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Author Topic: Advice requested for my NPC  (Read 583 times)

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Offline Maggot

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Advice requested for my NPC
« on: December 28, 2015, 12:06:01 AM »
After a long absence from the Citadel, I have decided to become an active contributor once again. With that preamble out of the way, I'd like to solicit some advice from some of our longtime resident authors here with regard to the NPC that I'm intending to develop and post here.

I'm afraid that this particular project of mine entails me utilizing  an old cliched trope, namely that of the misunderstood monster. To be specific, the idea I have involves a great white shark that is suddely endowed with  prodigious intellectual abilities due to a magical or alchemical disaster. Gradually developing an identity of his own, he soons finds himself  horrified by the ecological damage inflicted on the ocean's marine life by unrestricted fishing on the part of humans. Utilizing his genius level intelligence, he seeks to alter the collective intellectual levels of the other white sharks in the area, determined to mount an active resistance against the mercenary humans who compete with his species for the bounty of the ocean. To this end, he sometimes serves malovelant oceanic terrors such as Ma-O in order to gain the assistance of such beings .

To put it simply, is this something that most of you would consider a viable idea? Or is it as absurd as it sounds? Thanks in advance.   
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Offline Moonlake

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Re: Advice requested for my NPC
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2015, 01:19:35 AM »
Movies and cliché aside, I would say post away. Having read some of your older posts, I'm pretty sure you have it in you to make something new out of this idea that starts off as a cliché.

On specifics, I think the area where novelty can come in would probably be concentrated around this 'monster's attempt to intellectualise other white sharks. Just my 2 cents.

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Offline Dossta

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Re: Advice requested for my NPC
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2015, 11:46:53 AM »
I try not to let tropes worry me too much when writing a piece -- they are tropes because they work.  I think a talented author can make something awesome out of anything, even the most tired cliche or wacky idea, by being willing to pursue all the threads to their conclusion.  You've made a good start with considering his motivations and goals, just continue to expand on the logical consequences of giving any animal this level of intelligence. 

Give us scenarios where this NPC will be able to interact with a party of adventurers.  Give a GM enough fuel to focus a whole session around him, if needed.  Pose questions (you don't need to provide all the answers).  Hint at personality.  And good luck!

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Offline Gossamer

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Re: Advice requested for my NPC
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2015, 03:36:27 PM »
So, planet of the sharks? Does sharks have vocal chords? (I could have sworn there was a rubbing my chin emoji).
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Offline Maggot

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Re: Advice requested for my NPC
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2015, 10:10:43 PM »
Thanks for the feedback everyone, I really do appreciate it.  To answer the question raised by Dossta, I see my protagonist featuring in scenarios where adventurers will be tasked with slaying this fearsome sea monster, only to discover that they are up against a passionate eco-warrior determined to protect the local marine ecosystem, rather than a mindless predator. Essentially, I want him to be the sort of ''villain'' who makes the PCs confront a moral dilemma.   

Gossamer, you've brought to my attention a very pertinent point.  The way I envisage it, the sharks will begin to develop larger, more complex brains that would enable them to transmit and receive more complex signals in the form of pheromones and fin gestures.           
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Advice requested for my NPC
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 05:48:55 PM »
Jump the Shark!!

Fun would be like Toxic Avenger Shark. A creation from the mess that he grows to hate.

Don't overthink it. If you have an idea that is tickling your creative bone, the let it loose. Not everything has to be a 5-star masterpiece. As long as you are having fun with it then we will have fun with it. Go for it!

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Offline Gossamer

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Re: Advice requested for my NPC
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2015, 03:09:02 PM »
Well what I meant was, if the shark can't talk, how is its agenda gonna matter at all? Unless one of the PCs happens to be Aquaman.
Look! The shark is flapping its fins at us and smells faintly of cinnamon! No doubt it's preparing an insidious attack... Slay it! Slay it naaaaow! :P

Maybe you could go the signing gorilla route, and have some kind of underwater keyboard ala Stephen Hawking to press with its snout or something. If it speaks in broken sentences like that, that would add some flavour as well. Man. Broke. World. Oceans. Me. Shark. Save. Or something.  :dunno:
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Advice requested for my NPC
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2016, 07:54:06 PM »
Perhaps the creature's brain has evolved (or what have you) to the point where it can dominate and control the minds of sentients. So much so that the affected victim can "speak" whatever the shark demands it to.

"Hey look, it's Quinty! I thought he drowned last week when he fell off the peer, stinking drunk?"

Quinty: "For too long you have fouled the heaving seas. For too long have you stained them....

"Umm, that doesn't sound like Quinty guys."

Maybe it can mentally dominate multiple creatures at once. It can lazily glide in the bay by night, concentrating its potent mental powers, and having humans(?) play out its politics, launching the shark's plans.

Or something.

« Last Edit: January 04, 2016, 09:59:06 PM by Murometz »
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Advice requested for my NPC
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2016, 09:57:51 PM »
I feel I must add...Sekolah!! AD&D's original devil shark. A gigantic, uber-evil great white cruising the ebon seas of Hell's eighth plane (I believe), worshipped by the deranged Sahuagin.

Just sayin' Maggot. You can take that "advanced" shark in many directions!
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Advice requested for my NPC
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2016, 06:50:13 PM »
So is this coming up?
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Offline Maggot

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Re: Advice requested for my NPC
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 07:16:07 AM »
Here's the completed sub.

https://strolen.com/viewing/8350

Oh, and I really appreciate those excellent suggestions of yours. Now that I've incorporated them, I just might hav created a sea monster worthy of the name. :beer2:
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Advice requested for my NPC
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 10:56:14 AM »
On my list to read tonight. Yay, Maggot is officially back!
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