This time I actually thought about it and I think I've got something more workable. I don't actually care as much about how cliche it is though I'm trying not to go for the usual Epic Fantasy RPG plot at least.
In the country of Ael, humans live alongside all kinds of fantastic creatures, including forest fairies, small winged creatures of powerful magic who are often helpful but can also be very mischevious. Some Fairies form bonds with specific people, allowing them to gain magical powers of their own. These people are called Witches and Warlocks and are often highly respected figures in society, though obviously there were those who would abuse their powers for evil. One particularly powerful Witch named Morrigaine rose to power 1000 years ago and caused all sorts of terror throughout the land. She was eventually defeated, and the grimoire containing her most powerful spells was taken and sealed away, though no one knows exactly where it was hidden. More recently, about 30 years ago travelers from a far away land to the east discovered Ael and began trading with them. These people didn't really trust magic, believing any power that was not of their god to be suspect if not outright evil, but the people of Ael mostly found them odd and a little obnoxious, but intesting and fine to trade with, until they started getting pushy. War broke out between the two groups about 20 years ago, with the foreigners attempting to take over Ael, though in the end they were unsuccessful and Ael's current King was able to forge a peace treaty with their Queen. Things have settled down again, though Ael's people regard the people of the eastern country with suspicion and apprehension nowadays.
None of this really matters to Merle, the impetuous young witch of the Eastern Fairy forest, other than the fact that both her parents, a powerful Witch and Warlock, were major players during the war. Everyone sings their praises, but she knows that her mother is really an immature flighty woman-child and not the beautiful and wise sorceress the bards songs claim her to be and her father is an annoyingly eccentric vagabond who likes to travel all over Ael creating new spells and potions. That and they weren't very good parents either, considering they'd rarely ever been home since she turned 10, leaving her to be mostly raised by the three fairies who share their house. Not that Merle cares or anything. she'd probably go nuts if she had to live under the same roof as those two for more than three days anyway, but then he sent that letter...
That letter telling her that they'd made some kind of fantastic discovery in their travels and how they wanted her to come visit them in the capital, which happens to be all the way on the other side of creation from where she lives, and then he has the audiecty to tell her she'll never be as good a witch as she could be if she stays in the forest all her life.
Well, she couldn't take that, so she packs up and drags her best friend and fellow witch Bridget along to head for the Capitol, intent on proving That Bum wrong and rub the fact in his face, and then maybe she'll see whatever stupid trinket he's found now...
I've got a pretty good idea of where I'm going with it too, though I still need to work on the story outline, and I'm probably not going to do much with the battle system other than the fact that the party is entirely made up of magic users and will need to be tweaked accordingly. I could probably just find some resources on my own for maps, but I really do want to at least find a spriter to give the enemies and the main characters/important NPCs original sprites. I'm hopeless at spriting myself. >>; Anyway, anyone have any critique? Does this sound good, or at least workable?
Apr 7 2011, 10:29 PM
Not really sure where you're trying to go with this, or what kind of critique you're looking for.
It sounds alright in some areas. I think the fairy magic and whatnot isn't too bad. You can do a lot with the magical system imo.
The problem comes from the story itself. A lot of things sound very forced. The war, for instance. (A lot of writers make the mistake of forcing war. I've done it myself and it ruins good stories. Wars don't just erupt because people have an argument or someone doesn't like someone else. People write up wars for similar reasons people have arguments or fights. Wars are seriously a lot more complex than that.)
To help you, allow me to give you insight. War removes farmers and sons from their places in the fields, takes rations of food from the supplies, and gears men up to be mobilized. In some wars, men fought until wounded or tired, and in others til death.
War is political. War is survival of a nation. War is the general census to defend beliefs. War is expansion and territory.
If you want a realistic war, you must come up with a realistic reason. If someone gets too pushy war doesn't break out. If someone tries to claim someone else's land, war breaks out, and only to defend that territory. Once all is said and done a peace treaty isn't usually in agreement. One side just gets tired and walks away from the fight and tensions remain.
It's a complex thing.
Your character also sounds forced and one-dimensional. She sounds like she'd be angry on your cue, and sad on your cue, and happy on your cue, instead of doing all those things herself when the time is right for her character. I gather this from her haughty and proud nature. To be honest, a real person may see those words described and get mad, grab the letter, pack their things, and begin heading out the door. Twenty minutes down the road they'd cool off, get afraid and uncertain of what they're doing, and turn around and go back home and think about it more. No one stays in one state of mind forever.
I'd say at present the whole thing is a bit half-baked. Let it cook in your mind. Give it some more ingredients and spice it up, make it fuller and more complete. Make the characters real before assigning them any actions. It'll make the whole thing a lot easier.
Apr 7 2011, 10:43 PM
I guess you have a point about the war. Truthfully I'm not even sure what to do with that. It just kind of came out that way, even though I only really intended it to be part of the backstory as to why her parents are famous, but I guess they don't need the war for that. I could just cut it out completely and find some way to just make things tense between the two lands instead.
As for Merle? You might be right about her too. There's actually supposed to be more to her than the anger, but I ended up going like that because that's generally her attitude towards her parents. I'm still working on her though. I only just settled on the most basic aspects of her personality today. XD; I figure she probably would start feeling uncertain about twenty minutes down the road, and maybe even consider going back, but then she'd change her mind and keep going anyway out of sheer stubbornness. That may or may not still be forced, but that's how I imagine her right now.
Edit: .... Either that or her best friend who I mentioned briefly, Bridget, would make her slow down and think about it, because she's the less impulsive of the two. Possibly both.
Edit2: ....And now that I think about it, no that wasn't the only reason I included the war. I also wanted to use it because I thought I might be able to do something with the tensions between the two countries in the story, but since I've been thinking now that I'd rather go for something mostly light-hearted, again it'd probably be better if I cut it out and just have the two countries not totally get on.
Apr 7 2011, 11:39 PM
The part about war needs more expanding. "pushy?"
let's not forget, waging war is an expensive endeavor. You have to consider supply lines, occupation strategy, and a bunch of other larger strategic issues even before you get down to the tactical level. As such, wars are not waged without a very good reason. (Having said that, "good" is quite subjective) traders getting "pushy" hardly qualifies. This is especially the case if these traders seem to be geographically be living VERY far away. Hell, I think it's more likely Ael might declare war on a neighbor than some far away nation that they share no borders with.
You've already built in a really good reason through their attitudes. Ael relies heavily on magic and has somehow managed to assimilate people who practice magic seamlessly into their society. The traders, on the other hand, find magic to be an affront to their religious beliefs. (something that even in our time where the separation of church and state is heavily stressed, still plays an important role in political discourse) Hell, I'm surprised that the two even started trading. Maybe attitudes were different when they first met.
What this needs is a reason for these two nations to wage war against each other. While religious/social attitudes is a good ignition trigger, you also need to make it so that declaring war makes logistical sense. Here's what I would do.
In addition to the the traders making contact, the two nations have been actively expanding their territory in between the expanses of empty space between them. (maybe a crucial piece of technology the traders had made it possible for Ael to finally start colonizing the land between them) They start to have more and more contact with each other, basically like how China and the western nations did in the 19th century. However, conflicting social attitudes and interests (territorial disputes, let's say) have pushed tensions sky high, and war eventually broke out over some territory. flesh it out some more, and you have a plausible war story.
Pink Soldier 17
Apr 8 2011, 01:29 PM
Everything that seems important to say about your war has already been said, so I'll leave that to you.
I'm concerned with how you sort of just saddled Bridget with Merle. Does she have any relevance to the story other than being Merle's best friend? Does she try to talk Merle out of it? Does she attempt to calm her down after the letter? Does Merle even show her the letter? How does Bridget feel about this sudden situation? Does she help Merle for moral reasons or is there more to it? People can't just be dragged on an adventure, even if the person doing the dragging is their best friend. Unless Bridget has a significant reason to go, then I can't see her following Merle across all creation without some hesitation herself. To Bridget, it's her journey, not Merle's. It's important to remember that.
Though the main character is important, the supporting cast is just as important. Let's not let Bridget be swallowed by Merle's personality. It's the interactions between the characters that helps shape up a story.
Although, after reading your edits, it seems like you have Bridget as a somewhat less impulsice type. That's not all there is to a person, though. I was just concerned that you might focus too much of your attention on Merle, leaving your supporting characters in the dust.
Apr 17 2011, 09:10 PM
Alright, I've got a second draft of the story and a list of the character classes, though not the characters, because I'm still working on that.
Witch Tales Story V.2
In the country of Ael, humans live alongside all kinds of fantastic creatures, including forest fairies, small winged creatures of powerful magic who are often helpful but can also be very mischevious. Some Fairies form bonds with specific people, allowing them to gain magical powers of their own. These people are called Witches and Warlocks and are often highly respected figures in society, though obviously there were those who would abuse their powers for evil. One particularly powerful Witch named Morrigaine rose to power 1000 years ago and caused all sorts of terror throughout the land. She was eventually defeated, and the grimoire containing her most powerful spells was taken and sealed away, though no one knows exactly where it was hidden. In the present time, Ael has recently come into contact with a country to the east known as Brea, who, while some what wary of Ael and it's magic, due to the belief that the only legitimate power is that of their god, and that which their god grants upon the servants of the church, are willing to do trade with them, since their current Queen Dolores III is a member of a more flexible sect of this religion. Of course this is not without controversy. It also doesn't help that there are rumors now spreading that someone is hunting for Morrigaine's Grimoire and that the more dangerous creatures of Ael are becoming more restless as of late. None of this really matters to Merle, the Black Witch of the Eastern Fairy Forest, who is much more concerned with the fact that it's a week before her 15th Birthday and her father, the useless vagabond, sent her a letter to tell her that he can't come (of course) because he and her mother are in the captial, and they've found this utterly fascinating old book in the old Elven language that he simply must translate now, though in the mean time, had she thought about her Wander Year at all yet? She couldn't very well become a very good witch if she stayed in one place for the rest of her life. Of course Merle wasn't upset. It's not like she expected anything less from him and her mother, especially considering she'd barely seen them more than once a year since she was 10. Everyone thought they were the best Witch and Warlock in the last century, and that might even be true, but that didn't change the fact that her mother acted like she was 12 and her father cared more about books than pretty much anything else and could only stay in one place for more than a month at a stretch, unless he'd found a new book to translate of course. She didn't care what they thought at all. ... And what buisness did he have, mentioning her Wander Year like that? That wasn't even until next year for her, so why bring it up now? Did he think she wasn't going to go? Why should he care when he's never around anyway? Urgh, that old man had some nerve! Well there was only one thing to do. It turned out that her best friend Bridget was heading out on her own Wander Year in the next two weeks, so Merle would just have to come along and do hers early! That should show him! Of course Bridget might not be too happy about that idea, but Merle was sure she'd come around...
First Draft Explanation of Witches and Witch Subcategories
Witch/Warlock Humans who are gifted with magic powers by Fairies. Most of them tend to live in Fairy Forests, or wander Ael helping people, and all associate closely with the Fairy race. They learn most of their basic magical spells and herbal lore from Fairies, but their truly powerful spells come from the Grimoires, spell books originally written by the Elvenkind thousands of years ago. Most witches are good people, but of course there are bad ones too, and all witches have the potential to become immortal Fairy Witches if they become powerful enough. Unfortunately this last detail is part of the reason some of the more unscrupulous Witches are around in the first place, however the actual occurrence of Witches becoming Fairy Witches is rare and as of this time there are only 13 known Fairy Witches and of those only one is known to be evil. The others are mostly rather reclusive and possibly amoral or apathetic towards the rest of the world. Witches as a whole have a fairly good reputation amongst the people of Ael. They are, however, regarded with some apprehension by the people of Brea and especially the followers of the Church of the Holy Light, who consider them untrustworthy.
It's known that a few famous Witches and Warlocks have actually written their own Grimoires with their own original spells, though most of those books currently belong to one of the Fairy Witches and are only known to have been used by them.
Flashy users of powerful Non-Elemental magic that is mostly single target. They're kind of the magical equivalent of a warrior/knight class, but can't be considered magic knights since their damage out put is primarily magical. Merle is a Black Witch.
The Healer/Alchemist Class. They use a combination of powerful healing spells and an extensive knowledge of magical herbs to to aid allies in battle and cure the sick and the wounded outside of battle. They can however, also use their Alchemical abilities offensively when need be by mixing up some more explosive brews.
Bard/Dancer Class (I'd also like to make them a beast tamer class, but this is my first game, and I'm not sure how hard that would be). Red Witches are notorious for being able to use their powers to influence those around them with their magic, weakening foes and strengthening allies as well as outright bending people to their will.
At the moment a basic Black Mage class, technically. Green Witches have the ability to manipulate the seven magical elements (Fire, Wind, Water, Earth, Wood, Dark and Light) to create devastating attacks capable of striking multiple targets.
So, do you think this sounds better? What do you think of the Classes? Do you think they sound good? I have some idea about what features I might include, but I need to think on that some more before posting anything about that.
Apr 17 2011, 11:21 PM
None of this really matters to Merle...
If it doesn't matter to her, why do we care about anything that comes before?
Writing a story is as much presentation as the events. When presenting your story, don't tell everything in chronological order. That's history, not a story ^^. More of a concept pitch than story. Something like that.
When telling your story to other people, write it as if its happening. Not in the tense, of course, but in the serries of events as they happen to the character.
So when you start this, begin just with Merle and whats happening immediately in her life. as you go on, revel back story and so on so we have some reason to care about the witch of 1000 years ago.
Bring up the past when its relevant to the present.
Just some thoughts on story organization for you.
Apr 18 2011, 12:20 AM
^^; Well, technically speaking, this "Story" is still a concept pitch. You're right though, that the stuff about the Witch from 1000 years ago shouldn't come up until it's relevant to the plot in the actual story. I just wrote this as I thought of it without thinking about things like organization.
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