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The Setting
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The Setting:

 1 Ironeye, Mon, 8th Mar '10 9:46:54 PM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
So, here's a thread for figuring out the setting. Also, the setting committee will meet here. What setting committee, you ask? The one that's being started now!

The committee will cover matters such as the exact properties of rifts, the status of various locations in the world, etc.

Due to the inherent connection between this and the plot, I will be hanging out a lot here even if I don't end up on the committee. (Of course, if only one or two people are nominated, I'll throw my hat into the ring...)

We really need people here who enjoy consistent worldbuilding.

To get the committee started, here's a description of the Heartless (to be renamed) that a few of us came up with on Ventrilo. Bonus credit goes to Lanceleoghauni, who added a few ideas despite not being a regular.

The Heartless
  • From the space between Reality and Fiction
  • The emotion that people feel (particularly when they consume a fictional work)
  • Can slowly absorb emotion by being nearby when someone feels that emotion
  • With physical contact, they can do a bit of a "mind meld" that strips the emotional energy from their target
    • Note that this means generic emotional energy, not the ability to feel the particular emotion this Heartless prefers. After a mind-meld, the victim will feel emotionally flat for a while, not much moved by anything. Ironically enough, this means that you are the safest from being attacked by these creatures when you've just been attacked by one.
  • Life Cycle (The Heartless "age up" when they absorb more of a particular emotion)
    • Young: Young Heartless are the weakest and are vaguely humanoid blobs. These young heartless don't yet have a preference for a particular emotion and can only perform a weak drain.
    • Adolescent: Adolescent Heartless have selected a particular emotion as their favorite, and will generally ignore most others. Their drain can cause serious problems if performed repeatedly, but a single attack will only cause temporary damage. At this stage, the Heartless has started to gain a form that helps them induce their favored emotion, and is learning behaviors that will enhance it.
    • Adult: Adult Heartless are so focused on their preferred emotion that they will ignore any target that is feeling something different. At this point, their appearance is entirely focused on causing their favorite emotion, and their appetite is such that they feed entirely by stripping emotions directly from their targets. When an Adult Heartless is powerful enough, it possesses someone and drains them dry, so to speak, putting them into a permanent catatonic state. Several young heartless then lift themselves from the target and the cycle begins anew.
  • Are called through a rift whenever someone puts out "food" for them near a rift. The more powerful Heartless must be enticed by a particularly good "meal". Of course, the more powerful they are, the more likely it is that they will immediately attempt to possess the "bait" and reproduce, replacing themselves with several weak young ones. The ideal minions, if you want the optimal combination of power and motivation/longevity, are those that have just entered the Adult phase.
  • Each Heartless has a storage node where the recently absorbed emotional energy is kept. Destroying this kills the Heartless, but the raw emotional energy is released, inducing that emotion in nearby beings. Getting caught in this backlash is extremely dangerous as it attracts all of the other Heartless.

edited 20th Mar '10 12:50:53 AM by Ironeye

I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 2 Karalora, Wed, 10th Mar '10 6:59:16 PM from San Fernando Valley, CA Relationship Status: In another castle
Manliest Person on Skype
Idea for the storage node:

It is located under the chin, and normally the Heartless keep their heads slightly tucked in order to protect it. But to feed, they have to expose it. This adds an element of risk to the more aggressive feeding method, since the target has a chance to strike back and destroy the node, killing the creature.

By the same token, it is very difficult to attack the node unless the Heartless is in the act of feeding, and the easiest way to reach it is to let the creature attempt to feed on you so that the node will be facing you when it is exposed. So for both sides, the attacker can easily become the victim.
 3 Ironeye, Mon, 15th Mar '10 10:37:42 PM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
Since no one else is stepping up, I nominate myself. As Kara and arim could tell you, I'm perhaps a bit too interested in internally consistent rules for the universe.
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 4 Sand Josieph, Mon, 15th Mar '10 11:35:48 PM from Grand Galloping Galaday
Bigonkers! is Magic
I say just make it Like Real Life Unless Noted so that the fictites can do what they're best known for doing in their own universe.

edited 15th Mar '10 11:36:00 PM by SandJosieph

♥♥II'GSJQGDvhhMKOmXunSrogZliLHGKVMhGVmNhBzGUPiXLYki'GRQhBITqQrrOIJKNWiXKO♥♥
 5 Murky Muse, Tue, 16th Mar '10 6:49:22 AM Relationship Status: Wishing you were here
Magical Girl
I could also be on the committee. I'm more into world-building than anything else.

Boiled and Mashed
Welcome back to the project, Murky.
Video Game Census. Please contribute.
 7 Ironeye, Tue, 16th Mar '10 2:44:37 PM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
Excellent. Alright, that's two.
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 8 gorgardard, Wed, 17th Mar '10 9:42:39 AM from post-apoc candyland
clockwork romance device
I'm in for setting. I do enjoy world building.

 9 Ironeye, Thu, 18th Mar '10 11:03:57 PM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
Alright, that makes three. First topic: the Heartless as described above. My vote is obviously in favor of what we've currently got.

Does anyone have any comments on that?

edited 18th Mar '10 11:04:11 PM by Ironeye

I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 10 Murky Muse, Fri, 19th Mar '10 11:21:36 AM Relationship Status: Wishing you were here
Magical Girl
I'm fine with it. But my attempts at coming up with a decent name have failed so far.

 11 gorgardard, Fri, 19th Mar '10 1:42:21 PM from post-apoc candyland
clockwork romance device
I'm in agreement with most of this here; I'd like to maybe add that the Adult Heartless would be kinda cool if they sometimes became abstract things; such as an item or part of a locale rather than just always something humanoid/monstroid/whatever.

I'd also like to come up with a name that isn't just "The Heartless"

 12 Murky Muse, Fri, 19th Mar '10 1:44:46 PM Relationship Status: Wishing you were here
Magical Girl
How about an acronym of some sort?

 13 gorgardard, Fri, 19th Mar '10 1:59:36 PM from post-apoc candyland
clockwork romance device
I was thinking more something that plays on strong emotions. Depends who names them too - if its the TV Tropes gang, it'd probably be some kind of enemy classification, but maybe each faction has different names for them?

 14 Wicked 223, Fri, 19th Mar '10 2:41:30 PM from Death Star in the forest
I think I could help out with this.
You can't even write racist abuse in excrement on somebody's car without the politically correct brigade jumping down your throat!
 15 Matrix, Fri, 19th Mar '10 11:23:07 PM from The Matrix, Canada Relationship Status: Less than three
quidf scire vis?
I don't know why I forgot, but I nominate myself for this committee.
 16 Ironeye, Sat, 20th Mar '10 12:47:46 AM from SoCal Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Cutmaster-san
It looks like
  • Ironeye
  • Matrix
  • Murky
  • Wicked
  • Gorgarded
is the committee unless there are any objections.

Anyway, yes, coming up with a name other than The Heartless is an important issue. It's unlikely that every faction would have a different name, but it would probably be good to come up with multiple names, particularly the names used by the team, TV Tropes, and the Dark Lodge itself.

In terms of adult heartless being non-humanoid, did you have any particular forms in mind? How can we avoid spending an episode (or breaking out the Wind of Light) to kill one if the storage node isn't in any known location?
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
 17 Matrix, Sat, 20th Mar '10 12:54:48 AM from The Matrix, Canada Relationship Status: Less than three
quidf scire vis?
Perhaps I could come up with a language with which I could figure out what our heartless call themselves? Sometime this month, the print version of Mark Rosenfelder's Language Construction Kit is going on Amazon, and so I should probably have it by early April. There's going to be a section on making barebones conlangs for the express purpose of making names for places or people, so with that I should be able to whip something up, but I won't be able to do it until I actually have and read the book.
 18 Matrix, Sat, 20th Mar '10 1:00:53 AM from The Matrix, Canada Relationship Status: Less than three
quidf scire vis?
This is, of course, dependent on the answer to a question I will ask now: Do these creatures speak naturally, or do they only speak if and what the form they eventually take speaks?

edited 20th Mar '10 1:03:54 AM by Matrix

 19 Matrix, Sat, 20th Mar '10 10:07:53 PM from The Matrix, Canada Relationship Status: Less than three
quidf scire vis?
Well, I'm going to be getting the book in about 4 days. Although the shipping and handling for that is more than the freaking book. I probably should have expected that the four day option would have been expensive, but it didn't show any prices on the shipping choices...
 20 Matrix, Sat, 20th Mar '10 10:12:18 PM from The Matrix, Canada Relationship Status: Less than three
quidf scire vis?
And Kara just answered the question for me, saying that they probably don't speak naturally, instead communicating with emotional impressions.
 21 gorgardard, Thu, 25th Mar '10 10:51:10 AM from post-apoc candyland
clockwork romance device
I don't have a problem with that, Matrix. Sounds good. I'm sorry for my extended absence, had a rather nasty flu which resulted in me missing two days of work, so now I'm recovering AND playing catch up at work, so I should be back to posting regularly soon.

Lord Lore
I'm not formally part of the commite, but I just had an idea concerning the naming issue. If they don't speak themselves, humans must do the naming and the only way we have for naming something is either by what it does or what it looks like, so I guess we need to analyze the creatures. The young ones are probably roaming arround a lot, feeding on any emotion they can get, one could call them travellers or drifters or seomthing like that. The Adolescent state ones are more focused and probably stay in one place, where they can get their favourite emotion, they could be dwellers. The Adult ones are probably very teritorial, they have found their perfect harvesting ground and probably altered it in a way that enhaces an intensifies their favourite emotion. They could be called something like keepers. With different names for each form one could establish a Sorting Algorithm of Evil feel

edited 14th Jul '10 8:27:59 AM by Lore

 23 Bobby G, Wed, 14th Jul '10 6:04:08 AM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish

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Total posts: 23
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