Strolen\s Citadel content. 
Lich Scroll
Items  (Books and Scrolls)   (Villanous)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-21 06:33 PM
Great story, dustyjohnson, and you just love to tease the readers, do you? Straight away, I wondered abt the entity or entities that stole the Lich Scroll from the God of Shadows. But then, that's obviously another story.

On the sub itself, it's pretty high quality as it is. It gives us a brief glimpse into the underlying grand world containing strives of different Gods etc. but is not bogged down by it but rather goes into the story of Calypso and Prima's stories which makes this piece a good legend to add colour to your world.

In terms of improving the sub, I would have liked a tiny bit more details on the circumstances for which the ritual failed for Umbra, even if it's just a phrase in brackets tacked on after "But Umbra lost his soul in the ritual...." saying sth like the success of the ritual really depended on the sacrificied lives being willing to offer up their own lives for a common goal and when the God of Shadows experimented it with Umbra, they didn't have that (I'm just giving an example here, you probably have your own take on this) Go to Comment
Drake Humblestaff
NPCs  (Campaign)   (Knowledge/Lore)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-20 06:55 PM
While I find Uncle Humblestaff to be an endearing NPC like SE, I voted lower than the previous 2 b/c of the following:
1. While I see this as a complete and solid piece of work, the bit abt the bard's brush with Humblestaff seems to me sort of abrupt and strange. I'm almost expecting the bard to have some secret agenda or sth but instead she just fades into the bg. I mean, I'm not disputing the validity of the story of Humblestaff as you've written it up- the bard could just be a 'nosy' or up-front sort of person who goes around expressing her frank opinion of everything. But somehow I can't shake the feeling that this might be a 'loose end' in the sub. Having said that, though, I don't think this is the decisive part that turns me away from a vote of 4.
2. This might be my own interpretation issue (if so, I'm happy to revote on this piece) but I see the popularity/value of Humblestaff in an adventuring party to be inconsistent with his skill sets. In particular, you said "Drake just didn't have what it took" which I took to be mean the following: Drake made enough progress to please his masters when he's learning things b/c he was diligent but he was basically just 'dumb' at them so that his masters think he really shouldn't aim to be any one of the typical adventurer classes. Is this what you meant to convey or do you want to say that he's not so 'dumb' at them but just that he would never be a master at any? If the latter, then that particular phrase I quoted is misleading.

Overall, I still like this sub and I hope you take my comments as constructive comments (they were meant to be). Go to Comment
Drake Humblestaff
NPCs  (Campaign)   (Knowledge/Lore)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-20 11:21 PM
Normally, I do not like "gods/goddesses behind the scenes" plots since I got sick and tired of them from reading fantasy trilogies from well-established authors but I actually quite like it in this instance b/c it's no longer all abt the titanic struggle b/w good and evil, just a tiny nudge that causes a rippling effect. Go to Comment
Tangaroa
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Water)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-09 07:37 PM
I would personally throw sth like out as a stub but to each his own. Content-wise, there really isn't much since these are basically just substitutes for mermaids (hence why you say it's incomplete) but the prose of this piece is well-done as has always been with your work. One thing I think this piece would be great for is to serve as a lead-in to a more expanded piece that explores the sea-folk and other sea creatures. Go to Comment
Tortoise Shell Tavern
Locations  (Fortification)   (Any)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-19 09:49 PM
Although my vote is possibly quite close to those who've voted before me, I sort of disagree that this sub is being 'runined' b/c the backstory being too 'grand' in a sense and isolated from the actual location. But then I'm probably biased b/c this actually reminds me of my first sub (though of somewhat better quality I think) that came about purely from an accident that 'suffers' from the same problem: an item whose power is over-shadowed by the bg history of its maker. Go to Comment
Tortoise Shell Tavern
Locations  (Fortification)   (Any)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-20 03:38 AM
A good story (Hazel+Fjord+Lucy), I'm getting more into this whole set-up now whereas before I like this but more as a minor piece. Maybe write all of this up as a plot and have that as your second sub? Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-08 10:01 PM
Update: User-created ideas additions done and now ready for voting!  Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-08 10:02 PM
Combination Spells

These are spells derived from combining at least two of the Eight Symbols and are commonly known as Formations. They are all trigger spells in nature. All combination spells need to be balanced with respect to Yin-Yang. That is, both Yin and Yang aspects have to be present in a combination spell but it can be skewed towards either the Yang or the Yin. Depending on the spell’s purpose, Symbols are arranged* according to either the Creation/Destruction Cycle of Wu Xing or the Heavenly/Earth formations. The strongest combination spells are ones that combine all Eight Symbols, followed by ones that combine Five Symbols that belong to each of the Wu Xing elements.For all other combinations, it does not necessarily follow that spells utilising more of the Eight Symbols would be more powerful. Complexity of the combination spell is directly in proportion to the number of Symbols used to weave it but this does not hold for its power.


Some samples of Combination Spells:

1) The Formation of Ba Gua: This is a combination spell built on the basis of all of the Eight Symbols, with each of Symbols being arranged in accordance with either the Heavenly or Earth formation depending on its purpose. The Heaven Symbol is represented by a common pebble containing no traces of the Symbols if the formation is entirely powered by reservoir items. In addition, the casting of this particular spell is tied to specific times of the year. Depending on the purpose of the spell, these times change. This formation is a all-rounded spell and can be utilised for a variety of purposes such as to entrap but not harm,
for attack/defence as well as others (up to GM discretion).

2) The Formation of Wu Xing: This is built from five Symbols that correspond to each of the Five Elements (Wu Xing). Another all-rounded spell that makes up for its relative weakness when compared with the Formation of Bagua by not having the limitation of being tied to particular times of the year. In addition, this particular formation has the advantage of being self-perpetuating to an extent if arranged according to the Creation Cycle.

3) The Formation of Three Stars: An offensive spell maintained by three mages drawing on a distinct Symbol or if powered entirely by reservoir items, is composed of three sub-formations based on a single Symbol.

4)The Formation of Six Harmonies: Drawing on the six Symbols besides Heaven and Earth, this spell is a powerful cleanser of all negative effects in an area, including plague and evil influences.

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Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-08 10:09 PM
This System in the Dragon Empire setting 

Under Revamp! Ignore for now! 

This is a system of magic evolved from Tuner Wizardry. Practitioners (known as Geomancers) work solely with enchanted items containing elements of the Eight Symbols. In terms of combination spells, Geomancers set them up to be in accordance with the Bagua (an octagonal instrument used by these Geomancers), which designates a range of alternative formations that each of the Eight Symbols need to be arranged in to achieve a particular purpose.


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Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-09 10:11 PM
Val, are we on the same wavelength here? how come I have no idea what you meant by "the concept of the layout of rooms and architecture"? The only connotation I get from these wordings is in relation to buildings and if you are referring to the way I built up the concept for this particular type of magic, then I need more clarifications on what you have in mind.

As for examples, I see what you mean. I'll fix up the Eight Symbol section and add some actual spells (spell name+what it does) and fix up the current jumbled-up content on spell types interspersed with spell characteristics. Thanks for the suggestion. Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-09 10:33 PM
Ah I see, you were referring to how Feng Shui works in real life. When I wrote this sub, I guess I was focusing more on the theory side of things rather than the practicals of how it works (through the placement of objects that you mentioned). I think I will add an extra section on the practicals, thanks for pointing it out. Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-13 10:05 PM
Update: Will be updating this sub slowly (equivalent to 1/2 of a Symbol per day) since there's just so much to be done. 
For anyone interested in this sub, a re-group and expansion of content is forthcoming on the Eight Symbol section as well as the entire Practical Implementation section. Another likely update is an expansion on the Combination Spells.
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Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-16 05:48 PM
Fair enough, this has become a in-work sub now as I've indicated and I'm just too slack to take it off to In Work given that there's no traffic on it (until now, that is).

I'm expanding the Eight Symbols section at the moment but periodically I get stuck so maybe I will start on the practical implementation section and just do bits and pieces.

For images, actually that's a good idea, I think it will be particularly useful when I talk abt the combo spells. Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-16 06:19 PM
Was just coming back to edit my response but you got here before me so I just have to put in another reply. Just wanted to say I'm working on this quite slowly so will PM everyone interested/involved (Mourn has indicated interest and Strolen has to read this given that it's for Strolenati Guild) once all the planned updates are done. Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-29 08:29 PM
Update: Tying this off for now else this sub is threatening to make me insane. How this system works in the Dragon Empire setting will be revealed one day after I've cooled down a bit with this sub.

Hmm.. the images are too small, I don't have a fix for it now. If anyone is dying to see them, PM me and I will send them as attachments. 
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Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-29 08:43 PM
Okay, I incorporated a very brief description of the architectural/placement of object aspect in the practical implementation section but in general, it's sort of gotten to the pt that this sub will be driving me insane any minute soon.

As for more credible sources, well, this is an exercise in creative adaption, not a research exercise :P Also, from my perspective as a Chinese (and a folklore type of perspective as opposed to the actual grand concept derived from Taoism), I think Wiki is doing okay on this topic Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-05-29 08:58 PM
When I select my file to upload thru the insert image button, I will see a msg on the left at the btm of my screen that says "waiting for strolen.com to respond" and then the screen will just go into inactivity..... Go to Comment
Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-02 06:05 PM
Thanks for the HOH and the score of 5, Axle. Your comment is comprehensive and insightful as always. I can see the value of your suggestion with respect to using a more personal voice on instructing these concepts- it will certainly help to spice up the sub. However, as I've indicated before, I'm currently out of love with this particular sub so for the time being, no more work on it is forthcoming (eventually, there will be some cos I still haven't detailed how this system works in my particular setting- the Dragon Empire. I turned this sub from setting-specific to a somewhat open-to-all system halfway through writing b/c of the Appeasing BH Challenge so yeah, currently this piece is not grounded in any world specifically but can be up-for-grabs in any world) 

On your question on how I envision ppl casting a Ren spell, well in general, I see the caster thinking of some aspects in the natural environment (actually, anything from the realm of living would do, I see the Ren category as basically a catch-all category for spells that don't belong to any of the other 7 categories of possible dualities) eg. plants withering and coming back to life in a continuous cycle, a stream that steadily flows past a rock, a bonfire etc. and then mimicking these aspects in their minds when they cast a spell. To be honest, while this sub has provided a sort of 'metaphysical' foundation for magic as you call it, the fact that I make spell-casting in this system based on mind disciple is my way of keeping the 'hand-waving' aspect of magic casting so that I can kick this sub out of the door.
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Magic System based on Fengshui
Systems  (Mystical)   (Historical)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-18 08:29 PM
I call it the Way of Fengshui for my setting. A practitioner is called a Geomancer (I didn't make up this term, I think that's what Wiki calls them) 

By the Ba Gua, I assume you mean the Formation rather than the instrument. Well, yes, I'm picturing it as going with some sort of ultimate spell of various classes. As to your question on the times of the year that go with the formation, all I can say is that what times of the year can this formation be formed would depend on what purpose you use this particular formation for (or what ultimate spell you want to release) eg. if you want to call up the Ultimate Thunder Spell, then it would only work at a time of the year when thunderstorms are at their most strong; If you want to call up a mighty rejuvenating spell, then it will work in early Spring only etc.
I haven't worked out the nuts and bolts for each Symbol wrt this aspect but if you have an ultimate spell based on an element that's around all times of the year, then I think the pt you raised on different application depending on season would apply. 

All combo spells can be cast in 3 ways: 
1. multiple geomancers working together to form them (in total, they have to have natural affinity to all of the Symbols used in the combo spell) in which case it is all in their minds (so obviously they need to be Master Mages, not apprentices and they have to have worked with each other before and there's lots of planning involved) and the spell will last as long as the spell is held up by the reservoir of mana or other equivalent of the group of geomancers; 
2. entirely powered by reservoir items arranged in map bearings that max out the powers of each item representing a particular Symbol and the entire Formation. In this case, the spell will only last until the stored energies in the reservoir items run out (depending on the formation, might be until any one of them run out on power or all of them run out on power);
3. a mixture of 1 and 2 eg. if can't find a Geomancer with natural affinity to one particular Symbol, replace Geomancer with reservoir time corresponding to the missing Symbol; if one of the reservoir times that go into a formation has relatively less 'energies' stored, then a Geomancer can be used to replace it so that the formation doesn't get disrupted b/c this more powerless reservoir item etc. Note, however, in most cases, how a combo spell is powered is decided before it is cast as it is very difficult and dangerous to change how you power a combo spell half-way eg. if halfway thru a combo spell casting powered by Geomancers only, one Geomancer suddenly can't do his job and the spell collapses w/o synchronisation from the group, then the spell has a high probability of backfiring on the whole group of casters.
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Vartanadel
Locations  (Country/ State)   (Any)
Moonlake's comment on 2013-06-14 06:08 PM
Solid idea and write-up. I can see the set-up of this society (with the Naming and all) will lead to a lot of intrigues and plots although I must say I personally never like pieces with so much political 'fickleness' implied. I was going to vote for a 3 but then decided against voting at all in case my personal bias will lead me to vote less objectively than I otherwise would.

Also, for some reason, you've got ddd attached in 2 places at the end of your words, once in the summary and once in the first heading 
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