I originally thought this would be a great addition to the Garage Sale from Hell. Upon reading, this is an honest solid cultist/ necromancer item that is not something someone would confuse as a mundane item or not know its power. The folk lore on this would be interesting.
A post that was a long time in comming. It has such potential that is disappoints. Formatting errors aside, it has spelling and punctuation errors. (Can you EVER put a space after a comma or period? The few places you do it seems almost accidental.) It seems like this escaped from the working space too early.
However, this is the key post for an entire set of posts. You call it the Land Of The Eshal after all!
The Eshal are so "alien" to common experience, you need to heap and heap explanation and examples so people have a real understanding of what they are and how they live. This write up is spartan in that area.
A couple of questions and observations...
Quadraped or Biped? So these people can carry no items while on land? (Except maybe in pockets?) Do they "walk" often, then have a burst of speed as a quadraped? And robes and kilts not very useful to 4 footed walkers.
The paragraph that starts "The average Eshal is twelve to fifteen feet long, and " should come before the talk of various locomotions. It makes sense that we know what we are talking about before you tell me how it moves.
Differences between males and females?
Can you give me an idea what these people look like? Are various castes different colors? Eyes are like? Do they have a narrow ant eater like snout? A broad flat mouth like a salamander or frog? What Terrestrial Animal do they most resemble?
Senses: Do these people have the same senses as humans? Is anything more important to them (like smell, as sight is useless in their aquatic dens). Echolocation? Sense heat? Since sight is not too important in a fairly aquatic environment, why does their clothing have specific color associations?
If there are only three castes, why not tell us exactly what their variations are? (What is the priest's variation?) Or does each profession has its own mutation? So the hands of a ceramics maker are different than one that cuts wood? You imply one, but don't explain clearly.
The section on drying out might be more useful towards the beginning instead of appended onto another paragraph.
Do these people have a stone age culture? How much building do they do? Where do the Dens okay. Other buildings or do they have a society based on dug out holes?
Do they have fire? And you can't make plaster without it (unless they are obscenely lucky and know where certain minerals are... but you make no mention of mining).
You need to expand the explanation of their lands, so people really understand about the swampy lands and the transitions about their aquatic lives. You make it seem, in parts, like they live above water almost all the time. Then the home life is totally aquatic.
The section on the Matriarch might be better placed after the section of Society. One is a better lead into the other. (The matriarch section makes more sense after we know about their society a little).
So females can generally be "forced to have intercourse" when ever a male feels the need? How willing are they? Do they just submit? do they have urges either, or is this just a case of "let them have their way and it will be over faster"? Or are they just horny all the time?
Clothing section might go better after the appearance section.
What do merchants and craftsmen wear? They do not have extra "items" to trade for more clothing to show their status? Is their nakedness just a caste enforced rule?
Why are they all not wearing hooded cloaks to avoid "drying out" when on the surface. They should look like Bedouins in loose fitting robes to avoid drying out and cancer from sun damaged skins (like frogs).
Domestic life might go better between the Society (and matriarch section) and Finance section (Call it economics or trade, these people do not do finance). This way we know people have a better understanding and the ideas lead into each other.
Cooking, such that it is, is done on the surface? (hard to marinate food underwater). Yet the house is underwater (and seemingly submerged). So all houses have a storage room and a kitchen up top? Should not all houses be "split level" with sections above and below the waterline? It looks like you have cooking... and if there is soup, then people eat above water? So there is a dinning room on the surface?
Houses (and other buildings) obviously need to be better described. And do they have "other buildings?" or is everything just done in people's houses? Is there any light in there? Are their openings in the roof to let light (and other things) in (like a beaver den)? Are there fires (oh wait, they are totally submerged, might want to fix that). Or do they exist in the dark with echolocation?
Do the Eschal manage the water level? If something happens and the water level rises or lowers (beyond tidal forcess) do they just abandon the area or create a damm/ dyke?
Religion: We have a priestly caste, but no mention of religion's beliefs, worship, or anything. It seems the priests are nothing more than administrators for trade and their nobility telling people what to do. Why call them priests then? Or how about the Link to the existing duties post?
Language: How do they communicate? Does their language work the same above and below the water? Are their two tongues? Are they telepathic. Not mentioned anywhere?
Agriculture? Are they hunters/ gatherers? Do they "ranch" fish in ponds and pools? Any domesticated land animals or other aquatics? Do they have grain fields on the dry land (or rice, since that is a semi-aquatic plant)? They must grow something of how do they have cloth to make those priests and warrior robes and kilts? Or do they trade with other races to get that?
Fixed the freetext (System hates commas except to seperate different freetexts).
I believe you are on your own filling this one in, as you are currently the only 40k player active on the board. There were two in the past, maybe if they stop lurking they can help you. Maybe novel readers might be able to help. Go to Comment
I am not a big fan of gnomes, and other odd races that come from generic adventure fantasy. I see the character and understand what it is doing and why. Sure he is crazy, but then again you would have to be an ooze hunter.
It is hard to write "extras" that are engaging, especially when there is a group of them. While not my favorite setting, I understand this one. These are the "other company" that backs you up and fills out the situation, so you can go be dangerous/ heroic. It fills a valuable nitch.
Plus for being extras (a seldom used category) minus because the officers and notable figures did not engage me at all. Go to Comment
The Flavor text seem a bit disjointed and stilted to me.
Some mechanical questions...
How do you get sails or a water tight ship without skin? So bones won't just do it. Or there should be some limitation mentioned based on the "raw material" available.
Ranges in terms of timing and effect would of been nice. It is a bit vague, but the GM will have to adapt it to their spell system set anyways.
Maintaing the spell should require some kind of check for longer periods of time or saves vs distraction (yes, being at the mercy of your necromancer's attention span does suck). Mana point systems can form a secondary payout to maintain the spell. (Or you can burn a spell slot to maintain the spell).
You should include a section of the spell to base the size of the ship (which is probably determined by the caster) given the amount of raw material. Rough estimates of mass of bodies to mass of ship. Go to Comment
Nobody gives general codices the love they deserve. Instead of seeing them as organizationals, they measure them against submissions, thinking they need all the description, detail, and meat of a submission. When really, they just need a strong summary and an explanation as to why these pieces are grouped together. Remember, short is not a crime, incomplete is the crime.
To be honest, you don't need the freetext. If you put everything in the codex, the freetext is redundent. If you use the freetext, the codex is redundent. In this case, keep the codex and lose the freetext, as it is more useful and you don't have to have people edit their submissions to join the connection.
Now I do believe we have one or two more fabric related submissions around here somewhere. We need to find them and link them to this. Go to Comment
Nicely done. I like the weaving of details. It is clear and simple. I do like all the implied info about the people of the Dragon Empire
I would like a Kogish Trees submission or stub (it is practically written).
One thought is that fire retardant clothing tends to be heat resistant. Heat resistant clothing makes awful summer clothing as they are reflective of body heat and turns it on the body. (Just talk to a ranger or a firefighter). Now they would make wonderful winter clothing.
I know, flame repellant and heat resitant reflective are two seperate properties. However, if something blocks the flame (plasma) but not the heat (radiation) you still under the material.
Now if the silk was HEAT ABSORBING or heat absorbing to a given threshold (like 75 degress or something). That eliminates all the issues. It keeps people cool in the summer. It makes it heat resistant. You add flame retardant and you have a winner. Go to Comment
You had me when I looked up Zythum and found out it was
Zythum \Zy"thum\, n. (L., fr. Gr. ? a kind of beer; -- so called
by the Egyptians.)
A kind of ancient malt beverage; a liquor made from malt and
wheat. Written also zythem.
Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Benjamin Franklin
Yes, if something is important people would add magic or ritual to it. In the real world, there are many Wiccan charms used for homebrewing. There is a catholic ritual for blessing the wort.
There should be a ton of charms and cantrips, if not outright spells and enchantments, related to beer, as long as magic users are an accepted part of your culture (if they are shunned or must hide what they are, there won't be).
Slipping my admin hat on for a moment, might I suggest that you turn this into a scroll and that each spell (or spell set) or enchanted item should be its own scroll entry. This has several advantages;
1) It makes it easier to follow and add to this submission (AND IT IS WORTHY TO ADD TOO)
2) It makes it easier to link to a given write up, thus you will be able to use a given item or spell in a different write up and directly link back to it.
3) You might one to expand a posting into a full submission all its own, thus creating a refering post or an easy way to scoop things. (See Worlds and Planets as examples).
4) Someday, when Strolen 3.0, an admin will be very happy you have done this as it will assist the re-org as every item or thing should be its own stub or entry. (Okay, and since that Admin will probably be me, I admit it will be self serving.)Go to Comment