urbane fantasy

5

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Vestigians (Terato Sapiens) are one of the races you can incarnate in Subventure. Although some cryptoethnologist argues that we can’t really call them another species, since they are proto-humans, but still humans in origin. While troglodytes live in the tunnels and natural cavities of the underground, Vestigians inhabit the mysterious remnants of civilisation which you can find in some parts of the underground.

Vestigians are all very different from one another. Unlike Troglodytes, whose mutations are the same and clearly an adaptation to life underground, Vestigians display erratic mutations from birth, which are not even the same between parents and children. Localized hypertrophy or atrophy, general gigantism or “gnomism”, organ’s duplicates, etc are some of the physical particularities they display. Cruelly, this gives the player a Social malus in most places, but it also comes with peculiar abilities.

Also, all Vestigians are resistant to the occult to a degree. This makes it harder for them to be powerful cultists or psychics, but it protects them from supernatural influences and powers.

PS : MUTE’N’CUTE© is a clothing company which sells both at the Surface and in the Underground. The money is partially donated to associations working for proto-humans unification, tolerance and peace between species.

To discover more about Subventure, follow me, I try to post at least once a week new informations on this incoming RPG.

It used to puzzle me why it was such a common element in urban fantasy settings - particularly those of tabletop roleplaying games - that the reason magic stays hidden is because people don’t want to believe in it.

In the real world, people are desperate to believe in magic. You see it everywhere, from spirit mediums on TV to the horoscopes in the daily paper.

The idea that there’d be an institutional refusal to believe in magic is just so alien to the demonstrable facts of human psychology that it would seriously hurt my suspension of disbelief.

Talking cats and setting things on fire with your mind is one thing, but a human psychology that lacks an inclination toward magical thinking is simply bizarre.

Then it hit me.

The public’s refusal to believe in magic in urban fantasy settings is a stand-in for the perennial nerd fallacy that non-nerds are stupid, and only the special, nerdy elite have the objectivity to understand the world as it truly is.

Charming.

Modern Fantasy Things: Subways
  • subways that run on magic
  • ghosts and vampire conductors
  • goblins at toll booths licking metro cards to see if they have money on them
  • dwarves dug the original tunnels and are always digging new ones
  • elves riding completely still, unaffected by all the bumps and turns
  • hobbits, dwarves, and other smaller beings complaining about the lower railings always filling up first
  • underwater sections for merpeople
  • centaurs letting their friends sit on their backs when it’s crowded
  • rails under seats for gnomes, brownies, etc.
  • pixies and fairies sitting on high railings
  • witches bringing on cauldrons
  • runes/charms scrawled on seats and advertisements
  • florescent crystals and gems are the light
  • a train car possessed by the ghost of a dragon, never late but always smells like something is burning
  • train cars that levitate
  • train cars that arent corporeal

Dear Urban Fantasy fandom,

What I would like to see more of in urban fantasy writing:

- More werecreatures besides werewolves, ie. werebears, werecats, werebirds, etc.

- Transformations for werecreatures that vary from person to person, ie. one person’s might be extremely violent while the other sort of just melds into it

- Werecreatures who have different behaviors while transformed besides “KILL EVERYTHING”

- Werecreatures who don’t have this messed up canon where there can’t be any females, or they can’t give birth, or they’re extremely violent, yadda yadda yadda

- Werecreature loners who were forced to be loners by circumstance rather than chose it and are actually looking for or to form a new pack

- More packs with werecreatures that are positive, supporting places

- Werecreatures with “transformation night” packs so they’re ready for whatever

- People who are friends with werecreatures who knows what’s up and try to help them through the night if they need it

- Werecreatures who are totally cool being werecreatures


- Vampires who are sensitive about their age

- Vampires who aren’t the most beautiful creatures ever to behold in existence UGH

- Vampires with acquired tastes to different blood

- Vampires with different skintones in their own variations of pale

- Vampires who don’t give a flying fatooty about history and are rather annoyed when people start to ask them questions like they should know

- Vampires who can transform into more than just bats

- Vampires who are endlessly frustrated they can’t get drunk but they try anyway

- Vampires who still wear the styles from, like, 20 years ago (70’s vampire guys!)

- Vampires who won’t drink blood without consent

- Vampires that still look like children but are actually well over 200 and swear like sailors

- Vampires in broods

- Vampires who are total geeks and have memorized every line of every Star Trek (or insert your own) movie and quotes them all the time

- Vampires who are totally cool being vampires


- Witches who can’t afford fancy glass vials so they use milk jugs or tupperware

- Witches who make more potions besides liquidy ones, ie. some are really thick and grainy, others slimy, etc

- Witches who specialize in a certain craft, ie. potions, divination, thaumaturgy, etc

- Mass-produced witch items you can find in grocery stores and other witches complaining about how they’re not as powerful as homemade

- More familiars besides cats

- More magical focuses besides wands, ie. a pocketwatch, a favorite old coin, a keychain, etc

- Witches with planters on their windowsill

- Witch magic developing at different times for different people, ie. at birth, puberty, a random age for no reason, etc

- Witches having to LEARN how to use magic properly, not knowing how to do it instantly

- Witch support groups for people having trouble controlling or even using magic

- Wizards who classify as witches and witches who classify as wizards and wizards and witches classifying as neither because that’s who they are

- Witches who summon monsters or demons just to chill or hang out and the monsters and demons are totally chill with it

- Witches who are totally cool being witches


- Other supernatural/mythological creatures besides the regular ones

- Lamias, kelpies, selkies, pischacha, jarita, chimera, xiāo, kui, yōkai, aswang, etc, etc, ETC

- A supernatural society that isn’t hidden from human society and even if they have problems they work together

- Supernatural creatures who run for political office

- Supernatural creatures working as baristas

- Supernaturals creatures who live in specific neighborhoods and identify with different races, classes, religions, etc.

- Supernatural creatures in gangs

- Romances between supernatural creatures, other supernatural creatures, and humans being A-OK and healthy and wonderful

- Romances beyond straight romances

And so much more! Please, guys, we need more variations! We can’t get stuck in an ocean of stale, overused urban fantasy stories! We need to improve upon the genre!

If you have any more ideas, please add on! :)

-Kinetic Abilities Prompt List A Edition

Acidikinesis - Control Sloth

  • I have a personal vendetta against someone wildly more successful than me so I’m trying to make them lazy.
  • You don’t know how to relax so I’m literally filling you with laziness but you just won’t stop.
  • I work at an animal shelter and I sometimes make the animals fit what people are looking for by removing or adding laziness. You haven’t lived until you saw a cat with 0% laziness.

Aciukinesis - Control Sharpness

  • Did you know that most man made spheres are still more jagged than the earth itself? You haven’t experienced softness until you felt a perfectly smooth ball. There’s also not a lot of traction so please cup it in your hands.
  • I’m one of the only chefs here that doesn’t have some sort of hot or cold ability. But me being very clumsy, the ability to make all my knives dull saves my fingers a lot.
  • I keep making all the knives in the kitchen blunt so I can watch my parent-in-law get frustrated and lose their dominance over me.

Aerokinesis - Control Air

  • I can control the air but that doesn’t do a lot so I just got a few wind turbines for my property, so I get power for free. It’s a small win, but I like it. 
  • Sometimes I go to the beach and set up a kite rental booth while making it windy. It doesn’t make much but it helps with rent.
  • No one thinks that controlling air is that cool of a super power until I take it out of their lungs.

Aestatekinesis - Control Summer

  • I hate sweating so I made this summer really mild but it’s affecting my town’s farming economy.
  • I forgot that Alaska’s still supposed to be pretty cold in the summer and I may have made the ice caps melt a little more.

Aggressiokinesis - Control Anger

  • I work in tandem with a crisis clinic and so far, there isn’t a patient I can’t calm down.
  • My anti-aggression dog classes are the best in the business. I even stop by pet shelters.
  • I just love watching these people tear each other limb from limb with blind rage. I’m gonna be sad to see you go though.

Aidoskinesis - Control Humidity

  • One of the only things good about my powers is that I can make my boss’ office so humid they have horrible hair and sweat stains for their meeting with corporate. 
  • My greenhouse is always at the perfect humidity even in the dead of winter.
  • I’m gulty of making someone so humid they’ve taken off their shirt before. It’s a blessing.

Alcokinesis - Control Alcohol

  • You always get too out of hand with your drinking so I just take the alcohol content out of your drinks.
  • My coworker bugs the hell out of me and they’re going in for a company-wide drug test today. I made their breakfast have a healthy amount of alcohol.
  • It’s very fun to see someone pantamime being drunk when they think they are when in actuality I’ve taken all the alcohol out of their drink.

Amokinesis - Control Love and Desire

  • Shit are you actually in love with me or did I manipulate you into liking me?
  • As a joke I was going to make my classmate fall in love with whoever came in next but you did and now I’m very jealous.
  • I make people forget about me when we break up so it’s easy on them but I can’t get rid of my own love for them, even when there’s no chance of getting back together ever now. 

Anthracokinesis - Control Coal

  • I like being alone so I move to Centralia and just turn off the surrounding coals when I’m walking over them. It’s very quiet but very smoky. I need to leave town to buy a gas mask.
  • I bought a bit of land and made a little mine before buying a truckload of coal and just stiking it in the walls. Then, I compressed it all into diamonds.
  • So my parents gave me a little tough love as a child and gave me a piece of coal one christmas. I’ll admit, I was a naughty child. But that piece of coal made me learn of my powers. It’s the only piece I’ll never manipulate anymore.

Antikinesis - Control Antimatter

  • No you can’t come to my antimatter dimension. It’s very private.
  • I think we had a good run, I’m just gonna get a black hole in here real quick.
  • I always wanted to visit Chernobl, good thing I can just sort of turn off the gamma radation and go for a walk. 

Argentokinesis - Control Silver

  • Whoops I’m in werewolf country better make all my clothes and stuff have silver mesh.
  • “Yes this is genuine gold” I say to someone when I took the silver content out of a ring.
  • So I don’t have the best impulse control. I made my rude neighbor’s prized dog into a silver statue and now it’s like… eighty sets of flatwear.

Arthrokinesis - Control Joints

  • I may be a very inactive person, but damned if my joints ever pop. I’m doing sprints anytime I feel like it.
  • I got too excited testing how much I could let my joints move and may have dislocated by shoulder. 
  • Yes, I tried to suck my own dick. Yes, I should have realized that there is actually bone stopping me from bending my spine like that. Don’t laugh at me.

Asterokinesis - Control Cosmic Energy

  • I’ve ascended to be the god of the universe and all I want to do is to stop being in charge and just have some time off for once.
  • I saw how much earth was desperate to meet other beings so I made some closer planets support life. 
  • I’m not just some giant being in space. I’m a regular person. I buy groceries, collect rocks, and I’m desperate for people to never know I made them. 

Astrakinesis - Control Astral Energy

  • I am nearly constantly disassociating. The good news is that I have like thirty dream selves I can be while the others go on autopilot. 
  • I can see spirits so I just deal with ghosts for a living. Most of the time they’re just confused.
  • I can work as a medium for ghosts to talk through but you roleplaying with your dead datemate is the last straw.

Astronkinesis - Control Remnants of Cosmic Substances

  • I realized that in my lifetime I would never see a mission to a star so I made some much closer to us.
  • I don’t feel like this world’s really going anywhere. I’m just gonna supernova the sun next weekend. 
  • My tarot card readings are always perfect and I sincerely want you to leave the country.

Atmokinesis - Control Weather

  • I am the best weather forecaster the world has ever seen. I work for a small town in rural country though. I think I have five hundred viewers on a daily basis? 
  • I always make sure my neighbor’s/parent’s/friend’s/etc farm gets the best weather.
  • My entrences are always punctuated with lightening and I love it.

Atomkinesis - Control Atoms

  • It’s like 3-D printing, only much better. Check out this awesome watch I made.
  • I hope you like nuclear wastelands, because that’s what you’re getting.
  • Surprise, your house is full of radon gas!it’ll stay that way until you do what I say.

Audiokinesis - Control Sound 

  • Nothing quite like a day of absolute silence when you have an audio processing disorder.
  • Movies are very fun to watch when I can make one character silent and just ad lib the dialogue.
  • The fact that I can chat style silence someone is the best.

Aurokinesis - Control Aura

  • I can see how people act before ever talking to them, that’s why you’re the only one in the room I’m going to talk to. 
  • Where I live, auras are very important. So I can easily hide among them as someone without giving an inkling of malice.
  • I personally hate you so now you get too radiate bad energy until you apologize. 

Aurokinesis - Control Gold

  • I’m allergic to what they use in fake gold but I have no money for good jewelry so I just make it gold after I buy it for cheap. 
  • It’s not quite the Midas touch, but I’ve pulled that prank before. 
  • I make golden jewelry and sculptures by making them out of clay/wood/etc and turning them into gold for huge profits.

Autumnuskinesis - Control Autumn

  • My hometown capitalizes on my love of pumpkins and sweater weather by becoming a destination for those looking to beat the heat but don’t want to own a down jacket. 
  • I can make things rot. So I rotted my neighbor’s garden a week before harvest. 
  • I make autumn immediately follow winter so now the world’s harvesting systems are fucked because I get pollen allergies. 

Avarikinesis - Control Greed

  • I’m trying to make the world fair by taking all the greed out of high-ranking officials but sometimes that was their only driving force and they have no actual job experience. 
  • I made someone comically greedy because being a superhero in a town in which no banks need protecting is boring.
  • I want so desperately to not have to take greed out of anymore people. It’s getting so tiring. I need to go on a vacation. 

Avikinesis - Control Avains

  • Having hawks fly to my aide when my boss was giving me shit in the parking lot was definitely a sweet move.
  • I may live in this cottage alone, but these birds are more than enough company. One of them just told me about someone who ate shit on pavement last week in a city ten miles away. It’s awesome.
  • “Bats fly, right? Why can’t I control bats?” “Please just let me do my work.” ‘What about bugs?” “Please go home.” “Do flying fish count?”
urban fantasy jobs
  • an Elf family forcing their reckless elf son to become a human mortician for a time to remember that mortality is still a thing
  • fairies becoming contract lawyers and big CEOs of tech companies with huge legal agreement clauses
  • vampires with so many restraining orders on each other (you rack them up after a couple centuries) they have to live in the middle of nowhere, end up becoming lumberjacks
  • Spinx’s who host late night game shows
  • Werewolves becoming astronomy professors and even astronauts after having to pay so much attention to the moon cycle 

i’m sick of doom-and-gloom, 2edgy4u urban fantasies with angsty Chosen Ones™ and constant hard darkness and entirely too many werewolves. so here’s a list of kinder urban fantasy things:

• pharmacies run by faeries who can tell what you need with a single touch and who are tipped with dollar coins and drawstring pouches of sugar (don’t worry, they have human employees to handle the iron supplements)

• dryads who tend to the parks and sidewalk trees and have the ability to purify little patches of air for asthmatics who have difficulty breathing in the polluted city air

• tiny water sprites living in public fountains who use the coins people make wishes with to buy thimblefuls of coffee– once they’ve granted the wish to the best of their ability, of course

• sphinxes who guard libraries and only ask riddles at the level each passing person is capable of answering

• and werewolves too, I suppose, but they don’t sit around angsting all day about being monsters because there’s a monthly bus service that takes them to special parks just outside the city where they can spend the night running around and roughhousing without hurting anyone. they also get the next two days following the full moon off from work since wolfing is very tiring.

because while cities can be hard, dark, unfriendly places, they’re also vibrant and bright and full of all kinds of wonderful people

birds

Corvids

  1. Crows and ravens are not bad omens, as much as people may want you to think they are.
  2. If corvids are following you, they’re there to protect you.
  3. If bad things happen when corvids are your guardians, those things were made to make you stronger.
  4. They won’t let anything get to you that you aren’t strong enough to handle.
  5. They will lead you into liminal spaces, but they will not lead you back out. Enter only if you are sure you can find your way back out again.
  6. Crow Girls will play games with you, and they may hurt you, but they mean no harm. They do not know their own strength. Treat them with kindness, but also with playfulness, and they will reward you in kind.

Owls

  1. Owls are wisdom, but they are also folly.
  2. They will try to lead you down the wrong path, not out of malice, but as a test to your convictions. Stick to your morals and you will find loyalty.
  3. Owls will protect you during the Thirteenth Hour, but only insofar as you are of use to them. Be sure you can offer enough to keep their protection for that long.
  4. Owls will bend those laws you understand, and break those you don’t.
  5. They are regal for as long as you revere them.
  6. Only when they are humbled are they truly wise. They are not humbled easily.

Parrots

  1. Parrots are shits, but they can be controlled.
  2. They will eat your balcony and crap on your car and cheat with your wife.
  3. If you give them enough shiny things, they’ll eat and shit and fornicate somewhere else.
  4. If you give them more than enough they’ll let you pick where that is.
  5. If you give them nothing, you’d better get used to five a.m wake-up calls.

Gulls

  1. Gulls are dirty, scrappy creatures.
  2. Gulls will fight you in the Woolworth’s car park at three in the morning, but only if there’s a cashier taking a smoke break by the bins and a clear sky overhead.
  3. If you win, you become part of their cabal.
  4. If you lose, they get claim over your gizzards. They can collect at any time.
  5. Becoming a Gull gets you protection by the colony from all dangers, and gives you privileges. Be certain you need them before fighting.
  6. Fighting without certainty that you need the colony ensures your loss.

Doves

  1. Doves are lies wrapped in decadence.
  2. Pigeons are the only truthful doves, but their words are wrapped in riddles.
  3. When you hear a dove speak, assume the opposite is true, if you can understand what is being said in the first place.
  4. Doves will give you gifts, but each will only be valuable to one person in the world. If you are very, very lucky, you’ll be given one that means something to you.
  5. Doves watch over the spirit, but do not protect it. They are there only for information.
  6. Doves are bad at their jobs.

Swans

  1. Swans are evil.
  2. No matter what, do not let a swan into your home.
  3. If you find yourself stalked by swans, they will coerce you into something.
  4. They will trick you using any means necessary. They are vengeful and do not forget a grudge, do not forgive a slight.
  5. Swans will lure you with pretty words and promises of riches and love. Beware the shiny plumage; beneath lies the sharp beak, powerful talons.
  6. Do not follow the swan song, do not dance with the swan, for it will steal you away to the Other, and you will not find your way home.

anonymous asked:

Just how fit are cheerleaders? What fighting styles might suit them best, given the muscles they use the most? Any weapon suggestions? I'm doing some research, but i'm not understanding it. I always understand your blog, though! My character will be fighting monsters larger than her, if that helps any. Thank you in advance! You're the best!

Cheerleading:

Cheerleading is a sport, especially in the nationally competitive range. It’s like combining dancing with gymnastics except as a choreographed team event. It’s a grueling sport with athletes who are in pretty incredible condition, and like similar sports runs the risk of serious blowouts in the joints which will result in semi-permanent to permanent injury.

When you’re setting up a cheerleading character, the most important thing to remember is that cheerleading is a team sport. This is a character who is better at working with and relying on others than going it alone. The other thing to remember is that they’re athletes. These are driven, competitive, hardworking, and intense personality types when it comes to their sport. These are the girls who ditch their boyfriends for practice (if they have them), and sacrifice their off hours to being the best they can be. Like any athlete training for the pinnacle of they’re sacrificing a lot of personal/life time to be the best they can be. Netflix has the reality show: Cheer Squad, which may help you some. Bring It On is, of course, a classic.

Remember, this is a character who is used to working in a team when under pressure and has a social outlet. They won’t transfer well to working alone, and you’re going to need to either address this or remember to create their cheer buddies. If you want a similar kind of athlete whose sports background primary gears them for working solo when out on in competition then you want a gymnast.

This is part of the real life dynamic where Buffy the Vampire Slayer really lies to you, because if you went with the cheerleader background you’d end up with twenty girls fighting monsters rather than just one. Only one might have superpowers, but you can bet your bottom dollar the others would be ride or die. For the Sisterhood!

So, what does this net you for starting them as a martial artist/monster hunter? It cuts out a lot of the ancillary issues.

We’ve got someone who is: courageous, fearless, a high achiever, nicely conditioned, flexible, with an athletic history which means she’ll breeze through endurance training and the vast majority of basic physical conditioning has been taken care of. She’s got a running start.

You can push her a lot harder in basic training than you can your average recruit who starts with zip. She’s got more control over her body, so she’ll adapt faster. Cheer is just far enough off the basic combat move set that the two shouldn’t conflict too badly when it comes to her currently conditioned reflexes. Coming out of a background in choreography, she’s going to need some retraining for her timing and gets more comfortable with free flowing chaos.

If you wanted a character with parkour for a background, then this is one which can be adapted fairly quickly.

Monster Hunting:

So, you’ve got a big decision to make on the Urban Fantasy front for how this character is going to go about fighting monsters and solving crime. So, I’ll break it down by some of the big supernatural shows.

The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” - The Buffy modus is essentially fisticuffs. You get a superpowered heroine whose essential means of fighting monsters is punching them out. There are a few other weapons here and there like crossbows, axes, and swords, but guns are persona non grata. You get magic from the support characters and someone else does the research.

In the end, Buffy’s approach to the supernatural is fairly limited on the combat front with the interesting bits happening in other parts of the narrative like the character’s personal relationships. If you want a pure human approaching the supernatural from a combat perspective then Buffy is not right for you.

The “Supernatural” - The Winchester brothers… aren’t quite human, but close enough. This model is The X-Files and Urban Fantasy Private Investigator. Your character is more of a Jack of All Trades. They need to be able to do it all: research, fighting with a primary focus on guns, and investigation (especially in the early seasons). This is “determine what the monster is and figure out how to kill it” mode with the occasional problem that can’t be solved. 

The “Charmed” - Magic is the solution. This is where the primary solution to defeating the monsters is through magic. Magic is the weapon, and the focus, and normal weapons are mostly useless.

Unless they’ve got some sort of special, mystical weapon or a setting clear on its rules, a character who hunts monsters needs a fairly wide array of skills because the ancient monsters of myth, folklore, and fairy tales often require diverse solutions that are all fairly specific.

The decisions between guns or not, the level of technology your character will be using/relying on, their skill at researching and hunting down hidden truths in forgotten folklore, and their flexibility with alternative solutions are all on the table. Whether your setting has a “barrier” between the mundane and supernatural world is also a big decision as that will affect what level of strangeness your character can get away with.

When looking at a “standard” weapon for the character to carry, you want one that will fit a wide variety of situations or the ones the character is most likely to encounter.

-Michi

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