You're right. But I do think HOW matters as much as whether you participate or not. I have been very bad about voting because I find votes alone to be worthless. I don't want to receive only a vote, so I won't leave only a vote. But I have lacked the time to really offer useful commentary of my own. Maybe it's time to change that line of thought. Go to Comment
Moon, you're right and you're wrong. I'm not into the voting, but the 5-criteria didn't cause that. The 5-criteria was my attempt to *correct* that. I really don't like just leaving a vote. Feedback, comments, some form of discussion, sharing of ideas. That's what I want to see. But I was having trouble finding constructive feedback on many submissions. The result? Many subs read, very few votes, me not practicing what I preach. So the 5-criteria was a way of trying to find things to say, so that I could then vote.
Of course, not everyone wants the same sort of feedback, which I wasn't really taking into account. That's part - but only part - of why I haven't voted in a while. The main reasons though have no relevance here. Go to Comment
Okay, first off, before I begin to get nitpicky, I *like* this. It's a great idea for helping to define our player- and non-player characters, and it's well executed. Some of your specific examples don't quite mesh with the associated response type, but the *idea* resonates with me.
Now, I'm not sure I've parsed all of it. It's dense enough to merit another read through. So I hope I didn't miss any points too badly.
A lie isn't a Lying Response if the lie is told to directly support another response? Did I read that right? Because I call shenanigans. Take your sample Gamble response. That's a flat out bald-faced lie, and you're "gambling" you won't get caught. :P Sure, maybe you're *betting* that you're correct about the necromancers and so the statement is just a little white-- but no. You're just lying. Perhaps a better gamble would be, "We've seen signs like this before, your majesty. I'd bet my entire barony necromancy is afoot in the forest."
Speaking of lying, you say "no-one lies without reason." I need to ask you how clearly you're defining "reason," here. Some people do just lie for the sake of the lie.
But those are nitpicks. Overall, I find the entire concept a useful exercise in getting more out of NPCs (and PCs too, if you're into that sort of thing).
Some of the response types seem entirely situational, and probably need sub-types based on personality. For example, the "In-Hurry" ("Hurried," perhaps?) example, is a reaction to a split-second event. Now in that case, EVERYONE's response should be hurried (or just too late). But some people are also by their nature "Hurried." That makes sense? A situation forces a certain *speed* of response, but the character's response map should still be consulted to see what sort of hurried response they make.
Regarding the work as a whole, I see two related uses for this in an RP setting. The first would be for a GM to prepare a set of response cards or other randomizer to use for throwaway NPCs. Maybe a table (Hey, someone make table on the site!), but I have a soft spot for cards. :P Need a fast response from a city bureaucrat? Draw a card and respond as appropriate. (And as GM, if you don't like/can't think of a decent response, draw another damn card. Don't waste time.)
The other is pertains more to my interests. To help create more fully fleshed major NPCs (or PCs if that's your thing). For that, we need to understand the dynamic between personality and response. Each personality type will clearly favor and disfavor certain response types, right? Even situational types won't come up as often (or will come up more often) for certain personality types.
My last nitpick is just a questions nagging at me. Does the character's personality determine their response set, or does their response set define their personality?
To sum up:
Art: Full Point. The idea is a good one, with much merit.
Craft: Half Point. Presentation could use some polish.
Style: Half Point. It's a little inconsistent, and could also use some polish.
Substance: Full Point. There's a lot of good stuff in here.
Extra Mile: Full Point. There's a LOT of good stuff in here, and well researched, with damned useful attributions.
4.0/5 Go to Comment
"Gamble Response is when you take your guess and present it like a fact." It's a fine hair to split, perhaps, but I can see that. Perhaps if your gamble response is 1) without added embellishment ("I saw them with my own eyes!"), and 2) your genuine belief brought forth; your best guess. In your example, based on what was observed, "Necromancers, your majesty! I am certain!" It's not a lie, it's your conclusion, presented with certainty. Dunno. It's a tricky bit.
Perhaps the distinction here is "presenting your best guess as *fact*" vs. "presenting something you believe is false as fact." And, yeah... "Deception" might be a better term, because that is the intent. ("Mere tricks of the light, your majesty. Nothing to worry about.") Regardless of underlying motive, a deception is a deliberate attempt to mislead and deceive.
I'd have liked to see more of #7. What constitutes "normal?" What's the baseline, so GMs will know where to deviate from.
Also, I wrote a piece a while back, and in researching that piece, I learned the legendary Orient Express stopped running in 2009. This doesn't affect your work, because it IS a legendary train. It's just a sad thing. Go to Comment
Art: No Point. Borrowed ideas with no attempt to make them your own.
Craft: Half Point - Major formatting problems and a few grammar issues. Good use of spell check, though.
Style: No Point - Dry, linear, and no effort to give it a flavor, a sense of the world, a feel. What style I might give would belong to the original creators.
Substance: No point - Not a lot to sink my teeth into. Vague setting material with over the top in places. 60% mortality rate on the first mission? Why are there still people? And maybe it's just the lack of a map others noted, but the adventure reads more like a rail shooter than anything, goinf from A to B to C and so on. While not a deal break by itself, use of game specific stats and terms is annoying and reduces usability by others.
Extra Mile: No Point
There's nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from other sources. Everyone here has done it. But make some effort to make the material your own. Bring it to life with a few interesting characters, a bit more plausible stats, some new elements.
Format the work to enhance readability. Have someone suggest grammar fixes and maybe a few rewrites, also to enhance readability. I suggest text boxes or block quotes for the large swaths of narrative text. And then make those shorter.
This belated reply is courtesy of me just noticing this and Scras' note. I speak only for myself, and I'm still one of the newest members to stick around, so my voice should not be taken as representative.
I apologize if my comments were belittling. It wasn't a deliberate attempt. I've struggled here to contribute, not just writing, but to the dialog. I hate to just vote without providing a thoughtful comment, but in the past I've avoided commenting unless the comment was positive, specifically to avoid appearing belittling. But I value honest feedback, and so I finally decided I had to be equally honest in my feedback. I sometimes forget not everyone wants to be judge on the same criteria.
I want to know when something I write falls short. Simple as that. I tend to apply that line of thinking to others' works. I devised my own system for rating work here, based on qualities I value in writing. It was the only way to be objective when much of the material I read just isn't something I'm interested in. Dwarves? Bah! But good writing and good ideas deserve to be recognized even if I think Dwarves are stupid.
But some people just want to share ideas, not be judged on their grammar and whatnot. So I applied my criteria and judged your work on things you were not looking to be judged on. So in spite of the intent the outcome is indeed harsh. Perhaps even more harsh than my own criteria should be. There may be ways to phrase criticism better, to encourage instead of belittle. I'll work on that next time. Go to Comment
It's hard to rate subs in this Old School contest. My personal dislike of Old School tells me to rate everything low, but my rational side tells me to reward people who embrace the concepts. Let's see how I did...
Art - Full point - A good idea here, nicely presented.
Craft - Half Point - Needs some editing, but overall well-written & clear. Verbose in places, but that feels in line with my memory of modules from the old school era.
Style - Full Point - I'd ordinarily ding you here, but you're trying to be true to the old school feel. I don't like that feel, but I do appreciate how well you've hit the mark.
Substance - Full Point - Plenty here, even if I don't want to use the entire plot. I could use this is a game easily.
Extra Mile - Full Point - I thought a lot of work went into this, and you've made great efforts to color within the lines for a true old school feel. Excellent work.
While this sub doesn't hit all my buttons, I do think it's hit all the right buttons to make a great old school piece. Nice.
I'm trying something new and thought making the leader of the guild I'm trying for my first victim could have no possible downside. Four criteria and one wild card spot for voting.
Art - Full point - A good idea here, presented with some thought.
Craft - Half Point - Needs minor editing, but overall well-written, clear, concise.
Style - Half Point - It's a bit on the dry side, That might be on purpose, but it doesn't draw me in completely.
Substance - Full Point - I could drop this into my game with little to no trouble.
Extra Mile - Half Point - I actually REALLY like the concept.
3.5 out of 5.0
I'd revote for editing, spicing up the style a bit, and/or a bit more information, common traits, plot hooks, examples of use in play, etc. Go to Comment
Aramax gets to be the second test, by virtue of this sub being right below the first. :P
Art - This is a quest were trite and overdone are virtues, and on that this merits a full point. :)
Craft - The writing is solid, but the formatting could be a bit clearer, with sections for important aspects. Half Point.
Style - It's very true to the style in play, but it's also a tad tangled. Half Point.
Substance - If I was running an old school D&D game, this would be my Villain. Full Point.
Extra Mile - Goddammit, I HATE old school. But you kept me reading all the way to the end anyway. Full point.
As I was reading, I thought there should be more person in the person. Personality is what makes the difference between a character and a mook who dies without getting any lines. The setup is interesting for the most part, and you have provided plenty about what she is. But WHO is she? I still don't know.
Seeing your reply to MM's comment, I see it's a deliberate choice, and I respect the intent. I can't fault someone for having a different approach to design. However, I DO believe leaving her without a personality reduces her utility. This is all my opinion, and mileage may vary and such, but if I'm browsing the site instead of making my own NPC, I don't want to have to detail her personality. :)
In addition, I'd love to see a few plot hooks. How will she fit in my game? Go to Comment
I gotta be honest, from the title and the summary blurb, I expected this to be bad. But it wasn't.
This is a bit on the short side, could use some fleshing out. But what IS there is good stuff. It's evocative, and pretty interesting. Although... it's too bad none of the picutres show him missing that arm. :P
There are a few nitpicks in the presentation, but overall, I'd say this is a darn good sub. 4.0/5 Go to Comment