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DF Spoilers / Zoo Day and the great Masquerade
« on: July 25, 2018, 12:36:50 PM »
So, one of the longstanding aspects of the Dresden Files is that somehow, despite there being no real coordinated effort to hide the Supernatural, the mortal world maintains a nigh supernatural ability to simply ignore what happens around them and move on with their lives.  Everytime this comes up the explanation is more or less that Humans are great at ignoring things that make them uncomfortable, and have managed to hide the Truth from the collective human society without any significant effort. 

Zoo Day showed us that this is actually a much deeper, actively reinforced function of our world.  Turns out that every child is Trained, actively and with purpose, that there exist things that will prey on them but that nobody in Authority will be capable of recognizing or remembering, so it's better for yourself and everyone to handle it however you can, tell nobody, and move one with your life.  What's more, it seems like this is a specific charge and function of these Creepers, something that divinity like Mouse is Required to respect. 

The Children of the DV are all being Conditioned from an early age to pretend that anything labeled supernatural cannot (not Will Not, CANnot) be recognized by Authority, and you will be labeled crazy if you try to make them.  So Dont Try.  This is a patterned response that a whole class of creature exists solely and specifically to Train into mortals from an early age. 

DF Spoilers / Saints
« on: June 01, 2018, 07:48:23 PM »
We're getting new Meat to Chew!

Reddit AMA 2018
What is a Saint?
2) I've got an outline for three, six, or nine books depending on how folks are liking it. :) 3) Saints, for practical purposes in the Dresden Files, distinct from straightforward religious figures, were mainly people with a wizard's or sorcerer's talents who went into the Church and who blended faith magic with their natural abilities to accomplish some amazing things. Most of the Catholic saints were members of the White Council as well. As the power of the Church waned, the word Saint kind of gradually turned to saint, and in the current storyline saints are simply people who blend faith with their magic.

It is Frowned Upon to be a practicing saint in the White Council, in some senses. They much prefer minds uncluttered by what they see as unnecessary folderol, and think that the worst thing they could imagine is a blend of a wizard's power with a fanatic's zeal, so if you're a saint it's not hard to make other wizards uneasy. Most saints keep their practice under discrete wraps, though there is at least one practicing saint on the Senior Council.

So, Saints are magic talented people that for whatever reason have mixed their Faith with their magic.  Less popular a path these days since it can lead to overly powerful zealots. 

And one of the Senior Council Members is one!

DF Spoilers / Cold Case - Molly's Truth
« on: January 29, 2018, 03:27:06 PM »
Just finished an idle re-read of Cold Case, and there were a pair of moments that jumped out at me:  In two instances, Molly made a decidedly un-Fae-like statement, and in both cases Mab Blinked.  There are some characters that simply dont Blink in that way without something significant behind it.  In this case I think Mab was surprised that Molly was actually, physically able to make the statements she did, now that she's a Sidhe.  I suspect Mab is concerned Curious about the implications of those statements, if to Molly's psychology if nothing else.

Here they were (bolding mine):

Molly:  "I can't just leave him here alone."
Mab blinked once, as if digesting my words.  "Why not?"
"Because...because it's not what decent people do."
"What has that to do with either of us?"
I shook my head.  "No.  I am not going to be like that."

Mab:  "If you have an alternative, I would be more than willing to consider it."
Silence Stretched.
"I don't," I said quietly.
I opened the door and looked back at her.  "I don't yet," I said, and I said it hard.  "This isn't over."
Mab gave me the slow blink again.  Then she inclined her head by a fraction of an inch, her expression pensive.

DF Books / Alternative Casting Challenge
« on: August 10, 2017, 02:17:58 PM »
The Challenge is to identify an actor that perfectly fits the Character, while not actually looking like the physical descriptions in the novels.

My go-to example for such things is the casting of Lestat for Interview with a Vampire vs Queen of the Damned; I thought Townsend did a far better job with the tone and personality of Lestat than Tom Cruise did, but Cruise was the proper Blued-eyed Blond (if about a foot too short). 

Another example, Jim said once that he thought Will Smith would make a great Harry Dresden. 

So, Ill start:

Father Forthill:
Jemaine Clement

Bruce Willis

Molly Carpenter:
Alisha Wainwright

Idris Elba

DF Spoilers / Wag the Fomor
« on: July 14, 2017, 01:08:41 PM »
We've been talking about everything from abstract cosmology to How Mother Winter does her shopping, but it feels like it's been a while since we actually did much predicting on Peace Talks, specifically.

So, the Fomor are clearly up to something.  And I personally doubt very much they are actually interested in Peace.  So what is their scheme?  What are they really after? What is their Endgame. 

It would be helpful if you also post any theories or assumptions your working with as far as What the Fomor are, what schemes they're involved in now, and what their Endgame is.

Personally, I think they are just trying to get all the biggest players with the oldest grudges to forces themselves into the same room.  Cram them all into a pressure cooker, and hope they spark another War all on their own. 

Actually, I kind of suspect an assassination followed by a Clue-style Who-Dunnit story, where Harry and friends have to solve the mystery while defusing tempers (because that's totally Harry's wheelhouse) and maybe forging a little World Peace in their spare time. 

DF Spoilers / What is a Saint? (Series Spoilers)
« on: June 06, 2017, 06:43:12 PM »
Ive long wondered about the Nature of a Saint in the DF.  We have three mentions of Saints in WOJ. One that St George is in fact responsible for the rarity of lesser dragons in modern times, one that says they were one possible example of a Champion of the mortal masses (listed along "an independent wizard, or a shaman, a Knight of the Cross or some other champion, or other spiritual allies").  The last is confirmation that one of Vadderung names (mantles?) is Saint Nicholas, along with other various versions of santa (kringle, Sinterklaas, Father Christmas).

In common usage (as I know it), a Saint is somebody that is holy and/or chosen by God, which the Church eventually recognizes.  That's an important distinction, I think, because the Church does not claim to actually make anyone a Saint, nor do they consider the known Saints to be a complete list (the idea is that a bunch of anonymous Saints would be revealed during the Second Coming/Revelations).  So while the RL process for Saints cannot be completed until after the person's death, there is no theological conflict with them having Saintly abilities in life, as would be indicated by them acting as living Champions. 

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Author Craft / Philosophic Discussions for Characters
« on: April 17, 2017, 02:57:31 PM »
Occasionally I run across an idea that I'd like to make a core tenant of a given character.  But for them to hold up I need the odd sounding board now and then to see if people who think Not Like Me can poke holes agree and/or can reasonably argue against it.  Sometimes I have multiple characters discussing such things, and trying to play both sides is like playing chess against yourself (possible but fundamentally unsatisfying). 

So if anyone is like me and just needs loaner Minds to kick some abstract ideas around, this can be a place to do it. 

Ill start us off:

Stage: Two travelers, both honorable and selfless.  Each with what on the surface appear to be fundamentally opposed. The eventual destination would be to explore the places of conflict and to arrive at common ground shared by both philosophies, and a Battle (and accompanying motivations) that both would accept.

Character 1)  All motivation comes from a Desire to Protect something, and the "Something" will tell you everything you need to know about a Person.  Protect your Honor; Protect your Life; Protect who you Love, or what You've Built.  Protect an Idea.  Protect a Hope for the Future.   Protect that which you Love from The Which you Fear.  There is no dishonor in Fear, because Fear becomes Focus

Character 2)  All Motivation comes from EITHER Fear or Pleasure, and Fear is a slow toxin.  To live your entire life under the Weight of Fear is to miss the whole Point of Life in the first place.  There is no dishonor in Fighting for Joy rather than fighting for Fear. Joy of Victory, Joy found in the Peace that comes After, Joy of a Wrong Righted.

Cinder Spires Spoilers / What does it mean to be Whole...? (TAW Spoilers)
« on: October 20, 2015, 08:22:00 PM »
Sounds very abstract and philosophical, and it very well could be.  But it also seems to be the reason that
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so there is at least one qualitative trait involved in the world of the Cinder Spires. 

Any Ideas?

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Steam Power
« on: October 09, 2015, 01:44:45 PM »
What do they use as fuel?  Wood seems unlikely given it's apparent value, and the difficulty getting large amounts from the surface.  Those same issues make traditional Coal unlikely as well.  So was are they using?  The line about the Itasca using all three Core crystals plus it's Steam engine imply to me that they dont use crystals for that, so what fuel might they use?  Bio-Diesel?

Author Craft / Inventing Languages
« on: September 28, 2015, 07:32:27 PM »
This is an interesting article by a gentleman that invents fictional languages for a living, along with some tips on how to go about it.  I though it might be a decent read for anyone interested in including some structured gibberish in their works.

Lets discuss.  What are your thoughts on fictional languages?  Any personal experience with one? 

First question:  How exactly is Meat generated in Vats, and is anyone else picturing some sort of soylent protein slime that sounds none too appetizing?  Granted, I eat chili dogs, but still...  :o

Author Craft / Fictional Econimics
« on: July 25, 2015, 05:25:27 PM »
I am an engineer.  Accounting and economics might as well be Voodoo to me.  But I need help in that realm, preferably using small words :P

I have a fictional setting.  It's a high-fantasy place, where magic is common in everyday life; there are some cultural divergences but for the most part the magical development of the time is roughly equivalent to early-20th century science, though the caste gap is pretty large.  The society heavy into families and bloodlines, and is organized around various strata of Noble Houses that are the landowners, built around a framework of 7 Guilds that serve various roles that I typically associate with government and/or church.  For example the Seer's are the essentially the priesthood (abstract astrology more than pantheistic deities), but are also the record keepers and so contracts and deeds and other bureaucratic matters are in their purview.  Ive modeled it somewhat after the Pern Novel's i read as a kid, with the Holder landowners and then Crafthalls, if that gives you a point of reference. 

Now my thought is that the common denomination of the Currency would not be an object like coinage or rare metals, rather they would trade Elemental Energies, which would be distilled/"minted" by the Elementalist Guild (and possibly others).  So there would be four types or energy, each with a standardized measurement of energy and a regulated exchange rate, Dollar&penny would be Flame&Spark, Splash&Drop, etc (still working on those) and each energy unit would have a specific definition of it's actual usefulness.  Kind of like how a Calorie is defined in terms of it's ability to raise a set amount of water a single degree, which would work for Fire, Earth might be the amount of energy needed to raise X Stones a certain distance (ie potential gravitational energy). 

What I dont know is how much regulation would be necessary?  Would counter-fitting be an issue, or would it not matter because the energy has inherent value rather than symbolic.  I mean, if we used Electricity as a currency, it wouldnt matter who generated the voltage and charged your wallet/battery, the Charge exists. 

Thoughts?  I dont know enough about how those sorts of systems to even know where to begin...

Author Craft / Vilify a Spider
« on: April 08, 2015, 06:58:42 PM »
I need to vilify a Spider.  Sounds easy at first, but I dont just need something nasty, I need Quintessential Vilified Spider, the epitome of everything we hate and fear about spiders, the reason they are right there with snakes as the most common phobia, and are literally hardwired into our brains danger-sense.

What would such a creature look and act like?

Ill give you some background:  Without getting into too much exposition, the setting is a modern urban fantasy not terribly unlike American gods, but in this case ancient spirits make pacts with special/anointed humans to take over some aspect of the modern world, if they want to stay relevant/powerful.  As an example, the Atomic Age is the result a pact with the Phoenix's; they get a place in the modern world rather than slipping into myth and loosing power.  Now the Main Character is in a position to make another such bargain, and one of the parties that approaches him is the Master/Progenitor Spider, ruler of the Arachnids (though probably at war with a Scorpion Clan somewhere).  Anyway, I want to evoke the master hunter in the center of his vast web, and something you can converse with, something more intellectual than a giant atavistic spider-monster.  But I still want him to speak to the archetypal fear that crosses so many cultures.

Any thoughts?

Site Suggestions & Support / AMA Link on the Main Page
« on: May 19, 2014, 02:08:03 PM »
Not sure if this is something to be I got back to civilization this morning and went to check the AMA.  I noticed that the Link posted on the main page ( links to the pre-AMA discussion thread, rather than the AMA itself.  Im mostly ignorant of Reddit, so it took me a while to track down the real AMA page.  Is this something that can or even needs to be changed?

Current Link:

Site Suggestions & Support / Logged?
« on: June 20, 2013, 07:34:57 PM »
This might be a stupid question, but what does the "logged" button that appears next to the "Report to Mods" link at the bottom of each post actually do?  I accidentally clicked it a second ago in the Enemy Encounter's revisited thread (thanks to extreme over-caffination) and Im not sure what Ive done...

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