Strolen\s Citadel content. 
River's Coin
Items  (Other)   (Magical)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-06-10 04:45 PM
This item is, to me, kind of a mixed bag. There are basically three parts to it, and I don't think that they entirely go together. What I mean is this:

First, the idea that the gods basically pay each other money in exchange for refusals and perhaps insults or whatever, a sort of divine recompense, I guess, is really neat. I love the idea that the god of death has a responsibility, and if he doesn't want to do it, he has to pay a price to another god, and also that the money used for such payments can end up in the hands of mortals. That's a cool idea.

Then you say that he pays the two coins which were used to get into the afterlife. The idea that the coins paid to get into the afterlife become magical is also a neat idea. But I feel that it lacks a certain degree of symbolism with the previous bit. If there's a connection between the money and why the death god is supposed to release the soul, then it makes sense why he's returning that specific money. But as is, it comes across as just being the money that he happens to have at hand, coincidentally the same amount, and that sort of robs the item of this interesting bit of background.

Finally, the actual thing that the item does. Sending people back in time to avoid their own death is an interesting idea, if a problematic one in an actual game scenario, I suspect. But again, I think it kind of lacks resonance with the rest of the bits. I don't think that dying and time share an inherent connection, so I think that this comes across as kind of a forced way to bring someone back to life.

In the end, I think that you have three good ideas here that are all kind of dangling off of each other, rather than firmly connected. Go to Comment
Time Zombie
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (City/ Ruin)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-06-10 04:55 PM
I'll agree with everyone else and say that I like them. They're flexible, evocative, interesting... what's not to like?

One thing that I think could potentially be interesting would be to use these guys like an involuntary time machine. You know: they catch the PCs, infect the PCs, and the PCs wake up 100 years later when they've caught someone else.

I'm also a bit curious what happens if you kill one. Does the universe go into time debt? Or do things just kind of go back to normal? Go to Comment
Gems of the Underworld
Items  (Materials)   (Cursed)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-04-30 10:02 PM

Very nice. I like Cheka Man's idea above - it could be a very amusing way to pin the blame for some disaster on the PCs. You know, kill the demon, sell his stuff, the town gets destroyed in a giant drunken orgy sort-of-thing. I could also sort of imagine demons, or even clever dragons or royalty, using the stones to weaken guests. "Oh, Ambassador, you simply must stay in our sapphire room. It's truly exquisite."

It could also be an interesting idea to simply define demons by their benefiting from these stones. That is, a demon doesn't have any special powers other than what it gains from these. Could create an interesting hierarchy of wealth.

I am mildly confused about the very first one, though. When you say consumption, you mean tuberculosis, right?

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Laj the Hollow Judge
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Knowledge/Lore)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-04-30 09:35 PM

I really like Laj. As a setting element alone, he's great, and I love that he's easily flexible enough to fit in almost any game: he could be a robot, a transhuman AI, a Buffy-style demon, fantasy god; there's a lot.

One thing that isn't quite addressed here (though I don't think it needs to be) is whether Laj is all-knowing and a perfect judge, or if he can convinced, and is simply utterly impartial. That is, are there lawyers who specialize in dealing with Laj? You could run a Law & Dungeons game, with the PCs travelling the world to collect solid evidence against incredible evil-doers and then coming to present it in the court of Laj.


I don't know; I really like it.

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Familiar Elementals
Lifeforms  (Third Kingdom)   (Any)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-04-15 04:42 PM

I think that these are interesting from what I think is the intended perspective, traditional fantasy, but I think that they could also be really interesting in a more Harry Potter sort of setting. In the former, they offer some interesting ideas, but I think would mostly matter in their actions and bonuses.

In a game focusing more on wizards, though, I think that they could be pretty neat. Stonepal shenanigans, maybe tubs of water for people to put their Wet One's in when they're occupied. Getting an upgrade could be a big deal - you could even use the four elements as a sort of Hogwarts-style Sorting, actually.

From the perspective of somebody interested in familiars, I think that they're neat.

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King Hakhon sus Scoria
NPCs  (Major)   (Political)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-04-13 01:07 PM

I agree with Phaidros that there are good opportunities for adventure here. I can imagine all sorts of stuff going on about the kingdom at this point. And certainly in the surrounding areas!

Also, I think that the queen and the statue of a king crushing people under his boot could both plausibly support submissions of their own - they certainly have room for some interesting development. But really, it's the small island kingdoms that catch my fancy - I can imagine a collection of disparate cultures suddenly forced under a single banner, too far from the capital to be effectively ruled, but forced to pay heavy taxes for the king's wars nonetheless. Probably interesting places.

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Stuffy Dinner Party Guests
NPCs  (Major)   (Political)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-02-13 07:59 PM

Knight-Commander Gren

Gren is the man in charge of security for the party. As such, it is very important that he be seated in a position from which he can easily leave if something should come up. Furthermore, Gren's brother died in the last Goblin War, and he shouldn't be seated next to anyone who favors a trade agreement with our former adversaries. Also, he hates to be seated next to

Lady Catherine of Wesshire, his Wife

Lady Catherine is very finicky about table etiquette. She should absolutely not be seated next to anyone who is not certain to possess the most flawless of manners, and she should probably not be seated next to anyone who would take offense at her snide remarks about other guests. Also, considering the rumors about her and Lord Pemberton, she should not be seated next to any gossips.

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Stuffy Dinner Party Guests
NPCs  (Major)   (Political)
Dragonlordmax's comment on 2012-03-01 09:15 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 03:18 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 10:15 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 09:59 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 09:56 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 09:50 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 09:44 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 01:46 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 03:53 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 06:59 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 10:17 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 11:34 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 02:21 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
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