To those playing my RP "The Seven Seals", I'm sorry, but I'm closing it because it's not getting the sort of activity I want. Please let the thread die in peace, and not bump it any further. Thanks.
3 yrs ago
To those playing my RP "The Seven Seals", I'm sorry, but I'm closing it because it's not getting the sort of activity I want. Please let the thread die in peace, and not bump it any further. Thanks.
Copied here for convenience: ಠ_ಠ ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ¯\(°_o)/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ⑨ (ﾉಥ益ಥ）ﾉ ┻━┻ 乇乂ㄒ尺卂 ㄒ卄丨匚匚
To those who already read the opening post, I edited it to clarify that a gold alchemist's goldbrand is possible to be resisted or undone, but it requires power or skill on par with the gold alchemist's. A goldbrand isn't the kind of absolute thing that if you're branded, that's it for you; though preventing or removing it is still highly difficult.
Alchemy, the power to transmute one substance into another. Since the beginning of recorded history, it has been humanity’s greatest blessing, but also its greatest curse. Through the mysterious Gate of Ouroboros, every human is born with alchemical potential, but not all potentials are equal. As par the course for mankind, those with power dominated those without, and using that power entire civilizations were built and ruined.
Throughout history, the art and science of alchemy has been carefully studied and studied again, categorized and divided into seven schools. Each school is named after one of the classical metals of antiquity, and shares its symbolic themes: the red alchemy of iron, embodying the power and endurance of primordial earth; the blue alchemy of tin, embodying the intricate circuitry of arcane magic; the green alchemy of copper, embodying the ebb and flow of life itself; the white alchemy of silver, embodying the spiritual purity of divine light; the purple alchemy of mercury, embodying the boundary between fantasy and reality; the black alchemy of lead, embodying the material corruption of darkness; and finally, the alchemy of gold, embodying perfection, eternity, and the overwhelming power to rule this world.
Those who hold the power of gold alchemy, less than two dozen in the world, rule over vast swathes of land, many as brutal oppressive god-tyrants; even those with the best of intentions are often corrupted by their power or have fallen victim to their own flawed worldviews. And if one manages to slay a gold alchemist somehow, the gold alchemist’s soul crystallizes into a gleaming Philosopher’s Stone, the consumption of which transforms a mortal into a new holder of the golden power. After nearly a millennium of struggle and bloodshed, what seemed like endless cycles of destruction and rebirth, the current gold alchemists both old and new have finally reached a tenuous truce three decades ago. In this much-needed period of peace and calm, the people are given opportunities to work together and develop alchemical technologies to mutually benefit one another’s daily lives; the once-divided world is now on the cusp of globalization.
But that peace is not to last. Loptr, the Architect of Chaos, is one of the most ancient and powerful of gold alchemists, notorious for sowing discord among all factions in the wars past. He claimed to have grown tired of his power, and announced that he will be holding the Game of Fate, a grand tournament that will test the strength and cunning of alchemists worldwide. The one who manages to overcome all opposition and emerge triumphant will receive the ultimate prize, the golden alchemical power of Loptr himself, ascending to stand among the other gold alchemists who rule the world.
Perhaps you are a young adult, born in this age of peace. Or perhaps you are a veteran, having survived the wars prior. Regardless, you are one of the luckier few, having been born with or obtained great alchemical power and the skills to use that power. For some reason or other, your circumstances demand that you enter the Game of Fate and obtain Loptr’s power for yourself. And with what you are already capable of, perhaps you have a chance at victory…
The Schools of Alchemy
Broadly speaking, alchemy is the ability to transmute one substance into another. “Substance” here, depending on the alchemist’s power and skill, can potentially be any form of matter or energy, including the magical energy of mana that exists both in the environment and in one’s soul. Thus, alchemy can be used to achieve a wide variety of wondrous feats, which would be called magic in most other settings. Those less experienced in the art may require things like transmutation symbols, alchemical devices, incantations, and gestures to aid the construction of their alchemical formulae, while the masters can evoke alchemy with but a thought alone.
(Note: The underlying laws of physics in this setting superficially resemble that of real life, but are different at the subatomic level, which allows the usage of alchemy; this may be elaborated on in the full game thread if there is interest.)
Over the past millennium, alchemy has been refined into seven well-known alchemical schools. Each school consists of specific styles of transmutation, and specific types of energy involved, with well-documented alchemical formulae to reliably reproduce the school’s effects. Each school is named after one of the metals of antiquity, and shares many of the metal’s symbolism in real life. However, an alchemical school does not necessarily involve the manipulation of the actual metal that it is named after, so don’t feel that you need to limit your powers based on said actual metals when choosing your schools. Each school also has an associated color, which many alchemical effects of that school tend to have, but that is only a trend and not an absolute rule; your alchemical effects may have any colors appropriate for your character.
With the exception of certain “special” alchemical schools (to be elaborated upon in their respective sections), alchemical schools mainly differ among themselves in style, theme, and flavor. While each school has its strengths and weaknesses, no school is overall inherently stronger or weaker than another.
Each school will be briefly described below. The description will include one possible example of how the school accomplishes a simple alchemical attack, the conjuration of fire, in its own style, as well as the main ways in which the school can be used to modify and augment the human body. The main factions using said school will also be briefly described. If there is enough interest in the game, the actual game thread will contain more detailed descriptions.
Note that characters are not limited to one alchemical school each. You can learn and blend together as many schools as what makes sense for your character, with the obvious caveat that spreading yourself across many schools limits you from truly specializing in any. Practically speaking, most people in the world are limited to one to three schools.
The first three alchemical schools are the so-called “common” or “mundane” schools, because of their wide availability. The majority of people in the world use those schools, and it’s easy to find teachers for them. But again, this does not mean that these schools are weaker than the “esoteric” schools; the differences are mostly style and theme.
Iron symbolizes resilience, protection, strength, but also aggression and power. Iron or “red” alchemy is thus the alchemical school of brute force and endurance. It is intimately related to blacksmithing, the forging of metals and other solid materials into stronger forms. Iron alchemy also takes the form of glowing alchemical “runes”, symbols of power that imbue objects with formidable but often straightforward properties. In the realm of pure offense and defense, iron alchemy knows few equals, but it is relatively lacking in subtlety and finesse.
An example of a fire-based attack in iron alchemy is a massive fireball, exploding on impact to release scorching flames and crushing force in a wide area.
Iron alchemy is frequently used to create mechanical replacement limbs and other body parts. These prosthetics are usually stronger and sturdier than normal human parts, and may possess special properties, but the richness of their sensory capabilities is often lacking. They tend to be relatively more difficult to install and replace as well.
Due to its straightforward nature, iron alchemy is often employed by military organizations worldwide, and also by various types of construction workers. The most prominent group of iron alchemists is the Guild of Ironworkers, or Iron Guild, which primarily acts as a labor union for iron alchemical workers, but also handles the industrial training of young iron alchemists.
Tin represents logic, reason, wisdom, knowledge, and is known as the “scholars’ metal”. Tin or “blue” alchemy is thus the alchemical school of intricate, precise thaumaturgy. It excels at constructing complex and detailed magical circuits, directing energies in highly specific ways to deliver highly specific results with great accuracy. These circuits are built into all manners of machinery as vital components, not unlike modern electronics in real life. Tin alchemy is capable of delivering incredible accuracy, precision, and complexity, but it is relatively lacking in raw power and flexibility.
An example of a fire-based attack in tin alchemy is a thin beam of intensely concentrated heat and plasma, melting a small hole through thick armor with little energy expenditure.
The thaumaturgical circuits of tin alchemy are often combined with human skin and flesh, giving them extra capabilities without unnecessarily invasive alterations to their structures. The circuit’s energy pathways may be embedded in human tissue directly, or inscribed onto circuit chips and implanted into the body.
Due to the high skill and finesse required, tin alchemy is usually used by artisans and engineers, as well as scientific researchers. The most prominent group of tin alchemists is the Thaumaturgical College of Tin, or Tin College, a university dedicated to the education and research of tin alchemy.
Copper represents growth, decay, healing, poison, and the ever-changing seasons. Copper or “green” alchemy is thus the alchemical school of nature, resembling the herbs and potions-focused depictions of alchemy typically found in real life video games. It specializes in the manipulation of organic compounds, combining natural materials and synthesizing from them new substances of artifice. Unlike other alchemical schools, copper alchemy tends to care less about specific structure, and more about creating homogeneous potions and substances with specific desired properties. Its formulae thus leave a great amount of room for customization and experimentation, but are relatively lacking in stability and precision.
An example of a fire-based attack in copper alchemy is a thick, viscous oil that clings to the target, and produces flame that is difficult to put out.
Copper alchemical drugs are often used to bolster the human body, some safer while others more potent but dangerous. It can also be used to induce permanent mutations to biological tissue, allowing the direct modification of human cells.
Because of its flexibility, copper alchemy has the widest variety of users among the alchemical schools. They range from doctors and surgeons, to wine brewers and drug dealers, to athletes and adventurers wanting to give their performance an extra little boost. The most prominent group of copper alchemists is simply the Copper Association, a loose network of people exchanging their recipes.
The next three alchemical schools are the “esoteric” schools, because for some reasons or other, their secrets are not so easily learned. They cannot be called exceedingly rare, but nevertheless one generally needs the right background or connections to learn these schools. And again, these schools are not inherently stronger than the “common” schools, just different.
Silver represents purity, spirituality, transcendence, ideals, and the freedom from worldly desires. Silver or “white” alchemy thus resembles holy light and divine miracles, a sight that instantly sets it apart from the surrounding worldly matter. It is a versatile school, capable of healing and purification, as well as binding and judgment, though it is not inherently “good” despite what adherents may claim. A purity of heart and strength of faith is required to understand the essence of silver alchemy, making it the most difficult alchemical school to learn. But once a user has it within her grasp, her alchemical powers will guide her and make it difficult to stray from the path, ironically making silver alchemy the easiest school to master. However, reckless overuse of silver alchemy may warp one’s heart, “cleansing” away the nuances that make the user who she is; one must exercise caution, lest she become a zealous fundamentalist unable to comprehend or tolerate anything that does not fit into what remains of her ideals.
An example of a fire-based attack in silver alchemy is a wave of searing holy light, burning at the spirit as well as the flesh.
Silver alchemy can be used to bless the human body, casting aside the weaknesses of the flesh and bringing it closer to what resembles angelic spirits of light. However, if care is not taken, the user’s human emotions and desires may become dulled, turning her mind cold and sterile.
The secrets of silver alchemy are zealously guarded by the Church of Divine Silverlight, or the Silver Church, a widespread religion not dissimilar to Christianity in real life. The Church believes that there exists an all-powerful, all-loving God that created humanity, and only His true believers have the right to perform His miracles, which it does not recognize as a form of alchemy at all despite overwhelming evidence suggesting otherwise. Since its change in leadership around two hundred years ago, the Church has become far more of an extremist group, demanding that all believers brand themselves with “silver stigmata” granted by the Silver Pope; comparisons of silver stigmata with the goldbrands of gold alchemists (see the section below on gold alchemy) are considered blasphemy. Those without silver stigmata, the “unsanctioned” users of silver alchemy, are labelled as “heretics”, and hated by the Church with a passion.
Mercury symbolizes mystery, thought, dreams, and the boundary between the real and the illusory. Mercury or “purple” alchemy thus concerns itself with transmutation between the physical and mental, the material and the spiritual. It is enigmatic and ever-changing, capable of projecting illusions almost indistinguishable from reality, and moulding reality as if it is but an illusion. It is thus able to confound the mind and senses like no other, but the user herself is no less at the mercy of her alchemical powers, for it springs forth from her subconsciousness. So while a skilled user can materialize her very dreams, an unskilled one may inadvertently materialize her nightmares instead.
An example of a fire-based attack in mercury alchemy is a stream of ghostly, phantasmal flames, burning despite the lack of air or flammable materials.
When imbued with mercury alchemy, the alchemist’s body can become one with her mind, allowing her to eschew bodily necessities and reshape herself. However, if done recklessly, this may cause the user to feel detached from reality, as if living in a waking dream.
Mercury alchemy is mainly practiced and taught by the Mercurial Society, an enigmatic, shadowy organization that seems to always elude attempts at identification or exposure. The organization meets exclusively in a shared dreamscape, where the identities of all members are masked from one another. Its only goal is supposed to be to provide safe, reliable ways to disseminate mercury alchemical knowledge, but over the centuries it has become reclusive and elitist. Despite caring not for how the knowledge is used, the Society is highly selective in whom to induct, for it reasons that unruly or malicious neophytes may put the Society at risk and thus jeopardize the passing on of its knowledge. As an organization, the Society is obsessed with maintaining its distance and neutrality from worldly affairs; members are expected to silence any who may expose their secrets, lest they be silenced themselves.
Lead represents death, decay, impurity, corruption, and worldly desires. Lead or “black” alchemy is thus a macabre and forbidden school, resembling dark magic that strikes terror into the hearts of men. It deals with the art of corruption, both physical and symbolic, of matter and energy, distorting it from its original purpose to better suit the alchemist’s desires; but it is no more “evil” than any other form of power, despite what its opponents claim. Lead alchemy is the easiest school of all to “learn”, insofar as one becomes tainted by its power and gains the ability to haphazardly throw the power around to further taint others. But because of its ties to the primal and instinctual, reckless overuse of lead alchemy will quickly cause the user’s selfish desires to spiral out of control, becoming callous and uncaring toward all but her own fulfillment; a great many villains were born this way. Because of this, and because of the often gruesome appearances of lead alchemical effects, lead alchemy is banned and feared in most parts of the world. It is possible to master lead alchemy without losing one’s self, but lead is the most difficult school of all to master, requiring a true and thorough understanding of the user’s self and what she wants in life.
An example of a fire-based attack in lead alchemy is a black ash that burrows into flesh and steel alike, consuming the victim to produce terrible dark flames.
Lead alchemy corrupts the body and soul, inducing mutations that can grant immense power or bring a slow, agonizing death. But the truly skilled can take control of their own mutations, transforming into demonic abominations beyond all human limits.
Amid the tainted blightlands, the only places where lead alchemy is openly practiced, dwell the Leaden Scourge. These hordes of warped beasts, undead, and other inhuman monstrosities were once the armies of the King of Black Gold, the most powerful lead alchemist known to man who slew and consumed a gold alchemist’s essence before beginning his uprising; it was only after witnessing his campaign of slaughter and devastation that the other gold alchemists settled for an uneasy truce. Once a black tide that consumed all it touched, the Leaden Scourge has been driven back to the blightlands they came from, where their insatiable lust for bloodshed and conquest turned them against each other as their dark lord retreated into a slumber for reasons unknown. Aside from those of the Scourge that continue to war against one another, lead alchemy is practiced only in the criminal underworld, where the laws hold no sway.
The remaining schools of alchemy are all “special” in some way, and do not fall into the conventions of the six standard schools listed above. What makes them special will be described in their corresponding sections.
Gold symbolizes perfection, power, wealth, and the divine right to rule. Chrysopoeia, the transmutation of base metals into gold, represents the final goal of alchemy, its pursuit of perfection and ultimate power. And supposedly, gold alchemy is the ultimate power that all alchemists seek. Other than the overwhelming power and immortality that it invariably provides, gold alchemy embodies all aspects of all six “lesser” alchemical schools within itself, allowing a gold alchemist to potentially duplicate all of their capabilities. In practice, however, a gold alchemist still has strengths and weaknesses, her alchemy resembling regular alchemy bolstered by the golden power. The most terrifying and awe-inspiring power of a gold alchemist is her goldbrand, a golden symbol of her authority that she can bestow, or force, upon lesser mortals. Like any alchemical effect, the goldbrand can be resisted or removed, but considering a gold alchemist's sheer power, only those with strength or skill on par with the gold alchemist's can hope to stop or undo a goldbrand. Once goldbranded, a mortal becomes subject to her golden liege’s psychic whispers, which only the truly strong-willed can resist. The goldbranded can draw upon a sliver of her liege’s might to empower herself, and in return, the gold alchemist can draw upon the powers of all of her subjects and use them as her own. After death, instead of returning to the Gate of Ouroboros to be reincarnated, a goldbranded soul is absorbed by her liege, permanently becoming another tool in the gold alchemist’s repertoire.
(If you’re wondering if this causes an overall decline in the number of souls in the world, don’t worry about it for now. It’ll be explained in more detail if the game is up.)
With so much power, it is no wonder that the number of gold alchemists in the world is exceedingly small. Currently, out of the world population of about one billion, there are less than a dozen publicly known gold alchemists in existence. It appears that gold alchemy cannot be learned through any normal methods, and even absorbing pre-existing golden alchemical energy into one’s body simply causes one to be goldbranded instead. Aside from being born with the power, possibly dormant and only awakening later in life, there is only one known way of becoming a gold alchemist: consuming the soul of another gold alchemist. When a gold alchemist dies, her soul crystallizes into a Philosopher’s Stone, and absorbing the stone allows anyone to become a gold alchemist and inherit all of the former gold alchemist’s goldbranded subjects. However, the power is often too much for the recipient, whose mind is rapidly distorted to take on many of the former gold alchemist’s traits. In the worst cases, the recipient effectively dies, and the former gold alchemist merely lives again in a new body. If a Philosopher’s Stone is destroyed, the golden soul within is pulled into the Gate of Ouroboros and reincarnates as usual, most likely becoming a new gold alchemist, while all of the former gold alchemist’s goldbrands fade away; any powers the goldbranded gained from their liege are then lost.
Rumors abound of a legendary alchemical tome, the Codex Auriferum, that contains the knowledge of how to become a gold alchemist. Naturally, all gold alchemists fiercely deny the possibility of such a thing existing, and many of them ban all discussion on the subject on pain of death.
An example of a fire-based attack in gold alchemy can resemble any other school, but usually with the color of a brilliant gold interweaved between its normal colors.
The moment a gold alchemist’s power awakens, she is transformed into an immortal spiritual being, unaging and exceedingly resilient; only the strongest of alchemists in the world can hope to kill a gold alchemist. As such, a gold alchemist rarely needs any further bodily modifications.
The less than two dozen gold alchemists in the world are divided into three groups. One is the Chrysotheon, or Golden Gods, an oppressive traditionalist group that demands to be worshipped as gods, all of whom have long since cast aside their human shells in favor of grand deific visages. Opposing them are the Golden Commonwealth, a group of more progressive gold alchemists, who choose to remain in human form and allegedly attempt to improve the lives of their subjects. However, the greatest threat to a gold alchemist is another gold alchemist, so both groups are full of internal conflict just beneath the surface, and neither can gain any advantage over the other. And finally, the remaining gold alchemists either choose to stay unaffiliated with either group, or hide themselves from the public altogether.
Alchemy is not the only power through which humanity can change the world. Beyond the Gate of Ouroboros, and the Akashic Records that contain all alchemical knowledge, the spiritual plane of existence is an endless expanse of roiling, chaotic energies. In the deepest forgotten corners of the world lie tomes of “old magic”, the art of channelling not the orderly, controlled energies of the Akashic Records, but the volatile, unstable energies of the Sea of Chaos. Though too unstable to be considered a form of alchemy at all, some have dubbed this power “caesium alchemy”, named after the most unstable of all metals. When used correctly, it is capable of truly potent feats, some very difficult to accomplish through normal alchemy. But unless the user is exceptionally skilled, most of the time the chaotic energies will spin out of control, causing wild and unpredictable side effects that may easily harm the user. For this reason, only lead alchemy is feared more than old magic in the world.
An example of a fire-based attack in “caesium alchemy” is a jet of volatile nuclear plasma, which may easily burst into a slew of other random elemental effects upon contact.
Like some forms of alchemy, old magic can induce physical mutations, but they are far more unpredictable than any other. Only the truly brave or truly skilled dare to voluntarily inflict such mutations upon themselves for power.
Though not as rare as gold alchemists, users of old magic are nevertheless exceptionally rare. Those who attempt to learn it either die horribly of the side effects, or become too insane and reclusive to teach it to others. As a result, there is no organization of “caesium alchemists”. However, there exist rumors that old magic is, as its name implies, older than alchemy itself, originating from the lost pages of history before a millennium ago when the Gate of Ouroboros came into existence. But who has lived long enough to verify these rumors?
The legend among legends, myth among myths. Since the beginning of recorded history, there has been rumors of the fabled “platinum” alchemy, the “true” ultimate power of which gold alchemy is but a pale and flawed imitation. Some even posit that the mysterious Gate of Ouroboros, the source of all alchemical power, was built through platinum alchemy. The gold alchemists, naturally, consider such a notion anathema, so discussions on platinum alchemy are forbidden by most gold alchemists, much like the legendary Codex Auriferum. Of course, this does not stop many foolish enough to chase after this ephemeral power, and some even think the Codex Auriferum holds the secrets of platinum alchemy as well. One cannot kill an idea, and so no matter how much the gold alchemists try, rumors of platinum alchemy still live on.
...huh? “Arsenic alchemy”? What in the world are you talking about?
Look, man, you can’t just make up your own “school” of alchemy like that. There’s gotta be enough users of it, enough commonality among them, and enough documentation of their formulae for a new school of alchemy to be recognized. And nobody’s heard of any so-called “arsenic alchemy”. Did you just pick a poisonous metal to be edgy or something? Well, I’m telling you, you may think it’s funny, but you’ll probably just get funny looks from people instead. Seriously, just go with lead alchemy if you want to be edgy and cool.
The Game of Fate
Loptr, the Architect of Chaos, is one of the oldest and most knowledgeable of all gold alchemists, having lived for nearly a millennium. Having mastered the schools of tin, copper, and mercury, and well-versed in even old magic, Loptr has the power to erect vast labyrinthine complexes and spawn armies of all manners of homunculi in the blink of an eye. For centuries he used this power to sow chaos among the world, gleefully watching as his puppets danced and struggled in the pandemonium. But after all this time, he has grown tired. Not content to simply end his own life and reincarnate, leaving matters up to fate itself, Loptr wants to find a successor to inherit his golden power. But only the most worthy, a lone alchemist among all the rest clamoring for power, will receive the ultimate prize, leaving everyone else in the dust. And so Loptr decides to hold the Game of Fate, a grand tournament that will culminate in the birth of a new gold alchemist and decide the fates of millions.
Loptr is a loner, unaffiliated with the Chrysotheon, the Golden Commonwealth, or any of the other factions in the world. And so any alchemist in the world can participate in the Game of Fate, provided that she can get her hands on one of the elusive golden Emblems of Fate that Loptr has secretly distributed. When the Game begins, each player character is assumed to already possess one of these Emblems. Various mechanics allow latecomers to join the Game at any arbitrary point in time, so the signups will always be open.
Loptr is a whimsical and capricious man, so the Game of Fate will consist of a very wide variety of Fated Challenges, some taking place in locales constructed by Loptr himself and managed by his homunculi, other requiring participants to travel to far more exotic places. Completing Challenges will earn you Karma points, but there is a limited number of Challenges you can attempt per in-game day, so you must choose your battles wisely; the one with the highest amount of Karma in the end will win. Loptr values cunning as well as strength in his successor, so the Game only has a few loose rules, and participants are expected to cheat and exploit things as much as necessary. So if you think being a latecomer gives you a massive disadvantage, well, I wouldn’t be so sure…
However, players should remember that the main purpose of this RP is not to win; it is to have fun and tell a good story. Why does your character want the power of gold alchemy? What lengths is she willing to go to if it means getting that power, and what circumstances will be necessary to push her beyond her limits? What is Loptr really planning, and can he be trusted? And that’s not to mention all the other factions trying to rig the Game in their favor… To the out-of-character players, this RP is a story, first and foremost, not a competition. Any and all competitive behaviors must be strictly limited to in-character only, and I will not tolerate any displays of OOC aggression or malicious behavior.
That’s all I’ve got for now, in the scope of this interest check thread. There’s more to the setting, and to the Game of Fate, but I’ll only type them out if there’s enough interest in the RP. What I’ve given so far should be enough to tell you if you’re interested or not. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.
Oh, and before anyone asks, this is not a Fullmetal Alchemist RP. I did take some inspirations from FMA, but it in no way constitutes the majority of the setting. There’s a reason it doesn’t have the “fandom” tag, after all.
Not sure if I'll join yet, but this looks kind of interesting so I'm considering it.
Would I be allowed to have a character whose ability is to transform her entire body into some kind of amorphous substance? In that form she is highly resistant, but not completely immune, to physical damage, and energy- or elemental-based attacks can still harm her normally. However, she would no longer have any vital organs or other physical weak spots that could be targeted; basically like how a slime monster is unaffected by "critical hits" in some games.
@BCTheEntity@TheFake: If the ability itself isn't overpowered or anything, I don't see why it's a problem. Players aren't obligated to come up with abilities that feel fresh or interesting to all other players. Some of the abilities of other characters don't look too terribly interesting to me either, but that's not something I mind.