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Brainstorming an Isekai Chronicle (and interest check)

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  • Leliel
    started a topic Brainstorming an Isekai Chronicle (and interest check)

    Brainstorming an Isekai Chronicle (and interest check)

    Something I'm planning to run on RPGnet later;

    I'm essentially figuring out the mechanics of what an isekai anime version of the Chronicles would be, as well as the basic story. The idea is that humans from our world end up getting killed through some method or another, but are brought into the audience of the Oracles (explicitly existent here because come on, the gods are already intervening to find chosen heroes, this is already violating a thematic rule) and/or Luna, who make a deal; go on to whatever lies beyond the Underworld, or accept a quest to defeat a figure known as the Celestial Emperor in return fro them turning their powers to making it so that said agents will be retroactively made into supernatural beings with a lot of potential, with their mentors checking in on occasion.

    Of course, this is the New World of Darkness, so it quickly turns out a peaceful death may have been a better option. While I plan that the mentors' tutelage means the Beats flow like wine, the kind of retroactive conjuration they invoke also provokes dissonance; the past encoded into world didn't just vanish, and there are mortals who suddenly find the people they've known all their lives are suddenly strangers. What's more, the supernatural contingent noticed something weird happened to time, and it isn't actually long before the Emperor's allies realize they're not from around here. Because, as it turns out, it's happened before; the Emperor is also an isekai protagonist, as are the Shadows of the Emperor. It's just that they were ported over by the Exarchs without being actually asked or informed. The Tyrants simply waited for them to succumb to the power fantasy and become villains, and further the cause of preservation, division, and subjugation in the world simply by exercise of power without care or empathy.

    I'm wondering what templates I should allow; mages are an obvious choice, but I like changelings, and if it's the Oracles doing this, I can see the thematic resonance of being otherworldly inhabitants making the Lost a viable reincarnation. Also what kind of plots this will provoke, and what kind of person the Emperor is; apart from "the Exarchs' chosen agent", I haven't defined the personality of the main villains all that much (I'm tempted to make them nightmare versions of Konosuba's protagonists, then I remember who Darkness is and...yeah, I don't want an X card force fed to me).

  • KaiserAfini
    replied
    Originally posted by Leliel View Post
    Something I'm planning to run on RPGnet later;

    I'm essentially figuring out the mechanics of what an isekai anime version of the Chronicles would be, as well as the basic story. The idea is that humans from our world end up getting killed through some method or another, but are brought into the audience of the Oracles (explicitly existent here because come on, the gods are already intervening to find chosen heroes, this is already violating a thematic rule) and/or Luna, who make a deal; go on to whatever lies beyond the Underworld, or accept a quest to defeat a figure known as the Celestial Emperor in return fro them turning their powers to making it so that said agents will be retroactively made into supernatural beings with a lot of potential, with their mentors checking in on occasion.

    Of course, this is the New World of Darkness, so it quickly turns out a peaceful death may have been a better option. While I plan that the mentors' tutelage means the Beats flow like wine, the kind of retroactive conjuration they invoke also provokes dissonance; the past encoded into world didn't just vanish, and there are mortals who suddenly find the people they've known all their lives are suddenly strangers. What's more, the supernatural contingent noticed something weird happened to time, and it isn't actually long before the Emperor's allies realize they're not from around here. Because, as it turns out, it's happened before; the Emperor is also an isekai protagonist, as are the Shadows of the Emperor. It's just that they were ported over by the Exarchs without being actually asked or informed. The Tyrants simply waited for them to succumb to the power fantasy and become villains, and further the cause of preservation, division, and subjugation in the world simply by exercise of power without care or empathy.

    I'm wondering what templates I should allow; mages are an obvious choice, but I like changelings, and if it's the Oracles doing this, I can see the thematic resonance of being otherworldly inhabitants making the Lost a viable reincarnation. Also what kind of plots this will provoke, and what kind of person the Emperor is; apart from "the Exarchs' chosen agent", I haven't defined the personality of the main villains all that much (I'm tempted to make them nightmare versions of Konosuba's protagonists, then I remember who Darkness is and...yeah, I don't want an X card force fed to me).
    "Kazuma ! Kazuma !"
    "Hai, maou Kazuma desu !"

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    To me, good isekai works on 3 key pillars:

    1- You have previous knowledge from your old world which can help inform your approach but needs to be adapted. So an agrarian engineer may know how to build revolutionary machines, but they do not have all the blueprints, data on steel alloys or the means to mass produce them.

    2- Your skillset or limited resources also put you at risk. If it stands out too much, you will be coerced, blackmailed or tortured into service. This is what makes something like Overlord a lot more interesting than Re:Monster.

    3- You need to weave the process of unveiling how this world is different (culture, etiquette, magic, even the Realms Invisible) into the character's tale.

    These might sound obvious, but you would be surprised how often they are forgotten by isekai authors, transforming the whole thing into a power fantasy with no real character growth.

    If you are looking for a ready made setting to adapt, I recommend the Twelve Kingdoms. It has a fascinating mix of mundane and magical, plus its has pretty unique worldbuilding (watching the anime should give you more than enough material, its pretty short too). The Exarch want their envoy to depose Tentei and they are gradually trying to build the means to do so. Maybe with something like producing a false or corrupted kirin to get the to the throne and use that as a launch platform for their bigger plans.

    Second recommendation would be Arcanum of Steamworks & Magicka Obscura, it has a very interesting dynamic between magic and steampunk technology, plus all sorts of cool plot hooks.
    Last edited by KaiserAfini; 07-03-2019, 09:18 PM.

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  • EndlessKng
    replied
    Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    My first thought is that CofD is far too similar to our world to make for a proper isekai experience, so the obvious solution is to have the PCs come from a generic medieval fantasy setting instead.

    ...I’m at least half serious here.
    Well, one element of the Isekai genre that I have seen is the idea that knowledge of the new world's mechanics and how the old world worked allows the Visitor to manipulate the new with skills from the old. I haven't watched a lot of the genre, but the little I have seen, it is the skills from outside the world that set them apart. So, an isekai in ChronD woule either need an historical setting (i.e. Dark Eras) OR the PCs themselves have some metaknowledge about their new splat (or both).

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  • Sith_Happens
    replied
    My first thought is that CofD is far too similar to our world to make for a proper isekai experience, so the obvious solution is to have the PCs come from a generic medieval fantasy setting instead.

    ...I’m at least half serious here.

    Leave a comment:


  • Penguinbowler
    replied
    Oh failed to see the retroactively part, still, i don't think it will fit many of the themes of the gamelines their based off of. You can go do this if you want to, but as you said, the games themetics will be shot to hell and back. If he messes around to much in the twilight then a Sin-Eater or Werewolf would be useful, especially if Luna is the one to do this. Mummies are 100% the most iffy though, i don't think the Judges would like you hi-jacking one of their servants.

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  • lnodiv
    replied
    Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
    A big issue with this reincarnation thing is that most splat's are defined as what they were BEFORE they became supernatural. Changeling's aren't born, their made from the insane totures eldritch dieties of stories preform on you, Deviants are the same but the torture is the result of some careless humans, Beast have the devouring, when they dream and some other beast offers to let a horror replace their soul/forcibly replaces it depending on the temperment of the beast doing it, Mummies are all from the long lost city Irem of the Pillars, and regaining their memories is vital for them. Demon's are traitorous Angels living as mortals and sabatoging the God-Machines plans, they aren't born, their built. Same with Prometheans. Werewolfs require a certain bloodline and then a werewolf to actually transform you, though i guess you could say they might have that before hand and have them changed the day they get their, along with Vampires. Mages have a weird Dream so if you let them sleep before they power up then i guess it could work, though Sin-Eaters are probably your best bet if you want a Supernatural Splat, as they are just mortals who died and a Ghost said "Wanna Not Die?".
    Originally posted by Leliel View Post
    retroactively

    Leave a comment:


  • Penguinbowler
    replied
    A big issue with this reincarnation thing is that most splat's are defined as what they were BEFORE they became supernatural. Changeling's aren't born, their made from the insane totures eldritch dieties of stories preform on you, Deviants are the same but the torture is the result of some careless humans, Beast have the devouring, when they dream and some other beast offers to let a horror replace their soul/forcibly replaces it depending on the temperment of the beast doing it, Mummies are all from the long lost city Irem of the Pillars, and regaining their memories is vital for them. Demon's are traitorous Angels living as mortals and sabatoging the God-Machines plans, they aren't born, their built. Same with Prometheans. Werewolfs require a certain bloodline and then a werewolf to actually transform you, though i guess you could say they might have that before hand and have them changed the day they get their, along with Vampires. Mages have a weird Dream so if you let them sleep before they power up then i guess it could work, though Sin-Eaters are probably your best bet if you want a Supernatural Splat, as they are just mortals who died and a Ghost said "Wanna Not Die?".

    Leave a comment:

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