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 That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.

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Snowy
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PostSubject: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 8:53 pm

“ … Nobody knows precisely why the humans left Earth. The only ones who would remember would be the ones who stayed behind, and they carried the secret to their graves. Among the Solar Disciples, it’s an issue of great theological contention. Some say that the Sun used to be small and yellow, not big and orange, and when it started getting big, it told the humans to leave, so they did. Others insist that the humans fell to excess, and that the Sun judged them for their iniquity. Some other fringe factions say that the humans got too big and too many for the Earth, so they left it to recover, and that they will eventually return. Obviously, the one thing we can all agree on is that they’re not here anymore, and no-one living has seen one directly.

So how do we know about them, if nobody’s seen one? We have evidence of their existence all over the world! They built artifacts, and when they disappeared, they left many of them behind. Those living in the steel spires still sometimes find well-preserved human living items or even sometimes items of power (though most of those have been found over the millennia). Legend has it that they built the Catacombs, or at least created the rail-houses. They were the first to harness magic and refine Petrium. And of course - you do remember your catechism, don’t you? - they created the High Races. You wouldn’t be here, if they hadn’t made your ancestors long ago!

But that was a very long-winded answer to your original question. You see, it’s like this.”

The owl raises his hands, one over the other, to create a magical projection, but the spell lights up, then sputters and dies out. The owl seems confused by this, but you can’t see his look of confusion for long, because seconds later, the magical lighting in the room fades to black. The lights had been going out for a few seconds every couple of days for as long as you can remember, but this time, they don’t come back on, even after a full minute.

The owl finally poses the question that’s on both of your minds.

“What happened to the magic?”

The World of Shijea

Shijea is Earth, millennia in the future. Cities expanded such that New York would be considered a rather large suburb. Much of these cities are still standing, or at least the parts that haven’t been torn down for their materials. The ecosystem was severely damaged, but is gradually recovering under its much-reduced population load. Unstable tunnels extend for thousands of miles below the surface, forming a dangerous cavern system where the goblins live - one of the few places where truly virgin metals can be found. A substance known as Petrium occurs in large shallow deposits, buried amongst fertile loam and naturally-occurring glass. The sun is large, orange, and old, and most call it god.

Humans lived here once upon a time; they aren’t around anymore for whatever reason, but the planet wouldn’t be the same without them. We know what they looked like from their pictures; giants with flat, featureless faces, pale skin with elaborate designs and a multitude of colors, elaborate hair in colors wilder than their skin, and hourglass bodies. According to the Solar Disciples, they were the creators of all the current races, with the exceptions of the goblins and similar species, though some might disagree.

Magic
Magic is humanity’s second greatest achievement, after its child races. Most advanced human artifacts contain some quantity of magic, whether or not the artifact still functions. If it does not work, then it can be ritually broken open by an experienced mage and the magic released; if it does, then it is best left with the magic still inside, as artifacts can be valuable tools (though even the lesser artifacts can be important and expensive luxury items).

The use of magic has three important components, two relating to the user, one relating to the area. First, the user needs to have the physical capability to command the magic. Second, he needs to know how to do it. Third, the magic in the area will affect what sort of spells work best.

Physical capability is the hardest thing to get. While it is true that magic is everywhere, including inside everyone, magic cannot normally read one’s thoughts. This is where panacea comes in. It lets magic do just that. Its pure form is a syringe that the humans left behind. There were many of these, but over an extended period of reckless use, they’re much more rare now, and kingdoms tend to hoard them in private stores.

This brings up the issue of substitute panaceas. There are many theories and production methods that meet with mixed success, but none of them are safe. The most common are the blood or body parts of animals known to have magical affinity; these often come with diseases or fail to remove toxins if the animal was venomous or similarly unsafe. The nastier side is a similar process, only using the blood or brains of mages instead. This generally gets rid of the poison problem, but it also leaves an “imprint” of the dead mage in the blood. While this is a somewhat likely method of getting magical capability, it’s just as likely to drive the user insane whether or not they gain magic. As such, mages beware. The people who will do these evil things are out there, and they won’t stop at graverobbing or buying your corpse in slices. Sometimes fresh is best.

If one has a mage for a mother (or even better, both parents), then one has a slight chance of simply being born a mage via inheritance. This does not make one a better mage, it merely means you didn’t have to go through the shenanigans of becoming one that most other people did. Do not expect this to mean anything good to other mages, because you were handed something they had to work for; you have not proven yourself as they have.

Magical training is relatively easy to come by once one has proven themselves capable. As always, most governments will be willing to take on the expense of training a new mage in exchange for service, and some private practitioners will also be willing to teach, for a price.

Magic itself involves basically knowing a scripting language; once you know building blocks of simple spells (most of which are too simple to form full spells in and of themselves, but still take some time to learn), the magic in your mind will automatically save them as chunks, so you can recall them easily This is much easier than having to program “fireball” every time you want to cast one: you merely call up its components mentally, plug in the variables intuitively, and hit go.

As anyone who’s tried to code something knows, syntax is a cruel mistress, and the chances of screwing up are high. See the rules section for what to do when you improvise a spell.

As for the environment, some areas are more in tune with magic than others; magic is usually amplified the closer one gets to human ruins, so being out in nature or in the middle of the ocean is not a good deal for a wizard.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 9:32 pm

I'm apparently supposed to work on what "artifacts" are, and I'm thinking about it still. I came up with a theoretically scientifically viable fireball staff that wouldn't require nanobots, XD

still working on the lightning and cold ones, but I'm sure I'll find a way. Maybe the "freeze ray" would be a beam of liquid oxygen super cooled? who knows!

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Patches wrote:
and I gave my penis a moustache, but that doesn't make people want to look at it.
MoonlightDreams wrote:
[13:09:32] MoonlightDreams : i am gay
[13:09:49] MoonlightDreams : i like dick up my bummmmmmmmm
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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 10:02 pm

Cool. Keep in mind as you go that a lot of the magic artifacts will probably be utilitarian things left by the humans. Given our setting, we can make the mundane things seem fantastic.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 10:50 pm

Oh, I know, but I want some things that are fantastic, and were likely tools of war. Hell, one of the artifacts I have planned is basically a bear-banger.

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Patches wrote:
and I gave my penis a moustache, but that doesn't make people want to look at it.
MoonlightDreams wrote:
[13:09:32] MoonlightDreams : i am gay
[13:09:49] MoonlightDreams : i like dick up my bummmmmmmmm
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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 10:56 pm

Nice.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 10:59 pm

Well, I mean, think about it. Some of these are gonna just be scare tactics used by the better informed. A bear banger seems to fit that description pretty damn well, especially if there are a handful of real guns around to create a negative connotation to tubes that make loud noises.

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Patches wrote:
and I gave my penis a moustache, but that doesn't make people want to look at it.
MoonlightDreams wrote:
[13:09:32] MoonlightDreams : i am gay
[13:09:49] MoonlightDreams : i like dick up my bummmmmmmmm
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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Thu 11 Oct 2012, 10:17 pm

So, I'm posting what I have from my part so far, just so other people get something to go on.

~~~~~~

Nobody remembers precisely why the humans left Earth. The only ones who would remember would be the ones who stayed behind, and they carried the secret to their graves. Among the Solar Disciples, it’s an issue of great theological contention. Some say that the Sun used to be small and yellow, not big and orange, and when it started getting big, it told the humans to leave, so they did. Others insist that the humans fell to excess, and that the Sun judged them for their iniquity. Some other, non-solar factions say that the humans got too big and too many for the Earth, so they left it to recover, and that they will eventually return. All we know for sure is, they’re not here anymore.

/* A/N:
It’s some of both, but mostly the latter. Near the end of the First Age (the period where humans dominated the world), the Earth had been massively overcrowded, and nature could no longer support the people, despite their eugenics, posthuman enhancements, and whatnot. Moving to other planets within the solar system would merely forestall the inevitable, as the sun would eventually overtake everything. All hope seemed lost until a signal came from deep space, from an alien race broadcasting about a utopia. Come one, come all, it said. The planets are habitable, and our technology provides for all your needs. Humanity grasped at the only straw it had and built sleeper ships to take them into the far reaches of deep space. They used up all of their resources, but there was a problem: the same problem as before. There just wasn’t enough to go around.

Previously, a rift had opened in humanity; the vast majority of people embraced transhumanism, but there was a faction of others who rebelled against the rampant modification of themselves. These preferred to stay natural. This both made them a laughingstock for the rest of transhumanity and got them totally ignored when it was decided which ⅔ of the population got to go on the sleeper ships. The naturalists were fine with that; more room for them when everyone else left. The transhumanists who got stuck on Earth weren’t so complacent. Some of them decided that if they didn’t get to leave, no-one did. So, they tried to sabotage the ships on takeoff. Fortunately for the rest of humanity, most of the attempts failed. However, five attempts succeeded, and the five ships’ engines shut off a thousand feet above the ground with predictable results. */


Fast forward a thousand years.

Since the present day, the Earth has gotten warmer; not just by human means, but because the sun started inching its way slightly closer. The tropics now extend further upwards, about as far as present-day Galveston, Texas. The coastline has retreated by easily a hundred miles in many places; not much is left of the British Isles, or most of the non-volcanic islands. However, this was preceded by a mini-ice-age, lasting a couple of centuries.

Humanity Today
The naturalists no longer exist in their present form. In holding as close as they could to their original state, they found themselves unable to run or maintain most of the infrastructure by themselves, so they abandoned it and tried to return to a simpler lifestyle, which in many cases was insufficient to survive unscathed. Many died off, and the the (degenerate human races) could trace their lineage to these people, if they knew about it.

The transhumans who stayed behind sort of prospered, but they, being slightly inferior in number to the naturalists and still not a lot of people, also couldn’t maintain the infrastructure. Instead, they retreated to small covens and fortresses for as long as they could. As time passed, the truth behind why they were selected to stay behind became apparent; they were specifically selected to be the least fertile members of the species. Their second generation was nowhere near as large as their first, and it took four generations of dwindling population to start breaking even again. During those generations, most of humanity’s advanced knowledge was lost to the ages. These humans are still the most knowledgeable about magic and human technology, though they no longer have access to the myriad of transhuman enhancements their ancestors did. Some ancient humans downloaded themselves into computer cores, which was a nascent and glitchy technology at the time. A few computers with downloaded humans in them may still be functional, provided they’ve been provided with power. Any that have been active more or less continuously will be completely barking mad.



Locales: 
The Five Shipwrecks
Humanity’s last glory was a fleet of ships to sail into the stars and flee the sun. Most of them escaped and still travel the Crystal Spheres to this day. Four of them, however, were smitten by the sun, and they fell to the ground, flightless. The areas around where they crashed have been largely untouched by civilization, as they are still too afraid to get close. The guardians of the Sun still watch the ships and ensure that no-one goes inside and finds the treasures that humanity took with them.

The ships are between one and two miles long, with as many as two hundred decks.

One crashed in present-day Washington DC, where the ancient spire is almost pushed over by the ship’s bow.

One is in the wilderness in Russia, partially buried under a glacier.

One crashed into the Hoover Dam and is partially underneath the river, flooded.

The other two are wherever the hell the relevant GM says they are.

The Catacombs
This isn’t so much a single location as “the place underneath where civilization used to be.” This is the everything that the humans didn’t put above ground. Some tunnels are filled with the roots of a great glass plant that once stretched for miles. Others have a curious rail going down the middle of them with houses that sit on it. Some still reek of fecal matter and are home to dangerous insects and toxic fungi. This is where most of the subterranean species live and mine in a quest for virgin metals. The tunnels are so all-encompassing that in many cases, mining frequently collapses tunnels, and the Catacombs in general aren’t a very safe place to be.

Metropolitan Ruins
Enormous metal buildings reach to the sky as far as the eye can see - which, in any one place, isn’t very far because of how densely packed everything is. One building may house an entire village, and multiple villages could occupy one metropolis. Poorer families tend to live in higher floors, partially due to disrepair at higher levels, and partially because they’re closer to the Sun, which is generally a risky place to be, unless you’re a Solar Disciple priest. Speaking of which, top floor temples. Those tend to happen. The insides of the buildings have often been stripped down to their structural components. Then the walls are usually re-hung with blankets, tapestries, or furs, depending how wealthy the inhabitants are.

Every so often, one will encounter a building that is being deliberately taken apart for scrap metal. These are dangerous places to be, because sometimes the people demolishing the building drop things. This is lethal to anyone underneath. Also, sometimes the buildings fall down due to taking out the wrong support beam. This is also lethal, only more so.

Food in these areas generally comes from hunting the indigenous rats, birds, and other urban critters, including feral human pets. Vegetable matter is generally scarce, and such things as cloth need to be imported from elsewhere.

City/Suburban ruins
Occasionally, the ancient city wasn’t a skyscraper-city at all, and it was just a bunch of smaller buildings. In other case, the city fell down entirely, or the humans ripped it up to build ships, and very little remains besides scattered debris. In either case, these compare to their high-rise brethren similarly to how they might have compared before. These cities tend to have some new buildings in with the old, and marketplaces in the traditional locations that the humans had once used (the Of ic M x in Plifterston is renowned for its concentration of fine calligraphers). Some agriculture occurs, and the game is usually a little larger than in the bigger cities, generally tending towards wild dogs and such.

Mundane Panoply
Some examples of non-magical things the world currently has that are either left over from the humans or built after the fact.

Petrium
If you live in a city, metal is tremendously easy to come by; it’s yours to pry off the walls. If you don’t, not so much. In many locations, the more common material is Petrium. It’s soft-ish, depending how it is treated, bends relatively easily, but its potential is limited only by its craftsman. It comes in all the colors of the rainbow, including clear; it seems to have been a common material for water-carrying in eons past. Magic seems to do well with appropriately-treated Petrium.


Solar Judges
These metal creatures exist around or in working human ruins, placed there by the Sun to ward off intruders of suffering the humans’ fate. They use beams of sunfire to fry anyone who gets too close or offends their Sol-given mission. They would probably chase you down if they weren’t stuck to the walls, floor, or wherever.

Wood
When you almost completely urbanize your planet, there’s not much room left for woods. Time has helped with this issue, but wood can be comparatively more expensive than it is present day, and it is often a status symbol, especially in urban settlements. Petrium is often used as a substitute.

Miscellany
As far as weapons go, you’re unlikely to find someone who uses a steel sword or use one yourself unless you’re rich. They’re really hard to build correctly, so they’re rare. Iron or bronze swords are somewhat more common, but they max out at two feet long. Far more common are steel knives akin to seaxes, which are generally coupled with a shield. However, there’s still any number of more common weapons, like axes, spears, and clubs, that are much cheaper yet and also effective.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Thu 11 Oct 2012, 10:24 pm

this is me makin a reserve for species or somethin idk

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Fri 12 Oct 2012, 8:46 am

I'm here. I'll probably just help everybody do their thing.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Fri 12 Oct 2012, 9:57 am

I'll post a handful of shiz I got together already.

frick this is hard when I'm not willing to just hand wave things away.

Artifacts- the vast majority of artifacts require power to function, though a small few require some form of ammunition. Artifacts can be capable of grand feats that even the most accomplished of mages could never hope to accomplish, but can also be capable of no more than making noises and lighting caves. The true range and diversity of artifacts comes to light when you visit any of a number of "holy places" spread throughout the world, which are capable of charging artifacts using a variety of methods(including, but not limited to, solar panels, wind turbines, dams, "personal" generators, geothermal generators, and mechanical dynamos(human-powered generators)

Sub-category:
Staffs:
Fire Staff:
This staff is capable of creating large blasts of flame, ranging from 5 to 20 feet long, depending on how long it has been since the last use. There is a hard limit of at least one hour between uses, though longer waits result in better performance up to two days. The staff operates by using tiny fans to suck in air at it's base, from which hydrogen is then separated and stored. The excess is blown out the top. When the staff is activated(by pressing a button located near the base, though many have been jury-rigged to allow activation by slamming the staff down against the ground, shooting flames through a stylized indentation on one side of the peak. The far side is where the excess air passes. The flames are created by igniting the stored hydrogen while pumping it out at high speed.
Charges for up to twenty uses.

Ice Staff: This staff creates "beams" of cold, with a maximum range of approximately 25 feet. The period of time this beam lasts and the amount of damage it does is determined by time- the length continues to increase for the first 6 hours, and the amount of damage can increase for up to a week. The staff operates by using tiny fans to suck in air at it's base, from which oxygen is then separated, stored, and cooled. The excess is blown out the top. When the staff is activated(by pressing a button located near the base, though many have been jury-rigged to allow activation by slamming the staff down against the ground, shooting super-cooled oxygen through a stylized indentation on one side of the peak, while excess oxygen is expelled through the opposite side.
Charge can hold for up to four weeks or twenty uses, whichever comes first(roughly).

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Patches wrote:
and I gave my penis a moustache, but that doesn't make people want to look at it.
MoonlightDreams wrote:
[13:09:32] MoonlightDreams : i am gay
[13:09:49] MoonlightDreams : i like dick up my bummmmmmmmm
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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Fri 12 Oct 2012, 11:37 am

Oh, and electric whips.

Aka, telephone wires.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Fri 12 Oct 2012, 12:04 pm

Where would the power for the "electric whips" come from if they were no longer connected to the non-functioning power system? nevermind, how would someone hold them without burning themselves? I'm going to try and avoid using something that takes advantage of the source material being broken, because they are somewhat hard to explain. I want any devices I describe to be theoretically possible.

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Patches wrote:
and I gave my penis a moustache, but that doesn't make people want to look at it.
MoonlightDreams wrote:
[13:09:32] MoonlightDreams : i am gay
[13:09:49] MoonlightDreams : i like dick up my bummmmmmmmm
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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Fri 12 Oct 2012, 1:55 pm

I was being silly for the most part, but if you want an actual explanation, I would imagine that future humans would be able to develop an insulative rubber that surrounds self conducting wires through some kind of process of friction.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Fri 12 Oct 2012, 9:25 pm

I remember this conversation but I do not think that Contributed. Mainly because my internet was bleh. I would like to if ya'll need it though.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Sat 13 Oct 2012, 2:38 pm

right, but why would it create the electric shock?

... though now I've got an idea for a fortress... That'll work well...

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and I gave my penis a moustache, but that doesn't make people want to look at it.
MoonlightDreams wrote:
[13:09:32] MoonlightDreams : i am gay
[13:09:49] MoonlightDreams : i like dick up my bummmmmmmmm
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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Sat 13 Oct 2012, 3:45 pm

I appreciate that you're going into detail with how things work, but I assume the inner workings aren't known in character? If you know how it works (at least in character), it's not magic anymore.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Sat 13 Oct 2012, 4:11 pm

Does anyone know what we need?

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Sat 13 Oct 2012, 4:21 pm

I think the next big thing that we need to have is races. Hawk's working on it, so you might collaborate with her? After that, we might have a few starting locations in a local area.


Also, I had an idea for how to run this thing. The necromancers and stopping the decline of magic would be a metaplot/running theme, but we could mostly have short adventures, each run by a different GM. The characters would stay the same in each, but we'd hand off running the show so everyone who wanted to could get their chance.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Sat 13 Oct 2012, 10:10 pm

Oh, no, our characters don't, but if we know how it works in can effect how we describe them, and give details for us to add.

The fortress will be fun to describe, and it's going to have the "electric whips"(cables used to secure large loads via electro-magnetic fields)

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Sun 14 Oct 2012, 9:39 pm

What kind of races are we going for? Semihuman furries or mutated human fantasy races? Or something else?

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Sun 14 Oct 2012, 9:52 pm

I figure there's some furries around (but they can be classified as a group; in fact, if nobody minds, I'd like to write the race profile for them), a fair number of devolved/mutant human subspecies, and some new stuff that's come into its own.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Sun 14 Oct 2012, 10:08 pm

i would think there would be quite a few furry species or whatevs from the humans messin around with that kinda stuff idk

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Sun 14 Oct 2012, 10:23 pm

A lot of species, but I don't think they'd all need an individual write-up, for the sake of brevity. The players can come up with whatever they want based on the template.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Mon 15 Oct 2012, 1:13 am

Cursive Writ wrote:
I'm apparently supposed to work on what "artifacts" are, and I'm thinking about it still. I came up with a theoretically scientifically viable fireball staff that wouldn't require nanobots, XD

still working on the lightning and cold ones, but I'm sure I'll find a way. Maybe the "freeze ray" would be a beam of liquid oxygen super cooled? who knows!

I am going to send you what I have in a PM, cause I am too lazy to use the Google thing, and honestly we did not come up with a lot in all the time we talked in that chatbox so yeah lol. So when you see this message check your PM's.

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PostSubject: Re: That big collaborative RP thingamajig: Thread, show me on the doll where Patches touched you.   Mon 15 Oct 2012, 10:13 am

Cursive Writ wrote:
right, but why would it create the electric shock?

... though now I've got an idea for a fortress... That'll work well...
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friction.
It would seem realistic to me that in the future, us humans could solve the problem of telephone poles going down. So if a wire is cut for any reason, the wires inside every chord would be able to create some form of friction to generate electricity whether it be vibrating or more subtle matters that could result in the generation of electricity.

The point Eo wants to get at is the making on magic talismans; which of course could be contributed by the inventions left behind by the human race, but magic is by definition unable to be explained. So a full throated explanation would either be unadvised or impossible because one or the other would either result in it no longer being magic, and the other being that a group of internet roleplayers would be unable to define and create plausible inventions created by future mankind.

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