And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:26 am

As Peter passes aisle 2 again on his way back to the counter, there is a *glint* in the corner of his eye, and an oddly nagging thought, just beneath conscious awareness, intrudes into his brain: Why would someone mount a donkey's head as a trophy?

Part of the disquiet in Peter's mind may be due to the fact that the thought (if it registers at all) is expressed in a female voice full of winsome humor, rather than the harried businessman's voice he is so used to thinking with. And the thought doesn't seem to be in words, exactly, else it might be more consciously perceived. Rather it seems to be something more ... subliminal.

Whether this thought is enough to inspire Peter to investigate the oddity, or even to pose an off-hand query about it to the proprietor of the establishment, remains to be seen ...

:mrgreen:
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:41 am

Plasman wrote:OOC: ... all in all, we should remember that this is merely FUN, not WAR. Unless of course it does turn into war, in which case Monocheres is kinda stuck. ;]


OOC: Why, I'm already stuck. ;-) Somewhat at the mercy of surrounding parties, though not entirely lacking resources. Think of it as a self-imposed challenge.

Or, that is to say, the book is stuck. I am merely playing it ... her? ... it? ...

And, yes, of course, this is all in fun. :mrgreen:
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Plasman » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:42 am

OOC: You never know. This store seems awful large, and you never know if a suit of book-shaped armour (complete with lance and shield) will suddenly show up.
MW (and all else), if it helps, I give permission for other participants to "ad-lib" lines for me if needed for plot development :ooh: , so long as it's within character and relevant to the story. Unfortunately, Peter is not able to participate in any orgies, magical rites, sex-changes, etc. purely because he will otherwise be late for work. :mrgreen:


Peter returned to the counter with his curious new watch, but Dr. Fizgig was still reading the old book. Before he could interrupt, he heard a noise as something moved deep in the back of the shop - something large.
As he turned and looked, he found himself gazing down Aisle 2; the closest end held a display of stuffed and mounted animals. His curiousity (successfully ;] ) piqued, he went to have a closer look at them.

They appeared to be a good-sized cross-section of the known animal kingdom. Many of the trophies were easily recognisable - though some were a little odd. Why would someone want a preserved rooster? Or an enormous goldfish? Or something called a "Longcat"?
But what had attracted his attention at first was what Peter was looking at now; a mounted donkey's head, which would be entirely unremarkable were it not also wearing a crown!
"So that's the shiny thing!" he thought to himself - Peter, that is. The donkey was presumably well aware of what it was wearing, if it were actually capable of thought in its current bodiless condition.

Before he turned back to the counter, Peter noticed a small detail on the donkey trophy. It was a small metal plaque, and he craned up to read it...
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:52 am

[EDIT: Excised my own horribly over-analytical ramblings over something that should be a lot more fun. How embarrasing.]
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby strange_person » Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:55 pm

Why, doctor, it occurs to me that I could do you the service of solving that riddle.

If I, bereft as I am of external reference libraries, can identify the story you're reading in less time than it would take you to run an equivalent database lookup, would that be fair payment?
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:41 pm

OOC: Okay, here's how I think we can save this. I propose that Plasman's last post be changed from this:

Plasman (incorrectly) wrote:Peter returned to the counter with his curious new watch, but Dr. Fizgig was still reading the old book. Before he could interrupt, he heard a noise ...


to this:

We wish Plasman wrote:Peter returned to the counter with his curious new watch, but Dr. Fizgig appeared to have withdrawn into a back room behind a curtain. Peter could hear the proprietor having a muted conversation with someone with a strangely androgynous voice. They were speaking so softly, it was impossible to pick out any words. In fact, it almost sounded like they were speaking an odd foreign language that consisted entirely of vowels, growls, and yowls, but Peter shrugged it off as trick of his ears. He noticed a little service bell on the counter, but before he could ring it, he heard a noise ...


and then my post becomes:

OOC: Well, a lot of things are possible, but they may take time. ;-) Hopefully, Peter can find some way to keep himself from being ... late for work. ;-)

IC: The animal trophies are all mounted on various plaques or bases made of wood or stone or plastic ... or other unplaceable materials, in a variety of styles and shapes. They are all hooked onto a kind of rack that holds them up for display but otherwise allows them, mountings and all, to be easily removed and taken away. (Well, this is a souvenir shop, after all.) The donkey's head looks to be mounted on a rather unremarkable piece of polished wood with a nondescript design along the edge and a small inset metal plate bearing an inscription.

Once he gets a closer look at it, Peter is not quite sure what made him momentarily entertain the notion of a disembodied donkey's head having awareness. However, now he does get the strangest feeling of someone else being well aware of it, as if someone were looking at him behind his back. He nervously glances behind him toward the front counter. He can still faintly hear the conversation going on behind the curtain, but otherwise there doesn't seems to be anybody at all in the vicinity. Certainly not a girl. (A girl? Why did he think of a girl?) Oh well.

The donkey's head stares down at Peter. Its eyes are as dead and glassy as any stuffed animal's, yet there is a subtle air of mockery about them, as if they were privy to some very old joke. The crown rakishly draped over its pointy ears appears to be made of some cheap gray metal -- is it aluminum? No ... something a bit heavier, softer. The crown looks as if it were amateurishly cut out by hand with tin-snips ... ah, could the metal be tin? Wow, you don't see much of that these days.

Spying the little inscribed plate, Peter cranes up to get a closer look:

Ἀν καταλάβεις τι σημαίνω, θα ὠϕεληθεῖς.


Well, that's all Greek to him.

All of a sudden, Peter gets an overwhelming urge to find out what the inscription means. No, that's not quite right. It's almost as if ... as if someone else very much wanted him to understand its meaning, and he somehow knew that. Again, the odd sensation of being watched. Peter glances over his shoulder again, but the counter area still appears abandoned. Hearing Doctor Fizgig still engaged in conversation with the unknown voice, Peter considers. Perhaps Fizgig, as owner of the shop, would know what the inscription says ...

OOC: I'm trying real hard to limit myself to just what my character is ... um, "doing". I know it skirts the edge of playing other people's characters, but I have to show what affects my character has on people she is trying to communicate with.

Sorry, did I say "she"? ;-)


Now I think Plasman and I should give MW and S_P some time to catch up.
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby strange_person » Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:35 am

OOC: I liked the forum RPs better when things were a bit less... legalistic.

viewtopic.php?f=28&t=55
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:14 am

strange_person wrote:OOC: I liked the forum RPs better when things were a bit less... legalistic.


OOC: Sorry, I was trying to bend over backwards not to step on MW's toes. I mean, it was my bad, I was just trying to rectify it. Maybe I'm trying too hard? Looks like MW has lost interest anyway. It's too bad, this was a great concept. Tons of room for everybody to push their own plot lines. I had great plans for making my character into a fun puzzle with a big reward at the end, and possibly an asset to other players along the way, depending on what they came up with. Oh well.

SPAM.unicornjelly.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=55


OOC: Had to figure out how to unbreak this link ... Wait a minute, "Put the Kettle On"? Is that what a forum RP is? I got the impression this was supposed to be some kind of joint-authored semi-serious SF/fantasy adventure story ... hoo boy. Well, MW did say "like smileys, only cuter."

Listen, MW, I can see I've totally ruined this thread for you. If you want to start over in another thread called, say, "Fizgig's Emporium", I promise I will never set foot in it!
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Plasman » Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:56 am

Monocheres wrote:...I got the impression this was supposed to be some kind of joint-authored semi-serious SF/fantasy adventure story ... hoo boy. Well, MW did say "like smileys, only cuter." Listen, MW, I can see I've totally ruined this thread for you. If you want to start over in another thread called, say, "Fizgig's Emporium", I promise I will never set foot in it!


Steady on, Mr Mon. Mr P. Lasman had a part to play in this too. After all, I missed that detail (re: what the doctor was actually doing) that caused the derailment. I also thought the roleplay was meant to go in this direction too, but you can chalk that up to me misunderstanding the basics of this game. :oops: I'm still new at this Internet thingy (I only just found out what this "Cake is a lie" stuff was about, come on).

I'd like to know what would have happened with the donkey's head... and what was up with the four-handed watch. If Dr Fizgig ever comes out from the curtain, could he please shed some light? I'm standing ready at the counter now... :pout: ♪♫
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:59 am

OOC: Well, one thing that will happen is that the very next time Peter lays eyes on the book, he'll get this momentary image of a 1970's style pet rock dressed in a business suit (exactly like the one he's wearing) and he'll get the distinct impression of a girl demurely trying to stifle a giggle behind her hand.

That's now the second uncannily serendipitous development that's occurred in this thread ... This is beginning to weird me out ... but in a good way. :mrgreen:
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:09 am

Plasman wrote:and what was up with the four-handed watch


OOC: Actually, I thought that was your idea. (MW actually said something about a "four-winged pigeon".) What Peter's got there sounds suspiciously like a Harry Potter style "time-turner". Which would be a handy thing to keep Peter from being late for work no matter how long his little adventure in Fizgig's shop takes ... ;-)
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Plasman » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:42 am

OOC: I know the watch was my idea... I was just giving MW/Fizgig the chance to come up with an explanation for it, ie. giving him something to play with and thus alter the story. The idea I had in mind was that the fourth hand acted like a compass, but instead of pointing to North, it pointed in the direction of Fate/Destiny/whatever was in Peter's future. But that was merely my idea! I want to see what else it could have been.
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:13 am

OOC: And if Fizgig ever lays eyes on the inscription on the little metal plate, he'll instantly recognize it as identical to the inscription on the parchment.

No, nothing "magical" will happen ... but I'm wondering what Fizgig will do with the knowledge?
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Plasman » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:29 pm

...Peter was now standing at the empty counter. It seemed that the doctor had disappeared behind the curtain, and was not planning to return any time soon.
He looked anxiously at his new watch. Of course, he had no idea if it was set to the correct time, and there didn't seem to be any other clocks around the counter.
The minutes ticked by.
"Well, he did say I could just take the watch," Peter thought. "But I still don't know what the fourth hand does..."
And then, he looked at the book. This was the old dusty book he had seen Dr. Fizgig reading earlier, and it was now laying wide open on the counter.
Curious (and at a dead end otherwise) Peter took the book and read a few pages...
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:27 pm

OOC: Well, that was a valiant effort, Plas, but it's got some problems:

First, if they're still having a conversation back there, it's probably about the book, and the book is probably still in Fizgig's hands. Green-Cloak offered to pay for the duocylinder by solving the riddle of the name of the book. Frankly, I thought that was a brilliant move on S_P's part! Still haven't heard what Fizgig's reaction would be to that, though. Assuming Fizgig accepted, I was hoping Green-Cloak would spell out the obvious answer to Fizgig's question (at least the first-level answer): "Why, Doctor, the book told you its name, forthrightly, when it showed you its title again: Tale Without a Name. It's right on the cover, after all! I'm willing to bet that even a search of the native data net, primitive as it is, will yield evidence of an obscure book with such a title, by someone named Penelope Delta. Now, may I have a receipt for this duocylinder?" Don't know what Fizgig's reaction to that would be either. Judging by the petulant silence we're experiencing now, my guess is that he would have flipped a lid and not believed it, and possibly reneged on the deal. Which might have angered Green-Cloak and started an argument. Judging from the hints in S_P's description of Green-Cloak, that might not be the smartest thing to do.

Is there a plausible scenario for why the book would be sitting open on the counter now, yet Fizgig and Green-Cloak are still behind the curtain negotiating? The only one I can imagine would be if (during the time Peter was busy looking at "timekeepers"), Fizgig went back to his counter in a huff, opened a drawer, fished out a specialized code-breaking device (perhaps it's too awkward and specialized to carry in his smock all the time), and tried it on the two pages already shown. This would have yielded little more than what the book had already said. (Perhaps the device would flash an "INSUFFICIENT DATA" readout hinting that it might be able to decode more layers of meaning but it's missing some context, so maybe he should actually try and read more of the darn thing.) Frustrated, Fizgig might then have abandoned the book in disgust and gone back to negotiate a different deal with Green-Cloak.

Even if the book is sitting on the counter, another problem is the language barrier. Unless Peter's last name is Papadopoulos or something, he won't be able to read the book anyway. It's in Greek! And even though I've contrived to inhabit the book with the personality of one of its characters, and even contrived to give her telepathic powers, this won't help much either -- because she only speaks (and thinks) in Greek! This was all part of my attempt to limit my character's abilities, both to keep the mystery alive, and also to let other players have more of a say in what happens with the book. To that end, I made it so that the girl could only transmit strongly to members of her own species, like Peter, but then because of the language barrier would only be able to convey vague emotional or visual impressions. With alien species like Fizgig, the signal is weaker. It takes a tremendous effort for her to even get two words across ("Read me...") but at least Fizgig has a universal translator that can process those words. Thus she resorts to embedding a steganographic message in the text of the book, by availing herself of a little "plausible serendipity magic". (Why, those random spots of less-faded ink had been sitting there, unnoticed, all along, all these decades! ;-) ) But even those embedded messages are in Greek too!

Peter has some information to share with Fizgig (the presense of an odd stuffed donkey head with a tin crown and a Greek inscription, right in Fizgig's shop). Fizgig has some information to share, too (the meaning of that very inscription and a description of that very donkey head in a work of literature that serendipitously happens to be in his hands). Putting that information together might prove an interesting setup for how the book could be useful in other adventures in the shop. I was curious to see whether Fizgig might be willing (or persuaded) to share his information (and maybe even UT technology) with Peter, and what conclusions they might draw from the odd coincidence.

I guess one way Peter might get around the language barrier without Fizgig's help would be to suppose that Fizgig carelessly left the decryption device lying around next to the book and that Peter found it, and discovered that it actually incorporated UT technology too. But this would be something of a deus ex machina.

But the final, and biggest problem is, I was really expecting by now there would be at least half a dozen separate little stories going on at Fizgig's shop. There's room here for a shopping extravaganza / Twilight Zone episode in every aisle! And I was fully expecting that feedback from MW and other players would have bounced even my own story-line around in wholly unexpected (and fun) directions. For instance, your notion that the donkey's head might have an inscription on the mounting was a nice touch, and I rolled with it to see where it would take us, but I was hoping for more than just one other person's input. Frankly, I don't think we've even got any spectators watching this. So if you and I go ahead and play this out, I think we'll be all alone with the crickets chirping. At this point, I might as well just boost you a copy of my translation of the book (or maybe put it up on a website), and call it a day.
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Plasman » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:54 am

OOC: Fair enough. I'll just finish my bit then. Oh, and let me know re: the book.

...but the book turned out to be nothing more that a book of technical diagrams, and not worth flipping through. "Hmm," he muttered, and closed the book.

He looked around carefully. "Well, it seems that no one's here. I should probably just leave. I'd better hurry and catch my tram; it ought to be here soon," he thought.

Collecting his briefcase from the baggage shelf inside the doorway, he turned, and took one last look at Dr. Fizgig's store. "Well... it was an awfully nice shop, nonetheless. I'll have to remember to come back someday and thank him for the watch...
"Oh! I almost forgot! I guess I can put it on now..."

He affixed the new watch to his wrist on the way back to the platform. Strangely, the watchstrap only seemed to have one hole in it for the fastener to fit into, but it still managed to fit perfectly.
Looking up at the platform's clock, he saw that the next tram was due in five minutes. He looked down to change the time on the watch, but discovered it was not necessary; the watch had already been set to the correct time.

"...But I'll never know what the fourth hand is for. Unless it's a spare - "
Then he noticed something. The fourth hand (which was earlier spinning loosely on the axis) had now turned to a specific direction. He tested the movement by turning his body to and fro, and the hand remained pointed in the same direction like a compass needle.
"Ah! It's a compass!... except that isn't North, last time I looked. I wonder - "
And suddenly the needle - hand - started swivelling on its own. Peter watched it turn, and he realised that it was now pointing at the tram that had just pulled up to the station.
"Hey! My tram! Wait, I'm coming!" he called out, but it was not necessary; this tram would wait for him.

As he boarded and took his seat, the tram pulled away, and Peter spent his journey (and a lot of others) watching as the fourth hand spun and pointed him onward, through many strange adventures...

But that is another story.
:wink:
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:33 am

OOC: The book was all about names. As the hidden message said, it does have a lot of names -- in it. Even on those two pages, it showed three doozies.

The girl speaking for the book did not appear on that page, but she could have been found elsewhere in the book. Her name, translated into English -- not literally, mind you, but literarily, which is much better -- was Savvy. Sapience works too, as a stuffy formal version of her name, one that complements her mother's name, Prudence. Although if she were ever given another chance to speak, I think she might have said: "Oh, but nobody calls me that! That's what they call my grandmother. Everybody just calls me Savvy." However, when Doctor Fizgig demanded "if you are sapient, tell me your name," she couldn't help but chuckle at the coincidence! (And a little at his pomposity.) Then again, Savvy and Mama Prudence always did have the uncanny knack of being at the right place at the right time (sometimes with the right things) -- but always with what I call "serendipitous plausibility". And yes, Savvy did have a lot of ... savvy.

There is one name, however, that is conspicuously absent ... until the last chapter. That is the big riddle of the book, and the reason for the title. But you would have to read the book to get the clues. I wouldn't want to spoil it by giving it away ... ;-)

The fact that the mundane businessman who wanders into the shop and stumbles across a stuffed and mounted jackass king happens to be named Peter is also a little bit of serendipity that Savvy couldn't help but giggle at. His name is literally the Greek word for Rock. If Peter, after a series of adventures using the book's help, had managed to solve its riddle, then Savvy would have projected an image of Sylvester Stallone in boxing shorts and gloves, jumping around in triumph! :mrgreen:
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby SilverFeathers » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:03 am

*idly drops an auryn into the thread and flits off*
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby strange_person » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:55 pm

Monocheres wrote: Assuming Fizgig accepted, I was hoping Green-Cloak would spell out the obvious answer to Fizgig's question (at least the first-level answer): "Why, Doctor, the book told you its name, forthrightly, when it showed you its title again: Tale Without a Name. It's right on the cover, after all! I'm willing to bet that even a search of the native data net, primitive as it is, will yield evidence of an obscure book with such a title, by someone named Penelope Delta. Now, may I have a receipt for this duocylinder?" Don't know what Fizgig's reaction to that would be either. Judging by the petulant silence we're experiencing now, my guess is that he would have flipped a lid and not believed it, and possibly reneged on the deal. Which might have angered Green-Cloak and started an argument. Judging from the hints in S_P's description of Green-Cloak, that might not be the smartest thing to do.

That was, indeed, my intention. "It's Paramythi Horis Onoma. Says so right on the cover. A funny thing about automated translators, that I've come to notice since my own regular one stopped working... people start to internalize them, forget that they don't actually know the local language. Maybe forget that there even is a local language. Have you ever seen Clint Eastwood's movies? He played a consistent character, or perhaps a closely related set of characters; a fellow noteworthy for his lack of self-identifying verbiage, who came to be referred to as the Man With No Name. There are some genuinely nameless things between the stars, and others within the mind, but the persistent state of namlessness is utterly untenable in an object as sapiocentric as a book." As for anger, well, probably the worst I'd do is take my business elsewhere.
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Cardboard Box » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:47 am

George unfolded into the three-one-space that made up the emporium in general, and the aisle of clocks in particular. George liked the clocks. They reminded George of something George could no longer remember.

All clocks need winding, and George attended to the various timepieces, reaching around casings to adjust the gearing inside, damping and poking oscillators, replacing batteries in those that used batteries. Or their equivalents. Like that clock which despite George's best efforts kept losing 23.6RPM/29:32transit. George sometimes wondered if it was still attached to the thing where George had tried to go once. Back when George was not George.

But what was George before --

George winced, dislodging a pile of cheap magazines in aisle 4. Giving up remembering, George collected a quartet of dustpans and brushes from behind the counter and busied George with the unending task of cleaning up. It was one of the jobs that George did for the owner, in exchange for a place to reside and a purpose in life. The problem was making sure nobody saw George. From what George could tell three-one-space wasn't kind to his looks.
And there's more where that came from!
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Aw, they grow up so fast!

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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:48 am
Location: Paraparaumu. It's Maori for "leftovers".

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