Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #15: Leaving Traces

It's a general truth that nothing can be done that doesn't leave some kind of evidence behind. There is always something left behind in some sense. The perfect crime could be committed yet something remains whether it is something missing with a robbery, or a body with a murder, or again the person missing. The only question is how much evidence is left and can it be connected to the perpetrator. The same is true when the focus moves to the psychic criminal or hero doing their respective things. The evidence they leave behind tends though toward more intangible types, or the kind that can only really be investigated by another psychic. Additionally, whether a suspect in some act, criminal or not, is normal or a psychic is another bit of evidence in and of itself.

The first question to be asked when setting up a psychic horror setting with this context in mind is this. Can a psychic know that another psychic is involved in a situation? If the answer is yes, the second question must come immediately. How much can a psychic tell about a psychic event not of his or her doing? The answer to this question spawns new powers, new uses for existing powers, and further questions regarding the affect of all of this on the mood of the setting. If the mood is already established for the setting then the pros and cons should be weighed more carefully. If the mood is not set, or the requirement that the setting needs--for a short story, a novel or series, a movie or TV show, or a game--then there is more leeway and the impact may be significantly less.

When everything is weighed and considered then it comes down to determining the factors involved in identifying psychic involvement. The first obvious power to be included is the ability of a psychic to spot other psychics upon meeting them. This can be a feeling or something visible, likely in the person's aura, or something completely different. Next would be to tell if someone is under the control of another psychic or a power. This is much the same as the other sense though tends more toward the aura, in fiction as it stands. Then comes what can be the deal breaker power, the ability to determine the identity of the psychic responsible for a psychic event or result. Such a fingerprint, or at least the ability to see and put it to use, leads to the next topic, next week.

Mood: happy.
Music: Slip Slide Melting by For Love Not Lisa and Dead Souls by Nine Inch Nails.

For Love Not Lisa: Merge
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The Crow: Original Soundtrack

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