Classic Writing Desk

Item

Image sweet%20writing%20desk%2025.jpg
Description Although the writer's art has largely moved to electronic media, there's still something wonderful about an old-fashioned writing desk. It just makes you want to sit down and start your novel… okay, maybe start with a few short stories, then work your way up.
Type Furniture
Use
sweet%20writing%20desk%20100.jpg

You set up the desk. There's something about it that just makes you want to settle in and start writing.

Sources

Zack's House of Coins, originally available in season 33 for two unearthly coins.

Uses

All use messages start with the desk image:

sweet%20writing%20desk%20100.jpg

Overview

The desk uses Artistic Inspiration charges to get results from the desk. You get one free charge per day, and can get additional charges for each 50 energy of Etheric gained at once. (This shares the same counter with Stolen Artistry – you only get one free use per day between them.)

When used with no special effects, you gain a Fiction Effect. When used with a Fiction Effect active, you get a choice encounter to Get to work/Add more ideas/Think harder, giving various results.

With no charges:

You feel like you've run your inspiration down for the day. You might just want to sleep on it; dreams are usually good for that.


The result is determined by your highest Chance of Encounters, unless you have Creative Hollowness active. Not having any Chance of Encounters modifiers, or having chance of pvp encounters picks one of the results randomly?, and mining modifiers may do the same, but need more checking.

Highest Chance of Encounters You pull out a blank sheet of paper, searching for inspiration. Eventually, you realize you just have to start jotting down ideas before you'll get anywhere. And then, one of:
Choice, Etheric You let your mind wander some and start writing some… frankly absurd nonsense. Nobody else is going to understand you, but it's interesting to start getting it on paper. Gain 20 duration of Fantastic Fiction +3 Etheric Power
+3 Will
Combat, Noncombat You think back to your observations of people throughout the day and start working on a short story. You don't get far, but at least you got the ball rolling. Gain 20 duration of Observational Fiction +3 Stealth Power
+3 Perception
Computer You think some about technology and how it's affecting society. You only get the kernel of a story, but it's a neat train of thought. Gain 20 duration of Speculative Fiction +3 Code Finesse
+3 Will
+3 Perception
Creative Hollowness active You look inward for new inspiration.

You stare within, finding yourself filled with… nothing… just an empty shell filled with empty words.
Gain 20 or double duration of Creative Hollowness, whichever is greater +2 Etheric Defense
-4 Etheric Power

With a charge available and a fiction effect active:

Yeah, this is probably a good time to try some writing. You have some good notes jotted down, so why not put them together?

Summary of Choices

  1. Get to work — gain writing data
  2. Add more ideas — change fiction type
  3. Think harder — get creative hollowness

Get to work

You sit down at the desk, turning your inspiration into something a little more tangible. Actually, it's still a data file, but at least it's in a format you can share without telepathy.

You found: <writing>

The type of writing you find depends on what effect(s) you have active when you get to work. The specifics of what happens when you have multiple valid effects are unclear, but it may be random which one you receive the writing for.

Active Effect Result Effect Increases
(none) believable writing Believable Story Chance of Noncombat Encounters
Etheric incoherent writing Incoherent Story Chance of Etheric Encounters
Pep Effects energetic writing Energetic Story Chance of Choice Encounters
Rage effects brutal writing Brutal Story Chance of PvP Encounters
Powercode and a computer equipped? technical writing Technical Story Chance of Computer Encounters
Drunk Effects melancholy writing Melancholy Story Chance of Combat Encounters

Add more ideas

You keep brainstorming, working more and more ideas out of your system.
And then one of (presumably chosen with same criteria as above?):

You let your mind wander some and start writing some… frankly absurd nonsense. Nobody else is going to understand you, but it's interesting to start getting it on paper.

You've gained 20 duration of Fantastic Fiction.

You think back to your observations of people throughout the day and start working on a short story. You don't get far, but at least you got the ball rolling.

You've gained 20 duration of Observational Fiction.

You think some about technology and how it's affecting society. You only get the kernel of a story, but it's a neat train of thought.

You've gained 20 duration of Speculative Fiction.

Also transforms remaining energy of whichever fiction effect you had active into the new one.

Think harder

You think about inspiration and its sources, heading into a rabbithole of thought that leads ever downward.

(Without any writing effects active?):

You had the inspiration, but it felt like it needed a little spice. Either way, you've thought it into a hole now.

At least you learned something new out of the process.

You learned a new Technique: Informed Weakness

Or, sometimes (see discussion):

It feels too early to work on this. Either that or your well has run dry.

Incoherent Story?:
It's wrong. It's all wrong! Poor timing! Confused prose!
Believable Story?:
It's wrong. It's all wrong! Poor timing! Uninspiring stories!
Others?

You slump into the chair, hollow and defeated.

Or, sometimes (see discussion):

It feels too early to work on this. Either that or your well has run dry.

Or, sometimes (see discussion):

This story and the ideas kicking around in your head… together, they don't amount to anything.

You've gained X duration of Creative Hollowness.

X equal to the combined energy you had of fiction and story effects, or 20, whichever is higher? Lose all energy of both effects.

Technique Summary

Technique Chain Type Attribute Source
Hollow Gaze hollowgaze.jpg Etheric Will Gaining 20+ turns Etheric, with at least some Creative Hollowness left over after taking the Eclipse (which subtracts turns of Creative Hollowness equal to Etheric gained)
Informed Weakness informedweaknesses.jpg Stealth Perception Choosing "Think Harder", without any Fiction effect active

Other Uses

Hammer25.jpg This item is not a component for any kind of crafting.
toolbox.jpg This item cannot be salvaged.
GoldCoins.jpg This item cannot be added to a gang stash.

Remaining Mysteries

From Podcast 53:

Yeah, there's a lot of stuff going on in here. Okay. Inspiration is a fickle beast. There's a lot still buried in there, out of the unearthly items, that might the one with the most undiscovered stuff. Inspiration is a fickle and ever-changing beast is your vague hint.

Skill #88 may be associated with this item.

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