Resonance [Modern Fantasy, Three Players Needed]

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by The Philosoraptor, Sep 12, 2016.

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  1. Resonance (city).jpg
    Gë is a world like any other. It has people and animals and plants. Its surface is, for the most part, green with life and blue with water and white with clouds. Its stars are binary, one blue and one yellow, which occasionally eclipse each other. Its three moons give it a surprisingly stable oceanic environment that covers 40% of the planetary surface; the world possesses three named oceans that surround the two super-continents of the world. The world itself is large, possessing a radius of over 8,000 miles, and is extremely diverse in its population. The only odd things about this above-average, but otherwise normal planet?

    Its inhabitants use magic. The sentient population is split between races of man-made beasts of war, tall, pale aliens, enigmatic underground dwellers, mysterious monsters to the south, and, of course, mankind. Everyday diseases include vampirism, therianthropy, and a mutagenic STD that feeds on spellcraft.

    But our story, while vast and important in so many ways, does not begin with a war, though it may end with one. This is not a tale of high adventure or good conquering evil. The year is 2052 3E, and our story follows the lives of four vagrants in the grand city of Resonance, a multiracial, multiethnic metropolis, and the federal capital of the Union of Twelve. They come from many backgrounds, from many peoples, but are united by their common cause: Survive in a cruel, unjust world, and pray to whatever gods they worship that it doesn't get worse...

    So this is an idea I came up with a little while back. I never posted it because it had issues in need of ironing out, but I finally figured out how to make it work, and so Resonance was born! On a very basic level, this RP is inspired by Shadowrun, but plays very differently and with different themes. While set in a veritable dystopia with futuristic fantasy elements, Resonance is NOT a Cyberpunk RP.

    The driving elements of this story are adventure-related, but the RP itself is more a slice-of-life taken from the cake of the home- and powerless in a world where magic and science exist in equal measure, nations of supernatural entities wage a cold war that is swiftly growing hotter, and society itself is on the verge of social and economic collapse.

    Events will be sequential and will grow in magnitude exponentially, beginning with a kidnapping or small gang war and escalating to a full-scale disaster of colossal magnitude. Our characters are most certainly magical, but are neither "chosen" nor messiahs, and are generally average fighters, if they ever learned how to fight at all. They come from all sorts of races and creeds, and vary greatly in relative age.

    For now, this is just an Interest Check. I encourage people to ask questions to help develop the world and clarify the cans and can'ts of this RP, and hope to see some interest soon!
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  2. This looks intriguing, to say the least.

    One question (or, rather, a couple of related questions) is about whether the four vagrants knew each other previously or had just met up or even start individually at the start of the roleplay.

    If I'm understand this right this RP is less of how characters shake up and mould a world but rather how they respond to events that are unstoppable/unchangeable by them? I quite like that as a concept as it's rather different to a multitude of heroes changing the world.
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  3. The four vagrants are a group that regularly congregate in the same part of the city, share resources, and act as a surrogate family to each other. To put it in D&D terms, they're our "party".

    Events in the world range from anything as small to one member getting kidnapped, to a gang's rapid growth in territory resulting in conflict with our group, to an outbreak of an infectious disease, to even a flat-out invasion of the city/continent by an enemy army and our resultant struggle to survive the aftermath. We do fight, and we do adventure, but there isn't a prophecy to obey or some messiah to follow, and we only act on a small scale, far smaller than typical fantasy. We're just [by the world of Resonance's standards] normal people trying to survive in a crazy time period and a world of mystical lunacy.

    The setting is a Cold War-era for Gë, with tensions high between a particularly powerful faction of Vaela and the Union of Twelve. This serves, for the most part, as a backdrop for the RP: racism towards Vaelic ethnic groups is at an all-time high in multiracial parts of the Union, a civil rights push for the gholam [man-made monsters that vaguely resemble humans but were made specifically to combat the Vaela, who arrived on Gë mysteriously during the Second Era (2E) and signaled the beginning of the Third] is raising tensions between the artificial men and their former masters, the lack of reaction from the Ungermazh (dwarves in this universe) to any of the conflicts of the era has lowered public opinion of the reclusive race, and the discovery of a mysterious new race of monsters in the Southern Continent (more of a massive archipelago, whose strange and vicious terrain had rendered exploration difficult until recently) has raised bipartisan humanitarian concerns over Vaelic and human colonization of the land there.

    HOWEVER. The politics are, again, a backdrop to explain how things are in our world. Vaela are discriminated against, gholam even more so. Ungermazhi are not looked on well for their neutrality (if the Vaela are Nazis and mankind the Allies, the Ungermazhi are Switzerland) in the ongoing conflict between the Vaela and mankind. The unnamed race (orc- or goblin-like monsters and their domesticated breed of monstrous bugs) is not seen much in Resonance outside of the newly founded "embassy", a crumbling building designated as the point of negotiation between the Union and the Southern Continent (as a result, you probably wouldn't get to play as one of that race, but you may find some illegally imported Giant Spiders on the black market).

    IN SHORT, the answer to your second question is: Yes.
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  4. Alrighty, that comprehensively answers my question!

    I'm very much interested.
  5. Looks great! I'm not usually one for modern fantasy, but the style, setting and premise you've gone for here sounds like it could be a blast to be a part of. Whilst I wait for the release of a CS/OOC, I've got a few questions:

    Firstly, the magic aspect. What gives you the ability to cast magic? Is it in everyone's blood and you just need the skill to learn it, is it passed down through a family, or is it just mostly random whether you're able to use magic or not? Are you going for 'half-realistic' magic where your powers need to make scientific sense to some degree, or are we free to make whatever magical powers we please (so long as it isn't overpowered, of course?)

    Secondly, what are some of the poorest/richest areas in the world? Are some continents particularly bad to live in compared to others? Will our four characters be poverty-stricken in the area they're in?

    Thirdly, whilst most of our characters will just be hanging out and trying to live in a generally crappy place, if you had to give a percentage how much of the RP would you say will be the four of us fighting, adventuring, going through a tough event, etc?
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  6. Question One (open)
    Well, magic is a really diverse thing in this world. Human magic is a complex, brutal, and literally bloody variant that has numerous effects on whatever it is applied to. In a sense, this is the most realistic magic of the world, and functions in a similar manner to Fullmetal Alchemist's system of magic, relying on symbols and the input of energy into them to generate a change in the world. However, whereas alchemy is, for the most part, completely rooted by realistic limitations, human magic has more freedoms. By engraving symbols derived from the Old Tongue [the first language ever spoken by sentients on Gë, supposedly transcribed from the Word of the Old Gods themselves. According to historians, every word spoken in pre-history carried a trace of magic in it. The tongue of the Ungermazh and the tongue of mankind diverged in the First Era, when the former purportedly migrated underground to escape a doomsday prophecy (that ended up being completely false) whilst their human counterparts remained above to continue on their own, deriving the human tongue from bastardized dialects of the Old Tongue] into an object or person, a form of enchantment is cast upon it. Spells can be made stronger if they're painted in blood or carved into flesh (contemporary magicians prefer tattoos, which work only slightly poorer than flesh carvings), but can be painted in or onto anything.

    Human magic itself is incredibly diverse, as much so as a language itself, and so varies depending on the location it's found in. In the great expanses of the Dread Plains, the native peoples' magic users, known colloquially as witches, learned how to shapeshift into their animal companions known as "familiars" by joining themselves and their chosen beasts together, creating an entirely new and incredibly power warrior whose magical potential exceeded that of the beasts or witch on their own, and who could change their form between a man and, for example, a murder of crows or a pack of wolves. This all arises from a relatively humble enchantment carved in a set between the witch and their chosen animals, which many outside of the Plainspeople's culture find extremely difficult to replicate. On the streets of Resonance, the most common magic is elemental manipulation, usually in the form of tattooed spells activated at will. A spell summoning a funnel of fire or transmuting an object into a pillar of salt can easily be marked onto a body, granted one knows the proper enchantment (some street-corner salesmen deliberately sell phony spells to unsuspecting individuals seeking personal protection for a quick buck), though something more complex, like bringing to life an inanimate object, requires more personal deliberation and effort, as well as a higher output of energy. Human magic tends to be categorized into four variants: Organic (the manipulation of biology), Spiritual (tends to revolve around transfusing life or, as the Plainspeople discovered, fusing two organisms on the most fundamentally spiritual level), Elemental (destructive, weaponized magic), and Transformative (the changing of preexisting objects into something else). These categories intersect when spells require more complicated enchantments. All four are fundamental to human magic.

    However, the magic of mankind has one distinct limit: Nothing can be created from nothing. Dust can become salt so long as there is dust to transform. A pillar of fire can be directed as an enemy so long as there is air to burn. This obvious limitation sets human magic back when compared to its counterpart: Vaelic magic.

    The Arrival, an event that shook Gë to it's core, marked the beginning of the Third Era. When the first Vaela set foot on their new world, not knowing where they came from or what was next for them, they were immediately shocked to find themselves strangely superior to the natives. They were stronger, faster, and smarter. While they didn't have nearly the population of mankind, and certainly bred slower, each Vaela was worth ten men. And, they soon discovered, even their magic was stronger.

    Instead of mutilating themselves with spells, the Vaela use a process known as Invocation. By speaking a word, each a name of a Vaelic god (of which there are many), and lacing their voices with their own energy, certain powers are granted to the Vaela. By invoking the name of the god of war, Kharn-Alaa, a Vaela becomes stronger, faster, more agile, and more aware of their surroundings, as well as significantly more vicious. While the downside of this arrangement is that a Vaela loses some control of themselves (essentially being possessed by a tendril of their gods' power; Kharn-Alaa's bloodthirst renders even the most seasoned warrior a vengeful, bloodthirsty berserker), the power gained tends to outweigh the losses suffered. However, one of the greatest drawbacks of this magic is that no more than one god's name may be invoked at once, and a god's possession of the Vaela does not end until their task is complete (i.e. a soldier will not stop killing until no more of the enemy's blood can be shed, and a gunsmith will not stop working until his weapon is forged; some Vaela are found dead after having invoked a god to perform an impossible task, and died from a lack of sustenance). Therefore, intent is the most important principle in Vaelic magic. Simply invoking a god's name results in indefinite possession (or, as the Vaela call it, an Avatar; more derogatorily, a Shade), whilst providing specific instruction results in the possession performing specific acts, and then promptly terminating. As well, the force of the Invocation affects its results. The most powerful Invocation recorded resulted in a physical manifestation of a god on the physical plane, which annihilated both human and Vaelic forces at the Battle of the Sundered Gulf; the weakest recorded Invocations recorded were a series of murders in Union territory committed by an unhinged Vaela insurgent who used the name of Kharn-Alaa in small amounts to commit brutal, albeit controlled, assassinations of retired Union military commanders.

    To compare human and Vaelic magic more concisely: Vaelic magic is brutal, instinctive, and extremely powerful when used properly, but suffers from inflexibility; human magic is extremely diverse and adaptable, but takes a comprehensive knowledge of the Old Tongue to use properly, and isn't nearly as inherently powerful as Vaelic magic.

    What should be noted is that all magic relies on a person's inherent magical strength, referred to throughout my posts simply as "energy" (this acts as our mana system), which depends on a number of factors ranging from physical health and fitness (a principle referred to as Mind Built on Matter) to an intrinsic talent for channeling magical power. An inherently powerful man may easily out-maneuver or even overpower an above-average Vaela, while a normal Vaela can easily toss around several magicians who don't appreciate the power of their opponent. Depending on how much energy you have, your spells could be extremely powerful or extremely weak. The aforementioned Avatar that appeared at the Sundered Gulf was summoned by an extremely powerful Vaela whose pool of natural power was great enough to tear a fabric in reality and allow a god into our world. It only died when its physical anchor burned out, unable to handle the god's true form. Some Vaela can barely Invoke at all, though all Vaela can to an extent. Mankind is less capable; while a significant majority is magical, there is also a population of those who cannot use magic, and an infinitesimal sub-population still that is actually immune to magic (these people, when bombarded with magically directed energies or assaulted by a Vaela Invoking a god, simply negate the effects; an Invoked god is banished, and a spell merely diffuses around them).

    Question Two (open)
    "Bad to live in" is relative. On Adwaitcha, the Eastern Continent, the Vaela live practically everywhere, with a diverse array of nation-states dotted across it. The previous human population of Adwaitcha (who had colonized the continent when it was still called Etmora) was ethnically cleansed, either through forced emigration to Wesmora, the current human-dominated continent, or through genocide. The Itvaela, translated from the tongue of the Vaela as "People of the Snow", are a hardy, blue-skinned variant of the Vaela that adapted rapidly to the icy north of Adwaitcha, the nation of Itmacha, the "Land of Ice", and live in a strict, caste-based monarchy, with poorly-treated peasants at the bottom, decadent nobles and fanatical priests at the top, and an almighty God-King ruling above all. The Masvaela, the People of Darkness, are a loosely organized race of underground-dwelling, anarchistic cultists who took over a series of abandoned Ungermazhi cities spanning across Adwaitcha. The most powerful Vaelic nation, however, is Vritmacha, the "Land of Truth", populated by the Fehnvaela, or "People of Purity". Their philosophy is the most contemporary of the Vaela, revolving around an authoritarian oligarchy comprised of officials elected by their peers. Each individual Vaela is assigned a role at birth based on necessity; the most common occupations of the Fehnvaela are soldier and farmer. On the whole, life on Adwaitcha is harsh and cruel, with few races of Vaela being compassionate or forgiving.

    On Wesmora, mankind is united in division. The Union of Twelve has done much to further the cause of democracy and freedom. Each member kingdom is ruled by a monarch, who acts in an executive position, while a parliament and high court manage legislative and judicial matters. The Supreme King, a position of great prestige and respect, mediates the issues of the monarchs, while each of the twelve parliaments and courts elects members of their own to represent their nations in the Grand Policy Bureau and the High Court. The division of wealth is much more recognizable here, personal wealth revolving around an individual's entrepreneurial spirit and personal ability. The rich-poor gap is especially recognizable in the Ash and Ivory Quarters of Resonance, the former of which our characters live in. The Ash Quarter is perhaps the most miserable place in the world, populated by the homeless, hopeless, and segregated of Union society, ranging from Vaelic Unionists (who migrated to Wesmora to escape whatever situation they lived in on Adwaitcha) to human war veterans seeking cheap residence (only to find trash can houses and beds of cellophane). As for our characters personally, we're all, for the most part, impoverished. Some, however, are better-off than other, coming from broken homes or wandering the streets at night of their own free will in search of adventures. Others are the worst-off, living in the gutters and seeking work in the worst places possible. All, however, are united by what could be called the love of friendship.

    Question Three (open)
    If I had to make a pie chart? 50% roughing it out, 25% fighting, 15% dealing with personal problems, and 10% pool episode.
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  7. I'm intrigued! Does Gë have any relation to the Earth we know and thus shares culture at all? Does Earth even exist in this world? I'm trying to get a grasp on how culturally similar (as in, idioms, behavior etc.) Gë and its humans are to what we know from real life, pretty much.

    Also, will there be race posts, so we know what each race looks like? Are we free to create our own races, perhaps?
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  8. I'm glad you asked! Gë (anyone know how to do the accents quickly instead of going to Special Characters?) exists in a universe completely separate from Earth, but pop culture as we know it here is predominant in the Union of Twelve (which is primarily comprised of humans). I'm trying to think of a name for measurements and stuff like that to add a level of depth to the world, but no matter what the science of everything would largely be the same. As for individual folk cultures, on the other hand, I'll be trying to come up with posts for each of the Twelve Kingdoms, since I've basically dug a hole for myself by mentioning the Plainspeople.

    The five races of Gë have been established: Human, Vaela, Ungermazh, the Gholam and the Natives. I've neglected to go into detail about the latter three, but that'll be for race posts later. Hybrids are individuals born from compatible couplings of races; so far only half-dwarves (men of smaller stature and greater strength) have been born, since the two races of men and dwarf are essentially the same, only developed differently. Rare sentient species are things I'm still working out, so I'll get back to you on that. Vampires and therians exist, if you count them as races, and mutants, those afflicted by chaotic and transformative magic, also exist, and will be developed further.

    In order to make up for a relative lack of information at the time being, I'd like you all (@alaska, @Jinxer, @Jakers) to PM me your character ideas, and we'll work on them together as I create an OOC.
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  9. Grrrrrr... if only I was 18! This RP sounds awesome!
  10. We'll make sure to corrupt you from a distance, youngster.
  11. Oh, I'm already corrupt, you have no idea.
  12. I like your avatar BTW
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  13. @The Philosoraptor

    I'll PM you tonight or, more likely, tomorrow with some character info.
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  14. I await the conference.
  15. This looks stupendously, ridiculously cool. I'm in if you'll have me, and if not, I'll be happy to watch things unfold!
  16. I'm finding myself at a bit of a dead end in regards to conceptualizing characters. I also feel I have overlooked some crucial information, as I don't really have any understanding of the races other than, well, humans. I'm saying this so that, if you are deadset on three players, and someone else submits something you like, you can include them over me. I'll try and come up with something though, for sure.
  17. You play on my weakness, sir. If you can keep up with the requirements I set on all of my roleplays, you can join.

    I understand completely. However, if you're having trouble, feel free to PM me, and I'll feed you information as it comes to my mind. It'll probably make the process of coming up with stuff more easy, to be honest.
  18. @Philosoraptor So should I PM you with my character ideas, then?
  19. Please do.
  20. I'm HORRIBLY sorry for the delay on the OOC. A lot of you have been asking for in-depth information on the world, and so I've been balancing world-building with real life for the past several days. I've got Races, Magic, Geography, and am currently working on a broad overview of Culture. Does anyone have any concerns beyond those, or would it be good leaving it at those four and a plot segment?
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