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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2010 :  10:17:02  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kno

Regular people are boring



I would disagree with this. Most regular people are interesting enough if you tap into the right parts of their lives and personalties. Regular people in irregular situations always have great potential.
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_Jarlaxle_
Senior Scribe

Germany
542 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2010 :  11:44:53  Show Profile Send _Jarlaxle_ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I aggree, a book with some powerfull beeing like Larloch, the Simbule etc. as main character would be very boring in my opinion because they can just do what they want to do.

Those types of guys should only act in the background with short appearances. The haunted lands triology is a good example for this. Szass Tam played an important role in it but he wasn't the main character.
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Kno
Senior Scribe

452 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2010 :  13:07:03  Show Profile Send Kno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Larlochs and Simbuls are ordinary in Forgotten Realms, on the other side I'm sick of peasants and farmboys in irregular situations

z455t
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2010 :  15:07:54  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by _Jarlaxle_

I aggree, a book with some powerfull beeing like Larloch, the Simbule etc. as main character would be very boring in my opinion because they can just do what they want to do.
I don't think that's necessarily true. You can tell great stories with seemingly very powerful people whose power counts for very little, depending on the conflict.

All the magical power in the world isn't going to help you save an important relationship, for instance, or make the right choice about what to *do* with that power--do you support this king, or that? Who died and made you the goddess of magic, to impose your will on others?

Those sorts of conflicts.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14387 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2010 :  15:37:26  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But the challenges they face must scale to their power-level, which leads to extreme 'Munchkinism'.

And worse - then you have to "top it" in the sequels, which often leads to jumping the shark. Once a character fights gods, what do you do for an encore?

This, I think, became a major problem in 3e, which the author/designers don't care to admit - the next RSE had to be even more spectacular then the last.

If you tell small stories about normal people who 'beat the odds', with only brief cameos by 'heavy hitters', you create the situation that happens in an RPG game. By only telling stories about god-like characters, you create the exact opposite and cause the situation that forced WotC to get rid of most of those Munchkin characters. The reasoning behind the changes (supposedly) was that the setting's NPCs made the PCs feel inferior.

How is telling stories about guys like Larloch going to help that situation? By having some nobody beat him down? That would be unrealistic; he needs a protagonist that can level the playing field.

Our Players are not going to fly into the Upper Planes and challenge gods, they are going to save the village from some werewolves, or rescue a princess, or defeat a dragon (WHICH, BTW, has become a minor obstacle BECAUSE of all this 'arms escalation' in regards to challenges).

What is wrong with writing the kinds of stories our players could have been involved with? The setting doesn't exist for the Munchkins - that's what killed it.

Normal people are NOT boring. When you put an ordinary person in an extraordinary situation amazing things happen. I think Starman said it best - "People are at their best, when things are at there worst".

On the other side of the coin, this trope has been beaten to death as well - just don't make the damn protagonist a pitiful orphan (Harry Potter, Richard Cypher, Garion, Rand al'Thor, ect), especially with a 'fake past' (Richard Cypher and Rand al'Thor's situations were nearly identical - raised by a 'phony father'). Leave the 'farmboy' at home, and just give me some down-on-their-luck adventurers trying to catch a break. That's probably the only savings-Grace of the avatar trilogy - I LIKED the party composition. It saved the whole damn trilogy for me. Normal people facing extraordinary things.

Sure three of them became gods... but that's when they got BORING.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 06 Oct 2010 15:39:18
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_Jarlaxle_
Senior Scribe

Germany
542 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2010 :  15:46:50  Show Profile Send _Jarlaxle_ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie
All the magical power in the world isn't going to help you save an important relationship, for instance, or make the right choice about what to *do* with that power--do you support this king, or that? Who died and made you the goddess of magic, to impose your will on others?

Those sorts of conflicts.


Yes thats true, but I'm not sure if this is interesting enough for more than a short story.
In a bigger plot you will face the problems Markustay explained, I fear.
As I said I don't say powerfull beeings shouldn't b in a novel but I think they should be antagonists instead of protagonists.

But I'm more than willing to be convinced by a good novel that I'm wrong with my fears
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Sandro
Learned Scribe

New Zealand
266 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2010 :  01:50:22  Show Profile  Click to see Sandro's MSN Messenger address Send Sandro a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

quote:
Originally posted by _Jarlaxle_

I aggree, a book with some powerfull beeing like Larloch, the Simbule etc. as main character would be very boring in my opinion because they can just do what they want to do.
I don't think that's necessarily true. You can tell great stories with seemingly very powerful people whose power counts for very little, depending on the conflict.

All the magical power in the world isn't going to help you save an important relationship, for instance, or make the right choice about what to *do* with that power--do you support this king, or that? Who died and made you the goddess of magic, to impose your will on others?

Those sorts of conflicts.

Cheers


The prime example of this, I think, is Ed's The Temptation of Elminster.

"Gods, little fishes, and spells to turn the one to the other," Mordenkainen sighed. "It's started already..."
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2010 :  05:45:21  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sandro

quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

quote:
Originally posted by _Jarlaxle_

I aggree, a book with some powerfull beeing like Larloch, the Simbule etc. as main character would be very boring in my opinion because they can just do what they want to do.
I don't think that's necessarily true. You can tell great stories with seemingly very powerful people whose power counts for very little, depending on the conflict.

All the magical power in the world isn't going to help you save an important relationship, for instance, or make the right choice about what to *do* with that power--do you support this king, or that? Who died and made you the goddess of magic, to impose your will on others?

Those sorts of conflicts.

Cheers


The prime example of this, I think, is Ed's The Temptation of Elminster.



Also, Paul's Shadowrealm. And I'm with Erik on this. Powerful characters do not have the solution to everything. In Eminster in Hell, Mystra would have easily rescued his favorite Chosen had it not been to the fact that her unleashed powers in the Nine created rifts to Toril. In Shadowstorm, Telamont would have undoubtedly stopped the Shadowstorm had he not been 'busy' with some other matters, or enslaved Mephistopheles for decades if the magic to do so wouldn't strip his city of all magic.

Every beginning has an end.
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_Jarlaxle_
Senior Scribe

Germany
542 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2010 :  09:16:45  Show Profile Send _Jarlaxle_ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Neither Telamont nor Mystra where the protagonists in the stories ;)
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2010 :  09:22:40  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by _Jarlaxle_

Neither Telamont nor Mystra where the protagonists in the stories ;)



I didn't say they are. I mentioned them in support to the words I highlighted. Solving problems, however gargantuan or wee, aren't limited to the story's protagonists; supporting characters and antagonists face problems, too, that either directly or indirectly affect the main hero.

Every beginning has an end.
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_Jarlaxle_
Senior Scribe

Germany
542 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2010 :  09:38:16  Show Profile Send _Jarlaxle_ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Than I don't understand whats the argument about, because I only said it would be boring if those guys would be the main characters?
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2010 :  10:19:29  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by _Jarlaxle_

quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie
All the magical power in the world isn't going to help you save an important relationship, for instance, or make the right choice about what to *do* with that power--do you support this king, or that? Who died and made you the goddess of magic, to impose your will on others?

Those sorts of conflicts.



As I said I don't say powerful beeings shouldn't b in a novel but I think they should be antagonists instead of protagonists.




Either powerful antagonists or protagonists work fine with me. In the end, what would really matter is how convincing the conflict is and how fun does the author use his characters.

Every beginning has an end.
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Tren of Twilight Tower
Seeker

51 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2010 :  15:52:01  Show Profile  Visit Tren of Twilight Tower's Homepage Send Tren of Twilight Tower a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by althen artren

Ok, here we go. Which of the famous
NPC's of the realms would u like to
see in their own novel? Name them off
and maybe well be sending WOTC a
message.
I apologise if I mispell
anything.



My vote goes to Halaster. His past is mystery, actions unpredictable, power unquestionable..., Elminster gone wrong, indeed.

Halaster reminds me of somebody whose fate has been play of circumstances with unhappy ending. With other words, I like to think of him as gifted arcanist who gained unthinkable power, but unwittingly lost his mind - i.e. originally good man whose life has been tangled ball of professional accomplishments and personal loses.

To think of Faerun without him is as to think of household with a family member gone missing.

Tren
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Deathspawned
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2010 :  16:42:02  Show Profile  Visit Deathspawned's Homepage Send Deathspawned a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I chose mirt but want to see it as "how mirt became mirt"...I really want to see more novels by Ed that show what made the realms and the people who shaped(or where shaped)the realms.I would love to see how alot of these people became the powerful more than the "im powerful and do as i please".I'd also like to see El raising the sisters(might be funny as heck)or of who raised the other sisters,early years of the Blackstaff,a how's narm(spellfire)btw(what happend to him after everything(is he a powerful mage did he fall apart,did he have to run and hide still,etc.)),etc.
Guess im just nestalgic for the old days(pre wizards)and i do love lore and would love to see some NDA's taken care of in some of these novel's in the process lol.

Death
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2010 :  03:56:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just thought of another one I'd like to see in a novel: Baelam the Bold. Love that character!

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2010 :  05:08:11  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Any of the 12 Shadovar princes who didn't have enough 'stage time' in RotA and TW trilogies.

Every beginning has an end.
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Faraer
Great Reader

3302 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2010 :  14:03:35  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie
All the magical power in the world isn't going to help you save an important relationship, for instance, or make the right choice about what to *do* with that power--do you support this king, or that? Who died and made you the goddess of magic, to impose your will on others?

Also, rulers and great archmages make decisions based on a context of relationships and probable short- and long-term effects that's too complex to start to explain (through a highly internal/subjective narrative or otherwise) in a normal-length novel without making it the focus of the book. So books featuring them tend to contrive to put them in temporary simpler situations, simulating the lives of more middling sorts (who act in an equally complex web of meaning and cause, but aren't as aware of it).
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
This, I think, became a major problem in 3e, which the author/designers don't care to admit - the next RSE had to be even more spectacular then the last.
One at least did, bless his cotton socks.
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Shadowaxe
Seeker

United Kingdom
16 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2010 :  16:42:31  Show Profile  Visit Shadowaxe's Homepage Send Shadowaxe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Although not famous, I would love to see Mumchance and his mutts in their own novel! (complete with all dwarvish commands - Sit! Stay! Fetch!)

Mead, mead, from the honey bee,
How I long to drink thee.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2010 :  04:33:34  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is that really a dwarf's name? I like how it sounds. Might use it as my dog's name.

Every beginning has an end.
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jaelin910
Seeker

Australia
18 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2010 :  14:36:02  Show Profile Send jaelin910 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

quote:
Originally posted by Kno

Regular people are boring



I would disagree with this. Most regular people are interesting enough if you tap into the right parts of their lives and personalties. Regular people in irregular situations always have great potential.



if they are in irregular situations then they cant be "average people" making them irregular people in irregular situations
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2010 :  15:57:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jaelin910

quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

quote:
Originally posted by Kno

Regular people are boring



I would disagree with this. Most regular people are interesting enough if you tap into the right parts of their lives and personalties. Regular people in irregular situations always have great potential.



if they are in irregular situations then they cant be "average people" making them irregular people in irregular situations



Wait -- you're saying that being in an irregular situation means one is not average? I can't see that. Just because something happens that puts someone in a situation, it doesn't mean that the person isn't your average Joe. There's a difference between seeking out irregular situations and being an innocent bystander when one happens.

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

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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2010 :  16:04:36  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jaelin910

quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

quote:
Originally posted by Kno

Regular people are boring



I would disagree with this. Most regular people are interesting enough if you tap into the right parts of their lives and personalties. Regular people in irregular situations always have great potential.



if they are in irregular situations then they cant be "average people" making them irregular people in irregular situations



I disagree. An average person can show themselves to be exceptional when put into an exceptional situation (something that often becomes over used), but not necessarily. The same goes for a person thought before hand to be exceptional, he or she can show themselves to be quite ordinary. On the other hand it could be argued that afterwards the fact that the person had been in the situation in question would make them somewhat extraordinary.

Take a robbery for example. That puts an ordinary person in an extraordinary situation; now that person can handle that situation in the ordinary (and sensible way)way of giving up their money and being scared, but some people will of course react in other ways.
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BARDOBARBAROS
Senior Scribe

Greece
569 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2010 :  17:52:29  Show Profile  Visit BARDOBARBAROS's Homepage Send BARDOBARBAROS a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Halaster OF COURSE!!!

BARDOBARBAROS DOES NOT KILL.
HE DECAPITATES!!!


"The city changes, but the fools within it remain always the same" (Edwin Odesseiron- Baldur's gate 2)
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Ionik Knight
Learned Scribe

USA
222 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2010 :  20:20:08  Show Profile  Visit Ionik Knight's Homepage Send Ionik Knight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Olothontor, “The Minstrel Wyrm”

Or one of the other more unusual dragons. Must be either evil or one of the weaker metallics! Uber babe the song dragon or wonder wyrm the gold drake need not apply!

Fools to right of them,
Jesters to left of them,
Clowns in front of them
Pun'd and parody'd.
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Enwy
Seeker

USA
30 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2010 :  20:40:46  Show Profile  Visit Enwy's Homepage  Click to see Enwy's MSN Messenger address Send Enwy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd voted "Other". Even though she's already had "War In Tethyr", I'd love to see another novel about Zaranda, and preferably Haedrak as well, since the Scholar King needs some love too. Preferably together, as their relationship makes me smile.

Bran thought about it. "Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?"

"That is the only time a man can be brave," his father told him.

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