Points well taken, Drack. I find it interesting, having grown up playing video games and only since midway through high school was even remotely interested in classic pen & paper games, that I rather try to cast video game characters in a pen & paper light. For example, when I first played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, before I even got through character creation I had written up a back story for my character. I chose skills and completed actions, not on what the metagaming strategic outcome would be on stats, but on what I thought the character would "do". This certainly isn't always the case (See the Diablo series), but it's how I normally tend to approach things.
Perhaps this is more of a reverse engineering way to do things: bring the creative sensibilities of classic RPGs into the video games of today. Not working in the industry, we have limited influence, of course. I remember back when we had a Commodore 64, RPG video games would come with cloth maps, artifacts, even dice. That was probably more due to technological limitations than creative effort, but the influence of pen & paper craft was still strong. In today's games that claim pen & paper roots (Neverwinter Nights of KotOR, for example, both drawing from d20 systems), the emphasis seems to be on increasing stats or directing your character toward two or three set results in a "stimulus-response" fashion. It's an improvement over hack-n-slash games like Diablo that, while sometimes having excellent and engaging stories, had little interaction in the storytelling. I hope that as technology improves, so will our interaction with games. Perhaps some time in the future, there won't be a distinction between video games & tabletop RPGs, and technological tools will break the chains that tie them to rote playthrough to be freed into the creativity and imagination of classic RPGs.
Bravo, sir! The ol' "Meats of Unsavory Sources" isn't a new plot, but you've breathed a wonderful life into it. A classic plot where the tale is truly in the telling, and you've told it well. Among other fine touches, the orcish naming ceremony was what did me in. Five blades for you, and a hearty welcome to the Citadel. Go to Comment
An extremely handy guide to have for any village one comes across. You've gotten the details just right: specific enough to give them personality, but vague enough to drop them into any game. Good show, Cheka. Go to Comment
Ha! I love it. Zythumancy turns any wizard into a potential barkeep, or vice versa. Although maybe not a primary skill for most, having a few zythumancy skills would be handy for any magic user worth her salt.
If I wanted anything more from the post, it would be a little more background. Are there zythumancer guilds? Any famous zythumancers besides Oleander? Does zythumancy differ from culture to culture? These are really just bonus details, because the post itself stands very well on its own. Well done. Go to Comment
19) Sour - A trick to play on opponents and for barkeeps to play on lousy customers, this turns a beverage excessively bitter, almost to the point of being unpalatable. It can clear a room fast, when needed.
20) Heady - A form of the Froth spell, this converts a liquid beer to be entirely froth. The volume of liquid remains the same, so this tends to cause mugs to overflow with foam.
21) Booze - An alchemical spell, this can modify a beverage's alcoholic content. When done well, it is subtle enough that the drinker does not notice the difference in taste.
22) Liquefy Bread - Beer is often called "liquid bread," something a few zythumancers have taken to heart. An advanced spell, Liquefy Bread turns a loaf of bread into a mug of beer. The taste and quality of the beer matches that of the bread. Only a few zythumancers have mastered this spell, the rest making either very mushy bread or thick, bad-tasting beer.
Items 6 to 8
6) Doublesip Mugs - Used by spendthrift barkeeps, this mug appears full at 3/4 of its actual volume. This brings patrons buying more drinks at less cost for the bar. They're known as "doublesips" because beer served in them seems to disappear twice as fast.
7) Hyperbolic Barrel - Brewing is an art that takes time, and time is often scarce. A hyperbolic barrel is enchanted to accelerate the passage of time within, allowing for booze to be brewed faster without damaging the quality of the flavors.
8) Tele-tap - Going all the way back to a keg isn't always convenient. The Tele-tap has two parts: one is attached to a keg, the other is carried on the user. Pressing the handle of the carried portion will pour beer just as if one were right in front of the keg. If the interior of the tap isn't alchemicaly silvered, however, the beer will take on a metallic taste during teleportation. Go to Comment
I like these kind of singular-purpose mechs, that serve basically only one purpose. This one is made to blast mechs from a distance and not do much else. It's very practical for the battlefield. I'm a fan. Go to Comment
I see this interesting little item abused by Mr. Gardener or perhaps by other lawmen. Short on farmers for this year's harvest? Black Jack's execution date just got bumped up. Need to finish building the new manor before his Majesty arrives? Some convenient evidence connects Scarface Jones to a recent murder.
That's to say, it's a great idea. I'd love to see it fleshed out more. How was it created? Who's this Solomon guy? All of Muro's questions could use some exploring as well.
I thus hold off my vote until you're able to hammer it out some more. But, as I said, a great start. Hope to see more from you! Go to Comment
It reminds me greatly of Soul Calibur-type swords that change to fit the wielder, only to betray them. I'd like to see a bit more from this post. Can't quite put my finger on what, but I feel like it lacks that certain je ne se qua. It's a solid start, though. Go to Comment
A simple patriot of his home city of Arga, he was captured during a war with a neighboring state. He did not go well, fighting bitterly against his newfound slavery. Now forced into hard labor by his captors, he is frequently beaten and abused because of his heritage (the two cities were rivals). He is planning vengence: many of Arga are in the camp of slaves, and he plans to led a rebellion against the tyrants that captured them.
Once a professor at the most prestigious of universities, she was captured by slavers en route to an important conference. After learning her identity, the slavers tripled her price (they had been trying to sell her as a flesh slave) and displayed her at the rich cities of the empire. She was purchased by a rich family and given the task of educating their four brats. Although more educated, she is treated less well than the Scribe, mostly due to the abrasive personality of her masters. She has quickly grown bored of teaching the uninterested children elementary knowledge and yearns for more challenging and intelligent conversation. Go to Comment
The scientific discussion is pretty interesting here, but more than that I like the idea of a simple ballistic weapon that can destroy solar systems. Brutally simple.
Supposing one had the proper technology, couldn't an asteroid belt be mined for sufficient minerals to create a Star Hammer? Or enough raw iron be created in some sort of fusion reaction of other, lighter elements? I ask as a pure amateur here; my working knowledge of advanced astrophysics is surpassingly light.
I'm cool with non-magical fruit, but exploring some more of the social construct of the fruit would be interesting. Recipes, old wives tales, the fruit as a symbol for something (health? safe journeys?), etc. It's the little things. Go to Comment