Strolen\s Citadel content. 
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.”


“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
Elainuk: Parna's Dark Elf Assassin
NPCs  (Minor)   (Criminal/Espionage)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-01 01:31 PM
Update: Instead of a picture I added stats. Used 3.5 character generator. Go to Comment
Elainuk: Parna's Dark Elf Assassin
NPCs  (Minor)   (Criminal/Espionage)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-01 03:53 PM
Ruffle feathers .... What is up with you and birds? Go to Comment
30 body parts for do-it-yourself Chimera
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-28 09:53 PM
12 year old me would have loved this list for hours, perhaps to the point of self injury.

Muro's is right if we put them in a table we could have all three options and perhaps we can put together a random generator.

nice work, interactive posts are fun, we could use more of them. Go to Comment
Skill Tabs
Items  (Books and Scrolls)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-11 08:20 AM
"I know Kung Fu?"

There is something interesting with these tabs on a neuroscience level and then applied to the roleplaying. So to learn use these things Long-term tabs do they have to link that knowledge in with your existing memories? There are a number of cues that we get in order to recall how to do a task, such typing or driving. If many of the cues were shifted you might have a difficult time performing the task. (Try transcribing something via typing by typing in the air. Even if you never look at your screen while transcribing, you get a little disorientated. The same could be true for language or reading. You may know what a word means, but when you see the word out of context it may throw of confuse you for a moment.

Anyway HERE IS THE PITCH: what is the L-softs link the knowledge to seemingly unrelated material in your brain. So every time your roleplayer used his L-soft regarding automobile technology, he or she thinks of bacon, Everytime they use the L-soft to speak French they start to feel as if they are very late for something and get the sense that they have forgotten an appointment. You could not tell them about this connection at first, just remind the players as follows.

GM: Make a WITS roll.

Player: 37

GM: This room seems very familiar to you, it reminds you of training officer's house from your time back in the Corp. when you would visit her when her husband was away. Go to Comment
Skyhawk Faunareconnaissance Implant
Items  (Other)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-11 07:15 AM
I have a story in which the main character controls his cattle through a device similar to the class 1 device. I just like the idea of dueling hackers trying to rustle cattle and sending the poor cows back and forth across the field. Go to Comment
STEM Packs
Items  (Other)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-11 06:58 AM
I like them in-line, you could use a block quote or something

A solid version of the slap patch idea, you play so fast a loose with the immunology and that I wouldn't even bother.

If a human used an animal version the immediate effects would be the same assuming PHL-80 is not species specific. But there would be a slow burn with the body possibly rejecting the transplanted tissue of over a mater of weeks. So the damage would just be delayed.

Or the body may never reject that transplant tissue (I assume the immuno suppressants are locale-actually very doable, stems are local immuno suppressants), but the immune system is likely to get primed. That means if somebody gets exposed second exposure to the same animal antigens they will have a very strong response. This would likely be a Delayed Type Hypersensitivity response swelling and tissue destruction at the sight of exposure, but anaphylaxis would not be off the the Table (get it? Game table...bah). If there is enough inflammation and antigen presentation a person that has had a strong reaction to a patch may also develop an immune response to PHL-80. Which again may render the drug less effective, but could lead to anaphylaxis or if gave a large enough dose of PHL-80 and the anaphylaxis didn't kill you than kidney failure from all the antibody-PHL-80 complexes in your blood.

So if the cancers are the result of the designed stem cells than perhaps that cells would be designed with a back door cytopathic pathway. The cells may be designed to express receptor for a toxin that is not produced by humans, to have a gene response to some type of artificial hormone or be susceptible to a designed virus. The end result would be that all the daughter cells from these stem cells could be eliminated by being exposed to this substance. In the real world such a back door would be a good idea (I am going to pitch today to my stem cell buddies). In the world of crazy super villains this could be a problem because they could design weapon that would cause everyones STEM PACK tissue to suddenly die. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 14
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-12 10:06 PM

I have no tangible advice on how to write a novel, and I think, empirically ,it has been proven I have no taste so I can't speak to whether or not the events in this chapter are relevant or whether or not the introduction of new character is important. However, the introduction of a new character every thousand words or so seems to put a very frantic pace on things.

Over all though, after the first paragraph, i found this chapter to be clear, direct, and well told. We get an idea for the customs and we get an idea for the these other two new antagonist characters. I got the sense thesere characters were conniving, prideful, and a little ruthless. Is that what you were shooting for?

I found the first paragraph of this one confusing. Where everybody was in relation to events and scenery was not always clear and the timing of things also seemed difficult to follow.

It is also a little off putting when the main character is getting bored with things. I found things pretty interesting until Botari gets bored and drifts off. If you want to communicate her disinterest in things perhaps she could be a little rye or critical of the event rather than bored. Also it is not always clear how much she is really day dreaming in these scenes. Is she having really long periods of inward reflection? How can we be interested in what is going of if even the main character is not interested?

At any rate, why do you want Temjun to win a wrestling match. We already know he is a winner, he is Gengis Kahn, Botari already knows he is a winner. Is there something else you are trying to show us about him or his opponents?

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Xord godling of The Seven Armie's Battle
Lifeforms  (Unique)   (Mountains)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-26 05:24 PM
This is the first 100 word Oekaki I have ever seen.

Was Xord always this way?

What values will a cleric of Xord have to follow?

What happens if you gather a bunch of new Xord followers?

So Xord can only support one cleric at a time, does that mean if Xord gives a newcomer the job some other dude just has the rug pulled out from under him?

Could there be an advantages to being THE cleric of Xord:

Short lines at the altar.

Can take your GOD with you everywhere. LIterally.

Don't have to shell out tons of coin buying gifts for the other faithful on your Xord Birthday.

No need to hire some artist to render a likeness of Xord in your temple, you can just put Xord on the altar.

Can introduces yourself as the high priest of Xord on your first day. Go to Comment
Xord godling of The Seven Armie's Battle
Lifeforms  (Unique)   (Mountains)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-26 05:52 PM

XORD, (a) WAR GOD, is seeking a new Supreme Cleric of Carnage (SCC).

Applicants must travel to the Seven Armie’s Battlefield, and present themselves directly to Xord. Applicants must be able to work independently, and have a penchant for pitched battles of attrition. The SCC is the only holy servant of Xord in the universe, and thus you will be free of many of the ministerial duties that characterize other religions, as you will have no flock to tend. The SCC's primary responsibility is to be the benefactor of any warrior that found himself to be the last man standing.

Go to Comment
Jacob Richter
NPCs  (Minor)   (Political)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-09-07 01:29 PM

This is not a critique. This is a summary of how I understood the character after reading this piece. I treated this like a finished piece of literature.

This story details four keys to the title character’s personality. The first key is a persona or personal mythology by which the character attempts independently of other people and his relationship with others. This persona gives the character an aura of irony in which his literal statements contrast with actions. The second key is a level arrogance and disgust towards others that allows to make absolute judgments and dismiss criticism. Third is the character lack empathy (though not sympathy), lack of reflection, and lack of overall thoughtfulness. Finally, the character is possessed with a great deal of self-satisfaction.

First the character’s persona is something both the narrator and the other major character in this story (the character’s wife) recognize. His “humble behavior” is this idea he has of himself that everyone seems to know is not true. His first speech to the public is summarized by the author as being seen as humble, but the character is not humble despite his assertion that he is just short Jewish guy with glasses. His humility is an affectation, he actually feels quite superior and independent from most others. Furthermore, he enjoys the attention. He enjoys “shaking hands”, the praise of people on the street and when discussing this praise he doesn’t bother to correct Jon Stewart’s assertions that he is a hero. This contrasts with earlier affectations of humility such as “I’d done what I could.” The character never acknowledges any weaknesses or short-comings despite this ‘just folks’ persona. Take for example his early work experience. He says he was doing okay, but not excelling as much as others. Rather than acknowledge that he lacked some talents or abilities he speaks pejoratively of those that were more successful calling them “kiss assess”. I am sure if one were to ask the character why he said that, he would simply retort that ‘it was true’.

This brings us to the second major key of his personality which is arrogance and absolutism. Take for example his brushing off of the president “because he didn’t vote for that asshole” and his early dismissals of congress, of journalism and as previously mentioned his co-workers. The character never qualifies any of his opinions. This relates as well his affectatious nature. Note how author describes people’s reaction to his first public speech: “ Many still remember his soft words, his talk of being glad he was able to help.” In situations in which the character is in control, when we can define the value relationship of things he can maintain this friendly humble manner. But the narrator also remarks how this friendly behavior is not his normal public behavior “On television, he always sounds annoyed - understandable since a reporter has usually just shoved a microphone in his face.” Thus, when others set the agenda or initiate the confrontation he is angry. One might argue that just beneath the surface anger is a key to personality. I would argue that anger comes from his sense of superiority and willing to dismiss others.

This ease in dismissing others and his quick rise to anger brings us to the third key in his personality. Take for example the encounter in which he find the woman fired for being a Delta. The story does not detail his feelings towards the woman or any efforts he took to comfort the woman. The encounter with woman quickly becomes about his response to the event. This shows a low emotional I.Q. on the part of the character, which something that is explored and confronted in this piece. Consider when the Jacob is saved from the assassination attempt. Prior to that he had enjoyed the attention of others but had not understood the attention. The same was true with his first term in congress. He had been dismissive of the whole thing and did not realize the responsibility he had towards other. Thus, he does not reflect on situations. He responds to them. He does not understand other people's emotions, but is quick to respond to their emotions with his own. The character is not reflective as a whole, even saying he doesn’t enjoy reflecting on 9/11 and seeks to avoid recounting that day. But he does enjoy the congratulations from the “man on the street”. He enjoys being the Hero but we must assume that being reminded of his heroics does not cause him to reflect on the horror of the events. However, the work does indicate that the character of Jacob has grown on this front. After the write-in votes and after his life was saved he seems to be making an effort to understand what people need from him and not just what he thinks they need. This lack of consideration of others likely springs from or at feeds into the last point.

Finally, this brings us to the characters great-deal of self-satisfaction. He is a very happy man. He pleased with his life and who he is and does not look outward for vindication or justification. Indeed, he might dismiss those that seek to challenge his view of his life or himself. The character also never invokes other people in terms of gratitude or admiration (aside from the person that save his life-sign of character growth). He speaks of no mentors, doesn’t mention of his father much and acknowledges no regrets, disappointments or mistakes. When he does mention others they are celebraties: Jon Stewart, Schwartzaneger and so on. He never acknowledges his campaign staff or co-workers. There is a clear distinction between the little people and players in his mind. He would not change a thing about himself I am sure. I assert it is unlikely he would have pursued such a public life if he didn’t have A) the ability take it or leave it and B) a position of moral and social superiority. With regard to point A, note his resentment at the write-in vote. I would wager that if this man had never gained powers, his personality would have withdrawn more and more into his family and private life.

The arrogance, the lack of doubt, the anger, the self-satisfaction, the persona and the love of attention I think explain the character’s action. The character is national hero and symbol willing to act and speak independently of all others. In a slightly different setting he would make a great villain. He already has a history of approaching people with disgust and absolutism. Could this man decide he knows what is best for the world? Could his anger and emotions start to rule his actions so much that he becomes destructive? If anything his inward focus is what holds him in check.

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When The Hail Came
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-22 12:14 AM

Nicely done, I liked the format and was surprised (in a good way) when the letters switched perspective to steph. This is a good read and nice way of communicating information. You don't quite pull off the changing tones of a maturing mind in such away that you could write this without the ages beneath the letters. Still a fun intro for an RPG game.

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When The Hail Came
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-22 07:00 AM

Upside of keeping the tone earnest and consistent through out is it suggests that the hero maintained his innocence through out and thus he is still that scared 9 year old boy when he gets pulled off towards the aliens. Who was it said that the key to sci-fi was to present a situation in which the youngest of men believe they could go as they are now and save the universe? That sci-fi has to provide a reality in which the pimply face round bellied boys felt like they could transcend all without the painful and compromising process of actually becoming a man.

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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 13
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-24 06:00 PM

I enjoyed this chapter. I found the description of to be Nalan Kahn to entertaining and clear. I found a lot of the discussion about what future Botari can expect was interesting. Lines like "There was no reason to fret over a none-too-stringent conflict not to come for years."

It is very interesting that these she is looking at all these things both backwards and forwards. But what does Botari want for the future?

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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 13
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-25 07:18 PM

I haven't noticed any problem with your action sequences. Thus far you have only had Botari's chase with kidnappers, and I thought you handled that well.

My advice for what to write next is to put in a complete mini-arc. You have your group together, and it seems to be that you are shooting for the classical-on the road-fantasy story. During the complete mini-arc you can continue your over arching story, but put in some conflict that gets slaughtered, cooked and devoured.

Let us say it is a wrestling Mini-arc

1) Temujin and gang meets a guy that has been and is a social and physical rival to Temujin. Botari remembers him from her past life, remembers how her Temujin told her a story that this rival was arrogant and distrustful of him until Temujin beat him in a wrestling match.

2) The guys is disruptive to the group, he and Borochu get into a little scuffle. Temujin breaks it up and tries to talk it out.

3) Borochu gets huffy and Botari thinks Temujin is handeling things wrong. HE IS NOT DEALING WITH THINGS THE WAY HER TEMUJIN WOULD HAVE.

4) She encourages Temujin to challenge the rival to a match, she is confident he will win and that this will improve Temujin's relationship with this man.

5) Temujin loses the match and Botari, as a result is filled with doubt. Temujin is humiliated and no doubts Botari's advice. Botari now doubts whether not her intervention was helpful. She wonders who this new young Temujin is really? She wonders if her old Temujin was telling the truth when he described beating this man in a wrestling match or was it just the tall tales of a proud man? Losing in a wrestling match also might make his tribe look week.

Here you would have a whole arc. There is a conflict, there is a build up, there is a resolution, all these steps relate to the larger plot points but do not define them. But keep the focus centered on this mini-arc for a while. You haven't kept things on focused on any sub-plot points thus far.

This chapter has nothing to do with the thought stone or the tribe they just left. Try resolving smaller plots as a way of advancing the larger plot.

I am all for wrestling.

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       By: Roack

The PCs are stuck in a town with a strict peace policy, the tiniest scuffle can land you years in prison. The town also happens to be a tourist haven, so inn-prices have skyrocketed. The only way the PCs can rest is if they splurge on a room, with their enemy.

Ideas  ( Plots ) | July 28, 2005 | View | UpVote 1xp