Strolen\s Citadel content. 
Maggie Innkeeper
NPCs  (Minor)   (Domestic/ Craft)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-01-11 12:14 AM
This deserves a bump, being a good solid NPC that veers away from the average psuedo-warrior with a beer rag working the bar. Really a good NPC who has the potential to grow in a game, considering how many PC's are invariably orphans or otherwise lacking solid parental upbringing. Go to Comment
Mountain Gate
Locations  (Area)   (Mountains)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-31 04:40 PM
Great setting, with plenty of springboards for adventures, problems and all of those lovely gems we like to toss at the unsuspecting who have made the mistake of venturing into our games.

I think if there were some plot hooks, and maybe some history I could give this post a higher vote, but as it is, it's 3.5 Go to Comment
Alter Of the Storm
Items  (Wand/Staff/ Arcane)   (Sentient)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-31 04:36 PM
Very nice piece of work Maggot. Go to Comment
The Armour of Arrogance
Items  (Armor)   (Magical)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-28 11:10 PM
Well, this is a rather mediocre item, with suitable powers balanced, or cursed by the drawbacks associated with it. However it shines in the area of backstory. Illegal magic, acts of kindness, and all repaid with duplicity. In addition to be being well written and engaging, there is a moral here to be careful of what you wish for... Kudos Cheka Go to Comment
play: Bad Example Dissection
Items  (Armor)   (Heroic)
Scrasamax's comment on 2009-07-01 05:08 PM
Update: Removed from the Archive of Death and annotated as a How Not To write example of a submission. Go to Comment
play: Bad Example Dissection
Items  (Armor)   (Heroic)
Scrasamax's comment on 2011-02-08 11:32 PM
Not necessarily, there is an 11th century Tale of Genji, purportedly the first novel, and there is a Genji family, and there are no shortage of Japanese action and RPGs that involve the Genji theme. Final Fantasy might just be the best known, and probably the most topical. Go to Comment
Battles out of History
Systems  (Combat/ Warfare)   (General)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-27 04:38 PM
The Flying Tigers

In April, 1937, Claire L. Chennault, then a captain in the United States Army Air Corps, retired from active duty and accepted an offer form Madame Chiang Kai-shek for a three month mission to China to make a confidential survey of the Chinese Air Force. At that time China and Japan were on the verge of war and the fledgling Chinese Air Force was beset by internal problems and torn between American and Italian influence. Madame Chiang Kai-shek took over leadership of the Aeronautical Commission in order to reorganize the Chinese Air Force. This was the beginning of Chennault's stay in China which did not terminate until 1945 at the close of World War II. Chennault's combat and other experiences between 1937 and 1941 in China are another story, but it was these experiences together with the knowledge he attained of combat tactics and the operations of Japanese Air Force over China that laid the ground work for the organization of the American Volunteer Group in 1941.

Early in 1939 the Japanese began their tremendous effort to break the back of Chinese resistance by sustained bombing of every major population center in Free China. It was the virtually unopposed and continuous bombing of the major centers of Free China by Japanese Air Force that directly led to the organization of the American Volunteer Group. In the fall of 1940 the Generalissimo instructed Chennault to go to the United States for the purpose of obtaining American planes and American pilots to end the Japanese bombing.

Planes were a tough problem. China had been a long-time, profitable customer for Curtiss-Wright, so my old friend, Burdette Wright, Curtiss Vice-President, came up with a proposition. They had six assembly lines turning out P-40's for the British, who had taken over a French order after the fall of France. If the British would waive their priority on 100 P-40B's then rolling off one line, Curtiss would add a seventh assembly line and make 100 later-model P-40's for the British. The British were glad to exchange the P-40B for a model more suitable for combat.

"The P-40B was not equipped with a gun sight, bomb rack or provisions for attaching auxiliary fuel tanks to the wing or belly. Much of our effort during training and combat was devoted to makeshift attempts to remedy these deficiencies. The combat record of the First American Volunteer Group in China is even more remarkable because its pilots were aiming their guns through a crude, homemade, ring-and-post gun sight instead of the more accurate optical sights used by the Air Corps and the Royal Air Force.

Personnel proved a tougher nut to crack. The military were violently opposed to the whole idea of American volunteers in China. Lauchlin Currie and I went to see General Arnold in April of 1941. He was 100% opposed to the project.

It took direct personal intervention from President Roosevelt to pry the pilots and ground crews from the Army and Navy. On April 15, 1941, an unpublished executive order went out under his signature, authorizing reserve officer and enlisted men to resign from the Army Air Corps, Naval and Marine air services for the purpose of joining the American Volunteer Group in China.

Although, the A.V.G. was blooded over China, it was the air battles over Rangoon that stamped the hallmark on its fame as the Flying Tigers. The cold statistics for the 10 weeks the A.V.G. served at Rangoon show its strength varied between twenty and five serviceable P-40's. This tiny force met a total of a thousand-odd Japanese aircraft over Southern Burma and Thailand. In 31 encounters they destroyed 217 enemy planes and probably destroyed 43. Our losses in combat were four pilots killed in the air, one killed while strafing and one taken prisoner. Sixteen P-40's were destroyed. During the same period, the R.A.F., fighting side by side with the A.V.G., destroyed 74 enemy planes, probably destroyed 33, with a loss of 22 Buffaloes and Hurricanes.

In describing the genesis of the name "Flying Tigers" and the group's insignia, Chennault says:

"Before I left the United States in the summer of 1941, I asked a few friends in Louisiana to watch the newspapers and send me any clippings about the A.V.G. Now I was being swamped with clippings from stateside newspapers, and my men were astonished to find themselves world famous as the Flying Tigers. The insignia we made famous was by no means original with the A.V.G. Our pilots copied the shark-tooth design on their P-40's noses from a colored illustration in the India Illustrated Weekly depicting an R.A.F. squadron in the Libyan Desert with shark-nose P-40's. Even before that the German Air Force painted shark's teeth on some of its Messerschmitt 210 fighters. With the pointed nose of a liquid cooled engine it was an apt and fearsome design. How the term Flying Tigers was derived from the shark-nosed P-40's I never will know. At any rate we were somewhat surprised to find ourselves billed under that name. It was not until just before the A.V.G. was disbanded that we had any kind of group insignia. At the request of the China Defense Supplies in Washington, the Walt Disney organization in Hollywood designed our insignia consisting of a winged tiger flying through a large V for victory."

The A.V.G. was finally disbanded on July 4, 1942. The group celebrated its final day in the air by knocking down five enemy fighters over Hengyang and escorting U.S. Army Air Forces B-25's to bomb the Japanese air base at Canton. At midnight on July 4, 1942, the American Volunteer Group passed into history. In summarizing that history over the preceding year, Chennault states:

"The group that the military experts predicted would not last three weeks in combat had fought for seven months over Burma, China, Thailand, and French Indo-China, destroying 299 Japanese planes with another 153 probably destroyed. All of this with a loss of 12 P-40's in combat and 61 on the ground, including the 22 burned at Loi-Wing. Four pilots were killed in air combat; six were killed by anti-aircraft fire; three by enemy bombs on the ground; and three were taken prisoner. Ten more died as a result of flying accidents. Although the Japanese promised on their radio broadcasts to shoot A.V.G. prisoners as bandits, they treated our three prisoners as well as regular British and American POW's. I took it as an indication of the enemy's genuine respect for our organization.


"The group had whipped the Japanese Air Force in more than 50 air battles without a single defeat. With the R.A.F. it had kept the port of Rangoon and the Burma Road open for 2 1/2 precious months while supplies trickled into China. With less than one-third of its combat strength it saved China from final collapse on the Salween. Its reputation alone was sufficient to keep Japanese bombers away from Chunking. It freed the cities of East China from years of terror bombing and finally gave both Chinese and American morale an incalculable boost at a time when it was sagging dangerously low. All this cost the Chinese $8,000,000 - about $3,000,000 in salaries and personnel expenses and $5,000,000 for planes and equipment. After the final accounting was made, I wrote Dr. Soong my regrets that expenses had exceeded my original estimates.

"He replied, 'The A.V.G. was the soundest investment China ever made. I am ashamed that you should even consider the cost'."


In April, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote of the American Volunteer Group:

"The outstanding gallantry and conspicuous daring that the American Volunteer Group combined with their unbelievable efficiency is a source of tremendous pride throughout the whole of America. The fact that they have labored under the shortages and difficulties is keenly appreciated . . . "

After the American Volunteer Group was disbanded on July 4, 1942, the China Air Task Force of the United States Army Air Forces, commanded by General Chennault, officially took over air operations in China. In early March, 1943, the 14th Air Force was activated under the command of Chennault and replaced the China Air Task Force. Chennault remained in command of the 14th Air Force until the end of July, 1945. General Chennault formally retired from the military for the second time in October, 1945.

Complete page here Go to Comment
Our First Quest
Locations  (Establishment)   (Water)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-27 03:15 PM
#2 Lord Ilyich's Manse
Reply #2 on: July 31, 2004, 10:57:58 AM

Lord Ilyich raised for himself a great keep, situated on one of the tower islands located in the river Narmouth. Some of the tower islands were little more than spires, while others could be as large as several acres square. Ilyich chose a middling size island, both for ease of defence, and for reduced cost of walling in the island.

The keep was completed in under seven years, complete with massive walls grounded out into the bedrock of the island iself. The walls added another twenty feet of height to the island, the better to repell river bandits, and the bold shipbound barbarians who would at times sail up the great rivers to burn and pillage and steal. There were a number of towers, a great hall, as well as a spacious don jon, and space for nearly 500 men and women to live in comfort.

The interior of the tower island was honeycombed with passages, and chambers. Stables, middens, and the forges and smithies were buried in the island where they would be out of sight, and not pollute the many gardens, and small parks scattered about within the upper walls. Some of the passages were used daily, others were restricted, or secret.

Lord Ilyich preferred the gentlemanly comfort of the carriage to the loping gait of a horse, and had an expansive collection of carriages. These too, were kept in the space under the island. It soon became a problem that it was too difficult to ferry the carriages to and from the island. After some deliberation, the lord with the aid of the dwarven mastermason Ar-Trovvel, came upon a novel solution.

A causeway was built between the island, and the shore. The bridge would lead into a rampway where the carriage could be maneuvered easily into the carriage stalls, and the horses could also be moved with a minimum of fuss from the carriage area to the stables. Ilyich was pleased when a further use was found for the causeway. Supplies came easier than by ship, and it was a better way to turn the horses out of the stalls to a pasture, and certainly safer than having to embark on a ship twice a day to do so.

The matter of defence was also paramount in the minds of the two designers. Ar-Trovvel designed several sets of granite slab doors, reinforced from behind with oak and iron banding. An elaborate system of counterweights balanced the door and made it's operation swift and easy. One door seperated the causeway from the carriage barn, another seperated the carriage barn from the interior of the keep. The walls in the areas vulnerable to the causeway were heavily reinforced, and arrowholes were added both in the ceiling from the floor above, but in several walls as well.

As a finishing touch, Ilyich had the bridge roofed in the popular earthen tile glazed against the weather. The causeway became both functional, and artistic. Fellow lords would come to see the wealth of Ilyich's carriages, and the cunning nature of his keep, and would be pleased with the vibrant colors and many tiles, the first of which seen were those of the causeway. Dwarves would come to see the great works of Ar-Trovvel, and Lord Ilyich, and marvel at the wonders created when man and dwarf cooperate, Go to Comment
NPCs  (Extras)   (Domestic/ Craft)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-26 09:34 AM
Sparse. We know next to nothing about this man other than him being the token foreign guy. Go to Comment
NPCs  (Major)   (Domestic/ Craft)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-26 09:31 AM
Interesting, the position of the seneschal has long been present in my own games but seemingly absent from the game world in general. There are always plenty of servants, valets, and butlers about but never their supervisor. Also a nice description of the quiet power wielded by the bony old goat. He reminds me of what a Lasombra would be before being turned into a vampire (for those of you who happen to dabble in that game system) Go to Comment
NPCs  (Major)   (Domestic/ Craft)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-26 09:32 AM
Interesting, the position of the seneschal has long been present in my own games but seemingly absent from the game world in general. There are always plenty of servants, valets, and butlers about but never their supervisor. Also a nice description of the quiet power wielded by the bony old goat. He reminds me of what a Lasombra would be before being turned into a vampire (for those of you who happen to dabble in that game system) Go to Comment
Adventurers Guild Contract
Systems  (Societal/ Cultural)   (General)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-26 09:15 AM
The presence of a superior, possibly big brother-esque adventurers guild that demands it's pound of flesh from the Heroe's loot? I like the idea. Sign the contract, pay the 10% of the loot and gain all the benefits of the guild.

Legal representation in grave-robbing trials, interdiction by the guild when an adventure strays to close to theft and vandalism. Angry nobles foiled by the guild. Not bad as long as you pay your dues and don't forget that the guild always gets its share Go to Comment
Sleigh of the Storm
Items  (Transports)   (Magical)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-26 09:21 AM
Wonderful. Go to Comment
A Dash of Salt
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-04-22 05:42 PM
I'm going to have to take a special trip to the liquor store for this one! Go to Comment
A Dash of Salt
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-04-22 06:01 PM
Baked Courge with Parmesan

1 ripe courge
1/2 cup of butter
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp of chopped fresh herbs
1 shallot, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

1. Cut courge in half and remove seeds. Place halves face down in a roasting tin add a touch of water and bake for 40 minutes at medium heat, until tender.

2. Meanwhile puree and blend the butter, herbs, garlic, shallot, and lemon juice until thoroughly blended and creamy, season with salt and pepper.

3. Remove cooked courges and cut slice from the bottom so the squash will sit level on a warmed serving plate.

4. Add dollop of butter herb mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese, serve remaining butter and cheese as sides as the courge is eaten.

common vegetarian and peasant dish served in Falhath Go to Comment
Ice Ghoul
Lifeforms  (Ethereal)   (Tundra/ Arctic)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-01-27 09:03 AM
The concept is interesting, but at times feels confused. Is the Ice ghoul a corporeal form of undead, that can consume flesh and strike phyiscal blows in combat, or is it a shade, someinthg lacking substance but's passage can leave frost burns? The story could use some work, and the powers seem rather on the high side. Go to Comment
Prince's End and The Memorial of Pinezano
Locations  (City)   (Any)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-20 05:08 PM
Feels very Italian to me, with the backstabbing medieval politics and the seemingly lacksidasical lifestyle of the new town. The addition of a harsh local insult and drunkard past times are good stuff, along with the haggard informant tortured by his past deeds. Go to Comment
Prince's End and The Memorial of Pinezano
Locations  (City)   (Any)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-26 09:42 AM
I don't think there is anything wrong with using a historical template. If the players are somewhat familiar with the template in question it reduces the number off oddball questions that invariably come up. Creating an entire new setting, complete with it's own history, customs and etc carries the secondary difficulty of passing this plethora of information onto the gamers. If they know there is a general medieval Italian setting to the game, they will know that it isn't alright to try and play a sweaty bare-chested Assyrian-esque barbarian with a penchant for shouting out his loyalty to steel and killing. It gives a better idea of what the locals are like, and what there is going to be to eat. Go to Comment
Autumndale Trees
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-20 05:04 PM
The first thought I had was to create the inanimae/dryads that might come from these trees, followed by some sort of hybrid changeling tree. Who knows, maybe they could cross-pollinate with local trees of very close relation. Go to Comment
Faerie Talisman of Concealing Mists
Items  (Wand/Staff/ Arcane)   (Sentient)
Scrasamax's comment on 2005-12-26 09:17 AM
Only voted Go to Comment
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Join Now!!

       By: Scrasamax

Elven Light Horse - a lithe and small animal well suited to the forest home of the elves. It has semi-cloven hooves, a longer tail, like that common to unicorn illustrations, and always a snow white pelt. Lives inthe forest, able to stand on back legs to crop leaves from the lower branches of trees. Shy and easily frightened, but at peace when around elves.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | August 14, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp