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The Soul-Sucker
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Sentient)
Redgre's comment on 2012-08-14 08:05 AM
Interesting sword with a neat mechanic. I think as an NPC cursed item, it would work really good as is. If I were to give it to the PCs, I'd want to slow that intelligence gain. It's still cursed and dangerous, but giving the PCs a bit more time for the curse to 'build up', would make for better role playing. Out of curiosity, who's soul does it suck? Under normal circumstances I'd say it's the guy who gets hit with the business end of the sword and not the user. Go to Comment
The Soul-Sucker
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Sentient)
caesar193's comment on 2012-08-14 01:04 PM
Yes, its the guy who gets sliced who's soul gets drained and thrown back at them. Of course, though, once it gets smart enough, the wielder's soul's in trouble... Go to Comment
The Soul-Sucker
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Sentient)
caesar193's comment on 2012-08-17 11:07 AM
I don't do AD&D, so I wasn't sure how much damage a single strike would deal (nor am i familiar with other combat systems). Though the only killing blows up the intelligence is a good idea. Go to Comment
The Soul-Sucker
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Sentient)
caesar193's comment on 2012-08-17 11:12 AM
Update: Slowed intelligence gain. Go to Comment
The Great Tree
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Any)
Strolen's comment on 2012-08-12 11:55 AM
All said, I enjoyed reading it. I haven't seen the real legend so this is the only time I have really heard the story about it.

Neat. Go to Comment
The Great Tree
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Any)
Cheka Man's comment on 2012-08-09 05:08 PM
How do people know what is a branch of the Tree and what is just a normal tree? Go to Comment
The Great Tree
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Any)
valadaar's comment on 2013-04-22 01:44 PM
I like the core idea - very much in fact - but the ants and adventures seem to come up short compared to the vast potential of a realm-spanning tree such as this.

Go to Comment
The Great Tree
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Any)
Kassy's comment on 2012-08-10 08:27 AM
Only voted Go to Comment
The Great Tree
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Any)
caesar193's comment on 2012-08-09 08:21 PM
I never actually though about that. I suppose the easy answer would be magic, which is why I'm not going to resort to it. I'll think about it. Go to Comment
The Great Tree
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Any)
caesar193's comment on 2012-08-09 08:47 PM
Update: Added how the tree marking where the branch comes in is distinguishable. Also added a plot hook. Go to Comment
First Encounters with an Unknown Tribe
Articles  (Campaign)   (Gaming - In General)
Strolen's comment on 2012-08-05 07:17 AM
While I may also disagree with the finality of the statement, I actually like the thoughts behind it and if you put all this in a specific scenario then I think it could be a great post.

Might even be cool to do one for each scenario and how it might go. "Peaceful Encounters with an Unknown Tribe" and "Fighting Encounters with an Unknown Tribe" and play them both out.

I like the core idea if played out! I am not as much against it as the others if used more of a thought creator on how an encounter may progress. Go to Comment
First Encounters with an Unknown Tribe
Articles  (Campaign)   (Gaming - In General)
Phaidros's comment on 2012-08-02 08:09 PM
Even with communication, whether by spell or translator, there are lots of possibilities for conflict. Yesterday I have read an article on the Smithsonian site called "Sleeping with cannibals". Even while it was possible to talk with that tribe, the Korowai of New Guinee, their beliefs in witch-men impersonating loved ones, or that white people where ghosts, made the trip quite dangerous.

The Korowai also belief that their main god forbids contact with the white men. Seeing how many tribes suffer after first contact, might this be a smart move of a canny shaman? Go to Comment
First Encounters with an Unknown Tribe
Articles  (Campaign)   (Gaming - In General)
valadaar's comment on 2012-08-03 07:54 AM
I do not think it _should_ be difficult at all, depending on the situation, unless your intent as a GM is to add a war to the game. If that is your intent, then I think it should happen off-camera with NPCs at fault, rather then have your PC's do what you want them to do.

It really should be situational and depend on the nature of the explorers and the other people.

There are examples of this in the south pacific - there were tribes that were very non-confrontational, and others that were quite bloodthirsty.

Frankly, it seems you are trying to force an outcome that involves combat, and to my mind, not a very nice one. I agree with Dossta - first contact should be a opportunity to use skills other then combat, since you can only first contact once, but you can fight anybody.
Go to Comment
First Encounters with an Unknown Tribe
Articles  (Campaign)   (Gaming - In General)
Kassy's comment on 2012-08-07 06:32 AM
I also agree with those above me, combat should not be a part of most first encounters.

2.5/5 Go to Comment
First Encounters with an Unknown Tribe
Articles  (Campaign)   (Gaming - In General)
Dossta's comment on 2012-08-02 05:11 PM
I'm not convinced that a first encounter must always involve combat. Here are several reasons why:

In SciFi/Fantasy, you often have access to either a universal translator or to a "speak languages" spell. Communication is suddenly very possible. Expect your players to use this to their advantage.

Second, if you have a relatively small group of people making contact (say the PCs and few others), they can do lots of things to mitigate their "threat level". What about leaving obvious gifts -- food, jewelry, clothing -- on the ground as a peace offering? Or how about sending in a single, unarmed diplomat to appear as non-threatening as possible?

You can also play with the power balance. Have the tribe discover the party after a shipwreck, or have the PCs happen across a village that has been decimated with illness. Sure, the two groups may find each other still threatening, but there are lots of reasons NOT to throw the first punch in these cases.

So while I agree that combat certainly COULD happen in a first contact situation, I don't believe that it necessarily should. Instead, I would use the occasion to let the group flex their roleplaying muscles. If they come up with a plan -- peace offerings, magic, body language, etc -- to avoid combat, then the GM should at least try to roll with it, instead of automatically letting the whole thing go down in flames. Go to Comment
First Encounters with an Unknown Tribe
Articles  (Campaign)   (Gaming - In General)
caesar193's comment on 2012-08-02 07:24 PM
Yes, it should be possible to avoid combat. But it should be very difficult. Even with communication, you still have to account for if the other people view how your translating as evil ("a demon is in their metal case. They must be evil. Die!" or "it is unnatural for people to be able to speak my language without learning it. It must be devil magic. Die!). Even gifts could be taken as an insult (especially if you offer petty trinkets that both parties know are worthless). And a single, unarmed diplomat could appear weak, and easy prey. Yes, they are all ways too avoid combat, but they should not be taken as instant, automatic best buddy devices. Both parties must want to be friendly for lack of combat. All that helps, but if they think that you're a devil's spawn and must die, there's not much you can do about it. Go to Comment
First Encounters with an Unknown Tribe
Articles  (Campaign)   (Gaming - In General)
caesar193's comment on 2012-08-05 04:06 PM
putting the scenarios for each possibility is a good idea. i'll throw in a few such examples when i come up with them. Go to Comment
First Encounters with an Unknown Tribe
Articles  (Campaign)   (Gaming - In General)
caesar193's comment on 2012-08-05 06:49 PM
Update: Added a scenario Go to Comment
First Encounters with an Unknown Tribe
Articles  (Campaign)   (Gaming - In General)
caesar193's comment on 2012-08-07 09:43 PM
Update: Added Peace meeting Go to Comment
First Encounters with an Unknown Tribe
Articles  (Campaign)   (Gaming - In General)
caesar193's comment on 2012-08-07 09:48 PM
I am not trying to force any outcome. I am simply saying that first encounters are not easy to do peacefully. If the PCs do something brilliant to get peace, then let them get peace. If they don't bother doing anything special, or do something that is simply a pathetic effort toward peace, then give them combat. History is littered with failed attempts at such first encounters (before europeans wrote books on the subject, as I wrote in the article) Go to Comment
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