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The Rainbow Sword
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Heroic)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-09-01 09:28 PM
The reason I didn't go into specifics on the blade is that I think a lot of the mystery and wonder of RPGs is lost in the mania to assign stats to everything. TSR adding stats to the gods all those years back didn't provoke people to think gods were awesome; the munchkins screeched out "Cool! THOR himself only has 300 hit points! We can take him!"

But just F-my-I, what specifics do you think it needs? Go to Comment
The Rainbow Sword
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Heroic)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-09-03 04:18 AM

First time I saw either sub is when I looked at the links you just posted. Over 7500 subs on this site, man. I figure I invent my character names the same way most people do, coming up with syllable combos that sound euphonious, or seeing names somewhere that sound cool. Let's look at those gods you mention in The Six Who Are: 4700 Google hits for Alabrin, a few dozen each for Kestreth and Hydiria, 900-someodd for Kronath, and nearly THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND for Arathena. (I figure you didn't gank the name from the hotel in Italy ... did you?)

As far as the "Lady of Thunders" goes, there are a limited number of elements in myth attributed to major gods. Not too many major players in mythology whose claim to fame is that they're the Lord of Aardvarks or the Goddess of Fig Newtons. I don't see that you use the term yourself.

Go to Comment
The Rainbow Sword
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Heroic)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-09-06 12:11 PM
Already in there: "It parries any attack, or any number of attackers."

I also figured that "Hit anyone and he dies, hit anything and it's blown to pieces" is plenty "epic" enough! Go to Comment
The Rainbow Sword
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Heroic)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-09-06 12:14 PM
Yeah, that was deliberate. Seriously, how many writeups of artifact-level magical weapons DON'T involve "it sucks out the soul of your friends / turns you insane or evil / makes you awesomely strong but horribly clumsy / whatever?" You have to figure that in most such RPG campaigns, the sensible reaction of any party to finding the Legendary Glowy Sword of Epicness would be to run like the clappers and see if they can bring down the ceiling of the dungeon to bury the sucker for all time. Go to Comment
How To Make Your Orcs TRULY Horrific
Articles  (Setting Building)   (Game Mastering)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-31 06:41 AM
Well ... in honesty, I play them in my own setting as a race like any other: much more violent, much less pretty, but certainly not as monolithically "Chaotic Evil." Orcs should be portrayed in whatever light individual GMs see fit for their own worlds.

But if you WANT to play them as hateful beings, out to destroy and mar everything, this is how to do it, IMHO. Go to Comment
How To Make Your Orcs TRULY Horrific
Articles  (Setting Building)   (Game Mastering)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-31 09:46 AM
Mm, of course it works only if orcs are an irredeemably evil race in your setting. Why would you want to make them "horrific" otherwise?

But your approach is exactly what I'm arguing against, here. First off, third-person accounts of terrible deeds don't really hit people in the gut. It's why TV (and, now, online) clips are so effective: fifteen seconds' worth of panoramic views of starving children in a filth-ridden refugee camp hits people ten times harder than all the dry newspaper articles printed. Further, if we're RPing right, those accounts are usually sanitized and almost never explicit -- they're going to be on the level of the Old West "Them 'Pashes put them poor wimmen t' the worst possible indignities" bowdlerizations. This isn't going to impact players viscerally.

Secondly, in order to work well, horror has to be something people find horrific. Torched buildings, smashed artwork, disease vectors ... around a gaming table, a lot of that is just par for the course. Go to Comment
How To Make Your Orcs TRULY Horrific
Articles  (Setting Building)   (Game Mastering)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-31 07:10 PM
Well, sure: of course it's a matter of diminishing returns. One of the several reasons I don't do horror, as per the "I'd never want to take a campaign in that direction, nor have the stomach for it if I did" line you read above. Go to Comment
On LGBT Characters
Articles  (Setting Building)   (Game Mastering)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-09-01 09:30 PM
Hell, I'm still squeamish around effeminate men, and I've marched in Gay Pride parades in front of the drag queens. But I think that's my upbringing talking, and what I was socialized to think. All we can be expected to do is control how we act or treat other folks. Go to Comment
The Last Submission About Voting and Commenting
Articles  (Humor/ Editorial)   (Citadel Help)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-30 05:19 AM
Idran Motaer
NPCs  (Major)   (Criminal/Espionage)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-27 12:41 PM
Not bad. How would a person normally hire him?

I'd also toss something in along the lines of if you do hire him, one of the stipulations is that he refuses to accept a time limit on the hit. (It might take time for the setup!) Go to Comment
Response Set
Articles  (Character)   (Gaming - In General)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-27 12:49 PM
It might not be quite done yet but it's a damn thought provoking piece, so I'm happy to slap a vote on it pending.

I'm working on 2 hours sleep so my brain isn't on, but one "response" type that comes to mind is what I figure'd be a "Solipsist" or "Self-Absorbed" response. You all know the type: the one who always makes the situation about himself. If you had to put your pet down today, he'll talk about how sad he is about losing his pet last year. If you just got a new job and you want to tell people about it, he's all about how excited he gets when HE starts a new job. On the nice end of the scale, he wants to share experiences; on the other end, he wants to be the corpse at every funeral and the bride at every wedding. Go to Comment
The Exoteric Order of the Purposeful Gear
Society/ Organizations  (Mystical)   (Regional)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-19 05:00 PM
FYI, "Exoteric" is not a typo; that's how the Order spells it. Masters are very happy to explain to you, in exhausting and bewildering length, how the word differs from "Esoteric." Go to Comment
Systems  (Societal/ Cultural)   (General)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-20 09:10 PM
Well, typical *fantasy* world, anyway -- I don't do D&D myself, and my setting doesn't have much in the way of anti-goblin pogroms. I expect anyone who grabs the idea'll adapt it to their own settings as they like! Go to Comment
Systems  (Societal/ Cultural)   (General)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-20 09:19 PM
In my setting, it's done exactly that. Go to Comment
The Celestial Dragon Suit
Items  (Clothes)   (Magical)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-22 11:51 AM
Oh, now this is cool: an artifact-level dancing costume. I think I'll pinch it for my own campaign, with a high-magic realm about to go to war. Go to Comment
30 More Generals
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Combative)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-12 01:37 PM
I've been at this for some hours, and while there are thousands of generals of history I could adapt, I don't mind if someone fills out the roster if I don't get to it promptly. Go to Comment
30 More Generals
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Combative)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-14 12:39 AM
Heh, well, when you look at it, that's the critical element involved with any general: does s/he suck at it or not? Leave that part out, and it's a critical flaw! Go to Comment
30 More Generals
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Combative)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-15 04:47 PM

Probably could, even if the characters might get a tad repetitive! As to that, only four of those are based on fictional commanders.

Go to Comment
30 More Generals
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Combative)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-21 04:40 AM
Heck, I could run it a few more, although I'd get diminishing returns on personality traits distinctive enough to be useful to players.

But heck, if NPC creation isn't easy for you, this approach is a good way out. Each and every one of those generals I listed are real world generals, except for the two from Anton Myrer's superb "Once An Eagle," the one from Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," and the one from Brian Daley's "The Starfollowers of Coramonde." The traits listed are ones really recorded. But you could do the same riff with any other commander.

Take Denethor, from Lord of the Rings. If I were to have done up "The Denethor," anyone familiar with LotR could work it out: the hereditary commander-in-chief of the national military, a sound, skilled and wise leader for many years. But he's been slowly going mad, he's convinced his nation is doomed to be annihilated in the next war, and it's causing him to make reckless decisions, to treat subordinates callously, and to ignore his allies. A jealous streak and a fear of being superseded doesn't help matters.

File off the serial numbers, and you can make a vivid portrayal from that, yeah? Great. You can do that with pretty much any fictional character, and that's how you do key NPCs if coming up with personalities is tough for you.

Beyond that, a lot of gamers get bogged down in stats. They sweat over attributes, levels, skill lists, magic items, combat stats, all manner of fripperies. And for the most part you don't need any of that. What do you need to know about the generals on this list? Their tactics/strategy skills. A Will roll for how much they stick to things. Probably a Health/Con stat, because campaign life is rigorous, and many a general's been laid low in a key hour by illness or age. And that's about it. Most of these guys aren't going to fight: a half-dozen were in their sixties as I portray them, and three of them in their seventies, so who cares what their Broadsword or Riding skills are? You can save yourself the trouble with all of that. Go to Comment
USSS Ticonderoga
Locations  (Other)   (Space)
Morningstar's comment on 2015-08-21 11:19 AM
Out of votes, so I'll just comment.

While this is a good idea well executed, there are two critical flaws which crack my suspension of disbelief.

* So let me get this straight. This one superdreadnaught was the backbone of the Pax Americana, and they only built ONE? They had NO backups? NO contingency plans? There were SEVEN different AIs, with all the troubles one can conceive of with that, and no one thought that putting every single possible egg into that basket was maybe a bad idea? That's just demented.

* SLMGTS, II: The "militaristic" US had the will and stomach to roast a hundred million people with this ubership. But they then DIDN'T go on to say: "Folks, you're no longer permitted transcontinental range planes, missile technology, or any of that. All your nuclear sites will be destroyed a half hour from now, so evacuate anyone whose blood you don't want on our consciences. Disband your national militaries, and we're sending satraps to take over your seats of government. Sail any ship with missile launching capability into international waters at once, and scuttle them. You have one day to comply with all of these terms, and we will fry one of your cities for every day thereafter you don't, or if we see so much as a drone take off starting ten minutes from now." Sorry, no, I don't buy it. Go to Comment
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