I see why you never submitted this. It is a mess and likely useless. If you were to write up the cultures or even the food maybe that would be useful but one large write up of an entire culture from their history to what they like to have for dinner is useless I think. I think most everyone will agree that roleplayers just need a handful details they can hold onto about a culture.
Drinks a clear liquor with most meals
Wears fur hats.
Pale and fair haired with high cheek bones.
Fatalistic, stoic and cynical.
Preferred weapon is the war hammer.
There you go, you have Russians.
Maybe, if you ever get around to it, you should break this up.
I am surprised at your view that this is more literary than game orientated. I made an effort to write it as a gaming resource and not as a part of some piece of fiction. What is more surprising is that you are the reason I tried to make this a gaming resource. In your discussion of Cheka's hardcore porn novel you wrote
"Citadel is a website billed as a resource for the game masters, and occasionally players, of role playing games. This ideal is enforced both by the submission categories (Lifeforms, Items, NPCs, etc) and by the overwhelming number of forum posts. My main objection to this piece is that it does NOT serve in this capacity."
I chose this style in particular because of your comment. I wrote this up the way I would write up NPC notes back when I GMed. In my experience PCs don't care to hear about the past exploits of NPCs and as a GM what I really needed was a clear idea of how my NPCs are going to respond to having their pocket's picked, torture, jokes and so forth. I always thought the game was very wet cement and I hated when I would have NPC act of character or saw a better way to handle the situation once I left the table. Shadowrun was the toughest cities with 100 of millions of people, open ended mystery or heist plots and not telling who the PCs are going to talk with. But perhaps I am wrong, this may be more information than most would put in the game. As for the fire mace, that was a late addition, and really was extraneous. I felt a sell out for including a description of his equipment.
I am going to try and link this guy to plot or other NPCs.
Despite the numerous typos that I can spot, I really do think this particular format of writing up a NPC neat as it provides a very comprehensive picture of a character in a very succinct way. One thing though, I almost thought this will be a write-up of the Son of Saulke(?) since the opening blockquote was written in his voice and also the summary says "one of the movers and shakers" so I was picturing a NPC more grand than Sengur who is well-respected among the Warkra but only has the personal loyalty of 20 odd ppl. Go to Comment
Reads like a write-up for a character that is going to make it into a novel. There's far more detail here than would probably make it into a game, but he would be fun to write about!
The only thing I wish you had included was a little more backstory, the "how he actually became a leader" part. I get that he as strong charisma and empathy, but without a partial listing of his deeds, it's hard to understand exactly why he is the most respected man on the islands. How did he get that magical mace, for instance? Go to Comment
You, sir, are a bloody good writer and probably a better GM than myself. In the end, I should probably stop commenting on NPC write-ups until I've written more than one or two myself :P
Let me rephrase:
There is more detail here than *I* could use in an average game. That is not a failing of the sub or of the NPC, but of my abilities as a game master. That doesn't meant the sub needs any less detail, just that I probably wouldn't use it all.
As for backstory, I think it's important in an NPC, because it tells me what that NPC is likely to talk about. Backstory is a quick and dirty tool that helps me see where an NPC is coming from, so I can infer what they will do now.
a very rich environment you have created, axle - I love what you have done with it!
I can see plenty of uses for this place too. For example, a plot: The current Favorim has been murdered! The lands have turned to ice and there have been no replacement Favorims lined up as the death was unexpected! Indeed, there don't seem to be any women currently on the isle that fit the required description! The PC's must hunt down a willing replacement - whether it be on the island, or perhaps they must venture out into the rest of Decathros to find her! This, obviously is top priority, but as soon as they return with the replacement a new priority has emerged; who murdered the previous Favorim, and why!?
I love the multiple histories you have.
It impresses me what different views can come out of different peoples' minds: I had not had anything like this in mind when I drew it, but that's the idea. It will make this world rich and diverse, to see what everyone else comes up with.
Ah, also: If someone is gloomy and upset, in a bad temper, people often will say they are "Saulking" in homage to the depressed god. Classic. Go to Comment
This is good stuff. By reading the multiple histories, you really get a feel for the different peoples and attitudes in the Spiked Sea. The tale of Saulke stands out to me in particular. The one thing I'd like to know more re: the Favorim is the reason for the specific measurements. They remind me the Thirty-two Excellent Signs, the external characteristics that are supposed to mark a Buddha. Those each had a specific purpose; e.g., His bodily hair grows upwards, from his having engaged in constructive practices and having inspired others to do the same. I wonder if there's a specific reason for Favorims to have such perfect measurements, or is Saulke just extraordinarily picky?
The formatting does leave something to be desired, and some of the grammar is stream-of-consciousness sloppy. But the meat is here, and it is succulent. Go to Comment
"You have made them a society that does not hate, or have enemies"
well I made this the view of the third author
travel from the southern Islands to the North Island is something I discuss slightly in the other posts about the area, But why do you think stone age people can't travel to distant islands? Go to Comment
Axle, I had promised to vote on this in exchange for your comment on my Fengshui (although I don't know whether you took notice or not). Anyway, finally I've finished reading this but I'm currently a bit torn over what score to give it- in particular, I'm choosing b/w 4.5 and a full score.
Onto the actual comments: I don't have any objections to the content and I love the 3 perspectives on history and esp. the opening blockquote. The idea of Warkra being a society incapable of hatred to me could possibly arise due to their living environment being resource-rich relative to their own population (prob. not the case here) or other things such as cultural belief that make them absolutely content with their current ways of life (I know, some ppl would start saying this is contrary to human nature which always chases after what it doesn't have but then in documentaries, sometimes you also see ppl living in less developed places and living a sort of hunt/forage life that are perfectly happy with their ways of living. And that's my personal take on these Warkra).
I do, however, have a slight issue with the formatting. As it currently stands, I find it ultra hard to read in one seating (and I actually read this piece bit by bit), esp. the History by Rachel 3rd. This is a length issue obviously but also, I think it will help improve the readability of the Rachel 3rd section if it was broken up a bit with blockquotes like the People's History of the Warkra Sea section. In addition, while I like the mythical feel of the tale of Saulke and Rachel's encounter with him, somewhat lacking is a more personal voice that will strengthen the atmosphere of this legendary encounter. Go to Comment
Sorry, Axle, couldn't vote full marks on this even though I was really tempted. My 5 are reserved for those that I deem perfection (i.e. wouldn't change a thing) or sweep me off my feet/keep my eyes glued at first sight. Nevertheless, this is still a high quality sub and adds great depth to the world of Decathros. In fact, now I will be eagerly following Decathros subs. Go to Comment
The multiple separate histories, written by the different people, was a great method. I especially like how the difference in perspective changed from the warkra just being a pest to explaining their side.
On the subject of Warkra, I personally think that they are too innocent. You have made them a society that does not hate, or have enemies. I think that any human culture is going to have some degree of competition. And competition spawns rivalries, which spawn enemies. And, if they were living on the four small islands, they'd probably not meet the people on the northern one. But this is a detail, and I won't mark you down for it.
Other than that, it had all the classic elements of excellence: depressed gods, a hard won miracle, and islands who just hate gray hairs. Good job, Axelrowes. Go to Comment