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Shane C

My quick RPG storyline

20 posts in this topic

I wrote this story for a RPG, which I want to be a little nutty. Hopefully you won't think that I, the writer, is nuts though :).

1. A woman named Sheila is born in a tribe of only women and is to be eaten by a dragon because she is a virgin. She must travel to find someone to lose that quality to so she doesn't get eaten.

2. A warrior has the power to slay the dragon and is the Chosen One, but his fear of ghosts holds him back. What he doesn't realize is the ghosts are on his side because they are all the souls of women eaten by the dragon.

3. The dragon is eating women because their beauty he consumes gives him the energy to keep the world beautiful. The characters decide to kill the dragon anyway.

4. At the end of the game, Sheila decides to split her form in two, and morph one of the two forms into a dragon, and eat her other form, to restore beauty to the world.
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There are a couple of games which disagree with you though - The Last Story. Had innuendos. People seemed to enjoy them and even sometimes buy it for that. Was a succesful game.

Pandora's Tower - This game had a girl eating the flesh of monsters. Got pretty good reviews.

With that said, I might very well agree with you on everything else. I might see what else I can come up with.
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As soon as you start talking about virgins things there's sexual innuendo.

I'd agree insofar as the "must travel to find someone to lose that quality" part is a quite unlucky idea, but otherwise "dragons eat virgins" or "every beautiful young woman is a virgin" are somewhat well-known tropes (with a beard like methusalem). No negative connotations with that, apart from being a bit worn.
 

How does the dragon know who is a virgin?

That's an easy one. If the charm didn't work, she wasn't one. Or, worded in a famous quote from a pirate slapstick movie: "How we 'no it workd? Hey! Ye shot me!"

I do see some practical problems though:
 

born in a tribe of only women

How does this work? Do they capture lonely men who travel the jungle (roughly 1-2 every 10 years), jump them, and afterwards kill them? How do they prevent the roughly 50% waste due to male offspring?
 

is to be eaten by a dragon [...] must travel to escape fate

Logical choice 1: This is their culture and/or religion. She was born and raised into this role and believes that this is her destiny, and will therefore not try to run. End of story.
Logical choice 2: Those sacrifices are not precisely volontary. The shaman (or someone else) chooses who is being sacrificed at some point. Sure enough the shaman will make sure the virgin is captured before she knows that she won the lottery. That's what you usually do to prevent people from running off. In other words: She cannot run. End of story.
 

"The Chosen One" is something the industry itself laughs at. Literally nobody writes such thing anymore unless they make fun of it.

Makes one think of "10.000 BC", or "Kung Fu Hustle", or "The Matrix". Or "Star Wars", "Harry Potter", ... or, pretty much every computer RPG made during the last 30 years. Only you can slay Igor the Evil to save the world. But I first need you to collect 15 rat tails to make your magical boots.

Or think of practically every single ego-shooter in existence. Only the Doomguy can stop the Demons from Mars.
 

The dragon would be a god (of beauty?) then. It seems odd that some individuals just "decide" to kill it as if the god was at their mercy.

That could at least be explained. Not every "god" is a god you'd like to have, too. The dragon could also be seen as a plague rather than a god.
 

Again, how does someone just do that?

Here I agree. Splitting yourself in two is not something most virgins (nor non-virgins) are able to do just like that. Not unless The Great Spirit helps you do such a thing, or something.

Such as when in American Indian fairy tales, people transform into birds meet their lovers in heaven, and who knows what else... so I guess it could somehow be explained with a tribal background.

 

But then again, why would the girl deliver this sacrifice after trying to run in the first place, and how would someone who had previously not had any faith (remember, she tried to run from her destiny!) gather the spiritual strength/purity to do such a thing?

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 The Last Story. Had innuendos.

Haven't played Last Story so impossible for me to assess if they really did anything like that but the ESRB rating suggests they didn't make "having sexual intercourse" the main quest. And dividing women into virgins and non-virgins just isn't cool. It isn't fantasy, it isn't medieval. It isn't even religious, it's just biblical. And the Bible and Christianity is one of the parts of this world you will want to strictly or at least consciously rule in or out of your game.

 

Selling your game with sex is another topic and I don't have much to say on it. Everybody knows it works and everybody knows they shouldn't. Note that you can still do sex in non-beneficial way, for example making your selling point too obvious or hitting some of the taboos. Selling with sex requires more planning and consideration than playing fair.

 

 Pandora's Tower - This game had a girl eating the flesh of monsters 

How is that the same as eating yourself? Again, I'm not so much disgusted by the idea I just feel like it's very sudden and random in your context. Because it's only so late into the game I find myself thinking "I wish I knew about this when I was considering whether I'm getting this game or not". Can you print a warning label on the cover? :)

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ShadowFlar said, "And dividing women into virgins and non-virgins just isn't cool. It isn't fantasy, it isn't medieval. It isn't even religious, it's just biblical. And the Bible and Christianity is one of the parts of this world you will want to strictly or at least consciously rule in or out of your game."

My response: Many games use religion and don't try to hide it. Especially RPGs. "Biblical" is part of religion.
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 "dragons eat virgins" or "every beautiful young woman is a virgin" are somewhat well-known tropes (with a beard like methusalem). No negative connotations with that, apart from being a bit worn.

 


That's an easy one. If the charm didn't work, she wasn't one. Or, worded in a famous quote from a pirate slapstick movie: "How we 'no it workd? Hey! Ye shot me!"

 

Dividing men and women and virgins and non-virgins is a very big deal today. You don't shrug it off in your art. It is a strong statement and you'd best be very aware of this fact so you can be prepared for the reception. Here I see no reason to casually include this theme as if by chance but that's up to the author in the end.

 

 

 

 Makes one think of "10.000 BC", or "Kung Fu Hustle", or "The Matrix". Or "Star Wars", "Harry Potter", ... or, pretty much every computer RPG made during the last 30 years.

 

 

 Or think of practically every single ego-shooter in existence. Only the Doomguy can stop the Demons from Mars.

I am not assessing what is popular or what has been done before, I am assessing what is good writing and what isn't.

 

You really want to list Doom as a good example of how to write a game? Poorly written movies and games can be successful and even well written examples are not perfect so you should copy anything in hopes of doing the right thing. Like I said, everybody does this chosen thing and at least personally I consider doing the very same thing everybody else bad.

 

 

 

 That could at least be explained. Not every "god" is a god you'd like to have, too. The dragon could also be seen as a plague rather than a god.

I wasn't stating the problem is with the fact that he is good or "not bad". In my opinion the existence of a being who is capable of governing the world should be well beyond what couple of adventurers "decide".

 

 

 

 How does this work? Do they capture lonely men who travel the jungle (roughly 1-2 every 10 years), jump them, and afterwards kill them? How do they prevent the roughly 50% waste due to male offspring? 

You argue against my points and really fail to see where this comes from? The amazons.

Edited by ShadowFlar3
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My response: Many games use religion and don't try to hide it. Especially RPGs. "Biblical" is part of religion.

 

They don't use existing religions, they come up with their own with values they want to convey and themes they want to highlight. That is all part of game design. It is what art is about.

 

If you plan on going about "the game X did this and in my opinion Y is the same thing so I'm going to listen to nobody" I don't see any point in this.

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Dividing men and women and virgins and non-virgins is a very big deal today. You don't shrug it off in your art. It is a strong statement and you'd best be very aware of this fact so you can be prepared for the reception. Here I see no reason to casually include this theme as if by chance but that's up to the author in the end.

I agree and disagree. smile.png

 

As for the part where the protagonists needs to try to lose her virginity, I already said that I find this a bit troublesome. Insofar I agree.

 

But on the other hand, virginity is not a bad thing, and there is really no "dividing people" into one or another, unless you purposely do it. The persecuted maiden (or "damsel in distress") is the classical story of chivalry. As it is, it was simply assumed that an unmarried woman was a virgin (saying or even thinking that she might not be was indecent), and indeed the word maiden has both meanings. In German, "damsel in distress" translates to "Jungfrau in Not", which makes it even more clear. Jungfrau ("virgin"), literally "junge Frau", means nothing but "young woman". There is no discrimination or negative connotation in that. A young woman and a virgin is the same thing.

 

So, dragons eat virgins. Of course they do, because virgins represent youth and beauty (in other words, life), and purity, one of the highest virtues of chivalry. Which is, of course, what every knight will defend! That's the entire plot!

 

They sure wouldn't want to eat crones with big warts on their nose. First, no knight would come to rescue these, so it wouldn't make for a good story. Also, crones already had their place in being burned on the stake, which was a very important thing to do to keep up fear and religious order.

 

"Pious" or "devotional" translates to god-fearing in several european languages. Which of course doesn't mean people feared God. Why would they, God is gracious and benevolent. You love God, you don't fear him. What people feared was that they might be accused and tortured into confessing having had intercourse with a black cat, and being burned on the stake, similar to that old woman who had never done harm to anyone. And, of course, they feared the Devil, because they could see the Devil's presence and his deeds every day (for example when an innocent old woman was burned).

 

You argue against my points and really fail to see where this comes from? The amazons.

 

Ah, but the amazons are even more absurd than believing in the existance of dragons and genies granting wishes if you rub their... bottle biggrin.png

 

While it is certainly conceivable that strictly matriarchal, aggressive societies have existed (and exist), the entire classical depiction of amazons including killing all men and cutting off one breast to better fire a bow or throw a javelin is outright ridiculous. No surprise since most of this image comes from Herodotus (well-known as "father of lies").

 

Breast ablation is a rather non-trivial surgical procedure which (assuming that you plan for the woman to live afterwards) isn't a realistic endeavour for an antique anatolian tribe. The idea of burning off the breast instead as sometimes alleged is equally ridiculous. At best, this is a severely maiming procedure which will hinder that woman from ever using her arm again due to scar tissue and contractions. If she survives, that is.

Killing newborn boys is out of the question. Lacking a diagnostic means such as ultrasonography, you only know the gender after a woman has been pregnant for 9 months and has undergone the straining and dangerous (not rarely lethal, at that time) procedure of birth. In other words: A newborn is a very significant investment in time and "resources". You cannot afford to throw this away. Abducting men for reproduction would in general probably work, but it isn't realistic either. Not only are far more men than just a handful needed to keep up a population, but also this severe limitation of the gene pool would be most adversary to the population's survival.

The entire idea of amazons as commonly depicted is about as absurd as flying a white horse with wings to kill a fire breathing goat-lion.

 

Though of course, the mere presence of a dragon probably excuses any other dealbreakers tongue.png

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As for the part where the protagonists needs to try to lose her virginity, I already said that I find this a bit troublesome. Insofar I agree.

 

But on the other hand, virginity is not a bad thing, and there is really no "dividing people" into one or another, unless you purposely do it. The persecuted maiden (or "damsel in distress") is theclassical story of chivalry. As it is, it was simply assumed that an unmarried woman was a virgin (saying or even thinking that she might not be was indecent), and indeed the word maiden has both meanings. In German, "damsel in distress" translates to "Jungfrau in Not", which makes it even more clear. Jungfrau ("virgin"), literally "junge Frau", means nothing but "young woman". There is no discrimination or negative connotation in that. A young woman and a virgin is the same thing.

 

So, dragons eat virgins. Of course they do, because virgins represent youth and beauty (in other words, life), and purity, one of the highest virtues of chivalry. Which is, of course, what every knight will defend! That's the entire plot!

 

You don't have to tell me what words mean and BTW I've studied German for 9 years so listening to that is a bit hard for me. That rant has little place here considering the OP very well highlights which aspect of virginity he is talking about. I would have given OP the benefit of the doubt if there was any. The virgin is on a quest to get rid of her virginity and even in the heated discussion that followed he made no intent of denying this is about sex.

 

 

 

They sure wouldn't want to eat crones with big warts on their nose. First, no knight would come to rescue these, so it wouldn't make for a good story. Also, crones already had their place in being burned on the stake, which was a very important thing to do to keep up fear and religious order.

 

 "Pious" or "devotional" translates to god-fearing in several european languages. Which of course doesn't mean people feared God. Why would they, God is gracious and benevolent. You love God, you don't fear him. What people feared was that they might be accused and tortured into confessing having had intercourse with a black cat, and being burned on the stake, similar to that old woman who had never done harm to anyone. And, of course, they feared the Devil, because they could see the Devil's presence and his deeds every day (for example when an innocent old woman was burned).

 

What does this part even have to do with anything that was being discussed? You've already made your point of either IRL specializing into something boring or willing to browse vaguely related wikipedia articles and rephrase them in order to show off your expertise.

 

 

 

 Ah, but the amazons are even more absurd than believing in the existance of dragons and genies

OP has a logic that if something was done somewhere it's totally OK to do it in his story without additional reasoning. He remembered the amazons so that's why he felt safe to include the women-only tribe and I was only highlighting his train of thought.

 

But I've taken my hint, whoever doesn't support any nonsense others write is the bad guy. Nobody here appreciates what I write so if you could just stop referring to my post I will stop writing. I'll just let the OP make his FFVI with this story and watch as him bathe in popularity under this guidance you're giving him.

Edited by ShadowFlar3
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born in a tribe of only women

How does this work? Do they capture lonely men who travel the jungle (roughly 1-2 every 10 years), jump them, and afterwards kill them? How do they prevent the roughly 50% waste due to male offspring?

All the men get killed trying to kill the dragon.
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ShadowFlar said, "But I've taken my hint, whoever doesn't support any nonsense others write is the bad guy. Nobody here appreciates what I write so if you could just stop referring to my post I will stop writing. I'll just let the OP make his FFVI with this story and watch as him bathe in popularity under this guidance you're giving him."

My response: I'm really sorry. We have very different opinions. You seem to discourage from making a Final Fantasy VI style game like I'm trying to do, and hold me to expectations with storyline, etc. because of it. While I'm not looking for discouragement and am not trying to directly match the quality of Final Fantasy VI, because I know I can't. If this was real life, I would apologize, buy you a cup of coffee, and call it a day.
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2. "The Chosen One" is something the industry itself laughs at.

Sure about that? its the standard cookie cutter in all sort of games from TES Skyrim (you are the last Dragonborn) to Crysis ("YOU are the weapon!"). Kingdoms of Amalur comes to mind too (you're the only one that isn't bound by fate). And these are recent and very, very successful games.

 

I think you're misrepresenting that you laugh at it as something "the industry itself" laughs at, which it isn't the case.

 

As for your story Shane, imma going to say it, not my coup of tea precisely.

Edited by TheChubu
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2. "The Chosen One" is something the industry itself laughs at.

Sure about that? its the standard cookie cutter in all sort of games from TES Skyrim (you are the last Dragonborn) to Crysis ("YOU are the weapon!"). Kingdoms of Amalur comes to mind too (you're the only one that isn't bound by fate). And these are recent and very, very successful games.

 

I think you're misrepresenting that you laugh at it as something "the industry itself" laughs at, which it isn't the case.

 

 

I was commenting on 2 aspects:

1) the exact phrasing (note the quotes) "The Chosen One" is something the industry itself laughs at

2) the theme of "being destined to do something" is overused

 

Your examples aren't vaguely relevant to what I was talking about. Was the character cited being "the chosen one" (exact phrasing) in each of the examples? No. If he was, was this still what made the game successful so you must copy the phrasing? No. All this proves is my point 2). This theme is overflowing in the fantasy world. Note that here we aren't even talking about the main protagonist being the "chosen one" contrary to every example that was given.

 

All these list composed of people who can name handful of titles are out of place because of course the protagonist can be or perhaps even needs to be special in some way for the story to make sense. He will do extraordinary things and that will need justification. But that does equal to repeating some most worn out phrase and that doesn't justify shrugging designing a character and character history off with placing the much-too cloned piece there. The exact phrasing "The Chosen One" has been overused so much it doesn't mean any specific thing anymore and including it on your character table doesn't add anything. So why would you use it? The player picking up an RPG will know he will be saving the world and fighting the gods themselves in the end without the game spamming this kinds of words around. I find it very hard to believe anyone who knows their fantasy from their scifi could take it seriously. But I can only speak for myself with these very lengthy explanations backing me up. You are free to disagree and not back that up with anything but I find such conversation of little value in human interaction.

 

Because of 1) and 2) what the author has in mind is, in my opinion, simply bad writing because they are ideas taken from some other environment as they were (aka the exact phrasing "The Chosen One") without trying to adapt them to your environment to be original even in that extent. Can you take something Square, Warner Brothers, etc. developed and polished with their army of writers and designers and improve it or try to remake it better on your own? Probably not, so better be original than set yourself up for direct comparison.

 

I find it amusing that 99% of what takes place in this thread is disagreeing with my points about how the story could be improved and 1% about actually commenting the story yourself. You prefer to take me out of this equation then what do you have?

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 The theme of "You are the chosen one" is fine.

Except you aren't, but some other character is.

 

 

 

 It's simple and it works. Most games boil down to that, and many RPG's use that exact terminology.

I just posted multiple paragraphs on this. It is still bad writing.

 

 

Also, why exactly is it bad to make a game based on sexual themes? Sex sells, even in pixelized forms.

 

 

The moment you subject your art (your story, graphics, audio, etc) to cheap marketing tricks you are giving up the art in hopes of cash. "Why doesn't every writer just write porn? Don't they want money?" Selling by sex is bad. I really don't care to cover this matter more extensively.

 

 

Although I personally don't like the story, if Shane has something he thinks would work, there's nothing wrong with him trying it.

 

 

Shane is not sure. Shane is asking. We are answering. I'm the only one that gives him hints as to how he could improve his story so there would be someone that actually thought it was good.

Edited by ShadowFlar3
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I reworked the storyline into a much more traditional storyline, taking away the controversial parts and turning some things on its head. Here is what I have:

Displays message on dark screen, "Every month, a woman is selected to be eaten by the dragon Phileas. A woman named Sheila, has been selected. Sheila will leave the village at nightfall to escape. Even though there are monsters about."

You play as Sheila and control her through the dark terrain, outside the town of Joust, Area 1 of the game.

You advance to the town of Terrace, Town 1 of the game. There, you can sleep at the inn or buy items. You meet a man named Lucas who is surrounded by evil ghosts. You battle the ghosts and destroy them. Lucas joins your party. You also talk to another warrior, a weathered man with an ax at a bar. The man's name is Gradly. He joins your party. You are told by the party that the dragon is invincible to attacks, and that in order to stop his invincibility, you must slash out his four hearts, with each one in a dungeon.

You head to Dungeon 1 of the game. You must solve puzzles and complete the dungeon. Once completed, you battle a boss.

After the dungeon, you go to yet another town, Trenton, and there meet an elf named Mysty who says a bird told him of your conversations and ambitions and that he will join your party. After being in the town, you head to Area 2 of the game and then from there, Dungeon 2. The same routine of fighting enemies in the dungeon, solving puzzles and fighting the boss happens.

You arrive in Area 3 of the game. Once there, your characters fall asleep. Except for the elf. Phileas, the dragon, plops down, and Mysty starts to lift the sleeping Sheila into the dragon's mouth. Lucas wakes up and catches him and alerts the party, and Mysty flees on the dragon's back. You advance to a new town, Bil Cuda, and make a new party member, a dwarf named Chives.

Then you go to Dungeon 3, and the same routine. You battle Mysty as the boss of the dungeon. You arrive in the town Ungly next, and make a new party member, a bat named Kook. Then you go to Area 4 of the game and the final dungeon. At the end of the dungeon, you battle the dragon and his final heart, and you must kill his final heart first in order to hurt him with attacks. After you beat him, the game is over.
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Thanks for the advice. I will see whether I can implement it. Because after all, if one doesn't follow advice for their game, generally they won't make anything worth playing.
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Sex sells, even in pixelized forms
It's a myth... I keep hearing this phrase over and over again but I have not seen any proof.

How many of such games you bought? Or how many people you know bought it? How many parents bought these for their kids for Christmast :D How many of these you see on Steam? Can you name any that "made it big" and became famous? Is Minecraft (or basicly any top game) about sex?

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Sex sells, even in pixelized forms
It's a myth... I keep hearing this phrase over and over again but I have not seen any proof.

How many of such games you bought? Or how many people you know bought it? How many parents bought these for their kids for Christmast biggrin.png How many of these you see on Steam? Can you name any that "made it big" and became famous? Is Minecraft (or basicly any top game) about sex?

 

Graphic sex doesn't sell unless you're in Japan, the key is to heavily sexualize characters/a plot while keeping the M rating, instead of AO.

 

Do you think Lolipop chainsaw/bayonetta or really any game would sell as well if the female leads had sensible body types, and clothes? 

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ShadowFlar said, "And dividing women into virgins and non-virgins just isn't cool. It isn't fantasy, it isn't medieval. It isn't even religious, it's just biblical. And the Bible and Christianity is one of the parts of this world you will want to strictly or at least consciously rule in or out of your game."

My response: Many games use religion and don't try to hide it. Especially RPGs. "Biblical" is part of religion.

I see your point, such as Final Fantasy X where they have summoners and they worship High summoners and it's banned to go into temples if you're not a guardian etc. but it's very subtle laws. SILENT HILL had a cult that tried impregnating a little girl for heavens sake and thats underage pregnancy. but it was very subtle. they gave you an excuse to let it slide. Silent hill revolved around SEX and DEATH but considered others and made it very subtle. giving you the feeling of disgust but also understanding why.

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