Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's Not What They Think, Josh

If you didn’t know already I’ve been gearing up to unleash a fiction blog. Not just any fiction blog, but one tied to a work in progress role-playing game. There are several issues involved in creating this blog on many levels. The issue I am interested in discussing now has to do with going against expectation. I can't help but spoiler some things. Sorry. Let me start with the basic premise behind the role-playing game. The game is called "This Mental Eventide" and revolves around the emergence of a large number of psychics. A man named Joshua Gavin Rhoads is the author of the blog. He initially hints that he has a secret that he wants to tell everyone but has to build up to it. The secret is the haunting. From there he begins to detail the various happenings. Here's the catch--and the worst spoiler of all. Josh is not haunted. Rather he is being plagued by his own burgeoning psychic abilities.

One of the elements to this setting is that there are no ghosts or earthbound spirits. There are hauntings sure enough, but they are residual hauntings--those are the echoes or events repeating on a loop--or the work of psychics. All in all this makes for a protracted scenario in which nothing is what it seems. There is the possibility that an abrupt turn of face would be off-putting to some. The haunting has to fall within the extent of Josh's psychic abilities. Since he is the cause of all of the phenomena it has to have some meaning to him or otherwise be in character for him. The incidents must be something he subconsciously wants or they happen in reaction to what he feels toward different people and events. Some will be very obvious, but others may seem particularly inexplicable, or at least unfathomable at first blush.

At this stage only one power is evident. Josh must have telekinesis. It covers a myriad of ghostly phenomena that are poltergeist-like in nature. I have an inkling of one of his other powers, but I won't mention it. The development of the game is incomplete so I do not know how many psychic abilities he should manifest, when they will do so, and what if any progression there is between them. Likewise Josh is a bit of a blank canvas. I have certain traits squarely in mind and the rest is open. I do not even know what his profession is yet. One of the keys to a setting like this, and especially these kinds of scenarios involving adults, is that these people have real lives first before the emergence of the fantastical or the horrific. These unanswered questions play into the next topic I want to write about with regard to this project.

Mood: secretive.
Music: Can't Stop Rockin' by ZZ Top and Black Dragon by Luca Turilli.

ZZ Top: Afterburner
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Luca Turilli: King Of The Nordic Twilight
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