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Escape From the Tower
Dungeons  (Other)   (Rooms/ Halls)
Dossta's comment on 2012-06-11 05:15 PM

Notes from running the dungeon with my group:


Exploit 1: The Cure was intended to be a way to force the party into a confrontation with the Beast on its terms. Instead, the party decided to grab a random selection of every plant out there that looked as if it could be ready to bloom, and plant them in pots within the Servant's Quarters, in the hopes of foiling the "flower that only blooms at night" ploy.


Exploit 2: Spell components. Because it was a wizard's tower, the party alchemist was able to find ingredients for almost anything, including sleeping potion (which could be used on the gryphons and even the Cat).


Things I wish I had done differently:


Wish I had included more opportunities for combat. The adventure was intended to provide a way around almost all combat, and that's fine, but it would be good to include a list of optional combat encounters that the GM could throw at his/her players if things start to lag.


Here are some ideas:



  • A rival faction of escaped prisoners, intent on stealing the party resources

  • A few of the wizard's other experiments (unatural horrors, mechanical sentries, sentient plants, talking animals, summoned demons or elementals, etc).


I could also have included a few more non-combat disasters. What things could go wrong or out of control without the wizard's direct oversight? Automated tower responses are a rich area that I didn't get a chance to explore.


I needed a better mechanism for deciding when the clock would chime. Probably rolling a die every 10 minutes?


Finally, more thought should be given to the werewolf's behaviour during the day. I think it would generally refuse to go outside, but what if the alarm goes off in the Wizard's Quarters? What if the party flees outside into the daylight? Who knows how a werewolf would react in those situations?

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Deepbend Maximum Security Prison
Locations  (Fortification)   (Water)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-20 10:56 AM


This is a good start.  When reading this, I thought of about a dozen questions that I would want answered if I was a PC in this environment.  Here are a few:



1. Emergency procedures.  What happens in the event of a natural disaster, hull breach etc?  Are the prisoners left to drown, or would there be an opportunity to escape?



2. The elevator can't really be the only way to move between levels, right?  Otherwise, what happens when the power goes out?



3. If 5 of the maximum security cells are occupied, it'd be neat to have a list of those inmates' names and what they were in for.  Are they gang leaders?  I bet there are lots of stories/legends circulating about them on the prison floor, so having that info would be nice.


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30 Gifts of the Merpeople
Items  (Other)   (Combat)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-26 11:16 AM


To be honest, you lost me at "Mermaid Nookie".  Some of these items are quite creative, especially in the weapons section, but most are pretty average.  The gifts of "gold coins" or "caviar", for example, would probably already be on most GMs' minds, and so they add little to this sub.  Try to focus on creating more unique gifts -- like the fresh water pearl or the dolphin mounts.  Things that other people wouldn't immediately think of.



P.S. Suggesting Enya's music for the mermaid concert was a great call.


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Bucket of Waterbreathing
Items  (Tools)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-24 11:02 AM


We should have more magic items like this in the Citadel -- simple, amusing, and of a reasonable power level for lowbies.  I can already imagine some of the things my group would try to do with it.  Great quest sub!


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The Sea of Snot
Locations  (Area)   (Water)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-18 03:10 PM
Update: Fixed link to the Organi (thanks, Muro) Go to Comment
The Sea of Snot
Locations  (Area)   (Water)
Dossta's comment on 2012-05-25 06:26 PM
Thanks! I probably did more research for this sub than most -- I needed to find out what exactly it would take to swim in "goop", which would directly affect what kind of beasties you'd find in there. Turns out that there is a surprising amount of research on swimming in syrup, and that it's a relatively common physics puzzle. Who knew? Go to Comment
The Sea of Snot
Locations  (Area)   (Water)
Dossta's comment on 2012-09-10 11:46 AM
Sure, go nuts! Go to Comment
Cecaelia
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Water)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-24 10:04 AM


Agreed, this is a great write-up and an entertaining read (though most of your subs are).  Not that I'm complaining, really, but would merfolk of any kind really have breasts?  Perhaps the dolphinkind (being mammals) would, but it just struck me that the greentails and the Cecaelias probably have no need for them.


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Lojcrelt's Lojcreltians
Lifeforms  (Ethereal)   (Water)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-18 04:08 PM


I simply loved this piece.  The writing, the atmosphere -- it really makes me want to use it one day.  I can imagine a religion springing up around Lojcrelt, some sort of "cult of the universe" whose sages seek an audience with the Wisdom.  Too bad it sounds like they'd never return after achieving enlightenment.  Overall, a Teller's Stone sounds like a worthy quest goal and provides plenty of motivation to seek it out.  Once again, I tip my hat to you, sir!


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Gibraltar Submarine Naval Yards
Locations  (Fortification)   (Water)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-20 10:24 AM


I like the fact that there are two levels effectively named "Complex 2" -- the real one and the secret one.  Would make it kinda hard to communicate with others who knew about both, though.  "I'm heading on over to Complex 2" vs "I'm heading on over to Complex 2 *significant look*. . . *eyebrow waggle*. . ."


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Davy Jones Lockdown
Locations  (Fortification)   (Water)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-23 01:29 PM


Just about perfect in every way.  I would love to use this prison one day.  The only thing that bothers me is the fact that this is a co-ed prison -- I'd assume that only the most dangerous prisoners would be sent down to Davy Jone's Lockdown, so I would question the ability of the prison guards to keep the female prisoners' quarters inviolate.  Still, this is for a fantasy game, so it doesn't have to be entirely believable.



Really, truly well done! 5/5


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The One Beneath the Waves
NPCs  (Scenario Based)   (Natural)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-18 03:25 PM


I also greatly enjoyed the feeling of this piece -- you did a great job of putting the creature's suffering into words.  If you added just a few more things, however, this could easily go from being a good sub to a great one:



Plot hooks -- why would anyone want to go to this world?  Are they biologists, intent on studying the unique life here?  Were they forced to make an emergency stop for supplies or due to a ship malfunction?  Is the All trying to reestablish contact with this child through intermediaries?



Other means of escape -- wrestling free through brute force is unlikely, which forces the party to reason with a semi-insane godlike being.  Having no other way out (other than to dance to its whims) might annoy your gamers.  Can it be tricked?  Does it have a hidden weakness that they can exploit?  Give us some options, please.


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A slight problem with Hell
Plots  (Travel)   (Encounter)
Dossta's comment on 2012-04-12 11:06 AM


Possibility 4: The demon is after the players themselves, and is trying to con them into killing an innocent man.  Then he can rile the town and possibly the whole area against them.  If the party includes a paladin, expect there to be repercussions for spilling innocent blood -- and that of a priest, no less!  For more intrigue, give the demon some accomplices in the village or in the mission itself.  Perhaps a frier who stands to gain a promotion if he can frame the priest for various misdeeds.


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Peculiar Flask of Ever-Changing Oddities
Items  (Potion)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2012-06-27 11:54 AM
I enjoyed reading this one. The item has a very solid write-up, with a unique description and backstory. I could easily describe this to my players, and the list of random effects is pretty fresh. I did see a few old favorites in there (the victim changes color), but some were very unique (I loved #40!). Well done. Go to Comment
Corran's Scribe
Items  (Tools)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2012-02-09 01:25 PM
I agree with much of what axle said, and would love the scribe to be given a little more personality as well. You said it adds footnotes. What about making the scribe automatically correct/clarify everything that Corran dictates? For example, Corran may dictate that the fish was "over a meter long!" and the scribe will add a footnote with the actual (diminutive) length of the fish. After all, it is the duty of the scribe to preserve the factual account for future generations of researchers, yes? Go to Comment
Corran's Scribe
Items  (Tools)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2013-04-04 11:15 AM
Surprised I didn't vote on this before. I can't remember the original article as well, but as it stands now it is tight and well-formatted. Love the footnotes!

Perhaps the Scribe can be used by others once Corran passes away, but would have to take the place of a familiar or something similar. And once removed from Corran's guidance, perhaps it can be a little more autonomous as well. It may prove an invaluable aid in research if it can "remember" facts from a previous owner's work, and could even work as a translator in a pinch ("Look, I'll just think of what I want to say to the foreign magus and you'll take care of the details. Right?"). Go to Comment
30 Steampunk Books
Items  (Books and Scrolls)   (Non-Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2013-05-04 11:09 PM
I like this sort of list -- the kind that you never realize you need until far too late to plan for it. I wouldn't even have thought to look for a "30 tomes" backup list when running a Steampunk game. Glad that you've got it covered, in case I ever do. (Loved "SparkPunk" stuff). Go to Comment
Sivvers
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Space)
Dossta's comment on 2013-06-17 04:45 PM
Definitely well done -- glad I finally had a chance to give this one a read. I personally enjoyed the informative part of the article far more than the combat and research logs later on. That was probably because they used a lot of words to repeat information you'd already given. If you shortened that section and tightened up the narratives a little, it would be a stronger piece.

That's a pretty minor nitpick, though. I loved the evolution of these guys, the different approaches you thought of for treating them, and the intriguing possibility for them to gain sentience. Well done, sir! Go to Comment
Ve'laan
Items  (Materials)   (Non-Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2013-07-05 04:05 PM
Does any moisture work, or must it be clear water? I can see one of these weapons used regularly by a warrior or a cultist, kept potent by the daily bathing in blood. Go to Comment
The Arcology
Locations  (City)   (Any)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-29 03:56 PM


I don't give many 5s, but this is a truly detailed and deserving sub.  The only problem I have is with actually envisioning the sheer size of one of these things.  You say that an arco covers several square miles of territory and then just builds up, but I'd like to know how far up.  100 stories?  1000?  This is not intended as criticism -- just as a request for some visual aid to help me get this into my head.



Oh and light!  If we're talking about a city-sized infrastructure packed into such a small space, I really wonder how they'd handle the lighting situation.  Perhaps they'd leave a few "open-air" columns to act as interior skylights for parts of the arco?  I'm guessing they'd try to use natural light to the maximum extent possible, but even mirrors and skylights can only do so much for the interior parts of the building.



If you were to add anything else to the sub, I hope it would be just a little descriptive flavor text to fuel the imagination.  I really hope that you expand on this idea, and I'm seriously considering designing and submitting an arco of my own.  Makes me wish we'd finished that other forum game.


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