This one started out really well, we have another amusing story of Beth and Corran, and we have the imagery of Corran with a Doc Brown style colander on his head. But the end result of the item is one that is dull, inaccessible and unnecessarily limited. I was surprised you end with this
“However, the Scribe does not work for other users. Believed to be a problem with the collector assembly and its compatibility with Corran's thoughts specifically, all attempts to modify the Scribe to accommodate another user have failed.”
How about giving the hand a little personality, a little bit of that puckish mischievousness that often seems to grow out of Corran’s quiet and domestic ambitions. You could give the hand some of Bethany’s traits so that it will change the wording to fit her sensibilities. Perhaps Bethany is more polite than Corran.
“I am not writing the phrase ‘demonic crap box’, how about ‘an item from my privy’.”
Or perhaps Bethany has a little more attitude then Corran.
“I am not addressing Veracit as ‘his Grace’ I don’t care how many Dukedom’s he is granted. I shall instead write ‘Mr. Veracit who stayed at our home for 6-months without offer of rent or compensation’.”
Go to Comment
I know I could change it if I use it and I will, but I would let my players have a go with this. It be could useful for a mage so that they can be sure to take notes while working on spells. I would also give the hand a bit of personality.
This is great, number 27 got me. Have you read
I recommend Clockwork Fagin. It reminds me of number 30.
Could you use a similiar supernatural technology or technique to make slippers?
I think you could/should cut some words out of the first four sentences and then describe what happens when the magic is employed in a little more detail.
Does the silver heart burning out mean you only use it once? Does the enchanted distant door look like the ruby door, how many people can pass through it, how long can it stay open and what can you see through the open door? If the magic isn't too obvious: clever players would trick people into passing through it or drop ex-wvies or monsters into the rooms of the unpopular or evil.
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.
Go to Comment
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?
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.
Go to Comment
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.