but there are some unfortunate inconsistencies

Oh shit 10,000 followers

I’ll take this chance to address a couple things.

First off, thank you to anyone who enjoys my stuff, and to those that have sent my way the nicest comments and messages. Never have I thought I would have so many people saying so many kind things to me. I’m amazed and humbled that my silly drawings can contribute to your day in any way. 

I have an instagram! HAD, actually. Still havent gotten around to uploading everything up there. And some posts would have to be exclusive to tumblr. So really if you’re on tumblr there’s no reason to go there but. uhm.

https://www.instagram.com/bananatwinky/

Also, I feel like some people have gotten disappointed when I don’t respond to messages and questions. I apologize if I let you down, but the blog is primarily for sharing my original content. Unfortunately I think I will be prone to being very inconsistent when it comes to responding; It takes me anywhere between minutes to weeks to respond. I am trying to make an effort to go back and respond to old messages (some old questions I’d like to respond to privately but for some reason dont give me the option).

Classes are ramping up and I’m feeling busier, but I hope I can make stuff more often.

firehawk12  asked:

Do developers think about "ludonarrative dissonance" when designing games - or specifically, whether gameplay contradicts the non-interactive story elements of a game - or is that just a thing that game critics/journalists think about?

We think about it too. It’s something we try to minimize, but it’s hard sometimes. Most of the time what we want players to achieve is a state of flow - when everything just gels and feels good. It’s really hard to quantify this state exactly, but ludonarrative dissonance invokes an uncomfortable sensation that bends or breaks the illusion for the player, and it breaks the sense of flow. Usually it stems from some form of inconsistency - either internally to the game or it’s a contradiction of generally-accepted real-life logic. 

For those unfamiliar with the concept, ludonarrative dissonance is that nagging feeling you get when Cutscene Batman refuses to kill the Joker during the story climax, but Gameplay Batman drives his batmobile into crowds of faceless generic criminals on the street while shooting rockets and guns into them for points and power ups. It feels very weird when that sort of thing happens, because it shakes you out of the sense of immersion and makes it very hard to get back. Unfortunately, the story and other gameplay elements like combat are usually developed in parallel, often without a lot of coordination between the teams. After all, the writers are more focused on the cinematics and the telling of the story via characters and environments, while the combat designers are often more focused on the second-to-second gameplay of compelling combat encounters with enemies and monsters. 

There are other elements of gameplay dissonance in addition to the ludonarrative variety that we are usually on the lookout for. One such example came from early in my career - a friend told me the story of playtesting a game and experiencing dissonance from internal inconsistencies. He was playtesting a game where water was tied to health recovery. Picking up small bottle of water would recover a little health. Water fountains were stationary sources of renewable health. So when he came to a waterfall, the first thing he did was jump in, and it resulted in instant death. He hated it because it wasn’t internally consistent with everything else the game had taught him up to that point. This lack of internal inconsistency can take many forms - colors, shapes, character behavior, combat, etc.

We try to catch it as we go, but sometimes designers are susceptible to tunnel vision too. If we’re too close to the product, we sometimes miss what should be obvious. We usually try to avoid this with playtests and sanity checks, but it does sometimes slip through for some reason or other. We usually don’t have the time or resources in the schedule to fix it by the time we recognize it, so we either cut it or ship it anyway. Tomb Raider Underworld, for example, originally made Lara do a standing gymnastics routine in place to recover her health. One of the early Daniel Craig era James Bond games originally intended for him to keep a portable defibrillator on his person and shock himself to regain health during the game. After trying it out and experiencing that dissonance firsthand, the devs on both teams decided to nix those features and opted for regenerating health instead. Even though the regenerating health wasn’t a great solution, it was better than what they had tried before and it was the only thing that fit into the schedule.


Got a burning question you want answered?

Some of you may have figured out by now or know that unfortunately my sweet little girl Phoebe is no longer with us. Which is why my art and posts have been so inconsistent. I apologize for this as I was trying to recover from loosing my best friend and am still healing. This is for her, surrounded by all of her favorite things. RIP Phoebe-wee 💕🐾💕

reesemenezes  asked:

(1/2) Hello, and thank you for taking on such an arduous job. I am having trouble deciding what methods are most effective in making a person mentally vulnerable/compliant and disassociative from themselves, that don't also essentially make a person "useless." For context, my protagonist is a metahuman of significant power. I know how my antagonists are keeping her drugged so that she cannot escape,

(2/2) but I’m not sure how they would actually go about the process of trying to break her down without breaking her utterly. Can you give me insight as to what combination of methods they may use, and which ones to shy away from as the are, essentially, too effective? Currently I’m thinking a combination of sleep deprivation, starvation, and forms of manipulative mind games. Oh, and preferably ways that aren’t actively physically violent.

-

Hi, happy to help.

Unfortunately the problem you’ve hit on is one of the main reasons torture has such inconsistent results. There is no sure way to do this.

There isn’t any one, or combination of, methods that will make someone compliant in the long term and all the techniques used to try and force compliance have a high chance of causing permanent physical or psychological injury. The magic spot tortures are aiming for, between resistance and a complete breakdown does not exist.

That said I can give you some information that might help you decide where to go with your story from here.

One of the counter-intuitive results from Rejali’s study on torture was that most people who defect, allegedly as a result of torture, seem to have decided they would change sides well before the torture began. The degree of compliance a victim is willing to give is something they usually decide before their capture based on how strongly they feel about their cause, desire to avoid suffering or death, whether they think resisting torture is pointless and a long list of other reasons.

That means the ‘effectiveness’ of anything your antagonists do depends more on your protagonist, their personality, their world view and the causes they care about, than anything else.

It also depends what you mean by ‘compliance’. It’s possible to reduce someone to a state where they’re unlikely to fight their guards. It isn’t really possible to force them to change sides and become an effective agent for the antagonists.  

The second part of question, what techniques people are likely to use, is easier to address. It’s also very dependent on where the antagonists come from, so I’m going to list a few or the most common techniques and indicate some of the places that don’t use them. All of these techniques are physical and have physical effects. (Yes even sleep deprivation).

Stress positions.

Different countries tend to favour different stress positions and different restraints but as a broad category stress positions are used worldwide. Basically the victim is forced to stay still in an uncomfortable position for hours to days. It doesn’t sound particularly violent and it doesn’t tend to leave scars. However it can cause extremities (particularly feet and hands) to swell up painfully, blood clots that can lead to limbs needing to be amputated and death by kidney failure.

Pumping.

The victim is forced to swallow huge quantities of liquid, usually water. The water is often mixed with something unpleasant, bleach, human waste, chilli and salt have all been used. It’s also been done with alcoholic drinks on Muslims specifically to make it more humiliating. Pumping swells the internal organs in a way that’s described as the most painful sensation the organs can experience. It isn’t uncommon for the victim to leak fluid from virtually every orifice. I’m not aware of pumping being used by the US, UK, China or Japan.

Suffocation, either dry or using liquid (waterboarding).

This can cause death and permanent brain damage. Different countries seem to favour different forms. Waterboarding in particular has been used by the Americans and French and was used throughout French colonies. It’s thought that it came to America via returning veterans from Vietnam.

Electric shocks.

Used world wide with the regional differences mostly down to the tool used. The UK virtually never uses electricity (there are one or two recorded cases). Modern stun guns tend not to leave marks and their use is very very painful. They can kill and because they don’t leave marks it can be very hard to prove cause of death. I think it tends to lead to heart attacks, head injuries (if people suddenly fall unconscious) and choking on vomit. Historically telephone magnetos were common electrical torture devices. ECT machines have not been connected with torture. They’re large,

expensive and unwieldy. They might have been misused on psychiatric patients but they weren’t used in police stations, black sites or battle fields.

Pepper.

This is the application of common irritants (pepper, chilli, salt etc) to wounds or mucus membranes. Genitals, anus and nose are the most common targets although in the eyes were targeted as well. This is more common in Asia and Africa than the Western World.

Sleep deprivation, Dehydration and Starvation.

These are all common worldwide but not always used together. In the long term sleep deprivation causes serious mental and physical health problems. In the short term your character would hallucinate. A lot. I’ve had sleep deprivation hallucinations, they ain’t fun. Anecdotally hallucinations caused by sleep deprivation tend to be frightening. Mine were always black and white.

Dehydration and reduced diet both cause crippling head aches, dizziness and nausea. Dehydration can cause your character’s vision to blur and after a while water might taste sweet.

I’m going to come back to the question of compliance now I’ve summarised those methods. If all you want is the antagonists to have an easier time handling/moving your character these methods will work. In fact just sleep deprivation would make it easier for them to do whatever they want to your character.

If however you want active compliance then these won’t work.

Your character might still comply, but they’d be complying for reasons to do with their own personality and motivations in spite of torture, not because of it.

Disclaimer

I can’t believe the crap I still see some people give Cassie. While her books themselves are among the most inconsistent in quality unfortunately (she gets the most “breather” books), she is allowed to be just as flawed as all the other characters. Her defining attribute - her empathy - is both her strength and her weakness. It is what allows her to connect with other people but also use it to manipulate them. It is what allows her to set morals for herself to follow so she doesn’t slip into a cold-hearted survival-of-the-fittest mode (which she expresses her fear of falling into as early as book 9) but also what sets herself up for goals she cannot possibly meet, such as taking part in a war without killing. But what Cassie has accomplished, without Rachel’s brutality, without Marco’s ruthlessness:

  1. She has remained the only character to successfully talk a Yeerk into giving up her host. In her willingness to listen to Aftran, to humanize her while still not tolerating her unacceptable behavior, she made a Yeerk learn to have empathy. She learned that the Yeerks are individuals, and most of them are as Aftran, caught up in imperialist propaganda and being forced to become part of a war most of them didn’t want. Without Cassie, there may have been no Yeerk Peace Movement.
  2. She successfully got in and out of the Yeerk pool alone. Bruh.
  3. Her unwillingness to be docile and just follow the peer pressure of the other Animorphs who are pushing for her to be vicious ends up saving the lives of the Animorphs themselves, hundreds of human and Hork-Bajir hosts, and thousands of Yeerks (including pretty much the entire Yeerk Peace Movement) when she discovers that the Animorph’s plans to blow up the Yeerk pool was a trap by Visser Three. And she stopped it by taking on a hoard of human controllers on her own.
  4. When she rescues Aftran from her planned execution for treason at the Yeerk pool, she becomes desperate the save the life of a Yeerk. She is even willing to let Aftran infest her. But knowing that this isn’t a long-term or viable solution, with Jake’s help she gives Aftran access to the morphing technology; she shows the Yeerk there is a way to live without slavery, something the Andalites could have done from the very beginning and stopped the war. It’s this decision - to learn how to save the life of this one Yeerk - that’s the game changer in the last arc. 

Cassie vindicates Seerow’s kindness.

anonymous asked:

Can you tell me why do you enjoy Glee? I'm not one of those who hate on the show for being LGBT-friendly, it's just that the characters are so inconsistent, the pairings are often forced and the storylines can be cringeworthy to really bad. Not that there isn't talent on the cast. I liked the earlier seasons, but I thought it became so nonsense later on... Maybe I'm not watching the way it should be watched, idk...

I’ve been sitting on a similar message for months now, trying to figure out how to respond. The problem with these messages that always leave me in a bind is that I do not think my answer would be really satisfactory to you. We all respond to media in different ways, have our own lines in the sand as to how much we can suspend our belief, like different things, etc. So I don’t know if I can really give you a different perspective on the show or anything; all I can offer is my own viewing experience.

Keep reading

how to approach female feeders

Many of the points I’m going to mention can be applied to feedees as well, women on the internet as a whole, and possibly even just a general guide for online dating. However I’m writing it from the perspective of a female feeder (and male feedee). It’s also more for individuals that are looking to date or establish a friendship. Finally, it’s of course a personally influenced post so what I talk about doesn’t necessarily speak to every female feeder. 

  1. Read her blog/profile - Assuming she has some info, spend a few minutes reading it over. This information could come in handy for conversation (e.g. you both like the same TV show), but more importantly it could dictate why she may or may not reply. See point number 2! 
  2. Respect what’s written in her blog/profile - If she says she’s only interested in meeting/dating men between a certain age range or from a certain location, don’t send a “well I know I’m not ____ but….” message. This pertains to any specific parameter she has listed on the blog. If she states she doesn’t want to gain mutually, respect it. If she states she doesn’t share her kik/email/etc, don’t bug her for it. 
  3. Does this mean I can never message her if our interests don’t line up? Not at all. I’m saying you shouldn’t send a message that blatantly disrespects her requests in the hopes you can change her mind. If she’s a feeder and you’re looking for a feedee but you still think she’s a cool chick and you wanna discuss feeder stuff together, then send her a message and say that! 
  4. Have info on yourself available or provide it in a message - Maybe this is just me, but I’m not a huge fan of blank tumblrs or profiles. You don’t have to write a whole novel, but some basics like age, location, a few hobbies/interests, etc. would be nice. Even just an active blog (that isn’t all porn) can be informative. If you don’t like posting that information publicly (totally makes sense!) then perhaps include it in your initial message.
  5. Beef up your message a little - This one might just be me as well, but I’m going to say it anyway. I never, ever respond to messages that only say “hey” or “hey, how are you?” To me that feels like something you’d send after you’ve had a conversation or two, or if you were texting. Like if a stranger at the bus stop just came up to me and said “hey” and waited for me to respond, I’d just give them a funny look and wonder what they want. 
  6. Try interacting with her via tumblr or whatever website you’re on - It’s like in real life, a person might compliment your outfit or comment on the book you’re reading to get a conversation going. Same sort of idea here. Friendly comments  encourage mutual interaction and (in my opinion) make you seem more genuine.
  7. Don’t rush into the kink right away - This one is definitely more for those wanting a friendship or relationship. If you just wanna sext, then don’t read this one, haha. I understand the initial excitement of meeting a fellow feedist, and chances are you met through a feedism related blog/site, so it will come up. All I’m saying is to take it slow and find a balance between feedism talk and normal conversation flow. 
  8. Please remember we are real people - We need sleep, we work, we have family, friends, and pets, we have hobbies, we need down time, some of us are introverted, we’re going through something personal, I could go on. I genuinely feel bad when I can’t get to every ask or message. You probably haven’t done anything wrong. Be patient and please don’t spam anyone with messages.

I just want teasing/encouragement/sexting though 

Well you still have to read her blog and find out if she’s down for that. Send a message if you’re not sure. Personally, I use my blog as my main source of encouragement and don’t do much one-on-one stuff. Mainly because it’s easier to keep up with and do on my own time.  Some feeders love having those one-on-ones though. Depends on the person!

I’m always respectful and we seem to click but she hasn’t messaged me back. What am I doing wrong?

Probably nothing. If you’re genuinely being a good dude, it could be a reason from point number 8, or maybe you’re just not that person’s cup of tea. Unfortunately this comes down to the individual so I can’t give a solid answer. For me, I’m super inconsistent when it comes to talking to people, even my close friends. I don’t have the ability to maintain a lot of relationships at once. My close friends understand that about me and it works. If I’m being bombarded with messages, I will shut down. I think the only exception to this is when I’m in a relationship. 

I know it can be discouraging. Try not to think of it as something that you specifically are doing wrong. If we’re speaking to those looking to date, then look at interacting in the feedism community like any other online dating site. It sucks. It’s inconsistent, limited, and overwhelming. I think that could apply to friendships as well actually. Under more organic circumstances, it’s a little easier to make friends. The people you work with is a great example of “built-in” friendship. You see them frequently and you might already have things in common depending on the line of work. 

The feedism community is just this giant mash of people where the only known commonality is feedism. That really isn’t much to work from in the grand scheme of things. I’ve been around for… 8 or 9 years now. I’ve talked to hundreds of people and I can count the ones I’ve connected with on two hands. What I’m trying to say is be patient. Keep doing you, keep participating in the community in whatever way you choose to. People you connect with will come along, I promise. 

Just to address a possible pet peeve...

If there a season 1 flashback, possibly when Alec stayed the night…Harry will have his facial hair. Unfortunately, due the “present tense” need for the current Magnus’ appearance…they did not shave off his goatee. Yes, it will look inconsistent. But what’s more important? That fact that we possible will finally see what happen that night or the facial hair? So please, move on.

My spider senses is telling me I am about to see the tags filled with “some” unnecessary bitching. Which often I am very amused by, but sometimes…technicality is technicality. So, let’s focus on the content. It’s doesn’t mean anything…not because the behind the scene people, the actors, or the showrunners didn’t care..it’s just unfortunate. Season 1 was young, it had no clue that season 2 was going to have Flashbacks. Stay positive, don’t dwell on little unnecessary things.

Originally posted by magnusdaddyoreo

sacrilcge  asked:

in your opinion do bad grades in general education classes really matter that much?

I think that depends on your goals. And on what you consider “bad grades”.

I’d say that, ideally, your major GPA should be about equal to if not higher than your gen eds. After all, it makes sense for you to put more effort into coursework that will directly help your career. But that’s not to suggest that intentionally slacking on gen eds is “OK”.

If you’re getting As in your major classes but Bs in your gen eds, that’s not a huge deal. But if you’re getting As in your major classes while getting Ds or failing your gen eds, then that’s a problem. Any major inconsistency like that will be a huge red flag. Because, sure, it’s understandable to put less effort into some history class you got shoved into, but failing it? Future employers would look at that and question, “Is she going to half-ass work I give her if she doesn’t like it?”

It just doesn’t establish a sense of good work ethic. Which cannot be compensated for when someone is simply looking at your transcript. Unfortunately, many employers look there first, so don’t rely on the chance to provide an explanation.

I’d say all that is a good rule of thumb, but like I said, it depends somewhat on your goals. If you’re applying for a top-tier graduate program where other applicants do equally well in all their classes, that would put you at a disadvantage. But if you’re applying for something less competitive, that might be the norm.

In my personal opinion, sometimes we need to step back and, instead of asking ourselves, “How can I do the least amount of work for this class?” we should be asking, “What do I need to do in order to achieve the grade I’m aiming for in this class?” Sometimes all it takes is the right perspective to push you in the right direction that motivates you to achieve.

If you can’t get out of a class you hate, you can either suffer or try to make the best of the situation.

anyway im enthusiastic and pleased with how my fic is going!!!

Dealing With Plot Holes - Part 1:

Hello everyone, Mod Freya here!

Writing is a great way to let your imagination run wild. You create everything, from the world’s rules to its characters. You are an omnipotent god; your story is your dominion. And as a result, you can include anything you want.

However, those endless possibilities have a major drawback that, if not properly addressed, can immensely disturb the flow of your writing: plot holes. Because you’re able to put in any idea that might seem fitting, you will inevitably encounter contradictions and inconsistencies at some point.

It’s a merciless monster that devours everything unfortunate enough to cross its path. If you fall into its trap, it will swallow your ideas and pull them into an endless abyss until your story is reduced to a singularity. No one is safe from black holes– plot holes. I mean plot holes.

I made that pun a week ago, and I’m still proud of it.

Since my fellow heartless writers deemed me relatively specialized in plot details and such, I decided to share my personal approach for treating black plot holes. Please take my advice with a grain of salt, as I’m a newbie writer with a limited experience.

You could probably tell from the title that I’m going to address this topic in two posts. In this one, I’m going to talk about how to spot plot holes. I have two ways to do that. Without further ado, here they are:

  • Make an outline: A good way to keep an eye out for plot holes is to organize your story. Having a planned outline helps you keep everything in check. I also found out that the more detailed it is, the more effective your plot hole radar will be. For example: I’m making a timeline for my first story right now, and whenever I mention something such as a magic type for the first time, I write side notes containing all the rules, strengths and restrictions I have for it. That way, I can come back to it whenever I mention it again and see if there are any contradictions.
  • Check the ideas’ compatibility: Whenever you come up with a new or rough idea, compare it to every rule, character and event related to it. As mentioned earlier, you can even go back to the outline or a character’s profile for reference. Ask yourself questions like the following: Does this make sense? Is this relevant? Is this compatible with the rules of my universe? Would it be logical for this character to do something like that? Would this effect the plot in a way that would realistically change an event or make it irrelevant? How can this even happen? Can I tweak this detail in a way that makes it possible? This will help you find and hopefully eliminate any future plot hole that might arise from new ideas.

This is how I personally look for those stubborn little parasites called plot holes. The next step is to annihilate them. There’s nothing wrong with finding things that don’t make sense in your story at first. In fact, it just means you have a wide imagination and a variety of ideas you want implement in your plot. Now, you just have to use said imagination to choose the most suitable ideas and play around with them until they do make sense… but that’s for another post!

Before I finish, I want to say that this is all subjective. My advice might not work for you, but I hope it’s as beneficial as possible. If you have other ways to spot black holes, please feel free to share it with us in the reblogs!

~ Mod Freya

“Class, I hope you have all revised the chapter on irony. Who would like to give me examples of an ironic situation?”

“Sir, yesterday my father said that it would be really ironic if someone wins the lottery and dies on the same day.”

“Well, your father said that because he’s a fucking librandu Jignesh. Many people mistake an unfortunate situation for an ironic one. In order for an occurence, result or circumstance to be termed ironic there has to be some inconsistency or paradox between what might be expected and what actually occurs. What about you Genghis? Any examples?”

“Yes Sir, I have a good one. Recently BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma shared an image from the Gujarat riots of 2002 and tried to pass it off as an example of recent communal violence in Bengal. She even asked her followers to come to Jantar Mantar and protest against the ‘lawlessless and falling value of a human life’. Don’t you think it is ironical that the spokesperson for a political party that was silent on its role in orchestrating one of the biggest riots in the country, and several attacks recently on minorities, has the chutzpah to talk about lawlessless and the value of human lives?”

“This is why you’re my favourite student Genghis. Yes, that is indeed an ironic situation because Nupur’s laughable incompetence in getting caught saffron-handed for selecting a famous photo from the 2002 riots and using it to malign a political enemy by talking about violence is pure situational, or even cosmic, irony.”

“Sir, my father said that if we named our dog 'Trouble’ and he always created trouble then it would be ironic.”

“Shut the fuck up Jignesh.”

So You Want To Write... Special Fantasy Megapost

Welcome to a very special edition of So You Want To Write. First of three mega-threads, this one is going to try and probably fail to cover fantasy. Remember, spirited disagreement is welcome.

So without further ado, let’s start by bashing Tolkien.

So You Want To Write… Fantasy

It doesn’t actually all go back to Tolkien - it goes beyond him. Fantasy probably goes back to the Pyramid Texts*, really. Tolkien merely codified the genre in the West (I’ll talk a little bit about Wuxia today, and while I’d like to talk about African fantasy stories I’m a bit short on info) and a thousand hacks have copied him.

I’m assuming you’ve read fantasy, of course, so let’s get stuck into the core themes of almost any fantasy work - the battle between good and evil, life and death, freedom and tyranny. Which, you might imagine, means that fantasy is actually highly politicised and very subtly so.

I always harp on about authorial statements in roleplaying, how ultimately each roleplay is a conversation between the GM, players, and reader, but this is rarely more true than in fantasy. The actions of the heroes and villains tell the reader a lot about what the author or GM consider virtuous or wicked.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a great example, being much more baldly allegorical than a lot of other works of fantasy.

Lord of the Rings says a lot about those qualities Tolkien considered good and proper.

The comfort, the utility of a fantasy world, is that it allows you to make these acts of righteousness and terrible sins concrete within the setting - good triumphs over evil because it is good, that’s what it does.

Fantasy frequently involves building a world coherent with your personal ethical and moral leanings, rather than dealing with the world we’re given which is more prevalent in sci-fi, period drama, or contemporary drama

Fantasy is also a useful vehicle for statements about growing up and responsibility, as illustrated in The Journey of the Hero, also called the Monomyth. There are about four variations on this journey, now, from Campbell’s unsurprisingly gendered interpretation (Woman As Temptress being a step on the journey), to Cousineau’s simplistic interpretation, but we can draw some common points.

There are three acts; departure, initiation, and return. Departure establishes our protagonist and the ordinary world they inhabit. They receive the call to adventure, refuse it, but are then forced to go. They enter a strange and magical world. They meet enemies and friends, face trials and experience wonders, and often they will die, or enter into some near-failure state. Then they rise, they complete their quest, and they return home. Sometimes with a MacGuffin that will save their ordinary world (I personally like the telling where this process changes the hero; she is no longer of the ordinary world, exactly, but changed utterly).

So our typical, core themes - personal growth, good vs. evil, freedom vs. tyranny.

Let’s dig into the subgenres.

On Hard Vs. Soft

Not unlike sci-fi, it’s possible to divide fantasy into hard and soft kinds. Hard fantasy is very internally consistent; the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Lord of the Rings, Mistborn, Legend of the Five Rings, Dragon Age.

Soft fantasy handwaves things a lot; John Carter of Mars, Dungeons & Dragons, Harry Potter,arguably A Song of Ice and Fire.

On Prescriptivism 

Please understand telling you what to do, exactly how, isn’t my intent. Genre implies historical context, and most genres are rife with particular semiotics which we respond to subconsciously. My intent here is to outline the typical tropes that form these genres for two reasons: 

1. By knowing the expected rules and restrictions, you can more easily collaborate and communicate with your fellow roleplayers what you’re trying to achieve in a given roleplay. 

2. By knowing the expected rules, you can break them interesting ways, blend genres, and generally do some intriguing, innovative things with the preconceptions of your reader or players.

High Fantasy

Immortalized by Tolkien, high fantasy typically has a bright and optimistic tone. Heroes are heroes, villains are villains, there’s no room for ambiguity or nuance. It’s a larger-than-life, evocative adventure. Importantly, magic and magical creatures are at the forefront. Good will usually triumph. There is normally a central protagonist.

Thematically, high fantasy will emphasize those traits the author considers positive and relevant - typically friendship, faith, courage, kindness, loyalty, and so on.

The heart of high fantasy, really, is in characterization. Everything else is a foil to your protagonist or major cast, serving to define them and their relationships. Poor high fantasy emphasizes worldbuilding over plot or character, but may also suffer from inconsistent worldbuilding.

When writing high fantasy RPs, try to aim for unambiguous goals and big, bombastic characters. Don’t shy away from archetypes, but try to add as much depth as you can. You are going to win, so make sure you add some dramatic opportunities to fail but overcome.

Rulebreaker:

Steven Eriksson's Malazan Book of the Fallen, in addition to being fucking excellent, is high fantasy rife with moral ambiguity and tragic failure. Characters are frequently complex, and often unfortunate mortals caught up in the affairs of gods. The reader will usually be as lost as characters - Eriksson’s exquisite world-building permeates the text and he doesn’t hold your hand, allowing the reader to form connections and fill in gaps on their own.

Low Fantasy

A Song of Ice and Fire, right here. Low fantasy doesn’t prioritize monsters and magic, if they exist at all, and tends to shade into sci-fi a little bit - things that seem magical have a logical explanation that might be magical, but magic is largely beyond the full comprehension of the characters. Low fantasy may have more of an ensemble cast, and it may focus on politics, relationships, or a magical threat for which the characters are not prepared. In my experience, low fantasy tends to emphasize more internally consistent world-building, and deals directly with mature themes (rather than the allegorical and half-assed navel-gazing of a lot of high fantasy), Usually won’t have non-human peoples, especially not as point-of-view characters.

When writing low fantasy RPs, a good plot is vital. You can’t rely on flashy magic and weird species to keep interest; you need to have interesting personal or political conflicts. Low fantasy tends to have a darker tone and anyone can die, or fail.

Mythic Fantasy

Fairytales, religious texts, anything based directly on myth and classic archetypes fits in here. Mythic fantasy can be tricky in roleplaying - characters are often as much forces of nature as they are people, and there’s an inherent lack of agency. Prophecy and portents play out just so, often to make a point. Distinct from high fantasy in that

  1. Things are what they are without need or expectation of explanation

  2. Often a bit surreal, even dreamlike

  3. There isn’t always a clear narrative arc, character arc, or even point.

Mythic fantasy roleplaying, by necessity, needs these things. Arguably something like Percy Jackson fits under this heading, though. When writing Mythic Fantasy RPs, make sure you do your research and come up with a solid plotline. Indeed, it can just be a fun character piece - the prophecy must run its course, and the roleplaying in the reactions to it, and the ways the actions of characters, especially unintentionally, advance the destined plot.

Heroic Fantasy

Also called Sword & Sorcery, this is stuff like Conan, John Carter, anything with a Frazetti cover, really.

Heroic fantasy is rarely concerned with the mechanics of its setting; it’s normally about a REAL MAN with a REAL SWORD beating up wizards, demons, and monsters. Pulpy, a bit silly, fun. Conan doesn’t quite fit because it slips in elements of cosmic horror, but in the broad sense of a somewhat mysterious setting where the hero is strong, cunning, and doesn’t rely on (or even understand) magic. Distinct from high fantasy in terms of focus - high fantasy plots tend to threaten the whole world, while heroic fantasy plots are more personal and even petty. A close relative of historical fiction, too - you could even consider it combat-skewed historical fiction with magic thrown in.

When writing heroic fantasy RPs, building the setting with your players is a good idea. Start with a conceit, like ‘Atlantis has fallen’ and then fill in the blanks with dramatic, sweeping statements. Fill in the remaining blanks as you go on, in character conversations or descriptions of locations. Characters should be big, bombastic, with strong motivations. Magic should only really be in the hands of one player, and even then it needn’t be consistent with everyone else’s magic.

Urban Fantasy

Vampires, werewolves, faeries, all living it up in the big city. This can cover a slew of time periods, not just modern, and applies when people know supernatural elements exist. How supernatural tends to skew downard; which is to say, not very - although it can resemble a street-level superheroes narrative, like Daredevil. Thematically and aesthetically, this can get remarkably close to superheroics. Themes of isolation, prejudice, and community can come up a lot.

Good worldbuilding is useful here - how is society affected by vampires walking the streets or wizards in tech companies? Is magic creeping into day-to-day business? The plot is likely to be quite big, in scope - saving the city from an impending disaster, monsters, or ancient prophecy. Good supporting cast and a strong sense of place are vital. The city should feel alive.

Generally brighter and more positive than its counterpart, Magical Realism.

Magical Realism

Vampires are real, but no one knows. A conspiracy of silence hides them, and the shadows are deeper than you realize. Or whatever supernatural creatures you feel like hiding among us. Magical realism also uses good worldbuilding - how and why are the supernaturals hiding in the cities of the modern day? Or whatever time period this is in. It’s often modern urban centres, however.

Darker, more personal, with strong horror overtones, magical realism has more low-key supernatural elements than magical realism, often concerned with hiding evidence of the supernatural.

Thematically, it’ll tend to deal with personal moralities, and anxieties about conspiracies, alienation, and ennui. Plots are likely to be about discovery and/or escape. Personal conflicts tend to take centre stage; politics, grudges, the running of the city by its secret underworld masters.

Dark Fantasy

Could be high fantasy, could be low, but your characters don’t get time to care because everything is terrible. Tends be more like horror in a fantasy setting, and while it typically skews towards low fantasy, a dark-high fantasy setting is one where evil wins. Or at least is a status quo to be overthrown.

Thematically this tends to tie into the themes of good vs. evil, as in most fantasy, but it’s a bit more ambiguous. Our heroes may do terrible things in pursuit of a greater good. Perhaps no one is good, not wholly. At best, many characters may do the right thing for the wrong reasons, often selfish ones.

While low fantasy tends to have a neutral world with flawed people, in dark fantasy the setting itself might be out to get you. Magic is often evil by default. Indeed, the roleplaying game KULT is a good example; god is real, and he wants you to suffer.

Dark fantasy, therefore, will often emphasize horror themes, but potentially on a bigger scale than usual.

Historical Fantasy

Take a historical event, add magic. Distinct from sword & sorcery in that it tends to focus on real places, people, and times. It is, in many ways, more like a thought-experiment, a what-if on the part of the author.

Thematically, you’ll be aiming for whatever is inherent in the period or event, or what you feel to be of pivotal importance. Distinct from alternate history or alt-history sci-fi in that it uses supernatural elements which may be largely hard-waved to facilitate the plot.

If you want to write historical fantasy RPs, do research. Then spend a while examining the ramifications of adding your supernatural element. It can make for a difficult-to-follow butterfly effect, so you may want to keep it to a narrow timeframe and short plot.

Arguably, Historical Fantasy can also be fantasy based on historical periods, but not set therein. Legend of the Five Rings is an example; it’s explicitly based on the fiction of Imperial China and Japan. A culture’s own opinion of itself.

Wuxia

A primarily Chinese subgenre of high-flying kung-fu action. Interesting in that it doesn’t always concern itself with good and evil as opposed to competing philosophical and religious positions. The action sequences are expressions of personal philosophy as much as they are instances of flying martial artists throwing qi around.

May emphasize themes of self vs. selflessness, quests for enlightenment, and the hero’s journey. Strong characterization is key, and there’s always an element of predestination.

Magical elements are inherent and accepted in the setting, typically.

If you’re going to write a Wuxia RP, once again do the research. The pieces should fall into place quite neatly after watching a few movies or reading some stories.

Sci-Fantasy

The corollary to Clarke’s Third Law; any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science.

Sci-fantasy can skew towards fantasy or sci-fi, either by presenting a fantasy world which is secretly underlined by science the characters don’t understand, or where magical elements have been harnessed and employed using scientific and technological principles.

Thematically, you can do a lot of interesting stuff about belief, discovery, and progress. It can make for a nice allegory about modern science, or allow you to explore more traditionally sci-fi themes if you don’t feel confident about your scientific knowledge.

It can also just be fun, if you are scientifically adept, to apply that knowledge to fantastical stuff.

When writing sci-fantasy, try to decide which way you’re going to skew, and whether or not this is going to be a surprise for your players. This will often necessitate clear limits on magic and the like, which in freeform roleplays can be tricky.

——————————-

Thanks for reading. As ever, comments and questions are welcome. I hope that this helps you; remember, I can only point to the way, not walk it for you.


*Yes, I am directly equating religious texts with fantasy fiction. Stories of magical adventure that serve as allegories for Good Living or parables of punishment for Sin? Divinely ordained quests of salvation and magical journeys into worlds beyond? Sounds like fantasy to me.

Title: Second Kiss.
Genre: Romance, fluff.
Words: 1,234.
Characters: Beast Boy, Raven.
Prompt: BBRae Week 2015, Day 2 ~ “second kiss”.


“Aren’t you gonna kiss me goodnight, mama?”

Warmth flooded Raven’s cheeks, and annoyance tickled her temples. Yes, he was suffering from a low-grade fever, multiple shattered bones, and was probably feeling a little loopy from the morphine drip, but he was still dangerously close to winding up in a parallel dimension. 

“Call me ‘mama’ again, Beast Boy, and you’ll be needing a lot more medication.”

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ENFP Relationships & Compatibilities

ENFP Relationships

This personality truly loves life and treats each day as a gift to be treasured. Such an outlook can be both helpful and detrimental in a relationship. Although normally possessed with a strong set of moral and spiritual values, boredom or stagnancy in an ENFP’s relationship will inevitably cause the “inspirer” to become unhappy. ENFP relationships must have excitement, newness, and even some surprises in order to prevent the “inspirer” from becoming bored. This type of individual takes relationships seriously and will definitely go to great lengths to make their partner happy but the effort has to be reciprocated. Overall, an ENFP is a fun person to be around and will not shy from affection. This, initially, makes relationships come easily to this sort of individual. Although devoted and highly motivated to make a relationship as healthy as possible, the “inspirer” will require room to be his or her self in the relationship. For the right person, this kind of relaxed and open attitude can be very refreshing. Straight-laced individuals whose goals are to land a typical job, drive a nice car, and spend their evenings and weekends at home, doing chores, or running errands will not satisfy the ENFP’s need for freshness and intrigue.

ENFPs are often affectionate and considerate partners because of their need to please and be accepted. This individual’s ability to sense what their partner is feeling makes it easier to anticipate and meet their needs. The down-side of this attitude is that this is the sort of person who would completely overlook his or her own needs. This is where the partner needs to step in and provide for ENFP’s mental, emotional, and physical needs.

This persona doesn’t necessarily run through relationships at an unhealthy rate, but when it is clear that things aren’t going to work out, the “inspirer” has no problem moving on. The need for change and the idea of finding the perfect relationship may cause this particular character to move through relationships fairly quickly until they find the one. The dreamer portion of this personality may cause the individual to ignore signs of a bad relationship because they spend too much time in an idealized world. Unfortunately, if they can’t seem to wake up to reality or if they try too hard to avoid hurting their partner, they could end up being stuck in an unsatisfying or unhealthy relationship for a long time.

A partner who is interested in a long-term mate will find that the ENFP is a devoted but playful parent. They are often described as “big kids” because they so enjoy indulging in their imaginative and spirited side. Once this personality has found a solid set of values, he or she will work hard to instill these morals in their children. Unfortunately, ENFPs aren’t the greatest authoritarians unless the child has done something that the “inspirer” feels is truly wrong. Some children may view the ENFP as an inconsistent role model if the individual frequently bounces back and forth between playmate and dictator.

Compatible Personality Types

The most compatible partners tend to be INFJs and INTJs. An introverted partner will serve as the yin to the extravert’s yang. Where the “inspirer” tends to ignore his or her own needs and falls prey to impulsive (and sometimes bad) decisions, the feeling or thoughtful intuitive can predict and meet their partner’s needs and bring a slightly more logical vibe to the relationship. Although introverts typically take time to come out of their shells, the perky, warm, and honest ENFP is the perfect type of individual to lull the introvert into a trusting relationship.

Relationship Guidance for the ENFP

As an “inspirer,” you probably make friends wherever you go and never really have trouble snagging a date. People want to be around you because you make them feel motivated and alive. Your happiness not only comes from seeing others around you happy but also from indulging your own flights of fancy. Your partner will need to be allowed to share these indulgences, at least every once in a while, in order to keep you both close and to strengthen your bond. Forming a relationship with someone who isn’t interested in sharing your excitement and enthusiasm for the great big world outside will only make you unhappy as you will never be able to truly bond with this kind of individual.

Your ideal partner will be able to talk you down when you get too idealistic. When you forget things like groceries or sending bill payments, your partner will hopefully be the one to step in with a gentle reminder or be intuitive enough to predict and compensate for your lapse in memory/interest. Your significant other should also be reasonable enough to point out when one of your ideas is a little too risky, ill-timed, or outright bad and you should be prepared to hear them out. You tend to take things very personally and while your ideal match should have a gentle and considerate demeanor, try not to overreact if he or she approaches you with an honest opinion.

Tips for Dating an ENFP Personality

In order to be a good prospect for the ENFP, you need to be capable of going with the flow. Rigidity and strictness, especially in your schedule, will make your partner feel stifled which can inevitably cause the relationship to fail. Be prepared to travel, try new hobbies, and amaze your partner with thoughtful acts that will take them by surprise. Your efforts will keep your partner on their toes which is exactly the kind of lifestyle that the “inspirer” craves! It doesn’t always have to be dramatic, but try to keep things fun. Your partner will thank you by meeting or exceeding your efforts in order to see to your happiness, too.

ENFPs are excellent conversationalists blessed with the ability to talk, gauge a person’s reaction, and carry on in just the right direction to hold their audience’s attention and interest. Being able to react and contribute to such conversations will impress an “inspirer.” Your partner has a knack for expressing his or her self very well and you should be able to listen attentively and give your honest input whenever necessary – but keep it gentle, as this kind of persona is very sensitive and struggles to take criticism without suffering a serious emotional blow.

INTP | ENTP | INTJ | ENTJ | INFP | ENFP | INFJ | ENFJ | ISFP | ESFP | ISTP | ESTP | ISFJ | ESFJ | ISTJ | ESTJ

“’My apologies for not talking to you all this morning,’

“the Host says, entering his office. ‘I’ve been spending some time with my dear friends, namely Dr. Iplier and Wilford, and I sort of… just forgot I had you all to talk to. Unfortunate, I know, but there’s not much I can do about it now. I have some more stuff to do now, so I’ll most likely only be talking to you all a little later this afternoon. Again, my apologies for the schedule. Perhaps… I should make a specific time of my day for talking to you guys, actually. It might make it easier if I don’t pressure myself to talk to you all in the morning and the afternoon, and just in the afternoon. Of course, I’ll try to remember to say good morning everyday, but mornings might become quieter around here, at least for a little while. Thank you all for your support and patience. We’ll talk later.’”

anonymous asked:

How many year as after the Baudelaire's story is Lemony writing it? He always talks about tracking down different places, but it has been "many years" since anyone has been at a certain location the orphans were at. Can we tell about how many years it's been since the end of the book series that he is writing this? If the children survived do we know if they would be adults at this point?

The chronology of Lemony’s writing process is one of the biggest issues in the entire series. Some parts of the books are explictily written years after the facts, and some other parts couldn’t have been written more than a few hours after.

I’ve talked about it in a previous question (Link) and tried to resolve this inconsistency through a theory I like to call the “Palimpsest Paradigm”.

2

Requested by anonymous


It was about a half an hour after school ended. All the busses have left, and there’s only a few kids still playing on the school playground, with their parents supervising. You were still in your classroom, looking over the assignments your kindergarteners turned in.

You looked up when you heard a knock at the door, and it opened to one of your students with a man you hadn’t met before.

“Ms. (Y/N)?” the man asked. “I’m Clint Barton. Nathaniel’s father.”

“Oh, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” you said, standing up from the desk to greet the man. You held your hand out, and Clint shook your hand.

“You wanted to talk with me?” Clint asked.

“Yeah. Unfortunately, I only have one adult-sized chair in this room…” you trailed off a bit.

“That’s okay. I don’t mind sitting on these pieces of plastic,” Clint said, sitting down in one of the child chairs, looking a little ridiculous. Such a well-muscled man in such a tiny chair made for 6-year-olds. Nathaniel sat down as well near his dad.

“Well, I’ve been a little concerned lately about Nathaniel’s work,” you said, pulling out a small stack of papers. Assignments that Nathaniel has done. “His work seems very inconsistent. Some weeks, it’s really good. Others are, well it’s never really bad, but it does decline heavily. Usually this kind of pattern happens when the child doesn’t have a very stable home life.”

“Well, that’s because he doesn’t,” Clint admitted, putting his hand on Nathan’s head and smoothing down his hair in a sort of calming gesture you guessed. “His mother passed soon after he was born. And my job… I’m an Avenger. I travel and fight, and sometimes I can leave him with his uncle Bruce or auntie Nat, who he likes and will encourage him to do well. Bruce especially. But there’s times I have to leave him with Fury or Hill, neither of whom are really that great with kids and Nathan doesn’t like them very much.”

“I’m really sorry to hear that,” you said softly. “I can understand that being a single parent is hard.” You reached over to put your hand on Clint’s hand. “Is there anything I can do to make anything easier?”

“Be my new mommy?” Nathaniel suggested. His little smirk suggested he was mostly joking around.

“Well, we’d have to start with a coffee date,” Clint said, pushing Nathaniel’s head to the side playfully. “That is, if your teacher agrees.”

You blushed. “Are you asking me on a date Mr. Barton?” you asked, a little surprised.

“You’re cute, I don’t see a ring, and it’s about time I should start dating again,” Clint replied. “As long as there’s no rules about this or anything.”

“No, no rules,” you replied. “A date would be nice.” You pulled out a pen and wrote your personal number on it, giving it to Clint. “Go ahead and call any time.”

“Great, so I can call at eleven and totally interrupt class, right?” Clint joked.

You gave Clint the same look you gave your disruptive students. “The ‘not during class hours’ was implied. Now I know where Nathan gets his sense of humor,” you said flatly, though you couldn’t help but smile.

How to Spot Authentic Native American Fashion

So, someone recently sent us a message asking the following question: “How do you tell real Native American tribes from fake? I’ve heard claims that only recognized tribes are real, but from what I know these claims seem rubbish." We’re going to address this question in three parts–what tribal recognition means, what to look for when trying to confirm that an individual is who they say they are, and ways to determine if a garment or accessory is authentically Native-made. Please note that this post is entirely within the context of the US; our Native American mod is based in the US, so that’s the context we know. That said, we encourage any of our First Nations, Métis, & Inuit relatives to reblog this with an explanation of how it works in Canada or their thoughts on the matter.

In the US, there are three different kinds of tribes: federally recognized, state recognized, and unrecognized. There are 566 federally recognized tribes. The others are either only state-recognized, meaning federal Indian law does not apply to them but state law does, or not recognized by any level of US government at all. Some of these lack recognition or were stripped of recognition for the benefit of settler communities/government, like the Duwamish & Winnemem Wintu peoples. Others are "tribes” created more recently by people looking to assert their identity as Indian, like the Cherokee of Idaho (that’s easy to tell that it’s suspect, considering traditional Cherokee territory is in the South, though they were in part forcibly removed to Oklahoma by the US government). The best way to tell the difference between real unrecognized tribes and fake ones is doing some research–usually a quick Google search will give you a sense of whether they’re accepted by other Native communities or not. 

If someone is enrolled, then they’re definitely Native; unfortunately, there are lots of Natives who have been unable to enroll for a variety of reasons (blood quantum, lack of documentation, etc). So if someone is claiming Native identity but is not enrolled, the next best way to tell is to ask what tribe they are–if they can’t name a specific tribe or their story changes or doesn’t line up, then they’re probably lying. Also if there are inconsistencies in the tribe they claim and the kind of thing they produce or practice (like someone claiming to be Cherokee selling beadwork with NW Coast designs or someone claiming to be Tlingit saying they grew up in a tipi), that’s a red flag. Ultimately, the best way to tell whether someone is telling the truth or not is by their actions–do they rep their culture? Do they advocate for their people? Are they honest about their level of connection or knowledge? Also, how do they interact with other Natives? How do other Natives interact with them? If you spend any time in Native communities, you’ll see that a lot of being Native is community–what kind of community are they a part of? And finally, the two most common questions that Natives ask each other are: where are you from (code for what tribe, band, rez, community, etc are you from), and who’s your family (every rez has big well-known families, so if you’re local or know people from that community, that can be a good question to ask). Those are the kinds of questions to be asking when trying to determine if someone is really Native or not. 

If you’re not indigenous and don’t know what to look for, it can be hard to spot the fake items, especially if you’re shopping online, considering so many people sell in violation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. In the US, it is illegal for anyone who is not an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe to market their goods as “Native American” or with the name of any specific tribe (for example, Urban Outfitters’ “Navajo panties” were illegal because they were not sold by an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation). That said, a lot of people don’t know that or don’t care, and do it anyways, so it’s not always a reliable determining factor. Again, the best ways to determine if something is authentic are (a) to find out whether the artist is enrolled (b) to see if the item matches up with the tribe the artist claims © to see what other Natives have said about that person, item, or business. 

Hope that helps! Thanks for your interest in supporting authentic Native fashion!

Gift #19, 11:41pm, @alpha-exodus

alpha-exodus gets the alpha-gift. Seriously. I love this one.

Our gifter says:

“Hello, darling human. I am so excited we both agreed to participate in this wonderful Valentine’s Day activity. I hope you enjoy this fic and can spot the handful of Kill Your Darlings references that I put in especially for YOU. Have a wonderful day, and I hope you like this fic as much as I liked staying up until the wee hours birthing it for you this week. xoxo”  

THIS FIC DOES CONTAIN SMUT (SORT OF) (JUST READ IT)


Catching Up- In which Harry Potter is stood up on a blind date and wanders into an unfamiliar bookshop to lose himself in a familiar novel. He doesn’t expect the shopkeeper to be his old school classmate, Draco Malfoy, and he certainly doesn’t expect his night to get any better. There’s a first time for everything. Non-Magic AU.

Well, this was certainly a first. Harry Potter had never been stood up. Certainly, he’d had his fair share of horrible first dates, but those dates had actually taken place. Some memorable characters included the bloke who spent the entire meal whinging on and on about the hair care products he preferred, immediately growing cold to Harry when he found that most days, Harry couldn’t even be arsed to run a comb through his.

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