This is a fun idea. A little known place where they build real life versions of the space craft from popular science fiction (aka the conceit from Galaxy Quest raised to nth degree). That would be a great idea seed. You have taken that idea seed a step farther and tried to realize the Maw in the cosmic era setting. To this end you outline the numerical dimensions of the place, drop is some proper nouns, link it to other cosmic era content and the list some more numerical dimensions. You also add some choice details that really put steps forward towards immersion in the world. I like how each “pod” has its own insignia and that you explained (in your first blurb) how the Maw is subtle part of the collective consciousness. You passed on some easy laughs by not including Pod 6, and writing about “those jerks from Pod-6”.
But I don’t think the Maw is fully realized. You give us a lot of numbers and often give us dry impersonal facts. Numbers that might be more descriptive if you told us the ratio clones to people, the ratio droids to people, the ratio of sheep to people and so on. This kind of reminds of the RPG you ran and when scouted the archeology you told me the design history the archeology but nothing about the current state of the archeology. You are just throwing facts up there rather than “mechanically” using those facts to build a point.
There are 2000 workers on Aleph station, but so what? Is it cramped? Do they monitor their droids from one central control room like NASA or are the labs and departments modular? Is there a cafeteria? Which clones are these? (I hope the the crew is 75% Shipwrecks and Roadblocks) Yes we could answer these questions but the gaps don’t fit with pedantic tone of the piece. You scale down the size of the ships for what? Is it going to ruin your RPG if the star destroyer is over 2 kilometers long? Point is you tell us a lot about what this place needs to be to fit into the cosmic era setting, but you don’t tell us what the place is actually like. It is impossible that your imagination begins with a ship we have already seen in another and ends with a number. I assume there is stuff you planned that didn't make into the post. You mention a shipwright in the blurb, while that could be a description of the place, I assume denotes specific person. Did you intended to write up the chief designer of the station? So how about some personalities or people in here? A place where a bunch of dorks have a huge budget to realize their geeky daydreams? There has to be interesting culture on that station. When and how did the Maw transition from clandestine ship tending to think tank?
All these fact about numbers, discussions of budgets and resources bring up another question. Do you intend for economic game play to be part of the cosmic era? Such rule sets have been a part of many RPG systems. In second ed D&D you had the castle guide which allowed you to budget construction of a castle and tax the peasants. . Battletech has a whole arm of core rules for managing a unit, paying salaries and upkeep costs. Westend Star Wars had the Smuggler’s guide which detailed rules for speculative trading and the economics of playing a working space merchant. I think developing your system along those lines might be fun for you.Go to Comment
Pretty darn good, I enjoyed the pulpy tale at the beginning. The phrases and pacing dug into the genre like a flesh spike into The Storm Kings thigh. But then you switched it up by giving us another pulpy little story. This second story really doesn't connect to the first story, and thus lacks bite (get it? teeth, bite...bah). I like the mini world you presented and enjoyed reading this.Go to Comment
The term Yuatja is that something you made up or is that from some other source material?
I am of several minds about how to comment on this one.
First thought is whether to critique comment or vote at all. If one comments on something and the recipients gets upset then there is no point. This website is all about personal enjoyment and if you strip them of that than you shouldn’t be here. People often say critiquing is okay and necessary as long as done nicely. But isn’t it nicer not to critique at all and just offer blanket praise? Light hearted criticism is often worse cause people might take it personally. This particular case is rough because it is always rough to make negative comments about the big guys on the website. In the internet world those guys have the power to be bullys and push you around or keep you from participating. Indeed the first time I ever offered Scras and Muro serious criticism I was so worried about doing it I sent it to them as a PM. They were cool about though and I later posted and voted. Critiquing and voting is the game of the citadel. But if push comes to shove if somebody asked me to give them a higher vote, or change my comment I would and I have.
Additionally, in the case of Scras, he always makes a point to say that he writes most of this for himself out of some compulsion. I get that. If there are four winds of the citadel than self-indulgent post has to be one of them. If somebody is posting just for them then maybe should you get off their lawn? But if one posts it up here and not in the forums than it must be because one wanted that piece to be evaluated.
Finally, I am also worried that on this website that I am the guy playing too hard. I am that guy playing full court D in pick up basketball, stealing bases in softball or blocking on the run in flag football. It is always a debate whether to try and be brief and light-hearted, but that can be ambiguous. And perhaps Scras and the cosmic era are special and deserve more attention.
One of the risks I have seen when you write for the cosmic era is that you spit out banal regurgitations of the inspirational material. In this particular post you simply describe the items from Predator movie. You mention a few things about the cosmic era (it could drive you insane or what have you) but you don’t integrate it. You already have arcano tech as a concept that give you carte blanche for most sci-fi stuff. Above, just like in your recent Cosmic Era Avenger’s post, all you do is describe the characters from the movies with new techno babble rationales for their powers and abilities (though I did think /Hulk, equipment: pants/ was funny). Contrast this to what you have done with G.I. Joe. You have taken the material and visual minutia of the Cobra faction from tv show and turned into a subversive and sympathetic terrorist group in the cosmic era. None of the story points are the same, but just a few details are kept, the window dressing is kept. I make have the logo of Cobra but it is really Amerika Command. It is a truly re-imagining. You failed to do that with the Predator tech stuff and the Avengers and thus you waste our time and yours. People like to read articles about stuff they already know, it makes them feel connected and comfortable. It sometimes fun to see lists of your favorite movie villains or the coolest movie guns. Your stuff on the Avengers and the Predator tech is fun in that regard, but not as cosmic era a post. I feel this whole discussion, your brain storming of with regard to how to integrate the tech, would be better suited for the forums.Go to Comment