Deserts are the driest places on earth, so that's fair. However, I'm just thinking about the amount of biomass that grows per square mile of desert, and the total biomass that an elephant-sized beetle would need to eat in order to grow to that size. Also, larger mammals have problems dissipating heat. Most desert animals are small animals. Go to Comment
I guess it depends on the group. It's a cool idea, but to me it looks like homework. It's a complicated optimization problem. Then again, I don't like sudoku, either.
Also, an extra guest could show up. Or a different guest from what was expected, and the players could have a short time limit (1 min IRL) to seat them.
Also also, I'm imagining a combat version of this. Count Hobron's hunting lodge is under attack, and you have to place the guests in front of various windows or chokepoints. ("Knight Commander Gren is incomparable at killing goblins, but he's terrified of harpies. They remind him too much of his wife.") Go to Comment
I actually like this one more than the Red Sun one. GaMa is more of a streetfront corp, while the Red Sun is more of an ominous presence in the background . The interpersonal stories are very good too (I especially like 14 year-old Vivian Gadreel, and the sexist Caduceus) and lend themselves to plots extremely easily.
Ian Gadreel's got a good story, too, but I don't like the wolfman shtick. I'd rather have him burping up horrible little bat monsters (or birthing them Gremlins-style) and then frantically looking for a cure, and a place to hide his 'children'. Hopefully, not too many of them get out in the street.
I have mixed feeling about how you treat corps like kingdoms, with a heavy emphasis on family drama and lineages. But, I'll admit, this approach does make for more interesting stories, and the corps are much more engaging when they have a 'people history' instead of just a 'board meeting minutes history'. It works.
You entered this as fiction, but its a really good idea. The story is simple but decently written (although 'I am weak' gets said an awful lot), the ending is a little bit cheesy, and I absolutely love this imagery of a demon sitting behind skin curtains stabbing a withered heart. It's demonic possession, but of a very different sort--none of this mucking about with mind control and incorporeality.
And it brings to mind a bunch of campaign ideas. Fiction is full of things that slither up your nose and control your brain, and I see this as just a death metal extension of that same idea. It could be difficult to track down an demon like this if incorporeal possession was ruled out. And the demon could be a nasty surprise if the party came looking for a corporeal demon. Trying to rescue a guy from the imp, when he needs the imp to 'live' could probably involved deceiving the imp while he is led to some place where he can be taken out safely. Although that doesn't seem possible, if an angel can't save him.
Which brings me to my last point: the guy seems doomed. Really, fully doomed from the very first line. This might be too bleak for a lot of games, but I like this stuff. Pity this undead. Go to Comment
Transcend Articles (Fiction)
(Gaming - In General)
Associating dragons with the Easter Bunny does feel a little silly. IMHO, your writing is solid, but you talk in generalizations. I like hearing names, and specific events. If you personalized the dragons or the speaker a little more, I think the story would have a better place to stand. If the story begins with a homeless man covered in holiday symbols throwing money back at the listener and saying, "I don't want your money! I just want you to listen!" then I have something to visualize when I'm reading the rest. I'm not a fan of your conjoined paragraphs, either. Enough criticism. Dionysus, you have some really great ideas in here.
What if magic depended on ignorance of physical laws to make it work? As soon as a wizard learns about combustion and convection, he can't cast fireballs anymore. A physics class would stunt him, magically. There was a time when we had no idea what caused thunderstorms, and I'm sure there are people that will proclaim that ignorance is power. Some backwards-minded religious folks still say that to this day.
It kind of reminds me of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, in a way.
Why doesn't it work backwards? There are some parts of the world that are full of people who see spirits in stones and ghosts in the moon. Do their dragons disappear as soon as the scientists come?
There's another idea here: that physical laws can be democratic instead of absolute. Like 40K orks. But now I'm rambling. Keep posting!
Reminds me of "They're Made Out of Meat" by Terry Bisson. Cute little story, you got there, Dionysus. Much like a kitten. Speaking of which, the aliens really should have brought more kittens. The best line:
Nothing in the universe is cuter than baby Xibillin. Go to Comment
What is the little bit of flavor text at the beginning?
I say give him a gun and a list of names. Or Love in the Time of PTSD. Give him absolutely horrific traffic accident. Take away an arm. Give him a mortgage and a house full of garbage.
Give him redemption in a sundress and a bonnet. Give him a peace on a long, solo fishing trip where he camps on a island and something unbelievable happens. Let him stop a crime in progress, to win back his honor. Let a child teach him something. Go to Comment
What if they could fuse together? No, that's even more super-lame.
What about instead of "twins with guardian monsters", it's "quadruplets embodying different values" on the bestial/civilized and pleasure-loving/pain-loving axes?
What if they were all part of the same super-consciousness?
What if the twins/quadruplets were born disembodied, and needed to find host bodies to fulfill their goals?
What if we abandon the whole good/evil thing and just make it a linked, quadripartite organism composed of identical quadruplets? (eh, seen it before).
what if the twins are opposite genders, share a body, and switch from one to the other every full moon? The Nastrobeast is something more sinister--it's the dominant one in the relationship, and it drives the Nastro to his/her extremes?
Are any of these good ideas?
Should I just scrap the whole thing? Don't be shy about calling rubbish rubbish.
The megacorp is well written and thought out, but I feel like all megacorps are pretty similar, since they all have the goal ($) and convergent evolution. What's really excellent about this sub is the skillful weaving of the Red Sun's history in a complex sociopolitical climate. The flavor at the beginning is 100% quality detail, too.
Isn't the CEO responsible to the Board of Directors? CEOS change all the time. Directors last a lot longer. I'm really curious about how Theodore became CEO, too. A technician doesn't sound like someone who has a lot of connections. Eighth son of someone important, maybe? Famous war-hero? Go to Comment
This sub starts out average but it really jumps into awesome territory really quickly. The beetles are a beautiful twist. And the fact that the beetles are really the victims and the old man the bad guy is a second, even more awesome twist. But maybe I like anything where the bad guys is just a spry, old man.
Do they have to be a hive mind? You could have young adults wear the skins (and have names like Amy), while the tiny, mindless cling to out with their mother. A city of skin-wearing beetles would be great to be friends with (I know I'd want to come back again).
I'd add a bit of misdirection at the beginning. Maybe some blather about drinking to local brew or the badger ghost will get you. But no, this is great. Clever, self-contained, no plot holes. You should do a lifeform sub for these guys (just a short one).