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Rune

Once A Fool
Now, about the Dark Crystal Factor(tm)

There were a few things in Wulf's entry that reminded me, specifically, of the Dark Crystal. Things like the bad guy crumbling to dust in death, his general similarities to the Skeksis, the similarities of the albino elves to the Gharthim (I may be misspelling all of these, by the way), as well as the spider's similarity to same.

Then there was the whole life-essence stealing by machine thing.

And finally, the tower. It doesn't map directly with anything, but it feels like it belongs in the world of the Dark Crystal. To put it another way, if I were to run a campaign set in that world, this tower would fit right in.

And that's really the difference between these elements and lightful's dileberate nod to the Dark Crystal. The feel is what sells it.

Of course, Wulf apparently wasn't even thinking of the Dark Crystal, so I guess this says something else: The reasons I love his entry are the same reasons I love the Dark Crystal.

One more general note, anyone who doesn't realize by now that I tend to favor high-fantasy (and low-power, but that's a different discussion), hasn't done their homework.;) That's okay, but all other things being equal in two entries, it's good to know where my predispositions lie.
 
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Rune

Once A Fool
In Round 2, the matches will be:

Wulf Ratbane vs. Nemmerle

and

cool hand luke vs. Seasong

The two who lose Round 2 will face off in the first half of Round 3 to determine a 3rd place winner.

Please post your availability.
 

seasong

First Post
If the game starts anytime between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning, I should be good. Otherwise, I'll have to wait for the weekend. Today and tomorrow are rotten, and if any significant portion of the game overlaps Friday it's rotten.

And cool hand luke, if you stomp me, I promise not to take it out on you in the Game of Death... much ;).
 

Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
I think the most useful exposition is to just go through my thought process on how I arranged the ingredients. I really do think of Iron DM as a great resource for DM's to learn how to craft adventures. Not that I am saying I am any friggin master at it, but at least that's the goal. In my case I enter not to instruct, but for the practice. I have seen what good DMs are capable of. I'd like to be a good DM.

So here's how I put it all together, more or less:

I started with the albino elves. Albinism as an inherited trait always reminds me of inbreeding, but the fact that we're talking elves, with such normally long lifespans, means that any amount of inbreeding would ordinarily take thousands and thousands of years to take hold. So I started with wondering how I could speed up or cut short the lifespan of these elves.

The albinos led me to the ancient elf; I decided he'd have something to do with it, so I placed this long lived elf as the major villain in contrast to the albinos with their hamster-like breeding cycle.

The withered garden came next. Whatever the ancient elf was doing to drain the life from the albinos would be happening to the garden as well. These two ingredients together would serve as clues to the players that something was up. I disagree with Rune's assertion that the withered garden isn't handled well; it is certainly not described as evocatively as lightful's, but it is a vital clue to the players.

I tumbled around the phase spider and the specimen collection for a while. Somehow, they seemed to fit together; we can all picture that spider under glass. In my mind I had the spider as part of the specimen collection, but I changed it later. Certainly, the spider's careful inbreeding has a specimen-collection like quality to it, and it certainly helps to weave him into the ingredients. He doesn't seem as out of place, for example, as a hill giant or some other creature sent out to grab victims for the tower. The phase spider just fits better. In the end I wanted the spider far more as the hook into the adventure, and decided he'd be the one to get the players into those specimen containers.

The very nature of the phase spider hooked me onto the idea of using the Ethereal, somehow, as the mechanism by which the tower drained life. I admit, I don't own the Manual of the Planes, and I think that slowed-aging aspect is actually a feature of the Astral, not the Ethereal, but it was just another thread in the weaving. It worked.

I was left only with the prayer beads-- I knew this was my weakest ingredient. Couldn't seem to fit them anywhere. In the end I was fairly happy with them; they admittedly aren't an integral part of the adventure, though I tried to make them so (as the only means of escape for a low level party). But I couldn't help grinning a little when I put them in the hands of the albinos, who could at any time have used them to escape-- except of course, they're too stupid. And the wind walk prayer bead persuaded me to put holes in the tower-- I very much liked the idea of the players whistling through the tower as they escaped. So while the prayer beads aren't an essential ingredient, I think they add a nice spice.

An aftertaste, if you will...
 

Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
For me, ingredients between 9:00 and 10:00 PM tonite (EST) give me the most flexibility to reply within 24 hours. If they post during that time, don't wait for my check-in, just look for my guaranteed entry.

I know that is a short window, but my weeknights are pretty busy.

Other than that, I have to wait for the weekend, as I am travelling on business till Friday. If the time deviates, I would appreciate you waiting on my check-in.

Thanks!

Wulf
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I may or may not be busy tonight - I won't know untiil much later this afternoon (around 5 pm est) - however, even if I am free I would prefer to get the ingredients around 5 or 6 b/c as I go to bed around midnight that would leave me around 3 hours of time - which is not nearly enough if I am going to do things like eat dinner - or I will have to wait until Wednesday night or Thursday night.

Friday is absolutely no good for me - and the weekend will likely be bad too . . .
 
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lightful

Explorer
Enough already !

OK, I get and I did ask for it. :)

All of these kudos to Wulf have got me convinced, his was obviously the better entry. I guess I was being too self-absorbed.

Rune, no wild differences. I imagine we both enjoy a solid, thought adventure. The Seldarine is a name for the eleven pantheon en masse , I assumed that, like Lloth, it would standard knowledge...my bad.

There was no deliberate nod to the Dark Crystal, just something that occured to me after having written the adventure, and noticing your sig.

Wulf, now that you've gotten past me, you've got the burden of winning the whole shebang. I ain't losin' to no sloucher !
 

Rune

Once A Fool
nemmerle said:
I may or may not be busy tonight - I won't know untiil much later this afternoon (around 5 pm est) - however, even if I am free I would prefer to get the ingredients around 5 or 6 b/c as I go to bed around midnight that would leave me around 3 hours of time - which is not nearly enough if I am going to do things like eat dinner - or I will have to wait until Wednesday night or Thursday night.

Friday is absolutely no good for me - and the weekend will likely be bad too . . .

How's this, then...If you're available tonight, and Wulf agries to it, I could post the ingredients at 6PM and give both of you a 3-hour extension. However, if Wulf can't check on them until 9, that gives you a 3-hour advantage, which is massive, so I'll totally understand if he doesn't want to do it in such an important match.

If at all possible, I'd like to get this started tonight, rather than wait a week, but not at the cost of equity.
 
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