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Author Topic: There is another world  (Read 1594 times)

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Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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There is another world
« on: February 10, 2008, 05:43:26 PM »
From when we are old enough to comprehend we are told to believe only what can be proven, to put aside those childish fancies, and beliefs that the 'real world' says cannot be.

But they can be. And they are more than fancies. Those feelings of deja vu, the glimpse of movement seen while but half awake, or from the corner of your eye, they are when you brush against that world. Most who will do more than just brush will recoil, convince themselves whatever they saw was a shadow, their overactive imagination, or that one glass too many.

But that world is real, and is separated from this one by no more than a thought, a look, a gesture.



I'm looking for, for lack of a better term, a modern fairy tale. The introduction of a rational young man to a world that he'd dismissed when he left childhood, after one repitition too many of "That's not real." Any fae princesses, sultry vampiress or similar want to show him just how deep the rabbit hole can go? Perhaps something in the vein of Stardust, American Gods or Neverwhere.

Online Jefepato

Re: There is another world
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2008, 06:14:09 PM »
This sounds really cool.  I'll need to give it more thought, though, because this would take a lot more planning to do right than most games I've handled.

I haven't gotten around to reading Stardust, but American Gods and Neverwhere were pretty dark.  Is that what you're looking for?

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2008, 06:34:51 PM »
Not necessarily as dark, more to give the idea of the world that exists alongside our own. I've read American Gods, watched Neverwhere on tv and saw Stardust at the cinema. Stardust is a much lighter feel, and reminds me a lot of The Princess Bride.

I think most people are fairly familiar with the modern fantasy as in the Anita Blake books, where the once fantastical are now commonplace. I'd prefer to keep the air of mystery. Maybe the Dresden Files might provide some good feel as well for it.

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008, 06:53:10 PM »
Ah, that explains it better -- not that the Dresden Files aren't dark too, but in light of that I think I see what you mean.

I think this would be fun to try.  Particularly, it might be interesting if my character had been one of the young man's "imaginary" childhood friends (giving her a strong motivation to reintroduce him to her world)...how well he remembers her could vary to taste.

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 07:01:53 PM »
I'd thought about suggesting that myself, but was wondering how age differences might be handled.

Still, given the stories of someone spending a night with the fae and returning to their home years later, there is no reason that the flow of time has to be the same for both, or even constant. His trip down the rabbit hole could see him returned moments, hours or years later to his home.

So to speak.

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 07:14:42 PM »
There's the "time flow is different/inconsistent" idea, or the theory that, while fae/other supernatural beings are often immortal, they don't necessarily grow to equivalent adulthood any slower than humans.  I think the latter makes it a little easier, conceptually, for the worlds to exist alongside each other.

Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2008, 02:38:08 AM »
That works too.

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2008, 07:15:05 PM »
I've started reading a book called Drinking Midnight Wine, which has the magical world in parallel theme going (I'm still not that far into it) but here's a descriptive piece from it.


Stretched out before him lay the sleeping town, still and quiet now, just an army of street lights pushing back the darkness. There was the tower and spire of Trinity Church, and beyond it row upon row of terraced houses and cottages, ascending the steep hills that enclosed the town - ordinary people sleeping in their ordinary town, all's quiet, all's well. But that was just in Veritie.

In the magical world, every bit as clear to Jimmy Thunder's semi-divine eyes, the town was never quiet. Bradford-on-Avon was an old, old locality, littered with all the remnants of the past. The very old creature that lived Under the Hill stirred restlessly, as though it could feel the thunder god's gaze, and deeper still, things and shapes and presences out of times past slept and dreamed down among the bones of the town. On the last day, when the earth gives up its dead for judgement, many of those buried in Bradford-on-Avon's cemeteries will be surprised to find out who some of their neighbours have been.

Old buildings flickered in and out of sight, ghosts of the town that was. Pale figures sat glumly at the base of the old gallows in the Bull Pit, swapping hard-luck stories and old, old claims of innocence, while in the park next to Westbury House, old soldiers guarded the war memorial, and made rude comments about the new pale green Millennium Statue in the gardens opposite. From the River Avon came undine songs of unbearable melancholy, sometimes drowned out by the terrible cry of the Howling Thing, still imprisoned in the Chapel on the Bridge. Powers and Dominations sat at feast in the ghostly remembrance of what had once been a seventeenth-century eating place, The Three Gables, sharing secrets in loud, carrying voices and deciding men's fates with a laugh and a shrug and a careless quip. King Mob still held sway in the town centre, as men and women long dead rioted over the changing fortunes of the cloth trade. And all across the town there were flaring lights and voices in the earth, and unnatural creatures flying on the night winds.
Business as usual, in Bradford-on-Avon, in Mysterie.


I'm not thinking of quite that level of goings on, but the odd magical spot or two existing amongst the mundane world would work well, I think. What do you reckon?

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2008, 08:42:00 PM »
Hmm...I like it.

Do you think a kitchen-sink sort of magical world would be most appropriate?  That is, kind of like in the Dresden Files, where there's vampires and fairies and werewolves and pretty much any other magical critter you can name, secretly coexisting with humanity?  Preferably not quite as depressing as the Dresden Files, though...and with fewer or no human wizards surviving in the modern day, I think, since the whole thing is that much more surreal for your character if, at least for a while, he has no way to verify that what he's experiencing is real and not some kind of breakdown.

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2008, 01:41:28 PM »
Hmm...I like it.

Do you think a kitchen-sink sort of magical world would be most appropriate?  That is, kind of like in the Dresden Files, where there's vampires and fairies and werewolves and pretty much any other magical critter you can name, secretly coexisting with humanity? 

Co-existing in varying degrees maybe. For those who can pass more easily for human, perhaps there are attractions to the mundane world. Others prefer to stay within the magical world more often than not. Passing into the mundane world would limit their powers, to some degree, since the power of mortal unbelief acts to damp it. Perhaps the mortals who still believe in magic act as a buffer to that, a small oasis in a desert of mundanity, giving the magical beings shelter and sustenance.

I have varying ideas from different books bouncing around, as you may have gathered.

Preferably not quite as depressing as the Dresden Files, though...and with fewer or no human wizards surviving in the modern day, I think, since the whole thing is that much more surreal for your character if, at least for a while, he has no way to verify that what he's experiencing is real and not some kind of breakdown.

Perhaps all the human magical practioners are the ones who have touched against the other world, just enough to feel it, perhaps even to draw from it a bit. My character would be stepping through entirely into it. Deep down he perhaps still wants to believe, but he has decades of "That can't be" to break through to reach it.

I like the idea of places of power, places that have their twins in both worlds, the likes of the fae sythen in the Meredith Gentry books, where the old hills are hollow, and what passes there is partly the will of the inhabitants, and partly something more, something older than even they remember.

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2008, 07:23:44 PM »
So, things like vampires and werewolves probably spend plenty of time interacting with mundane society (especially since the things they do could be easily rationalized away if seen), whereas more overtly magical things (fae, ghosts, etc.) probably can't even be seen (under normal circumstances) by disbelieving humans, nor affect them in most ways?

Weird places of power are always fun.  I imagine a lot of major landmarks and historical sites have more going on than people realize.

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2008, 07:31:49 PM »
So, things like vampires

Those goths .. I tell you, they've read Dracula one time too many. I mean, just look at them.

and werewolves probably

I swear, the dog was this big. Scared the hell out me, it did. Council should do something about those, they're a menace, shouldn't be roaming the streets not on a leash.

spend plenty of time interacting with mundane society (especially since the things they do could be easily rationalized away if seen),

Yup. Of course, in places like California they probably don't even have to disguise themselves  ;D

whereas more overtly magical things (fae, ghosts, etc.) probably can't even be seen (under normal circumstances) by disbelieving humans, nor affect them in most ways?

Most of the time, yes. Of course, in a place of power, it becomes easier for them. Or if they have a source of belief to tap, or some other similar anchor in the mundane world.

Weird places of power are always fun.  I imagine a lot of major landmarks and historical sites have more going on than people realize.

Oh, you can count on that  ;D

Online Jefepato

Re: There is another world
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2008, 10:47:00 PM »
I think we're roughly on the same page in this.

I need to consider my character a bit more, but in the meantime, how will we handle GMly narrations?  Should I do it, or should we perhaps split the job, so you primarily narrate mundane things and I focus more on the mystical stuff?

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2008, 08:07:23 AM »
Either or works for me. If we're not playing to a particularly set storyline, there's no reason we can't both add stuff in as we go along ... within reason of course. If you want to take the lead, particularly on the mythic side, I've no objections.

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2008, 01:14:07 PM »
Well, it's probably better if you have at least some input on the mythic side, since this was your idea and you've probably done a lot more thinking about it overall, but we can make it work.

I doubt there needs to be all that set a storyline, at least not yet.  Lots of stuff has to happen before your character can feasibly get involved in a magical story.

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2008, 05:57:44 PM »
Unless he has some Great Destiny to fulfill, which snaps in when he crosses into the other world  ;D

But yeah, probably better to leave that off to begin with. Though thats not to say other powers couldn't take an interest in him.

Any thoughts on location? I'm leaning towards maybe Ireland or Scotland, one of the more Celtic influenced places, as there's a fairly rich mythic tapestry there to draw on, and its one I'm reasonably familiar with. Our young protaganist has been away for years, and is now back, possibly drawn by some tragic event (family deaths?) that would have remembering / yearning for the past, and that emotional resonance is enough to draw his old playmates attention back to the mundane world.

Sound good?

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2008, 06:21:58 PM »
Just about any location could work, but I agree that there are good reasons to use Ireland or Scotland.  It's been a while, so I'll have to brush up on the specifics, but it should be interesting.

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2008, 06:34:17 PM »
Cool. Can you think of anything else we need to sort out before we get started? If not, I'll kick something off tomorrow evening. I'm about to go crawk into my pit now  :)

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2008, 06:37:56 PM »
Well, I need to sort out the details of my character, but other than that, nothing in particular.

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Re: There is another world
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2008, 07:44:22 PM »