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MatrixStone93
2014-12-21, 03:45 PM
Hi, I want to make a RPG Mechanics Verse webcomic. Like Order Of The Stick, except I won't use stick figures and I won't rip it off or use the awesome world of Oots.

I want to be original, and I want to make my comic original, but... To be original, what else must I change, besides the art style and party composition and characters? I also don't want to ripoff anything else. Especially Eight Bit Theatre. I like the "Heroes who do more harm than good and are treated as such by sane people" thing, but I don't want to rip that off either.

As for the site, I'm thinking ComicsFury or whatever it was called, if it's still going. I'd also use custom html and css, because I'm awesome. But as for the actual story, what do I need to be original with, and what would make some good main plots? I also have a few character ideas... How many characters should be in the main party? And am I allowed to use unusual races/classes? Because back when I played DnD on my own as a kid, my favourite character was a Jake Peralta-ish 18-charisma Human Sorceror. Possibly with the Dark subtype/template or whatever it was called added on. Sorry. My mind's felt weird lately. Maybe I need to sleep more? Anyway, webcomic. How do I make it original, do stuff that didn't and won't happen in Oots, and be awesome and original even though it's an RPG Mechanics Verse? Tvtropes said they were a thing before oots, but I still like Oots. If I knew the guy who made it irl, I'd buy him a drink. From the store. And I'm getting off topic. Sorry. Anyway... Webcomic. How do I make it good and original?

Seerow
2014-12-21, 05:44 PM
How to make it good is more a question of talent than content. We really can't help you with that. Similarly, if all you want to do is "A comic set in an RPG-verse, but not like those other ones!" you need to figure out for yourself what your niche is and how to make it stand out.


That said, I will make the argument that regardless of what you go with, the RPG mechanics should fade into the background. Having the mechanics as a foundation for the world is great, it allows for expectations to be set up and subverted without a ton of exposition or crafting your own magic system and having to figure out how to integrate that within the world. It also gives you room to introduce certain tropes and definitely a number of jokes that wouldn't make sense outside of that context. But those mechanics and interactions should not be the comic.

Just as an example of it being badly done, The Legendary Pixel Crew is being advertised on GitP right now, I read through it... and literally half of the comic strips are clumsy tutorials on D&D 3.5 basics. While they play it up as a running gag, it slows the comic's pace to a crawl and caused me to drop it pretty quickly.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-21, 06:58 PM
Got it!

I could make it 5e... But considering that not only have I never played a 5e, but I literally didn't know it existed until I saw it listed on one of those character-generators, that wouldn't be as cool. Besides, 3.5e seems to have way more character options, races, ect.

Perhaps I could make the leader or one of the leader's teammates a strategic/tactical genius? (Creeeeed!) Then again, Roy from Oots is pretty smart...

Maybe if I used non-SRD classes, races with Minus LA, and... Hm... Please don't think less of me for this, but I've never been in an original Dungeons and Dragons game. They've always been either generic dungeon crawls, 'Free worlds' where you try and have fun in a usually-cliche world that makes bad Fallout mods look good, or generic 'Evil enemy does a thing. Go kick his/her/its butt!'. In most games I've been in, the whole thing would have ended after that part in Oots near the beginning, when Elan blew up the first gate. And then I'd have to make a new character for the next dungeon crawl, as the dm wouldn't allow me to have that kind of gold on my person. I'm not saying I'm a genius, but I've always wanted to pull off an epic feat I'd be remembered for for years to come, a la Old Man Henderson or Alphonse Kapown.

But enough about me. What if I included a tactical/strategic genius in the party, and the story featured brilliant plans, like in Code Geass/Death Note? (Mostly Code Geass).

-----------

(I will now check if this forum has that thing where double posts are auto-merged into one post. If not, I will delete this post and copypaste the question into the previous one. Breaking the rules is bad. I should sleep soon.)
(EDIT: No, this forum does not have that thing. Although, it probably should. Could it be added in a later edition? It's okay if you don't want it, it's just... A thing... Yep. Sorry if this sounds weird. Anyway, now for the seconhalf:ld)

Hey, is there already anything with a name involving 'Falcon of the Four Winds' or anything similar? If I remember correctly, Four Winds refers to the compass directions. Also, Falcons are fast, relatively small compared to bigger birds(A reference to how the plans guy/leader has his small and fast band of adventurers/mercenaries) and most of all, they are cool. I'll try my hardest to not make a Falcon Punch/Captain Falcon reference.

Also... A Middle-aged or older wizard in a midlife crisis and a young 18-cha human(Or some kinda human but with bonuses race) sorcerer in the same party as a warlock... Fairy/fae/tiny flying thing with stupidly high AC and damage boosts, and some variety of badass leader guy who isn't a fighter. Has this been done before?

(Also, visually speaking, what would make for badass dnd fight scenes?)

Douglas
2014-12-21, 11:40 PM
But enough about me. What if I included a tactical/strategic genius in the party, and the story featured brilliant plans, like in Code Geass/Death Note? (Mostly Code Geass).
That can be a very interesting story element when done well, but it really needs to be done well. You can't just tell the audience that X person is smart and this plan is brilliant, you have to show it and make the plan actually seem brilliant. This is difficult to pull off. You can leverage your position as omniscient omnipotent controller of the story to start with a plan and arrange the world so it's a good one, and declare that any chance involved conveniently turns out favorably, etc., to partially make up for your own deficiencies, but there's only so much that can do; at the core of it, you still need to invent a plan yourself that appears to be brilliant.

Hollywood and many writers have a common shortcut that goes, essentially, "this guy is brilliant, see all these amazing gadgets he makes". The problem with this is that it isn't really making an intelligent character, it's making a character with gadget-making superpowers.

Some interesting reading along these lines is some articles by Eliezer Yudkowsky (http://yudkowsky.tumblr.com/writing), particularly the ones on what he calls Level 1 Intelligent characters and Level 2 Intelligent characters.


(I will now check if this forum has that thing where double posts are auto-merged into one post. If not, I will delete this post and copypaste the question into the previous one. Breaking the rules is bad. I should sleep soon.)
(EDIT: No, this forum does not have that thing. Although, it probably should. Could it be added in a later edition? It's okay if you don't want it, it's just... A thing... Yep. Sorry if this sounds weird. Anyway, now for the seconhalf:ld)
The current forum software has that feature, and it was initially turned on when we upgraded. It resulted in confusion and prevention of intentional double posting for legitimate purposes* more than it helped, and was disabled because of that.

* Such as reserving posts at the start of a thread for a homebrew that is expected to go beyond the length limit for one post but isn't finished yet.


Hey, is there already anything with a name involving 'Falcon of the Four Winds' or anything similar?
Google it?


(Also, visually speaking, what would make for badass dnd fight scenes?)
One thing that would interest me is some well executed high level fights with at least moderately high optimization (in both character builds and tactics) on both sides. Of course, a big part of why is that it's so rare, and a big part of its rarity is that it's hard to do at all well.

Winterwind
2014-12-22, 06:58 AM
The most important thing, I'd think, would be having good characters with interesting arcs planned for each of them, and a good, well-thought-out plot. Being about D&D and using stick art are gimmicks that work well for OotS and serve as a source of humour and help distinguish it from other webcomics, but it's the story and the depth of its characters that make it great.

Hence, I'd say that going into creating a webcomic with the intention of making it about D&D, but not actually knowing what the story you want to tell is or who your characters are is entirely backwards. Your story is what your comic will be first, centrestage and last; it being about D&D and such is just adding some flavour.

(Of course, ironically, OotS and I'm pretty sure 8bit Theatre as well did start out being about their gimmicks first and the story came later; but had they not come up with a story early on, they assuredly would not have lasted the many hundreds of strips they did, and there is a reason why the early strips are the weakest in both of them.)

GloatingSwine
2014-12-22, 08:54 AM
But enough about me. What if I included a tactical/strategic genius in the party, and the story featured brilliant plans, like in Code Geass/Death Note? (Mostly Code Geass).


If your universe runs on game rules, your brilliant plans have to use the game rules.

Which, I think, is your justification for them being in your story (and you need one, there has to be a reason you use the game rules other than "X did it an I like X".)

Having a character who uses/abuses obscure rules and rule interactions which border on cheese without being a munchkinny power gamer character in his own right (that's important, the personal physical capabilities of the character should be subnormal for his world to emphasise his mad rulemongering skillz, hence Parson Gotti is a fat guy with no warlord bonus and Lelouch gets winded moving a chess piece) would give you a reason to have those rules in your setting.

Of course, if you're using an open ruleset like D&D you can't make up the rules to enable your character (which almost all of those "tactical genius" characters in other media benefit from, which is why you rarely hear about a rule in those fictions until it's just about to make the main character look clever by exploiting it), but there's also a whole internet full of people's cheesy ideas to draw from.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-22, 11:18 AM
Alright.

1. Air/War Cleric/Fighter, or Air/War Cleric/Druid? Or Air/War Cleric/Fighter/Druid? Hawk animal companion, if applicable. Also, how would an Air/War Cleric act?
2. How can one get a blackguard on a good/neutral party? This isn't that important, really. I'll probably go for something more interesting instead.
3. How much can I play up the old vs new, skill vs research, fast vs slow, swag vs charm rivalry going on between the young at-least-18-cha possibly-nonhuman Sorceror and the old midlife-crisis Wizard without getting into spotlight-stealing or ho yay territory?
4. How do I write a badass warrior lady, like Erza Scarlet or... Uh... Maybe Sakura from Naruto? (Though Erza is cooler, and I like her more.) I want her to be badass, but I don't want to do that lame "She is the designated 'badass' 'tsundere' girl who hits her own teammates more than she hits enemies' thing. (I'm thinking she'll either be a class that uses light onehanded rapiers(thin straightswords used by that villain lady from Indiana Jones, not the uberthin bendy floppy musketeer sword seen in Mickey and the Three Musketeers.), or a big twohanded weapon. Or a weapon and shield. But something badass either way. Not yet sure what class she'll be.
5. How broken would a fae/fairy Warlock be? And which is better, Fae or Fairy?
6. What levels should most characters be?
7. Does a party need a bard? Because I'm thinking of having the DM be the kind of guy who'd outright say " No Bards. Ever." At the start of character creation, hence why Mr Charisma Sorceror over there isn't a Bard, and then realised he liked nonbards more, because it gives him more to 'Go crazy' with, without actually having to be a spoony bard cliche. (Note: I like Elan, he reminds me of Pinkie Pie. I'm referring to the unfunny idiot bards you see in bad dnd games.)
8. How many characters should be on the main adventuring party?
9. If they have allies/rivals, what should they be like?
10. Should I include a generic everyman guy/girl like Lucy Heartfillia or something, as well as the badass characters?
11. Who should The Watson be?
12. Would a generic 'Warring Kingdoms' plot be interesting? Or do I need to spice it up with more villains while making it a 'Multiple kingdoms on the verge of war' thing?
13. A while back, I remember reading a post where Rich Burlew epically smacked down all the people complaining that he doesn't use perfect dnd tactics. I've been reading this comic for a while, and a lot of the plans seem pretty sound. Where are some of these moments where the planning could have been better? (Besides Roy not taking V and possibly also Durkon and maybe even a bunch of Paladins alongside him when he fought Xykon atop that dragon during the Azure City arc.)

Edit: Actually, should I put that War Clarice question on another part of the forum?

Lord Raziere
2014-12-23, 12:22 AM
But enough about me. What if I included a tactical/strategic genius in the party, and the story featured brilliant plans, like in Code Geass/Death Note? (Mostly Code Geass).


So you want to make a mastermind, and not be lazy about it. heres the lowdown:

1. LIMITATIONS! Your character must have them.
What defines both Lelouch and Light is that they have clearly defined limitations to their power. Lelouch cannot just go around Geass'ing people willy nilly, and Light needs a name to kill people with and such. Their limitations are what allow them to be smart. Why? because having a lot of options and knowing which one to pick for the situation is not smart, its basic logic. No, being smart like them, is knowing the limitations they have, knowing what they cannot do...then figuring out how to get around those limitations through other means. Lelouch's Command power can only be used once per person, so he makes sure to use it strategically so that it will have its maximum effect.

Similarly your smart mastermind type of character? They must have limitations they have to get around. A smart character with the power of a wizard is a god who will utterly curbstomp anyone and everyone and is not interesting at all. A smart character with the power of a rogue? is an interesting mastermind in the making. These types of characters are defined by how they achieve something seemingly far beyond their capabilities because they know how to use what they are capable of at the right time, right place, at the right thing. their tools are surgical knives that work because they know where to cut to make a whole bridge fall down. the more your mastermind can do with less, the better.

2. Force: Their last resort
Force should be the last thing they do. Ever. Brute force isn't smart. Force isn't strategical. If they personally are using force, they have already lost. If however they a bunch of people around them using force FOR them, they have already won. Force is for other people. Convincing the people who use Force to follow you and use it for you so that you don't have to, is for your character. Thats why Lelouch is such a scrawny weakling but gathers a bunch of badass fighters like Kallen around him: because he is a commander of an army, and commanders don't pick up a sword and fight with the men. They stay in the war room, looking over the situation and commanding others to get that sword over there and kill that guy for the greater strategy of the battle. because without their guiding intellect, the army is just a random mob.

3. Charisma: Have it.
Sorry, but the pure book nerds don't work for this type of character. You can have Int 22 and know everything but if your Charisma sucks forget it. You want to manipulate people and be an awesome mastermind? you want a bunch of brutes and soldiers to follow you around and carry out your awesome plan? then talk the talk, be charismatic. know how to play them, know when to lie, when to be honest, know to PRESENT, do those two genius scientists who make the mechs in Code Geass give the orders? No. Does Nina Einstein lead any forces? No. Lelouch leads. Why? because while he is smart, he also knows how to convince people to follow him without needing his supernatural eye. sure, he is a little dramatic, but people love dramatics. he puts on a show every time he is Zero, he doesn't just plan, he orchestrates, he doesn't just make his plans work, he makes them work with style. Half the point of many his plans to dazzle people so much that they believe that Zero is something more than he actually is, too in awe to realize what he actually did or notice that was only a one-time thing. The more people you can convince to follow you, the more connections you make, the more awesome your plans will be. which leads me to my next point:

4. Lie like a fox
Lies are your friend. Know when to lie, know how to lie, know what lie to tell. Not just verbal lies, visual lies, audio lies, any kind of lie you can think of. This ties back to the strategy thing: any information you can keep from falling into the hands of the enemy is an advantage gained. Therefore incorporate lies and misinformation into key places in your strategy, the right lie to the right person at the right time works wonders. Both Lelouch and Light use lies prominently, and your character should be no exception. Sometimes these are bald faced lies, sometimes they're white lies, whats used depends on the situation, but lying is an important tool no mastermind should be without. If you really want to be impressive with this, try truth-twisting: deceiving someone as much as possible while changing the truth as little as you can to manipulate them, as often some truth amid the lies can make them all the more plausible. and if you can manipulate someone into say, betraying all that they hold dear without technically lying? all the better. remember: less is more.

5. Lets make a deal
If you can't lie to it, make one of your force friends smash it or make it a follower, you should have the social know how to be able to bargain with someone and come out on top. Both Lelouch and Light made deals for their powers and were able to profit from them before they died. and it ties into the truth-twisting and lying thing: if you can make someone agree to a contract with certain wording in it that makes them have to do what you want or whatever, you win. they after all, signed on the dotted line. Remember when Zero negotiated for himself to be exiled while the rest of his rebellion was to be sent to jail, then pulled his Spartacus moment so that ALL of them were Zero and thus to be exiled? thats how you make a deal work for you.

6. If your starting to look like a competent evil overlord, your doing it right.
Now, these all sound a little evil- gathering minions to smash stuff for you, lying to others, putting on hammy shows while your plans are in motion, deals with the devil, stuff like that, but none of these things are inherently evil. they're just cultural trappings of what people consider evil. there is no rule against using these things for good, and sure you probably have a moral code to follow that prevents you from doing truly villainous stuff, but thats OK. remember: limitations. less is more. If your mastermind can concoct a plan that works AND still follows his moral code? HE WINS. In fact the entire point of your mastermind hero should be to achieve that. Don't expect honesty to be one of your virtues though.

The only reason you look like this evil overlord is because the culture around us sees "intelligence" only as "guy who makes devices" while all the social geniuses have been sorted into "evil villain" when really, all the great inventors and scientist of history needed charisma and social savvy to argue clearly and convincingly for what they made or discovered to be accepted. the only reason we don't see social savvy as a great superpower to have like super-strength or super-gadgetry, is because humans use social savvy so much, so its invisible to us for the most part and the most exploitive and manipulative tactics only stand out because they're evil to us and not accepted.

in short? do the opposite of hollywood: take a hammy manipulative villain and make him the hero. in RPG mechanics terms, make a social stat character and exploit it to the best of his ability. do it right, and whatever all powerful wizard or whatever there is in the party should be taking orders from him, even if he is "weaker". :smallamused:

PhantomFox
2014-12-23, 01:29 AM
Alright.

1. Air/War Cleric/Fighter, or Air/War Cleric/Druid? Or Air/War Cleric/Fighter/Druid? Hawk animal companion, if applicable. Also, how would an Air/War Cleric act?
2. How can one get a blackguard on a good/neutral party? This isn't that important, really. I'll probably go for something more interesting instead.
3. How much can I play up the old vs new, skill vs research, fast vs slow, swag vs charm rivalry going on between the young at-least-18-cha possibly-nonhuman Sorceror and the old midlife-crisis Wizard without getting into spotlight-stealing or ho yay territory?
4. How do I write a badass warrior lady, like Erza Scarlet or... Uh... Maybe Sakura from Naruto? (Though Erza is cooler, and I like her more.) I want her to be badass, but I don't want to do that lame "She is the designated 'badass' 'tsundere' girl who hits her own teammates more than she hits enemies' thing. (I'm thinking she'll either be a class that uses light onehanded rapiers(thin straightswords used by that villain lady from Indiana Jones, not the uberthin bendy floppy musketeer sword seen in Mickey and the Three Musketeers.), or a big twohanded weapon. Or a weapon and shield. But something badass either way. Not yet sure what class she'll be.
5. How broken would a fae/fairy Warlock be? And which is better, Fae or Fairy?
6. What levels should most characters be?
7. Does a party need a bard? Because I'm thinking of having the DM be the kind of guy who'd outright say " No Bards. Ever." At the start of character creation, hence why Mr Charisma Sorceror over there isn't a Bard, and then realised he liked nonbards more, because it gives him more to 'Go crazy' with, without actually having to be a spoony bard cliche. (Note: I like Elan, he reminds me of Pinkie Pie. I'm referring to the unfunny idiot bards you see in bad dnd games.)
8. How many characters should be on the main adventuring party?
9. If they have allies/rivals, what should they be like?
10. Should I include a generic everyman guy/girl like Lucy Heartfillia or something, as well as the badass characters?
11. Who should The Watson be?
12. Would a generic 'Warring Kingdoms' plot be interesting? Or do I need to spice it up with more villains while making it a 'Multiple kingdoms on the verge of war' thing?
13. A while back, I remember reading a post where Rich Burlew epically smacked down all the people complaining that he doesn't use perfect dnd tactics. I've been reading this comic for a while, and a lot of the plans seem pretty sound. Where are some of these moments where the planning could have been better? (Besides Roy not taking V and possibly also Durkon and maybe even a bunch of Paladins alongside him when he fought Xykon atop that dragon during the Azure City arc.)

Edit: Actually, should I put that War Clarice question on another part of the forum?

1) What would the impact be on the story be for each of those?
2) A plot device mainly, as long as it's believable. It's not a natural pairing, so you'll need some unusual circumstances. Probably plot-relevant so it doesn't come across as an excuse.
3) Depends on how well you weave it into the plot and their character growth. Just having it for its own sake is rather pointless.
4) What she isn't as important as Who she is. Badass can be expressed through a variety of character traits. Generally the common denominator is that the character pulls off impressive feats (mental or physical) in clutch situations as an expression of power. Any character can have badass moments, you just have to have the right situation and motivation for them.
5) That's up to the ruleset you create. Which do you want to write with?
6) Any level is fine, as long it's appropriate for the Conflict you make the story about.
7) No. Bards are not mandatory, in DnD nor in storytelling.
8) As many as are necessary, and no more or less. Don't introduce a main character and then have nothing for them to contribute to the story.
9) Whatever suits the story the best. There are too many ways you could go with that to list.
10) If so, what are you going to use them for?
11) Who says you need The Watson? It sounds like you are worrying about how to relate worldbuilding details, and there are many other options outside of Watsons. You don't have to include one, and you don't have to NOT include one. Just as long as you do it well.
12) Depends on how well you pull it off. If the storytelling itself is generic and lackluster, then no amount of tropes you throw in will 'spice it up'. If you are asked "Why should I read this comic over something else?", you should have an answer ready.
13) Not really relevant to the discussion here.


From the sounds of it, it seems like you're coming at this the wrong way. You're picking up a lot of tropes and trying to glue them together into a good story. You're worrying about what 'should' be in the story as if it were as easy as following a recipe. Have some heroes, villains, rivals, allies, a quest, bake for 20 minutes and done. This is as far from the truth as you can be. It's less like putting together a puzzle as it is painting a picture.

So the first thing you need to do is decide what you want your story to BE. Why do you want to tell your story and why should we read it? It's not enough to like a genre and imitate it. What do you want to be unique about your story that will make others want to listen? Generally it falls into one of three very broad categories: Characters, Setting, and Events. All three are necessary to any story, but usually a writer wants makes one or two the star. From what it sounds like, I want to guess you are the most interested in Setting: you want to create a unique world and show off every little detail throughout the story? Or perhaps I'm wrong and you're more interested in Characters and have some interesting people that you want your readers to meet through your story. Or perhaps you're more interested in Events, and have this cool timeline of action, adventure, romance, intrigue, mystery, or what-have-you. You can have your readers be primarily invested in WHERE the story is, WHO the story is about, or WHAT is happening in it. Start with that foundation, and the others fall into place eventually based on how well they suit your foundation.
Find that base of what you want to share, and then start asking yourself lots and lots of questions based on it. Good luck!

MatrixStone93
2014-12-23, 05:44 PM
I choose What. I want awesome, epic events to grab the audience's attention. Maybe with a dash of Who, because characters are what sell a story. Now how can I make characters deep, interesting, and how can I use them to make the audience feel feels?

Some variety of wind power, ability, spell or theme is needed for the 'Falcon of the Four Winds' name to fit. It's a cool name, and it has a lot of significance that'd take too long to explain completely. Come to think of it, my work will probably be more character-based. Probably focused on him and his band of adventurers who follow him due to his own skill/charisma/intelligence/evil overlord Lelouchness. Perhaps that could be a part of the show he puts on?

1. So... Bugger, there was something important I was going to ask.
2. Anyway, cleric. Air and something. How do I maximise/munchkinify that? But without turning him into an ultimate demigod for whom there are no challenges or puzzles that cannot be bruteforced open.
3. How does one get their character class? Training? Schools and colleges? Does a Cleric choose their Domains, or are they born into them?
4. Weirder races... Where do they live? Is there some big city where the stranger things live, like The Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy from Star Wars? How would that work?
5. One of the Final Fantasy games came up with something pretty clever, one of the main cities had a backup city replica carved into the underground beneath it. It was supposed to be used as a bomb shelter or backup city or something, but once the villains took over, it was used as a slum where all the poor people, thieves, and Jaba the Hut lookalikes lived. How can I put an original spin on something like that?
6. What is my protagonist's endgame? With him comfortably ruling a large kingdom with enough power to keep him and his allies well fed for the rest of his natural life? With him gaining immortality in some way? With him ascending to some godly form, if such things are possible? If he's going for the King route, could he expand that empire/kingdom into multiple realms/planes?
7. What level should I make the characters?
8. Resurrection. How often and how readily is it used?
9. Politics. What is the world like?
10. Villains that aren't necessarily automatically evil but are still opposed to the heroes.
11. Should there be fanservice?
12. My art style is anime-ish, what would you recommend if I wanted to draw more realistically? Or at least, in a comic book fashion, or a way that wouldn't get animehaters to label it as "More lame anime crap"?
13. The afterlife. What is that like?
14. Magical items. How rare are they? To make a good story, how rare should they be?
15. Should the enemy countries/kingdoms also have competent tacticians and masterminds working for them?
16. Epic-Level stuff. Should I even touch it? Or does it risk turning everything into some DBZ-ish bigger-stick fest?

PhantomFox
2014-12-24, 12:23 AM
1) Ok, hope you remember it.
2) Why do you need to min/max it at all? The important part is that the Conflict they are working to solve is hard enough for them to be interesting, yet not impossible.
3) You tell me. It's your setting you're going to be creating. There is no one correct answer to that. As long as it makes sense and stays consistent, then go for it. Ask yourself a lot of questions to try to determine WHY things are the way they are in your setting.
4) See #3
5) I generally try and boil the idea you liked down to its base concepts. Why does it interest you? Once you figure out the fundamental reasons you find the base idea interesting, they you can start brainstorming on how you want to use those core concepts.
6) See #3.
7) See #2. High enough level for them to be capable of solving whatever Conflict they are dealing with, but not have it be trivial.
8) See #3
9) See #3
10) Yes, what about them?
11) It's not mandatory. Is giving eye-candy to your readers something you want to do?
12) I'm more versed in writing than art. But from what I understand, study and practice. Study stuff you want your art to look like, and then try and replicate it. Repeat until you can consistently. Note, this WILL take a long time.
13) See #3
14) See #... well, this one's a tad more complicated. They are a form of power like anything else. As far as rarity goes, that's up to you. See #3 and all that. But magic items are essentially tools, and you simply have to make sure that your character is defined by WHO he is, and not what stuff he has. Special note: This equally applies to special abilities.
15) See #3
16) It is a risk, but it is possible to do it well. Large Power Scale Conflicts need protagonists that can solve it after all. The main pitfall is that the more power you give them, the more things they can solve with it. And that runs the risk of opening up plot-holes, or making everything or everyone else below their power inconsequential.


To be honest, I would ask yourself if it is even necessary to set your story in Tabletop Game World to begin with. What does the inclusion bring to the table that you couldn't do otherwise? You seem to be hung up on whether or not to include specific things, and the answer to those kind of questions is similar to the above: What do you get by including it? Follow what some people call the Law of Narrative Conservation which roughly says "If it's in the story, there's a reason for it to be in the story".

If your main goal is to tell a thrilling Adventure, then you may want to start with that and build outward. And the starting point for that is the aforementioned Conflict. Every story has a problem that needs to be solved which is the Goal of the protagonist, and the story revolves around that. Sometimes the Goal changes. Sometimes it doesn't. From there you build your basic story structure. Introduce the characters and setting you need before you get started, introduce the problem. Have the characters try to solves the problem or various sub-problems, and struggle with whatever is keeping them from solving it. Repeat until the problem is solved. Wrap up loose ends. The entire story is dealing with various aspects of the characters vs. the problem, which creates Conflict. Conflict creates dramatic tension, the "How are they going to deal with THIS?" aspect that makes things interesting. No conflict, no interest.

As for what the main Conflict is, well that's your job. You can do it top-down and come up with the Start and End of the story and fill in the middle. Or if you can't figure out what the Start and End should be like, you can start in the middle with scene(s) you know you DO want to include, and work your way outward until you figure it out.

As for characters and how to make them interesting... that can be difficult as well. The ultimate ideal is to create a character that feels like a real live person. And that's where the difficulty lies. The pitfall most writers deal with is making a character that is defined by one or two personality traits, quirks, or gimmicks, and nothing else. The Strong Guy. The Smart Guy. The Sassy Chick. Now, tropes are not bad in and of themselves, but they don't hold up well by themselves. You can use them as a baseline, but to make them not feel like stereotypes being waved about you need to flesh them out. And that involves asking a lot of questions. Most good characters have various tropes they fill, but they also show other emotions and feelings NOT related to their primary trope. Ask yourself how your character would react in a variety of situations not related to his base concept. What makes him angry? Sad? Laugh? Scared? Why does he react that way? What kind of people does he like? Dislike? Admire? Despise? Ask questions long enough and you'll know him or her better and better until you know them as well as yourself. At a certain point, they may start to surprise you and start to write themselves. I've had several characters end up miles from where they started, which never ceases to surprise me.

Essentially, storytelling boils down to imagination and asking enough questions to determine Who What and Where happens in your story.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-24, 10:53 AM
Sweet! Okay, I understand. Still, uh... Could someone answer the questions? Or am I supposed to do that thing where I rank questions in order of importance, instead of the orfer in which I come up with things?




1. Cleric. Air and something. How do I maximise/munchkinify that? But without turning him into an ultimate demigod for whom there are no challenges or puzzles that cannot be bruteforced open.
2. How many options will a munchkinised Air+Something Cleric have, when it comes to plans and tactics?
3. How does one get their character class? Training? Schools and colleges? Does a Cleric choose their Domains, or are they born into them?
4. Weirder races... Where do they live? Is there some big city where the stranger things live, like The Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy from Star Wars? How would that work?
5. One of the Final Fantasy games came up with something pretty clever, one of the main cities had a backup city replica carved into the underground beneath it. It was supposed to be used as a bomb shelter or backup city or something, but once the villains took over, it was used as a slum where all the poor people, thieves, and Jaba the Hut lookalikes lived. How can I put an original spin on something like that?
6. What is my protagonist's endgame? With him comfortably ruling a large kingdom with enough power to keep him and his allies well fed for the rest of his natural life? With him gaining immortality in some way? With him ascending to some godly form, if such things are possible? If he's going for the King route, could he expand that empire/kingdom into multiple realms/planes?
7. What level should I make the characters?
8. Resurrection. How often and how readily is it used?
9. Politics. What is the world like?
10. Villains that aren't necessarily automatically evil but are still opposed to the heroes.
11. Should there be fanservice?
12. My art style is anime-ish, what would you recommend if I wanted to draw more realistically? Or at least, in a comic book fashion, or a way that wouldn't get animehaters to label it as "More lame anime crap"?
13. The afterlife. What is that like?
14. Magical items. How rare are they? To make a good story, how rare should they be?
15. Should the enemy countries/kingdoms also have competent tacticians and masterminds working for them?
16. Epic-Level stuff. Should I even touch it? Or does it risk turning everything into some DBZ-ish bigger-stick fest?

PhantomFox
2014-12-24, 11:32 AM
I put it in the spoiler box since the post was getting long.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-24, 11:35 AM
I put it in the spoiler box since the post was getting long.

Ok. By the way, cool avatar. I like ponies too. Pinkie, Twilight, Vinyl, Derpy, and Octavia are best ponies, in that order.

Also... Answers to questions would help a lot. I've written fanfics before, but never an original comic like this.

The Glyphstone
2014-12-24, 12:38 PM
The problem is that answering those questions means writing your comic for you. The only one I can give an answer to would be #16, which I feel is No - Epic play, even when it works, is even more rocket-tag than regular high-level D&D 3.x play, and a story where all fights are resolved by the first unblocked hit is boring.

The other 15....those are questions you need to answer yourself. That's how worldbuilding works, it's not something other people can do for you. Answer those questions based on what kind of story you want to write.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-24, 08:07 PM
I'm not asking for you to write the story, I'm just asking for your opinion. How rare should magic items be? How do I make a non-lame evil villain empire for the hero to beat? Can the hero ride a giant bird, if the prestige class I choose says he should/can/does? And in DnD games you're usually in, how rare/common can Magical Items be before they start to lose their allure and importance?

Seerow
2014-12-24, 10:20 PM
I'm not asking for you to write the story, I'm just asking for your opinion. How rare should magic items be? How do I make a non-lame evil villain empire for the hero to beat? Can the hero ride a giant bird, if the prestige class I choose says he should/can/does? And in DnD games you're usually in, how rare/common can Magical Items be before they start to lose their allure and importance?

Write the story for yourself, not for what other people think. Unless you plan to do some weird "vote up your webcomic" thing, the questions you are asking really are things you need to sit down and figure out what you are most comfortable working with. This isn't an optimization exercise, it's a creative medium, what other people think means far less than what you want to do.

PhantomFox
2014-12-24, 10:33 PM
That's the thing. There is no really 'right answer' for those kind of questions. Do you want to have those elements? Does is mesh well with everything else you've established? Go ahead! We can't answer "should I" questions because the answer is always some variant of "Why not?". The "How do I..." questions are things we CAN do though.

Should you include magic items? I dunno. HOW do you include magic items into the story well? By establishing what they can and cannot do from the start and managing their power level. This goal is to define the rules before it's used to solve a problem, so that it doesn't feel like the solution came out of nowhere. (See: Deus Ex Machina or D.E.M. for short). Also, don't get caught up in the neat things that the ITEM can do that you ignore the character holding it. The spotlight belongs on the character, not the inanimate object. How rare should they be? Exactly as rare as the number of people you want to have one. That is, they should be only rare/common enough for everyone you want to have one to have the ability to acquire one. And similarly, special abilities and tools like your giant bird follow the same guidelines. But that all falls under the rule of "have everything make sense with everything else".

As for villains... that's a trickier question. The short version is that villains are characters too, and should be as believable as the heroes are. Thus you do a lot of the same things. However, you have to establish why they're opposed to the hero. "Because I'm evil" is not a valid reason unless you're going that route intentionally. With any character, you should decide on what virtues and flaws they have, and this is true for villains as they are characters too. However, the flaws are more pronounced in them, as flaws cause problems, and villains are primary problem makers. How do you make them not 'lame'? As mentioned, flesh them out. Have them be more than "Blargh, I am evil! Watch me kick puppies all day!". Involve them in the story. Don't have them be a vaguely defined goal in the distance for the heroes because you say so. (I'm looking at you, Smaug). Make them a believable threat to what the heroes want to do. A villain whom the reader doesn't believe can negatively affect the heroes is almost lame by definition. (See: Villain Decay). Have the villain WIN every now and then, even if only on small scales.

That should do for a short primer at least.

The Glyphstone
2014-12-24, 11:04 PM
Pretty much. Take your #8 and #13, for example.

- If you want death to be a big deal, a dramatic occurrence, then resurrection should be difficult or expensive or outright impossible. This allows for scenarios like the hero avenging his murdered family/master/friend- because if bringing them back is a fistful of diamonds and the neighborhood cleric away, why are they upset?
- If you want the revolving-door afterlife common to many D&D games, then resurrection should be easy. It's an inconvenience at worst, and possibly an element of comedy at best. Here, random death is meaningless, and it takes great effort and dramatic effect to justify a death 'sticking' - generally extremely high-level magic.

The decision you make about #8 then directly answers #13 for you. If you have a revolving door afterlife, then the afterlife itself will be well-known and well-developed. People go, they leave, and they tell others what it was like during their stay. If you have regular perma-death, the afterlife will be strange and mysterious. Only a few lucky souls, if any, return from the grave, and you can't be certain their memories are reliable. Death becomes scary not just because it's enduring, but because you don't know what comes after.

#7 also relates to this. If you use an edition of D&D as the mechanical foundation for your universe, the availability of resurrection and character level are very closely tied together - both for the protagonist party and the NPCs around them.


TLDR: You need to answer these questions yourself, as people have said, because the answers must be things you want to write about and have fun writing. It must be a story you want to tell, and if your storytelling is good, people will want to read it.

If you build it, they will come. If you build it well, they will stay. But you have to build it first, not ask them to build it for you.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-25, 04:55 AM
Alright... Also, thanks for everyone's answers so far.

How can I make a badass girl badass while still having her be a girl? Or should I do what Fairy Tail did, where they had the badass Erza Scarlet on the same hero team as the generic less-badass Watsonish everywoman Lucy Heartfillia, and both of those were with the hero Natsu and his rival Grey?

(This might be a dumb question, but how do LA races work? Do they get bonus levels, or lose levels for being who they are? And why is this? Does one who hates weird things forcibly delevel these things, like a magic inquisition? Or is it a natural thing, with those races having some kind of in-built "Not trying as hard as a losly halfling or human would because trying is for tryhards" thing?

Gloves of infinite +1 force javelins. How can I make them cool, if tbe bird-riding prestige class guy uses those? How do I make them non-overpowered?

How do Cleric Domains actually work? Do Cleric pick their favourite two domains/things they like and want to work for/towards on the day they become of legal clericing age? Or is it a local religious thing, where Clerics of War and Luck are trained to be those, while Air and Earth clerics are trained differently elsewhere?

Is Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 a good representation of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5e?

goto124
2014-12-25, 08:47 AM
How can I make a badass girl badass while still having her be a girl?

Er... what? Just let her do her badass things I guess? Why should her being female stop her? :smallconfused:

danelsan
2014-12-25, 10:29 AM
(This might be a dumb question, but how do LA races work? Do they get bonus levels, or lose levels for being who they are? And why is this? Does one who hates weird things forcibly delevel these things, like a magic inquisition? Or is it a natural thing, with those races having some kind of in-built "Not trying as hard as a losly halfling or human would because trying is for tryhards" thing?

Level Adjustment doesn't really exist in-character, it is just an abstraction and an out-of-character method to allow players to have characters from more powerful races without unbalancing the game. Level Adjustment are not actual levels, just an abstract representation of how much more powerful that race is, so "deleveling" them varies from case to case: some templates might be possible to remove (say, resurrecting a Vampire). In other cases that doesn't work: there is nothing magical inquisition can do for the condition of "my mother and father were Bugbears, so I am a Bugbear", unless they are out there killing and Reincarnating people until they end up in one of the races with no level adjustment. Good look coming up with a way for that to make any sense whatsoever :smalltongue:

IF you are using the rules to set up jokes, that might mean that having a Level Adjustment makes you lazy because you need more XP to get the same class level as a human, dwarf, elf, etc, but otherwise that makes no sense, since both XP and Level Adjustments are out-of-character abstractions.

Hiro Protagonest
2014-12-25, 11:55 AM
Um... yeah, you're going about this the wrong way.

A short while ago, I began to write up a character for playing in a game. This is the only character creation attempt I've made that I would consider remotely successful, and the reason for it is that I didn't approach her as a set of stats to then give a personality. You're approaching your characters as a set of stats that need personality.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-25, 06:10 PM
But... That's how my mind works. I put together pieces, make something new, put an original spin on some things, and there we go. Someone's mind? The personality traits are blocks in their puzzle. Someone's heart? Again, a puzzle. Everything's a puzzle. I usually pick a character/race combo, or just pick a class and a race that benefits it and I move on from there, crafting a personality around the stats. Young 24-year old Sorceror with 17 cha, 12 int, 14 wis and 11 str? Ladies man who flirts his way out of situations when he can't blast it open or Summon stuff to do that for him. Lazy. But smarter than he looks, though still not as smart as he thinks he is. Uses Charm Person a lot. May or may not have Crafted a Wand of Charm Person. Wields a crossbow or a +1 club he looted off an enemy when fighting. Chaotic Neutral, possibly True Neutral, does good or evil actions depending on what seems best and what he thinks is right. He'd slit the town bully's throat in his hour of need, but fight to save random villagers, only to negotiate for better rewards after risking his life to save them, guilt-tripping them into paying him more, but he'll still fight the monster trying to destroy the world as hard as he'd fight a corrupt Lawful Stupid nation with cowboy-cop thugs as the law. Lives life because he wants to feel adventure and feel alive and feel feels and live... Right up until he either retires or dies at age 30, one way or another. His theme song is Invincible, (The badass one, not the crappy one on the radio.), his hair colour is... *Looks around* blonde, and he has green eyes, because blondes are usually evil in fiction. Easily bored. Likes surprises. Likes challenges. Will flirt with anything female in sight. Enjoys retelling vividly-described events of a private nature that polite people would come close to vomiting upon hearing about. Why? Because making people react to things and seeing them live and do living person stuff is part of the fun. He also has no real friends, and never has. He also grew up in a crappy small town with no other mages or other smart people. Yes, that town contains people with int and wis stats far lower than his. Come to think of it, I might raise his int stats a few points, he can lose Dex or Str or Con to make up for it. Possibly makes a bunch of wands, though is unlikely to share them with party members unless ordered to by the boss. A big, strong, badass boss who outranks him on every level, one he sees as worthy of commanding him. His love of watching people and feeling sensations comes from how hollow and empty his life has been for years. He promised himself at a young age that he'd live until age 30, and off himself if things didn't get better. He's likely to go out the way Alexander The Great did according to the history lessons of my idiot school. (Nothing left to conquer or do, bored of life, no challenges left to overcome, surrounded by old timey ale and hoovers when he sworded himself.) Hopefully, a romantic subplot with a genuine badass or genuine cool girl/lady will be enough to keep him going past that point. Or there migbt be something he needs to do first. Also, he holds promises in high regard. And at first, he seems like a generic flirty jerk with a hidden heart of gold, right up until the hidden hollow space where a heart should be is revealed. Not sure if he'd still have a heart of gold anyway.

There, I made a character. Piece by piece. That is how my mind works. And I call dibs on that. Why? Because that, or a refined version of him, shall be my party's Sorceror. Who might have a charisma-based prestige class. Though probably not whatever Elan from Oots got, because I don't want to rip that off or be accused of doing so. Any other good prestige classes for a Cha sorceror who may be human, has little interest in physical combat, and likes destroying things and/or controlling them?

PhantomFox
2014-12-25, 11:46 PM
That's all well and good but you're basing everything off of predetermined stats. That's ok for pc creation since all you control is yourself and it's the dms job to work his story around yall. But as a writer you get to choose what characters you want to make and do so ftom scratch. So instead of making just one character you are making a cohesive cast and that involves being the dm yourself and start thinking a level beyond and figuring out how they fit in your story. Stats can be good inspiration but you'll get random results out if randomized stats. If you really want to work bottom up you can whip up some characters and see what kind of story suits them but the results will be less cohesive than a top down approach.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-26, 11:41 AM
Alright. How do I make a Wizard/Warlock Eldritch Theurge character without ripping off that one Eldritch Theurge chick from Oots, the one Redcloak killed with her own Undead?

Dodom
2014-12-26, 12:08 PM
You could take Tsukiko's character sheet, copy it identically and still have a completely new character, because they wouldn't be the same necrophiliac, highly focused and socially oblivious person, unless you write them that way. If you really want to stay true to game mechanics, then writing down stats is part of the deal, but they won't be really visible to the reader, personality will matter a lot more.


How specific your questions are makes it look like you don't really have inspiration yet. No mention of a story idea or characters that might drive it. I would recommend thinking about that first. Is there any adventure you want to tell about? Even a campaign you played that could be adapted into a story? Should your characters be trying to save the world, expose a conspiracy, seek riches, save their own butts, find love, build an evil empire, quit smoking?

MatrixStone93
2014-12-26, 01:45 PM
Seek riches and build an empire, one whose morality is irrelevant in the eyes of its creator as long as it's productive and has a strong (Edit: A strong and effective army, not a Good one. That's what I meant.) army, possibly one trained by him or a general of his choosing, one from his party. The party is mainly Chaotic Neutral and/or Neutral Good, with no real paladin-ish good people except perhaps a Paladin Of Freedom(Chaotic Good variant, if the dnd wiki can be trusted).

So far, we've got:

Leader, bird riding prc and ranger guy, master tactician and strategist. He uses a bow, arrows, and lances. And javelins. Many, many Javelins.
Possible uberfast rogue or rogue variant or uberfast prestige class, guards leader or engages highlevel targets with/for him. They're closest. Either brotherly love, or brother/sisterly love. Heshe might be more of the 'practical pennypincher' to his 'practical mastermind. He does the big stuff, fastone does the small stuff. And finances.
The aforementioned charming Sorceror, who might take a Charm+Something else dip into Clerichood.
Old man Wizard who accomplished nothing in his long studious life, and is going through the immortal lich great grandfather of all midlife crisises.
Badass studious Mystic Theurge Sorceror/Warlock or Wizard/Warlock chick who uses cold aloofness and casual casting of ubergore horrorish spells to cover up how she doesn't really like warlock demon stuff, hates how people hate warlocks, and she didn't ask to be born a warlock, dammit! But that kind of feels stuff is usually locked up inside a tiny box, locked up in a bigger box inside a bigger tiny box labeled 'Not worth opening' inside her organised and precise mind.
Fae/Fairy Hellfire Warlock who follows Sorceror around because he's fun, she likes fun, and wherever the party goes, fun usually follows. May gradually grow more attached to the other members of the party.
Possible Paladin Of Freedom, who hates mind control and control and tyrants and such. Why? Because the party is mostly chaotic good, chaotic neutral, or neutral. And because the group is mostly spellcasters, thr group might need more melee people. But useful melee people, no lame common barbarians who swing their greataxes at one enemy soldier every turn. No, something cooler and more useful strategically/tactically.

The Glyphstone
2014-12-26, 05:40 PM
If you want a 'useful melee', why not a Warblade or Crusader? It's an untapped goldmine of jokes about 'anime fightan magic', much to his or her consternation and irritation, since he/she has never even heard of this place you call Japan.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-26, 06:05 PM
Alright, I'll add a Warblade to the party. Also, Paladins Of Freedom. The chaotic good paladin variant. What are they like? The same lawful butthead attitude, but about FREEDOOOOOM instead? Or just a Robin Hoodish anti-tyrant and hater of mind control and charm spells? Or a generic boring good guy to also be the butt of jokes?

By the way, what is this "Anime fightan" you speak of? Warblades appear to be cool, looking at their stats.

Douglas
2014-12-26, 06:27 PM
Alright, I'll add a Warblade to the party. Also, Paladins Of Freedom. The chaotic good paladin variant. What are they like? The same lawful butthead attitude, but about FREEDOOOOOM instead? Or just a Robin Hoodish anti-tyrant and hater of mind control and charm spells? Or a generic boring good guy to also be the butt of jokes?
Any or all of the above, mix and match as desired. They all fit, just remember that, for all the paladin variants, the good/evil alignment is more important than lawful/chaotic.


By the way, what is this "Anime fightan" you speak of? Warblades appear to be cool, looking at their stats.
Tome of Battle classes are often compared to anime because they have a lot of special moves with fancy names, which (along with calling out those names when using the move) is a common trope in anime.

The Glyphstone
2014-12-26, 06:55 PM
Paladins of Freedom are exactly like Paladins of Honor, except Chaotic. If you would write a Lawful butthead Paladin, write a Chaotic butthead Paladin. A Lawful Paladin can be Captain America the same way a Chaotic Paladin can be Robin Hood. Being a boring good guy is independent of alignment.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-26, 07:07 PM
Okay, cool.

So, the Earblade is mocked for his anime majik and speshul moves. I was planning on using the "Says names of spells when casting them" if I can't find a good rot13 translator or dnd language translator in time. Sorceror dude likes the ladies. Pet fairy likes fun and entertainment, and is actually a Hellfire Warlock, which nobody ever expects. And or a sorcerer/bard, maybe one of the stronger singing classes, I'll decide later, the main thing is that she'll often cast Invisibility on herself so she can keep watching him when he doesn't want her to. Why? Because she finds him fun. Permanently deadpan badass Warlock/Wizard/Mystic Theurge chick likes knowledge and books and goes genuinely adorkable over them, and also is the permanently deadpan one. Also, every time she casts that Warlock spell that makes the eyes burst like cherries, the victim yells "My eyes!" Every single time. Running gag. The old wizard is either way too old for this crap, or he's not old, dammit!/not going through a midlife crisis, dammit! "I'm fifty-eight, how can I be going through a midlife crisis now?!". The uberfast rogue or whatever is some uberfast rogue or whatever, maybe some bromance/wincest jokes with him/her and the leader. I have yet to decide if uberfast is a guy or girl. I'll also see if I can make a running gag about running. And finally, the leader, who seems like an unusually sane person for a group this crazy? "Of course I'm not sane, I hired this team!".

Also, I decided what the first couple of pages will be. It'll start off focused on the ultimate cliche in bad fantasy comics, the two loser thieves you'd expect to see meet their fate in Home Alone 7: Saw Edition. They're planning to break into a king's palace and steal stuff, and the usual " Now, don't screw this one up like you usually do." "Me? You screw up more than I do! Remember that Noodle Incident?" "That was ONE TIME! And besides, we got that squid off you, so everything turned out fine." "Grumble mutter it's not fine, I say, as I begin breaking in" when suddenly, the fairy shows up to distract them happily.

And then the badass heroes are introduced. Mystic Theurge Warlock chick is ready to make them suffer when Charming Sorceror steps in. I need to come up with good names for these people. Charming sorceror tells them to go away, the screen going all sparkly as he does his smexy anime prettyboy thing, and talking eventually derails into blahing. Then a pic from a different perspective shows that he's actually saying blah, having fun with how strong a grip he has on their hearts and how they'll eat it up with dilated pupils even if it's just "Blah blah blah, words words words blah, now go and become good citizens, okay?" "Huh? Uh... Sure, yeah."

Then, with the two rogue idiots gone(They show up again later as a b-plot), the plot begins. The heroes were in that palace because they are talking to the king, who is trying to hire them for either a quest, a mission, or an upcoming war. Pow, the plot begins. Also, those thieves planned to break in by pretending to be adventurers willing to help the king out with the quest.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-27, 01:56 PM
Okay, now that I've proved that I can do this... What should the main plot be? "The king needs the hero's help for an upcoming war"? I'd like that to be closer to the endgame. Perhaps they are send on a lesser but still important quest first, to see if they are good enough? Maybe slaying a dragon or something? Or taking down a bandit warlord who has class levels and subbosses and midbosses with class levels? Something to let the heroes show off what they can do, so it'll mean more when the wars begin and they fight actual enemies.

The Glyphstone
2014-12-27, 06:08 PM
The plot should be shaped by your characters' ambitions. Figure out why they are together and what they, as a group, are looking to accomplish (something about leading a giant conquering army?). The main plot, then, is their progression towards this ultimate goal. Subplots along the way should be them seeking out or being offered chances to progress that ambition, or encountering obstacles that impede it.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-28, 01:40 PM
Got it. Now, I'm going to try and give away as little as possible.

The Mystic Theurge is searching for a legendary possibly-mythical place. The charismatic Sorcerer is looking for fun and adventure, as is his best friend, the fairy/fae warlock chick. The leader, Marcus Falconer, wants to rule his own kingdom, and is fed up with being used as a disposable asset by kingdoms who want to win a battle or a war. The paladin of freedom opposes tyranny, and sees defeating enemy warlords and slaying slavers as one of the best ways to do that. The others also have reasons which I don't have time to say right now because pizza just arrived.

Quick question: In Neverwinter Nights 1 with the prc pack, you can be a Warlock/Wizard/Eldritch Theurge. Can ths be done outside of that game, in real dnd?

The Glyphstone
2014-12-28, 03:35 PM
Cool, progress. They each seem to be going after a different thing, though, so why are they hanging out together and helping each other's goals? Especially for a party that you intend to be deeper into the Chaotic end of the spectrum, what do they get out of the partnership (for each different element of 'they').


Eldritch Theurge is in Complete Mage. But like almost all Theurge-style classes, it's a deceptively low-op choice to invest in.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-28, 05:54 PM
Well, their leader is a legendary mastermind who makes the impossible.happen. And together, they're a powerful force, but if they split up, they'd actually have to deal with the consequences of some of the things they've been paid to do.

Edit: also, can someone on this forum fix that "Token expired, try to reply again" thing?

The Glyphstone
2014-12-28, 10:27 PM
So that is why they're together now. What about why they got together in the first place? It might not ever be shown in your comic, but knowing these things about your characters will help you understand them better.

MatrixStone93
2014-12-29, 07:29 AM
They met in a barfight. Eldritch Theurge was badly interrogating the local thieves guild/mafia for info, sorceror was flirting with six girls at once, a much younger Leader was partying to celebrate a recent victory with his best friend, the uberfast one. And the warblade was just getting drunk or something, waiting for a barfight. Eldritch Theurge casts Seething Eyebane on the mafia guy when he proved to be utterly worthless despite her giving him gold EVERY TIME he said he'd give her info in return for gold, (That spell is her catchphrase. Also, someone yells "MY EYES!" every time it's cast.) And the barfight escalates from there. Eventually, the ones that aren't near-dead meet up, talk, and team up.

Aaand... I think the Paladin of Freedom will join at a slightly later date, since it's unlikely that a bunch of powerful mages and fighters will all be in the same bar at once. Plus, it lets us do the whole "They joined at a later date, so they're not as close in as the others, but character development happens and they're eventually in fully."

MatrixStone93
2014-12-30, 04:40 PM
How do I give personality to a Paladin of Freedom fourteen, Barbarian of The Lion Totem 1? Also, she'll be a girl. I'm not sure whether I'll give her awesome-looking badass hair that reminds one of a lion's mane, or a short ponytail and a beautiful face almost perpetually hidden by a big face-covering seemingly-golden helmet with eyeholes. And possible breathing slits, of I can find a way to make that look heroic and not Darth Vaderish.

5a Violista
2014-12-30, 11:12 PM
How do I give personality to a Paladin of Freedom fourteen, Barbarian of The Lion Totem 1?
I have no idea what a "Paladin of Freedom fourteen, Barbarian of The Lion Totem 1" is, but I imagine giving her a personality would be exactly like giving a personality to any other character in any other kind of medium. Ask yourself where she grew up and how she was raised, what kind of family she had, what experiences she had growing up, who she knows, a couple of other personality traits such as 'cares deeply for those she trusts' or 'very outgoing, but only because it helps mask her pain since her brother's death' or 'hates theorizing and discussing unlikely possibilities' or 'fearless, athletic, and fun-loving' or any other thing, and what caused her to want to become a barbaric paladin.

I would suggest starting with a random personality generator (example (http://www.rangen.co.uk/chars/pergen.php)) to get a basic random idea. Then go to a more in-depth character personality development thing (such as the Ten-Minute Background (http://community.wizards.com/forum/4e-character-development/threads/1340441) or the Villain Workshop (http://www.giantitp.com/articles/rTKEivnsYuZrh94H1Sn.html)) for each important character. This will help you decide on more about the characters, which will make writing them and their personalities and their responses easier.

Now, if I were writing her as a character in one of my stories, I would start there and then write a half-dozen one-page stories about her past and sad, painful, or happy experiences she had with specific groups, people, events, or relationships led her to where she is now. (Of course, I go a little very overboard on creating in-depth backstories and complicated personalities for all characters, so you might only want to do this on your most difficult-to-describe characters.)

For me, the fact that the character has specific class levels doesn't matter: all I need to do is keep in mind that she, later in life, decides to be a masked freedom fighter who beats crime lords and tyrants to a pulp with her fists in order to mask her sorrow and anger over her murdered parents (or whatever it is that a Paladin of Freedom/Lion Barbarian does).

MatrixStone93
2014-12-31, 07:26 AM
I have no idea what a "Paladin of Freedom fourteen, Barbarian of The Lion Totem 1" is, but I imagine giving her a personality would be exactly like giving a personality to any other character in any other kind of medium. Ask yourself where she grew up and how she was raised, what kind of family she had, what experiences she had growing up, who she knows, a couple of other personality traits such as 'cares deeply for those she trusts' or 'very outgoing, but only because it helps mask her pain since her brother's death' or 'hates theorizing and discussing unlikely possibilities' or 'fearless, athletic, and fun-loving' or any other thing, and what caused her to want to become a barbaric paladin.

I would suggest starting with a random personality generator (example (http://www.rangen.co.uk/chars/pergen.php)) to get a basic random idea. Then go to a more in-depth character personality development thing (such as the Ten-Minute Background (http://community.wizards.com/forum/4e-character-development/threads/1340441) or the Villain Workshop (http://www.giantitp.com/articles/rTKEivnsYuZrh94H1Sn.html)) for each important character. This will help you decide on more about the characters, which will make writing them and their personalities and their responses easier.

Now, if I were writing her as a character in one of my stories, I would start there and then write a half-dozen one-page stories about her past and sad, painful, or happy experiences she had with specific groups, people, events, or relationships led her to where she is now. (Of course, I go a little very overboard on creating in-depth backstories and complicated personalities for all characters, so you might only want to do this on your most difficult-to-describe characters.)

For me, the fact that the character has specific class levels doesn't matter: all I need to do is keep in mind that she, later in life, decides to be a masked freedom fighter who beats crime lords and tyrants to a pulp with her fists in order to mask her sorrow and anger over her murdered parents (or whatever it is that a Paladin of Freedom/Lion Barbarian does).

They're both class variants. A Lion Totem Barbarian is a Barbarian who worships a spirit animal or has a spirit animal and aspires to be more like it or whatever. A Paladin of Freedom is a Chaotic Good paladin who hates tyranny and evil instead of lawbreakers and evil. They have a few slightly-different class skills, and I think Lion Totem barbarians get a bonus to charge attacks or something. It's good for a mounted-combat charge-attack character. I think.

I used that personality generator, chose Detailed, and got an exact copy of my Eldritch Theurge's personality. I'll click it again.

Anyway... How about... She was born to a barbarian family/clan, but left and went to the city at a youngish age to become a Paladin of Freedom? Also, is a fairly nice and kind person, and possibly the nicest person on the team. And she hates tyrants, first due to living in a fairly lawless honourableish barbarian clan and then living in the good and rich part of the city where the nobles and rich people and high-ranked soldiers like her live, seeing tyranny as the ultimate evil.

Pyron
2014-12-31, 11:14 PM
Anyway... How about... She was born to a barbarian family/clan, but left and went to the city at a youngish age to become a Paladin of Freedom? Also, is a fairly nice and kind person, and possibly the nicest person on the team. And she hates tyrants, first due to living in a fairly lawless honourableish barbarian clan and then living in the good and rich part of the city where the nobles and rich people and high-ranked soldiers like her live, seeing tyranny as the ultimate evil.

If you want feedback or questions to bounce around. These questions come to my mind. So, ask yourself.

1) Why did she leave her village to become a paladin? Was she a simple nomad intrigued by the heroic tales of fantasy knights who fought a battle long ago? Did a knight take her in as a squire? Did she hate her barbarian village and wanted to leave? Did she do it because she knew that with a paladin mount and a holy lance she would better fulfill her dreams of being an uber-charger?

2) Why does she hate tyrants to the point that she sees them as the ultimate evil? Was there something she saw when she lived among the nobles that enraged her? If the reason she hates Tyrants is because she saw how rich people live, then that kinda makes her look like an anarchist.

I think the questions you need to ask yourself is what made this character the person who she is. What events transpired in her life that gave her this outlook and made her choose to become a Lion Paladin. You need to build her background, or at least have an idea of her history. This should apply to every character.

MatrixStone93
2015-01-01, 03:25 PM
She heard the stories of great holy warriors fighting an epic battle long ago, and wanted to become one of them. She was an incredibly adorable kid. Also, despite in the noble district of town, she was still sent out on missions or with bands of warriors, and so she saw a lot of battles. Typically, the warlord or enemy or tyrant had to be REALLY bad, (And really rich, with ill-gotten loot ripe for the looting) before her city considered it bad enough to attack.

Pyron
2015-01-02, 11:25 AM
She heard the stories of great holy warriors fighting an epic battle long ago, and wanted to become one of them. She was an incredibly adorable kid. Also, despite in the noble district of town, she was still sent out on missions or with bands of warriors, and so she saw a lot of battles. Typically, the warlord or enemy or tyrant had to be REALLY bad, (And really rich, with ill-gotten loot ripe for the looting) before her city considered it bad enough to attack.

This is all very good. It tells me that the city or country that she serves is very passive when it comes to taking action (if they only act when things got BAD or when they saw a monetary incentive). It also sounds like they weren't as passionate about fighting evil as she'd like them to be, or she has a naive view of life and doesn't understand the complexities of the real world politics. Either way, it sounds like she'd be disenfranchised with the kingdom if she's willing to throw her lot in with the rest of the main cast.

Or that's just my two cents.

MatrixStone93
2015-01-03, 11:54 AM
I like the "Disenfranchised with the kingdom, and doesn't understand the complexities of real-world politics" thing, but how can I make that sympathetic? Do I write her as wanting to crusade across the kingdom, crushing every evildoer she encounters like a heroic knight in the stories, basking in the admiration and cheers of thousands of peasants and commoners as her steel-or-something-better armour with gold-paint highlights glints in the morning sun?

dps
2015-01-03, 02:01 PM
Hi, I want to make a RPG Mechanics Verse webcomic. Like Order Of The Stick, except I won't use stick figures and I won't rip it off or use the awesome world of Oots.

I want to be original, and I want to make my comic original, but... To be original, what else must I change, besides the art style and party composition and characters? I also don't want to ripoff anything else. Especially Eight Bit Theatre. I like the "Heroes who do more harm than good and are treated as such by sane people" thing, but I don't want to rip that off either.

As for the site, I'm thinking ComicsFury or whatever it was called, if it's still going. I'd also use custom html and css, because I'm awesome. But as for the actual story, what do I need to be original with, and what would make some good main plots? I also have a few character ideas... How many characters should be in the main party? And am I allowed to use unusual races/classes? Because back when I played DnD on my own as a kid, my favourite character was a Jake Peralta-ish 18-charisma Human Sorceror. Possibly with the Dark subtype/template or whatever it was called added on. Sorry. My mind's felt weird lately. Maybe I need to sleep more? Anyway, webcomic. How do I make it original, do stuff that didn't and won't happen in Oots, and be awesome and original even though it's an RPG Mechanics Verse? Tvtropes said they were a thing before oots, but I still like Oots. If I knew the guy who made it irl, I'd buy him a drink. From the store. And I'm getting off topic. Sorry. Anyway... Webcomic. How do I make it good and original?

I think you need to think a lot more about what you want to do before you start asking for assistance. Stories have elements such as plot, characterization, theme, setting, tone, dialogue, etc. All you've got is setting, which is usually one of the less important elements, and to top it off, it's a skimpy setting, too--for example, you don't seem to know if your setting sticks to core rules, or uses third-party material, or even homebrew ("Am I allowed to use unusual races/classes?). You need to figure out some of the other elements, particularly plot, theme, and characterization before we can really give you useful advice. Or, put another way, you need to answer for yourself, "What do I want to do?" before worrying about asking other people, "How do I do it?".

Morty
2015-01-05, 07:39 PM
You really are kind of looking at it backwards. You've got a list of mechanical traits and you're trying to make a narrative for them. That's how you make a group of PCs in a game, but not characters in a story.

MatrixStone93
2015-01-17, 06:35 PM
You really are kind of looking at it backwards. You've got a list of mechanical traits and you're trying to make a narrative for them. That's how you make a group of PCs in a game, but not characters in a story.

I already told you, that's how my mind works.

PhantomFox
2015-01-17, 08:48 PM
And we're saying that it's VERY hard to get a good story out of that methodology. It's akin to trying to make a meal out of a bunch of ingredients picked at whim at a grocery store. Sure, you can do it, but unless you're an Iron Chef, you're not going to get much out of it.

LoneStarNorth
2015-01-18, 10:49 AM
It's akin to trying to make a meal out of a bunch of ingredients picked at whim at a grocery store. Sure, you can do it, but unless you're an Iron Chef, you're not going to get much out of it.

That's a very good analogy and I'm going to remember if for future use.

Morty
2015-01-18, 12:50 PM
I already told you, that's how my mind works.

Sure, but it doesn't make it any more conducive to creating a decent story.

MatrixStone93
2015-01-21, 06:22 PM
Alright, how do you suggest I get better, and just become an imaginative person who feels instead of thinks?

PhantomFox
2015-01-21, 09:20 PM
Well, being someone who thinks isn't a bad thing. Being creative and imaginative... that is a bit harder to quantify though. It works in different ways for different people. I think though, it all boils down to having something you enjoy doing and want to share.

But if you want to be a storyteller, which all writers are, then my advice is simple: READ. No, seriously, read a LOT. Comics, books, novels, movies, plays, whatever! Good stuff, bad stuff, mediocre stuff, the whole lot. Read, and then THINK. Ask questions. LOTS of questions. Why did you like that book? What makes you hate that movie? This will help teach you mechanics to some extent. And somewhere along the way, you'll get Inspiration. This is notoriously fickle, and comes and goes as it pleases. But essentially, you'll come up with the seed of an idea, go "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if..." and then start building around that idea. It's hard to build a story from scratch without a foundational idea you want to build off of. And then off you go.

But as I said, it's different for everyone. I can't give you a roadmap. But I can tell you how I did it. I wondered one day why anthro characters predominately appear in their own universe, and wondered what would happen if those kind of characters were dropped into a standard fantasy setting unannounced. And the rest developed from there on out, answering questions and objections that came up. And then I started Deep Forest once I had a whole arc planned out. Until my partner in crime had to drop out due to health reasons, but that's another story.

Lord Raziere
2015-01-21, 09:25 PM
Alright, how do you suggest I get better, and just become an imaginative person who feels instead of thinks?

your still going at it all wrong.

you don't just make a story and bam its there, its a process. you don't just become an imaginative person, there is no ritual or whatnot to feel, no procedure for this. it is art, you just do whatever you want, whatever comes naturally. the only way to make a story is to start making it and then fail over and over again so that people will point out your mistakes so that you will correct yourself in the future, there is a saying: "fail faster." go forth and bravely try to make your story, no matter how bad it is, show it to others, watch it fall apart and then make then another that is built better than last time.

its like making blueprints for an invention, you will probably go through many blueprints, many models before you come up with one that works. only the rules for what your making isn't the set in stone rules of physics or whatever, its the less clear and abstract rules of plot, characters, description and so on.

my suggestion is go forth and watch media you like, write down whatever ideas you get from it that you like as notes, writing is in many ways a journey, often a long one, your in no rush and you have time to stop and smell the roses, see the sights, and just like a journey your writing is enhanced by doing so. others say that a good way to write is to first experience something yourself, to go out and actually see what things are like in the world and write from those experiences, the best thing for an imagination to play with is the truth.

your art is something that comes from you, your own self. there is no magical way to become an imaginative person or whatever you think a writer is. its a lot of experiences and thoughts accumulated over time being processed and refined into something beautiful. the only way to become thoughtful is to first have things to think about. go and experience things you like, things you don't like, see where you are in the world, perhaps look back at the experiences that made what you are today, try something new, whatever, just be sure to write about whatever you observe or discover from it. there is meaning in everything and writers of stories are all about digging that meaning up.

for example, I'm doing my own little lets watch of Pokemon, a show I liked in my childhood. what will I find? I don't know. the point is that I don't know and that I want to see what happens when I watch the show I liked as a kid once again. writing is not about having all the answers, its about having all the questions and going on a journey to find the answers. you don't know where your going, but the destination is not the point, its the journey.

in short? don't think in terms of destination. instead, go on a journey for your writing, it will probably turn out much better.

Dodom
2015-01-25, 02:40 AM
Alright, how do you suggest I get better, and just become an imaginative person who feels instead of thinks?

Refusing to move out of your comfort zone is not "thinking". Sorry to be blunt but you can do better than that.
You need to develop new (or currently underused) skills to succeed with your project, which is something you, like anyone, can do, given enough dedication. In case you worry, no, you won't lose your logic if you work on expanding other aspects of your intelligence. Maybe you'll find it too hard for what it's worth, and that's ok, there are skills that I accept to live without (don't ask me to dance, for example!) and it's no shame, but I strongly advise against dismissing it up front!


As for how to start working on your creativity, my advice at this point would be to start smaller, but do get started. Write a few shorts (they can be prequel mini-chapters so you can use the setting you already worked on, something of the sort), just to get the hang of it. So far overthinking hasn't gotten things moving, so I suggest getting a little experience, you'll have a much clearer view of what you need for your project after.

Lethologica
2015-01-26, 05:35 PM
But... That's how my mind works. I put together pieces, make something new, put an original spin on some things, and there we go. Someone's mind? The personality traits are blocks in their puzzle. Someone's heart? Again, a puzzle. Everything's a puzzle. I usually pick a character/race combo, or just pick a class and a race that benefits it and I move on from there, crafting a personality around the stats. Young 24-year old Sorceror with 17 cha, 12 int, 14 wis and 11 str? Ladies man who flirts his way out of situations when he can't blast it open or Summon stuff to do that for him. Lazy. But smarter than he looks, though still not as smart as he thinks he is. Uses Charm Person a lot. May or may not have Crafted a Wand of Charm Person. Wields a crossbow or a +1 club he looted off an enemy when fighting. Chaotic Neutral, possibly True Neutral, does good or evil actions depending on what seems best and what he thinks is right. He'd slit the town bully's throat in his hour of need, but fight to save random villagers, only to negotiate for better rewards after risking his life to save them, guilt-tripping them into paying him more, but he'll still fight the monster trying to destroy the world as hard as he'd fight a corrupt Lawful Stupid nation with cowboy-cop thugs as the law. Lives life because he wants to feel adventure and feel alive and feel feels and live... Right up until he either retires or dies at age 30, one way or another. His theme song is Invincible, (The badass one, not the crappy one on the radio.), his hair colour is... *Looks around* blonde, and he has green eyes, because blondes are usually evil in fiction. Easily bored. Likes surprises. Likes challenges. Will flirt with anything female in sight. Enjoys retelling vividly-described events of a private nature that polite people would come close to vomiting upon hearing about. Why? Because making people react to things and seeing them live and do living person stuff is part of the fun. He also has no real friends, and never has. He also grew up in a crappy small town with no other mages or other smart people. Yes, that town contains people with int and wis stats far lower than his. Come to think of it, I might raise his int stats a few points, he can lose Dex or Str or Con to make up for it. Possibly makes a bunch of wands, though is unlikely to share them with party members unless ordered to by the boss. A big, strong, badass boss who outranks him on every level, one he sees as worthy of commanding him. His love of watching people and feeling sensations comes from how hollow and empty his life has been for years. He promised himself at a young age that he'd live until age 30, and off himself if things didn't get better. He's likely to go out the way Alexander The Great did according to the history lessons of my idiot school. (Nothing left to conquer or do, bored of life, no challenges left to overcome, surrounded by old timey ale and hoovers when he sworded himself.) Hopefully, a romantic subplot with a genuine badass or genuine cool girl/lady will be enough to keep him going past that point. Or there migbt be something he needs to do first. Also, he holds promises in high regard. And at first, he seems like a generic flirty jerk with a hidden heart of gold, right up until the hidden hollow space where a heart should be is revealed. Not sure if he'd still have a heart of gold anyway.

There, I made a character. Piece by piece. That is how my mind works.
This is a lot like how I make D&D characters--top-down, depth-first. Start with a vague, generic template, fill one part of that template in detail, let those details hook me into defining other parts of the template in ways that extend or explain those details, repeat until I have a character instead of a template.

But you're not building the story that way, and I think that's why you're getting frustrated. You've neglected the top level of your story to go straight into character details, and now you don't know how to hook from those characters into other aspects of your story.

So, return to the top level. You've defined your vague, generic setting template (RPGMechanicsVerse); now define a vague, generic plot template--a genre, a three-word plot ("the hero's journey"), or similar. Then, start digging into something other than your protagonists. Pick three RPG mechanics and think about how they could be used to either establish or resolve story conflicts (the division between PC and monster races is the best OotS example). Imagine one setting problem that isn't going to get solved by the story. Think up a puzzle you want to pose in the story, or a difficult choice. Get some antagonists out there, or some ambivalent third parties. Think about the environment, the culture, the technology, the magic, the economy.

These other aspects of the story will hook back into your protagonists, and you'll have to change them. That's life. But I think you'll get farther that way than by adding more and more detail to characters that are, frankly, already overdeveloped at this point in your writing process.

MatrixStone93
2015-03-07, 09:26 AM
"Overdeveloped"? What do you mean by that?

Lethologica
2015-03-07, 12:28 PM
"Overdeveloped"? What do you mean by that?
Imagine you started designing a D&D character by determining exactly what spell list you wanted him to have. Then you tried to move past that and realized while writing backstory that the character should actually be a class that doesn't have access to those spells.

What I mean is that you've put a lot of work into describing certain minute details of this character, but you don't know anything about the story this character is supposed to be in. That means your character is very generic in some ways (like you've written a D&D character template not knowing what setting/plot the DM is going to throw at you), and it also means you don't know whether your character is useful or appropriate for the story you want to tell.

You can describe this guy in a few words--"Psychopath, magician, thrillseeker, womanizer"--and start asking the obvious next questions from a story standpoint. What brought this guy into the story? If he's a main character, what is the story conflict that drives him? If he's a second- or third-tier character, what drove our main characters to interact with him? What are his high-level relationships to other characters in the story, and to various elements of the setting? Stop describing this dot and start connecting the dots--conflicts, characters, events, places, themes--to build the framework of your story.

MatrixStone93
2015-03-08, 08:12 AM
1. Woah, he is not a psychopath. He's just kind of a **** at times. He'd set a tavern on fire to watch the drunks panic and laugh at their idiocy, but he wouldn't kill orphans or anything. There's nothing stopping him, it just wouldn't be much fun, and it is kind of an Evil thing to do.
2. Ok. So... for a band of high level fighters to be hired by assorted nobles or warlords or whatever...

There was once a great kingdom, but its king died with no heir, and so the place split up into baronies and towns and city states and stuff. Political intrigue is present, and just about everyone in power wants to rule the world. Assassinations are common, so are wars and skirmishes used just for showing off to allies and enemies. Also, while they do have their own armies, they often pay strong adventuring parties to affiliate themselves with them, fighting on the front lines and taking positioning orders but typically leaving the tactics up to the party leader.

So... Falconer and his ally, his second in command badass duelist ninja chick or something, were in high demand during the Golden Age of Warfare. That was a period when just about everyone was at war with someone. Like world war two, minus the teams. Marcus was one of the best, and most ruthless, crushing opposition and leaving no man alive no matter how large the enemy forces were. That kind of renown gets one a lot of enemies. Anyway, Marcus Falconer did have some allies, but they all died over the years, and he's a sad middle aged guy now who just wants to be left alone. Ninja girl's hometown was crushed in the wars, her hone is with him. Anyway, he's drinking at a bar when some assassins sneak up on him, a fight breaks out, and at the same time, the Sorceror is attacked by some thugs he's card counting to hell and back in either a poker game or a made up game that replaces poker in this world. He and his fairy fight back. The others get sucked into the fight, and when those are the only ones left standing in the whole bar, the thug's gangmate reinforcements arrive along with some local lawmen. "No... Not possible... The Falcon of the Four Winds got a new team?!"

People freak out, and either attack or flee. Attackers don't do too well. Sorceror decides this could be fun, and he heard stories about Marcus Falconer. The Eldritch Theurge wants nothing to do with this, she's searching for something more important than petty politics and warfare. Sorceror smiles and says that he knows something. She's immediately interested, hoping it's a lead, and he says... with them all now suspected of being with the great Falcon of the Four Winds, they'll all be hunted down one by one unless they do stay together. Besides, they'll have more chance of finding whatever she's after if they do stay together. She reluctantly agrees, but doesn't say what she's after. Anyway, they're together now, and that's how they'll meet.

Also... I think I'll have the story start with them all together already, a flashback can cover this.

Starbuck_II
2015-03-08, 11:46 AM
Anyway... Webcomic. How do I make it good and original?

The methods are varied.

Example:
D&D type stories:
1) A little loose with the rules, but mostly follows mechanics.
Rusty and Co. http://rustyandco.com/

Goblins: http://www.goblinscomic.org/

Pieces of Right: http://piecesofeights.com/index.php?comic=431

2) Follows rules perfectly:
Another Gaming Comic: http://agc.deskslave.org/comic_viewer.html?goNumber=630

My Little Adventure: http://danielscreations.com/ola/comics/ep0601.html

Murphy's Law: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?362792-Murphy-s-Law-X-I-Really-Need-To-Post-A-Map

3) Just make stuff up and make it sound like a regular part of rules:
One Piece Grand Line 3.5: http://grandline3point5.thecomicseries.com/comics/552

MatrixStone93
2015-03-10, 05:26 AM
I'm liking possibilities 1 and 2, it lets me show off minmaxing skill.

MatrixStone93
2015-03-11, 05:56 AM
Also, it's common for assassins to be hired to take out other assassins.

Morty
2015-03-11, 06:38 AM
Imagine you started designing a D&D character by determining exactly what spell list you wanted him to have. Then you tried to move past that and realized while writing backstory that the character should actually be a class that doesn't have access to those spells.

What I mean is that you've put a lot of work into describing certain minute details of this character, but you don't know anything about the story this character is supposed to be in. That means your character is very generic in some ways (like you've written a D&D character template not knowing what setting/plot the DM is going to throw at you), and it also means you don't know whether your character is useful or appropriate for the story you want to tell.

You can describe this guy in a few words--"Psychopath, magician, thrillseeker, womanizer"--and start asking the obvious next questions from a story standpoint. What brought this guy into the story? If he's a main character, what is the story conflict that drives him? If he's a second- or third-tier character, what drove our main characters to interact with him? What are his high-level relationships to other characters in the story, and to various elements of the setting? Stop describing this dot and start connecting the dots--conflicts, characters, events, places, themes--to build the framework of your story.

Also, most of the detains and minutiae used to describe a D&D character are going to be irrelevant to the story, because there won't be enough time for them to come up, plain and simple.

Lethologica
2015-03-11, 01:13 PM
1. Woah, he is not a psychopath. He's just kind of a **** at times. He'd set a tavern on fire to watch the drunks panic and laugh at their idiocy, but he wouldn't kill orphans or anything. There's nothing stopping him, it just wouldn't be much fun, and it is kind of an Evil thing to do.
2. Ok. So... for a band of high level fighters to be hired by assorted nobles or warlords or whatever...

There was once a great kingdom, but its king died with no heir, and so the place split up into baronies and towns and city states and stuff. Political intrigue is present, and just about everyone in power wants to rule the world. Assassinations are common, so are wars and skirmishes used just for showing off to allies and enemies. Also, while they do have their own armies, they often pay strong adventuring parties to affiliate themselves with them, fighting on the front lines and taking positioning orders but typically leaving the tactics up to the party leader.

So... Falconer and his ally, his second in command badass duelist ninja chick or something, were in high demand during the Golden Age of Warfare. That was a period when just about everyone was at war with someone. Like world war two, minus the teams. Marcus was one of the best, and most ruthless, crushing opposition and leaving no man alive no matter how large the enemy forces were. That kind of renown gets one a lot of enemies. Anyway, Marcus Falconer did have some allies, but they all died over the years, and he's a sad middle aged guy now who just wants to be left alone. Ninja girl's hometown was crushed in the wars, her hone is with him. Anyway, he's drinking at a bar when some assassins sneak up on him, a fight breaks out, and at the same time, the Sorceror is attacked by some thugs he's card counting to hell and back in either a poker game or a made up game that replaces poker in this world. He and his fairy fight back. The others get sucked into the fight, and when those are the only ones left standing in the whole bar, the thug's gangmate reinforcements arrive along with some local lawmen. "No... Not possible... The Falcon of the Four Winds got a new team?!"

People freak out, and either attack or flee. Attackers don't do too well. Sorceror decides this could be fun, and he heard stories about Marcus Falconer. The Eldritch Theurge wants nothing to do with this, she's searching for something more important than petty politics and warfare. Sorceror smiles and says that he knows something. She's immediately interested, hoping it's a lead, and he says... with them all now suspected of being with the great Falcon of the Four Winds, they'll all be hunted down one by one unless they do stay together. Besides, they'll have more chance of finding whatever she's after if they do stay together. She reluctantly agrees, but doesn't say what she's after. Anyway, they're together now, and that's how they'll meet.

Also... I think I'll have the story start with them all together already, a flashback can cover this.
Okay, so we're in the Warring Kingdoms period and they met in a tavern brawl. It sounds like the group doesn't have a collective agenda that emerges from the agendas of its members--beyond "survive", anyway. That might change, but let's run with it for now. So what external agenda do they run into that drives the story arc?

MatrixStone93
2015-03-14, 05:12 AM
External agenda? Like what, searching for seven magical wish-granting artefacts?

Each of the party does have their.own goal, but the eldritch Theurge is the only one whose goal is to find a place.

MatrixStone93
2015-03-14, 05:43 AM
The methods are varied.

Example:
D&D type stories:
1) A little loose with the rules, but mostly follows mechanics.
Rusty and Co. http://rustyandco.com/

Goblins: http://www.goblinscomic.org/

Pieces of Right: http://piecesofeights.com/index.php?comic=431

2) Follows rules perfectly:
Another Gaming Comic: http://agc.deskslave.org/comic_viewer.html?goNumber=630

My Little Adventure: http://danielscreations.com/ola/comics/ep0601.html

Murphy's Law: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?362792-Murphy-s-Law-X-I-Really-Need-To-Post-A-Map

3) Just make stuff up and make it sound like a regular part of rules:
One Piece Grand Line 3.5: http://grandline3point5.thecomicseries.com/comics/552

Is your avatar... a pony version of that blonde dude from Attack on Titan? The one who turned out to be the guy who did the thing along with the other guy, who is the guy who made the thing possible? I like ponies, by the way. Twilight is best pony, Twidash is best ship.

Pyron
2015-03-14, 09:09 AM
External agenda? Like what, searching for seven magical wish-granting artifacts?

I think External Agenda refers to an overarching goal for the antagonist, something that's going to drive the plot and force the heroes into situations where they have to react and overcome whatever obstacle they face.

For example, in OotS, the external agenda would be the struggle for the gates. Xykon, Red Cloak, the IFCC, the Vector Legion, etc. all have a stake in controlling the gates. The Order of the Stick is in opposition because they want the world to be destroyed or conquer.

Based off the information you've presented. An external agenda would be something that the Warring Kingdoms are after. It's something that will cause the heroes to react to because if the kingdom obtains that goal, then it'll have severe negative consequences for the protagonists. So, the Warring Emperor wanting a cheese sandwich is not an example of external agenda. But, him finding the lost tomes of the Astral Archmage is, because it's an artifact that will let him conquer the world.


Each of the party does have their.own goal, but the eldritch Theurge is the only one whose goal is to find a place.

Good, but the next step should be to figure out how their own goals are connected, and figure what would be a common goal for the party. For example, look at the Vector Legion. Individually, Tarquin, Laurin, Myron and Malack have their individual goals. But, they also have a common goal that allows them to work as a group. I think that's what you need to give some thought to.

MatrixStone93
2015-03-14, 04:25 PM
Hmm... Leader and Ninja friend are just in it because they can't get out, Sorceror and Fairy Hellfire Warlock just want fun, Eldritch Theurge is searching for a thing I'll put in spoiler tags, and Paladin of Freedom wants to fight evil, kill tyrants, become the greatest hero ever... I'm not seeing a unifying goal beyond survive just yet... Maybe they also want the legendary mega-artefact?

And quick question that is very important: Can ghosts get it on with other ghosts? And how does a ghost haunt a specific location?

Lethologica
2015-03-14, 06:14 PM
Hmm... Leader and Ninja friend are just in it because they can't get out, Sorceror and Fairy Hellfire Warlock just want fun, Eldritch Theurge is searching for a thing I'll put in spoiler tags, and Paladin of Freedom wants to fight evil, kill tyrants, become the greatest hero ever... I'm not seeing a unifying goal beyond survive just yet... Maybe they also want the legendary mega-artefact?
Falconer and friend aren't 'in' anything. If anything, he's probably looking for someplace to dump these hangers-on so he can go back to getting drunk in quiet obscurity. The glue you've used to keep these people together is tenuous and temporary, and the centerpiece of the party doesn't want to be in a party; you need to find stronger bonds, and fast.

Let's discuss some ways this might happen. I won't claim any great imagination here, but the point is to get ideas down.

Add a party member, a messenger, who came to town seeking Falconer's aid in a matter of great importance. An old friend, since risen to prominence, is in dire need and thinks Falconer can save him. (Or perhaps the old friend, now haggard and hunted, comes to Falconer directly, having nowhere else to go. Or perhaps someone else in town goes to Falconer now that they know he's there.)
As the party gets out of town, having no goal beyond putting distance between themselves and Falconer's last known location, they encounter a creature, not terrifying in itself, but of a type not seen in civilized lands for three hundred years, since they and their greater brethren were sealed away by the Warriors of Light in the Battle of the Rising Sun. Who knows about the reappearance of these creatures, and has the full might of what lurked behind the seal been unleashed? (By whom? For what purpose?) This now-urgent agenda drives the party to investigate.
The town decides that Falconer will be a magnet for trouble and run him out, along with his 'companions'. Some way out of town, they spy a large group of bandits (or a small army) coming to raid the town. The Paladin is adamant about defending the town, to the point of abandoning the rest of the party when they prove reluctant. Falconer eventually guilts himself into going after her. (Note: this may or may not end with the party still needing long-term glue.)
People of note across the land have been keeping ears out for news of Falconer; almost instantly he is besieged with requests. Apparently to snub them all, Falconer takes the most boring-sounding request from the most obscure place.


And quick question that is very important: Can ghosts get it on with other ghosts? And how does a ghost haunt a specific location?
The answer to both of those is really up to you, but spectral intercourse is unusual for both fiction in general and D&D in particular, while a ghost haunting their remains, the site of their death, their killer, or some other specific locus is very common.

Pyron
2015-03-15, 08:09 AM
Hmm... Leader and Ninja friend are just in it because they can't get out, Sorceror and Fairy Hellfire Warlock just want fun, Eldritch Theurge is searching for a thing I'll put in spoiler tags, and Paladin of Freedom wants to fight evil, kill tyrants, become the greatest hero ever... I'm not seeing a unifying goal beyond survive just yet... Maybe they also want the legendary mega-artefact?

From what I see, right now only the Theurge and the Paladin are the ones with solid motivation to be involved in the story's plot. There is still nothing at stake for the Leader or the Ninja (who could slip out when the dust settles) or the Sorcerer and Fairy (who might get bored). Is Falcon suppose to be the main character in your piece? If so, then he'll need to have the strongest personal motive in the plot, in my opinion.

Also, what's really missing here is the antagonist. It the party's agenda is going to be survival and if none them can easily walk away then your going to need a strong villain. This villain needs to be powerful and have an agenda solid enough to not allow the party to walk away without making a terrible sacrifice. I see you like to throw class combinations for your heroes, but you should start to think about the bad guy(s) in your setting. What are they going to be like?

MatrixStone93
2015-03-15, 01:22 PM
Well, everyone who isn't a commoner is minmaxed to some degree... How about one of those Lawful Evil paladin of tyranny types? Can a Paladin of Chaos/Tyranny also become a Blackguard? And a typical jackass top-percentage king who doesn't care at all for his oppressed peoples, but turns out to have class levels in Cleric of Avarice and Gluttony or something. And a cleric leader of one of the world's main religions(Which believes there's a god who created the gods who created the world or something, with there being layer upon layer of gods who make gods above him.) Who starts causing chaos and natural disasters to have more people turn to his church out of desperation.

By the way, would it be possible for a slave camp to exists where food is created, summoned or multiplied by assorted slaves with class levels?

Lethologica
2015-03-15, 04:51 PM
Well, everyone who isn't a commoner is minmaxed to some degree... How about one of those Lawful Evil paladin of tyranny types? Can a Paladin of Chaos/Tyranny also become a Blackguard? And a typical jackass top-percentage king who doesn't care at all for his oppressed peoples, but turns out to have class levels in Cleric of Avarice and Gluttony or something. And a cleric leader of one of the world's main religions(Which believes there's a god who created the gods who created the world or something, with there being layer upon layer of gods who make gods above him.) Who starts causing chaos and natural disasters to have more people turn to his church out of desperation.
Any Paladin who fulfills the criteria (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/prestigeClasses/blackguard.htm) can become a blackguard, and none of the criteria rule out being a Paladin of Tyranny or Slaughter (I don't think there's a Paladin of Chaos, though of course I haven't read all the splatbooks out there). A Paladin of Freedom would of course have to fall to become a Blackguard.

You can build your story with any of these characters, but only your last sentence implies some sort of antagonism that could get the protagonists involved. Thinking about how that works is the next step.


By the way, would it be possible for a slave camp to exists where food is created, summoned or multiplied by assorted slaves with class levels?
If at least 4% of your camp is clerics of level 5 or higher, they can in 10 minutes create food for everyone in camp for the day. However, drawing this force from the captives requires you to make the necessary security precautions to deal with level 5+ clerics whom you have allowed to meditate for spells, and also raises the question of why you're imprisoning so many clerics--are you oppressing a particular faith group? Ordinarily, I think it'd be easier to have your own clerics, or rely on the existing social infrastructure.