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An interesting concept, but you should know one of the things which led to the deterioration of the Blind Pig setting was people pushing the 'powers' concept too far, especially in regards to inanimorphs. While a power like the one your character has can be canon if it at least has a seemingly plausible explanation, it is best to impose some sort of limit such as energy expenditure/conditions/time required. In Allan's case it could be linked to his heartbeat, requiring either complete calm or hyperactivity. This is, of course, just an example, but consequences or costs should be considered. --Lloyd

Thank you Lloyd. I was trying to figure out a way to say this and you managed to do it for me.
Yes - there needs to be a real, physically measurable limit. You CAN have things like this power - it just needs to have some limits. As it says on the setting page there are certain caveats to the really funky powers. For instance, my character 'Scott' can toss around balls of superheated plasma - but the number and/or power of them is strictly limited and if he uses too many of them or ones of too high a power, the requirements could kill him.
I like the idea of this power, but just want to ask you to be careful with how you use it so that the setting doesn't get into the territory of the "super-powerful beings that do nothing" that has happened to the Blind Pig setting. Yes - I probably contributed to that with my character "Max Grant" - but that story was done to try and point out that the "great power, great responsibility" bit from Spiderman isn't something the average joe would think about. (In truth, it had its genesis from a line of Sue Carters in the "One Small Step" epic by Bard and Cubist, but I'm allowed to put multiple levels of meaning into a story, right?)
Anyway... You seem to be doing well with this first attempt at weaving a narrative. When you've finished with it, I will try to give you some good, constructive criticism and advice on how to make it better (if you want it). -- ShadowWolf 19:28, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Which is why the "no Mary Sues" rule exists, right? When writing it, I had the PAW guide open in another tab for quick reference. It's in a very early stage right now. As in, what you see on the page there is whatever I could crap out from 11:00 to 3:40 that night. I'm just now getting a full idea for what Allan can and can't do. After reading through it once again, I realize that I need to fix a few things. I'm hoping to build a story arc based out of the Republic of Texas. Specifically a small town that gets bombed when a fighter pilot decides that dropping his surplus bombs would be a great idea. Allan will have to choose to help rebuild the town, or Enlist with the rangers to go after the party responsible. The setting, If my timeline is correct, is about 2020ish, when the fighting should be nearing it's end. I don't know what faction the pilot belongs to, but that will be an important choice. Anyways, I don't want to accidentally wreck your carefully crafted world with my bad fanfiction.

Speaking of "One Small Step," was that ever finished? It feels like Several of the Jubatus storylines just kinda frayed off at the ends. I really enjoyed that piece, as well as most everything else Bard and Cubist have written. That's the main reason I found this website. I was searching for more of Cubists work, and it led me here. Both of their writings on world building and character development have helped me a lot. Cubist even has an editorial on Power characters.

I'll come up with a complete history for Allan soon enough, almost like a D&D character sheet. Complete with sudophysics to explain powers and limitations. Right now I need to fix the "Block of Text" syndrome that plagues my work. That, and my unnatural affinity for commas, is going to be the end of me. I gladly accept any form of criticism that you wish to hand out. Constructive, Destructive, Obstructive. Anything to make a better story. Thanks to both of you for reading and responding to this so soon.

I'm also trying to create a PAW quick reference guide from the full PAW guidebook and stories that are currently in production. Hopefully It'll help keep everything straight between stories, as well as help starting authors like me delve into the universe. --Concerned Reader 21:56, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I've never been able to get a straight answer out of Cubist or Bard about "One Small Step". Bard says that Cubist is the one holding up the story, Cubist says that it is Bard. Who really knows ?
And yes, the "No May Sues" rule as it exists was codified to stop the "powers progression" and several other types of stories that really wouldn't fit into the PAW setting well. But really, every rule in the guide has its roots in one or more of the facets of the setting that we have opted not to reveal so people cannot try to game the system. If you had access to all of the details of the setting, well... You'd see where each and every restriction fits into the setting :)
The "Block of Text" syndrome is actually a good one. It means that you know what you want to write and are not doing any real "self-censure" before letting the words hit the page. The solution is to perform a follow-up editing and formatting pass or two before calling the story "finished". And... An affinity for commas ? Have you seen any of the non-fiction I've written ? :)
Finally... A PAW Quick Reference guide will be handy. I've thought about doing it myself and decided not to - so I could focus on other projects (Like all of my works that are "on hiatus"). Go for it - if you've got questions about characters, well, most of the authors are available on IRC. Oberon, Felix and myself are on (the TFNet IRC Network) in #transformations regularly. Cubist and Devin are also regulars in #transformations, but have no fixed pattern to whether they will be there or not. And Bard and Mr. Peaches are regulars on (the AnthroChat IRC network) in #TheZoo, but I couldn't tell you if you'll actually see them there without spending a good span of time there and waiting for them. -- ShadowWolf 23:21, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
A refrence guide would probably be something like the one for the Paradise settings, with the rules, important events, and character bios in seperate sections. Probably an addition to the current setting rules page. --Lloyd

As the setting seems to cross a wide range of years, It would also be nice to chronicle changes to things over time. subsections including characters, settings, politics, and technology. Each page would have subsections for Established facts, and proposed advancements. That way any story in any time frame will fit in with the others, and the facts will be constant across the universe. I'll whip up a quick one soon. --Concerned Reader 04:01, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I'll give you a hand where I can. But for now we ask that people not go past about 2075... Speculation is allowed, but there are some plans by some of the people that created the setting for stories in the years after 2075. Personally... I am having problems of my own with both my part in the collaboration and in writing Scott's back-story. So any plans for stories I may have that far into the future are... well... nebulous at best.
As to your planned time-frame... If it is after 2015 then there are two groups that could be behind the "bomb drop" you are thinking about including. The "New Confederacy" and whatever government/governments have sprung up south of the Rio Grande. The NAR was formed in 2015 and has very strict rules about things like dropping bombs on neighbors and strategic allies.
Other than that... Go for it. Your idea for the power sounds good, your idea for the story sounds good and your idea about setting up a "setting bible" for PAW is excellent. -- ShadowWolf 07:04, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Rough general timeline done-ish

Just finished up the rough general timeline. I don't want to add it to the settings page until someone who knows the universe better has had a look at it. PAW_Timelines/General_TimeLine. --Concerned Reader 20:37, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Heart rate

I'm stealing your heart rate idea. It's mentioned in chapter 2, which is now up. --Concerned Reader 07:08, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Category: fox???

Any particular reason this was categorized as fox? So far, I haven't introduced any foxes. This isn't to say I won't, but at the moment it is very foxless. I'll remove the tag for now, until foxes make an appearance. Thanks for the tagging and templating. I'll figure it out eventually.--Concerned Reader 04:52, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Confusion on my part, likely. I recall another new PAW author who was writing a story and the character was a fox. Not even my memory is perfect :) -- ShadowWolf 13:11, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

No worries, that was probably Lloyd. My short term memory is pretty much shot as well. I've got about three different outlines for Allan so I can remember what I'm writing about. --Concerned Reader 16:29, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Yea, that was me. I'm awesome that way. Fear me =D --Lloyd
No thanks. I just fear the way my memory has been screwing up lately. :P -- ShadowWolf 23:50, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Aww... --Lloyd

grr, arrg

With the new chapter done,chapter 4, I'm nearing the end of my planned out storyline. I think I might need some help with the military section. Even though he's going into inteligence, he'd still have to go through boot camp. Not to mention get used to a leg prosthetic. Any help y'all can supply during this section is greatly appreciated. I'm not looking forward to writing about military action as my knowledge of such things is limited to Call of Duty 4 and Saving Private Ryan. Also let me know your thoughts on what's done so far, So I can fix things before I get too far into it. --Concerned Reader 05:55, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I just realized that my openOffice document has now reached 8 pages long. I never thought that I'd get this far, nor write this much. I, for one, am amazed. --Concerned Reader 06:07, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Just hit 14 pages. (o.0)

On a side note, writing emotion is very difficult without having experienced said emotions. To quote the killers, "I've never really known anybody to die before." I don't know how a reaction to death should sound, or how a 18 year old would take it, but I tried to estimate how my responses would be to my parents death. It's not easy. :( --Concerned Reader 06:13, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I think you're doing a pretty great job. The emotions are well conveyed. Not many people have actually stared death in the eye before, or had a loved one die in such an incident, so it's not easy to estimate the appropriate emotions. But you did a great job. Nice one! I'll be waiting for more. --Drake, 15:31, 25 June 2009 (+0800 GMT)

I've only been to one funeral, and it wasn't for someone I knew very well. I felt really displaced, surrounded by emotional and crying people, but unable to cry for someone I hardly knew. The only death I've cried at was when our 14 year old dog died in California, and even then, I had to be alone. I'll try and write some more before the end of the week.

I forgot to say thanks for the praise. So thanks. I'm glad you thought it was decent enough. --Concerned Reader 14:59, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I should really not write this late at night. It can't be good for me. I also probably shouldn't write to clubbing music. --Concerned Reader 06:19, 10 July 2009 (UTC)


You might want to specify that the 'Toyota' you mention is not the big Japanese conglomerate, but what has been rebuilt from 'Toyota Motors NA'. As of 2050 contact with Japan and the orient is spotty at best. While leaving the world outside of North America to the people from those regions to specify I'd say that in China there was a societal collapse as the government lost control when the Teefers appeared. Japan would have declared them Demons - possibly even declaring some 'Oni' - and saw a fall back towards the feudal pattern. Combined with their love of high tech it's possible that they are much like a Cyberpunk vision of the Shogunate period. At the same time they are not adverse to outside contact - but need time to get used to actually contacting the world at large instead of being the ones contacted.

It goes even deeper, though, with other sections of the world seeing similar pushes backwards... In Australia it is likely that the "Indigenous Australians" would view the coming of TFOR and the appearance of Teefers as a "return of the dreaming". Ireland would likely see it as a return of the fair folk with their land returning to the place of wonder it once was. The Cymry (Welsh) might have a similar response, though I cannot see the staid and predictable English responding that way. The list goes on and on like this... In fact, the setting was designed by doing some projections about how various groups would respond to the situation. -- ShadowWolf 21:09, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

China does have a habit of closing it's doors anytime something big goes down. Japan as well has a sort of xenophobia about it. Their folklore is also convoluted, so different teefers would be seen as different things. Japanese Folklore is full of mystical creatures. Gods and Demons are only some of it. I do like the idea of a steampunk/cyberpunk feudalism age. Those are two of my favorite genres. I just want to see a jaguar morph samurai with a steam powered beam katana.(technically you could call a fuel cell steam powered). Now I like the idea of different world theaters seeing teefers as different things, but in this modern age almost everyone would get back on track in a few dozen years. so by about 2030-50ish I'd think everyone would know it was caused by a seemingly random viral infection. That still leaves me in the middle of the "dark ages" so to speak, so I'll need a new engineering company to make my prosthesis heel and ankle joints. Possibly something German.
Wait, Toyota's truck labs are in Texas, and they have several other north American fabs. They call it Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America. It appears to be a major R&D and engineering facility. If it split off and became it's own entity durring the collaps, there could be two different Toyotas. Could this be canon to Pig and Whistle? If so, I'll add the relevant info to my story and the technology timeline. --Concerned Reader 21:40, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Some of the world would get back on track that fast. But... There is the problem that some regions - a large number of them - wouldn't. Simply because they rely on having the existing infrastructure in place to support the populace. In England a large number of people "live on the dole" and when the economy collapses because of the worldwide societal collapse, the 'Dole' would go with it. This would happen across Europe, since most of Europe has socialist underpinnings to their societies - where the government runs a lot of the infrastructure and supports people - any collapse would take much longer to recover from. In addition to that there are limited resources available for the rebuilding in Europe - with most European countries unable to produce the goods needed to recover on their own.
But yes - as I said - the classic Japanese conglomerate "Toyota" would not be available to the 'occidental world' for quite a span of time. Their North American branch would split itself off as a separate entity to continue operations. And since they do have a big research facility in Texas - as you noted - it would be part of that split and become a part of the new "Toyota Motors NA" (or whatever they decide to call themselves). -- ShadowWolf 22:06, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Seems like we're building this world one brick at a time. I like how our progressions are through the talk pages. I wouldn't have thought that a wiki would be a good story archive, but these talk pages are extremely useful. I'll add the new info to the tech list and my story very late tonight. That's when I get most of my stuff done anyways.--Concerned Reader 02:54, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
It really is no different from e-mail exchanges on mailing lists. The difference is that this is public, fully archived by independent means and anyone can jump in at any time without it being a "social taboo".
But... You are correct. What I have been trying to do is ask questions that the authors of PAW stories might not have thought about. That creates solutions for me that I can take to the authors to help them (hopefully) improve their stories. Right now it seems to mostly take the form of having to ask about things relating to the canon - but in the future I hope to get it much more expansive. In this case the question was "Wait, Toyota? Well, if there is stuff coming from Toyota, it isn't coming out of Japan, let's mention this."
The rest of the bits are pure speculation based on available information about the cultures of those regions and how those cultures would respond. In the case of Japan the whole "westernization" started after they were forced to open their borders. This basically broke the shogunate and gave the Emperor back full control. And Meiji ran with it - forcing Japan to "westernize" at the cost of their classic culture. Quite a lot of their martial arts was nearly lost because of the destruction of the Samurai class and their unique identity was also almost lost as they fought to get on competitive footings with the rest of the world. My speculation about them collapsing back to feudalism with cyberpunk-like leanings is lifted from their own popular media - it might not be accurate, but it isn't based on limited information (or my own wishes).
The "Indigenous Australians" have retained a lot of their own culture and identity - a lot more than most other Aboriginal peoples living in regions where Europeans colonized - and their beliefs encompass enough that Teefers and the Torch would fit in well. Native American peoples would have a similar reaction and I can see them either reclaiming lands they were forced off of by the US Government or completely closing the reservations and regressing to their old ways of living. Both are equally possible and I am in no position to declare what has happened with them - nor would I like for anyone but members of the Native American tribes to write about such.
I could go on and on about this - because at one point I had pushed to have a lot of this stuff included in the actual setting description. But the others involved in the design process argued successfully that defining a lot of this would not be in the best interests of the setting. At this point I agree - because we leave a lot of stuff undefined that can be defined in the future by someone joining the setting. As it stands... By 2100 the world will almost be back to a fully functional whole. There will still be areas that are "out of contact", but by the time the next century rolls around the "global village" will have gotten back on track. (But please, don't go past 2050 or so in stories - the creators of the setting have plans for the post-2050 timeline that they'd like to get written first) -- ShadowWolf 03:39, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

On Cultural Responses

In response to the above discussion, would it be safe to say that the more modernized a country is, the more likely that region's reaction to TFOR will be like the U.S/Canada's? --Lloyd

The more "west" they are, really. If they have strong traditions of magic and magic creatures - like Japan and most Asian countries - that will strongly color their response to TFOR. In the Occidental world most countries are "too advanced" to "fall" like that - but their political and societal structures will affect their response. So, like I've previously said, we purposefully did not define how the rest of the world responded - only that the Canadian 'takeover' brought stability back faster than most of the world responded. That the stability rose out of Canada was a direct nod to the actual and perceived stability of the Canadian government and society - and to the very realist and non-reactionary nature of the Canadian populace.
The US collapsed entirely because of all the power being centralized and the public not having any real trust for the government. It was helped by the survivalists using TFOR as the "SHTF Event" (see the second definition). The various racist groups, separatist groups and idiots that believe the government has failed also help in the collapse. Basically... The cultured "reactionary" nature of the US Populace and the widespread prevalence of people looking for a reason to declare their properties sovereign states are what caused the US to fracture as bad as it did.
In Europe the collapse was as bad - or worse - for other reasons. The very strong central governments combined with the very strong traditions of personal freedom combined to cause a "firestorm" of wars and rebellions to spread across the continent. Those countries with strong socialist traditions also had large collapses because of the government no longer being able to run large public welfare systems after the collapse of the global economy. Those countries with extant monarchies - whether constitutional or absolute - would likely see fast recovery of the country, but the economic collapse would make getting back into contact with the rest of the world untenable for a long period.
In all it isn't "how modern" a country is that controls the response. What controls it is the general education level of the populace, cultural traditions, societal traditions, etc... There are dozens of different factors that would control the collapse. What happened with the US - and what led to the creation of the NAR - is actually an outlier - ie: it was not the most likely course of events, but one of the least likely. The choice was made so that the setting was visibly different from the world as it is - mostly to force authors into understanding, at a visceral level, that it is a different world and that the collapse is over.
The "Limited Contact" bit is similar to that... But that was done as a nod to the singular truth that the world would not recover from a societal collapse that spans nations all at the same time. It's quite possible that there are countries in Europe that recovered long before the NAR was done being born and have simply chosen to cut themselves off from the world - similar to what Japan had done for centuries. But I refuse to say whether that has or has not happened - just as I refuse to say what has happened anywhere outside the NAR. -- ShadowWolf 19:03, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

A quick question

How do y'all feel about a symbiotic teefer? As in he/she would have to be attached to a host organism to survive? It's just an idea that popped into my head recently. I've started grabbing random books to read again, and this caught my eye: [Dragon and Thief]. A symbiotic teefer may be a large part of my short a bit later, So I wanted to get y'alls opinions before I get to far with it. I'll be making a character sheet for him, and researching biology and figuring out how he would converse with the host, and all that good stuff. --Concerned Reader 16:39, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

A number of organisms either require a symbiotic/parasitic relationship to survive or can sometimes enter one. So long as you don't produce something along the lines of Alien I think you'll be in the clear. --Lloyd

That was the idea. Allan stumbles upon someone who is dying, and the only way to save him is if Allan allows the symbiont to bond to him. There's more to it, but I don't want to spoil my story in the talk pages. --Concerned Reader 18:15, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

You may want to take into account his phasing ability if that's the case. As interesting as a symbiote would be, I would assume others might not be able to handle phasing the way Allan can. --Lloyd

I'd have to work that out. Also if the symbiont can take the accelerated heart rate. I've also then got the problem of a character with two powers, or at the least, two personalities in one body. I'll work it over and see if I can get it to work. Maybe the symbiont can help control his heart rate and shifting, making it easier on Allan. I was thinking the symbiont would manifest as a sort of hardened biological armor. Possibly replacing Allan's missing leg when not in use as armor. All this will take much thought. Especially how to deal with the symbiont being fully sentient. I can't treat it like an object, but as a person who chose to bond with Allan. I'm glad I chose first person for the narrative, because an internal conversation would be very odd in third person. Thanks for the ideas. I'll see if I can come up with some for your story. Maybe Johnas would be a good recipient of the symbiont...

I'd need more information before I would consider involving Jonas with a symbiote. The problem with this is that in the real world, symbiotes are more of a relationship (such as tikbirds eating pesky bugs or dead skin) than an actual species. --Lloyd

Yeah, and what I have in mind is infinitely more intimate. As in, the symbiote cannot survive without a host, and after bonding, removal of the symbiont would be fatal to the host. I was thinking of a a relationship such as taking over for a bodily function, like bacteria in your intestines. Only much more complex, and with much more important functions. Such as replacing the heart, other organs, or a limb. Along with secondary external changes, such as the bio Armor. The more I think of it, the less it sounds like it would fit in with Jonas. Which makes me want it to happen to him more and more.--Concerned Reader 16:40, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Jonas would enter into such a relationship if there was a distinct benefit to be had or if a logical argument were made. On a more meta note, I would also need to know what species this symbiote teefer became blended with. --Lloyd
It doesn't need to be any identifiable species. Remember that the rules do actually state that the transformation does not just include species found on Earth. There is no evidence (might I just say 'yet' - as a way of disclaiming any future story that might contradict me) that the cause of the Torch and TFOR is not terrestrial in origin but it does not seem to be limited to species that exist on Earth. (Oh, and sorry for not chiming in later - I was at the Bash and that consumed all of my time :P) -- ShadowWolf 18:56, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
True enough I suppose, but it would still have to be within reasonable bounds. Hope you enjoyed the Bash by the way. --Lloyd

I haven't figured out anything yet. Much research will be needing done, and this is farther down the line in the story. I'm now thinking something along the lines of Creature Tech, a graphic novel by Doug TenNaple. As we already have a dragon in the universe, aliens can't be far behind. I think I might be putting too much into my first foray with writing, but if it works out that'd be great. I also hope that you had fun at the Bash. --Concerned Reader 19:29, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Nitpicking and Praise

I'll start with the nitpicking - you've broken a few grammatical rules involving the use of capital letters. Not a real biggie, but it did stand out to me.

And now for the praise… For a first effort this story shows an understanding of writing that is pretty deep. When you've got it done I'll go over it with an eye on style and deeper concerns - like I've done for one of Wolfy Drake's. But as it stands, I will be adding this to the pack after you've had a chance to handle what suggestions I make.

Keep up the good work! -- ShadowWolf 15:26, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. I know some of them are because I accidentally hit shift on my tiny keyboard, but the rest are just a combination of writing mostly around 2am and me being bad at grammar. My firefox spell check also decided I'm British and tries to change color to colour and other o->ou things.
Thanks for the praise. I'm an avid reader, so I know how good writing is supposed to sound. Like someone who can't read sheet music can play an instrument, I just try and emulate the resulting flow and sound. SAT prep might have helped a bit, but really I think it's just from reading to darn much. What I do actively try to avoid is starting every sentence the same way. Even that is failing a bit, as I've used the same gag about three times. You know, where I say something, and then say "Or where it should have been." I'll need to patch that up with a new phrase. Either way, I extend a pre-emptive thanks for including me in the Pack. I'm very glad to be sitting in a collection with much more experienced writers.--Concerned Reader 15:58, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

"The computer beeps in response, confirming that it has made acquaintances with the leg, and would like to get to know it better. I offer that it should by him a drink, and click ok on the dialog box." Love this line. --Lloyd

Thanks. I might even have it where Allan has modified his OS to where the dialog boxes actually say this. I would find that hilarious in real life. And if you want to copy files, It would ask permission to "Get it on." --Concerned Reader 20:57, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
I've actually done similar with MS-DOS back in the day - actually going in with a hex-editor and changing the default strings. There are some programs that let you do this for various windows programs, but you have to know where the resources are stored and such. Personally... I prefer the default prompts, because then I can ignore them easily. -- ShadowWolf 21:09, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

on prosthesis

At the point in the story I am now, the year is 2022 or so, and I was wondering if prosthetics have come far enough by this point to be directly connected to major nerves, or if it would be some other method of control. Let me know y'alls thoughts on the matter. --Concerned Reader 20:49, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

The PAW collab features some rather futuristic prosthetics and is set at around 2032. Maybe you could check it over and make some assumptions? --Lloyd

Good idea. I'll also do a little research on current technology projections. I was thinking of having a universal prosthesis connection base on the leg, that way different parts can be swapped in and out from different makers, but I needed to know how the base connection would be made. As it stands, I'm thinking basic nerve to electrode connections, and grafting into the exposed bone. I'm just not sure I want it to be all "FullMetal Alchemist" automail style. --Concerned Reader 23:20, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

IIRC, the prosthesis in the PAW Collab are relatively new (within the past five years) and use implanted "connection" sockets. Prior to that they were likely a cross of the current "automatic action" prosthesis and "remaining nerve and muscle function" implementations. In this case you could have the original ones he gets be very advanced versions of the above noted cross-pollination and move to the "direct neural connection" variety by the early 2030's. I'd have to check with Devin to be exactly certain what he was going with for Sue, but I think my memory is correct here... -- ShadowWolf 04:47, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

After a bit of research, I realized it doesn't actually matter much to Allan. He has a Transtibial prosthesis, so the part which would need the most processing and technology, which is the knee joint, isn't applicable. I think I'll make it connect to left over muscle tissue, for the gait recognition, but have the rest be reactive. The foot will be modeled after this: Echelon Foot, but with the Toyota Engineering ankle joint, which will allow for better rotation, shock absorption, and energy transfer. With each step the heel joint compresses with some energy going to the rebound and the rest going into storage, and subtle recharging. Even if the leg should loose power, it can be used in a reactive way. I'll have to rethink the weight of the prosthesis. 20-40lbs sounds like way too much. Anyone know how much a human leg weighs? --Concerned Reader 23:38, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Your legs are ~a third of your body's total weight. So take your weight and divide by three. --Lloyd

Just found this link, Weight of amputated leg for 150lbs. It says about 10%, or 15lbs. Allan is probably about 120lbs right now, due to hospitalization, and only the bottom half of his leg is missing, so about 4-5 lbs for the less muscled part. In all, I'd probably say the prosthesis weighs about 6-8 lbs. Thanks for the help researching. --Concerned Reader 03:28, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Citations and stuff

I couldn't write the phrase "tear smuggling" without giving credit to the Deepspace5 song "Life is" from which I stole it. --Concerned Reader 01:13, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

expository additions

I think I'm going to have to go through and add a lot of expository parts, to explain the setting and things for new readers. Not sure exactly where I should put it. I'm thinking of spacing it out throughout the whole piece, to avoid an info dump, but I don't know exactly what I need to explain. Some ideas:

  • Toyota Engineering Texas
  • TFOR
  • Blowtorch Fever
  • How Allan got a new house
  • Texas splitting off
  • Texas Rangers
  • Technology stuff. (possibly tone down what I have already).

Let me know what y'all think. --Concerned Reader 05:31, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

One of the advantages to a shared setting is that you can assume your reader knows certain things about the story world. For the PAW setting, you can assume that the reader knows what TFOR and the Torch are, so there's no need to explain those. Going a bit into Texas splitting off would be a good idea, as it's still a little hazy why certain parts of the US would cede and give up access to federal support and agencies (like the CDC in the middle of a virus outbreak). I'm not a tech person so someone else will have to give input on your info exposition in that regard. --Lloyd
Texas broke off after the federal government collapsed. It was a reaction similar to what happened across the rest of the CONUS and what led to the disjointed nature that helped the NAR get born. Canada initially invaded to stabilize its borders and to stop the fighting that was going on in the US at the time from spilling over the border. Texas itself, in this case, has it's classic borders with the US on one side, but there are places on the other side where it extends into what was Mexico. (Yes, it "absorbed" some cities that were basically the Mexican half of cities that were split by the Rio Grande). -- ShadowWolf 18:55, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I'll add in some Texas stuff for sure. World building and all that. One of my friends went over it for grammar and such, so I'll have those fixes in soon. He also wants to add vampyre clans to the setting, possibly in Europe. I couldn't figure out how to pull that off, but it seems like a mutation of the TFOR virus could work. Possibly even an earlier permutation than the airborne one. Causing specific changes in those infected so as to transmit through blood. After I get his edits in, I'm open to anything y'all find to fix. --Concerned Reader 20:53, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

On a purely technical level, a vampire is possible if a person was blended with just the right amount of vampire bat, but allowing a transmission through blood would be a very, very bad idea. Vampire stories are fine and all, but I'm not sure that PAW is the right setting for it. On another note, what does CONUS stand for? --Lloyd
PAW was designed to allow for all kinds of shit like that, but I'd recommend against traditional vampires of any sort. The cause of TFOR is not known—not as of the "current" in the setting, and not for any of the currently "open" time periods—but it does not mutate in this manner. However, as is indicated in the current setting description the forms that the "blending" covers are almost infinitely varied and do not appear to be limited to creatures from Earth.
It could be that the "vampires" are similar to those seen in "Underworld" (or possibly "Forever Night" or "Moonlit")—that is that the vampires are faster, stronger, etc… They can require blood, have allergic reactions to silver, be photophobic, etc… Simple fact is that they can resemble classic vampires, but cannot actually be classic vampires. No changing into bats, no weakness to religious symbols, etc…
Deviation from that would go outside the settings rules. I could go into great detail over the "why" of the restrictions I've just listed—over all of the restrictions of the setting period. But those things are in that section of the setting reserved for the "creators", with lots of other things. Perhaps when we get some of the much later stories in the setting written—those post 2070 or so—I'll be able to give you more details. -- ShadowWolf 22:33, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe he had plans for modern vampyres. Biting doesn't transmit the infection, only injection/ingestion of infected blood does. They would be more culturally vampyric. No turning into bats or any of that. I think underworld would be a good basis, as well as Peeps, were vampyres are driven by a parasitic something or other. He wouldn't want to force vampyres into the confines of the universe, but if it can work, he might be interested. He has a partially rp'd out storyline done. On a side note, I too would like to know what CONUS stands for. --Concerned Reader 22:49, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

CONUS = "CONtinental United States" - it's pretty much a military term referring to the "lower 48".
In response… The "blending" process could create a being that carries a parasite that can grant people a form of its powers. Done properly that parasite could even be a form of "reproduction" creating a secondary-effect transformation on people that get infected with it. It would act more as a symbiote than a parasite in that way. And I am trying to shoe-horn this idea into the setting here—I like the idea and also like that somebody is working on opening up the european side of things. (I am hopeful this friend of yours is from Europe, because that is something we ask - don't write a story opening up a part of the world if you aren't from that part of the world) -- ShadowWolf 22:57, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately he isn't from Europe, but the location can be changed. He does do a lot of research into parts of the world, and is an avid debater. Knows politics too, I think. It could be that the main character is visiting Europe at the time, but that doesn't solve the problem. Thankfully, I'm from Texas, and California, but I don't think he's been to Europe. He also insists that I spell it Vampyre. I don't know why. I'll send him y'alls ideas, and see what he thinks.

EDIT-- Turns out he has been to Europe.

--Concerned Reader 23:24, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Critiques and such

I'm sure y'all are tired of reading this thing by now, I know I am, but if you could offer any sort of critique that would be just dandy. --Concerned Reader 05:38, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Before I start on the next story arc I had a burst of boredom in Trig and started the next section, but before I get to far I would like to have y'alls opinions on this current story. Is my writing any good? Are my Ideas any good? Basically a general review of the story so far. It doesn't have to be a complete deconstruction, just your thoughts on the story, people, and events in general. --Concerned Reader 03:35, 20 July 2009 (UTC)


Okay… I'm going to give you good news first… Overall the story shows that you have some talent and promise as an author and can provide a unique voice for the character through the narrative itself. Your choice of present tense shows that you are not afraid to tackle a very difficult writing voice.

Now for the actual editorial critique…

I've only finished, basically, with the first two sections – and then not completely in depth. Because of the impact that several of the suggestions in this critique I will not be proceeding further.

Biggest problem is that you've strewn info-dumps through the first two sections. Second biggest problem is flow and that is hard to solve. Now for the full critique…

"It decides I'm in a sombre mood, and queues up Dead Cities by Future Sound of London. It's an old album to be sure, but almost relevant in this day and age."

Here you start two consecutive sentences with the same word. It works, in a way, because they have different structure but it is not something you actually want to do. A suggestion for how to make this work would be "Apparently deciding I'm in a sombre mood it queues up..." or "Yes, it is an old album..." — though those are just suggestions as to how you could re-word it and lose the 'It...It' repetition.

"I'm still human-ish. I've only been altered a bit. I'm not quite sure how it happened, or how to explain it, but I can “phase” through things."

Again you have starting word repetition. This works better than it did in the other instance, but is still not something that should be done. On top of that you have several "idea fragments" as standalone sentences – and they do not make full sentences either. A way to fix this would be to re-word and conjoin the two fragments into a single sentence and completely rewrite the final sentence.

The containing paragraph and the parts that follow until the end of the section are an info-dump and break the flow of the narrative in a big way. You've also got poor phrasing in that bit - it is very choppy. As to the info-dump nature, well… large parts of the information presented get re-introduced later on in a more expanded form. A proper fix for this would be to spread the information out into the story and introduce only the bits that directly impact the story when and where needed.

"The onset of TFORs may have cured my ADHD…"

The paragraph that starts with that is an expansion of part of the info-dump from the end of the first section. Again you've broken the flow of the narrative by introducing an info-dump with clunky phrasing. Once more I'd suggest killing all of the info-dumps and only introducing the bits that are directly relevant to the story.

"University of Texas is looking really good right now, what with Austin being the new tech center of the world, but I may just be slightly biased."

Clunky phrasing with at least two different ideas stuffed into a single sentence. The only fix for this would be to break the sentence up and create independent sentences from the clauses you've stuffed together.

The paragraph that follows that sentence is another info-dump. See my other notes on info-dumps for suggestions.

That is as far as I got. In killing the info-dumps and following my suggestions about them I can see a large number of re-writes going on. Because of that I won't bother with the rest of the story at this time.

However… You show real promise and are being added to the "Promising New Authors" section of the Pack. -- ShadowWolf 19:23, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Forgot to add… If you'd like help with any rewrites, I'm right here and will gladly provide any assistance you need. -- ShadowWolf 19:36, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I've told Phil Geusz about this work and how the only real problem you have is the info-dumps. His response is that present-tense is extremely hard to write ("<Rabbit> That's extraordinarily difficult."..."<Rabbit> Having professionally sold such a piece, I feel qualified to say so. =:)") and that getting around the problem with info-dumps is extremely difficult. When I told him that you had managed to write a good story entirely in the present-tense as a novice effort, he agreed that it was good that I'd added you to the Pack.
So take heart. A very famous (among the TF/Furry Community) author also feels you have a lot of promise. Good job! -- ShadowWolf 03:54, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'll get right on the phrasing and fragments, but the info dumps will take a bit longer. Also, thanks again for adding me to the Pack. Oh, and tell Rabbit that I have enjoyed his work for a long time, so hearing praise from him is very nice. Actually, I might drop by #TheZoo and say it in person later tonight. --Concerned Reader 15:45, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

And the rough editz are in place (chap. 1-3). Now I need to go through and un-info dump the rest of it. I printed out a copy of it, for better editing, and was promptly surprised when the printer spat out 17 pages. I'll get more editz up as soon as I can. I already miss a few of the phrases, I'll have to see if I can fit them in anywhere else… --Concerned Reader 04:31, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Just sticking my nose in to say something. One thing that makes this story feel a little wierd is the constant usage of small, short sentences. While this is useful in tension scenes, or for suggesting sarcasm, it's not so useful for most any other scenes. Try linking up short sentences with colons or semicolons (I'm none too good at telling them apart, but I'm sure there's a difference). For example,
I'm still human-ish, only with a few differences. The main difference being that I can “phase” through things.</span>
can be linked to form
I'm still human-ish, only with a few differences: the main difference being that I can “phase” through things.</span>
Other sentences can be similarly linked too, though I don't have time to look for them (I tried!). By linking them up, your sentences will vary in length, instead of being so short. Infodumps can be disguised as conversation between people, or just as memories...
I contracted Blowtorch Fever when I was about sixteen. At the time, I was taking amphetamines for ADHD. This did two things when TFOR set in.</span>
You might want to consider changing this to...
Glancing at the table, I found an old bottle of amphetamines. I hadn't taken them for years, not since I'd contracted the Torch. I'm pretty sure they did something when the TFOR set in...</span>
I'm not an awesome editor (unlike someone, whose name starts with a Shadow and ends with a Wolf), but using objects to initiate memories that introduce things is what I like doing. I find it useful in avoiding mass infodumps. No offence though, this is a great story. Just some advice to improve it.
PS, I'd be lying if I said I weren't jealous about ShadowWolf's last comment. I'll admit that I'm jealous; so sue me. Still, congratulations! :) --Drake 11:46, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions, I take no offence to anything that helps make a better story. I'm now going through and nuking the infodumps, so I'll take all the help I can get. --Concerned Reader 13:03, 23 July 2009 (UTC)