, I'm an aspiring voice over artist and thanks to the guidance of my coach, I auditioned to narrate two brief audiobooks and I nailed both auditions.  I recently finished my first one (a short travel guide for Dubai and am working on my second one (a short guide about sugar addiction).  

...so I'm officially a voice over artist, more specifically an audiobook narrator. 
7  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XV, This is a fantasy based on reality. on: November 26, 2014, 05:38:15 PM
And then you have Tifa.  I've said this about her a MILLION times:
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She kept the 24-7 vigil with Cloud while he was a vegetable in the hospital after his mako poisoning.  She was probably helping feed him, bathe him, change his bedpan (or diapers), and all of that.  And she did it without complaint, because she loved him.  That a girl will stand by a guy during something like that shows intense dedication and Tifa's strength of character.  She's not a "fair weather" girlfriend who'd run when things get tough.  And that she's willing to work on a relationship with a headcase like Cloud- most women would run away screaming from a guy with that many psychological and emotional problems.  Tifa didn't.  That's love.  That's dedication.  That's strength.  Sure Tifa dresses sexy and has basketball boobs, but if you look past all that, you'll find an amazing woman.  

EDIT: And now I wonder what would an opposite gender FF15 would be like.  Methinks it would be like a fantasy version of Thelma and Louise. 
8  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Movies that make you cry on: November 26, 2014, 04:57:55 PM
Not gonna lie, Monsters Inc. made me shed man-tears.  So did Dead Poet's Society. 
9  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XV, This is a fantasy based on reality. on: November 26, 2014, 04:54:59 PM
And now I reflect back to my own biases.  Like I always choose the girl because I always think the girl will have the better storyline.  It's true enough of the time, but then Hexyz Force came along and proved me wrong.  The girl's storyline was enjoyable, but the boy's storyline was a LOT stronger.  He was a more interesting protagonist.  Talk about flippin' the script, huh?  

And as much as I love the women in Game of Thrones/ A Song of Ice and Fire, my favorite character is one of the guys.  Or in Mistborn, as cool a heroine as Vin is, my favorite character in that saga is one of the dudes.  

A good character is a good character regardless of gender, and I hope Noctis and his buddies are more interesting than stereotypical dudebros road tripping to spring break.  EDIT: And again, there I go biasing...
10  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FINAL FANTASY XV, This is a fantasy based on reality. on: November 26, 2014, 04:27:15 PM
I was cool with Lightning too.  Was she difficult for me to personally relate to?  Yes, but that's what made her interesting.  A unique viewpoint.  I'm with Aeolus, though, in that Fang and Vanille kinda "photobombed" her.  My most memorable moment in FF13 was when Hope was sleeping and muttered "mom?" and Lightning quietly sighed, "not by a longshot."  

Since Squall was mentioned, one of the reasons I both liked and disliked him was because I could relate to him.  His point of view was similar to mine in high school, but when I look back as an adult, it's that petulant part of ourselves that we, as adults, find annoying in teenagers but forget that we were just as bad back in the day.

I'm hoping that the whole road trip concept develops the characters in ways that road trips build character for us.  I got to know my bandmates a little TOO well touring up and down the east coast in a van.  

As for female protagonists, I personally find them difficult to write effectively.  I prefer good female protagonists (again, because it provides a unique POV that I don't experience in my everyday life as a dude) and applaud when they're well written.  George RR Martin's written some of the most badass women in fantasy literature.  He's gifted in that he can write interesting characters in both gender.  We often find that some writers write one gender more effectively than the other for whatever reason.  That's why I like trying the round robins we sometimes do here, to practice writing good characters.  

And then there's reader perspective.  My mom and I are both avid fantasy readers and it's funny that she grumbles when a female protagonist she likes either gets her panties in a bunch or does something really girly out of left field, and I always counter with, "that's what makes her believable.  She's a girl actually being a girl for a moment and not some kind of Mary Sue.  Unpredictable left field WTF moment and all."  One person's idea of a "strong man" or a "strong woman" is very different than someone else's idea of a "strong man" or a "strong woman."  
11  Media / Game Journals / Re: Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: November 26, 2014, 01:31:45 PM
They find a seemingly abandoned swamp house, kinda like this: http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2012/236/b/b/swamp_house_revamp_by_elucidator-d5caj4v.jpg and enter.

As they take a moment of respite, Roko asks, "Say, Crestee, how did you escape from the trap to come barging in saying "RUN!"

Crestee: Those dumb goons forgot to take my sword, so I cut myself free. *Crestee gives a "well duh!" look* "I could've prolly used my wind magic as well, but I ain't gonna waste that on some silly net."  

Meanwhile, Leona and Alexander are trying to calm down a bewildered Alexandra.  She's grateful for her rescue, but it seems the torture or god-knows-what she's endured has broken her mind and she can't seem to think straight.  

Just then, a creak is heard...
12  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Most Favourite Gaming Moments~! on: November 25, 2014, 05:50:10 PM
If we're going with Chrono Trigger moments, my favorite moments were some of the exchanges between various party members and Crono's mom whenever Crono would bring them home.  My favorites were when Crono brought Ayla and Frog home to meet his mom.  Frog's was the best. 

And this goes with something I've said a million times before in a million threads- the moments I seem to find most precious in storytelling tend to be the quieter moments.  The moments where the teenage heroes kinda stop being heroes for a second and just be kids doing "teen beat" stuff.  Or "adult beat" stuff in games like Persona 2: Eternal Punishment.  Like when
Code:
Tatsuya's in the party and they're all in Maya's apartment and Ulala slyly ribs her on the fact that why is deja-vu boy so familiar with your apartment if it's his first time here?

Or the dinner conversations in the Grandia games.  I mentioned elsewhere the dinner scene in Mareg's village where they're all eating berries that, when consumed, mimic the taste of your favorite food.  Like Ryudo's tasted like broiled fish, Elena's tasted like candy, etc.  And they all started talking about their favorite foods and why they like them.  That is the one part of the game I still remember. 
13  Media / Game Journals / Re: Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: November 25, 2014, 11:51:49 AM
Crestee: So why in tarnation did we just waste all that time sidetracked instead of scootin' along?  Heavens to Betsy, we got relatives to find and we gotta get back to our own time!  

Alex: We needed the money to upgrade our equipment and everything.  Are you gonna go out into the unknown and battle the forces of evil with a riding crop?  No, you're gonna need something stronger.  I'd say rapier style swords would suit your technique.  

Crestee: Grr... sakes alive. Fine, but once we get supplies, we better stop lollygagging and mosey on forward.  

Alex: We will, but sometimes being sidetracked can help.  After all, if the legend surrounding the Star of Mongoose is true, it could give us greater power against our foes.  

While they're yammering in the weapon/item shop, Leona (whose claws become more powerful as she levels up, so she doesn't need to buy weapons) and Roko (who already has her best possible equipment until the next town) sigh.  

Roko: *Sigh* And these two are supposed to be the great saviors or something?  This must be somebody's idea of a joke.  I mean, they're backwards!  Crestee is a spitfire, yet she's a wind innate.  And Alex kinda blows along like the wind, yet he's a fire innate.  

Leona: Normally, you'd be correct, but those two come from a future time when magic is all but dead, so their recessive genetics more strongly determine their elemental innateness.  Crestee must've come from long line of wind innates.  

Alex: Okay, we're armed with stronger equipment, bought a bunch of healing supplies, and now we can take on the wetlands.  

So the party FINALLY ventured off through the overworld and into the Marshes of Scuss, a hostile area en route to the isolated town of Slohm where Alexandra, or information about Alexandra, might be.  They fought a variety of hostile amphibians until they stumbled upon...
14  Media / Game Journals / Re: Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: November 24, 2014, 08:14:40 PM
Crestee held the pendant up to the sun, closed her eyes and concentrated.  Nothing.  The harder she tried to concentrate, the less far she got.  She was getting frustrated, but she was a stubborn lass and made one last effort.  Nada.  She collapsed on her knees frustratedly snarling, "Why. won't. this. thing. cooperate?!"  

"Let me try" said Alex, as he reached for the pendant.  

"I may be all down but nine, but mama didn't raise no mush-head!"  Crestee retorted.  

The two played tug-of-war with the pendant then something odd happened.  Not only did an image of Crestee's mom appear, but an image of Alex's twin sister Alexandra appeared too.  When Leona rested a paw on the pendant, a few stray sparks emanated as well.  

"Interesting..."  Leona thought.  

"What's interesting?  And don't you bamboozle me none!" yelled Crestee.

"It seems your mom may not be the only one who traveled back in time.  See, my theory is that after the war 100 years ago, magic was squashed, but now 100 years later, magic has violently awoken from its long slumber.  Hence why you saw an artma, which haven't existed since the age of magic.  And why your latent wind-magic abilities emerged in the flan/flapjack battle.  Yes, all the scratches I gave you as "Wild Thing" have allowed me to keep track of you..." offered Leona

"You conniving varmint!" shouted Crestee as she tried to lunge for the cat.  

"Let her speak!" grunted Alex as he held Crestee back.  "We're finally getting some answers now.  And I thought a straight-shootin' gal like yourself would be eager for those.  Besides, I was shooting fire and I've never done that before."

"Grrr. you're right.  Continue" snarled Crestee.  

"Anyway..." restarted Leona, "yes, Crestee your mana signature aligns with wind and Alex, yours seems to align with fire.  Your ancestors must have been elemental-innates during the age of magic and that is why you could harness magic in your time and why you're reacting to the Eye.  Alex, you said "they" were after your sister too, right?  So she's probably in this past as well.  And the sparks I got may be the big guy, General Armstrong, and his crew trying to follow us.  Zidd, who captured you guys in the airship during the festival, could never use magic, but he had technology to detect it."

"In other words," Roko chimed in, "we'd better get a move on.  We're not getting anywhere just yammering all day.  Figure out who we look for first.  Sugar-pie's mom or flame-boy's sister?"

Crestee and Alex looked to the beacon images emanated from the Eye, and the closer of the two (Marta or Alexandra) was...
15  Media / Game Journals / Re: Let's write an RPG story- A Journal penned by all! on: November 23, 2014, 10:06:07 AM
Aside: I know I should have let someone else write, but I saw an opportunity regarding male and female Alex.

At the start of the sewer dungeon, Alex (who let's say is male here) theorizes, "While we were tractor beamed in that airship, our escape probably took the pilot's attention away from the helm and it crashed in the water outside the castle.  And conveniently enough, the ventilation shaft was perfectly aligned with the loose storm drain on the nether side of the castle."

Crestee: "Wait, how do you know we're in the castle's sewers and not somewhere else?  Strassle's a big city, we could be anywhere!"

Alex: "I can't really explain, but just trust me on this one!"

Crestee: "And why in tarnation should I trust you?"

Alex: "What choice do you have?  Either we stick together and escape, or you get totally lost and become a rotting corpse in this dirty cold slop."  

Crestee: "Alrighty, but don't try nuthin' funny." *stomach growls audibly* "Hey, think we could sneak into the kitchen?  I'm a mite hungry."

Alex: "Fine."

So the two proceed through the sewer dungeon, killing easy enemies like rats and slimes.  Alex's weapon being knives/daggers and Crestee's being her riding crop.  Partway through the dungeon, they come to a safe zone with a save/recovery point.  More exposition follows.  

Crestee: "So why were ya in the hoosegow in the first place?"

Alex: "Same reason as you.  That guy Zidd felt a mana signature coming from me and my twin sister Alex (twin brother if you chose female Alex; they're Alexander and Alexandra) while we were... out running an errand for a client.  I bought my sister time to get away, but I was too slow and got caught."

Crestee: "So what is all this balderdash about mana signatures and this Eye of Spacetime?  You reckon it has somethin' to do with the war a hunnert years ago?"    

Alex: "Maybe.  I dunno.  Things have been a little weird around me lately.  Like little things, you know?"  

Crestee: *nod* "Hmm.. come to think of it, this mornin' the ornery town cat who usually pesters me and my livestock scooted off when I walked by."

Alex: "Yeah, that's what I mean.  Anyway enough talking.  Right now, all I want to do is get the hell out here and back to my sister.  I bet you want to get back to your family too."    

Crestee nods, and the two set off, killing more rats and slimes, gaining levels.  They reach their destination- the vent to the scullery.  Blocking the duo's way into the scullery is a monstrous...
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