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 Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas

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PostSubject: Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas   Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:28 pm

Alright thistopic may warrant a little explaining so I'm going to do my best because I thought this was an issue that would be beneficial to address.

When it comes to world building it's important to do so in a way that improves the quality of the world by building it in a way that favours story telling mechanics. Any new aspect introduced should serve a specific purpose and fill a niche, not simply exist on it's own coincidentally in a world.

Take for instance if you were building a sci fi universe where people had bionic body parts. Say you were debating how much they cost and how many people would have them. You wouldn't base your decision on made up facts and figures as if it were a real place that needed to function as our reality does, you would set it up in a way that benefits the needs of the story. If they're largely irrelevant give them to anyone, if you want to create a narrative about a divided class system make them expensive and integral to quality of life.

What I want to do in this thread is examine the kind of stories that the ideas on the wiki favour to expand the use of them in stories and stifle redundancies when expanding this really cool universe. I think a good place to start is races. In felarya race is often integral to the character. If you wanted a character that gets eaten you'd make them a human. If you want one that eats humans you go with a plethora of the giant preds. Going beyond that though they all go beyond that. Here are a few of their specific roles:

humans:dominant race of negav, most often eaten, from a multitude of worlds.
nekos: minority in negav, dominant in Nekomura. Are both eaten by and eat people.
elves: highly magical, often believe they are superior.
mermaids: come in multiple sizes, are aquatic.
nagas: capable of eating people equal in size, often adept at elemental magic.
dridders:
can make their own clothes, can turn their victims to goo, used to have a thriving Victorian society.
Tinies: often seen as insignificant, are not entirely safe in negav, sometimes sold as if they were illicit items.
Etc.

Those are just a few and show how important it is to have different roles for ideas. What I hope to do with this thread is examine what kind of roles we have filled with ideas, what we haven't, and what we need to in order to improve world building by giving it a specific goal or direction.
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PostSubject: Re: Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas   Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:49 pm

Well, for what it's worth, I agree, personally, with your perspectice that things must be built so as to make the story better.

However, you CAN build a world for the sake of worldbuilding, and it works. The Homecoming trilogy by Orson Scott Card includes a lot of details that don't seem to lead anywhere to me, and some of them would no doubt pass for author appeal to some. I don't really get the point of the matriarchy in Basilica, or the bizarre breeding rituals, including that your aunt gotta bear you a child to raise before you're allowed to do it with anyone else. Blech, incest.

Similarly, sometimes the needs of the story and the way reality works are one and the same thing, because what the story needs is to display a version of how reality works. This is common in author tracts, in "hard" science fiction, and, unexpectedly, in improv.


Now back on track. If you'd like to have ideas examined in function of their potential in a story, well, I don't think that'll work. When I see something that favors a specific niche, I tend to take it as a challenge- and I'm not the only one. Besides, things may have been added to the wiki for the sake of worldbuilding: once they are, it's up to the writer to find something to do with them.

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PostSubject: Re: Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas   Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:48 pm

I agree, trying to nail down certain niches for certain things don't make sense to me because it simply doesn't follow reality, denies the fact that siturations change and it just denies the author to able to subvert and go against those themes. After all if you want to create a fiction that's beliveable, trying to pin plots and characterstics to a group of people just turns them into sterotypes and not creatures that are individuals that can think for themselves and make their decisions and paths regardless of what they are.
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PostSubject: Re: Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas   Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:54 pm

I suppose I didn't think this thread through very well. I suppose I was thinking too narrow mindedly about Felarya, treating it as a traditional setting. After thinking about it world building for the sake of world building is entirely feasible because of the fact that it's a community setting. What one person doesn't use another can easily add to their own story I'd they wish.

That said though perhaps taking an index of what we do have could stop us from treading old ground. Like if we have an entry on a specific kind of flora or fauna we don't need to come up with an idea that nearly recreates it. So the whole storytelling niche thing was a poorly conceived idea but we could still keep track of them simply to keep us from redundantly over creating stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas   Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:19 pm

So in that light, is this to be a repository of brainstorming fruits for authors, a la the Community Enchantments Thread and Community Artifacts Thread?
If that's the case, I'm in favor as I'm frequently coming up with little seedling ideas that I'd like to put out there for people.
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PostSubject: Re: Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas   Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:01 pm

I suppose you could liken it to a brainstorming thread. Though it would work somewhat in the reverse. We could avoid pointlessly creating things which we have already made elsewhere by keeping track of the possibilities they have and making sure new ideas don't overlap.

It would probably in practice be like "What materials are there for preds to make clothes with? Are there any on the wiki designed specificly around that? If not then let's create one. " It would boil down to analyzing what the community has already made and filling the wholes where there is nothing so far.
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PostSubject: Re: Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas   Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:54 am

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PostSubject: Re: Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas   Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:37 am

Alright a stupid mistake and poor wording but my point still stands that because of community involvement Felarya is a setting that actually can afford to world build for the sake of world building.
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PostSubject: Re: Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas   Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:44 pm

From what I can recall suggesting in the chatbox:

- An OC who does not eat humans normally, but not because he/she cares about them - he/she is just the woodsman type who prefers taking down larger game. Could perhaps hunt Kensha beasts in a similar fashion to human bear hunters, might carry a predator-sized bow.

- All those "uncharted" areas around the corners of the map could use some love. In Green Hell, for example, there's only a few specific creatures mentioned in the wiki. Perhaps north of there, the wildlife continues to get bigger, to the point where "conventional" predators fill the role of humans, and are eaten by super-predators. And then north of that, even bigger ultra-super-predators eat those. And if we go South... Maybe we find the homeland of the tinies? After all, they had to have come from somewhere.

- Aspidochelone-taur (or whatever cooler name works): like the mythical creature, resembles a giant turtle, but which disguises itself as an island to fool its prey. Would likely be too large to prey on humans, but maybe eats harpies or something?
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PostSubject: Re: Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas   Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:21 pm

The jotun as I recall favour big game hunting in their tribes. It would probably make a good starting point for an OC.

The green hell I know little about and have even fewer ideas for what to add to it, but the south could easily work in tandem with the third idea, turtle island taur. Currently little is written about the south, the tinies have no point of origin or any sort of native habitat besides sort of just sporadically existing and we have few giants who are of no threat to humans. In fact outside of achigates and sometimes leviathin mermaids I don't think we have any real benevalent giants, may have to check that though.
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PostSubject: Re: Story Telling and Role Playing Niches of Ideas   Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:17 pm

More brain farts:

  • Predator / prey character pair, where the predator has stored the prey in his/her crop (storage stomach) for long enough that they became friends. But the prey was never regurgitated - rather the predator keeps enough fresh air in his/her crop to keep the prey alive, and they stay that way to their mutual advantage. As an added twist, perhaps they have somehow fused together into a conjoined super-organism.
  • Predator who farms humans or nekos or whatever. The predator has a large lair wherein (s)he keeps a breeding population of prey alive and safe from other predators, but still eats some of them regularly. (S)he acts as a (mostly) benevolent overseer, letting the prey know their eventual fate and accept it as a cost of living in that community. Perhaps the predator runs a lottery now and then when (s)he can't find enough volunteers.
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