Sometimes I’ve tried to briefly imagine what a Stablehand/16hues-styled tabletop roleplaying system would be like
I’ve never had any immediate ideas for actually building one but it’s kinda occurring to me that like,,,, if I could build it I could program it,,,,,,,
Maybe in a whole “Format B” type thing but way more likely, just as a calculator page you could download that could easily calculate any of the steps for you when you picked it, if you had your character sheets input in some quick and easy format
As for building it… I know some people have just made up extensions to the D&D system for like Pokémon and things, but I think given that’s one of its main things that 16hues/Stablehand would fundamentally require a different stats system to start with, so I’m not sure it could be effectively done that way
Me: So I have this tentative character called “Steelwing wing 7, 07”, or just Seven. He is loosely inspired by Nash but he is mostly immortal due to a government project, with this internal conflict around patriotism to the Hinotorian state Me: And I was just thinking today about like, the idea in fiction of consciously experiencing the transition through death Me: Maybe seven has a friend who was part of this research and is just this weird transcended being now Me: What’s their name Me: …Six Me: No, eight Me: Maybe there’s also a six out there and they have to track them down Me: But like, six and eight, they’re a force to be reckoned with Me: So six is kinda dreading it you might say Me: Eight, since their transcension, has become all abstracted down to all the concepts that could possibly comprise them across all these Aether locales and is this kinda weird cosmic amalgam Me: So six would hardly dare even say anything bad about them Me: Why is six afraid of seven? Me: Because when seven is minus eight and you find the root of what’s left, making it a square gives a negative result
Well this just made me say “oh my god” no less than ten times
So I have this 6kh story I’m working on related to the “spanish lion kingdom” Usmana and how it became a wasteland of nothing but empty blackened plains simply called “The Scorched”. (This has been a thing I’ve been trying to figure out forever and have come up with many ideas but ultimately none of them quite stuck, until this one.)
Today I had the mind-blowing realisation that like, the way that story is shaping up,
Challenge myself to come up with 36 different “shotoclone” concepts each with some kind of unique backstory in the space of a few hours. (I only managed 23)
Decide that the ultimate kyokushinclone was a sentient reactor shaped vaguely like a polar bear made of cute glowing death
Write the phrase “afraid the library repo guys would get them“
I’m completely positive that if Stablehand wasn’t named after Lance’s nickname and was just kinda randomly called Stablehand, I would still have decided by now that Lance had to be nicknamed Stablehand for the ‘obviously the main character of the series must always be named the series name’ joke
Stories are such a major thing for me and I want/need to write more short stories
I think, because that’s the main thing I feel like writing about, I might just kinda start this small “anthology” where I write short stories about characters in the Stablehand universe
The idea being like, there’s no specific goal in it to write the stories about any specific characters or specific anything (or really any goals/quotas for it at all), but just to write whatever my random prompts bring to mind and get something written
Any of these could easily be declared noncanon by the time the gamebook gets somewhere significant but if they aren’t, I’ll have actually practised using the characters and established their personalities
(I’ve discovered that weirdly, I’m really really bad at figuring out who characters are before I write stories, but if I just sit down and write immediately and make up everything as I go along (I first noticed this with the character songs I wrote but it works for regular text stories too) I can actually do a pretty all right job of making up interesting details about characters along the way. What I make that way often isn’t totally coherent and needs to be re-evaluated and fixed, but scrapping and rewriting writing is literally the way you’re supposed to do it so that’s hardly a problem)
I’m probably going to, for the first time ever, make a single self-contained tumblr/inkstand for the project and stick to it. (though the posts might also go on my server or in a downloadable TW file for completeness/backup)
It’ll be called… hmm… it’s gotta be an SH acronym. :p
That’s my working title unless I think of a better one.
Okay here’s one way to describe it:
I want Stablehand to be complicated so it’s basically impossible to spoil, in fact, you’ll be happy to hear “spoilers” because the more you know about it the better off you’ll be
Like, there’s a guidebook and a game and I want each one to stand on its own so you could play the game without the aid of the guidebook or you could read the guidebook without playing the game, or you could read the guidebook and play the game and they will both complement each other and you’ll go “so that’s the real significance of that”
And the individual stories are similar, in basic terms you don’t need any of the stories to understand the other stories if you’re just going for the solo ending. But stuff in one story will tell you stuff about other stories, and there will be a few combo endings where one character “interferes” in another’s story and things go differently
I want to build a world and story that’s maximally intriguing
(And also like, gives me an excuse to be lazy, cause when you give a vibe that you’ll never know everything about this world there’s more excuse for you as the author to not know stuff either and just say ‘there is most likely a good way to explain this based on the stuff I’ve established, you tell me’)
People love swap AUs. I love swap AUs.
There is totally going to be a Stablehand timeline/ending/thing where the characters all swap to the most opposite main attributes of the lot
I think we don’t think enough about the fact that if we’re going to imagine how we would react to fictional characters in real life, “if they were real” is a very complicated phrase with a lot of different meanings, and every single one has different implications for our perceptions of and reactions to them.
You’ve never thought about that, have you?
How our expectations of reality inform what we wish were real? And how if we had what we wished for, we might be wishing for different things?
I was just thinking about this because if you know a certain game called Undertale that came out a couple months ago,
I rigged up TiddlyWiki to make a dictionary lookup page (using its built-in search functionality :p) that shows the first result through a definition template kinda like on Google and I’m so proud of myself