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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3067 Posts

Posted - 03 Sep 2010 :  20:43:29  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan
  • Critical hits. I think it's pretty stupid that you have to *confirm* anything that's a natural 20. Period. Sure, for crit threat range on a roll of 17, 18, or 19 then the attack should have to hit the target (regardless of crit-range of a weapon) to make it a crit and thus (but no re-roll), dealing the appropriate amount of damage.



  • Yes, you have to confirm to see if you do extra damage, but the 20 is an automatic success no matter what. So even if you can at best hit an AC 30 with all the modifiers, if you roll a 20, you'll hit an opponent with an AC 100 (the damage done, however...)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan
  • Play-ability at high to epic levels of play for NON-spellcasters is an absolute joke. Exactly how often does a 15-20th level fighter actually hit with their 4th and 5th attacks?! I've rarely seen it, and it's normally because our spellcaster HAS to cast certain, specific spells such as Brilliant Aura to make those attack even viable. It's definitly frustrating that there even is a power-curve in the game let alone one that I feel starts at around level 8 or so.



  • And what's the rules for 40th level in 4E?

    That's not to say you aren't correct, high level non-spellcasters did have problems (in every edition since first). Now, Pathfinder's corrected some of those problems, as did 4th Edition. But, IMO, it hasn't been erased completely in either rules because of Wishes (unless 4E got rid of it?).
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan
  • Racial penalties. Pathfinder took one step in the right direction with giving Races two +2 bonuses, yet still kept the -2 penality to one stat. I guess it's just me but I hate pre-disposition on certain Races (elves shoe-hored into Wizards, dwarves into Fighters). Personally, I don't feel this adds "character" mainly 'cuz I don't need rules to tell me how/what my character should be.



  • Well, the favored classes came about because 3E was coming from 2E/AD&D, where the races were restricted to certain classes. I'm sure that if it was recreated today, Monte & crew would have gone the Pathfinder route where you would choose your favored class at creation.

    (Hopefully this doesn't come across as an 'attack', I'm simply pointing out some of the reasons for the items listed.)

    I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

    Ashe's Character Sheet

    Alphabetized Index of Realms NPCs

    Edited by - Ashe Ravenheart on 03 Sep 2010 20:44:16
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    Markustay
    Realms Explorer extraordinaire

    USA
    13244 Posts

    Posted - 04 Sep 2010 :  00:44:27  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    First of all, NEVER insult Arby's!!!

    I have traveled 700 miles just to eat there! (There are none anywhere near me). Of course, I was actually visiting my GF in Kentucky at the time... but I had her drive me right to Arby's from the airport!

    I have also taken 3 vacations this summer, and drove FAR for all of them, and decided about which Rest Areas to stop-at based on weather they had an Arby's or not (No, I'm not kidding, and almost ran out of gas in Delaware because of it - waited 'till I got to Jersey)

    As far as I'm concerned, Arby's is gourmet. Its the '3e/OGL' of fast food.

    Anyhow, all I meant was that for years I had been converting material from game systems like MERPs, Runequest, C&S, Stormbringer, ect, ect... to D&D rules. When 3rd edition came around, most other settings/systems came on-board - for instance, the propriety system of Stormbringer became the 3e Elric game - most of my work had been done for me. Another example - I like a lot of stuff from Iron Kingdoms, and if 3e hadn't been 'open source', it would have been propriety and the rules would not have meshed all that well with my D&D campaign. With the notable exception of the Warhammer RPG, nearly all major settings became OGL, and the choices became near-infinite.

    So I will admit that 4e is probably easier to run, and easier to design characters for, just because it is more linear and therefor the choices become obvious. 'Free form' design, like that we had in 3e becomes somewhat unmanageable, especially when you have 100 companies all designing exceptions to every rule.

    So I understand why some folks prefer 4e, because it cuts way down on the rules-lawyer type arguments earlier editions did, but to some of us, that's all part of the game.


    "I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


    Edited by - Markustay on 04 Sep 2010 04:56:33
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    Diffan
    Great Reader

    USA
    3278 Posts

    Posted - 04 Sep 2010 :  01:21:05  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart


    Yes, you have to confirm to see if you do extra damage, but the 20 is an automatic success no matter what. So even if you can at best hit an AC 30 with all the modifiers, if you roll a 20, you'll hit an opponent with an AC 100 (the damage done, however...)


    Exactly, then it's not a "critical" hit then is it? I prefer the extra damage/additional benefits on a natural 20 regardless. I don't incorporate confirm rolls at all in my 3.5/PF campaigns.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart


    And what's the rules for 40th level in 4E?

    That's not to say you aren't correct, high level non-spellcasters did have problems (in every edition since first). Now, Pathfinder's corrected some of those problems, as did 4th Edition. But, IMO, it hasn't been erased completely in either rules because of Wishes (unless 4E got rid of it?).


    Yep, Wish is pretty much no-more in 4E and I say good-riddance. But I'll agree with you that Pathfinder did a much better job at making higher level play enjoyable for non-spellcasters.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart


    Well, the favored classes came about because 3E was coming from 2E/AD&D, where the races were restricted to certain classes. I'm sure that if it was recreated today, Monte & crew would have gone the Pathfinder route where you would choose your favored class at creation.


    Yea, I never understood the racial restrictions of 2e/AD&D(ie paladins could only be Humans and such) but to put penalties on races for "flavor" just isn't my cup of tea. I like the idea of races receiving bonuses that benefit certain classes and have no hindrances in pursuing others.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart


    (Hopefully this doesn't come across as an 'attack', I'm simply pointing out some of the reasons for the items listed.)



    hehehe.....this is a great discussion, and I've not taken any offense from yours or Knight of the Gate's posts. As always, this sort of debate can get heated but that's sort of what makes it interesting.

    quote:
    Originally posted by capnvan


    Just so we're clear here you're saying that you're perfectly comfortable home-brewing your Realms, and that everyone ought to be. At the same time, you also never liked some of the parts that have been removed, post Spellplague, and that they ought to have been, because, in your opinion, they were too RL-oriented.


    Essentially, yes. I mean, did I like some of the RL-oriented areas of Faerun? No, but when they were there I ignored them and didn't pay attention to them at all.

    quote:
    Originally posted by capnvan


    Obvious question: If you were so comfortable with home-brewing the Realms, why would you be so vocal about how great the changes are? Why would you care? Not to say that you weren't happy about the changes, fitting into your conception of the Realms, which is fine, but why the effort to make the point that now the canon is better?

    In short: Why are you so eager to plug the benefits of the changes if you never played in the canon Realms anyway?


    It's not to say that I didn't play in Canon Realms pre-spellplague (though going by the "Fire the Canon" essay, none of us can actually play in Canon Realms), I chose NOT to put emphasis on the areas of the Realms that didn't appeal to me. But I'm plugging the benefits of FR4E mainly because I saw that much of the opinions here were against the changes and I thought to add my own 2-cents on the flip side of the argument. Of course I'm going to espouse the changes they made, and I'll tell anyone here that I promote 4E and FR4E if for any other reason than to change some people's minds that it's still a great setting with loads to explore. And that even though the changes they made are not to many people's liking, you can change that to suit your own purposes. And I feel that the 4E system is loads fun to play and for people to give that a chance. True, putting down 3.5 (an edition I still play quite often I'll have you know) might not be the best strategy, but often people gloss over the glaring problem (from my POV) to validate their hatred of something they might not have even tried.

    4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

    "If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

    Edited by - Diffan on 04 Sep 2010 21:55:28
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    Ashe Ravenheart
    Great Reader

    USA
    3067 Posts

    Posted - 04 Sep 2010 :  18:23:41  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    FYI, the last quote was of Capnvan and not me. Probably just a typo.

    I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

    Ashe's Character Sheet

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    Diffan
    Great Reader

    USA
    3278 Posts

    Posted - 04 Sep 2010 :  21:56:27  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

    FYI, the last quote was of Capnvan and not me. Probably just a typo.



    Noted and changed, my apologies.
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    Quale
    Master of Realmslore

    1755 Posts

    Posted - 05 Sep 2010 :  09:43:02  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    Not that Gods can't have a hand in doing things on the prime-material plane, just maybe not soo much?


    I agree, but 4e could have changed that more simply, even saying that gods became mysteriously distant like in Eberron would be a better solution.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    I have a problem with Egypt taken pretty much straight from Earth (gods and all) and *ploped* into the Realms. I don't care for the feel of the Egyptian theme nor would I ever want to run that style of campaign. I have absolutely no use for it what-so-ever. And as for Maztica and the "new world" idea, never cared for that as well. Now that could be because they never fully developed the concept but I want to play in a Fantasy setting, not "hey, lets play conquistadors and take all the Aztecs.....er.....Maztican gold!" Just not feeling it.


    If you look more closely it becomes clear that Mulhorand and ancient Egypt are quite different. Don't get me wrong, personally I'd add a lot more twists. E.g. our version of Mulhorand is in northern Zakhara, shattered and dead like Osiris, Tomb-kings-like land, with undead immortals, a river of blood, Anubite armies, akh-spirits, ak-chazar rakshasas and scarab swarms. How is that not fantasy, all of it comes from Earth unless it's Lovecraftian (a problem of describing it to the pcs). Unless they do series of books about cultures unique only to FR (includes customs not seen on Earth, with pictures of their alien styles and architectures) and they become more interesting than the ones from mythology I will continue to use Earthly analogues. It's much easier that way, saves a lot of time. I don't care for Maztica like you do for Mulhorand, for now, but I'm sure something great can be done with it, kaboom is not the answer. From the description in FRCG do you have any idea how High Imaskar looks like or about their society, there is simply not enough information, you say it gives freedom to the DM, I say it's time consuming and what's stopping me from making my own setting from scratch, it's almost the same.
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    Diffan
    Great Reader

    USA
    3278 Posts

    Posted - 05 Sep 2010 :  15:06:05  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Quale

    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    Not that Gods can't have a hand in doing things on the prime-material plane, just maybe not soo much?


    I agree, but 4e could have changed that more simply, even saying that gods became mysteriously distant like in Eberron would be a better solution.


    Yea, when I came to Mystra I would've liked to see her diminished slightly and have a lesser influence on the Realms. And more information on her less-than-goody two shoes Chosen would've done wonders to show her other sides and LN alignment.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Quale

    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    I have a problem with Egypt taken pretty much straight from Earth (gods and all) and *ploped* into the Realms. I don't care for the feel of the Egyptian theme nor would I ever want to run that style of campaign. I have absolutely no use for it what-so-ever. And as for Maztica and the "new world" idea, never cared for that as well. Now that could be because they never fully developed the concept but I want to play in a Fantasy setting, not "hey, lets play conquistadors and take all the Aztecs.....er.....Maztican gold!" Just not feeling it.


    If you look more closely it becomes clear that Mulhorand and ancient Egypt are quite different. Don't get me wrong, personally I'd add a lot more twists. E.g. our version of Mulhorand is in northern Zakhara, shattered and dead like Osiris, Tomb-kings-like land, with undead immortals, a river of blood, Anubite armies, akh-spirits, ak-chazar rakshasas and scarab swarms. How is that not fantasy, all of it comes from Earth unless it's Lovecraftian (a problem of describing it to the pcs). Unless they do series of books about cultures unique only to FR (includes customs not seen on Earth, with pictures of their alien styles and architectures) and they become more interesting than the ones from mythology I will continue to use Earthly analogues. It's much easier that way, saves a lot of time. I don't care for Maztica like you do for Mulhorand, for now, but I'm sure something great can be done with it, kaboom is not the answer. From the description in FRCG do you have any idea how High Imaskar looks like or about their society, there is simply not enough information, you say it gives freedom to the DM, I say it's time consuming and what's stopping me from making my own setting from scratch, it's almost the same.



    Of course when you have a fantasy setting there are going to be aspect of our own world involved and transposed into the Fantasy setting. Look at the era of play with armor, medieval/renaissance style weapons, the style of clothing, caste societies, etc....but that's pretty broad and it's style is seen throughout most of Wester, Central, and some of Eastern Faerun. But then there is this world inside a world that just screams RL too much. Maybe it's just me, but I've never cared for that sort of style. Call it personal preference.

    As for the lore- and setting-lite approach, there's always something a DM has to do to make it fit their campaign regardless of what specific setting it is. For myself, I love the freedom to do what I want w/o contradicting canon over-much. I'm not one who needs every NPC statted out or the information on every inn/bar in a specific town or city. I do that stuff already and now I don't have to worry about it contradicting canon over-much. Now you might ask "If I like doing all the leg work, why not jus run your own campaign setting?" And to that I'd say because the history/lore, deities, organizations, cities, and plot hooks that are intrinsic to the Realms.

    4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

    "If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

    Edited by - Diffan on 05 Sep 2010 15:07:27
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    Ashe Ravenheart
    Great Reader

    USA
    3067 Posts

    Posted - 06 Sep 2010 :  00:08:28  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan
    Yea, when I came to Mystra I would've liked to see her diminished slightly and have a lesser influence on the Realms. And more information on her less-than-goody two shoes Chosen would've done wonders to show her other sides and LN alignment.


    Here's the problem. As has been discussed before, the stories told are decided by Wizards of the Coast. And Wizards of the Coast, a business, wants to print stories that sell. And stories about less-than-goody two shoes do not sell as well as the Chosen that regularly save the Realms.

    How do you resolve the two? You (and many like you) were upset that the stories being told seemed to crowd out your attempts to be the main heroes of the Realms. But the reason those stories were told were because that was what the public wanted. So, your vocal minority reached the ears of Wizards of the Coast and they sought a solution to get you to spend your money and hopefully get some other new players as well. But, and this is key, the public still wants those novels of the heroes saving the Realms, so you're STILL going to have Drizzt and Elminster out there 'overshadowing' the PCs in your game.

    What you're left with is the post-Spellplague Realms that most of the old fans don't like, and the people that DO like it will wind up complaining about the same thing in another 3-5 years when situation returns.

    I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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    Diffan
    Great Reader

    USA
    3278 Posts

    Posted - 06 Sep 2010 :  03:22:01  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan
    Yea, when I came to Mystra I would've liked to see her diminished slightly and have a lesser influence on the Realms. And more information on her less-than-goody two shoes Chosen would've done wonders to show her other sides and LN alignment.


    Here's the problem. As has been discussed before, the stories told are decided by Wizards of the Coast. And Wizards of the Coast, a business, wants to print stories that sell. And stories about less-than-goody two shoes do not sell as well as the Chosen that regularly save the Realms.

    How do you resolve the two? You (and many like you) were upset that the stories being told seemed to crowd out your attempts to be the main heroes of the Realms. But the reason those stories were told were because that was what the public wanted. So, your vocal minority reached the ears of Wizards of the Coast and they sought a solution to get you to spend your money and hopefully get some other new players as well. But, and this is key, the public still wants those novels of the heroes saving the Realms, so you're STILL going to have Drizzt and Elminster out there 'overshadowing' the PCs in your game.

    What you're left with is the post-Spellplague Realms that most of the old fans don't like, and the people that DO like it will wind up complaining about the same thing in another 3-5 years when situation returns.



    This is pretty much why I've given up trying to stay with canon. Do I like to keep base with it in my Realms, yes but I no longer let the adventures and victories of the uber-epic NPCs affect my games. Plus, I haven't really read that many novels in post-spellplague Realms.

    But I think the novelists at WotC could do something with a non-CG/NG/LG anti-hero Chosen of Mystra and make it exciting and worth-while to read. Heck, I would've even taken a small blurb, short story, or minor mention in a sourcebook about Mystra's less than honorable favorites and I think some here would agree.

    But it all comes down to how you use the information and how you let it affect you and your game.

    But lets take....Shadowdale: Scourge of the Land adventure from 3.5 for a quick example. [SPOILER ALERT] In the adventure, Elminster's tower is destroyed and he and his Chosen friends are no where in sight. This makes it acceptable for the PCs to wade in and save the day. But the way I see it is that they have to get rid of those character in order to run the adventure least those specific characters swoop in and save the day. So the only way to run an adventure in an area populated with epic-level characters is to have them removed in some fashion as to "make way" for the PCs and that I don't like. I've preceived that these characters can often lead to questions like "Why does my character need to help defend Silverymoon when Alustriel can be there lickety-split on a flaming chariot and spellfire-napalm the bad-guys with no fuss?" To me, it's not so much their stories but how far reaching their arms can be and the power they hold that has me scratching my head.

    Edited by - Diffan on 06 Sep 2010 03:30:24
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    Ionik Knight
    Learned Scribe

    USA
    222 Posts

    Posted - 06 Sep 2010 :  04:30:44  Show Profile  Visit Ionik Knight's Homepage Send Ionik Knight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    I've preceived that these characters can often lead to questions like "Why does my character need to help defend Silverymoon when Alustriel can be there lickety-split on a flaming chariot and spellfire-napalm the bad-guys with no fuss?"
    [/quote]
    Because you have a good alignment, or if not because you were paid to. Plus if you worked all the canon officials full-time in the most efficient manner possible; there would still be more plots, hordes, monsters, disasters, wars, and other problems going on than they could handle.
    If someone really stays away from the Realms because of the Chosen they either lack perspective or they had a bad time with a worse a DM. After all, every fantasy world has its major heroes. Would they not play in Middle Earth because of the Fellowship?

    Fools to right of them,
    Jesters to left of them,
    Clowns in front of them
    Pun'd and parody'd.
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    Ashe Ravenheart
    Great Reader

    USA
    3067 Posts

    Posted - 06 Sep 2010 :  07:54:04  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan<snip>
    But lets take....Shadowdale: Scourge of the Land adventure from 3.5 for a quick example. [SPOILER ALERT] In the adventure, Elminster's tower is destroyed and he and his Chosen friends are no where in sight. This makes it acceptable for the PCs to wade in and save the day. But the way I see it is that they have to get rid of those character in order to run the adventure least those specific characters swoop in and save the day. So the only way to run an adventure in an area populated with epic-level characters is to have them removed in some fashion as to "make way" for the PCs and that I don't like. I've preceived that these characters can often lead to questions like "Why does my character need to help defend Silverymoon when Alustriel can be there lickety-split on a flaming chariot and spellfire-napalm the bad-guys with no fuss?" To me, it's not so much their stories but how far reaching their arms can be and the power they hold that has me scratching my head.

    I have to disagree. Every published entry of Shadowdale pretty much states that if the players are in town and wanna talk to the Old Sage, they'll find him either not at home, or will turn them away. Now, the Shadowdale adventure was unique in that it tried to tie in the whole Mythal Gate novels with a campaign adventure that took the PCs up against agents of Shar.

    And, in the case of Alustriel, check out RAS' Hunter's Blades trilogy. Shows a pretty good example that the Chosen are NOT as powerful as showing up in a flaming chariot and napalming the bad guys. As Ed and THO have said time and again, they are agents of Mystra first and being so means that Mystra may not WANT them to do that, no matter what the Chosen wants.

    I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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    Zorro
    Learned Scribe

    Germany
    82 Posts

    Posted - 06 Sep 2010 :  16:03:12  Show Profile  Visit Zorro's Homepage Send Zorro a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    But lets take....Shadowdale: Scourge of the Land adventure from 3.5 for a quick example. [SPOILER ALERT] In the adventure, Elminster's tower is destroyed and he and his Chosen friends are no where in sight. This makes it acceptable for the PCs to wade in and save the day. But the way I see it is that they have to get rid of those character in order to run the adventure least those specific characters swoop in and save the day. So the only way to run an adventure in an area populated with epic-level characters is to have them removed in some fashion as to "make way" for the PCs and that I don't like. I've preceived that these characters can often lead to questions like "Why does my character need to help defend Silverymoon when Alustriel can be there lickety-split on a flaming chariot and spellfire-napalm the bad-guys with no fuss?" To me, it's not so much their stories but how far reaching their arms can be and the power they hold that has me scratching my head.

    I can sympathize with your views, although I really, really, really dislike the New Realms and 4e (for completely different reasons). But the "The Chosen are too powerful / omnipresent / etc." discussion is almost as old as the published setting, and to examples like this I usually reply with a comparison with RW settings or scripts for blockbuster movies. Let's take Die Hard. In every movie the writers had to come up with an explanation why John McClane had to do all the work instead of the much, much more capable police / army / secret service. Same with RW settings. If you want the PCs to save New York, you have to come up with a reason why the authorities can't. That doesn't mean that an adventure in the real world is unplayable, it just means that you have to do a little more work. A dumbed down New York with no police force etc. would be pretty, well, dumb. A dumbed down setting in which the PCs are the most powerful heroes wherever they go (while the numerous evil factions all over the world kick back and just decide to strike when the PCs are near) would feel equally dumb to me.

    I don't like the official portrayal of the Chosen either (and I ignore it), and like you, I've changed my Realms beyond recognition, but I kept the Chosen, I kept the benevolent organizations etc. for the above-mentioned reasons. Sure, it's more work, but it makes for a more plausible setting.

    Zorro

    I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability. - Oscar Wilde
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    Wooly Rupert
    Master of Mischief
    Moderator

    USA
    29701 Posts

    Posted - 06 Sep 2010 :  16:41:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Besides, it's not like there is ever just one thing at a time for Chosen to deal with. There's a dozen of them, and millions of people in the Realms. Do the math.

    To borrow the New York example... Imagine if the NYPD, with its current numbers and funding, had to police the entire USA. The Chosen aren't police, but they're in a similar situation.

    Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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    Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 06 Sep 2010 16:41:51
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    Markustay
    Realms Explorer extraordinaire

    USA
    13244 Posts

    Posted - 06 Sep 2010 :  18:49:59  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    The number of Police in NY state - which includes sheriffs, State police, and constabulary, is larger then many nations standing armies.

    I heard that on TV somewhere recently.

    'Police state', anyone?

    Anyhow, yeah - even as Uber-powerful as superman is (insanely over-powered, actually), there are still bank robberies, muggings, and even dictatorships happening all the time. Even superman (and the JLA) can't be everywhere at once.

    And just like Superman and the JLA, or the Avengers, or whatever group of heroes you use, they are usually 'off in space' or fixing 'planer rifts' and doing other 'cosmic things' - far too busy to help some little town fend off some Orcs... or stop some Lich from gaining power in The North.

    The PCs are the Batmans and Captain Americas of the world... and every once in a great while, they outshine the 'Uber-heroes', and save the universe.

    As an aside, I think the groups (Players and DMs alike) that disliked FR the most, were those that didn't run 'good' groups, IMHO. Who wants to be a 'bad guy' in a world filled with Elminsters and Drizzts? Just my opinion, but it seems to make more sense then the 'they out-shine the PCs' argument.

    "I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


    Edited by - Markustay on 08 Sep 2010 23:20:21
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    Uzzy
    Senior Scribe

    United Kingdom
    618 Posts

    Posted - 07 Sep 2010 :  02:34:35  Show Profile  Visit Uzzy's Homepage Send Uzzy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Eh, people used to think that games in the Realms went something like this.

    T: Game starts
    T+1 minute: Elminster solves all in game problems, then ascends to have sex with Mystra.
    T+2 minutes: PC's left with nothing to do. Game ends

    Seems that plenty still think that, despite endless evidence to the contrary.
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    Ionik Knight
    Learned Scribe

    USA
    222 Posts

    Posted - 07 Sep 2010 :  03:59:28  Show Profile  Visit Ionik Knight's Homepage Send Ionik Knight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Uzzy

    Eh, people used to think that games in the Realms went something like this.

    T: Game starts
    T+1 minute: Elminster solves all in game problems, then ascends to have sex with Mystra.
    T+2 minutes: PC's left with nothing to do. Game ends

    Seems that plenty still think that, despite endless evidence to the contrary.




    Funny, when I first started playing in the Realms I was completely unaware that Elminster ever did anything. He was just this Uber Sage...kind of like wikipedia--but crankier.

    Fools to right of them,
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    Diffan
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    Posted - 07 Sep 2010 :  04:52:35  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Gee, I make one situation involing a Chosen on their home turf and people seem to think that I'm applying this to the entire breadth of the Realms. I can see the Chosen as a form of JLA and I know for the most part that they tend not to take notice of plots/enemies that lowly level PCs struggle with. What I'm saying is that published adventures *cough* Shadowdale *cough* needed to somehow distance the uber-epic NPCs so the PCs could have the spotlight. Namely becaus their presence drastically effects what a PC can do in that area.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart


    And, in the case of Alustriel, check out RAS' Hunter's Blades trilogy. Shows a pretty good example that the Chosen are NOT as powerful as showing up in a flaming chariot and napalming the bad guys. As Ed and THO have said time and again, they are agents of Mystra first and being so means that Mystra may not WANT them to do that, no matter what the Chosen wants.


    Not entirely. Since I did read the novels, I know that Bruenor requested help from Silverymoon in defense of their Kingdom against Obould's advancing army. But this army was NOT on the door-step of Silverymoon and thus Alustriel had to weight the advantages/disadvantages of helping Bruenor out. Had Obould made a direct assault on Silverymoon's walls, rest assured Alustriel would've Napalmed the nine hells out of Obould's orc horde.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Zorro


    I can sympathize with your views, although I really, really, really dislike the New Realms and 4e (for completely different reasons). But the "The Chosen are too powerful / omnipresent / etc." discussion is almost as old as the published setting, and to examples like this I usually reply with a comparison with RW settings or scripts for blockbuster movies. Let's take Die Hard. In every movie the writers had to come up with an explanation why John McClane had to do all the work instead of the much, much more capable police / army / secret service. Same with RW settings. If you want the PCs to save New York, you have to come up with a reason why the authorities can't. That doesn't mean that an adventure in the real world is unplayable, it just means that you have to do a little more work. A dumbed down New York with no police force etc. would be pretty, well, dumb. A dumbed down setting in which the PCs are the most powerful heroes wherever they go (while the numerous evil factions all over the world kick back and just decide to strike when the PCs are near) would feel equally dumb to me.


    Like I responded to Ashe's comment above, I understand that the Realms are a BIG place and the Chosen/JLA can't be every-where at once but to use your analogy, normally when someone does attack (say NY) the police come running and if I remember Die Hard correclty the LAPD and FBI were heavily involved as well (though they didn't do as good mind you). But I get what your saying. It just to me, areas where Chosen are present (Waterdeep, Shadowdale/Dalelands, Silverymoon, Anglarond, etc.) pretty much don't need help from PCs because they've got the CPA (Chosen Protection Agency, yea I like the sound of that!). And this is mostly true when you hit campaigns with character levels higher than 10.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Zorro


    I don't like the official portrayal of the Chosen either (and I ignore it), and like you, I've changed my Realms beyond recognition, but I kept the Chosen, I kept the benevolent organizations etc. for the above-mentioned reasons. Sure, it's more work, but it makes for a more plausible setting.

    Zorro


    As do I. I've kept the Harpers pretty much as-is along with many other 3e/3.5 organizations that are prevalent in 1375 DR. The Realms of 1479 DR have seen some changes but most of the core values remain (and yes the Chosen are all still there except Alustriel in my Realms).


    Edited by - Diffan on 07 Sep 2010 04:54:15
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    Ashe Ravenheart
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    Posted - 07 Sep 2010 :  04:56:39  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Okay, I'd warn you AGAINST calling the Chosen the "JLA" around here. There have been long debates/flame wars both here and on the Wizards boards regarding seeing the Chosen as the JLA of the Realms.

    And most people around here do NOT agree with that assessment.

    I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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    Diffan
    Great Reader

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    Posted - 07 Sep 2010 :  11:09:37  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

    Okay, I'd warn you AGAINST calling the Chosen the "JLA" around here. There have been long debates/flame wars both here and on the Wizards boards regarding seeing the Chosen as the JLA of the Realms.

    And most people around here do NOT agree with that assessment.



    Okay.....I'll refrain from using the JLA analogy for the sake of not starting anymore arguments (though I still like the CPA and that one will stick around for me a bit ).
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    idilippy
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    Posted - 08 Sep 2010 :  03:03:41  Show Profile Send idilippy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    To add to the Chosen argument something that has undoubtedly said thousands of times before, not only are they just a handful of people in a world of millions, they are restricted by the fact that they serve the proliferation of magic first and their own agendas second. Does anyone remember the Elminster novel where he was specifically told by Mystra not to go out and destroy some Lich, Red Wizard, or Zhent spellcaster because his research into spells was furthering her portfolio, despite the fact that he was using the spells for evil? And also, in one of the novels Elminster spent time creating magic items and spell seeds and fragments for the purpose of placing them in tombs and ruins for people to one day find and finish researching, thus spreading the use of magic. Through all of this work, as well as his plane hopping, self-defense against enemy wizards, and checking in on his friends, fellow Harpers, and the Simbul I just don't see how he is supposed to have the time just to police the Dalelands, yet he and the handful of other Chosen are apparently preventing all adventures in a country that's, what, larger than Europe in area surely?

    Also, for another argument that has probably been repeated ad nauseum, even if you were to say that the few Chosen are so powerful that they can prevent all major crimes from happening, wouldn't the powerful evil NPC's opposing them who are of similar status have to effectively cancel out the Chosen's influence? Or, as Wooly said, aren't there so many problems going on at once that they just can't stretch themselves that far? Let's say at sunrise a group of adventurers stumbles across a group of Beholders near Shadowdale and Elminster, or any Chosen, shows up immediately to wipe them out, then goes to kill a few liches who are plotting to destroy a town along the Sword Coast, stop a plot to assassinate a dozen merchant in Sembia by a hive of doppelganger assassins, takes out a family of dragons harassing a small town, and then spends an hour fending off a half dozen of ambitious Red Wizards who team up to take him out. Now its noon, he's exhausted and likely somewhat low on spell power, and has maybe saved a few thousand people from harm. There's no way that even all of the Chosen, were they to act as some kind of police force, would have the time, power, or ability to handle every single threat, even the major ones, that pop up in Faerun alone, and that doesn't take into account their individual duties like Alustriel's running of Silverymoon, what they need to do for Mystra, their need to defend themselves from attacks, and the fact that they need some leisure or relaxation time to not go utterly insane(if their unnaturally long lives haven't done so already).

    As I said, I'm sure that's nothing that hasn't been said before but in my opinion these are compelling arguments for why the Chosen aren't some super hero police force, and gives logical reasons why they won't be helping the PCs do everything without even resorting to the explanations that Chosen aren't omniscient and could simply not know of a plot the PCs deal with.

    Edit: Also, since I now realize the original topic of the thread is Mystra, not the Chosen, I will just say I can't believe Mystra would be killed in Dweomerheart, even by Shar and Cyric together. I also think that any deity who saw what happened to Netheril after Mystryl's death disrupted the Weave for mere moments would have a better plan than hoping that the Shadow Weave would stay up after the Weave is disrupted. I mean, it's called the Shadow Weave because it is the shadow of the original Weave, lying within the spaces of the Weave. If there's no original anymore there would be no shadow, even I can see how that would make sense.

    Edited by - idilippy on 08 Sep 2010 03:12:27
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    Quale
    Master of Realmslore

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    Posted - 08 Sep 2010 :  10:43:46  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    quote:
    Originally posted by Quale

    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    Not that Gods can't have a hand in doing things on the prime-material plane, just maybe not soo much?


    I agree, but 4e could have changed that more simply, even saying that gods became mysteriously distant like in Eberron would be a better solution.


    Yea, when I came to Mystra I would've liked to see her diminished slightly and have a lesser influence on the Realms. And more information on her less-than-goody two shoes Chosen would've done wonders to show her other sides and LN alignment.


    Well, all the Chosen are mad, no matter what alignment is published, isn't that enough to build upon?
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    Markustay
    Realms Explorer extraordinaire

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    Posted - 08 Sep 2010 :  23:46:24  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Where a good DM starts his party all depends on the party (and players) themselves.

    So I would agree on a certain level that starting in or even running an adventure near Shadowdale should not be taken lightly. If your PCs want to be Harpers, go for it. If they are a bunch of adolescent jerks who want to kill farmers for fun, then no... start them in the north... in a remote corner.

    The Realms requires 'balance', and Ed built that balance in from the beginning. The more civilized regions - most especially in the vicinity of Cormyr - is a 'no shenanigans' zone. Cormyr and the Dales couldn't possibly exist without the War Wizards or Elminster nearby, because of the shear number of threats to those places (bad guys do NOT like to be interfered with). Take the balancing factors out - the Harpers, Chosen, ect - and the baddies take over the world within 24 hours.

    For a setting to be believable, there needs to be a certain amount of logic behind it, and FR has that.

    There are TONS of places outside of the Heartlands where player characters can 'run amok', and quite a few within the Heartlands themselves (Stonelands, pre-3e Anauroch, Moonsea region, Unapproachable East, great swaths of The North, Ten Towns, The High Moor, ect...)

    So the problem isn't a place where the PCs won't have interference - there seems to be far more of those (Maztica, The Wastes, Most of the Shining South, a plethora of islands, ect...) then 'patrolled' areas, but rather the problem stems from a DM either not knowing the Realms well, or not knowing his players well, or some combination of both.

    I have (unfortunately) experience in this area - my bro-in-law's friends were the "lets go kill some farmers" types, and I made the mistake of starting them in the Dales (one I manufactured, not a canon one... THANK GOD), and I had to get them the hell out of their ASAP (one handy-dandy 'random' portal later). I didn't know the group all that well, and at that time, I was only somewhat familiar with the Realms themselves.

    But I learned quick - you can't just plunk-down anyone anywhere (like I did with Greyhawk), and that's part of the beauty of the Realms. you can't do ANYTHING without their being consequences, including 'goodly deeds'. FR is a living world, and for every action their is a reaction - the players do not exist in a vacuum.

    So the next time your PCs decide to interrupt some slave trade by a group of pirates, they had better start wondering about the buyers on the other end... the ones that are pretty pissed-off and looking for replacements. The evil groups are just as much a 'balancing factor' as the 'goodly' ones, and if you stir the pot often enough, you are going to get burned.

    So don't worry about the 'Super friends', they have their hands full with the 'Legion of Doom', and the only ones that can make any 'headway' in this eternal stalemate are..... {drum-roll please}....

    THE PC's!

    "I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


    Edited by - Markustay on 08 Sep 2010 23:50:03
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    althen artren
    Senior Scribe

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    777 Posts

    Posted - 08 Sep 2010 :  23:54:10  Show Profile Send althen artren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Markus,

    that is some major jonesing for Arby's brother.
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    Markustay
    Realms Explorer extraordinaire

    USA
    13244 Posts

    Posted - 09 Sep 2010 :  20:40:08  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    I was thinking about making 'Arbeeze' the 'Ambrosia of the gods' in my setting.

    But seriously, that some damn good fast food, and I like Popeye's the same amount... another chain that went belly-up in this region.

    Seems like 'bland, tasteless crap' is the only stuff that can make it here on LI.

    At the end of the day, I will always take a REAL restaurant over any fast-food chain though. I just obsess over things sometimes.....

    ...in case any of you haven't noticed.

    "I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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    Jakk
    Great Reader

    Canada
    2165 Posts

    Posted - 10 Sep 2010 :  00:25:29  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart


    That's not to say you aren't correct, high level non-spellcasters did have problems (in every edition since first). Now, Pathfinder's corrected some of those problems, as did 4th Edition. But, IMO, it hasn't been erased completely in either rules because of Wishes (unless 4E got rid of it?).


    Yep, Wish is pretty much no-more in 4E and I say good-riddance. But I'll agree with you that Pathfinder did a much better job at making higher level play enjoyable for non-spellcasters.


    So... if Wish is gone in 4E, and this is a retcon, not a change storylined in by the Spellplague, then that means that Vangerdahast never freed Nalavarauthatoryl, and therefore that Azoun and Tanalasta didn't die... at least, they didn't die the way they did in "Death of the Dragon"... therefore, we must conclude that all changes in magic in the 4E Realms are a consequence of the Spellplague, not a retcon at all. This, among many other things, is part of why time travel is a bad idea...

    I could easily go off on a rant here, and while it wouldn't be off-topic for this scroll to do so, it's a rant I've done before, and I've deduced some very interesting things recently that make the OP's rant topic (the death of Mystra) far more tolerable. For the curious, read the lore... particularly that regarding Mystryl's and Mystra's relationship to the Weave and the circumstances of all three deaths of the goddess. My theory is posted in Ed's scroll, within the previous few days (if I remembered the exact date of every interesting thought I've had, I wouldn't have room to remember the interesting thoughts themselves).

    Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

    If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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