Thursday, May 10, 2018

Q&A: Week 2

As of the time I checked the survey, here are the top five questions.   Let's get some answers rolling!

45 votes- Do powers get more powerful with time as a dreamkeeper uses it more?

Usually, yes!  I answered a similar question via e-mail recently, so I can paste it here as it's the perfect place.  I use weightlifting as an analogy for dreamkeepers power training:

When inexperienced Dreamkeepers use their power, they sometimes fuel it with their own personal energy- and almost immediately faint.   But most soon learn to fuel their power by 'channeling' it.  Energy interacting with a Dreamkeeper and fueling their ability is signified by the halo effect.  Learning to 'channel' power is like learning to ride a bike- it rapidly becomes intuitive. 

'Channeling' a power doesn't involve physical musculature at all, something closer to mental focus and sustained willpower.  But, though qualitatively different, it's similar to weightlifting in the following ways.

Someone who has practiced more, and has more experience, can increase their capacity to lift weights.  Not everyone can attain equal strength.  Almost everyone can get stronger with training, but there are limits.   Stand around lifting weights for too long, and a person will exhaust their muscles, be unable to continue until they allow themselves to rest and recover.   And lifting heavier weights will exhaust their strength faster.  And in fact, lift something that's simply too heavy, too fast, and they can actually injure their muscles, and put themselves out of commission for weeks or longer.   It's possible for a power-active Dreamkeeper to 'sprain' their power in this manner, and require recovery. 

Once a Dreamkeeper has exhausted their 'power strength' or capability, then they can only continue using their power by fueling it with their body's physical stamina, which doesn't last for long. 

So, weightlifting is a good metaphor:  Some people are stronger than others, even when just beginning.  But everyone can increase their capabilities up to a point, with training.  Some can develop exceptional capabilities.  But even someone in peak form can only lift so much before their muscles will be exhausted and require rest.  The more they lift, the more rest will be required to restore their strength. 

40 votes- Can typical powers manifest under conditions other than imminent bodily harm? Such as intense focus towards a job or hobby?

Yes, definitely.  Danger is a rather effective means of causing intense focus and desire- but not the only way.  Intense focus, paired with genuine desire, is how 99% of Dreamkeepers discover their power.

33 votes- How old are Vanth, Evzen and the orphans from Grunn's Orphanage / how old are all of the characters in GNS?

I'll try to list at least the main characters:

Evzen- 15


Nabonidus-Plot Vault

30 votes- If you guys could would you go back and change anything about the previous comics and / or lore?

Short answer, no.  Early on we fixed some consistency goofs in Volume 1, but just enough to keep it working properly.
If I had the power to go redo stuff, I wouldn't.  Gotta move forward as we improve, instead of letting the improvement drag us back to square one.

But a similar question- is there anything that we could have done better?  I can think of one scene that probably would have been better with a different twist.

In Volume 3, a farmer gives Lilith a data-scroll out of the blue, which proves to be a useful item.   It was a placeholder scene that I couldn't improve on at the time- we injected a bit of humor, and moved forward with getting the book created.   But looking back, I'd have Mace or Bast steal (or compete to steal) the scroll, because that's a little more in line with their character and less random. 

I try to use hindsight revelations like this to sharpen up my storytelling skills, and apply it to make our subsequent work better than ever. 

24- What's the species behind Vi's design? People say she's a rabbit or a skunk but i think i read she actually is a civet.

Our original thought was sort of a rabbit skunk combo- but civet works too.  Dreamkeepers are so cartoony, the original animal inspiration is essentially irrelevant most of the time.    I don't even know what Whip is supposed to be.    A cold kangaroo rat?  A cuddly sky-shark?    I don't think anyone knows.

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