Making my world more crapsack:

Total posts: [25]
1 NickTheSwing2nd Oct 2010 10:45:17 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Swing, not Slide
Alright, I think I got everything necessary for the Crapsack World. Its got an Emperor of the Acturian Empire who may or may not be a power hungry, Darwinist prick who has been using Cosmic Horrors to take over neighboring countries. The enemies to his rule include a country full of mages, who have this nasty reputation for nearly causing the extinction of human kind, a country called Phoebonon with an inbreeding problem that also created Prince Lucas, who is completely, utterly off of his rocker.

There is Sersia and Zeth to the south, whom are both Worfed and annihilated by the Seven God Emperors of Gaia.

Speaking of which, the Seven God Emperors are out to make some Gaia's Vengeance and are all brutal Well-Intentioned Extremist characters. They want to destroy all of humankind via engineering the current wars and creating a Physical God Eldritch Abomination.

Who opposes these guys? Why, Acturia of course! They have a church which stresses toleration and love...and furious Jihad against anyone and anything who won't help out against the God Emperors. This church is led by Kall E Vaalnicus, who is a special young man.

And behind the scenes, orchestrating a Xanatos Roulette that uses all three other Xanatos Roulettes as part of his own, is none other than Ein Woe, necromancer, Magnificent Bastard, Omnicidal Maniac, and The Unfettered. Ein has this wonderful goal that is essentially ripping life from the entire multiverse. Because, ya see, he was born, and if the universe can tolerate such an irredeemably evil fellow as Ein Woe, it does not deserve to have any life at all.

The Kicker? The Multiverse is NOT a nice place. The DRA is out there, and they are on a permanent recruitment drive by taking over planet by planet, universe by universe. And the Old Gods, who you might be praying to, to end all this crap? They are taking your prayers very, VERY literally.
2 Edmania2nd Oct 2010 10:58:57 PM from under a pile of erasers
o hai
Humanize everyone.
If people learned from their mistakes, there wouldn't be this thing called bad habits.
3 Tnophelia3rd Oct 2010 09:12:40 AM from from from from from from
Rape is legal and there is no sunlight, all of it is giant synthetic lamps beaming light into spots. The oceans are composed of sulfuric acid. The wind is poisoned or turns everyone into a gigantic asshole. Everything is flammable. There are laws outlawing the existence of more than one child per 50 mile radius.
Hit each of your protagonists with all this, uniquely and painfully.
we are not the same
you will hear my voice
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
There is no bacon.

What's precedent ever done for us?
6 OOZE3rd Oct 2010 10:12:07 AM from Transsexual,Transylvania
Don't feed the plants!
@Tnophelia:Hydrochloric acid is more acidic.
I'm feeling strangely happy now, contented and serene. Oh don't you see, finally I'll be, somewhere that's green...
See ALL the stars!
Hydrofluric acid is stronger still, though less realistic.
Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
8 FeoTakahari3rd Oct 2010 03:20:54 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
Judging by the typical reactions to your writing, your world is crapsack enough as is. If anything, it should be less crapsack and give the reader more of a reason to care about the characters.

edited 3rd Oct '10 3:21:02 PM by FeoTakahari

That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
9 A_H_R3rd Oct 2010 03:25:39 PM from Crevice of your Mind
Resistance is Futile
Believe it or not, making your world too crapsack will result in a backlash.

It will break suspension of disbelief and end up in a pool of it's own narm.
There's already no bacon. You really can't do worse.
The Blood God's design consultant.
11 NickTheSwing3rd Oct 2010 08:37:49 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
No donuts too. Mwaha.
An accurate depiction
Or chocolate. Everyone eats protein paste. Soylent composition optional.
This is this.
Also known as Katz
I concur: the best crapsack involves an everyman who didn't do anything to deserve all this and is just trying to get by. For instance, a world of Eldritch Abominations isn't crapsack if it's just Eldritch Abominations: it's only really crapsack if there are normal people who just want to live normal lives but are getting eaten by eldritch abominations instead.

So the question is: Who specifically is suffering (the people creating the mess don't count, even if they're suffering as well), and how specifically are they suffering?

edited 4th Oct '10 1:06:35 AM by jewelleddragon

Polite smartass.
It sounds pretty crapsack to me. Maybe you could have our friend Prince Lucas crank his evil Up to Eleven?
I've returned from the depths to continue politely irritating the good people of TV Tropes.(◕‿◕✿)
16 NickTheSwing4th Oct 2010 05:23:27 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Swing, not Slide
Lucas cranking up his evil levels...yeah, that could work, and show that, no matter how many nasty sealed away Cosmic Horrors there are, people themselves can be bastards. He has, thus far, marched right through a trade sector of a rival empire, destroying and burning everything, letting his soldiers go wild, and doing some really depraved things. Depraved includes mundane Mind Rape to a poor cutie who I use to show the life of the common people. He basically convinces her that her entire family is dead, and her being alive is the reason why. And then the bastard stops her from committing suicide, and says, "Oh, my pretty little rose, I have barely started breaking your little heart."

His Moral Event Horizon comes in chapter 11. Can anyone say "Feast of Flesh"? Whats worse about this? I am not going to tell you what Feast of Flesh entails. I will just tell you its disgusting and I puked the first time I wrote it down.

As for the people suffering, basically, it sucks to be anyone who is not a named protagonist. You might be abducted to be fed to some variant of an elder deity, Prince Lucas might come marching in and do any number of depraved things to you, and Kall E Vaalnicus is always looking for new, ahem, "Recruits"
Also known as Katz
^No amount of piling the crap on the unnamed extras is going to feel that bad. There's nothing to empathize with, hence why my question asked who specifically was suffering, and what specifically is happening to them.

A Wharton study that I can't find now (but here's an interview about it) tested which type of charity mailing got the highest response rate: a story about one of the people in need, some statistics, or both. The first got the best response rate. People respond to personal accounts; they don't respond to vague figures. And your goal is basically the same as the charities: to convince people that stuff is really bad. You need a personal story.
18 NickTheSwing4th Oct 2010 08:09:45 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Swing, not Slide
^ oh, alright, I will make a bunch of new characters then, so as to show all the effects of the world on them.
Illegalize candy and cakes, ban bright colors.
[[User Banned]]_ My Pm box ix still open though, I think?
20 NickTheSwing6th Oct 2010 05:23:36 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Swing, not Slide
I am looking for viable suggestions, not your weak little snarks. Begone.
An accurate depiction
Actually, banning bright colors is viable. It shows one of those 'personal' little touches to screw up everyone's lives.
This is this.
Also known as Katz
^Well, you don't phrase it as "bright colors are banned," you just make regulations about what colors houses and cars and stuff can be, or you just restrict the supply of dyes and paints to dull colors. It works in 1984.
"A Wharton study that I can't find now tested which type of charity mailing got the highest response rate: a story about one of the people in need, some statistics, or both. The first got the best response rate. People respond to personal accounts; they don't respond to vague figures"

Actually, there have been many studies about it, and it's more complicated than that.

There are two routes to persuasion - central and peripheral. Central is through logical reasoning based on basic principles, and peripheral is a mix of heuristics (eg 'experts are right') and emotional reactions. If they're using the central route, the statistics will be more effective, whereas if they're using the peripheral route, the story will work better. Incidentally, peripheral route persuasion is also much less effective long-term.

And which a person will use depends on a bunch of factors - how much they care about the issue, whether they're tired or distracted, their intelligence and education level, etc. Peripheral route takes less mental energy.

(Today's lecture in my social psychology class was on this exact topic.)
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
Also known as Katz

So how does that apply to writing a story? If you're trying to persuade your reader that the world sucks, how do you do it?
25 doorhandle18th Oct 2010 02:31:41 AM from Space Australia!
Simple. Use both.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.

Total posts: 25