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About Mag

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    Almost Best Girl#9371

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    Take a Guess
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    Where tomorrow ends.
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  1. Mag

    More Important is the Journey OOC

    Yes. Priscilla is unconscious and Arzada is not - that's probably the most important, I think. It just seemed that you set your post before my post entirely; otherwise Arzada wouldn't be lying on the ground in yours. Also, the "someones" she ate were three pirates, so I would imagine either a) there are no pirates patrolling the nearby area, or b) the pirates are well aware of their (Arz/Prisc's) presence.
  2. Mag

    A levee to stop the flow

    Saron’s mother and father had been, and perhaps were still, devout Gaianists. Devout, derived from devoted, and it was true: the rites had always been carefully acknowledged, the worship properly conducted — if not in body, then at least in mind. Saron’s parents had always been fearful, and thankful for this fear. It drove them more closely into the bosom of Gaia, which they thought was right and proper. Her embrace was a better place than any in the world. It made them feel, perhaps, supremely taken care of. The whisperer in the leaves, the assurance of life, a ward against misfortune, and the means by which their souls necessarily would be saved — Gaia was all of these things. It was this Gaia that appeared in the spirit to answer prayers made in the spirit, and this Gaia that cradled Saron’s misfortunes through her innocent years. But she had known too since becoming Peacekeeper that the converse was true: there needs be those who are supremely taking care of. Those that Gaia does not intervene with because they were her interference in some grander, spiritual sense. It was this Gaia that the Cardinal reminded her of in his statement of fact. Zeph was, in many more ways than merely the practical, correct. There was no need of preaching, nor of prayer — not from them. Action was the catalyst of change in the real world. And it was in action that Saron and Zeph were most capable. They both knew that they were enjoying platitudes while they could. The protocols were clear, and the passing of crisis inevitable. It came now to the matter of mere execution. "Gods are for giving strength, whether martial, emotional, spiritual or other. We've been given the first of these strengths at the very least, of that much I have no doubt." “And one hopes,” she said, “that we are possessed of the others, one way or another.” Even in the heart of the garden, one could feel the reverberations in planes other than material: the wearing away of the city as it skidded further and further into grasping black tomorrows. The foundations were falling away piece by piece swallowed up by the creeping swamp that seeped underfoot. Casper was being eaten by rot long before its time. A child dying of gangrene, and knowing nothing of why. The echoes in the ground were from fear. Here they were, calmly watching all of this necrosis from the last untouched corner of the heart — and all the courage in the city mustering itself around them. “Else neither of us should be standing here now, in the roles that this city needs most.” However little or however much courage they had at their disposal, did not matter. It would be made to be enough. Such miracles are commonplace where Peacekeepers made their visitations. They were not expected to fail. Saron turned her head at once with Zeph, or a split second afterwards; Valvale being wholly an extension of his presence, he must have known far before she had picked up on the traces. Still, they shut up quickly, having detected the presence of the outsider. The path of the eye leaves marks, and the burning stare given them now — burning with fear, nervousness, excitement, anticipation — was all too flashy against the demure backdrop of the flowers. Ziva was bared to the world, and in Valvale the world was a circle of sky illuminated through a small gap in the trees, two Peacekeepers, and nowhere else to run. Saron was the first to scrutinize more closely the sole occupant of the gallery. Her eyes were arched, her hands swinging loosely by her sides. Ziva might feel that she had nothing to fear from this peculiar woman in waitress garb. It would be true, in one sense. Saron’s face was inquisitive in its cant. “And so too does one wonder,” she drawled to Zeph without turning, “by whom is the third role occupied here, and to what end?”
  3. The note of wind. High, sustained, cold, it really was very cold. But I did like this song it had played twice or thrice on loop already violin-like or flute-ish, in either case thinking about the text, no, words, what words? There were no words in this song, yes there were there are there they are: "Bloody 'ell, what a real number, what a mess /" "Shut up, keep moving, this wind is freezing my ass off, I confess /" "By god if you two don't stop complaining, I'll give your ass a new thing or two to think of" but there is a great filter to my thoughts I can't quite make them out the silhouettes in the wind, in the act of squinting things are made unclear She sees, she thinks, what appears to be a cradle of twisted steel all around rising like a wreckage; I stand up but can't, she is buckled down by a seatbelt also twisted, but she remembers to unbuckle things and open them. I do. Are those my hands they are large like hammers and sharp like nails I laugh and tries to get up but something underfoot her trips her up she feels the jagged seat press into her back and the sky is in front of her not above like it once was, but better than below She laughs and tries to get up but something under — the song begins again she pauses to listen. “Hey, found one, found another one!” All alone the figures are coming toward her, she likes the look of him, a real good look to him, but he’s headed around now she can only see him, where the others went? A cradle, places for children to lie down. I lie down, she and the elf coming toward her secretively. But there are no secrets between friends even if they try, that’s the thing in this cold world where more things fall than rise, too many airships going too low and not a flame to lift them but to eat instead. Consuming everything like a slime, or like paint, hungry. Ah, hungry. There is something moving up and down like breathing next to her, it’s Priscilla. Why is she thinking of that girl? Here she is Why is she here Planes and alien planes do not intersect in places like these she knows this much. Warm not like cold. I brush her cheek. I touch her cheek. She does not move except up and down Something hits her she does not move but goes sideways and upwards. Again She feels something jagged in her back, crunching below her the song keeps going: “Got her a good one. Tough, isn’t she?” It comes closer bar in hand swings: Suddenly, the snow-world fades out, black, where are is her impress———————the story focuses again, watery the world, wet, dripping off her cheeks steaming, bitter iron, sirens reaching crescendo: “Fuck, he’s dead all right. We’re gonna need a bigger stick” She is now conscious of an immense movement and now the sky is to her above and moving swift like wind and crunch. More sirens, the wind dies down. She swallows. It goes down like a handful of crushed dice. The song, too, fades away, she grips the thing by its shoulders and it shakes more as she works her way down, like a caterpillar down a leaf. Bit by bit, patience is key. Parietal lobe cerebellum spinal cord trachea squishy esophagus, the jaws disappeared at some point and the teeth like shattered peppercorns. She lingers on the tongue for a little, feels its loll in her mouth. Slick, wormlike. She now recognizes the screams. She now recognizes the wind. There is one more still, handsome, tall, dark, real good look to him, backing away with his back to her. Backing away quick. Not quite running though. Nobody runs that slow. There’s no way. He’s got to be pretending. She hates playing pretend. She picks him up by the underside of his ribcage. “Silly.” Self-actualization sets in halfway through the salty, hot musk of his large intestine, and she is cognizant of this by the splitting pain in her head. She sits down with her prize, wipes away tears, holds back a groan. Soon, shame sets in, and she throws the body away and tries to vomit. Nothing comes up. She wipes away more and gasps and maybe a few droplets of blood come up with this retch. Head spinning like the axis of the world, heavy waves of pain sloshing as her brain is pulled apart, she sits again, back against the wall and breath misting up her eyes. Her body feels like it’s spinning the other way — wracked all over by convulsions, purely mental in origin, stemming from the innard corners of people that recoil and know what vileness tastes like. But instinctively, there is a warmth that spreads through her center, blooming and blushing from her toes to her fingertips. She is, in a way, satisfied, even twisted in all directions like this. It feels nice; it lingers in her nude stomach, and in places below that, and in places above — her cheeks are hot once again, unfrozen. This is the feeling of feverishness in a warm bed, cared for with soup — sickness, perhaps, but comfort, certainly. The cold does not bother her any more, even as it runs snow over all her exposed body. It melts where it touches. She is invincible. Another shuddering sigh tears itself from her throat, but this has the flavor of contentment on it. She rests her hand on Priscilla's body, and lets the familiarity calm her. "Where are we, little Priscilla?" She leans heavily on the crutch of the girl, murmuring. "What is this?" Nothing feels quite real, and there is no sense wherever she looks. So Arzada closes her eyes.
  4. Mag

    A levee to stop the flow

    When she was a little girl, two scientists came to Sharon’s home in the rural town of Lancashire. The young girl had not known then that there was anyone as interested in the insects of the wood and earth as only young children were, and that in the cities they even had a name for these eccentric, childish few: entomologists. They lingered for a week only, then left to go back to the storied Casper on the horizon. To a child, a week was a long time, and as Sharon followed them, they practiced every cruelty devised by the boys of the village and more still. But unlike little boys, they were adults, and everything they touched became bigger for it; their cruelties were then immense, almost beyond comprehension, and they filled her with both horror and awe. They pulled the wings off butterflies and jammed pins through them, twitching, into drawers of paper. They froze wasps in ice, and cooked caterpillars in fire. It was the business with the anthill, however, that remained with her for a long time coming. Little boys knew buckets of water and pebbles in their grubby hands — these were the restrictions of children. The scientists had buckets that were behemoth, that could well forge worlds; flames danced along their sides and into these buckets they threw rods of pure metal which were obliterated into liquid. Prepared with these, they searched for the largest anthill they could find. Into the wide, round mouth of the anthill they poured the metal, a slow drooping stream that was nonetheless swallowed whole by the earth, until all the liquid was gone and there was only a fine mist of steam rising from the earth. Then they waited. Hours later, they set upon the earth with shovels. They called it a great work, a perfect cast of the interior of an anthill, but Sharon saw instead the metal which was once open space, air in which ants breathed and walked. She saw the twisted, half-molten carapaces emerging from the surface of the aluminum like bristly growths, deformed and stretched out when they were obliterated to ant-liquid and rehardened with metal in their innards. Some where swallowed so that only their legs stuck out, while others were coalesced in sleeping-balls and formed bulbous, sharp congealed masses. All were silvery with the touch of metal. An entire city was fossilized like this, frozen, consumed. It was this memory which was called up as surely as smoke as she looked out the window of the Stately Hero Tavern. She wished she could say that because she learned sympathy and empathy in the years toward adulthood, she could now imagine the experience of those ants: the inevitable, choking metal-fume terror of watching a wall of melt bear down upon you, the hot smell of burning corpses and rushing wind, watching bodies get carried away in a hardening tide, intestines boiling. She wished, but it was neither of those things that formed the image so clearly. The cruelty of that day, too, was recalled through the sheer windowpane. “W-waitress!” She turned away from the window, towards a feeble hand held up among a pale bunch of quiet men and women. “How about a l-last drink?” The tavern should have been vacant, but to the last there were a few huddles who had taken shelter in the embrace of alcohol. Beneath a sagging roof, windows and doors cast open to the fetid air blowing off the diseased sea in a dying city — there were worse ways to die, most of those taking place little more than a rapidly closing mile away, in distance. The plague had already burrowed into everybody’s minds, immediate and close. The radio in the corner had been tuned to music, after the screams of the radio reporters became too much to bear. Sharon worked her way through the taps and grabbed a few bottles off the shelf. “Drinking, at an hour like this?” “It’s for hours like these that drink was made.” “You’d be better served getting the hell outta dodge.” She started handing out the glasses. “The military’s just getting set up now, and just you wait till you’re trapped in here with a melting face.” “Better served? I’m better served beers by a lovely girlie.” He tried to smile, looked ill, and went back to swallowing liquor. He touched the red-cross patch on his shoulder, almost invisible in the dim light. Each of the circle had one attached somewhere on their clothing. “No, doctors can’t leave. Once the military gets here, we’re gonna be called to action, I know it. Militia and police, too. And that’s just right and proper. Just, even.” “If you ask me, the military ought to be doing the grunt work.” “No. That’s their jobs, but this is our home. If Casper is to be saved, then it’s Casper that’ll save itself.” “Who’s doing the saving right now then?” “You are.” He smiled for real this time, a sickly thin crescent beneath wide, fearful eyes. “You’re doing God’s work here, girlie.” She set the last bottle down before him gingerly, shaking her head. “We’ll see.” “You haven’t left, have you?” “Don’t try me.” But she said nothing further, and looked out the window again. These people had a disease in them, too, but it was a holier one than the other. She supposed she must have had the same disease. The long-awaited blip of the communicator in her pocket halted her breath. She went out to the kitchen, folded her apron neatly, and placed it in the cupboard it called home. She exchanged it for a thin black jacket that was nonetheless completely opaque and glossy, leather-like, and pulling this tight around her she rushed breathlessly out the back door of the tavern, into the alleyway then out onto the street, running towards the centre of the city. Through deserted streets she ran, through discarded trash and tissues and past fearful looming windows she ran. Her lips pressed together as she went, grim satisfaction coming across her face as the sun sank lower in the west and the fires rose higher in the east as if exchanging vocations. “If Casper is to be saved, then it’s Casper that’ll save itself,” the dogma had been the only firm thing in the man’s posture. Such dogmas had been echoed before and all that had been lost were good ships and better captains. But that was what it meant to save in the Port City of Casper, and by this Casper would be saved. Not by hope, but by bitter refusal of the alternative. A woman arrived shortly at Valvale, just one face among many seeking shelter. The crowd neither parted nor pressed around her; like the ebb and flow of a blood vessel, it eventually forced her into the garden, and once inside she did not need to rush. Tranquility was in every mote of soil, harmony in each stem. Inside the garden time came to a halt, and evil could not progress. The people felt this in the deeps of their hearts, and laid down to cry at last as those who find sanctuary in hell. But good feelings alone did not heal, and believing things did not make them so no matter how hard one believed. “That’s what God’s for. Right?” By the center of the garden, there was only two. Saron Swain ambled into the clearing with a greeting on her lips. “It’s good to see you here, Cardinal. I was fixing to have some miracles worked. World needs more of those nowadays, don’tcha think?” There had been prayers enough. Prayers dying in the mouths of the killed. Prayers on each bullet fired, each globule of fat that exploded under the withering, purging heat that was the mark of the good guys. The whole of Casper was encased in mist, and in the thickness of the haze one could almost feel the imprint of the pleading. The orisons were all there, suspended; the prayers had been made. Now it came time to see them carried out. “But you tell me. Are my prayers to be answered, or are we going to have to work our hard-laid plans into fruition ourselves?”
  5. Mag

    Gathering Materials [1/3]

    Going back along the path is always easier than walking it forward the first time. Nothing more than a blink, and suddenly they were back on the rooftop from all the way down in the depths. Back into the morning air, the sun just an hour above where it once was, the mists still yet to burn away, still clinging to the spires that emerged weblike from the ground. Back into that dewy, fresh scent, undertoned with the stale tobacco of the terrified faces looking at them from across the way. That was the one thing which had changed. Eleazar looked at Noi. “Let’s go, eh?” He grabbed her hand and gave a cheery wave to the huddled group of janitors across the way. “Ciao,” he wished them the best. Then the two stepped off the side of the building and fell. Nobody spoke. Below, a red-winged smudge soared outwards flaring along a wide path. It crested the sun and the fine tops of the clouds and circled once in farewell, then was gone into the haze of distance.
  6. Mag

    Gathering Materials [1/3]

    Rise. They flew up the wall, flies whose wings relied on touching the rough-hewn surface, hands grasping at the protrusions and invisible scaffolds that disappeared into smoothness in the sheer scale of the tower. The distant observer would only see them, two: a white speck bearing a black speck, buzzing here and there across the wall, always upwards and slowly. Their climb was arduous. Eleazar looked down at the Kataphract following, eyes flat discs behind his spectacles. “Where there’s fire, there’s smoke,” he quipped to Noi, who didn’t have much time for words. The wind took the words out of his mouth and swept them downwards. The Kataphrakt did not have time for words, either, but that was fine by Eleazar. He threw open his jacket. It fluttered, counter to the wind, counter to gravity; ethereal in grace, and black, greasy, inky on the interior. It had the texture of roiling mud that would simply not give away. A swamp which would not give up its bounty. The first of the glittering handguns emerged, handle outwards. Others followed. Each was encased in a film of red, which solidified into string near the handle, each tied into a heart-shaped bow. Ponderously they held at the boundary of grease, in the tens, then twenties, dozens, until there were fifty at once drooping like fruit from every part of his body and every inch of his coat. They dangled with their barrels as stems, swaying as Noi jumped back and forth, and as the Kataphrakt followed directly beneath. Eleazar flicked his hands. It was a short motion that warranted no special attention, the same as if a man was flicking a spare few droplets of remnant water from washing his hands. As if he had just finished washing his hands, soap and all, and missed a spot to dry, and couldn’t find it in himself to get another towel. The pistols dropped like a fine spray of rain, peppering the Kataphrakt’s cockpit. It was the smell of hot metal then; furious, violent, heat and smoke.
  7. @LastLight I was speaking with Carlos. I have a PK who I wanted based in Casper. This seems like the appropriate time to make her debut. Would you PM me with your details?
  8. Mag

    More Important is the Journey OOC

    Sounds lovely! As providence would have it, I'll have the time to post in...exactly two days. I've a lot of traveling and flights to do, so I'll throw up a short post then.
  9. Mag

    Feedback: rich text editor disabled

    hello spoops i think i will post fiery divisive opinionated opinions ok rich text is godly, it supports copy-pasting fancy formatting and tables and poor text is just that, poor and broke and oh don't it wish it had some more oomph to it that oomph is precisely what rich text has don't you want this site to be prosperous In real talk: death of rich text means death of formatting (for the most part), and formatting is what gives a lot of posts flavor and style -- something that, I think, would be a great shame to lose. In the very rare cases that things cannot be read, I think a gentle reminder and/or a screenshot and/or a temporary changing of the theme - these sorts of minor inconveniences - are vastly superior to simply straight-up killing off formatting altogether. The trade-off is too supreme.
  10. Yes, the rumors are true. You could call them trumors. Tremors. Truman. Those things which are true.

    I'm back, and I'm black, and I'm ready to roll.

    People whom I owe things, I think...

    His holy highness @Twitterpated

    The lethal @Chappu

    Mr. "I👏beat👏a👏Fide👏Master👏" @Ataraxy (?)

    The greatest of all time, @King

    My love @EpicRome23

    The wonderful @Cheezeegriff and @Jotnotes

    The ever-lovely @Avvercus, if this lazy bitch is still around

    My darling @Praetorian, too, how could I almost forget

    And I can't believe I forgot the perfect @Paroxysm, light of my life


    And some other people, I'm sure - please PM me if I've forgotten you!

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Ataraxy


      Welcome back! I beat him in a chess variant. I wish I had the skill in normal chess to beat a FM haha

    3. Chappu



    4. Cheezeegriff



  11. Mag

    More Important is the Journey OOC

    Incidentally, @Mickey Flash it's your post.
  12. Mag

    (DA): Let’s Start a RIOT

    An absurd moment occurs on a battlefield. Far away mentally if not physically, the commanders are negotiating with opposite things like pride and logic (a noxious combination that might explode at any moment, but not now). While they are doing so the men have nothing to do but talk amongst themselves. They have to; what else is there to do when the tension of the air is strained so much it might snap? One soldier is sitting in a chair. Her eyes are closed and her mind sealed as tight as an airlock. Nothing inside may escape; nothing outside may contaminate. Her thoughts are mostly blank, ideas vanishing as soon as they appear, a constant stream of ideas leaving nothing more permanent than an impression (her memory curse at work), but it’s important to think them, even if she doesn’t remember what she’s thought about. Another finds this questionable. Sunny Scarborough descends upon her like a butterfly. “You’re thinking about something, yes?” “Huh-wha?” City cracks her eyes open, wincing at the sudden influx of sunlight. For all the world, it looks like she’s been sleeping while the rest of them have been pointing their guns at each other. “A plan? Something that is…troubling you?” “Maybe,” she mumbles, straightening up in her seat. “Maybe not. It’s a — whatchamasay — a mystery. Not meant for mortal ears, ya know.” “Or—! Perhaps nothing.” She sweeps up close abruptly, grasping at City’s cheeks before indignance sinks in. “Such a symmetrical face! Ah. Pretty, too. If I hacked your face in half, they would have no difference, yes.” Her face scrunches up at Sunny’s words, simultaneously thoughtful and disgusted by the proposition. “Hey-wait-what?” She pushes her hands away as far as she can, shaking her head incredulously. “No way! There’d still be a difference. You know, like mirrors. It’d be flipped! Don’t be silly. Nobody’s got two halves of the same face.” …was that entirely right? She goes on with her lecture, undeterred. “And you know. No cutting of faces. Not in the least bit nice. If you touch me badly I’ll call Mister Mal.” But by then the negotiations had drifted into a terse period of quiet. Mal stood facing Ciminiero and neither were saying a word; what words needed to be said were said. It was decision time. City quieted down and looked askance at Sunny. “Hey,” she said in a somewhat perplexed whisper. “Do you… do you know what we’re supposed to be doing right now?”
  13. Mag

    Powers and balance

    And this is where the definition of "balance" fails. Balance cannot exist in a vacuum - it is subject entirely to the whims and levels and will of the narrative in which it is situated, and the will of the person or player crafting the narrative. So it really is entirely about player behavior and adherence to some arbitrary OOC guideline rather than an IC universal standard, which does not exist. Put another way, it's not possible to ask "what does balance look like" without having to talk about the context surrounding it. Elaborations: Balance cannot exist in a vacuum: if I'm running a real-world, crime noir RP, most any power at all is unbalanced. Telepathy, even the proposed ear-cupping level, is ruinous to the extreme; the mystery is effectively solved the moment you've learned to hear someone's true thoughts. So what's balance look like? Let's say, mmmm, you can only use it to communicate between two willing partners. Great. What about the magic of JumpGood? It doesn't matter to the narrative that Chainsmoking Joe can leap up to the twentieth floor in a single bound - until it does, mind - so JumpGood is completely balanced in context, no problem. Say I'm doing a Hunger Games Battle Royale. Telepathy's now fine, even at a combat-ready level. I dare say that it makes combat more interesting, even, to be able to game and predict others' moves. But JumpGood? We can't have that. Anyone who practices JumpGood, or RunFast, can simply escape the arena. And that's game-breaking. The whims, levels, and will of the narrative: Get this. I'm running a survival zombie apocalypse RP. Big themes are scavenging, desperation, and bonding together in the face of calamity. Also, zombies are terrifying, yo. We're thinking Amnesia, or Silent Hill. Any power which enables a person to solo kill a zombie, or a group of zombies, with ease and at will, is no longer balanced in the narrative sense. It breaks the story. It's no longer about staying alive, adrenaline-fueled escapes, and terrifying encounters. It's now Left4Dead2, but your hands are flamethrowers instead. Any offensive powers and most defensive ones, flaunt flagrantly a defiance of the will of the narrative. Is it really a survival RP if all you need to do to survive a zombie horde is press B and JumpGood your way to the top of the skyscraper? "What does balance look like, Mag?" It doesn't look like that. Let's take a completely different approach: the approach of the high performer. It was seemingly, implicitly agreed upon that invulnerability is not balanced earlier on in the thread, or perhaps super instant regenerative immortality. Do we take this agreement to meant that it's never balanced? Or that, generally, it's not balanced, and what does "generally" mean in that sentence? I think that a crime noir protag with immortality isn't imbalanced at all. Sure, he might have an easier time in firefights, but it doesn't trivialize the narrative - he must still do his research, assemble the evidence, bust the criminals, put up with his ex-wife. Battle Royale? Broken, OP, anyone who thinks that invulnerability is remotely balanced ought to be banned immediately from any activity featuring even the most remote semblance of a balancing act ever save the circus. And another example, since I've provided many oblique examples but not ones dealing purely with linear scaling. Instant regeneration is perfectly balanced in a world with...I was going to posit something like "super telekinesis" or "orbital lasers that can scrub a keep out of existence," but come to think of it, not at all. Instant Regeneration Randy is balanced even in a realistic RP, because any squad of police could tackle a guy and straitjacket him, and his ability to relocate dislocated limbs will only help marginally in that regard. See: Deadpool, where we had our main man get fought to a standstill against a guy whose sole ability was to ignore pain (which, in itself, seems like a power that so many characters have just unconsciously even.) This segues nicely into one last point that I'd alluded to in my introductory paragraph: that of the will of the player. In short: "Any power is broken, no power is broken." In long: The power of miniaturizing things seems perfectly reasonable, say, given silly arbitrary limitations like, "you can only miniaturize things that are smaller than a cubic foot." Cool. But surprise, this isn't balanced. Not when you can miniaturize a cube of concrete and create a pebble so dense that it craters the ground on impact. Not when a character with this cute minipower walks on up to the top floor of the Empire State, yawns, mini's a loose slab of rock and rebar and drops it a hundred feet, undermining the structural integrity of the whole thing with less effort than I put into heating up leftovers with my microwave. Alright, alright, we'll patch that one out. And when we find the next one, we'll patch that one out too. And the next one... And here, I present a twenty-page manifesto which dictates the exact limits of the power of miniaturization. The trouble with this is, no power is exempt from this. Anything with even a hint of vagueness - and even without vagueness, "you can only miniaturize things smaller than one cubic foot" isn't vague at all - is exploitable. No matter what limits you put on it. That being said, there are so many powers that work simply because they aren't being min/maxed and abused. I see your instant teleportation and raise you Harry Potter's Portkeys, which by rights are stupid - forced teleportation, ayy lmao - but work in context and trivialize nothing (even though they should, by any min/maxer's reckoning. "Voldy, here's Harry's robes as proof of his death, touch 'em touch 'em - jk you're in the middle of the Sun now, bye"). It's like the difference between casual and hardcore play. I don't know if there are any Fire Emblem fans on the site aside from me and EpicRome, but a trademark of that game is the fact that even on the highest difficulty, the game can be breezed through so easily by min-maxers and certain tactics, that it's possible to deliberately have zero stats and no money and still beat the game, at record speeds unattainable by most players. And at the same time, a casual player without any knowledge of the tactics and mechanics can even struggle on the easiest difficulty. The game can't be balanced around both difficulties, it's just not possible. Likewise, powers are not "balance one size fits all." Give two people the same "balanced" skillset, and one of them will be toppling buildings while the other's busy playing Doll-house with miniature Priuses and peculiarly familiar underwear. Patch it around, balance it more? Now the former player is using it as intended, while the latter doesn't even know they have a power. ...Of course, I'm not going to leave you without something you're looking for. Within, say, the limits of traditional fantasy, any sort of speedhacking is stupid. As long as people can react accordingly, few powers are imbalanced. This is also why guns are OP asf, and should be banned in any serious attempt at sword and sorcery ever, unless there's a whole section of the book dedicated to explaining why they suck.
  14. Mag

    More Important is the Journey

    Thompson was hoping for a wide berth. Why should he not receive what is given so freely in wartime? Approached by a stranger carrying the nude, ravaged body of a woman, the ordinarily fearful bystander ought to avert their eyes and mumble a quick I’m-sorry as they backpedal, looking for an escape. He was hoping that the two terrified creatures wouldn’t want to give the time of day to someone carrying a cold, clammy reminder of violence. Just his luck to stumble upon the nosy and involved. “I don’t remember you from this ship,” one called out coldly. “Wha—?” He dropped his jaw in surprise. “Yeah, lady, and I don’t remember seeing you ‘round neither, and not half the five hundred people ridin’ the good old Gehenna across Genesaris.” Thompson sneered at her, dropping to his knees beneath the body’s weight. “Who are you, the ticketmaster? Does it matter? I need to find the ship doctor, are you going to —” “Why are you carrying a dead woman?” “Why are you so resistant on helping a man out? Slinging filthy words like, oh, she must be dead, oh, what are you doing wastin’ your time, oh, what the bloody hell does it cost you to point me in a god damn direction?” His voice rose to a holler he felt suitable, just loud enough to fill the halls with the sense of urgency that they ought to have felt, not loud enough to attract further attention. These people were beginning to grate on his nerves, and the weight of his revolver felt itchier every moment. But he kept his hands where they were, one on his knee and the other gripping Arzada’s waist. He took a deep breath. “…Sorry. See, that’s what I thought too but I saw her move a bit when I found her, twitched her hand, and — hell,” he said. “I don’t know, there’s a thousand of you inhumans riding this ship. I saw a snake woman once, got decapitated and survived it. Scary as shit. Regrew her head and neck and all. So excuse me, but I ain’t gonna trust my guts on this one. For all I know, she’s got a fake head and her real one’s somewhere in her belly.” He burned a glare into the duo. “Which is why she needs to see the ship doctor.” Every word was deliberate, and full of a mounting frustration which twisted his features. He could imagine the tick of the incendiary explosives echoing through the narrow, empty corridors. Their imaginary flames churned at the roots of his nerves. Oswald and Beckley would not wait forever, no matter how much they feared and respected him. Time was bleeding away, and not for Arzada. “So. Could ya get out of my way, or point me in the direction, stead of letting a girl bleed out on the ground?”