Another highly atmospheric, thought-provoking piece, axle. I definitely agree with caesar here -- adding a small blurb to the end, even as a quote box, to give us more of the nitty-gritty would be very welcome. At the end, I was left wondering if the Truth Cult had actually managed to scramble Emanuel's brain, or if that was just a side effect of being tired.
Either way, I love these bird-people, and love the premise. I don't use SciFi settings nearly often enough, but I might take the idea for the cult whole-cloth and try to apply it to a fantasy race or even to a human population. They dynamics would change somewhat, but I think it would be cool to see. Go to Comment
Great job, axelrowes. The backstory is really good. And creepy.
My only suggestion would be to throw a brief description of everything at the end. Like maybe a little something about the bird-things, and a little something more about the Cult. Something that sets in stone your idea of the Cult. Maybe add the consequences of writing Truth without the sun. A little something you couldn't add during the actual writing of the story.
I'm starting to find that carefully going through with the HTML editor can do a lot more than the WYSIWYG editor- because the later will often butcher things as you get further along and render incorrectly once all is said and done. Go to Comment
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.