Strolen\s Citadel content. 
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Water)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-21 08:50 PM

Sci-fi spell jammers in the deep. I love it. I think we discussed this before in chat: but i like the idea of these beings, and I think it adds different dimension of the setting. By writing from the perspective of one these beings you could use more hard science in you descriptions of life forms and structures. For example you could discuss things in terms of wavelength and ionic attractions ( stuff a being from a crashed spaceship could be aware of), and just having these in the setting expands the setting immensely.

The write up is a little terse. Almost like bullet points. What happened the Valadaar of six or eight years ago that opened up his posts with little in-world first person vignettes?

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Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Water)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-22 08:01 AM

Check out the Vorrkush sub

It is another mystical deep dwelling arthropod of Decathros with a Lovecraft vibe.

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Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Water)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-20 05:24 PM
This is really good. Go to Comment
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Water)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-20 05:25 PM
Don't think about it as gaming then. This was part of a world building challenge, and these creatures really add to the world. By having creature in the world a whole new avenue of sci-fi orientated story lines and perspective on story lines is accessible. Go to Comment
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-24 09:24 PM
I read this one a couple of days ago, it kind of reads like a laundry list of events, but it is missing any real meat to it. Go to Comment
Elizabeth Sheybad and the Flirting Dress
Plots  (Crisis)   (Encounter)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-18 04:30 PM
I have been told many times that the citadel is an Rpg site, not a fiction site. And that RPG fiction should end right before or right after something really awful or dramatic happens, that way the players can pick up where the author left off, so we continue this in a forum RPG, or write me another weird item and I will try an incorporate into another thread of this narrative. Go to Comment
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-16 06:55 PM
Suspension of disbelief regarding the bird getting on to and out the the airplane in such a way as follow chic around a major international airport:


Suspension of disbelief regarding a talking song bird (even if its polymorphed bird):


Nice story, stuff happens, I was interested.

I would drop the second to last paragraph. The story ends once the woman leaves...and it is better that way. Go to Comment
Ellen Lancaster
NPCs  (Minor)   (Artistic/Performance)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-24 08:33 PM

I was looking for something to read on the fly and so I clicked on this thing. This has everything I have ever wanted to see on the Citadel. It is written with a consistent perspective, and it builds its world subtlety around characters. This might be the best thing I have ever read on the Citadel. It certainly has a lot of the qualities I have aspired to and experimented with, I truly admire this piece. Forget those banal self-important distinctions of whether or not this is “useful” or the content ascribes to my biases or preferences regarding genre; I love what this represents in as much as it has the ambition to be a completely immersive piece. The bar at the Citadel keeps getting raised (which may shrink and change depending on the community), and I believe that you have raised the bar. I would say this is transcendent: You have character driven world building and story-telling in a speculative fiction genre (with a big bit of wish fulfillment thrown in). This is well-realized character and world, and you have communicated a great deal here with a single narrative. Thank you.

As for the content, I just want to note that I respect every choice you made in writing this.

The author/narrator clearly has a lot of respect and almost adoration for his subject. Only when noting that she may not have resented being so positively featured in the documentary does he ever dig into his subject or question her at level beyond face value. It would be an interesting experiment and very telling of the conflicts in your world to hear about the events alluded to and described from the opposition's perspective. Could you paint a sympathetic picture of one your villains or antagonistic characters?

Another thing I found jarring (another word would be notable), but not in a bad way per se, was your take on superheros here. The Silver Age fantasy of the superhero is some mild mannered or over looked person who can suddenly burst out and do something fantastic. The super powers become allegory for the overlooked potential, emotional turmoil, super-ego or inner life of the nerd or the put upon individual. Here your characters (including Silver’s) are Grammy winning artists, best selling authors and beautiful young people living hipster lives in NYC. In many many ways they are departures from the lifestyles of people who plan than their lives around live chatting RPGs on a Saturday night. Are you really writing what you know?

Finally there is one thing I just don’t buy. I don’t believe that this Juilliard educated woman in her 30s who is thoughtful and considerate of meaningful communication, AND born in 1988 or 1989 could reference Rocky III with esoteric precession and complete assurance that her reference would be caught and understood. Even if she was some how a fan of early 80s pulp cinema, it was incredulous that this New York Times author and his editor were both on the same page and felt no need to explain this reference to his audience. In that moment I saw the aging fanboy behind the text. (But I completely loved it.) This is not believable...unless your alternate history promotes Rocky III to the ranks of Pooh Bear, Shakespeare, and Star Wars in terms of Western pop culture allusions. If Rocky III is a universal classic in your world... then well done sir.

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Ellen Lancaster
NPCs  (Minor)   (Artistic/Performance)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-21 09:48 AM
Bumping this cause it has an innovative presentation. Go to Comment
Flirting dress
Items  (Clothes)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-16 02:36 PM
I took that as an Oekaki challenge scras! Go to Comment
Flirting dress
Items  (Clothes)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-18 10:42 AM
Cheka! The Queen of Vallermoore would love this wouldn't she! Go to Comment
Flirting dress
Items  (Clothes)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-18 10:43 AM
Or traumatize children on the sly. Go to Comment
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-14 02:17 PM
Minor Note:
"The new quarter began at school and Sarah was deep in study land. Despite her words about me stealing her study buddy, she didn't seem to mind that Ellen got me more now. Almost as if she deliberately invited me over to get to Ellen.."

This is an early conclusion for second date so I assume their relationship is progressing but the chronology is a little tough to follow in the beginning.

Bigger thought:
Ellen and Eve's whole courtship feels like a rush to consummation. And without any conflicts-internal or external-nothing really happens in this section.

What was your goal with this section? Go to Comment
Solitude and The Long Road Evelyn's path pt 5
NPCs  (Major)   (Combative)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-11 09:29 AM
Did she grab the 'river trout' from the Harlem, East, Bronx or Hudson river? Good trout fishing in those rivers?

I am not sure this post really needed to happen. We don't learn anything about the world or the characters (except no underwear). There is no drama or conflict, the "asking Ellen out" bit could/should have involved more tension or internal dialog, particularly considering all the swings the main character took the night before.

The only thing of interest is that I don't buy Ellen's interest in Evelyn, and am waiting for Evelyn to finally get rejected or have 'a gut check'.
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Solitude and The Long Road Evelyn's path pt 5
NPCs  (Major)   (Combative)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-11 10:14 AM
If we were work shopping this story, I would still suggest cutting this scene. Go to Comment
7 More Reasons Why Not Everyone is a Magic User
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-13 09:46 AM
I think this works as 7, this is article about world building, beside it being a new or lost technology, you have 7 fairly thought out suggestions here Go to Comment
Articles  (At Table)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-14 10:50 AM
Valadaar suggests that it would be fun to for make table top RPGs more video game like and about 1000 words later we have Valadaar's outline how to install a "turbo" button on your character sheet. The claim that a table top mechanic is "video game like" is often used pejoratively, but I reject such ideas as biased snobbery. If you enjoy your games to be dice driven versions of Dynasty Warriors than why shouldn't you make that happen?

I think it is easy to overlook how this would be a useful RP tool. Anything that makes a character see combat as more than hit and miss ratios expands the game world. This will force the characters to be more vested in the events around them.

Consider the following scenario:

GM: the Sith Lord Baron Hideous slices through the lifting droid KV-zero-N with his orange light saber.

Player 1: "Not Kevon! NOOOOOOOO!" I add plus 3 to rage tests.

GM: He was just a lifting droid.

Player 1: My character loved that droid.

Player 2: Yeah don't disrespect the dead, "Lets win this one for Kevon!!!!" Go to Comment
Articles  (At Table)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-14 12:00 PM

Perhaps you could expand this to include a more modern dynamic




Mini van doing 50 mphs pulls into left lane on I-65


The woman driving failed to signal and is on the phone x2

Parking ticket


You were just there for 5 minutes x2

Ex-spouse comments on your weight gain


They look fantastic x2 and so does their new partner x4

The lid on your coffee cup pops off and scalding hot coffee stains your shirt and pants


The barista warns you that it is hot after you have spilled the drink x4

In a mirthful sing-song voice your opponent in some complex game informs you that you have just lost the game by making a blinding stupid move


They are right x3

Your co-worker uncuts you in a meeting by saying “I don’t think you have everything right there (your first name).


You did have everything right x3

A player in your RPG writes you a 4000 word email complaining about the way you give out experience points


His arguments consist of asking himself questions and then answering them without discussion x2.

You stay up late in a chat room discussing how vaccination is causing humanity to de-evolve.


The people in chat claim to have a “working knowledge of science” and they use the phrase “if you think about logically” x5

A player in your on-line RPG is threatening to quit unless the other players are nicer to him


Some other mook who wasn’t even involved mocks your anger in an unfunny way x2

Your cell phone data plan has additional $400 charge for texting numbers with the numeral 7 in them


The 23 year old sales man who sold you the plan talked you out of your old plan into this new with the promise of saving money x5

The nurse at the hospital to which an ambulance took you injured son has never heard of him


She asks you if “Are you sure that is how you spell his name?” x100

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Solitude and The Long Road Evelyn's Path pt 4
NPCs  (Major)   (Combative)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-08 08:46 PM
Video stores? Nobody messing around on cell phones? Nobody is internet stalking each other? And a teenagers learns about current events from television?!? Is it 1993?

I keep expecting this to get stale, but each chapter really brings us something new. We learn a lot about the world and Evelyn, but I am still not Evelyn has learned anything yet. Anyway good stuff. Go to Comment
Ysra Fulsven Vineblud (Noblewoman of Parna)
NPCs  (Minor)   (Political)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-11-29 12:24 PM
Thanks, I rewrote the awkward sentences. Mores might be considered an anachronistic term in this context.

the customs, values, and behaviors that are accepted by a particular group, culture, etc. Go to Comment
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