James doesn't have anything "special", persay, he's just typically found with paper, quill and ink, since his livelyhood is in writing.
James is a fairly average looking man. Not quite six feet tall, short brown hair, blue eyes, his only distinguishing feature is a large scar on his chest. He wears typical peasants clothing, a plain brown shirt and a pair of pants, both unremarkable. Everyone who meets him likes his gentle and cheerful nature. His manner is quiet and thoughtful, he almost never yells, living very simply. Small home, normal food, nothing exotic or extravagent. If he doesn't have it, he can typically live without it.
James is just an ordinary, everyday author. About 35 years old, he lives in a small village called Jessup, minding his own business and selling his stories to people in the town or to traveling merchants who take it on to bigger cities and have it copied for larger areas of sale. He doesn't worry about how much money he makes. as long as its enough to keep his supply of writing materials coming, he's perfectly happy. Most of what he writes is fantasy, and he has a single series which everyone seems to enjoy, as well as any number of short stories.
James isn't the simple author people(including himself) think he is. In his early twenties, he had a run in with a terrible lightning storm which changed his life, though he doesn't realize it.
He was out riding, headed home when the approaching storm broke, almost right on top of him. He tried to make it home, but, when lighting began to strike, he knew he was in trouble, being in a mostly barren field. He was struck by a single, massive bolt, throwing him from his horse and stopping his heart. Someone(read: A god of some sort) must have taken notice of him for some reason and saved his life, for when a merchant came through the next day on his way to Jessup, he found James lying on the side of the road, alive but unconcious, his horse nudging him, trying to wake him up.
The merchant quickly brought the injured author to the healer in Jessup where James spent the next year in a coma. When he finally woke up, it was as if nothing had ever happened, except for the scar crossing his chest from the burn the lightning bolt left. He went right back to writing, soon after starting the series everyone likes, called The Adventurous Folk.
When James' life was saved by whatever god you see fit, he was blessed as well. His writing is no longer fantasy, but reality. He wrote a short story about a half-man/half-toad who lived in shame of his appearance in a small swamp and, not long after, an adventuring party ran across a toad-man fitting James' story.
**The one thing a DM MUST keep in mind is that James has no idea that his stories are anything but stories.**
As for an adventure hook or plotline? A copy of the most recent installment in the The Adventurous Folk series is found in a shop. The characters read it and discover a very descriptive story of their latest adventure! Each character is in it: what they look like, what they were thinking, exactly what they did. More books in the series are stories of other adventures they've had, with the same level of detail as the first one they found.
If they choose to find James, it isn't very hard, since the town he hails from is listed in the "About the Author". When they find him, he almost has a heart attack from seeing his characters in real life, and can provide no explaination for them. Are they characters in an authors story, or is he somehow recieving what they do and writing it down, thinking it's all from his imagination? That's up to you to decide I suppose....
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? Responses (7)-8
The thing you need to make sure is that this is a world where books and printing presses exist. Otherwise, there probably won't be enough copies of anything to justify the expense of scribing the books. (Though if he is that popular, there might be). There is the economics to think of.
You also need to make sure your character's are literate and might actually spend some time reading these things. If the books are scribed, they might be too precious to just let litter around. So you need to make sure that there is a 'path' that will lead the players to the adventurous folk books... either they can read it themselves, or they need to be of the type to tell their adventures at a bar, where everyone will then smirk because that was the story in Adventurous folk last season.
See MoonHunter's comments.
It is a bit uninteresting, to me at least, but it's well written and is a good idea.
How do you pronounce the last name (Farvre)? Fahr-vuhr? Fahrv? Fahr-vruh?
This reminds me of something I saw on TV, I can't recall if it was the Twilight Zone, or Amazing Stories, but the vignette was called 'Typewriter of the Gods' and it was alot like this, but the writer discovered it's power to make what he wrote true, and got in all sorts of trouble by trying to bring people back from the dead. Don't remember much more than that, it has been a few years since I'd seen it.
Otherwise, well written, but I don't know how well I would be able to work it into a game.
Not really too original (the idea has been used by several fantasy authors) but certainly good enough to stand repeating every so often
So - 4/5
I like the idea a lot. Why did Moonhunter have to go and point out the printing press thing. Bad Moonhunter!
The idea of the storyteller/artist creating reality with their art is not a new one, but it works. This, though, feels very anachronistic to me. The writer is very 20/21st century feeling to me and in my opinion would be better as a storyteller/artist more in line with a fantasy realm. So instead of books, verbal telling of stories or perhaps singing them.
I can buy it. Classic but since James is such a blank the post doesn'y build much on the original idea. Yeah he will have a heart attack but then what? But it is clearly written and clever.