Strolen\s Citadel content. 
Keeper of the Hourglass
Plots  (Event)   (Campaign)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-19 11:16 AM
I like the idea of comets having a greater meaning. Making them into a giant, celestial doomsday clock is an idea that definitely appeals to the dramatic. I'd love to use this in a steampunk setting or something, since they already have such a heavy emphasis on gears and clockwork. Go to Comment
Non-Euclidean Architecture: Part 1
Systems  (Architectural)   (Specific)
Dossta's comment on 2012-12-07 04:40 PM
This is a solidly written, possibly useful article. With a bit of work, it could lend just the right touch of chaos or disorientation to a dungeon -- be it an insane asylum, a cursed manor or even a mad carnival. It would be interesting to see how this pairs with a house of mirrors, for example. Will have to think on it some more. Go to Comment
Skarsnik Nil
Items  (Tools)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2012-06-04 05:59 PM
A good start, though it could use some revision. Forganthus gives a good list of questions to consider when reworking this item to make it more internally consistent and interesting to GMs. Try reading your submission out loud to catch the fragmented sentences. I would also consider giving the person in the summary a name, so that we know he is a non-goblin, creeping up on Guznal -- that part was pretty confusing when I first read it.

What I enjoyed most was the Nil's simple utility. There should be many more simple magic items like this. More tools for easing life. I also like how the dagger and staff are detachable. Well done.

P.S. It took courage to admit your mistakes publicly and still come back to post. I'm glad that you did. Go to Comment
7 Things I've Learned
Articles  (Humor/ Editorial)   (Gaming - In General)
Dossta's comment on 2012-06-04 01:26 PM
This is an excellent and concise list. Useful for anyone who wants to write fiction -- either for the Citadel or for themselves.

Here's my tip: Learn the Revision Process. Take pride in what you write, but don't think that your first draft is perfect. Reread, out loud if possible. Cut out pretty fluff that doesn't add to the work. Let others read your work and listen to what they say (though trust in yourself and let your own judgement have the final word). Put it down and come back to it later if you must -- a fresh perspective may help if you're stuck. Go to Comment
The Gentle Beasts
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Other)
Dossta's comment on 2012-06-04 12:49 PM
Lovecraftian monsters aren't really my cup of tea, but you did a splendid job on this one. It seems well-balanced, and a good GM could play it up beautifully. Your writing is chock-full of vivid sensory details that really bring this thing to life. Rarely have I seen a beastie described so well -- especially with senses other than sight. 4.0 + 0.5 for the excellent sensory descriptions. Go to Comment
Slys, Die of the Damned
Systems  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
Dossta's comment on 2012-06-04 12:38 AM
Update: Another new take on hell. This is a gift sub for Ancient Gamer, who provided campaign advice when I needed it most. Thanks again! Go to Comment
Slys, Die of the Damned
Systems  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
Dossta's comment on 2012-06-04 06:37 PM
I agree -- as I was writing this piece, the proxy gods became a much bigger focus for me and I would love to see it developed a little more. It'd be pretty cool to see other people's take on a substitute deity, with their own personalities and motivations.

Slys started off as a simple image in my head that just wouldn't go away: a monstrous die composed of human faces sewn together at the edges. I'm just glad I finally found time to write it down so that I could focus on something else. Thanks for the feedback! Go to Comment
Slys, Die of the Damned
Systems  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
Dossta's comment on 2013-08-26 03:53 PM
I think that depends entirely on how sadistic you want to be as a GM. You can try to use the character's religion as guidance -- add a face for every time he commits a "sin" or otherwise violates the doctrine. Or if your system has morality/reputation points, you can add a face every time a player edges down on the scale. Conceivably, a face could be added for every person a character lies to. Or you could just save the faces for the more serious crimes (murder, theft, assault, betrayal, etc).

No easy answers, I know. If I were going to use this in-game, I'd probably grab three standard die (a d12, d20 and d100 for example) and use one for the "good" group, one for the "neutral" group and one for the "evil" group. Adjust upwards or downwards as you see fit, and allow for exceptions (a true saint might only need to flip a coin). Go to Comment
The Seating of the Stuffy Dinner Party Guests
Dungeons  (Any)   (Puzzles)
Dossta's comment on 2012-06-05 04:26 PM
Just brainstorming a scenarios where this might come up:

The party has infiltrated a nobleman's keep as servants, but were immediately pressed into service by the head cook (who took them for hired help from his lord's liege). They are set to work coming up with a seating arrangement. The cook loathes idle hands and will do everything in his power to keep them occupied during the feast, making it difficult for the party to achieve the objective for which they came to the keep in the first place. On the other hand, the seating arrangements may provide them with an unexpected opportunity to either create a distraction (through a scene) or to spy on the nobility attending.

I also like the idea of having them put in this position of trust, and then have others try to get info about the seating arrangements from the party ahead of an assassination attempt.

Not your usual scenario. It could be a breath of fresh air, if done well and made to fit the current adventure. Go to Comment
The Truth about Dragons
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
Dossta's comment on 2012-05-29 04:40 PM
That was entertaining, and surprisingly subtle. You lay on the colloquialisms a bit thick at the end -- and the voice begins to distract from the content -- but other than that, it was a very enjoyable read. Kudos. Go to Comment
Online Roleplaying
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Gaming - In General)
Dossta's comment on 2012-05-29 05:36 PM
It's alright, though I agree it's too generic to be especially useful. I also found the sentence "If you possess the following aspects in your cute little personality, you'll be the Game Master's pet in no time!" somewhat off-putting.

Consider your audience. Most people who find this article will already be familiar with roleplaying in person (though a list of common acronyms can't hurt). They're going to want you to get into the gritty details of exactly how to do this online. What websites should they visit? What software should they have installed? What are some common etiquette points or gotchas (posting order, waiting for the GM to describe the results, etc)? What can they expect from a forum game (e.g. how do forum games differ from real life games?).

Adding in a list of popular sites on which to find a game (the Citadel Forums included) could help, perhaps. As could covering online dice rollers (as suggested by Silveressa).

In short, a good first effort. With some work, this might help someone one day. Go to Comment
30 Tavern Wenches
NPCs  (Minor)   (Mercantile)
Dossta's comment on 2012-10-18 10:58 AM
Pretty good, overall, though it could use some work. You did a great job with giving them a variety of backgrounds and personalities, but I would also like to see a wider variety of ages (from the little girl that is helping her daddy at his work, to the matronly grandmother who has been doing this job for 30 years). The lovestruck and the hero-worshipper are pretty similar, and the cultist could probably have more subtle schemes in mind. And the orcish singer is very much like another one of your submissions, so I went ahead and linked it to the codex.

Still though, a solid piece, Cheka! Go to Comment
30 Tavern Wenches
NPCs  (Minor)   (Mercantile)
Dossta's comment on 2012-10-18 11:08 AM

31-The Little Helper



Siri is still too young to do everything, but she has been helping her papa at the bar since her mama died of pneumonia over a year ago.  Perhaps 7 or 8, her little head barely peeks over the tops of the tables she serves, and she has to use a footstool to do anything at the bar.  What she lacks in experience she makes up for in imitation -- she has years of watching real barmaids at work, and tries to do what she can remember them doing before her papa had to let them go to pay for her mother's medicine.  Siri will take orders in her high, girlish voice and then will repeat it back in a sing-song to herself all the way to the kitchen so she doesn't forget (she can't write yet).  She doesn't have the strength to carry a fully-loaded platter, and so will have to make several trips per table.  PCs who help her papa will earn a special place in her heart.



32-The Granny



Old Sue has been working at this bar since her wild youth, and has nearly 30 years of experience to back her up.  She is very set in her ways and will always do things in her own way, on her own time.  She hates anything that interrupts her routine (cleaning the tables at this time, taking orders for drinks before orders for food, etc), and keeps a firm handle on the other barmaids at all times.  Old Sue isn't afraid to ask an unruly patron to leave (think Soup-Nazi), and is quick to point out that she has seen and heard it all before.  Getting on her good side is tricky, but worth it.  She probably has a great many gems of wisdom to share, and can remember events in the general area going back several generations.



33-The Mother



Mother of 5, this barmaid has no one to care for her children, and so has made a deal with the bar owner that she can bring her children to work with her (as long as they stay out of the way).  Her entire brood usually takes up a small table by the fireplace, and she will firmly shoo them back to their corner if they get too far out of line.  She always appears a little distracted and/or tired, will talk proudly about her children given the slightest opportunity, and will firmly refuse any overt solicitations (not wanting her children to see that).  Perhaps in her early thirties, she's still quite pretty and would be interested in starting another committed, long-term relationship, but has just about given up on that dream.

Go to Comment
Replacing A Traitor.
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
Dossta's comment on 2012-12-05 05:07 PM
In my opinion, this is inappropriate for the Citadel. You would have better luck posting this on a different site where it will be . . . ah . . . appreciated. Go to Comment
Replacing A Traitor.
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
Dossta's comment on 2012-12-05 10:12 PM
You're right, axle. I apologize for not articulating my objection to this clearly enough when posting my challenge. Let me try to correct that now.

First, the Citadel is a website billed as a resource for the game masters, and occasionally players, of role playing games. This ideal is enforced both by the submission categories (Lifeforms, Items, NPCs, etc) and by the overwhelming number of forum posts. My main objection to this piece is that it does NOT serve in this capacity. It isn't necessarily a bad story, but it isn't a gaming resource, either.

So the question is this: in what direction do we want the Citadel to grow? There are already lots of websites dedicated to posting original works of fiction, including short stories and novellas. Posting this on one of those sites would probably garner a lot more constructive feedback than it will here. After all, this has been out since April and hasn't received a single comment. We're just not set up to really critique this sort of piece, erotica or not.

My other concern is that, not only is Cheka failing to receive good feedback on this piece, he is possibly setting a bad precedent as well. While there is a story here, it is lost amidst the explicit and graphic wording of the sex scenes. This is erotica, plain and simple.

If he wants to leave a line open for Strolenites to follow his work, I would rather he post it somewhere else and leave a link back to it on one of his other articles. Go to Comment
Replacing A Traitor.
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
Dossta's comment on 2012-12-05 10:13 PM
P.S. I would highly recommend http://www.scribophile.com for posting fiction. They have an "adult" category as well. Go to Comment
Gems of the Underworld
Items  (Materials)   (Cursed)
Dossta's comment on 2013-05-19 01:31 PM
This is a wonderful building block submission -- the idea is simple, yet vivid enough that others could easily incorporate these gems into their own settings. I especially enjoyed the physical description of each stone, how each could be mistaken for a normal gemstone. The only thing I didn't like was the repeat effects you gave to several of the later ones -- Faridat, Paedero and Pirozeh for example all describe a generalized weakening of the mind, body and soul. If their effects are supposed to be noticeably different, it didn't come across in this piece. Still, that is only a very minor point -- this piece is still fantastic. Go to Comment
Janice Spencer
NPCs  (Minor)   (Combative)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-25 10:54 AM


This would fit so well into a Dresden Files game -- modern, yet mystical with more than a little tragedy to spice things up.  She's a beautifully designed NPC, well worthy of the 5/5.


Go to Comment
Janice Spencer
NPCs  (Minor)   (Combative)
Dossta's comment on 2012-06-20 01:32 PM
You know what? Janice deserves my patented Smashing Sub of the Day award. Have an HoH! Go to Comment
Escape From the Tower
Dungeons  (Other)   (Rooms/ Halls)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-27 10:52 PM
Update: Added "afterward" section, and cleared up the formatting a little. Go to Comment
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