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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2009 :  19:45:30  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Menelvagor

Having started to finish re-reading the Cormyr trilogy in the right order, these questions arise:
What happened to the Scepter of Lords? It isn't mentioned after Alavara's death.
What was the crown on the Scepter that Rowen said he drained of magic? The description fits the Crown of Iliphar - later the Crown of Faerlthann - but that would be in the hands of the Royal Family, wouldn't it?
Being the "Cormyr guy," I can answer this one fairly definitively, I think.

The Scepter of Lords was consumed in Alavara's destruction.

Iliphar had a number of circlets and crowns, and while Iliphar's Circlet was bestowed on Faerlthann, that doesn't mean he didn't have one or more similar pieces of headgear. A note: Iliphar's Circlet should not be confused with the Crown of Rhiiman. Both are in the possession of the Obarskyrs, but it's the latter that most Realms fans know, from depictions of Azoun IV.

More about the crowns of Cormyr, I would love to say, but then I wouldn't have any surprises later, now, would I?
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Menelvagor
Senior Scribe

Israel
352 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2009 :  20:49:10  Show Profile  Visit Menelvagor's Homepage Send Menelvagor a Private Message
Thanks a lot!
Which raises many more questions: When the 'Royal Tricrown of Corymr' is mentioned, it refers to Iliphar's Circlet, does it not?
And what is the Crown of Rhiiman? Another, later crown made for King Rhiiman? If so, why make it in the shape of Iliphar's Circlet? Most kings who had a new crown made for their coronation obviously had a fancier one?
And what do the Kings of Cormyr usually wear on their heads? In Court? In Battle? In day-to-day life?

"Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly.
How much less them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation in the dust, are crushed before the moth?" - Eliphaz the Temanite, Job IV, 17-19.

"Yea, though he live a thousand years twice, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?" - Ecclesiastes VI, 6.

"There are no stupid questions – just a bunch of inquisitive idiots."

"Let's not call it 'hijacking'. Let's call it 'Thread Drift'."
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2009 :  21:01:34  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Menelvagor
Which raises many more questions: When the 'Royal Tricrown of Corymr' is mentioned, it refers to Iliphar's Circlet, does it not?
No. They're talking about the Crown of Rhiiman.
quote:
And what is the Crown of Rhiiman? Another, later crown made for King Rhiiman? If so, why make it in the shape of Iliphar's Circlet? Most kings who had a new crown made for their coronation obviously had a fancier one?
The Crown of Rhiiman is not entirely in the shape of Iliphar's Circlet. The Crown is the golden piece of headgear seen on Azoun IV's brow on most game supplements and novel covers. See the covers to Crusade, the Cormyr supplement, or Volo's Guide to Cormyr for an appearance of the tricrown.

The Tricrown of Cormyr was created to be a symbol of human rulership in Cormyr, and so--while it adopted the three spired design of Iliphar's Circlet--is decidedly less elven-looking, with harder lines and more sharp edges. Iliphar's Circlet is a smoother, thinner, more elegant piece of metalwork, and is almost never seen by anyone outside the Royal Family.

As for what the kings wear, I'll leave that one to Ed. Needless to say, it varies greatly. ;)
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2009 :  22:12:26  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ah, thank you very much, Garen Thal. Ably answered, and sent to Ed for anything he may want to add re. that last point.
Penknight, characters I have played (and the PC parties they have been members of, at the time) have never wintered over in Waterdeep, no, but (thanks to the huge network of secret and not-so-secret gates [3e "portals"] Ed established all over the Realms) my characters have often VISITED Waterdeep in the winter, and stayed there for as much as two consecutive tendays at a time. It's damp, cold, and expensive, so we seldom stretched our visits longer than absolutely necessary . . . though the seasons are very much the same once you get far enough underground (Skullport is nasty-dangerous all year round, EVERY year )
We have overwintered in Neverwinter (despite the name, it gets winter, all right; damp and wet with rain and sleet and ice, snow melting near the docks and seashore, but deep wet snow in the city neighbourhoods farther inland), Silverymoon, Suzail, Arabel, and the Dales (Shadowdale and once in Battledale's Ghost Holds). Usually we're in the Dales or the woods around them.
By the way, Ed is great at conjuring up the feeling of deep, deadly winter, with "the wolves running" by night, as stars glitter ruthlessly in the clear, cold night air, and all is hushed under thick blankets of white snow . . .
love,
THO
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2009 :  22:40:01  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
Well met, all!

I have a third edition rules suggestion request for Ed. In order to try to maintain a "Realmsian" feel to my game, I try to enforce a rule that "uncommon," "rare," and "unique" spells are just that, but a player of mine is now playing a sorcerer. This brilliant addition to the plethora of D&D "core characters" can -- as I understand the core rules -- just wish upon a star, or click his heels together, or run around in a circle flapping his arms to imitate his (supposed) draconic ancestors to acquire any spell on the (conveniently conjoined) wizard/sorcerer spell list. Never mind that it may have taken Larloch 600 years to develop a spell, according to the rules, if a sorcerer wants it, and has a slot available to "know" it -- pop! -- its in his head.

The difficulty is that the player wants to "know" a sober-up spell, and the only such spell I know of in the Realms is uncommon (at least). It has been cast once during play in the past three or four years of real time in my game, and the caster menacingly told the only witnesses to the casting that they shouldn't ever discuss the spell unless he chose to teach it to them. (The sorcerer's player wasn't one of the witnesses.) I can, according to the rules, restrict wizards from acquiring rare and unique spells unless they research them independently or someone teaches them the spell, but what is to be done about these hairy kobold-kin who rely upon their feeble and tenuous link to dragons to instantly "know" spells which no dragon has ever learned? Ed, will you put on your DM cap and suggest how I can keep rare spells rare without just eliminating the whole sorcerer class?




I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30205 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2009 :  22:55:54  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Jamallo Kreen

Well met, all!

I have a third edition rules suggestion request for Ed. In order to try to maintain a "Realmsian" feel to my game, I try to enforce a rule that "uncommon," "rare," and "unique" spells are just that, but a player of mine is now playing a sorcerer. This brilliant addition to the plethora of D&D "core characters" can -- as I understand the core rules -- just wish upon a star, or click his heels together, or run around in a circle flapping his arms to imitate his (supposed) draconic ancestors to acquire any spell on the (conveniently conjoined) wizard/sorcerer spell list. Never mind that it may have taken Larloch 600 years to develop a spell, according to the rules, if a sorcerer wants it, and has a slot available to "know" it -- pop! -- its in his head.

The difficulty is that the player wants to "know" a sober-up spell, and the only such spell I know of in the Realms is uncommon (at least). It has been cast once during play in the past three or four years of real time in my game, and the caster menacingly told the only witnesses to the casting that they shouldn't ever discuss the spell unless he chose to teach it to them. (The sorcerer's player wasn't one of the witnesses.) I can, according to the rules, restrict wizards from acquiring rare and unique spells unless they research them independently or someone teaches them the spell, but what is to be done about these hairy kobold-kin who rely upon their feeble and tenuous link to dragons to instantly "know" spells which no dragon has ever learned? Ed, will you put on your DM cap and suggest how I can keep rare spells rare without just eliminating the whole sorcerer class?



If it were me, I'd rule that a sorcerer could only get spells automatically if they were common -- those would be the spells the sorcerer has heard of in great enough detail to be able to figure out how to work them. With uncommon spells, it would be more difficult. The sorcerer may have heard of the spell with some (but not all!) of the details, or he might have seen it cast once or twice before. For these spells, he can try to get it automatically, but he has to pass some sort of check (perhaps a spellcraft check, with a DC that's high but not outside of his range). Failing that, he has to research it. With the rare spells, he has to research it, or get phenomenally lucky on a spellcraft check.

I think doing it that way would best keep with the spirit of the rules, but also stick with the spell rarity thing -- which was something I loved from FRA. I wish that was something that they had continued to work with.

I'm reminded of a past user here... This user maintained that a particular PC had an intelligence score so high that he would be able to tell you what Mystra had for breakfast. I argued that having brainpower did not automatically mean that knowledge was in his head, just that his head had the capacity to contain and process it.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 05 Mar 2009 22:56:43
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2009 :  23:17:24  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
If it were me, I'd rule that a sorcerer could only get spells automatically if they were common


From a rules perspective that makes sense to me.

The Realms DM in me thinks this:
1) Mystra/Azuth have the final say-so over what spells any Art wielder can use regardless of how high or feeble their inteligence/charisma is. They can just cut the caster off from the weave in learning a specific spell as far as I am concerned.

2) Of course in this situation I would gladly let the PC have the 'sober up' spell, they will probably regret it as soon as the wider wizardly world finds out of course, because ahem.... "current clack has it, that the spell that <insert PC character name> cast tonight in the Dripping Dagger is a wizardly varient of remove poison prayer favoured by priests....." (or so the PC thief overhears later that night :)). This way the player is happy they have the spell and you're happy as a DM as you can build a whole series of scenarios around the PC and party as they dodge wizard after wizard turning up for a (ahem) 'copy' of the spell......

Just my thoughts

Damian


So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005

Edited by - crazedventurers on 05 Mar 2009 23:18:52
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2009 :  23:22:18  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
Ed, you've got an ethereal message coming your way. I would've asked it here, but 'tis likely to be mired deep in NDA territory, so I thought it best to ask it in private. Oh, and you'll likely understand my desire to speak of it privately when you read about the reason for my question.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2009 :  23:33:26  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Ed, you've got an ethereal message coming your way. I would've asked it here, but 'tis likely to be mired deep in NDA territory, so I thought it best to ask it in private. Oh, and you'll likely understand my desire to speak of it privately when you read about the reason for my question.


Just a thought Sage.

Next time why not just ask Ed in the e-mail whether the answer is an NDA and not to be repeated on Candlekeep, rather than post the 'it might be an NDA' precursor here? (that way no one needs to know and no one feels left out?)

Just a friendly suggestion

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  00:06:09  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by crazedventurers

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Ed, you've got an ethereal message coming your way. I would've asked it here, but 'tis likely to be mired deep in NDA territory, so I thought it best to ask it in private. Oh, and you'll likely understand my desire to speak of it privately when you read about the reason for my question.


Just a thought Sage.

Next time why not just ask Ed in the e-mail whether the answer is an NDA and not to be repeated on Candlekeep, rather than post the 'it might be an NDA' precursor here? (that way no one needs to know and no one feels left out?)

Just a friendly suggestion

Damian

That's a possibly. But, usually, when I've asked possible NDA questions privately in the past, Ed's usually told me whether or not they are. And if they aren't, I usually include them in the "Questions for Ed Greenwood" compilations that get sent to Candlekeep for download as PDFs later. So you don't always miss out! *wink*

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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althen artren
Senior Scribe

USA
778 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  00:13:58  Show Profile Send althen artren a Private Message
Scrolls shared, Scribes:

Raelan, from you question on page 26 about this current scroll:

Quoted by SES:

Whatever you'd like him to do, frankly. You've got a lot of ideas on what he could do and whatever suits your needs, your campaign, or your concept of the character is honestly the best answer I can give.

That said, you asked my opinion on what Halaster would do, were he not meeting the fate set down by WotC for him. I'm not sure if I'm the best to answer that, but I'll at least touch on a few ideas of yours:

Would be raise another Imasakar? Highly unlikely--he fled that area, remember, to set up his own gig beneath what eventually became Waterdeep.

Would he manipulate others from behind the scenes? Most likely, as that suits him.

Would he bury himself in another hole in the ground? Only if he needs to or can't find a better way to ensure his safety (and remember that Undermountain wasn't always safe for him).

Allies vs. servitors? Since he's never really had allies other than one fella in Skullport, it's leaning toward apprentices/servitors.

Collect Imaskar artifacts? Only if it helps him regain power and doesn't draw more trouble to him.

Destroy the church of Shar? I haven't read exactly what happens to the Mad Mage, but he'd only go after the church if it did something directly to him.

Now go after the Twisted Rune due to their attacks on him? He'd definitely do that, as it's not enough that he has Priamon as a plaything; the Rune were the guys who encouraged his usurpation of Halaster to gain admittance to their number. Thus, they would easily reap the whirlwind of Halaster's hatred and revenge.

Would he be an evil Blackstaff in alliance with the Lords of Waterdeep? Wild idea, but very very unlikely unless the Lords serve a different purpose in your game.

The only thing for certain with Halaster (in my mind) is this: The only thing that matters to Halaster is Halaster. What is good for Halaster is good for the universe. That which thwarts Halaster is something that needs be destroyed.

Steven
who again asserts that this is all conjecture and opinion, not anything concrete or in contention with any decisions made by other designers using this character or its associated setting(s)

Hope this helps.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  02:08:44  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, fellow scribes. This time Ed responds to this question from Aysen: “With regard to whales, are the migration patterns similar to what is seen off the coast of the Americas (birthing in the warmer southern waters of the Shining Sea then migration towards the northern reaches of the Trackless Sea for food?) How does the migration cycle flow in the Sea of Fallen Stars?”
Ed replies:



Yes, whales birth in the warm southerly seas, but dolphins and the smallest whales are the aquatic species that use the Shining Sea; most whales calve just south of Mhair, in the Great Sea. Some species tarry for a time, feeding on the abundant life stimulated by the warm flows of water out of the Mhair jungles, and others depart swiftly for the Whale’s Flukes (which seems to be a gathering-place of sorts, and got its name from the frequent sightings of whales sporting on the surface or tail-slapping or surfacing and then diving again), to begin their journey north. Which always stalls for a fair amount of time in the Nelanther, for feeding, and only slowly moves - - with the vast schools of fish circling in from the west to feed their own ways north along the coast as far as the waters off Icepeak, ere they circle west again. Whereupon the whales follow them, in a great arc that passes either side of Araksa, and return southeast, to begin the circuit again. Whales often deviate from their usual routes on this circuit thanks to storms, but do keep to a circuit, until they pass beyond the ages at which they can give birth (as one can imagine, we’re talking a rare few, here) . . . at which time they seem to become restless, and head off on what can only be aptly described as “wanderings of discovery.” Some of their descendants always swim with them, and in this way whales spread throughout the seas to “new waters,” constantly replenishing areas where whales have suffered and dwindled for various reasons.
In the Sea of Fallen Stars, increasing undersea activity in the Vilhon has increasingly driven whales that traditionally birthed there north and east, to just off the coast of Chessenta. Whales in the Inner Sea DON’T follow a circuit; they just move north in warmer (summer) months, and south in cooler months, but otherwise wander all over the place like fishermen seeking favourite (or as yet undiscovered) “good fishing spots.” (Undersea activities and features tend to hamper whales far more in the Inner Sea than in the seas west of Faerûn, and whales move away from harassment and obstacles as a matter of course, and therefore can be found almost anywhere from time to time.)
One note: dead or dying whales may be beached, and severe storms (especially in the Neck, or the southern mouth of the River Lis) may occasionally drive healthy whales ashore (just as such furious storms hurl ships ashore), but “mass beachings” of whales seem almost unknown in the Realms. For reasons just as mysterious as what causes them, in our real world.



So saith Ed. Who thinks of almost everything, and creates links and stitchings whenever gaps in his thinking show up.
love to all,
THO
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30205 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  02:56:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by crazedventurers

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
If it were me, I'd rule that a sorcerer could only get spells automatically if they were common


From a rules perspective that makes sense to me.

The Realms DM in me thinks this:
1) Mystra/Azuth have the final say-so over what spells any Art wielder can use regardless of how high or feeble their inteligence/charisma is. They can just cut the caster off from the weave in learning a specific spell as far as I am concerned.

2) Of course in this situation I would gladly let the PC have the 'sober up' spell, they will probably regret it as soon as the wider wizardly world finds out of course, because ahem.... "current clack has it, that the spell that <insert PC character name> cast tonight in the Dripping Dagger is a wizardly varient of remove poison prayer favoured by priests....." (or so the PC thief overhears later that night :)). This way the player is happy they have the spell and you're happy as a DM as you can build a whole series of scenarios around the PC and party as they dodge wizard after wizard turning up for a (ahem) 'copy' of the spell......

Just my thoughts

Damian





Oh, yeah, that's the way to do it!

It's something that was far more prevalent in 1E and 2E lore than in 3E lore: the idea that almost anything could be an adventure hook.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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GoCeraf
Learned Scribe

147 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  05:13:59  Show Profile  Visit GoCeraf's Homepage Send GoCeraf a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Ed, you've got an ethereal message coming your way. I would've asked it here, but 'tis likely to be mired deep in NDA territory, so I thought it best to ask it in private. Oh, and you'll likely understand my desire to speak of it privately when you read about the reason for my question.



Okay, I'm sorry, but...

"Ethereal message"...?
I've been broadsided by a number of puns in my day. Seriously, dude.

And on that note, a query from me...

What sorts of wordplays are popular in the Realms? In this case, I'm talking about local languages and dialects allowing for certain kinds of irony, alliterations, or even the dreaded puns.

All the best,
Wolfram

Being sarcastic can be more telling than simply telling.
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  05:20:19  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by crazedventurers

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
If it were me, I'd rule that a sorcerer could only get spells automatically if they were common


From a rules perspective that makes sense to me.

The Realms DM in me thinks this:
1) Mystra/Azuth have the final say-so over what spells any Art wielder can use regardless of how high or feeble their inteligence/charisma is. They can just cut the caster off from the weave in learning a specific spell as far as I am concerned.

2) Of course in this situation I would gladly let the PC have the 'sober up' spell, they will probably regret it as soon as the wider wizardly world finds out of course, because ahem.... "current clack has it, that the spell that <insert PC character name> cast tonight in the Dripping Dagger is a wizardly varient of remove poison prayer favoured by priests....." (or so the PC thief overhears later that night :)). This way the player is happy they have the spell and you're happy as a DM as you can build a whole series of scenarios around the PC and party as they dodge wizard after wizard turning up for a (ahem) 'copy' of the spell......

Just my thoughts

Damian





Oh, yeah, that's the way to do it!

It's something that was far more prevalent in 1E and 2E lore than in 3E lore: the idea that almost anything could be an adventure hook.



The ultimate irony would be these NPC wizards spend all this time trying to capture said PC sorcerer, only to find they can't replicate the spell because sorcerers don't cast spells the same ways wizards do. They'd probably have far more luck just researching the spell on their own (but wizards aren't always wise, even if they are intelligent).

The game mechanics might be identical with regard to actually casting the spell, but a sorcerer learns spells by feel, while a wizard learns them by rote. That is why a sorcerer knows fewer spells, but can cast them spontaneously and more often, while a wizard knows lots of spells, and can only cast them as many times as they memorize them, fewer total times per day than a sorcerer.

Judging from your tone, Jamallo, it seems you don't like sorcerers. If you're the DM, you're under no obligation to allow the class in your game in the first place. As DM, you get to have the final say. For the current situation, you can always say "No" if you really don't want the PC to have the spell. You could also say "Yes but you need to research the spell first, or find someone to cast it in front of you a few times". You then need to apply that rule to all the sorcerer's spells, especially if you're already making wizards jump through hoops to get uncommon and rare spells - I personally think that's impinging too much on the sorcerer's greatest strength (flexibility), but you're the one making the rules.

And now I'll bring us slightly back on topic with a quick question for Ed... I'm not sure if you've answered this before, but is there a Realms expression equivalent to cocktail?

Zandilar
~amor vincit omnia~
~audaces fortuna iuvat~

As the spell ends, you look up into the sky to see the sun blazing overhead like noon in a desert. Then something else in the sky catches your attention. Turning your gaze, you see a tawny furred kitten bounding across the sky towards the new sun. Her eyes glint a mischevious green as she pounces on it as if it were nothing but a colossal ball of golden yarn. With quick strokes of her paws, it is batted across the sky, back and forth. Then with a wink the kitten and the sun disappear, leaving the citizens of Elversult gazing up with amazed expressions that quickly turn into chortles and mirth.

The Sunlord left Elversult the same day in humilitation, and was never heard from again.
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ErskineF
Learned Scribe

USA
326 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  05:49:52  Show Profile  Visit ErskineF's Homepage Send ErskineF a Private Message
A few questions for Ed about his amazing 80k tome library. (That just blows me away.)

1) Is the library catalogued? (Huge style pts if the answer is yes.)
2) Is it spread all over the house, or does he have one area that serves as the library?
3) Custom built shelving, or modular?
4) Who dusts all those books? (A young lady in a French maid oufit?) ;)

--
Erskine Fincher
http://forgotten-realms.wandering-dwarf.com/index.php
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Aysen
Learned Scribe

115 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  06:27:17  Show Profile  Visit Aysen's Homepage Send Aysen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Jamallo Kreen

Well met, all!

I have a third edition rules suggestion request for Ed. In order to try to maintain a "Realmsian" feel to my game, I try to enforce a rule that "uncommon," "rare," and "unique" spells are just that, but a player of mine is now playing a sorcerer. This brilliant addition to the plethora of D&D "core characters" can -- as I understand the core rules -- just wish upon a star, or click his heels together, or run around in a circle flapping his arms to imitate his (supposed) draconic ancestors to acquire any spell on the (conveniently conjoined) wizard/sorcerer spell list. Never mind that it may have taken Larloch 600 years to develop a spell, according to the rules, if a sorcerer wants it, and has a slot available to "know" it -- pop! -- its in his head.

The difficulty is that the player wants to "know" a sober-up spell, and the only such spell I know of in the Realms is uncommon (at least). It has been cast once during play in the past three or four years of real time in my game, and the caster menacingly told the only witnesses to the casting that they shouldn't ever discuss the spell unless he chose to teach it to them. (The sorcerer's player wasn't one of the witnesses.) I can, according to the rules, restrict wizards from acquiring rare and unique spells unless they research them independently or someone teaches them the spell, but what is to be done about these hairy kobold-kin who rely upon their feeble and tenuous link to dragons to instantly "know" spells which no dragon has ever learned? Ed, will you put on your DM cap and suggest how I can keep rare spells rare without just eliminating the whole sorcerer class?







Before LHO delivers Ed's formal response Jamallo, I think that Steven Schend also offers an interesting take on how a sorceror develops and casts her spells, as seen in his novel Blackstaff . The sorceress, a half-elf, relies on the emotional triggers brought up by certain memories within her mind, in lieu of somatic/material components. Since sorcerors manipulate the Weave more by instinct and raw emotional willpower arising out of their lineage, I thought Mr. Schend's descriptions reasonable.

For instance, the sorceress thinks of the dual sounds of a hummingbird wings and a plucked bowstring for casting a magic missle spell, and recalls the frosty crackling of the surface of a freezing pond to enact a shielding spell. Later on, she witnesses an ice spell reflected back on an enemy and is able to innovate an icelance spell using the icy corona of the reflected spell.

With respect to a "sobering-up spell", IIRC the uncommon/rare example is Spendelard's Chaser (?) and is only available to wizards who study the spellbook, or are taught by another who had. Or, as you stated, they can research their own version through expensive trial and error. For a sorceror, maybe after a night of binge-drinking and vomiting, AND recalling seeing the priestly version of a "poison-purge" spell, the PC (after successfully making the appropriate game-mechanics dice-rolls) innovates a "purging spell" that leaves one sober, but as a tradeoff induces a fit of vomiting as the "purging method" to get the alcohol out of his system.

With respect to very uncommon or rare spells, maybe you could have the PC delve deeper into the background of his ancestry and bloodlines as a sorcerous analogy to "wizardly research". As the PC adventures and learns more about his background, he collects the necessary memories/life experience to draw out a particularly powerful/esoteric spell from the Weave. It also offers a nice way to enrich the character ("So...my ancestors were gem dragons...maybe I that's why I realized that crystalbrittle spell earlier than meteor swarm...")

Just another viewpoint, hope you don't mind
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Knight of the Gate
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  07:14:17  Show Profile  Send Knight of the Gate a Yahoo! Message Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message
I hope that neither Ed nor the Mods feel that we've hijacked the thread by offering advice to Jamallo on his Sorc problem: I hope not, that is, since I'm about to add to the pile ;0)
While i agree (Heartily) with all the above-mentioned opinions about how to limit the sorceror in your campaign, I'd like to play devil's advocate in defense of the Sorc. knowing more 'rare' spells, if I may.
From a game balance POV, the sorceror is (IMHO) about 1/10th as powerful as a Wizard. He has less spells known (by a mile), less feats to spend on mastering magic, and (in most game-worlds) is vilified by Wizard's Guilds of all stripes (from the Red Wizards destroying them out of hand to the Halruuans disdaining them as 'second-class' wielders of Art).
My question (upon first seeing the class several years ago)was "Why are a group of people who are defined by high CHA so hated by other arcanists?". Part of the answer is (as suggested by Zandilar) that they bring no spells to the table: They can't teach Wizards their spells, so why bother letting them in the club? - the bigger part, though, (IMO) is that the spell the Wiz. just spent a year, untold gold, and several quests researching, the Sorceror 'just happened to know'.
From an OOG, DM's standpoint, letting the Sorc. know a few 'uncommon' or 'rare' spells just puts them on even footing: it lets them keep up with the Wizard whose ouvre grows every time the party defeats an arcanist with a spellbook in his treasure. From an IG POV, it explains why Wizards have so much animosity toward sorcerors: 'I'm twice as smart, I work 3 times as hard, I know 4 times as much, but he can cast the spell I have searched for my whole life just...because'.
In my game, I let sorcerers pick whatever spells they want (actually, I let them have 1 'uncommon' spell/ level and 1 'rare'/2), whereas the spells a Wiz. gets upon levelling must be common ones. I feel that it balances the classes, and makes Realmsense.

How can life be so bountiful, providing such sublime rewards for mediocrity? -Umberto Ecco
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
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Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  12:26:53  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Knight of the Gate

I hope that neither Ed nor the Mods feel that we've hijacked the thread by offering advice to Jamallo on his Sorc problem: I hope not, that is, since I'm about to add to the pile ;0)
It's not a problem. But if you all want to discuss this point further, I would suggest opening a new scroll in the Running the Realms shelf, as it'd be more appropriate.

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  15:31:22  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all.
I bring you a brief and swift response from Ed to ErskineF’s queries: “A few questions for Ed about his amazing 80k tome library. (That just blows me away.)

1) Is the library catalogued? (Huge style pts if the answer is yes.)
2) Is it spread all over the house, or does he have one area that serves as the library?
3) Custom built shelving, or modular?
4) Who dusts all those books? (A young lady in a French maid outfit?) ;)”
Ed replies:


1. Partially. As in, I don’t catalogue spare used “lending out” copies of tomes, I’m woefully behind on cataloguing the “main sections” because of the literally thousands of tomes that arrive in the mail when judging major awards (the World Fantasy Awards two years back, the Sunbursts this year) - - and because I’m just too darned busy dealing with daily living and writing three novels plus game stuff plus short stories plus Candlekeep replies . . . not to mention READING everything. :}

2. It’s spread all over the house. I have a study on the upper floor that was at one point crammed to the ceiling with just a tiny passageway through it (sculpted to fit my belly as I edged sideways along it) left “open.” I’ve gradually been emptying this into . . .
My main library in the “new basement,” where I work.
Other major book loci are the old basement (that is, the low-ceilinged basement of the original farmhouse, which is linked to the new basement), the dining room (shelves all around the walls and a stack of boxes to the ceiling around which unboxed books are mounded), front hall, bathroom, three bedrooms (bookshelves in all, books hidden in wooden sidetable cabinets in one), the spare room (shelves, piles, books inside a cabinet), gallery (bookshelves beneath the paintings and prints), living room, kitchen (the cookbooks, naturally), office (more cookbooks, the gardening books) . . . and one of the bathrooms has the childrens’ books, on an easy-access floor to ceiling shelf facing the ceramic throne.

3. Everything. The old basement has white metal bolt-together utility shelving, the new basement is an entire room full of custom-built, crammed-in spruce shelving, and the other rooms have a variety of homemade wooden shelves, assembled wood kit shelves, and cheapie modular (the latter often modified by me to take the REAL weight of books, as opposed to the dried flowers, plastic statuettes, and three nice-looking, artfully-arranged books shown in glossy catalogues . . . which turn out to be the only weight the product can really hold up). Oh, and there are built-in shelves (as in: made by me) above almost every doorway in the house, both sides.

4. I dust them. And I’m afraid I can’t get into my French maid costume any more . . . and haven’t recently been trying to get into anyone else wearing one, either. I did once have a houseguest who brought and donned one to tease me and get her boyfriend wild with desire - - and it worked (and our dining room table proved up to the strain of their celebrations). And she DID get up on a stepstool with a leather duster to shake her behind in my face . . . but she didn’t dust a single book, darn it. (Seriously, I find that electrostatic, frequently-washed furnace filters do a lot to keep the dust down.)


So saith Ed. Providing a behind the scenes look at his house. He didn’t even mention the two cottages crammed with books, up in Muskoka, or the reading shelf of books that runs all the way around the sleeping hut deep in the forest of his backyard . . . That many books take up a LOT of space.
Love to all,
THO
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3525 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  16:45:54  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message
I glad she didn't do any dusting since you said she had a Leather duster.....I am sure it was put to proper use though?

Are you books grouped in any way or just as they arrive? And do you have a certain area for your "special" Books? Laslty do you have copies of everything you have written?

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963

Edited by - The Red Walker on 06 Mar 2009 16:49:40
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  19:51:52  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Obviously Ed collects books, but is it ever for value? Or is it a "reader's library"? Does Ed ever hang on to books he doesn't like?
Just curious, so don't reply if you think I'm prying too far. Thanks.
BB
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arry
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
313 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  19:55:24  Show Profile Send arry a Private Message
I would like to ask Ed. and the delicious Lady Hooded (actually I'm only assuming you're delicious as I've never tasted . . . I think I'm digging myself a hole here ), about magic items.

Are all magic items individual? What I mean by this is; if a mage enchants a common type item, a sword, a suit of armour or a shield, for instance, to make them a bit sharper, tougher etc. (in game terms giving them a +1 bonus), would they be different to items enchanted to a similar condition by another mage? Or do mages deliberately add extra magical 'touches' so to speak to their items so that no-one thinks that the item was 'made by that lackwit in Scornubel' for instance?

Edited by - arry on 06 Mar 2009 19:58:03
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2009 :  22:03:04  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

All these questions about books inspires me to ask another question - what do you think of e-books, Ed? They certainly seem to be the way of the future, but do you think they'll really catch on? Or will they lead to a decline in the quality of novels (since anyone can publish one without much difficulty), much like everyone was saying about vanity publishers like Xlibris years ago?

I'm not really sure myself. I love the feeling of a book in my hands, but having them in e-book format means no broken spines or otherwise falling apart paperbacks (I've taken to collecting Ed books in hardcover where I can get them!)... My other half (who had a Palm Pilot and now an iPhone) loves e-books, as you can buy them cheaper and can also get books that might otherwise not be readily available in Australia without ordering (for example, David Webber is exceedingly difficult to get, at least in Melbourne).

Feel free to chime in on the topic yourself, Lady Hooded One.

Zandilar
~amor vincit omnia~
~audaces fortuna iuvat~

As the spell ends, you look up into the sky to see the sun blazing overhead like noon in a desert. Then something else in the sky catches your attention. Turning your gaze, you see a tawny furred kitten bounding across the sky towards the new sun. Her eyes glint a mischevious green as she pounces on it as if it were nothing but a colossal ball of golden yarn. With quick strokes of her paws, it is batted across the sky, back and forth. Then with a wink the kitten and the sun disappear, leaving the citizens of Elversult gazing up with amazed expressions that quickly turn into chortles and mirth.

The Sunlord left Elversult the same day in humilitation, and was never heard from again.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14024 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2009 :  02:28:00  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
I haven't run into this, mostly because I use a variant of my own which makes sorcerors 'obsolete' (I have my own spell-point system).

However, as a DM, I'd agree with Wooly 100%, and also add that if they wanted to learn an uncommon or rare spell, they would have to have seen it performed many times (meaning, a wizard would have to 'teach' it to them... sort of), or they would have to find a Wizardly scroll with the spell and study it. After a certain amount of time (20-Int+1d6 weeks; months for rare), I would say the scroll is 'used up' (just as if it were cast), or the Wizard doing the teaching is done, and the Sorceror may now attempt to cast it (probably make it a Wis check, since I already used Int).

Sorcerors and Wizards may have different methods, but both use the Weave (in 3e), and therefore some of the 'secrets' to unlocking a certain bit of magic should be cross-learnable (up to a point).

Edit: And as long as I'm in this thread, where is Aralent? If its on the current maps, then forgive my blindness, but Its mentioned in PftF - the Ilmater entry about the Tome of Torment (a pretty gross relic) - in passing. Its mentioned twice, in regards to an adventuring company leaving Hlondeth and heading there, and normally if samething is a ruin, you say it.

By the way, that particular entry was really chock-full of juicy stuff.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 07 Mar 2009 02:41:00
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