Strolen\s Citadel content. 
The Firstborn - The Untold War
Lifeforms  (Third Kingdom)   (Other)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-01-23 08:05 PM


I really like this one.  



 



A general question why do we, I am guilty of it, write creation myths or mythology in this ponderous vague tone with a passive voice?  


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Wizards of Loh
Society/ Organizations  (Mystical)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-04-14 10:06 PM
This seems to lack love or wit. You have a neat enough idea , a super mysterious group that specializes in time travel and follows a semi-rigid fashion sense. You toss is few details of flavor but there is no history and very little personality (unless enigmatic is personality). Again a workable idea, but nothing pops,
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Submission Respect
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Citadel Help)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-04-11 05:12 PM
I just finished reading Checka Man's 30 on the same topic, and again I think this is useful item. Almost a mission statement. Go to Comment
30 Ways To Be A Good Strolenite
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Gaming - In General)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-04-11 04:57 PM
Normally I hate meta-subs (aka subs about writing submissions, subs about about writing submissions about writing submissions subs about stubs and so on) but this one is really helpful. Perhaps because I am only an on again/off again strolenite, I have had some trouble in expressing to others how the site should work. Expressing what it means to "play right" or "play write" for that matter...this says just that clearly and completely. Thankyou Checka 5/5 Go to Comment
Deathreaper
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Villanous)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-04-08 02:19 AM
This piece is just my style, I am glad I read it, and I am glad your wrote it. The bluffing bard, or the CON-jurer (get it Con, as in con arti....oh never mind) has been done before many times before, and this one slides nicely into tee quiver of ironic villains. I particularly enjoy the intro and the flavor text ending with "thats the shtick anyway" Well played sir.
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The Barrows of the Forest Lords
Dungeons  (Forest/ Jungle)   (Puzzles)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-17 11:03 AM
I agree forcing the party to split is forcing one part of the party to deal with the problem while the other part of the party will wonder off or work hard to force themselves into the room, Go to Comment
The Barrows of the Forest Lords
Dungeons  (Forest/ Jungle)   (Puzzles)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-17 11:07 AM
I disagree with the assertion that these first two challenges are easier. They are roleplaying problems with open end solutions. If you ask your average roleplayer if would rather have his or her character take care of baby or fight a room full of zombies, I know what the answer would be. Go to Comment
The Barrows of the Forest Lords
Dungeons  (Forest/ Jungle)   (Puzzles)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-17 11:24 AM


The first paragraph is very good, but could use a little more polish.  Which way are the doors facings?  Do the runes mean anything?  I don't know that it needs much more just few tweaks would make it smoother.  Also when you launch into your backstory, it is right after you state that the ghost "speaks....".  This could use more of a transition.



 



As to the concept itself, Have you played this out yet?  I have run a couple of these repetative challenege rooms and found that players are less excited about these then more linear challenges.  Each room feels like they are starting over.  I am very curious as to how this challenge is recieved by other groups. 



 



Finally it does have a very classic  (1st ed. DnD) feel, but I like that the challenges and consequneces are not just mechanic based.  How do you plan to play out the slow lose of a moral compass? 

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The Blade of Intuition
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-07 05:13 PM


This not just an excellent GM's tool but an excellent players tool as well. This amplify the traits of the character, as IF-J says some players have different instincts.  This forces both the player and the GM to wonder what the character is thinking and then amplify the results.  I wish you had written this years ago. 



 


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Corran's Cooking Set
Items  (Home/ Personal)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-21 02:16 PM
The Corran subs are true treasure of the Citadel. I have enjoyed everyone of them, thank you Ted. This one could use just a little buff and polish to really make the witty tone shine, but I enjoyed it all the same. However, usually Corran's creation have a little tick or quirk to them. These items, while the telling of the story is fun, the items themselves lack a Corran's typical pluck and eccentricity.

What if the items also got imbued with the cooks snobbery and will refuse to cook certain dishes or use lesser ingredients or combinations of ingredients.

Example: What if the pots refuse to open because you are trying to boil a fish.

Bethany: What is wrong with the lid to these pots? CORRAN DID YOU WELD THESE THINGS SHUT LIKE WITH THE TEAPOT?!?

Corran's Scribe who had been ideally taking notes in the kitchen passes Bethany a note as he can speak the unspoken language of Corran's items: Dearest Beth, The pot says that it is wrong to boil skate wings. He has talked to frying pan and he is completely ready, just place the wings in him about 8 minutes before it is time to serve,
Yours truly,
CS

Bethany: But my father loves fish stew, tell the pots just to make a stew, papa will be here in a few hour.s

CS: My Darling Bethany,
The Pot says you father will like the skate wings pan fried.
Love always,
CS

Bethany: My father hate the look of pan fried fish, he likes food he can slurp, beside he says fish tastes too strong when you don't stew it. *The Pot is now cold to the touch*

CS:
Oh Sweetest Beth,
The Pot and pan have agreed that your father is a tasteless philistine and he would be better off eating with the pigs, because they would not lower themselves to serve a man who does appreciate fresh skate wings.
Longing for your touch,
CS
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Corran's Cooking Set
Items  (Home/ Personal)   (Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-21 02:18 PM


The Corran subs are true treasure of the Citadel. I have enjoyed everyone of them, thank you Ted. This one could use just a little buff and polish to really make the witty tone shine, but I enjoyed it all the same. However, usually Corran's creation have a little tick or quirk to them. These items, while the telling of the story is fun, the items themselves lack a Corran's typical pluck and eccentricity.



What if the items also got imbued with the cooks snobbery and will refuse to cook certain dishes or use lesser ingredients or combinations of ingredients.



Example: What if the pots refuse to open because you are trying to boil a fish.



Bethany: What is wrong with the lid to these pots? CORRAN DID YOU WELD THESE THINGS SHUT LIKE WITH THE TEAPOT?!?



Corran's Scribe who had been ideally taking notes in the kitchen passes Bethany a note as he can speak the unspoken language of Corran's items: Dearest Beth, The pot says that it is wrong to boil skate wings. He has talked to frying pan and he is completely ready, just place the wings in him about 8 minutes before it is time to serve,



Yours truly,



CS



Bethany: But my father loves fish stew, tell the pots just to make a stew, papa will be here in a few hour.s



CS: My Darling Bethany,



The Pot says you father will like the skate wings pan fried.



Love always,



CS



Bethany: My father hates the look of pan fried fish, he likes food he can slurp, beside he says fish tastes too strong when you don't stew it. *The Pot is now cold to the touch*



CS:



Oh Sweetest Beth,



The Pot and pan have agreed that your father is a tasteless philistine and he would be better off eating with the pigs, because they would not lower themselves to serve a man who does not appreciate fresh skate wings.



Longing for your touch,



CS

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30 Street Crimes and Cons
Society/ Organizations  (Criminal/Espionage)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-02-28 09:55 PM
This is a really useful 30, in as much as I see these lists a "go to" source when you need to flesh out a setting or an event. Some of the less useful 30s (or other lists) limit them selves to a narrow scene or really cross genres. This is a damn fine list. I wish I had it years ago. Isn't 9 the messy jacket. Go to Comment
A Cupid for Cornelius
Plots  (Hired)   (Side-Quest)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-16 08:20 AM


I can't believe I didn't vote on this.  I read this when it came out a year ago, wrote up a whole adventure around it, I had pre-equal and other events associated with it.  The style you took to the roleplaying wasn't/isn't really mine so I wasn't as warm to this piece as I have been to some of your others.  I also agree with Echo in that it is a little too linear to be a GREAT adventure.  Yet it should be an amuzing one.    But anything that does what this did, inspires fan fiction, is really fantastic, this is funny.  If I would suggest anything that hasn't already been said I would say play up the subversive anti-adventure feel to the whole piece, the straight line to success, the simple charactizations of the dragons,  and the relatively few choices the players have make this much less of the satire it could be.



 Again though just is case I am not clear, this is a really great write up in my book. -damn well formatted too, please help me with that if you ever get the tiem.  I read it and wanted to make it my own.  What more can you offer a gamer?  


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Croc-a-Pult
Items  (Ranged Weapons)   (Combat)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-05-03 04:48 PM


If Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman can do it why not a croc? 



Solid idea and an amuzing one at that...might be a shark jumper for a campaign though...once the PC realize the GM is open to launching animals at each other as form of warfare things threaten to get all Monty Python on ya.



 


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The Quest For Helen
Plots  (Hired)   (Single-Storyline)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-03-30 10:35 AM
this is ambitious submission with a lot of backstory. I like the formatting, the concept and the world building. Also I enjoy how you pulled in all the other submissions.

However some of the ideas are not fully developed, overly derivative or awkwardly paced and presented.

Room 1: The PCs are given a world puzzle: What is the password. It would helpful to outline the kind of handout or information the PCs are supposed to have. It is an interesting idea that they are given this codex of clues, and I would be a waste if that codex is not developed enough for them to use it.

Room 2: The riddle is an old one and the resolution is easily associated Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. By I like that they get use there books

Room 3: There is really no reason to break open the jars and the threat here is rather passive, which makes the room rather tangental. It also doesn't really tell a story. Which in part makes this a sort of hiccup room, which is nice, but it is just as likely to ignored.

Room 4: The room has a lot of complicated loot, which has the potential to grind the pacing down as the PCs explore the new items and try to figure them out.

Room 5: How did Helen get in there? Did old Helen understand what her father was doing, was she complicit in it? Are the PCs going to learn the back story?

What game system did you write this for? It will help to understand what d6 damage means. Go to Comment
30 Vampires
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-02-17 06:29 AM


My first thought when I saw this list was "Why on earth do we need an accounting of vampires?" Ever since Ann Rand re-wrote the vampire myth (though I think perhaps Blacula 2 deserves some credit for the heroic vampire slant) we (the citizens of earth) have been on a steady diet of vamp revisionist. Our (roleplayers) own little sub-media outlet has also been so heavily immersed in this love affair that it would be hard to shake out endemic from imported concepts regarding vampires in the RPG genres. A work of taxonomy and heredity regarding vampires in the media would be a more thought provoking look at this subject.

That said I would suggest referencing specific examples of these vampire "types" from popular media. They are already there, and it just seems to be an obvious misstep not to mention them in your discussion of these archetypes. Except for vampire coral....that was new, well done there.

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30 Starship Air & Maintenance Duct Problems
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-01-22 10:00 AM


I like this because it adds to the vocabulary of the game world, and the players.  During the course of 5 or 6 secession players, from a "setting" as mundane Urbana IL, and biased by years of watching Blake's 7 reruns can learn how the game world works.  Every time a player has to readjust the filter of in duct above the galley bay or stare down a gun-dart they are learning something about the mundane of the world that they can work into future problem solving strategies or nuanced role-playing. I am a fan. 

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Things Are Not Always As They Seem
Articles  (Humor/ Editorial)   (Gaming - In General)
axlerowes's comment on 2011-01-30 09:33 PM
cute

reminds me of (in no small way) Chris Anvil's "The Trouble with Human Go to Comment
30 Bardic Tales
Items  (Art and Music)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-02-18 07:38 AM


Not that one needs to make such a banal distinction among flowers as to have favorites but if I did it would be #11 is my favorite, then followed by 24-26, you were really on a roll there. And I think #6 was the most interesting of the mini stories. I think this is a very useful, well organized, well written and hard laborerd sub. I have read it more than once, more than twice and really wrestled with varying opinions about what to say about this, but for some reason I have been reluctant to comment and vote on it. I am going to offer a critque, but i first want to say clearly that I have a veryy positive view of this piece.



This write up is first and last a genre piece. It seems written for that iron age, culturally European (for the most part-scorpion sword and clumsy emperor may be from different setting), literate, semi-magical, gold coin economy that represents the expected standard of all DnD worlds. I am not knocking works of genre, genre is what makes role-playing games possible AND wildly accessible, but the cultural baggage of this particular genre has been something that I have always tried to resist. And this piece seems to rely on what was packed in that baggage, for example take #20, this offers up a lot about the world. We learn that there is a money economy, that peasants are taxed directly, that there is a king who agents are resented and you might be right to say that is true about the worlds of most games. (though I would wish that your average player would not make such assumptions). In some of the songs you even discuss what types of instruments are used and the proper names of people or place. There is a lot of cultural baggage in most of these songs and you do not discuss the archetypal themes of the song. Thus all the entries seem discrete and specific to a defined world, which is fine and good but not utilized to the full potential in this post.



If I were to take 30 Bardic songs from England in 1065 AD, and 30 Bardic songs from Greece in 1065 BCE, I would get a very different but informative take on the material cultures, their mytho-historical experiences and their values. I may pick up on some universal themes, but I might also learn a little about what it meant to be Greek or English at those times. (Or I might learn what it is they wanted it to mean.) The songs listed in this post are not songs that will be recited by a rapping bard with a lyre in the halls of Thebes or played before the Minion court. Yes GM could adapt them, #30 could shift settings quickly by taking out the anachronistic references to chain mail and tossing the word Bronze in there. But if the GM does this then he loses what is really great about “30 Bardic tails”, and that is the detail of each song. My point is not that you should change these songs to make them more general or adaptable. My point is that you have already paid the price of cultural specificity with each of these song and if feels remiss that you are not drawing any conclusions or even giving us suggestions about how these songs tell the story of people. (You have bought the cow, why not let us have some butter)



Even if you don’t want “30 Bardic Tales” to draw the conclusions implicitly, you may as well give the songs some level of connection with regard to the people that championed, sometimes reviled and more importantly wrote these songs. I know I am taking up the cause of imaginary people, who perhaps you have yet to imagine, but I think Strolen’s Citadel is the place were the rights of fictitious are championed. And if you don’t want the whole post to be window into same culture then perhaps you can discuss the people that wrote each one. You get at that a bit in some them, but not in all and never get very much. Writing 30 Bardic Tales was very ambitious and I think you succeed in writing 30 interesting song summaries (kind of like an iron age TRL). In writing 30 specific songs the way you have, you have created a lot of cultural and intellectual weight, and for the most part you aren’t reaching the full potential of what you’ve wrought. If you brought that cultural and intellectual weight to the surface more effectively this could be a transcendent piece. Right now it is just a very good piece.

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Humanchild, the Waif from Fae
NPCs  (Minor)   (Artistic/Performance)
axlerowes's comment on 2010-12-30 05:14 PM


This has a very old fae tone about it, combined with some of the more banal tastes from japan animie and modern fantasy work.  The idea that a woman (person) could be given  denied touch to something common and mortal is one of the older themes in the farie myths I have read and remember. But a naked sixteen year old (looking) girl who flys across the water and suffers from a near supernatural shyness...that has japanimie written all over it.



 



I could see this certainly holding  a parties attention and being ground for much discussion.  A fun quest NPC or red herring.

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