The thing about a cliche that most people forget is the reason that it is a cliche. It is a cliche because it works, and though this isnt the best, it is certainly far from the worst. (playing good cop/bad cop...heh heh)
To be certain, it does have many cliches, from relying on the doddering old magus for the answers, to lost cities and gems as keys. Why is this cliche, because since it works, it has been overworked, like a good field not left fallow on occassion.
The question becomes how to make it fresh, how to make it good again. This can be done with a little thought, and a lot of attention to details, as they say, the Devil is in the details.
My main problem with this plot is there is not much of a hook. If the characters are of a mercenary nature, they will likely just sell the map. There has to be something to draw them in moreso than just an old scrap of paper in a bottle. Perhaps this chaos barrier is slowly failing, and the PCs are brought face to face with chaos monsters and warp demons before finding the map. Then the map becomes important, especially if the demons were powerful and hard to banish.
As always Detail detail detail
will rate after some editing Go to Comment
It would have been simple to merely state that twelve children were sacrificed to create a Frankensteinian monster that looked like an elf and had higher motivations. The extra effort to create, and name the twelve is worthy of more than five flames, but as that is all that I can give, that is what I will give. Very well done!
This seems to be of limited value and perhaps overly bound by limits of numbers, turns, etc. When I read this I thought of when I read Dune (Forget about the movie, it never touched on this) involving the main character Paul when he was percieving the flow of fate, and to some extent the navigators guild.
The first thing would be to disregard any sort of time traveling, as the above item reads more technically as. (I know it isnt, but play, rewind, play again...time travel) Fate would be more ephemeral and less precise (Unless you want it to be mechanically precise, and immutable) and more given to flows.
A simile would work best, perhaps comparing fatespinning to weaving a tapestry. The Spike of Fate is a potent tool allowing for this ability to be manifested, or enhanced. Instead of percieving a battle in a visual context of sword versus shield, and lines of troops clashing over the battlefield, the fatespinner instead sees the lines of fate, perhaps thousands of strands coming together in a giant nexus, or tangle. Add flares of color, angry tones of red, the yellow hue of fear, and the black cloud of death, with many of these lines snapping, ending.
It leaves the matter open to intreptation, and improvisation. Perhaps by being more nebulous it would be easier to manage rather than using a discouraging system of heavy paperwork and note-taking. Since it is lacking specific details, it isnt 100% accurate.
Okay, that being said, the gnomish inventor with a flying machine is now about as original, and interesting as the black clad Drow assassin, or barbarian orc. There has to be something that can be done to reinvigorate the gnomish archtype.
What about a half drunk, swaggering, savvy air pirate, or perhaps a gnomish captain who wins engagement after engagement through careful and meticuluous planning and execution and build a cult of personality about himself. Dispense with the silly names!
Q: Hmmm...hey fellas, I heard a rumor that the evil demon of the North is dead, and all of his loot us up for grabs. Wanna go loot a demons lair?
A: No, not really. I dont want to die today.
Solution: This isnt a bad idea, but it needs a hook, something to make it more personal and interesting. It feels like a classic DM Dungeoncrawl trap that could end in dead PCs, or a loving roundy of Monty Haul.
Replace the demon with a powerful diabolical warlord, otherwise the demon is just a big scary monster worth a bunch of XP.
Vandalism is one of the first things that happens during the breakdown of civil authority. Some of the youngsters avoided the contaminant for a while, and as the other citizens weakened and died, they had a fling, broke stuff, and then themselves succumbed to the evil. Everyone died, but it didnt happen overnight, there was a breakdown of authority, and a surge in petty crime since there was no law enforcement. Go to Comment
One of the things that this brings to mind is an old woodcarving I saw in a textbook, called King Cholera. It showed a grim reaper, complete with grinning skull, exposed ribs and bony hands working the handle of a water pump, while a young woman and her children gathered water. Go to Comment
This was my 34th submission, when I was still new to the Citadel. It was a different place then, the palate was sepia tone, there were fewer categories and sometimes we could go a week without a new submission being dropped. It seems almost surreal to me that I wrote this almost 3 years ago. Go to Comment
Not a bad effort, but aside from the ebony flute, there is not much different from the standard prodigal son. I do think it seems odd that Alastor's father gave him exactly what he wanted, release from royal duty but with the addition of being disowned from the family.
Perhaps if his father had offered to take the idea under consideration, he could later, in a public ceremony (So the disgrace born by Alastor would be greater) be officially disowned, and exiled from the family holdings. He would have to live in the shadow of his own percieved or otherwise failure, plus a great number of people would know. Disowning an heir-apparent would be an event of some signifigance. The current post makes the father seem on one hand benevolent and wise with the giving of the flute and the inscription, and then he becomes the impulsive tyrant, raising a blade against his own blood.
Now, if the father had waited a few days and then had held a faux-funeral, complete with musical accompanyment, emphasising perhaps flute players as a final gift for his son who was now dead to him, now that would be wicked.
This submission (granted it is 4 years old and from a now inactive member) is rather muddled and confusing. I like the idea though, a city protected sitting in the midsts of a volcanically active area. Go to Comment
Interesting idea, nicely done. I like the conflict between those who wanted to lavishly appoint the house of the abbot with the ascetic drive of the Perbus who desired be unadorned. All too often in games, it becomes for the greater glory of the PC, with no glory left for god.
Looking forward to it, I particulary enjoyed Last Stand and gave it a correspondingly good rating. I have discovered that breaking an idea into its component pieces and posting it in that manner generally runs the risk of getting back a good number of mediocre responces. If you jam it all together, you end up with complaints about excessive length. I guess it is just a delicate matter of balance. Go to Comment
This could be certainly a very interesting case of multiple personality disorder, ala Fight Club but with a very Dracula-Castlevania feel to it. The basic story of being spirit-tied to the vampire reminds me of King Muchaduka from Hindu myth who slaughter demons, and as a reward from the gods was allowed to enter an eternal rest. Whomever awoken him would be struck dead by the force of his gaze.
I really like the description of the geography, with the three rivers coming together in a giant waterfall. The image of the Brahmalin erupting from the desert is an lasting one in my mind, and I can see all sorts of things living in the steam.
I think I would like to know more about how the battle came about that imprisoned the angelic, and why it has been so corrupted without the forces of good making it right, or at least trying to make it right. I also like the ambiance of the city becoming self aware of its purpose, and alerting the guards by various methods. I think that the character post of the Living Gate would fit very nicely into this setting, with an evil semi-sentient living city serving as a ward over a waylaid angel.
Nicely done, but more details would really help it out and bring it to its full potential. Otherwise,