Strolen\s Citadel content. 
Flight of the Pegasus
Plots  (Crisis)   (Campaign)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-01-31 09:39 PM
This is going to come back to bite me....

I am very disappointed in this because it has so much going for it but falls so short. It hits the details of the genre right on the mark, but it lacks a consistency of tone. As a steam punk re-tread of the Professionals, it should pass smoother than vegetable curry but this one strikes me as jumbled and full of useless fluff.

Am I just way off about all this? cause I really think you guys have done better and could do better. Go to Comment
Flight of the Pegasus
Plots  (Crisis)   (Campaign)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-14 10:04 AM

I just saw that this post won an award, I noticed the Muro award icon at the bottom of the screen for awhile now but never clicked on it. Thank you Muro and Scras.  You have written something worth talking about here. 


"You start with the briefing, which is good, it tells you everything you need to know about the atheistic of the setting, the powers at play, and the goal of the PCs. Then you get a GM aside, fine, but that slips back into descriptions of the game world. There is extension of the briefing in the GM aside, when the nature of Soviet Union’s spy detection is discussed, so it is like GM is getting the briefing.  In a GM section reality is flexable, and what we have here should prep GM as to how to handle the logic of the world and more importantly how the setting has been designed to support the narrative. If this is meant to be information for the GM so the PC can have a Q and A with St. James then it could stand a little more fleshing out. Or at least instructions as to what the writers think the GM should flesh out on his own. 

Then we have the dossier on Dr. Pegasus, he is all back story, but there is nothing here that gives the PCs the flavor of Emil. We gather he is a survivor, we gather his chief connection in life has been with his work (not with a person), but we do know anything about him. And perhaps the PC handout should share little actual information about, a list of enigmatic facts may be more suspenseful afterall Martin Sheen’s character (and the audience) knew only what Kurtz had done and could speculate as to why. But this write up then deviates from a list of facts to a list conclusions. “For several years, Dr. Pegasus was in a state of professional nirvana” How did the DCO reach that conclusion? Also if you want to make this “realistic” sounding handout, consider who wrote this, what was their source information and most importantly what is their margin for error. After all didn’t one of you once post that uncertainty is the core of drama? The last paragraph doesn’t belong in the dossier, it belongs back in the briefing.

But never in this post, even outside the dossier, do you give Dr. Pegasus any humanity, or make him at all interesting. You might give us GM information about the character here, his will dos and won’t dos. Is he going to trust another government? Can the PCs trust him? Yes the GM using this could answer these questions, but it hard to believe that the answer to these question’s are not part of your vision for this write up. Also if the GM must answer these questions then why write up the character at all, it could just be “a scientist”, as it stands know there is nothing that makes Dr. Pegasus more than that. There are some hints, his rough up-bring, the clippings on his walls but you wrote nothing that will make a GM say “d**n, I can’t wait for players to meet that guy”. Instead he is just a McGuffin that spits out steam weapons. The fact that he has tyrannosaurus arms and is French, gives a GM only shadows. Player gets the Shadows, a GM should get the flashlight. 

Next we have some events, the Zepplin ride and Odessa. As it is written know the Zepplin ride is nothing more than a description of a setting. Sure the PCs could yuk it up while they order cognac and coffee on the DCO’s tab and the Face character could seduce a Carpathian Countess, but really there is nothing here. Then there is Odessa, which sets the transition from safe Western opulence to dangerous eastern corruption and desperate poverty. GOOD! The PCs have to deal with the Russian mob. What for? Are they going to be the deus ex machina, or a brief violent encounter to cement the PCs’ status as unit. Again you give us nothing, other than you enter a mob run town. If that is all you are giving us why even write more than that?

But the Zepplin and the town are also a problem inherent (or limit) whenever you write an odyssey (a group trying to get from A to B). An odyssey is just one d**n thing after another, they need not be connected. I would suggest making this a chase or race. Perhaps the PCs spot a group of Japanese “tourists” on the Zepplin as well. A rival extraction team, the PCs now must not only to cross a hostile wilderness but they have to do it faster and better than their rivials or defeat them as well. Perhaps there are Prussian agents on the Zepplin, the Russians and the Prussians may be more frenemies than allies. The Prussian’s may be on to DCO mission, but not willing to share their intelligence with the Russians. You get my drift. If you are going to make it one thing after another fine, but make sure the events are substantial, help to set a tone and move the narrative. 

Then you have a dossier on the agents at the Lab, this is fine except you break form again and reference Goebbels. 

Then we get to the heist, you call it hide and seek and it could be series of recon moves and stealth moves (a maze). Which is fine But you could also do this a heist, give the PCs some more information and let them plan an entrance. But I guess a maze is fine, except a maze often comes down to single choice.  Ideally in a group RPGs you have each player taking actions as part of a team, thus each gets a choice and a role.  Here one player could make the choices keep the map without any help from other players

Finally, where is twist, where is the decision point, the story here is very linear, but at what point are the PC confronted with a novel or unforeseen crisis? When do you give your players a chance to flex their moral muscle, to fall back on all that back-story they wrote to make a decision in character or to come up to a solution to a problem that wasn’t foreseen in the GMs original plan. If the PC are smart resourceful and lucky, then almost nothing has happened the way this adventure is written. They get in they get out, the blow up the dam or the lab and move on. They could do it without speaking a single line of dialog."

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Printer's Devils
Lifeforms  (Unique)   (City/ Ruin)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-01-07 06:45 PM
It is both very new (ink devils) but as the feel of classic morality fables. I found it interesting. But the ending of the story is a let down: the undertaker hangs himself and the town gets all the ink they need.. The idea of the devils taking the ink with them is great, it is allegorical and humorous, i would rather have seen that folded into the narrative. A modernist(ish) take on these would be to have summoned to 19th century, early 20th century ad agency. These ink devils could introduce negative advertising centered around their own sins. Go to Comment
Water Silver
Items  (Materials)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-12-12 03:53 PM
neat item, useful in a world or game setting with a strong alchemy-esque world view to it. Could provide a tool in a very scenario specific con or battle. Go to Comment
Verdichtung, Reaver of Steam
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Religious)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-24 03:23 PM
It is a tight clear and concise write up. The attributes its brings are essentially aesthetic not conceptual or narrative, and to be fair aesthetic considersation are the bread and butter of the steam punk. The description of her at the beginning is really well written and clear. Go to Comment
Land Battleship
Items  (Transports)   (Combat)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-03 01:39 PM

You talk about the Shock and Awe effect of one of these, but I can imagine that the enemy would rarely see this peice of equipment.  It would launch attacks for dozens of miles away.  I can't imagine this being a forward unit.   That said I think this is solid write up with a nice sprinkling of "history".

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The Osaki
Items  (Armor)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-09 09:33 PM is a lot of iron man in the visuals of breakout. As for the over powered nature of the suit, that only assumes that no other force can come up with something comparable.

Overall though I really enjoyed reading this,

There are a lot of excellent turns of phrase

"Filling his awed mind with its sonorous baritone" for example.


some excellent world building.

I hope the following suggestions do not distract from my praise for this post...which I really enjoyed, thankyou for writing it.

If the author were to revisit this perhaps he could make the suits much more of a blend of mystics and mechanics then it is now. I would also change some of the structure of the story in a very minor ways that might smooth it out a bit. Mostly to make sure that every paragraph clearly explains its subject and does not ramble or rehash other topics. For example, when Dogath starts to have visions or whatever they are the author returns to descriptions of the Avolle crimes at against nature

"Unforgivably greedy, the accursed invaders had savagely dug vast, gaping holes in the flanks of the mountains, seeking to rob the Ragosi of as much iron ore as they could carry off."

We already know all this, rehashing distracts from the spirit voices and returns us to previous points.

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Lifeforms  (Constructed)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-03-25 02:48 PM
Solid idea.

Do they use their grown eyes? Go to Comment
101+ Scenes in the Modern Western City
Locations  (City)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-04-15 02:18 PM
This is good and there are some quite funny ones in here, also this would be a great resource for a GM who is worried that his view of a city isn't random enough or too slanted. But the list is too large and varied, and perhaps could benefit from another layer of organization.

You could have night and day, winter and summer lists. But as you say a city is made by the people in it and the interactions that might be usual for one city may be very unusual for another. So this sort of list glosses over the things that make all your other city images so fantastic.
I am not saying it isn't useful to some, but it is more of platform for ideas than idea in and of itself. And in that regard I think it could use some honing. Go to Comment
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Tundra/ Arctic)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-03-18 09:21 PM
Neat idea, certainly plays fast and loose with PCs would have had hella fun time manipulating the physics of this system. You are also pretty scatter shot with the piece's perspective. Go to Comment
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Tundra/ Arctic)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-03-18 10:55 PM
Nope, you're right, on the reread the perspective is pretty solid and consistent. Go to Comment
Ring of Heaven
Items  (Jewelry)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-27 08:51 PM
First the idea of personal heaven is interesting one. Can you be in heaven when isolated? There is something that strikes me as so very hedonistic about a heaven where there is no commune with the divine and no reunion with your loved. Now if this ring may provide the experience of being united with the divine and your loved ones does that diminish the value of this heaven? Or do we take the tact that there is no memory in heaven?

Where do souls belong?

Anyway tons of potential, written in a very coarse and site specific style, but communicative. Go to Comment
The Banhammer
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2018-04-06 09:53 PM
The story of the Teeth, is an interesting one as is the story fo the dwarves and their terrible treatment of their women ('pathetically grateful' was a little harsh). Though the story has little to do with the hammer, it is just weird enough to have the "you can't make this stuff up' feel to it. I really enjoyed it.

I also like the powers of hammer, sending people randomly 500 ft away. It will suck when that Orc drops on your head, be awkward when you teleport behind enemy line and frustrating when you end up back at the foot of the walls. Go to Comment
Deseret -- Rim
Locations  (World)   (Space)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-03-16 07:00 PM
So is did you have an idea regarding a charismatic figure or leader of this planet?

How about the history of the planet?

Who is that 0.01% of the population?

Does the alliance recruit from or tax this planet?

What if some valuable mineral was discovered on the planet? Do you think the populace would seek to exploit the wealth or avoid it?

Is charity still one of the virtues upheld by this faith?

The strict and potentially oppressive religious setting has its place in any game that champions the roving adventurer. I just didn't think this setting or its presentation did a lot improve on this Utah in space idea. But assuming you are GM who wants random setting this one gives just enough details to be save you some time, and it is a familiar enough idea to most western fanboys that it doesn't require a lot of explaining. It wouldn't have taken much to push this into a really interesting idea.

What if this use to be a Casino planet but got reformed. So you got a lot of reformed whores and gunmen hanging around the church socials?
What if there are still old prospectors out in the hills who hate this town and church crap and they make up sort of shadow society?
What if one of the old Primus rewrote parts of the bible and then rather deny him and change there way of life they some start worshiping him? Go to Comment
Suicide flies
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Plains)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-09-18 06:53 PM
This is a really fun idea, and I think it could be great life form with some revisiting. Go to Comment
Away From Table Chart
Plots  (Travel)   (Side-Quest)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-04-14 02:41 PM
I like this, its funny and it doesn't have to be in game literal.

And if need be you could build a plot out of bird watching. Go to Comment
Bloody-Beard Borsht
NPCs  (Minor)   (Combative)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-09-23 12:05 PM
I like this a one a good bit, it has nice enough backstory that tells you in a few brief paragraphs what you need to know about the character. He is a leader, but also a follower, a number 2 man if you will, somebody who needs others to define his purpose and position. Nicely done, wish I could use his someday.
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Contemporary Magical Organizations
Society/ Organizations  (Mystical)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2016-11-28 09:31 AM
This was a fun one to read, thanks for sharing this Go to Comment
Monastic Religious Order Ranks and Titles
Systems  (Societal/ Cultural)   (General)
axlerowes's comment on 2018-04-11 08:19 PM
Lists like this are handy to have around Go to Comment
Sumo Ranking
Systems  (Societal/ Cultural)   (General)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-03-01 06:05 AM

You could always take some of the traits of this system and drop it into a culture you are writing up.  In that case nice well organized cultural systems are useful to have. Besides there is a history of posting these sortss of ranking systems on the site for use in games.  

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Join Now!!

Ringworld-based game , anyone

       By: Kawaresksenjajok

hey im new to this site but was here years ago w/ another name. anyways dont remember so im newbie by default.
Firstly, I am a sci-fi reader and I hope to meet success with my writing.
My favorite series of books are Larry Nivens RINGWORLD tetralogy (Ringworld, RingWorld Engineers, The RingWorld Throne, and RingWorlds Children)
For those that havnt read the ring world is the greatest artificial structere ever discovered.
A ring, its circumference equal to earths orbit, it is built around a sol-like star. Shadow squares halfway betwwn the ring and the sun provide 15 hours of night in a thirty hour day. 70 days equals one falan (one full rotation of ring world. The inner surface-the one exposed to the sun, is terraformed and is one millionkmwide cntrifugal force provides gravity, and rim walls 1000km high keep the atmosphere in. Population of RNH(ringworld native hominids)
estimated in the trillions.
The origins of who built it and why are too sticky to get into. But the ringworld , millions of years ago, was populated bt A race called Pak Protectors. Protectors are ancestors of all homo sapiens. they populated ringworld with homo erectus, but left no predators in the ecology. hence, hominids evolved into every ecological niche. (Vampires, Carrion Eaters, Giant Herbivores, Small Carnivores, some built great technologies and went interstellar. Oh, and ringworld is 300 million times the surface area of earth. post if youre interested, Ill elabortae on native species and alien vistors

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