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Critiques (Sparkie's Idea)

Discussion in 'Dragon's Egg RPG' started by Legendary Sidekick, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    I don't like getting my thunder stolen, so first: credit where it's due. This is all Sparkie. I'm only starting the thread because I have free time and want to jump right in on this. I'm going with a top three list.

    Rydh's "Bible Quotes"
    Whatever you want to call them, I love reading these. They set the mood of the character's thoughts and feelings, almost like starting a post with "I'm pissed off!" or "Naked barbarians creep me out!" but in a much more original and class-appropriate way.

    I've mentioned this in several challenges I ran, participated and/or critiqued in, but visualization is #1 in my book. I get facial expressions, body language, and other non-verbals when I picture Rydh's action or conversation which follows the quote.

    The character is likable. And as a player, he's proven to be dependable. It's an RPG, so it's fair to say that how helpful someone is in combat goes a long way.

    Ankari's a Jerk
    And the party needs a jerk. Ankari (the member) took a risk naming a character after himself, and making Ankari (the character) a jerk. I think the risk paid off, though it may have caused confusion.

    I like flawed characters, and you can't have an adventuring party without the know-it-all who thinks he's always right. What makes this especially funny is that our control is limited. So when Mr. Right kept missing arrows and failed a DEX check to climb out the window, I was laughing uncontrollably for several minutes. I could have died laughing. It was hard to explain this to my five-year-old. It took several attempts.

    I just imagined Ankari (the character) already grumpy from missing several shots, then looking at his allies who are taking their sweet time getting through the door. He thinks you idiots, and says, "follow me" revealing to his sheep-like comrades the shortcut to safety: the window. He tumbles over the window sill backwards. My character catches his less-than-graceful flop then simply walks out the door and takes the stairs, wondering why anyone would prefer a window over a door.

    This visualization was the result of Ankari's (the member's) writing and the die roll. I learned that the die roll becomes meaningful in the RP side of the game.

    Ankari (the character) is a likable jerk. Mostly, he's likable because you can tell—through his thoughts and actions—that he cares and he tries to do right by party members. I don't like characters in stories that fail in that area, and such characters are even less attractive in a game. That's why Ankari (the character) is likable enough that even Baldhart won't resent him completely if she ever finds out what he said to Burnbright.

    Steering Us in the Right Direction…?
    Steerpike's descriptions are the ultimate reward. Yeah, it takes forever to level up. So what? When I impaled that fish demon, that became one of many great moments my character experienced all because of a lucky roll.

    Battle #2 was exciting. We goofed and could've got people killed, but the just-in-time rescues made it very cool! The fact that they're well-narrated added to the enjoyment of the gaming experience considerably.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    Sparkie likes this.
  2. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    (Aliron) aww, and I wanted to be the jerk. Oh well, I 'll be the dark hero with a well placed arrow shot or fatal backstab to save the day and disdain for the staus quo. (Battle 2 was good, battle was against the group, quick actions and luck was with us.)
    I don't get paid for my opinion, but I give it freely.
  3. Phietadix

    Phietadix Archmage

    But you forgot to mention yourself, (Or avioded it to be humble) Baldhart's posts are very intresting to read, with the discussions with Nissa and Baldhart's likeable personaltiy.
    Legendary Sidekick likes this.
  4. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    Thanks. I didn't want to critique myself. I love Baldhart. She really is a happy accident. I would have played a male barbarian if not for the fact that I found the Brynhid deity to be the most interesting. I don't think I would've had nearly as much fun with a male barbarian. (He had the same stats, and almost the same items. When I decided to play a female, I spent my last gold coin on a second outfit.)
  5. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

    Sparkie's well-intentioned (athough possibly irrelevant) critters

    Thanks for making the thread, LS! I haven't had much of a chance to do much like this the past couple of days.

    To start, I'd like to say that I've written the following little 'critters' as a means to try and aid my fellow player's writing skills. Please do not take offense if some opinion of mine seems harsh or out of line. Criticism can be helpful, but it's not the answer to everything. Just look at my new sig!

    I wanted to write one of these for Steerpike as well, but I couldn't. Having never done anything like play-by-post before, I have nothing to compare it to. Still, I doubt that we could have a better DM. Keep up the good work, Steerpike!

    Now, on to the critters...



    What I think is remarkable is that you took an existing character from one of your stories, repurposed him as a hero from the start, and fit him into the campaign seemingly without much effort. I don’t think I could do something like that without a lot of work, but I think it’s a testament to how well you know your characters. To me, Cadell fits the idea of an Elven Knight very well. He prefers a bow, but he’s not afraid to mix it up in melee even if he’s armed with only an arrow. That lets everyone know how staunch he is in battle, that he’ll never back down.

    At times Cadell seems distracted, even distant. There’s a reason for that, and her name is Liadan. She seems to be a driving force for Cadell, and I’d like to encourage you to emphasize that some more. Also, while it may not be in Cadell’s nature, having him reach out to the other PC’s more often may not be a bad idea.



    I confess, I didn’t know what to expect when you introduced Aliron into the game. I think what sticks with me most was when, while Cadell was fighting in the burning temple, you went out of the window and snuck back in the door in order to sneak attack a monster. That moment sort of defines Aliron to me. He’s unpredictable yet sure. A character like Aliron can get away with sneaking off into town, then popping up in conversation when you least expect it. He’s a fine addition to Dragon’s Egg.

    I find some of your posts to be a tad messy, hard to read. It sometimes seems like Aliron’s dialogue runs right into narrative and back again. Why not try to separate things out a little? I’d appreciate it, just for the sake of clarity.


    Phil the Drill

    You had me at Nodrick Gnatcatcher. He’s something, isn’t he? I love reading how he wrestles with his inclinations. It seems to me that he wants to be good, but his nature forbids it. He certainly adds an element of hazardous excitement to the adventure.

    When will we see him again? I know you have more important things going on right now, Phil, but I look forward to seeing the Gnat again. Bring him back soon!



    Some may disagree, but I think your character is easily the most believable in our party. It’s easy to see how his chosen path shapes his words, thoughts, and actions. He’s a ranger. He lives as one with nature, and he shares a certain level of nature’s dispassion and ferocity. The focus has seemed to shift toward how Ankari treats others and how he thinks of them, but there’s more to Ankari than just that. I can’t wait to see how the party being in a ‘wild’ environment affects his outlook and behavior.

    Minimalism is fine, but some of your posts are just too short. I know you’re pressed for time, like all of us, but a little more background might be nice to read about.



    I don’t mean to be hard on you, but I think you deserve to be given direct criticisms here. I know I would prefer someone actually trying to help me to having someone screw around dropping hints, hoping I get the message.

    In terms of personality, Matthew is one-dimensional. We know he’s a devotee of Tyr, but that’s it. What are his likes, dislikes, and wants? What does he hope to accomplish in life? Points like these can be expounded upon in narration, and I think that’s a big part of the issue. So far you’ve relied on dialogue too heavily. Try describing what Matthew does, and concentrate less on what he says. Give us an idea of what’s going on in his mind.

    Matthew still has a lot of potential. Don’t get discouraged by this, please. We’re all here to have a little fun and to get better at writing. I hope this helps out a bit.


    Legendary Sidekick

    Let me put it this way: It was your first post with Baldhart that clued me in to how awesome this whole play-by-post thing could be. It spurred me on to try and reach higher with what I was doing with my own character, and I think others would agree with me when I say that your post are the most entertaining of all the PC’s. Without saying too much, I’ll just say that you and I both know what sort of potential Baldhart and Nissa have, and it shines through on just about every entry you make.

    With the growing bond between Burnbright and Baldhart, Nissa seems to be fading into the background a little. That’s ok, but don’t let her bow out completely. Nissa is an important part of what make Baldhart so interesting to read.


    I hope this has been helpful, and I hope to see a few more thoughts posted on this thread in the next few days. I'll reply to comments, but I'll refrain from further criticism until we reach the end of Act II. Good luck with your rolls, everyone!
    Nihal, Phietadix and Ireth like this.
  6. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    EDIT - I see improvement and effort to improve, so there is no need to keep my lengthy criticism here.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
    Ireth likes this.
  7. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    Nothing but compliments...

    In the interest of completing my critques for the whole party, I decided to focus on the positive for EVERYONE! Rydh, Ankari and Steerpike's GM'ing have already been covered, but I managed to write one for everyone else in my break at work.

    Cadell, Master of Improv
    Ireth, I love Cadell's use of just about anything as a weapon. His most admirable moments came when he lost his hand, and I especially enjoyed the RP'ing between our characters between battles #3 and #4. I look forward to the development of this character, particularly when the dwarves discover an elven dwarf-friend and craft a mechanical hand for him.

    Mauve and Her Rotten Luck
    Poor Mauve. She is easily the most sympathetic character in the party. Her attempts to support the party blow up in her face like her spells, and now she's half-naked and on her back. I hope the other characters and the dice give the girl a break!

    Aliron: Silent but Deadly
    I'm really seeing this character shape up into something awesome. I'm picturing him firing from the dark, then darting into the fray. A gleam of the moon pendant and a streak of black is the visual. I would love to see more dialogue between him and other characters, though it's probably not in Alin's nature to start a casual conversation. Guess that's up to one of us, then!

    Nod... and Put on a Happy Smile
    Nod is still providing comic relief, but he isn't the joke anymore. This is a character going through a change, and Phil, you really nailed the bard role with your first use of the Exalt skill. Can't wait to hear more songs of glory, honor, and potatoes!

    Hiljikki: Not Just Another Pretty Face
    True to her word, Hiljikki did her part for the dwarves, so I'll focus my comments more on the character overall as opposed to current events. I love the image of this pretty little woman riding a reindeer and the animal peeking from her hood. I also think this character's ability to send messages through birds could add to some great RP opportunities between players and their loved ones back home.

    Matthew: Back to the Back Story
    I just re-read Matthew's back story. I think if Matthew stays true to this path, he will live up to his potential as an awesome knight. I really like the way the back story was written, and would love to see this type of narrative in Matthew's inner monologes. Sir Matthew's, that is.
    Phietadix, Nihal, Ravana and 2 others like this.
  8. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

    Below are are my impressions. I'm trying to avoid being too repetitive.


    The clever shadowalker. Aliron likes to keep to himself, speaking only when he feels it's necessary - might it hurt the others or not -, keeping his head cool and analyzing the situation. He focus on the task at hand and also on the possible rewards he may earn, weighting the pros and cons, sometimes sounding too ruthless. He's this person who looks for more clues, hidden secrets, while everyone else is busy arguing or trying the most obvious solutions, and he can do it, being the shadow he is. But he's not so distant as it seems, alienating himself from what happens to the others. The time he stood up for Mauve really surprised me! Those little details make him feel more real than the standard thief without relying on the "soppy thief" trick.

    I can also say that he definitively loathes dwarves. And I agree with Sparkie that you could use a little more spacing to make the posts more clear.

    ▫ ▫ ▫​


    Yup, Ankari is a jerk. A ferocious and grumpy jerk, and I like it! His struggles with his temper while he's trying to communicate with the others are quite entertaining. He's also proud and makes me feel like he wants to have the last word in everything that is relevant. Sometimes he's the personification of the anger, not the explosive and show-off anger, but a colder one. He likes to go straight to the point, keeping his objectives in mind - like an arrow - but due his strong temper he may end bickering and again like his arrows, losing his way. Sometimes I worry, wondering if there isn't anything in this world able to melt his heart, soothe his anger bring up other kinds of feelings.

    Oh, I also have this funny impression that he doesn't like arcane magic and the corruption caused by it, heh. Might be tied to those druids he respects so much.

    ▫ ▫ ▫​


    The lovely fool! She's always trying to empathize with everyone, gentle, sensitive. She tries to look after the group, and she's strong, really strong. You know you can count on her to save your ass. You can say she's trying her best to keep the group together, yet she got some internal conflicts to solve. While sometimes I feel like she's a young girl trapped in big barbarian body, being almost frail, it's not the whole truth. She's wise in her own way and her ominous dialogues with Nissa can be a little disheartening. You're doing a good work with her, for she's also believable as a woman. Don't die too soon!

    ▫ ▫ ▫​


    The wise knight. Cadell is one of the most level-headed members of this party. He's reserved and gentle, rarely losing his temper and way, even when he lost his hand. His desperate attack in the fields was one of the most bad ass scenes so far. He suffered a heavy blow, but is keeping himself together, doing what he thinks it's the best and skillfully dodging the fear and sorrow. I can feel he can become the peacemaker of the group, a vital piece to bring up them all together. I can also say you're doing a good job dropping some gesture clues here and there.

    (He'll look so badass with a dwarven hand!)

    ▫ ▫ ▫​


    The otherworldly druid. So far we only caught glimpses of this eerie character. It would be easy to slip into the female elf druid stereotype and I can attest that Ravana isn't doing it. Hiljikki is wise beyond her looks, but it doesn't make her smug and distant. When upset by the party she isn't explosive, nor loses her way. She said she would relay the message and she did it. She's creative and can be relied upon. It's amusing to see how she can be similar to Mauve (small, lean, deeper voice) but is completely different, specially when it comes to down to temper.

    Now she's reunited with the party we're going to be able to see more of her. Oh, yeah, and I want to see her in combat, I'm sure it'll be interesting.

    ▫ ▫ ▫​


    The vigilant knight. He, like others, suspected about Mauve's intentions at first, going to the point of politely declaring her a prisoner. As the others slept, he kept watch. His ability to empathize with his foes to and even rethink how he treated Mauve tell me that he's not so ruthless with other party members as Ankari. He, however, can be rather rancorous when upset.

    I, too, wish to see more about his past and more hints of his feelings, to grasp exactly what kind of person he is. We're being left out in the cold a little too much right now.

    ▫ ▫ ▫​


    Nodrick is... Nodrick! I really like this character and his lizard-summoning abilities. Nod is a complex comic relief who can also be badass. He's singular, and Phill is brave in roleplaying a not always-so-good character and making it clear to us and sometimes to the characters too. I also can't wait to see more of his songs, and I'm really curious about his... ghost? I can't put my finger yet on what looms over him, fighting for control, but I can say it's not so simple as it seems. You're making me more curious every day!

    ▫ ▫ ▫​


    The healer. But wait, he's not a simpleton! Rydh worries about the others, yes, but he's devout of the God of War and don't deny it. He has some wisdom in him, yet sometimes it clashes with his eagerness to do something, creating an interesting contrast. He's fearless, and often careless too. I feel bad about what Mauve has been doing with him, too oblivious to his gentler side. I also like the quotes, you got to be creative to keep coming with this kind of thing. As LS said, paired with the gestures those quotes add a nice depth to the character.

    I can't, sincerely, clearly foresee how he's going to deal with the current situation. And that's a good thing.

    ▫ ▫ ▫​

    Bonus: Steerpike!

    I'm really enjoying how you're conducting this game. Being used to the cinematic adventures my friends usually play, it's a welcome new experience. Thank you!

    Oh, and while Mauve rages over Burnbright's reckless acts and I may also pick on her, she's really believable. The little girl inside me is as enthusiastic as her, and this is why I pick on her so much, I'm only joking. You're doing a fine job with your NPCs and descriptions.

    About Mauve and her rotten luck: I didn't expect this degree of bad luck! Since it has been repeating over time and leading her to get quickly corrupted, it's having a heavy impact on her behaviour. I'm hoping she regains some control over her wits, so she doesn't stay on the edge for too long, but I'm enjoying it anyway. That's the fun of the game, the unexpected.
  9. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    Hmm. Let's see what I can come up with:

    - Sir Cadell

    - Baldhart

    - Mauve
    Bad rolls. :p

    Seriously, though: the angst-ridden and alienated–and self-alienating–wizard seems to be on top of her game in everything other than her magic… and that's the dice's fault, not her own. (Not, of course, that the characters have any way of knowing that.) I imagine she'll open up and become more personable once she's no longer afraid half the party's just waiting for an excuse to kill her. Whenever that might be.

    - Ankari
    "Most consistent" award. Could probably stand to lighten up a bit if he plans to remain part of a group–any group–but can't fault the way the character's currently-conceived role is being played. Maybe he'll mellow over time.

    - Aliron
    Solidly plays to his strengths, and avoids his weaknesses.

    - Nodrick
    Could probably use some clozapine. Our druid doesn't recall passing any clozapine bushes recently, however, and anyway they're out of season. Guess we'll just have to wait and see whether the voices in his head are simply the result of a massive inferiority complex, or something worse. On the other hand, hearing disembodied voices doesn't seem to have impaired Baldhart in any way, so maybe it won't matter.…

    - Rydh and Sir Matthew
    Basically, the same comments for both: I'm not getting the same sense of consistent personality I am from the others. This may simply be a reflection of things we don't know about them yet… but both seem to make abrupt changes of mental direction in the midst of action, which, from the standpoint of an author/reader, make me somewhat uneasy and leave me puzzled. They're certainly having similar effects on their companions at the moment.

    - Burnbright
    …is gonna get real interesting here shortly.

    - the GM
    Keep 'em coming, mate.

    - Hiljikki
    Galadriel meets Wednesday Addams.

    [No, that's not how I came up with her at the outset. The comparison only occurred to me a couple days ago.]
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
    Ireth, SeverinR, Nihal and 2 others like this.
  10. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    I forgot to check back, the last time I checked I was the only other poster.

    I must be playing Aliron right, everyones description is the person I see him as. He wouldn't mind sneaking a coin or something small that he finds(thats why he opened the door), but he first considers his safety, then what he can do to best help the others, even if the leader(s) had other ideas. (with 6 hp one hit could do him in.) Always thinking how to get the advantage in any situation.

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