There is a distinction between terror and horror this is quite easy to confuse, but they are quite different reactions to different sets of stimuli.
Horror, according to H.P. Lovecraft is the cerebral and rational feeling of absolute helplessness. The fear that erduces us to quivering jelly, that doesnt send the adrenaline screaming through the body is horror. When facing the deadly unknown, that doesnt have any seeming sort of weakness is horror. You cant fight it, you cant run from it, you can try to escape or survive, but the odds say you are going to die. The Ring is a good example of this type of fear. You cant unload a clip from a machine gun into the ghost, nor can you fight her. You cant outrun her, or escape her as her realm is governed by the supernatural and ours is governed by the physical. You can try to understand the horror, deconstruct it and discover how to safe yourself, but...well...good luck.
Terror is a basic visceral reaction, often caused by gore, or exposure to things that we are scared of. This terror evokes the fight or flight reaction from the body. We attack, crushing the offedning spider underfoot, or faced with more than we can handle we seek to escape. Things that cause terror can be faced, can be fought, can be killed. The Alien movie blurred the line between Horror and Terror as it savaged the crew of the Nostromo until the last crewmember thought to suck the critter out of the ship with a pressure breach. The alien could not be fought, could not be escaped, it seemingly knew the ship better than they did, ducts and all. The second Aliens movie was very much terror. Machine guns roar, aliens and marines die by the bucketful, but after the pulse pounding is slowed, they have excaped after blowing all of the aliens to kingdom come.
Fantast is a difficult milieu to set horror in as fantasy is basically an extension of playing something that is more than what we are. Spells and swordplay suddenly seem pointless in the horror campaign, most times we are epic, or at least heroic characters not destined to die in a disturbing fashion. The majority of horrors are set at our level of experience, with no magic (easy way out) and access to tech greatly limited (also another easy way out) Most successful horror games are set in a nitty gritty format where dying is easy, and we realize the frail nature of our mortal shells. Go to Comment
- Tourists pick up a stone lizard and take it home thinking it a cunning tribal statue. A week or so later, sensing more water, the lizard turns back into meat and goes wandering around, frightening the house help, eating plants and such. Not so much a menace, but certainly worth a few laughs
- Finding an area full of these stone lizards gives rise to rabid rumormongering of a basilisk, or medusa in the area. Pranksters drop off a stone statue of a person, and reap the rewards later when they return with the 'head' of the monster. What happens when a real basilisk comes into the area?
- Do they taste like chicken?
- Painting the stone lizards while they are stone, just for fun. Go to Comment
I would vote higher, but the submission is so short, I wanted more. The shell could be used in illusion spells, and the snail itself could be served as foot long escargot. Get the Garlic! Go to Comment
I tihnk this is good because it reminds us that many of our legends and heros were originally mortals, just like us. While the gods are distant from our petty concerns, the saints themselves are a conduit between us and those distant entities. Go to Comment
Awesome AG. I dont think I will get two pages behind before following this thread. Plus i think that the concept of love and hope are much better than the normal bash and grab. Keep it up. Go to Comment
It would be easy to pigeonhole the white and black essences as good and evil, a purely human concept. I played the White-Wolf Mage game and it had a similar concept, but instead of rifts, the spell caster accumulated points of Scourge a reference to punishment from god. If you did a lot of big flashy spells, and acted improperly or like a munchkin, you got alot of scourge.
Some potential ideas.
For the Elemental encounters:
When an elementally aligned spell is poorly cast, a potent incarna, or spirit of the element arrives through the rift to punish the magus for his poor use of magic, and lack of respect for said element. Once a mage is slapped around by a salamander a few times they might start thinking a little bit about tossing around flame spells. This could apply to any of the four basic elements.
White essence: there is an explosion in the population of a certain animal that was the closest to the epicenter of the rift. This could produce a massive swarm of gnats, or some other insect, or cause the seeds of a certain plant to grow at incredible speed once they hit the ground. Imagine, an entire village overrun by a single type of plant or tree. Kudzu anyone?
This population/growth boom could possibly effect larger animals. Perhaps the mage, or a fellow party member becomes the recipient of uncontrolled fertility. Casual contact, such as touching hands could be enough for the PC to impregnate a woman.
For a more disturbing and macabre form of growth, introduce mutations. Wizards with three arms, or two heads, all caused by positive aspected rifts. Other possibilites could include growing tusks, a thick pelt of hair, or even growing in stature.
Even more fun with Positive rifts. Taking the above idea of spontaneous growth of population, but applying it to a single animal. The rift could grow a dog to the size of a horse, or a wolf to the same size. Mosquitos and flies the size of large birds? It could be an adventure in itself surviving, and eliminating such aberrations.
A Black Rift could have many of the same effects as above, but reversed. All of single plant witihin a certain radius withers and dies, or all of a certain animal keel over stone cold dead. Not a big deal with weeds and bugs, but what if a PC accidentally wipes out all of a food crop for several miles with a poorly cast spell? What if all of the cats suffer the same fate. Mice and rodents, lacking their prime urban predator could explode in population, plague ensues...evil wicked fun :twisted:
Air mages might become as light as a feather, tossed around by breezes, or lifted of the ground to soar through the air, as carefree, and uncontrolled as a leaf.
Or on a more personal note, they might be afflicted with copious amounts of gas that would cause terrible pain unless they vent it frequently.
Associating Lightning with the element of air:
Mage has static cling from hell, or shocks everyone he touches. Hair is crazy and refuses to lay down due to internal charge. Mind you this is only enough of a charge to be a nuisance, not a power to be used.
Associating Ice/cold with the element of air:
Mage becomes ice cold to the touch, or his/her touch causes frost to form. The mage could also lower the temperature where ever he or she goes.
The Big Rule
For me the biggest rule is to play to your audience, which also means you have to know your audience. it is easy to map out a grandiose adventure to span the continent, band the free races together, destroy the dingus of power and overthrow the evil menace. Of course this all goes to pot when you discover that half of your PCs are more interested in developing new magic spells or end up fixated on the small town they all started in rather than following the clues on to the rest of the plot.
Like a leaky ship, a DM needs to know when to hold fast and keep the pumps running, and when to abandon the current plot. Planning an intricate game of courtly intrigue is going to bore your hack and slash players to death, while your Hamlet loving troupe will likely become exasperated after facing the third band of orcs. While obvisouly some people will cry out that hack and slash is not roleplaying. In my experience with a varied group of gamers, you will find all sorts and it is all to easy to claim whatever persuasion of gamer you are to be the best, and the other variations to be false, wrong, or problematic.
Got a band of Hack-n-Slashers, give a gauntlet of monsters to hack and slash to pieces. They will love you for it. Got the Shakespearian Troupe, let them hash out their own version of Much Ado about Nothing, or Midsummer Night's Dream or Hamlet if you've got the guts. Everyone present is there to have fun, yourself included.
In summary, know what your gamers want and give it to them. Go to Comment
This is a great way to counter act the brinksmanship all too often associated with politics. With the addition of Moderates to balance two two extremes of the political system, the situation becomes slightly more stable since the lines of battle are no longer clear, especially in the light of some of the Colored donning the Green. Go to Comment