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
A solid approach to a topic that is discussed far too infrequently. I have actually done the "give XP for solving the situation diplomatically instead of through combat" gambit -- the same amount I would have given the party had they elected to kill everyone in the room, in fact.
The problem comes after: now that they've got the XP for talking, what happens if they turn around and slaughter everyone? My group was openly contemplating this as a way of getting double XP. In that instance, I informed them that they wouldn't get any additional experience for killing an enemy they had already negotiated with, but I wonder if I should have gone farther. Maybe I should have penalized them XP if they tried. I really don't know. Go to Comment
It's a bit dry, but the concept is alright. A religion in which you essentially worship your future god-self could be an interesting thing to roleplay, and is certainly unique.
As for their relations with non-human races, I think it would vary between species. It could certainly be argued that elves, who are functionally immortal in many settings, *are* their god selves already, experiencing eternity within a physical body. Dwarves, on the other hand, having sprung straight from the stone, may not be considered alive at all. It's an interesting worldview. Go to Comment
I agree -- Lana is tragically beautiful, and a great source of plot hooks for the party. Escaped Lanas are probably rare, but could make for interesting NPCs.
As for the wings themselves, I love the thought that went into these! The mechanics, biology and social implications were all touched on and dealt with credibly. And an NPC with scabbed feathers -- possibly a fallen-from-grace celebrity now working on the streets -- is a very cool image.
With the title, I was kinda hoping that this would be a Quest submission. I know that religion isn't a big part of the Cosmic Era, but I refuse to believe that faith could die off entirely -- there will always be some holdouts. It would be really cool to hear a little about how religions/cults function in your setting. Go to Comment
Since that is a dual religion, I'd probably develop a second competing cult around the same theme (rooting out lies and heresy), but have them act more like paper vigilantes. Instead of merely informing law enforcement, they would spread the sinner's name around town -- putting up fliers that list their name, address, close family and a full list of their crimes. Kinda like a form of reputation assassination.
This is spawning lots of cool ideas. Thanks for writing this!
What do you mean, they're not useful? I can think of a hundred ways to use this cult -- the party could be invited to join, or already be members; they could even be working with someone in law enforcement who has contacts in this cult. The party could be infiltrating a group, only to find a Silver Tongue already on the inside, getting ready to blow the whistle. They could even be hired by the Silver Tongues to rescue several of their members who were caught. The possibilities are nearly limitless. Go to Comment
Another highly atmospheric, thought-provoking piece, axle. I definitely agree with caesar here -- adding a small blurb to the end, even as a quote box, to give us more of the nitty-gritty would be very welcome. At the end, I was left wondering if the Truth Cult had actually managed to scramble Emanuel's brain, or if that was just a side effect of being tired.
Either way, I love these bird-people, and love the premise. I don't use SciFi settings nearly often enough, but I might take the idea for the cult whole-cloth and try to apply it to a fantasy race or even to a human population. They dynamics would change somewhat, but I think it would be cool to see. Go to Comment
I don't expect everyone to like my ideas, but when someone says that I "lost them after a few paragraphs" I get a little concerned. Do you mean that you didn't finish reading the piece because it was too confusing? Too boring? I can tighten up the prose, but I need to know exactly what went wrong before I can fix it.
Well, if it's just length there's not much I want to change. I may tighten it a little, but most of my subs are in this ballpark (some longer, some shorter).
As for whether it's supposed to be taken seriously, that's completely up to the GM. :P These guys could be pretty dangerous, given their mindset. The Players themselves would probably be a mix between the true believers and the people just in it for shits and giggles (and drugs, excitement, etc). Go to Comment
You clearly have a fully-fledged character concept in your head, which is the first step. Now you need to help us "get" this character in the same way that you do. Role-playing games are all about personalities, and the Game Master needs a little more information to be able to play the part of Specialist Snow convincingly.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Take a look at some of the higher rated NPCs on this site, to get an idea of what Strolenites look for in a character. Another source of potential inspiration is this excerpt from Masks -- an RPG resource that focuses entirely on NPC snapshots.
2. Rewrite this, keeping in mind what you have just read. It doesn't have to be long -- you can treat this as a slightly longer piece of flash fiction. If you like, you could keep the headings you already have (Family, Profession, Personality, etc) and write a short paragraph giving us the same information, but in a way that really evokes his character. Remember the cardinal rule of writing applies here, too: show, don't tell.
3. Keep it up! Posting on the Citadel can be a bit intimidating at first, but we're always thrilled to see work from new authors. Looking forward to seeing what you do with this piece. Go to Comment
A truly entertaining little short story. Your voice is consistent and amusing, and the whole premise made me laugh. I can't really see using this in a game (as you have already written the ending, and I see few places for a party to interact with the storyline), but perhaps the action could be picked up by a GM sometime after Hope and Othnarios go about doing their dastardly deeds. Well done! Go to Comment
Alright, it's obvious you put some effort and thought into this sub. The best thing you can do now is really clean it up, to make the information more accessible to other people. The mythology at the beginning is nice flavor text, but is somewhat hard to read in one big chunk. You may consider breaking that down into separate paragraphs and putting it all in a block quote, since it's not really part of the main idea. I'm not sure the bit about the prophecy adds anything to this piece, as it doesn't help describe the city or any of its residents.
Which brings me to the location itself. A wall composed entirely of living creatures is a very creepy image indeed. The whole place has a sort of apocalyptic nightmare vibe to it that could be interesting to play with. I would also break this up into smaller chunks to make it easier to read, but the idea seems pretty solid. Go to Comment
This is a very solid, very "real" take on the classic pit-under-the-pub. You put in enough detail to make this place solidly imaginable, and I loved the plot hook where you have the different party members fight each other. What a great way to spark a rivalry (or fulfil an existing one)! Go to Comment
A nice piece of writing, that could be expanded into a full setting sub with a little work. Has humanity grown desperate enough to send explorers through wormholes and discovered entirely new dimensions? Is there life there, or is the question still unanswered? Go to Comment
If Firewater can't transfer its heat to incombustible materials, it would be pretty useless for forging things with, though I'm sure an adventuring party could find a dozen deadly uses for it in no time flat. Can it be reheated once it has cooled down?
I also really liked "Instant Trolls" (the name made me laugh), and the Transformifier, as the effects aren't permanent. That would be one way to introduce a little of the drama of a "Deck of Many Things" without permanently altering someone's precious PC. It's a potential gold mine for RP-oriented players. Go to Comment