abstract characters

practicing my compositions using abstract/graphic shapes.  I’ve been doing this everyday for 15-20 minutes. Not sharing everything online otherwise I would spam your dashboard with these black and white sketches x). but here’s a character that appeared in one of my abstract daily exercises. Sharing it because I want to use this guy/girl - you decide - as a minimalist icon, for a change!

betacarotene-e160a  asked:

Didn't know about the marvel hero system and I loved the concept of caracteristics depending of solo/team! Do you have other exemple of unusual stands on "how to mesure a character strength"?

Oh, there’s a whole variety of ‘em.

For example, in the Cortex Dramatic Roleplaying system (previously discussed here), instead of stats and skills, characters have Values and Relationships. Values are things like Duty, Glory, Justice, Love, etc., (every character has the same set, just with varying ratings), while relationships are tied to particular player characters or NPCs. Your basic dice pool is created by pairing the most relevant Value with the most relevant Relationship.

The upcoming Cavaliers of Mars  (discussed here) uses a similar - albeit more abstract - approach: every character has three Motivations (For Honour, For Love, and For Myself) and three Methods (With Cunning, With Force, and With Grace), with your dice pool being formed from the most relevant Motivation/Method pairing.

Going further afield, characters in Sufficiently Advanced (discussed here) are rated according to two distinct sets of stats: the levels of technology they have ready access to (e.g., Biotech, Cognitech, etc.), and narrative Themes (e.g., Intrigue, Romance, Wonder, etc.). They two sides interact so that characters with access to high tech have greater difficulty exploiting their Themes, which is how spotlight time is balanced between a character who’s literally a living city and a character who’s just some random human (both valid starting character concepts, incidentally).

Of course, we can go much further. If you want a really odd set of stats, I’ve got a real doozy for you:

Wisher, Theurgist, Fatalist (warning: direct PDF link)

This is an unreleased playtest draft of what might most accurately be described as a game about playing games. Basically, WTF provides a bare-bones framework in which nearly everything about the game - from the setting to the rules - is undefined, and proposes a set of procedures whereby the processes of playing a game and writing a game are the same thing.

Everyone has three core stats: Knowledge, Insight and Harmony. A character whose highest stat is Knowledge is called a Fatalist; a character whose highest stat is Insight is called a Theurgist; and a character whose highest stat is Harmony is called a Wisher (hence the name of the game).

Whenever a question about how to run the game comes up, everyone who has an opinion on the matter rolls the appropriate stat, as follows:

Knowledge answers questions about what things are.

  • Descriptively, a successful Knowledge roll lets you declare stuff about the setting of the game, whether that means filling in blanks or spinning new lore whole-cloth.
  • Mechanically, a successful Knowledge roll lets you attach stats to things. It doesn’t let you say anything about how to use those stats, though - that’s the province of Insight (see below).

Insight answers questions about how things work.

  • Descriptively, a successful Insight roll lets you declare stuff about the rules that govern the setting, including both the laws of physics and the broader metaphysics.
  • Mechanically, a successful Insight roll lets you declare stuff about the rules of the game, including resolving rules questions and making up new game mechanics on the spot. However, these rules need to be hung off of stats and entities declared using Knowledge (see above); Insight can’t give stats to stuff on its own.

Harmony answers questions about how things ought to be.

  • Descriptively, a successful Harmony roll lets you declare stuff about the what things in the setting are for, teleologically speaking - like, how they fit into the greater cosmic purpose.
  • Mechanically, a successful Harmony roll lets you declare stuff about when and how it’s appropriate to apply and interpret the game mechanics; i.e., what sorts of situations should be resolved with dice and rules.

To pose a simple example of this in action:

  • A Fatalist can say “Jane has 18 Strength!”. Jane now has a Strength score of 18 - this is an entity with mechanical weight. However, there are, as yet, no mechanics that actually engage with a Strength score.
  • A Theurgist can say “There exists a rule called ‘making a Strength check’, and it works like this.” Now Jane was a mechanism for using her 18 Strength - but there are still no defined situations in which it’s appropriate to invoke those mechanics.
  • A Wisher can say “When the group cannot agree whether Jane is able to break down a door, Jane should be allowed to make a Strength check.” Now Jane can invoke a check against her 18 Strength to resolve the question of whether she can break down any recalcitrant doors she may encounter.

(Note that this can work the other way ‘round, too. When faced with an irresolvable obstacle, the Wisher can say “make a Confidence roll!”. The fact that there’s no such animal as a Confidence roll is a problem for the Theurgists to sort out.)

There are a bunch of ancillary mechanics involved - for example, a Fatalist can declare her Knowledge “destructive”, which allows her to use her powers to retcon established facts and essentially lie to the other players about the setting - but that’s the gist of it.

The really neat part of all this is that it effectively splits the role of the GM in three. One of the potential issues with traditional tabletop RPGs is they they demand that the GM simultaneously act as an author and narrator (of the setting), an engineer and referee (of the rules), and a host and mediator (of the gaming group itself). These are three distinct skill-sets, and very few GMs are equally good at all of them. The Big Idea of WTF is to decouple those roles. The folks who love to narrate can be Fatalists and handle the GM-as-author-of-the-setting role; the gearheads can be Theurgists and assume the GM-as-engineer-and-referee role; and the folks who are drawn primarily to the social aspects of gaming can be Wishers and take responsibility for the GM-as-host-and-mediator role.

And that’s the most unusual way of statting up characters out of any game I know of.

how do some writers do that thing where they work divine truths and philosophical rambles and string them together to form something poetic and beautiful and answers you haven’t been able to give yourself or admit and it’s abstract but it’s grounded and makes you proud to be in your own skin and brings you an understanding and peace and turn abstract principles into characters and narrative and a world that feels just real enough that you could call your own and it’s a freelance fic


わんぱく王子の大蛇退治 / Wanpaku Ōji no Orochi Taiji 
(The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon)

100 in x of animated feature film history
Release: Mar. 24th, 1963
Country: Japan
Director: Yūgo Serikawa

“The Japanese film Wanpaku Ōji no Orochi Taiji––which literally translates to The Naughty Prince’s Orochi Slaying––is the sixth feature produced by Tōei Animation. English-dubbed versions have been released under several titles, including The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon, Prince in Wonderland and Rainbow Bridge.

The story is based on the Shintō myth of the storm god Susanoo’s battle with the snake-like Yamata no Orochi. It begins with Susanoo’s mother, Izanami, dying. He is deeply hurt by the loss of his mother, but his father Izanagi tells him that his mother is now in heaven. Despite Izanagi’s warnings, Susanoo eventually sets off to find her. Along with his companions, Akahana (a little talking rabbit) and Titan Bō (a strong but friendly giant from the Land of Fire), Susanoo overcomes all obstacles in his long voyage. He eventually comes to the Izumo Province, where he meets Princess Kushinada, a little girl whom he becomes friends with. Kushinada’s family tells Susanoo that their other seven daughters were sacrificed to the fearsome eight-headed serpent, the Yamata no Orochi. Susanoo decides to help her family protect her and slay the Orochi once and for all.

This movie eschewed the soft, rounded look of previous Tōei animated features for a more stylized one. Production cost 70 million yen, employed 180 staff members, and produced 250,000 drawing sheets. It is also one of the few animated films to have music by famed composer Akira Ifukube. The film placed 10th in the list of the 150 best animated films and series of all time compiled by Tokyo’s Laputa Animation Festival from an international survey of animation staff and critics in 2003. It features distinctively modernist, abstracted character, background, and color design; formalized the role of animation director––performed here by Yasuji Mori––in the Japanese system; and drew attention to the talents of key animators Yasuo Ōtsuka and Yōichi Kotabe.

Accolades received by Wanpaku at the time of its release, including: being honored with a Bronze Osella (at the Venice Film Festival) and the Ōfuji Noburō Award (at the 1963 Mainichi Film Awards), and making it into the official recommendations of the Japanese Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health’s Central Child Welfare Council. More recently, Genndy Tartakovsky watched the film and identifies it as a primary influence on the direction and design of his Samurai Jack.”


The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon is available on YouTube in two parts. It is the Italian dub.