I think you are correct on all accounts, Axlerowes. I was very excited about this post when I first wrote it down. Since then I have become less enthused by it. I probably should have left it alone for a few days and then rewritten it before I made it public. I think I will give it a few more days to digest thoroughly and then go back and edit it as best I can.
Could you suggest a better category for it, and can I move it there?
"In an effort to satisfy this ambiguous desire he will begin seeking out the activities he enjoyed previously and, though they bring him no happiness now, take them to extremes. He may drink incredible amounts, light things on fire, seek the company of lewd women, or pick fights in back alleys." Thus assume his pleasures were women, drink, violence or flame. I can imagine a more chilling reality....
The victim starts writing an esoteric chrome and setting heavy RPG campaign and then forces all his friends to play it, and whats worse that due to Imp Fire he will be totally disgusted with the way everyone plays and how they keep ruining his campaign and talking during his descriptions of fungus, temples or an NPC's clothing. Are you sure this isn't a real thing.
I think this is a solid idea as MJS says but I think the sub is badly put together and just a long ramble of ideas.
The descriptions of possible cures are not necessary, they take up to much space, they are unorganized and that would really be up to the GM anyway. The description of the disease seems to jump around a bit, discussing how a man with Imp Fire leaves a village in flame but not so much how, but later we may infer it is because his touch set things on fire. Is it because his personality becomes that of a fire, he consumes things and moves on? Does he also take the path of least resistance?
You could make this into a plot, but if you want of focus on the nature of the curse, than I would call this an item. Spells, diseases, and things metaphysical (if not material) I think can safely go into the item box. Go to Comment
A solid idea even though it doesn't fit the current category well. Personally, I don't think it's that rambling but it certainly discourages one from reading it at first because it seems really long without breaks. I think breaking up the sub into separate headings (eg. Symptoms and Cures) would improve its readability quite a bit. Go to Comment
I thought about this creature for a while, and its vague, peaceful, somewhat absurd nature has amused me. It is mysticism personified, one of the many products of blind natural forces or unknown purpose. Definitively worth using. Go to Comment
This is quite nicely written. You hit on just the high points, and throw out some tantalizing questions on its nature. I LOVE this thing!! Its potato-sack appearence, its tender-lovin'-care for its bonded tree, the comically tragic description of it walking, the slowly-growing root-throne(!!!). and its understanding of all things cyclical in nature. Thats just beautiful. Pokes the emotions.
Any means of self-defense? I onky ask because you mention that threatening this thing or its tree has never "proved successful."
If I threw this at my group on the fly while an invisible being stood behind me growling, "choose one" with an invisible gun to my head, I'd probably go with spores. It makes the most sense as you mention. There is also something heart-wrenching about the Bagabond simply 'enduring' the pummeling. That seems to fit its nature as well, so I like.
Having said all that, I am gaming this saturday night for the first time in a long time, and will throw this thing into the mix. I haven't yet decided how to round out some of the wonderful vagueness (is that a word?) that you created here, but I may actually give the Bagabond some sort of contradictory "deadly" innate ability, which the creature itself is either not aware of, or is unable to do anything about. I'll be sure to report how it went next week.
Just to add, I am a fan of any creature that seems grotesque to our perceptions, but is by nature, innocuous or benign. Good show.
*Random rushed thought* Lastly, perhaps when a Bagabond dies, the tree it has been tending achieves sentience, becoming a- *drumroll*- treant. (or your world's equivalent). This way the mystery of the Bagabond remains, but the PCs will now learn the great secret origin of all tree-folk everywhere. :) Go to Comment
I had thought that if brute force was used to try and "persuade" the Bagabond to open up, it would most likely just endure it. Exactly what that entailed, I hadn't really decided. Perhaps if the Bagabond was destroyed, and his connection to his tree was strong enough, the tree would produce a new body for him (grow him a clone). Or perhaps upon death the Bagabond releases spores that float out into the world and grow into new bagabonds (I like this idea as it seems to reflect the Bagabond's love of cycles).
If that is too Ghandi-esque a gm could, I suppose, have the Bagabond, with his last breath, place a curse on those who harmed him, preventing them from ever completing cycle (never reproduce, never decay, never fully digest, i donno) or something. I guess the Bagabond could even bring his tree to life to fight for him, but that really doesn't appeal to me much.
This is excellent and useful and it goes a long way to imposing subtle mysticism to the swamps, much in the way such feelings of personification and humbling complexity are actually felt. I really like the chance you took with the "wonderful vagueness", as others have said good speculative fiction works as springboard for the reader's idea not as a complete story. I think that is really true for RPG directed writing.
Exactly what you should expect in an utopian land - the dark secret it is built upon.
Question, though: isn't the population quite small after this long weeding out of the unfit? There is a potential for Evil in every human being, so only the really bad ones have to be removed (does the witch see the nature of the child that grows up, or can she see its future?). Also, what happens to those that commit a crime, if not by purpose (even the best people can turn to it), then by chance? There witch has cetainly made a few mistakes during the years, so do they just 'vanish'?
The dungeon offers many plot hooks, not last would be the attempt to release/escape of all of its inhabitants outside. Good work. Go to Comment
Ooooh, I like this a lot. Of course, I've always been rather fond of Shadowy Malevolent Figures. Of course, the labyrinth is positively infested with horrible, horrible former humans, and I suppose you could make the case that they're evil. But I know that a lot of people are going to look at it, and say that they wouldn't be if they didn't have to be to survive. "The only way to survive that kind of darkness, I suspect, is to become it."
And as others have said, I'm sure the people look to Rasse as a savior, keeping their land pure. It doesn't matter to them what she really is. Also, it's widely accepted that the children who vanish would have tended towards evil... but they only have Rasse's word for that, don't they? Go to Comment
Surnames: The Chinese were among the very first cultures to adopt the use of hereditary surnames (around 2800 BC). But the custom didn't quite catch on in Europe - at least not until the Venetian aristocracy made it popular sometime between the 10th and 11th centuries AD. What culture made it popular in your setting and why?