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RichardBaker
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

129 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2007 :  22:37:08  Show Profile  Visit RichardBaker's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't really know yet, to be honest. The Grand History blurb is about as much as I know for sure. I think Chris Sims is writing the deity material for the 4e Campaign Guide, and he'll be taking the first crack at those details.

Off the top of my head, I think it's a light house arrest, and Cyric can keep up on things pretty well through his intermediaries (proxies, dark angels, whatever). But I'm waiting to see what Chris comes up with.


quote:
Originally posted by Mandras

Hello Richard,

Some questions about the Cyric if I may:

What does the imprisonment of Cyric into his homeplane really mean?

Is Cyric totally cut off from the realms?

Does Cyric have contact with his believers (do the Cyricists receive spells, omens and dreams from their god)?

Does Cyric see, hear or know what happens in the Realms?

Can Cyric "whisper" to Faerunians?

I believe some of that may be covered with NDA-s, but please give us at least some hints or Your personal opinions about that topic...

Best Regards,

Mandras




Rich Baker
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
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Mandras
Seeker

Estonia
51 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2007 :  12:34:12  Show Profile  Visit Mandras's Homepage Send Mandras a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for Your reply Richard.

Does mr Sims visit these forums?

Best Regards,

Mandras.

"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple."
Oscar Wilde

Edited by - Mandras on 11 Nov 2007 12:36:00
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althen artren
Senior Scribe

USA
778 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2007 :  19:38:07  Show Profile Send althen artren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey Rich,

Can you expound on what you would write into a elven nobility house. I find myself needing to draw up a certain powerful elven nobility estate and I find I cannot figure out all the rooms, corridors, and extravagence to put in it. Any ideas on furniture, artwork, servants, etc, would be appreciated.
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imis999
Seeker

USA
30 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2007 :  21:29:17  Show Profile  Visit imis999's Homepage Send imis999 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How come Chris Sims doesn't have a thread since he seems to have alot of influence over the future of FR? The worrisome thing is that he seems to feel the deep canon of FR is a bad thing.

Edited by - imis999 on 11 Nov 2007 21:29:42
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29901 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2007 :  21:34:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by imis999

How come Chris Sims doesn't have a thread since he seems to have alot of influence over the future of FR? The worrisome thing is that he seems to feel the deep canon of FR is a bad thing.



If he was to visit us and consent to a Q&A thread, then he would have a dedicated thread. But I don't know that he has ever visited us.

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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2007 :  02:21:04  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Richard, what do you see the "mission statement" of 4E realms to be?

As in, what during your tenure, do you want to focus on more than anything?

A more organic realms? One that has more detailed society, or what?

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Daviot
Senior Scribe

USA
365 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2007 :  16:35:17  Show Profile  Visit Daviot's Homepage  Send Daviot an AOL message Send Daviot a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a question for you, Mr. Baker, based on Shadowdale: Scouring of the Land:

We know that Elminster has been whisked elsewhere as of Nightal 1374, and that he isn't present for the events in Shadowdale in Hammer of 1375.

Though my players have come up with colorful explanations of where El went ("Raspberry Heaven", Sune's Domain, a demi-plane with the ever-popular Calishite dancing girls), are you at liberty to disclose either where he went or, more importantly, when he returns to Faern, presumably some time in 1375? The latter is something I'd like to work in to one of my campaigns.

Thanks in advance, and thanks for giving the world The Last Mythal trilogy.

One usually has far more to fear from the soft-spoken wizard with a blade and well-worn boots than from the boisterous one in the ivory tower.
Want more adventure? Into the Dark (PF Beginner Box 2nd level) | The Red Leaves Enigma (3.x/PF 3rd/4th level) | In Iron Clad (TBD, 3.x/PF 14th lvl)
Want an 'Ecology of the Kitsune'? Races Revised: The Kitsune Clans
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2007 :  18:35:08  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I hope it's something innocuous like a Cub's game.

:-)

"I CAN'T LEAVE YOU PEOPLE ALONE FOR FIVE MINUTES, CAN I!?"

He's like if America's Nuclear Arsenal wandered off on his own whenever he feels like it.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Daviot
Senior Scribe

USA
365 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2007 :  20:37:54  Show Profile  Visit Daviot's Homepage  Send Daviot an AOL message Send Daviot a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps
He's like if America's Nuclear Arsenal wandered off on his own whenever he feels like it.


Yes, but try finding a nuclear arsenal with more amused mirth, wry grins, and sardonic retorts. Ye'd...err...you'd be hard-pressed, indeed.

One usually has far more to fear from the soft-spoken wizard with a blade and well-worn boots than from the boisterous one in the ivory tower.
Want more adventure? Into the Dark (PF Beginner Box 2nd level) | The Red Leaves Enigma (3.x/PF 3rd/4th level) | In Iron Clad (TBD, 3.x/PF 14th lvl)
Want an 'Ecology of the Kitsune'? Races Revised: The Kitsune Clans
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Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2007 :  16:53:40  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Rich, I was wondering if you could leak more about Finder Wyvernspur and his Clergy in Fourth Edition at this time.

Also with the question of fey and Centaurs, I have a few suggestion I would like to share. I was wondering if you could break centaurs in half with Ixion centaurs being a darker version of the more Chiron based Centaurs of traditional D&D.

Something similar could be done with Satyr with Fauns being a less wild version of the creatures.

Just some thought which may or may not interest you. Thanks.

Foxhelm

Ed Greenwood! The Solution... and Cause of all the Realms Problems!
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IngoDjan
Learned Scribe

Brazil
146 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2007 :  20:05:17  Show Profile  Visit IngoDjan's Homepage  Click to see IngoDjan's MSN Messenger address Send IngoDjan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello Richard Baker!

You said the Cwm is a place like Mount Rainier. So, whats the place you think looks like Vale of the Lost Voice?

Thanx!

Ingo Djan

Ingo Djan
DUNGEON MASTER AO OF THE DIAMONDS!
"I see the future repeat the past. It all is a museum of great news. The Time do not stop."
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RichardBaker
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

129 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2007 :  21:01:53  Show Profile  Visit RichardBaker's Homepage  Reply with Quote
To the best of my knowledge, no, Chris doesn't stop by here. Keep in mind, there are a lot of websites out there to keep an eye on. All of us in WotC R&D keep an eye on the Wizards site, most of us also watch ENWorld, and a few of us watch one or two other sites. For example, I'd like to keep up on Monte Cook's site, Bob Salvatore's site, and a half-dozen others, but there's only so much time in the day I can devote to web-surfing.


quote:
Originally posted by Mandras

Thanks for Your reply Richard.

Does mr Sims visit these forums?

Best Regards,

Mandras.


Rich Baker
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
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RichardBaker
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

129 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2007 :  21:15:58  Show Profile  Visit RichardBaker's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well, 3rd Edition was my tenure. I was the creative director for FR for several years, and primary in-house FR designer/developer for a couple of years after that. (We downsized several years back, so I went from having a team to run to just being pretty much me.) For a couple of years now I've been only occasionally involved in FR game product. For example, I didn't have anything to do with Champions of Valor, Serpent Kingdoms, Power of Faerun, Moonsea, or Champions of Ruin. But I've been working on novels throughout that time (the Last Mythal, and now my new series Blades of the Moonsea), and I got to pitch in a bit on Cormyr and Shadowdale.

In other words, I'm not *the* guy on 4e Realms. I'm *one* of the guys. I spearheaded the original revision team, but since that time I've been working on core D&D and other projects. Bruce Cordell, Ed Stark, Chris Sims, Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, and a couple more folks have had a little more to do with the actual creation of the upcoming 4th Edition Realms products (although I advise and kibbitz plenty). I think that's a good thing, because I think it's important for us to cultivate new FR authorities here in house, and the Realms flourishes when it's got talented new voices contributing.

That said, What's the mission statement? I'd say something like this:
Create a new edition of the setting that's fresh, current, in step with the state of D&D, and relevant to a whole new generation of readers and D&D players. Keep the best parts of what's gone before, and allow not-so-good parts to fade away. Make sure that old FR hands will find exciting new things to explore and new stories to tell, so that they can fall in love with the setting all over again.



quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

Richard, what do you see the "mission statement" of 4E realms to be?

As in, what during your tenure, do you want to focus on more than anything?

A more organic realms? One that has more detailed society, or what?



Rich Baker
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
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RichardBaker
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

129 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2007 :  21:24:37  Show Profile  Visit RichardBaker's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I imagine Cormanthor looks and feels a little like the woods in the Virginia mountains. I went to school at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg. About fifteen or twenty miles away there was a mountain called Dragon's Tooth with a trail to the top. You'd get on top, and you could see all sorts of farmlands in the rolling hills below. Maybe it's something like that, but less mountainous.


quote:
Originally posted by IngoDjan

Hello Richard Baker!

You said the Cwm is a place like Mount Rainier. So, whats the place you think looks like Vale of the Lost Voice?

Thanx!

Ingo Djan


Rich Baker
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
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RichardBaker
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

129 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2007 :  21:26:49  Show Profile  Visit RichardBaker's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sorry, can't say anything about Finder yet.

I think our basic idea is that centaurs, like many fey, are unaligned. Unaligned means you're not signed up for good, evil, or whatever. But you might have "personality" ranging from violent and ill-tempered to helpful and compassionate. So different centaurs might run the gamut from things you fight to things that help you out.


quote:
Originally posted by Foxhelm

Rich, I was wondering if you could leak more about Finder Wyvernspur and his Clergy in Fourth Edition at this time.

Also with the question of fey and Centaurs, I have a few suggestion I would like to share. I was wondering if you could break centaurs in half with Ixion centaurs being a darker version of the more Chiron based Centaurs of traditional D&D.

Something similar could be done with Satyr with Fauns being a less wild version of the creatures.

Just some thought which may or may not interest you. Thanks.

Foxhelm


Rich Baker
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
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IngoDjan
Learned Scribe

Brazil
146 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  01:47:09  Show Profile  Visit IngoDjan's Homepage  Click to see IngoDjan's MSN Messenger address Send IngoDjan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Baker!

Yet about Vale of the Lost Voices appearance!

Do you think is really possible charge in that old forest? What was the image you think when writing the battle in Vale of the Lost Voice?

Thanks again!

Ingo Djan
DUNGEON MASTER AO OF THE DIAMONDS!
"I see the future repeat the past. It all is a museum of great news. The Time do not stop."
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  02:14:01  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"I imagine Cormanthor looks and feels a little like the woods in the Virginia mountains."
YES!!! Ed described it to me exactly the same way. Great minds think EXACTLY alike.

love,
THO
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Penknight
Senior Scribe

USA
536 Posts

Posted - 04 Dec 2007 :  01:02:10  Show Profile Send Penknight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello Mr. Baker. If someone wanted to play as a Justice Archon, what would the stat adjustments be, please? Thanks!!

Telethian Phoenix
Pathfinder Reference Document
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2007 :  01:30:29  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well met!

I have a few questions about Condemnation. (POSSIBLE SPOILERS!)

First, did you get your inspiration for Halisstra's thoughts about Ched Nasad on page 2 from Biblical laments for fallen cities?

Second, should we think of Hallistra as a Cleric/Bard only, or is her arcane casting ability from some Drowish prestige class?

Third, did the writers of the Spider Queen series get to read the actual books preceding theirs, or only synopses? The writing style in the first three books is very different, one from another, and it is plain that one is reading a new author within the first couple of pages of each book, so it seems as though there was no direct contact with other writers's books. I've also noticed that there are a few differences which make be stylistic, but which might also be due to not having the complete text of the preceding book ready to hand. Since I just started Condemnation this week, fresh after reading Book II, I can call to mind two differences regarding Danifae: you usually call her a "maid-in-waiting" instead of a "battle captive," and in your book there seems to be a belief that since she's unarmed, she should stay that way (at least until page 85, or so), whereas she had been swinging a morning star during the fall of Ched Nasad. I had the opportunity to read that and go immediately to your book, so I was reading the events almost in real time, and the difference was plain to me because of it. Perhaps you would be kind enough to share your thoughts on indivual styles in multiple-authored series ... ?



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


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

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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2007 :  22:41:28  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I add a fourth question, which someone else can probably answer: what was that amazing spell Pharaun cast to locate House Jalre? The description was terrific, but I didn't recognize it at all.



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


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

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IngoDjan
Learned Scribe

Brazil
146 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2007 :  23:02:09  Show Profile  Visit IngoDjan's Homepage  Click to see IngoDjan's MSN Messenger address Send IngoDjan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Already order my book. Gift set!
They are coming soon. Im anxious to start read!

Ingo Djan
DUNGEON MASTER AO OF THE DIAMONDS!
"I see the future repeat the past. It all is a museum of great news. The Time do not stop."
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RichardBaker
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

129 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2007 :  04:26:59  Show Profile  Visit RichardBaker's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It's the spell vision, dressed up a bit for storytelling reasons. And thank you!


quote:
Originally posted by Jamallo Kreen

I add a fourth question, which someone else can probably answer: what was that amazing spell Pharaun cast to locate House Jalre? The description was terrific, but I didn't recognize it at all.





Rich Baker
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
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RichardBaker
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

129 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2007 :  04:33:01  Show Profile  Visit RichardBaker's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Laments: No, not specifically. But I wouldn't be surprised if something was hanging around in the back of my mind and slipped out when I wasn't looking.

Second, I'd think of Halisstra as a cleric/bard. Close enough.

Third... in general we got to read first drafts, but not final drafts. Sometimes books changed a lot between first and final drafts, so some relatively minor errors crept in because of that -- for example, the question of whether Danifae should be armed or not was likely that sort of version error.

Now, here's my heretical thought on different author styles: I actually think it's a strength of War of the Spider Queen. Everybody writes best in his or her own "voice," and we're not really trying to pretend that we're all the same writer. Drastic differences in tone would be bad (changing it to comic fantasy, for example) but if the voice varies, well, that's a way to figure out which authors you like better than others.


quote:
Originally posted by Jamallo Kreen

Well met!

I have a few questions about Condemnation. (POSSIBLE SPOILERS!)

First, did you get your inspiration for Halisstra's thoughts about Ched Nasad on page 2 from Biblical laments for fallen cities?

Second, should we think of Hallistra as a Cleric/Bard only, or is her arcane casting ability from some Drowish prestige class?

Third, did the writers of the Spider Queen series get to read the actual books preceding theirs, or only synopses? The writing style in the first three books is very different, one from another, and it is plain that one is reading a new author within the first couple of pages of each book, so it seems as though there was no direct contact with other writers's books. I've also noticed that there are a few differences which make be stylistic, but which might also be due to not having the complete text of the preceding book ready to hand. Since I just started Condemnation this week, fresh after reading Book II, I can call to mind two differences regarding Danifae: you usually call her a "maid-in-waiting" instead of a "battle captive," and in your book there seems to be a belief that since she's unarmed, she should stay that way (at least until page 85, or so), whereas she had been swinging a morning star during the fall of Ched Nasad. I had the opportunity to read that and go immediately to your book, so I was reading the events almost in real time, and the difference was plain to me because of it. Perhaps you would be kind enough to share your thoughts on indivual styles in multiple-authored series ... ?





Rich Baker
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2007 :  18:36:12  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I'm enjoying it so far. During our last game session I read Lisa Smedman's description of Jeggred's daddy to my players since they were in the process of dealing with a very unhappy glabrezu who'd been shut up in an iron bottle for an inderminate length of time.

(Side note: the Company of the Red Spear is now hiring Assistant Quartermasters. The surviving successful candidate must have a minimum of curiosity. Apply at the Stone Tower, Golden Way, Thesk.)



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


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

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Ozzalum
Learned Scribe

USA
277 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2007 :  21:55:15  Show Profile  Visit Ozzalum's Homepage  Send Ozzalum a Yahoo! Message Send Ozzalum a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mr. Baker,

You noted elsewhere on the forums that you used the opening book of the Last Mythal Series to discuss some real world issues that were taking place at the time. How common is this in DnD novels? Another example I remember is Lisa Smedman's interesting discussion of abortion in her House of Serpents books.

Science fiction and fantasy literature is typically an excellent avenue to discuss these sorts of things since the author is free to take things to extremes. (Is abortion ok? What if the offspring is really a demon?) However, I expect most people think of DnD novels as diversionary fun reading so I am wondering how much you try to work in some of the deeper commentary or discussion.
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