Strolen\s Citadel content. 
The Arcology
Locations  (City)   (Any)
Dossta's comment on 2012-02-10 03:21 PM


Just found an article on a sort of "vertical forest" residential complex that is being built in Italy.  The photos are fantastic, and I could see the outside of an arcology being planted similarly.



http://www.amusingplanet.com/2011/11/bosco-verticale-worlds-first-vertical.html


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The Staff of Seven Snakes
Items  (Wand/Staff/ Arcane)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-30 11:43 AM
I'm planning on expanding the "Kingdom of Seven Princes" sub to provide biographies of each King and to better link the lore together. I might do it in short-story format, but I haven't decided yet. To try to answer your questions:

The intelligence of the summons was always there, from the moment of the Staff's creation. Linus came to rely heavily on the advice and council of the various snakes of his staff, especially when the rift between him and his brothers began to grow. Obviously not a sound idea -- enigmatic magical beings are a poor substitute for one's own family or friends in times of mental distress.

Linus became increasingly paranoid during this time, and it was he himself who began to decouple the Staff from the other King's Items. He was a master of the arcane arts, after all; tinkering with his own item was well within his abilities. The Staff did not deactivate for him before he was through because he never really abandoned his Cause -- he truly believed that he was working for the good of Adelheim, by securing his own power so that he could continue to lead in the event of his brothers' betrayal.

Once the summoned snakes began to be fed sacrifices in return for their services, however, their demeanor immediately changed. They enjoyed the change and wanted to encourage it. The unintended consequence of unlinking the Staff from the other items, therefore, was to provide the snakes with motivation to keep that distance; hence, the desire of the various snakes to cause strive within the fellowship even where none exists before. If they are successful, they get "paid" for the services that they otherwise have to render for free.

Not sure if that was entirely clear, but I'll try to work it into the sub itself when I have time. Thanks for your thoughtful comments and suggestions on many of the items in this series. Go to Comment
The Staff of Seven Snakes
Items  (Wand/Staff/ Arcane)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2012-07-06 04:02 PM
Fair enough. The "Cause" is kind of nebulous, since it will be different for every group. Basically, it is a sort of sworn pact all the bearers must follow. It can be anything from "We shall defend the city of Valyria" to "We shall avenge our people by destroying the Empire and its army." In this case, each prince swore to serve the kingdom to the best of his abilities and to support his brothers in doing the same. Go to Comment
The Staff of Seven Snakes
Items  (Wand/Staff/ Arcane)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2013-04-19 12:10 PM
I'm glad you got a chance to use it in-game. Seriously made my day to hear about it, so thanks for posting back :D Go to Comment
Kingmaker
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Campaign Defining)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-13 03:05 PM


A blade that increases your charisma and political savvy would be very useful indeed, though I imagine that the owner would try to hide the source of his newfound fortune from other potential hosts if he knew.  The victim would probably begin to suspect that there was something special about the day he got the blade, and might begin to consider it a lucky talisman of sorts.  Those suspicions would only be confirmed when Kingmaker passes on to a new host.



For those reasons, I don't believe that Kingmaker would be very successful in his quest to find more and more powerful hosts.  The previous ones would be desperate to get the blade back, and would use what influence they had left to that end.  Of course, Kingmaker could hide his appearance at that point so that he won't be recognized, but I'm not sure if that helps.



One question: when you say that Kingmaker changes appearance, do you mean that it physically alters itself into, say, an axe?  Or does it use illusion?  I ask because you say it tries to make itself appealing to new hosts even while in the possession of another person.  Wouldn't the current host notice that his jeweled dagger was suddenly a war axe?



Overall though, an intriguing blade.  I'd love to put this into the hands of a PC's most hated rival, then make the player watch as the rival was vaulted to power.  This is an interesting series of items, and I hope you continue them.


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Everlasting Chalk
Items  (Tools)   (Non-Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-12 03:24 PM


Brilliant!  I would love to see a quest where a party of newbies is convinced to become partners in this sort of "business venture."  Their sponsor gives them a sample of the *very expensive* chalk, talks up the potential market value of the product, and strokes their egos a little.  He then has them sign a contract as harvesters, and gives them vague directions to the nearest source.  When they arrive, their contact in the area explains exactly what they are supposed to do. . . and reminds them of the severance agreement in the contract they signed if they refuse to go through with collecting these things.


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The Tribulations of the land of Kremik
Locations  (Country/ State)   (Other)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-12 12:59 PM


The Charter: a contract that was signed by all of the original settlers to Kremik.  It formed the basis of Kremik's various legal systems and provided several important unifying ideals that withstood the upheavals.  However, it was also at the heart of the original dispute which caused the formation of the three original nations.  Each of the three factions interpreted various key sections of The Charter differently, and their inability to resolve those differences led to the ships parting ways.



Potentially divisive provisions (need more here):




  • The Charter binds not only the original settlers who signed it, but all of their future descendants as well


  • The Charter codifies sins and virtues



Attitudes towards and influence of The Charter:



First generation settlers had all signed it personally before being put into cryosleep for the long journey to Kremik, and were faily well-versed in it.  They would be the most ardent defenders of their faction's viewpoint.



Later Kremikian nations would either discard The Charter entirely, twist or pervert its intentions, or cleave to it in an attempt to claim the moral high ground.

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The Horn of Seven Seals
Items  (Art and Music)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-06 03:04 PM


Just one more to go after this.  I know that I didn't get them done in time for the Quest, but I still want to use the same format to keep them all consistent.


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The Horn of Seven Seals
Items  (Art and Music)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-07 08:55 AM
Funny you should ask that. I'm developing the history of Adelheim as I go along, and so far I believe that he was the second. I'll cover that a little more in the last item, if I decide to go in that direction.

One note: the Kings' Items aren't inherently good or evil; they can be pledged to any cause under the sun. In the original case, the brothers had pledged to "protect the people of Adelheim" when they first received the items, but they could just as easily have pledged to "find a path to immortality" or "destroy the Royal House of Kremika and reclaim their ancestral lands." The GM should therefore use discretion when allowing the players to pick their cause -- it shouldn't be too broad that the players could never be tempted to go back on their word. Ideally, it will be a quest related to the overarching campaign.

And also, aside from the Skald, none of the items are really sentient. They just have a general sense of whether they are being used for the Cause, and whether or not any of the other Kings' Items have been pledged to that same Cause. It's very possible to have two (or more) competing groups who have each claimed several of the items, and desire to find the others in order to unlock their full powers. Go to Comment
The Horn of Seven Seals
Items  (Art and Music)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-07 09:02 AM
Thanks for that -- it's always great to get positive feedback on something I'm working on. :)

I could use a little help, though, with choosing an appropriate name for the set. "Kings' Items" or "Artifacts" was never intended to be the final name, but I had to get something on paper. If you or anyone else has a good suggestion, please let me know! Go to Comment
Of Summons
Systems  (Mystical)   (Specific)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-07 05:32 PM


While I like the basic premise, this system doesn't hold much that inspires me to use it. 



The good: When compared to D&D, it definitely condenses things and offers a tiered system that is better for "rules lite" games.  I appreciate the distinction you are trying to make between mundane summons and epic summons, and agree that summoning should be generally more awesome.  I also like the stability mechanic as a way of restricting their power.



The "bad": I guess I would just like to see the system fleshed out a little more.  Exactly how does one perform a summoning?  Are there any materials/preparations that are needed?  How common is this sort of magic?  Is there any agreement that has to be reached with a particular being before you can attempt to summon it?



Other thoughts: Given the power of level 4 and 5 summons, I would almost expect that an entire group of seers/casters would be required to bring them forth and maintain their stability.  I'm also a little concerned about the sheer amount of power that you give in immunities, but I guess that I can see the reasons for doing so.



 


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Of Summons
Systems  (Mystical)   (Specific)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-08 04:44 PM
Now that I understand the intent of the system, I can appreciate its simplicity. In light of your reply, I'll plan on re-voting once the database is no longer broken.

The crystal idea is neat, by the way, and provides enough of a disadvantage to summoning (the character must carry around a large-ass, possibly fragile piece of equipment) that it satisfies my inner concerns.

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Of Summons
Systems  (Mystical)   (Specific)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-12 12:32 PM


Revoting to reflect new information.


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Chirotar
NPCs  (Major)   (Travelers)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-06 05:25 PM


I agree with dark_dragon -- this is both interesting and useful.  One minor quibble is that this is more of a write-up on an entire people than an individual, so the NPC tag is a miscategorization.  If I was looking for a unique alien race to add to my campaign, I probably wouldn't be able to find this one.


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Just Jane
NPCs  (Minor)   (Artistic/Performance)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-06 04:58 PM


At first I was expecting this to be a revenge-centered character, assuming that "Just Jane" would be a play on words (justice, honor, etc).  While I agree that her motivations now could be made a little clearer, I enjoyed the write-up as always.


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Cogtorch
Items  (Tools)   (Non-Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-06 04:35 PM


Steampunk flashlight.  Good for flavor, and provides a good occasional distraction (as the engineer has to pause to rewind his cogtorch).


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The Skald of Seven Shapes
Items  (Other)   (Sentient)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-02 05:12 PM


This item was inspired a great deal by Masterharper Robinton from Anne McCaffery's Dragonriders of Pern series.  If placing this into a game, I'd highly recommend reading a few of the Harper Hall books to get a sense for his personality.


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The Skald of Seven Shapes
Items  (Other)   (Sentient)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-06 03:02 PM
I agree that this would make a good introductory item to the King's set. The Skald knows a great deal about what happened between the brothers (possibly the characters' ancestors), though it may be reluctant to relive old wounds. Go to Comment
The Crown of Seven Swords
Items  (Jewelry)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2011-12-02 12:39 AM


I will admit that I wasn't really thinking about balance when designing these items -- it would indeed be foolhardy to give the party anything with this much power straight up. However, that's the whole point of the set really. Even if the party manages to recover 3-4 after years worth of effort, they still will not have access to the full powers of each artifact. Since most gaming groups have fewer than seven players, they would also have to find some trustworthy NPCs to wield the remainder if they ever wanted to unlock the full potential of the Seven.



On the other hand, a group which has collected several of these would be strongly motivated to cooperate. I *think* that the price of betrayal -- losing most of their item's power and suffering additional ill effects -- is high enough, but more penalties can always be added by the GM. I never considered that the party might be motivated to recover these for someone other than themselves, but I like really your campaign idea. Thank you for the constructive feedback, and I hope that you enjoy the last three artifacts as well. :)

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Gailerust's Grand Gauntlet
Items  (Armor)   (Magical)
Dossta's comment on 2011-11-30 05:53 PM


I'm a bit hazy on the distinction between "effective vs. actual" strength part, but liked the gauntlets overall.  The lore section was especially well done.


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