Strolen\s Citadel content. 
The Vile Vial
Items  (Potion)   (Villanous)
Dossta's comment on 2013-05-14 04:59 PM
Like the description you used for this one, though I agree it would be more interesting if expanded. For a 100-word, it's not bad. Go to Comment
The Clowns Gang
Society/ Organizations  (Criminal/Espionage)   (Area)
Dossta's comment on 2013-09-30 07:54 PM
I think the pictures added quite a bit, though some of them could have been sized down a tad. As for the content, it's pretty much what you'd expect of a whole gang based around Heath Ledger's Joker -- violent, disturbing and scary as hell. I especially liked the bit about the various drugs; that one sentence about administering Nuke to hostages to "keep them cool" tells you all you want to know about being at the mercy of this gang.

If there was anything I could suggest, it would be to imagine a few more unique gang-related activities. The Suicide Parties are a good step, but what else can they do to distinguish themselves from other "normal" gangs (besides the thematic elements, I mean). Are they big in the hostage industry? Sex-trade? Do they have any long-term plans? Go to Comment
Dragon's Wake
Locations  (City)   (Water)
Dossta's comment on 2013-09-20 07:17 PM
A very compelling tale, though it somewhat overshadows the city itself. I get a sense of the land around the city, but not much I can use to describe the place in a game. Do the blue buildings still exist? What about the Tower of Dreams? Either way, I love the epic scale of the thing and will definitely consider stealing the legend at some point for a game! Go to Comment
Dragon's Wake
Locations  (City)   (Water)
Dossta's comment on 2013-09-21 10:29 AM

No, I don't think you need to make separate submissions for the event and the location -- that would most likely yield two average submissions instead of one fantastic one. I do think your changes afterwards clarified what you'd find in the city today (a large, inland bay next to a city of wood), however.

If I were going to use this in a game, it's enough for me to start with, but I'd still need to flesh out more of its sights/sounds, major economic influences, major attractions, and perhaps another cultural tidbit or three (do they have any celebrations? Dragon's Day, perhaps?). Maybe a few notable NPCs, or religions/cults that were founded after the Dragon left. The bit about blue stone sculpting is and the Wizard's college are good starts, but I'd want more to make it really stand out in the minds of my audience.

Go to Comment
The Kingmakers: Final Update/Autopsy
Articles  (Campaign)   (Game Mastering)
Dossta's comment on 2013-08-11 10:46 PM
It's always fascinating to dissect a campaign once it's over. Very glad you put up this post-mortem so that the rest of us could benefit from your experience. For your next campaign, I'd check out something called a "group template", popularized by the Fear the Boot podcast. It's a tool for building a cohesive group from the get-go, hopefully avoiding a lot of the issues that came up here. Go to Comment
30 More Gladiators
NPCs  (Extras)   (Combative)
Dossta's comment on 2013-08-26 05:01 PM
I couldn't create a sub titled "30 Gladiators" because it already exists somewhere. Unfortunately, it's private and/or deleted so I have no idea what it contained, and no way to check for overlap. I did my best to play with the trope a little and come up with some stuff that was new (at least, new to me). :) Glad you enjoyed the read! Go to Comment
Quedoths Blade
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2013-07-05 05:14 PM
Love the physical description of the blade, and the baggage that comes with it. Perhaps the blade wasn't forged specifically for Quedoth, but was what he chose as his reward (which may be another source of anger for the merfolk). If it wasn't forged for him originally, I wonder who owned it in the past. I also like the idea of giving this thing sentience and having it act as a sort of "demonic other half" of your brain when you are in shark form.

Overall, a beautifully formatted sub for a well-thought out item. Go to Comment
30 Plumes in the Distance
Articles  (Campaign)   (Gaming - In General)
Dossta's comment on 2013-04-26 06:48 PM
A few entries could use improvement or modification to better suit the theme:

16 Herd of Deer -- primarily forest-based creatures. Not going to be a lot of dust there, even during a stampede. Why not substitute for something more exciting, like elephants or bison?

24 Fog Bank -- I can't imagine very many people mistaking a fog bank for smoke of some kind. Doesn't really seem like it belongs here

27 A Rift -- Why would a rift be making smoke? Is it an undiscovered entrance to the Underworld or something?

28 Herd of Wild Camels -- Copied word-for-word from the horses. Not a useful addition on its own.

30 Destroyed Village -- It's technically a different encounter than a village under attack (22), but the two are so similar that I would combine them into one entry.

I still think the idea is really neat, but think this could use some more work. Go to Comment
Harmless Chinese Mythical Lifeforms
Lifeforms  (Unique)   (Any)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-27 01:49 PM
You were right Moon -- these are a fascinating read. I preferred the flora to the fauna for some reason. Probably because the flora all had far more detailed physical descriptions. I loved the Shadow Wood and the Ivy Bloom especially.

One suggestion: I know you like to keep to the format, but I feel that the empty sections are just adding clutter to this sub. If there is nothing under Lore, Special Properties, Translation Quirks, etc, consider omitting that section entirely. I don't believe that the omission will confuse anyone, since you labeled those sections optional in the intro.

Looking forward to seeing more of these. Go to Comment
Calypso of Caspia
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Mystical)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-27 02:29 PM
A good NPC write-up, if suffering from some awkward phrasing in places. This, for example, was particularly hard to follow:

"What he saw was the kid, the child one of his regulars who had drank himself to death only a week before, with a bit of black rope in one hand - the kid was shaking this like a snake - and a hand full of ashes - the kid threw this into the air between him and the horses."

If you have time, I suggest reading this piece aloud to catch the bits like that. It's surprisingly helpful!

Overall, I like the concept of a fraud who becomes the real deal. That was far, far cooler than someone who was an uber wizard from birth. Calypso still sounds a little like a Mary Sue, however. He's smart, and wise, and managed to gain entrance to a highly-exclusive social circle with very little effort. Where are his flaws? His vices? Besides becoming an orphan, has he ever failed at anything? Go to Comment
The Wu Xing Beasts
Lifeforms  (Unique)   (Any)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-25 07:18 PM

My original idea was to create a set of dual-elemental dragons. Fire/Ice, Metal/Poison and the like. But something about that wasn't quite right, so the idea lay dormant in the back of my mind. Then Moonlake published her Magic System Based on Fengshui, and I was presented with a set of 5 cycling elements that seemed perfect for the concept. If I combined them in pairs according to the Creative/Destructive cycles, I was left with 10 pairings that piqued my interest.

Next came the seed idea for the beasts. I looked for a set of 10 pre-existing mythical creatures to start with and found this. To my surprise (and delight) they were also Chinese in origin. I discarded their original names, appearances and stories and was left with a list of 10 common animals to use.

The third and final piece came when my mind connected Elbin's Planted Madness and his Seeds of Life and Decay with the concepts of Yin and Yang. Suddenly, I had two cycling creatures instead of 10 separate ones, connected by destiny. The rest of the sub sort of wrote itself from there.

The first graphic is a mashup of images from here and here. The picture for the EARTH/WOOD horse was created by Horsecricket over at deviantart, and the WOOD/FIRE cat was originally drawn for a webcomic called "Romantically Apocalyptic" (the artist is also found as alexiuss, also at deviantart).

Additional information on the Bagua formations and Wu Xing cycles was mostly pulled from here: here and here, though additional sources were used. Go to Comment
The Wu Xing Beasts
Lifeforms  (Unique)   (Any)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-27 11:15 AM
Alright, seems like a few edits for clarity are in order. I'll see if I can find a way to condense or present the information better, so that it is a little less distracting. Thanks for the feedback, guys! Go to Comment
The Wu Xing Beasts
Lifeforms  (Unique)   (Any)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-27 11:48 AM
Update: Corrected some typos, and tried to clarify the "dominant/submissive/diminishing" stuff a little. I also changed which spells are empowered by each of Sheng Ife's forms, based on feedback from Moonlake (and better logic!). Go to Comment
That Which is Forgotten
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
Dossta's comment on 2011-01-07 10:41 PM
Update: Second draft. I've tried to cut down on the melodrama and have tightened up the plot a bit. I might do some minor tweaking in the future, but this is pretty close to finished. Go to Comment
Lifeforms  (Constructed)   (Any)
Dossta's comment on 2013-05-22 05:18 PM
Reads more like a short story than a game piece, but that's definitely not a bad thing! I found myself becoming absorbed in the development of this unique species. The intro was a little long, but not boring.

As for the bird itself, the descriptions are evocative and the effect unique, but I'm not entirely sure it's plausible. How much force would a corpse have to explode with to kill nearby enemies in armor? Where is that energy coming from (It seems like the raven is "putting" energy into the corpse, not "pulling" it). Does the raven subsist on this same font of energy, or does it need actual flesh and blood? If so, how can it possibly get anything to eat if its food source inevitably blows up?

Its intelligence also seems a little high. Why would it be concerned with things like "bigger returns" from exploding an arm mid-air? Does the bird have an intense desire to kill?

My suggestion would be to somewhat tone down the birds' power. Perhaps a corpse only has a one-in-three chance of exploding, or the raven has to intentionally trigger an explosion once it has stored up enough energy from eating other corpses. Maybe they can only explode every third or so corpse this way. Something like that.

This is so well-written that it's still getting high-marks from me, "fuzzy magic" aside. Glad you finally released it. Go to Comment
Zoe 3000
NPCs  (Extras)   (Artistic/Performance)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-27 03:57 PM
I will never get tired of reading your stuff, Scras. If you aren't already published, please let us know when the Cosmic Era-based book comes out. Seriously. No suggestions, other than to rework the last line in the intro ("Its amazing that no employer can take a girl with candy pink hair seriously . . ."). Not sure "amazing" is the right word to use there. Go to Comment
Gold Wind Weed
Items  (Potion)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-24 04:38 PM
Good, but it could use some more detail. How many puffs do you get per pinch (important if this stuff costs that much)? How long are the tendrils -- a few feet, a few meters?

I agree that this sounds like a dwarven item. Go to Comment
Gold Wind Weed
Items  (Potion)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-25 04:49 PM
Nice extra detail! One more question, while I'm thinking of it: will piling all of your gold in one corner count as one "source" of gold, or as many? Having 3 gold coins in a pouch together seems like it should only count as one source, but that's just my opinion. Go to Comment
Weed of Illusions
Items  (Potion)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-24 04:34 PM
Alright, this is very very cool. Can you imagine a world in which this was possible? Witnesses to crimes would no longer have to describe their attackers to artists, people who don't speak the same language could communicate much more easily and maps/battle strategies could be issued without any noise at all. There are probably hundreds more uses for this stuff. I imagine that a world blessed with this weed would undergo an artistic renaissance as people discovered new ways to communicate artistic visions with each other. Hell, there would probably be a whole spin-off performance art based around it.

I like the drawbacks and the secondary effect is also full of possibilities. Well done! Go to Comment
Drowsy Weed
Items  (Potion)   (Non-Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-24 04:20 PM
Nice -- wonder if it's addictive. Well thought-out and complete. Go to Comment
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