View Full Version : The RPG News ~November Ed.

Weasel Overlord
2nd November 2008, 02:33 PM
The RPG News ~November Ed.
Edited by: Weasel Overlord

Hello RPG! It’s finally time for everyone’s favourite time of the month (yes, that’s right), the News! Hurrah! This month, we have a variety of different things for your viewing pleasure, including articles, fanfiction, and our monthly interview! Not to mention a very complicated question sent in by Dark-San.

RPG - A Gender Divide? ~by Weasel Overlord

An Interview with Crystal Tears ~by Mew Master

RPG and its Relations with Culture ~by Dark-San

The Guardian - an RPG Fanfiction ~by Classy_Cat

RPG Stuff of the Month ~chosen by Weasel Overlord


Role-Playing - a Gender Divide?

A speculative article by Weasel Overlord

Some of you may have noticed that certain people, when they role-play, have a tendency to lean towards a specific gender. I myself have an almost alarming preference for playing male characters. If I was asked to explain this, I’d have to say that I honestly have no idea why. Ever since I first begun to write, my characters have been skewed towards male-dominance. Not dominance in an overbearing, patriarchal sense, but dominance in that they crop up probably over twice as often as female characters.

As a girl, surely, you’d think, I’d be better equipped to play females? Surely. I mean, I’ve been there. But there’s something about playing a guy that appeals to me - and probably a similar thing for any of you guys out there who consistently play as girls.

Obviously, there’s the opposite-gender attraction to factor in. If characters we role-play as are influenced by our own sexuality, then it makes sense for a straight woman to play a straight man she would find attractive, and vice versa. However, if this is just a coincidence, then surely there must be some other explanation? Because speaking from experience, I’ve been leaning towards gay men in my role-playing for quite some time now. Would this therefore mean that I myself wish I was a gay man? No, of course it wouldn’t. While there may be an element of self-insertion and wish-fulfilment in role-playing, for me, this is purely coincidental. It is simply influenced by my deep involvement with fandom, and my love for the so-called ‘slash’ that is so rife throughout it (NB: ‘slash’ is a term for homosexual fanworks, or pairings, named for the ‘/’ that is so often seen separating the names of characters in that situation. Eg: Remus/Sirius, Doctor/Master, Sam/Gene, and so on).

Another deciding factor to consider is that RPers are so often influenced in their character creation by whatever they are currently watching, reading or playing. Someone who has recently watched and enjoyed the British TV show Doctor Who (ie: me) may be more likely to create a character similar to those within the show’s canon. This can also be applied to RPG creation itself, and can be seen quite clearly just by looking at what sort of RPGs are around at any one time.

Character creation may also be driven by an urge to be different, or to stand out. If, say, a large majority of the RPGs cast so far are female, then a role-player may feel the need to play a male to even things out. Not only that, but if a role-player has made plans with a fellow RPer outside of the forum, they may create a couple - whether same-sex or heterosexual.

All in all, there are many reasons a role-player may have for choosing to play a certain gender. Speaking for myself, I feel comfortable enough with the male role to be biased towards them. External reasons may also be factored in; for example, personally, I have very few female friends. Having spent a lot of my time, if not most of it, with guys, I find myself being more at home with them, which could be part of the reason for my gender-bias in role-playing.

This article has been purely speculation, and I’ve been your host, Weasel Overlord. Good day!

The PokéMasters Proudly Presents…
Interview with an Art God
This month: Crystal Tears

Hello believers, non believers, followers, and those of a different breed. I am ~DR, the ART GOD… with 6 followers. *head-desk* Ow.. I should really stop doing that. Last month we had a delectable interview with the lovely Drusilla. So to pick things back up, this month I bring you an interview with one creative young woman. So without further adieu, I present you all, with Crystal Tears!
*Summons them in a puff of smoke and sparkles*

~DR: Welcome Mortal!
Crystal Tears: If that’s what you want to believe >.>
~DR: A witty retort, this is off to a good start. Very well.
Crystal Tears: :3
~DR: To get the ball rolling... How long have you been a member of TPM?
Crystal Tears: Hrm.... A while? I don’t really remember the year I came..
~DR: Do you remember what first brought you to the boards and why?
Crystal Tears: I saw my sister on TPM, and after a month I was too curious and joined...

~DR: And your sister was?
Crystal Tears: At that time Pichu Luver, then she was River. :3
~DR: Members usually pick names that have some significance, or those that are truly stressed for ideas. Does your Screen name on the Boards have any special significance for you?
Crystal Tears: Hmm... Not really, nothing comes to mind.
~DR: So you just came up with it on the spot then?
Crystal Tears: Hmm... Well, Tears because I was going through some issues (that still aren’t resolved.. bugger...).. Crystal well, because they shine, and are beautiful yet can shatter. So, there was a little bit of thought.

~DR: Sorry to bring it up then. So what are some of your favorite Forums on the Boards?
Crystal Tears: RPG :3 <3
~DR: Any reason why that is your favorite?
Crystal Tears: All the creativity and interaction. I also love ASB and Fanfic but RPG has everything on a whole different level.
~DR: Care to expand on that?
Crystal Tears: RPG you need to adapt and evolve your stories and characters based on the actions of someone else’s ideas. Its fun, and makes you think on your feet at points. The story becomes that much more complicated because everyone’s ideas are being combined together to form completely different worlds.
~DR: So you enjoy the interaction because of the chaotic nature of play-by-post RPGs?
Crystal Tears: Yessir =)

~DR: Then, if I may ask why do YOU Role Play?
Crystal Tears: Because I love the different stories and being apart of them. Plus it’s a wonderful escape from reality for a little while.
~DR: An escape is what we all crave isn’t it? Well, on that subject what would you consider your top five Favorite RPGs that you have participated in? Why?
Crystal Tears: Hrrmmm.....
The Scourge: Adventure, horror, sci fi... Violence. :3 It was a great show of team work from all sorts of characters and was quite amusing.
FurinKazan: Summoning monstrous beasts... Who doesn’t enjoy this? It’s quite entertaining, and now it’s back. :3
Uhh... I can’t remember the others XD
Sadly most have died too quickly. ;_; The rest have been lost to my horrible memory..

~DR: What have been some of your own RPGs that you’ve started?
Crystal Tears: The TPM Tournament, Final Fantasy, C L O C K, Final Fantasy: Darkness Descends, X Pokes (and most of its sequel), and... Kingdom Heartless... Many others...
~DR: Did any of them (started or joined) have a particular theme, or story, or genre that you enjoy?
Crystal Tears: :3 Fantasy. All of them had it. Save for maybe, X Pokes...

~DR: Who are some of the players/characters that you enjoy to RP with?
Crystal Tears: Players? As in other RPers?
~DR: Yes, and any characters that you can think of.
Crystal Tears: Hmm.. Well, my sister was always fun to RP with. I think her best character (and the one who was the best to interact with) was Adair from Darkness Descends... Absolutely hilarious :3. Drusilla, only I can’t name any of her characters because we never directly interacted enough. There’s you XD, and Demon. Demon is fun to interact with... Weasel Overlord and any character she creates. Hotaru from Furinkazan is probably the best one though, and her character from Darkness Descends (I believe his name was Sirius). That’s all who I can think of at the moment, who really stand out to me. ^^;

~DR: Who have been some of your favorite characters to RP?
Crystal Tears: My own characters...?
~DR: Yup.
Crystal Tears: Oh jeez... Um.. Joey Ip, from Scourge. She was a lot of fun... Selene from Tales of Aselic (I think that was her name XD). Sigil-038 from World of Heroes.
~DR: What appeals to you about the characters?
Crystal Tears: Joey is light, carefree, and overall a nice person. But she has a dark past and (usually) doesn’t let it get her down. Selene was a right bitch, and was a lot of fun because she didn’t care and didn’t have to. Of course she could turn around and show compassion, but she never did. Sigil-038 was different, she doesn’t have emotions like us, and doesn’t understand them very well or why people act the way they do. She tries to imitate the emotions and changes, but ends up going about her own way. Because she’s so logical and thinks much like a computer, its fun to come up with some of her reasons of why things are happening.

~DR: Hmm, insightful. What have been some of your favourite characters that are someone else’s? ... That should really be “Who” I need to edit this script <<U
Crystal Tears: lol. Haven’t you asked me this question already? Or something similar to it... anyways...
~DR: This is more of an overall characters you’ve seen, not more or less interacted with if you haven’t had the chance to at least.
Crystal Tears: Ooh ok.. Adair (River), The Creature/Alien in World of Heroes (Heald) , Hotaru (Weasel Overlord), Sirius (Weasel Overlord), Demon (Mew Master), Denny (Mew Master), Sorrow (Mystic_clown), Dawn (PokemonLuver), Malik (Mystic_Clown), Yomu (Emotional Faun Chiko-sai)... There is A LOT more, but I can’t name them all off the top of my head...
~DR: Any particular reason you like them? Or is it more of a “Hey, this is neat” kind of notice?
Crystal Tears: All of them have characteristics that stood out to me, but most of them earned a spot on my favorites because they were hilarious. Only one I would define as ‘hey, you, you’re cool’ noticing thing would be Malik.

~DR: What do you think are some of the problems (if any you think) in Role Playing?
Crystal Tears: No one listens to each other.
~DR: Care to expand on that?
Crystal Tears: Ermm.. Sure...
Its like, everyone has a good idea, but because everyone is shouting out these ideas at the same time, no one hears what’s trying to be said. There’s no direction, which I think, is leading to the deadness that RPG is suffering from.

~DR: While on the subject of TPM’s cycle of activity and stagnation, it’s been going around that improvements need to be made to TPM or it will truly die. What are three things that you suggest be done?
Crystal Tears: Get the main site up and running again, take off that ridiculous “you must have a paid for email” thing when trying to sign up, and umm... OH! To us old members... DO NOT SCARE THE NEWBIES.... >.>

~DR: Heheh. Since we all have lives outside the internet (surprise surprise), anything else that you enjoy to do in your spare time besides Role Play?
Crystal Tears: Hrmm... Draw and Write... Mainly Writing, but I draw occasionally.
~DR: Any big projects you’d like others to know that you’re working on?
Crystal Tears: To do with RPG or anything?
~DR: Anything.
Crystal Tears: I’m writing a story (technically stories... but shush...)? ^^; Called The Blood Book: The Dark Magician’s Grimoire. I’m hoping to convert it to an RPG... There’s also Feyworld... Which will BE an RPG (eventually....) that reflects my famous love for Final Fantasy...So, take your pick people, Sci Fi/Fantasy or Full-blown Fantasy XD
~DR: Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate doesn’t it?
Crystal Tears: Pissh. It’s not that much... >.> I can handle it ^^

~DR: Let’s hope so. So we come to our final round of questions: if you ascended to God/Goddess-hood, would you destroy the world and start anew, let it continue on as is, or join a Pantheon with yours truly?
Crystal Tears: ... >_> I’m already a God... I’d join you, but destroy the world anyways because then I would have complete control over what happens >:3
~DR: You do know that a pantheon works on a democratic basis. You can’t destroy the world unless everyone else votes for it.
Crystal Tears: ... I’ll find some loophole.. Just you wait >:3

~DR: Hahaha. Well then, Crystal Tears, thank you for your time for this interview and to let everyone get to know one of RPGs more noticeable characters. Any last words for the populace?
Crystal Tears: Don’t limit your imagination! It’s your best friend when it comes to creativity. :3 Oh! And have a nice day ^^
~DR: Wise words. Well! Thank you again Crystal Tears, and I hope that your projects come to fruition as you see them now.
Crystal Tears: Thank you ^^
~DR: And so comes to an end another interview by yours truly, the Art God. Should anyone out there like to be interviewed, then just drop on by my Shrine and let your thoughts be heard, I don’t discriminate. If not, then I’ll just summon someone at random again. So! Until next time The PokéMasters…


RPG and its Relations with Culture

By Dark-San

How many times have we taken it for granted that whenever we post our portion of the RPG continuation, we would expect our fellow RPGers to understand? I would personally put this across that most of us here do not take that into consideration. Many people would question why since if a RPGer would to participate in a RPG, he/she is expected to understand everything, which is not also the case. Even though the participants of that RPG would to share a common norm, this lack of understanding still exists.

Culture is the main culprit here. We fail to recognize that each member here is brought up culturally different. Although in this age of globalization, we still have to be aware and sensitive on certain issues. The Pokemasters (TPM) is a globally accessible board and its members primarily are scattered around the globe. Most of TPMers would originate from either the United States or Great Britain. But there is also a minority here making up the Australians, the Singaporeans and the Malaysians etc.

One example of cultural difference everyone could easily distinguish would be between the Caucasians and Asians. According to Kotabe 2005, he noted,
“Asian youth tend to be far more conservative than Western youngsters despite their exposure to global youth culture … On the one hand, they’ve got their earrings, belly button rings and ponytails, but on the other hand, they’re completely conformist.”

At this point, many RPGers would start to wonder why cultural differences would make such a big hoo-ha. Now let us take Kotabe’s comments and apply it in one situation.

Member A – A Western educated student, who does not mind premarital sex.
Member B – An Asian educated student, who only believes in sex after marriage.

If Member A starts to role play a scene in which, the character sexually seduces Member B’s character, the problem would lie on how Member B would react to this scene. This problem originates from the fact that when Member A role plays this scene, he/she does not take Member B’s cultural difference into consideration, hence leading to this rather embarrassing situation for Member B.

If Member A had realized that Member B is a conformist, this problem would not have even arisen. A consent sorted beforehand might be the best way to avoid this situation altogether.
Still not convinced? Then let us examine situation 2.

Member A – A strict Christian valued person strongly believes in heterosexual relationships.
Member B – A person that accepts any sort of relationships; homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals.

Member B role plays a yaoi scene. Member A read it and is in a big dilemma on how to proceed ahead with the next scene. Now we have come back to the same scenario. Although yaoi is a boy-boy love (shounen-ai) culture that is widely accepted in Japan, would it apply the same to Member A’s logic concept radar? The obvious outcome would be no.

Cultural differences can be tackled altogether if we had understand each parties’ level of tolerance in three areas with regards to RPGs.

1) Before a RPG is to start, all participants of the RPG have to come to a common ground at which all of them can agree to.
2) If the RPG settling is based on another culture, take one example ancient China. All members have to take note of the difference in culture back then.
3) Most RPGers here usually takes on Asian names (especially Japanese) in their RPGs. However by doing so under the Personality section, they should note that each nationality has their cultural influence differences.

Classifications of Cultural identities
Kotabe in his International Marketing text makes a point to inform us that culture can be compared accordingly. It further emphasizes that there are two types of cross- cultural comparisons. Only one of which is applicable to our RPG subject; Edward T. Hall’s High/Low context culture.

High/ Low context culture
The anthropologist defines the two cultures as follows,
“High- context culture as a culture that communicates primarily through implicit messages; nonverbal messages are considered very important.

Low- context culture as a culture that communicates primarily through explicit messages that are coded in specific terms to be understood; verbal aspects and clarity are very important.”
He further breakdown and gave typical examples of low context culture in the United States, Great Britain and Australia and high context culture in Singapore, Malaysia and Latin America.

When a RPGer from a low context culture participates with a RPGer brought up in a high context culture in a RPG, the following must be examined.

1) Resistance to changes
A high context cultured RPGer tends to be more traditional and more resistance to change than their low context cultured counterparts. Hence if the RPG would to involve sensitive issues like religions or sex, a consent and agreement must be made between the two parties.

2) Level of tolerance
In simple fact, high context cultured RPGers have a lower tolerance level than the low context cultured ones. Do not test waters and tried to stir up some controversies by planning your scenes ahead without consultations.

3) Level of efficiency
High context cultured RPGers believe in doing up their RPGs portions fast and would expect that the rest of the RPGers do the same. Sometimes it is even impossible to compromise to that even that reality issues. Have the RPG master (the one that creates the topic) to set a rule of thumb; give a grace period of around 2 to 3 days. If the RPGer fails to post within that given period, the RPG would then moves on to the other person.

What this report aims is to avoid RPG conflicts altogether whether it would be writing RPG styles or participating in one. The main point is that whenever RPGers want to avoid conflicts, they should do the following,
1) Be mindful of each RPGer’s cultural differences.
2) If you know that your next scene is going to touch on several sensitive issues, consult the rest of your fellow RPGers and listen to their opinion.
3) Have the RPG Master set some ground rules, and follow them closely.
4) If you feel that the RPG is against your cultural acceptance level, practice tolerance and avoid confrontation altogether. There is always your friendly RPG moderators like Kalah and Kirst. Or even Roy if you do not mind. You can talk to them and inform them about your concerns.

Lastly of course would be to enjoy your participation in RPGs like there is no tomorrow. ^.^

Kotabe, Riege, Griffiths, Noble, Ang, Pecotich, Helsen 2005, International Marketing, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd, Asia Pacific.

The Guardian

Based on Bulbasaur4’s Bleach ~ Just Before Twilight RPG

RPG Fan Fiction by classy_cat18

Two years ago…

“Tsuga Akaru.” The new student said this slowly and in a low voice as the homeroom teacher wrote his name on the board.
Everyone gawked at him. A few shrunk in their seats in an attempt to avoid his intense gaze. I was frozen in my seat, unable to tear my eyes away from him.

He was too tall, too old, and too scary to be a high school student. Tattoos were etched on the side of his face and on his exposed lower arms. His fiery red hair went down his back in spikes. It went nicely with his bright green eyes. His uniform was a mess; he wasn’t even wearing his jacket. It was slung over his shoulder.

But it wasn’t his appearance that scared me. It felt as if his spiritual pressure was filling the entire room and no one was feeling it except me. I couldn’t tell if he was good or not, just so powerful.

“Tell the class a little about yourself,” the teacher urged.

Tsuga grunted in annoyance and refused to say anything. The students around me started to whisper, but only one statement was clearly heard:
“No way! A Yakuza?”

I gulped. There was no way the school would let a Yakuza enroll.

“Fine,” the teacher sighed. “Take the last desk and we can begin.”

My stomach practically dropped to my feet. The only desk left was the one right behind me. I was going to deal with his spiritual pressure until lunch, or until my body could adjust to it. The worst of it was that my eyes changed color in the classroom, something that I rarely had to worry about. Even if that happened, only people that could sense spiritual pressure would notice it. If I could stay calm for a while, however, then it would be alright.

The tall redhead slowly walked down the aisle with a long stride, shortly stopping by my desk. His spiritual pressure bore down on me like a heavy cloth and it got heavier the longer he stood there. I kept my gaze on the textbook on my desk. Are you going to sit or do you prefer to keep staring at me?

“Tsuga-san, is something wrong?” the teacher asked him.

“Iie,” he answered. He finally took one last step and sat in his own desk.

A heavy sigh escaped from my lips before I could hold it back. Some of the weight on me had lifted but it still felt like he was directing his pressure at me. I know it was unintentional; he had no reason to scare me right now. But if it wasn’t the spiritual pressure then it was the normal human feeling of someone’s eyes burning a hole in the back of my head.

The teacher’s lecture gave me something else to focus on so the feeling was lessened a little more. A tickling in the back of my eyes told me that the iris color had changed back to a cloudy blue. Tsuga’s spiritual pressure got less intense, probably because he was also focusing on the lesson.
Now if he just stayed that way…

“Look out, Takiri-chan!” one of my classmates shouted.

Out of pure instinct, I dove out of my chair the second I felt a hand on my shoulder. My wide eyes darted from the girl that shouted the warning, to the giggling classmates, to the guy who was merely trying to get my attention. His face wasn’t showing any emotion. “Needed a pencil,” Tsuga-san grunted.

“Uh…sure,” I told him as I picked myself from the floor.

“Will there be any more distractions?” the teacher asked us, thankfully glaring at the panicky classmate as she asked.

“Gomen nasai.” I fished through my book bag and handed Tsuga-san the extra pencil, not daring to look him in the eyes. “May I go to the nurse’s station, Mei-sensei?” I asked sheepishly.

“What’s the problem, Takiri-kun?” the teacher asked me.

“Ano…I’m feeling a little feverish.” I wasn’t exactly lying. Tsuga-san felt a little frustrated, and if I had to withstand him any longer then I was going to faint.

“Okay, but be back before lunch.” I nodded and rushed out of the classroom, still not making eye contact with Tsuga-san.




I snapped back to the real world as Shusui called my name. “Nothing’s nearby,” he told me.

“I know,” I said with a small chuckle. “I’m just thinking about how weird this town is. Karakura must be the center for weirdness.”

He definitely didn’t buy into my lie. “You’ve been like this for two days. Akaru’s okay. He’ll be back at school soon.”

My feet froze instantly, pictures of my friend’s unconscious body shocking me again. Tears threatened to spill out. “Who did that to him? He was able to take care of those Hollows like we were. Those wimps couldn’t do that to him! Something almost killed him!”

“But it didn’t!” His body shuddered, giving away to another one of his attacks. I held him up until it passed. “He made it.”

“I guess so.” I smiled and helped him to his street, then watching him walk a while before turning to walk to my own home.

My mind was still buzzing. A week after the attack of the creatures called Hollows, Akaru was attacked again while he was alone. This time it almost tore him apart and left him severely injured at the side of the river. A passerby happened to come across him and call the hospital. I could feel his attacker’s pressure across town.

I went back to the thing that I kept worrying about. But something doesn’t make sense. The spiritual pressure didn’t die like the creature was destroyed. It simply…vanished. Like it had its fun and got bored.

“So what happened?” I whispered to myself.

“You wanna know?” a voice behind me chirped.

I whirled around and faced the source of the voice, the surprise combined with the momentum throwing me on my butt with a yelp.

“Huh…how…where…” I yelped.

“Domo!” the mysterious guy greeted warmly.

Nothing came out of my open mouth other than deep breaths. He wasn’t there a minute ago! I know he just appeared there! He can’t be human.
My eyes narrowed in concentration as I felt the air around the two of us.

There’s no spiritual pressure coming from him. I don’t feel anything strange. Well, other than that regular human feeling of creepiness.

His clothing was so weird. Black and white, and no shirt under his open jacket. My eyes traveled down his built chest and stuck to the hole in his gut. There was nothing hanging out of it, which meant that this wasn’t a human. “Hollow,” I gasped.

The man’s eyebrow rose. His bright expression was no longer there. “Come again?” he asked me.

Crap! I can’t let him know I’m onto him! “I said hello!” I corrected.

To my relief his goofy look was back. “Ah! I thought you said that and not something rude! It’s not nice for little human girls to be rude!”

I laughed, albeit a very shaky laugh. “My okaa-san taught me better, sir!”
His smile faltered briefly, warning me to quickly correct my error. “Not that I think you’re an ugly, older man!” I added, mentally slapping myself from the stupid add-on. It wasn’t a lie; if it wasn’t for the hole in his stomach he’d be pretty sexy. Maybe he’d forgive the drool too.

We stared at each other, me still on the ground. Finally his smile widened. “How nice of you to think I’m cute!”

I nodded in agreement and stood. “You must be new around here, um…”

“Call me Lobo-kun!”

“Lobo-kun!” I echoed. “I love your name!”

“I love yours too, Hoshiko-kun!”

My heart seemed to stop for a second. How does he know my name? Maybe I shouldn’t ask him that. This guy is seriously unstable. I bowed in respect and started to slowly back up. “I really should be going home, Lobo-kun.”

“But we were having fun.”

I shook my head in apology. Maybe I can surprise him and run away. I can probably get away. I turned to run…and promptly smacked into his solid chest. Physics once more had me on my butt.

Lobo had moved to block me in one second. That probably removed all chances of escaped. He stared at me, more disappointed than angry. But the smile was gone. “I don’t want you to go, Hoshiko-kun,” he said softly.
“I can’t stay,” I said as calmly as possible. It was all too scary. Anyone else passing by would’ve just seen me cowering at a bunch of air particles. But I saw him as a real entity that had a sharp sword on his back. “Okaa-san will be mad.”

“No!” His hand shot out and grabbed my wrist with incredible speed, then yanked me off the ground. He was now angry, and his spiritual pressure was leaking out. “You’re not leaving, Hoshiko-kun.”

I stared into his eyes with my widened ones. For a second they darted to something that jutted out of the skin under his left eye. Are those pieces of bone? I remembered how the Hollows had skull-like masks. Lobo really was a Hollow, maybe one that was able to shed his outer shell or something.

As I dangled, his spiritual pressure completely surrounded me and suffocated me, like smoke that didn’t make me cough as it entered my lungs. But it felt so familiar. I kicked at the air below me while my mouth managed to form a question. “What did you do to Akaru?” I asked him hoarsely.

He answered with a hard squeeze of my wrist. I couldn’t stop the cry of pain that was ripped out of me. He smiled again, a cruel smirk, and did it again for another cry. My wrist threatened to break under the pressure. “You’re much more fun than Akaru-chan. He didn’t make these sounds when I did the same to him. I just got bored and left him to die,” he told me before squeezing my wrist one more time. “It’s like a squeaky toy!”

My courage was zapped, another thing that happened when I was exposed to “new” spiritual pressure. Lobo had me at his mercy. “Hey! My new toy has green eyes now!” Lobo exclaimed happily.

I had a growing urge to beg for my life, to cry out for him to show mercy. But a small, repressed part of me was so angry for not being able to defend myself, even if he was a lot more dangerous than a bunch of punks.


Two years ago…

“Any last words?”

I sighed heavily and looked around at the five punks that surrounded me. Man, I give one wuss a kick in the shin and his whole gang gets pissy!

“Yeah. Get a life,” I answered. “Find something to do other than pick on girls.”

The guy I kicked also received a punch in the nose when he tried to ambush me minutes earlier. “Ah say we pahned her,” he suggested breathily.

I laughed at him. “It’s hard to threaten when your nose is broken, huh?”

Without warning, someone else grabbed my hair and yanked it back. The leader, a boy that looked older than my victim, leaned into my face. “You look like a boy. Even right now you’re dressed in a boy’s school uniform. So take your beating like a man!”

“You jerk!” I managed to break away from his hand in my struggles, ripping some hairs out in the process. When he reached for me again he got my teeth instead.

The leader yelped in pain and jerked his hand out of my mouth. “Little bitch!” he barked as he raised a hand to strike me.

It was stopped by another hand. That was attached to a tattooed arm. And a familiar source of spiritual pressure.

“Who the hell…?” the leader gasped.

“Tsuga-san!” I exclaimed in surprise.

Akaru first spoke to me. “Are you alright?”

I remembered that we didn’t speak at all during his first day there, after the incident in the classroom. That took away my slight shame of having someone to bail me out of trouble. “I’ll live.”

He nodded. “Get behind me.”

“Okay.” He didn’t need to argue with me. I walked out of the ring of bullies and stood behind Akaru without resistance. There was no resistance because they were gawking at him and keeping their distance.

Akaru kept his grip on the leader, his face staying calm. “Stay away from her from now on,” he growled at him.

“Heh,” the leader laughed. “Are you going to guard her around the clock?”

“I won’t need to.” He pointed to the guy with the broken nose and then let go of the leader’s arm. “Now go.”

Two of them instantly ran, one of them being the guy with the broken nose. The three braver ones stayed and faced Akaru. “That girl has been asking for it ever since she started high school,” the leader growled while pointing at me. “Now give me one good reason why we should let her go!”
None of us saw it coming, especially not the leader. One second he was standing…

The next second he was down, courtesy of a right hook to the jaw by Akaru.

“Whoa,” the two flunkeys said together.

“He broke his jaw,” I whispered.

“I just gave you five good reasons,” Akaru told the barely conscious leader while he rubbed his fist. “Don’t make the girl give you any more.”

“Who the hell are you?” one of the guys still standing asked my classmate.

“Tsuga Akaru,” I answered boldly.

The leader immediately got to his feet. “Tsuga…Akaru?”

“Yeah, it’s him,” one of his flunkeys confirmed. “They said that he had all that red hair and a lot of tattoos.”

I looked at them in confusion. Who’s they?

“Let’s get out of here!” the other said. After tripping a few times they managed to make it out of the lobby.

Akaru and I just stood there and watched them in interest. “I don’t know your name,” he told me bluntly after a long minute of silence.

I looked up from my pile of school supplies. “It’s Hoshiko. Takiri Hoshiko.”

“Aren’t your eyes supposed to be green?”

I stopped for a moment. He knew. “They’re blue. Man, you’re curious.” I slightly regretted saying that. But he gave me a slight laugh. “I should go now. My parents are waiting at home.”

“See ya.” I waved and ran all the way home.


Present day…

It wouldn’t have been so shameful to be saved now, but I would have to help myself this time. Using my free hand, I gathered spirit particles in the air while I kept my eyes on Lobo’s. “Let’s see how loud you can squeak!” the humanoid Hollow said.

It was then that the energy that I gathered got solid. “Take this!” I yelled as I slammed the bomb into his face. It was a point-blank explosion that knocked me a fair distance but didn’t damage me. I got up and ran before checking to see if the attack worked...

Only to slam into someone else.

“Oof!” the new stranger grunted.

We both landed on our butts. “Why is everyone so damn fast?” I shouted in frustration.

“Hey, I was here long enough for you to see me!”

I rubbed my forehead and glared at the obstacle only to widen my eyes at him. “Akaru-kun?” I said, my vision sort of hazy.

The redhead looked confused. “Who’s Akaru-kun?”

I shook my head and cleared my vision. The tattoos were different, and the hair was pulled into a ponytail. Not only that, but he was wearing a black kimono. “Not Akaru,” I corrected. “Shinigami?”


We both turned our heads to Lobo, who was not only almost completely unharmed but also pissed beyond belief. With him now was another in similar colors. “Not another one,” I grumbled to myself. “Who are these guys?”

“They’re Arrancar,” the redhead answered.

Lobo wiped blood off of a small cut on his cheek, the only damage he got from my bomb. “Gatomielo, look at what that brat did to me!” he whined to his friend. “Can’t I kill her? She’s too annoying to keep!”

“I’m afraid that you must follow orders for once,” Gatomielo said coolly. “You weren’t supposed to be here in the first place. Aizen will be cross with you.”

The redhead unsheathed his sword while they were preoccupied with each other. Gatomielo raised his hand to him. “No need for us to fight. I’m just here to retrieve Lobo.” He raised his other hand the other way. The air behind him seemed to rip open, revealing a swirling gray area. Lobo walked through it first, followed by the other.

The shinigami sighed and sheathed his sword. “Are you alright?” he asked me.

I hesitated before nodding, looking back to when Akaru saved me from the bullies. “Who are you? What--” I started.

“Abarai Renji, lieutenant of Squad Six. And I’m guessing you’re Takiri Hoshiko, the green-eyed girl with the spirit bombs.”

“They’re usually blue.” I rubbed my wrist. It was probably fractured.

“Akaru must be the guy we found here the other day. He was almost dead when we got to him. We managed to heal him about halfway before the humans came to take him to the hospital.” He laid a hand on my head. “I got people looking over him as well as your other friends.”

It was a slight relief, but I didn’t want anyone guarding me like I was helpless. “I can take care of myself,” I growled.

Renji sputtered and glared at me. “Look, I was sent personally to look after you so give me some respect!”

“How about I give you a kick in the nuts?”

His hand shot out and yanked my ear. I yelped in a high pitch. “How about I drag you home!” he told me with a wicked grin.

No, he wasn’t kidding.

RPG Stuff of the Month

Kasai Akio (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/luckclover4/akiomerge.jpg), by Bulbasaur4

Well, I don’t suppose there needs to be many reasons for this to be my favourite for this month, does there? What, there does?! Oh fine then, I suppose I’ll be vaguely professional. *scowls* The reason I chose this is because the linework looks so clean. I’m always envious of people who can do such nice lines, cos mine never turn out that well at all. I suppose I’m also biased towards because it’s Akio, and he’s in my RPG… Shh.
Not only that, but it's computer-drawn (I do believe), which I also find awesome (due to my uselessness with it), and Akio's personality comes across so clearly. Awesome,

If other members of RPG could send in nominations for next month, that would be grand. :)


And that's all for this month, folks! If you'd like to send anything for December to Roy Karrde, we'd all be much obliged! This can include your nominations for awards, quotes etc., articles, questions for Roy, interviews or fanfiction. You know how this jig works.

4th November 2008, 03:32 AM
Awesome job Weasel! This was a nice issue and it seemed to flow really nicely with what you got. I really enjoyed classy's story (I think it's nice having one in every issue) and I reaaaaallly liked your article on gender. It made me think about what *I* play. ^_^

Nice interview and article as well, MM and Darky.

4th November 2008, 10:18 AM
Nice interview and article as well, MM and Darky.

Then again, the article is nothing much. ^.^

It just happens that the issue of culture has been running through my mind over and over again while I was revising on my Global Marketing. Hence, I just tweaked the concept a little and 'wah la' a RPG article was born! Hope the TPMers will enjoy it since the next one that I do up for the next edition will be a whole lot simpler. It would also be another article with regards to culture for some spoilers.

Not to mention a very complicated question sent in by Dark-San.

No.... You forgotten about my question in your 'Dear Weasie' column entirely. >.<; I didn't see it anywhere. You made me a sad boy, Kirst. =(

And also about the rest of the November issue,

I find Kirst's column on the gender divide a bit interesting but than again, I also cannot figured out how ladies think. I would prefer building a six lane highway across the Pacific Ocean than to predict on how a lady would respond to a given situation. With no prior knowledge on them and yet still roleplaying these female roles equates to RPG disasters. I still prefer to stick to my male roles. Thanks.

Interesting article on Crystal Tears. We have one already on Dru, a second one on Crystal Tear. Well, I am pretty interested to see an interview on either Heald or Blade. Their response should be pretty interesting.

Skipped the Bleach fanfiction portion since I am pretty sick of Bleach at the moment.

But that is pretty all that we have right?

4th November 2008, 11:38 AM
Skipped the Bleach fanfiction portion since I am pretty sick of Bleach at the moment.

*sighs heavily* Of course you are.

Weasel's article was very interesting. It really explains why she prefers to play guys. After playing Kite in CotR, I opt for less drama and stick to girls more often.

Mew Master
4th November 2008, 12:56 PM
Actually... next one on my interview list is someone who I've actually wanted to talk to and pick their brains for a while now...

4th November 2008, 04:49 PM
Actually... next one on my interview list is someone who I've actually wanted to talk to and pick their brains for a while now...



Weasel Overlord
5th November 2008, 09:10 AM
Aah crap, I KNEW there was something I'd forgotten to edit out. Yeah, I couldn't find where I'd put that question at all, Meng. SORREE! Seriously though, I could have sworn I saved it somewhere. Guess not.

Thanks for the feedback, y'all! :D