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Goliath Crown of Garim Darnore
Items  (Jewelry)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-01 07:57 AM
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Goliath Crown of Garim Darnore
Items  (Jewelry)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-01 07:57 AM
updated after changes Go to Comment
Goliath Crown of Garim Darnore
Items  (Jewelry)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-06 07:22 PM


You seem be trying for a flippant and comical tone with the origin story here, but I feel like you haven’t really committed to it. I suggest changing the open line to directly address the character of Garim Darnore (instead of the side long view you have now) and also use that line to set the tone. For example a bawdy take on that might be



King Garim Darnore was so fat that when he invoked the royal We, you were forced to consider whether or not he was hiding the entire royal line under robes. Certainly a man of his stature took up both side of family tree.”



Please if you go that route, find better route than those stale jokes.



Or try in pull in both sides of his character in that opening. Consider something like “Before becoming King, Garim Darnoe had strangled Bawlor the great river demon with his bear hands, bested the Helk the Hatceht in single combat, led the conquest of Island of Crueloar, alone saved the great Red Kraken from the God’s Wrath tsunami by dragging it 3 miles back to the ocean and single handedly resisted a 2 month goblin siege of his family diamond mine with only a dagger, a loaf of meat bread and a cask of whiskey. When he ascended to his throne he swore that he would tax sparingly, encourage freedom, rule without aggression and only leave his throne when his realm was threatened. Nobody had expected him to embody such a literal interpretation of that last point.”



The point of your story is that crown was designed not for military uses or romantic rendezvous, but to help a fat lazy rich guy get around his enormous house. I get that and it is funny. Play to the funny.



Also the powers section is kind of vague. Do you actually meld into the stone and step out? Can you hang out there for awhile if you want? Do the stones have to be connected?

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Chakram of the New Moon
Items  (Ranged Weapons)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-05 02:00 PM
Second only to my love of speculative biology is geeking out the details and motivations of the genre. Why do magic items need back stories?

I think the need for a back story to justify the existence of magic weapon is relatively modern one. Excalibur did not have origin myth that I am aware of in the original Mort de Arthur or in the pre-Anglo poems. In native american mythology Little Man did not have a justification for his magic knife. These items were just part of their mythology.
Perhaps, and I am just throwing things out here, the need to justify the existence of things which are supernatural is linked to rise of christianity in the western world. In the christian system you had two sets of supernatural powers, a good one and evil one correct. Thus all supernatural item had to be justified as either good or evil. And for a long time Europe was obsessed with magic item (christian relics). In J. Phillips book "The Forth Crusade" he has very interesting accounts about how many (not all certainly) of the crusaders were motivated by a desire to find relics and bring them home. Of course these relic had to have a good back story.

The goal of those back stories was to put those items and their reported powers into a proper moral context and weave the item into the larger body of christian mythology. So Chaosmark, aside for genre considerations, why do you think origin stories are major part of any magic items? Do items of obvious utility, healing potions, plus one daggers and so on require a back story? Go to Comment
Chakram of the New Moon
Items  (Ranged Weapons)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-04 05:57 PM


 



The item doesn’t need all this justification.  If you have story with Lycanthropy in it, then a magical cure (permanent or temporary) is already justified simply by the nature of beasts.  You say as much in your teaser.  Nor is your story of its creation a novel one.  A small isolated community beset by monsters and mother who loves her child so that much she is willing to risk the greater good to protect it are very old chestnuts.   You use a lot of words to go through some very simple and familiar concepts. 



These facts regarding the item are also sparse, vague and the will not help players to understand or use the items more efficiently.  In your Mercurial Chain Sword (http://strolen.com/viewing/Mercurial_Chain_Sword) write up, which I thought was very good, the facts you give could help player to manipulate the item and understand its “physics”.    In another excellent write up of an item, http://strolen.com/viewing/Gideons_Mercy, the backstory helps the characters and the GM to understand the items moral compass. It also justifies the existence of an item which unlike this Chakram, is not of necessarily intuitive.   I found nothing wrong with this post, but nothing special about it either.  Maybe I am missing something, I do that, Checka thought it was perfect.   



 



I think you meant possessed by  an “angel” not an “angle”.  Don’t take that as condescension, I am mystified and impressed by anyone that get all the errors out of a piece of prose.   


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Chakram of the New Moon
Items  (Ranged Weapons)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-05 03:50 PM


Yes!  I agree with everything you said, you set things up perfectly.  I think this backstory is fine but it doesn't give us that much information about the Chakram. 



So let's break the back story by Chaosmark's own standards



1) "items of obvious utility do not require a backstory" I assert that this item has an obvious utlity.  If you have a curse or disease then the means to cure those afflictions are immediately justified.  But you are right this item isn't generic, it is unique Charkam.  Why a Charkam?  The silversmith was going to use this on a daughter she kept locked inside the house. Why note something a little more managable, like a needle?  The back story does not justify the charkam.   



 



2) "require some sort of explanation for where their abilities came from" We don't know where these abilities came from.  It is possessed "by secret and forgotten magic" was it actually built by angel or is it because it was forged from a crucifix.  We get a lot of vague hints but not answer.  As I said this story is fine, if you are going to give vague hints then you don't as much back story.  Also why did the abilities change, why does it return to the owners hand? Your own answer to this "Oh, those are the Sacred Chakram of the New Moon, blessed by the Moon Goddess herself! You must be holy warriors, to be graced with such a divine weapon." would be enough backstory I feel and provide as much relevant information as the above back story.  



3) "also gives extra tidbits to add to a world."  I would say this is the most enjoyable part of back story for me. And we do get some tibits about the world, but I felt they were pretty standard.  We know that lycans are vunerable to silver, their bites or scratches recruit new lycans and they only show up once a month.  All those facts come through in the write up but they are already genre standards.  The isolated community also isn't much new nor is the mother protecting her child.  There is a tribe of doppleganger that is looking for it to protect the power they have usurped; that is kind of cool.



4) Finally I'd like to add my own. In an RPG setting back story helps the players and GM to manipulate and understand the item.  I think the two posts I referenced above do that wonderfully.   



 



OmegaDraco, I don't mean to be too harsh on your post.  I thought it was fine, it is a usuable item with a passable back story.  But I think you could do everything here in 100 words. 



Chaosmark, the Mort de Arthur may have an orgin for the sword, I don't remember and I didn't check. I was just trying to bait you in.  But I could talk about the Arthur legends all day. Perhaps having a sword that was forged by the old religion and seeking the holy grail helped to cement arthur as a bridge between the celtic world and the christian world.  The history of the kings of britian was a christian work wasn't it?   Did the really early poems define the source of his dagger, spear and sword as Avalon? 

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Bodach the Straw Man
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Mystical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-19 09:38 PM
So you think it matters less what the truth of the past is or what things may influence his actions but only the truth of how characters and you audience may respond to his actions? Go to Comment
Bodach the Straw Man
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Mystical)
Bodach the Straw Man
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Mystical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-11-01 02:26 PM
This is where Scrasamax raised the bar. It happened right here. Post/sub should no longer be judged by the "facts" they present but the story they tell. Go to Comment
Bodach the Straw Man
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Mystical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-02 05:34 PM


 



I enjoyed reading this thank you.  At first scan I thought, “an evil scare crow that can’t remember where he is going, is looking for brains and spreads fear while stalking small groups of people-cute”  this seemed less like an idea constructed from the ground up and more like somebody just tugged on the scare crow threads in the vast vocabulary of America pop culture.  The nods to Oz via an anti-Oz (Zo I suppose), the batman villain and jeepers creepers all stabbed or wormed their way through the prose.  This feeling that this was a loud idea that was just thrown together faded as I read it more closely. As I neared the end the piece I was drawn in by the story clips and I found myself wanting to use this incarnation of scarecrow in a campaign.  The archetypes that you are taping into here, I think, would make this very accessible to an RPG group and allow the players to quickly form a connection with the villain.  I also liked the hints that there is more to this character’s back story, an item or person he is searching for.  I understanding writing just for that effect and not having a “truth” in mind.  But being that you are writing for presumably GMs and such here why not just tack on the other parts of the backstory if you have them. 


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Bucky Batteries
Items  (Other)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-06-11 01:22 PM
Your comment exceed 100 words, which was the limit for this item.

"The biggest problem is: why would you ever use a bucky battery instead of solar panels? Space is full of free energy. Hell, starlight can even push your ship. "

Perhaps on a dedicated spaceship you wouldn't. As with wattage you would need capacitors and other hardware to make use of the core. Can you harness starlight if you are moving faster than light?

"But the other problem is wattage. Atomic batteries trickle out their energy over very long times. The way we use it now (space, deep-sea, pacemakers) it is just to monitor a low-energy sensor, and then activate a lithium battery or something that actually sends out a signal, activates an alarm, etc."

Okay, so this is a good use for atomic batteries.

"The half-life is a problem, too. If you double the half-life, you cut the wattage in half. Out of all the possible isotope/buckyball configurations, why would we design a battery that lasts thousands of years (which we probably don't need) at the expense of effective power (which we do)?"

The half-life isn't the problem as I see it, the half-life was the point, because
-Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.-

I wanted to create something man made that could transcend the a historic time scale, be a note on a geological time scale and a blip on the galactic time scale. How long will space exploration take? How does time work when things move faster then light. Some old sci-troupes may have a man traveling for 10,000 years but only aging 10 years. Will he want to be able to turn on the lights when he gets home? The time scale that you suggest (we need) is story specific. I know that many readers and sci-fi fans find long-time scales difficult to accept. I read that focus groups found Aragon's in the Lord of the Rings off putting.

What time scale for a sci-fi narrative do you think people are willing accept for a story about humanity? 100 years in the future, 10,000 years in the future, 100,000 years in the future? I am have always found the out of time or over lapping time line stories to be very interesting and compelling.

Also, is technology always going to give us the best and most efficient answer to problems?

"Kw/Day" You think giving the joules released per gram per second or coulombs per kilo would make this more accessible?
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Bucky Batteries
Items  (Other)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-17 08:15 PM
Nobody else called that out! The real piece of B.S. sci-fi hand waving in this is not the radioactive power source but the mechanism of extending atomic half lives. Go to Comment
Bucky Batteries
Items  (Other)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-04-17 11:09 PM
That was another unexplored conceit in here, the hardware that converts the radiation to usable energy/electricity is not clearly defined. I imagine that would be something similar to solar panels directed at receiving the radiation. But perhaps we could imagine some sort of particle sink that could collect gamma rays, increase the energy state of a nuclear particle (as opposed to increase the energy status of electron orbits) , then release the energy again before returning to a lower energy receptor status. Go to Comment
The Hemangini Flying Squirrel
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Mountains)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-05 02:06 PM


Update: I never meant to suggest that they lived off of metal alone. I tried to change the write up to suggest that metal was only a part of their diet.  But the point was to make an amusing counter part to the tree. 

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Hemangini Tree
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-01-25 01:39 PM


Perfect. 


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Hemangini Tree
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-01-26 02:25 PM


I love speculative biology....and as people seemed interested in fleshing out these trees more in the comments section I really want to join in.  Forgive me if I take a too structured a course with my side of the discussion.  



One reason these trees may be rare, is it may be very hard for them to reproduce, because it would be very difficult for their seeds to germinate as the nuts are solid metal.  Unless the embryos them selves can digest or absorb the solid metal, which it seems reasonable that they could and this shell would function like a down payment on the sapling. But this  metal-nut-flesh would lack what we think of classic nutrients such a lipids, proteins and sugars.  Do these trees require what 



You may up also play up that this drawing up of cations could change to the pH of the surrounding soil.  Could these roots take up non metalic ions such as Sodium and Calcium?



 



So the trees burn, dwarves burn them, does the metal content make them work like lightening rods?  



 



    

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Hemangini Tree
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-01-27 06:57 AM
Unless you have metal eating squirrels....
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Sivvers
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Space)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-01-22 11:18 AM
Thanks, as for your questions. Those things would be up the GM I suppose, but the way I envisioned it was that there was no cure (of course clever PCs could come up with one) and that yes the network could be disrupted be something like a solar flair emp, or any other large source of radiation. As for being Hacked or snooped, why not. I also flirted with the idea of the sivver using a psionic energy or the Force depending on the setting. Go to Comment
Sivvers
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Space)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-01-23 05:17 PM
Yes, the spores as they are written would not become active in any animal with a body temperature below 32 degrees C? What above fish or filter feeders like clams and oysters, might laying dormant in these food stuffs be a means of transmitting infections.
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Sivvers
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Space)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-01-23 06:14 PM
DId that fix it? Go to Comment
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