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07 April 2006 @ 02:01 pm
If in fact we are left gathered to play but cannot be IC due to some happenstance, I HAVE FINALLY FOUND A SUITABLE OOC GAME.


I mean, come on. The snakes are controlled by the Snake Master. This is so perfect for Szurane OOC craziness.
01 April 2006 @ 01:38 am
[[[crossposted from the Szurane forums; written by Minerva]]]

We're re-instituting a regular schedule.

Fridays and Saturdays, 8 PM EST 7 PM CST.

If one of these days is canceled, we use Sunday at the same time.

If for any reason you can't make a game, please contact us. If for any reason you are going to be late, please try to make it anyway, there's usually half an hour of preparation and if you're, say, an hour late, you usually only missed a round or two of posts, you can easily slide in. If for any reason this schedule is completely unworkable due to emergency, contact us. Hell, if you've been a reliable player thus far and you want to OH EM GEE have a night life for once, CONTACT US and we will change something, but give us advanced warning if you can for ANY of this, PLEASE.

Advanced warning of any changes is always the best. Please, kay, thanks.
16 March 2006 @ 10:35 pm
The last meeting didn't work out too well, but, we're gonna do this over again. Same details as before, 'cept dates.

Fri March 24, 8 PM EST, 7 PM CST, 5 PM PST. If this doesn't work out, or even if it DOES and we can move ON, we play Sat Mar 25 8 PM EST, 7 PM CST, 5 PM PST.

If this doesn't work out for anyone, tell me NOW.

If the first meet bombs, we do goofy OOC stuff. If the second meet for whatever GOD DAMN reason, we'll do IC alternate stuff, as in possible "fill in the blanks" of other times. We have a week to plan it, you can post your ideas about it here [both community and forum post].

Irk, could you crosspost this to the forums?
[I hope ya'll have a recent email address up, this is a mass mailing; if you think someone might not have gotten this, spread the word to other Szu members]

Alright, wow. It's been a while, guys.

Here's the drill.

Only four people replied to my Livejournal post about scheduling, but I'm going to try this ANNNYWAY. And screw anyone who doesn't show up, their character can get eaten by a dragon or something.

We have two groups, which I'll list by respective leaders: Nereus, and Rumea.

Nereus can only get online at very specific hours so we are going by his player's schedule. Nereus' group will be reconvening at Friday March 10th at 8 PM EST, 7 PM CST, 5 PM EST. I expect Nereus to be reliable enough to make it. However, if Maurus breaks schedule again he'll get ICly fired and scrub toilets again. No more of that crap, Lucas.

Rumea's group was marginally larger. For players it requires Irk and 2. These are reliable players with flexible night time schedules, so 8 PM EST 7 PM CST, 5 PM EST on the same night. Remember, though, Rumea's group is chronologically a day ahead of Nereus'. If Nereus' group does not assemble, then we do not play.

As the RPs are running at the same time, that means any Serpents Isle based RP should proooobably go up at the same time.

I'm sad to say that one of our best RPers has retired from Szurane. Alberecht has moved on, and with him probably one of our best inventive minds. That leaves me NPCing Alrick until I can find a player for him, considering he was whipped up by Alberecht as co-GM as a plot device with me... can't really knock him off like I intend to bump off other characters I need to NPC, coming up in a few sessions.

But on the heels of bad news comes good news: Three new players have come to Szurane. Stephi as Suhayl the Naga [she made the entire species up, that little imp :p], Boltenaxe as... Boltenaxe [I met him in CC-- he's new to online RPing but promising] and Amyante as Remora the chimera!

I'm going to try to place you guys right now, actually-- Bolten, if you can, try to make it to Nereus' group. I'll explain to you the situation in IM and you can figure out how he got to that place? The Naga could be on Serpents' Isle, if he's interested, and the Chimera-- uh-- I'm still working on that one. Amyante can contact me with an idea.

You might wonder why I'm not going for forum RP. A lot of the nature of Szurane is how instantaneous, how impromptu-- how--... on-the-second these character's natures are. Forum Szurane is, as 2 quoth, "like professional porn, absolutely tripe bullshit". We could plod through it, but what would the point be?

Finally, looks like I'm going to have to work the site over AGAIN because while it works on SOME Internet Explorers, on some people's IE it doesn't work right. Fubar. Ugh. New layout again yay. --;

-Minerva. Christ that was a long email.
14 February 2006 @ 11:38 am
This is aside from names.

Zenthus is fine like he is. Zento is getting a minor touchup involving a beaded mask, and we're fine-tuning wardrobe to complete the jester-priest look.

Rumea, despite her efficiency in black magic, has undergone drastic change and will primarily have a white, gold and red outfit. Irk can concept sketch it, I've shown her my concepts of it.

Min/Mia's wardrobe is perfect like it is, but I am pondering the logistics of her being a furry. It was originally done to show she was very imperfect in manifestation because she's a fluffy dragon cat thing - the spots are supposed to actually be a plot point ya'll will find out later. I don't know. She's just... so... FLUFFY. It'd feel wrong to strip her of that now.

Serena looks too much like Filia to act so much like her. I actually sort of like Irk's original drawing of her with Zenthus [which more looked like a very smug Zento], where she looked a little less Filia and a little more... somebody else. Also the hair style might need minor change. I don't mind the long hair but the bangs... are a stylistic issue.

Jericho is going to need a whole lot of wiping over. His armor was conceptually stolen right from Gourry by his old player. If his new player wants to develop new armor that still works for a lightweight fighter, keeping in mind he largely served as a priest before his amnesia hit and he took on a new lift, shoot. This is also something I want to mull over - Jeri's age, how renowned he's going to be as a priest since his player wanted to blend Gourry into Rezo, and the comparability of swordstuff since that's sort of a big multiclass, especially since he forgot most of the priest things. It's like losing most of your life training, or are we assuming he got a divine boost or that the amnesia struck a WHILE ago and that he's living sorta akin to Rezo?

Um. I'm trying to go by the original cast here-- Karn/Setsuna, are we really going to merge them? Who's primary, who's secondary, what traits get merged? I'd actually sort of like a group response here too from people who've seen the characters. If you've only seen one, mark up what traits you WOULDN'T want to see in a character.

Rain and Soujiro still need new names picked. Their character design is just fine though. Well, Rain's name is fine but his... Japanese Seijuro name thing.

Nereus' design is fine and so is his name.

Humez's design is fine.

Kuzu's design is fine.

Um... who am I missing? I know I'm missing somebody.


I want to reform the hierarchy name type things. We won't be using Japanese names so no -ou bullshit, and Master and Lord, and all that, while it worked for the game, I don't know if it'll jive with the book. I'm thinking of making an entirely new system, where in established hierarchies, at least, even lesser servants like generals are diefied. Think of it more akin to real world stuff then. It also leaves things more prone to cults and pointings of fingers of cults. Weefun.
14 February 2006 @ 04:35 am
Decisions beyond what's already been said.

Goetics will probably not be used in Szurane's book unless I get a sudden heavy inspiration to point to any in particular. Any other references I've used I'll continue using, and I'll probably end up adding more. I actually intend for Szurane to end up being very reference-heavy on the religious side and if that gets me labeled a satanist or whatever bullshit, so be it. The early slayers books actually lacked this, it was more Next, and more fully in Try that started delving into it. It pretty heavily seperates the two. Especially if I go into religious areas they haven't touched.

Pasts have been and will continue to be expounded upon, and these pasts that I keep in mind may change the way I write the characters modernly, but I doubt it. Most of it fits very succinctly into everything about them.

The Lord of Nightmares isn't the... Lord of Nightmares. She's going to have regional names, but most commonly [if you can call knowledge of her common] be refered to as Lady Luck. And it's bad luck to talk about lady luck, so you call her The Lady. Other names are The Lady of Dreams [PRIMARY], Jealous Mistress [sailors], and Fate. The Mazoku will know her as the Lady of Dreams, but the name is ineffable.

Regarding her [input courtesy of Stephi:]

The ocean is constant and infinite and ordered in its unending changing. Destroying, rebuilding, and destroying again, on all levels. The lady of dreams was purveyor of oracles, omens, demons and all sweetness, light, darkness, horror, and peace that happened in sleep. She was quiet, with knowing eyes, and carried all things in her pockets. Her loom wove the world and she shredded it for the fibers to spin and weave it anew. Some places are knotted and snagged, others are woven with inhuman precision. She's much taken with her whims and how things should feel to be at the time. She ushered life into the world as mother and as midwife, but had no children of her own she didn't make with a loom. As she is, she could be anyone's wife, anyone's mother, anyone's daughter. In the coastal towns and among the pirates and smugglers, she was the goddess of the ocean. Her temples all died out and only the gypsies and the ocean-rats who wanted her favor on the seas kept to her. All nightmares are dreams, but not all dreams are nightmares.... and the ocean is pretty and peaceful and beautiful right until it sucks you under and kills you.

Still need to find oriental matches for the demon lords, though. There's no reason I can't do that. It more matches the theme. I'm sure Kory's player can help with that.

Nn. Minerva Es is Mia Koda now. Minerva will still probably be a pen name.

Um, I know I'm forgetting some stuff but this is enough updates tonight for now. Don't forget to scroll down, read the rest and respond to those, too. Put your input where you feel it's needed.
14 February 2006 @ 04:19 am
Nereus' group:

The castle was bustling. Sliding past the guards had been a chore, and they had been forced to leave Minerva behind in the process, reassured shakily [as contradictory as that sounds] by her that she'd find her own way in. Entering the castle gates under their officer priviledges, it was packed. Guards and nobles and all kinds of officials surrounding a stage, seated and standing both, trying to hear a debate between Adeline Traskal and the advisors of the court. You would have thought the decorations were for a play or party instead of something akin to a trial. Acting as representatives, Adeline and Alrick stood for their country, denying the involvement of the dragon that attacked granslun lately in spite of the summons that Amefri became known for. Granslun would hear none of it. It's particularly long and arduous to explain the entire debate, but the RP cut off right when running into an angry Alrick storming offstage. Nereus and company know the fate of that dragon. They have their say, what are they going to do with it?

Rumea's group:

...traveling. Not much I can say, didn't get far. Was fighting a sea dragon. Sort of a little ahead of Nereus' gruop's continuity.

We need to try scheduling.

Post here with your times. If you see someone not posting that's in your group, reign them in. I want to project this meeting as being potentially in... let's say 3 weeks. I know that seems like a long time, but we've had a long wait already and I don't want to rush it. I want to schedule right, I want to clean things up right and I want to basically patch this up right.
14 February 2006 @ 03:28 am
Alright. Shit happens, wipe your ass and flush.

While the chat conversation erupted into an argument, it was productive in its own right.

Let's go in order of events, though.

We casually tossed around a few ideas and worked on wardrobe concepts, before getting to the real meat of how Szurane will go, book-wise.

"A lot of that story is getting fine tuning, however, because at that point my storytelling skills game-wise weren't as good, I only had a very loose concept and hadn't actually expected the game to be as successful as it was. The characters are going to end up being considerably more stationary than they were. It's not to say they won't travel but.

Really, in the end, that story is getting an overhaul but everybody's core ideas are getting kept; RALLY won't need so much. The idea is pretty strong, it just needs minor fine tuning because of player discrepancies.

AGAIN is where I'm going to run into trouble, because I know exactly where I want the plot to go and I'll have the basis for it by then with the other stories but if the game doesn't kick back off, I'll be freeforming the whole thing. It's kind of like not having a rough draft. ...and then I'm going to consider writing side stories, memoirs and other stuff after that point but that's all up in the air, it depends on how things go with the main storyline.

That's why I set up the community activity now- everyone has their characters involved, and in case the story doesn't pick up they should at least have some say on what happens, because certain characters are getting fine tuned, swapped around or otherwise modified and I don't want AGAIN to turn into a horrific mess in someone's eyes. I still want it to be a group project.

Wrapping up the main storyline is the real sticker right now.

There's the bit about side stories, future plots, or even the current story - do we have the incentive to begin where we left off?"

Any input on that is much appreciated. Because, of course, we're still looking for activity.

After that we moved onto players that have been problematic. Ironically, just at the time of posting, one of mentioned players just entered. While the group had just met a concensus on how to handle these types of players, the mentioned one turned it into a giant argument over the rights to play his character that he hadn't touched for a year and the community had been managing as an NPC for that time. As far as I was concerned, it was community property by this point. He'd completely ignored the warnings on what happens when you miss games, over and over. Many times over, in fact. It exploded to the point that he told the server admin [irk] to go fuck herself, and needless to say, this didn't end well for anyone as hoisted from the chat, he trolloped to IM and complained there for a while.

Jinto won't be coming back with his old player. He can complain all he wants, he ripped the original concept from someone else anyway. His new player will be Derek, who is free to modify the character as he sees fit. No more missing from games, no more laziness, no more bullshit.

Also accomplished is the retractal of players controlling high entities. The only one remaining is Hel Crux and Zom in Irk's hands. Zom is a completely original creation of hers, and Hel Crux was built from the ground up with her and there's other reasons for that decision. You could call her a co-writer with Hel Crux. Her calls regarding him are extremely important and I need to default to her. Qinglau, Genbu, Flarelord and so forth are in my possession. Steve has no problem with this because, really, he found playing Qinglau sort of awkward. He's still allowed to look things over for details and give his thumbs up since he played him for a while, why the hell not?


Notes on WTF is going on ICly are sort of scattered. We need a pickup point for when we do start.

Basically, Nereus' group [Maurus, who's probably gonna get rekicked if the meeting tells anything, Minerva, and possibly an approaching NPC by Irk] was at the capital of Granslun seeing a HUGE fuckin' gathering. They didn't decipher too much on it before we had to pause. It was very crowded, seemed very important, soon as they snuck in the gates.

Rumea's group was just setting out excursion-wise.

I'd suggest playing Nereus' group first because realistically, what they're doing would be done before Rumea's, since Rumea's needs to travel further. Nereus' group can collect and figure out what the hell they're doing once I post summaries in my next post, whenever I have the time. I need to figure out some stuff too, this is part of shuffling through it.

13 February 2006 @ 06:42 pm
Alright, the journals are still mildly active, but this community was never majorly so. ...So I'm going to use it as a center to dump my ideas into for the books, outside of the forums, where Derek and Irk and anyone else interested can give their input.

I'm seeing problems reorganizing things. Maybe it's my lack of will to. I do want to continue on with Szurane but the problem is I'm not entirely bloody well sure it's in RPG format. The idea of it as an RPG was fun for a while but when RL hijacked me, and then Crysta and Soja, and then Steve, and then Derek intermittantly through that, it kind of shook things up. Atop that I hard a sharp realization in the last few days that I really need to start getting serious about Szurane, and treating it just like a game isn't going to do that.

You're free to persuade me otherwise. I'm just not sure if people are really interested anymore. The last activity was in, what, November? For a few games? And before that, August? If I get a show of hands here saying you still want it in game format while I write it out as a story, I'll work on that. But I don't know if I'm going to scrape things together if I don't feel it happening like that. Also, it's up to you people to round in the other Szurane members to this community to see this message, I'm tired of being the one that has to do that. I'll net the first few and then you send out the message from there if you really want your game. That will let me see if you're serious about it or not, alright? I'm sorry to the new players that just joined all enthused. I really am, but it just doesn't seem to be clicking for me anymore like a game. This is a story, not a game. And while the two are not mutually exclusive necessarily, stories are not always games. Games can [and should be] stories, though, so if you really want to use the story I have set up for Szurane, then show me you are interested.

Anyway, on the topic of the book: I still want the book to be a group project, because a lot of the book is inspired by the RPG and vice versa. It was sort of mercurial like that. I had a story set out but I let certain things change the path it went in, and you know what, it's gone really fuckin' well. Some things are going to be changed because, while Szurane was good for a game, it lacked a little organization for a story - especially the first series of storyline when I was testing out my GM muscles. That's why I've been working on things like remapping, poking at character designs, and even changing names lately.

Character names will be different in the novels, but similar to the original intent. This is to avoid random Japanese injecting itself into an english novel. While it's inspired by a Japanese story and has Japanese style art, we are going to remember that I'm an english author and try to avoid this. The names of the Shinzoku I'm pending on, since this is a very well known myth, it doesn't seem too out of place to have THAT Japanese in it. I can't use the chinese because Qinglau's name is the chinese, unless I shift Qinglau's name to something else.

Name changes:

Rumea Brandbaar: Rumea Donoma
Adeline Traskal: Aysel Traskal
Alrick Cathecasscha [or however the hell that's spelled, I'll look it up later]: Altan [last name]
Jinto[horu]: Jeri[cho] (Jeri pronounced Jerry)
Xento: Zento
Dizri: Sulwyn
Shizuka: Serena

...And some others that were never even named.

While "Kuzu Kaza" is thoroughly Japanese, the name sounds sort of like a gag adventurer name. It's short and concise enough to slide under the radar. It was actually originally made with that intent, even.

The name of the Migrant twins is going to be a BITCH. One efficiently means first star of the blahblah something and I don't even remember what the other means, I'll need 2 to poke me on that again. I know "Xing Xing" means twin stars, but sadly, that's just because "XING" means star. 2 needs to poke me about the meanings again and I'll...compose... something.

There's probably a few I'm missing, but these are just the first characters that came to mind.

The character models of Rumea and Zento have gone over considerable overhaul in the last several months. There's been a sufficient amount of past built up over the spite between Tenkiyogudo and Qinglau, and the Deadlands are almost TOO built up.

Before writing I'm going to need to tweak a few more character models and work on hierarchy overhauls without fubaring the concept of either.

To be honest, a lot of characters can work just as well or better as humans; I know people like the idea of being part of a freak show, but a freak show loses its dynamic if everybody is a visible freak. That's not the only way to be a freak. I've stared at Jinto/Jeri's character model and gone "...why is he a furry again?". Because a lot of the original characters were furries for other reasons. There's a vague blurb about furres in his past that really does nothing for development; the chemistry of the group would actually be sufficiently more entertaining if he were human. An early book-only character will be human. Shizuka/Serena's staying Ch'i'lin but she's the closest type to humans in appearance. X/Zento's an annoying human as far as anybody knows at first. That just leaves Byrock, the jackass, set out as the original freak alongside Rumea, the visible freak. A much stronger dynamic.

This leaves me with greater problems later on, though, when I start getting inundated with characters; I'm going to have to carefully control when people are in the plot and how. [Almost] everyone who's been in Szurane will have their character there, it just might not show at the exact same moment they showed up, for a better storyline flow. I say "almost" because there's a few particular people that didn't try. At all. These people's characters are either going to be majorly overhauled for convenience, or cut out like bad fat. If your character contributed or you at least tried in the time you had in Szurane, you can be sure your character will have its time in the spotlight.

If your character wardrobeor appearance is strikingly similar to its Slayers counterpart, it might get tweaked. We want to give a nod, not get slapped with a lawsuit.

With hierarchy overhauls, chill. The demon lords you know are staying, it's mostly a background demonology thing. I'm going to check back and see what I can tighten up. The slayers demons are all on duke level [except for Zelas, the weakest/youngest, one step lower], while I sort of put mine all over the map based on what I felt was right. I'm going to see if I can balance this out or not. I'm also going to see if I can match up any particular oriental gods or demons parallel to the demon lords, since there's oriental dieties representing the gods. I'm going to work a little on tightening worldwide religion and cults, things like that.

Once that's done, I really am going to proceed more with the book. I started on the first chapter and realized it felt a little hollow. And I know why. All the material is there and the will to write it is there, but I'm still missing some things that I need to patch over. "Write as you go" really can't work with Szurane, because you know what, we've done that already and Szurane shouldn't have to do that again.

I might, for my own benefit, write out a book before it, or just a big compilation of notes to later be composed into a book, about Szurane's planar theories, it's religions, it's demons and all of that bullshit so it's packed solid. No questioning. Maybe even publish it some time, maybe not. But it'll help me at least have something to fall back to all at once. The information is all in my head but it'd be nice to know, "no, it's hardbound now".

...Any ideas about potential tweaks for your character or other related characters, the hierarchy, or related stuff, go here plz.
30 June 2005 @ 09:57 pm
...Writing's accepted here, right?


There once was a blue fruitbucket,
If he saw a hot man he'd fuckit,
His vocabulary was huge
But turn your back and he'd
Fuck you up the ass without lube
And then some more witty lines here.