Strolen\s Citadel content. 
Items  (Books and Scrolls)   (Campaign Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-16 08:07 PM
Only voted Go to Comment
Items  (Books and Scrolls)   (Campaign Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-16 08:07 PM

This one went dark quick, anti-union thought police, public murder, censorship.

You convey a lot in a 100 words. Not the direction I would have gone with the setting or at least I think you could have done this with a more nuanced write up or had the discipline to develop this idea more. This could be the plot to a whole a novel. But you give put it out here in a 100 words and you have certainly put the setting in corner. Nice use of language.

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Society/ Organizations  (Artistic/Performance)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-13 12:15 AM
You are kind of disrespecting the 100 word challenge. Go to Comment
Society/ Organizations  (Artistic/Performance)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-16 08:14 PM
This is neat, It could be used for almost any setting. It is a good write up with clear details and strong feeling of verisimilitude. But that it doesn't really world build for the setting except that it gives anti-establishment vocabulary for setting in which the conflict between the classes seems to be a more theme. Go to Comment
Daughters of Kalleum
Society/ Organizations  (Ethnic/Cultural)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-16 08:17 PM
This write up is weak sauce. If you have to reference the goth movement you are either brainstorming or breaking into the GM voice. Go to Comment
BND Movement and sub-culture
Society/ Organizations  (Artistic/Performance)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-13 12:32 AM
It is nice piece of culture here. I think what you are saying is that this a music style embraced by the children of the well to do, and that the fashion and style of music started as a very contrived medium. This culture has gone mainstream, and the clubs represent a hip place to meet. This sort of details is nice if you want a quick reference grab-and-gone counter culture club in your story. You have got some slang, some fashion and a style of music. But what are you trying to say with phrase such as the is culture "has LED to experimental homosexuality, drug use and stuff? Are you suggesting that is a widely held of view of this by the culture, like how people blamed Marlyn Manson for school shootings or you suggesting that something about this actually leads people to these behaviors? If you were about this culture from a in world perspective what would people say about it?

What kind of hats were you imaging?

I do like this idea, but I wish you could count to 100 or at least try to count to 100. If you want to write super short subs that is fine, but it is just weird that you would tie 100 word sub to subs that are over 100 words. Sheldon would not be pleased. Go to Comment
Dwarfs of Damor
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Mountains)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-10 10:53 AM
Valadaar's right, from our modern perspective we may see male and female as biological realities but in fantasy (or even in historical views of the natural world) the origins of the masculine and feminine do not correspond to a need for reproduction. Historical views of reproduction might explain this by saying that dwarven males just found another place to deposit their homunculuses...homunculi, homunculopodes...

Nice idea, could have been done in a 100 words. There was story in Beneath ceasless skies in which dwarves reproduced by turning themselves into roots and budding off that way. Xenophobic humans dug them all up though...

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The Tale of Solomon Soulhammer Pt. III
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Mystical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-09 12:43 PM
This is a great setup. The last two paragraphs really locked me down into the I want to read more camp. It sets up both the characters and the conflict nicely. Also I like Solomon's dialog and identity in these stories is very old school with regard to style and conception. Post-modern literary styles make us leery of any character that professes to have self-knowledge or even self-possession. It is nice to have a story where the characters are what they say they are and say what they mean. Thus don't have to go any of these journeys of self-discovery or redefinition. Go to Comment
Queen Llaewyn Reborn
Plots  (Event)   (Multi-Storyline)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-08 09:37 PM

A beautiful faired haired lady, maybe the king's daughter, maybe an impostor... but definitely the child of a dark prophesy inherits a kingdom and then starts raising the dead. There is also a move from the fair to the black, an important costume change when becoming evil. Just listing the facts she sounds like Smurfet in reverse

I agree with D.L.M. that this does sound more like a movie trailer and book jacket than most of the plot posts on the citadel. But as a barebones plot it is not a bad idea and I enjoyed the prose a lot. Some of these descriptions will stick with me for a long time, nice first post. If we view it as a preview piece (as DLM & I both agree it resembles) it makes me more excited about the things you will write in the future than using this in game.

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Motive Spirits
Items  (Transports)   (Sentient)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-08 10:12 PM

This has the makings a great saturday morning cartoon show and toy line. Do they still have saturday morning cartoons and toy lines. I love this idea. I really really really wanted to love this write up. But this core concept has been done in almost every genre I can think of

Horror: Christine,

Thriller: Maximum Overdrive,

Sitcom: My Mother The Car & Heat Vision and Jack (yeah they didn't last long)

War: Sgt. Rock and the Haunted Tank

Crime: Knight Rider

Post-apocolyptic sci-fi: Tankgirl

I am sure there are Cars or Planes

So if you wanted to revisit the smart car idea, I assume you would want to have original take on it. Which essentially i think you do have here

"Powerful magicians bound these spirits into cages of iron and forged them into mighty blades and coats of steel. Excalibur. Galatine. is in a complex machine that the spirit truly shows its power"

That is a great first step toward doing something new with the smart super car idea.

But that is truly all you give us, that could be an idea seed, a hundred word. post. If you going to give us a whole post than develop the plots hooks or the specific eccentricity of your vision of the car. We already know all about these self motivated cars, whether or not they can fix themselves is story specific concern.

One suggestion for fleshing this post out (cause paragraphs 3-5 don't do anything for anybody) is to you write up seven ancient magical weapons as cars or vehicles in one or more of your plot hooks. You sell this an item write up, give us pretty chrome and comfy fluff for the item.

Or you could just do a whole plot write up of British Partisans with super sports cars representing the ancient hero spirits England fighting nazi's in alternate history england. Because THAT. IS. AWESOME. a much better idea than James Bond Jr. or MASK.

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Motive Spirits
Items  (Transports)   (Sentient)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-09 11:15 PM

King Arthur and the Rockers of the Roundabout

Setting: 1962 Nazi Occupied Britain.

Premise: In 1942 Germany successfully invaded England, and by 1962 now a whole generation has been born under German rule. But there is hope. The spirits of King Arthur’s Knights have returned bound to medieval weapons. Unfortunately, these longswords, even those imbued with the honor and chilvary of the round table are no match the modern german war machine. The mystical weapons are scattered and confused. But a man has a plan. The author J.R.R. Tolkien uncovered Merlin’s staff. But instead of using the staff directly he fused with it his Rolls Royce, now Merlin has a second life as an enchanted spell-casting car. Tolkien hopes that by combining the spirits of the round table with modern machinery he can free England from the yoke of tyranny. He knows though that these spirits will need guides to wield them and direct them so Tolkien also seeks out fresh young people to fight alongside King Arthur’s Knights.

Set-up: The plot will play out in five episode game secession arcs with each episode game lasting 18 minutes. The players will get their characters assigned to them.

Episode Secessions 1-5 The Once and Future King : A 13-year-old teenage American Ex-pat orphan is attending boarding school and unable to return home he sent to stay with an elderly writer. Accompanying him to the house is 17-year-old Pete Townsend. Tolkien and Merlin fill them on the details, and introduce them to the sword of Sir Kay. The boys tell them that they need to travel to London, then Liverpool, then New Castle and other places to gather the scattered swords of the Round Table. Pete being the older boy takes Kay and fuses him the Electric Milk Float…nobody will suspect and a Milk Float. At the end of Episode 1 they are ambused by a Mini Cooper and Aston Martin…it is Mordrid and Le Faye…and they have captured Kay, Townsend and the young American.

In the following episode you find out the Le Faye, Mordrid, Sparks and Plant just want to help even though Kay doesn’t trust them. But the enlarged group battle some Germans and gets to London and meets up with Dusty Springfield and Tristan. Next it is Newcastle and Burdon, then Liverpool and Lennon. Finally at the end of espisode 4 they find that group of Germans pulling a Jaguar out of Lake and trying to start it. The group gets over powered by the Germans, but out the mist steps King Arthur…the real deal in Armor and everything. He starts the Jaguar/Excalibur and rescues everybody. Finally at the end of Episode 5 the complete team and their allies free London from the Germans. They assemble at the Roundabout in front of Big Ben and Parliament and Arthur dubs them the Rockers of the Roundabout. At the end of the episode Arthur explains that though they have London as a base of operations, the Germans are still in England and still a threat. Then he asks the young American his name, and the boy says “Bruce, Bruce Springsteen”.

Other Arcs:

Auto-Bad: We find out German is really run by an Enchanted Battleship the Bismark, and that to recapture England he sends in Enchanted Spirit Cars of his own. Wagner, and Seigfried, a BMW and Mercedes, sports cars possessed by German heros. With them is Strega nona and Befana, a Ferrari and Lamborghini respectively possessed by Italian, witches. Finally they have with them Petain, a Renault, and their faithless French sidekick. The bad guys don’t have human drivers, the message is that are nothing more than a war machine now.

Mo’town: Wilson Pickett, Sam Green, Duke Fakir and Aretha Franklin show up driving supped up Detroit autos (Pickett, of course, drives a proto-type Mustang). We get to hear bunch of Mo’town classics. The cars don’t have spirits but they have a lot of tech, and they help them defeat the Germans that week. And the end of Wilson Pickett says to Arthur, “I guess our cars don’t have the spirits your cars have.” Arthur replies, “No but they have soul”.

Vikings : Saabs, Volvos and Audi’s show up with the spirits of the Norse Gods. At first they are working the Germans, but the Rocker’s convince them to switch sides

Mitsubishi : Tired of losing ground to these kids, Bismark calls in some Japanesse Allies with high powered motorcycles. To defeat this new threat the Rockers find Galahad’s sword, and fuse it with a Triumph Motorcycle. Bruce gets to ride that around.

Gwynevere : Morgan, Sparks, Tolkien and Merlin get lost in the Scotish Highlands running from a possessed Stuka. Taking advantage of this loss of wisdom and magic in the ranks of the Rockers, one of the Italian witches impersonates Gwynevere returned as a Nash rambler. A weird love triangle resurfaces.

Founding Rockers of the Roundabout:

Rocker: King Arthur

Songs: He is quite found of the Ballet of Maldon

Spirit: Excalibur, the spirit of England

Vehicle: Jaguar E-Type (silver)

Relationship: Arthur is the only one that can get this Jaguar to start.

Rocker: Dusty Springfield:

Songs: Wishin and Hopin, I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself

Spirit: Sir Tristan

Vehicle: AC Greyhound

Relationship: Sir Tristan is flirty and brash with a larger than life personality and is always coming on to Dusty. Dusty plays the mother hen to the wild bunch of Rockers, and tolerates Tristan less than polite behavior.

Rocker: Pete Townsend

Songs: My Generation, Hall of the Mountain King

Spirit: Sir Kay

Vehicle: Electric Milk Float

Relationship: Sir Kay is a stalwart accountant, cautious and the Cassandra for the group. He clashes with the brash Pete Townsend as the two provide the group with comic relief and logistical support.

Rocker: Michael Jagger:

Songs: Sympathy for the Devil, You Can’t Always Get What you Want

Spirit: Sir Percival

Vehicle: Triumph Herald Coupe

Relationship: The pensive and pious Percival clashes mightly with the lecherous, loud and playful Jagger. The only thing they can agree upon is that England should be free.

Rocker: John Lennon

Songs: Help, Let it Be, I am so tired

Spirit: Sir Lancelot

Vehicle: Citroen DS19

Relationship: Lennon’s sharp dry wit and sarcasism constantly go over Lancelot’s head, but the two of them work with Dusty to lead the team when ever Tolkien or Arthur are not around.

Rocker: Eric Burdon

Songs: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, We Gotta Get Out of This Place

Spirit: Sir Gawain

Vehicle: Mark V, Covenanter Tank

Relationship: Eric and Gawain fit together well, both long to be in the spot light, but like Sir Kay and Townsend, they can never seem to get to the battle on time. Yet when they do get there they bring some “vocal range”.

Rocker: Bruce Springsteen

Songs: Born in the USA (lyrics slightly altered), Dancing in the Dark, The River

Spirit:None to start…Later Galahad

Vehicle: Triumph-Bonneville (motorcycle)

Relationship: When Galahad is summoned to help fight the Japanesse motorcycle teams brought into defeat the Rockers of the Round Table, Bruce and him form a tight friendship based on earnest and emotional communication.


Author: Murial Spark

Songs: She is a writer

Spirit: Mordred

Vehicle: Aston Martin DB4

Relationship: Spark is strongly independent and doesn’t deal well with authority or dominating personalities. That would include Kings, Professors, Dictators and Facists in general. She is quick to judge and not easy to impress. She has formed a strong bond with Mordred, and is very supportive of his self-pity and ambition. While both agree that the Germans need to be defeated, they aren’t sure if Tolkien and Arthur are the ones to lead England afterwards.

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Songs: Please don’t ask him to suggest a song.

Spirit: Merlin

Vehicle: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud

Relationship: They have the jovial arguments of two old academics in the twilight of their years. They are almost always in agreement.

Rocker: Robert Plant

Songs: D’yer Mak’er, The Battle of Evermore, Immigrant Song

Spirit: Morgan Le Faye

Vehicle: BMC Mini Cooper S

Relationship: Morgan and the 14-year-old Robert Plant are both fun loving attention hounds. But Morgan is still a powerful sorceress even though she is car, and she is also a complete Celt-ophile. She wants the Germans out of England, but once they are gone she wants everyone that is not a Celt out England…which would include most of the English.

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Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-06 06:59 AM

After a single read through I think this is an exceptional submission, and I am so very grateful you put it up here. I think this is the right length and style (first person, creepy) for one of those on-line flash fiction contests that several of the paying on-line fiction markets run. The prose is so strong in this and the descriptions so completely awful (in the way I am sure they were intended) that I don't have enough praise for the writing except to say "Boil into shot glass" maybe me a little ill.

One thought: The timing between the second and third paragraph seems a little off. Consider

I struggled feebly through out the night, working them off, scoring deep abrasions on the back of my hands, my heels. At dawn, I managed to come to my feet, my knees as solid as gelatin.

Then end paragraph and go into the description of the worms into the walls.

I am impressed, and entertained and again thanks

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Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - In General)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-07 10:33 AM
Nematodicon....goddamn it, now I am going to embarrass myself trying to work that into conversation. Go to Comment
The Light and His Lady
Society/ Organizations  (Mystical)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-08 04:40 PM
Are we supposed to read these as facts or a guiding mythos for the do the people of the world view it? Go to Comment
Xue Ren (Snow/Blood Blade Edge)
NPCs  (Character Sheet)   (Combative)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-06 07:24 AM
This is why society needs a dedicated system for the placements of orphans into foster care. If left on their own all orphans will become vigilantes, assassins or time traveling crime lords.

So he is famous?

I really like the sword that he carries that is waiting for blood. You should totally write a Haiku about that and put it in the teaser. I like the picture too, makes him look young and innocent. Did you draw that? Go to Comment
The First of Cities
Locations  (City)   (Other)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-09-05 09:56 AM

I think you are being unfair strolen and I think you need to own what the site has become strolen. Scras recently wrote this about submission quality and he was paraphrasing another one of your luminaries Moonhunter.

"This is not a bad submission, but it isn't a good one either. An ideal to strive for is the Hollywood standard, as in presenting the item as if it were to be used in a movie, comic, or other entertainment venue. What does it look like? Who created it, and why did they do so? It is obviously a powerful weapon, and there are many powerful weapons (YAKAS - yet another kick ass sword), so what makes this one different?"

I am not trying to defend Morningstar's behavior or his "logic". Nor do I want codemn him. But it is wrong to suggest that this is a free-form open forum for sharing ideas. As you have said it is not "newbie" friendly. Furthermore, to tell Morningstar that this was "written not for him" is also absurd. We can only critique what is on the page. We can say how we would use it or we can guess at other uses, but that sword cuts both ways

Finally, I think the responsibility for the "usability" critique lies on you or whoever wrote the voting prompts. Saying something is useful is a coarse critique, sometimes applicable, but largely irrelevant for an idea guild. We should judge whether the idea is well developed, novel, well written, well presented and does it achieve the literal goals set forth on the page. After that, we can get into stuff like entertaining, useful or offensive.

You are right Morningstar is unkind. I have been dismissed by guys like him. (I always hope I am not one, but if I write one that looks like his just leave the comment Morningstar and I will change it. Though to be fair I didn't think his write up of this post was all that off base.) Yet I have also but also been pushed around by you, strolen, for being too "intellectual", "obtuse" or "critical". So my sympathy cuts both ways. . You, strolen, have put forth a system for judging ideas. There is a community built around that. You have achieved something here. I am not knocking that, but I don't think you are entirely comfortable with it. If one just wants to share ideas one could stick it in the forums. But if you want it to be judged you stick it out here. And you are the one that gave the judges the scoring card that read "useable".

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The First of Cities
Locations  (City)   (Other)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-09-05 10:20 AM

Good post. It does have a lot of dry "so and so begot so and so" type history to it. It is also written in that biblical/passive voice, which is how we expect these things to be written, yet the voice makes the reading a little chewy. And sometimes you break from the voice and say things "take it up a notch".

But overall the voice has effect of making us feel like we are getting this information from an in-game intellect, so that is good . In the end it left me wanting to more about the city. It has this whole watery unground with pubs and warehouses. That is cool. I am intrigued by your setting. I want to know more. Is bluestone your idea or is that something I should now from other gaming sources.

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The Tale of Solomon Soulhammer Pt. II
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Mystical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-07 12:46 PM
I like this one better than part one because we get some dialog and characters that make the piece more accessible and interesting. The language isn't as tight in this one, and the pacing is pretty uneven. Also the am I wrong or does the character of Ozur get introduced out of left field in a sentence that is already all over the place?

Overall though I like it Go to Comment
A Grave Problem
Plots  (Discovery)   (Encounter)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-02-03 04:40 PM
This is a great post, remind me of the adventure seeds in the back of Blue paperback Expert D&D manual from 6th grade. I love open ended pieces like this.

A byte size piece of Internet RPG intellectual property. Go to Comment
The Tale of Solomon Soulhammer Pt. I
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Mystical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-08-07 12:29 PM
"The problem with history is it is just one damn thing after another"

I like this piece a lot. I like the narrative voice, I like the use Balkan/Greco/roman locations and the story flows straight to action.

My only "complaint" is I wish the story was told with a few more pauses and a greater development of the setting and the character at this point in the story. But I only want more cause it is good. Go to Comment
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