This is a perfect flavor piece. Something I'd use in a highly fantastic setting (or possibly an alien planet). I might make them a little less watermelon-ey in description, but overall I love this sub. Definitely got a laugh from me, thanks! Go to Comment
I agree that the formatting could be tidied up a bit, but this is a really nifty submission, Echo. It is well thought out, has a good backstory and is creepy as hell. Kinda wish I hadn't started in on it over breakfast. One question -- how do guardians learn magic? Is is inbred like sorcerous power? Or is there a school that young guide/guardian pairs go to hone their natural talents? Go to Comment
Ghost-possessed artwork can be done well, but the GM needs to have a clear idea of both its motivations and its plans for achieving its goals. Consider adding a few plothooks to show us how you would use this piece as written. If I were going to base an adventure around the painting, I would probably tweak it just a little:
1. Put more clues on the painting itself as to its origin. A signature or note on the back -- (e.g. "Happy Birthday, Frank, from your brother George," perhaps with the family crest somewhere), might be enough to give the PCs a clue about this thing's backstory. Otherwise you have a haunted painting that can possess its bearer, but no way to find out what happened and free the ghost.
2. Change the motivation of the ghost. Instead of "find out the truth", you could use an old standby like "get revenge on my family's murderers" or "find and protect my only living child". Something to give the painting a more active role in the adventure, and make it a real force. Go to Comment
As a five room dungeon, this works reasonably well. I love the Walk, as it represents a nice combination of combat and environmental hazards. I would probably try to get my players to run this one as a heist, however -- this would make a great setting for a high-security prison.
That said, there are a few points that could use improving. One, the orcs have a wizard on staff, yet the escape boat is guarded by illusions? If the orcs have been there for any time at all, they should have found that by now. Two, you said that the tunnel deown to the little boat has traps that will slow the orcs down more than the PCs. That can only be the case if the orcs have not discovered the tunnel already. Otherwise, they would have mapped the whole thing out or replaced the traps with some of their own making. Three, orcs aren't usually the type to wait quietly in the shadows on guard duty, while within their own stronghold. If you want to leave the shadowy guards, why not make them wizardly constructs, goblin slaves or at least orcish youth?
If I were going to use this dungeon layout, I would personally replace the orcs with something a bit more organized -- perhaps Naga or a religious cult -- and change the escape route slightly. Barrels worked in the Hobbit, after all. Why not something similar here? Go to Comment
Ah, so the orcs know about the boat and the back way out. If they are intelligent and organized, why would they let the PCs escape down a known exit route?
To clarify the barrels comment: In the Hobbit, the party is captured and detained in an underground facility. The only apparent way out is the Front Gate, which is heavily guarded. However, the hero finds that the elves keep a wine cellar that opens to an underground river, and that the elves occasionally send empty barrels back down-river. In other words, the party finds a service entrance/exit and exploits it to make their escape in secret.
If the boat is a known factor, and is used for mundane stuff like resupplying, then BAM -- you have your "barrels" exit. Other possibilities would be a garbage barge, or perhaps leaving under the guise of workers from outside. This is assuming, of course, that the PCs opted for the covert option. Go to Comment
A warning and a promise. I like it! I STILL remember how much I agonized over that first submission, but as a result I spent a lot of time on it and it showed. Wish I could have read this first, though. Go to Comment
I'm not convinced that a first encounter must always involve combat. Here are several reasons why:
In SciFi/Fantasy, you often have access to either a universal translator or to a "speak languages" spell. Communication is suddenly very possible. Expect your players to use this to their advantage.
Second, if you have a relatively small group of people making contact (say the PCs and few others), they can do lots of things to mitigate their "threat level". What about leaving obvious gifts -- food, jewelry, clothing -- on the ground as a peace offering? Or how about sending in a single, unarmed diplomat to appear as non-threatening as possible?
You can also play with the power balance. Have the tribe discover the party after a shipwreck, or have the PCs happen across a village that has been decimated with illness. Sure, the two groups may find each other still threatening, but there are lots of reasons NOT to throw the first punch in these cases.
So while I agree that combat certainly COULD happen in a first contact situation, I don't believe that it necessarily should. Instead, I would use the occasion to let the group flex their roleplaying muscles. If they come up with a plan -- peace offerings, magic, body language, etc -- to avoid combat, then the GM should at least try to roll with it, instead of automatically letting the whole thing go down in flames. Go to Comment
The babies never get to be much bigger than a normal elephant. I said as much, but it's kinda buried in there. Controlling them is still an art, however -- you've got to find some way to control that tail once it sprouts. I imagine that some communities just cut the tail off entirely, while others find a way to bind it. Very few have mastered the art of riding the a hellephant into actual combat, but its still pretty early in the timeline. Go to Comment
Gotta love the mutated monstrosities. If I'm reading this correctly, the creature was intended both to help farm resources and to put down violent protests? What does it use as its primary weapons -- the claws or its tentacle-enhanced muzzle? Go to Comment
Holy crap. I really like the thought that went into this sub, and how your kaiju is actually a swarm of smaller beings. This feels somewhat similar to a zombie horde in that it is mindless and nigh-unstoppable.
I can see this working once. Maybe twice. But wouldn't humanity have developed some defenses by the next time the swarm comes around? Giant electrical fences or something? I would love to read more about a world in which the human population was forced to adapt to a seasonal threat like this.
The only thing I would change would be the nests -- they should always be defended in some way, even if just with difficult terrain. Sending a party of PCs to rescue a kidnapped human population would be an awesome adventure, so why make it too easy? Go to Comment
First off, let me thank you for taking the time to post on the Citadel and for sharing your idea with us -- it's great to have new people join our community! Challenging your first submission was not something I wanted to do, but I feel that it will give you some needed time to expand and revise this idea until it's ready for public vetting. If you leave it up as it is now, you will probably get very low scores on it and that would be discouraging.
As a community, you will probably find that Strolenites have pretty high standards when it comes to published stuff. We like to see a submission that is well thought-out, described well, and easy to use in a game. This sub gives us very little to work with -- it's more of an idea seed or *possibly* a stub (a submission that receives no votes because it is short and/or incomplete).
If you want to revise this and try again, I would suggest first reading the following article by MoonHunter: Five Best Tips for Posting on Strolens and Other Places. Then I would start looking at this idea that you have, and really seeing where it could be fleshed out. Why is a planet that is ruled by orcs and humans unusual? I read this and immediately thought of Azeroth, the game world of World of Warcraft. How is Telchar different?
Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Or, if not me, try connecting with another Citadel member. While we can be a critical bunch, you will find that we also strive to be helpful whenever possible. There are tons of people on here who are more than willing to bounce ideas around, especially with new authors. Hop into chat, or try a forum thread -- you're sure to find someone willing to listen and/or give advice. Go to Comment
I'm unsure what the point of this article is, actually. You claim that using themes of protection and conservation from human exploitation does a "disservice" to the game, yet your whole section on Druids takes this trope and runs with it. I'm not seeing a central set of ideas that I can really latch onto here. Perhaps I'm just not smart enough to get it? Go to Comment