Headline:Natya Shastra and Holographic Theory
Date:Sunday, May 03, 2020
Posted By:Plaid Hatter Games

If the lack of new content in the past few weeks wasn't an obvious indicator, I've been stuck in a bit of a rut with the game/novel/story/whatever this project is.

Long story short:

  • I am taking the project in too many directions. And this is causing me to spend a lot of creative energy with precious little progress.
  • Trying to rangle co-contributors is a full time job.

I have tons of offers to play test things, but nobody who feels like sitting down to pen a story. But the brings me to my topic for today: how to pen a story.

I am thinking that the final form of my story is actually that of a "lego set for drama." A Role-Playing board game, with a card-based minigame for the interactions. An interactive miniseries in a box.

But what constitutes the building blocks for a story? The best explanation I've heard in the last 20 minutes is from Natya Shastra, a Sanskrit text on the performing arts. Not being much of a scholar of Sanskrit, I'm basically going by the wikipedia entry and a few blog posts.

But the summary of the summary of the summary is that there are 8 basic Rasas or "flavors" in the arts:

शृङ्गारः Śṛṅgāraḥ Vishnu Romance, Love, attractiveness
हास्यं Hāsyam Shiva Laughter, mirth, comedy
रौद्रं Raudram Shiva Fury
कारुण्यं Kāruṇyam Yama Compassion, mercy
बीभत्सं Bībhatsam Shiva Disgust, aversion
भयानकं Bhayānakam Yama Horror, terror
वीरं Veeram Indra Heroism
अद्भुतं Adbhutam Brahma Wonder, amazement

Now at the risk of sounding like a broken record, what if take this concept and look at it in my 3 colors combining metaphor:

In my Tegic (short for Technical Magic) source books I was developing a concept of Quintessence. The idea that our world was made up of the interactions of energies from 3 outside realms:

Which gives rise to my schools of Tegic:

And each of those schools roughly match with 8 schools of magic in Dungeons and Dragons.

The difference between white and black is if you are combining colors as light or as ink:

Up until now I was toying with the idea that a side effect of each school of magic would be a particular emotion. But now I am realizing emotion is the very process of magic. Emotion is a read of how the mind is being changed.

What I have discovered is the building blocks of storytelling. Each of my magical quintessences are, in a sense, a Rasa. And better, this concept is as old as storytelling itself.