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Winter's Gem
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caesar193's comment on 2014-02-10 12:44 PM
The narrative is excellent. I can only, sadly, echo those before me, except for this: why didn't I vote on this before? Go to Comment
Winter's Gem
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Gossamer's comment on 2013-09-19 05:36 AM
Wow, the sun was a real abusive arsehole. I like how the origin story could be related to a natural phenomenon, like uh I dunno, if the weather was so bad they couldn't see the moon or maybe if a cloud of dust covered the sky after a meteor strike or something, in reality it may or may not have been a full year, but in narrative form it sounds more dramatic.

It read very smoothly, with lots of nice details, I highly enjoyed reading this. Nothing seems to be missing, though I would advise you to put in a break or two before the first quote, since the ToC compresses it. Your ego can rest easy on this one, full score from me. :) Go to Comment
Winter's Gem
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Eric the Grey's comment on 2013-10-12 11:28 AM
I loved the narrative you've put behind this gem. I hope to see stories for the rest.

As to use in game, I can see some extremely difficult times acquiring the gem and putting an end to the storm. Go to Comment
Winter's Gem
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Longspeak's comment on 2013-09-16 12:03 PM
Nearly perfect. Well-written, I love the tone; and the tale, and I can easily this in one of my Everway games. Quite soon. Go to Comment
Refuge Beneath the Waves
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Shadoweagle's comment on 2013-09-10 12:09 AM
So cool, Moon. You've re-created a post-apocalyptic world under the sea; have you played Bioshock? It seems to have influences of it in here.

I'm sure each settlement will become more and more unique as time goes on, with their own lifestyles and superstitions - the ones without rail access will probably become especially eccentric with less access to other folk. This way, new religions and cults and societies can be forged out of the settlements; if the pcs have to visit a settlement that has been isolated for decades they may find themselves attacked as heretics!

You've flipped the world upside down with this: as the sea becomes more well known and mapped, it is the land which becomes like the ocean, unexplored and mysterious! Go to Comment
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Scrasamax's comment on 2013-09-10 12:30 PM
Interesting, the parallels to nuclear power and petroleum are well grounded and the writing and formatting are crisp. There are a few typos but nothing too distracting.

Well thought out. Go to Comment
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Cheka Man's comment on 2013-10-06 11:28 AM
A water-world. Go to Comment
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Murometz's comment on 2013-09-12 10:48 AM
Reads like a fantasy-world's version (polemic) of the discovery of atomic power, as Scras mentions. That part of it for me, seems to be laid on a little thick, BUT, i LOVE the brave new underwater world you've created here! Some very original ideas and images. Go to Comment
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axlerowes's comment on 2014-03-12 09:57 AM


This is really great, I kept asking questions about the history, the war and technology as I went and kept getting answers. This really well done (I have never played Bioshock) and has a lot of great ideas in it. This could be used as an Alien world, an alternate reality or just adapted for society in which everyone is told the surface is poisoned by the oppressive oligarchy. Yet this deserves more.



1) Visuals I would wager most readers picture a somewhat Victorian or Edwardian aesthetic in the place. However, that is never discussed. We don't get a clear visual of the people in this place and I loathe to use preconceived notions in such a fantastical setting. I would also wager that at least 25% (by word count not by topic) of all steam punk fiction is dedicated to fashion, so that seems missing from this, and it could be a fun addition.



2) Culture We also get an incomplete picture of the culture and day to day life. There are a lot of strong hints at an oligarchy of rich hereditary industrialists and an oppressed and tormented but educated underclass subjected to strict social planning. I think a government and economics section could be interesting and expansive. But perhaps you don't want to state the social economic relationship specifically, and that is fine, and I get it. But some more hints would give us a better feel for this place. What kind of people do these dome dwellers chose to celebrate? What sort of media (as extrapolation of the stage play musicals) do they consume? Are there population control issues? Do they smoke? I feel like this piece and this world would be better benefited by a direct discussion of these items or few more hints and details. (I like the hints at culture myself)



ABWB

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valadaar's comment on 2013-09-16 10:25 AM
It shares some themes with Bioshock (I and II, concerning the undersea city Rapture), but the circumstances are very different.

I think this is a good start, it lays out the groundwork for additional work.

I found the descriptions of the vehicles rather mundane and not really fitting in with the grander scale of the rest of the submission. I'd have sooner seen more details about the people since the root technology and location was covered. Go to Comment
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Silveressa's comment on 2014-03-01 08:34 PM
It took me a while to read through hence the late commentary, but this definitely reminds me of the Bioshock series, (with a hint of Blue Planet) which only adds to the feeling of familiarity yet with it's own unique changes.

This is one of those settings that gab me and make me want to run a campaign and explore the concepts more thoroughly.

With it being set underwater it also makes this easy enough to plug into most other steampunk settings as a "hidden world" no one on the surface was even aware existed.

With a little work it can be adapted to sci-fi or post apocalypse settings easily enough as well.

5/5 and a HoH, really loved reading this one! Go to Comment
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MysticMoon's comment on 2013-09-10 05:54 AM

I have not played Bioshock, but I'm thinking that I have to now that I know what it is :)

I like those ideas; they certainly fit into the tone I was going for.

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MysticMoon's comment on 2013-09-10 02:25 PM

I debated about including information on the weaponization of Kalleum but I decided to leave it vague. It's something lost to their past and something they wish to put far behind them.

Basically, they found a way of launching it from a type of cannon and then having it explode over the enemy into a fine powder, along with some other compounds. It would ignite anything with fair amounts of water, such as animals and plants. After burning through the bodies it would disburse and drift into the air again (which was not intended.)

The problem was that it disbursed too well. In small amounts it would enter through any accessible membrane or opening and burn up whatever it touched. In these minute amounts it would still leave much of the corpse intact before finding its way out into the air again, acting more as a catalyst than something that would burn out.

It's possible that after another few hundred years it will eventually end up in an inert state.

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MysticMoon's comment on 2013-10-04 11:29 PM
Update: Made a number of corrections and tweaks. Also expanded it a bit. Go to Comment
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MysticMoon's comment on 2014-03-12 10:54 AM
Thanks, that's some really great feedback. I plan to do some major expansions to this setting and these kinds of questions/points will help me do that. Go to Comment
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caesar193's comment on 2013-09-10 01:55 PM
How did they weaponize the Kalleum? I may have missed it, but I'm fairly sure that you went from saying how helpful it is to discussing bloated corpses and how Kalleum was in the air. I guess I'd just like a paragraph saying that the government did X, Y, and Z to kalleum, and it now kills people because of A, B, and C.

Other than that, my other question lies in why its still dangerous to hang around up on the surface. It would seem to me that the Kalleum would eventually de-weaponize or go inert somehow. I'm not sure how that would occur, given my first question, but as it was made by man, it'll eventually crumble, or the amounts of it in the atmosphere would lower enough that travel on the surface would be safe.

But it was good. Well-thought out, well-formatted, etc. 4/5 Go to Comment
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knowman's comment on 2013-09-10 07:38 AM
One of the better explanations/rationale of a Steampunk world that I've seen. Well done! Go to Comment
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Gossamer's comment on 2013-09-11 11:06 AM
Like I said before, you use some very painting language, in lack of better words. I enjoyed this one, it's not quite a full score, but it's very close. Probably due to the fact that you rushed it a bit. For instance, the travel section could have been fleshed out more. These subaquatic vehicles, are they free to use for everyone, does people own private ones, and how common are they?

Speaking of weaponizing Kalleum, could it be used in zap-guns or tasers?

Also, here's a complimentary typo:

Though they p the threat down to the populace, many had already begun to bolster their militaries Go to Comment
30 Setting Hooks
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MysticMoon's comment on 2013-09-08 05:41 PM

World of Bronze



It is a more primitive age. Bronze is the height of metallurgy. In the civilized nations, the City State reigns supreme; though much of the world still belongs to the clans of the North and East. The gods are not distant beings removed from the affairs of man; rather, they are the genius locii, spirits tied to the land who often become highly involved in men's lives. Beasts of all kinds clog the wilderness and the seas, making life difficult for travelers and merchants.



The known world is made up of the island-dwelling Helioans in the Middle Sea, the Gyptians of the Southern deserts, the Chelonians of the Southeast, the horse tribes of the East, and the numerous, savage tribes of the North. To the West lies naught but distant ocean and death.



The people give power to the gods by their belief and their worship. In turn, The gods breathe direct power into their priests. Meanwhile wizards wrest secrets from the elements via alchemical experimentation. Many of the best-known warriors have the blood of the gods running through their veins, giving them tremendous strength and vitality.


Helioans



Spread across hundreds of islands ranging from tiny upthrust blades of rock to land wide enough to support agriculture and large cities, the Helioans are a blend of ideals and beliefs. Some have taken to mercantilism, buying and selling goods across all the known world. Others have taken to war, breeding soldiers of unmatched prowess. And still others are patrons of the arts, science, mathematics, and alchemy. Despite a common heritage and history, the Helioans are constantly at war with each other in one form or another. Many heroes are of Helioan stock, taken to the far corners of the world by their own undeniable urge to explore.



The patron gods of the City States are given fine places to live in these lands; they are giants who lounge within enormous temples of granite and marble, directing king and elected ruler alike in the affairs of state whilst sipping wines of the finest vintage and eating of the most tender of lamb.


Gyptians



Living along their fertile river, surrounded by endless desert on one side and ore rich mountains on the other, the Gyptians mostly war amongst themselves. Occasionally they organize enough to go on campaign against the Helioans or the Chelonians, but they rarely stay organized long enough to be successful.



Like the Helioans, the Gyptian gods are giants who live in temples, though these gods have the heads of beasts and their temples are made of stone. The line between priest and wizard can be a thin one here, for even though they receive some power from their gods, the priests perform rituals very much like those of a wizard. All magic taught is of this variety, meaning that those who wish to have power here must learn the ways of both the priest and the mage.


Chelonians



Built on top of an older civilization, the Chelonians occupy a number of ancient City States split along three different lines of treaties. They have inherited a knowledge of agriculture, allowing them to turn desert into farmland through an extensive irrigation system.



Chelonian cities are made of sun-fired bricks and center around the ziggurat, a temple wherein dwells their gods, their king-priests, and their scholars. Friendships and rivalries between Chelonian gods go much further back than those of the Helioans, driving much of their politics.



Schools of magic amongst the Chelonians revolve around the summoning and binding of demons. The power of the spell and the skill of the sorcerer are commensurate with the size and fearsomeness of the demon thus bound.


The Barbaric Lands



East and West ofthe Middle Sea are the lands of barbarians. Horse tribes run free across the grassy plains of the East while golden-haired barbarians wage constant war against each other in the cold North.


Notes



  • Main weapons: Spear, short sword, axe, mace, sling, bow

  • Armor: Padded cloth, leather, bronze plate, shields


Campaigns



This is an excellent setting for exploration and combat. Numerous, ferocious beasts wander the land. Heroes can make names for themselves by bringing back proof of what they have killed and wizards are constantly looking for exotic ingredients to work with. Those with a strong arm or the blessing of the gods and in need of coin can always find work guarding caravans and merchant ships



On a larger scale, war is common between the various City States and heroes are always welcome to join the ranks or compete as champions.

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30 Setting Hooks
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MysticMoon's comment on 2013-09-09 05:11 AM

Star Chasers



"I remember chasing that desert world in the XT-50572 system. We had assumed all the orange-brown stuff floating in the air was simple dust. Turns out it was some kind of fungus that loved two things: the carbon-dioxide and sulpher soup in the atmosphere and the insides of our lander's thrusters. You see, old Terence — that's our backup pilot who's usually onboard the jumpship in orbit — had had to sit out this mission and we were all too itchy to wait for his replacement. That was a mighty unpleasant five weeks the seven of us spent in a cramped up lander waiting on the Beta-314 crew to come bail us out. And they'll never let us forget it."


— Vick Chambers, veteran Star Chaser




Habitable worlds are rare in the settled regions of space. Most are dirty, crowded places. Star Chasers are those who cannot stand to be crushed amongst the masses. They escape the anonymous drudgery of an unchallenging life by seeking out the unknown depths of space, hoping to see that which hasn't been seen and to make their mark upon the wider universe.



In addition, despite all of the advances, discoveries, and advantages of living in a star-spanning civilization, there are still men and women who feel an irresistible urge to head out into the deep unknown to see what is out there and to pit themselves against the rigors of unexplored space. Some work for underfunded government agencies to pursue pure scientific knowledge. Others work with fancier toys paid for by megacorps who expect them to turn up profitable discoveries. Whatever the means, they are all collectively referred to as Star Chasers. Star Chasers are always pursuing that next big discovery beyond the comforts of home in the star-studded vastness of space.



The player characters are among the misfits known as Star Chasers. Ever seeking adventure, excitement, and discovery, they make whatever accommodations they need to in order to chase that next star system. The least experienced tend to be hired by some sort of government agency working with an ever shrinking budget to supply them with the essentials. Despite the poor pay and aging equipment, these are the ones who get to explore for pure science. The Star Chasers who make a name for themselves often find a much better offer working for a megacorp, with an obligation to seek out new sources for mines, interesting botanicals or foodstuffs, new cultures to trade with, or any other profitable venture.



Star Chaser crews are made up of a blend of specialized scientists, spacers, diplomats, and other rugged individuals:



  • The spacers' job is to get the crew from place to place and keep them, and the equipment, in working order. Encounters with hostile spacefaring races and the inhabitants of pirate havens are not unheard of and Star Chaser ships are not designed for combat, so they must be ready to run and/or talk fast. Pilots, astrogationers, engineers/mechanics/electricians, medics, and captains/diplomats generally fill the spacer roles.

  • Scientists generally include astrophysicists, geologists, biologists, linguists, and any others with an appropriate field of study.

  • There are usually at least a few crewmembers who have martial training and experience surviving in hostile territory. Many are ex-military, although some simply hail from the rougher rim worlds. Rim worlds are often the least habitable planets, moons, and stations, with a mostly poor populace existing under the worst of conditions.



The tone of a Star Chasers campaign can vary widely depending on the makeup of the Player Characters. Looking for excitement in unexplored space as part of the ship's crew? Care to explore the cultural and scientific possibilities as scientists who prefer to avoid violent conflict? Wish to head out as part of the rougher explorers who enjoy pitting themselves against the dangers of brand new worlds? Feel like setting up a campaign revolving around a first contact situation, possibly with an aggressive species?



The life of a Star Chaser is one filled with excitement and danger. Only those who reject the soft comforts of civilization need apply.

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