Friday, May 18, 2012

Idea Bird

A quick missive from a monkey that is still overburdened by a stressful hunt for a new home...

A while back, I noticed the following link on io9 regarding Idea Bird, a wonderful tumblr with cool story ideas updated every few days or so. Many of these ideas are for are aimed at writers and thus can't always be directly ported to gaming. But most can be mined for some kind of useful nugget.

An example from 5/16/12:
He knew he’d faked his way into the CEO slot, and plenty of people knew it. But damn if he didn’t look good in a suit, and competent people made his initiatives work. Until they didn’t work, and he wound up in front of a Congressional hearing. A year or so out, and he was asked to appear on an interview show. He’d forgotten to shave, and the cowboy hat looked OK on him. His gritty approach and tough language led to the vice-presidency. Which was fine until the president choked to death. 
Not much of a scenario, but it is a pretty cool character concept (player or non-player). And the previous post on 5/14/12 offers up a pretty cool world-building nugget:
Clarke’s third law makes most think technology & magic are somehow interchangeable. But magic is more like singing or solving math equations, it’s a function of personality & skill. Technology, however, is great for recording things and playing them back. Record how an equation is done, and feed the variables into the calculator. Anyone can autotune their voice. Translate this into a world of Real Magic, where people cast spells at each other. Non-magic users use technology to record every step of a magician’s spell, and recreate it, over and over again. 
Anyway, the word "Idea Bird" inspired this Silver Age super hero for Risus:

IDEA BIRD 
Description: Kate Loveless fell into a team of London superheroes by virtue of being Spring-heeled Jackson's girlfriend. It wasn't long before her nascent technical aptitude proved indispensable - her more martially inclined mates stopped calling her Jackson's Bird and and starting calling her Idea Bird instead. The moniker fit like an expensive pair of go-go boots (which she always sports) and she has become famous for coming up ingenious gadgets disguised as women's fashion accessories.

Cliches: Fashion Conscious Gadgeteer [4], Super-spy Wannabe (2), Bookworm (1)

Hook: Half dice when threatened with capture (getting rescued from or escaping from captivity is constant occurrence).

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