Of these, I feel that Wench Fire is the one that sounds the most credible. You give it a clear means of transmission (the fleas), a very specific progression for the illness to follow, and a few steps that can be taken to mitigate the damage. The rest of these have some issues with believability. 4 and 6, for example, seem like they would be too common or too unavoidable (everyone exposed to fresh water after an intense storm?), and the first two rely a bit too heavily on magic -- both for origin and transmission. I'd probably tone them both down a little and concentrate on the actual "disease" aspects. I'm not going to comment on the Zombie plague, other than to say that you probably don't need to include it since it's already so well known (unless you can come up with an interesting mutation or variation, of course).
Overall, however, this piece was well-written and clear. I enjoyed your descriptions, and liked how several of these plagues would leave permanent signs/alterations if a person manages to survive -- makes for a colorful NPC backstory, at the very least! Looking forward to reading more of your work. Go to Comment
Not exactly sure how I feel about this one. It's long -- which is usually a good thing -- but in this case the length doesn't really strengthen the piece. The details for each NPC are very good, but I'm not sure you're being specific enough with this collection. Especially with the Betas, Gammas and Zetas. What you're basically showing me is that I can take any old NPC I want and make them an unwitting pawn of the hidden masters. Not sure I need so many examples in these echelons. The real meat of the piece is in the Alphas and Omegas -- the people "in the know". Go to Comment
I really like the naming convention you followed for the signature spells, and the elaboration on the combination spells. I would really like to see the larger images -- hopefully you can work that out with one of the site administers soon. I'm still having a little trouble grasping the practicalities of using this system in a game, but perhaps I just need more time to mull over the ideas as presented. Go to Comment
Moonlake, do you have a name for this system? What is a practitioner called?
Also, I'd really like to know a little bit more about the Ba Gua. It sounds like it has the potential to be a very powerful ritual/summoning/confining spell. What times of the year can it be formed, and will it have a different application in each different time period (Spring vs Winter, etc)? Is it all formed within the caster's mind or are props needed for something this powerful? Go to Comment
I'm not really sure where to start with this piece. I love magic systems -- especially those with some grounding in real-world mythology, and this is a new one for me. I'm glad that you included the background section at the top.
I think that the ideas you are trying to get across aren't really coming across on paper. If you could make a small diagram or something to help illustrate the various elements & possible combinations it might help. Like val, I want to hear more of the practicalities involved in making this work. Am I just hitting enchanted "elemental" wands together to cast a spell, or am I grabbing handfuls of dirt and mixing it with water, etc?
I really like this -- the concept is fascinating. Just need a little more clarity before I feel comfortable voting on it. Go to Comment
Also completely in character for the setting. I'm glad you included the bit about denial in there -- I wouldn't expect the average human of the Cosmic Era to be any more comfortable with the idea that they are disposable than one of the modern age, even with their hyper-commercialized culture. They may feel that way about others more easily, though, and clones are indeed the perfect target for that. I remember a short blurb you wrote about a cloned test subject used in genetic experiments, that perfectly illustrates the whole point of this piece. Go to Comment
Completely logical, given the setting. Players may not be too happy about it, but I'm sure they'd find a way to get their hands on the heavy stuff eventually, even if it meant stepping outside of the law (or joining it). With the disparity between available arms and armor, becoming a law enforcement office would be a highly attractive position in this Era, since they can basically hide behind their power armor and refuse to engage with anything remotely likely to hurt them back. Go to Comment
The lesser bone stitchers are nice because you're more likely to use/encounter them in a game. Are there any requirements for using the amulet -- such as being a member of the Cult, or being "keyed" to the item somehow? As written, a PC could pick up one of these bad-boys and act as a impromptu cleric with no real drawbacks, provided they keep some contingency meat around. Go to Comment
Very, very thorough. I liked Pfloem's secret affliction, and appreciated the detailed description of his home and defenses. I wouldn't intend for him to be a combat encounter, but it's always good to have this stuff in advance (since PCs have a tendency to escalate things quickly).
In particular, I can imagine the party rogue trying to infiltrate the Master's study and becoming infected with Kheliaa. Then the Master has a great bargaining chip to use with the party later. Besides retrieving interesting mushrooms for him, do you think there is anything that the party could be asked to do for Pfloem, in exchange for a cure or a way to stop the Kheliaa from spreading? Go to Comment
Oh ho! I wonder if you may have unintentionally stumbled upon a cure for zombification as well, SE. After all, normal leeches were used to "suck toxins" out of a person's bloodstream. Perhaps the proper application of deadleeches can halt or reverse the spread of the zombie virus within a host, if the person is still in possession of their mental faculties. And if it works for zombie-ism, why not vampirism or other undead diseases like mummy rot? A party's cleric would be wise to keep a few of these with him at all times.
A few questions:
1) These are leeches. Does their adaptation allow them to live on dry land, or will the zombie horde only encounter them while passing through swamps and the like?
2) How do they reproduce? Does it have something to do with the explosion at the end of their lifecycle?
3) Are there any special conditions for keeping them alive? How long can they go without eating? Go to Comment
I rather liked the world you set up in the beginning, and the implications later for the normal/paranormal matchmaking. Kinda had a muggle/non-muggle vibe to it, and it implies another coming paradigm shift within your setting. Perhaps Sigh inc. is opening the way for a specialized breeding program (or a possible eugenics phase, if you want to go darker).
The only point that confused me is that you specifically said that every human has the inner potential to use magic. Is "paranormal" just a word to describe someone who has gained some success harnessing this power, while "normal" is one who is having trouble? Go to Comment
What I wouldn't give for some artwork depicting these creatures! The names are a little confusing, but not horrible. It might help us to distinguish between them if you provided the literal English translations for each name (at least, that's how my brain works). Another possibility for expansion would be to give each of the Nine a special area of domain or responsibility -- something that we can use to further solidify their place in the world. Right now, they just sort of "exist", without doing or affecting much of anything. Go to Comment
Oh sure, I didn't mean to give them visible responsibilities -- just domains or areas of interest that they were known for. Like the pantheons in a lot of D&D-esque source books. Do people pray to these things? Are they featured in any stories? Just like Coyote is the patron god of mischief in many Native American religions, and Thor represented a warrior's strength, I see these creatures coming to represent ideas and concepts. Go to Comment
A very nice expansion of manfred's original idea. Some standouts are your cobblestone mushroom (fantasy land-mines that look like normal rocks!) and the Beardbane (a nice way to nudge the party into contacting the fungus growers -- the party got infected in the last dungeon). I may have to add to this sometime in the future. Go to Comment
I like that you've given us more than an NPC -- this is really a miniature tableau, with lots of little hooks to hang an adventure on. Valus sees himself as the protector of the people, but I wonder how the people view him in return. Would they support him if he made a serious bid for power? Also, where does the Longflower part of his name come from? Go to Comment
This was a lot of fun to read -- made me smile. The idea of a semi-sentient cook's helper in arachnid form was simply delightful. I especially liked the idea of the candy-cooking spiders, and I want one of these in my home. You did a wonderful job building on the other three submissions, too.
I don't immediately see how to use this (apart from a bit of setting flavor), but perhaps a food-related quest could come out of it. Wonder what happens if an assassin sneaks into the kitchen and tries to feed the Soup Spider a poisonous mushroom? Go to Comment
Totally a munchkin-esque item. I wonder if Capou actually intended the thing to be worn, or if he was just keeping it out in his backyard. Not quite sure how I would use this, but it was a fun read. Go to Comment
Fantastic seed idea! I really want to see more about these guys. They remind me of the Silverfish you find in Minecraft -- terrifying little creatures that live in stone and swarm out in packs once you break the rock open. I can imagine a party of adventurers, desperate to escape an underground cave system, being entirely too unwary of where they try to dig their way out . . . Go to Comment