I suppose I'll start with the mundane: remedies.
At work, we have free coffee, before noon more or less.
I make extensive use of this.
I can drink my coffee any way. Sugar and cream, sugar alone, cream alone (this is my preferred), or even black. (I don't really see what's the reason not to do it, but I tend not to simply because I like the flavor creamer adds plus creamer cools the coffee faster.)
When I am feeling myself be dangerously low on nutrients--and this is, unsurprisingly, happening more and more often at work--I have taken to adding sugar to the coffee. I'm pretty sure the sugar I want is real sugar and not sweetener. I'm pretty sure my work has the real sugar (it'd be the white ones), and I know absolutely for sure it has sweetener (between the pink/yellow/blue ones, I know at least one or two are sweeteners and I think all three are).
Still, just in case, I add both to the coffee, such that I have an emergency supply of energy. Is it healthy, heck no. Does it even help me? Probably not much! But it's better than nothing for someone who is hopelessly eternally underweight. (One good thing I have to look forward to when I eventually live with my girlfriend is that problem won't be allowed to stand. Long story there but that's not something to tell on a public blog.)
However, I still prefer not to use it.
That having been said, it has become necessary for a formula.
Since being sick, I've been adding tea to my drink. I let the drink sit for 20 minutes (off the stand, with coffee) or 30 minutes (on the stand, with hot water), alternating between the two as I change positions and thus averaging two drinks per hour.
This I can only conclude has one of two acceptable names: 'cofftea' and 'abomination'. Because I imagine the one and only thing coffee purists and tea purists have in common is that they believe you should never mix the two, and yet I freely do so.
The formula changes day to day, but by the end of the day it's usually about the same:
Five tea bags (in a tiny 8-10 ounce cup, mind you) already at the bottom and thoroughly soaked. Add 50-60% coffee, preferably not decaf but I'll use decaf if regular's not available. As the tea diminishes with repeated doses, so too does the amount of sugar I add, from 4-5 (initial) down to 2-3 (final) by the end of the day sugar packs, with a near-equal but slightly less number of sweeteners (3-5 initial, down to 2-3 final).
Then I fill it most of the way to the top with the creamer. I can't confirm, but I believe my workplace uses half-and-half creamer, whatever that entails. The final bit I add is a top-off of hot water. Now, mind you, the drink is already heated because coffee is kept warm/hot especially when freshly brewed about once an hour (I get the fresh brew a good half of the time as one of the first people to have it, and then the stale brew as one of the last to have it the other half of the time), but the water seems to help balance the flavors out.
I add a wooden stick to stir, and I imagine the wooden stick actually adds flavor of its own because I leave it in (in no small part because half of the time it gets tangled in the tea strings).
I drink that, then add hot water, then rotate onto the guard stand, when off drink the hot water brew, and repeat the process. The tea I use is whatever's available, which seems to differ from time to time. (So does the sugar by the way. And for that matter, sometimes the creamer, though the creamer's mostly consistent.) Some are marked as caffeine-free.
When given the choice I normally stay away from those and stick with the ones without such a label since I assume a lack of a caffeine-free label indicates there's caffeine within and usually caffeine is half the point. Right now I'm having tea because I'm sick. But were I to have cofftea outside of being sick, it'd be because there's no regular coffee, decaf coffee is available, but so too is a non-caffeine-free tea bag available.
...Okay so the wording there's confusing. But basically. Outside of sickness, I use cofftea when I need a caffeine fix and the only coffee available is decaf. So that's one--maybe two--teabags. But when I'm sick. And I'm frustrated with being sick. I start to get desperate.
I don't even know if tea actually helps with a cold. And if it does, I don't even know if the tea that I take helps with a cold. And if it does, I don't even know if the way I make the tea is effective at producing the results I want. But if nothing else it is a rather effective placebo, especially today.
Today, I had one teabag which was some Dandelion Root thing, labeled as a 'Traditional Medicinals' and also as naturally caffeine free. Also present: Chamomile Herbal Tea (caffeine free), Peppermint Herbal Tea (caffeine free), Earl Grey Black Tea, and English Breakfast Black Tea.
Even using more sugar than I normally did.
What I can say about it is...
...It tasted. And I kid you not. It tasted exactly like cough medicine. And in fact. It wouldn't surprise me if its effect was exactly the same as cough medicine. It tasted terrible...but the bad taste might've been justified by how it actually WORKED, moreso than this tea trick I've been using has been previously.
Rather, for about an hour, my cold symptoms actually seemed to worsen rather than improve when I first began, but when I kept going...they vanished almost altogether, clearing things up in a way they hadn't ever been cleared up before. I even stopped having a runny nose! (Well for the most part.)
Now granted. I'm a firm believer in letting the body do its own thing. Coughing is meant to dislodge junk more or less. A sore throat is your immune system killing infected cells. A runny nose is forcefully expunging any material which could carry the disease. So having those things stop? Not necessarily actually a good thing.
Which is one reason why I stopped taking cough medicine and the furthest I was willing to go was to liberally make use of cough drops (I mean, I suspect that cough drops are essentially cough medicine distilled over time, but they feel like they aren't as potent).
More or less, if the disease the body is dealing with is a virus, then it's become my belief--mistaken or not--that there's no cure for it, no way to magically make it better, and that cough medicine can actually slow recovery down by slowing the body's fighting mechanisms from fighting the way they are inclined to fight, if that makes sense. (Basically, cough medicine doesn't cure the cause of the cold, just the symptom of it, and treating the symptom isn't a cure. It can make the cause last longer, and I want to avoid that.)
Of course, obviously, if the disease the body is dealing with is bacteria, different story altogether. I'm still not overly fond of antibiotics (among other reasons, they nuke the good along with the bad and I'm not the best at compensating with probiotics), but those are actually going to make a difference...provided of course that it is in fact a bacterial infection. (One other reason I'm not so fond of antibiotics is that using them against a virus is ineffective and even detrimental, and yet with this level of sickness symptoms differentiating between the two is difficult at best.)
So back to my point--I miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight be making my own life more difficult if the tea did in fact act like cough medicine and suppress the symptoms which are part of the process in curing the cause, thus elongating the sickness...but at least I wasn't miserable during work and was able to function. I've found the tea remedy doesn't even last the whole day traditionally.
Either because it needs to be reapplied every hour or so or because the initial strongest dose wears off after about six hours (with five being the length of time I work), by the time I am home, usually I'm back to being my same ol' sick self again.
Still. I feel like sharing the experience all the same. If for no other reason than to make people who are actually knowledgeable cringe in absolute horror at my ignorance.
Anyway! What else have I worked on?
Let's start with the Rubyverse.
I'm inventing my own martial art, the vampiric martial art featuring the Impaler Stance, as it's called.
However, I've developed it further. I meant to blog about this back on the eighth but didn't get around to it.
Still, since then I've begun developing the martial art behind the Impaler Stance.
First off: note that I haven't done my research. I'd want to research Chinese style martial arts (of which there are plenty) to get a feel for the general aesthetic behind them be it soft, hard, or hybrid between the two. (The vampiric martial art is in some ways incredibly soft, and yet in other very specific ways, incredibly hard, styled martial arts.)
A basic lore behind the vampiric martial art (which I need to name; I'll name it when I research Chinese martial arts and get a good idea for what kind of name it'd be) is that it was developed by two notable vampires with the aid of two other overseers: Lord Darkblood (the vampire responsible for Ruby as she is in the story and whose position she inherited when he was vaporized by her awakening) and Lord Tepes(/Tepez? Too lazy to look up which would be the technically correct spelling but this is quite literally Dracula) as the overseers, with the ones being:
-Lina Tepes (Dracula's daughter)
-And Victor Wu.
Victor Wu is the current vampire Lord of the dieing Wu coven, which is a vampire coven that has a basis largely in Asia and yes...quite prominently, China. This specific martial art was developed ~1,000 years ago back when Lina and Victor were both reasonably young (thus the need for overseers) and still within human lifespans even.
I deliberately go out of my way to avoid going into too many specifics behind the Wu coven (it's honestly not something I want to take the time to properly delve into for the sake of Red Hood Rider even though the Wu coven is historically speaking one of the most important covens in the Rubyverse), but Victor Wu when developing the vampiric martial art which the impaler stance is derived from did have Chinese martial arts of the time as an inspiration.
I'd also research European Martial Arts of the time but...I honestly wouldn't know where to begin? Like. In the year of like 1,000 AD. In Europe. There was I'm sure some form of trained unarmed combat which we would in the modern world deem a martial art, but like. I've never even heard of any? I know of plenty of armed warfare methods. Even gladiatorial combat. Dueling, too.
But those are still with weapons. I can tell you how a gladiator fought; I can tell you how a duel would be fought (well, maybe), I can tell you how various different armies throughout Europe fought from Ancient Egypt up through early gunpowder usage pretty well (albeit not perfectly). But while it's all nice and good to know how a knight in shining armor swung his sword (it's not nearly as impressive as the movies make it out to be).
...How did they actually have an unarmed fight, often to the death? In the Eastern cultures, those martial arts are extensively recorded even going back a thousand years. So we know why they did it, how they did it, when they did it, and so on and so forth.
In Western cultures, sure. Things we can call Martial Arts were developed eventually. Pugilism. Boxing. It's half-new-world, but sure let's include Capoeira too. (I'm naming examples from the top of my head if you couldn't tell.) The likes of those, later on, we know how they formed, where they formed, and so on and so forth.
Apparently, by a quick skim of what the wikipedia article I pulled up says, in the time period I am aiming for, the records...simply...don't exist. The earliest they come in is the 1300s, and I am aiming for literally 200-300 years before that. (Of course, this is assuming Dracula is older than Vladimir Tepes III, which I think is part of my established mythos; my job becomes a little bit easier if I am mistaken about that and Dracula was born in 1428/1431.)
What I'm getting at is that Lina Tepes, one of the developers of the style, had that European background. I decided that for the sake of simplicity the following:
The vampiric martial art would have English names for everything of course, but also have names for everything that were either Chinese (probably Mandarin) or Latin. Because the Wu coven has that Chinese flair, and because I figured that Latin was a bit of a universal language of sorts especially for nobility and it has...well, it kinda has the flair of the supernatural around it. (There's a reason Ominous Latin Chanting is a trope.)
So with that settled. All names are subject to change.
The vampiric martial art has six stances I've developed. Three fall under the same branch, the backbone of the martial art, and would be considered part of the impaler stance (the impaler stance is mostly thought of as being the 'attack'/forward position of the three though, because vampires have far less need for defense).
If you think of facing forward as being 0 degrees, and perpendicular to that as 90 degrees, then the three backbone stances, core stances of the vampiric martial art, work as so. (They all have the exact same footwork, just with differing weight distributions.)
The front leg is anywhere from 0-30 degrees: mostly straight, but okay to have a slight curve to it.
The back leg is anywhere from 95-40 degrees: mostly facing to the side, but okay to be facing more to the front.
The idea is to more or less minimize the front profile as much as possible, hide the movement of the back (where the power mostly comes from), and essentially allow for the maximization of efficient, powerful movements.
Another benefit: when done properly, you can shift between all three different stances in the blink of the eye, making a switch between offense and defense happen at lightning-fast speeds. (At least that's the idea.)
Weight distribution is one of three ways, each a different stance: Loosely even distribution (~45-55%) with bent knees is the Even/Ready position: the user can launch forward, launch backward, switch, defend, attack, etc. with great ease, and without broadcasting their next move.
Weight more on the front (~55-95%) is Front/Attack/Traditional Impaler position: the body is naturally in a spot where it can launch an assault, comboing one attack after another.
Weight more on the back (~55-95%) is Back/Defend position: the body is naturally in a spot where it is difficult to knock the user off-balance (sweeping the front leg does nothing; sweeping the back leg is difficult), retreating is easy, and it's hard to connect a blow because the user is further away always.
Keep in mind: in none of these do you lean that way. Leaning back is a good way to get knocked over. Leaning forward is a good way to get stuck, get blinded, and the like. You remain upright the entire time.
The three stances I invented here take cues mostly from three stances that I know: fighting stance, cat stance, and back stance/karate fighting stance (my understanding of where it came from). Fighting stance is both feet at 30 degrees, loosely even weight distribution but slightly on the front (51-55%); back stance/karate fighting stance is both knees bent with the front leg pointed forward at 0 degrees and the back leg perpendicular at 90 degrees; cat stance is something which is a bit harder for me to describe, but it's one most people have a general idea for anyway since it's a favorite of martial arts flicks.
Mind you. That's not a direct correlation, where one equals another. All three of my stances take from all three of those stances. I have actually done some minor practice trial runs of the stances in real life, and I've found that they're incredibly easy to mess up/do wrong and incredibly easy for me to revert into my trained habits instead of what I'm aiming for (thus making a true test next-to-impossible), but initial results are still reasonably promising, in that when I pulled off what I was aiming for in my mind's eye of what the stances looked like, the results felt easy and practical to use which is exactly what I was going for.
There are three other stances, but these are mostly used in more formal environments as part of training: Neutral/Transition stance is when the feet are straight, make a V, and come together. Hands are often at the side in this position as a sign of respect.
In what I am dubbing the "Prepared" stance (because I named a different stance "Ready") is the stance which in other martial arts is the Ready stance. This is a pretty universal stance, and my usage of it differs very little from the norm. Feet loosely a shoulder width apart, hands in front at where the belt would be approximately (both open in this case, mostly straight but slightly curved), though differing from my style of tae kwon do (where they'd be facing straight) the feet continue the V pattern in that they are slightly turned outward.
The final stance I've developed is the logical extension of this: the Wide/Training/Drilling/Exercising stance, almost double shoulder width, feet in a V, and hands up in an open-handed guard. This is not a combat stance; it has no pragmatic value. It is however used for practicing precision on technique and for training strength and endurance.
With the stances developed, basic terminology time.
A fundamental part of the vampiric martial art I'm developing is the concept that one hand (usually the back hand) is the "Sword", and the other hand (usually the front hand) is the "Shield". When a Shield does a strike, it is called a 'bash'; when a sword does a strike, it is just called a strike.
Bashes typically have less power but are faster, because they come from the front and are closer to the target, but have less momentum and energy from the body backing them.
I've developed nine each (for a total of eighteen), though this is subject to expansion.
High Palm Bash is a combination of a Jab and a High Palm Heel Strike. The front hand strikes high.
High Palm Strike is a combination of a Cross(Punch) and a High Palm Strike. The back hand strikes high.
Low Palm Bash is a combination of a Sliding Punch and a Low Palm Heel Strike. The front hand strikes low.
Low Palm Strike is a combination of a Sliding Punch and a Low Palm Hell Strike. Just, the back hand strikes low.
Inward Chop Bash is an Inward Chop with the front hand.
Inward Chop Strike is an Inward Chop with the back hand.
Outward Chop Bash is an Outward Chop with the front hand.
Outward Chop Strike is an Outward Chop with the back hand. (May be weaker given body mechanics?)
Inward Ridge Bash is an Inward Ridge Hand Strike with the front hand.
Inward Ridge Strike is an Inward Ridge Hand Strike with the back hand (one of the few which is less powerful given body mechanics).
Outward Ridge Bash is an Outward Ridge Hand Strike with the front hand.
Outward Ridge Strike is an Outward Ridge Hand Strike with the back hand (also weaker given body mechanics).
Upperjab Bash is a combination of an Uppercut and an open-hand jab (fingers pointed straight), aimed at the throat, with the front hand.
Upperjab Strike is a combination of an Uppercut and an open-hand jab, aimed at the throat, with the back hand.
High Impale Bash is a combination of a Jab and an open-hand jab, aimed at the throat, with the front hand.
High Impale Strike, one of the titular naming moves of the Impaler stance albeit the less-used of the two, is a combination of a Cross and an open-hand jab, aimed at the throat, with the back hand.
Low Impale Bash is a combination of a Jab and an open-hand jab, aimed at the torso, with the front hand.
Low Impale Strike, the titular naming move of the impaler stance, is a combination of a Cross and an open-hand jab, aimed at the torso, with the back hand. It is the signature move of the style, where enough power is packed into a thrust to pierce through the target. (Keep in mind the fighters using this style are vampires. They have superhuman strength, which means their fingers will not bend or break; they will keep going through any target if trained enough.)
In non-impaler stances (Transition/Prepared/Wide), the default is to assign the right hand to be the 'front' hand, and the left hand to be the 'back' hand, and to appropriately assign them sword/shield designations.
When the front hand does a block, it is called a Block.
When the back hand does a block, it is called a Parry.
Blocks I haven't quite mapped out yet as extensively as I did strikes.
I know that knife-hand block is a staple and the default position for both hands; scissor blocks are common; crane blocks are featured; open-hand blocks are one of the core features when combined with the knife block.
I can tell you where hand positions are when in the impaler stances. The sword hand guards mostly the torso and below; the shield hand guards mostly the torso and above. Pragmatically, this means the back hand has the elbow somewhere between thigh and hip height (easily guarding the torso with minimal effort to guard the legs), and the front hand has the elbow at literally dead center of the chest (there's probably a name for it, but the spot where the ribs come together is where it is).
At least, that's how it looks more or less on my body, which admittedly has very long extremities with a comparatively-small torso. (My legs are one of the main reasons I'm 6'2"; my arms have the same long and stringy build that my legs do and thus are capable of reaching much further than normal.)
Everything I do is obviously an estimate, because I only have my own body as an experimental guinea pig.
Still. I've covered stances, blocks, and strikes; that leaves kicks.
Kicks are done in one of two stances: Attack or Defend positions. Never the other four. (I suppose you could get away with it in Neutral/Transition.) When in the Attack position, you're going to be using back leg kicks since your weight's on the front leg; when in the Defend position, you're going to be using front leg kicks since your weight's on the back leg.
Keep in mind, once again, that a master of the impaler stance(s) is switching between all three at a rate fast enough such that it's impossible to just go "oh, weight's on the back, better guard from a front leg attack".
Back leg kicks when in front stance are mostly the torso and below: front kick (mostly push), round-house kick, inward crescent (no real outward crescent though it's possible), leg sweeps, and the occasional but rare heel rake. There's one more kick which can be done with a fair amount of ease, and it is the power kick of the style: the turn/back kick. Since the body is already turned half of the way, it's just a simple 70-100 degree rotation and BAM.
This has the obvious downside of leaving even the most skilled of fighters vulnerable when they turn their back to their opponent, but it has a huge payoff if it succeeds. It flows best with a series of Bashes/Blocks thrown and the sword hand more or less 'sheathed' in its guard position (so not having it out doing something which will rob the spin of momentum).
Front leg kicks can be done below the torso, but with the exception of a sweep, they are mostly done torso and above. The front leg kicks are the front kick, round-house kick, crescent kick (mostly inward), ax, the occasional heel rake, and the occasional side-kick. Said side-kick is more of a push-kick (same as the back leg's front-kick), in that it's not turning over far enough to have real power behind it (you're not gonna stun them with it in the impaler stance), but it's a good way to force an opponent back.
Like I said. Preliminary tests of body mechanics indicate that when I do it the way I actually pictured myself doing it, everything works as a viable, pragmatic fighting style. You have hard blocks to break the opponent's offense. You have soft blocks to latch onto the opponent. You have open-hand strikes, from the front to give an initial stunner, and from the back to deliver the power.
You can kick, but kicks come secondary to the focus on the hands and basically, maximizing mostly an efficient, effortless defense which in the drop of a hair can switch to a focused, precise, deadly offense, delivering swift, decisive blows.
That's the idea anyway.
The next steps for me are to deliver some levels of consistency and to also start developing forms, which I'm in the preliminary steps of doing. (I suppose I also need self-defenses and one-steps, but those come later I'd think.)
My goal, if you hadn't noticed.
Isn't just to develop a fictional martial art used in the Rubyverse by vampires.
That's how it started, alright.
My goal here is to develop a martial art I've invented which would actually without supernatural powers be at least something resembling pragmatic in real life. It's something I've wanted to maybe talk to my tae kwon do instructor about; they probably would think it's one of the most amazing breakthroughs in my development as a martial artist, but it's possible I'm doing things wrongly enough that I could get a stern word from them or something to that effect.
...And as we approach five.
Four hours? I was being optimistic. Believe it or not, the Rubyverse bit about martial arts I just detailed was meant to be the sidenote of the ramble. SIDE. NOTE. As in, compared to the whole, a small fraction of it. I certainly know it's a fraction of the effort, given that I am deliberately not bothering to do my research on the Chinese martial arts right now. (Wanting to do that is one of the reasons the original ramble got delayed I believe.)
The thing which takes up the most amount of time?
Once more, The Perfect RPG.
Let's start with a few things regarding the confrontation with the guest party member I mentioned before. Well, there's four endings possible: default ending of not being a dick, being a bit of a dick, being a complete and total dick, and surpassing dickhood into just flat-out monstrous. These are in fact appropriately reflected in the endings, actually.
There are many. Many. Many. Many many many many MANY endings for the game. Dozens of variations on them in fact. But primary endings can be divided into: Absolute Perfect, Perfect, Good (this is the standard; the typical average player will get this ending or variants of it and there are the most classified as this type), Okay (this is the best possible ending you can get by killing the guest character once), Poor (this is the best possible ending you can get by killing the guest character and leaving him dead), and Bad (this is the only ending you can get by killing the guest character until you can't kill him anymore because he suicides).
Absolute Perfect is achieved by getting literally every single quest in the game completed. Note this doesn't require getting 100% Completion, but it does require a few RIDICULOUSLY obscure things, like the occasional precise party composition for precise times and doing things in precise order, but this is not out of the standard for an RPG.
Though no single Absolute Perfect ending is considered canonical, *an* Absolute Perfect ending is, canonically, how the game ends. The Adventure Continues, and continues in the best way possible.
Perfect is achieved by getting all regular sidequests and easily-accessed (that being, non-obscure ones which are reasonably easy to deduce if not outright explicit) sidequests completed. The Adventure Continues...in search of a way for it to continue in the best way possible.
Good is achieved just by not being a total dick. Many characters settle down, though for some adventure calls.
Okay is achieved if you were a bit of a dick. Many characters settle down, and the ending is bittersweet, but happy.
Poor is achieved by being a dick. Characters promise to keep in touch, and things are mostly the same as in Okay, but there is a dark implication that the protagonist will become a villain.
Bad is when you're just a monster. Characters part ways, permanently. Things are more explicit than in Poor: the protagonist has a conversation where he explicitly accepts becoming a villain.
By the way, in that Poor ending...you are reminded once again. It was not just the game mechanics telling you not to do what you did. The game mechanics with the 3-5 warning screens were explicit enough...but even prior to that, the story explicitly features a scene where a villain warns the protagonist, "You need to let go". And that if the protagonist doesn't, that they'll end up becoming the villain.
In Good or better, the protagonist let go.
In Okay, the protagonist didn't let go initially when he should have, but rebuffs the idea of villainy in the epilogue, indicating character growth and that he has reached a point where he can let go.
In both the poor/bad endings, the protagonist hasn't let go still, which leads to a dark ending......
Incidentally, from a certain point of view, those can be thought of as canonical...in an alternate timeline. They're not canonical in the game proper, rather explicitly.
There's more content surrounding the Let Him Go choice, by the way.
When you kill the guest character, you are presented with a screen with his corpse. Examining it will have the following dialog:
"The corpse of your fallen friend, Name."
There will be four options available:
Revive (Uses 1 *revive item* or *MP necessary to cast a revive spell if protagonist character has one available*)
If you leave, it disengages, but you're still on the screen. You have to manually leave the body there. (And eventually you will no matter what if you're going for either the Poor or Bad endings.)
If you revive, it will revive him. He'll go into a dialog with you, unless it's your third revive, in which case you go straight into battle.
If you try to loot, you are given the following message:
"Weren't you paying attention? He gave you everything he had; the only thing he didn't return was his body."
I'll explain the desecrate corpse option soon enough.
If you have revived him ten times, then he suicides, you're still left with the corpse that you can interact with. However, the dialog box changes:
"The eviscerated corpse of your fallen friend, Name, torn to shreds badly enough that it cannot be revived."
Revive (grayed out and with strike text through it, debolded)
Loot and Leave are the same.
If you select Desecrate Corpse, regardless of whether the body is eviscerated or not, the screen will fade to black, and then reopen, once more showing the corpse. If you interact with it, you're given an altered dialog box:
"The desecrated corpse of your fallen friend, Name."
No revive option will display.
You have the options then of:
If you desecrated an eviscerated corpse, the dialog is much as you'd expect:
"The desecrated and eviscerated corpse of your fallen friend, Name, torn to shreds badly enough that it cannot be revived."
...And as you may have guessed.
You can in fact at this point.
Loot the corpse.
The items you receive from doing so have pros and cons both ways between being regular and key.
-Eternal Shame, permanently marking your inventory for being what you are.
-Takes at least three playthroughs to get a 100% completion rating.
-Could miss them depending on inventory space.
-By having the items removed from your inventory at the end of the game, it means everything you did was for nothing. You got nothing by doing it. You didn't earn anything. It was pointless to have done. It was something absolutely with no gain whatsoever.
-Guaranteed to always have inventory room for them (since key items have a special screen which takes no inventory).
-It erases the evidence of the old shame.
Overall I lean towards key, because that fits the theme I have going for the storyline better.
The items you receive are the following:
Item description: "A trophy for your treachery." (Implication being you scalped him.)
Item description: "If you added this to your own, it might mean you wouldn't be so stupid. Unless of course you did this deliberately, in which case you're just plain evil."
Item description: "Well I guess he won't see no evil anymore."
Item description: "Well I guess he won't hear no evil anymore."
Item description: "You're despicable."
Item description: "Well I guess he won't speak no evil anymore."
Item description: "Knowing you, probably carved out with a spoon."
Item description: "Seriously, what is wrong with you?"
Item description: "If this is music to your ears, then you are beyond all hope."
Item description: "No, seriously. You. have. Issues."
A note from the game developer
Item description: "It reads: 'You sicko'."
The only difference that the eviscerated corpse gives?
The note from the game developer has its description change:
A note from the game developer
Item description: "It reads: 'You absolute sicko'."
When he said that you should be called a villain for doing what you do to get those things.
He meant it.
To sum it up.
The game would make it abundantly clear.
"DO NOT DO THIS".
And that you deserve what's coming if you did it.
It would be there as an OPTION though in my perfect RPG. Just one that you're never ever ever ever ever ever ever ACTUALLY meant to take. (In a way it's a sensible conclusion from the logical extension of looting: you take everything you can. The text said he gave you everything except his body, so in order to loot from him......)
To not end on a morbid note (I'd like to think that it can be dark comedy and not just dark), there's more content to come for the perfect RPG though! Starting with a piece of worldbuilding: Touched.
Touched individuals are a natural consequence of Walkers existing in the world. Walkers can change the very fundamental landscape of the world in every sense: cultural, political, physical, etc. When a Walker interacts extensively with an individual in the Future/Present (key note, it has to be extensive; just saying to them 'hi' isn't enough), then if that Walker goes into the Present/Past and changes it, then when the Walker goes back to that time period, the individual they interacted with
-Still exists even if by all rights they shouldn't
-Still remembers the way things were
-Yet knows how things currently are.
Those individuals are called Touched.
They are, essentially, sensitive thanks to direct interaction with the walkers, to changes the walkers make. Non-touched individuals don't remember, because as far as they're concerned, the world they're in is the world that they've always been in. The changes which happened are history to them; they happened already.
So the game does not work on the principle of a stable time loop, where you go into the future, learn of things you haven't done yet, and then do them. Changes you make are unexpected and permanent. You have no way of knowing the consequences of your actions, except for interacting with the worlds after they've been changed.
I mentioned already that changing one could change the others and this applies for all realms in past/present/future such that changing one in the past can change a different one's future. And that's how it more or less would manifest in the game. One reason why going to the future is less helpful than you might imagine--the antagonists which are attacking are beings which live in a realm outside of space and time. So for them, they can attack all three.
They are not themselves walkers, but are close in principle to being walkers. (So close, in fact, that the characters are disturbed by the similarities as it is noted what they can do is similar albeit not identical to what walkers do.) They are sent to the past, they are sent to the present, they are sent to the future. They are attacking all three at once.
Succeeding in the past succeeds all three but is the hardest for them to do; succeeding in the future doesn't guarantee success in the others but is easier for them to pull off.
One thing I worked on yesterday was that because elements are now a key part of the setting, I wanted there to be game balance between them.
I did develop a system, though frankly Ice's placement makes no sense to me. It's just that it's the best I could think of.
Fire > Air > Earth > Energy > Water > Fire is a five-way rock-paper-scissors elemental wheel.
Ice > Light > Dark > Ice is a more traditional three-way rock-paper-scissors elemental wheel.
If you hit an element which trumps your own or which is identical to your own, it is more easily nullified/absorbed; if you hit an element which you trump, you do significantly more damage; each element has one it's weak to and one it's strong to.
While enemies might have one element they are predominantly classified as.
This does not preclude multiple immunities/types/etc.
You could have an entity immune to all of them, vulnerable only to non-elemental attacks.
You could have an entity with rotating immunities.
You could have an entity immune to Fire, Water, and Air, yet vulnerable to Energy and Earth.
And so on and so forth.
This is just a loose guideline.
The other thing I worked on yesterday was...yep. Classes!
Doesn't the game have no classes?
Why yes! Yes, it does not have classes.
There are no classes in the game.
However. I explicitly did say that characters could be flavored as fitting into the archetypes we typically associate with a class. And I compiled a list of classes which could be featured as things which characters pull from. To repost it, it's like so:
Monk-->Master (Martial Artist/Black Belt)
Red Mage-->Red Wizard
White Mage-->White Wizard
Black Mage-->Black Wizard
Blue Mage-->Blue Wizard?
?Time Mage?/Dimension Mage
There's just about the number of classes listed necessary for every character to have 2-3 classes as their thing, if we assumed no overlap. (There would be overlap. I mean, I am creating The Perfect RPG here for me where each character is as unique as possible, but. Even I have limits; I'd recognize that past a certain point, there's a level of redundancy where characters share some traits with one another.)
I could limit the list further if I needed to, but I don't need to. This serves my purposes just fine. Because once more. There aren't classes. There's just the aesthetic of them, where characters have certain aspects and traits which are fitting for archetypes associated with particular classes, but don't have any official designation.
There's no rule stating that a character could only be a Fighter, for instance.
They could be a Fighter and a Beastmaster and yet also be a Dancer and yet furthermore have some Black Mage traits to them. In spite of each of those being VASTLY different classes, they are theoretically something which could fit entirely on one character.
The list above, then, is basically a guideline (not rule) for where my characters would draw their limit breaks, combos, counter breaks, counters, combo breaks, and hero abilities from. It is by no means an extensive list (items not there could be there) nor is it an inclusive list (items there are not guaranteed to be in the perfect RPG and even if they are featured may not be featured as much as you'd think).
On that note.
Another thing I added today:
Explicit guest characters.
The game features four guest characters which you, the player, don't know are guest characters. You have no clue that they are not among your final 20 roster. You don't know who the final 20 are until you've had the 24th character join and seen four rather permanent departures in the game. Every character introduced is indistinguishable for the most part.
But EXPLICIT guest characters would have different behavior. All those unique things I said all 24 characters have? These ones don't. No Leitmotif exclusive to them (though they could have one I suppose if it's something used elsewhere as well), but most obviously:
-They cannot level up
-They cannot have their equipment changed
-They cannot have anything assigned to them or removed from them
-You cannot name them
-They cannot advance in jobs
Among other traits.
These characters would mostly appear before the completion of your party, so in the earlier areas of the game. They would explicitly be in the party only for a single area, then leave for whatever reason. They could be placed in the backup party, but not the bench.
Explicitly guest characters probably would feature unique abilities, but every single unique ability they would have would have some identical effect exist on a character you'd pick up at a different time. This would never be a direct correlation. Say you had a guest character whose powers were a combination of a Black Mage and a Fighter. You'd then never encounter a character whose powers were a combination of a Black Mage and a fighter, but you would encounter a Fighter, and you would encounter a Black Mage, though they'd probably be like Fighter-Pirate and Black Mage-Ninja to give random examples.
In short: explicit guests are redundant with later party members that aren't guests (or at least not explicitly so), but their abilities would be scattered onto various different permanent (or semi-permanent) characters rather than directly having one person be an effective replacement/substitute. In this sense, they can serve as a bit of a preview, while still being their own unique characters.
Explicit guest characters would be used basically as often as necessary to advance the story in a way that a permanent character's addition couldn't provide. As a result, there'd be as many as the story and game mechanics deemed necessary. It could be a lower number like four, it could be a higher number like 20. But they'd be a part of the Perfect RPG as I envision it.
There's one other thing I worked on...but frankly. I've reached the four hour mark. (Well passed it actually; I started at 2:10 and it's 6:20.) I'm getting a little bit exhausted, and the thing is. The next section (which was always planned as the final section) of my ramble requires the most amount of research.
Basically, I was going to try and get a list of status effects/ailments I want in the game.
I need to do my homework.
It's easy enough to find the list in Final Fantasy VII, but I need to actually do so.
It's easy enough to find the list in Chrono Trigger, but I need to actually do so.
It's easy enough to find the list in MARDEK RPG, but I need to actually do so.
It's probably easy to find the list in Epic Battle Fantasy 3/4, but I'd need to actually do so.
The main thing making this an extensive project is not only the need to do the above (each which does take time), but rather the real problem: I also wanted to research various different effects from POKEMON. Which is...
...Well it's a rather long list to say the least but one I want to comb through and steal from since it DOES have a bunch of the features I want in my Perfect RPG. Pokemon is a vastly-underrated part of my childhood; I tend to overlook it in favor of Gauntlet Dark Legacy, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, Majesty, and SaGa II/III among others, but it was still a STAPLE. It helped define my RPG-playing experience. So yes some elements from it would indeed be in my Perfect RPG, as many status ailments as I can plausibly lift being among them.
I suppose I can do the research tomorrow some time, but I'll list the ones I did get.
All status effects would be categorized as 'Negative' (undeniably a bad thing), 'Mixed' (situationally good or bad), or 'Positive' (undeniably a good thing).
Flying (unique status effect I'm inventing, providing immunity to Earth attacks and halving non-long-range physical damage attacks, but leaving self doubly vulnerable to wind and fire attacks)
Energetic (Charges combos at double speed and deals 25% extra damage, but takes double damage and counters take four times as long to charge)
Tranquil (Charges counters at double speed and reduces damage taken by 50%, but reduces damage dealt by 25% and combos take four times as long to charge)
Blind (reduce accuracy)
Regen (gives Regen)
Null-(Element) (Nullifies attack of specified element)
MP Barrier (halves magic damage inflicted)
HP Barrier (halves physical damage inflicted)
Numb (can't use physical attacks)
Paralyzed (chance of skipping turn)
Silence (can't use magical attacks)
Sapped (1/3 of: HP drained from Sapped individual to caster; MP drained from Sapped individual to caster; both HP and MP drained from Sapped individual to caster)
Drained (1/3 of: HP drained from Drained individual to caster; MP drained from Drained individual to caster; both HP and MP drained from Drained individual to caster)
Leeched (1/3 of: HP drained from Leeched individual to caster; MP drained from Leeched individual to caster; both HP and MP drained from Leeched individual to caster)
(I want one of Sapped/Drained/Leeched to drain HP from target to caster, another to drain MP from target to caster, and the third to do both, but I'm not sure which name should be used for which effect.)
Bleed (reduces max HP)
Unfocused (reduces current MP over time)
Erase (reduces both current HP and MP over time)
Stupefy (reduces max MP over time)
Regress (reduces both max HP and MP over time)
...In no particular order, with the explicit caveat that this is an incomplete list. I need to do my research (also check TVTropes, another source) to see what other ones I want.
So while I didn't finish that project. This is everything that I wrote up today. As in. I've done everything I pre-wrote. I didn't do everything which the entry was meant to cover because I'm only like half-finished with the status effects. There's so much more to do there. I also want to list elements which particular status ailments are more affiliated with, which I attempted to get started but kinda did badly so I'm scrapping what I wrote.
So. That's more on the Perfect RPG.
With every passing day.
More and more a game I'd want to play.
Less and less a reachable goal and less and less something anyone else would want to.