Saturday, 2 October 2010

Sagefight as Madness Talent

This is my tongue-in-cheek mashup of Don't Rest Your Head and Sagefight. Enjoy, or even critique.

It began as a fun pasttime with friends. "Hai! Hai! Hai!" Each beat an opportunity to vanquish your opponent. Each pause the intersection of instinct and intent. And then, the strike! Touch their palm and they simply walk away.

But you played the game every day in your mind. As you walked down the street you could hear the beats of the movement all around you. The train. The joggers. The stock market. And now, even the universe itself has opened up its beat to you. That constant driving rhythm, like a drum in your mind, synchronising everything that exists like some great clockwork machine.

What can I do?
(1-2 dice) Synchronise yourself into the rhythm of machines and computers around you, able to see their patterns and predict their movement. Your chaos is one step ahead of their order. Not only do you know the machine, but you know the right place to tap and make the machine simply spin down to a quiet halt.

(3-4 dice) The ebb and flow of biological systems, as complex as they are, is as machine to you. From heartbeats to cell division, the interplay of these finely-tuned systems spins and loops according to fundamental chemical interactions, and you can dance to that beat. A double-step here and there and you can switch that bio-machine around. Stop a man's heartbeat or accelerate his cell division. Interrupt cancerous growths in their onslaught. Predict the flow of electrons throughout the neurons in her brain, and stay one step ahead.

(5-6 dice) Everything is part of the cosmic machine now. God wound up the spring and let all those untold trillions of wheels turn, and you can see them turning together. With the right tap you can bump the moon off its orbit, see the change in the stock market before it happens, or reach into a man's soul and tap so that he simply walks away from life itself. And no matter how far away you are when you do it, it's enough to disturb Officer Tock from his duties.

How does it break me?
Fight - Tap, tap, tap everything. Too many things are happening around you and the sounds of all those systems is like a thousand drummers playing a thousand different beats. You've got to make them stop, and you slide into a well-practised kata that makes anything near you stop and run.

Flight - A little error of judgment and the world has tapped you as adroitly as you normally tap it. The frenzy and flurry come to an abrupt stop, and quite calmly - perhaps mindlessly - you turn and walk away, far away.

How do I change?
Your sense of the spontaneous is slowly eroded by the relentless ticking. Everything is now a matter of watching for the pattern and then reaching into it to make it simply give up. The constant synchronisation of your body with the world around you has made your movements less and less fluid. Your movement becomes caught in the rhythm of Sagefight.

What am I becoming?
You erode the things around you by their capitulation, depriving them of their resolve and persistence. With no one around you to rage against the dying of the light, your own will to persevere collapses as well and as it falters, you can no longer tolerate determination or purpose in anything else. The feedback loop drains you of your self-discipline, and it is replaced by the instinctive drive to expose the fragility and futility of striving. You have become Damn Soulless.
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