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one month ago

Description for my new story below. I currently have it in Everything Else, but I was wondering if it might fit better in a different category.

 

Long ago, a spontaneous mutation occurred in every living animal, giving incredible powers formally known to humans as magic, and dismissed. Every last one of them gained powers, at once, with one purpose: to destroy humans.

The bears and the wolves led the assault, followed by many others, becoming the Wild Ones. War broke out, even between animals, as pets rose to defend their owners, calling themselves the Last Loyals. But in the end, the Wild Ones won.

Now, animals continue to live without humans, claiming cities as their own, with new skills to master. The bears gained claws that could rip through almost everything, and a hide that can turn to stone. Wolves have special glowing coats, and super-bowls. Cats can teleport, dogs can control emotions. There are even animals such as birds and rats that seem to be hiding a new power of theirs that they have yet to share.

Choose your animal, and discover a world where animals rule, in the Animal Kingdom.

 

Also looking for feedback, and wondering if anybody has ideas for animals/mutations, or can think of another fairly dominant species that might lead the Wild Ones, other than wolves or bears. I was thinking big cats, but I'm not sure if those are as widespread.

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one month ago
No cats.

Bears are a weird choice...and wolves too honestly. Neither are very numerous compared to other animals and would probably be wiped out once they go evil since being specifically protected is all that's keeping them around now.

Largest populations are obviously going to be domesticated things, with rodents the most potentially destructive among wild animals.

But anyway, this sounds like fantasy or sci-fi. Don't think it really fits Everything Else.

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one month ago
Fantasy.

I can only assume they also all gained the ability to communicate, and a human-like conscious as well, as even if animals all got powers that wouldn't result in any sort of large scale attack. They're still just animals after all.

Easiest way for this setting to work is to say whatever gave them powers killed off the humans. Having animals rebel doesn't make a lot of sense.

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one month ago
The fact that they were all instantly filled with a desire to kill humans, even the ones that had never seen humans, implies some malicious alien force at work, which honestly was the most interesting thing about the setting to me, assuming it will be explored. Whatever it is is clearly capable of hitting the off switch on all the animals brains whenever it wants which makes it my first theory that this all was a form of planetary conquest using biological warfare, and something is on its way to claim the Earth.


....that, or this is some cringey teenage furry wet dream with no internal logic and the author is just obsessed with magic bears and wolves. But I'll leave resident expert @ISentinelPenguinI to make that determination.

Just having the magic instantly kill all the humans does make the most sense though. If bears and wolves are the scariest thing they're up against (all the animals that would be an actual threat seeming to have opted out for reasons of not being COOL and MAJESTIC enough to write about...) there's no way the animals could kill every human on the planet. Especially if their tactic is 'personally, individually locate and kill all seven billion humans on the planet without access to a communication network or ability to operate doors'

Most of the super-powered wolves would probably kill each other the moment a female goes into heat. And bears are pretty solitary so I imagine they're not going to respond well to the crowding or be team players at all.

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one month ago

Just using magic to kill the people would be lame. The most interesting part of this would be psychic bears tearing the fuck out of entire schools of children in a better version of Psychonauts. The "Oh, man just died and the animals aren't all genocidal war criminals" path is weak.

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one month ago

What's the focus of your game? Is it more concerned with story or plot? Are there any literary devices that you'd use? Is there a specific genre (mystery etc.) and(or) it's conventions that you're playing with? Answering these questions would make a clearer picture of your story for yourself and others. Having answered them, you could decide in what tense you'll write in etc. etc. and get around to fleshing out the finer details.

Insects like ants would dominate everything everywhere.

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one month ago
It is generally a red flag when instead of any info on a story we get a bunch of setting background, yes. My first recommendation would be just never, ever touching on anything from the OP when doing the actual writing, but if she can defend the premise I want to see her try.

The whole thing with everyone having powers just as a matter of course will make any plot incredibly complicated, it's a lot to factor in in any scenario and you've got to scale up the conflict to match. (I mean for real, how do you even deal with a viewpoint character that is an invulnerable magic bear with claws that 'rip through everything'? You'd be crippling yourself from the get go in terms of making anything that happens interesting.)

I don't know if insects get sentience too, but ants would be the obvious one, yes. First thing Malk brought up too--you are both so alike and will be good friends! ^_^

If bugs are out, then rats and mice would be the main threat. They wouldn't even need magic powers beyond sapience and an ability to communicate.

I'm surprised monkeys haven't gotten a mention, but like bears and wolves they'd be a pretty localized threat.

Any large animals are still easier to take out than zombies however as you don't even have to worry about a headshot. Wolves especially will have a hard time on multiple levels, 'glowing fur' not being much of a survival trait.

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one month ago

Although it's not a primary focus, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials pulls off a civilisation of bears with their own culture and traditions - and incorporates their aims of self-preservation into the grand scheme of things (a multiverse-wide conflict between witches, dragonfly-riding midgets, the papacy, so on and so forth). It manages it all by telling a more personal and introspective recount from the perspective of a pre-adolescent girl swept up by the events (deals with themes like the loss of innocence etc.). I'd recommend this trilogy to anyone (it's a shame there's not much recognition for how well-written it is), but to the OP especially as it seems to fall into his/her interests and it would probably provide some insight into how to deal with large-scale, muddied premises.

Anyways, I would only allow a select few species of animals that gain sentience.

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one month ago
The premise given by the OP would be far more workable on some fantasy world where animals talking and having powers was just how it worked IMO. Grounding it in a modern RL setting from the beginning leads to uncomfortable questions about the biology of it all even before you get to the (lack of) logic in the behaviors.

I believe Philip Pullman has cited a bitter hatred for the Narnia books as a big part of his inspiration for writing Dark Materials. He's also been pretty dismissive of LotR so he's definitely the edgiest choice for all your nerdy children's book fantasies.

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one month ago

Oh yeah... I think the main reason he hates Lewis is 'cos of the whole atheist deal he has going on and his observations on how Lewis isn't a real Christian (dunno, but it's something like that). About the themes in HDM and Narnia, he argues that the loss of innocence isn't something to regret (AKA, growing up and being an adult) while Narnia sort of laments the departure from childhood (Pullman explicitly said that was his big criticism on Narnia). I don't really know what he has against Tolkien, but nevertheless I found his story a very good read.

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one month ago
I always imagine his feelings are like the burning but also kind of stupid when described feelings of pure rage I have when thinking about obscure children's series The Dark is Rising and various other random stories I encountered at the time I was basically reading anything and everything. (I once spent almost an entire week being furious at Greg Bear's Hardfought for reasons I don't entirely understand...)

I do like the Narnia series still but like, it was written for 8 year olds in the 1950s and it might be a factor that Pullman first encountered the books as an adult.

...hmm, actually googling His Dark Materials claims an age range of 11-13 but from the one I read parts of while standing around at a book sale >.> it seemed more mature than that. But, Pullman is also strongly against 'age ranges' for books which is definitely something I'm with him on. I read all kinds of what in hindsight was pretty fucked up shit from about the second grade on and hell yeah, that was the best.

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one month ago

I think this article sums up everything nicely.

An age range of 11-13 if the kid is really precocious, lol.

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one month ago

Yeah, because it's so easy to take out bears with rock hides charging towards you.

Don't listen to this hater, CrazyCat, she just complains a lot. People don't care about science. Bojack Horseman just says "Bah, furries are real!" and that's that, and that's a great show. We don't need to know whether Shel Turtlestein is warm or cold blooded, just write.

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one month ago

Thanks. Usually when I write, though, I try to use a mix of both. Like using natural magic, but with an explainable source, like a magic tree that gives people magic abilities like a sort of god/diety.

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one month ago

Don't get me wrong, you definitely need internal consistency, and rules to all your magic and that so it's not just like "Oh, and now I can do this with magic!", but needing to sync things up with the external, real world isn't necessary. Anyway, you're welcome.

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one month ago
Didn't want this to get lost in my other post, but my big question for the OP: how are the animals communicating?

Please be specific.

Also, please explain what a 'super-bowl' is.

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one month ago

For language and communication, I tried to split the animals into groups. The bigger predators can communicate with each other, insects with each other, you get the idea. If I'm honest, I haven't explored too much with this world, I just wanted to get the idea out there to help me flesh it out more. If people found problems, it would be easier to fix them beforehand. On communication, then, that's what I was thinking the glowing wolves were for. It was hard to think of traits that define wolves that I could exaggerate through mutation, if you could think of one I would like to hear it, but I came up with glowing markings for easier communication. The colors change, and they get new markings as the grow, just like they would natural, non-glowing markings. I assumed bioluminescence would be easier to explain than telepathy. Which doesn't explain the bear, now that I think about it.... Yikes, I guess I did need feedback, haha.

Also, that was supposed to say super-howls, if you hadn't already guessed. When I think of wolves, I think of howling. I was thinking either a super-sonic howl, or something along those lines.

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one month ago
I would recommend studying real wolves, as they are pack hunters with an already pretty complex communication system. I'm not sure what glowing anything would do except make it more difficult to be stealthy.

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one month ago

Well I was thinking they could control when it glows, maybe like flashing signals, but yeah, that's a good point.

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one month ago

I agree this would be Fantasy.

Although I have to say that the description doesn't fill me with much enthusiasm. Animals conquering the world and taking over from humans? What, so the animals all have superpowers? Are all the humans dead following the war? Or is it some kind of dystopian future where humans have been enslaved by humans (which would make some sense, but the imagery is really weird - it'd be like Planet of the Apes except that all animals are in charge...insects, birds, pigs, whatever).

I can imagine some kind of fantasy world where humans simply don't exist, or maybe they drove themselves to extinction, where the animals survived and gained powers of their own to control the new world. What if you want to play as a slug or a sloth? Or a flea? If the smaller animals mutated and grew gigantic then that would be a world that would be quite fantastic and slightly terrifying (giant bees, giant spiders, etc.)

I don't know, maybe I'm just looking too much into this. I'm just trying to imagine how animals would create their own civilisation, make their own cities (which would certainly be different from human cities), research, build, use tools, communicate with each other...I mean, sure they have superpowers, but there should still be some common ground. 

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one month ago
It's like a twelve year old's 'wouldn't it be cool if???' fever dream with no thought given to internal consistency or logic. "Because magic. Random, yet incredibly specific magic."

That's been the secret hidden subtext to my posts, but at the same time I'm waiting to hear the OP's side of things.

I'm really not getting a sense that any thought at all was put into making this stuff serve a plot, however.

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one month ago

I would argue that I'm actually older, but it's not by much, and I'd just be digging myself a deeper hole, so...yeah.

I was trying to plan the idea that the rest of the humans went into hiding, maybe even planning a counter-attack, but I'm not sure where they would hide that didn't have animals.

The birds, and possibly insects, mutated first, but because it didn't affect their appearance, nobody really noticed. From there it sort of spread like a disease might, affecting most mammals, certain birds, and insects like ants, bees, etc.

There are a few plots I'm considering for the story, the first being exploring the new world, and trying to figure out what caused the mutation. Another is simply trying to survive with a new intelligence that you didn't have before- this I'm thinking with the birds. You have the option to play as a raven. The birds are secretive, so you would get a different side to the story that might not be told otherwise. Because the birds find objects and run "shops" to trade with other animals(for different things, food, etc), you would get to meet a variety of new animals too.

Edit: Forgot to add, you can also choose to play as a dog, either trying to find the humans, or defending homes from the animals taking the cities. I would give you the choice of becoming a wild dog, but that would pretty much be a wolf. Unless you wanted the dog powers, or just like dogs more than wolves, but I can't imagine that's what might earn the story bad ratings, just because,"I wanted to play this animal with this different storyline"...

There would also be conflicts between the former Wild Ones, and the Last Loyals. The birds stayed nuetral in the war for the most part. They were smarter, and decided to plan how they might run the new world, I guess.

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one month ago
Not going to be able to comment much more on this today, but I'm just going to leave off with saying that I really think this would be easier to handle with, as others have already suggested, a few specific species rather than every animal in the world.

And seriously, just have this be the way things are on a fantasy world rather than trying to graft it on to modern/futuristic Earth. Using real animals for instance, leaves you with the burden of explaining why they're not constantly eating their allies or fighting each other over mates just due to the way their brains are wired. Capacity for higher intelligence and moral choices being suddenly grafted on to would do very little to change this aside from probably making them go insane. (At the very least, they probably wouldn't decide they needed to open a shop.)

There are lots of physical and chemical changes to the structure of the brain implied in this too which, again, is difficult to explain away with "because magic."

Basically, a story about magic furries I'm sure has an appeal to /someone/, but probably best to leave real animals and the real world out of it. Furries are essentially just humans with fur, and in this case, magic powers. Real animals are something much more interesting and unique, and it would take a lot of research and imagination to cover the results of sapience for even one species, even before you add the superpowers. (Obligatory recommendation for reading Watership Down as a fantastic example of how to handle 'animals that are also people' in a realistic and interesting way.)

Think really long and hard about any powers you give the animals too. Each one needs to be there for the reason of either adding complications to or resolving a conflict, or otherwise having a meaningful impact on the plot.

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one month ago

So are you saying animals with powers might work in a fantasy world, or are you saying no powers at all?

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one month ago
Talking animals living in cities with shops in harmony with other animals would work best in a fantasy world.

Powers, like in any setting, depend on what they're there for. As a general rule you don't include things like that unless they have a purpose to the plot. And I'd recommend against extremely powerful ones, because then you're having to constantly struggle with 'why doesn't this character, or another character nearby, just use their magic superpower to instantly and effortlessly resolve this conflict?'

'plot structure' is a good thing to Google by the way, as a guideline for this or most other stories.

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one month ago

Thanks for the advice! I'll really take the time to think about it. I just want to write a good story. I'd much rather be known for a good story that I put lots of time into than a bad one that I rushed through because I thought my idea was better than others' opinions.

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one month ago
Okay I have to say you're handling criticism really well, and that's ultimately one of the most important things for someone serious about writing. Earlier posts may have come off as blunt but you were a cat-themed teenage furry so I assumed the worst.

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one month ago

Yeah, I'm just a teen who likes cats. They tend to be stereotyped a lot, I understand. But I also like dogs(and wolves), reading, drawing, and obviously writing. I'm also procrastinating homework by writing, so I should really do that now....

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one month ago

I should note that cats and bears are seen more as background characters unless you choose to play as one, as the bears go back to being solitary(the bear you choose to play as questions what made him do the thing he did, the driving force felt "unnatural", and he goes on to explore the subject, whilst trying to avoid making 'friends'(the choice to make friends will appear less often than in other stories). And the cats really don't give a crap about anybody else because they're, well, they're cats. They really just wander the street, possibly helping stock shops with items humans left behind, or simply figuring out how it works. I can't think of a plot, so I'm putting the idea of cats aside for now, but I do plan on having another animal that is seen in the cities more(birds, dogs, possibly rats, though any plot I would make for rats might be too similar to birds) become friends with a sassy cat that constantly complains about everything(or at least has the option to). A cat character would have to be a tad narcissistic, and possibly pessimistic, not?

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one month ago

Sleep on it, figure out a plot, brainstorm and plan in whatever way you prefer. Hopefully the ideas here help out, but you really should have a better vision of what you want before working on the mechanics of everything in your story. Good luck!

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one month ago

First off, either make Magic Science or don't. The witches and alchemists of old didn't think what they were doing was "magic" they thought they were using the exploits of gods and physics to influence the world around them. If Magic is part of how your world works, it's science, and should be treated like science, even if humanity doesn't believe in it anymore. I mean, it can be something that is "dismissed" as magic, but experimenting with energies and forces to learn how the world works and giving it a practical application us pretty much exactly what science is, and magic irl would almost certainly have been treated as a branch of science before it was dismissed. There should be no notion of "oh, we used to call it "Magic" but it wasn't real, so now in our fairy stories we just call it "Magic"." I mean, sure, it doesn't have to come with a super-fleshed-out magic physics textbook, but at the same time, it should be addressed with terminology that makes it feel real and believed in.

 

I'll read the rest when I have time but that first statement already has me triggered 

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one month ago
Made it to the third sentence and had to take a break?

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one month ago

Magic is supernatural, science is natural. Also, no one cares, you twat, using anything besides "Magic" or perhaps "Psychic powers" will just make him or her seem like a pretentious cunt.

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one month ago

Please refrain from insulting others. I may not know who you are, but I really don't care, its rude, and hurtful. Some may take it harder than others. It's better to be safe than a bully. Thank you.

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one month ago

I know Sent well enough to insult him. Also fuck you, don't try tell me what to do, I was just starting to think you were worth helping.

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one month ago

I may not be worth helping, but I can sure as hell help others. I was merely giving you advice. You don't have to listen, but any consequences are yours to deal with.

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one month ago
No time to read the rest of the thread right now, but this, this right here? This was a bad idea.

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one month ago

Things are pretty much only supernatural when they aren't real. If Magic existed, it'd be considered just as natural. What I'm taking issue with here is that these forces that're happening are "Something you guys used to call Magic before you DISMISSED it like a bunch of dumb rationalists you shits!" Either call it magic or call it something else, but giving forces that be some other name just because people stopped believing in it or whatever is equally pretentious.

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one month ago

I'm not sure if I'm not understanding you, or you're not understanding me. I meant that people didn't believe in magic, thereby calling it nonsense and nonexistent, but now the animals have the thing that they were calling not real, because there wasn't any obvious signs of it existing before. They called it magic because they thought it didn't exist. They changed their viewpoints before most of them died, I'm guessing. Did that help clarify some things?

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one month ago

So basically, we're playing as sociopathic genocidal maniacs who exterminated us, the actual and presumably human reader, and as these genocidal maniacs we try to do something or other. I'm not sure what we're doing, but whatever. I'd say Fantasy might suit, seeing as it is a fantasy world, really. Few questions:

  • Are these stuff humanoid, or just animals? Still the same relative side?
  • What's a super-bowl? Are wolves just a species condemned to play inferior rugby from now on?
  • What's going on? What is the protagonist trying to do?
  • How does a spontaneous mutation occur in every living animal with such a leap it gives them magic?
  • How does magic work here?
  • Are the Last Loyals wiped out from the war, and if not, why?
  • How does an entire species hide their power without any outliers using it?
  • What level of society is going on? Is this fairly intelligent animals prowling streets in packs, or full blown Zootopian cities functioning?

Clearly species like bears and wolves, while powerful regional powers, wouldn't control the world. However, it'd be interesting to see how species like rats, a global threat, deal with it. Seeing as they rely on man's resources for a lot as scavengers but they're also fairly wild, it would've been interesting to see them dealing with the Man-Animal War. I've never seen the show Zoo, but I presume that's the gist of it. If Ants are getting powers, you've got a Fascist world empire right there, although given just how powerful they'd be, I'd recommend staying away from insects. I give you these tidbits this because you seem to have handled criticism well and thus, even though the idea's not my style, I most definitely encourage you to continue writing.

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one month ago

Just animals

Already explained the typo

Also explained

The mutation itself was magic

I don't quite understand the question

Most of them were, but some fled after realizing the situation was hopeless, and now live in packs/groups, trying to adjust to the wild.

I didn't really think about that. The birds were the first to mutate, and had a headstart in spreading the word to other birds.

Think Redwall. That's my best comparison. Redwall without the metal swords, shields, and stuff.

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one month ago

Missed the typo, don't think you've explained what the protagonist would necessarily do unless they all have their own plots, haven't read Redwall.

The "How does magic work?" really means like what's going on when it's used. With magic, there needs to be some sort of price, so magic's not just used everywhere and everytime. Possibilities include it's fueled by a maguffin as I'll say in the next paragraph, that magic drains the lifeforce of the user, is powered by something evil, or that it simply exhausts you and drains your energy. My personal suggestion would be that magic is fueled by calories, like any other action. If you want to do a lot of magic, you need to eat a lot. This would give an edge to the far cooler carnivore animals, so that basically to become more powerful you need to eat a lot of high-calory meat, so the crueler carniverous animals hold all the power in the world, rather than you have to explain why this isn't just ran by the boring but far more common farm animals or something.

If you wouldn't mind, I do have a few suggestions to replace the magic mutation idea. First and simply, and I am stealing this from Psychonauts, have a magical macguffin type resource that's highly psychic and triggered these creations. It's generic, but I think it's better than just magic mutation, plus it gives you an important resource to have that all animals would want, seeing as if there's no main society there's nothing they'd really all want. Plus, it still lets you still have the history of a cool Man-Beast War.

My second suggestion is a bit more off the wall, but it basically involves the unearthing or gifting of some 2001: Space Odyssy-type Monolith to Earth. If you're unfamiliar, basically it hyper-evolves ancient apes and gets them to use tools. When a modern day man goes into it, he evolves into this hyper-intelligent next stage of evolution floating fetus thing. It's weird, but whatever. Basically, my suggestion would be this device "works" on pretty much the entire planet. It's effects on animals evolve them into these psychic creatures you want to write about. However, with man, it just kind of "vanishes" them. It could be left as a mystery to unravel by loyal pets to find whether their masters were simply destroyed by an error or perhaps on purpose, or whether they simply evolved so much they ascended to a new plane of existence, or whatever. Finding the aliens motives would also be cool. But whatever, use what you want or nothing at all.

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one month ago

Magic is like energy. You can spend energy by using magic, and replenish magic by gaining energy, like sleeping, or yes, eating. As such, you get a certain amount of magic to "spend" each day, and you can increase it by a smaller amount by eating, or buying magic replenishing foods from the shops.

In the end, I decided to get rid of the whole mutation process, and instead, it is simp,y set in a fantasy world where animals have powers.

The plot is still a work in progress, I'm working on another story while I figure out how I want this storygame to be. Some of my answers might have changed three days from now. I'm just happy to be making progress, usually I get stuck and the story is sort of ditched, but not deleted, because I keep telling myself I'll finish it eventually. Thanks for the ideas!

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one month ago

Whilst I would disagree with the fantasy world idea entirely as it takes away most of the cool aspects of the idea like the human-beast war, the idea of animals inheriting a world and a kind of post-apocalyptic rebuilding setting, and instead replaces it with a far more generic Warrior Cats with more animals type scenario, it's your story.

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one month ago
Wait, are we actually playing as the animals that did all the genocide, or is this several generations later?

Story just became a whole lot darker if the former.

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one month ago

Only a few generations later. Enough that the animals are acting normal(other than the advanced intelligence), but there are still some really old animals that still exist that started the war.