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A Cult for those that want to be Gods on Earth
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-04 12:11 PM
Thankyou, but perhaps you didn't understand theme of the story. Always a problem when you write something, you have an idea and you "try" to communicate it. Go to Comment
A Cult for those that want to be Gods on Earth
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-09 07:43 PM
Wait were you being serious when you said you didn't get how the title connects.  Because it is a line from the story, when the uncle recruits Brait into the cult, he suggests that to be a follower of Josslander you must seek to become a God on earth.   I am calling you out as not having read this story.  Go to Comment
The Cult of Equilibrium
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (Regional)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-02 03:02 PM
In some of my settings this would really annoy the gods and that is a good thing. Go to Comment
The Cult of Equilibrium
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (Regional)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-03 06:16 PM
It is darn shame what happens to those poor unbalanced cultist, I am sure all of us have felt the sting of that problem. Indeed SE it all too common.

fulcrum Go to Comment
The Cult of Equilibrium
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (Regional)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-04 01:05 PM
"But by all means, if there's something missing (that you can point out) I'll see what I can do about it."

Starting with Paragraph 1: The voice in the paragraph is speaking to potential cultists "To style yourself a proper cultist". This means this is written by in game character and this bring in world perspective to the topic. But you don't tell us anything about the world that would help us to understand the perspective the author is bringing to the text. If you wish to just present an idea, than address the audience on the website, your fellow players and GMs, you do not need address the idea as an in world setting.

But if you want to discuss your game world and the opinions of a character in that game world ("Only true maniacs" is an opinion") than you need to share with us somethings about the world that influenced your authors perspective. What was the origin of this faith? What is the promised goal of reaching this balance? Are two examples of things that might be addressed but I would pass on these and focus on the rationale of the tenants. What makes these people more than hypocrites by their own reckoning? If spend six months in cloister of chastity caring for hospice patients while writing letter on behalf of political prisoners and then spend six months raping and killing fathers in front their children am I balanced? You state in the next section that there many sub dogmas, but what was the core dogma from which these are degenerating. Also this dogma accepts a Good and Evil as real and being polar opposites, what do they consider Good and Evil respectively? Does it matter as long they are opposite? In short with the Tenets you give a bare bones idea, which is fine, but it is not a developed idea.

Who Belongs:

If this is just a bare bones idea why even bother discussing its roll in society? Are you trying to give other a hint on how to use this in game? Again you give us game world specifics, evil deities being hated by authorities, most cults being hidden and wrathful gods. Again you are discussing your game world but you are doing poor job of it. I get that implied depth is often better than real depth in fantasy settings, but here you seem to try to channel an archetype of a game world. If you assume that archetype is already there, assume there is a good an evil axis, authorities are pro-good, cults are hidden and so on than why do you need to discuss it all?

Organization:

Now you get super specific, lagom chants and symbols (the scale).

If your goal was to paint a picture of the cult in the game world, you did but as ceasar say it is very bare bones. If you want to toss out the idea as an idea, than you have done that and these little story seeds are nice but underdeveloped.

How did you use it in your campaign? Go to Comment
Scourge of the Devourer
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (Regional)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-01 10:39 AM
Welcome, there is alot in this sub and it is ambitious and imaginative. I look forward to more of your posts.

But before I offer suggestions. Let me sum this up, so you know I understood what it is you intended to communicate.

1) Two Gods were having a dispute over the value of the common low born man. On says that the lowborn and innately flawed and the others says that they only require a good leader. The god that is defending the peasant stock claims that once they have a worthy leader this group of low born laborers will embody all the qualities that the other god admires in high born warriors.
2) To test their theories they create a man with a divided soul, he will be the worlds greatest military leader.
3) The Godsent, after growing up laboring as a peasant slave, rebels against his masters and forms a peasant army. That may or may not have lasted a fortnight, which I think was the terms of the wager.
4) But right before the final battle between the peasant army and the Peerage, the entire peasant army is shifted to another realm because that this the sort of thing that happens in Foundation. Even the Gods were surprised…maybe…maybe this was the evil god's plan. Anyway we never find out.
5) They arrive in another location, a coast line, where a group of viking types in attacking the local populace.
6) The peasant army, not wanting get all dressed up for nothing, attacked these viking types and subdues them.
7) The vikings types then join with the peasants and the Godsent is the new leader of the viking types and is worshipped ...as a god i suppose.
8) A side effect of this merger is a new religion, in which blind priests are allotted to these viking type ships.
9)The name sake priests are violent cannibals who must eat living flesh, not cooked, not salted, but cut off a screaming breathing person in order to channel the power of their god. They also have to eat their own eyes.

Do I have that right? Go to Comment
Scourge of the Devourer
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (Regional)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-01 02:08 PM
I would love to geek out the whole metaphysics of your setting, and I will start a forum thread to do just that, 
but this sub lacks focus. I don't think the backstory is necessary to understand the SoDs or at the very least I don't think it is necessary to read that before the SoDs are described. Indeed the first five paragraphs tells very little about the SoDs. We know the SoDs are violent, we know they are cannibals, we know they are seafares and we have vague idea of what they look like but we don't have clear idea of what it is to interact with these horrible creatures. How would these creatures treat an ally? How do they face their own death? What is their ethos? You said you got 20 levels and a write up that is not included here, the sub doesn't mention blind sight for example, but you only spend a few lines describing these people. What is a day in the life of SoD like?
Go to Comment
Scourge of the Devourer
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (Regional)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-01 06:41 PM
Maybe you should right up the Devourer as an NPC..history, hopes, dreams, fears, favorite color, allergies and so on. What is was like before and after his break.

But do I get this right, the former slave is now lord of the slavers? If that is true that is a point you should punch up. Go to Comment
Scourge of the Devourer
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (Regional)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-01 06:47 PM
And if you don't want to post a system specific class wear a cup. Go to Comment
Scourge of the Devourer
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (Regional)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-04 08:48 AM
I think you pop this out and put it into its own NPC sub Go to Comment
The Warens
Locations  (Other)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-30 02:06 PM
These types of academies have been fairly well established in other settings and I would say is something everybody is familiar with. The Gunslinger, Roland, went to one such school for Gunslingers in Stephen King's dark tower books, their was a school for Knights in Steinbeck's King Arthur, the Jedi Academy, were ever it was Dr. Strange went to magic school, and Cain from Kung Fu of course. A write up for martial arts academy such as you have done is not novel in as much as it resembles so many other established setting. While there is nothing wrong with the write up really it is obviated by all the previous versions.

The last three notes are the strongest part about your post. Folding cliches into your setting is useful, it makes the setting easily accessible to other readers and players, but you need to make more of effort to tie this to your current setting. You can use the cliche setting as a way to ease or draw people into your world and your characters. I would bring more the specifcs of your world. If you do that than you don't have tired write up, but you have trite story to frame the novel aspects of your world.

IMHO Go to Comment
Kashmir Orbital Annex
Locations  (Establishment)   (Space)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-30 09:12 AM
Only voted Go to Comment
Inanna's Avenging Hands
Society/ Organizations  (Criminal/Espionage)   (Country/ State)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-03 12:13 PM
You tread very close to history and current political problems. and the solutions you offer to real world problems are banal, child like and insulting to the real world labor movement.

When Valermore got industiralized who were the market for the surplus of goods?

Other than that it is fine. Go to Comment
Perpetual War and the Cosmic Era
Articles  (Setting Building)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-28 05:27 AM
This is an unexpected twist and I do enjoy an epic plot line. However, I think this undoes much of the thematic elements of the cosmic era. One of the themes of the cosmic era setting that you kept hammering in was this sense of cynacism. Humanity in the cosmic era had finally given up their pretentious and hypocritical goals of utopia, justice or an egalitarian state and accepted that they are all about profit. I thought in the cosmic era there is no meaning behind things, and the search for meaning is what conspiracy theories are all about. People like to think that there is reason behind the chaos, even if it is bad reason, people would rather think that the CIA is behind AIDs rather nothing is behind it. People would rather think the wars were planned by evil neo-cons, and not just the result of a lot people without plans our with seperate plans pulling on different threads that drag their collective futures into the toliet. Having a puppet master suggests that cosmic era is the result of design and there is a purpose and a meaning to it. This changes the whole theme of your era and takes away much of the commentary. What would humanity be in your cosmic era without the aliens and the M12? Go to Comment
Perpetual War and the Cosmic Era
Articles  (Setting Building)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-28 07:15 AM
I was equating them exactly to the way people perceived the CIA and the KGB during the cold war. Indeed certainly in the cosmic era setting as it was written prior to the alien invasion plot there were layers upon layers. But at the base of the cosmic era it was just human weakness and folly, not a agency with a master plan. Take for example Ashes falling from the Sky. http://strolen.com/viewing/Ashes_Falling_from_the_Sky

This is a short story written in the cosmic era setting, even though it is not linked, Scras's comments make it clear that it is cosmic era story. The message in that story is that the character's death is meaningless. He is literally walking in circles before being poisoned by radiation and forced to take his own life. He never envokes an ideaology, religious or political and dies as meaningless pawn in the play of powerful forces. We can all agree on that, but I what thought theme of the cosmic era was that these powerful forces were just greed and inhuman corporate behavior. But that is not the real message, because according to this post humanity is in fight for its survival, even if i didn't know it, and the greed and self serving behavior is a necessary evil to push humanity forward so that it can win its survival. I thought the theme of the cosmic era was that there was always another back room, and if you keep moving through the back rooms you would eventually move in a circle. But Scras would rather have a base layer whereby the death of the solider in Ashes or the death of 9000 protesters in Last Tank while not directly designed by the powers behind can all be placed in a narrative in which they eventually served the greater good. But Dozus, would humanity take the same course if the CIA/KGB weren't moving things behind the scenes? It is hard to say they have no effect, but the questions remains did they really know something we did not? Or were they just pretentious symptoms of imperialism and the egos of the powerful? Go to Comment
Perpetual War and the Cosmic Era
Articles  (Setting Building)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-28 12:08 PM
Perpetual War and the Cosmic Era
Articles  (Setting Building)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-29 09:04 AM
Okay I read Ar'ael, and it brought nothing to this table. I was trying to engage you on a conversation on the themes of the cosmic era and how the absence of M12 and their political manipulations and motivations might effect those themes.

Go to Comment
Perpetual War and the Cosmic Era
Articles  (Setting Building)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-29 10:58 AM
well yes sir Go to Comment
The Other Side
Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-07 05:51 PM

Critiques:




I believe the submission is miss filed, I think this a plot not a system. While it contains the fundamental description of a system it is primarily a plot or mini-campaign.  This taxonomic view does not effect my opinion of the submission nor, I believe, the submission's  relevance to the quest.  I think this is a well organized and well written story presented as a bare bones DnD style module.  




I believe in this plot their are several layers of conflict.  The direct conflict between the NPCs and the PCs is one layer of conflict.  The conflict between the cult and society in general is another layer. And the conflict between the ideology of the cult and ideology of the established church is yet another layer. I believe this final layer is under developed.  I accept that there is good argument that most theological dispute are held in proxy for other more deeply rooted economic or social disputes. I could also accept that religious disputes are essentially an us versus them dispute and theological trappings are unimportant and interchangeable.  Thus as the plot goes these specifics are not important to its progression. However, I assume that this post was written in part with the goal of exploring the theology of the cult.  I think the treatment of the cult and its values in the current write up is shallow and this diminishes the evil cult to a gimmick; essentially the campaign comes to down to "wouldn't it be fun or novel to play an evil party."   I see the underdevelopment of cult in two sections of this write up: first the amount of literal and explicit information in this write regarding the cult and the conflict between the gods  is sparse and underdeveloped. Secondly, the amount of time and energy dedicated to this specific  conflict of ideas and world views in the events and actions outlined in plot is negligible. 




With regard to the lack of literal and explicit information given to the cult in this write up this begins in section one with the recruitment of the anti-Heros in the sample seen. The "recruiting officer" states that the character have checked the right boxes with their violent and ruthless tactics but does not express the moral or ethical underpinnings of her beliefs .  Just because the characters are "evil" does it mean they are shallow?  Then again in the write up of the god, SE states that there is conflict between the gods of civilization and the gods of chaos, and even a debate, but does not outline that debate. However some are things are described very precisely, we have a few specifics with regard to proper names and event, but only a vague outline of the theological underpinnings that lead to those events. 




However, this terse write up would not be as large a problem if the characters were given an opportunity themselves to have this debate, to develop the theology and explore the values of their chaotic animalistic side versus the values of the structured and dignified side of society. The characters are at one pointed ask to recruit new people to their cult, fairly late in the progression of the story,  however as the story is written the major points made by the character's relationship to the cult is improved stats, wealth and magical weapons.  There should be a point in the plot in which the players have to defend their beliefs with more than a sword and a spell.  I believe that developing the theology of the cult and forcing the players express some understanding of this theology and defend will increase the player involvement in the game, the level of immersion and ultimately the game's significance and enjoyment.  

Go to Comment
The Other Side
Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-09 06:12 PM
Nope. Dossta, I re read my comment and I am sorry. My original comment was unfocused and full of asides and ideas for the plot. It was also really badly written and I am dumber for having reread it. I tried to re write the comment, so it focuses only on what I thought should be changed. Go to Comment
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