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Clochardshire Shambler
Lifeforms  (Constructed)   (City/ Ruin)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-08-07 10:58 AM
Perhaps Clochardshire is not the only place they are found, simply the only place that they have been noticed. Within the rat-infested alleys of the Dovecote Rookery, they crawl unregarded, simply more hopeless denizens of the night's shadows.

Forlorn and pitiful, these undead might slowly spread. Crawling along the Bindlestaff Roads in the dead of night, their pathetic hoards of gewgaws and rags wrapped tight around them, they meander slowly across the land.

Whenever a vagrant or beggar falls to hunger and Winter's frigid touch, they are drawn to the place, there to welcome a new member into their hopeless brethren. If his final thoughts were of his meager possessions, he may rise to join them. Go to Comment
Basic Nanotechnology Primer
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - Genre)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-08-09 04:44 PM
I disagree with the critiques offered above. While I don't have a whole lot of interest in subs that are simply cut and pasted from other sources, this essay shows good research and editing, not simple collection of facts. It is a work of creative effort, a foundation upon which others can build.

The information is well-presented and makes a potentially difficult subject understandable. It presents a basis for others to launch their creative endeavors, a role which it fulfills well. Go to Comment
The Caretakers of Stoneholt
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (City/ Ruin)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-08-06 12:30 PM
I like the way these little guys came out. They are likely to be the major species encountered if Stoneholt is used in a game, and they are well-rounded, with a variety of roles they play.

Once they learn enough of human politics, the Caretakers might send envoys to different factions of humanity, either trying to "buy off" the humans or turn them against other groups of intruding humans.

Feral Shargu might try to abduct young from other groups, or human young, hoping to turn them into members of their warbands.

There may be "triggers", behavioral cues that force the Feral ones to become more peaceful, or that turn the more peaceful ones violent. Humans may not know of these, or an alchemist working in the city could inadvertently enrage a horde of previously-docile Shargu. Go to Comment
Cuspi the Ironmonger
NPCs  (Minor)   (Mercantile)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-08-02 01:50 AM
Of course, neither Cuspi nor Dreckler realize that the magical paste he used was made from a stolen recipe. If an additional complication is needed, ruthless assassins could pick up his trail, eager to eliminate anyone who has learned of their secret...

(See Unguent of Desire for more information.) Go to Comment
Unguent of Desire
Items  (Potion)   (Magical)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-08-02 12:49 AM
I rephrased the sentence you were referring to, as you were absolutely right. I wasn't originally picturing truly romantic love, but something more covetous: Not animal lust, but a desire to possess the salve's wearer. The words that I had chosen didn't match what the unguent grew into.

(When Stubs grow out of control...) Go to Comment
Unguent of Desire
Items  (Potion)   (Magical)
Wulfhere's comment on 2010-11-03 01:00 PM
I would expect the standard means of dispelling magic to work, or the sudden "infatuation" would eventually fade away naturally. Go to Comment
Iron Ladder
Dungeons  (Any)   (Traps)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-08-02 12:00 PM
Another worthy addition to the Legends of the Iron Spike.

I would expect the main spike to have a command word that would lock it in place, so that it couldn't easily be knocked out accidentally. How much force do you picture these spikes exerting? I picture a sturdy fighter struggling to keep the spike he's hanging on to from retracting into the wall, even as all the others vanish into their holes.

Alternatively, a "control spike" could effect only every third or fourth spike. This would allow a ladder to have three or more "control spikes", perhaps in different parts of the ladder. Another possibility would be for a shaft to have several ladders, only one of which is the true path. The rest could retract whenever someone reached ten feet below the top. Go to Comment
Iron Hedgehog
Items  (Other)   (Magical)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-08-01 05:19 PM
More Iron Spike Madness! I like this slightly silly (but very deadly) trap! Go to Comment
Summoning
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-07-31 02:52 PM
The task of making Summoning Magic interesting is something that the player can participate in as much as the game master. If your character is summoning, you can come up with interesting descriptions and names for your summoned beasties and the "special effects" that go with the spell. After all, your hero is dedicating an entire round to the task: Instead of summoning "a Celestial Buffalo", why not have... "The Plains Spirit Toromshe appears in a flash of celestial brilliance, his brilliant white coat almost glowing in the unearthly light."

It helps if you bring some miniatures for your favorite summonings. My character used to routinely summon fiendish scorpions, not because they were more effective than other creatures, but because I had cool minis. Go to Comment
Blade of the Redeemer
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Heroic)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-08-02 12:32 PM
A potent artifact for the cause of justice. I particularly like the tale of the sword's powers and history. The description of what it does is clear and original. In many ways, the sword reminds me of the Clark Ashton Smith tale The Two Necromancers.

I could see a plot where an undead needs to be "redeemed" so that the deceased can pass on information that has been lost since he was slain. Since the sword is a treasured relic, hidden away (if not lost), perhaps the undead needs to be captured instead of being destroyed, then brought to the sword's location. Go to Comment
Chards Folly
Plots  (Mystical)   (Side-Quest)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-08-02 12:41 PM
This one came together well. The plot is coherent and develops upon the various component subs in interesting ways.

I like the way that the Dragon is used. He makes an interesting patron and encounter. Go to Comment
On the Construction of Swords
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-07-21 10:03 AM
An excellent and very informative article. Go to Comment
30 Prison Guards
NPCs  (Extras)   (Combative)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-07-19 01:29 AM
I would have preferred to see a less stereotyped collection of NPCs. While the list effectively gathers the cliches common to depictions of prisons, it doesn't really add anything to them.

You seem to be under the impression that prison rules are enforced through intimidation or that rules are enforced as a means of harassing the inmates. Nothing could be further from the truth. Inmate despise the weak and corrupt just as much as they hate those who are arbitrary or disrespectful. Go to Comment
Dagger of Rotting (The Stern Lady's Cunning)
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Villanous)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-07-18 07:08 PM
These daggers seem well-suited for a secret cabal of assassins. The method for creating the daggers is interesting and well-detailed, and they have enough mythic background that they could be easily inserted into an adventure.

The background described is meant to match the Dungeons and Dragons goddess Wee Jas, "the Stern Lady". The background given fits well, but the idea of a disease-causing dagger seems more suited to a god of disease and decay than a stern goddess of death and magic.

I could see a party finding one of these, and then being confronted by different groups that want the sacred item returned to them. The assassins that originally possessed the dagger would want to recover it, while less bloodthirsty sects might request it as a trophy of their triumph over one of the dreaded assassins. Go to Comment
The Lightning-Struck Tower
Locations  (Ruins)   (Mountains)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-08-18 09:38 PM
Yes, it was inspired by my readings about the Tarot. I used to be fairly proficient at Cartomancy, a practice that I have since concluded is spiritually perilous and unwise: Those seeking promises of the future often lose the lessons of the present.

I didn't try to stay true to the commonly-accepted meaning of the card (Sudden reversal or catastrophic change), instead visualizing it as an example of the perils encountered by those who arrogantly traffic in spirits and seek to foretell the future. It became a place where Wisdom, if not respected, brings doom. Go to Comment
The Empty Children
Lifeforms  (Constructed)   (Any)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-07-13 10:58 AM
The line of pale children followed their schoolmistress silently and obediently, not even reacting to the frantic barking of the neighborhood dogs. Their school uniforms were bright and clean; their unblinking eyes so large and beautiful.

As they filed past a harried clerk, the impatient man rudely shoved one of the silent children out of his way. Slamming into a lamp post, the girl gave not a sound, quickly rejoining her class. In moments they were gone.

No one noticed the gleaming glass eye left behind in the gutter, so bright, so beautiful.
Go to Comment
Taikan Solon Memorial Orphanage
Locations  (Establishment)   (Any)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-07-18 01:04 PM
A Cruel Plot...

In the dead of winter, the party finds out that a local orphanage may be shut down if they can't come up with a massive amount of money. Apparently, a local nobleman covets the land it's on and has determined that the self-sacrificing matron in charge of the place is behind on her taxes. (For some reason, the previous tax collecter had neglected to collect from her.)

Naturally, the heroes wouldn't want the orphaned children and poor Mistress Solon thrown out into the street! That would be terrible! Go to Comment
Edrea Solon
NPCs  (Major)   (Mystical)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-07-24 03:42 PM
Magically bound not to reveal what they have seen, forced to be part of vile necromantic rituals, but compelled to be obedient and well-mannered children, the few orphans that Edrea Solon allows to leave her clutches might slowly develop unconscious signs of the tortured memories hidden within their minds. Their twisted and manipulated minds gradually fracturing under the darkness buried within, they might eventually prove more dangerous than the undead products of her necromantic experimentation.

That might be the hook that leads the player characters to discover the sinister truth behind the Taikan Solon Memorial Orphanage: Brutal and senseless crimes committed by the teenaged "alumni" of Edrea Solon's mind-twisting necromancy.

"The lad went stark mad, killing his own parents, then himself. If only they'd known, they never should have taken him in. At least he spared the younger children: I suppose that they'll end up in the orphanage, poor things." Go to Comment
Red Dog's Antiques
Locations  (Establishment)   (Any)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-07-09 07:54 PM
I like the picture it evokes of rusty metal hounds stiffly wandering about the property, each a relic of wildly different design and age. Some would barely function, repetitively "barking" with voice boxes that no longer function or trying to sit with limbs that have frozen with rust. Others would be restored to gleaming perfection, their smoothly-moving bodies and realistic mechanical limbs graven with intricate sigils and designs. Go to Comment
The Tone Deaf Sword
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Magical)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-07-03 01:24 PM
I imagine this sword has a personality: Vain about its singing, it THINKS it sings excellently. If others disagree, the blade just decides they have no musical taste and it knows just the way to teach them: A few rousing choruses of the sword's favorite operas should do the trick!

Of course, it has learned valuable information over the years, but in order to get it to divulge that information, you need to stroke its ego a bit, by listening to its concert. In fact, it might want its owner to invite others to listen as well...

It might be quiet when asked, but then, when it gets excited by the prospect of battle, it bursts into song... (bye, bye, ambush!) Go to Comment
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