Sunday, 27 November 2011

Tables for Fables: Pt 1

Speaking of Random . . .

A while back I mention the idea of using random tables to come up with story elements for use in a fantasy version of a Lester Dent Pulp Plot Plan. I was going to use the tables from Vincent Baker's Cheap & Cheesy Fantasy Game as they're nice and flavourful, but as I intend to flog my Pulps (like any self-respecting pulpist should) I thought I better come up with my own 'inspired by' version. I'm not entirely happy with it and it will need a tweak or two, but . . .

Tables for Fables: Pt1 - Character Elements

Companions
1.       The spirit of a former lover trapped in the body of a dog.
2.       A small flying lizard that can teleport you both a short distance once a day.
3.       A body guard who hates you, but is oathsworn to protect you with their life.
4.       A faithful, but somewhat overprotective eunuch who would happily strangle anyone who so much as threatens you.
5.       The spirit of an infamous ancestor follows you around offering bad advice and worse jests.
6.       A servant who is really your master.

Destiny
1.       Destined to kill your one true love.
2.       You will live forever, it is known, it is written.
3.       Destined to die young, but your legend will live forever.
4.       The god of Fate hates you.
5.       The god of Death loves you.
6.       Destined to kill kings, slays gods, and destroy empires and see all your hopes and dreams come to nothing.

Traits
1.      Dishevelled appearance, sharp mind.
2.       Full of nervous energy.
3.       Slow and thoughtful.
4.       Dogged determination.
5.       Smart mouth.
6.       Dour.

Magical Gift
1.       At Dawn and Dusk you can speak to the dead.
2.       When people sing you see their secrets.
3.       Can breathe underwater for an hour a day except on holy days.
4.       No matter how you move your footfalls make no sound nor leave no trail.
5.       You see as clearly in the dark as you do in the light of day.
6.       When you touch stone you can feel the memories of the surrounding area.

Ancestry
1.       Child of a Gladiator: you know how to perform a Coup de Grace.
2.       Child of a famous general: soldiers take an instant liking to you.
3.       A Necromancers child: the dead fear you.
4.       Child of a country priest: you’ve yet to meet a peasant that doesn’t want to feed you up or marry you off.
5.       Child of an Emperor: Nobility curry favour.
6.       Offspring of otherworldly  parents: unnatural creatures take to you.

Possessions
1.       A lamp that can turn light to darkness.
2.       An arrow that always strikes true.
3.       An Earring that burns cold when you hear a lie.
4.       A bracelet in the shape of a serpent that bites your wrist when someone wishes you ill.
5.       A hood that when raised makes you look like everybody and nobody.
6.       A sword that always wounds, but never kills.


So, let's see what my protag is like . . .

Companion: The spirit of a former lover trapped in the body of a dog.
Destiny: Destined to die young, but her legend will live forever.
Traits: Slow and thoughtful.
Magical Gift: When she touches stone she can feel the memories of the surrounding area.
Ancestry: She is the offspring of supernatural parents and unnatural creatures take to her.
Possessions: An Arrow that always strikes true.

Okay, I can work with those. Should be fun.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Weight of Literature: Part 2

Quoting from The Week Issue 843 12 November via the New York Times. . .

E-readers enable people to carry around their libraries - but adding extra books makes devices heavier. They are, however, unlikely to get too heavy: filling a 4GB Kindle to its full capacity, a scientist has calculated, would increase its weight by about a billionth of a billionth of a gram. Storing new data involves holding electrons in a fixed place in the device's memory, and keeping them still rather than letting them float around takes up extra energy, Professor John Kubiatowicz of the University of California, Berkley told the New York Times. Using Einstein's E=MC2 formula, which implies that energy and mass are related, he calculated that each additional weighs about the same as a molecule of DNA.