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The Tome of the Mad Lich
Items  (Books and Scrolls)   (Non-Magical)
Darkstand's comment on 2014-01-25 07:33 AM
Good stuff, intriguing and dark items, often with inhumane costs. The instructions are wonderfully thematic and the items seem like things that could/should exist in most settings.
My only critique is that the rituals themselves lack any element of arcana themselves, and read more as recipes. There are no spells to be cast, no arcane runes to engrave, just a list of how to 'cook up' a magic item, usually with two or three steps where the ingredients suddenly transform inexplicably. This may be intentional, certainly its easier to add that back in then remove it.
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7 Things about Lovecraftian Fiction
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-10-02 01:24 AM
Not much to say, fan of Lovecraftian fiction (though truth be told some of the later authors suit me better than the original... might be culture clash). This goes in the RPG bookmark folder.

I will note that adding Lovecraftian horror to a campaign does not have to be all or nothing, the party can skirt the edges of something beyond them or find a 'minor' artifact in a otherwise non-lovecraft setting/campaign. Go to Comment
30 reasons why magic is mostly used for good
Articles  (Humor/ Editorial)   (Gaming - In General)
Darkstand's comment on 2014-01-14 10:04 PM
While not all of them are going to work for everyone, a lot of good ideas for how to shift the balance of power in a setting. Combining more than one could also work, either as different nations (for political ones) or by toning down multiple ideas and using them all.
Favorites: 1,2,3,4,6,8,10,20

Some thoughts on some of them:

1-Here come the cops!
Reminds me of the White Council in the Dresden files. I'll note for others that this organization does not have to be 'good', and is probably neutral, but is maintaining a standard out of self interest.
This could be combined with #6 for a interesting dichotomy.

10-Marked Mage
While this is not what you intended, I see a slightly different idea: Mages can be identified on sight as spellcasters, either due to a elaborate tattoo necessary for spellcasting or other obvious mark. This also shows who has been casting magic recently, but not immediately what magic. A trained mage can, however, 'read' the signs and determine what you have been up to. (This takes longer than is possible to do casually, so its impossible to do without the mage noticing and probably without his consent, unless you are going to hold them down.)

20-It attracts...Things
While not helpful to the good/evil balance, I would like to see a setting where this is a universal truth to spellcasting. Go to Comment
Devouring Fire
Lifeforms  (Third Kingdom)   (Other)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-09-11 07:52 PM
At first I thought this was something a little more cliche. A oblivionic fire, consuming all it touches and near (but not quite) impossible to put out. But this... this is interesting. A living fire. Whats more, a living DEMONIC fire, hungry for more more more, yearning to burn the world down to the ground.
The potential is interesting. A wizard who underestimates the living fire. A artifact, when destroyed, release the hungry and maddened Anagra that powered it. And lets not forget the simple joy of letting the formula slip into player hands and watch as everything burns to the ground.
I like. Yes, I very much like. Go to Comment
Reliquary of the Rotting Legion
Items  (Wand/Staff/ Arcane)   (Villanous)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-09-11 12:25 AM
Not a original idea, but fairly well done. As to why he did not do it more often, these things probably take a lot of work, they can't exactly be mass produced. Go to Comment
Demonic Pipe Organ
Dungeons  (Underground)   (Puzzles)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-09-10 07:53 PM
I like it. Magical demonic organ, corrupting the ideal of the angelic organ of the church. Perhaps carved from a REAL demons skull? The pipes from its bones?
For kinder DM's, you could make a gate instead of instant transport (but still no way back). This allows for only some of the people present to go, without raising the issue that the unwary group might think the person who triggered it died. Speaking of which, that made the intro kinda gruesome.... nice job. Go to Comment
The Tower of NON
Locations  (Fortification)   (Any)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-09-09 05:35 PM


Really interesting submission, reminds me of a idea I saw somewhere for a tesseract based dungeon where there were only 6 rooms but many, many ways to get to each one and depending on how you got there the gravity would be different... (if I find the link I will post it.)



Interesting things could be done with 'reverse weight' equipment (armor anyone? Or combine materials from both (say, in forging metal or just mix components and get a zero weight item) and certainly I foresee lots of interesting cultural interactions (PC's start up a embassy?) Pick a culture that is interesting enough in its own right that does not have a analogue in your setting, and work your way up from there. The 'gravity issue' is a interesting cultural barrier where communication is possible but there are still issues...

...



..



...what happens if people from this world and the other one have children? Zero-gravity babies? Or does the baby pick up the 'gravity' of the mother (which makes sense in a matter-based system of tracking)...



...though if its a matter based system of tracking, visitors spending enough time on the other side and eating the food will eventually switch orientation. Which could be cool. Especially during said zero-gravity transition period. This works well on a world that has been canonically declared 'flat'.



P.S. I think I found the original article, for those interested. I say 'think' because I remember a more clearly laid out map of what the rooms would look like connected together. It was Dragon Magazine, issues 17 and 38, or both in the Compendium. Gravity was subjectively consistent (no reversal of gravity doors) but objects (or creatures) in the room could have a different gravity then your own, based on how they got to that room.

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The Hedge Maze
Lifeforms  (Constructed)   (Plains)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-09-08 01:31 AM
Simple yet effective. Go to Comment
Seven Forms Ascendant Hunter 1.0
NPCs  (Major)   (Combative)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-09-04 04:22 PM
It is a interesting and very fully fleshed backstory that can be used in many campaigns with a little tweaking.
The culture clash that is bound to result should lead to interesting roleplay and a good DM can simply sit back and let the players do the work for a little while. Go to Comment
The Needwain
Society/ Organizations  (Political)   (Local)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-09-02 03:39 PM
A neat idea that can fit into most any campaign, though it is light on detail. Go to Comment
She Who Dreams
NPCs  (Major)   (Political)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-09-03 10:50 PM
Only voted Go to Comment
She Who Dreams
NPCs  (Major)   (Political)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-09-03 04:08 PM
An interesting tale of redemption, though I wonder who it was she killed to have the power to curse her so... they probably have a tale of their own.
Good quality tragic story, and a neat plot hook.
I don't have much to add to the idea, but I'll add some alternate twists for those who are interested:
-The Queen is bound to her job, and literally cannot die until the burden is passed on.
-The Queen is faced with a new danger, and cannot defeat it with the power of her blood alone, depleted over the years. She must decide whether to keep her oath, or dip once again into the power of blood sacrifice. This could be willing volunteers or enemies and prisoners of war.
-The Queen has been captured, and used as a channel for necromantic power. Can she be freed or is death the only way?

There are a lot of ways this NPC could be adopted, twisted or just planted wholesale in a campaign. Go to Comment
The Timeless Pocket Watch
Items  (Jewelry)   (Magical)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-08-30 12:03 AM
Like others, I wonder at this device in Immortal hands, without rewriting how immortality in a setting works it could cause problems. 
Alternate idea: for every minute used, the user loses consciousness for 10 minutes. Certain magics could delay this, but not eliminate this. The user cannot be woken by any means during this period, it resembles a coma if it lasts long enough.
While the user will not starve nor age, he or she is not protected in any other way, so exposure to elements, wild animals, ect. may all lead to the demise of the unwary. (GM's whos players overuse the item are encouraged to find creative places for the player to wake up)
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The Flight of Retribution
Plots  (Hired)   (Single-Storyline)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-08-26 09:56 PM
A good idea, and has a lot of roleplay potential for a sci-fi campaign. Sci-Fi is not my usual, but I can still admire a job well done. The explicit Doom references distracted me (a little) however, it would have been better to leave them implied or mention it once at first then not again. 

The Good: A highly adaptable open ended plotline full off choices and consequences, interesting NPC's and fun tech to play with. If this entry is short, its cause its fairly well rounded. 

The Bad: Explicit Doom references (this is forgivable). Also, in the 'Artifact Recovery' choice, in that position I (as a PC) would be inclined to possibly fight my way to the artifact and try to disable it from there, using the enemy EMP would not be my first thought. A good DM can improvise on the spot, but its a hole in the options provided. Not a glaring one though. 

 I really wanted to like the references, but in the end I had to admit it distracted, and pointing them out was unnecessary to the submission. Still, good job plotting out a lot of the ways it could go.


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Jacob Latris
NPCs  (Scenario Based)   (Mystical)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-08-26 11:13 PM
The Good: The backstory overall is quite good, the death of the father very striking, That sort of thing can certainly lead one down a dark path. Despite what other said, I figured one of them would eventually betray the other, so that was not jarring to me. Maybe a fight or two narrated before then might help, though.

The Bad: The mother is only mentioned in passing. What happened to her? The fixation on Vengeance is logically illogical enough (is that even a thing?) but the leap to killing himself with Vengeance is... odd.
Perhaps a better goal would be to BECOME Vengeance? This is still highly illogical, but seems to follow the path of lunacy more closely, as well as being tangentially possible. By dedicating himself to Vengeance, he would A) fill his need for faceless Vengeance B) his goal of self destruction, as the Jacob Lantris that used to be (the one that watched his father die, as well as the one who killed his friend) would cease to exist, if it even does anymore. It would require little change to the story, as well.
...I feel my sanity slipping just writing that path of logic. (What little there was left anyway.) I'll consider that a point in your favor. Go to Comment
Pra'Eimus, the Grand Archer
Articles  (Character)   (Citadel Help)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-08-27 11:37 PM
Not bothered by the spelling, personally. The grammar occasionally has a odd cadence to it, but nothing world ending.
However, The story is very cliche, and in some cases sickeningly sweet. Good triumps evil in the end, obvious traitor, 'I'm just the beginning line'. Cliches and tropes can be used to good effect, so out and out avoidance is not the answer (not to mention being impossible), but still, mess with things a little, make it your own. Twist things a bit.
Going off the title: Maybe the bow his father does not shoot straight, but somehow the arrow always ends up where it needs to be? A relic bow is mentioned in passing, but then forgotten. Use that. Or something else, but mess with it a little.
Throw a few failures in to make the victory sweeter. Bittersweet is also good, if the cost was high. Maybe the family life does not end in rainbows and sugardrops. I'm not saying DARKER AND EDGIER RA RA RA but to much 'light' is a issue too. Go to Comment
Pra'Eimus, the Grand Archer
Articles  (Character)   (Citadel Help)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-08-27 11:37 PM
Not bothered by the spelling, personally. The grammar occasionally has a odd cadence to it, but nothing world ending.
However, The story is very cliche, and in some cases sickeningly sweet. Good triumps evil in the end, obvious traitor, 'I'm just the beginning line'. Cliches and tropes can be used to good effect, so out and out avoidance is not the answer (not to mention being impossible), but still, mess with things a little, make it your own. Twist things a bit.
Going off the title: Maybe the bow his father does not shoot straight, but somehow the arrow always ends up where it needs to be? A relic bow is mentioned in passing, but then forgotten. Use that. Or something else, but mess with it a little.
Throw a few failures in to make the victory sweeter. Bittersweet is also good, if the cost was high. Maybe the family life does not end in rainbows and sugardrops. I'm not saying DARKER AND EDGIER RA RA RA but to much 'light' is a issue too. Go to Comment
Fena, the Demon Goddess
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Religious)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-08-25 01:09 PM
The Good: Like already said, well written, The idea of fallen angles sees a lot of use, but rarely do demons rise again, more needs to be done with that idea.
The Bad: A bit dry once the introduction is done. How did they bind Fena again? At what cost? Why is magic draining away/being forgotten? And which of those is it? Both are implied.
Also, in my opinion it seems odd that Karilea just randomly decided to free Fena again without some inciting event, but that could just be me. People do pick up odd obsessions and goals sometimes (especially where religion is involved).
Like stated in the article, it works well for a low magic, low fantasy world, or one just waking up again, but would need a major overhaul for a high fantasy campaign. Go to Comment
Fena, the Demon Goddess
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Religious)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-09-03 12:45 PM
The additions are good. The voluntary sacrifice in particular is a nice touch..
Whether she is truly 'free' is another good question, as is her power now, but both of those are fine as open questions for the GM to answer. Go to Comment
A Spell Called Catherine
Plots  (Crisis)   (Single-Storyline)
Darkstand's comment on 2014-01-15 08:19 AM
I like this, I like this a lot. This sort of thing feels like it should happen more often in fantasy, where utility spells seem to be lacking and most issues are cut and dry rather then the messy affairs they tend to be in reality.
Because I am a nit-picker, I feel compelled to point out a few problems I see:

1) Terminology - while it certainly varies from person to person and game to game, 'summoning' is usually a trasportation of an already existing creature to your location to serve you (may or may not be willing, depending on spell and system), conjuring is usually creatures made wholesale.
As such, the spell sounds more like conjuring than summoning. (Summoning people is a different bag of worms altogether.)

2) Conjuring a human army is not likely to be a whole lot more economical than conjuring a army of anything else. This may be a flaw in the thinking of General Boskerys Targrail rather than a plothole, however.

3) Conjured (or summoned, usually) creatures tend to disappear once killed, so the "the corpse of a 'spell Catherine'" should not be possible. Again, the spell could have been modified to compensate, although that makes the attempt even more remarkable. Go to Comment
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