I like these a lot. I especially like the line "and left Xai-Leng feeling wiser than before". I'd heard a couple them before, which is unfortunate. I liked the prostitute on the most, because it confuses it, but still makes a sort of half-sense. It bears more analysis than the others for that reason. Go to Comment
I like that there is so much culture in this article. There's tons, really. It's very well developed. Just the same, this reads like more of a description of a savage culture, or like Marco Polo's descriptions of the Mongols or something. It doesn't really feel "orcish", since it is so plausible for a human culture.
It was quite a surprise to find they are much cleaner than we would suspect. Go to Comment
Axlerowes: You're right! I forgot to mention how awesome the narrator was. The whole article is very good, and very usable.
Scras: I'm not sure how to make 'em more orcish (i.e. non-human). I just think that orcs should be more than strong humans who fight a lot, and dwarves should be more than short humans who live underground. But you are exactly right about not making them too different. If they're too weird, they stop looking like orcs.
You could make them orcish through biology: maybe the women are just as strong as the men. So despite being crude and aggressive (and stereotypically just being big bags of bad traits) , orcs actually have a strength-based egalitarian society that isn't sexist. Maybe the only non-sexist society in the world. (Picture a man telling his wife: "If you don't want to do the dishes, why don't you go join the orcs?"). Or mention that orcish muscles have extra attachments, or orcish muscles are extremely dense (and orcs would sink like rocks if they weren't such strong swimmers). Or that certain (old?) orcs suffer from a unique sort of dementia that makes them constantly angry--and these orcs are honored rather than reviled. Maybe anger is held to be the greatest virtue, and orcs make shows of how angry they are when something displeases them.
Or make it cultural and based on something that humans would/could never do. Maybe the chieftain is only chieftain as long as he can push aside the huge boulder blocking the ancestral clanhall. Or maybe their favorite sport is a horserace where the racer has to carry the horse the last mile (that would actually be awesome!) Go to Comment
Focused, well-described idea. I can tell it's a good idea because I can think of areas the sub can expand into. Are there other quality banks that compete with Mammon? What does the church do with its wealth? Go to Comment
I like Utopia, especially since it seems like a mixed bag. Some parts sound nice, some sound bad, and some just sound communist. However, pretty much everything in this article is lifted straight out of Wikipedia. It'd be nice to see a section about how to apply it to a DnD game (which Moonhunter put as a comment), or a few ruminations on utopias in general. Go to Comment
I think we all need to take a moment to picture what it would be like to be chased down and smashed by a poop elemental.
Oh, the humanity!
The cult should make the sewer their "thing" (instead of just their hideout). The stinkier you are, you higher your prestige. The cantrip should just mute it for a few hours, after which, the stench is released from its pent-up containment. Might even release upon the cultist's death, too.
I also imagine the different groups trying to use water flow as a weapon. The guards flood certain tunnels to drown the cultists in waste. But the cultists block the exit tunnel and soon poopamentals are shooting up the drains.
You know, if you extrapolate this cult of scatology thing out to its inevitable conclusion, you're going to have a very memorable, very disgusting dungeon crawl. Throw in a few giant albino goldfish, a few former tapeworms, and a really disgusting whirlpool trap and the party won't even notice when you throw a Weezing (the pokemon) at them. Good luck selling stuff in town when you smell worse than a poopamental or a cultist.
Guard: We've identified the cult they belonged to, sir.
Captain: Well, who is it? Vecna? Jubilex?
Guard: Uh, no, sir. It's the poop guys again.
Captain: Oh gods DAMMIT.
Guard: Should I check the tavern for "adventurers", sir?
Captain: On the double. I'm sure not going back down there again. Go to Comment
I like it! It's a way to inject videogame mechanics into DnD, which could be really fun if it was played straight. If you wanted to go for broke, you could make the front of the door a high score board (Conan got 22,000 XP in ONE run?) and give the players extra lives. And you could reskin sections of it to different themes (Greek, Aztec, Necropolis, Prehistoric).
Just the same, this is just an application of video game logic to a tabletop game, which DMs usually strive to avoid. Taking the opposite approach is kinda cool. Go to Comment
"Are you sure?" asked the angel. "The changes will be permanent."
"I swear it!" gasped the dying paladin. A steady trickle of blood oozed from beneath his armor, and his voice was beginning to fail. "Please, divine one, give me the strength to strike down the demon!"
"As you wish," said the angel, and the paladin was engulfed in divine fire. It purged him, burning the poison from his blood, closing his wounds, and searing his torn flesh together. When the paladin stood up, a moment later, his charred face was grim. The fires of heaven burned in his chest, and he was filled with an unearthly vitality. But he was disfigured. His skin was charred and black. He would never again be pleasing to look upon.
"Thank you," said the paladin, and the angel watched him wordlessly strap on his armor and walk from the temple. Go to Comment
There's no reason this thing has to be evil. It does what it's summoned to do, nothing more and nothing less. It's just our Saturday morning cartoon morality. We see spider, gore, muttering, and we think that this thing must be evil. Probably a tool of the spider cult.
Actually, reading this reminded me of real surgery. You should see the sort of stuff that they do for hand surgery. Not for the faint of heart.
And I suppose there's this conceit that the powers of heaven are freely given out to those who are worthy, while the powers of hell are earned by sacrificing something. I agree with Scras with that one. Unfortunately, this is also one of the reasons why hell is so much more interesting than heaven. Go to Comment
This is pretty great. You did a great job with description and storytelling. The idea of a place where gods go to be humble is very novel. Could use a little formatting. I like Azar's tree, too. Go to Comment
Small identical wooden or metal discs with a strange pattern engraved upon them (do not appear to be coinage). The discs can be found all over the continent; a farmer typically overturns several dozen when ploughing a field. Though they are unnaturally hard to break, they have no known use and are widely used as good-luck charms: almost all households would have them on the doors and on mantle pieces; many people carry one or more on them, bound on to a belt, necklace or sewn on to their clothes.