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Old 04-30-2017, 02:46 PM   #1
Astromancer
 
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Default Literary Perks!

Writers make good PCs. Or at least the fantasy authors that somehow can spend all their time travelling and adventuring without ever having to earn their keep by writing stuff.

Still, from Doctor Watson to Jessica Fletcher, from Ariadne Oliver to Lois lane, and from Clark Kent to Ellery Queen, writers make fun PCs. so I'm staring the thread on Literary Perks (and Quirks) to flesh PC writers out a bit.


Editor's Pet This is a highly limited form of Charisma. Basically it effects only editors who have jobs and advances to hand out. It doesn't do anything but help the writer get contracts and the best practical advance. This does get a positive reactions from publishers, but other writers are jealous.

Gifted Translator Basically anything you translate works for publication you get +1 to all rolls for translation. Note: this is just for translation for publication. And you must know both the languages you're translating out of and into.

Ear for Translation If your PC successfully translates a text, they'll also get some of the text's less tangible qualities into their translation. Example: Rabelais and Proust both wrote in a slangy racy style. Which most translations of their works totally lack. If your PC has this knack, even a weak faulty translation will have some of the racy slangy flavor of the original texts.

Deadline BeaterBasically, this is a limited form of luck. It helps you met deadlines for getting your writing assignments done and handed into the editor. You might get shot on the way to the editor's office, and die at the front of his desk, but you've got standard luck for getting the work itself done and handed in. Again, editors love you, other writers hate you.

Your turns.
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Literary Perks!

The story must get through.
If there is a way to get the story back to the news desk, newspaper or blog you can find it. A typewriter story telexed to a buddy who emails it to a coworker. Some how some way the story gets through.
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Old 04-30-2017, 04:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Literary Perks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
And you must know both the languages you're translating out of and into.
Translation for publication should only be into your native language. Nobody who knows what they're doing will hire a translator who isn't working into their mother tongue. Having read a few books that broke this rule, it's justified.

Zeitgeist Anticipator You have the ability to tell what subject will be hot with the public a year in advance. This gives time for the book to be written, edited and published, just about. Roll IQ once per month; Cultural Familiarity with the target market, and living there are prerequisites.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Literary Perks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Zeitgeist Anticipator You have the ability to tell what subject will be hot with the public a year in advance. This gives time for the book to be written, edited and published, just about. Roll IQ once per month; Cultural Familiarity with the target market, and living there are prerequisites.
You can also have a Quirk for the opposite. You write a story (classic cyberpunk say) about Japan's financial domination just before their economy tanks.
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Literary Perks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Translation for publication should only be into your native language. Nobody who knows what they're doing will hire a translator who isn't working into their mother tongue. Having read a few books that broke this rule, it's justified.
And yet in Finland there is a competition for best translation to Finish and a translator with Swedish as her native tongue has won it several times in the later years.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Literary Perks!

Perks
Walking Dictionary
Your vocabulary is the size of a baleanopterum. Get +2 when you need to use exactly the right word or to win pub trivia nights.

Walking Thesaurus
You know a hundred different ways to say big. Must be useful somehow.

Style Master
You have internalised all the rules of a particular style guide, such as Strunk's Elements of Style or the Chicago Style Manual. Get a +2 reaction from your editor and the editorial process takes 10% less time.

Viral Hound
You're the source of the latest Tweet that has become an instant meme, or the heartfelt Facebook post that everyone has to share. Get +1 on Propaganda rolls if you're aiming to get a particular message out.

Quirks
Overly Excessive Verbosity in Combination with Extremely Wordy Verbiage
Why use two words when twenty would suffice? Many people give up reading before they get to the end of your text, or your meaning is lost in the word forest. Get -2 for trying to communicate a specific idea. Also, your editor groans when anything of yours lands on his desk: gain a -2 reaction from your editor, and +20% time to edit something you've written down to a reasonable publishable length.

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophilia
(No, not pedophilia).
You have an excessive like for long words. This usually alienates your reader, or they have trouble understanding your meaning due to overly technical lexis and the need for an open dictionary to get through a text. -2 to influence readers, +2 reaction from other language nerds.

Cliche Hound
Like a dog with a bone, you can't be separated from the use of cliches in your writing. Generally a -2 reaction, but you might get a bonus writing pop songs, working in advertising or for tabloid newspapers.

Mr Malapropism
For all intensive purposes, you can write. Readers can usually understand your meaning clearly enough, but the use of slightly wrong words can be jarring, and sometimes actually leads to complete misunderstandings. -2 reaction from educated readers.

Grammar Klutz
Punctuation Klutz

You really, should of paid more attention in school. Your computer's grammar corrector underlines every other sentence you put down, but your to busy to check everything. -2 reaction from grammar snobs, who will decry the collapse of modern English language education in the face of your writing onslaught.

Spelling Bie
You have trubble spleling teh wrods rite. You can sometimes get away with blaming your phone's autocorrect, but generally people see through that excuse. -2 from readers, also -2 from computerised Research rolls as your misspelt keywords never return any search hits.

Probably more disadvantage level:
Secret: Magnum Kleptus
The piece of writing that got you started or that you are most famous for wasn't yours. You stole it from your dead roommate's writing drawer or you're Mia in Season 1 of Californication. Could turn into loss of reputation or lawsuits if the secret is revealed.

Secret: Serial Plagiarist
You don't write much yourself, instead it's all compiled from a bunch of online sources you've manipulated into a semblance of cohesiveness. Risk of loss of your job or expulsion from university if found out.

Secret: Magnum Fraudulus
The piece that you're most famous for purportedly relates real-life events that you experienced, but is in fact largey untrue. Prepare to be hounded by internet sleuths and investigative journalists interviewing everyone from your past. See season 5 of The Wire or Helen Demidenko for examples.

Laziness: Writer's Block
An aspected form of Laziness- when faced with a writing task or looming deadline, if you fail a self control roll you end up doing something unproductive or unrelated instead.
(Not sure if this is the best fit for writer's block, but it is at least one aspect of it.)
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:15 AM   #7
Phil Masters
 
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Default Re: Literary Perks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophilia
(No, not pedophilia).
You have an excessive like for long words. This usually alienates your reader, or they have trouble understanding your meaning due to overly technical lexis and the need for an open dictionary to get through a text. -2 to influence readers, +2 reaction from other language nerds.
Note that if your style or your grasp of your subjects are good enough, you may actually accumulate a modest but devoted following with this - and not just from those language nerds. And if the quirk needs a shorter name, I'd call it "Clute's Syndrome".

Quote:
Mr Malapropism
For all intensive purposes, you can write. Readers can usually understand your meaning clearly enough, but the use of slightly wrong words can be jarring, and sometimes actually leads to complete misunderstandings. -2 reaction from educated readers.
It feels terribly appropriate to point out that this isn't quite what a malapropism is. Mrs Malaprop didn't use slightly wrong words; she used completely wrong words that sounded like the word she meant.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Literary Perks!

Maledictologist

You have made an intense study of the vocabulary of insults and foul language, and when to effectively use it. You gain a +1 bonus on rolls where this would be useful. (n.b., this is not in any way a compulsion to use such language inappropriately.)
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:23 AM   #9
Daigoro
 
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Default Re: Literary Perks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Note that if your style or your grasp of your subjects are good enough, you may actually accumulate a modest but devoted following with this - and not just from those language nerds.
Would that be a fit for the corresponding Walking Dictionary perk then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
It feels terribly appropriate to point out that this isn't quite what a malapropism is. Mrs Malaprop didn't use slightly wrong words; she used completely wrong words that sounded like the word she meant.
Actually, I didn't realise it was a reference. I was thinking of Tony Abbot's "suppository of all wisdom" comment, but that is indeed the completely wrong word that sounds slightly different.
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Last edited by Daigoro; 05-01-2017 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:58 AM   #10
Phil Masters
 
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Default Re: Literary Perks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Would that be a fit for the corresponding Walking Dictionary perk then?
Yes, combining the perk and the quirk fits some writers very well. "I have a huge vocabulary and I'm not afraid to use it!"

Quote:
Actually, I didn't realise it was a reference. I was thinking of Tony Abbot's "suppository of all wisdom" comment, but that is indeed the completely wrong word that sounds slightly different.
Look out Sheridan's The Rivals some time. It's still a very funny play.
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