Consultation with two well-informed site members (Siren no Orakio and Ria Hawk) revealed the following:
In the game Kingdom Hearts, Ansem was the ruler of the Hollow Bastion realm, who studied a phenomena known as the Heartless (creatures of darkness that stole people's hearts.) He was considered a brilliant scientist until he got too close. The bit about creating Heartless synthetically was also in the game.
In Final Fantasy VII, there are stones called materia that give their wielders magical powers, and one in particular, Holy, was pretty much the force of good in solid form.
As was noted above, Chocobos are from Final Fantasy.
Chocobohunter, taking that much background information without giving credit is like stealing. If you want to make an item up, you can add references to other people's work, but you need to add a comment explaining that it's intended to go with that setting ("An item made for an Anime-style game in the 'Kingdom Hearts' setting.")
The ring strongly resembles an item from the Final Fantasy game. While the idea of a powerful, good piece of jewelry is fine, when you combine it with the other details, it's like plaigarism. Go to Comment
There is always the "Voluntary Loan to the Crown", a schtick popular among deadbeat medieval monarchs. If one refused to lend to them, there were usually severe consequences, but if one pressed the king for repayment, the repercussions were usually worse. The Templars learned that, to their sorrow. Go to Comment
"I am Bagellon the Mighty, Underwriter of Insurance!
It was common in the Middle Ages for ships to be insured, and merchants could come to the wealthy characters, asking them to insure their vessels against mishap. Such contracts would cover the cost of the vessel, the value of the cargo, and even the expected profit from its sale.
This could become a source of income for prominent heroes, and could stimulate adventures as they try to eliminate the pirates/hostile powers/sea monsters that are preying upon ships they have insured. Go to Comment
A good, useful list of suggestions for GMs, but also useful for players: It's a mistake to make the GM come up with ways to eliminate characters' wealth! If you let the GM know that you have a grand plan (that won't make you into an invincible killing machine), he'll often go along with it.
"Calgon the Pure is saving his gold because he plans to commission the greatest cathedral his faith has ever known!"
Most characters have some ambitions beside becoming personally invincible, and a player that works with the GM to express those ambitions within the game can make it richer and more real to everyone. Go to Comment
Actually, the nobility has often enjoyed a break from some of the taxes that others paid...
Of course, if one is to be knighted, or invested into the nobility, one needs to have the proper pomp and ceremony. Historically, many a squire of gentle birth wasn't knighted because of the expense of hosting an extravagant celebration with all the land's great nobles in attendance. Arranging such an event, with the attendant feasting, tournaments, and religious ceremonies often cost a fortune. Go to Comment
You've put a lot of work into this culture, and it shows. It does have the feeling of an ongoing "work in progress", with more detailed articles to come on some of the subcastes (The Shark Warriors are a particularly good example, hopefully the first of several).
They remind me a lot of the "Moties" from A mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Like the Moties, the Rephatians are a race with several radically different subspecies, each suited to a different occupational niche. Go to Comment
A pleasantly eldritch horror from beyond space and time!
They're an interesting breed of vaguely Lovecraftian spooks; they leave me wondering whether the original dwellers in the city had anything in common with humanity.
Perhaps these spirits, ancient beyond reckoning, are the remnant of a race as incomprehensible and shapeless as they, a cephalopodal species whose strange appendages were reshaped as needed: Some ending in clusters of sensitive cilia, others swinging jagged ripping claws. Instead of being more horrifying than the forms they originally wore, the Color-Wraiths are actually less so... Go to Comment
I guess that it's time to coat the old plate armor with a bit of lead...
Not bad, but I've seen the radiation "curse" done several times before, which detracts a bit from the piece.
It might be interesting to bring radiation poisoning into a game. The effect of the metal would probably just be perceived as a type of poisoning by those suffering its effects. They might surmise that the weapon gave off harmful fumes.
How would the plotters have learned to use lead as a barrier? That is much more of a "tell" for the players than it would be for the characters.
I think that I'd want the sword to be magical and sentient as well. Give it an earnest and helpful demeanor, unwilling to believe that it was itself responsible for its weilder's death. Perhaps it gets lonely, lying in the barrow and doesn't want to be alone anymore. Those feeling sympathy for the forlorn blade are in for a rough time... Go to Comment
As I recall, when Stormbringer was brought together with its "brother" swords, great power was unleashed. I suppose that this one could have several twins as well: A cruel GM might hint of the awesome power unleashed when THEY are brought together...
"Roll Reflex Saves, DR 85... You're atomized in a flash of thermonuclear fire..."Go to Comment
You and I are apparently in accord on this matter: The Drums of the Spirits describes Orcish beliefs and customs about the crafting and use of their drums, but what good is an excellent drum, if you don't play it properly?
It sounds like those Orcish drummers just get louder every year...
A well described piece, with good volume and a beat you can dance to. Go to Comment
Stoneshadow could be a great encounter for the right group of players, striking from the darkness and vanishing again into the night in a series of cat-and-mouse exchanges as he and the PCs stalk and ambush each other. In this way, he could reward those characters that aren't overspecialized, the rogues and generalist mages that do more than just dish out damage.
Some parties would hate an elusive foe like him. Players who prefer a foe they can go toe-to-toe with would find him frustrating.
He really cries out for a worthy patron: A vile and depraved villain to contract for the Stoneshadow's services. Painted simply as a mercenary killer, Stoneshadow is missing a major part of his character development.
His hatred of adventurers is understandable, but would be more useful if it were more specific: How does he display this inner hatred? Does he go out of his way to kill adventurers, and how far? He seems too practical to devote himself to vengeance wholeheartedly. ("There's not a lot of money in revenge...")
As a mercenary, I could see him finding a patron on the same side of a conflict as the PCs, but then deciding that his nominal allies are just too irritating to work with. Go to Comment
Well described. This could be useful, but I wonder if there could be more to this big chunk of gold...
Perhaps the purest mass of gold in the land could have magical or supernatural significance beyond its mere value as specie: It might be needed to complete a ritual summoning, or it might cause a strange interference with magical effects, drawing them toward it or preventing their completion. Go to Comment
More intelligent undead could become valuable as adjuncts to a realm's secret police. After all, what stalker could be as relentless as the dead? What watcher as patient?
Of course, even the undead aren't incorruptable: A realm that sends undead hunters after their fugitives would need to have firm control, lest they be tempted to strike at easier prey along the way. Go to Comment
The recoil on such a grenade launcher would be lower than what you see from more common firearms, as the muzzle velocity of the grenades is a small fraction of a bullet's muzzle velocity: Much less kinetic energy is involved. Despite this, a fully automatic grenade launcher doesn't seem like a very practical weapon.
In the hands of security contractors, a small grenade launcher would be a very versatile weapon. Loaded with sublethal munitions like gas grenades, "Muzzle blast" gas charges, "Knee Knocker" rubber projectiles, "flashbang" grenades and the like, such a weapon could effectively shut down entire crowds of disaffected proles. Of course, high explosive grenades or other lethal munitions could be used as easily, but with a weapon as clumsy as this, lethal munitions could involve a great deal of unwanted collateral damage.
I would be dubious about the concealability of any weapon that utilizing a clip capable of holding ten 40 mm munitions. (Lets see... perhaps 42 cm x 4.3 cm x 12 cm? Obviously the magazine would need to be placed in front of the hand grip.) Go to Comment
These malevolent plants would make insidious foes. Their magical powers and malice are too evil to be natural; they would be creations of demonic influence, or perhaps brought forth to express the wrath of the gods.
I could see one of them appearing as the punishment for a community that had somehow offended the spirits of the woods and fields; brought forth by the dying moans of the dryads and naiads: A spirit of desecrated woodland and polluted waters. Go to Comment
Evil trees are a staple of fantasy, from Old Man Willow in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to the ominous forest of Walt Disney's Snow White. There's just something intimidating about an ancient, gnarled "widowmaker" of a tree. Go to Comment
Renik seems a decently conceived villainous ganglord, but he didn't feel very credible to me. I suspect that Renik's world is a lot more "cosmopolitan" than some fantasy worlds, much like the way that 1st Edition AD&D Greyhawk was presented.
Details that I would have liked to see expanded include the following:
Renik is a half-elf. Are people of mixed descent common in the city?
What sort of adventurers were his parents? Are we talking about great heroes or ruthless tomb robbers?
Apparently, Renik's the sort of charming sociopath that casually uses those around him: While charm and deception work for a while in romantic dealings, such a man's reputation will eventually catch up with him. The idea of his being the most eligible bachelor in the city seems hard to swallow.
How does he treat those around him? A kingpin of the local criminal world, he may have a lot of power, but does he actually trust anyone?
Who are his enemies, and what are they doing to undermine him? Go to Comment