Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Community Contest: Submit your ideas for Codex content in Serpent in the Staglands!

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Crooked Bee, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Crooked Beegender: ⚧ wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
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    Tags: Kickstarter; Serpent in the Staglands; Whalenought Studios

    As you may know, we recently staged a highly successful fundraiser for the Darklands-like indie RPG Serpent in the Staglands. Here's what we're getting for that:
    • A MONSTER RACE - See the campaign description for the 3 monster race ideas available so far, but also feel free to submit your own.
    • AN ISLAND - this includes an overall theme + any details you think are worth including, such as the island's shape, layout, name, history, environment, etc.
    • A MAJOR NPC OR MEGA ITEM - this also includes a full-fledged questline with dialogue and possible minor NPCs/locations!
    This thread is for you to submit your crazy or not so crazy ideas for Kodex Ingame Kontent! Even if you can't come up with an entry covering the entire island + questline, feel free to submit any tidbits you want. Images or maps are welcome too.

    The monster race will be included in the main game; for reasons of scope, the island will probably be included in the expansion featuring a whole region full of other island, to be released "later this year", as Whalenought told us. Feel free to flesh out your entries as much as you want, and add as many details as you want. Then we will discuss your entries with Whalenought and decide on our final submission.

    If no good entried will be submitted, the Codex staff will come up with whatever the heck they want themselves. Don't let that happen.

    PRIZES
    We can't offer much in the way of prizes, but we are able to offer beta access to the game to all people who submit entries which (or parts of which) will make it into the game. For the winning entries, we might also be able to insert subtle references to your username into the game if you want.

    NB: One thing to keep in mind is the "Tim Cain Rule": the content should, ideally, fit the overall style of the game, and be entertaining for all, including players who won't get the individual Codex references involved.

    Here are some pointers from the Whalenought team:

    The monster we can put in the peninsula so we can include it in the main game before the expansion, but we'll be doing all the islands later on in the year to be included in the update post-launch. Your larger-scoped island containing a sizable quest with an NPC or the mega-item will be great in the expansion, but if you'd prefer it to be in the main campaign we could make that work too.

    We'd really like to see what you guys can come up with, we're pretty open to anything happening on these islands. There are islands that will be connected for the main story in the expansion, but some are self-contained and those might be the most fun for you guys to plan. You can give us a blueprint/mockup of the location if you'd like and we can build it with our assets, or just a design idea.

    General things that might help flesh out the island are thoughts on the environment, monsters in the area, any homes on it and their appearance, tone, and any background or history of it.

    If you'd like to write your own dialogue let us know and we can delve into that later, if not just give us an idea and we will try to capture the spirit of what you're aiming for.​

    The contest will run for a couple of weeks or so.
     
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  2. Zedgender: ⚧ fishin

    Zed
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    How about a quest to explore a Dr Moreau-ish island populated by [​IMG]. The mastermind behind these creatures is a mad scientist, Dr. P.G. Codox - an eunuch. You figure out the story.
     
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  3. Ed123gender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Ed123
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    Serpent in the Staglands Wasteland 2
    How about an island populated by a handful of lazy, talentless hacks who are unable to find meaningful employment in the artists' guilds due to their inability to produce any of their own material. They've fled to the outlying territories to prey on brain-damaged outcasts and illiterate gypsies, who are forced to pay thousands of gold coins in return for the privilege of producing content for them. The Island could be built upon the calcified, immobile corpse of a giant sperm whale, and its inhabitants could go by the names "Jioe" and "Hh'ana".
     
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  4. Scroogegender: ⚧ My husband is literally a cat Patron

    Scrooge
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    Codex 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    I'd go for an island populated by mad cavetrolls. The island would be divided into different parts. There's this one part where the upper class cavetrolls live, wearing ragged clothing and broken monocles, talking about how everything is shit now and mourn older times even though most of them are actually not very old. Then there's the slums, where the filthy trolls live. They keep fledging out plans on how to overthrow the upper class cavetrolls and ramble on how much they hate everything in modern troll society. They are lead by the self proclaimed General D. Cussion.

    The player then has to choose one side to join or might remain neutral while playing those sides against each other, or something.
     
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  5. Angthorongender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman RPG Codex Staff

    Angthoron
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  6. Scroogegender: ⚧ My husband is literally a cat Patron

    Scrooge
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    Codex 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
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  7. Montygender: ⚧ Arcane

    Monty
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    And a third faction, furtive, cunning but influential behind the scenes. They are masters of disguise and misdirection, who for their own safety keep their dwellings well hidden from the other factions. It is also said that a system of secret passwords and handshakes foils the constant attempts at infiltration.

    Noone knows the exact numbers of this mysterious group, some say as few as 3 or possibly as many as 10. Usually referred to as the female cavetrolls.
     
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  8. Angthorongender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman RPG Codex Staff

    Angthoron
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    No such thing. Cave trolls are a dying race, having chased away the females of their species away to change their genders into something more artificial.

    The adventurers are just speeding up the course of events.
     
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  9. tulusegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    In your travels you may come across a rather unusual merchant island. It's a volcanic island that forms a near perfect cone. For this reason it is called the Inclined Isle. The natives refer to traveling towards the center of the island as "inclining" and heading towards the sea to leave the island as "declining" due to traveling on the steep angle of the volcano.

    The volcano also produces a lot of black rock known as obsidian. The locals seem to hold this substance in great regard despite it being rather useless. The abundance of the rocks has some travelers mistakenly refer to the island as the Black Isle. This is incorrect, the natives will tell you that once a great Black Isle did exist, but it is no more.

    The natives have 3 great treasures (sometimes they call them a troika of treasures) they hold dear. There is a large and confusing text referred to as the codex, a set of glimmering gems that make anyone around them feel a vague sense of hatred, and a book of magic they call Grimoire.

    Upon initial examination the codex seems incomprehensible. Every few paragraphs appear to have been written by a different author. Furthermore none of them seem to agree with each other, not only about the subject at hand, but what the purpose of this codex even is. It is told there is wisdom contained in this text, but one needs to be able to decipher it first.

    While a person holds the gems, they will increase any natural hatred in all around them. This means most other people will react more negatively to them. However, when speaking to someone who is disenfranchised, it focuses their hatred of others and they will react positively to the holder of the gems.

    The Grimoire is a curious book. None of the spells contained within are finished! There is a rumor that a hermit living in a far away land, hides in a cave and has the knowledge to finish the book. If an enterprising soul can bring the Grimoire to him they might be able to unlock the power contained within.
     
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  10. Cranegender: ⚧ quorum plaustra vagas rite trahunt domos Patron

    Crane
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    The natives are very passionate about the act of dancing as a fun way to spend free time. They have a set of very old and primitive dances which are called 'the Infinity dances', which are regarded by most to be the best forms of dance. They despise a neighboring tribe for not performing this set of dances, as the neighbors prefer to spend their luxury time performing newer, more refined ways of dancing. These types of dances are pejoratively referred to as 'popamole' by the natives.
     
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  11. evdkgender: ⚧ comrade troglodyte :M Patron

    evdk
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    Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    How about nothing?
     
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  12. Make America Great Again CyberWhalegender: ⚧ Arcane

    CyberWhale
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  13. Brosephgender: ⚧ Filthy Degenerate Dumbfuck

    Self-Ejected
    Andhaira
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    An island containing one major thing: a massive, throbbing marble column carved in the shape of a dong, named THE PILLAR OF ETERNITY. A faction of female rogues guard it with their lives; they claim to possess a telepathic link with the creator of the pillar, a mysterious ethereal force they call Jaussh S'oyear.
     
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  14. I'm With Her Scruffygender: ⚧ for prison The janitor Patron

    Scruffy
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    Codex 2012 Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014
    An island populated by different humanoids, trolls, (furries), etc, divided in two factions: the worshippers of the Cavern Hollies, a race of beautiful siren/elf type of maidens who are said to be the bringers of all that is beautiful and holy, and the worshipper of Friar Gabon, a god himself claimed to be the only bringer of true incline.

    The player can start investigating on who is right, and discovers a secret enclave of islanders who worship neither, and instead is made of members who want to be dragons.

    As the investigation proceeds, the player finds out that the Hollies were, in fact, all males who dressed in women clothing and magically altered their bodies to appear to be female, while keeping their penises (this is only hinted). They turn out to be amazingly inept at manipulating reality through their supernatural powers, and have an astonishingly hard time against wolves, which incidentally are the reason why there are so few of them nowadays. They hide away and only occasionally emerge from hiding to bless their followers with their wisdom, provided that a big enough sacrifice of gold is made. During dialogue, they try to convince the PC that they are the true bringers of Incline through their charm and handsomeness. If the pc fails the check, he believes it and becomes a follower, and a huge chunk of his money is lost. If he survives the check, the Hollies summon wolves to kill the PC, only to be mostly killed themselves instead and then disappearing.

    Friar Gabon is just a blowhard whose only skill is being good at saying stuff, but cannot really live up to what he promises once put to the test. If the PC has a low enough intelligence/wisdom/whatever this game will use, he will believe what Friar Gabon says and make a donation to the temple, and inform the other inhabitants of the island that Gabon is the only true bringer of Incline. If the will check (or whatever) is passed instead, Gabon becomes hostile and attacks the NPC. Fighting Friar Gabon proves to be linear and boring (with floating dialogue that makes the PC say this explicitly), all the while his High Priest, Dados Lea, keeps commenting how everything Gabon does is awesome. When (easily) defeated, Friar Gabon announces he will go in exile to his black isle and be back more powerful after his followers will sacrifice gold and praise his greatness, and then disappears. Dados Lea comments something along the lines of “Told ya he was awesome”.

    Depending on whom the PC decides to follow, the whole island converts to the new cult. However, if the PC’s int/wis/whatev is high enough, he declares that both parts are stupid, that neither the Hollies nor Gabon have brought any true incline for a long time now, and that everything is shit. This starts a civil war on the island and everyone is wiped out.

    A new people reaches and colonizes the island, who are worshippers of Sheep Tine, a bunch of amazingly stupid people whose dialogue options will be about immershun and how everything is radiant in this world that scales to their needs.

    Show Spoiler
    sorry, i really should be doing something other than this
    Show Spoiler
    in case it was unclear, cavern hollies = chris avellone, friar gabon = brian fargo and dados lea is daedalos. this is the codex after all...
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
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  15. Sensukigender: ⚧ Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Codex 2014 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    Yeah I have to say I'm in for a Codexian penis monster or something similar to that.
     
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  16. Awor Szurkrarzgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    Codex 2012
    A MONSTER RACE
    [​IMG]
    Incubus. Race of monsters known for sneaking into houses and attacking women during sleep. They have a corrosive spit attack and high sneaking ability.
    Incubus tend to live in caves and often adventurers are hired to dispose of them.
     
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  17. agrisgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    agris
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    I'll put this here since it's the actual right place for it. Aspects from others/my post could be merged, but I'm just gonna present it as a whole.


    The Glowing Isle

    Outward Appearance:
    The profile of the isle is that of a monolithic rocky crag, being nonsymmetric, wide and relatively low, similar to the black isle logo (think Scottish isles).
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    The isle is oval in shape, ~3 miles in diameter with flat coastal region (~0.5 mi radial) and possessing a bay not visible from the principle direction that ships would sail from (mainland). The island always appears deserted, is sparsely vegetated, having a rocky coastal plain from the water's edge to the mountain's base. several rivulets run down the side of the mountain and are apparent upon approaching the isle.

    like the following image except with a relatively flat, rocky, coastal area.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    In the daylight there is a faint red mist rising from the flat coast of the island extending up the mountainside. The peak is clear and free of any mist.

    It is the view at night that caused sailors to give The Glowing Isle it's name. Once twilight has passed and darkness descends, a low red glow (not mist) emanates continuously from the base of the mountain / coastal plains. To the very observant viewer (from the perspective of sailing from mainland towards the isle) the glow would be seen to be emanating from behind the rocky crag.

    There is a protected bay hidden from the line of sight that sailors would normally approach The Glowing Isle from. This crescent shaped bay is formed by two rocky arms extending tangentially from the edge of the isle, like pinchers. Their points don't meet, but the opening has been blocked from the greater ocean by a large amount of rocks, debris, and mining equipment. Amongst the debris there is evidence of ship wreckage. Very close inspection would reveal that some of the wreckage is unlike anything the player has seen before (fragments of metallic hulls, rusted with age). Visible on the isle's shore, inside the protected bay, would be the ragged remnants of a dry dock (for ship construction). The bay is saturated with bioluminescent algae / plankton, creating the red glow seen at night. The red algae slowly spills out from the bay into the ocean and creates a dead zone where various fish and birds are found floating lifeless.

    Imagine the following, but red and much more intense
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Background:
    The glowing isles was once a mining and manufacturing outpost, specializing in prototype ships, weapons and armor. The minerals found within the central crag could be mined, purified and refined into a less-reactive (read: less explosive) equivalent of metallic magnesium that has approximately the strength of steel. To put that in perspective, that's ~5x lower density (weight per volume) than stainless steel, while having the same strength and ductility. I don't think many, if any, alloys exhibit such properties today. It's a shame that vapors given off by the refining process induce madness...

    The red bioluminescent algae is fed by minerals contained in runoff from the crag's mining sites. A stream that was once harnessed by waterwheels now runs unchecked over the open strip-mined side of the crag (sailors approaching from mainland would not see this, it's all 'bay side'), and drains into the bay carrying the very minerals that were mined for. Similar to real-world fertilizer runoff containing nitrates that cause algae blooms in lakes, this mineral runoff feeds the red algae bloom. As a bonus, it also makes the water highly acidic and deadly for anything living in it or ingesting it and dangerous for anyone to touch.

    The red mist is produced by some of the plant-life on The Glowing Isle. It's the result of plant-life (rock lichen, short grass, brush) adapting to the acidic and mineralized waters of the island. Any character that breathes air will find the mist harmful, and has a cumulative poisoning and madness effect ultimately resulting in death.

    Manufacturing facilities were setup either inside the central crag or on the bay-side of the island, in the rocky coastal region. Being multi-layered and inside the crag is preferable, and allows construction of a dungeon reminiscent of The Glow in Fallout.

    Backstory:
    Assume this information is found over the course of investigation of the isle's manufacturing complex. A new mineral is discovered in the central crag of 'whatever-this-place-was-called-before-the-glow'. After initial trial and error processes, this mineral is able to be refined into a metal as strong (stronger!) as steel but at 1/5th the weight. There are problems with workers in the refining vats dying and going insane. 'Upper management' gives orders for prototype armor, weapons (swords/whatever) and even ships to be constructed with this new material. Production ramps up, more workers die and go insane. Management ignores it. Initially the weapons and armor trials are very successful, except for the unfortunate result wherein the people actually testing them are occasionally slaughtering all those around them before finally being subdued (wearing this stuff has an affect on the player?). It is the increase in production required to make a ship that finally does the island in. Production facilities are expanded, the hull sections of a ship that is barely able to fit in the bay are formed and assembled in the dry-dock. Meanwhile, the red mist continues to proliferate while the waters in the bay are slowly turning red, to the unease of workers. The ceremonial launching of the metal-hulled battleship is a much-anticipated occasion that ends in disaster. Armed with cannons that rapidly cool (faster re-load), and a near-indestructible hull, the crew of the ship is stricken with madness and attacks the coastal dry-dock and crag-side mining facilities. Much death follows. The rogue metallic battleship is finally sunk at the bay outlet, providing a grisly reminder of how unchecked ambition destroys everything. This is a Codexian reference to the console generation, and an homage to The Glow from F1.

    Rumors:
    Sailors will talk about their unease at witnessing the red glow around The Glowing Isle. Some say that a god died on the island, their flowing blood turning the very air red. Others say that a great many human sacrifices were performed, forever tainting the land red with blood. Whispers are spoken of an advanced technology being developed that challenged and angered the gods, driving them to destroy everyone and everything on the isle.

    Information leading to the player equipping/learning the equivalent of a Zone of Sweet Air spell is required for access to the island (ala Rad-X in Fallout). A drunken, half-mad captain-turned-sailor (a demotion felt with much weight), whose ship crashed long ago, tells a tale. His ship was caught in a large storm, and became turned around. By the time the storm cleared, it was clear that they had circumnavigated The Glowing Isle and were very much off course. But by then, the ship was already lost. After many false starts and with poor luck, the ship was run aground (near the entrance to The Glowing Isle bay). He and some fellow sailors rowed to The Glowing Isle. This provides the player with some information- a bay, perhaps evidence of mining, red light coming from the front, rather than the back, of the island. The sailor and his few compatriots row to the entrance of the bay, only to find it blocked. They setup camp on one of the rocky arm's of the bay's pinchers. They are on the island for only ~18 hours, but on venturing inland the red mist infects their minds. All die except the ex-captain who speaks to the player, now more than half-mad. The then-captain spots a merchant ship off the far side of the island and frantically rows his boat out to meet it, securing his rescue.


    Mechanics Involved:
    To gain access to this location, the player must convince / commandeer a captain/ship to take him there. He must also have an item / spell equivalent to Zone of Sweet Air that can be cast / affect the entire party, otherwise death takes them all. This is an homage to The Glow. The island and interior levels should be relatively unpopulated, with the environment and recovered story fragments shaping the experience.

    Assuming the main manufacturing complex (and records) are located inside the crag, the player must craft a ladder rope, or a rope + hook, and toss it up onto a rock promontory that contains the entrance to the facilities. Again, this is in homage to The Glow. Once inside, there should be corpses, smelting, refining, testing, etc facilities for the new metal and refining process. Notes and documents found should emphasize the lack of empathy with the the loss of life during the refining / smelting process, despite high mortality rates. Reference to the red mist, algae, and madness/death among the workers should be hinted at. The equivalent of 'managers' should, over time, insist on more and more unrealistic production goals while de-emphasizing manufacturing quality and expressing a disregard for the loss of life and human dignity. This is another reference to the madness induced by the red mist while also a Codexian hook; as it's an allegory to the consolization of game development. Expecting cut corners and lowered quality to result in a superior quality product is surely the result of madness...
     
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  18. oscargender: ⚧ Tacticular Staff

    oscar
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    Just no dumb, obnoxious and overdone memes and in-jokes please.

    I like agris's as its a relatively subtle connection to the Codex and a homage to the Glow that still makes sense and maintains flow and atmosphere if you're entirely unfamiliar with either.
     
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  19. Lagole Gongender: ⚧ Arcane

    Lagole Gon
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    Yeah... let's keep it subtle.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    :smug:

    Behold the terrifying Arn'Hem! A beast from time before time!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
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  20. flushfiregender: ⚧ Augur

    flushfire
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    [​IMG]
    wanted to work on it some more but i got lazy. couldn't think of what clothes to put on the troll (looks more like a devil tho. maybe armor? i was thinking it wouldn't be necessary if they were secluded and shit) so w/e. i also didn't mean for him to look like he's holding out his cock, i wanted to make it look like he's trying to restrain the gobbler but that's how it turned out lol
     
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  21. Montygender: ⚧ Arcane

    Monty
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    :what:

    :lol: Can just imagine an unsuspecting player coming across that fucking scene....
     
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  22. agrisgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    agris
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    Heh, maybe I'm missing something but I think Friar Todd or Friar Hines would be more appropriate.
     
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  23. I'm With Her Scruffygender: ⚧ for prison The janitor Patron

    Scruffy
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    Codex 2012 Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014
    yeah possibly
    i was referring to the fact that W2 alpha was... not very good...
     
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  24. jdinatalegender: ⚧ I see black people...

    jdinatale
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    Surely I can't be the only one who wants to see a giant dick in the game.
     
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  25. CrustyBotgender: ⚧ Prophet Patron

    CrustyBot
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    Codex 2012
    Show Spoiler
    On your travels, you begin to hear rumours and tales about an island that's recently resurfaced. Literally. Previously sunken and lost to the world, your interest becomes piqued as you discover that the island was once the home of a Former Avatar of one of the other gods in Staglands lore. Sailors speak of folklore and legend surrounding the island. That the avatar had compiled all of their knowledge into a singular tome, The Codex.

    (Knowledge of the Codex had been passed down through oral tradition by the communities surrounding the island, and now with it's re-appearance, people who had travelled the area are talking about it.)

    The implication being that the island sunk once the avatar was able to free themselves from the mortal plane, with The Codex giving you the knowledge/power to follow suit. So you travel to the island in hopes of finishing your quest. Dialog should emphasise the Codex as an artefact at this point, an item that players are capable of wielding. A spellbook of sorts that allows you to do the truly fantastic, so even if the Former Avatar for another god angle doesn't appeal or is turfed, there's still a draw for players.

    Upon arriving on the island, you are perplexed to find a large ship anchored near the shoreline, but no sign of intelligent life on the island itself. There is flora and fauna but no people. You are required to interact with the environment, and using Woodwise, you are able to decipher that people had indeed been on the island. Tracks to follow, footpaths, etc. You are eventually led to a giant rock in the centre of the island (but can only reach by a hidden path using Herbology to enable you to cut your way through some of the shrubbery).

    Think Australia's Uluru.

    [​IMG]

    You are taken aback as the rock itself is pure black and radiates a slight glow (Black Isle/Obsidian reference, can even be shaped like the Black Isle logo). There can be no doubting that the island has secrets to share and discover.

    In front of the formation is a sign: "All who seek The Codex be warned. The Codex shall not scale to the level of mortals."
    Behind the sign, you see a massive lever. Use it and click it into gear three times (Troika reference) to trigger a mechanical sequence that opens up the rock face and reveals a gateway inside.

    Enter it and be confronted by total darkness (or not, depending on how Unity goes), requiring a spell or torch to illuminate the way. The rock is completely hollowed out. There is just blackness and you don't know how deep down it goes. You walk across a long and winding set of stairs/steps, slowly descending underground. Essentially, a linear decline. You can spice this up a bit by making the path unstable and having several CYOA juncture points where you need to use a skill/spell/item to progress or you fall to your deaths.

    Think Moria from Lord of the Rings.

    [​IMG]

    You reach the end of the path, the surface seems quite far from here. You stop. Another gate, and no way around it. So you knock. The gate opens.

    And you're greeted by a red, psuedo-demonic troll.
    :fight: : Get in and don't cause any trouble while you're here. I don't want to kill you and have to fill out the paperwork afterwards.

    You step through the gates, and past the guard. You realise that the place is swarming with them. It's an underground city! My initial thoughts was for something along the lines of Arx in Arx Fatalis, but I think that kind of scope is beyond Whalenought. So a small underground settlement with a dozen or so NPCs is fine with me. You'd have your usual pitstops - a general store, a tavern, housing areas, a central authority, etc.

    You don't need any kinds of deep interactions with most NPCs, the majority will wander or stand around with text barks and the like. But talking to the tavern owner, you learn that the small isolationist community is going through a crisis. They are the descendants of the people who had originally followed the Former Avatar (alternatively, the Cult of the Codex) to the island. They turned out the way they are as a result of the magical experimentation the Former Avatar conducted in order to transcend the mortal plane. They believe themselves superior for it, and it shows, having increased mental and physical ability compared to other humanoids (something to take into account if you want to wipe them all out).

    They don't take kindly to outsiders, but the fact that you made your way past all the obstacles to reach them in search of The Codex earns you their begrudging respect. So they aren't outright hostile to you, or to anyone else who reaches their community.

    The crisis going on is their dwindling numbers. Inbreeding and a spike in the male to female ratio of the community is killing it off. This mirrors the stereotype of Codex being neckbeard virgins, etc. They don't know whether they can survive and fierce arguments between NPCs have occurred with one side arguing to co-exist with the outside world and the other side wishing to remain in isolation - their secrets and the values they stand for are worth more than their survival.

    This echoes the rise of Codex in the gaming community as a crowdsourcing machine and a place for news, interviews, etc vs the people who thinks that the Prestigious Magazine is declining by increasing the amount of social integration on the site and filling the News Section with posts about the latest Mass Effect, Dragon Age and other such popamole nonsense.

    Ideally the text barks ought to reflect this, in addition to general comments about how "everything is dung", there ought to be a group of NPCs that debate and bicker with each other, making arguments for and against isolation, with a guard coming to break it up periodically. This can be scripted to happen repeatedly, though it'd be nice to have a bit of variety/randomisation in their lines so it's not exactly the same argument each time.

    Anyways, the tavern owner directs you to the town's mayor if quizzed by the player on the matter further.

    "What's with all the questions? I'm not here to tell you my life story, I'm here to sell ale and meat of unspecified origins. If you're not going to buy anything, find the Mayor and waste his time."

    You talk to the Mayor about it and you find that he's styled himself as the Dark Underlord of the community. He seems pretty indifferent to the ongoing crisis, and more interested if you were impressed by his genius title (Underlord in an Underground community, geddit har har har).

    In the end, he mentions that perhaps a way to solve the issue without leaving isolation could be found within the pages of The Codex. You could then mention The Codex as a way to leave the Staglands and that you don't give two shits about his inbred community of stuck up elitist trolls. But as previously mentioned, he doesn't seem to care too much either way. You could demand to see The Codex for yourself, to which the Dark Underlord replies, "k".

    A passage behind him opens up and leads the player to a Labyrinthine Maze. The specifics of the maze (layout, challenges, encounters, etc) aren't really that important, but they stand between the player and The Codex. It's a dungeon crawl setup. That said, the previous idea of a Fallout 1 Glow reference would work in this context - The Glow was a fucking awesome dungeon, if non-traditional.

    As you explore the Labyrinth, you find relatively fresh bodies and pick journal notes off their bodies - this tells the tale of an intrepid group of adventurers who decided to become rich and famous while drinking together in an inn. How they came from all works of life, were of differing ages, careers and standing in the community. A bit of backstory on the band of adventurers and how they met their gruesome end. A nice Darklands reference, especially if some of their careers were specific to Darklands and no other game. It also explains the mystery of the large ship on the shoreline.

    At the end of it all, you come to a small room and on a pedestal in the middle, was The Codex.

    You flip open the book, and all you can read is one line, repeated over and over again.

    "hopw roewur ne"

    With a superior Linguistics skill, you can translate the jibberish into something you can understand for a small exp boost.

    "You don't even know what you don't know."

    Dejected and with nothing to show for it but the piles of loot, gems and gold pieces you obtained, you make your way back to town and meet DU.

    "So The Codex was a waste of time? Figures."

    Of course after that, there is still the quest itself with regards to whether the Codexians choose to die in isolation as inbred gentlemen :obviously: or to open themselves to the world and become Multikult to preserve their community. Not to mention how/why the island reappeared in the first place.

    For the former, I am thinking of a multi-stage branching questline that involves mostly convincing people of your opinion, dealing with espionage and violence, etc. The boat will be pivotal in the plot line (means of leaving, resources, etc). But I've got no specifics. You can introduce certain people from the Codex in the questline with quotes and contributions, that's up to Whalenought.

    Could have a variety of endings depending on how it plays out.

    As for the latter, that can stay unexplained or be integrated into the main story of Codexia's crisis, or another story altogether. IDK.


    tl;dr:

    An island with a small underground Codexian community, complete with a Labyrinthine dungeon crawl in a quest to find The Codex (a book) and leave the mortal realm and/or save glorious Codexia from itself. With C&C and branching questlines and allegories and references and stuffies.

    :codexisfor:
     
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