I found myself having to reread much of it to try and glean what was trying to be said. These guys have the opportunity to be fearsome adversaries but it just doesn't come out that well to me.
Looking for reasons to be drawn to them besides the obvious of unexplored caverns. Most of them would still be mostly underwater so pretty hard to deal with anyway. Many hints to their mechanisms but nothing specific. Is there biomechanical stuff that can be twisted to man's will? Are the rare minerals in such a state that they are useable? Nothing about what they eat or a will beyond making their caverns so they seem like they will leave you alone if you leave them alone. A little bit of trade is good, but if they are as fearsome as it is said then only those that are naturally water breathers would be interested in them...or at least interested in their territory and to stay away.
I tend to understand plainspeak but often miss subtleties so if there are things eluded to that I didn't catch, well oops. Go to Comment
Not bad, my favorite part were the Colerids, great visual there. The rest goes well with the Trench-Dwellers as a whole and sheds some light on their culture. Strolen does have a point however, if the game never ventures underwater, and deep underwater at that, these eldritch creatures and their constructs will never been seen, or even heard of. Go to Comment
Well-written, goes well with the Trench-dwellers post. I My favourite part is the bewildering geometric concept that their cities are built around as a result of their architecture catering only to acoustics
I almost needed a dictionary reading the first paragraph of the description. ;)
Love the thought of the triad and instead of using the mental crutch they are a unit by constant communication.
I second Scras's question though now that I read both posts. Any tunnels/caverns they make probably wouldn't be much bigger than themselves. The long lived ones end up being stationary which defies the large cities that my vision dictates. Perhaps in the madness of age they begin their extreme effort in digging. I am searching for a reason behind it all though. What do they want, what do the hive minds talk about, what knowledge do they gain from only talking to themselves. Why bother digging if they don't need to. They eat through filtered water so the deeper they go the less the filtered water would have food in it. So why dig?
Love the idea how outside noise would offend them....but it is missing something substantial to me but I don't know what it is.
There is a great atmosphere in there and I want to be sucked into it.... Go to Comment
Perhaps their cities and their state of hibernation are connected. The fact that they don't need large cities for bare survival means nothing. If they can create something better, why wouldn't they?
Perhaps they have created THE perfect enviroment for life, work, or play, and then found themselves with having nothing at all to do... their cities, amazing catedrals of the best sound to indulge in, mechanisms that keep the nutrients in water on the right level, all threats eliminated, they have now nothing to do - and so they do nothing. In a way, they remind me of the Marcas. They have exactly what they wanted, and their civilization is now over as a result. Go to Comment
I like them, they make sense as an aquatic civilization. Although I have to agree, they don't seem the type to build cities. Warrens yes, cities no. They don't need shelter, they get that by burrowing, if they use it at all, they don't have commerce to need markets, and they don't like other races (who give them headaches), so they don't need to offer hospitality to visitors. Now, I might could see them beautifying existing formations or warrens. In that case they just augment their surroundings. Go to Comment
Excellent. I love the strangeness and true alienness of these creatures. I am like Manfred; I don't need to know more about these creatures in order to use them in the game - the PCs will interact rarely with them and are certainly unlikely to be able to find out more than what it is told here which is rich in its detail and sense of otherness.
I was thinking about how the PCs could interact with them and thought of the following:
1) Magic - always a copout but definitely a possibility in a high fantasy world. It should be extremely difficult if possible.
2) Perhaps the merfolk bring a trench-folk artefact to the PCs and ask them what it is. It will be utterly alien to anything they or any others have seen before.
3) My favourite. A ship carrying the vital McGuffin, essential to the saving of the world/continent/nation has sunk in a storm, falling into a deep ocean trench. The PCs, via the intermediary of the merfolk, must persuade the trench-folk to return the McGuffin to the surface. The merfolk have no reason to like either surface dwellers or trench-folk and will have to be persuaded to cooperate. They may try to seize the McGuffin for themselves.
In addition, the PCs will have to learn enough about the totally alien society and culture of the trench-folk (via the merfolk - Chinese whispers with much potential for misunderstanding) in order to negotiate with them and try to persuade them to give up the artefact. If the trench-folk learn of its powers would they not wish to keep it? What could surface dwellers possibly offer such a deep-dwelling race in trade? To complicate things still further, perhaps the sinking ship landed on part of a trench-folk city causing great destruction and many deaths; they see it as a hostile attach and will be most unwilling to believe it was an accident. Go to Comment
Well, I hate to do this, but there are some problems with it, but I'll start with the parts I liked. As mentioned above, almost gushingly so, it is very atmospheric. Nicely done. The concept is certainly unique, especially the triad social structure.
Now for the parts I'm not thrilled about. Being small creatures, blind, and unable to bear loud or persistant noises, how did they create any sort of advanced civilization to create those decaying cities and eeriely silent war machines? What changed them from what would nominally be a dynamic society into a psychologically crippled quasi-post apocalyptic squatters?
I feel like an explorer who has found a marvelous underwater ruin and then absurdly attributed it and it's construction to the marine life I found there, about like archeologists claiming that the acropolis was built by ancestors of the wild dogs found in Greece. Go to Comment
Re-reading my comment, I don't think I made my main complaint clear. It was not how their civilzation fell apart, but how they created it to begin with. I am curious to know how they built things without tool-using appendages or large scale cooperation. Go to Comment