Strolen\s Citadel content. 
Stuffy Dinner Party Guests
NPCs  (Major)   (Political)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-03-01 08:15 PM


Count Hobran, the Reaver



A minor noble from up north, Hobran has been invited because the king wishes to get on his good side. Anything to stop the raids! As such, despite his low station, it is important that Hobran be seated in a position of dignity. But don't put him close to anyone who would be offended by his relatively low rank!



Erasmus Clay



Ever since Clay was awarded his title last summer, His Majesty has had his eye on the young adventurer. He wants Clay seated next to one of his eligible female relatives, in the hope of binding the ambitious young man to the kingdom. Like Hobran, Clay shouldn't be seated near anyone who would object to the presence of the lower classes, and he probably shouldn't be seated near Hobran himself, either. The two have history. On the other hand, they might get along well in person.


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Turtle Lotus
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Water)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-02-10 02:18 PM


Wow, this is a good one, and is just the sort of thing I was hoping for with Exotic Mount. I think that the visual here is pretty neat - who can complain about people riding around on swimming flowers? I also like how you've worked the flower heavily into the monks' lives, outside of just a means of transport. I can really imagine this a part of some big, fantastic painting.



Job's a good 'un.



(On that note, though, I don't deserve any credit at all for this - I did nothing more than suggest what I hoped was an inspirational freetext).


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Hemangini Tree
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Any)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-01-25 09:15 PM


This is a neat one.



"Yeah, that tree drops silver acorns. has for years."



The old mine's gone dry, and nobody knows that the reason is that one of these has grown in over top of it. Find the reason before the village dies!



In order to make a staff to detect gold, attach the tooth of a dragon to a staff of Hemangini wood, hewn from the tree by a beardless dwarf.


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The Red Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Plains)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-01-11 08:59 PM


I can only agree with the others - the imagery here is quite good. The whole thing does a great job of feeling weird. Who made all those bricks? What kind of people would have built a city like this? Why? Lots of interesting stuff here.


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The Glade
Society/ Organizations  (Mystical)   (Local)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-01-11 08:56 PM


I think this is a good one - there are a lot of adventure hooks that could come out of it. I could imagine them being behind all sorts of crime, from kidnappings, to abducting criminals from prisons (technically still kidnapping, I guess), sexual slavery, etc. Nicely monstrous. I like it.


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Rockytop Freehold
Locations  (Fortification)   (Mountains)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-01-11 08:50 PM


I kind of agree with the others that this post is a bit generic, though I like the detailed bits. Specifically, instead of this: "local festivals, grain spirits, and hunting traditions," I would have preferred one specific such example: "the druidic feasts and white stag hunt" or whatever. Similarly with the sentence about the magic spell. The cabbage soup bit is nice, though, so I at least leave satisfied.


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Power Fist
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Combat)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-01-11 08:44 PM


If Power Fists were a novel concept, this would be a fine post. As it is, though, the Power Fist isn't really a concept that needs a brief write-up, and that leaves this post a bit weak. Other than that great picture, I don't really feel like I got anything out of this submission.


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Hacienda Solfatara
Locations  (City)   (Desert)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-01-01 12:46 AM


I rather like this one. Wizards in fantasy always seem to be partaking in assorted drugs, pretty girls, and other worldly pleasures, and given the expansion of magic in most fantasy games, I think that this is a good expansion of that. I think it would be an easy place to insert into the average campaign, and I can imagine using it in a 'School of Magic' sort of game in addition to more traditional fantasy.



My only gripe is the organization. I think it would have been nice to have some sort of description of the resort aspects near the beginning, because that seems like the most important part.



Also, 2003 was a year before you showed up? I apparently showed up in '05, and it seemed like you already had a bajillion posts when I got here.


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The Staff of Seven Snakes
Items  (Wand/Staff/ Arcane)   (Magical)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-07-06 02:53 PM
Very nice. The Staff could work nicely on its own or as part of the set, and the powers mean you can put it in the hands of anyone - not too benevolent or malevolent. I could definitely imagine using this. In fact, maybe I will.... If I can fit it into my game, I'll report back.

One problem I do have, minor though it is, is that you talk about powers being linked to a Cause, but that is not described either here or in what I take to be the main submission (The Kingdom of Seven Princes). And I'm not willing to look through six other submissions to hunt it down. It's not that important to this item, though, so not a big deal, just a little nitpick. Go to Comment
The Staff of Seven Snakes
Items  (Wand/Staff/ Arcane)   (Magical)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2013-04-17 05:59 PM
As mentioned, I did indeed use this submission: brought it in as a malevolent magic item in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer game. I thought it worked pretty well, though I did have to rather dramatically alter the lore to make it work.

Still, the powers here are good and dramatic - giant snakes, assassin snakes, tempters, hypnosis, protection - all the stuff you want your villain types to have. Laurang can serve as kind of a nice boss, and Apophis as a solid introduction of sorts. The staff is definitely a neat item - it lends itself to being used stylishly, and it's kind of fun to describe.

On the other hand, using it this way kind of diminished Abraxas's ability to spread discord, even letting him talk without being specifically asked questions, so I not certain that I got the most out of it.

Still, lent itself to a good time. Go to Comment
Random Castle History Tables
Locations  (Fortification)   (Any)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2011-12-23 09:17 AM
I was a bit torn up about including those. From the standpoint of creating an interesting history, you're right, they're no good. But from the standpoint of creating a historical record, which can be compared against an external timeline, it seems useful to have the potential for quiet periods. If nothing happened at a castle during the Thirty Years War, that could be historically noteworthy in-and-of itself.

In my experience, it doesn't come up very often, so, barring rolling it for a particularly short-lived castle, it doesn't present much of a problem.

A better way of doing it might have been to somehow randomize the time between rolls. Go to Comment
Random Castle History Tables
Locations  (Fortification)   (Any)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2011-12-23 10:34 PM
There are two problems with making it into a generator:

First, the Key Characteristics bit requires frequent creative input from the generator. While it can totally be done without that bit, using key Characteristics makes for far more interesting castles.

Secondly, and more importantly, I don't know how to program in Java or Flash or anything useful for an online random generator. If somebody else wants to convert it, I say go for it, but it's beyond me. Go to Comment
Random Castle History Tables
Locations  (Fortification)   (Any)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-05-26 01:21 PM
Sort of. There is no Key Characteristic chart, because it's intended for you to add your own as you go, as a way of connecting events over the castle's timeline, defining a starting situation for the castle, and adding elements of your own setting.

If there was a chart, and it had something like orcs on it, then it would be less useful for a castle built on Earth, or in a setting where there are no orcs. Go to Comment
The Walls of Brightblade Keep
Locations  (City)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2011-12-16 10:07 AM


I like it - it's an interesting "impenetrable fortress" that could be good as a major feature of a campaign world. I kind of agree with Agar in that it's a bit hard to imagine how the players would really interact with the castle. Your response to his comment is a great example, and sounds like a good plot arc, but I would have liked a few more plot hooks, I guess.


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Anaszti, Hands of the Blood God
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Any)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2011-12-10 02:28 PM


I feel like this post is sort of aimed wrong. The most interesting parts of the submission are the backstory and the "pyramid scheme of blood," to quote EchoMirage. But I feel like both of those are sort of neglected in order to focus on the less important business of describing a vampire's powers. Since these guys aren't too different from normal vampires with regards to their abilities, I would have preferred a short bit on abilities, with more detail on the rest. You say that an NPC post is coming for Anaszt; I think that this might have been better suited to being a small part of that post.



As relates to this, though, I am curious as to the extent of their regeneration. You say that they can regenerate even lethal wounds. How lethal are we talking about? Stabbed in the lung lethal? Decapitated lethal? Burned to ashes lethal? Because if it's either of the latter, I don't see much good luck for any vampire hunters, even without a magical surprise.


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Just Jane
NPCs  (Minor)   (Artistic/Performance)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2011-12-05 03:50 PM


To some extent I agree with EchoMirage, but in another way I think that leaving her a bit bland except for the vampirism suits the character.



I think that there's a lot of potential fun to be had in exploring her relationships. Does she want revenge on people from her life? If so, she probably doesn't want to turn them (after all, she liked becoming a vamp). Or maybe she thinks it would be a fitting punishment. What about the guy who attacked her? Does she ignore him? Desire to show gratitude? Want revenge/to prove her dominance? There's a lot to play with there.



Two very minor quibbles, though: 1) I don't get why you called her an Artistic/Performance NPC. And 2) I don't know that I've ever seen a vampire that can fly; at least, not without turning into a bat (actually, there was that Batman vs. Dracula cartoon - Dracula might've been able to fly in that). No problem, just an interesting choice.


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Just Jane
NPCs  (Minor)   (Artistic/Performance)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2011-12-05 06:52 PM
Yeah, last time I went to an O's game I....

Wait, no. I'm thinking of umpires. My bad. Go to Comment
Castle Crocell
Locations  (Fortification)   (Underground)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2011-12-04 08:26 PM


Maybe a bit late for Freetext Friday, but how can I resist?



I like most of this. The door knockers are a nice twist on a classic standby that could make for a bit of fun. The waterlogged keep is a good set-up for some interesting encounters, and I really like the idea of the castle as sort of locking up all of the area's moisture. By perhaps reducing the destruction, and speeding up the area's recovery, this is a quest that could easily result in a home base for the players. I think that between the revival of the surrounding area and dealing with possible remnants of Crocell and his former minions there is potentially a lot still to be had there. Of course, fleeing a collapsing castle is fun, too.



The final encounter, though, doesn't really do it for me. While I appreciate the 5 Room Dungeon format, I feel like you've taken six potentially interesting encounters and crammed them into one big fight in order to stick to the design (actually, I guess it depends on the game - I can see how it could work for some).


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Castle Crocell
Locations  (Fortification)   (Underground)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2011-12-05 04:03 PM
Huh, I find the elementals' personalities so intriguing that I am surprised that they are a relatively last-minute addition. I suppose I like them enough that I am somewhat disappointed that they have relatively bit parts. I think it would be interesting to give each one its own little bit of castle to make the PCs trek through, dealing with each one in a one-on-one situation (whether through combat, parley, or trickery, of course).

Wouldn't really fit in the Five Room Dungeon format, though, and I can see why you would want to do it this way. Go to Comment
Blitzhammer
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Combat)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2011-11-22 08:32 AM
I think that while the basic idea of power armor hammer has been done, the mechanism of this one works very well. One can imagine derelict ships haunted by monsters - the results of boarding actions gone wrong - or areas of high dimensional energy where the hammers work unusually.

Also, I think that such a mechanism lends itself well to many possible scenarios. The hammer could be a discovered piece of alien tech, not fully understood by humans. It could be a fairly common weapon, or one relegated to a specific branch or task force. You could give it to a more urban fantasy type group to set them apart from their more scientific counterparts. Not to say the Lore is bad, I just think it's a bit less interesting than the Benefit. Go to Comment
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