Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Fisher

The Fisher is a neutral mob that tends to spawn near water; like spiders, it is docile during the day, and may even be seen riding in a boat, fishing with its fishing rod. It fights by snagging you a fishing pole and dragging you towards it. Although not especially dangerous on its own, it can often prevent you from maneuvering while dealing with more salient threats. The Fisher will pull you constantly towards it at low speed, then suddenly jerking the line to pull you long distances. Dashing when they try to jerk the line will break it and deal the Fisher damage. Once it reels you in (gets you to within three blocks of it) it will begin to attack you with a melee attack.

There are four variant skin concepts for the mob. The idea was so broad I wasn't sure which one was the best fit for the concept.

The Fishing Spider
Drops: Spider Eye, String.  Probably my favorite skin option, because it adds value to the "Bane of Arthropods" enchantment and is also the cutest li'l guy. Look at him! D'aww, he's so cute.

Drops: Prismarine Shard. Prismarine Crystal (very rare), Glowstone Powder (very rare). I liked the idea of an Anglerfish that drops glowing compounds.

Drops: Ink sacs? Honestly I don't have a lot of ideas for super-valuable things for this guy to drop. If you do, let me know.

Drops: Bucket of milk, enchanted boots [depth strider], kitten [auto-named Fisher]. This is a really weird idea.

In theory, all variations may also drop: boats, enchanted fishing rods, or leashes.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beastmaster II

The Beastmaster is back, now in full color. Let me know what you think of the old lady.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Minecraft Idea: Thanatomnicon

 So recently, I realized that Minecraft combat is basically like Fight Club. You choose your own level of involvement. The bosses are all totally optional and require quite a bit of work to even fight. Nearly half the "enemy" mobs in the game require aggression on the player's part to draw aggro, and once you've got a proper base established, realistic involvement with hostile mobs revolves entirely around the player's schedule.

So I thought it would be cool if we could take this a step further. First, players must craft the Thanatomnicon, the Minecraft Book of the Dead, from 3 Bones, 5 Rotten Flesh, and 1 Book, and perhaps enchanted it at an Enchanting Table.

This dread book might have some value as an expensive piece of equipment (I haven't decided whether it should do anything on its own yet), but right now it exists as the primary ingredient in the Thanatomnicon Podium, a tool block that can be used to summon Zombie Raids. Craft a Thanatomnicon Podium (1 Thanatomnicon, 3 nether brick, 3 soul sand) and incur the Curse of Thanatomnicon from the GUI.

The Thanatomnicon Podium basically behaves like a reverse bed: when all players on a server use it, it turns day to night and starts a zombie siege.

Not challenging enough? What if it also summoned a rainstorm, so that even if you survive the night, the zombies won't be killed by daybreak? Still not challenging enough? Well then! Rather than having the horde attack for a preset limit, the Thanatomnicon won't stop summoning new zombies (and skeletons, and witches) until it is placated! Enemies in the horde now drop Magic Words. Combine 9 magic words into the the Spell of Placation, and the Thanatomnicon will stop summoning enemies.

You want me to keep going? Okay, then rather than using the Spell of Placation on the original Thanatomnicon--the one you activated to start this whole mess--an Angry Spirit will be spawned within a 70 block radius (on the X/Y axis) of each activated Thanatomnicon, and you have to go find him and use the spell on him (fighting zombies on the way) to turn off the Raid.

If you want to contribute to the discussion, feel free to comment here, or on the Minecraft Forum Post available here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Upper Parking

Yeah, I don't actually like the punchline because I'm not sure it quite communicates what I want it to. Anyone care to make a suggestion?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Plight of the Endermen

The Endermen are a tragic species. They hail exclusively from The End, and their origin of their arrival here is a mystery. I believe that the Old Deep Ones uncovered the secret to accessing that moonlit place where the Endermen are born, and upon piercing the veil between worlds tore it irreparably. We are mostly unharmed for the abuse of the Old Deep Ones, but the Endermen paid a dread penalty. For they are natural teleporters, capable of bridging vast distances with no apparent effort, capable of transmitting themselves through obstacles with disarming ease.

Teleportation is not without its dangers, and as a man might fall into a well from which he cannot escape, so too do the Endermen fall into our world. How strange and horrible it must be, to see the weird creatures who stride across our native soil. The creeper, the spider, the dead men reanimated for dread purpose. Our vast oceans of water, as dangerous to the Endermen as the noxious lava oceans in the Nether are to us. The poisonous rain that falls from the sky! The water vapor in the air must prickle their skin; it is little wonder that they prefer the cold, lonely deserts.

The Endermen are fearfully private creatures and many times I have fought one of the giant bastards when our eyes met over the windswept dunes. They leap fiercely into battle, their eyes flashing a violaceous light and they pursue me relentlessly. I am the better armed, of course, with my axe and my sword, but there is a twinge of regret every time one of the giant men finally collapses to the sand. I bear them no ill will; certainly I have done the same to every monster that ever gave me a cross glance. And to them... I am sure that I am the monster.

On the edges of this place, on the Plains of Mool,  I met with other survivors and we traded stories of the Endermen. One man, pirate and brigand, claimed that all the Endermen carry jewels on their person. Another, a man of abiding charity who provided me shelter on the Plains, claimed that there are strange strongholds in the world, buried by time or men which contain the Portals that the Old Deep Ones used to invade The End. I have seen a stronghold, mouldering beneath Swamp of Sung, infested with silverfish and Skeletons, although whether or not it contains such a portal I cannot say. The Butcherwoman claimed that the Endermen's jewels can activate the portals.

But I know that I have seen the Endermen on inscrutable errands in the night. Pawfuls of sand, dirt... to what end I do not know, but sometimes I suspect they're building something in the dark, dry heart of the desert. Is it a shelter from this cruel world? Are they trying to build a portal, so that they can return home?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bending I

I'm a huge Avatar: The Last Airbender fan. This is something that I'm not ashamed of and I'll gladly shout it from rooftops, provided they're very tall rooftops, preferably in remote locations. Seriously, though, I like AtLA. So I spend a lot of time thinking about the show, thinking about the sequel, thinking about the universe it exists in, and a lot of time anti-thinking about the movie. What movie? I didn't even know M. Night Shyamalan made movies.

Bending is naturally the biggest element of the show, the thing that tends to draw the audience in and give them something to latch onto. It has a certain quality that is difficult to define, that superheroic quality so typical of comic books, cartoons and video games. These carefully fleshed out abilities, these elaborately staged mechanics that set the stage for ever more elaborate and bizarre fights, and bending is born gloriously from it. But bending is different, too,  far removed from the explicitly combat-oriented abilities of, say, the Teen Titans' Starfire or Dragon Ball's Goku. Its genetic and cultural implications, the motion and form, it creates a world that feels organic.

 It's that departure from combat-optimization. Bending definitely lends itself to combat, but that's not all it is, and the show endeavors very hard to illustrate that. Waterbending, airbending, and earthbending are all introduced to the viewer in the first season of AtLA not with combat, but practical, everyday abilities. Airbending is almost completely about traveling and flight. Waterbending is first used to fish. Earthbending to open doors and deliver mail. Firebending, the art used by the show's villains, is used mostly for martial purposes for a long time, revealing its use as an everyday tool only as the show deepens the complexity of the Fire Nation and its portrayal of the Fire Nation. These of course aren't the only ways that bending is used in practical ways; the show constantly reminds us that these powers belong to people who exist to do more than just fight. If you can think of a way that a bending discipline is used aside from fighting, write it in the comments. 

In a way, it reminds me of Ben Grimm, aka The Thing, from the Fantastic Four. Creating interesting circumstances where powers are different from the standard "they are powers that exist basically to allow the creator to market the hero" sensibility makes for the best worlds, I think, although some of the X-Men did the "powers as curse" thing better. It just goes to show you the way that thinking about something that appears in an industry like comics or cartoons in a very serious way, and figuring out how to differentiate yourself, taking the metatextual route will probably be more rewarding than trying to get more creative in a content route.

Friday, October 12, 2012


The rough design for my Beast Master class. Although I want the old lady capable of controlling beasts in the way that is fashionable for Beastmasters, she (like all my classes, I guess) is multitalented, using summoning spells, buffs, and debuffs. In a proper game her abilities would be focused to give her a particular role, but I'm more interested in puns and such.

Active Abilities:

Mouser Tom
Summons a cat minion.
Raises the Beastmaster's defense
Stabby Cat
Improves attack power
Felis Ebonus
Improves magic stat
Ranged Healing Spell  
Poisons opponents
Thief of Breath
 Slows Opponents
Nine Lives
Auto-raises allies
Nine Tails
Deals damage based on cat buffs

Something Borrowed
Allows the Beastmaster to control a pest for a set number of turns, in the proud tradition of beastmaster classes across the RPG specturm. This is a single spell because I consider monster-specific spells to be unbelievably tedious and not particularly useful.

Passive Abilities:

Mother's Eyes
Allows the Beastmaster to perform other actions while borrowing enemies.

Cat spells become more effective the more are cast

The beastmaster won't take fall damage

Improves XP return 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Physical Therapy

Another drawing of Celie and the Kark. I'm still trying to get a grasp on exactly how to draw the Kark. Obviously big and beefy is a necessary character trait, but compared to the last picture of him I posted on here, this guy is pretty husky. So I'm still getting a grip on exactly how big the big guy should be.

The Kark hurt his back and he's about to square off with somebody in spite of the pain. Celie's supporting him and looking tough, but honestly she should probably tell him to back off. Don't worry, Kingsley is probably swinging to the rescue. Or hiding, who knows with that shifty little cyclops.

The irony of narrative is here: in a story with a doctor, characters get hurt to give the doctor something to do. Authors are not benevolent gods.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Heavy Weapons Guy

Foreshortening? I have literally no idea what that means, for a certain liberal definition of "literally".
Anyway, he's shooting a gun, god knows who at.

Late night warmup. If you're wondering where his bandolier is, it's in the "fidgety crap Amin hates drawing" pile, next to individual bricks, wood planks, and leaves.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

In The Hall of Human Experience

This one gets a little dark. So I was playing with the idea of memory and immortality, and I wanted a place where the people of Eb tried to get some of both. The Hall of Human Experience is the place where they stored as much as they could. The Eblinites believed that they could download their memories into an external brain, which would remember everything they did at the moment of their death and as such, live on when their physical brain stopped working.

The face of the machine, such as it is, is the Mannikin. By inhabiting the body, each resident is capable of acting alive, responding to questions or carrying out conversations, even gesturing and posturing they way they might have in life (within the limitations of the Mannikin's nonorganic, relatively inflexible body). To preserve the accuracy of the archived memories, input is not recorded.

Of course, it's all a show, really. The machines are regurgitating bits of conversation and pieces of memory. They're no more themselves than these words are me. Many memories are not stored, and the way the machine retrieves memories isn't quite an accurate representation of the way humans remember things. There aren't any emotions, no fluids or chemicals to muddy the signals. Some of these connections are marked in the files, but some aren't. It's unreliable.

The files, of course, needed to be archived. Copied, backed up, stored in remotely accessible locations, retrieved, shredded, coded, pieced back together, organized and filed, so as the people of the Eb left, they left some people behind. Even one hundred years after the fall of Eb, the ghouls remain, dutifully cataloging every last file, in order to share the whole, unfiltered and accurate truth about every experience recorded by every Eblinite who ever lived.