Strolen\s Citadel content. 
Motive Spirits
Items  (Transports)   (Sentient)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-09 11:15 PM

King Arthur and the Rockers of the Roundabout



Setting: 1962 Nazi Occupied Britain.



Premise: In 1942 Germany successfully invaded England, and by 1962 now a whole generation has been born under German rule. But there is hope. The spirits of King Arthur’s Knights have returned bound to medieval weapons. Unfortunately, these longswords, even those imbued with the honor and chilvary of the round table are no match the modern german war machine. The mystical weapons are scattered and confused. But a man has a plan. The author J.R.R. Tolkien uncovered Merlin’s staff. But instead of using the staff directly he fused with it his Rolls Royce, now Merlin has a second life as an enchanted spell-casting car. Tolkien hopes that by combining the spirits of the round table with modern machinery he can free England from the yoke of tyranny. He knows though that these spirits will need guides to wield them and direct them so Tolkien also seeks out fresh young people to fight alongside King Arthur’s Knights.



Set-up: The plot will play out in five episode game secession arcs with each episode game lasting 18 minutes. The players will get their characters assigned to them.



Episode Secessions 1-5 The Once and Future King : A 13-year-old teenage American Ex-pat orphan is attending boarding school and unable to return home he sent to stay with an elderly writer. Accompanying him to the house is 17-year-old Pete Townsend. Tolkien and Merlin fill them on the details, and introduce them to the sword of Sir Kay. The boys tell them that they need to travel to London, then Liverpool, then New Castle and other places to gather the scattered swords of the Round Table. Pete being the older boy takes Kay and fuses him the Electric Milk Float…nobody will suspect and a Milk Float. At the end of Episode 1 they are ambused by a Mini Cooper and Aston Martin…it is Mordrid and Le Faye…and they have captured Kay, Townsend and the young American.



In the following episode you find out the Le Faye, Mordrid, Sparks and Plant just want to help even though Kay doesn’t trust them. But the enlarged group battle some Germans and gets to London and meets up with Dusty Springfield and Tristan. Next it is Newcastle and Burdon, then Liverpool and Lennon. Finally at the end of espisode 4 they find that group of Germans pulling a Jaguar out of Lake and trying to start it. The group gets over powered by the Germans, but out the mist steps King Arthur…the real deal in Armor and everything. He starts the Jaguar/Excalibur and rescues everybody. Finally at the end of Episode 5 the complete team and their allies free London from the Germans. They assemble at the Roundabout in front of Big Ben and Parliament and Arthur dubs them the Rockers of the Roundabout. At the end of the episode Arthur explains that though they have London as a base of operations, the Germans are still in England and still a threat. Then he asks the young American his name, and the boy says “Bruce, Bruce Springsteen”.



Other Arcs:



Auto-Bad: We find out German is really run by an Enchanted Battleship the Bismark, and that to recapture England he sends in Enchanted Spirit Cars of his own. Wagner, and Seigfried, a BMW and Mercedes, sports cars possessed by German heros. With them is Strega nona and Befana, a Ferrari and Lamborghini respectively possessed by Italian, witches. Finally they have with them Petain, a Renault, and their faithless French sidekick. The bad guys don’t have human drivers, the message is that are nothing more than a war machine now.



Mo’town: Wilson Pickett, Sam Green, Duke Fakir and Aretha Franklin show up driving supped up Detroit autos (Pickett, of course, drives a proto-type Mustang). We get to hear bunch of Mo’town classics. The cars don’t have spirits but they have a lot of tech, and they help them defeat the Germans that week. And the end of Wilson Pickett says to Arthur, “I guess our cars don’t have the spirits your cars have.” Arthur replies, “No but they have soul”.



Vikings : Saabs, Volvos and Audi’s show up with the spirits of the Norse Gods. At first they are working the Germans, but the Rocker’s convince them to switch sides



Mitsubishi : Tired of losing ground to these kids, Bismark calls in some Japanesse Allies with high powered motorcycles. To defeat this new threat the Rockers find Galahad’s sword, and fuse it with a Triumph Motorcycle. Bruce gets to ride that around.



Gwynevere : Morgan, Sparks, Tolkien and Merlin get lost in the Scotish Highlands running from a possessed Stuka. Taking advantage of this loss of wisdom and magic in the ranks of the Rockers, one of the Italian witches impersonates Gwynevere returned as a Nash rambler. A weird love triangle resurfaces.


Founding Rockers of the Roundabout:



Rocker: King Arthur



Songs: He is quite found of the Ballet of Maldon



Spirit: Excalibur, the spirit of England



Vehicle: Jaguar E-Type (silver)



Relationship: Arthur is the only one that can get this Jaguar to start.



Rocker: Dusty Springfield:



Songs: Wishin and Hopin, I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself



Spirit: Sir Tristan



Vehicle: AC Greyhound



Relationship: Sir Tristan is flirty and brash with a larger than life personality and is always coming on to Dusty. Dusty plays the mother hen to the wild bunch of Rockers, and tolerates Tristan less than polite behavior.



Rocker: Pete Townsend



Songs: My Generation, Hall of the Mountain King



Spirit: Sir Kay



Vehicle: Electric Milk Float



Relationship: Sir Kay is a stalwart accountant, cautious and the Cassandra for the group. He clashes with the brash Pete Townsend as the two provide the group with comic relief and logistical support.



Rocker: Michael Jagger:



Songs: Sympathy for the Devil, You Can’t Always Get What you Want



Spirit: Sir Percival



Vehicle: Triumph Herald Coupe



Relationship: The pensive and pious Percival clashes mightly with the lecherous, loud and playful Jagger. The only thing they can agree upon is that England should be free.



Rocker: John Lennon



Songs: Help, Let it Be, I am so tired



Spirit: Sir Lancelot



Vehicle: Citroen DS19



Relationship: Lennon’s sharp dry wit and sarcasism constantly go over Lancelot’s head, but the two of them work with Dusty to lead the team when ever Tolkien or Arthur are not around.



Rocker: Eric Burdon



Songs: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, We Gotta Get Out of This Place



Spirit: Sir Gawain



Vehicle: Mark V, Covenanter Tank



Relationship: Eric and Gawain fit together well, both long to be in the spot light, but like Sir Kay and Townsend, they can never seem to get to the battle on time. Yet when they do get there they bring some “vocal range”.



Rocker: Bruce Springsteen



Songs: Born in the USA (lyrics slightly altered), Dancing in the Dark, The River



Spirit:None to start…Later Galahad



Vehicle: Triumph-Bonneville (motorcycle)



Relationship: When Galahad is summoned to help fight the Japanesse motorcycle teams brought into defeat the Rockers of the Round Table, Bruce and him form a tight friendship based on earnest and emotional communication.








Allies



Author: Murial Spark



Songs: She is a writer



Spirit: Mordred



Vehicle: Aston Martin DB4



Relationship: Spark is strongly independent and doesn’t deal well with authority or dominating personalities. That would include Kings, Professors, Dictators and Facists in general. She is quick to judge and not easy to impress. She has formed a strong bond with Mordred, and is very supportive of his self-pity and ambition. While both agree that the Germans need to be defeated, they aren’t sure if Tolkien and Arthur are the ones to lead England afterwards.



Author: J.R.R. Tolkien



Songs: Please don’t ask him to suggest a song.



Spirit: Merlin



Vehicle: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud



Relationship: They have the jovial arguments of two old academics in the twilight of their years. They are almost always in agreement.



Rocker: Robert Plant



Songs: D’yer Mak’er, The Battle of Evermore, Immigrant Song



Spirit: Morgan Le Faye



Vehicle: BMC Mini Cooper S



Relationship: Morgan and the 14-year-old Robert Plant are both fun loving attention hounds. But Morgan is still a powerful sorceress even though she is car, and she is also a complete Celt-ophile. She wants the Germans out of England, but once they are gone she wants everyone that is not a Celt out England…which would include most of the English.

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Infestation
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-06 06:59 AM


After a single read through I think this is an exceptional submission, and I am so very grateful you put it up here. I think this is the right length and style (first person, creepy) for one of those on-line flash fiction contests that several of the paying on-line fiction markets run. The prose is so strong in this and the descriptions so completely awful (in the way I am sure they were intended) that I don't have enough praise for the writing except to say "Boil into shot glass" maybe me a little ill.



One thought: The timing between the second and third paragraph seems a little off. Consider



I struggled feebly through out the night, working them off, scoring deep abrasions on the back of my hands, my heels. At dawn, I managed to come to my feet, my knees as solid as gelatin.



Then end paragraph and go into the description of the worms into the walls.



I am impressed, and entertained and again thanks

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Infestation
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-07 10:33 AM
Nematodicon....goddamn it, now I am going to embarrass myself trying to work that into conversation. Go to Comment
The Light and His Lady
Society/ Organizations  (Mystical)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-08 04:40 PM
Are we supposed to read these as facts or a guiding mythos for the world...how do the people of the world view it? Go to Comment
Xue Ren (Snow/Blood Blade Edge)
NPCs  (Character Sheet)   (Combative)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-06 07:24 AM
This is why society needs a dedicated system for the placements of orphans into foster care. If left on their own all orphans will become vigilantes, assassins or time traveling crime lords.

So he is famous?

I really like the sword that he carries that is waiting for blood. You should totally write a Haiku about that and put it in the teaser. I like the picture too, makes him look young and innocent. Did you draw that? Go to Comment
The First of Cities
Locations  (City)   (Other)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-09-05 09:56 AM

I think you are being unfair strolen and I think you need to own what the site has become strolen. Scras recently wrote this about submission quality and he was paraphrasing another one of your luminaries Moonhunter.

"This is not a bad submission, but it isn't a good one either. An ideal to strive for is the Hollywood standard, as in presenting the item as if it were to be used in a movie, comic, or other entertainment venue. What does it look like? Who created it, and why did they do so? It is obviously a powerful weapon, and there are many powerful weapons (YAKAS - yet another kick ass sword), so what makes this one different?"

I am not trying to defend Morningstar's behavior or his "logic". Nor do I want codemn him. But it is wrong to suggest that this is a free-form open forum for sharing ideas. As you have said it is not "newbie" friendly. Furthermore, to tell Morningstar that this was "written not for him" is also absurd. We can only critique what is on the page. We can say how we would use it or we can guess at other uses, but that sword cuts both ways

Finally, I think the responsibility for the "usability" critique lies on you or whoever wrote the voting prompts. Saying something is useful is a coarse critique, sometimes applicable, but largely irrelevant for an idea guild. We should judge whether the idea is well developed, novel, well written, well presented and does it achieve the literal goals set forth on the page. After that, we can get into stuff like entertaining, useful or offensive.

You are right Morningstar is unkind. I have been dismissed by guys like him. (I always hope I am not one, but if I write one that looks like his just leave the comment Morningstar and I will change it. Though to be fair I didn't think his write up of this post was all that off base.) Yet I have also but also been pushed around by you, strolen, for being too "intellectual", "obtuse" or "critical". So my sympathy cuts both ways. . You, strolen, have put forth a system for judging ideas. There is a community built around that. You have achieved something here. I am not knocking that, but I don't think you are entirely comfortable with it. If one just wants to share ideas one could stick it in the forums. But if you want it to be judged you stick it out here. And you are the one that gave the judges the scoring card that read "useable".

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The First of Cities
Locations  (City)   (Other)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-09-05 10:20 AM

Good post. It does have a lot of dry "so and so begot so and so" type history to it. It is also written in that biblical/passive voice, which is how we expect these things to be written, yet the voice makes the reading a little chewy. And sometimes you break from the voice and say things "take it up a notch".

But overall the voice has effect of making us feel like we are getting this information from an in-game intellect, so that is good . In the end it left me wanting to more about the city. It has this whole watery unground with pubs and warehouses. That is cool. I am intrigued by your setting. I want to know more. Is bluestone your idea or is that something I should now from other gaming sources.

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The Tale of Solomon Soulhammer Pt. II
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Mystical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-07 12:46 PM
I like this one better than part one because we get some dialog and characters that make the piece more accessible and interesting. The language isn't as tight in this one, and the pacing is pretty uneven. Also the am I wrong or does the character of Ozur get introduced out of left field in a sentence that is already all over the place?

Overall though I like it Go to Comment
A Grave Problem
Plots  (Discovery)   (Encounter)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-03 04:40 PM
This is a great post, remind me of the adventure seeds in the back of Blue paperback Expert D&D manual from 6th grade. I love open ended pieces like this.

A byte size piece of Internet RPG intellectual property. Go to Comment
The Tale of Solomon Soulhammer Pt. I
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Mystical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-07 12:29 PM
"The problem with history is it is just one damn thing after another"

I like this piece a lot. I like the narrative voice, I like the use Balkan/Greco/roman locations and the story flows straight to action.

My only "complaint" is I wish the story was told with a few more pauses and a greater development of the setting and the character at this point in the story. But I only want more cause it is good. Go to Comment
Apocalyptic Vampires
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (City/ Ruin)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-16 09:46 PM
Huh? Intra-dimensional vampire cheerleaders of the apocalypse...is there a deeper metaphor here.... Go to Comment
Mark Greaves, Assassin Hobo
NPCs  (Scenario Based)   (Travelers)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-03 01:18 PM
I think rather highly of this one.

Did you ever see Amos Perros, with the street urchin hit man with all the stray dogs? He was the best part of an overly ponderous movie about dogs.


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Mark Greaves, Assassin Hobo
NPCs  (Scenario Based)   (Travelers)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-03 01:38 PM
As stew on this one more, I grow more fond of it.

The idea of a cheap and effective assassin is so ripe with story telling potential. Imagine if while in a bad mood you run across this guy. For a coke and a bag of chips this guy will go kill the object of your aggression. But once you calm down, how do you take it back? He is homeless after all you can't just call him up or wait outside his house. Do you even take this homeless guy seriously when he says
"I will kill the guy the guys that took your parking space."?

The devil could not ask for better servant than one that empowers or lowest instincts.

Imagine if this guy had the power to off those that offended you on the internet?

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Freya, Assassin
NPCs  (Minor)   (Criminal/Espionage)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-01 09:02 AM
Another wickedly cultured femme fatale, the write up is clear, concise and give you clear idea of everything about her except what is it like to talk with her or her personal history (which I think in this case is not important).

I can imagine her OCD and desire for finer things extending to social situations as well. A gruff flippant ironicly dressed punk rocker heckling the models on the run way at a fashion show may really get under her skin.

I think if I were using her in a story or as GM she would be very accessible to the players, she does not offer us a lot of surprises, which is often handy for secondary characters. Go to Comment
Freya, Assassin
NPCs  (Minor)   (Criminal/Espionage)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-01 09:02 AM
Another wickedly cultured femme fatale, the write up is clear, concise and give you clear idea of everything about her except what is it like to talk with her or her personal history (which I think in this case is not important).

I can imagine her OCD and desire for finer things extending to social situations as well. A gruff flippant ironicly dressed punk rocker heckling the models on the run way at a fashion show may really get under her skin.

I think if I were using her in a story or as GM she would be very accessible to the players, she does not offer us a lot of surprises, which is often handy for secondary characters. Go to Comment
Artan Keybreaker
NPCs  (Minor)   (Criminal/Espionage)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-01 01:10 PM
Another wickedly cultured killer, a fun play on this trope of dastardly dangerous yet dapper would be to write a finishing school for killers. . .perhaps something french...then you could throw in a Pygmalion element in there and have of one of the trainers fall in love with a recruit once he/she transitions from feral killer to a wine sipping stylish slayer.*


As to this particular dwarven incarnation of the smooth criminal, I like the bits and pieces you have put together here. The superstitions (or are they?), pro-establishment justifications of his actions and the descriptions of his weapons (that peter pan trap dagger he has is really cool).

What is interesting is that your write up suggests he was raised in high society, but he dissliked by most of his kind. This would suggest that high dwarven society is very undwarven. You given us bit of the Continental fop archetype: soft hands, likes the arts, wine....etc. In gilded age america you could very well suggest that high society was unamerican in that it emulated european culture, but can you do the same for the dwarves. Where did the dwarves develop this foppish standard for their 400? Don't tell me rich dwarven heiress will be marrying titled but penniless Elves.






*Le Femme Nikita Go to Comment
Buluc, death priest of Rope Woman
NPCs  (Minor)   (Religious)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-01 01:09 AM
A lot come through in this one, we learn that the Kanaarites have a fairly sophisticated culture in that their society supports Judges, historians, markets, socially acceptable honor suicides, and it is implied that there is great deal of personal privacy. The ala cart nature of the gods in this culture is again re-enforced. A ton of information


I guess the other members of the order are not priests, but what do they get of they get out of this religion? Do seem them as getting paid for these kills? Does the money get passed up to Buluc?

At any rate I got a lot out of these 500 words.

But perhaps you could write the order of the rope, history, theology, practices, cultural and then do one on Buluc where more of his personality and/or history. Go to Comment
Ryenionn The Deathless
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Other)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-31 05:55 PM
There is a nice tight conveyance of information in the first paragraph. You describe a lot about the nature of the world’s magic and peoples relationship with it in the first paragraph.

In the second paragraph you could add one little tiny line about what makes Rye a talented murder.

“Rye had a strong stomach for the suffering of others and ability to completely suppress any feelings of hesitation or doubt when his own interests were on the line.”

Or

“Rye was the perfect combination of self loathing, confidence and empathy. He understood people, did not shy away from the difficult and didn’t feel that his own life or the lives of others was worth second thought. The high-risk world or professional killer seemed to be the perfect career choice to him.”
If you don’t want to take anything out don’t worry about it. You are already over 500 words and I would be interested to find out more about this character and how you envisioned him.

I really like the end, where he dies for love (his version of love), but comes back. The end kind of reminds me of that old morality problem about the adulterous woman murdered on the bridge. Who does Rye think of as his nemesis now? Is it the waitress that rebuffed him? Is it her husband that caused to rebuff him? Is it the party that caught him? Or the hangman that executed him?

You could have it set up where the risen Rye kills these people in turn. And the PCs have to deduce who it might be committing these murders…”that randy drunk with metal claws has returned”.

Having to deduce who it is will give the PCs more of a chance to use the backstory you have written. Because it would be ashame to have a whole character backstory, but all he is just a re-occurring combat encounter.
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Ryenionn The Deathless
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Other)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-31 06:01 PM
Only voted Go to Comment
Ryenionn The Deathless
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Other)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-31 11:20 PM
I copied it into word before I read it. Go to Comment
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