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 Baldur's Gate: Descent to Avernus spoilers

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Zeromaru X Posted - 03 Sep 2019 : 02:33:47
Weird there is no topic for this already. Anyways, Amazon posted some pages of the next adventure. Seems to be yet another RSE (even thought they swore they never do that again), with Elturel being wiped out of the Realms, and Baldur's Gate about to suffer the same fate.

It was Baldur's Gate that... dark? I mean, the city never seemed to be that dictatorial in the Minsc and Boo comics (that take place in the 1490s). Here is the link:

https://www.enworld.org/threads/baldur%E2%80%99s-gate-descent-in-to-avernus-table-of-contents.667057/

Also, a few weeks ago, Joe Manganiello posted another spoiler on his facebook page. In this spoiler, we can see Arkhan the Cruel (his dragonborn paladin) and his minions.

https://www.facebook.com/JoeManganiello/posts/2438064869562494

While I like dragonborn, I have to say that

a). that thing is not a dragonborn. It looks like a half-dragon.

And b). God, those NPCs look too edgelords for my tastes.

That said, I'm happy there is a dragonborn (?) in the spotlight in one of the 5e official products, seeing how 5e have mistreated the poor guys.

What do you think about this product, anyways?
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Seravin Posted - 16 Oct 2019 : 21:16:38
I know it's a bit off topic, but a consistent and cohesive lore in the shared world is what attracts me to the Realms and would keep me interested in future products. Throwing out past works and being wildly and willfully disrespectful of the established canon would cause me to totally disengage, and I'm sure many others. Star Wars got a huge backlash from The Last Jedi with its "kill the past" message and destruction of the old characters to usher in the new. I don't understand this "strategy" from marketing and content creators who inherit an established IP.
Gary Dallison Posted - 16 Oct 2019 : 20:58:09
Give in, its been a while since we've had a good flame thread
Renin Posted - 16 Oct 2019 : 19:56:17
You're a better man than I, George. That's why Hasbro simply doesn't get my money for DND anymore.
George Krashos Posted - 16 Oct 2019 : 01:14:29
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

They were asked about Ravenloft, about some inconsistency between old novels and Curse of Strahd, but the answer was a general "Novels are of nebulous canonocity - not canon until we directly state as such" (Mike Mearls) or "I've been involved with D&D long enough to realize that what is "canonical" and what isn't changes on a whim and, ultimately, harms nothing" and "When it comes to D&D lore, we embrace things we like and discard things we don't. I can't unwrite something, but I can ignore it" (Chris Perkins).

Here are the sources:
https://www.sageadvice.eu/2018/02/07/are-the-ravenloft-novels-considered-canon/
https://www.sageadvice.eu/2017/01/06/how-much-of-the-old-dd-ravenloft-novels-are-actually-considered-canon/





I was three-quarters of the way through posting on this and even creating a new topic in the General forum and then took a breath.

-- George Krashos
Zeromaru X Posted - 15 Oct 2019 : 17:09:21
So, if I'm reading this correctly, are Bane, Bhaal and Myrkul just demigods post-Second Sundering?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 14 Oct 2019 : 02:56:17
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

They were asked about Ravenloft, about some inconsistency between old novels and Curse of Strahd, but the answer was a general "Novels are of nebulous canonocity - not canon until we directly state as such" (Mike Mearls) or "I've been involved with D&D long enough to realize that what is "canonical" and what isn't changes on a whim and, ultimately, harms nothing" and "When it comes to D&D lore, we embrace things we like and discard things we don't. I can't unwrite something, but I can ignore it" (Chris Perkins).

Here are the sources:
https://www.sageadvice.eu/2018/02/07/are-the-ravenloft-novels-considered-canon/
https://www.sageadvice.eu/2017/01/06/how-much-of-the-old-dd-ravenloft-novels-are-actually-considered-canon/





Ah, so it was referring to Ravenloft novels, not Realms novels. Got it.
Zeromaru X Posted - 14 Oct 2019 : 00:42:18
They were asked about Ravenloft, about some inconsistency between old novels and Curse of Strahd, but the answer was a general "Novels are of nebulous canonocity - not canon until we directly state as such" (Mike Mearls) or "I've been involved with D&D long enough to realize that what is "canonical" and what isn't changes on a whim and, ultimately, harms nothing" and "When it comes to D&D lore, we embrace things we like and discard things we don't. I can't unwrite something, but I can ignore it" (Chris Perkins).

Here are the sources:
https://www.sageadvice.eu/2018/02/07/are-the-ravenloft-novels-considered-canon/
https://www.sageadvice.eu/2017/01/06/how-much-of-the-old-dd-ravenloft-novels-are-actually-considered-canon/

Wooly Rupert Posted - 14 Oct 2019 : 00:23:43
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Well, back in 2017 they also said that all the novels are non-canon as well, unless they say otherwise.


I do not recall them saying this, in regards to the Realms.
Zeromaru X Posted - 14 Oct 2019 : 00:06:37
Well, back in 2017 they also said that all the novels are non-canon as well, unless they say otherwise. I guess, this means they have retconet all the storyline of D&D so far with a new one that they use for 5e (I suspected this when they retconed the story of the Raven Queen).
Renin Posted - 13 Oct 2019 : 15:03:22
https://www.dndbeyond.com/posts/496-live-from-the-descent-who-is-zariel

From this article on DND beyond, they look at her history, but this line rankled; "
While information from sourcebooks of earlier editions of D&D aren't non-canon per se, books from the current edition (like Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes) should be considered authoritative."

And

"Zariel had a few brief mentions throughout the life of 3rd edition D&D in the Manual of the Planes (2001) and Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (2006), but even in these books, Zariel remained Bel's prisoner, and the beleaguered pit fiend remained master of Avernus. Now in fifth edition D&D, Zariel is back. It's unclear how exactly she was freed from Bel's clutches and regained her control over Avernus—or if this element of her story is still canon at all! It's possible that Zariel's imprisonment has been retconned out of existence, and now Bel's relationship to Zariel is merely one of a deposed archdevil allowed to remain her lieutenant."

So, she's whatever they want her to be.
Gary Dallison Posted - 08 Oct 2019 : 15:30:10
Cant say much about the adventure but the Gazette on baldurs gate is very detailed and the quality isn't bad either.

The big thing that doesn't work for me though is zariel leading the hell riders into avernus.

If I recall things correctly zariel invaded avernus, was made archdevil, was deposed by bel, and then replaced Bel.
So either this is a different Zariel, or it places the events in the 1300s very early in planar history.

As an alternative, perhaps Zariel was an arch devil when she led the hellriders into avernus (a ruse designed to acquire the souls of a hundred paladin - not really big enough for a devil though). Or Zariel was redeemed between her disposal by Bel and her reinstatement, lost her memory, led the Hellriders into Avernus, and was corrupted once again (a bit convoluted perhaps but maybe it was all part of a strategy to pull the entire city of elturel into avernus)
TomCosta Posted - 21 Sep 2019 : 01:43:07
Apparently. He joined Zariel's invasion of Hell among her army from Elturel. Things didn't quite work out for him (or anyone from Elturel). Players have a chance to help save him.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Sep 2019 : 04:00:11
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta


Jander Sunstar, the elven vampire has a cameo of sorts, which may be fine. I was never that familiar with his story.




A cameo? He made it back from Barovia?
TomCosta Posted - 20 Sep 2019 : 01:25:48
So as an adventure, I love it and am looking forward to playing it, but I'm wondering if some of the Realmslore/D&D lore is a bit off. My biggest question is over Zariel's timeline. Her ascension to archdevil is only about 100 years old in this timeline, and my impression is it was longer that. Combine that with the 4E history of Eltural/Elturelgard. I'd have to do some more digging, but I think somethings got a bit whack, but I could be wrong.

Jander Sunstar, the elven vampire has a cameo of sorts, which may be fine. I was never that familiar with his story.

All that said, again, this looks like an awesome adventure to play, and I can't wait to do so.
Delwa Posted - 18 Sep 2019 : 20:27:41
Thanks, George. I appreciate the clarification. I'm still reading the book, but so far I've not come across any clarification on Thavius and Daelegoth's relationship. If I find any, I'll be sure and post.

Haven't read Pools yet, but going from the details in Seravin's post, yes. Elturel has been ripped to Avernus, people in Baldur's Gate are afraid The Gate is next, and our heroes are supposed to restore all to right and prevent disaster.
Seravin Posted - 18 Sep 2019 : 20:15:12
So basically the plot from Pool of Darkness was redone? With cities being ripped from the Realms and teleported to horrible places in other planes (a cavern in Phlan's case with a magic sun/light).
George Krashos Posted - 18 Sep 2019 : 20:07:18
No, GHotR was not supposed to say Elturel. The first casting of "Amaunator's Eternal Sun" did occur in Elversult as per "Power of Faerûn" (pgs.58-61). The 4E FR Campaign Book came up with the idea of an eternal sun over Elturel but provided no explanation as to how it got there or who cast it. Obviously, the new book fills that in to an extent but I'm guessing that the relationship between Thavius Kreeg and the original caster of the spell, Sunlord Daelegoth Orndeir, and/or the faith if Amaunator/Lathander (if any) is not explained.

-- George Krashos
Delwa Posted - 18 Sep 2019 : 19:23:52
Just got my copy of this the other day. Elturel isn't gone-gone. It's basically been ripped to Avernus and the whole campaign is the PC's have to try and keep it from being stuck in hell permanently. A bit over the top, imo, but still fun.

I do have a question about it because my memory is fuzzy.

The Descent book mentions an eternal sun over Elturel. The new book says this sun was conjured by Thavius Kreeg in 1444 DR. In Grand History of the Realms, I find that Elversult had a follower of the Risen Sun heresy perform a casting of Aumunator's Eternal Sun and create a similar effect. I also seem to remember that there was a bit of Errata and that GHotR was supposed to say Elturel and not Elversult, but I can't remember where I read that.

Can anyone clarify?
Seravin Posted - 10 Sep 2019 : 08:12:51
Haha - I know what you mean; you don't want the Realms to be static and unchanging (although as I get older and more grognard like I don't mind if things never changed from the 1350s/60s classic era). To me a good RSE is the Empires trilogy horselords invasion - we got to see some of the Realms depcited that we've never seen, strange alliances formed that we've not seen before (orcs and Zhents and Dales and Cormyr banding together in common cause) and when it was over, the Realms more or less went back to where it was but a few things came out -we wrapped up "the missing princess" storyline from the Old Grey Box and Alusair became a relevant character, Azoun got a lot of glory, people talked about the veterans of the war for years after..but more or less life went on and no city was razed / sacked /blown up or undone.

John Daker Posted - 09 Sep 2019 : 20:56:47
OK, that makes more sense. And I definitely understand the criticisms such things* receive — if I were running a present-day campaign in Elturgard I suppose I might be excited by the story possibilities and choose to incorporate the new developments, but more likely I’d choose to ignore them and then be a bit annoyed (because I do prefer not to diverge from canon when possible). On the other hand I like the Realms to have a coherent ongoing timeline with new developments, rather than the “perpetual present” that some of the decision makers within the 5e team unfortunately advocate. This new development shows that at least in some way the impulse to freeze the Realms in time is not prevailing.

*My iphone’s autocorrect changed this word to “thugs.” So maybe Apple’s algorithm agrees with the prevailing sentiment on this forum regarding WotC?
Seravin Posted - 09 Sep 2019 : 17:13:03
There's been dozens of what I would call RSEs over the years since the Time of Troubles. And the criticism they receive is largely warranted (in my opinion only!).

Outside of the edition changing events you mentioned, I'd definitely include things like the Threat from the Sea, the Tuigian horde, the Rage of Dragons, the whole Last Mythal events with the demon/devil army taking over Cormanthor, Shades taking over Sembia and destroying the Zhents, Many Arrows, Abyssal Plague, Abolethic Sovereignty, basically many trilogies have some big bad danger to the entire Realms as we know it or a significant amount of it rather than focusing on characters and a contained narrative.

Some are done okay, but I definitely think the RSE backlash from the late 90s onwards is warranted. People like The Finder's Stone and the Brimstone Angels type stories because they're character and story driven without the need to introduce some Realms' changing, city destroying, Michael Bay-esque destruction. Wiping out Tilverton, Ordulin, Myth Drannor (again), Neverwinter, and now Elturel is getting old quickly because they keep deciding this is "kewl" or something? I don't know.

Just my thoughts!
John Daker Posted - 09 Sep 2019 : 11:58:06
Wait, maybe I'm misunderstanding the concept of an RSE.

I thought it was generally agreed that there have been just a handful of RSEs since 1987 AD/1357 DR: the Time of Troubles, the Spellplague/time-jump, the Second Sundering. Maybe the return of Shade too, but even that would be, I should think, a borderline case. Less global events (for examples, the destruction of Hellgate Keep in 1369, the Twelfth Serôs War in 1369, the founding of Many-Arrows in 1371, even the destruction of Zhentil Keep and apotheosis of Kelemvor in 1368) wouldn't qualify, despite being undoubtedly more significant than the average day of adventuring.

At any rate, if the destruction of Elturel is an RSE then the Realms has had dozens if not hundreds of RSEs over the years. I would have thought the threshold would be a bit higher. Am I wrong? I'm still new at this so I certainly could be.
George Krashos Posted - 06 Sep 2019 : 00:28:58
You could say that about any number of places in the Realms over the centuries. I never played the computer games so have no nostalgic feeling for Phlan, and from the outside looking in, consider the place a difficult fit into the FR narrative because of those games. But c'est la Realms.

-- George Krashos
Diffan Posted - 05 Sep 2019 : 17:15:13
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

That's a good point Diffan, hopefully they'll bring it back good as new like Phlan and the other Moonsea cities that Bane whisked away in Pools of Darkness.

Honestly though the entire Pools series is so ignored in the write-ups of Phlan from 2nd-3rd edition books that have Phlan under Zhent control for most of it, I don't know if that series is canon anyway.

But dropping a metaphorical nuke on Realms' cities is getting as tiresome (as is shifting said cities to other planes). Down with RSEs :)



I don't disagree with you. Though in terms of popularity I don't really see Elturel as all that big of a "whoa!" area. Silverymoon, Shadowdale, Suzail, Waterdeep, Westgate or even Saerloon it would've been like "OMG!!" but Elturel....meh. And I say this as someone who has a few current projects for the city in my upcoming games, lol.

As for the Pools series, they have been mostly ignored and I think that's kinda sad. They were some of my first Realms readings besides Drizzt and I like that two of the heroes were Paladins of Tyr (Militades and Kern). I also liked the love story between Kern and the elf "illusion" Listle.

For Phlan's fate, at the tail end of 3rd Edition there was a huge contingent of Zhentarim that converted on attacking the city. A Hatemaster by the name of Cvaal Daoran took over the city for the Zhents and, by all measures, kept the city protected from the Shadovar during the Shadowbane War (1383 DR). Apparently this pleased the citizenry enough that no opposition was made and he reigned over the city for some time, even having heirs take over after his death.

What sort of made me mad is that to my knowledge the taking of Phlan was never really detailed in any novel or huge adventure. It just sort of "happened" and we read about it first, I believe, in Grand History of the Realms. A future Dungeon magazine adventure "Monument of the Ancients" was made but that detailed the history of Phlan up to 1480 DR. Having read the Pools book (all 4 of them) it's a bit disappointing to not hear the fate of the church of Tyr or how Kern with the Hammer of Tyr fared in the battle of defending Phlan from the Zhents? Or whos running Denlor's Tower now? What happened to Shal Bal or Tarl?

I mean, I have my own theories and plot points but it would've been nice to know some mention of them occurred.


As for current events, there's a series of adventures for 5th Edition that all detail events around Phlan and the surrounding environs. I might start up a campaign there, bring back some Opposition to the Zhentarim control now that Tyr is back in full power. Maybe a resurgance of the Hammer of Tyr or a half-elf Heir of Kern and Listle starts up rebellion in the town again.
Seravin Posted - 05 Sep 2019 : 16:46:41
That's a good point Diffan, hopefully they'll bring it back good as new like Phlan and the other Moonsea cities that Bane whisked away in Pools of Darkness.

Honestly though the entire Pools series is so ignored in the write-ups of Phlan from 2nd-3rd edition books that have Phlan under Zhent control for most of it, I don't know if that series is canon anyway.

But dropping a metaphorical nuke on Realms' cities is getting as tiresome (as is shifting said cities to other planes). Down with RSEs :)

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