For #13-Devil take the hindmost!, perhaps the McGuffin is something that will allow them to dismiss it vs. something that will let them hurt the demon (not sure if that's what you intended), or something that messes with/alters some component of the summoning attempt. PCs shouldn't always be able to just stab their way out of a problem. The fact that they can't hurt it may be tempered with its focus on summoning, Maybe even the minions they are fighting stay close to protect the summoning effort. Go to Comment
A solid start with some good adventure kernels, but I feel like it has the potential to be much more with some minor tweaks.
There are a couple of ideas that I immediately wanted to use (#s 2 and 13 stand out), but there are also a lot of common tropes. I think the value of the list could be increase significantly if you just took each trope and gave it a twist that made it different than the common examples people are familiar with. That and there are some very specific situations that aren't going to apply to a lot of PC groups in campaigns - ideas that are more generic would be more useful, IMO. For example, rather than the PCs being freedom fighters in the first one, they could be hired by freedom fighters to rescue one of their generals before he gives up valuable intel and either have one of the PCs or maybe an NPC who goes in with them have a separate directive of killing the guy if they can't rescue him. But I like the idea of the PCs being seen as the bad guys, that is a good twist.
That being said, it is a solid list, especially for newer GMs or newer groups of players for whom the idea of playing out The Seven Samurai would be an amazing experience. I ran a one-off game a few years back where the PCs had to defend a keep in the swamp against hordes of lizardmen over several days and even the seasoned veterans among them had a blast.
Props for including links to other Strolen articles and lists, that's both a great way to highlight other people's efforts and give GM's other resources to draw upon. Go to Comment
#17, you could make Mr. Jackson a bard named Michael who had previously defeated the zombie horde through unknown magical means. The PCs have to find the reclusive bard, who it turns out has succumbed to lycanthropy (is a werewolf). After curing him or maybe providing him a means of holding the curse at bay, they must convince him to don his Shoes of the Moon (aka Boots of Dancing) and Entrancing Glove (just made that up, maybe it's got a built in ring of Undead Control amongst the bedazzles or maybe it just compels all creatures watching to mimic the wearer's actions) and occupy the zombie horde so the PCs can sneak past and slay the necromancer like you already have set up.
#2, I love this idea. I'm thinking of making it a 1-time thing where before the prince or princess becomes eligible to actually be crowned, they need to go out an spend a fortnight amongst their people with strict rules about not being able to reveal themselves, not being able to use any of the Crown's resources, make promises of future rewards, etc. The PCs just happen to be in the right place at the right time to witness either an assassination or a kidnapping attempt, there's a chance that one of them may recognize the noble for who they are and if not the noble, who doesn't have any of their normal resources to call upon but still needs to survive another 3-4 days anonymously, will try and find some way to get the party to protect them for those 3-4 days. I think for once the noble kid shouldn't be a spoiled brat, but that doesn't mean he or she couldn't be annoyingly naive or overly timid or something else that will add to the story-line. If the PCs are successful, their reward could come in the way of something other than gold or magic items - a favor they can cash in at a later time, maybe a minor title and associated manor house in the country which can come with it's own set of problems, a job in the prince's service, etc.
I like the overall concept. I feel like the harvesting process is a bit much, but that's just a personal preference. If I used this I would be more inclined to have the limb lose some of it's "phantomness" right away and more as time passes, but needing "magical everything" seems over the top.
It's an interesting material, especially as a very rare or unique component for an item.
The write-up is solid and the details definitely add to the value. I _like_ that it's not an artifact or another overpowered magical staff. I fell like I could change a couple of names and use it as it without any other adjustments. Well done! Go to Comment
Oh, it's definitely not less naughty at all for the sacrifice to be a full-on sacrifice, not at all. I could see the idea behind it being that the sacrifice's life force feeds the island spirit somehow. I think it was the Aztecs that used to do the whole cut-out-your-heart-and-show-it-to-you sort of sacrifice.
Not that you need any real world or mythological basis. It just seemed unusual and a little arbitrary without an explanation or story reason behind the specific mutilation and I was curious if there was something you based that on. That's all. Go to Comment
I like the concept and the background story. I feel like there is somewhat limited usefulness for the character as most often PCs are "traveling" through places, but for a party that's based in the village he's in, or if there is a plot arc that has them staying there for some time, that could make a difference.
I wonder if it might be helpful to provide PCs with some additional clues to his past if they wanted to cultivate the relationship. Maybe Derran stiffens up when a patrol of soldiers comes into the tavern, or "has to go check on something in the kitchen/stable/rooms/etc." Or maybe there is a unit tattoo he normally keeps covered up they can get a glimpse of. Or a bandage he always has on his arm that covers one. Just some ideas.
Also, this sentence seems a bit odd, like there might be a typo in there - "Eventually, he found love in the village, and married into Angela Thurswrat."
I think this is a great idea because of how versatile it is. It could be a supernatural event. It could be some local mage messing with the memories of the staff that explains their memories. Or maybe it's related to either the local thieves' guild or even a "spy" adventure.
The "item" left behind doesn't even have to be an item. Maybe there was a dropped glass of wine that left a stain on the floor, or a hole left behind when a knife stuck was stuck in the table.
Either "... the bloody and beaten bodies of a man dangles from two (of the) poles." or "...the bloody and beaten bodies of men dangle from two (of the) poles."
There's a lot of suggestion in that, much of it wording, the only correction would be the men/a man bit.
I didn't like this at first but have quickly warmed up to it, especially after figuring out it was a 100-word challenge. There is enough in that 100 words to give me a couple of different ways this could turn out.
I liked the concept, liked the story overall. I would also say it was an abrupt ending. The leaving readers hanging bit I could take or leave - the primary argument for more clarity is that I'm curious what the author who put the rest of the well-written story together thinks should be the ending. But it just seems to wrap-up very quickly, is all. Go to Comment
You've just invented the fantasy slot machine - brilliant!
I love the idea and the story.
One suggestion, based off eleclipse's comment - maybe it's a form of money laundering for the Thieves' Guild? Your average villager or peasant is going to have coppers, maybe a silver, but not gold. But think about that from an in-character perspective - what does the Guild bribe your average watchman or clerk with? Or how would a beggar explain a pouch full of gold pieces to an honest watchman? This is a great way for a small town's Thieves' Guild to turn 1 stolen gold piece into a 110 or 110 copper pieces, which are a much more liquid form of money. Not a huge take on it's own, but if you add in the 10-20% fee they'd need to fork over to some crooked moneylender, that's a low but steady source of income (like the casino with the slot machine).
The only real problem is that it wouldn't scale in the countryside. In a city it might, but then you'd inevitably get someone investigating it.
How does Mauk keep someone else from sneaking down the well to snatch the gold and finding out his secret?
Perhaps instead of a wooden bucket, there's a couple of feet of standing water (just in case someone tries to go looking) and a fine net that allows Mauk to quickly collect his catch for the day.
I can definitely see throwing this into just about any campaign as a little side quest. Very clever! Go to Comment
I thought this was a great twist on typical dwarven lore. It seems like the idea could be inserted into most fantasy campaigns given the off-the-beaten track of the Esgol, or it seems like a great basis for a campaign in itself! Go to Comment
Gossamer, do you feel the same way about how Elves and especially Halflings are portrayed in Dark Sun? I've always thought the feral hobbits was a neat twist on how a race might evolve if exposed to extreme circumstances, and saw this submission as a similar take.
Not saying you're wrong, just curious about your perspective. Go to Comment
I've been playing a half-orc shaman for many years and I love this idea. I'd echo what The Bull said, the primary uses that came to mind for me for the drum was more ceremonial uses - having the drum enhance ritual magic, for example. Maybe preparing the tribe for battle vs. playing it during battle.
Molk Peruda is encountered by the PCs on the second day of their journey west from the salt-choked port of Quyn, as they prepare to explore the jungle.
He appears a gaunt, wolfish man, with matted, dark hair that sprouts from his head in dreadlocks, contrasting with his well-oiled, blue-black, conical beard. His eyes are hidden ebon shards beneath thick arching brows, his nose, crooked, long, and reminiscent of a snout. His mouth is a thin, dark line, his teeth unseen even when he parts his lips to speak.
His skin is the color of tallow, surprising perhaps for a renowned jungle guide, yet his natural helm of dreads and the jungle's canopy keeps the sun from bronzing his originally pale flesh. On his back are tattooed three women from the waist up, side-by-side, each resembling the other but of different ages. This is a tattoo of Molk's mother, sister, and daughter. His wife (don't bring her up to him!) was killed by marauding Qullan years ago, and appears as her own tattoo on his broad but sunken chest.
His feet shockingly are turned around 180 degrees at the ankle, facing towards his back! A curse from a pernicious shaman. Molk walks feet backwards (he's used to it) and walks backwards, forwards. This can be very disconcerting and outright creepy to the PCs as he guides them through the rainforest.
Slung from his back is an archer's quarrel of treated wood carved to resemble a stalking leopard, in his hand a re-curved composite bow of horn and sinew, with a pair of vivid, red eyes, each one painted on the opposite side of the hand-grip. In a leather sheath at his belt, hangs a falchion, its pommel adorned with a curved bird's head and beak.