It would be easy to pigeonhole the white and black essences as good and evil, a purely human concept. I played the White-Wolf Mage game and it had a similar concept, but instead of rifts, the spell caster accumulated points of Scourge a reference to punishment from god. If you did a lot of big flashy spells, and acted improperly or like a munchkin, you got alot of scourge.
Some potential ideas.
For the Elemental encounters:
When an elementally aligned spell is poorly cast, a potent incarna, or spirit of the element arrives through the rift to punish the magus for his poor use of magic, and lack of respect for said element. Once a mage is slapped around by a salamander a few times they might start thinking a little bit about tossing around flame spells. This could apply to any of the four basic elements.
White essence: there is an explosion in the population of a certain animal that was the closest to the epicenter of the rift. This could produce a massive swarm of gnats, or some other insect, or cause the seeds of a certain plant to grow at incredible speed once they hit the ground. Imagine, an entire village overrun by a single type of plant or tree. Kudzu anyone?
This population/growth boom could possibly effect larger animals. Perhaps the mage, or a fellow party member becomes the recipient of uncontrolled fertility. Casual contact, such as touching hands could be enough for the PC to impregnate a woman.
For a more disturbing and macabre form of growth, introduce mutations. Wizards with three arms, or two heads, all caused by positive aspected rifts. Other possibilites could include growing tusks, a thick pelt of hair, or even growing in stature.
Even more fun with Positive rifts. Taking the above idea of spontaneous growth of population, but applying it to a single animal. The rift could grow a dog to the size of a horse, or a wolf to the same size. Mosquitos and flies the size of large birds? It could be an adventure in itself surviving, and eliminating such aberrations.
A Black Rift could have many of the same effects as above, but reversed. All of single plant witihin a certain radius withers and dies, or all of a certain animal keel over stone cold dead. Not a big deal with weeds and bugs, but what if a PC accidentally wipes out all of a food crop for several miles with a poorly cast spell? What if all of the cats suffer the same fate. Mice and rodents, lacking their prime urban predator could explode in population, plague ensues...evil wicked fun :twisted:
Air mages might become as light as a feather, tossed around by breezes, or lifted of the ground to soar through the air, as carefree, and uncontrolled as a leaf.
Or on a more personal note, they might be afflicted with copious amounts of gas that would cause terrible pain unless they vent it frequently.
Associating Lightning with the element of air:
Mage has static cling from hell, or shocks everyone he touches. Hair is crazy and refuses to lay down due to internal charge. Mind you this is only enough of a charge to be a nuisance, not a power to be used.
Associating Ice/cold with the element of air:
Mage becomes ice cold to the touch, or his/her touch causes frost to form. The mage could also lower the temperature where ever he or she goes.
The Big Rule
For me the biggest rule is to play to your audience, which also means you have to know your audience. it is easy to map out a grandiose adventure to span the continent, band the free races together, destroy the dingus of power and overthrow the evil menace. Of course this all goes to pot when you discover that half of your PCs are more interested in developing new magic spells or end up fixated on the small town they all started in rather than following the clues on to the rest of the plot.
Like a leaky ship, a DM needs to know when to hold fast and keep the pumps running, and when to abandon the current plot. Planning an intricate game of courtly intrigue is going to bore your hack and slash players to death, while your Hamlet loving troupe will likely become exasperated after facing the third band of orcs. While obvisouly some people will cry out that hack and slash is not roleplaying. In my experience with a varied group of gamers, you will find all sorts and it is all to easy to claim whatever persuasion of gamer you are to be the best, and the other variations to be false, wrong, or problematic.
Got a band of Hack-n-Slashers, give a gauntlet of monsters to hack and slash to pieces. They will love you for it. Got the Shakespearian Troupe, let them hash out their own version of Much Ado about Nothing, or Midsummer Night's Dream or Hamlet if you've got the guts. Everyone present is there to have fun, yourself included.
In summary, know what your gamers want and give it to them. Go to Comment
This is a great way to counter act the brinksmanship all too often associated with politics. With the addition of Moderates to balance two two extremes of the political system, the situation becomes slightly more stable since the lines of battle are no longer clear, especially in the light of some of the Colored donning the Green. Go to Comment
Solid information for the Yellows, though I would like to see a power player from the yellow side, such as a Yellow-Order of the Megenta Rose, A Yellow-Green, or a Yellow-Order of the Gauntlet to give the Yellow's some depth.
Unfortunately, the only reference I see to the Blues is that they oppose the Yellows. Seeing as they are listed first in the title of the submission, I would have expected more information about them. Go to Comment
I can see there being friction between the Gauntlets and the Order of the Magenta Rose, seeing as one is based around a pact between a long dead Queen and the King of the Elves, and the Gauntlet's protection of the King. Not to wander off into an anecdote, I had a similar conflict in my home game where in the Queen's Guard, the standing military of the Kingdom frequently came to odds, often violently with the Black Legion, the King's 'special forces' Go to Comment
A ceremonial detachment of soldiers, not entirely unlike the Winged Guards of the White Tree from Tolkien mythology. I especially like how the Order maintains it's duties despite the split between the Blue and Yellow, though there is some friction implied in the text. Go to Comment
Longbows Articles (Resource)
(Gaming - In General)
Not bad, the idea certainly seems novel to me at the moment. I like the idea of it having been made from a silver gavel of divine nature. I would make the illusion matter more clear to the reader, as it is easy to get the mechanics of the platter confused. A god way to keep an eye on the servants, though. Go to Comment
I think this is a very good plot, with the Mirror being more incedental than self important. I only say this as there is no explanation as to where the mirror came from, what it looks like, or even how it could be used other than to spawn a single demon copy.
What if more than one person looks into the mirror? Can there be more than one evil demon duplicate?
Could destroying the mirror also destroy the demon? Go to Comment
This is a superb post. There are no glaring grammatical or spelling errors and the spacing is good. The recipe for creating the potion, and it's description is well done, and the story behind it's creation and it's creator has a good deal of depth and leads us to ask more questions, such as who these Chymist guilds are and the various laws of alchemy. This is a very good post. Go to Comment
You could torch Wheatsword, but I doubt it would take long for the buildings to be rebuilt and while the year's crop may burn, there is no telling how much grain has been distributed to the lesser holding stations, or even into the civilian economy. The only problem I see is that soldiers have families, and where there are military bases, civilian cities grow. While security on the base is tight, the soldiers would need somewhere to go to drink and gamble and be normal guys, a place to put away the swords and the uniforms if only for a few hours. Nicely done. Go to Comment
seems to be a fairly signifigant item, representing something of importance to the wizard. You would think it would be better protected, magically or otherwise. The idea is interesting but needs to be filled out more. Go to Comment