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Author Topic: Bizarrerie - A Surreal World of Nonsense & Curious Adventure  (Read 4807 times)
So Warm and Cuddly
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2010, 07:56:08 AM »

Steerpike


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New monster in the bestiary - the Soul-Swallower.
The Soul-Swallower

The Soul-Swallower, legends say, was originally an ordinary-looking snake.  One day, the serpent slithered through an open window to where a baby lay in its crib.  The snake opened its maw and swallowed the child whole, then coiled up beneath the covers.  When the babe's mother came to check on her child, she found him crying and staring up at her with a strange, hungry look in his eyes, a ragged snake-skin clutched in one hand.  The mother took the baby to her breast to quiet him, and he suckled her more tightly than ever before.

Gradually the child grew, and eventually became a little boy.  Still he cried for his mother's milk, squealing and sobbing till his mother quieted him with her breast; but eventually, his mother told him that he had grown to big to suckle, and offered him porridge instead.  In rage, the little boy opened his mouth and distended his jaw like a snake, and swallowed his mother whole.

When the boy's father returned that night he found his wife in tears.  She had turned her back on him for just a moment, she said, and now he was gone.  They searched for hours, but never found the child, and the woman's husband paid no heed to the queer scarp of empty flesh that the dog worried at in the corner.  The man comforted his wife in her grief and held her close while she wept for hours.  For days the woman wept, and begged for her husband to hold her close, and for a time he did as she asked and shared her grief.

One week passed, and then a second.  The man told his wife that he had to leave the house to work in the field, for harvest was soon, and if he did not go they would have no food for winter.  The woman first clutched and beg and clung to her husband, then cajoled and wheedled, and finally grew furious.  She opened her mouth, and her jaw unhinged itself like a serpent's, and she swallowed her husband whole.

The next day, when a neighbour visited to borrow an egg (for their chickens had been stolen by Trolls), she found a pile of empty clothes on the floor, with a ragged suit of skin inside them, like the moulted skin of a snake'¦


Now this is cool. The story does a very good job of illustrating the "feel" of it. Great stuff! Keep it coming.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2010, 09:23:12 AM »

Out of Character

@Ghostman - I thought of that but decided that "The Swallower" sounds a bit like a porno.
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2010, 09:27:45 AM »

Wonderfully weird all around.

one thing caught my eye though.

"Red cards are positive and blacks are negative."

I would go the other way around. "Being in the red" and "Being in the black" refer, respectively, to having a negative balance and a positive balance.
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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2010, 09:46:35 AM »

Leetz


Wonderfully weird all around.

one thing caught my eye though.

"Red cards are positive and blacks are negative."

I would go the other way around. "Being in the red" and "Being in the black" refer, respectively, to having a negative balance and a positive balance.


Perhaps in a world such as Bizarrerie being "in the red" is actually a good thing ;]
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2010, 11:46:11 AM »

Out of Character

Making reds negatives actually fits better with the Suicide King/Man with the Axe rule - thanks Leetz!
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« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2010, 03:37:28 PM »

Saw this when you posted the first bit, but haven't had time to read it through or comment before now.

I like this. Very alternative. I can see you have used some concepts from a setting I have unfortunately forgotten the name of... But I remember seeing the glassmen and the orchidfolk before.
Do all things develop Artefact spirits? Because then it would seem the world would be full of them. Or is it that whenever some item reaches its hundreth birthday, it might develop a spirit or it might not?
I agree with the others that the gnomes are delightfully disgusting.
Are humans extinct, their only legacy being the automata, the sempiternals and their degenerated forms in the automatocracy?
Are the sempiternals slowly dying out through conflict and suicide, since they can't procreate?
How do people feel about switchskins? Are they disliked?

I like the system. Pretty simple, but with room for great variance. And quirky as well.


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« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2010, 03:52:57 PM »

Out of Character

Thanks for the response, Crow!

You're right that several creatures/concepts originated in an earlier setting (Xell) that I decided to trash/recycle.

I was imagining that not every item would develop a spirit after 100 years, yeah... otherwise dungeons and the like would get rather crowded.  They'd still probably be a few Artefact Spirits about, though.

There will be humans (Rhymies are humans, and Switchskins are... kind of human, ish), but they'll always have some distinguishing feature or oddness about them.  There won't be any "pure" humans, anyway.

The Sempiternals are a dwindling race, but their death rate is very low so they'll be around for a good while yet.

The Switchskins are probably met with distrust; their Dayskins are probably seen as amicable enough, but the Nightskins have a bad reputation.
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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2010, 05:55:36 PM »

Also, on the Soul-Swallower, is there only one? Or could any snake suddenly become one of those things? And is there a limit to what it can swallow from birth since it in the story went a step up in size each time it swallowed something. Could it just have started with the father?
Also, how is the craving it gets after swallowing somebody connected to the swalloweé (or however you'd spell/say that :p )?
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« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2010, 06:09:48 PM »

Out of Character

I was imagining there was only one, and that there was no hard and fast size limit to what they could swalllow.

I was originally thinking the Soul-Swallower would generally just masquerade as whatever it turned into until it got hungry again, but the way I ended up writing it suggests a kind of psychic/empathic vampirism... as if it's feeding off attention or emotional energy (even love?).  When it's denied that, it looks for a new form.

Or it could be that the Soul-Swallower just likes to play with its food before consuming it.  Perhaps it's like force-feeding a duck to make foie gras  - the Soul-Swallower cultivates certain emotions in its victim before devouring them.
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« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2010, 11:06:24 PM »

I especially love your use of the Alive in Wonderland motif to fit several concepts into a sort of mish-mash world, yet coherent and cleanly structured.

I could already think of some possibilities of roleplaying, like your beastkin. Have you heard of the Leopard Society in real life? I think that should be something to look into for you.

Also, for your automata, what fuels them? I've been looking for some ideas myself on what could possible empower clockwork power armor, so I'm thinking the principles behind sentient automata shouldn't be so different.

Do your sempiternals reproduce? If they don't wouldn't the logical evolution be that in the end, there's be more Ageless than Venerables? Just some thoughts.
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« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2010, 12:19:35 PM »

Out of Character

Added two new realms (Oculia and the Empyrealopolis) and another race (Merpeople).

In answer to your questions, Teh-Az, I was imagining the Automata were simply wound up with super-elastic springs which would periodically need re-winding (those who missed the re-winding might eventually run-down... they might even be discovered by adventurers, like the Tin Woodsman from Oz).  Big furnaces/arcane engines in the Automatocracy probably run the main winding machines themselves, but in a pinch an Automaton could probably be re-wound by hand.

The Sempiternals cannot reproduce, but of course the Venerables are just as immortal as the Ageless (thye just don't have eternal youth to go with their eternal life); that said, more Venerables choose to commit ritualistic suicide than Ageless, overall, so there are a few more Ageless around - though since a lot of Ageless have split off into the Children's Free State this balances the ratio in the other parts of the Everlasting Lands.

Leopard Society is messed up!

EDIT: I was also thinking about "magic" in this setting... I'm thinking that spells/spell-casters don't formally exist in any way in the setting at all, but alchemists and artificers do, and there are magical rituals that anyone can do, so long as they have the right instructions and materials.

I should also mention that Grimgrin's excellent Wonderland adaptation Cabbages and Kings was a source of inspiration for this setting as well.
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« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2010, 01:34:56 AM »

It would be wonderful if we could play test the campaign. All it seems to need now are mechanical crunching specs.
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« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2010, 03:27:54 PM »

The Oculians seem a bit bland amidst all this extravagant bizarrerie. Their only real quirks are some of the eye colours being "exotic" and the apparent randomness of it in children. The caste system/theology thing itself doesn't strike me as strange at all.

Perhaps the coloration could be more than just a cosmetic and cultural issue? Maybe it could affect how they perceive things: the Guardians being able to judge a man's worth in combat at a glance but blind and deaf to all expressions of compassion and pleas for mercy, the Diplomats able to see through lies and flattery but unable to deem when negotiating would be obviously futile, the Nobles able to spot every opportunity to make gains or smear the reputation of a rival yet incapable of seeing the real needs and problems of the lower classes?
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« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2010, 03:31:20 PM »

Out of Character

That's a brilliant suggestion, Ghostman - definitely something about vision would be good for them...
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« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2010, 11:01:38 PM »

The Trolls sort of remind me of the trolls from Ernest Scared Stupid on one hand and the Troll dolls on the other.

I also enjoyed the imagery of the blinking sun and moon. It is quite eerie.

The Mermen's hatred of human males is quite understandable, given the circumstances

Quote

Some have theorized that Gnomes are simply humans who've spent too long Beneath, while others maintain the opposite is true '“ that humans are simply surface Gnomes. The Gnomes themselves find both suggestions thoroughly insulting and insist that they are transformed maggots in the divine cadaver of a primordial earth-goddess, though why this is a preferable creation story is anyone's guess. Many Gnomes can be found squatting in the colossal crystalline ruins Beneath.

That's terrible; and it is a quite amusingly gnomely thing about them smile


Are characters on the way?
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