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18 days ago
Wild Turkey 101. Gobble 'til you wobble.
2 mos ago
[@stone] It has the geopolitical acumen of a 5yr old boy playing action figures (e.g. when Edelgard's master plan boiled down to "throw troops at it until it dies") but the character development is 👌
1 like
2 mos ago
" *Sigh* No sense of sarcastic wimsical truth. Stuffy lot." pbs.twimg.com/media/DSmxY3u…
9 likes
3 mos ago
You pour a ton of work and effort into trying to share your stories with the world and make them fun for everybody who signs up. Their inability to appreciate how much you rock is their fucking loss.
10 likes
3 mos ago
PSA to the GMs hating on themselves: it's a player problem, not a 'you' problem. Yes, be honest and improve your craft where needed. But don't beat yourself up over THEIR horrible attention spans.
13 likes

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Like a lump of phlegm in a gasping throat, a little, scratchy man had lodged himself in a wide alley. When he budged from his place, which was seldom, it was only to pace about a perimeter he had set for himself, which was meager. He might shuffle to a resident's door and examine the rust on the knocker and the grain in the damp wood for the fourteenth time, feigning a great interest in each. He might contemplate lifting the roughspun tarp in the alcove, before remembering again that he was a goodly, law-fearing fellow, with no propensity for letting his curiosity migrate to his feathery fingertips. He might, rarely, venture out to the mouth of this alley, and even there tilt behind a crate or a corner as he watched the square for whatever it was that he watched for, squinting against the lamplight. But he always flinched away to the shadows again, pushing himself flush against a dank, grimy wall. It wasn't another man he feared. As if he had committed no crime, he did not flee from the scrutiny of the city guards as it listed down the alley. As if he was neither traitor nor deserter, he did not take to flight when a patrol of the queen's troops rounded the bend in the street. Though the barbarian kingdoms were sweeping through as quick as wildfire, it was still the Land Under Shadow they conquered, a land where the terrors came in all appearances, but always with an appetite. Something of those designs must have visited the weedy creature in his dreams—or slithered past his door—to put him in such a temperament.

Then: ka-click. Ka-click. Leather heels resounded from the alley's west entrance. The man heard them and despaired. Ignoring the cold and the wet as they bled through the tatters in his shoes, stinging his feet, he flung himself into the alcove. The burlap was stretched taut over hard and angular things, maybe carts or folding stalls, which left him bruised and battered in the catching, but obscured, and deathly quiet. The man held his breath in his throat, and watched the far wall: for the dim, stretched shadows, and the silhouette which carved them from the distant lamps. The figure paused. It waved its snout as if sampling all the scents on the wind, struggling to choose one. Then it passed. Its footsteps were swallowed up in the mist, but issuing from it came another sound: a voice, brassy-tenor and just a little pompous.

"Apologies, good man. I'd have lit a candle, had I known I'd be late."

The creature in the alcove hesitated, but when he was sure that this was not some man-like voice deceiving him into a monstrous embrace, he clambered toward it. "Are you truly of Solomon's order?" he squinted. "You most of all should know the danger. To meet under starlight, while one of them hunts ..."

Lifting his cloak, the stranger revealed his belt, lined with weapons and deadly contraband. Strange instruments gleamed silver; potions and extracts lustered faintly with an artificial fire. "You are safe in my company," he said. "Now—what is it that you saw? Or—yes, more importantly, where did you see it?"

He looked to the peasant's quivering hands and loosened a winebladder from his belt. Offering it, he watched as the peasant uncorked and sniffed. The vapors, hot, but vaguely fragrant of mint and butterscotch, must have been some comfort; he grasped the bladder by the neck as if to strangle it and drank deeply of whisky, wincing, coughing, speaking with a fresh rasp: "The Seeds. Thought it another beggar at first, but it had teeth, big and blunted like for chewin' up corpses."

"The Seeds," echoed the hunter to himself, "of course, where its victims will not be missed ..."

"And its eyes!" barked the peasant, as if already losing his grasp over his inhibitions. "They shone green in the dark. Under the orange of the lanterns and the blue of the stars, its eyes took to green, not like no man I ever peeped. It looked like a rabid raccoon, pondering some mad attack."

A gossamer-thread of spittle broke between the peasant's mouth and the mouth of the winebladder.

"It watched you, then?"

"Eyein' me up, aye, wonderin' if I'd give it a struggle. Any day now it'll come for me, I'm sure of it. Even when you arrived, I was sure you was ... that I was ..."

The hunter watched the liquor in the peasant's shaky hands, though the shake was fast subsiding. He contemplated snatching it back, for it was a good, well-built vessel, but at the sight of the spittle he decided he could always buy another. He even refused it when the peasant offered it, at which the scrawny thing clutched it to his ribcage.

"I'll look into it," said the hunter as he turned away. But the other had noticed the flatness in his tone.

"Where are you going? Do you not believe me?"

He kept walking, but could hear behind him the muted shuffling of threadbare shoes. "Look, I do not doubt what you saw. Not at all."

"Then help me."

"But—" the hunter turned on his heels—"the last vampire spotted in Ortheoc was the one slain by Valnorn, my master, nearly a decade ago. It's exceedingly unlikely that another has survived all this time, entirely unnoticed. Whereas you 'saw' a vampire, you were probably looking at something else altogether."

"Something else!" the peasant hissed. "What else has fangs like a rat's teeth?"

"Some species of naga have been known to look like that. Egg-eaters."

"It had hair."

"Oh? Yes, naga are hairless. I'll give you that. So it was a half-orc. Or a night-elf."

"A night-elf ..."

"Or," said the hunter, stepping closer, looming himself over the now-hunching creature, "you saw an ugly, particularly nasty beggar. You were in the Seeds, sir."

The peasant detected the threat in that sentence: of being asked why he had ventured there, what his business had been in that nasty place. He continued to shrink where he stood, no longer able to look the hunter in the eye. He had wasted the time of an armed, hardened, and dangerous individual, he realized, and his walking away from this alley was no longer certain. So the peasant took to the same techniques of survival which protected him in the presence of a guard captain, or a knighted soldier, or a baron's son: he lowered his gaze, folded his hands, and accepted whatever cruel amusements laid waiting for him.

"Oh, damn it all," the slayer growled, seeing this over his shoulder, for he had tried to escape before this happened. He hated pathetic things because he hated the feelings of pity they sowed in his chest. And though he would not admit it, he had spent many of his days terribly bitter. The hunters' purpose had always been to render themselves purposeless, after all, but in all their training, no one had ever prepared them for that future where they were unneeded, unremarkable. It had once seemed so far away, unattainable in their lifetimes.

"Listen," he said. "I cannot promise what I will find there. But I will go to the Seeds and—at least investigate what you have seen."

The peasant looked up. "Thank you, sir. Thank you."

"Close your shutters. Lock your door. Let none inside who you do not know by name. They ... a vampire needs permission to enter an abode. It is a magical symptom of their foul condition."

On those words they parted, the peasant scurrying, the hunter striding, each with a sudden purpose. On the latter's part, he had to search. He had to plan. He had to resupply. And if his contact spoke true, he had to kill once more.
This might seem contrived, but I want to improve in writing and I often like setting challenges for myself when it comes to characters. As someone else already said it, limitations breed creativity.


Thanks for this post.

To the argument that playing a role you like is the chief joy of roleplaying, I'd counter that some people have the most fun not by tailoring that one aspect of the story (their own characters) endemically to their own tastes, but by contributing to immersion on the whole. Sometimes that means making a personal sacrifice for the greater good, in a sense, in the form of playing homelier characters, or ones who match a weird, alien beauty standard, or ones who tell different stories through their deformities, disfigurations, ugly personalities, mistakes, regrets ... (basically, who make the world feel more lived-in.)

"Diversity" in RP is a tricky thing, in my opinion. At the risk of infuriating someone, it's almost laughably easy to tell when a man is trying to roleplay a woman and vice versa. At least, that is my experience, but then I am someone who is highly observant and intuitive about behaviors and subtleties that many others miss. I have roleplayed male characters, and while I'd like to think I've done a decent job at it, I would never sit here and say that I can portray a man as well as an actual man could, because I am not, and never will be, a man. And no, I'm not interested in gender politics, I'm simply giving my own opinion here.

I think that people give their best RP performances *by far* when they stick to what they know. That doesn't mean you could never *convincingly* portray another race/gender/etc, but I don't want convincing quality RP, I want mind-blowing. Whenever possible, anyway. I don't think it's necessarily brave or edgy or courageous or what-have-you to leap far out of your comfort zone and believe that you can jump into the mind of a character whose shoes you've never even thought about, let alone walked in. That smacks of arrogance to me. I could give some examples, but I don't want to further risk ruffling feathers.


Interesting insights all around; thanks for sharing. If you're willing to expound, what were the signs that tipped you off to male players playing female characters badly (and vice-versa)?

I don't play enough women to feel called out, but should that ever change in one of my many self-imposed writing challenges, your advice may prove indispensable.
back to an old Youtube recommendations standby
Should I actually fill in my app, or are people not as interested in rping as they think they are? I don't really wanna bother if it's gonna die on page 1. :/
I'd be all right with that, but per your app:

Killin was born to an elven mother and Dragonborn father in a small high elf city that almost never let anyone else in. From a young age, Killin was seen as an outcast by children his own age because he could spit lightning at anyone, whether on purpose or accident was up for debate half the time. However, he also showed a great knack for spellwork and thus began a little training. Word of the child prodigy got around a little to some of the other nearby cities and it wasn't more than a year before a powerful high elf wizard came to recruit Killin for the guild.

Killin was happy to go but sad to leave his parents. He wrote them nearly every day, allowing them to keep up with his life. Then came the first guild job that took him to a new place.
Rockin Strings


The problem is, I'm not seeing many opportunities for my character to have been exposed to this guild. He's not an elf and he's not important enough to be granted a diplomatic exception, so he's almost certainly never been inside this city. If he is to recognize the guild's symbol then that leaves any acolytes wandering around in the outside world, though your app doesn't indicate just how common or rare the sight of one would be. You may well be the first student I've ever seen from this college.

With that said, what is the guild's relationship to the dark arts? Is it famed and esteemed for its teachings in, say, holy magic?
Are mages rare enough for that to be significant in itself, or is it the specific symbol which would grant me pause?
@Ghost Shadow@Rockin Strings@Skull All right. So. The DM just approved my concept over in PM's, but before I get started on my app I'd like to request the aid of one of the spellslingers of the cast. Long story short is that my character is looking to be exorcised of a malevolent being (and the Pact he made with it) over the course of a redemption arc. I was thinking my character could feel compelled to join the party and help out because he overheard one of you make a passing mention of someone, in some faraway land, who could perform such a service; a cleric, a special ritual, what have you. Someone you would know through your connections to your wizarding colleges, or even your past adventures. I could then agree to help out under the condition that you will someday lead me there and help me try to free myself from the Pact, thus saving my soul from eternal service in the Blood War (or the DM's lore equivalent).

Would any one of you like to incorporate such a thing into your intro? I've got a lamer backup idea if not, but I think it could be cool. Let me know? Thanks
@Skull
>Vasigras is an anagram for "Viagras"

🤔🤔🤔🤔
Not dead or ghosting. I've got my opening post outlined but this phrasing—

I have been considering my next post, and now I want to try to draw Gharekh into the coming plot arc somehow if I can.

—makes me think I should hold off and wait to be sure that it won't ruin whatever this guy's putting together.
The fact I'm expected to imagine somebody in the medieval world or in the middle of a 21st century battlefield with perfect facial symmetry makeup hair dye lighting and a little bit of digital retouching just annoys me.


Modern beauty standards being shoehorned into pseudo-historical settings is a whole other annoyance worth its own post, so thanks for bringing it up. Though @stone raises a good point in that not enough people are creating faceclaims worth using, and you often gotta scour, like, Ilya Repin paintings to find any portraits worth the while.
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