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 Ingredients of a Hot Pot

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PostSubject: Ingredients of a Hot Pot   Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:01 pm

I was wondering what people thought were the aspects of Felarya. The whole retcon talk has made me wonder what parts was I developing, and what aspects was I trying to bolster.


The first aspect is the cognitively dissonant, obliviously infuriating vore that is its signature. You've got the preds, which cute and hot as they are, can't help but make you wonder dafuq is wrong with their brainsses as they keep making it clear they'd eat you, me, and every vore artist in the web with the same delight. Because, to them, you are nothing other than yummy (Aww, wookit, the candy thinks it's people!). Sure, they eat each other sometimes, but mostly they seem to be all friends with each other and their resolve to nom you if they ever see you.

The second most important aspect to Felarya seems to be nature. A recurring theme of Felarya, even when there's no vore, seems to be the outdoors. The skies, the wind, the trees, the green (and the red, and the blue, depending on where you are) appears to be central to what Felarya is. Nature is nobody's bitch in Felarya. It sets the place, it's the house, and the house always wins.

The third aspect, going by what Karbo likes, seems to be the civilizations. We get plenty of pictures of Negav, and plenty of pictures of ruins. They say there's always a bigger fish, but that only seems to apply to the civilizations, not to the predators themselves. We have a chronology explaining when did each civilization explode, explaining what critters existed in Felarya's ancient past and how they beat off the Correctors...

Adventure seems to spin around the second and third aspects. Nature is quite bountiful in Felarya, and the baker's dozen civilizations left scores of dungeons, both of which require one to challenge nature, including the predators, in order to get at the treasure. Heck, look at Subeta, and she gets to be silly and innocent about that too.

======

There are other themes which I liked, but I don't know if they are central as they seemed to be at first.

The first aspect I'm hesitant about is... the immortality. We never saw what it was meant to do, other than, maybe, get you to stop trying to wait until predators die. Or maybe explain why there are no aged preds. It had other implications, but it mostly seems to be about those.

The healing and disease resistance seem to be aspects of that- to explain why you can't get yourself some parasites and pass them to your least favourite pred, or why is it preds don't get every disease there is from eating dirty people like you. Or why you can't slowly whittle them down over days, they just heal too fast. Unlike the immortality, this does have other obvious consequences, chief amongst them that people have an incentive to get in the F-place. Nonetheless, it seems rather tangential.

The second aspect is the multiverse which the existence of the World Between Worlds assumes. That is a theme I focus on a lot, but it appears not to be central. The whole history of Felarya doesn't seem to have much in the way of offworlders until recently (Ps'Isol, Vishmitali, Delurians). Its disruptive potential on other worlds is always minimized: the vanishing lands and such seem to be intended solely for people of other worlds, with all the trouble that invites, to arrive.

Grim humour seems to be a constant for me too, but I'm not sure how to explain it.

What about you? How do you separate the themes?

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PostSubject: Re: Ingredients of a Hot Pot   Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:23 pm

I don't know how I would or could separate the themes, but I can comment on how I personally view the ones you did.

I don't think the vore itself is the problem, the problem instead, and it's something I talked to with Simon when he made his journal, is that I think it's too focused on the predators' perspective, and not enough on the humans'.  I even asked him a rhetorical question, how would he have conceived Tarynn if most of the vores, like Karbo's pictures and other stories, in Felarya was instead presented from the human's perspective, where the giants are portrayed as these horrible monsters that can't be reasoned with, and the resulting fear and loss that ensued was played completely straight.  To be perfectly honest, I can't fault Karbo for not wanting to show how gruesome it truly is for the humans, it is really dark and depressing when you think about it.  Not saying that Felarya should become grim dark or anything, I still like Crisis being her chipper self, even if I did write a story about how there may be more behind that shit-eating grin of hers, and the lightheartedness is part of what gives the place its charm, but there's still the other side of the medal that needs to be shown more.

Nature, I don't have much of a problem with it.  I like how each area has its own "gimmick", if I can call them that, that are just crazy enough to stick out, but still feel like they belong, and give each region its own unique feel.  I'd say coming up with ideas for zones is one of Karbo's strong points.

Civilizations, I'm kind of torn about this one.  On the one hand, I'm very interested in Negav and other existing areas, like Kortiki Town, and how everyday life there is like, and I understand why a lot of people like coming up with settlements.  The problem is that I think it's a very fine line to tread.  Not enough civilizations, and Felarya ultimately feels barren and lifeless, ironically.  Too many civilizations with their own defenses against the giants, some less credible than others, and you start to ask yourself why people are so afraid of them if mounting a defense is so simple.  I think one thing I can say is, if there was once an elven empire that ruled most of the known map, why aren't there ruins of what's left of it anywhere?

Adventures and dungeon crawling are something I think needs to happen more often.  We're told that Felarya has quite a few dungeons, and there's even great treasure to be found on the world, but that's since been downplayed a lot.  If anything, the whole idea of finding treasure was one of, if not the original reason why there was no shortage of humans for giants to munch on.  I'd be down with a mini-series of comic strips about Subeta doing some tomb raiding, there are definite potential to be found there.

As for the pseudo-immortality and the resistance to diseases, those are aspects I used to think were cool, but overtime, grown to think they cause more problems than originally anticipated.  The obvious problem with the pseudo-immortality, which has been brought up multiple times, is what do you do with an aging population in safe areas like Negav's Middle/Higher Tier, or Kortiki Town? Or the Jungle Bowl?  Similarly, the lack of diseases is something that only started to irk me after Spoony made a video about how diseases and such can enhance your games in D&D and tabletops, and I agree that is closes a lot of potential avenues for stories.  I understand that we still have poisons and parasites, but so do all other settings, and I get they are also the main reason why people even bother coming to Felarya despite its dangers, but I think it could have been done better.

The way I would do it, and it's probably going to sound lame, is that the soil possesses powerful healing magic, that not only help wounds and such heal faster when in contact with it, but is also an extremely versatile and sought after ingredient in medicine, able to make a wide variety of remedies, or enhancing existing ones.  Since Felaryans essentially eat, drink, and breathe the thing all their lives, they are inherently extremely healthy and less prone to succumbing to sickness, and as a side effect, they have a longer life expectancy and retain a youthful appearance longer.

I find the multiverse aspect to be a double-edged sword.  On one hand, it opens up a lot of avenues for creative ideas, especially if one combines it with the whole treasure hunting, panacea like soil, but one the other hand, it also gives hack writers a ton of opportunities to abuse loopholes and get away with it by technicality.  My own personal issue with it is that it seems to divert attention away from native Felaryans, as almost every story I've read that do center around humans as the main characters star someone who's not from Felarya, yet is able to survive just fine there.  I'm not saying there's no potential in the fish-out-of-water scenario, I get the appeal, but it loses what makes it special when everyone does it.  Seeing how the people of Felarya survive and live there would be neat and would help contrast the fishes-out-of-water out there so they, you know, feel more like the exceptions rather than the norm.
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