I have often thought about some way to do this, after all- this online, interactive, searchable role playing resource for game masters, storytellers and players. It would be nice to know when our stuff is used by GM’s or players and how it turned out. Then we will know if we provide what this site is intended as(re-read above).
Since it would be difficult(at best), to include a feature in the system around the submissions themselves I thought that this would be the second-best solution. So here it is, my attempt at a playtest recourse for the Citadel.
In organizational context, feedback is a process of sharing observations, concerns and suggestions with the other person with an intention of improving his/her performance as a writer. We do have the comments and votes for this. But sometimes we do actually use each others submissions in games we gamemaster. The purpose of having a scroll where we can tell how the playtest went are many.
The first thing that comes to mind is the writing exercise. If not for any other reason- "A few blurbs a day, forges the writer, okay?"
The second reason being that it’s terrific to hear that your stuff moved on from being a submission to actually entertain players somewhere else in the world.
The third is that the playtest review might help you to improve your work. The stuff you post is intended and bent towards the purpose of being a part of a larger recourse for GM’s. It’s a nice sidekick as opposed to the comment which is based on the text itself.
The fourth reason is that it will encourage the writers here on Strolen’s Citadel, we are directly linked to one of the reasons we do this.
There are a few guidelines you could follow after you have playtested a submission here on Strolen.
You do not have to follow these to the exact, most people will be happy with just having being told that their stuff has been used. So your scroll submission could be a few lines or an entire essay. Both works!
You can use the list below as loose guidelines to help you get started, you can also ignore them entirely. All but the first one that is. We need the link to know what submission you’re talking about! Nobody wants to search for the item beforehand or afterwards. "The bold is for pretty", we want the scroll to be neat and clean looking.
1.Start with providing a link to the work in question. If you use the scroll make the link in bold letters with the name of the post.
2.Continue with the story, describe the mood of the game, tell us how you intended to use the submission and how it worked out. Follow up with the guidelines below.
3.How did you think it went? What was the item, plot or lifeform like in the game compared to how it is in it’s written form? Sometimes the gap between the two might be surprisingly large.
4.What did your players think? Yes. The PC opinions count as well, include them in the write-up.
5.And lastly- If you have an idea for any improvements for the submission, we want to hear it.
I copy and pasted an example from one of Captain Penguins plots. This is what we should start out with I guess, there are quite some playtest feedbacks scattered around the citadel, as this grows(hopefully) we will have a place for easy reference.
I used this plot in a one night session a few years ago, it went really well. All the red herrings really confused the players though. They were always arguing about what to do next, follow the main plot or go looking into one of the dead ends! Plots that I want to play and do GM at a given point is what I feel the citadel is all about. So, another HoH and a shameless bump.
As I said before, if you have any comments "of old" that you posted that includes a playtest review. Include them here. If you know any other users that have one. Drop them a PM with a link to this scroll and let them post it up. Admins might be able to post them for the Citadellians..(?)
Quoting Ancient Gamer
Ah, the true spirit of the citadel! When we use others’ stuff and tell how it went! Times like these make me forget all the times our bloated egos make us honk our own horns.
Together we can make this work!
Additional Ideas (19)
I have gamemastered the plot now and it went very well. The players tried to leave before sunset to alert the next village and come back with help, but alas. After a few more attempts to leave they started to mark the trees with different secret signs. After a few days they gave up and returned to the village. They had already entered the temple but discarded the books as something useful. When nightfall came they sought shelter from the specters in in the temple.
*Cough; Both bandits died here(The third one had already been killed by a PC in a misunderstanding). The specters slowly came trough the walls and approached them from all direction. Luckily one of the PC's is
a priest. He blessed their water sacks and sprinkled the holy water in a circle.
Then they spent all night with the spectres gazing at them from all angles just outside the small circle. Moaning, begging and threatening. Hehehe. But I won't bother you any more with these details. To sum it up; The plot is great both in it's written form and in session.
Well, to be frank I did not like it on paper. I even had a row with the admins about my views on it. They bit my balls and they bit hard. I refused to budge.
Then along came a session, my shaman player fumbled his speak with ravens roll and he fumbled it so badly I did not know what to do. Then, from my subconscious, came the crow, and I turned it into a raven master spirit. They got away unharmed and the raven shook them up, made them fearful.
It was much better live than what I thought when reading it on paper. They were right, I was wrong. Happens you know.
This was the sub that made me join the citadel. Yes, you did it ephe. You are to blame. ;)
I loved it on paper and I tried it for real. I fashioned it into another plot, which I called "Botched Diplomacy" in which a disgraced Prince was sent as an envoy by his infuriated father.
The plot is as great live as it is on paper. It is a magnificent piece of worksmanship and we enjoyed every second of it. I expanded upon it, creating small cut scenes that I applied frequently.
My players still speak about this session.
This must be my recent years favourite MoonHunter article. As a fan of horror in addition to ultra violence and leading the players astray, I must say that the article is dead on when it comes to horror.
I guess Moon watched his Hitchcock and did his homework. As MoonHunter articles come, this one is recommended and always on my reread list before a session with horror elements.
I used this in a game. The PCs became VERY SCEPTICAL when the cloak was chained as it was. One player had to open it, but as soon as the whispering began he started tearing it off, getting the help of his fellow PCs. They got rid of it and that was that.
In the end they said: "Oh man AG, you are disgusting". :)
I used manfred's Mountain Gate sub as an inspiration for the entryway to my Coldforged pocket realm "Muir", commonly called "The Muir Conduit" as it is a passageway between here and there.
The ambience, the feel created by the mountain gate is unique even though I heavily modified my version of it. Thumbs up!
This is a nice little trap that I used in a mage fortress once. My players were quite nervous and I built up the mood. When they finally decided to break the glass I slammed my hands on the table as I cried "BOOM". It was very the effect made my players jump a few feet as they cried out. With some good GM description and mood setting this one is quite "Booish" if used correctly.
I had a one night session in Ouroboros setting, the City of Mirrors- Locastus. They spent most of their time in the Maul itself. I tried to use as many of Ouros submissions as possible to portray the city in an authentic way. The mixture of fantasy, steam punk and firearms was nothing new to the players but they thouroughly enjoyed the setting as a whole. They decided at some point to investigate the Bloated Moons ruins to solve the mistery "once and for all".
They were fugitives that had recently arrived and knew little. Things like deaders cleaning the streets, with gang grafitti painted on them really put them of. I would have continued the game next week, but the idiots died while intruding on Moons property.
Overall it is a good setting as a whole and it worked very well to portray the different areas and moods of the city while playing. It would be nice with a plot one day though, maybe a campaign that explores the setting over many sessions. But the Maul and other parts of the city is littered with plot-hooks, so it worked well to just ad-lib the session.
I used him when I was still running my game a couple years ago, as one of the only reliable and non-evil assassin contacts. Oh, my players hated this man. I mean, they liked him the way I used him, but from a character standpoint, they hated him.
He was hard to find, expensive to hire, and if he ever showed up on his own, without them hunting him down, it meant that Bad Stuff was about to go down. And his multiple identities made it... messy to be involved with him. All in all, I'd say he was a success.
I had a need for a cursed sword to throw at my players (doesn't everyone?), and I really liked the mayhem this had the potential to cause. Naturally, at first, they didn't realize it was a cursed sword. The party ranger took it, because he was the one best suited for it. He thought it was really cool when it threw fireballs the first time he used it. For some strange reason, when I rolled the dice, the magic using personality kept coming up. So he kept using it, and was only a little concerned about having to make rolls to re-sheathe it. Then the evil persona came out, and he tried to kill the resident halfling (who, fortunately, was able to beat the stuffing out of the ranger and knock the sword away). That clued in the paladin, who decided they really needed to get rid of this thing. *giggle*
This one sword spawned one of the most ridiculous and complicated sub-plots I've ever run, and it wasn't even my idea. There was some disagreement about the destruction of the sword, you see. It involved a private deal between the ranger and the rogue, two (yes, two) non-magical replicas of the sword, and a lot of stealth-switching. It took... about six sessions to get it all resolved. I don't think a single item has ever had that profound an effect before or since in one of my games.
It was terrific. My players just didn't get it, they kept trying to "cheat the system" and test the PC and his mirror twin. I did some small modification to make it fit my campaign. In the end they actually killed their companion mistaking him for the demon after their "tests" to discover the fake. They still don't know what they're travelling with, neither does the PC/Demon. Ah GM'ing is fun when you get to use fine plots like this Nobody, thank you.
I used this a long time ago, when a was a fledgling roleplayer. I had a handfull of an adventure going and this was just part of the fun. It was so long ago that I don't remember how the PCs got it, but I recall several failed attempts to open in. Eventually they met up with a Lesser Diety with the power to open it, and he did. But just smiled, closed it, and handed it back. I never got to do anything really cool with it. Drove my player's crazy untill the The Great Invasion from the Fey Realm turned everything on its head... But I loved it!
Used this in a Forgotten Realms campaign, about 6 months ago. I really liked the whole "river of golden coins in the sky" image, and wanted to include it around Athkatla (the City of Coin) as a visible demonstration of its wealth and power. Unfortunately, one of my players (a big FR fan) rebelled, saying that it didn't fit the setting (why the hell not?). So the next session, the players were told that the coins were an illusion which materialized over the city once a year to commemorate the Festival of Our Lady (a celebration of Waukeen, the goddess of commerce and the city's patron deity). Gave me a good excuse to invent a celebration, and they *still* provided a cool visual effect.
Had intended to use this as just a little side encounter to chew through a few minutes while I was working something else out. I'd forgotten, however, that one of my characters was a druid. Once they tracked down the screaming bird, and I had described it as "something similar to a parrot", the druid decided to speak with it to find out why it was screaming.
Smelling an opportunity, I used the moment to seque into the plot for To Die For Love. Basically, the bird claimed that it was enchanted this way by a wizard who had tried to "help" him escape the bounty placed on his head by his deceased wife. The wizard was able to break the enchantment, and the party had a handy guide into the city as well as a new quest to pursue.
Also used this in my Forgotten Realms game. I'd intended on it being a nice side-quest in Athkatla to keep the party occupied for a session. Instead of trying to track down the killers, however, the party simply offered to take him along with them on their ship to Baldur's Gate. Him and his baby, and the baby's wet-nurse, in fact. Oh, and they made him pay for their passage as well, since they were acting as his "body guards" for the voyage. And so, once again, the party showed its determination to side-step any attempt I made at delaying them in Athkatla while figuring out what the hell I was going to do when they got to Baldur's Gate. *sigh*
The party had come into contact with a powerful merchant who did a lot of shady dealings on the side. They wanted to get some information out of her, so they tried to get her to "hire" them. To try them out, she decided to send them on a series of side jobs that got progressively harder and more dangerous. This list is exactly what I needed to keep the missions coming -- it's both comprehensive and easily adaptable to a GM's needs. Truly an excellent resource, Nobody!
Adapted this to a fantasy setting by making him a famous elven bard. The twist was that I made him the doppleganger of the party's wizard (resulting in a swarm of NPC fangirls once the party entered the city). Second, instead of taking a ride on a ship that belonged to the party, he was leaving on the same ocean liner that the party was trying to get out of the city on. This caused delays.
Of course, one of my PCs decided to sleep with him. Oh, and he had a pet cat named "Frodo" who he claimed could talk.
I introduced this as flavor for one specific player in my group. The group broke into a Sage's tower to investigate his death and on tripping a few guarded wards and dealing with minor protective defenses found they were split in two groups one heading to the cellar while the other group went up to the top of the tower where it appeared the sage had horded a lot of items of unusual uses. They found the box among the stacks of crates and while the first few attempts failed to open it, it was left. The player who I brought it in for, ran back to the top of the tower and took it and spent more than a few hours trying to pick the lock I had on it. The more I told him the lock seemed to be resisting his attempts to open it, the more he wants to know what is inside it. He tries every so often to open it with every key he can find, always breaking the key to his frustration.
And he became obsessed with it, often arguing with other party members to see any of their keys to try and open the box. It drove him crazy trying to open the box as well as driving the other party members nuts because of his yammering on about what could be inside the box. "It must be a special and wonderous item to be kept locked this way." He was often heard saying. His character ended up dying in a cavern system and the party just left him and the box there not wanting to try to bring him back to the church to revive him. It was a great and fun side item that caused all sorts of unintentional mayhem every session.