Thursday, 14 April 2011

Flash Fearstaken over - Granulation

This week's entry for Flash Fearsday, the microfiction writing challenge now hosted at Lunching on Lamias. (There's nothing up yet, but he's smart and probably trying to scare us.) The idea is to create horror in 140 characters, with line breaks counting one. And this week we also have the start of a whole new gaming project.

"It's caused by fear, sir."
"F-fear?" The air thickened.
"Yes, sir. G-granulation. Of the fabric of reality." The air had texture now.

What's the gaming project then? It's propluristemic content, or maybe 2psc, or just pc. I also like (. It's something marked up as intended for many systems and settings, whatever the game type or precise laws of physics, even non-gaming fiction, assuming some adaptation. The rules are only guidance. Here's an example, for granulation.

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Granulation of the fabric of reality occurs in the presence of powerful negative emotions, most notably fear. It manifests as a non-uniform growth in density in all manner of material, including empty space, and can render areas of reality impassable, trapping anything inside as it grows. The increase may be glacial and imperceptible or near instantaneous, in line with the strength of the emotions present.

In games granulation seems best represented by difficult ground and cover in one. Entities crossing must expend extra energy to move and navigate the particularly dense areas, and do so at reduced speed. Incoming ranged attacks suffer a penalty to hit.

If an entity within an area of granulation come under attack, launches an attack or fights, or otherwise feels fear or negative emotions, the effects of the granulation as difficult ground and cover will increase, by one degree per unit of time. When the maximum level allowed by the measurement system is met, the entities inside the granulation are trapped and likely either killed or conveyed wholly or in part to another existence.

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The key definitions are entity, degree and unit of time.

An entity is any individual, such as a trooper, character or monster, or any machine, such as a robot or vehicle, but may also be a unit if preferred. A degree is one number in a scale, one entry on a table, or any other basic step in measurement. A unit of time is a single round, turn or similar; if multiple options are available, it will be the shortest.

Any thoughts? Go forth and propluricreate!


DocStout said...

I had to read all that twice to comprehend it. My mind filled in blanks and drew connections that weren't there on a first pass, and I confused myself.

Porky said...

Fair point. I actually went back and tweaked it after I posted because I was having trouble understanding..!

Put simply, there are three elements: the story for this week; the mention of content that is kept loose enough to be used across many game systems; and an example of this kind of content tieing in with the story, i.e. 'granulation'.

Granulation is just an idea that jumped out at me when I was pondering a new creature for the Hogintu setting, but then turned into something more connected with the worldboat concept. It's pretty out there, but I blame the influence of others!

netherwerks said...

Granulation is possible via great positive emotion as well, indeed the most successful acts of significant, lasting/enduring sub-creation derive from the more positive emotional spectrum. Negativity tends to instill its creations with a latent (or not so latent) almost cancerous tendency to destruct from within--they do not last.

Granularity is a great description for an environmental encounter with the Worldboats. We've been wrestling with something along these lines but lacked a good label/handle to use to get it into suitable form. Now we just might have a good handle to get to grips with this Granularity stuff. Thanks!

Porky said...

How about the opposite then? The granulation as it is here is damaging to the fabric of the reality, harmful to the occupants, so maybe positive emotions could smooth the fabric, make the reality more harmonious, more what's desired?

You're one of those influences by the way..!

netherwerks said...

@Porky: Neither negates the other. They are both options held in suspension within a matrix that transcends duality. There are other options available. The interactions of these two polarities create tensions and responses that engender many new configurations, opening fresh doors to new possibilities, stirring-up the foam of probabilities. It is one of the prime functions of consciousness. Any consciousness. It is about making choices.
Much like games.
Like dreaming.
Like Life.