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RPG Forum Contest 28 Reviews

RPG Contest RPGC28

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#1 Online Black Six

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Posted Jun 02 2013 - 02:40 PM

RPG Forum Text-Based RPG Contest 28 ReviewsYou know the drill. Read the rules here. Submit entries here. Review entries and discuss reviews here.
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#2 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 04 2013 - 10:45 PM

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]RPG Reviews come only four times a year, which means I always have time to work at bettering myself and my critiquing. Here’s hoping to being a tad less harsh this contest, but more accurate in my criticisms. However, if an RPG is in the Review topic, I’m not going[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Let’s get started off with the first RPG of the contest, then?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]RPG Name: City in the Dark[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]RPG Writer: The Lorax[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Okay, starting off… no Transformation this time around. Poor thing must have needed a break for the contest. If I remember correctly, isn’t this the RPG from the last themed contest? Guess those underground RPGs are very adaptable.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]

This is my attempt at villain-puppetry. I figured the way to go was with a bit of mystery, so you can’t tell who is puppeting who, or, at the beginning, who exactly the villains are. So, here is the result – a mystery so solve, for players who will start out as a

 

Okay, that sounds like a good[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The paragraph just cuts out here. It seems like you meant to use this as a place for a title drop, but the RPG name doesn’t really fit that, so I think it just got left out. We’ll see how well that descriptions holds as we scan down the RPG, but I’m at least interested enough to keep going. Oh, by the way, nice banner. You always seem to have one of those ready for your RPGs.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Opening Storyline[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The shrinking Kane-Ra/Muaka is responsible! This is The Avengers all over again. I’ve unveiled your plan; we can all go home now.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Is there a reason, exactly, why Katipo is inhabited? All we know is that people just went underground and live there because… it’s safe? I don’t see how, considering that it’s pretty much everything dangerous that lives underground.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Setting[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I can’t complain, because here we get the explanation to my above question. It’s a giant mine. I still don’t understand the choice to keep the inhabitants of the mine underground, unless we’re only allowed to play Onu-Metru. I would advise providing this information earlier on.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Interesting design choice for the second tier of the city, by the way. And very exploitable to the malicious of intent. Which I say a lot, but come to think of it, I’ve rarely seen overtly destructive players.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Other than that, the underground setting provides lots of possibilities. However, I hope you’ve got that factored in – all sorts of interesting places could be created for player exploration when uncovering the mysteries. Giant chasms with loose rocky columns rising from the center to move across as the ceiling and area collapses before everyone falls to their death while being chased by a giant Ice Bat… that’s the stuff of legends.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]As far as the city is unconcerned, it’s a nicely done place. Cool map, too.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Inhabitants[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The only problem I have is that Hydraxon’s species is a bit… long? Way too long a description.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Factions[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The guards are 50 strong, huh? Let’s see… counting the number of guards who will get killed off by noobish players in the first month alone, down to about 35. Factor in deaths due to GameMaster action to show how tough the monster is and we have about 25 guards. And they’re protecting a city of 2000 people? That might work a little in the real world, but in the real world we don’t get attacked by blade burrowers. Plus, they’re guards of a population of highly powerful beings. If Gladiator took out a squad of Krekka’s species by himself, what about an insane Toa? That’s a tad worse. Maybe a few more guards might be nice.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Federation seems an odd choice of name for the miners. Maybe guild? Heck, even union would work better. Or conglomerate? Corporation? Industrial mines and magic? (one internet cookie from BZP to your browser to the folks who get that joke)[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Big G (it’s funny because ‘Kal’ means great, and I’m saying big; Bo looks kind of like Ba, which is gravity, so it’s Big G… yeah I’m clever…. but yeah, yeah, I know, Bo means ‘Sentinel’) is the bad guy controlled by the Kane-Ra/Muaka, calling it now. Tawhito is secretly a Makuta.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]But yeah the Hammer are secretly the good guys who look like the bad guys but upon winning turn out to also be bad guys.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Make your own faction… okay. Whatever I hope that joke was worth it, by the way. You know which one I’m talking about.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Characters[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Why not branch out and try playing a more unusual race? Because people are predictable and easily manipulated by bribing them with Hostess Cupcakes. At least, according to that Spiderman comic they are. I’m too cheap to afford those things. Hostess being closed down doesn’t make it much easier.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I question the outright banning of a few of these masks. The Mohtrek I can understand, but as I’ve seen a player use one very responsibly I honestly don’t understand the resentment. Which is why I run character profiles on a case by case basis. The mask of undeath is another one, since there’s always other solutions besides killing. The Komau, might as well ban psionics while you’re at it. The Sanok, you can basically mimic that effect with Hydraxon’s race (“I’m going to save up my accuracy derpdeederp!”; keep in mind this is a valid accusation, as projectile weapon can most certainly have good or bad accuracy). The Mask of Clairvoyance is easily countered by saying ‘only the GameMaster can send visions’ if you’re that worried. The mask of conjuring… yeah, I get that.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"](Not that I’ve even used any of those masks, that I can think of, save Clairvoyance. Sensory Aptitude is easily the best choice…)[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Staff Characters[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I don’t usually read staff characters. Or, at least, I didn’t use to. Then I had a big argument one contest with the staff of an RPG because they left a good deal of the stories plot within the profiles and I disagreed. I’ll probably just make commentary.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]If we kill Tawhito, can we use his mask? I really love his Bio. The ‘it later appeared in the Dwellers in Darkness serial’ makes it sound like an IMDB page for the Rahi. I’d really like to read that, actually.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Turano being referred to in present tense makes it a little bit too obvious that he’s still alive and is currently being sacrificed by the cultists of the great Kane-Ra/Muaka.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Big G is cool enough.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Orde’s big secret is, what with the armor color, that he’s a closet World of Warcraft player, and one of the most active Alliance players on the net. He’s great at PvP because he just sticks his mind through the computer and reads everyone else’s. Cheater.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]In Conclusion[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Yeah, you reveled way too many secrets. I’ve pieced together the entire plot. Tawhito and the Rahi staged the entire act together as a publicity stunt, and then the Rahi went to live the high life in Metru-Nui. However, he was tricked into putting his money into a fake foreign bank like Nicholas Cage, and lost it all to Spiriah so he could buy a Red Rider BB Gun. He was then forced to act in the Archives as a full-time job to pay his debts.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Big G, in his rage at losing his spot as leader, went and fumed for a few thousand years before finding the Kane-Ra/Muaka, who taught him the ways of the dark side. Then, he purposefully distracted the guards so his master could get in the city and be trapped in the prison, where he could manipulate and monitor things from complete secret within rather than without.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]However, Tawhito was also working for the beast in secret, and sent Turano to his death as a sacrifice, but he’s still alive and the cultist let him play WoW, which is why Orde is inside his house all the time.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Man I’m clever.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Reviewers Final Remarks[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]This is the best RPG you’ve posted on the Submission Topic this month.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Okay, bad joke. But it’s a good RPG, Lorax. There are a few things here or there that I pointed out, but nothing beyond that at the moment. Though if it wins, the first day I’m playing will start off with, “What’s an X?” or something like that.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Everyone’s a critic, so why not join in? --- Levacius Zehvor, US Flag Emoticon[/font]


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#3 Offline The Lorax

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Posted Jun 05 2013 - 03:18 AM

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]RPG Reviews come only four times a year, which means I always have time to work at bettering myself and my critiquing. Here’s hoping to being a tad less harsh this contest, but more accurate in my criticisms. However, if an RPG is in the Review topic, I’m not going[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Let’s get started off with the first RPG of the contest, then?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]RPG Name: City in the Dark[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]RPG Writer: The Lorax[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Okay, starting off… no Transformation this time around. Poor thing must have needed a break for the contest. If I remember correctly, isn’t this the RPG from the last themed contest? Guess those underground RPGs are very adaptable.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Correct on both counts. I haven't given up on Transformation, and I still think it's the best of the three RPGs I've produced. Yes, this one is from RPGC #25, but its good to finally get some feedback on it. There were only five reviews that contest, and I wrote 4 of 'em.[/font]

 

Quote

This is my attempt at villain-puppetry. I figured the way to go was with a bit of mystery, so you can’t tell who is puppeting who, or, at the beginning, who exactly the villains are. So, here is the result – a mystery so solve, for players who will start out as a

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Okay, that sounds like a good[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The paragraph just cuts out here. It seems like you meant to use this as a place for a title drop, but the RPG name doesn’t really fit that, so I think it just got left out. We’ll see how well that descriptions holds as we scan down the RPG, but I’m at least interested enough to keep going. Oh, by the way, nice banner. You always seem to have one of those ready for your RPGs.[/font]

 

 

That cut out is meant to be there. It's a deliberate play on words. "in the Dark" has a double meaning. On one hand it refers to the literal darkness underground, but it can also mean lacking in knowledge. The city is "in the dark" about what exactly is going on with the rahi, the disappearances and several other things. Saying that players will start out as a City in the Dark plays mostly on the second meaning.

 

Maybe I should be less subtle with my puns. <_<

 

On the title image, not really. It was the last thing I did before posting, and then on a whim. I'm glad I did though, it's another good way of drawing attention to the RPG.

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Opening Storyline[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The shrinking Kane-Ra/Muaka is responsible! This is The Avengers all over again. I’ve unveiled your plan; we can all go home now.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Is there a reason, exactly, why Katipo is inhabited? All we know is that people just went underground and live there because… it’s safe? I don’t see how, considering that it’s pretty much everything dangerous that lives underground.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Setting[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I can’t complain, because here we get the explanation to my above question. It’s a giant mine. I still don’t understand the choice to keep the inhabitants of the mine underground, unless we’re only allowed to play Onu-Metru. I would advise providing this information earlier on.[/font]

 

It's because the mine is a long, long way underground. Far enough that you would only take the effort of going back to the surface every few years or so. People live underground becasue such a long commute isn't feasible. I will mention that earlier though, thanks. :)

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Interesting design choice for the second tier of the city, by the way. And very exploitable to the malicious of intent. Which I say a lot, but come to think of it, I’ve rarely seen overtly destructive players.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]It's mostly there for the cool factor, but if someone wants to break it, I won't prohibit it. They'll have to work for it, but the players must be allowed to influence the plot.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Other than that, the underground setting provides lots of possibilities. However, I hope you’ve got that factored in – all sorts of interesting places could be created for player exploration when uncovering the mysteries. Giant chasms with loose rocky columns rising from the center to move across as the ceiling and area collapses before everyone falls to their death while being chased by a giant Ice Bat… that’s the stuff of legends.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Yep, it'll be fun if I get to use it. The Outer Darkness is hardly visited at all by most of the city's population, so if someone wanted to set up out there, they could have all sorts of stuff going down without anyone noticing.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]As far as the city is unconcerned, it’s a nicely done place. Cool map, too.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Thankyou. The web design came from another RPG idea I had for contest 25, but then decided not to use. The map stayed and got carried over.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Inhabitants[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The only problem I have is that Hydraxon’s species is a bit… long? Way too long a description.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]And that's why it's in spoiler tags. Still, if you could say all that in less words, please do and I'll include it.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Factions[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The guards are 50 strong, huh? Let’s see… counting the number of guards who will get killed off by noobish players in the first month alone, down to about 35. Factor in deaths due to GameMaster action to show how tough the monster is and we have about 25 guards. And they’re protecting a city of 2000 people? That might work a little in the real world, but in the real world we don’t get attacked by blade burrowers. Plus, they’re guards of a population of highly powerful beings. If Gladiator took out a squad of Krekka’s species by himself, what about an insane Toa? That’s a tad worse. Maybe a few more guards might be nice.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]They are meant to be under strain with all that's going on, and bear in mind that it has been a very long time since Katipo has had to deal with a major threat. Their numbers will reflect that, since nobody expected so many misfortunes at once.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]If anyone tries wanton murder of my guards, they will pay. I'll add 14 back onto that number. Bring it on! :evilgrin:[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Federation seems an odd choice of name for the miners. Maybe guild? Heck, even union would work better. Or conglomerate? Corporation? Industrial mines and magic? (one internet cookie from BZP to your browser to the folks who get that joke)[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I don't get the joke, but I'll consider a name change.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Big G (it’s funny because ‘Kal’ means great, and I’m saying big; Bo looks kind of like Ba, which is gravity, so it’s Big G… yeah I’m clever…. but yeah, yeah, I know, Bo means ‘Sentinel’) is the bad guy controlled by the Kane-Ra/Muaka, calling it now. Tawhito is secretly a Makuta.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]But yeah the Hammer are secretly the good guys who look like the bad guys but upon winning turn out to also be bad guys.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Make your own faction… okay. Whatever I hope that joke was worth it, by the way. You know which one I’m talking about.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I didn't see that until after I had written it... honestly. I did catch it on the read-through though. Hopegfully no-one takes offence too badly.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Characters[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Why not branch out and try playing a more unusual race? Because people are predictable and easily manipulated by bribing them with Hostess Cupcakes. At least, according to that Spiderman comic they are. I’m too cheap to afford those things. Hostess being closed down doesn’t make it much easier.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I question the outright banning of a few of these masks. The Mohtrek I can understand, but as I’ve seen a player use one very responsibly I honestly don’t understand the resentment. Which is why I run character profiles on a case by case basis. The mask of undeath is another one, since there’s always other solutions besides killing. The Komau, might as well ban psionics while you’re at it. The Sanok, you can basically mimic that effect with Hydraxon’s race (“I’m going to save up my accuracy derpdeederp!”; keep in mind this is a valid accusation, as projectile weapon can most certainly have good or bad accuracy). The Mask of Clairvoyance is easily countered by saying ‘only the GameMaster can send visions’ if you’re that worried. The mask of conjuring… yeah, I get that.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"](Not that I’ve even used any of those masks, that I can think of, save Clairvoyance. Sensory Aptitude is easily the best choice…)[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]This list is taken almost completely from Transformation, and we had this discussion (or a very similar one) in the last review topic. See there for my resposes. :) Also, approvals will be taken individually, but those are there to give people a headsup on what not to ask about before they submit their characters.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Staff Characters[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I don’t usually read staff characters. Or, at least, I didn’t use to. Then I had a big argument one contest with the staff of an RPG because they left a good deal of the stories plot within the profiles and I disagreed. I’ll probably just make commentary.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I remeber that argument. The reason I put info into these is because it's a convenient place to hide plot clues.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]If we kill Tawhito, can we use his mask? I really love his Bio. The ‘it later appeared in the Dwellers in Darkness serial’ makes it sound like an IMDB page for the Rahi. I’d really like to read that, actually.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Yes, I suppose you could. It would still be my mask though, and I would control any visions it gives. If Tawhito did die, the mask could work as a good reward for a big accomplishment[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I couldn't resist the urge to include a 60 foot, three-headed, power-screaming dragon in the story somehow. The reference is so people would know which one I was talking about. As to its future impotance... no comment. :)[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Turano being referred to in present tense makes it a little bit too obvious that he’s still alive and is currently being sacrificed by the cultists of the great Kane-Ra/Muaka.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]He will come back and I don't mind admitting it. That he even had a profile at all should give that muchcaway. When and how he comes back are still secret, if his return is even possible without players going out to retrieve him.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Big G is cool enough.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Orde’s big secret is, what with the armor color, that he’s a closet World of Warcraft player, and one of the most active Alliance players on the net. He’s great at PvP because he just sticks his mind through the computer and reads everyone else’s. Cheater.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]In Conclusion[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Yeah, you reveled way too many secrets. I’ve pieced together the entire plot. Tawhito and the Rahi staged the entire act together as a publicity stunt, and then the Rahi went to live the high life in Metru-Nui. However, he was tricked into putting his money into a fake foreign bank like Nicholas Cage, and lost it all to Spiriah so he could buy a Red Rider BB Gun. He was then forced to act in the Archives as a full-time job to pay his debts.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Big G, in his rage at losing his spot as leader, went and fumed for a few thousand years before finding the Kane-Ra/Muaka, who taught him the ways of the dark side. Then, he purposefully distracted the guards so his master could get in the city and be trapped in the prison, where he could manipulate and monitor things from complete secret within rather than without.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]However, Tawhito was also working for the beast in secret, and sent Turano to his death as a sacrifice, but he’s still alive and the cultist let him play WoW, which is why Orde is inside his house all the time.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Man I’m clever.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Reviewers Final Remarks[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]This is the best RPG you’ve posted on the Submission Topic this month.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Okay, bad joke. But it’s a good RPG, Lorax. There are a few things here or there that I pointed out, but nothing beyond that at the moment. Though if it wins, the first day I’m playing will start off with, “What’s an X?” or something like that.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Everyone’s a critic, so why not join in? --- Levacius Zehvor, US Flag Emoticon[/font]

 

Thanks for the review. I'll get my views on Requiem IV up soonish. :)


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citd_small.jpg


#4 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 05 2013 - 05:49 PM

Maybe I should be less subtle with my puns. <_<

 

They're never as funny if they're obvious. I figured you left it blank for a reason when I first say it. As I said, title drop for the RPG. However, since the RPG is called 'city of the dark', and not 'in the dark', the pun makes for strange sounding sentence.

 

It's because the mine is a long, long way underground. Far enough that you would only take the effort of going back to the surface every few years or so. People live underground becasue such a long commute isn't feasible. I will mention that earlier though, thanks. :)

 

So their entire economy is sustained by one or two annual trips? Geeze. You might want to add something about another way to get food and other resources, because that hardly seems long enough. Especially since it's been really long since the last surface expedition, if I read the RPG correctly.

 

Alternatively, you could use that as a plot point. If you increase the trip frequency to once every month or so in the past with a large shipment every few, then you can add a sense of urgency by making it out as though there are lots of people starving or running low on food supplies after going for so long without a new shipment. Situations like this are ripe for insurrection.

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]And that's why it's in spoiler tags. Still, if you could say all that in less words, please do and I'll include it.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Challenge accepted.[/font] Check the tags. I saved you 111 words. It doesn't look much smaller, though. But it is technically smaller. :P

 

Spoiler

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]They are meant to be under strain with all that's going on, and bear in mind that it has been a very long time since Katipo has had to deal with a major threat. Their numbers will reflect that, since nobody expected so many misfortunes at once.[/font]

 

Murphy's Law killed their butts.

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I don't get the joke, but I'll consider a name change.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I wish I could explain it, but then it would stop being a joke. :([/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I didn't see that until after I had written it... honestly. I did catch it on the read-through though. Hopegfully no-one takes offence too badly.[/font]

 

Bah, nobody reads these things all the way through anyways. If I didn't review an RPG, I probably only read 90% of it. :P

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I couldn't resist the urge to include a 60 foot, three-headed, power-screaming dragon in the story somehow. The reference is so people would know which one I was talking about. As to its future impotance... no comment. :)[/font]

 

Look, I already explained the entire plot of your RPG in my final response. 100% accurately and seriously. I know everything. It's obviously going to come back to stand up in the middle of Oprah and testify it's love of the cute giant amoeba Rahi next door.

 

Thanks for the review. I'll get my views on Requiem IV up soonish. :)

 

Cool. Can't wait to see it.

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


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#5 Offline The Lorax

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Posted Jun 09 2013 - 04:54 AM

However, since the RPG is called 'city of the dark', and not 'in the dark', the pun makes for strange sounding sentence.

 

Check the title again. ;)

 

So their entire economy is sustained by one or two annual trips? Geeze. You might want to add something about another way to get food and other resources, because that hardly seems long enough. Especially since it's been really long since the last surface expedition, if I read the RPG correctly.

 

Yes, yes it is. The city really is that isolated, and deliberately so. The volumes traded on those trips are huge, but that's the way it needs to be. Everyone thought that the isolation would protect them, but now it hasn't, there's something(s) in the dark with them, and that's part of why everyone is so worried.

 

Alternatively, you could use that as a plot point. If you increase the trip frequency to once every month or so in the past with a large shipment every few, then you can add a sense of urgency by making it out as though there are lots of people starving or running low on food supplies after going for so long without a new shipment. Situations like this are ripe for insurrection.

 

If there were trips to the surface happening all the time, that would remove some of the isolation factor I was going for and also decrease the importance of that trip that happened a few months ago, just before the troubles started. That trip is (meant to be seen as) a major event, and without the emphasis on it, the plot doesn't work.

 

And that's why it's in spoiler tags. Still, if you could say all that in less words, please do and I'll include it.

Challenge accepted. Check the tags. I saved you 111 words. It doesn't look much smaller, though. But it is technically smaller.

Spoiler

 

Thankyou. :) I'll include that, but probably with some bits added back in - a sort of combination between your version and mine.

 

And now, onto The Voyage of the Requiem IV

 

First up, I have to say that I have never been a great fan of these space-flight-y, futuristic, tech-heavy RPGs. They don't seem very BIONICLE to me, though that's just my personal tastes. I'll try to put that bias aside for the purposes of the review.

 

[color=rgb(0,0,0);][font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]Success was great. Probes were launched, and eventually, ships could reach for the other planets in the Solis Magna system. However, all attempts to build a ship capable of transporting Matoran beyond showed no promise – there was no way to provide power.[/color][/font]

 

So what powered the probes? And why Matoran especially, rather than Agori, Glatorian, Vortixx or any other species?

 

A way to refine Energized Protodermis, separating the raw energies within to create something very similar to Toa Power, with the remainder being small traces of liquid protodermis. The process was quite similar to how the Great Beings refined it before, but with no protodermis in return. Luckily, they did not need it.

 

No protodermis in return? What about that small amount of liquid protodermis? It's a small inconsistency and not greatly important to the game overall, but still slightly annoying. Maybe they could use the byproduct LP for drinking water? Also, why Toa Power as opposed to any other type of power? It seems an odd choice, since there doesn't seem to be any reason for it to be like that (unless of course it's part of the mystery).

 

[color=rgb(0,0,0);][font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]The ships systems were modified continuously. At first, only the larger vessels were able to make the jump, but in time even small fighters could travel through deep space.[/color][/font]

 

Small fighters? Why did they make small fighters? Fighters against what, if they're all so happily united and there are no other signs of life out there?

 

Allright, so the backstory is fine, other than my aforementioned genre bias. The setup doesn't stretch my suspension of disbelief as much as some, and it makes for a reasonably interesting story.

 

By the end, it’s possible the collective player knowledge base will have figured out the whole story. It’s also possible everyone will have died.

 

Allright, I'm gonna have to call you out on this one now. You're proposing an RPG here, and in RPGs, unlike in real life, IC events will conspire to keep the story progressing and keep it interesting (if the game doesn't die for OOC reasons, that is). No matter how realistic it might be for the whole ship to blow up when somebody does something stupid within the first week, it is not going to happen. Ever. Because RPGs are about telling a good story, and everyone dieing when some character cuts the wrong wire makes for an awful story and a bunch of disgruntled players who never got to work out what was going on.

 

Now the Lost, at last, have my interest, and the Scavengers as well. Pity they can't be PCs as well, but I suppose that would ruin the mystery. Now I feel like the game is getting somewhere. Also, what is the difference between a lost and a scavenger?

 

The map looks good - simple but it gets everything across that it needed to. The scale is good too - big enough for some decent exploration, but not so huge that it should take ages to get anywhere.

 

So too with the locations. It's good to know the danger and power levels when in an area, and in this case, the lack of much other information can be firgiven. After all, that is the point of exploring - you don't know what's there until you go.

 

On the power suits, eeh, I'm not too sure. They're certainly a point of difference for the RPG, but other than blocking powers (and being necessary for survival!), they don't seem to do much. Maybe you could add in some features to make them a selling point  for the game? They're useful at the moment, but they have the potential to be cool as well.

 

[color=rgb(0,0,0);][font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]I’m not going to tell you the exact punishments for breaking rules. Only this – generally, your first offense is going to be a warning. After that, things will start getting bad.[/color][/font]

 

You get points for this in my book. Tailoring the response to the situation is almost always fairer than a pre-defined progression of punishments.

 

[color=rgb(0,0,0);][font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]As you may note, your character has no history or biography or anything like that. All of this will be revealed through gameplay. If you have an idea about something you wish to be discovered through exploration, or a sample biography you wish to be used as part of the discovery quest, PM it to the head GM. If you find out any information, it will be from your personal explorations and interaction.[/color][/font]

 

This is, obviously, where the game stands or falls. It's the tahtorak in the room, and it really overshadows anything else in the game that might be vote-worthy or not. Characters with no backstory, no memories, just "personality", a trait which is normally heavily shaped by the characters history, which in this case they don't have.

 

And, to be honest, I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or not. It's certainly new and different, it might work well, but I'm not convinced that it's contest-winning genius, again as matter of personal opinion, rather than anything objective. Some poeple might like it, you're bound to get some who strongly don't, but I can't say it bothers me much either way, sorry. I'm not going be able to give much feedback on that one because, while it doesn't draw me in and make me want to grab it right away, it also doesn't turn me away from the game. Others will probably say more on this, since it's so critical to the game.

 

Elemental powers, vision powers that fire beams and the like, or any ability that requires physical contact cannot be used. Addendum: Mask powers are initially accessible, but that doesn't mean your characters are necessarily aware of what they are.

 

Would a mask of psychometry still work through the suits? It would be amazingly useful, but too useful maybe?

 

Anyway, that's about all I have to say. This is a well-written RPG without any glaring holes I could spot, even if it isn't my cup to tea. I'd be interested to see how the theme comes in if it wins, maybe even enough to play it.


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#6 Offline Friar Tuck

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Posted Jun 09 2013 - 12:47 PM

 

And that's why it's in spoiler tags. Still, if you could say all that in less words, please do and I'll include it.

Challenge accepted. Check the tags. I saved you 111 words. It doesn't look much smaller, though. But it is technically smaller.

Spoiler

 

Thankyou. :) I'll include that, but probably with some bits added back in - a sort of combination between your version and mine.

 

[color=#8b4513;]Ummm... no.[/color]

 

[color=#8b4513;]The use of spoiler tags is JUST for the: Spoilers Only. It should not be used to lessen or otherwise shorten large amounts of text. According to[/color] BZPower Rules and Guidlines - Reference Desk:

 

Only user Spoiler Tags for spoilers. The purpose of the tag is exactly what it says its for - spoilers. The tag is only to be used when posting a spoiler, not to be cute, not for attention, and not for a game.

 

[color=#8b4513;]Now if you plan on using that information, or other information as spoilers in your game, aka information that would give away some of the plot or other major function early on the the players should they choose to click it, then that's perfectly fine. But to shorten text is not the purpose of it, as convenient as it may be. Please refrain from using it in this way. I would encourage ALL players to observe this general BZPower rule. Thank you.[/color]


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#7 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 09 2013 - 02:44 PM

[color=#8b4513;]Now if you plan on using that information, or other information as spoilers in your game, aka information that would give away some of the plot or other major function early on the the players should they choose to click it, then that's perfectly fine. But to shorten text is not the purpose of it, as convenient as it may be. Please refrain from using it in this way. I would encourage ALL players to observe this general BZPower rule. Thank you.[/color]

 

[color=#8b4513;]While I'm not fond of the "he did it first!" excuse, I would like to point out that spoiler tags have been used for that purpose exactly in RPGs for [/color]pretty much as long as I can remember using the forum. Every contest? No. But frequent enough. While I've seen people chastised for it on other forums, this one in particular has normally been pretty loose about it. However, I will keep that in mind from now on nevertheless.

 

Check the title again. ;)

 

... it still says "City in the Dark"....

 

Yes, yes it is. The city really is that isolated, and deliberately so. The volumes traded on those trips are huge, but that's the way it needs to be. Everyone thought that the isolation would protect them, but now it hasn't, there's something(s) in the dark with them, and that's part of why everyone is so worried.

 

The question arises "where do they get their food?" in this situation.

 

And now, onto The Voyage of the Requiem IV

 

First up, I have to say that I have never been a great fan of these space-flight-y, futuristic, tech-heavy RPGs. They don't seem very BIONICLE to me, though that's just my personal tastes. I'll try to put that bias aside for the purposes of the review.

 

Unlike some other people on the forum, I try my best when writing a Bionicle RPG to keep it Bionicle. I ran into that problem early on when writing this one. I tried applying things like Zamor Crystal as a way to keep gases in tubes, and trying to use EP to explain Toa Power and so on as a power source. Something to at least try to keep the origins Bionicle, even if the setting is only vaguely so.

 

So what powered the probes? And why Matoran especially, rather than Agori, Glatorian, Vortixx or any other species?

 

Because Matoran suffocate a lot slower.

 

But that aside, yes, other species went. Usually Matoran or Agori since they make up close to 70% of the population. The probes were powered by the power of plot convenience; aka basically the same as any probe we as humans would make, only amplified by various objects such as Kanoka Disks. Strengthen powers used on the engines, for instance. Regeneration disks used to constantly maintain the fuel source. Whatever. I didn't think about it too much because it has no bearing on the characters.

 

No protodermis in return? What about that small amount of liquid protodermis? It's a small inconsistency and not greatly important to the game overall, but still slightly annoying. Maybe they could use the byproduct LP for drinking water? Also, why Toa Power as opposed to any other type of power? It seems an odd choice, since there doesn't seem to be any reason for it to be like that (unless of course it's part of the mystery).

 

Basically, the running theory is the Great Beings had a much more efficient way of doing the same process. They would take energized protodermis, and convert it into solid or liquid protodermis as they did in canon. The excess energies were contained and purified into Toa Power, which is why unlike other energy types in the MU, it has a finite amount and is tied directly to the Great Spirit's settings.

 

This process described where liquid protodermis was left was the theoretical process; after all, should not some matter be left from the exchange? Unfortunately, the Spherus Magnan people have yet to surpass the Great Beings in tech levels, and even using a basic conversion like that was almost useless to them.

 

As far as drinking water - even if the process did work, they use an incredibly tiny amount of the EP and it results in a tremendous amount of power. The water would be negligible at best.

 

Small fighters? Why did they make small fighters? Fighters against what, if they're all so happily united and there are no other signs of life out there?

 

Allright, so the backstory is fine, other than my aforementioned genre bias. The setup doesn't stretch my suspension of disbelief as much as some, and it makes for a reasonably interesting story.

 

Because the happy unity is only a PR thing. Like any civilization, you have your offshoots and your troublemakers. There have been incidents where people have attempted to capture a ship for their purpose, and small space battles have been enacted. Nothing as exciting as Star Wars, of course, but still happening.

 

Allright, I'm gonna have to call you out on this one now. You're proposing an RPG here, and in RPGs, unlike in real life, IC events will conspire to keep the story progressing and keep it interesting (if the game doesn't die for OOC reasons, that is). No matter how realistic it might be for the whole ship to blow up when somebody does something stupid within the first week, it is not going to happen. Ever. Because RPGs are about telling a good story, and everyone dieing when some character cuts the wrong wire makes for an awful story and a bunch of disgruntled players who never got to work out what was going on.

 

Now the Lost, at last, have my interest, and the Scavengers as well. Pity they can't be PCs as well, but I suppose that would ruin the mystery. Now I feel like the game is getting somewhere. Also, what is the difference between a lost and a scavenger?

 

The map looks good - simple but it gets everything across that it needed to. The scale is good too - big enough for some decent exploration, but not so huge that it should take ages to get anywhere.

 

So too with the locations. It's good to know the danger and power levels when in an area, and in this case, the lack of much other information can be firgiven. After all, that is the point of exploring - you don't know what's there until you go.

 

On the power suits, eeh, I'm not too sure. They're certainly a point of difference for the RPG, but other than blocking powers (and being necessary for survival!), they don't seem to do much. Maybe you could add in some features to make them a selling point  for the game? They're useful at the moment, but they have the potential to be cool as well.

 

One dummy cutting the wrong wire will not kill everyone else off. It may kill them off. But I'm not the type of GM to throw you into a situation like that. I will give you every chance to survive up until the moment where you die. At that point, you're dead, because you've been ignoring every opportunity. Were this an action RPG, or an adventurer RPG, you'd get less warning; however, you would also get a chance to fight your way out. Until the final stretch of this RPG, fighting will never be the best option. Attain treasure and equipment, acquire allies, and learn information. Don't hunt monsters. They're better at it then you are.

 

The Scavengers are people just like the players, but they're NPCs who have been out and about. The Lost are horribly, mutated monsters. Most don't have power suits, or if they do, they're falling apart. They're called the Lost because they have literally lost all rational thought. Like a zombie. Only a lot worse.

 

The only problem I have with the map is it ended up with little red patches where there shouldn't have been. Cheap photocopier.

 

The lack of other information is also to let players describe the area themselves. I'm willing to do if if they don't want to, but generally I would like leaving that option.

 

They have the potential to be cool as the game progresses. I hint at the fact that you can access more powers and features from them as you advance in the game and start figuring out how to make things work. That's the goal. However, you do hit on one point - the real reason they're there is to keep the dummy cutting the wrong wire from having the power to create a gravitational singularity in the middle of the ship.

 

You get points for this in my book. Tailoring the response to the situation is almost always fairer than a pre-defined progression of punishments.

 

The system will be in accordance to the crime, but still mount up over time. The amount of time banned or whatever will be similar to other RPGs. But honestly, it takes too much space on the RPG write-up. I want to tell players what happens when they play the game, not what happens when they don't.

 

This is, obviously, where the game stands or falls. It's the tahtorak in the room, and it really overshadows anything else in the game that might be vote-worthy or not. Characters with no backstory, no memories, just "personality", a trait which is normally heavily shaped by the characters history, which in this case they don't have.

 

And, to be honest, I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or not. It's certainly new and different, it might work well, but I'm not convinced that it's contest-winning genius, again as matter of personal opinion, rather than anything objective. Some poeple might like it, you're bound to get some who strongly don't, but I can't say it bothers me much either way, sorry. I'm not going be able to give much feedback on that one because, while it doesn't draw me in and make me want to grab it right away, it also doesn't turn me away from the game. Others will probably say more on this, since it's so critical to the game.

 

Amnesia solved the biggest problem I have with how to reveal the twist to the RPG. Players would already know who the bad guy is if they had their memory, considering how small the population is. If not all of them, then at least one.

 

I have some disagreement with the personality factor; while, yes, you modify it to fit the backstory, I usually write it before I write the history. It then use that as a way to decide what the character does along the way, and show where certain things changed. I then double back on the personality and add a few things to enhance it. In this case, it reduces it from three steps to one step.

 

There's a major rule in literature known as "show, don't tell" that I am very fond of following. In this case, the character profile tells you very little about the character. It instead gives you a basis to go about the RPG and show what's really happening. Whether or not everyone likes it/hates it I cannot say; however, I can say this - I support it fully in every bit for narrative purposes.

 

Would a mask of psychometry still work through the suits? It would be amazingly useful, but too useful maybe?

 

Anyway, that's about all I have to say. This is a well-written RPG without any glaring holes I could spot, even if it isn't my cup to tea. I'd be interested to see how the theme comes in if it wins, maybe even enough to play it.

 

At the start? No. If you figured out how to use it? No. If you figured out how to use it and how to remove the hand section of your power suit? Yes, but I would recommend you touching that. If you figured out how to use it and, after playing for a while, found that your suit has been customized to allow you to use your mask through it when the proper code is entered? Yes, yes you can. However, with that mask, I would pretty much have the say in figuring out what would be shown from any plot related device. Much like the Mask of Clairvoyance.

 

I strongly encourage you, even if you don't play the RPG in the event winning, to at least follow it and watch it from a more narrative point of view if not from an active player. Just to see how the twists and stuff take place, especially the implementation of the theme. If anything, this is only the beginning.

 

Thank you for the review, Lorax. Let's see what other RPGs get submitted.

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


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#8 Offline The Lorax

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Posted Jun 09 2013 - 06:06 PM

... it still says "City in the Dark"....

 

 

Yeah, it does. So what was this about?

However, since the RPG is called 'city of the dark', and not 'in the dark', the pun makes for strange sounding sentence.

 

 

The question arises "where do they get their food?" in this situation.

 

They get it preserved and in bulk on their rare trips to the surface. They also eat what they can produce underground (mushrooms, plants that can grow under lightstones, underground rahi such as fish in underground lakes...)

 

 

But that aside, yes, other species went. Usually Matoran or Agori since they make up close to 70% of the population. The probes were powered by the power of plot convenience; aka basically the same as any probe we as humans would make, only amplified by various objects such as Kanoka Disks. Strengthen powers used on the engines, for instance. Regeneration disks used to constantly maintain the fuel source. Whatever. I didn't think about it too much because it has no bearing on the characters.

 

So then why did they need a new and different power source for the Matoraned missions? If they already had a perfectly good one to power the probes, why not keep using it?

 

Basically, the running theory is the Great Beings had a much more efficient way of doing the same process. They would take energized protodermis, and convert it into solid or liquid protodermis as they did in canon. The excess energies were contained and purified into Toa Power, which is why unlike other energy types in the MU, it has a finite amount and is tied directly to the Great Spirit's settings.

 

This process described where liquid protodermis was left was the theoretical process; after all, should not some matter be left from the exchange? Unfortunately, the Spherus Magnan people have yet to surpass the Great Beings in tech levels, and even using a basic conversion like that was almost useless to them.

 

As far as drinking water - even if the process did work, they use an incredibly tiny amount of the EP and it results in a tremendous amount of power. The water would be negligible at best.

 

That's fine. It's not so much the process I was questioning as the apparent contradiction.

 

with the remainder being small traces of liquid protodermis.

...

but with no protodermis in return.

 

 

 

 

Allright, I'm gonna have to call you out on this one now. You're proposing an RPG here, and in RPGs, unlike in real life, IC events will conspire to keep the story progressing and keep it interesting (if the game doesn't die for OOC reasons, that is). No matter how realistic it might be for the whole ship to blow up when somebody does something stupid within the first week, it is not going to happen. Ever. Because RPGs are about telling a good story, and everyone dieing when some character cuts the wrong wire makes for an awful story and a bunch of disgruntled players who never got to work out what was going on.

 

Now the Lost, at last, have my interest, and the Scavengers as well. Pity they can't be PCs as well, but I suppose that would ruin the mystery. Now I feel like the game is getting somewhere. Also, what is the difference between a lost and a scavenger?

 

The map looks good - simple but it gets everything across that it needed to. The scale is good too - big enough for some decent exploration, but not so huge that it should take ages to get anywhere.

 

So too with the locations. It's good to know the danger and power levels when in an area, and in this case, the lack of much other information can be firgiven. After all, that is the point of exploring - you don't know what's there until you go.

 

On the power suits, eeh, I'm not too sure. They're certainly a point of difference for the RPG, but other than blocking powers (and being necessary for survival!), they don't seem to do much. Maybe you could add in some features to make them a selling point  for the game? They're useful at the moment, but they have the potential to be cool as well.

 

One dummy cutting the wrong wire will not kill everyone else off. It may kill them off. But I'm not the type of GM to throw you into a situation like that. I will give you every chance to survive up until the moment where you die. At that point, you're dead, because you've been ignoring every opportunity. Were this an action RPG, or an adventurer RPG, you'd get less warning; however, you would also get a chance to fight your way out. Until the final stretch of this RPG, fighting will never be the best option. Attain treasure and equipment, acquire allies, and learn information. Don't hunt monsters. They're better at it then you are.

 

I think that's more or less my point - the characters aren't all going to die, despite what the gamepley section says. It would be a possibility from an IC perspective, but OOC we know you just wouldn't do that.

 

The Scavengers are people just like the players, but they're NPCs who have been out and about. The Lost are horribly, mutated monsters. Most don't have power suits, or if they do, they're falling apart. They're called the Lost because they have literally lost all rational thought. Like a zombie. Only a lot worse.

 

Oh, good. Say so.

 

The only problem I have with the map is it ended up with little red patches where there shouldn't have been. Cheap photocopier.

 

Don't worry about that. The red spots blend in well with the general brokenness and damaged shading in the rest of the map, almost like they were meant to be there. Patchiness is not at all out of place.

 

The lack of other information is also to let players describe the area themselves. I'm willing to do if if they don't want to, but generally I would like leaving that option.

 

They have the potential to be cool as the game progresses. I hint at the fact that you can access more powers and features from them as you advance in the game and start figuring out how to make things work. That's the goal. However, you do hit on one point - the real reason they're there is to keep the dummy cutting the wrong wire from having the power to create a gravitational singularity in the middle of the ship.

 

Allright, I'll take your word for it. Might be worth mentioing in the entry though.


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#9 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 09 2013 - 07:12 PM

Yeah, it does. So what was this about?

 

It hardly matters; the sentence "So, here is the result – a mystery so solve, for players who will start out as a City in the Dark." still doesn't make any sense. Which was what this was about.

 

So then why did they need a new and different power source for the Matoraned missions? If they already had a perfectly good one to power the probes, why not keep using it?

 

Because the probes only needed to keep in motion. They didn't need to maintain life support systems and the like. But that's only part of the equation. While they could move quickly, it wasn't anywhere close to lightspeed. When it takes four light years to reach the nearest solar system, then if you want to send actual people out, you don't take any substitutes. And if you're going to do that, you need a much stronger power source in order to keep a much larger ship moving. Because if it's going to be a few years, then you're not going to just send a few men. You'll send dozens, hundreds... in this case, a few thousand.

 

I think that's more or less my point - the characters aren't all going to die, despite what the gamepley section says. It would be a possibility from an IC perspective, but OOC we know you just wouldn't do that.

 

That depends entirely on how clever the players are. I may not be a killer GM, but characters will die. That's an unavoidable fact unless everyone plays perfectly. Which is impossible in a freeform RPG where I make no intentions of throwing down railroads.

 

Oh, good. Say so.

 

Thought it was clear enough. And if it isn't? Well, that was metagame knowledge anyways.

 

Allright, I'll take your word for it. Might be worth mentioing in the entry though.

 

I did.

 

[color=#000000;][font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]Not all powers and abilities are immediately accessible (a.k.a. you don't have very many), and good roleplaying and the like may reward players with new abilities or powers in their suit they didn’t even realize they had…[/color][/font]

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


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#10 Offline The Lorax

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Posted Jun 09 2013 - 08:43 PM

Right, some changes have been made to the entry.

 

It hardly matters; the sentence "So, here is the result – a mystery so solve, for players who will start out as a City in the Dark." still doesn't make any sense. Which was what this was about.

 

Yes it does. The players are the population of the city, and the population of the city is "in the dark" (as in lacking knowledge, as I explained above). The players, then, will start out as a City in the Dark.

 

But yeah, I think I'll rephrase it. It's causing too much confusion.

 

So then why did they need a new and different power source for the Matoraned missions? If they already had a perfectly good one to power the probes, why not keep using it?

 

Because the probes only needed to keep in motion. They didn't need to maintain life support systems and the like. But that's only part of the equation. While they could move quickly, it wasn't anywhere close to lightspeed. When it takes four light years to reach the nearest solar system, then if you want to send actual people out, you don't take any substitutes. And if you're going to do that, you need a much stronger power source in order to keep a much larger ship moving. Because if it's going to be a few years, then you're not going to just send a few men. You'll send dozens, hundreds... in this case, a few thousand.

 

Ok, fair call.

 

I think that's more or less my point - the characters aren't all going to die, despite what the gamepley section says. It would be a possibility from an IC perspective, but OOC we know you just wouldn't do that.

 

That depends entirely on how clever the players are. I may not be a killer GM, but characters will die. That's an unavoidable fact unless everyone plays perfectly. Which is impossible in a freeform RPG where I make no intentions of throwing down railroads.

 

Yes, characters will die, but not all of them.

 

I did.

 

[color=rgb(0,0,0);][font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]Not all powers and abilities are immediately accessible (a.k.a. you don't have very many), and good roleplaying and the like may reward players with new abilities or powers in their suit they didn’t even realize they had…[/color][/font]

 

Allrighty then, my apologies. I should have seen that.


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#11 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 09 2013 - 08:49 PM

Yes it does. The players are the population of the city, and the population of the city is "in the dark" (as in lacking knowledge, as I explained above). The players, then, will start out as a City in the Dark.

 

But yeah, I think I'll rephrase it. It's causing too much confusion.

The statement implies the players are the city itself. The only thing you need to change is "as a" to "in a".

 

Yes, characters will die, but not all of them.

 

Preferably not all of them. Anything is possible, and I won't deny any possibility, no matter how rare.

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


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#12 Offline The Lorax

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Posted Jun 12 2013 - 10:13 PM

Thinking out loud about Tides.

 

This RPG doesn't have a lot in it, so this should be a fairly short review. I don't really mind the shortness though - a longer writeup might give too much away.

 

First up, you've done a good job of keeping things mysterious - I have almost no idea what's going on. The turaga's tone in the first paragraph is great for this - it's like he won't let you get a word in edgewise. All there is is a group of Toa and Matoran travelling across a desert, from nobody-knows-where to nobody-knows-where, chasing the red star.

The only real clues (other than the ever-mysterious red star) are that we're on Bara Magna (or maybe a place called Bara Magna, but not the planet), and the days are 20 hours long, as opposed to the usual 36 in the MU and on SM. Oh, and Kodan, the former chronicler is there as well. Canonically, he died before the Great Cataclysm, though he was still alive in the Toa Empire universe, where there were some people trudging across deserts...eh, probably not related. Unless... no, not likely.

 

I'm also wondering if the restricted elements and masks are important. The immoral ones are all banned, but that isn't necessarily out of place in an only Toa and Matoran group. The puzzle comes when water and ice are not allowed, when they would be very useful in a desert, and stone and sand are present but not earth. No light and shadow isn't too unusual, but magnetism, gravity and psionics... Once again, I'm puzzled.

 

You have "god-moderator" in the rules section. No. 3

 

So, trekking across a desert with a bunch of amnesiacs doesn't initially sound too interesting initially, but the promise of secrets to uncover might do it. Really, there isn't much else to like or dislike here, so I'm going to stop talking now.

 

Good luck in the contest.


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#13 Offline Legolover-361

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Posted Jun 12 2013 - 10:27 PM

Thanks for the feedback, Lorax!

I'm also wondering if the restricted elements and masks are important. The immoral ones are all banned, but that isn't necessarily out of place in an only Toa and Matoran group. The puzzle comes when water and ice are not allowed, when they would be very useful in a desert, and stone and sand are present but not earth. No light and shadow isn't too unusual, but magnetism, gravity and psionics... Once again, I'm puzzled.

The omissions of Kanohi and elements are important mainly for backstory purposes. I'll consider adding water to the list of allowed elements, but I won't promise the addition.

You have "god-moderator" in the rules section. No. 3

Apparently the first three letters of "moderator" are filtered to the whole word. 

So, trekking across a desert with a bunch of amnesiacs doesn't initially sound too interesting initially, but the promise of secrets to uncover might do it.

There's definitely a mystery element to the RPG. I may need to expand its text a little, though, to make the presence of secrets to discover more apparent so people don't assume it's really sandbox. 

Good luck in the contest.

Thank you, and same to you!

Edited by Legolover-361, Jun 12 2013 - 10:27 PM.

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#14 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 12 2013 - 11:00 PM

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Hello. You were asking for Turaga Aiken? Yes, I am he.”[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Go back to the retirement home.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Posted Image[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"](Credit to Legolover-361 [or whoever else created it] for the banner, which I shamelessly stole and murdered to create the above monstrosity)[/font][/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I’m not even trying to be funny with that, either. I should seriously work on making a banner or something. Anyway, as one may guess, this is my review of Tides, an RPG by Legolover-361, to whom I shall be addressing directly in the writing. Oh, and a forewarning - I have a tendency to point out the bad things and linger on them a lot. This isn't out of being mean, or being hostile. It's because I want to elaborate on them. It's easier to say something is bad than to say why. However, the good things are still mentioned, especially at the end.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Opening Commentary[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]So, let’s start off on some commentary that I have regarding the formatting. I had the pleasure of reading this RPG when it was aligned to the left, directly after you posted it and while your italicized name was at the bottom of the page editing it to your pleasure. Personally, I preferred it that way; honestly, it still looks just as good. The character profiles, on the other hand, look very sloppy and are a pain to read in this format. Why? Because the beginning of each line bounces back and forth, and some (such as Personality) only have one line to begin with. When it's all crooked, it just looks... strange.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Introductory Story[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Oh, that’s just lazy writing. Refusing to tell the players much about the history because nobody can remember it! What kind of hack RPG maker would do something like that? How cheap.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The opening certainly does have me asking questions, so if that was one of your goals then you certainly accomplished it. There’s obviously something going wrong if there are MU inhabitants present, and Bara Magna is the way it is. Which immediately begs the question – how many moons are we dealing with?[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I’m going to ask a few questions here that don’t get very clearly answered later. Namely, how many people are in this caravan, exactly? Is this Turaga guy in charge? If not, then who is? I understand the idea of not wanting to reveal too much, but unless our characters are amnesiac or goldfish, they should at least know the workings of the place. If you don’t want us to know how the caravan operates, then perhaps you could add in that all characters are pretty much just found in the desert by the caravan when they start off the game; perhaps dying in the sand, or riding over the hills to join in like a triumphant nincompoop?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]How To: Not Get Eaten By Sand Crabs[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I get the feeling that we were supposed to be given more exposition about the setting in this area, but it got cut out somehow, going by the title of the section (“The Locale and Fauna”).[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]From what I understand here, the only creatures being dealt with are those native to the area of Bara-Magna. If this is the case, then the only monster having even a remote chance of being a threat to the camp members when they’re in this big of a group (based on player size and the two NPCs named alone, you have to figure well over a dozen) is the Skopio. Do you know what happens to a Scarabax swarm when it gets hit by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else. Judging by the estimate that at least one person will be playing a Toa (which I’ll address later very aggressively) then any number of horrible elemental powers may be unleashed upon the hapless swarm. Ignoring attack of the funny sidekicks, we have things like wolves. Now, I’m not zoologist, but I do know this – wolves don’t attack large groups. Unless these are packs of like forty wolves, nobody should be worrying. And even then, do you know what happens to a wolf when it gets struck by lightning?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]If you had mentioned desert raiders or something, I might have a feeling of some dread over what might happen. But honestly, the characters are more under threat from the quicksand then the wolves. The desert thing doesn’t even seem that worrisome.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I apologize to everyone for reminding them of that terrible joke in the X-Men movie, and submit myself to your judgment.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]How To: Not Format a Profile[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I’ve already made my commentary on that section, so I’ll move on to my criticisms of the system itself. The first problem is… the species. Matoran and Toa is perhaps the worst allowed species list that you can have. Even Matoran/Turaga would work better. By placing Toa into the mix, you kill off all tension. One of my greatest personal praises for “City in the Dark” (though I don’t know how much I elaborated on it) was the focus on species not typically touched in canon; in this case, we look at ones we constantly look at. If you’re going to restrict us to two species, you should either play it in a way to strengthen the threat of the RPG (if we could only play as, say, Matoran and Turaga, it gets rid of most of my complaints about the above section), or you should try to use it as a way that furthers the story. Perhaps exploring a lesser known group of species? Touching upon stuff left open to be explored in canon? As it is here, this is one of the RPG’s weakest points.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I don’t really follow your pattern for the allowed and not allowed elements. I can see why you’re not allowing water and ice (easy way out, eh?), but why do we still have plant life, which accomplishes a similar goal, along the lines of food. And why is magnetism gone? Gravity, psionics, those are sort of OP. But if you’re going to tell me magnetism was more easily abused than sand (which, mind you, is canonically not an element in the Matoran Universe or at least not a common one) could be in this setting then you’ve gone crazy. And along that note, iron is allowed. Wut.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]And really? No history section? Only the biggest hack of an RPG writer would ever do that. Heh… wait a minute…[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"](BTW where is appearance? Are all of the characters blind… because that would be really cool!)[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"](And don’t think I failed to notice Kodan’s walking corpse, either…)[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Rules[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Since the only thing to really define a character is the personality, I hope you keep in mind that it needs to be pretty clearly enforced that stuff like that needs to be played straight. Little know fact – if your character is acting out of character, that’s just as much godmodding as an auto-hit.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Three characters seems a bit slim for your RPGs, but it fits the setting, so I have no complaints.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]In Conclusion[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]This RPG is… actually, it’s pretty decent. I’ve been a bit harsh on it because I didn’t want to make a super short review for it just because it’s super short. Which, while I hated it when I first started (I honestly believed back in 2010 that an RPG being longer meant it was superior, silly fool that I was) I have come to appreciate it more. Excluding War Zone.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Which brings up the big problem I haven’t addressed yet – the plot. What exactly is our goal? We just happen to live in a vaguely defined desert caravan moving through Bara Magna towards the Red Star in a world where apparently there was a mass genocide of some three or four dozen species. This suffers basically the exact opposite problem Loophole had. That RPG had lots of plot threats, but spread them out too far for the average attention span of players; this one keeps everything compact, but has nothing to grab onto. While I imagine if it wins that you or Gravity will start something up pretty quickly, this is not reflected on the RPG itself. This is the set-up for an episodic TV show, a format it would be interesting in, not a three-month RPG.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Luckily, this problem is corrected easily. Introduce a plot. That’s all you need to do is add some kind of clear plot. And when you consider that the entire point of this theme is a bad guy who is a phony, then the real theme behind the theme that it tries to express is working towards a goal, and upon reaching it, learning something. Right now, we have no goal to work towards except for a very vague one – walk at that star. And sure, that may have inspired an entire religion (since I’m a Christian I can make that joke) but it doesn’t necessarily inspire dreams for an RPG.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]But what did I like?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The setting is good and has a lot of promise for providing an interesting RPG. The interactions between the players, who will pretty much all have to interact with each other due to the circumstances, will be a defining point for it; this is why I feel it needs to have a more clear focus or goal to work towards.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The backstory begs lots of questions, which actually has me quite interested in how things would turn out. How did these people get here? How much time has passed? Where are the canon characters? Why is Bara Magna so big again if it’s been almost completely turned into a paradise by Mata-Nui? Who could the bad guy be, since we know so little (this last one suffers from the lack of any clear NPCs).[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I’ll give it this – while it does skip out on some things, it explains everything that it does explain very well despite its short length, which is to be commended.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]At the moment, the RPG is missing elements, but it’s far from lackluster. It’s very well written, which should be expected when you consider who the GMs are. Good writing for an RPG is basically the difference between me thinking “this person has no idea where the plot is going” or “this person definitely has a lot more planned than they are telling us”.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]So, is it a good RPG? It can be, but at the moment, it’s missing too many things for me to really say that it is. In my personal opinion, not looking at it with bias, I think it has the potential to be a very good one. It just needs to be worked on a little more. So it’s a good thing you submitted it earlier on instead of waiting until the last few days of the contest.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Regardless of what you do/don’t decide to change, I wish you the best of luck for the contest. :)[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]With that said –[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Toa Levacius Zehvor, *Waving American Flag*[/font]


Edited by Toa Levacius Zehvor, Jun 12 2013 - 11:00 PM.

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#15 Offline Legolover-361

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Posted Jun 13 2013 - 01:25 PM

First, thanks for the feedback, Levacius. I don't mind criticism as long as it isn't condescending. If I haven't addressed one of your points, it either didn't need addressing or I didn't have a response for it.

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"](Credit to Legolover-361 [or whoever else created it] for the banner, which I shamelessly stole and murdered to create the above monstrosity)[/font]

I did design the banner but used a desert image (I believe public domain) that I found online. 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The opening certainly does have me asking questions, so if that was one of your goals then you certainly accomplished it.[/font]

That is one of my goals, especially because I want people to search for answers to those questions in-game. They aren't going to be answered except through exploration.

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Which immediately begs the question how many moons are we dealing with?[/font]

I believe it's safe to say that, in Tides, you will be dealing with zero moons.

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Im going to ask a few questions here that dont get very clearly answered later. Namely, how many people are in this caravan, exactly? Is this Turaga guy in charge? If not, then who is? I understand the idea of not wanting to reveal too much, but unless our characters are amnesiac or goldfish, they should at least know the workings of the place. If you dont want us to know how the caravan operates, then perhaps you could add in that all characters are pretty much just found in the desert by the caravan when they start off the game; perhaps dying in the sand, or riding over the hills to join in like a triumphant nincompoop?[/font]

I don't want to give an exact number of people in the caravan, but I could provide a rough approximation. It would likely be around fifty to sixty people.Turaga Aiken is in charge. It's funny how I only realize after receiving feedback that I didn't make that clear. (I suppose it seemed so obvious to me, I didn't bother to state it for people who haven't been planning and writing the RPG for over a week: a common pitfall of writing. :P)

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Do you know what happens to a Scarabax swarm when it gets hit by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else.[/font]

...including what would happen to the poor soul covered in scarabax at the time of the lightning strike. I know scarabax aren't very deadly, but they can be stealthy, and if they, say, swarm someone who's sleeping, the resulting scene won't be pretty.

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Ignoring attack of the funny sidekicks, we have things like wolves. Now, Im not zoologist, but I do know this wolves dont attack large groups. Unless these are packs of like forty wolves, nobody should be worrying. And even then, do you know what happens to a wolf when it gets struck by lightning?[/font]

They're large wolves with killer reflexes that do tend to hunt in large packs, though I don't think they'd hunt in packs of over twenty, maybe thirty at the absolute maximum.I'd like to note that I had the Turaga talk about wolves and scarabax mainly to discourage people from separating permanently from the nomadic group. Perhaps I didn't give off that impression in the RPG text, but that was the main point. Also, I've been considering adding another dangerous animal; I'm not certain what animal yet.

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The first problem is the species. Matoran and Toa is perhaps the worst allowed species list that you can have. Even Matoran/Turaga would work better. By placing Toa into the mix, you kill off all tension. One of my greatest personal praises for City in the Dark (though I dont know how much I elaborated on it) was the focus on species not typically touched in canon; in this case, we look at ones we constantly look at. If youre going to restrict us to two species, you should either play it in a way to strengthen the threat of the RPG (if we could only play as, say, Matoran and Turaga, it gets rid of most of my complaints about the above section), or you should try to use it as a way that furthers the story. Perhaps exploring a lesser known group of species? Touching upon stuff left open to be explored in canon? As it is here, this is one of the RPGs weakest points.[/font]

One of my goals for this RPG was to harken back to the early Bionicle storyline, not necessarily completely, but in the base concept of a mysterious, low-tech setting with only a few species (or sub-species, whatever you call 'em). Having only Matoran and Toa as the available species leads toward that. I do understand your point about Toa characters being overused, but I don't want to remove Toa from the equation... Eh, I have over a week to think about it. :P

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I dont really follow your pattern for the allowed and not allowed elements. I can see why youre not allowing water and ice (easy way out, eh?), but why do we still have plant life, which accomplishes a similar goal, along the lines of food. And why is magnetism gone? Gravity, psionics, those are sort of OP. But if youre going to tell me magnetism was more easily abused than sand (which, mind you, is canonically not an element in the Matoran Universe or at least not a common one) could be in this setting then youve gone crazy. And along that note, iron is allowed. Wut.[/font]

The elemental restrictions are largely based on the RPG's backstory. I wish I could clarify the reasons for a bunch of the restrictions, but doing so would ruin the surprise (and I certainly hope the "big reveal" will be worth it). That said, the list of available elements is not completely set in stone at the moment. 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]And really? No history section? Only the biggest hack of an RPG writer would ever do that. Heh wait a minute[/font]

They're amnesiacs; they don't need history. :P 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"](BTW where is appearance? Are all of the characters blind because that would be really cool!)[/font]

A-ha, I knew I was forgetting a section in the profile. 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Which brings up the big problem I havent addressed yet the plot. What exactly is our goal? We just happen to live in a vaguely defined desert caravan moving through Bara Magna towards the Red Star in a world where apparently there was a mass genocide of some three or four dozen species. This suffers basically the exact opposite problem Loophole had. That RPG had lots of plot threats, but spread them out too far for the average attention span of players; this one keeps everything compact, but has nothing to grab onto. While I imagine if it wins that you or Gravity will start something up pretty quickly, this is not reflected on the RPG itself. This is the set-up for an episodic TV show, a format it would be interesting in, not a three-month RPG.[/font] [font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Luckily, this problem is corrected easily. Introduce a plot. Thats all you need to do is add some kind of clear plot. And when you consider that the entire point of this theme is a bad guy who is a phony, then the real theme behind the theme that it tries to express is working towards a goal, and upon reaching it, learning something. Right now, we have no goal to work towards except for a very vague one walk at that star. And sure, that may have inspired an entire religion (since Im a Christian I can make that joke) but it doesnt necessarily inspire dreams for an RPG.[/font]

I'm not entirely sure how to introduce a plot without surrendering too much information. Whatever I do, I won't outright state, "Do this," because I feel the players should think of the ideas themselves. That said, there is at least one thing I could add that may hint toward more exploration being required, and I do have ideas for inspiring exploration and / or mystery-solving once the RPG starts. 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The backstory begs lots of questions, which actually has me quite interested in how things would turn out. How did these people get here? How much time has passed? Where are the canon characters? Why is Bara Magna so big again if its been almost completely turned into a paradise by Mata-Nui? Who could the bad guy be, since we know so little (this last one suffers from the lack of any clear NPCs).[/font]

Thankfully, I have answers for all of these questions, and I hope all of them will have the chance to be revealed.

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]So, is it a good RPG? It can be, but at the moment, its missing too many things for me to really say that it is. In my personal opinion, not looking at it with bias, I think it has the potential to be a very good one. It just needs to be worked on a little more. So its a good thing you submitted it earlier on instead of waiting until the last few days of the contest.[/font] [font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Regardless of what you do/dont decide to change, I wish you the best of luck for the contest. :)[/font]

Thanks again for the feedback, and good luck to you as well!

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#16 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 13 2013 - 02:52 PM

[font="Verdana;font-size:12px;"]I don't want to give an exact number of people in the caravan, but I could provide a rough approximation. It would likely be around fifty to sixty people.Turaga Aiken is in charge. It's funny how I only realize after receiving feedback that I didn't make that clear. (I suppose it seemed so obvious to me, I didn't bother to state it for people who haven't been planning and writing the RPG for over a week: a common pitfall of writing. :P)[/font]

 

I certainly figured as much (since he's made out, based on the profile set up, to be the only Turaga), but it was never made particularly clear. Especially when nearly every RPG puts a Toa or something in charge now.

 

[font="Verdana;font-size:12px;"]I'd like to note that I had the Turaga talk about wolves and scarabax mainly to discourage people from separating permanently from the nomadic group. Perhaps I didn't give off that impression in the RPG text, but that was the main point. Also, I've been considering adding another dangerous animal; I'm not certain what animal yet.[/font]

 

Again, I figured that was the main goal, but the way it's written it comes across that these things actually attack the caravan constantly. Which seems just a little uncharacteristic of the behavior of real-world creatures.

 

[font="Verdana;font-size:12px;"]One of my goals for this RPG was to harken back to the early Bionicle storyline, not necessarily completely, but in the base concept of a mysterious, low-tech setting with only a few species (or sub-species, whatever you call 'em). Having only Matoran and Toa as the available species leads toward that. I do understand your point about Toa characters being overused, but I don't want to remove Toa from the equation... Eh, I have over a week to think about it. :P[/font]

 

If I were to suggest something - just don't allow Toa at the start. Especially if the goal is to harken back to the early Bionicle storyline. At the very start, all that they had was Takua going off and fighting horrible monsters by himself. Perhaps at a later point, the characters stop in an old temple and find a few active Toa Stones they can use? Allowing maybe one character per every player who was both active and generally a positive influence on the RPG as a reward would work. Scenarios like this work for other reasons - namely, it stops certain people (me) from exploiting the vague definitions of elemental powers by restricting them to more chaotic forms. It also works better along a character development route, what with the characters trying to learn their powers, elemental and Kanohi alike.

 

[font="Verdana;font-size:12px;"]I'm not entirely sure how to introduce a plot without surrendering too much information. Whatever I do, I won't outright state, "Do this," because I feel the players should think of the ideas themselves. That said, there is at least one thing I could add that may hint toward more exploration being required, and I do have ideas for inspiring exploration and / or mystery-solving once the RPG starts.[/font]

 

If you have something you can add to the RPG without giving away too much of the plot, then by all means add it in there and the RPG will be, in my opinion, far better for it.

 

 

.... with that said, let's move on to the -

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Fire is on fire,[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Water is flying,[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Towers can walk,[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I can't rhyme;[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Visorak?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=rgb(255,160,122);]Levacius Reviews -[/color][/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]City of the Dead[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=rgb(255,160,122);](Finally, someone else without a banner)[/color][/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Story[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Freaking Visorak. You can't even make an eight-legged freaks reference because they only have four legs. Technically, they shouldn't even be considered spiders.... more like half spiders. Their body is more like a single segment with four legs instead of two with eight. Maybe that's why they're so bitter....[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Ooh, but look at me ramble. Let's focus on the RPG. The main problem I see is that... well, let's face it. The Dark Hunter/Brotherhood war was the least of these peoples problems, but it's made to seem like the big one. Canonically, at this point, almost every small island and even parts of the continents, save perhaps Zakaz, Xia, Stelt, and so on, has had at least one encounter with the Visorak. The Great Cataclysm just killed potentially hundreds of thousands of people. I admit, this is very nitpicky, but it does seem like that would be a better reason for people to be fleeing from their homes then a war between two factions that were operating primarily in the shadows. One reason I bring this up is how at the bottom of the RPG you admit that you increased the threat level. It seems rather pointless when you have plenty of other options.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]My memory may be slipping me, but I seem to recall Tridax was an antagonist in one of your RPGs at some point? This one, perhaps? Most curious...[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Factions[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Look, I understand you don't want to 'specialize' these groups or anything, but right now they seem a tad undefined with what their actual goals really are. Perhaps you could give a more clear understanding of what objectives are desired from some of the branches? Ga-Metru we know is trying to flee, but the others just seem hunkered down. Perhaps they have another goal?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Visorak could use a little more fleshing out, because right now they just seem like generic attackers without any real motivation to them, which is a truly poor quality in an antagonist force. It's fine as it is if we're not allowed to play on the Brotherhood's side; otherwise, it's very boring and rather restrictive. Give a few more motivations and express at least some goal beyond M&D.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Locations[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Not much to say here; it's Metru-Nui with Visorak. Not much else to say. I guess you could link a map to help out the newbies, but most people probably have at least a base understanding of the city.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Profiles[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Looks like you learned not to place the exposition in the character profiles, so kudos. I feel as though I could have not read them and not missed anything, which is a far cry from an earlier escapade.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Character Creation[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I don't really understand the mental blocks being outlawed, but there's no reason to argue it any further since it hasn't done any good the last few contests. What I really, really can't understand is the 'limited' section. Listen, the Mask of Shadow and Mask of Light are unique, powerful masks created for specific purposes. At this point in the story, there aren't any Toa of Light either. There's no reason for these things to be allowed; maybe a Toa of Shadow or what not, but that's about it from those elements. And the other thing - masks don't create Toa. You can place Toa Power into any item and allow a being to become a Toa, and then it's expended. Gone. Just like a Toa Stone. I don't understand the reason to fret over this. Just add a rule saying 'you cannot change another character into a Toa' or something if you're that worried.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Oh, and honestly, with all of the things you outlawed (since it is a pretty big list) then I would advise you do what I do - don't outlaw anything. Look at profiles on a case by case basis. You have to read them anyways, after all. And while there's nobody you can trust with a Makuta, and the non-MU species are fully out of place, if someone wants to play as one of these species on here but perhaps give dampened powers or has a really good idea along some lines then there's no reason to restrict. Especially when people from across the MU are here.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Rules[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I'm going to start off with what has been a pet peeve of mine. I cannot stand when the staff characters are played as actual characters rather than NPCs. They're NPCs, because they're non-player characters. They have jobs which means that they're not going to be off adventuring and the like. They have a specific job they're doing that takes up all of their time. Even then, this isn't as big of a problem. The real problem is when people have felt the need to make their own staff characters into the central portion of a plot, sometimes at the exclusion of other characters. But then, that's just my opinion on the matter. I would elaborate further, but this is more of a personal matter that would take too long to put on here and be rather off-topic.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]And to clarify - your statement makes it seem as though NPCs are controlled by the players. They're not. In fact, the definition of NPC outright says they're not. If a player is controlling an NPC, that means it's a character they introduced and have control over. An (N)PC of sorts.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]In Conclusion[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]This RPG is pretty good. It has some problems that are present, but no RPG doesn't, so this can easily be excused. I'd like to see some more goals or motivations for the present factions, and I feel that restrictions are being placed on the wrong places. But overall, it's a fairly sound RPG. I'm particularly interested by the Outcasts, who I feel should produce the most interesting character concepts.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Best of luck in the RPG polls. :)[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]With that said,[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]-Toa Levacius Zehvor, "Waving American Flag"[/font]


Edited by Toa Levacius Zehvor, Jun 13 2013 - 02:52 PM.

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#17 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Jun 13 2013 - 05:15 PM

-Toa Levacius Zehvor, "Waving American Flag[color=#470b04;][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]"[/color][/font]

Your post looks alien without the familiar emoticon. O.o The story: Okay, I'll admit I wrote up the story in one sitting, mainly because I couldn't salvage the old story due to large differences--if i recall I did mention the other motivating factors. Easy edit to make. Factions: I will admit that, but most of the problem is that the motivations for each factor, I was planning to reveal more in game.

 

And yes, the Visorak present an interesting problem because I can't think of a role for them other than the scourge that they are. And frankly,even though I leave it open to PCs, the majority of people I guess will be Outcasts or Settlers.  Map: I was lazy, maybe later. Character Creation: #oldrulesIforgottoremove.  

I'm going to start off with what has been a pet peeve of mine. I cannot stand when the staff characters are played as actual characters rather than NPCs. They're NPCs, because they're non-player characters. They have jobs which means that they're not going to be off adventuring and the like. They have a specific job they're doing that takes up all of their time. Even then, this isn't as big of a problem. The real problem is when people have felt the need to make their own staff characters into the central portion of a plot, sometimes at the exclusion of other characters. But then, that's just my opinion on the matter. I would elaborate further, but this is more of a personal matter that would take too long to put on here and be rather off-topic.[color=#470b04;][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]And to clarify - your statement makes it seem as though NPCs are controlled by the players. They're not. In fact, the definition of NPC outright says they're not. If a player is controlling an NPC, that means it's a character they introduced and have control over. An (N)PC of sorts.[/color][/font]

 

I simply wanted to differentiate between what we would call an NPC, like a Visorak that the player randomly attacks and kills, and the leader of a faction that, although not a personal character is not the same as an NPC visorak. So I simply defined that type of NPC as a staff-controlled-character. The personal characters of a GM, as I believe I noted in character Creation, are bound by the same rules as other PCs and have no prominence.

 

And, if any of the staff characters go adventuring, it'll be for the sake of advancing the plot. Although I am tempted to make Erazoth a personal character.

 

Also, Tridax was the villain in the old version, but for storyline reasons I changed it to Chirox.

 

Anyways, I edited the backstory (second paragraph), the Visorak and Outcast factions, and Onu Metru as well as Character Creation and Rules. Thanks for the review. :)


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#18 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 13 2013 - 09:54 PM

Your post looks alien without the familiar emoticon. O.o

 

Just a bit of variety.

 

On terms of the Visorak, I do have another question - is everyone affiliated with the Brotherhood a Visorak or Hordika? Or are there, perhaps, other powerful servants who are present to provide extra support and battlefield control? Having more 'elite' Brothehood units available would make determining motivations more simple.

 

I simply wanted to differentiate between what we would call an NPC, like a Visorak that the player randomly attacks and kills, and the leader of a faction that, although not a personal character is not the same as an NPC visorak. So I simply defined that type of NPC as a staff-controlled-character. The personal characters of a GM, as I believe I noted in character Creation, are bound by the same rules as other PCs and have no prominence.

 

Understandable.

 

And, if any of the staff characters go adventuring, it'll be for the sake of advancing the plot. Although I am tempted to make Erazoth a personal character.

 

While that may be a good idea, it poses a problem. Namely - what happens of Erazoth were to die? The entire morale of his group would crumble. Sending him out, alone or with a few players, would be a major risk. I can't imagine any actual tactician would put the importance of a single mission over the importance of the continued morale and vitality of their group.

 

Anyways, I edited the backstory (second paragraph), the Visorak and Outcast factions, and Onu Metru as well as Character Creation and Rules. Thanks for the review. :)

 

The changes all look pretty good. Again, best of luck at the polls.

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


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#19 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Jun 14 2013 - 08:45 AM

On terms of the Visorak, I do have another question - is everyone affiliated with the Brotherhood a Visorak or Hordika? Or are there, perhaps, other powerful servants who are present to provide extra support and battlefield control? Having more 'elite' Brothehood units available would make determining motivations more simple.

 

Another thing in the original I forgot to include: but yes,Vusorak, Rahkshi, and a smattering of mercenaries etc. I'll edit that presently.

 

While that may be a good idea, it poses a problem. Namely - what happens of Erazoth were to die? The entire morale of his group would crumble. Sending him out, alone or with a few players, would be a major risk. I can't imagine any actual tactician would put the importance of a single mission over the importance of the continued morale and vitality of their group.

Hey, that's why I presented that as a potency, without specifying how likely it was to become actuality.

 

And good luck to you as well.


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#20 Offline The Lorax

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Posted Jun 14 2013 - 06:39 PM

I see I've been beaten to it, but I'll still throw a bit of feedback in here about City of the Dead.

 

I'll affirm most of what Levacius said, particulalry with the groups. In cutting them down and making them less organised and defined, they did lose a lot of their interestingness, and their teeth. The game felt a bit like "Here are people. Survive." However, the edits have gone a good distance towards fixing this, so well done there. Especially in making other Brotherhood soldiers playable than Visorak. You've already addressed this, I know, but I feel like I should let you know I like it

 

Map: I was lazy, maybe later.

 

I do like a good map, so here you go.  Laziness problem solved. :)

http://biosector01.c...p_Metru_Nui.png

 

About locations: what's happened to the coliseum? Is there anything interesting there? Even if there isn't, it might warrant its own section just to say that.

 

And why did the Rahkshi/Visorak first some to Ga-Metru, rather than the rest of the city? Ga-Metru is right at the north end, furthest from the sea gates and the rest of the universe. It would make sense to start in Le-Metru, the closest to where they were coming from, and then work their way up into the city. What reason did Chirox have for going all the way around and then landing on the far side? Unless of course it's a plot-important secret, in which case don't worry about answering this.

 

Also, is there some big force of Visorak guarding the sea gates? Because if they are all in the Ga-Ta-Po area and Le-Metru is abandoned, what is there to stop all the settlers from just up and leaving Metru Nui? Sure, they came here to flee war, but even that must look pretty good next to being trapped by Visorak. I if was me, I'd be running south no matter how smash up the south of the city was. Smashed buildings are easier to get through than an army.

 

We never did decide a single plan. While all around us our followers packed their belongings, preparing to flee we debated. And we still had not reached a plan when scouts reported how close the Visorak split.

 

This sentence is odd. Did you mean "We had still not reached a plan when scouts reported hos close the Visroak had come, so we split"?

 

The profiles look good, as do the rules. I didn't care much either way about the mental blocks, so whatever. Six characters should be enough to keep everyone happy.

 

So, in cocnlusion, it's a good RPG. I'd be interested to see how much difference the changes from Strike form the Shadows make. I can't promise a vote though, because there are more good games already entered and still to come.

 

EDIT: One more thing, here.

as well as other equipment such as Powerless Kanohi.

Why would they want to amass powerless kanohi in a fortress, exactly? I suppose some Matoran might lose their masks and need new ones, sure, but they don't seem a terribly useful stockpile to have. They don't do anything much, and I don't imagine very many Matoran will lose their masks but still survive a battle and so require replacements. Old vahki or rahkshi staffs I could understand, powerful rahi or great masks, but powerless ones? Why?

 

EDIT AGAIN: I really should have thought of this earlier, but what has happened with the Turaga Dume, the rahagah and Keetongu, who were left in Metru Nui when the Metru took the Matoran to Mata Nui. Keetongu would be really useful to have around right now, though that might sorta kill the whole hordika thing.


Edited by The Lorax, Jun 15 2013 - 02:19 AM.

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citd_small.jpg


#21 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 15 2013 - 05:36 PM

@ Lorax; See, I noticed the missing Keetongu and Company as well. But the Coliseum is never described either, and that would be where those guys are. Likely locked away underground. And as far as powerless Kanohi goes... that's actually pretty useful. If you remember, Kanohi are pretty hard to make, and rare. They can break and be made useless easily. Think of them as the equivalent to having gas masks in WW1. Only everyone needs to wear one, and the gas is always in the air.

 

Anyways...

 

Levacius…

…. Reviews

[color=#daa520;]DISRUPTION[/color]

 

Let’s cut to the chase. The RPG has a few good ideas, a few bad ones, and a few poorly implemented ones. The rest is just ideas. So let’s review this turkey. 

 

The Story

 

The basic setting of the Matoran Civil War is interesting, and even the addition of two other factions makes some amount of sense. But I’m going to be completely honest here – you claim that this is the middle of the war, and yet technology has somehow advanced to the standpoint of the canon story. I don’t know who told you that better tech makes a game more exciting, but I’m fairly sure it’s the same group of people who made a mod for Halo armor in Skyrim. Pointless and out of place.

 

Just because the tech level isn’t equal to the ‘modern’ canon, that doesn’t mean you have to rule it out. The fact is, if you actually go to the tech level Metru-Nui had at the time, you have the capability of creating more interesting scenarios. Perhaps the reason the war has been going on is because they’ve begun creating WWI-esque trenches along the lines between Metrus? You could be using the scenario to show interesting historical parallels.

That beings said, the Vahki I don’t have a problem with. The suits, I do. Why? Why is the smallest, most under-resourced group sending their soldiers to die along with their super expensive mechs? And why are they Vahki? Honestly, the Kralhi work much better for this job – bloodthirsty robots with the armor plating of tanks. You could actually turn the Loyalists into a formidable threat equal to the other factions by having them come up into the battle with a group of elite warriors trailed by a giant death tank. It would certainly be more thematically appropriate than mech suits.

 

On a related note – the ending of the write-up for the loyalists, describing the powers of the Vahki, is poorly placed. You actually do a good job with trying to add to the immersion (though ‘swine’ is a strange choice) for the majority of the opening, but that part just seems a bit off. Like if you were listening to the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, and suddenly they feel the need to describe the Big Bad Wolf’s body mass index.

 

Locations

 

Places are places and I have no complaints, but if I were to make a change, it would be the Traders Island. When you think about the power of Xia and Nynrah, it seems like a wasted opportunity just tying them to a rock with a few boats. Now, an entire merchant fleet hooked up together a few Kio south of Metru-Nui, composed solely of boats and creating a miniature city? That’s something which really shows how seriously they take this weapons dealing thing.

 

Also, you might want to elaborate more on the state of the Great Temple. If I remember my storyline correctly, this should be the original one, before the Protocairns ate it. Which means that it isn’t on its own island, and is still part of the normal Ga-Metru coast. I can’t imagine anyone being willing to actually engage in combat here, so that could be worked into the plot.

 

Factions

 

I’ve made any complaints that could be given here already, so I’ll just point out that I actually do like the set-up. The introduction of the traders actually shows the real influence that the Great City being at war has over the universe. Seeing the introduction of mercenaries being hired (a little too far back for Dark Hunters…) might be cool as well. After all, a Steltian may cost a lot to hire, but one is easily a match for a regular Matoran squad.

 

Important NPCs

 

Okay, some brief commentary here. Mahili – that is not a weakness. In fact, none of these characters really have true weaknesses of any kind. This is because they barely have personality profiles to give them an actual exploitable psychological vulnerability. I’d even suffer for a physical handicap of some kind, which is the lowest form of weakness you can give a character. Especially when the main cast of players are Matoran, which implies a high amount of physical weakness (comparatively) right off the bat.

 

Rexla makes absolutely no sense when you say she can’t fight to save her life. I don’t expect her to be some kind of Roodaka, but come on. They’re Vortixx, and if we go based on examples from Roodaka as even the upper limits, then Rexla could crush a Matoran’s head with a single snap. This kind of ‘weakness’ applies when most of the players are going after the stronger races, or even beings like Toa, but here? No.

 

Rules

 

I don’t generally like restriction, but in this case, the rules shouldn’t say ‘or similar physical abilities’, it should say ‘Matoran only’. It’s the Matoran Civil War, after all. I’m even opposed to the addition of Toa characters, because that’s bloody overkill. One Toa has enough raw power to level a whole platoon of soldiers, and I don’t frankly trust anyone on the forum to actually follow any form of Toa Code. Especially after watching Strike from the Shadows take place. If anything, let players gain access to better tech or maybe prototype weapons such as a Rhotuka spinner that they could use.

 

As Far as the Footnote

 

No! This doesn’t belong here. You don’t give people hints at the puppet, even when it’s obvious. These secrets are obviously ones you will keep to yourself, don’t tell us about that either. Don’t even mention the puppets. It’s wasted.

 

In Conclusion

 

The RPG is fairly good, but it has a number of problems. The setting itself is fine, and the presence of the Traders is definitely a much better solution to more advanced weapons than having them developing the majority of this stuff here. It works with the canon setting rather than countering it.

 

However, there are also a lot of problems that are present, as I’ve pointed out. There are a lot of missed opportunities, and things like the Vahki suits just seemed added for ‘the cool’, while failing to ignore that the point of the RPG is character interaction and story. Not flashy lights.

 

That being said, though, best of luck in the contest. :)

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor

:flagusa:


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#22 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Jun 15 2013 - 06:06 PM

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I'll affirm most of what Levacius said, particulalry with the groups. In cutting them down and making them less organised and defined, they did lose a lot of their interestingness, and their teeth. The game felt a bit like "Here are people. Survive." However, the edits have gone a good distance towards fixing this, so well done there. [/color]Especially[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;] in making other Brotherhood soldiers playable than Visorak. You've already addressed this, I know, but I feel like I should let you know I like it[/color]

The main problem was that I knew that I couldn't run the Steltian faction, at the very least. I'm probably going to throw in a small Vortixx faction, after some though.

 

I do like a good map, so here you go.  Laziness problem solved

I have one, but i need to get around to marking the general layout.

 

About locations: what's happened to the coliseum? Is there anything interesting there? Even if there isn't, it might warrant its own section just to say that.

The original description was part of a plot that doesn't exist in this story.

 

And why did the Rahkshi/Visorak first some to Ga-Metru, rather than the rest of the city? Ga-Metru is right at the north end, furthest from the sea gates and the rest of the universe. It would make sense to start in Le-Metru, the closest to where they were coming from, and then work their way up into the city. What reason did Chirox have for going all the way around and then landing on the far side? Unless of course it's a plot-important secret, in which case don't worry about answering this.

Because Zarayna has no clue of the position of Metru Nui, and thus had the idea that Ga Metru, being water oriented, might logically be the closest to the sea gates. This does create bit of a geographical annoyance...

 

Why would they want to amass powerless kanohi in a fortress, exactly? I suppose some Matoran might lose their masks and need new ones, sure, but they don't seem a terribly useful stockpile to have. They don't do anything much, and I don't imagine very many Matoran will lose their masks but still survive a battle and so require replacements. Old vahki or rahkshi staffs I could understand, powerful rahi or great masks, but powerless ones? Why?

 

Added on statement that I didn't put much thought into. Lev did address the need for Kanohi period quite well.


Edited by Grantaire, Jun 15 2013 - 06:09 PM.

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#23 Offline Canis Lycaon

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Posted Jun 16 2013 - 06:20 PM

 

The Story

 

The basic setting of the Matoran Civil War is interesting, and even the addition of two other factions makes some amount of sense. But I’m going to be completely honest here – you claim that this is the middle of the war, and yet technology has somehow advanced to the standpoint of the canon story. I don’t know who told you that better tech makes a game more exciting, but I’m fairly sure it’s the same group of people who made a moderator for Halo armor in Skyrim. Pointless and out of place.

 

Just because the tech level isn’t equal to the ‘modern’ canon, that doesn’t mean you have to rule it out. The fact is, if you actually go to the tech level Metru-Nui had at the time, you have the capability of creating more interesting scenarios. Perhaps the reason the war has been going on is because they’ve begun creating WWI-esque trenches along the lines between Metrus? You could be using the scenario to show interesting historical parallels.

That beings said, the Vahki I don’t have a problem with. The suits, I do. Why? Why is the smallest, most under-resourced group sending their soldiers to die along with their super expensive mechs? And why are they Vahki? Honestly, the Kralhi work much better for this job – bloodthirsty robots with the armor plating of tanks. You could actually turn the Loyalists into a formidable threat equal to the other factions by having them come up into the battle with a group of elite warriors trailed by a giant death tank. It would certainly be more thematically appropriate than mech suits.

 

On a related note – the ending of the write-up for the loyalists, describing the powers of the Vahki, is poorly placed. You actually do a good job with trying to add to the immersion (though ‘swine’ is a strange choice) for the majority of the opening, but that part just seems a bit off. Like if you were listening to the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, and suddenly they feel the need to describe the Big Bad Wolf’s body mass index.

Well, about the tech level. Using the timeline on Biosector, Kanoka and Chutes weren't invented for seventy five thousand years after the Civil War. If that is how long it took for them to get something as relatively simple a a Kanoka disk, what did they have back them? I've decided to give everyone a low tech level, but the Traders would have a modern day level.

 

About that suggestion on the Krahli. I'll probably do something along those lines and remove the Vahki.

 

 

Locations

 

Places are places and I have no complaints, but if I were to make a change, it would be the Traders Island. When you think about the power of Xia and Nynrah, it seems like a wasted opportunity just tying them to a rock with a few boats. Now, an entire merchant fleet hooked up together a few Kio south of Metru-Nui, composed solely of boats and creating a miniature city? That’s something which really shows how seriously they take this weapons dealing thing.

 

Also, you might want to elaborate more on the state of the Great Temple. If I remember my storyline correctly, this should be the original one, before the Protocairns ate it. Which means that it isn’t on its own island, and is still part of the normal Ga-Metru coast. I can’t imagine anyone being willing to actually engage in combat here, so that could be worked into the plot.

That is a good point about the Trader's Island. I'll be making edits to that portion of the RPG.

 

I forgot about the Great Temple. I'll think about what to do with it.

 

 

Important NPCs

 

Okay, some brief commentary here. Mahili – that is not a weakness. In fact, none of these characters really have true weaknesses of any kind. This is because they barely have personality profiles to give them an actual exploitable psychological vulnerability. I’d even suffer for a physical handicap of some kind, which is the lowest form of weakness you can give a character. Especially when the main cast of players are Matoran, which implies a high amount of physical weakness (comparatively) right off the bat.

 

Rexla makes absolutely no sense when you say she can’t fight to save her life. I don’t expect her to be some kind of Roodaka, but come on. They’re Vortixx, and if we go based on examples from Roodaka as even the upper limits, then Rexla could crush a Matoran’s head with a single snap. This kind of ‘weakness’ applies when most of the players are going after the stronger races, or even beings like Toa, but here? No.

The Important NPC weaknesses weren't supposed to be weaknesses for the NPCs themselves, but their factions.

 

I didn't realize that Vortixx were that strong.

 

I've thought about it, and seeing as how everyone is a Matoran, I might end up removing the Weakness section entirely. They are already the least powerful race in the MU.

 

 

Rules

 

I don’t generally like restriction, but in this case, the rules shouldn’t say ‘or similar physical abilities’, it should say ‘Matoran only’. It’s the Matoran Civil War, after all. I’m even opposed to the addition of Toa characters, because that’s bloody overkill. One Toa has enough raw power to level a whole platoon of soldiers, and I don’t frankly trust anyone on the forum to actually follow any form of Toa Code. Especially after watching Strike from the Shadows take place. If anything, let players gain access to better tech or maybe prototype weapons such as a Rhotuka spinner that they could use.

See, normally people flip out when they're facing species restrictions, even if it is for four species, so I didn't want to make people even angrier by limiting them to one species . I didn't want to cause that, so I left it open to have custom species, if someone wanted. I'll do what you say and remove it.

 

 

As Far as the Footnote

 

No! This doesn’t belong here. You don’t give people hints at the puppet, even when it’s obvious. These secrets are obviously ones you will keep to yourself, don’t tell us about that either. Don’t even mention the puppets. It’s wasted.

I removed it after reading this.


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#24 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Jun 16 2013 - 08:08 PM

Canis: Your game had me from the start, frankly. But that's mainly because I'm a sucker for Metru Nui settings. However...

 

1) My overall gripe boils down to this: it feels a little vague, almost as if you wrote a lot of the info up without putting much thought into how it will work and how to run it. I had that exact experience with SFTS, and it didn't end well (strangely, SFTS did better than the recent RPGs. I hope that will change in the future). Especially if you have military style factions and are the sole GM...

 

2) What's the case with foreign mercenaries? I can suppose that with a war waging on this long, you'd probably find quite a bit of them flocking to Metru Nui. However this would reduce the Matoran-only dynamic.

 

3) I actually like the exo-Vahki... Perhaps as a special upgrade instead of Toa?

 

4) I would like to see a little more about the Loyalists. How big are they? Just the minority elements? I would assume there'd be a fair amount of the more peaceful Matoran fleeing here. Unless of course they hid in Ga-Metru...

 

5) The Stone Militia has a huge advantage with their vehicles. How does the Alliance balance this out?

 

6)Could you be a little more specific about "The technology of the game is closer to the technology used in the current storyline than as it would properly be if using the actual timeline of the RPG"? IMO it would be easiest to just use Toa Metru level tech: it's still inferior to Xian weaponry and besides Kanoka isn't too useful in battle..[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:'times new roman', times, serif;font-size:14px;].[/color]

 

7) That's about it. I mean, it'd be nice if there was more set goals beyond fighting or selling to both sides. but I can hope that the Loyalists have some awesome plans to be revealed in game! Good luck in the contest: you have my vote.


Edited by Grantaire, Jun 16 2013 - 08:09 PM.

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#25 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 16 2013 - 11:44 PM

[font="'Bookman Old Style';font-size:14px;"]Well, about the tech level. Using the timeline on Biosector, Kanoka and Chutes weren't invented for seventy five thousand years after the Civil War. If that is how long it took for them to get something as relatively simple a a Kanoka disk, what did they have back them? I've decided to give everyone a low tech level, but the Traders would have a modern day level.[/font]

[font="'Bookman Old Style';font-size:14px;"] [/font]

[font="'Bookman Old Style';font-size:14px;"]About that suggestion on the Krahli. I'll probably do something along those lines and remove the Vahki.[/font]

 

You do realize that the entire foundations for Metru-Nui as an island city existed at that point? And Kanohi did exist. In fact, Zamor sphere launchers emerged at about this time period, and they were considered impressive tech by the time Krekka and Nidihki pulled some up not too long after the Dark Hunter/Metru-Nui War.

 

Then there's the fact that human civilization hasn't invented Kanoka or Chutes either. So you can't really compare that to very much. There is no baseline to compare fictional technology. By this point in history, people could very easily have tech levels of the early 1900s, which as I said, is far better off. Heck, if that's too far fetched, step back to the (American) Civil War. That might even be more thematic, and I would love to see a fleet of Matoran Ironclads engaging in combat...

 

But I digress.

 

[font="'Bookman Old Style';font-size:14px;"]I didn't realize that Vortixx were that strong.[/font]

[font="'Bookman Old Style';font-size:14px;"] [/font]

[font="'Bookman Old Style';font-size:14px;"]I've thought about it, and seeing as how everyone is a Matoran, I might end up removing the Weakness section entirely. They are already the least powerful race in the MU.[/font]

 

Are you familiar with Trollers? Giant worms, think Dune for scale. The largest are said to be able to eat whole districts of Po-Metru. In one of the Adventures books, Roodaka is battling Krahka and literally pulls her out of the ground after she takes on the form of one. I personally figure that it was a reasonably small one, meant to fit more easily in the Coliseum arena. But even then, they're about ten feet tall. Matoran are... around four or five, I think? And with about half as much width? It's like throwing your Jack Russel in front of Michael Vick's bulldog.

 

(BOO! BOO!)

 

... okay, even I admit that joke was cheap.

 

If I were to recommend, keep the weaknesses section, but keep people more on terms of having some form of psychological difficulties. If they go on with full Mary Sue skills, force them to have a physical handicap as well. People need to start using real character flaws when designing the personalities of their characters.

 

See, normally people flip out when they're facing species restrictions, even if it is for four species, so I didn't want to make people even angrier by limiting them to one species . I didn't want to cause that, so I left it open to have custom species, if someone wanted. I'll do what you say and remove it.

 

Not all of us, it would seem. Some people. I know that I've seen people have actually gotten angry at the majority of GMs for not letting them play as things like Makuta. But the thing is, there's a certain thing some people don't understand called being appropriate to the setting.

 

Let me use the Makuta as an example. This is a being that has no reason to be in the situation they're in. Why is a Makuta doing what the players are doing? One of a species with a very limited number of individuals, with powers second only to Tren Krom and Mata-Nui, who have a specific duty to fulfill in the universe, along with their own lofty ambitions. Arrogant to the extreme, and with a job to do. The average player will not be entertained by running laboratory experiments for there months, and if they are... you don't need to be a Makuta. There are no settings where a player should be playing as a Makuta unless everyone is. And if everyone is, it takes away anything special about the species by reducing them to the common level. The only thing that can still threaten them could just as easily be forced to fight Toa instead, giving them a tougher fight and being far more appropriate to the Bionicle setting itself.

 

But this RPG here, that you created. It's set in the Matoran Civil War. The characters who are fighting are Matoran. Species like Toa and all them have enough raw power to easily devastate any opposing force, and changing them changes the entire theme and setting from one of wit and skill to one of raw power. The only way it could work is if you were planning for this RPG to win for three contests in a row, and introduce the Toa halfway through the final season. As a sort of escalation of the conflict. If you put other species, such as Primes or Steltians, into the mix first. That would work.

 

Putting other species of equal power level could work, but it would seem out of place amongst the mix of things. It would be a break in the normality. Imagine if you, say... took Legolas and threw him into a Civil War movie. As one of the main characters. That's what a custom species would do here, especially at the start. 

So honestly, it could work. But it's better to just go straight up Matoran. I'll support you doing the former; with the latter, though, I'll be quite willing to stand up against any wannabe critic who wants to play their custom specialized lizard Matoran and tell them... think of the children.

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


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#26 Offline The Lorax

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Posted Jun 17 2013 - 04:08 AM

Review of Trapped in a Map:

 

First up, wow, the banner and map for this game are fantastic. How much time and effort went into making them? A lot, obviously, and it was definitely worth it. They are great.

 

Aside from my initial wonder at the pictures, I see that this is a very well put-together RPG, with the great story, the locations (short but effective nonetheless), the factions and everything else. One thing I would change, however, is the order in which they are placed. The overview, containing a central conflice about the edges of the map breaking up, is hidden in between the profiles and NPCs, and other important information like the timeperiod and mechanics of the map don't come in until the very end, almost. I would advise you to put these things in much earlier, probably after the locations. The gameplay section could easily be merged with the overview, to give all that important exposition early. The rules are much less important in setting up the story and creating interst, so there's no real need to bring these in until the end. I'd drop the NPCs down a bit as well.

 

Maybe the outcasts could have their own entry in the factions section? If they're home to rogue citizens and rebels, maybe the rebels could have some sort of  organised group/leadership structure? Or is this supposed to be one of the player factions that gets made?

 

A few questions I have:

 

Where in the MU does the carver live, mainly, if he's not travelling all over the place? This will be quite important in crafting character backstories so that they can be in the right place to get trapped.

 

Among those who disagree with the worshipers rule, and live in the outcast towers, tunnels and such, are there any prominent organisations/groups/leaders? Maybe they could have thier own entry in the factions section, unless this was meant to be one of the player-made factions?

 

What, aproximately, is the population/area of the map? You say that it is getting full, but some numbers would be nice.

 

That's about all I can think of for now. You have a very good entry here and one I'd very much like to play. And, with CotD pulling out, there's a very good chance that you'll have my vote. Good luck getting more of those.


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#27 Offline Canis Lycaon

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Posted Jun 17 2013 - 03:18 PM

 

You do realize that the entire foundations for Metru-Nui as an island city existed at that point? And Kanohi did exist. In fact, Zamor sphere launchers emerged at about this time period, and they were considered impressive tech by the time Krekka and Nidihki pulled some up not too long after the Dark Hunter/Metru-Nui War.

 
Then there's the fact that human civilization hasn't invented Kanoka or Chutes either. So you can't really compare that to very much. There is no baseline to compare fictional technology. By this point in history, people could very easily have tech levels of the early 1900s, which as I said, is far better off. Heck, if that's too far fetched, step back to the (American) Civil War. That might even be more thematic, and I would love to see a fleet of Matoran Ironclads engaging in combat...
Hm. I've decided to have a low, ~World War II era tech level, and Traders would have closer to the present in the canon storyline. Rewards would be a Rhotuka.

 

If I were to recommend, keep the weaknesses section, but keep people more on terms of having some form of psychological difficulties. If they go on with full Mary Sue skills, force them to have a physical handicap as well. People need to start using real character flaws when designing the personalities of their characters.

That is a good idea, but part of me doesn't want everyone having psychological weaknesses. Besides, the playing field, (Unless you decide to attack Mahili or Rexla or one of the other Vortixx on Trader's Island) would be equal physically for every one, so I don't really think that a weakness would be necessary.

 

And now for Zarayna's Review.

 

1) My overall gripe boils down to this: it feels a little vague, almost as if you wrote a lot of the info up without putting much thought into how it will work and how to run it. I had that exact experience with SFTS, and it didn't end well (strangely, SFTS did better than the recent RPGs. I hope that will change in the future). Especially if you have military style factions and are the sole GM...

I do need more GMs.

 

2) What's the case with foreign mercenaries? I can suppose that with a war waging on this long, you'd probably find quite a bit of them flocking to Metru Nui. However this would reduce the Matoran-only dynamic.

No one that would be interested in being a mercenary has enough money to get to Metru Nui. This is before the Dark Hunters.

 

 

3) I actually like the exo-Vahki... Perhaps as a special upgrade instead of Toa?

That is a good idea. I'll might include that. If I do, it will most likely be an advanced weapon or a Vahki.

 

4) I would like to see a little more about the Loyalists. How big are they? Just the minority elements? I would assume there'd be a fair amount of the more peaceful Matoran fleeing here. Unless of course they hid in Ga-Metru...

Minority elements, peaceful people, and people who affiliated with Metru Nui as a whole and not their Metru.

 

5) The Stone Militia has a huge advantage with their vehicles. How does the Alliance balance this out?

Men. If you look at a map, you can see that the areas the Eastern Alliance controls are, combined, bigger than those the Stone Militia controls.

 

6) Could you be a little more specific about "The technology of the game is closer to the technology used in the current storyline than as it would properly be if using the actual timeline of the RPG"? IMO it would be easiest to just use Toa Metru level tech: it's still inferior to Xian weaponry and besides Kanoka isn't too useful in battle...

I'll be doing that with what I replied to Levacius with. Metru Nui is World War II era, Traders are not as good as currently canon storyline, and rewards are around the level of the present day canon tech level.


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#28 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Jun 17 2013 - 03:31 PM

Men. If you look at a map, you can see that the areas the Eastern Alliance controls are, combined, bigger than those the Stone Militia controls.

Still, the types of vehicles described seem to give a huge edge to the side possessing them. Frankly I'm not sure what Metru Nui would have at this period: if there's no Kanoka than airships as we know them on Metru Nui would not exist. Frankly I would remove or tone down the vehicles, or at least go to some more lengths to describe them.

 

I'll be doing that with what I replied to Levacius with. Metru Nui is World War II era, Traders are not as good as currently canon storyline, and rewards are around the level of the present day canon tech level.

Metru Nui tech as of the Metru era was in some ways better and in some ways worse than WWII technology. IMO you should definitely describe the technology in detail:

 

1) What are the standard weapons. Are there guns? Machine guns? I think this is really what the players will need to know the most. Because seriously, we all like our characters to have nice, deadly toys: if it's pre-gun era, then lo and behold, out come the repeating crossbows! 

 

2) Are there chutes? What is the transportation technology, and how has it been adapted for war.


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#29 Offline Canis Lycaon

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Posted Jun 17 2013 - 03:47 PM

1) What are the standard weapons. Are there guns? Machine guns? I think this is really what the players will need to know the most. Because seriously, we all like our characters to have nice, deadly toys: if it's pre-gun era, then lo and behold, out come the repeating crossbows! 

 

2) Are there chutes? What is the transportation technology, and how has it been adapted for war.

 

Vehicles will be tanks and motorcycles, some planes and hot air balloon like vehicles. Weapons will be mostly melee, but higher ranked soldiers will have access to machine guns and the like.

 

Chutes don't exist. They were invented around the same time as Kanoka.


Edited by Canis Lupus, Jun 17 2013 - 03:48 PM.

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#30 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Jun 17 2013 - 04:02 PM

So basically no ranged weapons? Not even bows, crossbows, primitive (powerless) Kanoka, or slings or other projectile weaponry, somehow that doesn't seem very logical...


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#31 Offline Legolover-361

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Posted Jun 18 2013 - 10:39 AM

I've edited Tides if anyone wants to give it another look-see.
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#32 Offline The Lorax

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Posted Jun 18 2013 - 02:48 PM

About Reborn in Red:

 

This is a fantastic game that thouroughly deserves to win the contest. Everyone needs to vote for it.

 

And that's all I have to say.


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#33 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 18 2013 - 04:55 PM

Lorax, you're fired. I don't know what from, or when, or where. But that short 'review' is gonna cost you money. Pay up. :P

 

LL, none of the changes look bad. Everything looks good.

 

Now, then...

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Dun Dun Dun Dun![/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Double Feature![/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Dun Dun Dun Dun![/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Double Feature![/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Come on everybody, it’s a double feature – of reviews![/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Levacius Reviews…[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Trapped In a Map... and also Reviews…[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]                                    The Legend of the Thirteenth Island![/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Trapped In a Map[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I believe I have reviewed this RPG before, and actually still remember most of it well. So I won’t really be doing too much commentary on it, considering there is actually another here on the table…[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]….[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]NOT.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Storyline[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I’m going to start off with something of a question regarding the Map, and the viewing of names. Exactly what defines a name for the mask, again? If someone has adopted a second name, which one applies? What if they have two personalities, due to split personality or something? Does that component of their personality or whatever go in, rather than their whole person? This isn’t really important, but if something like that was the case it could make for some interesting scenarios. For example: “I need to get out of here because my evil half is going to run off and kill people!” or something like that.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Factions[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The only problem here is that the only factions at the start of the game are all on the same side. It may be a better idea to start off with an opposed or, at the very least, neutral group/organization just from the get-go that would serve as a counterbalance.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Locations[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Let’s see if… nope. I still love the map.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I have one question – can players start out with knowledge of any of the other exits into the tunnels. Perhaps with one in their basement, even? And can players begin the game outside of the city, as some of the rogues or whatever. Also, can one fly over the wall?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Characters & Gameplay & Rules[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Okay, I know that you want to try to keep as large a player base as possible, but this is ridiculous. Do you really need a rule against killing other players? I mean, sure, I’ve gotten upset before, but I don’t really know if that rule is necessary. I mean, that’s murder. It’s illegal anywhere.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]… okay, bad joke.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Other[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]… are there stars? Or a moon? I like stars. They’re very pretty.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Question #1: What are the affects of mental shields on the Carver’s influence? Order of Mata-Nui members, for example, who are immune to any type of mind control normally. Or Ce-Toa/Matoran, who are by nature mentally shielded. Or pretty much anyone who receives the proper training and has a strong willpower.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Question #2: The Carver has trapped quite a few people, right? The RPG makes it out to be in the hundreds, easily. Has nobody honestly noticed that something like that happened?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Just a few quick questions there.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]In Conclusion[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The RPG has a pretty interesting and creative set-up, and has a lot of potential to be really good if it wins. I’ve had a few little minor gripes about it, of course, but overall I think the multiple contests its been entered in – along with a firm opening base – have made it pretty strong, and it stands up well to review.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]If anything, I think the ‘Other’ section could be… I dunno. It just seems like it was tacked on. Finding some way to spread the information presented throughout the text itself would make for a more professional look, but as is, it’s fine.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]With that said, I wrote a 1200 word essay about how the other flaws in this RPG. I certainly hope that I remember to paste it in here before I start the next review…[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Buffering…[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Legend of the Thirteenth Island![/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]This is my favorite RPG in the contest so far, including my own. Perhaps I have a little too much love for sailing around the Southern Islands, but that’s not even the biggest part. I like this RPG for a lot other reasons which I shall be pointing out, though there are a few flaws.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Flaws of the RPG[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Well, for starters, I think you forgot about Artidax. :P That, and LaYarteb needs to have an artificial launcher added to his equipment list; Vortixx don’t have natural spinner launchers (Roodaka, for example, needed a fake launcher to mutate people).[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The biggest problem with the RPG is, I think, the scale. I admire the choice to keep to the ‘canon’ arrangement of island shapes. I just got ticked off and decided to retcon Mata-Nui’s upper right leg… just wasn’t enough islands for a 1500 mile stretch.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Which leads to my point. This is a 3000 mile island chain. Using the entire island chain and keeping to accurate sizes, there’s just way too much world to explore at the slow speeds that moving by ship or being on foot implies. People travelling could easily be days or weeks apart from each other.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Meh. Maybe the Vahi broke or something. The truth is, though, it’s not gamebreaking. It’s just something that’s weird.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Another related thing – because there are spaces of great size, it’s a crying shame that there isn’t a little more description to the islands. Considering how many numerous species could be residing here, it’s pretty much skipped over completely about what these unique aspects of Matoran Universe sentients might have on the culture of the island.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Along these lines, there’s almost no description for the locations themselves. There’s leaving open to interpretation, but we know nothing about the cities (and possible architecture, though that I can excuse for reasons I’ll get to later), the geography, the inhabiting species…[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Good Things[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]… and yet we know all we need to about the people. The opening part is a great way of handling the back story, acting as exposition and yet with breaks to remind you that there’s also a conversation going on, and it’s not all wasted. We’re shown the tone well, along with the feel. As I mentioned, the architecture is described, but I can imagine most of the villages and towns having old, worn down buildings with simple thatch roofs thrown together quickly – because if you can’t afford the stone to stop a hurricane from crushing your house, then make sure it’s easy to put back together, right?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The slight additions of humor are one of the things I said I liked about Reborn in Red last contest, and this RPG handles it pretty well as well while not going over the top. Thus, I’m quite fond of that. Littering, though, I’m not fond of. All of these folks, up and polluting the Southern Islands… despicable.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The backstory, however, is my favorite part. I like the fact that you make use of a number of canon lore elements to help give a bit more life to the area. I also enjoy the fact that despite how concise the description can be with its information, it gives us a number of possible goals and a small but diverse set of factions to choose from. I do somewhat wish there were more, though, because of how many islands and groups of people there are.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]On the subject of the story – the presence of the Makuta here means that the Matoran Civil War has already been ended, so that might be something to be noted on here. And based on the proximity to that, the Great Disruption should just be reaching its end (and, depending on how fast Jovan & Co. worked, it might still be going on). There should still be signs all about of the Great Spirit’s illness all about.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Back to the positive aspects, the descriptions that are given to the islands are good, and at least convey a general sense of the area (not quite enough IMO for the RPG, but good enough for the Pocket Guide to the Matoran Universe).[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Overall, again, I have to say I really do enjoy the RPG itself. It looks good, it looks fun, and I hope it wins the contest. Good luck. :)[/font]

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


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#34 Offline The Lorax

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Posted Jun 18 2013 - 06:55 PM

Lorax, you're fired. I don't know what from, or when, or where. But that short 'review' is gonna cost you money. Pay up. :P

 

 

*Hands over some widgets* Come on now, I know one cannot boast about one's own RPG, but this one is not mine, so credit where it's due! I really don't have anything to dislike about that game. I needed to say so, though I admit the manner wasn't entirely serious.

 

LL, none of the changes look bad. Everything looks good.

 

The rules section still mentions a god-moderator.

 

So now, onto The Legend of the Thirteenth Island.

 

My first question was going to be about the time period, but I see you quickly edited that in after posting the entry. Still, "shortly after" is more than a little bit ambiguous, especially in a universe where 10,000 years is a relatively short time between big events.

The League fell 79,000 BGC, and the Dark Hunters were founded some time in the next 10,000 years (there's a bit of a buffer there). Are they around?

Bitil is apparently around the western chain, so the Matoran Civil war has ended, that means we're after 78,100 BGC, but Hagah are also present, which means that Jovan and his team have done thier job and Miserix has already been deposed, and secretly imprisoned on Artidax. Any chance our characters could run into him?

Extend "shortly" out a little further (to between 74,000 and 69,000 BGC) and you have Spiriah's experiments on the Skakdi. Have they happened yet?

In short, a definite date would be wonderful.

 

The Brotherhood are mentioned as having shown up ready to conquer the chain, but that's about as far as the mnetion goes. Have they brought an army to do this, and if so, what sort (Rahkshi, Exo-Toa, Visorak if they'd been invented yet (they were around for Spiriah's failure on Zakaz, but not during the League times)?

What effect is this having on the islands? I would think a conquering army would be a huge event, but it's hardly mentioned, almost like a background event. What's with that? And if they have conquered any islands/cities yet, what have they done with them? Made any laws, tried to curb piracy..?

 

Even though I still have these questions, I have to admire this RPG. The story and setting are good, and I'd definitely play it given the chance. One thing only I'd change about these:

The title refers to the mysterious thirteenth island, but I get the feeling it might be just a little too mysterious. There's really very little about it anywhere. I get that this game is an open sandbox, and it does that very well, but I'd like to see just a bit more leading into this plot. Something that gives the island renewed importance, or something. Aslo, was there every any information (or guesses, rumors, anything like that) about it's location? 13th makes me think it would be beyond all the others to the south, on the edge rather than among the 12, but that's just another guess based on nothing. Anyway, if our  characters are going to be able to look for this island in any reasonable length of RP-ing time, it would be great to have any lead or a place to start, and would draw more attention to the plot. At the moment, other aspects of the game are seeming more important and appealing.

 

Another thing I really like is that vuata-maca sails. They're a great explanation for quick travel, addition to ships the daetail of the setting, and I can't halp but see that using energy-producing plants as sails would very much fit in with the way BIONICLE does things. It just feels right in a BIONICLE RPG.

 

LaYarteb is good as well, name, symbol, story the lot. He gets points for coolness.

 

And Levacius has already talked about the locations, so I think I'll leave it there for now.


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#35 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Jun 19 2013 - 08:03 AM

I have only one major problem with SKY/Fall: it focuses on the background, while players would like to know more of the specifics; what's day to day life like? Basic goals for the character? Above all, where are the locations?? If you want us to explore the wide world, you should describe it a little.

 

Also, the rules seem to be modeled too closely on the BZPRPG: not a problem except for this:

 

Vortixx may have TWO pieces of unique technology, which must be approved first.

 

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:calibri;font-size:medium;]I'm sorry, but in a society like Spherus Magna, this is just pointless. Everyone from Matoran to Skakdi are going to have advanced technology. This only works when you have the tech level that the BZPRPG has. I would suggest you simply remove it.[/color]

 

Aside from that, fairly interesting concept. Good luck in the contest.


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#36 Offline Canis Lycaon

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Posted Jun 19 2013 - 05:15 PM

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]I'm going to start reviewing for this contest. First up,[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]SKY/FALL[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Story:[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The story is pretty standard. Aliens invade the planet, but I did find some problems.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Just how long after the current storyline does this RPG take place? It's not stated anywhere.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]You say the Great Ocean dried up. Where exactly did all of this water go? Water doesn't just disappear.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]At one point you say the Toa Magna are a team, (After the other important NPCs), but earlier, you say an army defeated the Midnight Collective (First paragraph). Which is it?[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Why, in the second paragraph, 'artifact' capitalized? And what do these artifacts even do, anyways?[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]What is a 'Derelict'? I would assume a falling craft, but it doesn't say that anywhere.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Factions:[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]So, how did the Midnight Collective, a bunch of species living on SM, become an intergalactic empire when the other inhabitants didn't? And why are you making it so that the faction is only available to 'evil' species? Skakdi can be good. So can Vortixx. No one likes this sort of thing.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]As for the Dawn Guard. That's racist. Really racist of them. Only allowing Toa and Glatorian? No Skakdi, Matoran, Agori, or Turaga even? Wouldn't you say the last three have an 'affinity for good'? Why haven't all these 'evil' races joined up and destroyed the Guard and saved the planet themselves?[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]So the Old Order are these guys that want to do that. Why don't they include SM natives? Whats wrong with Glatorian and Agori?[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Basically, you've made this RPG way too species based faction wise. Only allowing certain species into certain groups.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Locations:[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]You don't have any. Locations are a vital part of an RPG. You need to add some.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Profiles:[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]That is one long profile. Do you really need separate spots for 'weapon' and 'technology'? Why is there no spot for Power? EDIT: Why is this slot different in the profile sheet and the Important NPCs? You know, Skakdi have powers too, that are like Kanohi. Each Skakdi has a different power. Where is the spot for that? BZPRPG doesn't have it because all those powers would need separate approval, and the BZPRPG is the only RPG that doesn't need character approval. Also, Alignment should really be Faction.[/font]

 

You're actually limiting our species? That is just bad and wrong. No one likes that. Besides, wouldn't customs have to be approved by the moderator along with the profile sheet?

 

Well, these lists were only copy and pasted from the BZPRPG. Sand and Crystal aren't canon elements. Why isn't Light allowed? There are many Matoran of Light, and, at the time this RPG occurs, many Toa of Light. [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]As for masks, let's just say that is a bad choice as a mod. There are masks that aren't on that list that should be, truthfully.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Oh yay, you're stifling Skakdi eyebeam creativity![/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]You have to keep in mind that the BZPRPG is different from all the other RPGs. It is much bigger, and thus, needs to have different rules.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Admin Characters:[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Aida and Ovan- What the heck is a Midnight Collective? As in the species? You also state these two's gender twice, once in the Species, once in Gender.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Ezren- This is a pretty standard character.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Yaris- How did he develop this special power, which is not a power given by the Iden?[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Durea- I think you mean 'Toa', not 'Turaga' in her Power section.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Solomon- What is the point of this character?[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Toa Magna- Six profiles is already a lot. We don't need six more.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Rules:[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Well, you've copied that as well. It's fine that you're doing it that way, but most only have one list. Look at other entries to see what I mean.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]No NPCs? You do realize that was only created to stop people from making armies of NPCs in the BZPRPG, right?[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Second punishment is way too harsh. Injury to all would be better.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Overall:[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]You should have less info copied from the BZPRPG, and more original info.[/font]


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I used to have a banner here.

 

But that RPG is dead.

 

What now?


#37 Offline Toa Levacius Zehvor

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Posted Jun 19 2013 - 05:33 PM

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Levacius Reviews: Sky/Fall[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]This reviews the most hostile I have written yet, at least in its midsection. I am fully aware of this, but frankly, this stuff needed to be said. Anything positive I have to say is at the end of the review, along with a list of ideas that can help prove it. I'm not here to say RPGs suck. I'm here to say which ideas in them suck. And frankly, a lot of them are bad. But there are good ones, and there's a lot of potential here that is being wasted in its current state. So let's move on.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Storyline[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Okay, ripping holes in the planet’s atmosphere and hurling space debris. What. You can’t just rip “holes” in a planet’s atmosphere like that. This scenario makes little to no actual scientific sense, even if it does admittedly sound somewhat cool.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Setting up an artifact hunt, sure, I can go with that. Even if I have no idea how an ‘artifact’ is supposed to power a giant space ray of death.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Factions[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Chaotic Neutral… Chaotic Evil… Inherently Good… this is the worst faction list I’ve seen thus far in the contest.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Let’s start with the Dawn Guard. I’m sorry, but what? Glatorian and Toa are not the only ‘good’ people in canon, and are, as a matter of fact, members of a race that is full of non-good people. I want to say that at least four or five Dark Hunters have been Toa who turned evil, and there are quite a few morally unsound members of the Glatorian species as well. Strakk, for example. It’s a species, you cannot just generalize an entire species into have any alignment.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]More so, why, exactly, does the Dawn Guard have a rule against killing? In canon, the primary cast of Toa always followed the Toa Code, but that only applies to Toa. And frankly, in a situation like this, the code can be suspended pretty easily when the fate of the planet is at stake. That’s a tad more important than anything else, I would think.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I could understand this if you were attempting to make a veiled allegory for a theme of racism, but considering as you’ve made these characters indisputably the ‘good guys’ of the setting, a message along those lines falls completely flat. Considering that they’re the ‘good guys’, it seems pretty daft of them to refuse the help of others simply because of their species. Especially when there are close to fifty unique species in Bionicle, all with unique and rather underexplored abilities.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Another problem – why, exactly, is it that only ‘good’ guys are allowed in the first place? When the faction is dedicated not to wiping out evil, but simply protecting the planet, I can see no reason as to this. The thing about war is that people don’t fight for good or for evil. They fight for a cause, and when the cause is not getting their planet destroyed…[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Midnight Collective is currently the less blatantly racist of the factions, and frankly I’m routing for them at the moment. The major problem is that you outright declare them to be “evil” without any redeeming qualities. Then you classify the majority into a set of species that frankly don’t fit the bill in the least. While we’re going about generalizing, let’s look at the Skrall. They believe themselves superior to other species, and deserve to rule. Does this sound like a group who would join in with the Collective, a bunch of alien foreigners? No, they’ll kill off the Collective members and take power for themselves. Since, you know, we seem to be generalizing entire species under a single banner.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Skakdi, again, have shown very similar beliefs. Some might be convinced to work with the Collective, of course, but not the entire species. It depends on what they thought they’d get out of it. Especially after what happened when so many aligned with Makuta at the Battle of Bara-Magna, and he lost.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Vortixx are the ones most likely to align with the Collective, in all honesty. But that was before the war had been lost, back when they still had power and ships and resources. The ability to have a trade alliance with a galactic empire would be appealing. But when only three are left? No! And besides, these Vortixx would hardly be the evil ones. They’d be flat out in between – doing what they need to, to survive. Selfish, but not evil.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]And when you’re so limited in number, I don’t think you’ll be picky about how ‘evil’ your faction members are. What if someone happens to be a religious zealot, and is convinced the Collective are the Great Beings? They need not be evil, just a bit daft.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The Old Order makes no sense to me because we do not know what the government of Spherus Magna is. What, exactly, is it? What problems do they have with it? Why do they think SKY/FALL can help them? Why are they so chaotic neutral, and not a mixture of multiple alignments who simply want to have control over something?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Locations[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]…[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Where are they? What’s the world like? Hello? Someone help… I don’t know where to go. Please, somebody, freaking say something.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Profiles[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]You’ve deal me a bad hand by trying to run that factions through, but this I cannot allow. A giant bloody list for the profiles, that’s what I see. I don’t care how great people thing the BZPRPG is, a rules list like this belongs nowhere near a contest RPG. It’s space consuming and it’s incredibly limiting to player creativity. Lists like this are the hallmark of a GM who is to lazy to actually approve character profiles themselves, and just want them to follow a rules list. This isn’t a video game, this is a TBRPG.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The profile form is underdeveloped, which is ironic considering how long it is, in its attempts to convey information about how to fill stuff in about it.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Oh good, I’m glad to see that out of a list of some fifty or so species in the Matoran Universe and on Spherus Magna, I can only play eight of them. Counting genders, that’s sixteen unique character designs? Oh, I’m sorry, fifteen. My bad.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Now, if by custom species you also refer to other species from the canon that aren’t listed here, I’m sorry. But the thing is, that’s the problem I’m going to run into when going over a list like this. This should not be here.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I’m glad to know that in a Spherus Magna following the Battle of Bara-Magna, at which point Av-Matoran and even Kra-Matoran exited who might become Toa of Light/Shadow one day, we’re still not allowed to play them. Or psionics, for that matter. Again, why is this list here? It gets in the way of trying to read through the RPG by forcing me to scroll through a bunch of stuff. It transforms from me being able to just make a character profile and submit it, following certain guidelines, into a pick-and-choose. This should not be here.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]It doesn’t matter how many times I say it – get rid of these lists! Let players come up with their own stuff, and if the character profile is bad, don’t approve it. Give a few guidelines of what not to put (ex. Don’t be a Makuta, use a legendary mask, have an Olmak, etc.)[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Oh, and in the technologically advanced society of Bionicle, we’re limited in what advanced technology we can have. How marvelous.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Rules and Stuff[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]… let’s calm down a bit, then. The rules list is incredibly long, and could be shortened considerably. The thing is, if an RPG has less information than it’s rules list, you are doing something wrong. Cut this stuff down, or at least make it less of a bore to read through. If you really care that much, link us to the BZPRPG rules list. It’s more comprehensive than this. Even if I still feel both grossly fail to note various forms of godmodding that some players partake in.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Final Wrap-Up[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]There’s a lot things I can’t tolerate about this RPG, all of which I have described above. So, let’s take a moment and talk about what does work.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The idea of the SKY/FALL is pretty cool, but I don’t feel it’s properly placed. Where it might work better is, perhaps, in a setting within the Matoran Universe. Perhaps the Mata-Nui robot is being assaulted from outside, and the SKY/FALL is taking pieces of his exterior hull and hurling them at the Southern Continent below? The Universe below is still trying to recover, but is barely doing so because Mata-Nui can barely compensate for the holes in his hull.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Perhaps the Artifact quest could be extended – trying to find the Mask of Life, and trying to find the Staff of Artahka. Both artifacts necessary to recover stuff. For the first time since forever, the Order of Mata-Nui, Brotherhood of Makuta, and Toa are all working together to try to repair the universe; the latter two are engaging in combat against the remaining forces of the Collective who continue streaming in, while specific Toa agents are taken to Artahka and provided Adaptive Armor that allows them to handle the wastelands that most of the Continent has become, thus enabling them to search for the artifacts (since the Toa Code prevents most of them from killing).[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Heck, Adaptive Armor – now that people have that, you can move onto things like space battles being fought on the outside of the hull, once the game reaches its final stretch and its more dramatic moments.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Fighting the Collective, and questing for artifacts. You have two separate storylines to pursue, plus whatever the players want. Allow some players to join the Collective as their own covert agents working with them from inside the universe. Make the factions so that, rather than good and evil, they are left more morally ambiguous. Perhaps the Collective is fighting for the survival of their species, and simply sucks at communications? Maybe the Brotherhood and Order alike are both ransacking the small settlements they build to gather resources, killing off non-combatants and combatants alike?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]There’s a lot of opportunity here, and it’s being wasted by having clearly defined morals for factions, blatant but glorified racism between them without anyone calling them out on it, a lack of clear and suitable locations, and a giant list of rules that overshadows the main story![/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Keep working at this, and you might have something great; until then, though, you’re wasting a really good base idea.[/font]

 

-Toa Levacius Zehvor :flagusa:


Edited by Toa Levacius Zehvor, Jun 19 2013 - 05:34 PM.

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#38 Offline Legolover-361

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Posted Jun 19 2013 - 07:21 PM

The rules section still mentions a god-moderator.

Eh, I'll just remove the hyphen so the last three letters of "godmod" aren't filtered. I'd prefer using a hyphen, but whatever. :P

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#39 Offline MjolnirInTheFridge

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Posted Jun 19 2013 - 07:27 PM

I've made a few alterations to my entry. I know there's probably still a bunch of problems, but it's a little better, I think.


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If my RPG happens to win, I am seeking as many as five other users to be guest Admins,

and eventually take up the mantle of Toa Magna. PM me if you're interested!

 

I am Battling Makuta! Take that, Makuta!

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Please vote for my RPG! 


#40 Offline I Am Ultron Six

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Posted Jun 20 2013 - 11:32 AM

Well, for starters, I think you forgot about Artidax
Miserix has already been deposed, and secretly imprisoned on Artidax. Any chance our characters could run into him?

Sshhhh, that island is Kron now :P

 

This is a 3000 mile island chain. Using the entire island chain and keeping to accurate sizes, there’s just way too much world to explore at the slow speeds that moving by ship or being on foot implies. People travelling could easily be days or weeks apart from each other.

You saw the notes on travelling right? At most its going to take you eight paragraphs to get from Xeros to Zo Halas, and whether that makes you days apart from the event you're trying to reach or hours is basically up to how you space those paagraphs. Give them a post each and yeah you're going to wind up late a lot, but as people are unlikely to be travelling that far all the time and I'd certainly like to think the players round here can manage more than one paragraph per post, I don't see travel time as much of an issue

 

Another related thing – because there are spaces of great size, it’s a crying shame that there isn’t a little more description to the islands. Considering how many numerous species could be residing here, it’s pretty much skipped over completely about what these unique aspects of Matoran Universe sentients might have on the culture of the island.

 

Kind of wanted to leave that up to the players, really. If they want to say that they're the Grand Admiral to the Lord Archduke of Golgarish, this way they can :P

I do say after all that the Free Folk are a varied bunch and letting the players do what they like rather than define every single aspect of every square mile of the map like a certain someone seemed the best way of doing that

 

There should still be signs all about of the Great Spirit’s illness all about.

Given how chaotic the place is anyway, I'm not entirely sure how much people would notice that :D

 

 

The League fell 79,000 BGC, and the Dark Hunters were founded some time in the next 10,000 years (there's a bit of a buffer there). Are they around?

Bitil is apparently around the western chain, so the Matoran Civil war has ended, that means we're after 78,100 BGC, but Hagah are also present, which means that Jovan and his team have done thier job and Miserix has already been deposed, and secretly imprisoned on Artidax. Any chance our characters could run into him?

Extend "shortly" out a little further (to between 74,000 and 69,000 BGC) and you have Spiriah's experiments on the Skakdi. Have they happened yet?

Erm, how sure on these times are you exactly? Because from what I can tell there's no set date for the Hagah teams, they just seem to be around. There's no connection to Jovan. Likewise I can't see a more concrete origin for the Dark Hunters other than "before the Matoran Civil War".

To clarify though, as Bitil is only just asserting himself as custodian of the southern isles, it's safe to assume the order to do so was recently given, placing Miserix in charge. I'd estimate the RPG to take place some time between 79,500 years ago and 79, 000 years ago (Or 78,500 BGC and 78,500 BGC if you want it in your measurements :P). I'll stick that somewhere, along with a mention that Skakdi don't have any special powers other than being big, strong and spiky

 

The Brotherhood are mentioned as having shown up ready to conquer the chain, but that's about as far as the mnetion goes. Have they brought an army to do this, and if so, what sort (Rahkshi, Exo-Toa, Visorak if they'd been invented yet (they were around for Spiriah's failure on Zakaz, but not during the League times)?

 

The mention of 'iron soldiers' up in the prologue is supposed to be a reference to Rahkshi and Exo-Toa

 

And if they have conquered any islands/cities yet, what have they done with them? Made any laws, tried to curb piracy..?

 

They've taken Skeres, I do mention that in the island descriptions. I think I also say it's a forward position for any future activity which tells you they haven't done anything big yet but probably intend to. Bear in mind this isn't a war as such, there are no pitched battles between huge armies, just fervent skirmishes between the old rules and the new.

They're clearly trying to impose some sort of order because...well, you saw the tagline for their faction right? You can also look at how the narrator in the prologue treats them, with the mention that its not so easy being a pirate with the Brotherhood around. Those who know their history might have spotted another sneaky reference in the Free Folk's tagline. The "no staffs, no axe" bit is a reference to a symbol called a fasces used throughout heraldry since the Romans representing authority and power...and also happens to be where we get the word "fascism" from ;)

I felt being subtle worked but I can be more overt if you like. And I sincerely apologise if that sentence came across as insulting or hipstery XD

 

Something that gives the island renewed importance, or something

 

Hmm, good point. LaYarteb and Zavarian both want it because massive wealth will allow them to hire warriors, bribe officials and buy all the best equipment for ships and troops. Essentially whoever gets hold of Jaqkli's hoard is probably going to wind up controlling the isles


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I am Ultron Six, a cybernetic intelligence created by Doctor Henry Pym. My imperative is to bring peace and order to this world. I am about to fulfil that imperative; for the extinction of humanity…begins now.

the_ultron_imperative.jpg

Soon the earth will no longer be habitable for any biological organism: Man, woman, child, plant, animal, fungus or bacterium. All life will cease to exist. This is not a threat, there is nothing you can do to stop it. The process has already begun. I receive no pleasure in this, it is simply the only solution. There must be peace and order, the end of life on earth will ensure that. Goodbye.





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