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When The Hail Came
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-21 11:14 PM


Nicely done, I liked the format and was surprised (in a good way) when the letters switched perspective to steph. This is a good read and nice way of communicating information. You don't quite pull off the changing tones of a maturing mind in such away that you could write this without the ages beneath the letters. Still a fun intro for an RPG game.

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When The Hail Came
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-22 06:00 AM
Upside of keeping the tone earnest and consistent through out is it suggests that the hero maintained his innocence through out and thus he is still that scared 9 year old boy who gets pulled off towards the aliens. Who was it said that the key to sci-fi was to present a situation in which the youngest of men believe they could go as they are now and save the universe? That sci-fi has to provide a reality in which the pimply face round bellied boys felt like they could transcend all without the painful and compromising process of actually becoming a man. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 13
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-24 05:00 PM


I enjoyed this chapter. I found the description of to be Nalan Kahn to entertaining and clear. I found a lot of the discussion about what future Botari can expect was interesting. Lines like "There was no reason to fret over a none-too-stringent conflict not to come for years."



It is very interesting that these she is looking at all these things both backwards and forwards. But what does Botari want for the future?

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Armor Restrictions Apply....Of Course
Articles  (Fiction)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-20 07:11 AM


Serious font for two seconds: I did really struggle with the first paragraph. How much information was too much, and I agree the second sentence needs to go. Maybe the first paragraph all together. I also wasn't sure the gag about this guy thinking his gun and truck would be any use to him worked. I agree they sort of stall the pace of this.



But your comment made me also realize that this post is more or less what and where it is meant to be.



You see crucifiction, as you are new to site, what you need to understand is that I am the type of writer that quite simply....



hang on there is something going on outside, I will jus......

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Armor Restrictions Apply....Of Course
Articles  (Fiction)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-20 10:48 PM


Moon I can't tell if this post is funny or not, but I was going for funny. I also can't tell you the difference between a joke and satire, and that may mean I was going for both. But I didn't want to be mean, I just wanted to be funny. But I would like to make this post better at communicating the ideas and gags that are already in there. If you don't mind lets go over the first paragraph.



I wanted to convey three things. First the Eugene character’s lack of success in other fields of his life, thus mentioning the divorce and that he only held this job because of nepotism. I was hoping that these apparent failures would contrast with his arrogance and paint a self diluted and humorous caricature. Second, I wanted to communicate his relative age. By mentioning a divorce in particular it signaled that he was an adult, and his literal adulthood would contrast with his true child-like state that required he ask for his mother’s permission and explain his actions to her. Finally, I wanted to set up some geography of the location. There only two things in the picture, the demon and the church. So I was trying to place the church in a bit on context with regard to location in space and time. When writing something on the Citadel you cannot take for granted that your audience will place the events in a modern setting. A church in the Citadel could be anywhere from Domrémy-la-Pucelle, France in 1412 to the dreamscape of a Martian Cyborg as he travels back in time from the year 3000 to 13th century France. So by mentioning things like driveways, Okalahoma, Lutherans and divorce I placed the scene more or less in modern times.



Those are the things I wanted to communicate. I went back and added the first paragraph after I finished the rest of the anecdote. But I made one of the classic blunders. I assumed that my readers (all three of em) are paying attention. The better assumption is that you have to catch your reader’s attention. I think perhaps I failed to do that with the first paragraph.



I considered some other intros, that is why I couldn't finish this in 30 minutes. I will post my other intros in the comments section. Tell me what you think of those Moon, and also tell me how you would manage the above points.

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Armor Restrictions Apply....Of Course
Articles  (Fiction)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-20 10:50 PM


Alternate intro one.



Eugene Simons was a 32-year-old man who believed he understood the world far more than his education and professional achievements justified. Despite having no higher education and not having a full time job, Eugene was very pleased with his own intellectual capabilities and often disgusted with the lesser thought processes of most people. Eugene had always had an enthusiasm for ideas but he lacked the self-discipline and stomach for disappointment that was required for true intellectual or artistic careers. This love for ideas but distaste for the reality in which those ideas existed gave Eugene one true life path. Eugene became a Dungeon Master.



He worked part time as the ground’s keeper at a church to which his family were generous contributors. But of the 20 hours a week they paid him to be there he spent most of it scribbling notes about dungeon maps and wilderness encounters in a spiral notebook. He felt he worked better at the small basement desk they had given him next to the furnace. The rest of his week he spent watching the television or reading comic books. Both tasks he approached with an affectatious seriousness. He considered these endeavors to be important research.

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Armor Restrictions Apply....Of Course
Articles  (Fiction)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-20 10:50 PM


Or



Imagine one could shop for minds the way one shopped for houses. If such a thing was possible a person could not help but be struck dumb when the realtor stopped her car in front of the mind of a 32-year-old custodian named Eugene Simons. Eugene’s mind is enormous. Just in shear scope and square footage it would rival the fabled pad of Mr. Darcy or shame the stage for lazy storytelling that is Dowtown Abbey. The inside is no less spectacular in terms of scope. The rooms of Eugene’s mind are enormous. The size of ideas and concepts that these spaces could hold is absolutely stunning. And layout of this cranial castle is such that all the enormous ideas can run together. Each room opens upon another (Eugene is to old fashion a thinker for anything as efficient as a hallway) and if you were to throw open all the doors you could effectively merge scores of different ideas into one contiguous form.



But those are just the first impressions. Upon second appraisal one would be forced to notice how little furniture and material there is in these room. Yes they can hold huge ideas, but the rooms themselves are almost useless. The space is excellent for party but Eugene has poorly equipped his mental house for the day-to-day tasks of living. Additionally, there is very little light in these spaces. The windows are small and hard to access. The lack of light means that when all these ideas parade through this gigantic house they appear as little more than shadows. Details and depth cannot not be seen when something passes through these dim rooms.



Finally if one were to look a little deeper you might find something discarded in the corner. That item in the corner is our entire universe, or at least Eugene’s conception of it. Eugene took one look at the universe, and was confident he understood it all from quarks to macroeconomics to marriage to why milk is better with hot wings than beer. Eugene glanced at the universe, felt he mastered it, rolled it up into a small ball and tossed it aside so that he could parade his own poorly illuminated ideas through his great empty mind. Eugene became a dungeon master.

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Armor Restrictions Apply....Of Course
Articles  (Fiction)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-21 08:53 AM
Thanks for the reply, I didn't mean to imply his arrogant and self diluted nature in the original intro. I was getting at that in the joke itself. Namely when he stopped his discussion with a woman that was earth crazy, taking a piss or the devil to have a pedantic discussion regarding a 25 year old move quotation or when seeing the gigantic demon he immediately thought about it game terms and then believed that perhaps with 38 and his truck he might stand a chance. Go to Comment
Armor Restrictions Apply....Of Course
Articles  (Fiction)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-21 08:18 PM
let me know if it falls more on the funny or more on the mean spot. Go to Comment
The Last Mind Flayer
Plots  (Crisis)   (Single-Storyline)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-18 08:29 AM
Thanks to Poison Alchemist for the feedback and proof reading! Go to Comment
The Last Mind Flayer
Plots  (Crisis)   (Single-Storyline)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-18 11:40 PM


Speaking to that retro feel, that may be in part because this centers on a Mind Flayer which is still a pretty esoteric monster. The Mind Flayer's squidy visage is still a flag for the true geek community.



Fantasy and Sci-fi is enjoying a golden age now with vampires, lycans, superheros, zombies, wizards and dragon mamas enjoying mainstream success. In 1974 I would wager that the majority of americans did not have a mental image of an Orc. Today you would have to be living on a Roc to not have a least a conception of an orc (yeah they might get it confused with a goblin or troll) but the Mind Flayer is still ours. But as the Dawn Breaks open the markets for speculative fiction a Twilight descends on what was once a Secret Circle of knowledge and learning. Under that Dome we knew what Tenser's floating disk was and we knew it had nothing to do with Disk World. Now though the main stream media is Staking a claim to the undead and the mystical, and twisting them away from the ideals held by the unwashed masses that could correctly pronounce acronyms like T.H.A.C.O. or G.U.R.P.S.. Some things are still pure though; the beholder, the rust monster, the displacer beast and of course the Mind Flayer.



And until somebody writes a best selling book or movie about a sexy noble Mind Flayer who flatters a small town girl to ruin than we can keep some pure memories of rolling 20 sided dice in our garages. Perhaps that is why Mind Flayers are retro. Mind Flayers are still clean.

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7 Trains
Items  (Transports)   (Campaign Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-18 12:36 PM
Trains that get smart, turn into animal like beings and leave the tracks.

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/enginesong/

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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 12
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-16 08:29 PM
Borokhula is my favorite character so far. You done more for him in half a page than you have for any other character thus far (the chapter 3 re-write does do more Botari and her father however). What I thought you did really well her was put us in the room with Borokhula and put us n Borokhula's head. I am going to try this in the next scene I write. That was a nice scene, only one quip, that I think will really help the scene.
"much to the annoyance of Donoi though Donoi dared not show it" so here we break away from the limited third person and get view of Donoi's inner dialog. It kind of us takes us out the scene, but it is not necessary Borokhula is so observant that he would no doubt know what Donoi is feeling and what he dare not show. Any nice scene, maybe you can pump up the foreshadowing when Botari saw Donoi in the previous chapter. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 12
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-16 08:40 PM
second scene is pretty strong too. But I assume it is deliberate that you left on the actual meaning of the thought message and I think that is a nice touch. Not quite sure on the perspective here. We we get Botari's thoughts and some of the other character as well, but not all the characters. Also I can't forget that Botari now has the mind of elderly woman and that her council and thoughts should be wiser and drawn more from personal experience than the other characters. But other the flow and content of the character is strong.

Minor suggestion, I wouldn't have had my meeting in ger or yurt. Those things are paper thin and you can't always see who is on the other side. I have slept in a yurt camp before, you can have conversations at night with the person in the next yurt without raising your voice. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 12
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-17 10:20 AM
Don't try to avoid this switching perspective thing if you are doing it on purpose than just go with. Me picking on perspective is only slightly less pedantic than those sad petty folk who with a smug pride and aplomb pick on grammar (you are not one such person). Joyce Carol Oates, who I am told is a great writer, and indeed I do find her short fiction very effecting, will flip perspective dramatically. And don't get me started on Neuromancer, and who's voice is telling that story. But my point is having the eye of the third person omniscient perspective float around the page with the action is not a bad thing. I don't think you should avoid it. I do suggest that you think of that shifting perspective as kind like a character in the room or spotlight following the action. When you move the perspective take some time with it. Ask why the perspective is taking a moment to peel this persons thoughts back or if moving the spot light too quickly will cause the scene to loose focus. Go to Comment
Hobbit Chair and Eat Racing
Systems  (Societal/ Cultural)   (Specific)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-16 07:14 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypyy3VGsmF8

But if you really hate hobbits, please consider making them your replacement for goblins. You could take everything hobbity and twist it towards malevolence. No unlike the town council in "Hot Fuzz". Go to Comment
The Broken Peace
Plots  (Discovery)   (Single-Storyline)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-15 07:24 PM
Ah the old goblins aren't really monsters it is we that are the monsters trope. One of my favorites, and this particular post is a straight forward idea presented in as bare bones outline. i like the climax in which the character will have to fight a bunch of bugbears, being that they have only encountered a few vicious ones so far. Nicely done. Go to Comment
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-15 07:24 AM
First, Thanks for the comment!
Second. No, it is not finished in as much as there will be a follow up posts. I have modeled this on Moonlake's "Return of the White Deer" posts. It is a different style of posting, and I am never sure how to vote on it either.
Third: I would love some proof reading thanks for asking! But I am trying to take a risk with some of the spoken dialog, and make that a little inaccessible, oddly phrased and poorly worded at times. But other than the spoken dialog if the grammar or spelling is off or there seems to be a word missing then it is likely a true error. And there are likely a lot of them, Go to Comment
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-15 04:39 PM
Write what you know Go to Comment
Drofor's Grotesquery
Items  (Art and Music)   (Cursed)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-14 10:33 AM
I really liked this, I thought the titular painting was well described and the ideas presented here are promising. The paintings are dangerous, unpredictable and not well understood (in world), that fact plus the tale described above is a great prologue for a personal adventure. However, the story itself works as an interesting anecdote without a need for expansion in as much as it gives the reader a new avenue of imagination. I also thought the world building was strong. You seem take a type of bronze age mythology (living with a god for a generation century) and mix it with late renaissance or enlightenment type sensibilities and material culture; Balls, Art Collection, Oil painting on canvas, Money Driven Economies. The theme of the tale has very dada-esque/surrealist quality, because there seem to be a clear distance between the the reality of the mind and reality. I enjoyed that as well. But in addition to the style of the world you unpack these painting with a lot of other interesting tid-bits regarding secret cults with orgy rituals, rivalries between ancient and newer gods and so on. Again, impressive and nicely executed.

The prose starts with higher mind style than it finishes with and there are few rough patches. Examples
"The self-portrait was the first which many of them saw, and in the centre of the ballroom there was a ravaging, raping mess of bodies. In the middle was the hostess herself. She gave birth to a baby girl..."

The shift of time from the orgy to the birth of the girl here is not clear between these two sentences. It becomes clear later but at this point you have the character in the middle of an orgy described as a "raping mess" giving birth to a child.


"The shadows are recognisable as being the arms of Voorm-Sotha, the shadow spider, who was an enemy of primitive humanity. It is believed that Voorm-Sotha was a fairytale, though his appearance in a painting by the Ascarya should cast suspicion on that.

The strangeness of this painting comes in when taking a look at history. Voorm-Sotha, if he existed at all, would have existed thousands and thousands of years ago. Drofor, however, is still alive. But Drofor was not yet alive when Kala painted this, three hundred years ago."

These two paragraphs run all over the place with regard to tense and perspective. Go to Comment
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