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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  03:47:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So Paizo does this thing with characters... There is a group of NPCs that grace the covers of a lot of Paizo stuff, and pop up in other places. They're not really big names in the setting, or anything; in-setting, they're just more adventurers.

They are written up here, without stats: Meet the Iconics

Now, obviously there are a lot of NPCs in the Realms. But a comment in the 5E/Next map discussion got me wondering if the Realms could use something like this. NPCs who don't grace a buttload of novels, who aren't high-level, just average adventurers... Use them as kind of a public face for the setting, instead of slapping the same two characters on every third product.

I think that doing something like this could help decrease the perception that every other NPC is 20+ in level and that there is nothing for lower level people to do. Additionally, keeping the iconics out of novels and modules would help them be an easier "entry point" for new fans.

In fact, what they could do is -- like Paizo -- write up some characters and keep their write-ups free online. But also, every few months, add to those write-ups. "After Bahb the Fighter's narrow escape from the goblins of Mount Yadda-yadda, he found himself lost in the Flaming Swamp, where he barely escaped giant carnivorous rodents and random balls of fire." This could help develop the characters, make the setting more vibrant, and allow WotC to drop in all sorts of random lore and such (like the mysterious hulking figure that led the Yadda-yadda goblins).

It's just a thought I had, and I've not really pondered it deeply... Thoughts?

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Kentinal
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  04:06:50  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well the Realms does have Volo, however the idea is interesting. Basically a named NPC that might be encountered. Instead of Chosen or well known and powerful, such NPCs might have tales about but not that certain how much power they have.

Clearly FR has had ship captains that got featured in source book that was not a great hero, just an adventurer.

So the basic idea already existed. It just becomes a questions of how much it should be used?

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
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Diffan
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  05:59:49  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I definitely agree Wooly. 3E started something, which I believe Pathfinder continued, with Iconic characters. They were first detailed in the PHB as a character for each class (again, a Pathfinder continuation). We had characters like Mialee the elven wizard, Lidda the halfling rogue, Krusk the half-orc barbarian, Jozan the cleric of Pelor, and Regdar the Fighter. These characters were prominent within the supplements of 3E materials and shown doing all sorts of stuff depending on the issue being displayed such as Jozan regrowing a limb with the Regeneration spell or Krusk breaking down a door using the Destructive Rage feat.

But I think where lies the problem is that these characters are considered CORE and thus, not specified to a particular setting. Even though technically Greyhawk was default setting in terms of Gods, Locations (sorta), and spells like Melf, Evard, Otto, and Bigby AND said characters dwelt within that specific setting I think the general belief is that they're just examples and nothing really ties them into the setting.

What D&D:Next should do is create something similar but maintain either a neutral/non-setting aspect for the rules OR plug them into their own default setting such as Nentir Vale. Then, with that established, create these similar Icons their books.

Another problem I see cropping up is the uncertainty of future splats. We've seen with 4E that WotC is hesitant in producing lots of splat books that are setting specific. And while I like the idea of Iconic characters being from the Forgotten Realms, there might just not be enough product placement for them. With that being said, I think we've already got something going currently with the art being used in the various articles and products on the WotC website. Take, for example, THIS picture (scroll to the bottom). The knight holding the sword resembles the knight in THIS picture where he's fighting a Dragon. The guy has cropped up here and there amid the other art on their site. Could be that they're thinking along the same lines.

The question is, how do we make these Icons both take center stage in the plethora of D&D: Next supplements and yet also remain unique characters of the Forgotten Realms?

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

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Jeremy Grenemyer
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  06:07:42  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
WotC did something along those lines with the characters portrayed in the City of the Spider Queen adventure.

Those characters weren't true iconics, but I think they could have been if they were given more screen time. I think Richard Baker listed their names on the WotC site, but I can't find them.

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Dark Wizard
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  07:52:04  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Realms had a semi-official set of 3E style Iconics. The party that appears on the covers of The Players' Guide to Faerun is very similar to the one appearing on Lost Empires of Faerun. The sun elf appears on both covers. The warrior wielding a halberd is on the cover of Lost Empires, but on the back cover of the Players Guide. I'm not sure if they had any opportunities for other covers as the topics changed towards more adventure books afterwards.

If I recall correctly, the sun elf is none other than Araevin Teshurr (or a close prototype of him) from the Last Mythal series by Rich Baker. The appearance between the sourcebook Araevin is consistent with the Araevin on the cover of Forsaken House. Apparently Rich was also involved in the Realms Iconics.

That's the thing about the Realms, WotC can't seem to NOT have interesting tidbits exploited by novels. Granted, Araevin was Rich Baker's character and I don't believe the character was ever designed solely as an Iconic.

As for the generic 3E Iconics, due to a disagreement with the marketing people about including Regdar (allegedly because he was the stereotypical white male warrior protagonist, which means marketing made his inclusion a direct order), the designers and artists grew to hate Regdar. This is documented by forum discussions and web comments from the designers and artists themselves. We see Regdar getting literally obliterated in several pieces of 3E art, until the designers had enough of Iconics in general and we saw the aftermath of their bloody demise in a piece of 4E artwork.

The dislike probably extended to having to use the Iconics at all. The designers tossed them out there. They made it on to cover art and that was it. Nothing else really. They were a concept "set up to fail" as they had no real support from anyone (marketing being fickle marketing, the designers resenting the intrusion of marketing over design) other than 'the original plan' of having Iconics.

Contrast this with the elaborate attention given to the Pathfinder Iconics. They actually have backstory and personality. They also consistently make it onto the covers of Pathfinder products. Beyond art figures, they are the pre-generated characters for most of the adventure paths and modules, by now far outnumbering the run of the 3E Iconics. If Paizo implemented the same bloody demise of their Iconics as 4E did to the 3E Iconics, there would probably be a number of disappointed fans. Where as I don't think anyone cared for the 3E Iconics, other than noting it was the same juvenile "Kill it and take it's stuff" mentality of WotC's 4E Transition phase.

They've developed a following and a fandom. People noticed when their favorite Iconic makes it on to a cover (people keep count). There's merchandising. There's cosplay. Et cetera.

The PF Iconics have a comicbook series about them, but haven't really 'exploded' the setting yet in the way Realms characters tend to. The Pathfinder novels (featuring other characters) generally don't aim to either.

Therein lies the dilemma. If 5E Iconics are treated like 3E Iconics, they will not amount to much more than a curiosity in seeing the same faces on covers.

If they are treated as 3E Realms Iconics, their story will be expended and concluded in some epic RSE trilogy and they will no longer be the versatile pre-generated characters for adventures. Instead of seeing Valeros the fighter who you can play as (and perhaps had a few interesting adventures in the meanwhile), people will be seeing Drizzt, the dual scimitar wielding combat machine who defeated a thousand orcs, slew a few dragons, banished some demons, saved the North, and secured the safety of the world for three generations (or some such).

The idea of Iconics is great, but like anything else, the utility and rewards derived from them is based mostly on the efforts put into them.

Edited by - Dark Wizard on 08 Jan 2014 08:08:29
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sfdragon
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  08:01:25  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the iconics were nothing more than fillers.... that siad I HATE MIALEE, she has goblin ears... she needs to die.

the best of the iconis in 3.x was lidda....

anyway, well how they end up doing iconics for 5/next/we shall see, has ups and downs. They end up being in other artwork casting spells cleaving through the twisted and corrupted elves of sauron, and mauling gohzer the traveler in twine.

and I'd rather not see that again.... besides it might bring along back the wotc needs to have different skin tones to their iconics.....( on that note, paizo did a good job of that too....)

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


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The Arcanamach
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  11:27:33  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, the timeline may have ruined this idea but the Knights of Myth Drannor would have made pretty good iconics for the Realms methinks. Think about it, you have Dove who represents the powerful iconics of the Realms as a Chosen of Mystra and then you have several other characters who represent various character classes. Add a few more characters of various races and classes (they would need a monk if that class is utilized in 5e) and they're done.

Now that I'm thinking about it, assuming Dove is still alive (I assume she is but I dunno), Dove could act as a bridge between the original Knights and a new group of them. One or two of the new members could be descendants of the originals...so we get support for 'all eras of play' in the iconics. And wouldn't it be great if Ed could write books featuring these new heroes with 'flashbacks' to originals as the new group discovers 'loose ends' left by their namesake group or a powerful enemy of theirs looks to destroy their descendants.

One more thought, and I'm not looking to derail the conversation here, but I think it's rather sad that our modern day issues have to permeate a fantasy setting (this is in response to Regdar's skin color though there are other threads with similar 'problems'). I'm certainly not saying that there shouldn't be different races/genders/colors etcetc...I'm just saying it shouldn't be germane to the topic at hand. Also, the iconic monk was a black woman so it's obvious to me that WotC tried to be inclusive. I will gladly edit this comment out if a moderator wishes it. Cheers.

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Markustay
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  13:48:56  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Redneck with a crossbow.

Every setting now needs a redneck with crossbow.

On a more serious note, i think what Paizo does with the iconics is bloody brilliant. Known fiction writers (may of whom are FR authors) even write short pieces inside each AP, which is what makes the iconics stories on-going. Its a masterstroke.

D&D's 3e iconics were just two-dimensional cutouts and boring. I only found Redgar interesting after I found out how much the WotC designers hated him, and went as far as ordering art that always depicted him dead or dying. And don't even get me started on Mialee... ugly little turd-monkey. When she appeared, I think thats when I started hating elves.

How about this: a few were worth saving (I really liked the monk) - lets keep those, and use them the way Paizo uses theirs (no novels! comics, on the other hand, are just dandy). Then we add-in a batch of new ones to replace the crappy ones. In fact, maybe they can even go so far as to do one of those 'bar scenes' (I believe Todd Lockwood did an amazing one for 3e), and it have some fo those bad iconics dying off, preferrbly at the hands of their replacements (I would so love to see Mialee get bitch-smacked by her replacement!). That ought to have some cross-edition appeal.

Oh, and definitely have someone kill that annoying gnome from 4e... "I'm a monster! Grrrrrrrrr!"

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


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Jan 2014 14:05:47
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Eilserus
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  13:56:06  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Realms needs Volo. And I frankly wouldn't be surprised if he's been trapped in an imprisonment spell for the entire 4E era. ;)
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The Arcanamach
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  14:13:53  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yep, the Realms needs Volo...he was a very interesting character and his use was masterful, IMHO. Although I hate to over do the carry-over of 2e/3e characters, Volo's return would be welcome. I take it all with a grain of salt (the timejump shouldn't have happened).

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Markustay
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  14:21:22  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nah - like elminster, the old boy deserves a rest. I am growing mighty tired of the "look who's still around!" club.

I want to meet his amazing granddaughter, Volarra. I hear she visits places outside of Faerūn, and gets people "a'talkin 'bout stuff they oin't" with her 'feminine wiles'. Make her a ranger, or at least dress her like one - tight leathers, lots of knives. Maybe she can even double for the ranger (or Rogue) iconic, and possibly be a half-elf (who favors her human side). A Ranger that looks more like a rogue, I'm thinking, to differentiate her from Volo, but still give him a nod. Perhaps something Like THIS.

Oh, she can do magic like her Grandpa, but she 's also not afraid to get her hands dirty.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Jan 2014 14:23:29
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The Arcanamach
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  14:32:42  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well if ye go that route then she and El need to be...ahem...close.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  15:03:03  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd love to see Lhaeo's great-great-grandson visiting Elminster for information about old lore. Possibly the royal family of Tethyr have made it a family tradition to send one of their "way down the line of succession" children to live in Shadowdale and organize his old library and aid the old wizard with life's necessities, working as a scribe to recopy old books of lore (not spells) into new books (though its rumored that the royal family has passed down a ring of amanuensis that isn't at will, but it needs a short recharge time between activations)... and sending the old, now copied books on to candlekeep. The royal family has used this as a means to note interesting tidbits in their own books about things that they might want to research (always reviewed by Elminster to make sure that certain secrets are not revealed). They could show him starting out all hot-headed and wanting to just do anything else (considering this a punishment), but then over time he grows to love the lore. Possibly he even falls in love with the daughter of former lord of Shadowdale, Azalar Falconhand.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

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Markustay
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  15:30:23  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We also need more 'ethnic' iconics. I am talking about FR ethnicities, but still, we need more diversification.

quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach

Well if ye go that route then she and El need to be...ahem...close.
Once again, too much of 'more of the same'.

How about a no-nonsense, strong young woman who thinks Elminster is a 'perverted old goat' for a change?

Just for once I'd like to see him apply 'his mojo' and get an epic fail; "what? You can't be serious? With you?! Thats a laugh!" {walks away}

Now THAT is something I would love to see... and something I think El wouldn't mind seeing either (in a 'hard to get' kind of way).

EDIT: And to understand where this is all coming from: She found her grandfather's journals, which her parents had kept hidden from her. Turns out his son didn't take after him at all; he was a scribe working at the palace and never amounted to anything special (because he thought his wayward father was a lunatic, and never wanted to go on any 'messy adventures'). For the family, Volo became a sort-of embarrassment. However, his granddaughter (or great-granddaughter) does not feel that way - she fell in love with his stories, and has his passion for exploration.

And part of that is reflected through her feelings toward Elminster. She never actually new her grandfather, but from his guidebooks she got the idea that the Old sage was always butting into other peoples business (an accurate assumption), and that he was constantly harassing her grandfather (which is true, but he had good reasons).

And what she doesn't know, of course, is that her grandmother was actually introduced to Volo by Elminster... and she was one of his numerous descendents. So Elmnster is ALSO her 'grandpa', many times removed. El probably knows this (He is related to half of Faerūn by now), but no-one else would. She could even be getting groomed as a possible future Chosen (I am sure the Old Mage is constantly sizing-up new candidates). She should also be a Harper-friend, but NOT a Harper, Every 'good guy' does not have to be a Harper. She may also have another, older gentleman in her life - her mentor - who IS secretly a Harper (and reports back to El). That would fit the setting well, and add few new twists.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Jan 2014 15:49:55
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hashimashadoo
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  15:46:04  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage  Click to see hashimashadoo's MSN Messenger address Send hashimashadoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Like Dark Wizard and sfdragon said, I think with WotC, making iconics would run the risk of creating another set like Mialee, Regdar, Tordek, Gimble et al who graced just about every core 3.0/3.5 sourcebook. Such characters had no backstory to them, they merely showed up. I think that they may have had a novel or two written about them but I could well be wrong and the fact that I'm not certain either way just demonstrates how much impact they had.

Is there even time to CREATE iconics now? The new stuff will be out in mid Q2 - if the characters aren't at least concepts already I don't think they'll make it into the new books.

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Markustay
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  15:58:45  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We didn't have FR ICONICS.

What WotC did WRONG was not focus on anything in particular, and spread their resources thin. Paizo has ONE WORLD, and EVERYTHING stems from THAT.

Why would we care for the iconics? Technically they were from Greyhawk... although I don't even think they count as Greyhawk canon (more like 'D&D canon'). Give us a group that actually adventures in The Realms, and then we'll have something to sink our teeth into.

A few of them can be related to characters we've known, but once again, they can't go over-board with that (which they seem to have a tendency to do). For instance, a Drizzt/Cattie-Bri Crinti descendent could be interesting (especially if he/she was priest, and a pacifist), but I wouldn't want every iconic to be related to someone. We need a large cross-section of Faerūn's population to be the iconics for them to work the way Pathfinder's works.

And NO novels about any of them - just some cameos maybe. Do it precisely the way Paizo does it (although I don't even know if any PF novels featured their iconics; I know the comics do).

Oh, and some really good art for all of them, but that should go without saying. Todd Lockwood is da Bomb.

Maybe update the sorcerer iconic, and give a comical nod to 3e - dress a female in that awful getup. At least the S&M attire won't look so... ummmm... nevermind. You get the idea.


*Grammatical Correction

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


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Jan 2014 17:32:28
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  16:34:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my mind, the proper approach for FR iconics would be a new batch of characters, and like the Pathfinder Iconics, they would represent all different classes. And keeping them out of novels would be essential -- leave everything they do or have done either entirely off-stage, or just note it as I described in my OP.

I'm undecided on the idea of having them descended from prior noteworthy characters... While that would appeal to some old school folks like myself, it might not be as desirable for the approach of having these characters as an entry point.

Speaking of Volo, though, the legless traveling mage I created would be an excellent replacement for him -- he doesn't ferret out Things That Should Remain Unsaid the way Volo does, but he does love to travel and write up travelogues. Gotta share him out, one of these days.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  17:29:27  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I'd love to see Lhaeo's great-great-grandson visiting Elminster for information about old lore. Possibly the royal family of Tethyr have made it a family tradition to send one of their "way down the line of succession" children to live in Shadowdale and organize his old library and aid the old wizard with life's necessities, working as a scribe to recopy old books of lore (not spells) into new books (though its rumored that the royal family has passed down a ring of amanuensis that isn't at will, but it needs a short recharge time between activations)... and sending the old, now copied books on to candlekeep. The royal family has used this as a means to note interesting tidbits in their own books about things that they might want to research (always reviewed by Elminster to make sure that certain secrets are not revealed). They could show him starting out all hot-headed and wanting to just do anything else (considering this a punishment), but then over time he grows to love the lore. Possibly he even falls in love with the daughter of former lord of Shadowdale, Azalar Falconhand.



You know, I stepped away for a bit, and couldn't get my mind to leave this. Oddly, it seems like me and Markustay hit a common wavelength somewhat. My take went like this.

Lhaeo, aka King Haedrak III of Tethyr, decides he's going to give back to the dale that he spent much of his adult life in. He buys up a sizable section of land, and he builds a temple and a sizable getaway home/small castle (for him whenever he wants to visit Elminster and not have to live with the man). He then approaches his local Deneiran priests in Tethyr and asks if they'll man this temple as a school to educate young dalesfolk in reading, writing, arithmetic, etc... in not only common, but also ancient languages and other languages. Let's say this is in 1381 and the home/castle is built first and the temple is being completed in 1385.

Then, the unthinkable happened, 15 year old Princess Cyriana (third in line to the throne of the triplets) becomes pregnant out of wedlock, and to none other than a young squire of a noble who is personally serving the royal family. While King Haedrak III and Queen Zaranda are fine with the match, they find out about it too late to arrange a proper royal wedding but before the young girl begins to outwardly show her pregnancy. Knowing that if he sent the young girl anywhere within Tethyr, it would become somewhat of a scandal, King Haedrak III decided to spare his young daughter the embarrassment. King Haedrak sent her to "oversee the new construction and fill the household with furnishings proper for Tethyrian royalty". The royal family all magically travelled with the young couple and a small country wedding was held in the new temple, with many of King Haedrak III's old friends invited to share in his joy (including many chosen in case someone got the wise idea of attacking).

Princess Cyriana and a small contingent of loyal guards (including her new husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law) were left behind until she gave birth (and its rumored that Storm Silverhand refused to leave the young woman unattended), which occurred three months later. Unfortunately, as they began to make plans to return to Tethyr, tragedy struck in the form of the Spellplague. The Tethyrians decided against trying to return home, but they did manage to get word to King Haedrak III of Elminster's near insanity. King Haedrak III's heart near broke as he asked his daughter to please stay and care for Elminster in his time of need.

Basically, from there it was about twenty years later that Princess Cyriana decided to return to their homeland. However, one of her children, having known no other life than the dalelands and who had grown to love Elminster like a grandfather, decided she would stay behind to continue her mother's work. This continued until "modern day" in which the mother of the most current generation is tired of Elminster and his lewd jokes, and she decides its her smart-assed son's turn to take care of the old goat. The family at this point believes that the stories of Elminster's great power in the past are a bit overblown (and this young man is sure of it), though his lack of aging makes them skeptical enough that they keep their viewpoints to themselves. The boy does love reading though, and he finds himself digging through a veritable treasure trove in Elminster's bookshelves.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  17:59:17  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I'm undecided on the idea of having them descended from prior noteworthy characters... While that would appeal to some old school folks like myself, it might not be as desirable for the approach of having these characters as an entry point.
Just one or two, no more! Once you go beyond that, you eliminate the kewlness factor and head into 'jumping the shark' territory. In fact, I would even be iffy on having two.

After I posted that above, I realize a descendent of Drizzt and Cattie couldn't be around because... {spoilers}. And now that I think about it, I think the relations should be second-tier FR characters, at best, not the headliners (and Volo fits that bill perfectly). We sort of need that connection to the old setting, to tie everything together (and also give us a good 'back door' way of finding out the rest of the story about those characters). But like I said, everything in moderation. No more old characters sucking on Shades, or hiding in swords, thank you very much.

Except for one... but I'll let that one lie for just a bit. I think Ed can get very creative with that particular 'return' if e so chooses to.

And we don't want every Realms iconic to have a fully fleshed-out back story; some of them need to remain a mystery. After all, this is FR, and thats the nature of the setting, isn't it? Most of them should receive a paragraph or two, and leave it at that. we can always learn more down the road, one way or another.

We need to keep a few aces up our sleeves for later.

Oh! I almost forgot! Dūd Onahorz! We so need him to be an iconic!!! He represents the Realms on an almost primal level.

Dūd Onahorz: Undead hunter. Ranger. Hero. That was then. What his enemies couldn't do to him the first time, the Spellplague did in all its unholy irony. Harrowed and Forsaken. Alone, restless, and looking for an end to his eternal torment. In his mind he has become a mockery of everything he stood for. Still the 'eternal hero', but with the cold, dead heart of an unliving abomination.

Welcome to the Forgotten Realms... where not everyhting is so Black & White


Edit2: And the woman from the cover of the Forgotten Realms Adventures hardcover - Alissa of the Mists.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Jan 2014 18:10:12
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  20:19:51  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just had a thought...I don't think every iconic has to be a hero. A Zhentarim rogue or Cult of the Dragon sorcerer could work. After all, those organizations are iconic to the Realms. Or perhaps two characters to represent each class, one good and one evil (with a few neutrals thrown into the mix on both 'sides') with all of them from various cultures of the Realms.

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  20:38:29  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I vote for the chick from the back of Dragons of Faerun... just cause I like her style of dress.

http://dc311.4shared.com/doc/0w3GgZXV/preview001.png

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  21:36:55  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach

Just had a thought...I don't think every iconic has to be a hero. A Zhentarim rogue or Cult of the Dragon sorcerer could work. After all, those organizations are iconic to the Realms. Or perhaps two characters to represent each class, one good and one evil (with a few neutrals thrown into the mix on both 'sides') with all of them from various cultures of the Realms.



I could readily see an evil iconic or two... As I recall, Rand (of the Rand's Travelogues articles, lo these many moons ago) was originally presented as a Zhent agent -- an angle that was later inexplicably dropped.

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Dark Wizard
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  22:32:42  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There might be a bit of conflation in this discussion between the specific 3E/Pathfinder terminology "Iconic" with the more general definition of the word.

Wooly's definition in his OP provides the gist of the Iconics' role as 'ambassadors' of the game (and setting, as Paizo does via backgrounds and Golarion ethnicities and nationalities) to the gaming audience (as opposed to novel audience).

Taking the PF Iconics as Iconics "done right", they aren't anyone special. They're not Chosen or their relatives, not royalty or high nobility, don't have special abilities beyond their class and race, don't have all exceptional stats, not by default members of secret societies, are not survivors of RSE-level cataclysm, don't live beyond their maximum ages (though one is middle aged, so not only are they diverse in race, but also age), they don't by default have some greater destinies awaiting them, are generally not evil aligned and lean towards the heroic side, even if they're neutral at times.

They're a ragtag bunch of ordinary adventurers of fairly mundane backgrounds (not to say they're not interesting), who have gone through about as much as any average bunch of adventurers. That's part of the appeal, they're average adventurers who are a fairly decent represenation of what people can actually play in Paizo's Pathfinder Society Organized Play (LFR equivalent).

Indeed, they're closer to the Knights of Myth Drannor when they first started out (before they earned any accolades or recognition) than the wishful chatter we're engaged in here.

[Rant]
Apologies if this sounds harsh, but it's this type of "my implement is bigger than yours" thinking that places the 20+ level NPCs upon pedestals, or gravitates all mundane characters into revered super-hero status beyond the keening of mortal schmoes. This sort of heated escalation needs be shoved in a nuclear cooling array and chill the Nine Hells out for 5E, (from both the designers and the fans).

When (if) WotC can produce Iconics (or NPCs) who are interesting despite being average, then they'll be successful. One could easily make 5E or Realms Iconics to one-up the PF Iconics, but that again comes across as more of the same 4E Transition mentality of "Too cool for old school" and more of the same "Even the barkeeps in the Realms are demigods."
[/Rant]

Edited by - Dark Wizard on 08 Jan 2014 22:34:40
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  23:02:25  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Agreed, Dūd Onahorse (aka Thunderstorm, aka Horseman Near Lake) is indeed truly iconic for the Realms, too bad everybody recognizes him yet only pedantic scribes know his true identity.

And disagreed, the Realms *absolutely*does*have some iconic characters. Elminster and Drizzt come to mind, their names and deeds are synonymous with Realmslore.

The Realms doesn‘t really need Volo. It‘s just stuck with him.

[/Ayrik]
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Dark Wizard
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Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  23:14:56  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My post above is not saying a discussion of Realms Iconics is a bad idea. It's a wonderful "What if" exercise if approached from an gaming/setting ambassadorial perspective.

How the PF Iconics were created is likely very "meta" and exactly the same as the original 3E Iconics. Start with a list of classes and races available in the core rules, mix and match them. There is one Iconic per class. Remember to mix male and female distinction between them (a full half or more of the PF Iconics are female) and vary the skin tone (thus associated fictional ethnicities).

What do we have to start with in 5E?
From the 5E Open Playtest we have,

A List of 5E Classes:
  • Barbarian
  • Bard
  • Cleric
  • Druid
  • Fighter
  • Mage
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Ranger
  • Rogue

List of 5E Core Races (some sub-race variants are also available):
  • Dwarf
  • Elf
  • Halfling
  • Human
List of 5E Unusual Races
  • Dragonborn
  • Drow (rarely adventurers, like that'll ever halt the Drizzt-clone and/or Drow fandom onslaught...)
  • Gnome (supposedly rarely adventurers, shades of RAWR I'm a Monster?)
  • Half-elf
  • Half-orc
  • Kender (Krynn specific)
  • Tiefling
  • Warforged (Eberron specific)

For the most part, the 3E and PF Iconics are human. The demihumans get one Iconic each. The humans divide the remaining Iconics up amongst themselves, with some attention paid to apparent ethnicity or skin tone diversity.

List of Realms Human Ethnicities (from Races of Faerun, some not applicable to 4E/5E):
  • Calishite
  • Chondathan
  • Damaran
  • Illuskan
  • Mulan
  • Rashemi
  • Tethyrian
  • Other: Bedine, Chultan, Durpari, Ffolk, Gur, Halruaan, Imaskari, Lantanna, Maztican, Nar, Netherese, Raumviran, Shaaran, Shou, Sossrim, Talfir, Tashalan, Tuigan, Turami, Ulutiun, Vaasan, and Zakharan

Note some human hybrids can exhibit human Realms ethnicity traits. Finally we round out the characters by their sex (male, female, other).

It would be wise to avoid a combination too close to one of the PF Iconics, if just to differentiate them. Recycling a 3E Iconic is probably okay, but they would have to be adapted to the FR setting.

There we have it. The raw material for this exercise.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14022 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  23:38:37  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As I said before, I like the 3e Monk (Ember) - not the usual D&D fare. Lidda and Alhandra were pretty good. Tordek can also stay (He needs to kill Redgar and take his stuff).

I think we can have our cake and eat it to. I don't think the 'supers' should be the iconics, thats a very different type of iconography I think we are talking about here. I agree with Dark Wizard that they should be more average in abilities. However, does doesn't mean a few of them can't have interesting familial relations (so long as its not over-done, and perhaps revealed just a wee bit at a time).

Some should be brand new, a couple can be ported-over from 3e, and some can even pay tribute to the ones they replaced. I am really taken with my own 'barfight' idea. Maybe a mini-comic to help introduce the 5e Realms would work better, ending in a barfight. Picture a Rogue dressed in a steampunkish, S&M costume, and some other iconic sitting near her at the bar and says, "nice getup, custom made?" And she turns to him (picking her nails with a dagger), "Nope, I took it off a sorcerer who asked me stupid questions".

In case you didn't get the joke - she'd be wearing the 3e sorcerer's duds.

Maybe have dragon skull hanging over the bar with Rethgar's helmet in it. A few 'in jokes' like that. I can see it now: "Welcome to the NEW Forgotten Realms... this ain't your daddy's D&D!"

In fact, make the new wizard a Red Wizard - skullcap and all. Thats pretty iconic. Maybe even make the iconic Dragonborn look a wee bit like Dragonbait. Perhaps a Half-Orc who ISN'T a barbarian (a librarian would be pretty funny) - that sort of thing. Break the stereotypes, but still pay homage to the past.

I wish I had the skills to draw it - I have like a 10-page comic planned out in my head. The (drunk) gnome gooses some serving-wench, who spins around angrily, but then just smiles when she sees who it is. When one of his female tabele-mates asks, "whats that all about?" he explains, "I'm so small and inoffensive that they never get violent with me - I do it ALL the time". "You're a monster!" "Yup, sure am {lascivious grin}... wanna see my lair?"

I crack me up......

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


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Jan 2014 23:51:46
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