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Tuesday, July 24th, 2001
1:55a - RPG products
Recently, in order to be considered for a contract by a brand new RPG company, I was required to tell them what I thought made a good RPG product. I ended up turning down the offer they made (the company was horribly unprofessional in their set-up), I thought you all might find this interesting. I offer this in the same spirit of advice as previous "What Makes a Good DM" entries, and that sort of thing. Comments and disagreement are welcome.

I warn you, though, that this is fairly lengthy, so read on only if you're really interested in what makes a good role-playing product.

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10:39a - Back-Story to the game I'm going to be running
This is something I can post out here for people to read that wont give anything away, but will give a taste of the flavor. As usual, it is the World of Inky Blackness.
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We really should have seen it coming. They are savages, they have done it before... however we believed their lies and thought that they were through with their conquest. Perhaps so much killing has allowed the wyrm to seep into their minds. For whatever reason, they attacked us again. This time starting with the Corax.

The Nest of the Jewel Encrusted Tree was attacked by the Wolves 9 months ago. A bloody and battered Corax barely escaped with his life and found a Pumonca on the hunt, Flowing-Brook-in-Autumn. He spoke of a nest that was under seige. Autumn was not a stupid cat and snuck up on the nest from down wind. Sadly, this delayed her arrival by 20 minutes and by the time she made it there all was silent and the sickly sweet scent of death filled her nostrils. Wolves, eight silver wolves, lay pecked to death littered around the nest. She recognized the face of one of the fallen wolves. He was one of their leaders, she knew of him because of his hatred for the Bete. He reminded her of David Duke in many ways, giving speeches about purification and manifest destiny. He was the cousin of their 'King', Albrecht. Twenty-seven Corax lay dead as well as 4 shattered eggs. They destroyed the eggs ensuring that the corax spirit was lost forever.. Autumn chocked back bile at the sight of the atrocity and ran to her den as fast as her feet could carry her.

Word of this spread quickly. Soon there were reports of other attacks on the Bete. Before nightfall of the next day it was clear that the wolves had declared war on all bete.

The Guhral had the most suprising reaction of all the shifters. Long hailed as peaceful healers, the entire breed shifted seasons and went to war. They were nearly hunted to extinction once before and vowed to never allow that to happen again. The great hulking bears retreated to their dens, laid their traps, and waited for the wolves eventual attack.

The Mokole, remembering back through the ages awoke and gave this war a name. The War of Rage. Despite their great size, the Werewolves were too numerous for them to handle and found themselves beaten back into hiding in the bayous and swamps where they had the advantage. Unfortunately, this allowed the wolves to concentrate on the other shifters without having to worry about the Mokole at all.

The Bastet were by far the best equipped to fight the Werewolves. For months the warred with them to no avail due to the constant power struggle and their lack of experience in working in groups. The Simba, of course, wanted to lead the battle as generals however the other bastet often turned to the Khan for leadership, angering the Simba greatly and causing great internal strife. The wolves took advantage of this lack of leadership and beat the bastet at every turn.

The Nuwisha have never been, and never will be, warriors. They know this well. However, they made the first powerful strike against the wolves. They went into the umbra, their strong point. Any wolf entering the umbra with 10 miles of a nuwisha found himself as a Coyote's play thing. Before long the Umbra was completely unusable to the wolves, weakening them significantly.

The corax, despite their rage and desire to exact revenge, were limited to scouting and information gathering, which they excel at. Taking the opportunity to mislead wolves into ambushes became a favorite past-time for the corax, however they were primarily scouts.

The most suprising of all were the Ratkin. Stinky, disease infested, weaklings. No one thought they could do anything of use and instead saw them as Gaia's embarrassment. This point of view changed overnight. The West Coast, completely lost to the wolves 2 months prior, was retaken by a great swarm of ratkin. No one knew there were so many. Every caern on the west coast was attacked simultaneously, 18 places of power at once. They poured out of the umbra, the sewers, and the streets killing everything in their path. In a matter of hours the wolves had lost the entire west coast and it looked like they would lose the war. In every city and in every wild place you could hear the keening of thousands, perhaps millions, of rats and ratkin. They won.

9 days later the wolves returned... en masse. They brought with them their kin, outfitted as exterminators. Every rat, Ratkin or not, was enemy number 1. It was genocide, and for as many ratkin as there were.. they could not withstand it. The Ratkin failed. And we failed with them. We could have helped them, but were too busy defending our own plots of land and allowed an entire breed to fall prey to the wolves. Now and then we hear about a surviving ratkin, but I don't believe such tales. The wolves were thorough. I doubt we will ever see the ratkin again.

And so that is where we are. 9 months into this war and we are losing. Badly. The Bubasti say they have an idea, but I'm not sure if it is going to make any difference. There are just too damn many wolves for us to handle. The corax reassure us that they have seen the wolves fight amonst eachother, just as they have always done, and perhaps we can use that against them. But I doubt it.

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11:30a - Silly Spells for D&D
Bigby's Smack Upside the Head - I think you get the idea.

Modenkainen's Irresistable Virgin - conjures up one nubile young female virgin, often used to lure horny characters into traps.

Leomund's Bottomless Barrel - an everlasting keg of tasty, alcoholic goodness that is sure to get any PC drunk off his ass, regardless of Constitution.


current mood: cranky

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10:47p - Corax

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