View Full Version : Help Needed with the Big Picture

2014-05-09, 01:37 PM
I am currently in the middle of a rather large project and without getting this post bogged down in unnecessary detail I was hoping that I could throw out some examples of what I am dealing with and see if anyone had any suggestions.

Currently I am dealing with a system that will be made up of sets of four objects/ideals/symbols etc. Each of these will generally be made up of two pairs of opposites but interconnected ideas. Although a set of four ideas that are not necessarily opposites could work as well. These sets should more or less encompass some overall theme.

For clarity I think the forum would be most familiar with these two examples…
Alignment – Good/Evil, Chaos/Law
Elements – Air/Earth, Fire/Water

Any and all suggestions would be welcomed and appreciated.

2014-05-09, 02:39 PM
Tough/Fast Intuitive/Logical

2014-05-09, 02:48 PM
Being - Body/Soul, Heart/Mind: tangible vs intangible and emotion vs logic

Time - Future/Past, Now/Never: things to come and things that were, things that are and things that never was or will be

Music - Soprano/Baritone, Allegro/Adagio: the high whistling of the wind or the rumbling of the earth, tempo flickering like flames or solemn like waves


Royal Court - Emperor/Empress, Hierophant/High Priestess: masculine ideals and feminine ideals, masculine knowledge and feminine magic

Dreams - Gate of Ivory/Gate of Horn, Gate of Bone/Gate of Blood: false dreams vs true dreams, dreams of the dead and dreams of the newborn

Change - Ascension/Decadence, Volatility/Stagnation: achieving new heights or regressing to past behaviors, change for change sake or deciding to not change at all

2014-05-09, 02:54 PM
North/South, East/West
Tiger/Dragon, Bird/Tortoise
Sun/Moon, Earth/Heaven

2014-05-09, 05:16 PM
I had an idea for Druid powers in a game that sounds perhaps similar to this. It was based around balancing the energies of the inner planes in the material world. Here's what I wrote for it:

Air and Earth
The balance between air and earth is the balance between light and sound, between movement and stillness, between freedom and constraint. The ultimate expression of the balance between air and earth is the thunderbolt - the union of electric and sonic power as energy flows between the realms of sky and ground. You can balance the expression of the elements in a mind, bringing mental freedom and adaptability to someone set in their ways or under enchantment, or bringing stability to someone confused or reminding someone of their duties and convictions.

Fire and Water
The balance between fire and water is the balance between wet and dry, cold and hot, passion and calm. Many forms of weather bring balance to these elements - a rainstorm in a desert, or a heatwave in a swamp. Never does a weather effect bring unbalance. You can also balance the expression of the elements in a mind, bringing excitement and passion to someone who is depressed or apathetic, and calming the mind of one who is enraged or overzealous.

Wood and Metal
Although the elements are usually split into four, it is thought among certain scholars that the plane of earth would be more properly understood as the union of two planes - the plane of wood and the plane of metal - that find union and expression in earth and stone. The balance between wood and metal is the balance between grown and forged, between soft and hard, and between awareness and focus. Wood and metal find expression when one grows inside the other - a metal weapon engulfed in plants or a wooden structure strengthened with bolts. They also find natural balance in earth and stone. You can also balance the expression of the elements in a mind, expanding the awareness and wisdom of someone with a narrow mind, or bringing focus to the thoughts of someone whose mind is wandering.

Positive and Negative Energy
The balance between positive and negative energy is the balance between life and undeath, energy and enervation, growth and withering, joy and despair. Positive and negative energy find balance in death, stagnation, and depression - for a flourishing world, one must outweigh the other! In general, it is considered a natural state for positive energy to outweigh negative energy. By balancing the power of negative and positive energy you can bring a creature closer to death, whether they are alive or undead, and you can infuse what is barren with life or corrupt that which is healthy. You can also bring happiness to someone in despair, or remove the zeal of someone who is overjoyed. Beware, however - if joy and despair are perfectly balanced, this can lead to apathy and depression.

Shadow and Ether
The balance between shadow and ether is the balance between light and dark, between force and shadow-stuff, between what is revealed and what is hidden. These elements find natural balance in twilight. By focusing on the flux of these two elements, you can make things fade from view or cause figments to appear. You can also call into being pure walls of force or murky pools of shadow-stuff. When these elements are balanced in a mind, they can bring clear thinking to someone who is confused, or they can provoke creativity in someone who is narrow minded.

2014-05-10, 02:32 AM

tl;dr? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iapcKVn7DdY

2014-05-13, 09:16 AM
I really appreciated all of the responses. There are a lot of excellent ideas in here. I particularly like Klarth’s set on Time and LonelyScribe’s thoughts on Shadow and Ether.

I've already recieved more than I expected but I'm always open to a few more if someone else has an idea.

2014-05-13, 11:01 AM
Hot // Cold
Fast // Slow

Both aspects on the left are high energy, both aspects on the right are low energy.
The top 2 aspects are molecular movement speeds (hot molecules move a lot).
While the bottom aspects are physical movements speeds (fast things, strangely are moving)

Creation // Destruction
Transformation // Stagnation

Both aspects on the left are generally considered positive, while the right ones are more negative.
The top 2 aspects are related to the start/end of new things.
While the bottom aspects are more in line with the "mid-life" of a thing.