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Vauraki
Lifeforms  (Unique)   (Desert)
Gossamer's comment on 2013-11-06 07:58 AM
Hmm, I must have missed this one. Goodness, I'll probably end up reading all of these before the PBP ends. Ehm, right, the sub itself; Lots of nice lore, I would say that even if this being isn't really evil, it makes sense given the nature of the desert and the OD's culture. Coyote's snatching babies and what not, so a dog shaped being fits very well. Go to Comment
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
Strolen's comment on 2013-04-10 03:26 AM
This is one heck of a critique axle. It seems that you somehow latch onto something obtuse and cerebrally pick it to death even if it doesn't have much relevance to the actual submission. A simple, "this would fit a plot better" would have been plenty and then giving a little love to a wonderful piece of work.

I think the rule that would help you is for every critique, you should say two things nice about submissions. Go to Comment
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
Strolen's comment on 2013-04-10 03:31 AM
Awesome. This is almost exactly how I ended up joining a cult. Small steps, better rewards, before I knew it I released a greater demon. Small world!

This is even better since it can so seamlessly be added to any evil adventure. No time limits and the tasks they are given could be accordianed as needed to fit a campaign. Fantastic.

It is really a perfect adventure template to help weave almost anything into another story. Get two or three of these twisting in and out of each other and you have an awesomely cohesive, world-spanning adventure with plenty of layers and side-quests available. I absolutely love the setup!

And, I agree, it probably hits the plot category better. Go to Comment
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Strolen's comment on 2013-04-10 06:37 AM
Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. The theology of the cult really doesn't have a whole lot of relevance to me in the process of following the plot. The answering of any of your posed questions would require an entirely new submission to flesh out for little or no extra value to this idea.

This site is a place for the sharing and celebration of each other's ideas. What threw me off was your expectation for a graduate level discourse on theology and divination and critique on the proper development of a belief system...all for a fun roleplaying idea.

I want a cool idea that is fun to run and this one fits the bill fabulously. I just can't comprehend that your expectations are so lofty that you actually expect these things to be answered. Go to Comment
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
Strolen's comment on 2013-05-25 04:02 AM
Congrats to SE and this submission being the first place submission in the quest Religions and Cults!! Go to Comment
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
Shadoweagle's comment on 2013-04-10 08:53 AM
Update: Changed to plot as per comment suggestions! Go to Comment
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
Shadoweagle's comment on 2013-04-10 09:19 AM
As for Axle's impressive critique, all I can say is that I really don't look quite that deep into the things I write :p

You seem to want me to write you out an entire book - your expectations of me are far too high; I don't have that kind of attention span.
________________

Sometimes there will be contradictions and errors, and there will always be questions left unanswered. All I try to achieve by the end of a post is to have a neat idea, which is still hopefully open-ended enough for it to be adapted for whatever purpose the reader wants.

There's a balance that I think is good to have in subs - which I probably sometimes don't manage to achieve - wherein something is specific enough to have all the details and info that you might need, yet still vague enough that it can be manipulated and worked into any number of scenarios.

Additionally, to address all the possible issues; such as in-depth descriptions of what the recruiter may say or use to entice the people into joining, or to expand the entire pantheon of gods and give backgrounds and descriptions of them, would make this sub extremely long and also take up a hell of a lot of my time. If I was on a payroll I might consider this, but since i'm not, you have what is presented to you.

What is written here is not the be-all-and-end-all of this idea. For example; if you wanted the characters to have an opportunity to have the debate on theology, add it to your game! As you mention; characters have plenty of depth and might not be motivated by greed etc, so I can't anticipate what stance your gamers will take on the subject, or how you would approach it; it is something which you have to decide and make up for yourself, based on how you know your players and their characters.


We have damned smart people roaming this website - Axle, you're obviously a prime example of one - If you put the same energy into filling in the blanks i've left to suit a game of your own as you did writing and re-writing your impressive critique, then the sub would be rich, complete and full of all the added detail you require, as well as being suited to whatever game and characters you need.

I don't think people need everything spelled out for them anyways; where's the fun if there's no room for someone to make it their own?
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
Cheka Man's comment on 2013-03-27 07:28 PM
Cultists are more then just bags of hit points. Go to Comment
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
Murometz's comment on 2014-03-01 12:37 PM
Love this one! A joy to read and ponder. And HOLY COMMENTARY, BATMAN! :P Go to Comment
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
Drackler's comment on 2013-03-26 02:26 PM
This is a well thought-out, well planned scenario. I like that you've made it adaptable to fit around other adventures and events, or to be use solely. The gods presented are both familiar and interesting.
The bonuses applied would have to be changed based on the game you're using, but giving them to us as guidelines helps.

Overall, I like it quite a lot. Go to Comment
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-07 05:51 PM

Critiques:




I believe the submission is miss filed, I think this a plot not a system. While it contains the fundamental description of a system it is primarily a plot or mini-campaign.  This taxonomic view does not effect my opinion of the submission nor, I believe, the submission's  relevance to the quest.  I think this is a well organized and well written story presented as a bare bones DnD style module.  




I believe in this plot their are several layers of conflict.  The direct conflict between the NPCs and the PCs is one layer of conflict.  The conflict between the cult and society in general is another layer. And the conflict between the ideology of the cult and ideology of the established church is yet another layer. I believe this final layer is under developed.  I accept that there is good argument that most theological dispute are held in proxy for other more deeply rooted economic or social disputes. I could also accept that religious disputes are essentially an us versus them dispute and theological trappings are unimportant and interchangeable.  Thus as the plot goes these specifics are not important to its progression. However, I assume that this post was written in part with the goal of exploring the theology of the cult.  I think the treatment of the cult and its values in the current write up is shallow and this diminishes the evil cult to a gimmick; essentially the campaign comes to down to "wouldn't it be fun or novel to play an evil party."   I see the underdevelopment of cult in two sections of this write up: first the amount of literal and explicit information in this write regarding the cult and the conflict between the gods  is sparse and underdeveloped. Secondly, the amount of time and energy dedicated to this specific  conflict of ideas and world views in the events and actions outlined in plot is negligible. 




With regard to the lack of literal and explicit information given to the cult in this write up this begins in section one with the recruitment of the anti-Heros in the sample seen. The "recruiting officer" states that the character have checked the right boxes with their violent and ruthless tactics but does not express the moral or ethical underpinnings of her beliefs .  Just because the characters are "evil" does it mean they are shallow?  Then again in the write up of the god, SE states that there is conflict between the gods of civilization and the gods of chaos, and even a debate, but does not outline that debate. However some are things are described very precisely, we have a few specifics with regard to proper names and event, but only a vague outline of the theological underpinnings that lead to those events. 




However, this terse write up would not be as large a problem if the characters were given an opportunity themselves to have this debate, to develop the theology and explore the values of their chaotic animalistic side versus the values of the structured and dignified side of society. The characters are at one pointed ask to recruit new people to their cult, fairly late in the progression of the story,  however as the story is written the major points made by the character's relationship to the cult is improved stats, wealth and magical weapons.  There should be a point in the plot in which the players have to defend their beliefs with more than a sword and a spell.  I believe that developing the theology of the cult and forcing the players express some understanding of this theology and defend will increase the player involvement in the game, the level of immersion and ultimately the game's significance and enjoyment.  

Go to Comment
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axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-09 06:12 PM
Nope. Dossta, I re read my comment and I am sorry. My original comment was unfocused and full of asides and ideas for the plot. It was also really badly written and I am dumber for having reread it. I tried to re write the comment, so it focuses only on what I thought should be changed. Go to Comment
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-10 06:10 AM
Et tu Strolen,
first my comment on 4-9-13 was regarding my own comment on this post made on 4-7-13, so I was calling my own writing horrible. It (my comment) was unfocused and rambling


I decided to try and make one point, so edited the comment yesterday. And the suggestion that this should go into the plot was a minor point that has little relevance to what I was trying to say. I am talking about the theology of the cult. But you are right the theology or values of the cult don't have a lot relevance to the actual submission? There in was my point. Go to Comment
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-10 01:46 PM
"Join a cult, Small steps, better rewards, before you know it, the PCs release a greater demon."

That is the idea. I think the idea would have more drama and be more engaging as a roleplaying tool if it was

"Join a cult, Smalls step, better rewards and before you know it the PCs WANT MORE than ANYTHING to release a greater demon."

One does not have the write up the theology per se, as we all agree the theology is unimportant to the plot. But what i was suggesting was the there be a line of information or point in the action SE outlined in which the PCs take control of the narrative and the cult. Alternatively, perhaps a point were the PCs have to make choice: great reward or advancement of the cult. Perhaps several small scenes in which the PC interact with Gods, one of the PCs could have the dreams about the Goddess, the PCs could be carriers for the spirits of the demigods. Because right now the PCs don't really have any interaction with the Gods, the demigods are summoned then leave the room (of course having to much NPC time is dangerous to a narrative). I am suggesting a scene or line of the story that causes the PCs to become invested in the cult beyond the stat and material rewards, and beyond the "well we already gone this far" argument.

I like this write up, I really respect and admire the way it is written, I said that i my first comment. I like that you have both a story told in an immersive narrative and the GM voice dialog about why and how the plot should progress. If I wanted to an example of sub with a great voice I would point to this one. I gave it a 4. I will give it HoH.

Yet ou guys are just being awful and defensive, you exaggerating things and setting up these false hyperbolic conditions. What I think I am hearing

"We are here to have fun, to much thought=less fun"

"I am not getting paid to do this, it is "

"You are obtuse (lacking sharpness or quickness of sensibility or intellect ) and missing the point."

I think I get the point, in that SE is not just sharing an idea, he is both telling a story and telling people how to tell a story. I like the story, I like way he told it, but I suggest that the story would be stronger if there was more personal involvement in the story on the part of the protagonist in an RPG. Because right now in the write up it may the actions of the PCs the drive the plot, but they under the direction of the NPCs. And I am just suggesting, I am not saying…well I reserve my vote…or demanding you improve this. I too am trying to articulate an idea. Go to Comment
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Kassy's comment on 2013-03-27 10:10 AM
4.0/5

An enjoyable read, and an idea that I'm sure we've all entertained at some point along the line.

It's still more fun to be on the 'good' side though. Go to Comment
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Dossta's comment on 2013-04-03 01:59 PM
*Low whistle of appreciation* Very, very nice work, Shadow. Of the quest submissions so far, this is by far my favorite. For a solid list of ideas to fill out Level 2, I humbly suggest 40 Thieves Guild Missions by Nobody -- I've found it invaluable as a resource for those kinds of "dirty odd-jobs".

I honestly can't think of anything you need to do to improve this -- the flavor text is fantastic, the quest progression is logical, and the imprisoned goddess is even sympathetic in a way. If I ever end up with another party sliding down the Slippery Slope, I will definitely revisit this. Go to Comment
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Dossta's comment on 2013-04-09 01:11 PM
Would most of your objections here be addressed if this was recategorized to a Plot, rather than a System? I agree that it doesn't fit the System category as well as it could, but the Religions and Cults quest didn't specify a particular category for entries. Go to Comment
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Dossta's comment on 2013-04-10 11:07 AM
The theology of the Cult is not nearly as important as the process the party goes through to climb its ranks. In fact, I would say that by leaving the theology intentionally sparse, Shadow has actually increased the generality and usefulness of this submission.

Let me explain: Eriphen and her two children are nice, but ultimately irrelevant and replaceable. They may not fit into my current campaign world, or they may just not interest me personally. That's alright.

As written, all I need is a trapped deity and two other powerful entities to help free him/her. These can be dragons, powerful mages, alien artifacts, killer robots -- anything that is ultimately far stronger than the players and most of their enemies.

If you look at the pantheons for a lot of published campaign settings, you can probably find one or two lost or trapped gods, goddesses or other mythic beings that you can easily adapt this campaign to. BUT, just in case your world doesn't have an established mythology yet, Shadow provided us with the bones to build one on.

That's quite a lot to accomplish in one sub. Go to Comment
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Dossta's comment on 2013-04-10 02:11 PM
Alright, I think I'm beginning to see your point axle. You aren't so much asking for the theology to be fleshed out, as for more places in the storyline where the theology (such as it is) is relevant.

I agree that the PCs are a little passive here. They follow a list of pre-planned actions at the behest of various NPCs. Aside from the promise of power and wealth, there is little to connect the party to the cult or make them feel like they are a part of something bigger.

Perhaps more interaction with normal cult members would help. Giving the party a strong sense of "family" could be all the motivation needed. It is up to the GM to potray the religion sympathetically -- perhaps appeal to the party's sense of fair play by giving the opposition large advantages.

The problem is, I don't really see where to add this to the current sub. Maybe as "ideas for play" or a short "player investment" section at the bottom? I'm sure Shadow would welcome any ideas you choose to add here, as well. Go to Comment
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Plots  (Divine/ Spirit)   (Defining)
MysticMoon's comment on 2013-08-27 08:03 PM

We need a "save the cultist" movement. For too long have the forces of good and right trampled upon the simple, hardworking, and downtrodden cultist; those whose only collective desire is to unleash world-destroying demonic forces. Is that really so worthy of being harried in their homes and put to the sword in their places of worship? Have we no tolerance?

:P

Ok, seriously, this is one of those great ideas that seems like it should have been completely obvious, yet has never occurred to me before. Great work on this. 5/5


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