Strolen\s Citadel content. 
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
The Other Side
Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-10 06:10 AM
Et tu Strolen,
first my comment on 4-9-13 was regarding my own comment on this post made on 4-7-13, so I was calling my own writing horrible. It (my comment) was unfocused and rambling


I decided to try and make one point, so edited the comment yesterday. And the suggestion that this should go into the plot was a minor point that has little relevance to what I was trying to say. I am talking about the theology of the cult. But you are right the theology or values of the cult don't have a lot relevance to the actual submission? There in was my point. Go to Comment
The Other Side
Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-10 01:46 PM
"Join a cult, Small steps, better rewards, before you know it, the PCs release a greater demon."

That is the idea. I think the idea would have more drama and be more engaging as a roleplaying tool if it was

"Join a cult, Smalls step, better rewards and before you know it the PCs WANT MORE than ANYTHING to release a greater demon."

One does not have the write up the theology per se, as we all agree the theology is unimportant to the plot. But what i was suggesting was the there be a line of information or point in the action SE outlined in which the PCs take control of the narrative and the cult. Alternatively, perhaps a point were the PCs have to make choice: great reward or advancement of the cult. Perhaps several small scenes in which the PC interact with Gods, one of the PCs could have the dreams about the Goddess, the PCs could be carriers for the spirits of the demigods. Because right now the PCs don't really have any interaction with the Gods, the demigods are summoned then leave the room (of course having to much NPC time is dangerous to a narrative). I am suggesting a scene or line of the story that causes the PCs to become invested in the cult beyond the stat and material rewards, and beyond the "well we already gone this far" argument.

I like this write up, I really respect and admire the way it is written, I said that i my first comment. I like that you have both a story told in an immersive narrative and the GM voice dialog about why and how the plot should progress. If I wanted to an example of sub with a great voice I would point to this one. I gave it a 4. I will give it HoH.

Yet ou guys are just being awful and defensive, you exaggerating things and setting up these false hyperbolic conditions. What I think I am hearing

"We are here to have fun, to much thought=less fun"

"I am not getting paid to do this, it is "

"You are obtuse (lacking sharpness or quickness of sensibility or intellect ) and missing the point."

I think I get the point, in that SE is not just sharing an idea, he is both telling a story and telling people how to tell a story. I like the story, I like way he told it, but I suggest that the story would be stronger if there was more personal involvement in the story on the part of the protagonist in an RPG. Because right now in the write up it may the actions of the PCs the drive the plot, but they under the direction of the NPCs. And I am just suggesting, I am not saying…well I reserve my vote…or demanding you improve this. I too am trying to articulate an idea. Go to Comment
The Citadels Name Exchange
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-22 09:46 PM
this is a fun idea Go to Comment
Lwausf's Intra Continental Sling Shot
Plots  (Crisis)   (Side-Quest)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-23 07:45 PM
I meant this to be one of scras 30 minutes writing challenges. In that you are supposed to write up something original in 30 minutes. To be original it couldn't be a write up of some aspect of my standing settings or write up of some game material I have lying around. So sat down to write with a timer I used -stumbleupon-to get some inspiration and then I cranked out 7 paragraphs in 30 minutes. But when I was done it didn't fit any of the topic criteria, other than it was quickly written. So I broke up one paragraph, added an 8th and tossed it up here.

Don't know burrito bison, the bear flying craft were a gag used by stand up comedian working out of Ashville NC and the submarine was inspired CSS Hunley. Go to Comment
But they're only minions...
Articles  (Character)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-23 07:08 PM
"Does your players treat your precious Npcs like nothing but obstacles, exploits and cannon fodder, whether they are gelatinous cubes or humans?"

No Go to Comment
But they're only minions...
Articles  (Character)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-24 07:04 PM
These discussion are difficult because I doubt any of you could agree on what an RPG is. Then once you have an agreement I doubt you could agree on what the goal of an RPG is. Go to Comment
But they're only minions...
Articles  (Character)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-25 07:29 AM
How do you know people missed your point? Could the case be that you missed the point of their comments? Go to Comment
But they're only minions...
Articles  (Character)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-25 07:47 AM
It is really tough to read minds on-line. Go to Comment
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