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  1. 3 likes
    If you've got me friended on Discord or Steam, you've probably seen that I've spent an awful lot of time in RPG Maker MV lately. Well, this thread is about what I've been doing in there. It all started a bit under a month ago, with this DM to @Saikazo Later that night in a call I had with him, I explained the idea of an RPG where the protagonist's class changes over the course of the game based on the actions you take, and how I wanted to set the system up. Then I started putting in some groundwork, and with almost a month since this initial DM and thirty bucks thrown at a certain plugin developer, I've got a game that's got the groundworks of playability set up in a way I'm pleased with (for now), and a wee bit of actual content to play through. This blog is here mostly so I can talk about game dev stuff that I either don't know who to DM about it, or is too wordy for me to want to send it in a DM in the first place, but it's also here to track the actual development of the game (which still needs a title) and show off what I've been up to lately. And just to get some crediting stuff out of the way in advance since people deserve to be credited for their work, terms of use from a few parties compel me to mention the following: RPG Maker MV is developed by Gotcha Gotcha Games, a subsidiary of KADOKAWA If you see any sort of battle screen or pictures of an enemy, the enemy was designed by Aekashics unless otherwise specified Any mentions of plugins (there will be lots of this) refer to plugins created by Yanfly, unless otherwise specified I wanna lead off these blog posts with music, and any music I post here will be music that's also in the game, all taken from PeriTune's copyright-free music library Table of contents
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    Tempest took a deep breath as he let go of the shadows holding one of the now-defunct serpents down, stumbling to a knee as he did. The ongoing chaos and the restraints on the snake’s movement had tired him out, the boy struggling to push himself standing as he stumbled slightly. He glanced up towards the remaining snake that had sprouted wings, the storm of debris rushing towards him being met with the combined efforts of Ibuz's winds and his own shadows rising up in front of them, only to fall almost immediately as the debris was shoved to the sides. He stumbled, taking a few steps as he glanced up at the snake. The others were coming up with ideas, but it was Kiyoko who seemed to have a solid plan. He listened to the brief conversation between the sudden hero and Kiyoko... "Perfectly understandable. Anyone else? I can't write and cash the check, so to speak, and while I've got a backup plan I'd rather it not come to that." He took a breath as he glanced towards the speaker, his brow raising as he thought it over for all of five seconds. His hand clenched as he darted a bit closer to her, raising his hand, “Let’s do it. Better to lose a few years than lose them all, right?” He made his way towards the book, he didn’t like doing this, but he placed his bandaged hand down on it anyway, getting a sense of anxiety as he did. It was probably better, at least he had to hope that his initial assumption was right, “Take it away, just hope it isn’t too painful.” “Oh, I certainly hope it isn’t painful. I’ve never done this before, so I wouldn’t know. Now, just take a deep breath and leave the rest to me.” As Tempest placed his hand on the book, Kiyoko nudged it here and there to get it into just the right position. And then… “♠♣☺‼¶” From within the pages of the book, small, fleshy, finger-like tendrils sprung up, gripping Tempest’s hand to lock it in place. To any onlookers, however, it would just look as if he was incredibly good at keeping his hand in that one spot. Then, from beneath the boy’s palm, a pair of jaws unhinged, clamping themselves around the hand and giving the feeling of sucking something out of him, though calling it a feeling was the best he’d be able to manage. After a brief moment, the tendrils and teeth retracted, and Tempest’s hand looked none the worse for wear. “And there we have it,” Kiyoko smiled. “Quick and relatively painless, like getting a shot.” Tempest drew his hand back once that sensation finally ended, a little mumble escaping him as he brought his hand up. He didn't know how to describe that, it was uncomfortable at the very least, and he was glad that it was over. He unwrapped the bandages around it to get a better look at it, flexing his fingers as he did, “...Seems fine, I can use them alright. That’s all that matters right now, you got what you need to take care of the snake?” “Absolutely. Observe.” “☼☻‼♣↕▬♣” From the pages of the Necronomicon came a distinct red glow. The book, empowered by her fellow Fount’s payment of a part of their own lifespan, would for the moment be capable of greater feats than normal. In various points around the serpent, the ever-familiar rips in the air itself appeared, a large eye emerging from each one. Each trained on Stratford’s newest creation, and each unblinking in its presence. “☺♫♦☼☻♀○¶♣∟☺¶♣” With no further prompting, each of the eyes surrounding the airborne serpent began to glow, seeming to take the red light away from the book Kiyoko had used to call upon them. After only a brief moment to absorb the power Tempest had offered, each eye unleashed a powerful beam of energy, aimed at the serpent that had warranted their attention. It squirmed in the air, apparently in pain, as pieces of it were burned and cut off, falling to the ground. For a moment, it wrapped itself in its wings, before bursting then open once again. A golden glow was now visible from within its toothy maw, and with a sweeping arc it fired an enormous beam of light, hitting each of the eyes that had made themselves present around it. With otherworldly screeches, the portals closed, leaving behind only tar like blood that fell from where they once were. “Oh, my. It may be time for Plan B after all.” “Guess it’s tougher than the first two were…” the heroine muttered as she rubbed her chin, before turning to Tempest, “Hey, I owe you one. Thanks for covering for me.” Tempest took a deep breath, nodding his head towards the newcomer as he did, "I just wish it worked a bit better. I guess that was a waste of time." He brought his hands up as he looked around the battlefield, "Whatever! I'm not ready to die, so let's go." His fingers came together as shadows around the fallen rubble began to rise upwards into the air, tips sharpening into fine points as he lashed them towards the airborne serpent. Any that hit splintered inside of it, followed by him dropping to one knee as the shadows began to pull the creature downwards... Or at the very least, providing some resistance to it trying to climb further into the air. "...I can't do much more, hopefully this helps..."
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    When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. -Proverbs 23:1-3 (NIV)“Okay, well, we can do that.” Melissa didn’t entirely follow along with the long list of items she had just been provided, especially once Morgan chimed in and added more, but she could manage it. She had help from her angels, after all, and most of the stuff was right in front of them as Fen said it anyway. There was a little bit of trouble as one of the produce bag dispensers didn’t seem to have been appropriately perforated so she just pulled out, like, one long string of bag that just didn’t tear off, but they managed eventually. The deli section was a bit harder since you had to interact with other people to get the exact meats you wanted, but that was what people who weren’t Melissa were for. Was that why she didn’t have as much experience with meats in general? Probably, now that she was thinking about it. But the thought didn’t last long, as they pushed the cart further into the store and started running into the myriad snack and prepackaged foods available. Melissa recognized most of them -- there was everything from canned beans to pasta to oatmeal to granola bars to boxed dinners to baking supplies -- and the ones she didn’t recognize still marketed themselves with the same pizzazz as anything else. They were eye-catching enough that she made a mental note to look some of them up later. At one point, Melissa looked over the cart and commented, “With all this stuff it feels like there could be a pretty good stew,” but the thought, despite being out loud, wasn’t really to anyone in particular, it was just an observation. She didn’t know how to make a stew, unless stone soup counted and even that was more of a metaphor for cooperation than an actual meal. The more relevant vocalizations came later, first when they reached the section with all the chips and crackers and cookies and, most relevantly, the cheese puffs. There were so many different kinds! “Do you know which of these Percival might like?” she said, but she still tossed one of each bag into the cart, not wanting to pick the wrong one without knowing. The other was when they got to the freezer section, where Melissa discovered yet another multiversal constant. “Oh, they have ice cream here!” she said. “Should we put it in the cart or should we see if there are ice cream shops nearby and get some there?”
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    Endurance of Heart & Soul Saga OP - Vandalize by One OK Rock File 1 - A Heart of Gold
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    File 7 - Where the Rubber Meets the Road - Emerald Finale
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    Number 65: The Fount of Refreshment Number 128: The Fount of Poison WIP Number 62: The Fount of Rage WIP
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    --- When Elita opened her eyes, she was alone in the office. The signs of the ongoing battle had disappeared, and a deafening silence hung in the air. There was no lights on within the room, the only source of illumination was what seemed to be moonlight breaking in through the curtains. With a little sigh, Elita brought a hand to her head for a moment. There was a searing pain, she remembered, but it seemed to have let up for the time being. She took a glance around the room, the fact that everything had gone dark was a concern. She doubted she had been out that long, at least… She saw little reason to assume it. Sei would have moved her somewhere more fitting, unless Sei had perished against Stratford. In which case, there was little chance she would remain alive herself. For a split second, she thought she saw the silhouette of another in the room, but when she turned there was nothing. She felt fingers run through her hair, but once again could find no perpetrator. Then she heard the voice, whispered in her ear seemingly from nowhere. "How did you get in here, mon coeur?" Elita wasn’t particularly fond of feeling fingers running through her hair, a brief spike of annoyance coming from her as she hummed lightly, “I suppose that would depend on where ‘here’ is, exactly. I suppose I just walked in, like anyone else would.” Despite the annoyance, her voice was calm… Though the corner of her mouth tugged upwards at the end of her sentence. "You're very interesting," the voice came from in front of Elita now, with the unseen fingers brushing gently against her neck, "I think we will make magnifique friends, what's your name?" Elita brushed her hand across her shoulder briefly, before letting her fingers push a strand of loose hair behind her ear. When she spoke again, her voice remained formal, “You may call me Ms. Thomas. A first name basis with someone I can’t even see? How unthinkable. If you would like to properly introduce yourself, I’ll do the same.” An unseen fingernail hooked itself underneath the strand of hair Elita had tucked away, lightly tugging it back out of place, "Oh, I'd love to introduce myself, but how am I supposed to do that when I'm not even here…" by the end of her sentence, her voice had faded into nothingness. Elita felt a sudden chill pass through her body, but after a few seconds that too had passed. Once again, she was alone. Elita let out a small breath as she shook her head, “Perhaps we’ll meet properly later then. Until then.” She stood straight as she focused her emotions… Then put her hand on the wall, closing her eyes as she tried to sense any emotions, anywhere inside of the building. “Something strange has happened… Where is Mr. Stratford? Or more importantly, Sei…” She didn’t wish to say it, but she doubted there was much of a chance of Stratford surviving the encounter with the state he had been in, but Sei had been doing well to avoid that fate. Beneath her feet, Elita felt the floor begin to rumble, lightly at first, but it only took a few seconds for it to build to a full quake. Opening her eyes, Elita saw the walls of the office quickly closing in, the entire room shrinking around her, threatening to crush her to death. Her focus didn’t break immediately, the rumbling floor only did enough to throw her off once the full quake had begun. A scowl crossed her face as she mumbled lightly to herself, “Whatever is happening here, I’d prefer it to be over quickly…” Her breathing hitched for a moment as the walls began to close in around her, the first real sign of her composure breaking at all as she focused her emotions, projecting them towards the walls as they drew closer. If they were actually closing in, well… It wouldn’t do much, but if it was a continued assault like what had been happening earlier… It might slow them down at least. Unfortunately, this was an entirely different assault than what she had encountered minutes earlier. The walls closed in until they met her body, and in a split second of excruciating pain, passed through her, collapsing together within her. Suddenly, she was surrounded by nothing but blackness. Nothing to see, nothing to hear, no sensation whatsoever. After a few seconds, Elita did come to feel one specific sensation. One coded within humans since birth to fear. Elita could feel that she was falling. Falling was fine. Darkness was familiar to her. She didn’t appreciate the sudden pain, but there was nothing she could do about it now. Discerning emotions was easier when she couldn’t see, and it was rare when she could close her eyes and not feel anyone’s emotions swirling around her, in a sense, she could almost relax. Falling, perhaps, was the tower crumbling around her. If that was how she was to perish, she could accept that. It meant Stratford was likely not rampaging anymore, and even if they had been unable to save him, there were plenty of people who weren’t at risk anymore. Her own life exchanged for that, while not optimal, was fine. ---
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    "Think you can pull a building down on this thing with that book? Doing it by hand is pretty tough, even for me!" Kiyoko's eyes lit up at the request. "I make no guarantees, but I can most certainly try!" She had a plan, and it wasn't "pulling" so much as "calculated chopping down", but in the time it took her to open the Necronomicon and get everything ready, the circumstances had changed quite a bit. No longer was pulling a building down on the snake a viable option, as it had turned its fallen bretheren into wings and taken to the skies above! An interesting trick, and certainly one of the more impressive things Kiyoko had seen lately. Then it tried to throw a pile of debris at the gathered Founts, only for some boy's blue friend to dispel the danger. This magic genie - he sure looked like one, anyway - was no Old God, but he sure was convenient! "With the debris not currently trying to bury us now, does anyone else have a plan to stop the junk Quetzalcoatl?" Hm. I believe there was... Flipping through the pages of the Necronomicon, Kiyoko found just what she was looking for. One of the many tricks within the book's repetoire, but one she hadn't wanted to use on herself. Giving the group a nod, Kiyoko gave this familiar-looking boy as good of an answer as she could manage. "I may be able to at least hold it in place, but with its larger size and doubtlessly greater power, I need a volunteer first, who isn't afraid of losing some time off their lifespan." Holding out the book, Kiyoko gave the open pages a light pat, and said "Just put your hand on the book, and leave the rest to me. Would anyone like to step up to the plate?" Turning her gaze and open book toward Diana, she further asked "Perhaps a heroic figure who suddenly fell out of the sky?" "Uh... not so sure I can pay that, sorry," Diana's brow furrowed as she gave an awkward laugh, "After all, that's a bit... steep. Maybe someone else can afford to?" "Perfectly understandable. Anyone else? I can't write and cash the check, so to speak, and while I've got a backup plan I'd rather it not come to that."
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    ←Previous Post -- Next Post→ Week Twenty-Two -- The Incholate Flesh My zeal for blood rituals and summoning rites had begun to ebb, as each attempt invariably brought only failure and disappointment. Progress was halting, and the rapidly accumulating surplus of wasted flesh had become burdensome. Unlike last week, this team was easy to put together. Three adventurers with strong bleeds, a stress heal to get Dismas back down (not that he particularly needs it), and Junia to run support. Our trinket sets are getting stronger all the while as well, even if it’s a little difficult to show that off. I’ve tried to make a point of noting the particularly powerful pickups, and perhaps in one of the off-weeks, I’ll talk about what I tend to look for in these little doodads. The run itself is pretty easy. That happens when you have a party as upgraded as it can be. Even better, Dismas got a damage buff early on from some suspiciously-aged alcohol, which meant he was regularly dealing dozens (plural) of damage. Not much could stand in the way. Though Sethera did get hit with some spider vomit, so it wasn’t all great. Pretty soon, we found ourselves up against the Flesh. The Flesh is at once the most chaotic and yet the simplest boss in the game. You can even see the four things it can do in this screenshot here. The heart in front will heal it, the head bites you to inflict bleeding, the spine will stun you, and the butt will give you a blight attack. That’s all each part will do. The stats won’t change either, so you can reasonably predict the order these things will attack. What does change, though, is the boss itself, changing its forms every round to new ones. For example, here’s what it changed into in my second round: So that can be annoying if it decides to give you damage that you didn’t adequately prepare for. For example, I spent our antivenoms on a few spider fights before making it to the boss, so those two butts back there (talk about a beast with two backs!) could pose a problem if things started to spiral out of control. The good news is that, unlike some other bosses who would just take up the four enemy rows, each of these parts counts as its own enemy, and you only need to kill one of them. They even have a shared health pool, and it’s not larger than any of the other bosses in this game. This is why Sethera the Jester and Damian the Flagellant are so good here. They both have an attack that hits two things and inflicts bleeding, so both of them have their effectiveness doubled here. It is Dismas who gets the kill, though. The rest of the dungeon is unremarkable, though we do find a secret room with loads of money in it, which basically funds all the pre-run upgrades and provisioning by itself, so that’s great. Next week, we’re fighting The Siren, which I’ll actually be trying a strategy I haven’t tried before, and we’ll also be introducing one more element to the game, one more timer we have to deal with. Until then, -r ←Previous Post -- Next Post→
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    We Have Reason to Be Afraid, This Is a Terrible Place Nil nodded. It is the same elsewhere else on your travels here, she said. The gods have gifted you power, and some have even given you training, but never the understanding of what it is that power is for. Perhaps you could have lingered on an island longer, but then you might have missed the happenings of other places. The past is sealed from you, there is no returning to it. The reason I tell you these things, Nil said, is because, despite your assertions to the contrary, I am still only a god. And if you continue to believe otherwise, accept this: It wasn’t a request, it was a command. Like other gods, I cannot directly impact the world. Whispering across the wind and manifesting in certain spots is about all I can do. If I could end the world even with the gods and our rules holding me back, I wouldn’t need you. It would have already happened. She straightened her back, and she turned her head to face both of them again. “Need” is perhaps too strong a word. But you did have to see how the world was. That is actually something the other gods and I agree on. We only differ in that they thought you had to know of my influence, while I thought you had to see the futility of your actions. I could show you more. I could show you images of Andalou’s inhabitants using Joy to fuel their destructive revel just a little bit longer. I could make you wonder why David placed your coin on an altar or how you spread that law of cycles just a bit further. But I will get to the point. My gift to you is perhaps the most impactful thing you can do, to the gods, to Naviim, and, yes, to yourselves as well. It is this: ca̼ͬnt͇ͮ̔͡͡ić̴̨̻̊u̹̾͝ma̷d̮̆ ̪s̝͉̙̉u̡͈̽̒m͜͏̣̅ͯm͝umͤ̀ͅ ͬ̂̚m̌ͯ̓u̡͓͋͟nd̛i̳̞͗. As Nil uttered the completed sentence, the whole lighthouse, no, the whole island shook, reverberating from the impact of the words at play. It took several moments after the utterance for it all to subside. You already know what it does, Nil said. Do with it what you will. OOC
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    Yui made me make this blog post. Anyways, I have a problem. It's a real problem that plagues many an indie game developer. The game you wanna make is too big. This is the exact process I went through. "Man, I really wanna make a fighting game." "Fuck, it's too big. Well, I'll work to it, make a smaller game first. RPG with a lot of quests it is!" Starts on game "...This is too big. I need a smaller game." Begins on gacha RPG "... This might be too big. I might need a smaller game." And so, with the power of shitposting, Yui and I devised an amazing RPG. An RPG to defy all conventions! And by defy, I mean, stick to conventions all the indie RPGs are doing! I present to thee... The Railroad RPG I would talk more about it, but I have been reinstalling plugins... for two days!!! This blog does exist now though, expect a better post soon.
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    "If the Shoe Fits..." - Some Ideas I Borrowed from Other Games (and regional diversity) It's been a highly unproductive week over here. I was having some mapping troubles (I fixed it earlier today by taking the option I didn't want to take, but wound up having to in order to avoid burning out), so after several days of just not wanting to work on the game, one conversation where I sparked to life the flames of inspiration in fellow RPG Maker user @Saikazo who I think it would be very cool if he also made a thread like this, and a bit of time finally spent setting the problems in my own game straight so I can continue work, production is back on track, and the infrastructure for the second of our three starter quests should be ready soon-ish. In the meantime, I wanted to do a post here, so let's talk about other games for a moment. Games that I think are pretty neat for one reason or another, and I've borrowed a page or two from their playbooks to use in my own. Legend of Zelda. I've talked about it already a couple posts ago, but I took some degree of inspiration from Legend of Zelda and to a lesser extent Pokémon with how to approach dungeons. Most dungeons have some sort of small gimmick relevant to a number of puzzles you need to clear in order to get through, and in Legend of Zelda fashion, there's generally a miniboss of some sort you'll have to defeat. The use of keys and the Boss Key in particular (even if I did split it into two pieces) was especially inspired by Legend of Zelda here. Final Fantasy. 14 in particular, but there's also a bit in common with 7 by accident. The idea of Tove's class changing over the course of the game was directly inspired by Final Fantasy XIV's job system, where each of the starting classes in the game are able to get a related job stone at level 30, unlocking an array of new abilities to take with them as they level up through the rest of the game. Not intentional was some shared similarities with 7, namely in the battle system. For the unfamiliar, Final Fantasy VII uses a pseudo-turn-based system where each character in a battle has a gauge that fills up before they can take an action, with the speed of the gauge filling up being based on the character's own speed. This game uses the same type of system, but it isn't because of Final Fantasy VII; rather, it's something I happened to notice later on. You could argue that the augments are similar to materia as well, but I'm not counting that because... Monster Hunter. Monster Hunter has two features that I realized were similar to what I was doing before choosing to embrace it fully rather than shy away and try to do something unique. Main story progression and decorations. Putting the latter first for pacing's sake, decorations are similar to materia in Final Fantasy; you put them in slots in your armor and get new skills. Unlike Final Fantasy, however, different types of slots exist (admittedly, these are just for decorations of different sizes usually), and also unlike Final Fantasy, decorations give you passive abilities instead of the stats provided by materia. This one was just a coincidence and still is, but I'd handily say what I'm doing is more akin to decorations than materia. What isn't a coincidence is how I'm progressing the main story. In Monster Hunter - at least in the beginning of it, anyway - you progress the main story by completing a certain number of quests from the board, then clearing a special quest that unlocks after you hit your quota. Clear that, and the next tier of quests unlocks, which you have to repeat the cycle through. Setting up main story progression like this happens to be very convenient for me as someone with zero knowledge of javascript (the language RPG Maker MV and its games run on), since I can give the player a set of quests all at once, then have them get the next major quest only after clearing all of them. For example, the three starter quests I've alluded to in a few posts are the first tier of quests, and once you complete all of them, you can get the first special quest that progresses the game further. Whenever I release a 0.1 version of the game, it will have all four of these quests. I quite like this system. On another note since I don't like the length of this post with just talk about ideas, here's another thing that's been on my dev mind lately. Differentiating different regions in the world. Upon this map I have hastily scrawled some borders. These differentiate not just nations, but entire regions of the world. For example, the western area is split into two kingdoms (you can tell where one ends and the other begins by the big wall surrounding the northern one). Saying your world has different region is all well and good, but if the only difference is the tiles you use, are they really that different? Luckily, RPG Maker has a feature for precisely this! You can tag certain areas of the map as different regions, and from there, you can also make it so that different troops of enemies only spawn in certain regions. For example, there's a change in the icy isles up north that you might face off with a yeti, but you won't find them anywhere else. That's not good enough for me either. Different regions need different philosophies behind their town designs, if not different tilesets entirely in some regions. That's an easy and very visual way to help make different parts of the world really feel like you're going somewhere new. For an easy example I can provide with the resources currently available to me, let's look at the shop areas in the still-very-uncreatively-named Holy City, and the equally-uncreatively-named Castle Town, which is in a different part of the world. Even if I were to "defrost" the Holy City, these would be two places that feel distinctly different from each other, even though the buildings in both towns are just glorified rectangles for the most part. That's how I feel looking at them, anyway. I need to do this a few more times over the course of creating an entire world (the MV Trinity resource pack should be massively helpful for this!). There's a lot more to consider when making different parts of a game world feel different from each other, but we'd be here all day if I were to go into detail on all of it, and I'd like to go to bed sometime tonight, so I'll wrap up the post here. To close off my ramblings of the night, here's a fun bonus screencap that has nothing to do with any of what I just said. There's a plugin on itch.io called MV3D, which causes the game to be rendered in a 2.5-dimensional style. There's also a free demo version of the plugin available, so I decided to give it a try. It... didn't go quite as I'd hoped. I will not be using MV3D in this project.
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    arnold palmer half and half iced tea/lemonade mug root beer a&w root beer canada dry ginger ale
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    Coca-Cola Diet Coke Blueberry Acai Peace Tea Green Tea Mogu Mogu Lychee (if drinks you chew count)
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    ←Previous Post Week Twenty-Seven -- The Sodden Crew Prying eyes had become a nuisance along the old road, and so I undertook to receive my most curious deliveries by way of marine shipments. A sheltered jetty was accessible by a narrow stone stair off the back of the manor, and a discreet system of pulleys could hoist even the heaviest prizes up the rock face from a securely tied dinghy below. Well, that’s a good start to the spooky season. Even if the general strategy for this run has been “don’t use the stress-relief activities unless the adventurer is afflicted,” and therefore this event isn’t particularly threatening, it does give us a Halloween backdrop to this week as we prepare to face off against a quartet of zombie sailors. You can really tell how insignificant you are against the uncaring vastness of the cosmos. Anyway, here’s the plan: There’s a slight mistake here, in that I didn’t exactly remember how The Crew fights actually worked and didn’t think to double-check a wiki. I would not recommend an Arbalest or Musketeer for this fight for reasons that will become obvious. You really need people who can hit the first enemy row, too, and neither of them are effective at it at all. Besides these reasons, I wanted a second ancillary healer to back Paracelsus up in a pinch, and she can also serve as the initiation for the Mark tactics that Skaia and Joan facilitate. The actual dungeon leading up to the fight isn’t all that exciting. We got another secret room, so we’re really regaining all that gold we were spending before, and Skaia got a bit better, both through finding one of those soothing corals and being judged by Joan for his sins. This damages Skaia in exchange for a buff so I assume Joan does that “hold your hand to the fire and the Light will cleanse all impurities thing” I know, I know. I said “quartet” earlier, and this lineup clearly only depicts three crewmen. And true, this crew gets three actions per turn, and takes up three spaces, but that’s just because the fourth hasn’t been called up with the very first command: “All Hands On Deck!” All Hands On Deck does two things: It summons the fourth member, the Drowned Anchorman, and pulls a party member to the front of the lineup. This is why Margaret was a bad pick for this venture, though she thankfully resists the pull forward on this particular occasion, given how useless she and ABC are in that position. That did leave Joan to take the Anchorman’s attack in her stead, though. This is the gimmick of the fight. Being chained up by the anchor immobilizes the adventurer, making it so they can’t leave the front row, and also brings them into the realm of the drowned, inflicting a decent amount of stress damage every turn (that is, every time someone does something, not merely every round) and healing the Crew for a small amount as well. In this way, it’s a reverse Hag fight, where you want to kill the Drowned Anchorman as quickly as possible to mitigate the healing and stress. Thankfully, the Anchorman only has 14 HP at this level, so both Skaia and Joan can take care of it pretty quickly, just in time for the Crew to summon another one with another All Hands On Deck. The crew itself has a few more tricks it can do. Drink with the Dead is a stress attack, Boarding Clutch can inflict some bleed, and Mutiny is a debuff, but these are manageable so long as you don’t get caught in the attrition game the Crew wants to play with you and get forced to spend turns simply moving your party back into position. In the end, although I made fun of myself already, it’s Margaret who gets the kill on the boss, so never punished, I guess. I do have to note, this week finally pushed the Crimson Court infestation level to “High.” I don’t know what I’m going to do with that information, though. I don’t think we’re prepared enough to actually deal with that, so I’m probably just going to ignore it and take my chances. We do have a decent amount of blood stockpiled, so it’s not like Alhazred is going to die of thirst any time soon. How I ignore it, though, I haven’t quite decided yet. See you next week. -r ←Previous Post
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    And we get another trailer revealing…
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    RIP Coolio. He will now forever rest in Gangsta's Paradise... 59 is way too young
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    Keres had thought Lindow was about to run away and leave Ryia behind. When he turned back she realized that many of them were already upon Ryia. Keres half stumbled her way forward in her haste. Without even a plan in mind. She noticed some of them branch off towards Lindow but there were still far too many around the Earth Chosen. Eight in total to be specific. Keres sent a wave of water towards the four on the right side yet her magic seemed to have no effect on them at all and the water just passed through harmlessly. The eight phantoms bore down on Ryia. Each ready to piece her through with their strangely physical weapons. The water mage glanced over towards the other side. The doorway hadn't changed at all. She wondered if there was anything at the other end that could help. But it was much too far for her to reach it before the attack. Just as she saw them begin their thrusts a thought came to Keres's mind. She had watched what happened with Lindow early and an idea sprang up from it. As they attacked she tried her magic once more. Bringing water down on one on each left and right side. This time the water seemed to have some effect. Not as strong as she might hope but it did seem to weigh them down essentially and their attacks stopped suddenly. Though that still left six more attacking the girl. Keres called out "They're....somewhat physical, when they attack!" As Lindow trampled on the flower he would feel a cold chill through his body and a brief noise. Almost like a shriek but from far, far, away. And as he slashed at the bark one of the phantoms suddenly vanished. However before he could celebrate the seeming victory he felt something grab his leg. The phantom that had vanished appearing right under his feet and grabbing onto his legs with two hands. As this occurred the other three swooped down at him rapidly and thrust their weapons. A glowing barrier appeared at Lindow's side and two of the spears bounce off them. However the third struck true and Lindow felt himself impaled from behind. A cold chill spread through his body as the spear pierced entirely through his back. The attack somehow managed to avoid any organs but it was still quite the injury. And when the phantom pulled the spear back the wound only grew more chilled and numb feeling than before.
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    Dev Update #3: Chilling Out - The First Dungeon's Completion and What I Learned After making the system changes to EXP I brought up in the last post, lots of changing how much EXP enemies drop in both the tutorial and ice dungeons, and a lot of playtesting in the ice dungeon to make sure the exp values were right and the enemies weren't too powerful (one of them was; more on that in a bit), I'm happy to announce that I've finished my first main dungeon in this game! The main purpose of this dungeon - aside from its place in the main questline - was to help me get a feel for how I want to handle dungeon design in this game. This is where I'm taking a page or two out of Legend of Zelda's book, because I really like the way they do dungeons in that series. In the unlikely event that a reader in my staggering audience of five people has never played a Legend of Zelda game before, the way dungeons work both there and here is simple. Dungeons tend to have a unique gimmick that you need to use to solve some sort of puzzle. In Legend of Zelda, this is usually done with the aid of some sort of item that's vital to your ability to clear the dungeon and defeat its boss, but since I don't have that kind of power in RPG Maker, gimimcks are a bit more simple this time. In that aspect, it might be better to think of them like Pokémon gyms, that just happen to have monsters who are out to make you and your friends Very Very Dead™. Speaking of which! Another thing that tends to happen in Zelda dungeons is that you have to fight some sort of miniboss, usually to acquire the dungeon's relevant item. I like the idea of dungeons having some sort of miniboss, and I also wanted to do something at least somewhat unique with my dungeon design philosophy, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone here. (speaking of which, the miniboss here is a bird!) Let's go into the database once again to see what I'm up to! Much like in Zelda, there's also a Boss Key you'll have to acquire to enter the final room and fight the boss. In this game, however, you have to essentially collect two of them and combine the halves into a whole. If you have Fragments L and R, you can put them together for the finished Boss Key, and intrude upon the boss's inner sanctum! I was going to have the screenshot starting this post off be from the boss fight at first, but I decided it would be more fun to take a picture of the door instead, and leave people to wonder what they could be up against. "So what's this got to do with minibosses?" you may wonder. Well, the general rule I've decided upon is that Fragment R is acquired by beating a miniboss, while Fragment L is acquired by other means. This isn't a set in stone hard rule though. There may be some dungeons where both pieces are acquired via puzzles and the like, or some where you get both halves from minibosses! The next dungeon I have to work on constitutes a case of the latter, in fact. With all this being said though, the dungeon here isn't particularly complex. Its puzzles are rather easy, its mazes aren't much better, and the layout is pretty straightforward. I plan to make more complex dungeons as I progress and learn more about how I want to do dungeon design, but it's for the better that this is a simple one, both because it's one of the first real dungeons you'll do, and also because the boss is actually a bit stronger than I expected, just by how the mechanics are designed. I've been playtesting everything with full recruitment and the use of augments, so solo Tove runs might be nigh-on impossible without a lot of grinding >.>; (I'm not playtesting that (yet)) As for what I learned. The biggest thing that comes to mind is that I need to consider not just an enemy's individual strengths, but how they interact with other enemies in an encounter. There is no greater example of that than this fuzzy Snowbat. Snowbats are fast little fuckers, and are a bit beefier than their appearance suggests. The important thing, however, is their speed. This dungeon also features an enemy called Ice Taurus, which has access to a skill called Roar. Roar increases the ATK stat of all characters in the user's party. There's only one enemy configuration (called a troop) that features Snowbat and Ice Taurus, but it has two bats. As it turns out, when Ice Taurus used Roar in my recent playtests of this game, combined with the default ATK growths from the Enemy Levels plugin and the high speed of Snowbat, they became lightning-fast nukes that were virtually impossible to deal with. So, I turned down their ATK growth quite a bit, and gave Ice Taurus a small slap on the wrist too for good measure. In hindsight, I think I turned it down a bit too much, but I don't want to hyperfixate on getting one specific enemy's ATK stat just right when I haven't even released a playable model of the game yet. This applies to player characters too, by the way! I need to more carefully consider when characters learn different moves, and make sure to not accidentally break anything like I already did. See, with the way I have skills set up, characters learn a skill every 5 levels (I might have them get two every 10 levels; currently undecided on this and it would be something I do later on if I go for it, shortly before or after the release of a playable 0.1). Currently, the only character you can recruit into your party is Thyra, who also is the only character you can recruit without having to do a relevant quest first. At Level 10, Tove and Thyra respectively learn Prayer and Double Strike. Double Strike does exactly what's written on the tin - hit an enemy twice - but Prayer increases both the ATK and MAT stats of any character in your party. As an unintended result, the party powerspikes hard at Level 10, since you can feed Thyra extra stats and let her pop off with boosted Double Strikes. This will be fixed by the time I release a 0.1 version of the game unless I decide it's funny enough to keep around anyway, though I may have to re-test this boss as a result since I relied heavily on that combo to just kill them fast. Which makes me think maybe I should move Prayer up to a later level... Another thing I learned was that it's really hard to do mazes well in RPG Maker unless you dedicate a lot of space to them. There's three small mazes in this dungeon, and to be honest, they all kinda suck, and I might replace them with some ice slide puzzles (the dungeon's gimmick, done with Yanfly's Slippery Tiles plugin) in the future. This means that moving forward, I shouldn't really think about mazes unless they are explicitly the focus of the dungeon. Which probably won't happen, let's be real, because maze dungeons kinda suck. Overall, the process of creating and playtesting this first dungeon has taught me a lot about how I need to consider my design philosophies moving forward, both in terms of the dungeons themselves and the players & enemies going through them. It's been quite an interesting experience, and I'll try to keep these lessons in mind moving forward.
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    Like the Howling Glory of the Darkest Winds, This Voice Was Thunderous and the Words Holy, Tangling Their Way Around Our Hearts and Clutching Our Innocent Awe Nil remained unmoving, though the fire behind her roared with seemingly even more intensity than it had before. I am aware, she said. If you are looking for a god or goddess with the natural cycle of life included as part of their theology, I would suggest looking elsewhere. Nuumu, perhaps? Or Mor? Even Laeta has included a part of it, as I am sure someone must have told you by now. Did her eyes betray a knowing look just then? Did she slightly smirk at her own implication? If you are looking for a god or goddess with negative connotations, I can name some of those as well, if you like. For example, what would the world be without thievery? Without the very concept of wealth? Can you not imagine a world instead where everything belongs to everyone and meaningful decisions are left to the people involved? Would that not be a better world? There certainly would be fewer islands like Sindalium. But then, there would be no need for Hinder, would there? Far be it from me to judge you, of course, or your patron too harshly, but I think you should extend me the same courtesy. I am simply acting on your -- humanity’s -- beliefs. Every pantheon needs an apocalypse story, anyway, and, as a Muse, I do get to know how it ends. This story will end with the stars going out, Nil said, and, as if to demonstrate her point, the bonfire behind her flickered, extinguishing for a moment before roaring back to life. Now, let me ask you a question: The way you asked that question, perhaps it is my own biases, but it seemed like you think you can stop me. How do you expect to do that when all you have done since the beginning is further my own goals? Or do you somehow deny it? OOC
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    Well, I guess this is a pretty significant change in game mechanics, so... Dev Update #2: Un-Tipping the Scales - Rebalancing The Game So That Physical Damage Doesn't Fall Off (and improving tooltip clarity) I was hoping the next dev update would be something along the lines of "I've finished this ice dungeon you see above", but it's not. See, I was playtesting the dungeon and noticed something was off. Physical damage felt... really weak. Even though Tove is specialized for physical damage in the playtest the above pic came from, she still deals about the same amount of damage with her basic attacks or Luma I (basic light spell; she unlocks it at Level 5). This is all about to get a bit technical with numbers involved, so buckle up and get ready to dive a bit deeper into how the combination of RPG Maker's method of handling damage and Yanfly's Enemy Levels plugin caused me to have to rebalance the entire game only a month in. Because if I didn't do this early on, it would be exponentially more work to deal with later. Any skill that deals damage has a formula for its damage. This can involve flat numbers or any sort of math you want. For example, there are bombs you can get and use in this game that deal a flat 1000 damage, and the formula is precisely that: 1000. No math, no stats, just a clean 1000 to hurt people with. Otherwise, there's some stuff I should explain first before I start spitting out formulae in this post and leave people wondering what the hell is going on. The gist of the terms I'm about to use is as follows. "a" and "b" refer to the person using the skill and its target(s), respectively Any set of three letters refers to a character's stats; the ones we'll be seeing today are atk, def, mat, and mdf a.atk refers to the user's attack stat, as an example of what you're about to see a lot of I'll be putting damage formulas [in brackets] and bolding them to help them stand out a bit better from the rest of my incoherent rambling Now, the default formula for a basic attack in RPG Maker MV is [a.atk * 4 - b.def * 2], which is all well and good. However, that's built-in. I wrote the formulae for magic damage myself, based roughly on that. Spells use [a.mat * 4 - b.mdf] instead, or [a.mat * 4 - b.mdf * 1.5] in the case of AoE spells (exception: wind spells reduce the mat multiplier to 2 since they hit twice (higher ranks will hit more times)). This doesn't sound like a big deal at first, since I can just remember to double an enemy's defense, right? Wrong, and it's got to do with that Enemy Levels plugin I talked about before! Long story boring, it simulates enemy level growth by calculating your party's average level (or other criteria, if you so choose), then increases an enemy's "level" accordingly, upping their stats based on a formula in the process. That formula is [base * (1 + (level - 1) * rate) + (flat * (level - 1))] for every stat by default, and I'm not very math-savvy so I'm not going to touch that formula. Instead, I've had to touch growth rates. The picture you're seeing is after I've made some adjustments, though. By default, the flat growth for DEF is 2.5 instead of the 1.5 I lowered it to, and the MaxHP growth is 50, though I wound up nudging that back up from 20 in the middle of typing this post once I realized enemies were now too squishy. So, what's all this mean, you may wonder? Well, I reduced the DEF flat growth to 1.5 to keep a sense of parity with MDF, to make it easier to maintain the balance between physical and magic damage. However, because of the default formula of [a.atk * 4 - b.def * 2], physical damage begins falling off hard after the first five levels or so, meaning I had to change it to [a.atk * 4 - b.def] to match magic spells. But wait, there's more! Because now that I've changed the b.def part of the equation, everyone's damage on default attacks has effectively been doubled. Which means I have to replay everything so far (admittedly there's not much, which is why I started doing this as soon as I noticed the issue instead of putting it off) a couple more times and tweak enemies accordingly, to make sure the relatively squishy start-of-game Tove doesn't get murdered just because a goblin looked at her funny in the tutorial dungeon, and likewise make sure enemies aren't getting instagibbed left and right. Also, I made tooltips more transparent about what precisely items & skills do. During my playtesting, it was starting to bug me that tooltips didn't tell me exactly what they did, and I soon realized this was another thing video games do that I hate. Vague tooltips that leave it up to the players to do all the math and calculations themselves are incredibly uncool, and not wanting to do such a thing myself, I've made everything more transparent. For comparison, you can even look at the above dev post about the one-monthiversary, since that shows the Venom Rune I's old tooltip where it only says you have "a mild chance" to poison enemies. I've given the same treatment to every other augment - down to telling you exactly how many stats you're getting from different Orbs - as well as to every skill that left anything up to guesswork or interpretation. Having all the information there in front of you should hopefully make it easier to make educated and well-informed decisions, instead of buying something only to realize it's not what you were expecting. While the tooltip updates were just a quick bit of text editing, the rebalancing efforts are gonna require more time spent doing the early playtesting, which in turn means more time until I can officially call the ice dungeon "complete", which likewise means more time until I do the other quests, then the other stuff on my checklist, ultimately it means a bit more time until I eventually put out an 0.1 build. But I think the couple days of delay it will cause is worth sparing would-be playtesters the frustration of speccing their Tove into physical damage only to realize that despite this, they still do just as much damage as a caster. Finally, a closing note that's gonna make me have to do even more playtesting. I'm adjusting EXP curves and how enemies drop it. By default, enemies grant more EXP with the Enemy Levels plugin based on their level, which just makes sense. However, the side effect of this that I immediately noticed was that the party's level was shooting up way past what I intended before even getting close to the first real boss battle. So, I made it take more EXP per level, steepened the curve, and removed the additional EXP per enemy level entirely. I might give it back in a smaller amount depending on how it feels, but at present it's kind of a safety net idea to make sure you don't stroll up to a boss for whom I want the player to be Level 10-ish but you're already at least Level 20, since unlike other enemies, the bosses in this game don't scale with you. This does, admittedly, lead to an amusing hypothetical scenario where basic dungeon enemies are far more powerful than the boss they're working for, but you should have to really go out of your way to make that happen. I'd like some feedback on this admittedly heavy-handed approach to EXP, since I'm putting RPG Maker down for a bit after this post goes up. As I type this wrap-up, I'm just adjusting the EXP curves in the ways I mentioned above for the playable classes. Please let me know what you think about the idea of enemy EXP being a flat amount per certain enemy without scaling with level, either by replying to this thread or @ing/DMing me on Discord.
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    "Hi zombie! I don't know what that means! I'm Dora! I'm a Gijinka! I don't really know what that means either. But look I can do this!" She then looked upwards, opened her mouth, and launched out a column of mud. "People ask if it tastes funny but I don't notice!" What an interesting trick! Morgan couldn't help but wonder if there was a way to learn it herself. Unfortunately, she didn't have much time to ask, as soon the watches of Dora and her companion whose name escaped Morgan lit up, and by the sound of what they were saying, they had some bad guys to beat up. Hearing that felt like a weight being lifted off of Morgan's shoulders. It was good to know hers wasn't the only group actively assigned to this kind of work. While it was always a safe assumption, there was now living, breathing evidence, happening right in front of her. Which left the other thing right in front of her. The sale, for which only an hour remained! On the subject of food, Fen had an awful lot to say. Vegetables and meat, and the presence or lack thereof of creatures people might be familiar with depending on their world of origin. What was a manticore? It didn't sound particularly appetizing, whatever it was. Eventually, Fen came back around to the starting point of produce, to which Morgan nodded in agreement. "A healthy diet starts with a healthy garden. Or something." While she was no master chef or anything herself, Morgan did know a thing or two about produce. "I recommend potatoes. They are hardy, and incredibly versatile crops. They can be boiled, mashed, baked, fried, and more. I also recommend mushrooms. They are a nice snack."
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    Ai Mizuno x Saki Nikaidou (Zombieland Saga) Selene x Lillie (Pokémon Gen 7)
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    Ryia looked a bit shocked as Lindow made his way over to the wall of blackness saying, "don't you think we should uh - " but stopped there as the man walked through the darkness. Of course the dagger he used seemed to have been entirely unharmed in its journey and they also needed to proceed forward, yet she couldn't help but feel apprehensive about walking into a strange wall of inky blackness. Keres, seeming to think it was fine, put her nerves at rest a little though, and she followed after Madelyn quickly thereafter. The room they had found themselves in afterwards was certainly no less natural feeling, with the unnatural amount of lighting in it as well. Looking at the markers and flowers as Madelyn had seemed to have an idea of what they represented Ryia thought about it for a moment. She didn't know much about burials, or even shrines and tombs for that matter, but she could tell that the soldiers being here had some kind of significance. Soldiers were often used to fight, though in the context of a leader they could also be some kind of guard. Which, by Madelyn's own statement, seemed to make sense. The girl then thought back to what had happened the other night, and then was reminded of just how magical and bizarre this shrine they were in was. Muttering, "please no ghosts," the girl then took a deep breath before looking ahead. The girl was about to step forward towards the next darkness, before looking around and noticing that they were still missing some of their members. Looking to Madelyn and Lindow the girl said, "I'm uh, gonna go and check on them. And tell them that we're uh, we're all fine. Still." The girl passed through the darkness that she had come from. The strange sticky sensation washed over her as she passed through, now coating her in something of a sweet smell as well. The girl shook her head trying to get the weirdness of the feeling off of her, before looking back and seeing the darkness was as impenetrably dark as it was before. Still not what sure to make of the magic involved in that, she looked back to her group. "Um, it's safe to uh," the girl paused, still feeling a bit off from the feeling of passing through the wall added, "well, it seems safe. There's just a uh, a bunch of flowers and plaques for, soldiers...or something. And another wall, but uh yeah, I just thought that I'd...yeah." Keres had been staring at the wall and examining it when Ryia came in. "Oh. You can come through. That's good." "Oh...yeah. I didn't think about..." The girl had a concerned look on her face as she looked back at the wall of darkness. "But uh, yeah. I'll go check what's further ahead...well, further further past the other black wall." "Um." Keres was silent for a moment. "If...there's anyone on the other side...they might...know we're here. Maybe we should...all go?" "Oh, that's true. I didn't really uh, think about what to do if someone was there." After a pause the girl said, "but well, um, I just wanted to make sure you were with us...anyway. So..." The two stood in awkward silence for a moment, before Keres started making her way forward and Ryia walked back through the darkness. Now with everyone back together, the girl said "well, um, if there's anything or anyone down there...we should uh, find out. As a group. So I'll uh, go ahead. But not too ahead." Awkwardly, realizing how weird that must've sounded to the other two, she started to shuffle forward. Then, as she made her way forward, she stopped as she heard a noise - a faint whisper on a breeze. She looked around, seeing that there was no place such a breeze could've come from, yet she still felt it and the berries around her seemed to rustle in the same breeze. Then form the flowers emerged...something. At first, it was simply a faint, transparent figure. Then after a few moments more, their form became more elven, wearing regal looking armored and carrying leaf-bladed spears. The girl stood, frozen for a bit as she said, "oh no..." and started to back up as the phantom elves brandished their weapons.
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    Dev Update #1: Makin' the Bacon - Implementation of Shops in the Starting City (and the other stuff I've done so far) Based on the DM that started all this nonsense, today marks exactly one month since development began! Last night I realized the one-monthiversary was about to hit, so I did something I'd been putting off for a bit to focus on quests & dungeons (though I may end up scrapping the dungeon I've got and redoing it). That something was putting the shops into the game, since they're a crucial part of just about any RPG! In MMORPGs this isn't so much the case, since you can usually just loot gear from dungeons and not worry about store-bought gear outside of the very, very beginning of the game, but in classic JRPGs, this doesn't happen nearly so often. While I wanted to try and circumvent it at first since I personally find it annoying, buying new gear as you progress throughout the game is a crucial part of the gameplay loop in this genre, and the addition of augments to this game means that at least early on, you need to make choices on if you'd rather prioritize raw stats from your gear or the benefits of augments. You can also craft your gear instead depending on the game, but I'm not adding a crafting system. Here's an interesting YouTube video about that, if you want some reasons why explained by a guy who can explain stuff better than me, in addition to the simple fact that it's just not something I think is worth the time and effort to implement. I also learned that I can't make an augment have a chance to decrease an enemy's stats on hit without turning it into a whole new status like Poison or Silence, which is mildly inconvenient but I guess I'll do that if I really want that Wither Rune I added to the game. Anyway, the shops. Right now, only two towns are mapped out: The rather uncreatively-named Holy City, and the nearby port town of Frostmouth. Of the two, Frostmouth currently just has a building to purchase ships bound to and from various places (I haven't implemented this yet), so the only shops in the game right now are in the Holy City. There's a general items shop where you can also sell the crap you don't need, a weapons/armor shop that shares a building, and an augments shop. There's also a mystery shop that sells something I won't talk about, but they're not open yet, and even after I make the shop, you'll need to get some progress done before it opens since it isn't open from the get-go. With the tutorial of the game, you should effectively start the game with 1,000G. Right now, the economic plan is that you can earn more in small increments by killing enemies, but completing quests will give you bigger sums of money for doing things like completing a dungeon or performing a certain series of events. These amounts, plus the amount of money different things cost, all needs to be balanced out still, but right now I'm less concerned about the game's balance and more about its functionality. The idea behind this was that since you start the game with a bit of money, you can go to the shops and choose how to steer your early-game by buying the appropriate gear. Now, onto that other stuff I've been doing in the last month. This is the Database, where pretty much every gameplay element that isn't a map or event is stored. It's also where I've been spending a all of my dev time when I'm not doing map stuff or playtesting different odds & ends. Over the last month I've implemented... 6 party characters, with plans to add a couple more (nobody joins the party as part of the main story; you have to go find them, and most likely will have to do a quest to unlock them, so you could be a lunatic and try to do a Tove-only Cleric no-augments run to show off how hardcore you really are) A handful of classes, mostly for Tove due to that thing I talked about back in the first post with the variables (most of the allied classes still need their stat spreads did). 25 different skills, though not all of the ones slated for character use are available in-game yet since some are locked behind Tove getting promotions, and slots for a whole bunch more. 30 items, about half of which are augments (1 Rune, 4 Marks, 4 Gems, 5 Orbs) Some weapons, but I need to heavily restructure that part of the database. Armors for the start of the game; these should ideally be replaced at around Level 10. 24 enemies 39 troops (configurations of the enemies that you encounter), spread across the tutorial dungeon, a small section of the overworld, and the ice dungeon I'm working on 13 statuses, 3 of which I had to add myself And a partridge in a pear tree Outside of the database, I've mapped out the Holy City in its entirety, added the tutorial dungeon, am working on a dungeon for one of the first quests in the game, and have built what should be the world map in its entirety. (the biggest of ups to one of my ff14 buddies for insisting they gift me the RPG Maker MV Trinity resource pack after I talked about it being on sale, despite my insisting they don't do that) Oh, and I've added three starter quests plus a tutorial quest to the game, but of the starter quests, only one has any functionality right now since the locations and events for the other two aren't actually in the game yet. And that's a month's worth of progress summed up in a few paragraphs and some pictures! It doesn't feel like I've gotten much done considering the time frame, but it also doesn't feel like it's already been a month since I started working on this, so what do I know. I wanted to save the first dev update for the one-month mark, so now that I've hit that, please look forward to more dev updates in the future, whenever I hit a progress benchmark worth talking about. A quick edit! Over the three dev posts so far, you may have seen me interchangably call a certain type of augment Glyphs or Marks. This is because I had called them Marks at first, but my brain keeps registering it as Glyphs. I've changed this in the game to decidedly be Glyphs, and any future posts will exclusively call them Glyphs as well.
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    CHU²/Chiyu Tamade x PAREO/Reona Nyubara (Bang Dream!) ^^^ I don't know which names to use, so feel free to choose ^^^ Miku Maekawa x Riina Tada (The iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls)
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    ←Previous Post -- Next Post→ Week Twenty-Four: The Sonorous Prophet Excavations beneath the manor were well underway, when a particularly ragged indigent arrived in the hamlet. This filthy, toothless miscreant boasted an uncanny knowledge of my ambitions and prognosticated publicly that, left unchecked, I would soon unleash doom upon the world. I dunno, man, like, if you weren’t doing shady stuff unweaving the fabric of reality maybe random guys wouldn’t call you out on it is all I’m saying. Anyway, it’s not that I’ve been avoiding the first Prophet fight, it’s just that there have been other things I wanted to get to first. This fight has also not been offering the best trinkets, and while that’s infuriatingly still the case, it’s the best opportunity to level up some of these characters, and also the reason I’ve been holding off on levelling up Boudica despite how good she would have been against, say, the Hag. So here’s our lineup. Now, this lineup is good for exactly one thing: killing the Prophet. It is not great at getting to the Prophet. Thar the Man-at-Arms isn’t exactly the best in Rank Three, and Joan the Seraph isn’t great without a mark party to support her, so grinding through potential four-on-four fights isn’t going to go great, but at least Euryale is here to keep everyone healthy through all of those, and it’s not like adventurers with level two equipment are going to struggle too hard, especially with the trinkets we’re bringing along. Speaking of shiny new trinkets, though… The music boxes fall in the same category as things like the heads, except instead of finding them in secret rooms or Collector loot drops, they have a chance to drop when defeating a Madman enemy. It’s a low chance, and the Madman is an uncommon enemy to start with, but it’s always exciting to see one. I don’t know if the Aria Box is going to see much use outside of preparing for a Shieldbreaker nightmare, but there are others I’ll be sure to point out along the way. It’s possible this is wrong. I mean, Joan nearly hit 100 Stress a few times after getting too much wine on her clothes. This is why you don’t wear white on a dungeon outing. That and, you know, all the blood. So Euryale is basically on “keep that stress down please” duty, hopefully her throat’s not sore from all the singing. Then again, she’s an accursed gorgon so maybe she has bigger needs than a throat lozenge. The hardest fights are when there are two of these Courtiers, but thankfully there are enough other fights to recuperate in, and once we get to camping, Joan’s stress has stabilized around 50, just in time for the boss. The flavor of this fight is that the Prophet is holed up in some chapel and you have to smash through the ruined pews to get to the altar. Each pew is actually worth a lot of money if you do destroy them, but it takes far, far less time to just bring people who can hit the back row. In this case, I only brought Boudica, but that’s because of the actual gimmick of the fight: the Prophet can see the future. The Prophet gets two actions a turn, and one of them is always a move called “Prognostication,” which will foretell where rocks will fall on the adventurers at the end of the round. These rocks are the Prophet’s primary offense, his other two moves are more of the “pick off those at 0 health already” types, or a stress attack called “Eye on You,” (because of course it’s called that). You can play around the rocks, though, by using adventurers who can guard the squishier members of the team. Guarding also increases their PROT, so they won’t even take much damage once they’ve used the ability a few times. I brought two such guards just in case, as the Prophet can also stun multiple characters to keep them from guarding the targeted characters, so it’s just a bit of redundancy to keep things rolling. Add in Euryale’s ability to cure the Blight from the Prophet’s other attack, and it’s pretty smooth sailing for the four rounds it takes for Boudica to get the kill. There are two Novice bosses left to tackle, but we have to fight through the Weald and the Cove to get to them first. There’s also unlocking the Farmstead area as part of the Colour Out of Space Legally Distinct Color of Madness DLC, which will take its own week as well. Plus, the infestation is only growing bigger, and I fear we’re going to have to wait to deal with that for a while, lest it just catch up on us again. But these are decisions for next week and beyond. Until then, -r ←Previous Post -- Next Post→
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    Shinonome Ena and Akiyama Mizuki (Project Sekai) Amami Haruka and Chihaya Kisaragi (Idolm@ster) Enomoto Takane and Kokonose Haruka (Kagerou Project) Akane Shinjou and Takarada Rikka (SSSS. Gridman) Mihono Bourbon and Rice Shower (Umamusume)
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    Yurika Tōdō and Kaede Ichinose (Aikatsu!) Mona and Fischl (Genshin Impact) Pecorine and Karyl (Princess Connect! Re:Dive) Nico Yazawa and Maki Nishikino (Love Live! School Idol Project) Kasumi Nakasu and Shizuku Osaka (Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club)
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    Wha-- How did I miss this!? My nominations… uhhh… I guess these? ^^; Ash Ketchum and Serena (Pokémon anime) Yusei Fudo and Akiza Izinski (Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's) Aqua and Ventus (Kingdom Hearts) Iris and Phoenix Wright (Ace Attorney) Mechanic and Guide (Terraria) Those are my main picks, though I do have a back-up list prepared in case any of them end up not being permitted, haha. Oh right, almost forgot. Blank and Blank (Yes, this one is a joke )
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    Taking Off Over the course of the time until Destino would be in sight, Kitt took the time to be under Olivander's tutelage. He needed to learn how to properly make his own code, the way to trust his own instincts and heart about the decisions he would eventually have to face in time. But there was always the differing part between the two: he was innately a good man. This would be his morale compass and guide, he figured. Like Olivander said... "That's why these things are much more challenging for you. The day they become easy is the day you should reevaluate yourself. But that's not a day I think we'll ever see." He was built different, literally, so it was natural for him to find things like this challenging...and like his friend said, he'd have to reevaluate himself the moment things like this became easy. With the teachings Olivander gave and his newfound code of honor that was tailor fit for himself and Lord Taros himself...he didn't figure he'd stray away from the path that was set before him. That was one part down...the other on the opposite side, however... Vandalize There Kitt sat in his quarters, his notebook open with it's pages and contents sprawled out all over the desk he found himself at...everything up to this point...from the first moment they stepped foot on Galatea to what he seemed to hear moments ago. Though it was the things he wrote of what he was just told that truly worried him. Back when Naviim was whole and the city where Andalou is now was the capital, of course there was a use for a lighthouse protecting the city dock. But there is a reason the beacon is alight when you arrive, dear watchdogs, and it’s not because your arriving ship is in danger. No, now, the light beckons you forwards, drawing you nearer, just as it has everyone else who has heard my voice. Shall I describe the scene to you? It is one that you have seen before, even if you can’t say where. Helmsley is correct, of course, that the lighthouse is the only structure on the island, but that ignores the stretch of flat grass I have set up for you to land on. It ignores the pathway I have provided you, bordered by rows of an ethereal fungus that lights up as you pass by. It even ignores the clouds of mist that envelop everything else, and you would think that, as a sailor, Helmsley would know better than to pass that by. The door at the base of the lighthouse is open, why don’t you come inside? This is the Western edge of Naviim. Past here is the end of the world. It always will be. If the lighthouse is a ward to anything, it is to the darkness beyond. And you are going to help me snuff it out. These words truly gave him a shiver...more so than he had ever felt before. But it was half of what was what said...he glanced over at the next bit he wrote. Let me tell you what's going to happen next. I'll let you dawdle all you like, collecting your thoughts, perhaps even going back to your previous escapades to make sure you know exactly what all you have done for me, but you are going to enter my lighthouse. You are going to ascend those stairs that spiral upwards, breaching the trapdoor at the top to reach the balcony, where you will see the rotating set of mirrors encircling the fire. And tending to the fire, of course, is me. I have many forms, perhaps befitting of one of my status, and while I certainly would like to remain in something preferred such as a cold westerly wind or perhaps even the crackle of the fire itself, but I am nothing if not a courteous host. So you may imagine me as a woman, kneeling by the fire, not even bothering to look your way. "Ca͢n̷t҉icųm̕ad ͝ ̷ ," I will say. "That's the word I have given you, just part of a whole. Would you like to know more?" You may call me Nil, the Muse of the Void. I'm sure you have questions for me, and we can go through those first, but I will get what I want out of you. "Muse of the Void..." he muttered. It was a strange title if any, especially considering that not even Lord Taros himself knew of this deity. This truly worried him. Regardless, he began to move his hands towards the records he had down in regards to Galatea. "The Void...could it be along the same lines of what Simon and his cult worshiped? The idea of this...oblivion?" Kitt sighed, shuffling them a bit before seeing the first word of power they received: Ina͠ni̷s. It was still a safe bet that this word ended up making those who spoke it turn into those stone statues...the image of them still vivid in his mind. Shaking his head, Kitt put those papers down before turning to the next set: Corpus, the island trapped in a cycle of a time loop. One brought upon by his own mentor and teacher, Flynt. Things started to possibly click, least after everything he was just old. "That was the word I have given you..." he muttered, repeating what was said. "...did you give Flynt the Law of Cycles...?" His eyes glanced at the second word: E͘xǫlv̵u͞ǹt͘u̢ŕ. It would make sense. She possibly preyed on Flynt's desire to have power bestowed upon him once more, thusly handed him this Law of Cycles. "At the same time, he used to to better the island...albeit he did it in an invasive manner...but he did it to save the island." He compiled the papers and moved them to the side. Last thing to look at, even though the memories of it were very much vivid still: Andalou. But unlike the others, here he and Olivander had to not only deal with a Watchdog who lost her way, but two words of power: t͠at҉ib͠us̨ and of course Ca͢n̷t҉icųm̕ad ͝ ̷ . The one gave a bit of a...honestly Kitt was still truly stumped on the specifics of the word that was used, but it seemed that it was something that caused some sort of artificial joy in others...possibly some illusions as well, at least from what Joy herself displayed. The other, was the first word in a sentence that would spell the end of all things...the apocalypse. "The pieces are all here...and yet...nothing makes sense in the slightest." Kitt sighed heavily, putting all his papers and notes together once more and into his bag. "...the lighthouse is a ward...you'll help me snuff it out. ...I will get what I want out of you." he pondered these things as he shook his head. "It's almost like she's saying she already knows our answers and will be directing us to that expected result..." Standing up, Kitt gathered his things and began to make his way towards Olivander's room. Knocking on the door, although it was slightly open already, once he was given permission he entered. Thus, he began to give Olivander everything he thought about and ruminated over. "What do you think of all these things, Olive? Honestly, it seems like she's trying to vandalize our minds and how we think just by her words."
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    "So, What Makes a Hero Anyway?" - A quick look into how the protagonist is a hero of your own making The most important character in any piece of media is the protagonist, since you'll be spending a whole lotta time with them. The entire game, in fact. So, when making the hero of this game, I wanted to make them feel like a proper character, while also giving them some level of connection to the player. As of right now, there aren't any ways to customize the hero (named Tove by default), but I plan to add the ability to give her a name of your own choosing (this is gonna be a last-minute thing right before I start posting playable versions of the game in the future) and the ability to choose her sex and gender later on (this would be a bit of work, and would be done near the end of development). In the more immediate future, however, there's two ways I decided to tackle this idea of connecting the player's actions with the protagonist's character. The more obvious of the two was dialogue. Dialogue options are a staple in video games, but it often seems that your dialogue choices simply amount to saying a certain thing, getting a reaction, then the conversation continuing along its one actual path. I don't like that, so although it's much more tedious and time-consuming, I tried to have conversations move organically, with the things you say affecting what you're told in return and how the dialogue proceeds as a whole. For example, in the dialogue with this soldier you see above, the different options won't just lead to a one-off line then take you back to the railroaded dialogue. Rather, everything leads to its own branching path of conversation. This would take up too many images to show in a concise manner, though, so you'll just have to take my word that more often than not, your conversations will branch out instead of snap back into a singular path. Some chains of dialogue may even lead to getting some goodies you wouldn't have gotten in others! I'm aware this can lead to min-maxxed gameplay, but that's why I'm generally trying to keep the benefits from being particularly big. "Hero it up in the way you see fit" was the main idea this game was built upon, so it would be remiss of me to not extend that concept to dialogue as well! And speaking of heroing it up, there's the matter of Tove's class. This part's gonna get a wee bit technical since it involves some tricks RPG Maker lets me pull off. At the start of the game, Tove is a newly-recruited Cleric within a quasi-religious organization called the Church of the Radiant, whose job is basically to help those in need and punish evildoers. Over the course of the game, certain actions you take can increase one of two variables, which I've labeled "Benediction (let's call it B for short)" and "Redemption (R)", based on which part of that "help/punish" thing you're doing. For example, you could give a cornered criminal a second chance at life and gain some B, or turn him in to the authorities to gain some R. Not every choice affects these variables, and some choices may only affect one of these, but they are important. At levels 15 and 30 (the level cap is 50) you can get special quests meant to promote Tove to higher ranks, granting her higher stats and access to new abilities. This system is what Sai's post up above is referencing, but I didn't like the idea of any "tier 1" class being able to promote into any of the "tier 2" ones. I do still need to address what happens if you try to take the promotion quests while these two variables are equal, since I imagine it won't be hard to keep them equal throughout your playthrough, but that's a problem for a bit later. Instead, your promotions are based on which variable is higher between R and B. There are seven classes in total planned for this system, which correlate to the seven outfits you see above for Tove. There will be other classes Tove can unlock that are independent of these variables though, and the main story may even completely change by doing so! I already know one of these (it's not Monk), but won't be adding it until quite a bit later, probably not until the main main story is finished. Basically, the idea for the system was that your actions affect how Tove evolves. Whether you've been punishing evil left and right, trying to work miracles for the needy, or juggling a bit of both, the playstyle of the main character should change to reflect those choices, I feel. That is, after all, the premise I wound up building the game on. Tune in next time where I either go further into how much I value customization in this game by talking about equipment augments, or go on about how this game also is meant to address things I don't like in RPGs by discussing the magic system.
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    Ichigo Hoshimiya x Seira Otoshiro (Aikatsu!) Mizuki Kanzaki x Mikuru Natsuki (Aikatsu!) Hinaki Shinjou x Juri Kurebayashi (Aikatsu!) Ema Hinata x Maika Chouno (Aikatsu Friends!) Nako Sunao x Aru Honshou (Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu)
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    I just never played any of them, and a lot of it was just facetious spite towards Intelligent's bias for it compared to Advance Wars, which I played and loved. Has it changed, tho? A little, I guess. I don't pretend to hate it as much as I did, it wasn't really genuine in the first place, just isn't my preference.
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    Xenomorph (Alien) Weeping Angels (Doctor Who) Kraken (Pirates of the Caribbean) Dementors (Harry Potter) Balrog (Lord of the Rings) Monstro (Pinocchio) T-Rex (Jurassic Park) Hydra (Hercules)
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    Pennywise (from 2017's IT), Brundlefly (The Fly), Bughuul (Sinister), The Thing (from 1982's The Thing), Pumpkinhead (1988's Pumpkinhead), Creeper (Jeepers Creepers), Death Angel (A Quiet Place), The Bed Monster (2012's Under the Bed)
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    wouldn't these matches be 2v2 since it's a ship tournament? anyway lesbianman is here to grace this thread with lesbians Kaguya Houraisan & Fujiwara no Mokou (Touhou Project) Fujimaru Ritsuka & Mash Kyrielight (Fate/Grand Order) Hakos Baelz & IRyS (Hololive) Sakura Kyouko & Miki Sayaka (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica) Ouro Kronii & Ouro Kronii (Hololive)
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    The only ones that really come to mind are: Tails x Cosmo (Sonic X) Leonard x Penny (Big Bang Theory) Maka x Soul (Soul Eater) Ryuji x Taiga (Toradora) They won’t win, but might as well.
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    Okay cool, here's my list: Heiwajima Shizuo x Vorona (Durarara!!) Gouda Takeo x Yamato Rinko (My Love Story!!) Nozaki Umetarou x Sakura Chiyo (Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun) Kobeni Yonomori x Hakuya Mitsumine (Engaged to the Unidentified) Isaac Dian x Miria Harvent (Baccano!)
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    AND Muse, when our last curtain call rings true, It is our only chance to meet with you. --Song for the End of the World, lines 13-14 Notes from Captain Helmsley's Logbook It’s refreshing to have a set destination in mind after so many guesses and half-measures, even if it is one so desolate as the edge of the world. They came to me and said, “Destino,” and that was that, we struck off, our heading just a little bit further westward. It was evening when we struck off, and I made sure Ephraim and the others knew to give Andalou a wide berth as we made our way around the island, just in case an incident like the one on our arrival happened again. Perhaps we needn’t have bothered. There certainly was something going on down below involving a great fire and a low, possibly musical hum emanating outwards from the island, but no errant missiles headed our way. The sound sparked a memory in me. It was the memory of a dream I had when I was younger, long before I even considered taking to the skies on a ship of my own. I was walking along a sheer cliff at the edge of some vaguely familiar island -- whichever one it was, it doesn't matter -- when, by chance or by some distraction, a misstep sends me off over the edge. Now, I should stress, this dream felt as real as a dream could. When I say I did not feel fear, it is not because I knew myself to be dreaming. But that does not mean there is an absence of feeling either. Being forced to look down at an ever-approaching void, there is almost a sense of awe. At the very least, I found myself with an appreciation for the sheer scale of whatever had caused the world to end the first time around. The remaining islands, this ship, nothing compares to that. Perhaps what really reminded me was my conversation with Andalou's harbormaster yesterday morning. I cannot recall his exact arguments (and what I can recall I dare not reproduce on the page) but there was a similar energy there, the overwhelming knowledge of what lies beneath our feet. Myself, the Swallow Tail is my way of fighting back against all that. I can conquer the skies and stave off the abyss, even if only for a moment. This island, Destino, I don’t know much about it. The lighthouse is its sole building, and that’s more an old relic than anything of any functional use. There aren’t any jagged rocks to ward off anymore. I suppose I should step in, then? Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself Back when Naviim was whole and the city where Andalou is now was the capital, of course there was a use for a lighthouse protecting the city dock. But there is a reason the beacon is alight when you arrive, dear watchdogs, and it’s not because your arriving ship is in danger. No, now, the light beckons you forwards, drawing you nearer, just as it has everyone else who has heard my voice. Shall I describe the scene to you? It is one that you have seen before, even if you can’t say where. Helmsley is correct, of course, that the lighthouse is the only structure on the island, but that ignores the stretch of flat grass I have set up for you to land on. It ignores the pathway I have provided you, bordered by rows of an ethereal fungus that lights up as you pass by. It even ignores the clouds of mist that envelop everything else, and you would think that, as a sailor, Helmsley would know better than to pass that by. The door at the base of the lighthouse is open, why don’t you come inside? This is the Western edge of Naviim. Past here is the end of the world. It always will be. If the lighthouse is a ward to anything, it is to the darkness beyond. And you are going to help me snuff it out. OOC
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    As Percy explained excitedly about how things were different here, Fen nodded. "It is all a bit overwhelming but now that I've had some of my teammates help me out I think I'm finally understanding how it works. Like, did you know about the stove?" As Percival's attention was then taken by his watch, telling them they had a fight to go to, Fen said, "well, I wish you both well on your fight. And I can't wait to catch up more with you later Percival." Her attention was then turned towards Melissa as Percy looked at her, the girl looking at her as well feeling a bit embarrassed that moments after nominating herself as leader she had somehow missed one of her teammates falling on the ground. The girl couldn't help but feel that, in general, she had been generally getting more distracted more easily since coming to this world and in the time that she was thinking about this her embarrassment at this only grew as Melissa had picked herself up as Fen did nothing to actually aid her. Nonetheless, the group had managed to wade their way through the crowds and get into the store proper. Fen had been to many a market place in her life, and she knew just how hectic they could get. Most were generally outside and the ones that weren't were in fairly large and open buildings instead. While this one was by no means small, the amount of actual stalls in it were relatively low. Similarly the marketplace was filled with walls and shelves everywhere and food seemed to be more openly on display and up for the taking. The girl didn't quite know how such an operation went by without people just stealing the food, and the experience of being in the building wasn't particularly comfortable itself, feeling somewhat congested both due to its layout and the actual crowd of people that occupied it. All in all it was a bit of a sensory overload for the girl and might've taken her a while to not just stand there frozen trying to process everything were she not with company. Thankfully, Melissa seemed to be rather familiar with these things - or was just much better at adjusting to foreign situations then she may have given her credit for - and already started heading towards the produce in the store. Fen nodded at Melissa's comment about Percy, mentally refocusing herself as she nodded. "I'm sure he'd appreciate it." The girl briefly imagined the boy receiving the gift and returning with one of his poems in appreciation, bringing a smile to her face before breaking way to curiosity. "Though, I can't say I've ever heard of a "cheese puff."" The girl tried thinking about it for a moment and figured it was probably some kind of cheese stuffed pastry before moving on to Melissa's next comment. Putting a finger to her chin she thought aloud, "well most basic things like bread, butter, salt and pepper are already taken care of for us so we don't have to worry about that. But, as far as actual essentials go we are heavily lacking in vegetables. We might have lettuce on hand but diversifying what kind of leaves we have to pick from would be good. Not to mention an utter lack of broccoli, carrots, onions. And then we're missing out on fruit too which wouldn't be good to neglect. Lemons in particular are good for flavoring too. I'm also not sure what our stock of meat is like either, but Chicken is always a good place to start. But just eating chicken for a long time might get boring for some so we could also look for different kinds of red meats, fish, other poultry - " As Fen rambled about this she started to trail off even more saying, "oh but wait I wonder if we even have the same kind of meats between worlds. I never saw that rainbow fish before in my own world, so it stands to reason the market here would be pretty unique too. Which means at the very least we can find something unique and new to try out. I wonder if they've brought any familiar monster from my own world too? But people treated eating monsters over livestock as pretty exotic though if they aren't wild monsters here would they just be considered another part of the local cuisine? But even if we got all those we're lacking in too many things to make proper seasonings or sauces and I wouldn't just want to serve plain manticore with salt and pepper to a customer and call it a day. I might as well just be telling them I don't work in an actual restaurant at that point. So if that's the case then -" The girl paused in the middle of her stream of consciousness, looking back over to Melissa, a flush of embarrassment crossing her face as she realized she had been speaking aloud. Clearing her throat, the girl said, "well, um, that is to say. Uh...Produce, is a good starting point."
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    i came out of exile for the express and sole purpose of posting this image that i spent like half an hour on, and will now return to my exile
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    Nun judging (one of) my ships smh
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    Grunting after shielding his eyes far too late, Lindow took a moment to let his vision return after the sudden flash of light magic. "Let's not try that again, yea?" He called over to Ryia and Madelyn before moving over to the small pond in the center of the room. The young evergreen had also caught his eye. Though the Thunder Chosen was fortunate enough be able to cross the water without taking a dip. "The time has come!" He cooed down to his feet. This was the first time the man had found use for the enchantment placed on his boots, and needless say he was thrilled despite how mundane the situation was. Inhaling quietly, Lindow quickly took a step onto the clear water, marveling how firm the surface felt beneath his feat. He wore the grin of a child as he quickly scampered over the water and onto the small island that harbored the sampling. "Wanna fight?" He half joked to the juvenile evergreen as he squatted down to exam it. Unfortunately, it seemed the his would be opponent was not some kind of creature in disguise. On the contrary, it seemed to be exuding some kind of magic that left the man feeling relaxed and sedated... How boring. Learning from his experience with he floating mushrooms, Lindow refrained from calling the magic tree any names. Instead opting to simply leave its island and join the girls in studying the blackness between them and the threshold. "Can't say I'm a fan of the decor..." He said plainly whilst pulling the dagger from his belt and turning its point towards the darkness. Bloop. Lindow was met with slight resistance, as if he had just dipped his blade into some kind of liquid. Slowly pulling back, he caught a faint glimpse of lingering shadow caught on the edge before vanishing and leaving the blade just as it was before. Was only magic ejected at the threshold then? Glancing up and down between his dagger and the shadow with thoughtful expression the Thunder Chosen shrugged before testing his hypothesis for himself by suddenly walking straight into the darkness. Bloop. Passing through the threshold felt viscous and sticky, but when he got to the other side he found himself in a long room. The walls and ceiling were wood but the floor was clearly dirt. There was vegetation here but vines crisscross the ceiling with small, glowing, berries attached. Along the left and right walls there were six pieces of wood on each side that looked like long strips of bark stuck in the ground at several feet intervals. He could see something written on them, but it was indistinguishable at this distance. Though in front of each of them were beautiful flowers of various colors.
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    John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” -Luke 3:11 (NIV)Melissa thought it was a little weird that nobody from her group seemed to notice her collapse, but perhaps what was even weirder was how Percival and Dora both noticed and didn’t do anything about it besides gawk. Maybe that was to be expected from Dora, but still. “I’m alright,” Melissa said. “It’s just a stumble is all. Maybe some bruising but nothing broken.” She pulled herself up and dusted herself off. “I’m alright,” she said, this time addressing nobody in particular. In fairness, she’d felt the voices inside her springing to act and had to mentally hold Zadkiel back from manifesting, willing to strike her foot against a stone (as it were) just to avoid attention from literally everyone else in the crowd, especially the people who had knocked her down in the first place. She might have said more but Dora and Percival’s watches went off, calling them away from their spot in line to wherever they were needed. Melissa felt a little bad about that, about all that wasted time queuing, even if some of it was spent on universe-shattering revelations about how not-alone they might be. “Do you want us to, um, do you want us to get your groceries while you’re off? You can text me your list if you want real quick and then also text me your address or I guess we could ask, like, Mauvache or something or-” Percival cut her off with a wave of his hand. “That will not be necessary,” he said. “Our list is complicated and it would be best if I get it all myself.” “He doesn’t want Mister Leader to know about allllll the cheese puffs he’s gonna get!” Dora chimed in. “Oh, but I do have this!” Dora turned around and showed Melissa a piece of paper that already had her team’s address on it. In retrospect, Melissa thought, it would have been helpful to actually know the city before looking at how the addresses were organized, but she entered it into her watch all the same. She didn’t even think about why Dora had such a leaflet on her until she noticed the “IF LOST, RETURN TO:” at the top in big, friendly letters. “Okay, thank you, Dora,” she said. “Good luck out there.” She turned back to her own team and took a deep breath, not quite ready for her own personal battle of navigating a crowded grocery store, but, now that she had one additional goal, accepting of the challenge all the same.This had to be some sort of fire hazard, Melissa thought. The situation of the grocery’s exterior did not magically improve once they were all inside. In fact, the existence of walls and stalls and shelves made things feel even more claustrophobic. Still, now Melissa was on a mission, so that kept her going. The layout, besides the “U” shape, was basically what she had expected. On top of the Plants in Pants marketing materials some unfortunate staff was desperately taking down now that the promotion was ending, there were actual plants in the front to attract the eye, followed by the produce (which was really more plants when you thought about it), then presumably the meats and cheeses, then all the box stuff, before the freezer section at the end. It was all standard to Melissa, though she wondered what the people to whom it wasn’t standard thought. “I guess we should buy your friend some cheese puffs,” Melissa told Fen. The amount she had in mind was like a dozen bags if she took Dora at her word, though that was probably dangerous and Melissa deliberately obscured the number anyway. “But the berries are… oh here are some.” She didn’t recognize the type of berries they were but she did recognize that they were berries. “You’re the cook and our leader besides, what all do we need?” The vegetable misters started spraying and she hoped beyond hope that Aduain didn’t notice.
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    "Hmmm...if I'm correct, m'boy, you said if these combine that you'd w-..." "NOW IS NOT THE TIME, IBUZ!!!" Jeremy shouted at his Djinn, watching the now appearing winged serpent of junk. This thing was literally a feathered serpent made of junk that they were staring down. And it was flying...something that they currently had zero access to was the skies. Though right now, they had to deal with the storm of debris being flung and hurled in the direction he and the other Founts were in. "I-IBUZ!!!" "Already on it! May need a little help with that air current, master!" Ibuz simply said, his hands already forming and shaping around the currents of air all around him, already attempting to divert the debris storm over the group. "Whenever your ready, master!" Jeremy nodded, standing beside his Djinn and proceeded to have his hands also form and shape around the air currents, attempting to assist in the debris diversion. Tch...this is getting us nowhere! Now we have to deal with this feathered serpent... he thought, his focus still on keeping the junk and debris away from the others. Still, he lingered a bit to worry about the flying junk serpent overhead. Unfortunately, he feared this wouldn't be like dealing with the actual Quetzalcoatl...seeing as that was the Aztec god of light, wind and mercy. The latter of these things was definitely not happening with this junk serpent. Jeremy was brought back from his thinking and ruminations to hear Ibuz's throat being cleared. "If you don't mind, master, allow me to take this part from ya!" he said, starting move his arms and hands around himself in quite the rapid motion, the debris apparently now swinging and spinning around the entirety of the Fount squad. The speed and manner of the debris being spun through these air currents worried the young man, but it was soon clear to him on what his Djinn was currently doing. Without a moment's notice, Ibuz suddenly stopped his arms, having them above him and to an angle...oddly enough aiming right at the junk feathered serpent. The debris that was caught in the air current that Ibuz and Jeremy shaped and formed was immediately launched towards the serpent like it was a cannon. "That ought to work..." Impressed, Jeremy gave Ibuz a simple nod and glance, before turning back towards the Founts he was currently partied with. "With the debris not currently trying to bury us now, does anyone else have a plan to stop the junk Quetzalcoatl?" he asked, wiping his glasses off, getting the dust off the lenses.
  50. 1 like
    Savage Face-Off! ”SLEDGE IMPACT!” Kess’s head darted up to see Leo falling towards her. She pushed off with her back foot, continuing to rush straight under him, barely avoiding the falling bat as it missed her heel and slammed into the floor. Upon impact, the pink energy of Leo's ability burst downward, tearing the floor out from beneath them and dropping them down to the floor below. Leo landed on his feet and a single hand in a crouching position, looking back over his shoulder at Kess, "You'd best not underestimate me." This was immediately met with Kess diving forward to jam her knee into the small of his back as hard as she could, leaping forward like a pouncing animal with a single, harsh laugh. “Big fuckin’ deal,” she spat back at him, ducking back to avoid a counterswing of the bat, grabbing a chair and waving it at him like a circus performer. “So you hit hard. You have to manage to hit me ONCE first.” Leo had barely managed to lower himself, taking the blow on the back of his shoulder instead of having his spine snapped in two. Even so, the impact had rocked him. Rising to his feet, he grinned at Kess, blood visible in his teeth. Leaning forward, he spit a mouthful of blood at her, splattering it on her clothes. "Got me good there. So are the sparks just so you look extra fancy when you practice kickboxing?" Leo tossed his bat aside, grabbing a piece of rebar from the rubble that was about as long as he was tall, spinning it a few times in his hands, "This oughta do fine. Think you can pummel the other lung, or are you leaving the first one extra lonesome?" “And shut up all this great conversation?” Kess grinned with a wide, savage row of teeth across her face, slowly beginning to stalk to the side, Leo mirroring her pace as the two circled each other in the dimly-lit employee cafeteria they had fallen into. “Maybe I should, though. Like I said. I’m busy. Not busy enough to kick you right back out this place. You wanna be a good boy and blow open another wall for me, or am I gonna have to start doing my own legwork around here for once?” "Trust me, there are few things I'd like to do more than bust down some walls. Gotta say you got me bare disappointed you'd delegate it." Leo frowned emphatically, though his smile was more than visible in his eyes, "thought I'd found me a right wrecking ball of a bird." “HA!” Kess spat the laugh at him. “Dumbass! I’m the whole crew.” She slammed her leg up, kicking the underside of the long table in front of her. It spun through the air towards Leo, lifting several feet off the ground. Holding his makeshift staff behind his back, he raised a single gloved hand in front of him, shattering the table in a burst of light once it contacted him. Wooden splinters shot off in every direction, embedding themselves in the walls around them. Miraculously, two of the enormous serpents were felled within only a few seconds, one by the knight-errant, and another by the hero who had dove in to help. The individuals on the ground regrouped for a second, beginning to make plans on how to stop the last one, but before they had a chance to act upon them the ground began to shake. The carcass-like wreckages of the destroyed pair of snakes lifted off the ground, and floated inward until they met the one that remained. Cars and bikes, street lights and trash cans all were pulled in to give the serpent an enormous pair of wings, and a hood on either side of its head. With a mighty flap, the now-winged serpent lifted off the ground, looking down at those that had only a moment ago been a credible threat. Its toothy maw opened, letting out a screeching roar that sounded like a revving and misfiring engine. With no further warning, the winged serpent dragged its spiked tail across the ground, hurling a storm of debris toward the founts collected before it. "You don't understand, do you?" Stratford sighed, as debris swirled up through the air into the hand of the golem he was encased in, forming a sword with a blade of at least ten feet. "My strength is that of the belief from everyone who lives here. The belief that, should anyone step out of line, I can set them straight." By this point, his attention upon Elita was lost, as he lumbered toward Sei, "Nobody in this city is strong enough to defeat me in battle. What are four kami against the will of tens of millions?" Elita took a few, tentative steps forward once more as Stratford spoke to Sei, her eyes closing as she put her hand forwards. Her own fear had to be shoved down in the shadow of what was in front of her, instead pushing forward her desire to calm Stratford as she promptly lunged forward. Her hand might not be able to come directly in contact with him through the constructed armor, but she forced her emotions towards him all the same, hoping to create a gap in the golem. “Be still, Mr. Stratford. I would prefer no more murder today.” Though it may not have been quite what she had hoped for, her contact with the golem did manage to have some effect, albeit on herself rather than Stratford. With a momentary spray of blood from both of her eyes, Elita’s body went limp, collapsing onto the floor beside the mayor.
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