Strolen\s Citadel content. 
Demon Blood Sword
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-18 04:46 PM

so what is Balor like? is summoning him all that bad?



watch out Azuzu...they are coming for you.

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The Celestial Dragon Suit
Items  (Clothes)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-17 12:14 PM

Quick suggestion, change the name. Google "Grand dragon costume" or grand dragon suit"

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The Celestial Dragon Suit
Items  (Clothes)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-18 04:44 PM
This is okay, I want to like it more and with a little more love I think this could be a really great write up. It is pretty short on meat as is you could add visuals, history or game mechanics.

One thought about the drama of using the suit in game with die rolls and stuff is that the drama of failing the rain dance is little absolute and heavy handed. In combat the gamble of the dice works because usually you can adapt. If you fail at the luck dance, you fail at the luck dance, nothing you can do. Failing at the luck dance could be a great plot point, but do you want to leave that up to chance.

Example once in H.S. I was running S.W. campaign and had the characters go through some Jedi training. My first attempt at this was to have them make really unlikely die rolls. This became lame quickly. If your dragon dance game mechanic had a system of elevated risks and rewards that relied on the PCs all quickly agreeing to accept or avoid the risk you would have something that generated game-play drama. More so than the coin flip or 5% crit success vs 5% crit fail modell that d20 uses. Go to Comment
Goat Belt or Belt of Minor Levitation
Items  (Clothes)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-18 07:23 PM
Decent item, reminds me of the dragon suit also on the main page at this time. We have a couple of lines of origin that don't really translate to a narrative, some arbitrary rules for using the item, very little physical description, and some crunchy game stats. But there is nothing wrong with it, using it as will be easy in a game and non-disruptive.

"For every uber weapon we should have ten of these ready to use magic items..." that will help character's solve problems creativitly. Go to Comment
Gargatias
Lifeforms  (Unique)   (Space)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-08 12:04 PM
This an interesting idea, one I have seen done before but not with this far reaching implementation and not with some of the nice touches you have added. But like you said it raises more questions than it answers.
First question that came up for me when reading this is who wrote this, what do they know and what is the authors intention. This is written in an “in world” perspective. And the first two paragraphs are discuss the information regarding these creature with fairly circumspect view. It is when third paragraph comes around that I began to question the author’s motives.
“ there was no panic among humanity” I find this hard to believe. This sounds more like a newsman or spin doctor telling people what they should think. He sites no sources and does not allow the audience to decide for themselves whether to panic or not. He simply tells them there has been no panic. How does he know premature births don’t happen? How do they know who old the baby in the earth is? What about the baby is the sun? Sounds like hand waiving to me. I do suppose that by looking at events at different points I the galaxy you could get a good deal of information about the life cycle of these eggs.

Another question, could you consider the entire a solar system part of a star egg shell?

As sci-fi geek my only complaint is that they form shells there mass will increase, and thus their gravity. The immense gravity argument masking the seeds doesn’t stand up. Perhaps once they form a shell the egg goes through “cooling period” in which it vents a great deal of gas and matter then condenses to the rock planet size.

Anyway nice abstract, like to see as part of a larger piece.
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USSS Ticonderoga
Locations  (Other)   (Space)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-06 10:02 AM

General:"But Mr. President a launch on the targets you suggest the shockwaves will likely destroy as much American infrastructure as Canadian"

Chief of Staff: "Be more specific General"

General: "Detroit, Buffalo, Rochester ...gone...uh...Billings and Seattle would get dangerous fallout levels, New Hampshire would be-"

President Bush the 6th (VR conferenced in from Dallas): "Better hit em with two volleys then. Darn shame about the voters in Billings though."


*If you want to learn more about Canada there are several high Quality docu-dramas produced in the 80s and 90s. Might I suggest Strange Brew starring Rick Moranis or Canadian Bacon starring John Candy. If you want something more contempary check out the reality show Trailer Park Boys

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USSS Ticonderoga
Locations  (Other)   (Space)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-06 11:44 AM
I think you missed my point....

I find it amusing and subversive that the USA would nuke Canada. The tyrannical USA ruled by a Bush dynasty is funny in a too close to the truth sort of way. Don't change a thing. Go to Comment
USSS Ticonderoga
Locations  (Other)   (Space)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-06 11:47 AM
And can we call Canada a civilization? More like they had a country and nobody came.

*i kid. Go maple leaves! Go to Comment
USSS Ticonderoga
Locations  (Other)   (Space)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-06 11:47 AM
Good one! Go to Comment
Something Weird cart
Items  (Other)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-24 06:57 PM
A fun challenge for GMs in loose world emersion games. This post could be used as the textbook explanation of how "GM voice" works. Again nice idea for something that serves meta considerations first and foremost. I can imagine a lot of gamers would have fun with this. Go to Comment
Something Weird cart
Items  (Other)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-26 06:12 PM
this is sad. because in a perfect world you two would be lovers. Go to Comment
The Palestra
Locations  (Neighborhoods)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-07 04:40 PM
What I like about this one is how laser focused it is on the specifics of these five locations. Via these referential details, we learn much about the world. Great visuals and compact histories throughout. Every location really pops! Except for Masterful Order of Clerks and Scriveners that one really fell flat, but 4 out of 5 ain't bad.

Oh and thanks Patrick Rothfuss for adding anachronistic university cultures to our list of anachronism aof in medieval inspired fantasy settings. Go to Comment
Shanteytown
Locations  (Neighborhoods)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-01 11:40 AM
I love that you presented this area via the personalities. I also really like any post that gives us a good side long view of society, a location and moment in time. Your narrator here alludes to or refers to things that exist elsewhere in the world. Thus, in this brief aloof summary of notable people we get introduced to a mage guild that hands out frocks which represent privileges of magical rites. We learn that there is an evil cult of assassins that corrupts people and murders them. When the narrator says “of course” it implies that it is a cliché in this world that all seemingly virtuous people have a dark side. There is a city Watch which is violent and tyrannical. There is canal and a swamp. As a reader I took a lot of pleasure from all the bits and pieces of the larger world that you managed to weave into the list short list of character. I found this a solid submission as it is written.

If you wanted to work on this more address some of these points.

The characters, as a whole though, were not well developed as literary or RPG resources. In storytelling terms some of the definitions of the character lean on genre troupes. For example you have a couple ex-adventures. What is an adventurer?

Also we don’t get a lot of visceral or visual details regarding most of the characters. With regard to Nesser , we don’t get the flavor of dealing with this character. Yes he blows goats but how is that going to fit into a story. Is it true? Or is it perhaps part of the general anti-Orcish slander. Perhaps you could describe the experience of being in the same room or alley way as Yitzhak. Do we expect him to be fair all be it incompetent? In some characters we get a little more like with Jon Fonda or Snarf. *snarf*

This comes to the second point about RPG standards. I remember reading the old modules, like Trouble at Tragdoor and even in those very sophomoric attempts at story telling give us NPCs were written up with “will dos” and “won’t dos”. More sophisticated RPGs have motivations and even pop-psych profiles. Again some of your characters do have that type of motivations listed in their bios.

Also some of your sentences are kind rough. Consider the second sentence of the first paragraph.
They survive on piece work, rag picking, fish gutting, begging, scavenging and day labor at South Wharves, and on the handful of legitimate businesses in the district ... as well as preying on one another.

That is a chewy sentence. I dropped your text into the Hemingway Editor and it gave it readability score of 13 or Okay.

Overall, a tight little sign-post submission. (Sign-post: gives us a general direction and some pertinent details.)
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Shanteytown
Locations  (Neighborhoods)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-02 06:42 AM

I desired instruction as to what you or your narrator meant by adventurer. Do people self-identify as adventurers in your setting?

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Noremdar, The Vast World of the Creator
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-07-29 11:16 AM
One of the intellectual exercises implicate in writing in high-fantasy genre fiction (such as D&D/Tolkien-esque fantasy settings) is the tweaking of the creation myth. When we step on to the page of these settings certain things are already laid out; we have mystical elves, violent orks, magic, good, evil, gods in both flavors, hard-working dwarves and everything else listed in the player’s handbook. Some writers/DMs have a fun time remaking the Orks or the dwarves, but I enjoy reading a well thought out retro-fitted myth. This a good McDLT mythos here in as much as you have an evil side and a good side and you keep em both separate.

The definitions of good and evil here though lack a little of the double edged ambiguity I like to see in good speculative fiction. It is nice to have philosophies that force the reader/characters to think about value judgements. And to be fair you do have a little bit of that here with regard to the curse that was laid on to the Orks (and other heavies). They took no action to precipitate the curse thus do they deserve it? Also since all the power seems to rest with the creator and his whims, things seem to be open to change.

An interesting plot could revolve around the dark god and the creator having a reconciliation that results in the light god getting placed on the outs. Match this event to the story of a group of PCs/characters that worship said light god and then force them to decide what is at the root of their holy fidelity. Do they agree with the god of light even when he is no longer the chosen son and his star is no longer ascendant? If you intended such a happening to be impossible then you should rewrite this piece to take out all discussions of choice in the hands of the gods.

Finally, I say this last point with the greatest humility and full acknowledgement that I am no better, but there are an obscene number of spelling errors, grammatical errors and just plain broken sentences in this piece. It genuinely disrupts the message and story.
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Compatible Time Travel
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Players)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-07-20 01:23 AM
This is very well presented and well thought out article on using time based abilities is n roleplaying games. I like how you thoughtfully take in consideration the pragmatic requirements of running a table top game. I like how you suggest using Presage mostly to make yourself look cool.

Time lapse seems dangerously close to a save point ability though.

Overall nice discussion that goes deep and straight into the tabletop rather than dressing itself in literature and winking at the table top from across the room. Slick presentation as well. Go to Comment
Tangrams (or Seven Piece Puzzles)
Dungeons  (Any)   (Puzzles)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-07-11 11:29 PM
I remember Tangrams, I didn't know they were Chinese! I should have put these into games years ago. Good idea. Go to Comment
Urooj
NPCs  (Major)   (Political)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-02 07:02 AM
I think this is the great NPC, I really like the chief conflict in his story seems to be an over dedication to pragmatism and a lack traditionally vain affectations. "Being a knight use to be fun until Urooj came along." Scras is right there is a lot of inbetween the lines stuff. But what is interesting about this is that it is facts that are all in between the lines, the conclusion regarding personality are all explicitly stated. Good stuff, I like the story too and the I love that you defined the character through different voices. Go to Comment
The Maw Installation
Locations  (TransWorld)   (Space)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-07-16 11:27 AM

This is a fun idea. A little known place where they build real life versions of the space craft from popular science fiction (aka the conceit from Galaxy Quest raised to nth degree). That would be a great idea seed. You have taken that idea seed a step farther and tried to realize the Maw in the cosmic era setting. To this end you outline the numerical dimensions of the place, drop is some proper nouns, link it to other cosmic era content and the list some more numerical dimensions. You also add some choice details that really put steps forward towards immersion in the world. I like how each “pod” has its own insignia and that you explained (in your first blurb) how the Maw is subtle part of the collective consciousness. You passed on some easy laughs by not including Pod 6, and writing about “those jerks from Pod-6”.

But I don’t think the Maw is fully realized. You give us a lot of numbers and often give us dry impersonal facts. Numbers that might be more descriptive if you told us the ratio clones to people, the ratio droids to people, the ratio of sheep to people and so on. This kind of reminds of the RPG you ran and when scouted the archeology you told me the design history the archeology but nothing about the current state of the archeology. You are just throwing facts up there rather than “mechanically” using those facts to build a point.

There are 2000 workers on Aleph station, but so what? Is it cramped? Do they monitor their droids from one central control room like NASA or are the labs and departments modular? Is there a cafeteria? Which clones are these? (I hope the the crew is 75% Shipwrecks and Roadblocks) Yes we could answer these questions but the gaps don’t fit with pedantic tone of the piece. You scale down the size of the ships for what? Is it going to ruin your RPG if the star destroyer is over 2 kilometers long? Point is you tell us a lot about what this place needs to be to fit into the cosmic era setting, but you don’t tell us what the place is actually like. It is impossible that your imagination begins with a ship we have already seen in another and ends with a number. I assume there is stuff you planned that didn't make into the post. You mention a shipwright in the blurb, while that could be a description of the place, I assume denotes specific person. Did you intended to write up the chief designer of the station? So how about some personalities or people in here? A place where a bunch of dorks have a huge budget to realize their geeky daydreams? There has to be interesting culture on that station. When and how did the Maw transition from clandestine ship tending to think tank?

All these fact about numbers, discussions of budgets and resources bring up another question. Do you intend for economic game play to be part of the cosmic era? Such rule sets have been a part of many RPG systems. In second ed D&D you had the castle guide which allowed you to budget construction of a castle and tax the peasants. . Battletech has a whole arm of core rules for managing a unit, paying salaries and upkeep costs. Westend Star Wars had the Smuggler’s guide which detailed rules for speculative trading and the economics of playing a working space merchant. I think developing your system along those lines might be fun for you.

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axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-18 11:39 PM


Krimswoffel and Alicestasia still live in that great house together. Still care for the children. But they are not lovers and they are not friends. They are inmates sharing a prison of regret, and a secret religion of hope that de Vulasier will return someday. Aside from the ever-invading legion of suffering children, the only new visitors they ever seem to have are a flock of cawing white ravens.

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