Yes, Of Course That’s A Horrible Pun.
Presented Mostly As Filler (And As An Example Of The ‘Creative Process’)
Earth Delta’s next alpha is finally, finally, getting to the point where I can post it here to be ignored like the initial alpha has been. I mean, I kind of figured there’d be one or two comments, but nah. If I created for any other reason than I can’t not create, I’d be bummed out.
Annnnyhoo, one of the things I’m doing is filling out the Scholar, especially since I gave their lecture ability to the Tactician (who wasn’t in Alpha 1). Scholars now get a cool (I humbly submit) ability to make useful items out of the things they kill, but they also needed more concoctions. This led to a new monster for Earth Delta (or any other Pathfinder 2e game), the lightning bug swarm.
How to get from there to here, you ask? Well, here’s my “workflow”.
- Maybe they could have a concoction to do electrical damage.
- Need some fluff text to justify it, keeping with their whole organic paradigm.
- Electric eels (or something)? I dunno. Maybe. Hey, lightning bugs! That produce actual lightning!
Thus we get this (sorry about the typos, this has had zero editing passes, and I don’t feel like correcting it right now, and then re-uploading the image. Remember our motto: Free and worth it!):
And here’s where things went wrong, or right, depending on your point of view.
- I just typed “see the Earth Delta Mutant Manual” without thinking about it too much (yeah, big shock there). So I figured I should actually, y’know, get around to writing them up.
- No matter how inherently unrealistic this style of post-apocalypse game is, I am infected with “Gygaxian Naturalism”. I like creatures, even creatures where I backfill the stats from a bad pun, to have some hint of a role in the world besides “wandering damage”.
- So I just started typing, producing “Normally, these insects dwell in and around cloud formations, high in the air.” among other folderol.
- I had started to write something about them feeding off the electricity in storm clouds, but then I considered that stormclouds come and go, they’re not really an “environment”.
- And that got me thinking, or visioning, or something. I tend to see things in my head and then write them down; it’s how I work.
- So I kept seeing this ball of crackling lightning, comprised of thousands of electrical insects, and thinking about everything else up there in the air.
- Clearly, I realized, they feed by surrounding passing birds, frying them, and eating the remains.
Then I started writing up the stats. Basically, it’s a generic swarm that does electricity damage instead of piercing or slashing. Gave them an aura. But I wanted something unique. Well, I “thought”, if they normally feed by surrounding aerial prey, perhaps they come down to the ground when such food has… erm… flown the coop, and they can grab unwary adventurers?
The name of this unique ability was pretty much handed to me on a shiny silver platter, as I grew up in a region where lightning bugs are called fireflies.
There. Now you don’t have to pay someone to teach you “how to be creative” in a YouTube video. Just flick a marble inside your brain and let it bounce off all the crap that’s already in there, each bounce providing another step in the process.