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Writing Alchemy Unfamiliar Heroes 11 Summary

Meet Willa the gecko lizardperson rogue in this character introduction episode of Unfamiliar Heroes. Willa is a student at the celebrated Adventurers Academy and right now she is studying creative problem-solving. Join her for a surreal training exercise involving four hostile robots guarding an orb, surrounded by a massive pile of rubble.

This character introduction is preparation for The Owlbear Reintroduction Program, a game where the characters participate in a project that is reestablishing owlbears in wilderness areas where the owlbear populations have been previously wiped out. Of course, this is not as simple as it sounds, because owlbears are large, ferocious, magical predators. This improvised, tabletop adventure was created with the Magic Goes Awry role-playing system!

Unfamiliar Heroes is a new podcast series where people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or diverse minds use tabletop role-playing games to together create stories that center disabled, sick, and mentally diverse characters. In its core values this project centers the experiences of people living at the intersections of oppression. Unfamiliar Heroes is part of the Writing Alchemy Podcast.

Game System: Magic Goes Awry
Storyteller: Fay Onyx
Player: Oriana 

This illustration depicts three characters, each from a different genre of story, and each with a disability. On the left is a black gnome archer riding in a chariot pulled by a large brown dog. The chariot has a chair in it so that they can sit instead of stand. In the middle is a Latina woman manipulating a tech device on her wrist as she begins to go invisible. She is wearing an air filtering mask of the type that people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity sometimes wear. On the right is a white muscular superhero wearing a very gay, blue superhero outfit. He has lightning crackling between his two hands, which are shaped atypically. This beautiful work of art was created the amazing Rose Adare!

This illustration depicts three characters, each from a different genre of story, and each with a disability. On the left is a black gnome archer riding in a chariot pulled by a large brown dog. The chariot has a chair in it so that they can sit instead of stand. In the middle is a Latina woman manipulating a tech device on her wrist as she begins to go invisible. She is wearing an air filtering mask of the type that people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity sometimes wear. On the right is a white muscular superhero wearing a very gay, blue superhero outfit. He has lightning crackling between his two hands, which are shaped atypically. This beautiful work of art was created the amazing Rose Adare!

 

Webcomic Recommendations

Validation: This comic focuses on the experiences of a trans woman who is involved in a modern geeky gaming and comic book culture. It touches on big issues without getting bogged down into drama. Highly recommended!: http://www.validationcomic.com/

Rock and Riot: This is a completed comic that is a series of short, fast paced chapters with queer, trans, nonbinary, and asexual characters in a 1950s setting. It has strong POC representation. Highly recommended!: http://rockandriotcomic.com/

White Noise: This comic focuses on the lives of monsters in a fantasy setting that blends magic with real world technology. It has gorgeous art and strong queer, trans, and POC representation, along with some disability representation. Be aware that it does have significant amounts of intense content. However, there is space in the comic for characters to be supported around their trauma and to heal. That and the connections between the characters make the intense content in this comic easier to hand. (Text below each page transcribes the entire page. I find that reading it highlights interesting aspects of the comic.): http://www.white-noise-comic.com/

Tripping Over You: This is a cute modern romance and relationship comic centered on a male-male couple: http://trippingoveryou.com/

Tripping Over You dramatized on youtube (All of the dialogue is read by voice actors.): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zZ2Ax7miCE&list=PLR_6hcnjqYCbWvNlLZJi27zlu3vDfpP_m

Questionable Content: This comic focuses on the lives of a large group of friends in a mostly modern setting that includes sentient AIs with android bodies. The current storyline has a large cast that includes respectful representation of trans and queer characters, as well as good representation of neurodiversity. (Personally, I don’t like the oldest stuff in the archive and I recommend avoiding the joke comics and guest comics the author posts on holidays as those tend toward violent humor.): http://questionablecontent.net/

Love Not Found: This is a cute scifi romance comic that is focused on a main male-female couple, which also contains significant time spent on other couples. It has significant queer, nonbinary, and POC representation. At times it touches on some intense content (mostly focused around a significant trauma in the past of the central character.): http://www.lovenotfound.com/

Xkcd: This comic is a bunch of individual science, tech, and nerd jokes. (Note that this comic has a few reoccurring characters, but it does not have a plot): https://xkcd.com/

Rain: This is a modern high school drama centering on a queer trans woman and her group of friends. There is also significant queer, nonbinary, and asexual representation. Note that there is significant angst, drama, and tough stuff that the teens here are dealing with. However, the connections between the characters and the loving community they create make this heavy content easier manage.: http://rain.thecomicseries.com/

The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal: This is a really lovely comic about two gay guys that has some family conflict, that also is really beautiful and pretty chill for the most part. It is a comic about a modern day road trip that contains significant POC representation. http://tjandamal.com/

Never Satisfied: This high fantasy comic focuses on a large cast of characters with great queer, nonbinary, and POC representation. The plot has many sweet moments, but it also contains some intense content. There are multiple nonbinary main characters!: http://www.neversatisfiedcomic.com/comic/never-satisfied

 

Episode Transcript

In order to make these transcripts as accessible as possible, each one is produced in four formats: as an online post for access convenience, in a word document with a low vision friendly font (Veranda), in a pdf with a dyslexia friendly font (OpenDyslexic), and a low contrast blue on black pdf as an access option for people with migraines (Veranda).

 

Show Notes

Game System
Magic Goes Awry: https://writing-alchemy.net/magic-goes-awry/

Fay’s Links
You can become my patron on my Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/WritingAlchemy
The RSS feed of this podcast is: https://writing-alchemy.net/feed/podcast
Unfamiliar Heroes: https://writing-alchemy.net/podcast-2/unfamiliar-heroes/

Oriana’s Links
Our Space: A Coloring Book: https://www.facebook.com/ourspacecoloring/

Music and Sound Credits
Intro: Kickin’ in the Turbo (Alasdair Cooper) / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Game theme: Living Voyage (Kevin MacLeod) / CC BY 3.0
Setting mystery theme: Uninvited by Scott Holmes is licensed under a Attribution License
Podcast announcements: The Place Where I’ll Return To (Alasdair Cooper) / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Ominous robot music: Gagool (Kevin MacLeod) / CC BY 3.0
The magnet trap was created from the following five sounds:
Initial clang: Cartoony Clangs (hit with spade)_2.wav by Timbre | License: Attribution Noncommercial
Rattling clangs: RADIATOR – Metallic clanging, water spouting by flood-mix | License: Creative Commons 0
Clunking clangs: metalic clangs 1.mp3 by soundmary | License: Attribution
Loud metallic clangs: MetalClang1_Loud_bip.wav by passAirmangrace | License: Attribution
More loud metallic clangs: MetalClang2_Loud_bip.wav by passAirmangrace | License: Attribution
Smoke bomb: Smoke bomb (small).wav by Nakhas | License: Attribution Noncommercial
Outro: Everybody’s Got Problems That Aren’t Mine (Chris Zabriskie) / CC BY 4.0

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