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
"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 to 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. There is already even a great spot for it. When the PCs have to do the recruitment they will have articulate some of what they are fighting for. You also pretty much have the theology as well, it is the appendix.
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.
This is not written as either a complete story or a table top RPG write up. It is written like video game very very linear without much real interaction. Take the Gods that get freed for example, they show up like cut scenes in a video game. They say their lines and they walk away.
Because right now in the write up the mental actions of the PCs the do not drive the plot, because they under the direction of the NPCs. And I am just suggesting that for a good table top RPG right up you need more player involvement. I am not saying …well I reserve my vote…or demanding you improve this.
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I too am trying to articulate an idea. If this is an idea sharing sight then people that tried to shut me up should be ashamed.
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?
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