beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
The thing with GURPS is that I think I like it for its versatility and flexibility and diversity
and the way there's a rule for just about everything
and then when I sit down and decide what things to actually use
I simplify.

Read more... )


When inventing religion for the new fantasy world I... first decided that world without Jews would put me in bad company and so clearly Jews got Banestormed there, and then I read a lot of fics about Captain Cold, and then I ended up with a corner of plot about Cold as jew in a fantasy world, but I have absolutely no idea how to write it without just copying that one fic I rad, I don't even know enough to start learning more.

This is how I end up writing nothing, my failure to be omniscient enough to be a narrator.

But.

Fantasy world religion, based on the months of the year, so there's twelve different gods. Except secretly there is a thirteenth, who is god of gates and doors, beginnings and endings, and intercalary days, because I always incite Janus. But if they had Gate magic my plots would work out very different. So.

Twelve gods who grant their priests twelve spells each, except there's secretly thirteen and so each priesthood has a secret spell.

Read more... )



Okay, I didn't get as far as trying to figure out spell sets, and this computer needs recharging. I'll post this and come back to it later.


Pantheons are hard though, you really need to go back and forth with your plot and figure out who you need, and twelve seems too many and too few.

Four are for living things, four for crafts, and four for ways of organising humans. That could work.


Ugh, power plug.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Sometimes dreams prepare you for real life challenges
and sometimes you wake up with a most urgent feeling because
a mercenary company had to be able to call up a thousand men, Read more... )



So, I went off to get a licence to get Captain Cold out of prison and assemble the Rogues. A scouting party could move faster. I'd recruit an even dozen, get down there, and see if between us we could cut the necromancy off at source.

I walked out with blanket permission to get whoever I wanted out of jail... and under a geas, same like I was now stuck under. Such a fuzzily worded geas we either fixed the problem (hah, which problem) or served for a whole year and a day.

So, year and a day with Captain Cold and whoever he would recruit. Heatwave, of course, though he wasn't even in prison, he'd get bound by the same thing to stay with Cold. And no Mirror Master, he'd disappeared into his mirror realm a while back and none had heard from him. But I thought we needed more cold, so we got Weather Wizard in, and then recruited Killer Frost.

Even just from that, it was going to be wild.





It would turn out that the city about to be besieged saw the scale of problem they'd called down on themselves and thought they were so epically screwed it could not get worse. So, necromancy. Except, and it's sad when they have to learn this the hard way at city scale, it can always get worse.

So Cold and the scouting party would go to the source and have a grand dungeon crawl in a graveyard full of barrows and ancient magic. But even after that was defeated and frozen solid (because even the undead have trouble going anywhere when they're somewhere betwee block of ice and crunchy pieces) the threat remained. Somewhere in the city the big bad had set up already, and if we went in there to deal, we'd be the wrong side of the walls when things kicked off.

But even without the geas on, after what we'd just seen, we knew what we had to do.




Adventure. Grand scale.

Don't know what I'd do with an even dozen characters though. Read more... )



Team composition is hard. You want to bring people who can pull on each other's issues so as a writer you've got your brew set up, but you also need a reasonable range of powers, so in universe they'd choose each other for this particular mission. And if you're trying to achieve diversity or gender parity from a 'verse that maybe doesn't so much, well. More difficult than that even.


And choosing people that aren't at some point in prison or at least bad guys in canon feels like cheating on my initial premise somehow. And bad guys always get less depth so you kind of have to reach for issues.


ooh, thought of: Read more... )


Haven't put as much work into the dungeon crawl contingent yet. Send the arogues into the tomb complex, that'll go well...



I have spent hours on this and yet I never get around to making story out of bunnies.

I shall go do something else.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Vampire and ghost, actually. And gender.

I know I've used it before but the idea that a single character can become undead two different ways at once, because the vampire gets their body but not their soul, has a lot of mileage.

And I have this idea for a trans character who looked around for a model of masculinity and decided: William the Bloody. Read more... )

Demons

Dec. 4th, 2016 04:52 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Sometimes I wonder if a plot bunny is too kinky to work (but, internet, so)
or if an idea is worky or I'm just unwisely lonely.

Like: demonic possession is always writ like it's a bad thing, but have they just tried couples counselling?



There's an Ethan/Lindsey fic (Dealing by Estepheia) where the plot rather hinges on the fact that willing and enthusiastic consent is not necessarily informed.

So, imagine, a demon seducing a new host, who invites them in, but is perhaps not in a frame of mind to have entirely thought this through.

It goes manky when they can't change their mind, of course. Demons being demons, there's always a gotcha moment where someone realises they've signed up to forever.

... my inclination to treat this as some kind of arranged marriage AU leads off into Regency AU territory where a society entirely used to the possibilities of demonic ... arrangements... is terribly well mannered and yet, being made of people, still entirely full of ways to get your characters up the tree and throw rocks at them.

Demons as Mr Darcy, initially terrible but, informed by their contact with their potential host, changing their ways entirely, and eventually winning them over.

... entire genres of in universe fiction where it's all terribly romantic and you 'save' your demons with True Love, decried by at least some priesthoods as being propaganda meant to lead souls astray.

Demonic hierarchies and dependencies and having a Duty one cannot avoid but wanting this time to be different.

Entire yearning/having cycles complicated by the fact that making love means the demon changes hosts so there's now an abandoned ex in the picture, possibly to one's great surprise.

Having to get along with the new roommate because being homeless would kill them, only the room in question is your brain.



I mean I can see how them being a demon is problematic, but it's a whole set of new spins on familiar tropes, and then grand cosmic power for getting it right.

But possibly grand cosmic power that leads you into hell. Or to becoming one with the demon in kind of a host and symbiote way, be that more goa'uld or trill. Possibly knowing your soul will never reach heaven on account of that new unity meaning you are, now, a demon, with the memories and skills of your former beloved.

So many ways to be awkward, so many ways to try and get along.



I like the Bujold version demons where they've been one with hosts starting in the animal kingdom and they learn and grow as they go along.


But demons as a specific kind of ghost that remembers life and is being kind of a dick about holding on

or like the other day, thaumic elementals that take an imprint and everyone just argues without provable resolution about if they're trapped souls or deceitful illusions or some new kind of being.



Major magical explosion as deliberate prison break from a thaumic elemental plane that's grand for elementals native to it but purely crazy making destructive to the kind that remember corporeal humanity.


Trying to get along with beings who will happily offer everything you ask for but not be real clear about the degree of peril in the consequences.


Trying to rescue an overshadowed or eclipsed person, someone who made a deal but their loved ones believe the real them is still in there somewhere under what the demon did to them. And my first reaction to that is a disability led revulsion because people are people even if they change and you don't get to lift the awkward bits out and get a normal person back, but stating that is a lot less involving than showing variations. 'Saving' someone who then works to reunite themselves? Saving someone but being just as annoyed at the restored version? Saving someone then realising you loved the demon?



There's a lot of lauers of story.


But I feel I would be better off finding none of them appealing.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Amanda from Highlander can go everywhere and meet everyone though

distracting Dana Scully

meeting Faith in prison or teaching her after

lifting some priceless egyptian artefacts and getting more than she bargained for - swapping security system tips with Sam or just generally getting along like a house on fire with Vala. Can you imagine the shopping trips?

Parker. Meeting the legend. Yes I've read that already but there's so much scope there.

River Song. OMG Amanda and River Song, time travelling archaeologist and her Immortal girlfriend, bumping into each other across millennia. They would get along far too well.

Alex Danvers. Again, a whole law enforcement and priceless weird artefacts angle. But showing Alex a thing or two. ... I mean I ship the canon ship there too but I haven't seen it yet so it's a bit theoretical. But I'm sure the more the merrier.

Amanda and Sara Lance on Legends would be too easy, but then there's unexpected time travel shenanigans like meeting several centuries apart, and angst when Sara has experience with immortals and hence doesn't trust Amanda an inch, and yet more angst when Amanda learns how Sara is even still alive and that there's a way to bring mortals back, and arguments where Sara has to talk her out of it on the basis it isn't worth it because bloodlust and killing and why bring back a monster with your loved one's face, and then Amanda talking her down because sometimes you have to fight and it even feels remarkably good but that doesn't make them monsters and... hang on, I may have talked myself into 'shipping them, that's a proper plotty one that is. ... though now I'm wondering if anyone else has seen both shows anyway...


Amanda still alive in the furthest futures. Babylon 5 and Ivanova after... everything. Or B7 and Servalan. Robbing her, of course, but how would she feel about her rise and fall? And either way it's a hell of a challenge to stay the shady side and keep shiny with that much future tech around.

And by the time we're up to Starfleet and a post scarcity society you have to wonder what she'd do at all. Something new. Mixed with some very very old. Or perhaps archaeologist adventurers are a theme...

Just, Amanda and anywhere in fannish history.

Or with anyone in Highlander. It's not like there's a shortage. Even if we have to skip back before canon there's a thousand years to do that.

Just, even though a pair of occasionally crossdressing sword wielding lady adventurers is very much my style, it's kind of a bit awkward if I write about Rebecca...


But there should be more Amanda.

(and old fic links should never die)

*sigh*
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
bunny that's only vaguely relevant to a corner of my fantasy based on GURPS magic rules with all the bells and whistles, but is also a Flash AU:

Read more... )


A rewrite from the point of view of a living Tessa Morgan and Nora Allen, with help from Tina McGee, is the kind of thing that I don't see getting many readers.

Maybe the search functionality, ease of pairing searches, and relative iselessness of character searches when there's no 'primary character' field, is distorting reader havits ever further?

Or maybe people just don't read about women.

Or maybe I'm being grumpy in advance for no good reason.




Let's face it though, if we populate a 'verse exclusively with fridged women we get a very well populated 'verse and damn near a blank canvas of personalities to work with.



Or there's Jadzia Dax. If I'm doing something with demons that resembles symbiotes then of course there's a Dax 'demon' handed down this one culture that the neighbours don't quite trust, where you have to qualify to bond with a ... spirit? Read more... )
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Okay, so, I was hoping to get another couple hours sleep, but, plot bunny from this dream:

DC Legends of Tomorrow meets Young Wizards
and Leonard Snart is a teenage Speech using soon to be ex wizard.

Read more... )


So, we've got three gay wizards in varying stages of discovering their sexuality. Youngest is new to the concept and pretty much finding it made of awkward and planning to ignore it until it goes away. Middle needs to prioritise, which would be simpler if his boyfriend wasn't so very hot. And oldest is for some reason dating someone several years younger than him, skanky yet legal. And that's Leonard Snart.

Apparently separately, 16 is having trouble with the specificity of translating imperative-need, while Len is constructing hierarchies of power/obedience where none actually exist.

And there's bugs, worried about corruption, convinced it's some kind of biological problem they can learn by dissection.

And magic is thrifty, so whatever these guys think they're there for, the reason it's these three in specific will be because working out their personal issues will help the bugs, and vice versa.

Read more... )


See if the oldest wizard isn't specifically Len the bunny can go lots of places, but when it is Len we know he loses. He loses a lot.

That's sad all over again.






And now I have spent an hour and a half typing up a bunny I don't entirely need, and have run out of sleeping in time.

Allegiance

Nov. 2nd, 2016 07:35 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Dreamed I quietly uncovered a plot in the Fae courts
and the Fae queen was just as quietly happy with me
but then I had to answer to the actual Queen of England because someone said this was a sign my loyalties weren't where they should be.

I was something like one eighth Fae and had precisely one trick left of the magic
but it was a very good trick
tuning attention.

So I could be a walking Somebody Else's Problem field, or walk in All Eyes On Us.

Which is super extra sneaky, because how would anyone suspect someone that obvious could be that inconspicuous?

So I had sneakily learnt what the signal would be for 'everyone run' for the conspirators, and then made sure everyone noticed it when I made it in the middle of a banquet.
The Queen could just arrest everyone when they got out into the halls.
The prince trying to usurp her throne had his fangs quite thoroughly pulled.

But it was suggested to the Queen of England that this maybe might be a bit partisan for an Ambassador, who after all would have to deal with any regime going.
And humans can have allegiance problems when going among Fae, who have so many powers of glamour and beguilement.
So I was asked point blank where my loyalties lay, and had to think about my answer.

This did not go over well with the security people.

But it was because my answer was more about philosophy and alignment than politics.

Humans live in a set of overlapping and complexly interlocking systems, the wreckage of any one of which can skew all the rest. And the way we deal with that of late is to have nation states each arguing their corner, instructed by complex arguments in parliaments within those states, and so on and so forth down the scales to individual choice. But a truly global view of how those systems work makes it ever more urgent they keep working, since any one loop 'winning' would go the worse for it not very far down the line. And that much is obvious even when it's just humans.

The Fae courts have been trying to play a symphony of complexly interlocked non human sentience, and they've been doing it as individual players for as much as a millennium. As a whole system they've been going at least as long as human civilisation, and quite possibly longer than humans as a whole. The argument about whether they arose from us or we from them is misguided when you consider some of them appear to be sentient lava or thinking air. And the most impressive part is how lava and air and plant and meat based forms have been, with significant exceptions, basically getting along, at least well enough the planet is still standing. And they've done it without causing mass extinctions, even when we started to.

Once these things are known, the question of loyalty is a bit of a stumper, since it boggles the mind to just... choose one part, and hope the rest just get on with it.

So I woke up trying to explain that to a court uninterested in most of the necessary referents.

I wanted to ask them how they could find so many forms of sentient life and still have loyalty to any concept smaller than Starfleet and Federation, but for assorted reasons that was unlikely to translate.

Still, that's the basic problem that interests me about all these setups. When you meet other sapients who think different than you but just as well, when they have diverse and even clashing needs, what do you do?

As a disabled queer woman this is not an academic exercise and I'm quite interested in the responses to the defamiliarised versions.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Things from Legends of Tomorrow season one I’d like to play through:

Read more... )
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
So a while back, while reading about European history, I decided that I'd never invent a world with no Jews
because many people across millennia have done their best to make a world with no jews and I do not ever want to be on their side.
(This is part of what is creepy about future worlds like a couple of centuries away without religion. How do they think they get that? Did the world wake up with amnesia?)

Which is a grand declaration, especially given my ongoing lack of actually doing writing, but then I have to do, like, work and thinking and stuff.

Read more... )

Hells

Aug. 4th, 2016 10:21 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I was thinking on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the end of Angel, which I still haven't got around to rewatching because I just somehow can't commit to watching every character I care about suffer that bad and mostly die.

Specifically I was thinking about time differentials in hell.

Read more... )



So that's just a whole stack of problems, inherent in the throwaway concept that time in hell travels a hundred years in a day.

I'm not being real coherent about them, but, they're kind of giant.

So that's a whole stack of bunnies.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I've had a series of dreams lately about Lindsey McDonald and Eliot Spencer.
Because my subconscious is well trained.

But they turn into weird little meditations on the nature of identity and attraction, which isn't exactly where I was hoping they'd go.

Read more... )

And now I kind of want to write this story, where Lindsey gets called back in Eliot's body to rescue his secret probably teenage by now offspring from the clutches of Wolfram and Hart. That could go through so many excellent twists.

But my dreams were less excellent and mostly kind of puzzled and thwarted?
Because the last one was like, okay, so, L or El is in love with you, excellent, and now you're sharing your interests and what you do to relax... aaaaand they're just, like, not? it? Like, they're very nearly the things I like, but just sideways of them. If they were completely not my thing it would be simples, parallel, he'd do his hobbies and watch his films and I'd read my books and wait for my turn with the TV. And if we liked exactly the same things then big win. But instead it was like the uncanny valley of shared interests. Things that I know well enough to know why I don't quite like them, or things I liked when I was younger that I grew away from and now make me feel kind of squirmy embarrassed, or things where I haven't watched them yet but I just don't get why he is.

So then that was a whole heaping dose of 'do I really like this person or just the outsides with what I was making up and projecting on them'. And, duh, they're characters I write from very cherrypicked canon, I am clearly making up the guy I like. But if the canon guy was exactly the same and he just like, say, Sailor Moon, would he still be the guy I thought I liked?

So that was weirdly uncomfortable and full of self examination.

And probably the short explanation of why I've never got around to dating. Like, nobody agrees with me perfectly enough. But I don't want to be that person, that person sounds ridiculous.



So.

Lots of dreams of my current favourite pretty, and yet, the upshot is feeling philosophical and kind of foolish.

*sigh*
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
William Brandt was captured by a crowd of enemy, set to fighting Hawkeye, then surprised from behind by Kenneth Kitsom, grinning. Hawkeye had said something like 'may the perfect man win', very sarcastically. Brandt (eidetic memory) vs Hawkeye (deaf) and Kitsom (not bright). If perfect is the social standard then what do they do with the others?

Dystopian fantasy setup: Read more... )



I also was having ideas for something a bit like the GURPS Banestorm world where the place is patchwork of different bits of history because people keep on being brought there. I'd patchwork very different parts of history than they did though, since they really went out of their way to make patriarchy and make it worse than ever. But one thing that means is you get characters who just walk out of our world into the adventure world, so you can get people to make up sheets kind of like themselves and then play them. But real people who have not been in the armed forces tend to be a bit too squishable in adventures, so half the trick is getting them either an adventure small enough of an advantage large enough.

Read more... )

So then I thought about wedding jewellery and someone being dressed up in all the gold of their entire extended family, ready to embark on a new life. Read more... )



... huh, titled that 'very brief', went on for an hour. Bit not brief then.



Other ways to get someone's entire worldly goods through the Banestorm include them being a refugee - if they know they're running with everything portable they can get their hands on, if they expect to start a new life in a new country, they'll be as close to equipped for a new world as one can be. Except with modern communications not so much. A few years ago people might be carrying all sorts stored locally, but now people have so much cloud storage and rely on the internet so much they might have a nearly empty computer. Factual data I mean, instruction manuals such as would be useful on a new world. Probably they've got a bunch of new music.

... I know I keep wanting to download some Time Travellers Guides and so forth, just in case, but that's because I spend way too much tiem thinking of these things.



Another thing a Banestorm can do is pull in from multiple worlds that look fictional from here.

Tony Stark in a new world would still be pretty rich, if he was wearing his Suit and willing to sell it for the metal value. Or put it up as security against a loan, more likely. But if it's powered he's so well armed he doesn't need to be rich, so that's less fun. Hmmm, though, could you get magic tough enough to take out the suit? Mind magic would work on the pilot but not the co-pilot. Tech college might make it too easy. That'd be fun though, how would you try?





I should go get on with Monday.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Plot bunny: magic road trip with expy Amanda and Vala, maybe Parker but she'd usually be part of a set and I'm less familiar with her canon.
Purpose to go steal some magic books left in a now inaccessible tower.
Mage rumoured to have been working on new spells, hence the tower being declared out of bounds, because that can leave the magic equivalent of nuclear waste.
Turns out the mage left a book dedicated to the Steal spells.
Theme of story is ethics of theft, like Highlander the Raven should have been:
when if ever is it right to steal.

Since one of the spells is Steal Youth you get a whole tangent about how youth gets stolen in a more mundane way, and if it's ever okay to do as you were done to, or steal it back.

Drawbacks: That's got to touch on some dark stuff.

Drones

Jan. 25th, 2016 11:52 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
This morning's dream involved answering the door to find Amazon's latest innovation in delivery methods: A Griffin.

Read more... )

But the bit with the griffin was a proper story. Biotech delivery drones that turn out smarter, or at least more powerful, than intended. Plot.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Woke up at 0700, decided that was far too early in the morning given how late I was up reading, went back to bed until, as it turns out, 12.

I dreamt I was Loki, more or less. Not Loki like the legends or the comics precisely. Loki son of a king, not widely respected, actually widely thought mad.

He'd got bored. Really, thoroughly bored. Being son of the king was something he'd done for a thousand years, and he'd done all the corners of it. And one day he picked up a set of dice, not just with the numbers on but decision dice, and they were a multipack for different castes/races, but the ruling caste had only the one dice compared to up to half a dozen for the others. And looking at it he realised he'd only ever roll the one option anyway. And he was just done with that.

So to start with he tried being daughter of the king. People pretty much ignored it. Especially the king.

The only one that seemed encouraging was his husband. Loki was married to a being somewhat difficult to describe. He looked rather like the Ghost of Christmas Future in the Muppet Christmas Carol, only darker and softer and richer and stranger. He spoke kind of like he should be ALL IN CAPS but deeper and more layered. And everyone considered him somewhat terrifying, for no reason Loki could ever figure out. As far as they were concerned their husband was a great big floof of a softie. Quite possibly an anthropomorphic - or immortalish elf equivalent - personification of the end of an individual life, but mostly just kind of lovely. They had a very happy marriage, which baffled outsiders, who quite apart from the terror thing always eventually sidled up to the question of what exactly was under the robe, possibly with a hint of wondering why they didn't seem to mind what was under Loki's. Their mistake of course was to consider sex a necessary part of marriage. Lifelong alliance is a much more important part, and their husband supported them utterly and forever, so it was a very good marriage indeed.

But the rest of their life was not so good. Rolling one of two options was not turning out sufficiently diverting at all.

Until one day they were needed urgently in defence of the realm, and they needed to be two places at once. So they were. Loki, the prince, stood his ground with his soldiers at the inner gate, using his powers of ice to fill the gap, while Lady Loki ran for the outer gate to seal the breach more permanently. They were too busy to really think about it, so it just got done. And once the battle was won, Loki walked up to his Lady and found that one of her walked away, entirely too fed up at him to have anything more to do with him, while the other of her came back, merely angry at the whole rest of the world. He called her both Wrath and was oddly delighted by developments. Here they were doing so many different things already. He wondered how far it could go.

So he went back to his husband, hugged him soundly, and then leapt off a bridge into deep water. And surfaced pretty much everywhere.

There was a Loki lifting pans in the kitchen. There was a Loki in the armoury sharpening swords. There was a Loki for the dwarves and a Loki for the humans and still, probably, around here somewhere, a Loki prince of the elves, but he was business as usual and got by far the least attention. Having realised there were so very many ways of life he had decided to live them. All at once. Because why wait?

... the suggestion that for some people the 'why' was physical necessity was of course laughed off.

And this change his father could not ignore, not least because they had a kind of sort of democracy. The people could vote for their representatives, from candidates nominated by the existing representatives, and then the representatives could vote for a king. For a great many millennia this had of course resulted in elves ruling everything, since they lived the longest and knew the most and hardly ever needed replacing anyway and, crucially, only ever knew other elves well enough to trust them with anything, because who gets to know people who'll be gone in a century anyway? But there to put the cat among the pigeons was Loki. As Prince he was of course eligible to nominate and to vote, but now he knew people everywhere. And a great many of them were him, so of course he thought they had excellent ideas. And he could rather outnumber all the other voters. And they hadn't got a rule for that.

Plus his husband, ever supportive, seemed delighted and amused in the background.

And that was before all the Ladies had checked in. This business of Kings to rule them all seemed rather different from over there.

So from the point of view of human Loki climbing out the river, the world was rich and strange, all his senses renewed, though something seemed muted and odd. Turned out to be his sense for magic, which as a human he could no longer do. But he had so many new ideas, being such a swiftly changing type. It was delightful.

And almost as good was his father's face when he went home. Here was something he couldn't ignore.




So I woke up before Loki either reunited or started a revolution or both, but that was just fun. Be all the people, why not?

:-)
beccaelizabeth: Burning feather from In Nomine, up like a quill pen; Watcher symbol with lightning; Be in red Buffy style font. (feather watcher be)
She sat at the back, by the window that looked like it would actually open. The desks were a shaky half circle behind a patch of lines and rows, a teacher's desk at the front. Chalk was everywhere, and the schedules and curricula being handed out were on plain old paper in still ink. Ancient stuff for such an advanced class. But then paper was much harder to disrupt than electrons when the magic misfired.

"Okay, class, I'll trust you to do the reading at home, so for now we'll get straight to the practical. Just some warm up exercises, see what you're bringing to it, what level you're at. But remember, the final assessment has to be a group project, so you should start as you mean to go on."

Someone in full third level robes at the front snorted and spun her fingers in a complicated circle, the first few bars of a Gate college spell. "Seriously? Like there's a group here that can do that? They'd only hold me back."

The lecturer, back to her, rolled her eyes, but the student at the back was the one to speak.

"It is deadly serious. I've walked on other worlds, same as you have. Where I've been, there were dangers I'd never experienced, never even thought of before. Whole histories changed on an instant, or with a doom hanging over them. It's only four Earth's over that they've a rock coming just like killed the dinosaurs, and only days to do anything about it. I've seen it with my own eyes, stood and watched it wander their night sky, and I still don't know what to do about it. They're talking evacuation. That's of a planet just as populous as this one. And maybe they'll come to this one. Seven billion people, just arriving, overnight. What do you do when your population doubles? Or triples? We think that rock is rare, but maybe the orbital mechanics work out so it almost always hits us. Maybe we're the last lifeboat in the near alternity. How do you cope when there's three, four, five, five hundred of everyone? What's the life support capacity of one Earth anyway? And what if it's you who looks up and finally sees it. The hammer, waiting to fall. What if it's your own Earth that has to think of something, do something, right now? What would you do?" She paused for a beat, then rolled a gesture around the circle of students. "You, plural."

The Three screwed her face up but nodded. The student at the back nodded and tapped the table twice, passing the point on.

Of course, that wasn't a custom of this Earth...


***

Read more... )

***

Okay, so, I only dreamed the first part, and the AU Stargate-by-magic fic under the cut is what I thought up to solve the problems there presented, but... these are really cool problems.

Also, if they do manage to just shift everyone one universe over? You are suddenly faced with yourself. Forget the stupid Stargate rule where you'll get the shudders, pretend there's no rule to time limit things, just, how do you suddenly cope where across the world there's around seven billion life histories shared by fourteen billion people? Because lets face it, most of us would not be good at sharing.

And as for having to choose which AU to go live in...

b u n n i e s.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Last night's dreams were firmly into nightmare territory in subject matter, and very squishy biology horror.

The first one was a Stargate variant (complete with Sam Carter and Daniel Jackson). Read more... )

So then I died out of the dream and woke up.


... I'll write up the second one later, I'm going to get office supplies now.

Second dream was a dystopia / failed-to-us utopia where they maximised the number of persons on the planet by using the same bodies for several personalities by shifts. And that wasn't the horror part.

But that'll keep.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
This morning's dream involved me as a mage having made a really unwise deal with a demon, so I was powered up but being gradually morally corrupted, couldn't use my most powerful magics for any good purpose, and was physically addicted to spellcasting. The standard GURPS dark magic deal.

I had to stop a balcony from falling for long enough for everyone to run away. Reached for the magic, could only find tiny bits of magic left, just barely held the thing for a few moments, then had to go blow the electricity and set the sprinklers off uncontrollably just to be destructive enough it stopped hurting.

Had to admit that trying to save people when it was that unlikely was pure faith, hope and love. Someone said they loved me for it. Then had to admit it made me nauseous to use the L word.

Seems like a pretty stupid way to power up.

Turns out that when I was a young mage I could call up a whole bunch of angels, only I didn't usually have anything for them to do. Like, here, heavenly host, I just... blew this whistle... because I can... er, this is embarrassing... So then people yelled at me for wasting their time and I stopped doing that. Lots of yelling about how god helps those who help themselves and I should be self sufficient and independent. Which I ended up believing. And eventually I needed to do a thing that was bigger than I had the power for right then so I did a deal with the dark, because the dark says it gives you the power, that seems like independent. But then with all the constraints on using it, no, nope, no it is not, that's pretty much puppety but you're tying on the strings.

So after the thing with the balcony and realising how screwed I was I got to the next big huge challenge, which happened pretty quickly because dark stirs things up so its near-puppets need to do more stuff more quickly to keep the pressure on until they fall, and this time I thought, okay, am screwed, cannot do, this seems like an actual opportune time to call for help.

So I did the whistle thing and called a whole host of angels, and they got stuff done.

But they didn't just stop with the fighty parts or the grand stuff, they fixed every problem I could see. Every little thing. Hungry person? Angel! Slightly unhappy child? Angel! Went through everything and fixed everything great and small. And then, somewhat to my surprise, fixed me. Pulled the dark stuff out so I had some options again. Got filled up with nice shiny instead of dark, set back to as powerful as I was to start with, no more physical symptoms.

And then they left and went home and left the rest up to me.

So I could have done the deal again, if I felt the need, but I could also call them again, any time. And I realised, the first time I called, I said there was nothing for them to do, and felt bad about it. They made disappoint face. You do not want to disappoint angels. But what I realised was that wasn't because I called them, it was because I couldn't see anything that needed fixing. Compassion fail, because there's always something. They were disappoint because I only got as far as thinking what they could do for me, and that was pretty small of me.

But all that practice doing bad stuff with magic and feeling kind of sick when I needed it to help someone, that had like the opposite effect to what the demons intended, because I just got frustrate whenever there was something the power couldn't do, and I got a pretty good map of stuff that needed doing and would piss off demons.

So with that new viewpoint, I could see tons for angels to do, and I had learned real good that I couldn't do it all on my own.

Compassion teamwork for the win.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Dreamt something Read more... )


That one's pretty promising though, world jumping portals and people who needed to spread the stories badly enough they'd use portals to get the word out. Something a bit religious and a bit... unpopular? Forbidden? Maybe even dark. The thing with the bread. And either 8 or 13 names, 5 of them roles one could be trained into.


I'd need 5 matching S words. Shade wasn't top of the list. Scholar was exactly in the middle. Whichever words you chose would be a values set.


And the names on the wall hadn't turned up directly in the stories that went through the portals, or I'd have known them straight off. So they were a bit secret, except also letting people in just for knowing to ask.



I know dreams never turn up a plot tidy enough to be an actual story, but mine keep leaving questions open I want to make answers for. And this one seems interesting.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Got woke up today in the middle of a dream that was turning out to be a series of Clues.

To start with there was a new light in the sky, and it was getting bigger. Either we had a really tiny rogue star coming our way, or an alien megastructure with a really spectacular power source. And either way, Something Must Be Done. This solar system with two stars? Bit of a problem.

And of course if it was just a wandering star we had somehow not spotted before, we were pretty screwed.

But if something built it, someone else could, well, unbuild it. Destroy, divert, there was an ongoing argument. But to decide precisely what to do we needed more data, and to get it we needed to send humans out there, fast.

I was selected for a crew of 8 sent in an Orion type nuclear pulse propulsion spacecraft.

The crew size was the first Clue. Even the 50s Orion was planned for a crew of 200. Given the size of the thrust involved, the weight and life support requirements of a few extra people is nothing. And for a mission this critical to humankind, you need backups. We should have our skills duplicated several times. I was explaining to the other crew that given the mass limits or lack thereof we could divide the ship into quarters, crew each quarter with a small university department, bring all of their equipment, and still have room for a gourmet chef. The whole ship is designed to be propelled through interstellar space while stuffed with nukes, stuffing the tiny people capsule with people instead shouldn't slow it down none.

But no, there were 8 people, no duplication of skills, and one of them was me.

I am not the first choice for a critical mission even in my dreams. Nor even the fourth.

So the other 7 were interesting. I think the bald dude in charge was Ben Grimm pre cosmic radiation. The bald dude sitting next to me was Lex Luthor, relatively young. I believe our engineer was Tony Stark. But in the dream none of them were Names and I had to learn them and meet them for the first time while we were up there. Also there were three more women, one of them married to the other man, two or possibly three of them trying to chat up Stark. Who is pretty, even if not rich and famous. And he might have been rich, rich people were not my special interest in this dream.

So this was Clue the second: Nasa has how many people available, as do other countries, and they send a crew that had never met? When we were expecting 200 crewmates that makes sense, but with 8 of us, no.

We started out in space and the initial thrust was going to be multiple gs, followed by steady 1g, then a couple of times a day of multi g. We're going fast. So we have these rather cool looking and feeling gel g couches to sit in. Really if I could get one of these as a recliner for my front room I'd be sorted. They're the comfiest things, they mould to the person sitting in them, and they look really cool. Not entirely unlike the Atlantis control chair, in the nice blue glowy bits with gel pads for your arms, but more like stuff in the shops now, and with the metal frame underneath showing and made of elegant curves. Actually quite a lot unlike the Atlantis control chair now I look it up. But it reminded me of one in the dream.

Thing was we were all sat down ready for the big push and I remembered I was still wearing rings and a necklace. I don't know how much they would weigh under thrust, but I didn't have time to do the maths and I didn't want to find out the hard way. So I said to wait and I pulled them off, but there was nowhere really to put them. Nowhere to put your drink or you work, except some like room dividers that reminded me of pew backs only metal and plastic, and those were out of easy reach. So I tossed my shinies on a worktop area which had upturned edges, and so did the guy beside me, and then there was a general clatter from behind us as others did the same (what, we're going to space and now we think of this?) and up front the boss dude is telling home that we're pausing for a few seconds, aaaand we're done. And boom, the first push happens. Tidy.

Except I did some maths while we were waiting it out, and the push happened at scheduled time on Earth + time for signal to travel. It did not happen when the boss dude pushed the button. We weren't in charge of our own spaceship propulsion, Earth was.

So then there's a bit of poking around to discover that (a) Earth is going to stay in charge until we reach the scary shiny thing and (b) Earth has no intention of us turning around early, not with that many nukes on board. We're going out there and back and using up all our fuel, or we're not getting near Earth again.

... a journey with no margin. Lovely.

I was explaining to the ship boss dude that I was autistic spectrum and had been Noticing Things when I woke up. Things like: I'm not the only person on board who is neurodivergent, and some of these people seem to be stealing each other's shinies? On a ship with 7 suspects that we're not exiting in the forseeable future? And this is not the crack crew I would have chosen.

Our duties were mostly minor maintenance. We were along in case the repair bots couldn't handle it. Or possibly to repair the repair bots.

But we had minimal carry on and we were discouraged from even bringing paper, everything was supposed to stay digital. And my paper notes were starting to not agree with some of the displays.

Clues. Clues everywhere.

And now I'm frustrated because I woke up before I found out what it all added up to. I mean, clearly we were disposable, and probably we were riding a really big bomb that didn't care how civilised the new neighbours were, because none of us were the local Daniel Jackson and I wouldn't choose us to talk to anyone much less aliens. Probably it was a very straightforward mystery.

Except sending a bunch of misfits, lying to them about tiny bits of data, and making sure they can't do anything about it, that seems overly complex. They could have just sent Jack O'Neill, original movie edition. So what were they trying to pull?

And was it anything like that Outer Limits episode with Wil Wheaton?

I mean, that's a lot of kaboom. Who could you fool into delivering a lot of kaboom?



So once we figured out the Clues then the challenge would clearly be to make sure the mission completed its original peaceful survey and contact objectives, preferably with maximum survivors.

That part would be Science Fiction with proper numbers and then some aliens who figured out the 'that would be an engineering problem' part of some of the best SF tech by just dragging a tiny star around for a power source.



... a first contact mission with Tony Stark and Lex Luthor, led by Ben Grimm, and with a kleptomaniac on the crew. That could in no way go horribly wrong at all.



So now I'm trying to figure out the plot. Of this dream. That was probably just going to turn into another one of those where I can't find the bathroom, only in space.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
The Ladykillers, as urban fantasy, where it turns out Mrs Lopsidhed is the big surprise.
She's been keeping the mortal police updated on the doings of faerie for decades, of course, and it's terribly polite of them to leave such matters in her hands so often. And now they say that mortals don't want their money back. Well, they'd know best, of course.



Her claiming her knowe in the first place, getting it back from some kind of dark and nasty, leading a police raid where they ignore her advice and go in the sun side, dark side, and the in between at once, leaving her and a lady police officer to guard the front door. Well the go in themselves, by the correct forms, and between them manage quite the binding. This new fangled 'plastic' turns out to be the blood of the dead after millions of years. Who knew? Powerful stuff, though.



Her running a guest house and being the local Miss Marple for the sidhe side. I've seen a bazillion urban fantasies based on the kind of private eye books where they stumble around being attacked until they figure out who by. I haven't seen any based on the other sorts of detective. Well, one Sherlock Holmes mixed with very dark mythos, but the logical forensics sort is tricky to do when magic is in play. The lady who really really knows her community and can tap her social network for most anything would translate much simpler.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
today's dream had me waking up poking magic systems and reaching for the dictionary. which meant getting up and turning on the computer, because paper dictionaries woefully incomplete.

There were magical beings with powers that divided up into two factions, commonly known as good and evil. The point of view character had a very mixed bloodline and had like a report card of his abilities, because he had a little of everything from the common types. They used alphabets where being towards the end was more powerful. Probably they had omega powers for the bossest ones, but it might have been Z, you never know.

Read more... )


So yeah, arguably Evil slightly vampire Arthur and Merlin in a 'verse with vampires and plant magic and whatever that theon thing could possibly be. As an Evil power it feeds on some aspect of intelligent life, so maybe feeding on worship? Complex politics and the quest for women who wandered off to do their own thing centuries ago.

I think that's a different spin on a lot of elements I've read before. It could work.

I'd just be a lot more interested in it from the women's point of view.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I mentioned before that the me-alike in many magic worlds worships Janus. I've had plot bunnies since Buffy that wandered really a long way from Buffy.

I know Buffy took the two faces, used an unusual statue where one of the faces is definitely feminine, and did a whole insides to outsides physical transformation thing, but that's not conventionally associated with Janus. Cool, but, not a primary aspect.

Janus could see past and future, and was deity of gates and doors, being the doorkeeper of the gods.

So the obvious spells are Read more... )

The visions powers would be handy for investigations, but not completely instant answers, especially if there's limits like can only show your own personal past and future and can't be used on murder victims.

The gates powers would either be the sneakiest cat burglar of all time or awesome at jailbreaks. Jailbreaks from other dimensions even. Like getting Lindsey out of his hell dimension.



Looked at from a more or less mainstream Christian perspective it's a giant not cool to break someone out of hell, because God did the judging, The End.

Looked at from a number of other perspectives, like say belief in a just and loving deity, hell is just creepy bad.

And if you believe in reincarnation then the Christian idea that there's a hell that's forever is just the worst. Like, there are hells in reincarnation schemes I know of, but they aren't eternal. They're more like jail with added badness. So you do your sentence and get out again. Read more... )

The idea that all the 'hells' of reincarnation religions are purgatories, and that 'hell' in the permanent sense is a trick built around getting people to not even try getting out, that's where the story would happen.




The magic system I was thinking on with spells being the swap for offering your life to a deity... Read more... )



There would be spirits who are lying liars who lie, spirits who skip the small print, and spirits who set out the price up front and let people weigh it up. The truthful ones would get annoyed at the lying ones.


How the spirits get started would be a great big argue. Read more... )

But someone deciding to set out and be a good and generous god... that's such an interesting story. It's all about being a good boss. What's the necessary qualities of a good boss?

Like, you want your deity to leave you free will, but you want your boss to kind of give you a hint what your company does to make the shinies that keep all your employees alive.

And if omniscience isn't one of the powers of deity, just maybe higher levels of skill and more power to pour into some standard spells like divinations and mind reading and so forth, ever deity is a gamble. Like, there'd be some big successful firms, but there'd be new startups too, and they might get big or crash out.

But if you happen to have power, like if you arrive in the afterlife and your friends are willing to post you some power every day, then what do you do with it?




Also, are there two magic systems, where one uses a sort of raw power and the other just kind of asks spirits nicely, or is it all spirits all the way down? Then being a big deal spirit would just be about getting more spirits to follow you. Some big spirits would do it by punishing a few and getting the others to scamper around trying to avoid punishment, others would do it by being nice and helping them all, except they'd need like taxes where they get a little work from each to do things that are for the good of all.


So then the gods thing is just like the politics thing only it don't end.




It's all different story generators with different metaphors built in.

If you start with only one being sitting in judgement, then you do right or wrong, the end.
But if you've got entire courts and pantheons going on, lots of different standards standing right next to each other, then that gets complicated.
Hence drama.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Sometimes I spend a daft amount of time fiddling around in GURPS books and character builders and then decide that no, my idea was fine in the first place, not reshaped to fit their rules.

I dreamed some characters that get jewels that symbolise the magical power they get in exchange for an offering. Offering to who or what? That part can be fun. So I look up Roman gods and goddesses. Trivia is interesting. Minerva is who sprang to mind for the whole mind control college. Janus is who the me-alike always ends up with. Divination and Gate spells, more or less. Read more... )


Gates that can go anywhere, whether by landing there or just sitting waiting to be opened, are such bountiful plot generators that the two longest running SF series used them. Read more... )

The Spirits and Religions books mentioned that hells and heavens have, like, entrance criteria. Read more... )



I just have in mind as a story seed someone looking at this gate to a pristine empty world, and instead of just thinking 'space colony', they ask "How do you make a Heaven?"

That crystalises the same problems as the space colony in whole different ways.

Whole lot of stories in that.

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