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.
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.
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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?
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.
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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It is kind of a sparse and dissjointed submission, but the basic idea really got me. I like this alot, as said the core idea is fantastic as is some of the smaller details (that they are invisible),
I wonder what the going rate is for musher bugs in the arcane markets