Love the physical description of the blade, and the baggage that comes with it. Perhaps the blade wasn't forged specifically for Quedoth, but was what he chose as his reward (which may be another source of anger for the merfolk). If it wasn't forged for him originally, I wonder who owned it in the past. I also like the idea of giving this thing sentience and having it act as a sort of "demonic other half" of your brain when you are in shark form.
Overall, a beautifully formatted sub for a well-thought out item. Go to Comment
You were right Moon -- these are a fascinating read. I preferred the flora to the fauna for some reason. Probably because the flora all had far more detailed physical descriptions. I loved the Shadow Wood and the Ivy Bloom especially.
One suggestion: I know you like to keep to the format, but I feel that the empty sections are just adding clutter to this sub. If there is nothing under Lore, Special Properties, Translation Quirks, etc, consider omitting that section entirely. I don't believe that the omission will confuse anyone, since you labeled those sections optional in the intro.
A good NPC write-up, if suffering from some awkward phrasing in places. This, for example, was particularly hard to follow:
"What he saw was the kid, the child one of his regulars who had drank himself to death only a week before, with a bit of black rope in one hand - the kid was shaking this like a snake - and a hand full of ashes - the kid threw this into the air between him and the horses."
If you have time, I suggest reading this piece aloud to catch the bits like that. It's surprisingly helpful!
Overall, I like the concept of a fraud who becomes the real deal. That was far, far cooler than someone who was an uber wizard from birth. Calypso still sounds a little like a Mary Sue, however. He's smart, and wise, and managed to gain entrance to a highly-exclusive social circle with very little effort. Where are his flaws? His vices? Besides becoming an orphan, has he ever failed at anything? Go to Comment
Alright, seems like a few edits for clarity are in order. I'll see if I can find a way to condense or present the information better, so that it is a little less distracting. Thanks for the feedback, guys! Go to Comment
Update: Corrected some typos, and tried to clarify the "dominant/submissive/diminishing" stuff a little. I also changed which spells are empowered by each of Sheng Ife's forms, based on feedback from Moonlake (and better logic!). Go to Comment
My original idea was to create a set of dual-elemental dragons. Fire/Ice, Metal/Poison and the like. But something about that wasn't quite right, so the idea lay dormant in the back of my mind. Then Moonlake published her Magic System Based on Fengshui, and I was presented with a set of 5 cycling elements that seemed perfect for the concept. If I combined them in pairs according to the Creative/Destructive cycles, I was left with 10 pairings that piqued my interest.
Next came the seed idea for the beasts. I looked for a set of 10 pre-existing mythical creatures to start with and found this. To my surprise (and delight) they were also Chinese in origin. I discarded their original names, appearances and stories and was left with a list of 10 common animals to use.
The third and final piece came when my mind connected Elbin's Planted Madness and his Seeds of Life and Decay with the concepts of Yin and Yang. Suddenly, I had two cycling creatures instead of 10 separate ones, connected by destiny. The rest of the sub sort of wrote itself from there.
The first graphic is a mashup of images from here and here. The picture for the EARTH/WOOD horse was created by Horsecricket over at deviantart, and the WOOD/FIRE cat was originally drawn for a webcomic called "Romantically Apocalyptic" (the artist is also found as alexiuss, also at deviantart).
Additional information on the Bagua formations and Wu Xing cycles was mostly pulled from here: here and here, though additional sources were used. Go to Comment
Reads more like a short story than a game piece, but that's definitely not a bad thing! I found myself becoming absorbed in the development of this unique species. The intro was a little long, but not boring.
As for the bird itself, the descriptions are evocative and the effect unique, but I'm not entirely sure it's plausible. How much force would a corpse have to explode with to kill nearby enemies in armor? Where is that energy coming from (It seems like the raven is "putting" energy into the corpse, not "pulling" it). Does the raven subsist on this same font of energy, or does it need actual flesh and blood? If so, how can it possibly get anything to eat if its food source inevitably blows up?
Its intelligence also seems a little high. Why would it be concerned with things like "bigger returns" from exploding an arm mid-air? Does the bird have an intense desire to kill?
My suggestion would be to somewhat tone down the birds' power. Perhaps a corpse only has a one-in-three chance of exploding, or the raven has to intentionally trigger an explosion once it has stored up enough energy from eating other corpses. Maybe they can only explode every third or so corpse this way. Something like that.
This is so well-written that it's still getting high-marks from me, "fuzzy magic" aside. Glad you finally released it. Go to Comment
I will never get tired of reading your stuff, Scras. If you aren't already published, please let us know when the Cosmic Era-based book comes out. Seriously. No suggestions, other than to rework the last line in the intro ("Its amazing that no employer can take a girl with candy pink hair seriously . . ."). Not sure "amazing" is the right word to use there. Go to Comment
Nice extra detail! One more question, while I'm thinking of it: will piling all of your gold in one corner count as one "source" of gold, or as many? Having 3 gold coins in a pouch together seems like it should only count as one source, but that's just my opinion. Go to Comment
Alright, this is very very cool. Can you imagine a world in which this was possible? Witnesses to crimes would no longer have to describe their attackers to artists, people who don't speak the same language could communicate much more easily and maps/battle strategies could be issued without any noise at all. There are probably hundreds more uses for this stuff. I imagine that a world blessed with this weed would undergo an artistic renaissance as people discovered new ways to communicate artistic visions with each other. Hell, there would probably be a whole spin-off performance art based around it.
I like the drawbacks and the secondary effect is also full of possibilities. Well done! Go to Comment
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
Many games draw moral lines in bold colors, where the real world is not so easy to categorize. Suppose that the player characters are faced with an overwhelming foe? Even unsavory allies such as orcish barbarians may be better than no allies at all. More disturbing, these allies may be honestly friendly to the PCs when all is done, overcoming barriers of race and religion. Will the PCs remain friendly with the bloodthirsty humanoid tribesmen when their mutual foes are defeated? Some would expect the tribes to betray them, but after the characters have honestly won their respect, even orcs may not be all bad.