Bells, Clumsiness, Assistive Devices, Etc.

Plain old discussion of Alicorn stories.

Bells, Clumsiness, Assistive Devices, Etc.

Postby Alicorn » Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:50 pm

This is just a listy posty referencey thingy of Bells and how they clumsy.

All Bells are by default clumsy relative to their population baseline. This affects only gross motor skills, most notably balance. A standard, unassisted Bell can walk without tripping most of the time, and can spend most of her time uninjured if she's careful, doesn't carry unwieldy things, pays special attention on stairs, and doesn't attempt to move briskly, although they will still occasionally fall and hurt themselves a little or a lot. They begin to develop the care necessary when they are about six or seven, older if they have siblings who encourage them to run around. The clumsiness cannot be directly trained away, only avoided via avoiding the activities that make it a problem.

"Relative to population baseline" is an important qualifier. Bells who are quadrupedal, winged, genetically engineered, part-alien, etc. have different population baselines and may not be particularly clumsy in an absolute sense. (For instance, Clarity avoids cantering, but she can trot. Linya avoids changing directions when sprinting, but her sprint is very fast and she can turn at less than top speed.) Bells in flight by any mechanism cannot trip and therefore display markedly less clumsiness, and they find wings and tails (when available) to be useful balancing help on the ground too - e.g. Revelation is still clumsy but between practice and his added extremities he rarely falls anymore.

Standard Backstory Bells (ones brought up in the United States with Renée as primary caregiver and Charlie significantly present and no special tech or magic readily available) try some mitigating assistive devices when they are smallish and don't seem to be growing out of the problem. Canes don't help without extensive practice - they're an extra thing to keep track of, and don't actually improve Bell top speed at all, and when the Bell falls down anyway the cane will thwack things, go flying, or hit her in the face. A cane can help a Bell who acquires it later on and works hard on practicing with it, but in the standard backstory the idea is discarded, and Bells later in life rarely decide to pick them up (I might do one who has done so later). A rollator-type walker may also be tried. This does improve top speed and the walkers are not so easily flung into the air, but young Bells are inclined to leave them places because they don't strictly need them to get around - they'll wander off and leave them behind in the department store or whatever. This option is discarded too. It does not occur to anyone in the Standard Backstory to try her on a wheelchair, so she does entirely without and muddles along at a sedate walking pace. Alternate attractor set Bells who are from Britain have loosely comparable histories.

Canadian Bells (none extant so far) have more trouble because unlike Bells who grow up in other climes she often finds herself trying to walk over snow. (Some other Bells have this problem too, but Phaetonbell and so on for whatever reason never wind up hitting on the same solution as Canadian ones.) Neither a cane nor a rollator is a viable solution for this problem; she will still slip and slide and fall (and if she's trying to lean on a rollator she may well clonk her jaw on it and break a tooth). A wheelchair does the trick. Canadian Bells continue to use wheelchairs whenever they feel like it including when it is not icy outside. They get up and walk if there is a reason to do that, and sometimes leave their chairs home entirely, but are more comfortable not having to worry about balancing upright.

Occasionally Bells make or acquire nonstandard vehicles or rideable creatures to get around with, which mitigate clumsiness in roughly the manner of a wheelchair but don't actually make it go away.

- Amariah/Ice: cloud-pine
- Glass: flying carpet
- Ace: rideable Pokémon
- Phoenix: broomstick
- Annie: tricycle
- Aly/Kib/Lu/Sylvi: scooter puppet/chair golem/zebra pet/wooden horse automaton

Pealed Bells without absolutely satisfactory solutions to their clumsiness problem fix it either via coins (Effulgence) or spellbinding (Incandescence). An absolutely satisfactory solution must be prohibitively difficult to remove from the Bell in question or interfere with in any way, and get her to the point where she can expect to do absolutely anything she's likely to want to handle (in person and by moving around, which is not all that many things for some Bells) without danger of falling or fumbling. Absolutely satisfactory solutions besides those include:

- Aura (Rose) (this works for other Effulgent Bells who acquire auras too, as it's a generic and not a personal feature, but most of them prefer to also include a coined version for immediacy and straightforwardness purposes)
- Being an Aurum vampire (Golden)
- Being the Slayer (Juliet)
- Seidr (Loki)
- Automancy (Cayra)
- Being a Puella Magi (Gem)
- Being a Gemini twin (Flicker)
- Ravelry (Shara)
- Blessing from Perinixu (Spring)

Less than absolutely satisfactory solutions (other than "having wings" etc.) which pealed Bells prefer to upgrade when they get the chance:

- Airbending (Chi) interferes with other bending and requires concentration, energy, and the presence of air to bend. It has an antipractice effect on her ability to move without it.
- Device-based magic (Aurora) has an antipractice effect and could be stolen.
- Boots of dexterity (Aether) can be stolen and, in her price range, are not of ideal mitigatory quality.
- The exoskeleton (Aegis) can be stolen, damaged, or (under sufficiently disastrous condtions) serve as a mechanism to allow psychics to hijack her body, as well as having cosmetic drawbacks and the possibility of chafing. It has strong antipractice effects.
- Case-by-case "flicking" of limbs into correct positions (Maurabel) requires a high level of attention and enough magic "juice" to power the little spells.
- Magic moccasins and armor (Glass) could be taken, aren't rated for running or elaborate motion, and are awkward to wear all of the time, and they have antipractice effects.
- Father Christmas's present of a scepter (Eve) is sometimes awkward to carry, and could be taken.
- Small-magic ribbons (Sarion) could be taken, aren't rated for running or elaborate motion, and make coordinating outfits to elvish standards challenging.
- Compensating tinkery implants (Lorica) could be broken or interfered with.
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Re: Bells, Clumsiness, Assistive Devices, Etc.

Postby kuuskytkolme » Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:32 pm

What's antipractice effect? Google doesn't have any hits.
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Re: Bells, Clumsiness, Assistive Devices, Etc.

Postby Oraanu » Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:04 am

kuuskytkolme wrote:What's antipractice effect? Google doesn't have any hits.


Consistent use of the assistive device / magic renders the Bell in question much less able to function without it. See Aegis without her exo.
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Re: Bells, Clumsiness, Assistive Devices, Etc.

Postby Alicorn » Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:14 am

Aegis is the most extreme case and the one I showed onscreen most, but some of the other things would do the same thing, yeah.
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Re: Bells, Clumsiness, Assistive Devices, Etc.

Postby anthusiasm » Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:52 am

I always got the impression that Aegis was more clumsy than other Bells because people seemed to think her life would literally be in danger if she didn't have her exo. Is this a thing, or did I just read it wrong?
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Re: Bells, Clumsiness, Assistive Devices, Etc.

Postby Alicorn » Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:26 pm

Aegis had unusually bad luck as a child, including a couple of seriously injurious accidents. Her actual (baseline) clumsiness level is not greater than the standard Bell, she just tripped over different things and scared her parents more.
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Re: Bells, Clumsiness, Assistive Devices, Etc.

Postby Paradox » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:52 pm

Do Bells ever try physiotherapy or anything along those lines to help with their clumsiness?
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Re: Bells, Clumsiness, Assistive Devices, Etc.

Postby Alicorn » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:10 pm

My understanding is that physical therapy is primarily rehabilitative and not aimed at the thing that is wrong with Bells.
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Re: Bells, Clumsiness, Assistive Devices, Etc.

Postby Paradox » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:26 pm

I don't know if physiotherapy would be useful for Bells in particular but I don't think that physiotherapy is primarily used for rehabilitative purposes. Like I went to physiotherapy as a child for help with motor skills (which is why the question occurred to me) and it wasn't rehabilitative, so it isn't exclusively so at any rate.
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Re: Bells, Clumsiness, Assistive Devices, Etc.

Postby Adelene » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:23 pm

Now that you mention it, I know there are, like, balance boards and things for training that sort of thing. I have absolutely no idea how effective they are, though.
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