Thursday, March 28, 2024

Freedom of such a Low Bar

There are so many favorite parts writing this - 
1) Is that I can do the same structure I would write for an adventure: NPCs, motives, inertia of the setting and society, and what unlikely but inevitability happens. I like working on fundamental motivations and elements of a character and winding them up to run around in a setting. I like how characters interact and change the world.
In a typical isekai i’ve been consuming they work of the “Hero vs Demon Lord” Trope. Evil that is oversimplified and easy to hit. I’ve grown past that power fantasy because of my Job - if I still think in oversimplified morality - i cannot be effective in my job. I would see end-users as the enemy and it doesnt help as a system thinker. I still think there is evil, like the ton of corruption in the Philippines and the Industry, its just that navigating my immediate surroundings - and problem solving daily - seeing someone as a “Minion of Evil” or a good guy isnt helpful. 
2) Its the closest to running a game. Writing is what a GM who is not running a game doing. Especially when they’re filling out what the playerss will be doing. 

3) Writing about relationships and how brains work. I love writing how science works. In an Isekai, there are really good medical and engineering iskeai (“I was reincanted as the Villanes  but was a doctor in the real world, but originally came from this world as the villaines”, “I was a reincarnated surgeon in Ancient China?” “I was a reincarnated rural doctor in this fantasy world where healing magic is only handled by humans”. Writing how someone behaves if memory and attention is far greater than that of a normal human - that they are not filled with uncertainty and their processing time is not limited to biological limitations. How someone feels when they dont have fear and uncertainty about their station, past trauma, nothing to prove abotu their self esteem etc… to have the inner peace of a monk who spends 4-8 hours a day rewiring his brain meditating and not being controled by their fears and impulses.  

4) the fight scenes - fight scenes writen by someone who used to Spar, fight in Kali tournaments,  play war games (milsim) airsoft as a SCOUT (the role where you have to improvise and operate far from any support and have to be faster and have more stamina than everyone else; in airsoft scout is the most physically demanding because all the other roles would be as physically demanding in real world combat conditions and is largerly removed because of airsoft). I’m gamer who played athletic hobbies with other gamers - that you can be a NERD and still be athletic, know enough about strength training, biomechanics, etc… That I love learning about climbing, gymnastics, archery, horsemanship, etc… I want to write an Isekai where people will see someone who is passionately crazy about these things. Its still an iskeai and you shouldnt take it too seriously, but at the same low standard - you can talk about it like a obsessive compulsive person. 

5) The magic system, systems in general, is another thing. You can say: the Power Systems - how Priest Kings work in City States of the First Empires (5000-1000 BCE), where there is Magic - giving the priest king longer lifespans and more physical power. Blood magic - or Biological magic - the ability to control and influence cells, bacteria, viruses, and their behavior - as well as magical version of modern medicine. the most key here is stem cells and the ability to draw from these for rejuvenation - and the use of menstral blood and embryos for magic.  Control of women and reproduction is an aspect of this story when the magic system finds embryos, eggs, and menstration valuable. Particularly since its a scarce resource. 

6) Objectification and Slavery is a topic tackled in most isekai. Slavery and Serfdom in the Philippines lasted well into the 20C and you can see the vestiges in our culture. Particularly in the generational gap and mindset. I like writing about how TERRIBLE it really is, as my favorite writers who like Miles/Christian Cameron, Bernard Cornwell, and others made it out as BAD and why their protagonists were enslaved and came to hate the institution. A lot of Isekai is pro-slavery, as a Punishment and a common practice. 

As a History buff writing an Isekai who has the basic expected education about the history of slavery (particularly American Antebellum), and that of the Philippines and the Spanish enslavement of Indios - I dont want to glorify it like most iskeai. 

7) Fan Service.  Romance and Intimacy is something I want to write, its actually encouragement of my High School teacher regarding these kinds of stories that made me have a hope to one day write… of course my geekiness about History and TRPGs that made me want to write more, as well as my favorite Writers. But I do like writing about romance and intimacy.  Exploring relationship dynamics - dispelling illusions about Harems - and what healthy Polyamorous relationships look like - and the work and circumstance of such. Particularly when there is no Taboo about sexual education. Being a former catholic and having had my sexual education  DURING my teens when my grandfather explained all the science regarding it and during College experimenting with girlfriends and having pregnancy scares - I really hated how terrible it was. Philippine Sex education is terrible. Of course I dated a lot prior to my meeting my wife and gamed how dating works in the Philippines - realizing how certain personalities fit - and how co-dependency works (as a married man with kids) would be a fun thing to write. 

Its Funny that in the setting Elven men - transmute their sexual drive into magical energy leaving them Asexual. Imagining “Post nut clarity” all the time. Imagining a race of men who are always having “post nut clarity”.  It changes the dynamics - a lot - this is the “ideal man” to many women… forgetting that that man doesnt exist and a completely asexual man - is a disinterested man. That such men without any drive - means intimacy is shared experience - and if they can relate with other men more than they have deeper relationship with those who share their experience. But since gender roles are different with blood magic - “One of the guys” happens to be female or male. You can say the main driver of relationship are roles and responsibilities - those who can share their roles and responsiblities determine who you would hang around more of. So for our protagonist - those who do scouting and are in the thick of intelligence gathering and dangerous circumstances would be his spouse.  

Ruining the Harem narrative by giving the women more depth. Yeah that would be fun - there are a TON of Isekai where the harem are filled with damsels and so much so that why write that? Right now in the hundred or so iskeai on my playlist - this is the trope and everytime there is a harem this is the outcome. Of course men attracted to damsels in distress - is not the dichotomy. Men attracted to women who have shared related challenges and strengths is an alternative way of telling a story with many female characters around a male character. The way not all female friends are trying to fuck their charming male friend. 

when men have 24/7 post nut clarity - their expectations change - a narrative experiment of “what if men can just switch their sex drive off.”  their decision regarding partners and raising children are totally weird - it doesnt even mean a traditional family unit. Elves can use regular humans as surrogates and can manipulate genetics to have multiple donors to an embryo (since we can do that now) - What determines a family is really at least two people who love each other enough to support a household with an intent of bringing in a new generation… a lot of my Scifi writing is about families when technology overcomes biological and economic barriers - i get to play it out in an Isekai. Men with 24/7 post nut clarity are not “Easy” anymore.

Elven vanity - so elves had the most extensive blood magic genetic alterations. being an elf is born out of humans that have extensive modifications - and a natural talent in making these modifications. the escalation reminds me of Asia’s obsession with Education, Status and Appearance - the amount of plastic surgery we do and dangerous beautification medicine.  Elves having reproductions like IVF using many embryos and consolidating the genetic materialinstead of discarding it, using the stem cells to augments the offsprings abilities that cannot be passed down as genetic material is facinating to write about. Transhumanism elements in an Iskeai . 

Then there are the humans and the materiarchs with more limited blood magics acting like the benejeserets. And the many schools of blood magic. 
Then of course magical energy purely a metabolic process. meaning calories determine a lot of magical power and subtle usage is best. 
describing hyper dexterity of elves, if bone and muscle mass mattters for strength what is the “magic” of someone who can perfectly predict and control their center of gravity and flexibility (if you watch the flexibility strength youtubers and martial arts youtubes) - what does it look like fighting an elf who has 5-10x the reaction speed. 

Of course the kind of humans you can create when various blood magics can create anabolic steroids, and maintain the performance of Priest kings and Noble warriors. The armor, weapons, and feats of human ability they can take. Then of course blood magic on domesticated animals: Pack Goats, War oxes, Thoroughbred Horses, Angus or Wagyu beef, Hunting lizards, Rocks (Giant birds), etc… 

Blood magic creating the races - dwarves, orcs, goblins, Trolls, and giants. A fighting scene with a Troll would be fun to narrate, how would you fight +3m tall creature 16-30 tons. Imagining the oxygen metabolization of such an animal (the biological bottleneck) - imagine a giant Algae swamp and below sealevel high oxygen (30% Oxygen, from the regular 20%) environments - allowing for giant animals.  (oxygen is heavier than nitrogen).  

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