First off, I must say that I like the idea of this blade a lot. After all, what better way is there for a GM to give the party hints or point out the (blindingly obvious) clues that they always seem to miss? However, I would really like it to be a little better defined.
I think my main stumbling block is the source of the "hunches" or "ideas" that a PC gets. Does the player have to state the hunch out loud? Does the GM assign them based on a random dice roll, perhaps modified by the character's intelligence? Does the sword get these hunches on its own?
Without a clear idea of the hunch that the sword is trying to prove, I think that a player could become lost really quickly, not understanding what the sword is supposed to be doing. If this central concept is codified a bit more cleanly, this submission would easily move from a 4 to a 5 in my mind.
Very clever GM tool! It's fun thinking that players could feel like something would happen if they kick this tripwire only to be greeted by a nasty trap if they do. Even better, they could feel compelled to say something rude to a half-ogre, receive a minor beating, and then receive help and/or praise from someone who can aid them in their current mission. I really love that this sword can be as bitter as it is sweet and can help as often as hurt. Good read!
The Corran subs are true treasure of the Citadel. I have enjoyed everyone of them, thank you Ted. This one could use just a little buff and polish to really make the witty tone shine, but I enjoyed it all the same. However, usually Corran's creation have a little tick or quirk to them. These items, while the telling of the story is fun, the items themselves lack a Corran's typical pluck and eccentricity.
What if the items also got imbued with the cooks snobbery and will refuse to cook certain dishes or use lesser ingredients or combinations of ingredients.
Example: What if the pots refuse to open because you are trying to boil a fish.
Bethany: What is wrong with the lid to these pots? CORRAN DID YOU WELD THESE THINGS SHUT LIKE WITH THE TEAPOT?!?
Corran's Scribe who had been ideally taking notes in the kitchen passes Bethany a note as he can speak the unspoken language of Corran's items: Dearest Beth, The pot says that it is wrong to boil skate wings. He has talked to frying pan and he is completely ready, just place the wings in him about 8 minutes before it is time to serve,
Bethany: But my father loves fish stew, tell the pots just to make a stew, papa will be here in a few hour.s
CS: My Darling Bethany,
The Pot says you father will like the skate wings pan fried.
Bethany: My father hates the look of pan fried fish, he likes food he can slurp, beside he says fish tastes too strong when you don't stew it. *The Pot is now cold to the touch*
Oh Sweetest Beth,
The Pot and pan have agreed that your father is a tasteless philistine and he would be better off eating with the pigs, because they would not lower themselves to serve a man who does not appreciate fresh skate wings.
Longing for your touch,
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Good characterization of Corran. The link to Vulcan's Walking Stick was broken but I was able to find it through search.
This was an entertaining read. Characters and items like these can definitely be used to "flavor" a campaign.
I do have one question. How was the cooking set created? That part seems a little vague but is key to the whole piece. Did it originally belong to the royal chef? Was the walking stick somehow involved?
I find the first paragraph a little confusing. I think it could benefit from more detail. If I understand correctly, the famed brewmaster was revealed to be the bastard son of the king. But, by who? His father, the king (and, if so, why did the king abdicate?) Or, his father, the one who raised him (and why would he be taken seriously?)
Aside from that, I like the piece overall. A fun, non-campaign-shattering quest. The kind that I would like to throw at the players just to see how creative they can be in finding a solution. I would probably throw in a rabble-rouser who was going around and telling the commoners that the king was still brewing but the nobles were keeping it all to themselves. 'Cause who wouldn't want to riot if all the good ale was being horded by the rich? :P