The best part about this submission is the name of the sword, the steel cathexis. A cathexis is a psychoanalytical term representing an object invested with libido or sexual energy. The original term was used in reference to the pumping of steam engines contemporary to Freud's time period. So the steel cathexis is quite literally a metal penis spewing hot (lava) goo all over the place. Go to Comment
It just wouldn't do for the founder of this great institution to lie mouldering in a box buried in the ground. Much like Lenin the elders are preserved. It also facilitates necromantic magics as having an intact corpse generally makes summoning a ghost much easier. Go to Comment
interesting item explaining the origin of the lycanthropic creatures, without resorting to the typical maledictions of the moon-goddess, or evil sorcerers. Anyone with sufficient skill could make one, regardless of their alignment.
I would venture to guess that even if there are easier and more efficient ways to induce shapechanging, they had to come from somewhere. Perhaps the aspect stones were simply the first reliable method? Go to Comment
If a child ate one of the pieces of a lesser puzzle, the magic of the puzzle would be rendered inert. Each piece contains a small part of the spell, but all of the pieces have to be present. As for Emhyr's puzzle specifically (had to think on this one for a bit) the pasteboard has a very minor enchantment tied into its ability to entice a person to play it.
should a piece of the puzzle be placed in the mouth, even that of a child, the piece of pasteboard will taste like the worst thing that the person has ever eaten, or sometimes, the worst thing they have ever smelled. Go to Comment
I would imagine that someone might have an opportunity to realize that the nature of the puzzle is a fascination, and be allowed a chance to break the spell. The difficulty would be based on how much the person in question trusts magic. A barbarian or berzerker might have no problem putting down the puzzle, given their anti-magic feelings. The mage, how has devoted his life to the art, however...
After a person has forfeited the puzzle (by the above method, or by means of a Break Enchantment type spell) someone else can pick up the puzzle and try their hand at it. The puzzle will reset to the new person and the fun commences all over again. It only responds to the person who activated it, but being a toymaker and loving children, the puzzle also has an acho of this feeling for children. I'm not saying it is sentient, it's not. It is simply much more forgiving towards children, as its creator would have been. Go to Comment
I think it is far to easy to forget that the bulk of magic is going to be used in the day to day affairs of the populace, providing that magic is accepted and not reviled or seen as evil. To touch on a lighter subject, such items as self-stirring pots, enchanted scrubbers that wash dishes, and the old stand-by, the Apprentice's Brooms come to mind.
On a more serious note, there will certainly be a market for good luck charms, amulets and special wardings. Would you like a Ward vs. Telemarketers? What about an illegal charm that wards away the King's Taxman? Go to Comment
Evolution is a process of genetic mutation caused by the interference out outside radiation such as UV and the basic concept of genetic drift. In this situation, the outside stimulus is the high concentration of magic in the area constantly altering the basic structure of the local wildlife. Those species that are able to adapt to the basic enviroment and carry their inherent traits onto the next generation are the basic force of evolution. It is easy to confuse evolution with adaptation. The massive topography shift would likely destroy the majority of the wildlife each time it changed, and if a predator looses its basic prey, it to generally perishes. That, and massive topographical shifts just go against the magic saturated muggy feel of Mother Bog.
The Biological Arms Race - The dinosauria of the late Cretaceous period are a good example of the biological arms race. The herbivores began developing massively intricate defensive mechanisms, such as interlocking bone plate armor(anklyosaurs), massive horn and frill defences (Horned Dinosaurs such as Triceratops) and the mother of all defences, teh Stegosaur's double row of plates. According to Robert Bakker, it has been discovered that there were muscle grooves on the plates meaning that the dinosaur could move the plates in the same manner that a horse can twitch it's skin, or move its tail. The predators responded by growing larger and gaining thicker necks and more powerful jaws. This process was specialization, but it didn't always inbreed weakness. A triceratops wasn't easy prey for any other predator, it wasn't easy prey for anything.
The evolution that Monument describes seems more the like the Borg from Star Trek who are able to adapt and negate almost any weapon used against them in a matter of moments. And if you look at wildlife (not house pets, livestock, or zoo animals) it is fairly apparent that animals are not politically correct. Predators hunt and kill their prey, their prey attempts to survive by stealth, intimidation, or confrontation. It was Hoobs who said that 'Life is brutish, nasty, and short' or something along those lines. Go to Comment
I like the invalid angle, but the terrible cough of doom seems a tad heavy. If he is wealthy and there are adventurers and the like, why hasn't he simply procured magical healing for himself? That being said, he can be an excellent employer for PCs hunting down trinkets and books for him, or the spell components to fix his wounded lungs.
I also had the idea of the halfling being carried around by a Hodor-Golem Go to Comment
Because being crazy for the sake of being crazy is way better than being evil for the sake of evil. Demons are evil, it is a fundamental part of their existance. If you dont like the demon aspect, how bout if the Herald is a sadist who gains his satisfaction by manipulating people for no personal gain. (Think of the movie Saw for an idea of what I am talking about)
Now for the post, I thoroughly enjoye it including the paranoid tailor. I can just see a little reed thin Woody Allen type sitting surrounded by priests who might look like they should be in a mobster movie rather than priestly robes.
All to often, it seems, that we can be caught up in mangling and severing a submission to see if we can dissect it enough to put into our own various games. This manor house may be mundane, with no magical monsters, hedges of carnivorous plants, and no dakr elf assassins accompanied by their lightning stripped tigers.. That does nothig to detract from it's value. The fact that there is such a wealth of detail makes all the more valuable.
Cliches such because they are overdone, they take the extrodinary and reduce it to something that becomes ridiculed. Giant demons with unholy weapons, orphaned bountry-hunter drow with pet giant spiders, it is so far from the norm that it is stupid. Now, we find this manorial house, with an elaborate write-up and some nice history that doesnt go into overkill. If Moon had decied to write the 72 names on the memorial stone, that would be overkill. With what he wrote, I can see this place, imagine walking through the carefully manicured lawn while a stripe of a child runs along lighting the candles along the walkways.
While you may not be able to distill out a random encounter table for the garden, or calculate the XP value of the hedges doesnt detract from the value of the post. This kind of detail leads to game memoris that last years after the game has passed. This is the kind of detail that one would find between teh pages of an Anne Rice novel set in New Orleans, or perhaps a sublty macabre deserted town in a Stephen King novel.
That being said, a 5/5 for Moon's work, and a cuff to the back of Monument and Kendra's heads. Go to Comment
At the very first look, I was afraid this was going to be another bumbling old mage who was forgetful and very powerful. Instead I find an interesting character with other than violent plans, such as the curio cabinet and the job of being an economic advisor/mage. I enjoyed reading this post Monument.
There is room for improvement, his history is a little vague and that is the only thing, IMO that keeps him from being a 5.
Some people are already half way to being heaps of Ass, so a sword that helps them along might be a neat idea. I'd like to see you do a revision of this post Callista. It has alot of promise. Go to Comment
Writing is an arrogance of our agrarian, and sedentary lifestyle. The keeping of records and other boring information requires the skill of writing. Keeping the history and lore of a people, often in the form of oral epics is the place of the bard and loremaster. The merfolk arent farmers, they dont plant crops, dont till the undersea soil. They survive by hunting fish and gathering food from the coral reefs and such. Their language could be very large and intricate, with no written counterpart, and permanent messages recorded in stone in the form of pictographs, or in the borrowed tongue of some other aquatic race, or borrowed from us surface dwellers. Go to Comment
I share Echo's sentiment, the two-weapon fighting and the dislike of giants screams Dungeons and Dragons basic Ranger. The background is rather longer than it needs to be, and there are some funny characters studded in the sub that need to be weeded out. (âfind her wayâ) Go to Comment
What better device of salvation for the people of coral than a weapon of coral. I can see there being a small problem of the weapon being useless against an armored foe, especially well made metal armors or perhaps armor made from the thick carapaces of exotic undersea beasties. All in all, nicely done. Go to Comment
The basic idea seems to be lacking, honestly. A stone axe covered in glass seems both unwieldy, heavy, and very easy to break. I only mention this as their was no mention of the glass being strengthened by the alchemists when they coated the axe with glass. The inventor in question, and his quest to understand the goop was quite entertaining, along with his less than spectacular mansion. I wouldn's mind seeing more about Furlongdor and his lands
I think this idea, the armor dissolving weapon, might work better with a sling and the acid filled ampuoles. The weapons of the nobility are as much symbols of status as they are tools of war. Go to Comment
I can see mass outcry at the horrific nature of the weapon, and the utter contempt for humanity it possesses, much like the outcry against the original crossbow, and more modern weapons such as landmines and napalm. I can almost see the History Channel doing an hour long show on the development and usage of the Firebow, and its enventual decline among the soldiery and adoption by the more more flamboyant and less pragmatic adventurer. I especially liked the last paragraph.