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Elfinblade
Senior Scribe

Norway
377 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  13:52:50  Show Profile Send Elfinblade a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

I bet Volo's still pining over not being able to do Volo's Guide to Menzoberranzan...

(For that matter, so am I!)



Volo's Guide to The Border Kingdoms is what i would have craved
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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
3053 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  14:37:11  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

I bet Volo's still pining over not being able to do Volo's Guide to Menzoberranzan...

(For that matter, so am I!)



Same here.

Karsite Arcanar (Most Holy Servant of Karsus)

Anauria - Survivor State of Netheril as penned by me:
http://www.dmsguild.com/m/product/172023
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Zireael
Master of Realmslore

Poland
1190 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  15:19:32  Show Profile  Visit Zireael's Homepage Send Zireael a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

I bet Volo's still pining over not being able to do Volo's Guide to Menzoberranzan...

(For that matter, so am I!)



Same here.



And here.

SiNafay Vrinn, the daughter of Lloth, from Ched Nasad!

http://zireael07.wordpress.com/
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  15:31:47  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 Elfinblade

quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

I bet Volo's still pining over not being able to do Volo's Guide to Menzoberranzan...

(For that matter, so am I!)



Volo's Guide to The Border Kingdoms is what i would have craved

I've got the next best thing... a compiled file of practically everything published on the Border Kingdoms, as it's one of my favourite areas of the Realms.

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

Edited by - The Sage on 15 Apr 2011 15:32:37
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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
3053 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  15:42:04  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Elfinblade

quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

I bet Volo's still pining over not being able to do Volo's Guide to Menzoberranzan...

(For that matter, so am I!)



Volo's Guide to The Border Kingdoms is what i would have craved

I've got the next best thing... a compiled file of practically everything published on the Border Kingdoms, as it's one of my favourite areas of the Realms.



Share

Karsite Arcanar (Most Holy Servant of Karsus)

Anauria - Survivor State of Netheril as penned by me:
http://www.dmsguild.com/m/product/172023
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  17:09:28  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
THO has posted many replies from Ed in previous years of this thread, detailing cuss-words, including some specific to variou faiths, and Ed has told me they are all compiled in a Realmslore document that he's sent several versions of to various TSR and WotC editors, down the years, to keep everything straight. (Which of course means he can't share that document with us.) But he's covered the vast majority of them here at the Keep.
BB
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Elfinblade
Senior Scribe

Norway
377 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  17:44:06  Show Profile Send Elfinblade a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Elfinblade

quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

I bet Volo's still pining over not being able to do Volo's Guide to Menzoberranzan...

(For that matter, so am I!)



Volo's Guide to The Border Kingdoms is what i would have craved

I've got the next best thing... a compiled file of practically everything published on the Border Kingdoms, as it's one of my favourite areas of the Realms.



Share



Indeed! Would this be something you'd be willing to share here in the 'keep?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29707 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  18:18:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

I bet Volo's still pining over not being able to do Volo's Guide to Menzoberranzan...

(For that matter, so am I!)



He's prolly pining more over not being able to properly research Volo's Guide to Storm Silverhand.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1393 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  20:50:47  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
To venerate Tempus is to glory in victory, to exult in battle, and to see honour in excelling at the necessity of war (with acceptance of war as necessary).

To venerate Torm is to protect the weak and promote justice and truth and order through armed vigilance, seeing paladinhood as great and chivalry as high, noble, and improving. Civilization is founded, strengthened, and allowed to flourish through just use of military might and lawkeeping.

To venerate Helm is to dedicate oneself to armed guardianship. Life is made better when certain people, places, things, ideas, and ideals are guarded and kept safe, through force of arms and unfailing vigilance. The guardian will pay any price to protect and preserve that which is guarded, because what is deemed precious enough to be guarded must be protected, at all costs.

It's great, Hooded Lady. Have Ed also written about the motivations ofwarriors or paladins dedicated to Lathander?

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2011 :  23:02:59  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Good question of Gods of martial valor, great answer as well.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2011 :  01:46:37  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 Elfinblade

quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Elfinblade

quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

I bet Volo's still pining over not being able to do Volo's Guide to Menzoberranzan...

(For that matter, so am I!)



Volo's Guide to The Border Kingdoms is what i would have craved

I've got the next best thing... a compiled file of practically everything published on the Border Kingdoms, as it's one of my favourite areas of the Realms.



Share



Indeed! Would this be something you'd be willing to share here in the 'keep?

Well, most of the stuff is already available -- either through web-material or in published sources, like sourcebooks and DRAGON/DUNGEON/POLYHEDRON articles. I've merely ensured that every singular snippet of BK-lore, no matter how minor, has been compiled into this source. I've spent almost two-years scouring each and every published piece of Realmslore -- both printed and electronic -- to find what I can of all the Border Kingdoms references officially mentioned. It's kind of a tribute, I suppose, to my love for the region, and the closest we'll ever come, I would think, to an official source on the Kingdoms.

In terms of making it available here, I'd have to check with international copyright and publishing laws, which will likely be particularly vague these days, given the somewhat inexplicable lack of dictates concerning Wizards' Fan-Site Policy.

I will look into it, though. Even if only to release a compilation of the listing of sources I had to put together before I compiled everything. That would likely be of use to most BK-fans.

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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Elfinblade
Senior Scribe

Norway
377 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2011 :  11:07:01  Show Profile Send Elfinblade a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Well, most of the stuff is already available -- either through web-material or in published sources, like sourcebooks and DRAGON/DUNGEON/POLYHEDRON articles. I've merely ensured that every singular snippet of BK-lore, no matter how minor, has been compiled into this source. I've spent almost two-years scouring each and every published piece of Realmslore -- both printed and electronic -- to find what I can of all the Border Kingdoms references officially mentioned. It's kind of a tribute, I suppose, to my love for the region, and the closest we'll ever come, I would think, to an official source on the Kingdoms.


Impressive!

quote:


In terms of making it available here, I'd have to check with international copyright and publishing laws, which will likely be particularly vague these days, given the somewhat inexplicable lack of dictates concerning Wizards' Fan-Site Policy.

I will look into it, though. Even if only to release a compilation of the listing of sources I had to put together before I compiled everything. That would likely be of use to most BK-fans.




If making it available here proves difficult, then as you said, a compilation of sources that you put together would be a huge help and timesaver. Did i mention how impressive this was?
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Knight of the Gate
Senior Scribe

USA
623 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2011 :  11:23:05  Show Profile  Visit Knight of the Gate's Homepage  Send Knight of the Gate a Yahoo! Message Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

I will indeed, Azuth, but Ed has been asked this before (not here, but at convention seminars, both at GenCon and elsewhere) within my hearing, and his answer usually runs something like this (I'm selectively quoting Ed here):

To venerate Tempus is to glory in victory, to exult in battle, and to see honour in excelling at the necessity of war (with acceptance of war as necessary).

To venerate Torm is to protect the weak and promote justice and truth and order through armed vigilance, seeing paladinhood as great and chivalry as high, noble, and improving. Civilization is founded, strengthened, and allowed to flourish through just use of military might and lawkeeping.

To venerate Helm is to dedicate oneself to armed guardianship. Life is made better when certain people, places, things, ideas, and ideals are guarded and kept safe, through force of arms and unfailing vigilance. The guardian will pay any price to protect and preserve that which is guarded, because what is deemed precious enough to be guarded must be protected, at all costs.

Or to drop out of Ed-quotation for a moment to interpret, as I've heard Ed do . . .
The worshipper of Tempus believes everything is decided on the battlefield so one should excel at battle, and loves war and excellence in it, somewhat like a rabid sports fan likes or is interested in nigh everything to do with the sport.
Whereas the worshipper of Torm doesn't glory in battle, but sees victory as necessary to preserve law and order, and society and the greater good being served, for the betterment of all, by good and strong laws and stern enforcement of justice.
. . . And the worshipper of Helm doesn't glory in battle or necessarily care much about laws or rules and strict adherence to them, but that certain things should be fought for and defended, at all costs and by all means.
So a Helmite would break a law or rule in an instant to protect what is to be guarded, whereas a Tormite would not, because in breaking the law or rule one becomes a foe who must be fought. Some Temptars/Temprans/Temmurans (all terms have been used, and more, over time and place to place in the Realms) would think it dishonorable to win a battle by trickery, or to poison foes or fell them in created avalanches (whereas a Helmite would do these things if necessary; whatever it took to protect that which is to be protected), and some Temptars/etc. would start a brawl or charge into someone else's fight for the fun of it, whereas a Tormite would see that as lawless hooliganism or the work of a vigilante (= UNAUTHORIZED lawkeeper).
And so on.
Hope this helps.
Ed is hard at work on the next Elminster book, BTW. Fresh from helping rescue someone else's short story after they ended up in hospital and couldn't hit a deadline. Sigh. The man never ceases to make me smile.
love,
THO




WARNING: Super-long post incoming! Take Cover!

This is great lore, and something that I've thought upon before. To me it's clear, but I've had to explain it to numerous players over the years.
To wit: Tempus is the Lord of War- he is in a sense a nature-god; a god of human nature, and its need to go to war. He is (to me) the embodiment of what McCarthy meant when he said 'War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.' As a soldier, I understand this sort of simultaneous acquiescence to the inevitable mingled with the desire to excel at your chosen profession. Tempurans do not necessarily *want* war any more than a doctor *wants* there to be disease; they both recognize that these are horrible things that WILL happen, and so it is best to be ready for them.

Torm, otoh, sees war as a burden which must be borne by the righteous lest they be overwhelmed. I see his philosophy toward open war as best summed up by the Tolkien quote 'Those who do not have swords may still die upon them'. War is regrettable, and we can hope for an enlightened future without it, but as long as evil has access to armed might, we must as well. It is a philosophy of hesitant prowess; I would rather devote my energies to other pursuits, but since making war upon evil is unavoidable, then I should excel at it in order to bring a more swift and painless conclusion to it.

Helm is a horse of a different color. There are those who are more inherently valuable than others; those who make life, civilization, and philosophy possible. Let us guard them that all might benefit from their wisdom/beauty/goodness/etc. What good is freedom or justice or equality, or any other good thing if it is destroyed or enslaved? To me, Helmites are summed up by the words of Cicero; 'Salus Populi Suprema Lex'. If there are no people, for whom are you preserving their freedoms?

This brings me to a question: We know that a soldier likely prays to Tempus (as well as Torm, if his cause is just, or Helm if he is defending a place or person, or his local patron, or Bane if he is trying to conquer, or Shaundakul if he has a long march...) but to whom to the *beloved* of soldiers pray chiefly? Is it to the family/local Power, to bring him home alive, or to one of the War gods mentioned above? I know the answer is likely 'all of the above, and any others they can think of', but is there a formalized 'mother's prayer' or somesuch in the Heartlands or the North? Inquiring minds want to know!

Thank you yet again, THO and EG for enlightening the endarkened. Wonderful stuff, that.


How can life be so bountiful, providing such sublime rewards for mediocrity? -Umberto Ecco
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2011 :  16:02:01  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
I conveyed your post to Ed, Knight of the Gate, along with MY post (to make sure he didn't have any disagreements with what I said when speaking for him), and he says:

"Right on" in both cases. Both you and Knight of the Gate have put it very much as I would; we're all thinking of these deities in the same way.
Knight of the Gate, your suspicion is correct: a beloved of a warrior departing for war or away at war would pray to all the deities of war: Tempus that the fighting went well, Torm that the "right" cause or side (always, of course, the one the beloved's warrior is part of) prevailed thus far and will continue to prevail, and Helm that the warrior (and any he or she is charged to protect) survived unharmed, or in wounded, as lightly as possible. There would also be prayers to Lathander (renewal), Chauntea (natural vitality/cycle, therefore auspicious healing and endurance of diseases/taints that cause wounds to fester), Eldath (that water be pure, and free from disease, and that it cleanse, etc.) and so on (including to patron dieties of the clan/family/dwelling-place of the warrior, for the reasons you outlined: to bring the warrior back home [alive and unharmed if possible; failing that, as alive and as lightly harmed as possible; failing that, last message or token; failing that, honourable/meaningful death - - and above all, death - - that is, freedom from undeath, and a horrible undead existence]).
Venerations, for almost all beings in the Realms, is always a tapestry of pantheism, not monotheism. Aside from priests and paladins, very few individuals in the Realms are dedicated to a lone deity.
There is a very short popular "common prayer" made by those (even "civilians" forced to fight by circumstances) going to war/at war:

All divinity protect us,
Our own wits deliver us,
Our own strength defend us,
Our cause prevail!

There is also a very short popular 'common prayer' made by others on bhealf of those going to war/at war:

May the sun and the moon see (him/her/them) whole
May the strife go well
May it soon be ended
May all endings be bright in the long passage of years

Hope that helps.
Ed


So saith Ed, creator of the whole show, and still its busiest ringmaster.
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2011 :  16:06:48  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Oh, and Sage?
Ed promises you more Border Kingdoms lore. Somehow, somewhere, and in slow unfolding of time (he has three novels to write in the rest of this year, not to mention the Spin A Yarn tale plus several short stories and a game project or two). But of course Sage-Time is familiar to you; you understand how long some things can take to unfold.
Taxes and divers short stories behind him, Ed is happily deep in the next Elminster book right now. Not to mention trying to become a halfway decent cook.
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2011 :  16:28:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. I bring you the words of Ed, this time in response to Alisttair's query: "If you had the chance to write another Volo's Guide back in the day, which area would have been next?
If you were given the chance to write one Post-Spellplague (or a similar tome in the same format, assuming Volo is dead), and you only got to do one, which area would you write the guide about?
Same situation, but if it was up to Volo, which region would HE do??"
Ed replies:


Hi, Alisttair. Back in the day, the area to be covered wouldn't have been up to me, but rather to the publisher. I would have PUSHED for a Volo's Guide to Sembia, being as we'd broken the "leave Sembia to DMs" mandate much earlier, then "Volo's Moonsea," then "Volo's Vilhon," then "Volo's Border Kingdoms," then "Volo's Silverymoon," then Volo's Tashalar," and then "Volo's Amn."
However, a proper (non-Volo) sourcebook on Cormyr was more important to publish at that time, in my opinion, and I'd probably then have pushed for a series of short city guides (Westgate, then Suzail, then Athkatla, then Scornubel, then Zhentil Keep/Citadel of the Raven update, then Mulmaster, then work our way around the Moonsea and the Dragonreach), something akin to my DRAGON series that only got as far as Crimmor (Teziir was done but never published). The intent behind the city series, which had a roster approved by Books Department, was that I would detail cities, and other authors could then write novels set there, using my city guide as the background setting. It would have opened up the Realms in a whole new-to-us manner, breathing fresh creative fire into the setting for a lot of DMs, who could choose a corner of the Realms they liked the feel of to set their campaign in, and use our subsequent releases as "what's going on around my center of play."
Post-Spellplague, I've already covered Waterdeep in the unpublished "bible" for the ED GREENWOOD PRESENTS WATERDEEP; I'd love to see that prettied up and published. Then I'd want to do an updated Cormyr, then an updated Dales, then Sembia, then Westgate, then . . . ahem.
Heck, I want to cover it all.
As for Volo, he'd want to do some place that he could nose about in disguise, then never have to go there again, so as to escape the consequences. If he could live in disguise, he'd probably want Waterdeep as a place to revel in food, wine, feminine companionship, and juicy gossip and news for the rest of his days. So if he could "do" Waterdeep unscathed and undetected, you'd find him there. (Often when you least wanted to.)


So saith Ed. Who still has some plans for Volo . . .
love,
THO
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Zireael
Master of Realmslore

Poland
1190 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2011 :  16:40:42  Show Profile  Visit Zireael's Homepage Send Zireael a Private Message
*cough* *cough* what happened to my Cormyr and Shyntlara questions? I hope the non-NDA parts of them didn't get lost in the veritable forest of questions that are directed to Ed...

SiNafay Vrinn, the daughter of Lloth, from Ched Nasad!

http://zireael07.wordpress.com/
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Tormtar
Seeker

20 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2011 :  17:21:16  Show Profile  Visit Tormtar's Homepage Send Tormtar a Private Message
I'm sure Ed'll get round to them as and when. He's probably, as we are all aware, a wee bit busy.

Edited by - Tormtar on 16 Apr 2011 17:23:35
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gomez
Learned Scribe

Netherlands
254 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2011 :  22:15:53  Show Profile  Visit gomez's Homepage Send gomez a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Post-Spellplague, I've already covered Waterdeep in the unpublished "bible" for the ED GREENWOOD PRESENTS WATERDEEP; I'd love to see that prettied up and published. Then I'd want to do an updated Cormyr, then an updated Dales, then Sembia, then Westgate, then . . . ahem.



Well, if Ed needs some hands to 'prettying up', I am game...
But I fear WotC will say no to such material, at least for now.

Gomez
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Razz
Senior Scribe

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2011 :  03:19:10  Show Profile  Visit Razz's Homepage  Send Razz an AOL message Send Razz a Private Message
Hello, I have one, possibly brazen and bold, question.

Why is so much of the Realmslore NDA? I noticed a lot of what is NDA doesn't really get any light shed on it ever. Or if they ever will. What exactly is being held back and for what purpose? I understand if maybe a novel or game book concerning the topic were to be released very soon for it to be NDA, but I notice some things are NDA for no real reason since WotC will most likely never shed light on the topic. Hordelands, Kara-Tur, Zhakara. I know those may not be your specialties of topics, as Faerun seems to be the main place, but someone has to know something and there has to be some precedent for it to be kept under lock and key?

I guess the question is, what isn't NDA? Clearly, I am sure asking about the truth of the Dawn Cataclysm will always be NDA. But, for example, now I personally would love to officially know the stance on the psionic god, Auppenser? What can we know about him? Or what can I be told about Sossal? Can we receive some more in-depth knowledge on that region? If not, because of NDA, how and why would something not in the interest of WotC be NDA and protected from public knowledge? Is it for financial reasons or to avoid conflict with future novels and game material? But if that is the case, wouldn't ANY information given to us in these answers be breaking NDA and doing the same kind of "damage"?

I am confused as to what can and cannot be said about the Realms. It seems like as long as no "definite" answers are given, it's ok. But if nothing is definite, all we're getting are just suggestions and nothing concrete, which defeats some purpose to the questions as, well, we're all capable of just filling blanks in ourselves for our own games.

Clearly, I am just a bit confused as to the practicality of the NDA. For example, I remember reading an example of an answered question concerning Jergal possibly being a thri-kreen god or related to them in some way, but nothing else can be divulged because of NDA...but, yet, I have seen nothing at all, not even in recent years, of any more information given on Jergal beyond what was said in 3E Faiths&Pantheons which is mostly just a repeat of what was said in Powers&Pantheons. Judging by the FR product schedule, nothing on Jergal looks like it'll be released in the near, or even far, future. So why the necessity of the NDA?

I simply need clarification on this, basically. It sounds like a lot of unnecessary red tape to me.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2011 :  04:13:49  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 The Hooded One

Oh, and Sage?
Ed promises you more Border Kingdoms lore. Somehow, somewhere, and in slow unfolding of time (he has three novels to write in the rest of this year, not to mention the Spin A Yarn tale plus several short stories and a game project or two). But of course Sage-Time is familiar to you; you understand how long some things can take to unfold.
Taxes and divers short stories behind him, Ed is happily deep in the next Elminster book right now. Not to mention trying to become a halfway decent cook.
love,
THO

I only just caught this now, but I'm much appreciative for the update, milady.

Ed, as always, has my eternal thanks.



-- [I just hope tendrils of the spatial-temporal effects of SageTime haven't already begun embracing Ed's little world... ]

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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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
3053 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2011 :  12:39:47  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message
quote:
Still has some plans for Volo...

Nice! Eagerly anticipating what that might be.

Karsite Arcanar (Most Holy Servant of Karsus)

Anauria - Survivor State of Netheril as penned by me:
http://www.dmsguild.com/m/product/172023
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2011 :  16:26:44  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Razz, I fully share your frustration over the NDAs (and you can imagine how frustrated Ed is). However, they are an inescapable part of the real-world process of publishing the Realms. Of COURSE fans of the Realms want to know everything (or at least, whichever as-yet-unrevealed particular details that most interest them, right now). However, there's no getting away from Non-Disclosure Agreements, and there are severe penalties for breaching them. They get in the way of what can and can't be revealed, and there's no real way for any of us to comprehensively answer your questions as to what can and can't be revealed - - in part because sometimes outlining what can't be said reveals more than the publisher wants revealed, right now. Anything left vague or without certainty leaves "design elbow room" for futrure products without angering faithful fans by introducing inconsistencies.
Here are just a few of the reasons for the existence of NDAs that trammel Ed's replies to us:

Ed or another fiction writer or designer wrote something, recently or long ago, that was accepted by the publisher (TSR or WotC, or even Paizo publishing DRAGON and DUNGEON under license, or some of the earlier computer gaming or comic book licenses), but not wholly published. (This happened a LOT in the early days of the Realms, when, for instance, almost all of FR5 THE SAVAGE NORTH is drawn from Ed's FR1 WATERDEEP AND THE NORTH turnover material.) The unpublished lore is now owned by the publisher; only they can now share it with us (Ed can't), so if they choose not to do so, it's under NDA and remains so.

Ed knows of something to be published in the future, or POSSIBLY to be published (by possibly, I don't mean "wouldn't it to be nice if WotC did a sourcebook on the flying cities of Netheril, someday," I mean "Ed knows that there's a plan afoot, involving Designer X and Editor Y, for a flying city adventure, though the idea might get cancelled or delayed for some years"), so anything he says about a place, character, power group, artifact, or monster race now will either contradict or ruin the impact/fun of the future project. For Ed to know about the project, it has to be covered under one of his NDAs, so he's bound to keep silent. And he will, or will dance VERY carefully around what he can and can't say, not just because he'll be in legal trouble (and ruin his relationship with the publisher henceforth), but because Ed understands that ruining the impact of a product can harm the fun for us all. Often, just taking care about what he says will alert fans (who pay great attention to Ed, as the creator of the Realms) that something is coming about a place, character, etc.

Ed (or another freelancer) knows a LITTLE about an outside license (computer game, movie, etc.) or internal scheme (Realms boardgame, collectible Realms beer glasses) that is planned but still in the tentative, sensitive stage. The publisher might want to start some rumors to gauge consumer interest, but they certainly don't want someone else revealing their "might bes" and ruining not just the surprise/anticipation, but perhaps allowing someone else to scoop the idea/react by, say, raising prices of their beer glasses, in a way that kills the project before it gets farther. All of which will leave the publisher VERY unhappy at the "leak" that ruined their plans. Staffers of course know much more about these "hatching" plans, and have to guard against unintentional revelations constantly.

. . . And so on. I'm as sorry as you are that NDAs hurt our discussions here at the Keep and among fandom generally, but they exist, they're not going away, and in a way they add to the fun ("everybody loves a mystery" and "everyone loves a juicy secret" and "we can't WAIT for the reveal"). So we must all quell our instant-gratification desires and just put up with them. Why? Because we have to! It's not within the power of any of us (including Ed, or any other staff or freelance designers who may lurk or post at the Keep) to banish NDAs, either collectively or individually. Only the publisher can do that, and I doubt they see it in their interest to do so. Creating impact and sales for a product in these days of thin budgets and much Internet and other "noise" in creative communities everywhere is hard enough without every last planned project being leaked before it's even been decided upon, or at various points throughout the design process. And if sales sag on product after product, there comes a time when the product line gets cancelled.
Sorry if this seems a little like Teacher talking to the Simple Student, but you asked, so it's time to once more lay it all out, as clearly as possible.
love,
THO
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 18 Apr 2011 :  16:36:10  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Well said, THO. I think it can't be emphasized enough:
Every game publisher is going to want to keep maximum freedom for themselves to do anything in future products by not talking about certain things/not "painting themselves into lore corners."
So there's always going to be a tendency to say little/use NDAs to avoid giving answers.
This isn't just my uninformed opinion, or THO's informed one (as a editor and someone who works in security, not just as one of Ed's friends), it's something that was specifically said at a GenCon panel by a TSR vice-president, some years ago. (The man's name was Dave Wise, and I'm paraphrasing him from memory, but don't think I've changed the meaning of what he said at all, or the tone of his wording much, either.)
BB
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

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29707 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2011 :  18:18:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
I should also like to point out that it cost nothing to leave an established NDA in place, but it would take time and effort to review existing NDAs, and more time and effort to notify all the relevant/affected parties.

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