Strolen\s Citadel content. 
The Philadelphia Shipyards
Locations  (Area)   (Water)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-11-16 04:51 PM
This guilty of all the RPG perspective sins. Go to Comment
The Leech and the Mud-Puddle
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-10-28 09:43 PM
I really enjoyed that little folk tail. Go to Comment
Ether and Ethereal Magicks
Systems  (Mystical)   (Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-12-21 11:04 AM
This is great, it is concise, consistent in tone, complete, well paced and interesting. Go to Comment
Cartogramancy - The Magic of Maps
Systems  (Mystical)   (Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-05 09:30 AM

I like this a lot, I think you could post it as is, but as for advice, I think some of the spells are a little redundant-the slave map, sibiling maps, signal charts all seem to be variations on the exact same power.  But maybe writing it up this way is clearer than describing in general the powers a cartogramancer will have over the maps he or she creates.  As trade items that adventures might equip themselves with while not themselves practing cartogramancy,slave maps and signal charts and the items that go with them are all useful descriptions.


I like the mount weazel concept, could a powerful enough cartogramancer use this to make islands at sea or streams or lakes in the desert?  Could he put a forest over a road or a bridge over a river?   


Another area of power you might explore are small scale maps.  Could he/she make a map of door or gate to find the weak point? Could he make a blueprint of a puzzle box to find the traps?  Could he use his maps like voodoo dolls, if he has a map of a person: there is plot idea the evil cartogramancer is kidnapping important people, drugging them, carefully mapping their body then sending them back in the world.  If they fail to obey to he removes their eyes or cuts off circulation to their brain for awhile. 


Can he use his power over maps to travel back in time, or at least age the map?  Looking at an over grown jungle valley could he map the city that was there 400 years ago? Would this map include who lived where and what buidling were used for what?


Finally I can see having cartogramancer player as being challenege for game planning.  You will have to have bunch of hand outs, you can forget the maze or traps you drew up...unless you really want to frustrate your PC by muting his powers so you can drop him in a pit or something. 


But I think the idea is great, I had an order or map making clerics once, but they were no where as developed as this. Well done sir.

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Cartogramancy - The Magic of Maps
Systems  (Mystical)   (Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-07-01 08:16 PM

This is fantastic.  I don't have enough praise for it, but I find it interesting, complete and inspiring, I going to vote for it as often as I can. 


However, the "articles of note" section seemed to be poorly edited.  I am not faulting you for this, it is no small task to get all the errors out of piece of prose. This is why "editor" and "proof reader" are still paying jobs.  I hate it when I read one of my old posts and find errors.  One of the greatest things I ever got from this website was detailed edit by Moonlake.  I am not nearly as strong as she, but I have these notes



I don’t like the subheading “articles of note”, it is too vague, I know we want headings to be general but this is a little much.  Famous Examples of Cartiomancy or , while less dramatic would be clearer.



structured conjured-should be “structure”


chose land-should read “chosen land”


and connecting the land to the map-should read “connected”


Abyss of Yaksha-I am unclear on what her goal was, was it to create a metaphysically isolated patch of land that exisisted only on the map (I like that idea) or to build a giant moat?


I hope this doesn't distract from praise for this piece. It really is wonderful, I wish I had written it. 

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Cartogramancy - The Magic of Maps
Systems  (Mystical)   (Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-03-10 11:00 AM
Silver medal try Amigo. Go to Comment
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Villanous)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-07-07 11:44 AM

A fun and well written take on the classic "intelligent magical item".   

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Incarnate Ascension
Systems  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Specific)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-12 07:37 PM

I agree with Dozus on the linking. If a shard is a reality/universe what have you, how an incarnate gain the "power" of several shards.   How much power does an incarnate have over the reality.  

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The Undead Knights of Knonii
Society/ Organizations  (Combative)   (Regional)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-10 03:37 PM

Really good stuff.  A great corner stone to a plot or a even better yet an unavoidable red herring where these to be worked into plot.   The reason I suggest these would make great red herrings, is because for all their fluff, chrome and power, they are not villains, at best they are victims and worst they are forces of nature at this point (or slave to their nature).  Ultimately, unless you were develop the roles of the gods or the lost priests order, these are not roleplaying tools.  These knights are tactical challenges or puzzles, but their is nothing innately character driving or developing in this for the PCs that will interact with them.   

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The Undead Knights of Knonii
Society/ Organizations  (Combative)   (Regional)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-10 05:54 PM
First, I agree with there is nothing inherently wrong with treating them as tactical challenges and I was not suggesting that there was. These are great combat villains, particularly because they can't be beaten with dice alone.

But the releasing of the knights souls, the separation of the knights' souls from their former intellects and personalities, these are not things explored in this post. They are hinted at, which for role-players this is often good enough, but they aren't discussed or fleshed out. If there is something more than a killing machine in these beings currently what is it? Does the Lord Knight Commander still exist, does he have free will, if somehow freed from their prison and restored to their minds, and given the choice now after lifetimes of torment would the knights still lay down their swords and refuse to serve the god?

I should not try and argue what a villain is or isn't. Anything that opposes the hero or any wicked scoundrel is by definition a villain. But as they are written now they would not be anymore a obstacle for the players than a swarm of flesh eating ants. Neat, fun and interesting problem to solve-perhaps-but without an intellectual process to their actions and the ability to adapt to the players actions, I would say these knight are more obstacles than opponents. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but much of the information you provide here is not relevant to dealing with the problem, so it is just window dressing-again nothing wrong with window dressing. You have written up a great troupe of monster here, and the back story could be a launching point of a wider exploration of morality or personal honor for your players but that would be another act. Go to Comment
The Undead Knights of Knonii
Society/ Organizations  (Combative)   (Regional)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-19 10:42 AM
I don't think these knight really need anything else, they are zombies with a lot of flash and chrome (very good flash and chrome, but not really any new content that necessitates a change the PC interaction). As for how to defeat them: "killing" the undead has often been a problem resolved by finding the weak spot or the right ritual -in this case its the armor. The only think I might add if I were run with these zombies would adding more stories about all the destruction they have caused with a focus on they have been like a force nature constant and unrelenting for generations. This would just be to give some more romantic build up. Go to Comment
Lydecker Cain, The Universe That Was
NPCs  (Campaign)   (Knowledge/Lore)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-12 12:01 PM


I like this one, yet at the same time acknowledge everyone critiques as accurate and valid.  I agree this write up makes no sense and relies so much on the suggestion of information as to be almost devoid of information, yet I think it tells a story and sets a tone.  The contradictions (though some them may be typos) and the gaps only help to set that tone and they tell you about what is unknown and as well as known.


Many world views ascribe to the forces of nature personalities.  Indeed, some world view personify everything, now that is not the way the actual universe works, but what if it was?  <b> What if thought was indeed to the core of existence?  Then nothing could exist without thought? </b>  If that was the case then everything that is or was could be traced back to a thinking being.  I think, and maybe I have it wrong, this is the type of the universe describe here.   And if this is the case then the human form is not just a product of evolution (or not at all a product of evolution) but a product of an intellect (in this case existence and the universe that was), and this would explain the human centric nature of the universe and why it is personified as an old man. 


I think I understand it  I think it is daring and interesting take on roleplaying.   

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The Shattering
Plots  (Event)   (Campaign)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-12 07:26 PM

I like the surreal quality of this piece. But you may as well break down the fourth wall and give us the downlow OCC/Meta game explaination of things.

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30 Poisons
Items  (Potion)   (Villanous)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-03 02:59 PM
19-Pink Salt : A naturally occurring substance, that acts as a diuretic, a hallucinogen, and neuro-toxin. On the upside it is rather pretty looking and can be substituted of garlic salt in most recipes. That is if the diuretic hallucinogenic neuro-toxic aspects of the substance won't spoil the meal.

A versatile mineral, Pink Salt (also known as Numbing Dust), is an occupational health hazard for miners working in geologically active caves, a favored food flavoring for some of the heartier races, a recreational drug for the less health conscious and favored poison for the assassin or the assailant wishing to cause a prolonged painful death. This naturally occurring mineral is found as a pinkish crystal in sodium and arsenic rich geologically active earth. The crystals are eight sided, translucent and generally have a salmon color. The crystals dissolve readily in water and taste of garlic and salt to the standard human pallet. There are five stages of Pink Salt poisoning; progression through the stages is dependant on the dose.

Stage 1: Stage 1 can be brought on by even the smallest dose. Stage 1 is characterized by tightness in the muscles, a feeling of euphoria, and pronounced delayed in the reaction time to tactile stimuli. The subject still feels tactile sensations with same intensity as before dosing, the reaction time is just delayed.

Stage 2: If the dose is high enough to progress past stage 1 the subject will begin to find the tightness in the muscles constricting as voluntary movements become painful, the sense of euphoria becomes more intense, and the subject begins to experience auditory and tactile hallucinations. This is the dose often aimed for by recreational users. As result of the pain associated with basic locomotion, recreational Pink Salt users are known for their prolonged and unhealthy durations of immobility. Accidental death sometimes occurs at this stage from the resulting dehydration on.

Stage 3: At this stage voluntary movement becomes so painful as to be almost impossible, the cramps are so severe that they can cause muscle damage when movement is attempted. Lockjaw and inability to carry out fine motor movement are typical at this stage. Subjects also report a painful ringing in the ears that renders one functionally deaf, and complete numbness of the skin. The sense of euphoria progresses to a general feeling of confusion and in some cases panic.

Stage 4: Doses that induce stage 4 reaction are considered to be life threatening. At this stage muscle cramping has produced a complete paralysis, seizures are common, auditory sensation is lost, breathing becomes labored and shallow, there is intense pain resulting from the muscle contraction but ironically the skin has no sense of touch, hot or cold. The subject at this stage is also extremely dehydrated. Death at stage 4 usually is a result of complications from a seizure or dehydration. Those that recover from stage 4 in variably report some a loss sensation in the extremities and a life long ringing in the ear.

Stage 5: No subject has recovered from stage 5, at this point the paralysis is severe that even involuntary movement begins to fade and the subject eventually suffocates. A dose large enough to induce a stage 5 pathology takes 6-12 hours to fully manifest, with the subject progressing through each stage. Consumption of copious amounts of water can extend the duration of the affect, and perhaps has prevented some subjects from progressing to more severe stage.

As with all drugs the effective dose varies with weight of the subject, but in general a few micro-grams is enough to induce a stage 1 phenotype. Indeed many miners or excavators likely encounter stage 1 poisoning without reporting overt effects. Go to Comment
30 Poisons
Items  (Potion)   (Villanous)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-03 04:30 PM
I can't believe we went this long with out this!

Thanks to Cheka for starting this one, a handy go to for any DM blind sided by a PC's sudden plan to use poison. Go to Comment
30 Poisons
Items  (Potion)   (Villanous)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-03 04:59 PM
Are you a medical student? Go to Comment
30 Poisons
Items  (Potion)   (Villanous)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-10 12:56 PM
22-Telmorase’s Oil: A poison used primarily to coat blades, and other sharp instruments. While a short lived toxin which is rarely fatal, this noxious substance acts quickly to hobble the target by painfully and violently destroying muscle tissue.

Telmorase’s Oil is produced by rendering the fatty material of the Eastern Goat Fly Larva (Caperious sulcifrons; also know as the known as the red tailed fly or meat fly) into a clear water resistant grease. This poison is widely available in any area that supports or patrons the Priestesses of Telmorase. Indeed production of this specific poison is one of the eight crafts an initiate must master before becoming a priestess. The poison acts directly on muscle tissue causing the tissue to hemorrhage and inducing massive cell death. The poison is extremely (acid) pH sensitive however, and must be administered directly into the muscle tissue. This usually accomplished by coating daggers, darts or arrowheads with oil. Oral consumptions of the poison or direct skin exposure have not been associated with any pathology. The effective dose of the poison is also quite small, even a micro gram on a needle can induce life a threatening condition.

The specific effects and kinetics of the poison however place limits on its lethality and for this reason it not favored by the more efficient assassins. The poison is broken down with seconds up entry into healthy tissue. The symptoms of poisoning manifest almost immediately following exposure and are often resolved less then a minute (dependant on amount of Oil given with respect to the size and metabolism of the subject). The poison acts specifically when ever an affected muscle is used. Thus a insertion of oil into the quadriceps would only cause damage to the quadricepts if the muscle contracted dramatically. Movement results in massive tissue destruction and this can be associated with shock or internal bleeding that may be life threating. If victim knows he or she has been poisoned it advisable to splint the effected area and remain immobile for at least an hour. With the average person metabolizing the poison in less than minute, an hour of immobility is ample time to clear the toxin. Yet while not a weapon for subtle assassins who want a definite kill; the poison is employed by warriors and soldiers to increase the lethality of their blades. The Priestesses of Telmeroase often find much more sadistic and wicked uses for the substance, sometimes pricking young men with poisoned needles while in the dancing line or cutting them during love-making. Go to Comment
30 Poisons
Items  (Potion)   (Villanous)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-11 05:52 PM
24 Z-dust (Hemetaxin): The active agent in the poison Z-dust is anionic molecule called Hemetaxin or tomb-rot toxin. The toxin binds irreversibly to hemoglobin preventing, red blood cells from exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide causing the victim to quickly suffocate.

The toxic agent Z-dust is produced naturally by the hemophilic bacteria referred to as tomb-rot (Viridianus Nitroococcus). The bacterium secretes the molecule referred to as hemetaxin whenever it is in an oxygen low, iron low environment. The toxin allows the bacteria to efficiently sequester iron-containing molecules. The bacterium also expresses a surface receptor that binds to the toxin once it has attached itself to an iron-containing molecule. Normally, these bacteria live harmlessly in the soil taking up ionic iron and not possessing a threat to any one. If ingested the bacteria may produce some toxin while in the gut leading to a transient anemia. But it is likely cleared quickly or lives quite comfortably in the gut with the other bacteria. Being that it is sometimes found in corpses and no active pathologies have been associated with it the bacteria, we may safely assume the later.

Problems arise when the bacteria finds its way into a corpse or rotting animal. In that environment it will invariably begin to produce the toxin. Again in most environments this is not a problem either, as the bacteria re-absorbs and breaks down the toxin. Hazards arise when a corpse carrying this bacteria is placed in a dry area, such as a well made tomb. Here the bacteria produce the toxin but because of the growing lack of water (actually the growing salt concentration) it is not able to use the toxin efficiently. The bacteria form “nests” of toxin filled biofilms and then enter a dormant phase as the drying continues. These dry nest can achieve quite a considerable mass, sometime weighing up to several hundred grams, and giving the afflicted region of the corpse a very distinctive greenish tone. If the dried corpse is disturbed the and the nest aerosolized the effects are quite deadly as any animal breathing in the dust quickly succumbs to the suffocation.

This fast toxicity compounds the problem, because as more creatures succumb to tomb-rot poisoning more and more nests form in the corpses of the dead creatures. This causes some tombs or dry caves to become a tomb of horrors. It can become even worse if the dead become unnaturally animated. An undead plaque becomes a considerably greater public health concern if the zombies are shedding Z-dust. Even a mild poisoning has pronounced effects of the victims stamina and constitution. The resulting anemia lasts until the victim can produce new red blood cells to replace the tainted ones. Indeed some undertakers and crypt keepers suffer from a chronic low level poisoning. It is held by many that this explains the lethargic lifeless attitude and pale-green pallor of many of those working in the grave tending fields.

As a weapon Z-dust can be quite effective, particularly if the hemetaxin can be purified. The purified toxin is much smaller than the dried bacteria or the dried pieces of the biofilm’s extra cellular matrix and thus can stay airborne much longer. The smaller molecules also enter the alveoli of the lungs more readily and thus the lethal dose is much smaller when working with the purified toxin. The problem with the purified toxin is that it so deadly that working with it safely requires specialized training and tools. Anyone wishing to deliver a lethal dose of pure Z-dust without themselves being a victim of the poisoning better make sure their delivery system has a long arm. Go to Comment
30 Poisons
Items  (Potion)   (Villanous)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-09-23 09:58 PM
it was considered too long and badly formatted by Silveressa
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Corran's Self-Closing Chamber Pot
Items  (Home/ Personal)   (Cursed)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-07 04:10 PM


Corran could have just gone outside and used the woods, and I bet he would have too had his wife not been ashamed or embaressed that her husband was squatting in the reeds like a dog.   I guess the moral of this story is that you can't please you wife all of the time and to attempt it is to raise the monkey's paw.  

Poop jokes. toilet humor, a lament for the married man and unconvential magic items. You cover a lot here sir. Well done. 

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       By: Yon_The_Lucky

A Deity of some sort has unleashed a plague of bookworms or something like that in the area. Almost all spellbooks are destroyed, along with bardic and historical books.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | May 26, 2005 | View | UpVote 1xp