Dark Fantasy Role-Play

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Gaiseric, Jan 18, 2016.

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  1. So as some of you could tell from my username and avatar, I am a Berserk fan. I like the anime and love the manga and so far I've not found another source of material that really captures my attention like Berserk has. For a long, long, time I have wanted to run a Dark Fantasy Role-Play in a vein similar to that of Berserk. However; it seems no matter how many time I bring up the idea it never takes off. I want to change that, to make a truly great tale of strife and carnage in which great character development can take place. Now, I know this sort of thing isn't for everyone but I figured I would go ahead and outline the basic plot I have as well as give a little insight to Berserk in case there are people out there wondering what the heck I'm talking about.

    Berserk is, as I stated above, a Dark Fantasy manga which often crosses the boundaries of what is acceptable. It centers around Guts, the Black Swordsman, whom has been marked for damnation by his former best friend turned demon. Along with his motley band of companions Guts travels across the land with his lover Casca who lost her memory from the traumatic events that befell Guts and herself previously. Each night Guts must fight for survival as the demons descend upon him trying to take his life, and each night he repels them. His only hope, for both himself and Casca, is reaching Elfheim the fabled kingdom of the fairies. As I said I love Berserk, but I don't want to just do a Berserk Fandom Role-Play. As cool as it is there are things I don't like nor want to RP.

    The plot I had in mind would focus on a small group of character whom, through one way or another, know of the existence of Demons. They then begin sharing visions of a terrible cataclysm drawing near, pulling each of them towards the capital of the Holy City of Renaris. Once there the group discovers they are too late to prevent the disaster, and they are suddenly trapped within a city full of ravenous Hellspawn.

    So that there is the basic opening of the Role-Play, and we will start off after the city is sacked by demons more than likely. Of course we would all include the visions and the like in our character histories, among other things. Much like Berserk each of our characters will be marked, feeling the pull of demons and their presence. From there on I just need to flesh things out. I have a lot more I've thought about put I don't want to make an interest check too long of a read!

    So if anyone is interested let me know, thanks.
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  2. Tentative interest!

    I have a deep love of darker horror/thriller fantasy. I know 'of' berserk, but haven't read anything from it. I think there's an anime and movie or something, too, right?

    I'm a huuuuuge dark souls series enthusiast- which draws some influences from Berserk... xD

    Any thoughts on how realistic you want characters to be? Or is this a no bets, full on anime fantasy- buster swords on the shelf?

    I'm currently GMing a dark fantasy epic, but would LOVE to be able to play and not worry about having to GM., too heheh.
  3. Hello, and welcome! I too love Dark Souls, when I'm not being repeatedly murdered on it, so I believe we are indeed kindred spirits!

    You know at the moment that is still up for debate. I don't know if I want to go in an anime direction or a more realistic way, but I do know for a fact that realism will definitely be skewed by the more magical aspects of the Role-Play. As you can probably guess we will eventually be fighting Demons and other sorts of magical ne'er-do-wells so our characters will have some sort of magical abilities to combat that. I've always found it hard to find a place to limit powers/abilities in Role-Plays because some RPers love superpowered protagonists and some prefer realistic characters instead.

    I remember watching an Anime a long time ago in which the characters had the use of abilities, but with a cost for using them. I think that's what we should do in that department seeing as to how being marked by Demons is where said abilities will stem from for the most part. No one, not even the mage or witch characters, will be able to take out whole armies single handed. That is something that should be stated from the start. The Role-Play is meant to be a struggle through and through, easily dispatching hordes of enemies would just take all the fun out of it. Abilities should stem from the character's personality, I think that is always the way to go. If your character is a bloodthirsty warrior then I expect his ability to compliment that. If your character is a sweet and innocent little girl, she won't be allowed an ability that horrifically slaughters people.

    So, as for realism. I guess we could say Semi-Realistic. Characters will be flawed and mortal, able to fall sway to all things mortals are, but there will be a high does of fantastical elements at play.
  4. Some advice for that:

    If you got further than the Interest Check / OOC, ask of the people who left "what made you leave?", and ask of the people who stayed until the end "What made you stay?"
    If you were still on the interest check, and for interest checks in the future, try asking "If you like the idea but wouldn't join, what is it that means you don't want to join?"

    Do these, and hopefully you can get an idea of how to improve your RPs. Of course, some things needn't be changed, but if it's just something like a "Realistic images only" rule, then that can be changed and will increase interest.

    Anyway, without further ado, my opinions on your actual idea (coming from a point of view that's never seen / read Berserk, and is analysing it from an RPing and Dark Fantasy angle)

    First up, I'm interested!
    Second; abilities:
    • Personally, in dark fantasy, I think realistic abilities are best, and they should definitely have downsides to using them. In Dark Fantasy, the focus is best on the story rather than the combat, so making sure combat is always dangerous is important.
    • As for the actual downsides - rather than temporary backfire like is often used (eg anemia from blood manipulation), I think losses should be more permanent. You use an ember spell and you find yourself unable to remember something important to you - you're just left with a nagging feeling that there's something you're forgetting. Drop a fireball on someone and that'll be a finger or maybe an eye. Want to use that really OP meteor that basically works as an insta-kill? Sure, but that's a literal arm and a leg. Of course, this does go a bit against the "realistic abilities" from earlier, but I quite like that. You technically have an OP power, but using it will devastate your ability to overcome later obstacles.
  5. Thanks for your comment!

    I'm of a pretty similar mindset when it comes to powers in any sort of Role-Play really. For a Literate Dark-Fantasy Role-Play dealing highly in character development and with serious undertones I cannot really see myself allowing too much power to any one person. The characters in this Role-Play are meant to be the outnumbered, outmatched, and altogether outclassed, by their opponents. That clear difference in power shows the severity of their struggle, and what they could lose if they allowed themselves to fall.

    Now for powers and abilities:
    1. Being marked as our characters will be, everyone will be gifted with strength, speed, and reflexes, above that of a normal mortal. (This does not mean a character with no combat training can pick up a blade and be the greatest swordsman ever. Just that compared to average people they are more capable.)

    2. Abilities should mirror the personality and traits of their respective users. (As I said above, a character's ability should make sense for them.)

    3. The more powerful the ability, and the degree in which you use it, determine how much of a toll it takes on you. (Nothing comes without a price. Our characters will be mortals harnessing otherworldly talents that will strain, and possibly destroy, it's mortal shell.)

    4. There will be no OHKO abilities allowed. (At the start of the Role-Play any Demonic powers obtained by the characters will still be developing. While some may have a higher degree of mastery over said abilities, NO ONE will have mastered them as of yet.)

    5. Being stemmed from Demonic marks, over use of abilities leads to corruption and madness. (Now this doesn't mean if you use your powers you become a crazed Demon. It just means the more you rely on them the more pull evil and temptation has on you, eventually leading to spurts of uncontrollable madness.)

    Those are the basic outlines I'm toying with right now. Of course when the Role-Play page goes up I will be putting more detail into it and going over what is, and is not, acceptable before people make character sheets. Right now I'm going over introductory plot-points and things like that so if this does kick off there will be a week or so of material already drawn up to push the story forward. I've always found starting a Role-Play is the hardest part so any and all advice is of course welcome.
  6. As a psychological point, you might want to change it to "the pull of madness / chaos" and "uncontrollable insanity" rather than "pull of evil and temptation" leading to "madness". In my experience, 'evil' and 'temptation' can actually make people much more orderly, rational and predictable - just a bit more antisocial.

    There's a reason it's the hardest part, and that's the pacing. It's the hardest part for everyone, don't worry! You have to find a good pace that allows people time to post but doesn't last long enough that faster posters lose interest. Personally, I always skip the 'introduction', and drop characters into a situation where they have to quickly adapt and fit in and don't have time to interact and linger before the plot naturally moves - that way it won't stagnate cos it's relying on one person. Also, posting deadlines or expectations are great. "Please post at least twice a week" is popular, but I favour the "I'm moving the plot onward on Sunday 19th, so please do everything you need to do before then". One of the major problems is people getting lazy - having an "eh, I'll do it tomorrow" attitude, which I myself can be guilty of :D
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  7. I always enforce the 'One Post Per Day' rule in all of my Role-Plays. I attend class during the day and work nights, if I can manage posting at least once a day with my schedule others should be able to do the same. That, however; does not mean I am not willing to work with my fellow writers. If you come on and say you will be busy for the next day or two, fine I understand. Things happen and we can't always get online to post nor do we want to. If the Role-Play is moving forward I give writers a week in which they can respond before I move their characters along in a narration. If another week goes by and they have still not responded, either with their character in the Role-Play or OOCly explaining why they haven't posted, I kill off their characters and move on. I've tried many ways over the course of my Role-Playing career and found this to be the best method for me.

    I have always hated the boring 'Intro' Role-Plays that typically come with starting an RP. Most of the time writers are too timid to actually try and do something so you have a bunch of characters wondering around thinking passive-aggressively. Like you I tend to start in the heat of some conflict, with the initial character's already in close proximity of one another. It's a lot easier for most writers, myself included, to jump in and type freely when they don't have to worry about if their actions fit in the scenario. Conflict loosens the restrictions on normalcy enough to make people feel comfortable.

    Our Role-Play will start within the city of Renaris, known most commonly as the 'Holy City'. There a rift to the depths of Perdition, this world's Hell, opens and pours forth Demons. Our characters will have previously been marked by Demons in their past and due to the coming devastation in Renaris begin suffering from vision guiding them to the city. They arrive as the newly crowned 'High King' of Renaris is crowned before a large audience, and as the crown is placed upon his head the Demons appear bad begin slaughtering the masses. From that point we will start the actual Role-Play, either during the initial attack or shortly afterwards.

    Now of course this isn't fleshed out as full as it could be but that will all come to play once the actual Role-Play is. I'll be adding guidelines for character creation, what is means to be marked, and etc.
  8. I see you're new here from your username colour, so word of advice: I'm afraid Iwaku is quite slow for an RP site. We're usually quite busy people, but we tend to be more dedicated in exchange so while many of us will only be able to post once every few days, a well-run RP will easily last for months.

    As for the plot, personally I think starting during the attack would be better - jump people right into being in a dangerous situation, rather than having people start just after which could end up as an introduction-y thing again. If being attacked, people will do whatever they can to preserve their character, rather than try to conform perfectly with the GM's world.
  9. I love darker plots, know of Berserk, and am a huge Dark Souls/Bloodborne fan.

    I'm an advanced RPer and someone who has been writing for many, many years.

    That said, I'm also a busy adult and cannot conceivably meet a one-post-a-day requirement. :c

    If that changes, I'd be interested.
  10. @Gaiseric

    I love berserk and I know sometimes it has adult themes like when casca was raped or the blood and gore... I am down if you will have me join and I can post once a day or more if need be
  11. Definitely interested in some Berserk-grade fantasy.
  12. I like it. I've been in several RP's here on Iwaku where groups of people get impatient and post rapidly without allowing the stragglers who don't get to post every day- or more than once a day. Just set a precedent [as you have], and keep to it, and the players will be able to fall in line!
    I think giving your players the backstory addition that they have been marked previously by a demon- and that mark has called them to the city is good enough to get a basic character introduction, that way characters already have a 'reason' to be there. This means writers don't necessarily have to slowly introduce everyone- their characters already have a purpose.

    Sounds awesome. I'm really looking forward to this.

    Also eagerly awaiting the details of character generation!
  13. First I want to thank everyone that has shown interest and given advice. It's great to see so man of you already throwing your hats into this idea with so little information out there. This sort of thing isn't for everyone, I know that, and more often than not you cannot accommodate everyone. That being said, I am more than willing to work with people to try to make things more acceptable to a broader audience. As for the 'One Post Per Day' rule; that is something I cannot really budge on but in truth it's more of a guideline than a rule. If you read closely each person is given a week between posts before their character is moved onward by a GM, and another week before they are killed off. Does this mean everyone is going to post just once a week? No, it does not. Most of us will be positing once a day to keep the story moving forward and away from stagnation. The allotted week is just a safety net for those whom get busy and can't log on for a day pr so. I do, however; appreciate knowing beforehand if someone is not going to be on so myself and my fellow writer's aren't left in the lurch.

    Our story will take place in the land of Argoria, a fantasy interpretation of Medieval Europe. Being one of the largest continents of the world it supports much diversity in both people, culture, and beliefs, however in the last century or so the land has become dominated by worship of the 'Father'. There are many nations located within Argoria, some we will visit others we may never see, and most of which seemed to be locked within a perpetual power struggle over ancient claims of heredity. The only place seemingly untouched by the petty wars waging across the land is Renaris, the Holy City, and seat of worship of the 'Father'. There the High King preaches peace and promises love from the Father should other nations lay down there arms and join Renaris in it's bliss.

    That's just a basic overview of Argoria at a glance. Like with many Role-Plays that allow character freedom it's hard to actually map out a set path, or set of locations, until the Role-Play starts rolling onward. Of course I have a little more than this jotted down in notes but if you've seen one Medieval Fantasy setting I think you should be able to grasp the general idea of what to expect. If you would like to know more or have any questions just ask. Better to ask and know right off the bat than go on hoping you aren't wrong.

    Character Creation:
    I like to leave character's mainly up to their writers. You force too many stipulations on someone and they end up with a character they hate and probably will not stick around for. That being said; I'm a literate writer and like to see well developed characters. You'll never see me playing the typical heroic knight or the misunderstood protagonist, I like deep characters that are Human. They should have flaws, fears, hopes, habits, hates, love, and everything else I could list here. Sometimes you make a character that fits into a generic role without realizing, but most of the time a person knows full well if their character is leaning towards that category before they even begin typing. If you can help it try to be original at all times. A few other things to note:

    1. Characters should have a history. (Some GM's won't require this of their writers, I do. Your characters didn't appear from nothingness, they should have a history. Now, this doesn't have to be a long biography or anything of that sort. One to three paragraphs is fine, just be sure to include how you were marked somewhere within.)

    2. Stay true to your alignment. (When I draw up the character sheet template you can bet I'll put an alignment section on it. Stay true to what you put down. If you are Lawful Good, then don't be a murderous jack-wagon. If you are Chaotic Evil, don't go out of your way to save the beautiful Elf woman. Alignments can change, that happens with character development, but it doesn't happen all at once and unexpectedly.)

    3. We are mortal. (The essence of this story will be ordinary people from different walks of life rising to meet an insurmountable challenge. They can be knights, mages, mercenaries, or peasants and farmers. No matter what your character's background remember that he/she is mortal. The mark and it's abilities may have made you better than the average man, but none of us are superhuman.)

    4. Mark abilities start weak and grow over time. (When you make your character's and you are thinking about what ability to choose for him/her, remember that it should start out pretty meager. If you want a character that can summon meteors of fire to wipe out entire cities, then perhaps he should start out only able to create small burst of fire.)

    5. Mark abilities come at a price. (The stronger the degree in which you use an ability, and the length in which it remains active, determine the physical toll it takes on your body. If you have an ability that make you super fast, then the longer you use it the longer it takes your legs to recover. Use it too long and you may lose a leg. Something along those lines.)

    6. NO CHILDREN!!! (Do not make a character under the age of twenty. This is a Role-Play of a highly serious nature and I do not wish to see all but two of the character's RPing as hormonal teenagers. I would prefer people making characters on into their thirties and forties, but absolutely no one under twenty.)

    7. Appear you age. (If you are one of those people that create characters and in the appearance section put something like "Despite his/her age he/she appears to be very young." you better have a reason in your history why you are fifty and look to be twenty.)

    8. Magic is rare and limited. (Magic is something rarely if ever seen by normal people. Spells would appear to most as miracles or curses. That of course does not mean there cannot be a wizard character. Just know that magic takes a toll it's user as well, not to the extent of the Marks of course, and is limited to small things. I.E.- There will be no Mages that reverse time or vaporize enemies.)

    9. Classical fantasy races do exist, but are not available to be PC's. (I thought about it for a long time and for the story I've outlined it makes no sense to have a random elf or dwarf in our party. Non-Human races will have a big part in the later story but I cannot justify allowing them as PC's. Not yet anyway.)

    10. Leave room for development. (When making your character try and look forward to how you wish him/her to develop. No character should be the same at both beginning and end of a story, change is bound to happen, so when making your character take that to heart. I know it is hard to see exactly how a character will change until the story unfolds, but just have a general idea of what will make your character shift his ideals.)

    Mark of Perdition:
    The Mark of Perdition is the singular guiding facet in the story. Because of it our characters will have all suffered great loss, because of it our characters will come together in Renaris, and because of it the damned ones will continually seek out our immortal souls. However; what exactly is the Mark of Perdition? What is it's purpose? Why were our characters marked? Well, let me tell you.

    1. The Mark of Perdition is actually a demonic brand. Lesser hell-spawn that bleed through the cracks between worlds place them on people whom have suffered true loss. (The stated loss is normally cause by the Demons themselves so that they may place marks on those with weakened hearts.)

    2. Only those whom have lost people close to them, people they loved beyond measure, are ever marked. (This could be family, a love, a wife, children, friends, anyone that your character would deeply mourn if taken.)

    3. To be marked is to be damned. (Once marked, regardless of your beliefs or good deeds you have done, your soul damned to Perdition. It is not known if there is a way to save one's soul, but many that have survived begin marked have died trying to find out.)

    4. Those marked live between worlds. (Once marked the pull Perdition has upon you never leaves. Because of this those marked begin to see the unseen. The creatures that exist upon the world in a different spectrum of reality become as clear to the marked as another man.)

    5. The marked are forever hunted. (Once marked the creatures of Perdition will forever hunt you. They are drawn to the curse of the mark, hoping to drag the marked down into the deepest pits of the void.)

    6. The marked can sense the damned. (Just as the damned ones are drawn to the mark, the mark is drawn to them. Those bearing the mark will feel it's pull when creatures of Perdition draw near.)

    7. The mark strengthens it's bearer. (The pull towards Perdition the mark has on it's bearer unintentionally strengthens them. Living between reality and the spectral world for so a long period of time enhances the bodies of the marked, and awakens innate abilities lying dormant within them.)

    8. The Mark is a creation of evil. (Over use of the Mark and it's abilities cause one to slowly lose grip on their sanity. Being a creation of evil, the more it is used the stronger it becomes until the marked loses control and eventually blacks out. It is said that if used too much, the marked will even become one of the damned.)

    So this is what I've got for now. Still working things out but you guys know I'm open for suggestions. Just let me know what you think and I can continue working this out. Once I get confirmation that at least five people want to join this Role-Play I'll go ahead and start typing it up!
    #13 Gaiseric, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2016
  14. Haven't actually read it yet cos laziness, but don't you mean "damned"? "dammed" refers to building a typically concrete barrier in a river valley in order to construct a reservoir.
  15. Yes it is meant to be damned. I typed it on my phone earlier and auto-correct must have switched it around on me lol. I think I've corrected all of it but I can't be certain until I proofread on my PC when I get off a little later.
  16. /waits excitedly for the ability to generate a character >:}
    #16 Spectre, Jan 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  17. Okay guys, I'm officially working on the Role-Play for this. If you still have some advice for me then go ahead and post, I'll be checking back here from time to time for a while yet. I hope to see everyone that showed interest back when the Role-Play starts.
  18. I'm very much interested. Count me in.
  19. Hey-hey ^^!!

    Gots me interested over here! Just gunna wait on yer OoC before fully saying I'm in, kay? One-a-day kinda burns Boo out quickly but it's dark fantasy right? Muh charrie might just be the first bloody exit ;DDD
  20. Took a while, but here's my assessment of what you've put. On the whole, it looks good!

    I've never liked the D&D style alignments because they're far too restrictive. There's no reason a Lawful Good character couldn't go on a murderous rampage - In fact, the most Lawful Good of them all do so regularly - I am of course, talking about Paladins every time they meet something slightly evil. There's no reason a Chaotic Evil can't save the beautiful Elf woman, either. He is Chaotic, after all, which means his thought patterns don't need to be logical - they can be spontaneous and seemingly without reason. Also, what if he intended to use the woman as a hostage? Or a sacrifice?

    I definitely understand the reasoning behind this and I'm certainly not arguing - honestly, it's refreshing to see an RP that won't be flooded with children. That being said, I don't really like playing old people - can't empathise with them at all, so unless I get a really good character idea, I probably won't be joining.
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