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Verghityax
Learned Scribe

131 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2004 :  17:55:03  Show Profile  Visit Verghityax's Homepage Send Verghityax a Private Message
Fair Lady Hooded One,
Thank You very much for this extraordinary swiftness in helping me with my request. Now I can finish my article about Baldur's Gate without any problems (yes, that means no more questions concerning Baldur's Gate from me ).
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Jerryd
Seeker

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2004 :  23:13:53  Show Profile  Visit Jerryd's Homepage Send Jerryd a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

BrokenRulz, Ed hereafter makes answer to your question...

The axial tilt, size, and rotational period of Toril are close to our Earth’s but not identical.
This is interesting....

Recently, I allowed myself a major distraction from my War Wizards chapter of the Military Forces of Cormyr to delve into exactly this topic due to the needs of the campaign I'm a part of, that is currently involved in a lengthy ocean voyage. I actually typed up an lengthy article (unsubmitted anywhere as of yet, but intended to be put on the REALMS-L list then submitted here to Candlekeep) detailing my investigations, using the globe feature on the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas and using the actual formulae for orthographic projections to determine the latitude and longitude of various points of interest. Using many of those latitudes and longitudes in conjunction with the measured distances between the points on the flat maps, I was able to come up with a statistical estimate of the size of Toril. It had to be a statistical estimate because the FRIA maps don't always mesh well — when the same two points are on different maps, the distances measured can be different between the two maps. I ended up with a statistical estimate of 9000 miles for Toril's diameter, which is about 14% larger than Earth.

Using the factoid from the 3rd Ed. FRCS ("Midwinter Day in Silverymoon sees little more than 8 hours of daylight, and Midsummer almost 16.") in conjunction with the calculated latitude and longitude from the globe, I was able to determine that Toril's axial tilt is 29°20', which is about 25% greater than our own earth's 23°27'.

Of course, the validity of these figures depends on how much credulity one puts in the FRIA, particularly in how accurate a job the programmers did with the Globe feature. What does Ed think of these numbers? Does the diameter and tilt figures of 14% and 25% greater than Earth respectively fall within Ed's rather vague "close but not identical?"

(Hmmm... the REALMS-L list has been slow lately... I might go ahead and post the article I did there. I'll wait until I get the War Wizard article ready for Candlekeep to submit a web version to Alaundo with the War Wizard article, unless he wants to grab it off of the mailing list...)

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2004 :  00:46:54  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Why, THANK you, Karth - - I embrace and revel in your compliments, choosing to believe in them even I must confess I can scarce believe your “wide-eyed and innocent” claim of stance. Shameless, a flirt, and Hooded I am, all three, but I must correct an impression: I FEEL lonesome every hour or so, but I don’t, ah, assuage the gnawings of that feeling that often. I let it build, deliciously, until the moment is right, and welcome all too few new arrivals, these days (except during a little after-dark summertime game of being hunted through the forest by many masked “suitors,” to borrow your word). I attend GenCon very rarely these days, and always anonymously (meaning: I don’t wander around on Ed’s arm), and am usually the very model of decorum whilst there. Although there was that enjoyable sojourn on the hood of a slowly-moving car nigh the lakeshore in Milwaukee, and several occasions in the Safe House . . .
Ahem. Enough titillation; I’m sure some scribes find this talk less than amusing. You must tell me more of the “Den O’ Iniquity” reputation of GenCon SoCal, some day.
On to business, as they say.

Melfius, how old is your daughter Arilyn, and whereabouts (country, state or province, that sort of thing, not precise directions to her bedside or favourite play area) can she be found?
Ed probably can’t travel much at Christmas, given his own family obligations, but perhaps a “letter from Santa”?
Ed was quite busy this year writing “Santa” replies to childrens’ letters (local volunteers secretly do that to assist the Canadian Post Office up here, and Ed says he was very touched to receive letters to Santa from a lonely eighty-two-year-old widow and a twenty-one-year-old desperate-for-help-getting-presents-for-her-daughter single mother . . . he took time to buy and wrap presents for both of them, and then - - with the cooperation of the local police, of course, so they know who’s creeping around houses, late at night - - put on a Santa suit in case someone was awake to see him, and delivered said presents to doorways, around two in the morning of Christmas Day. Old softie, indeed.
A postscript for Melfius: Ed has only very scanty Akadi lore, and is trying to track down some notes he made years back (with a view to squaring them against the 2nd Ed gods work Eric Boyd and Julia Martin did, and the later 3e iterations) before posting them through me. He warns that they ARE “slender.”

Jerryd, Ed tells me there IS “pre-existing Realmslore on these islands” you asked about; the delay in his reply has been getting NDA clearance from Wizards (WotC effectively closes down from Christmas Eve through until early in January, and most folks there are whirlwind-busy throughout much of December getting various tasks and projects done and “their desks cleared” so they can enjoy the Christmas vacation without having to design or write or worry about unfinished work).
From my own hazy remembrances of Realmsplay [note to George Krashos: this is as good a time as any to answer your query: I never played a member of the Company of Crazed Venturers, only a few Knights of Myth Drannor], I believe the outer islands are used by pirates and are littered with the wrecks of beached, scuttled, and half-burned ships, and inhabited by a few monsters and castaways and uncounted thousands of seabirds, while the inner trio have castles on them, and so presumably are inhabited (I know the Crazed Venturers visited at least one of them). Ed will say more as soon as he can, and I honestly don’t know how extensive his Realmslore on these island is.
Your point about scribes specifying if they want Ed to craft new Realmslore is well-taken and appreciated (and as for your wanting to finish another project before asking other lore-clarification questions, Ed laughed uproariously and said, “Me too! Me too!”).
As for your Toril global figures, they seem fine to me on first glance. I’ve relayed them to Ed for his comments.

Now, as for the rather delicate matter of elven body hair, kuje, you KNOW Ed isn’t the guy to go to for WotC rules battles. The PHBs rule, of course, with one note Ed added (as we laughed together on the phone, remembering the “Do dwarven females have beards?” furor that arose at least thrice, down the years), to whit:

If you always treat the comments in rulebooks as “racial norms” rather than absolutes, and as DM encourage your campaign to be roleplaying-heavy and rules-light (so that book-quoting rules-lawyers can be calmly replied with, “Oh? Really? That’s odd, because standing right in front of you is an individual you can clearly see to be the elf lord you were just introduced to, and yes, he has a pencil-thin moustache and razor-edged, line-of-chin beard. Are you going to tell him to drop the silly magical disguise, or ask him why he’s a freak, or just trust your eyes and accept that he has the hair and go on with life?”), you can ‘explain away’ variants from the ever-changing game rules as “individuals who are different, that’s all.”
As it happens, all of the Knights can attest that Merith Strongbow has both (scant, but dark in hue and definitely present) facial and body hair (though unlike human males, he doesn’t get facial stubble if he doesn’t shave every morning, and in fact never needs to shave) and Torm of the Knights can tell you that certain elf ladies of his acquaintance definitely have genital hair abundant enough to be trimmed into shapes. A subject I’d probably better say nothing more about. :}
As for hairy halfling feet: I’m sure some hin do have shaggy-haired insteps, but as it happens most of the halflings I’ve directly detailed in Realmslore down the years have had smooth brownish skin on the tops of their feet, and tough layers of horn-like skin (akin to inch-thick callouses in texture) covering the bottoms of their feet, so they can comfortably go barefoot even on rough ground and in extremes of temperature.


So saith Ed. Onward. Capn Charlie, don’t hurl aside that planner: Ed IS at work on a short roster of festivals and holidays for you.

Sir Urza, Ed shares your enthusiasm for Silverymoon, and will be seeking to cajole certain WotC editors into agreement with him, when the time is right.

Verghityax, Ed confirmed that he doesn’t have any stat and level updates to pass on to you, for the “standing back” from BG reason I gave. He also said he’d love to do a BG update game product some day, but only when “The computer games set therein are truly over and done with - - and that may be a very long time indeed in coming.”

And I believe that clears MY desk for the moment. Leaving it clear so I can lounge provocatively on it and further tease Wooly Rupert, Blueblade, Karth, and divers other scribes. Who can offer comment on my body hair . . . or not, just as they prefer . . .
love to all,
THO
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2004 :  01:51:27  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
Nay Lady THO and Ed,

That was not my intent. I was curious about Ed's words on elven physical characteristics. I was not trying to have Ed have a rules conflict or rule battle with WOTC. Sorry if it seemed that way. Some of us prefer to know how the elves of FR might differ from the elves of the other worlds. Sigh.

And I've been in a few of the dwarven female and beards debate. :) Luckly that hasn't come up again in about a year or so.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium

Edited by - Kuje on 30 Dec 2004 01:59:36
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SirUrza
Master of Realmslore

USA
1281 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2004 :  05:29:46  Show Profile  Send SirUrza an AOL message  Send SirUrza an ICQ Message Send SirUrza a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Sir Urza, Ed shares your enthusiasm for Silverymoon, and will be seeking to cajole certain WotC editors into agreement with him, when the time is right.


Well if Ed plans on doing it, then that's good indeed. Hmm, that'll be a long way away though, but worth the wait I'm sure!

"Evil prevails when good men fail to act."
The original and unapologetic Arilyn, Aribeth, Seoni Fanboy.
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2004 :  10:24:54  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message

A question for Ed

What ranks and titles are held in Zhentarim rank and file (ie Captains, Majors etc and whats the typical Order of Battle?)

Also who runs a generic unit of troops, the sterotypical in the novels used to be 10 "Fighters/warriors" 1 Cleric of Xvim/Cyric/Bane and a wizard.

Which class rules in 1373/74? (when Manshoon was running the show it used to be the Wizard)

Now that the Zhentarim are a division of Banite Consolidated Holding does the cleric automaticly have command if theres one present in a unit?

Also did the Church of Bane return to the old ranks and titles in Faithes and Avatars? (ie th Pre Tot church of Bane)

Thanks in advance


Have a Happy New Year Ed!

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Melfius
Senior Scribe

USA
516 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2004 :  11:06:18  Show Profile  Visit Melfius's Homepage  Send Melfius an AOL message Send Melfius a Private Message
Arilyn is 5, here in Elyria, Ohio. He really doesn't have to go through all of that, though! What a saint!

Thanks, Ed and THO!

Melfius, Pixie-Priest of Puck - Head Chef, The Faerie Kitchen, Candlekeep Inn
"What's in his pockets, besides me?"
Read a tale of my earlier days! - Happiness Comes in Small Packages

Edited by - Melfius on 30 Dec 2004 11:07:53
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  02:11:18  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Foxhelm, Ed makes reply to your recent fourfold query:



Thanks! You haven’t bothered me at all, but brought some welcome entertainment. “A stinking lot of money,” eh? Sounds nice. It’s been years now since I’ve bathed in a pile of cash.
So let’s get right into those questions of yours.
1. My top three campaign world and novels for RPGs I’d develop that aren’t “traditional fantasy.” Bear in mind that of course I’d vastly prefer to do traditional fantasy. However, if I couldn’t . . .
Well, my favourite would probably be ‘my take’ on the tried-and-true (Amber, Highlander, umpteen vampire sagas from Yarbro to Rice to Buffy to Otherworld, Outlandish, etc.) idea of a family of long-lived human-seeming folk who have some special powers (magic, self-healing, shapechanging, long lifespans and seeing in the dark or teleporting or “ironguard”-equivalent or whatever), and are either feuding or who are one of several rival families Who Dwell Among Us, and are nearing some sort of confrontation - - perhaps one that (a la Lovecraft/Zelazny’s Lonesome October) opens gates between worlds (our modern real one and others, some of which are medieval and have working magic and are monster-dominated (Call of Cthulhu-style play thus resulting). I’d do this not-terribly-original project just because it pulls on so many ‘hooks’ that attract me (and thousands of other gamers, readers, and movie-watchers).
My second choice would be the space opera/sf setting of decaying stellar empires (now small handful-of-planet federations, leagues, and independent worlds) that’s NOT dominated by horrible aliens or a huge interstellar war, but rather by ever-expanding companies/business conglomerates that consider themselves beyond all laws, and engage in covert piracy, control of planetary governments, and so on. Far too powerful for novel protagonists or PCs in a game to challenge; the heroes instead play the parts of the crews of the countless “tramp steamers” of space, who make the low-profit, dangerous daily cargo runs that keep everything running. The setting would be running low on raw materials (especially foods and fuels), and the only chances of good profits for these small fry are to explore, find new sources, procure and sell as much as they can, and then get out quick before the big conglomerates move in, wipe them out, and take over said new sources.
My third choice would be to go back in history to the decay of the Roman Empire, choose a somewhat-isolated geographical focus (the classic one is of course the British Isles, and yes, there it’s King Arthur time), and build a game and novel line around the POSSIBLE outcomes (not what really happened during the plunge into the Dark Ages), with religious schisms and strife and raiding “barbarians” and umpteen self-styled emperors trying to set up their own kingdoms. No magic except VERY limited visions/healing/temporary vigor granted by various gods in return for deeds and rituals, but make sure diplomacy among power groups has a role, not just “I am the strongest Conan; watch as I hack foes down before they can do the same to me!” This could just possibly be mated with the sort of pulp sf plot (used for the Blade series of erotic fantasy novels in the 1970s) of the secret government program with time machine, through which agents are sent back in time to try to procure items and substances that could be of use in modern times. I’d make sure the dangers Connie Willis explored in DOMESDAY BOOK applied, too, of course.
2. I presume you meant to ask me what superpowers I’d personally like to have, as Ed Greenwood the hero or villain, rather than something I’d give to a game character if I could “break all the rules.” So my answer would be: immunity to all poisons and diseases, complete self-healing and regeneration, the ability to fly, water walking, water breathing, feather falling, teleport without error, spider climb, mending, short-range being-specific mind-reading and clairaudience by concentration only, and detect lie at will. That’d do for starters, before I got into the handsome virility stuff. If I was being a villain, I’d add two things: shapechange (my fingertips and head or at least face, at minimum), and a short-range ability to control computers/electronic communications, computations, and results.
Well, now. I feel taller already.
3. Shows that would be popular in the Realms. Well, not that I’d want to watch them much, but I believe that the real ‘knock them dead’ daily viewings would be sermons from the heads or prominent clergies of various faiths, the news (nasty things happening everywhere else), a fashion show (with lots of skin for viewers unwilling or unable to buy new clothes all the time), and various long-running sagas centered on heroes, starcrossed lovers, and pratfalling wisecracking cut-ups.
However, what I’d personally LIKE to see include many of the humorous suggestions put forward by you, Melfius, and Dargoth. I’d pay a lot to watch a reality show in which Red Wizards vyed to seduce The Simbul and keep their lives, in situations where she was bound to discover that they were Red Wizards before long. Seriously, I think Dargoth’s Town Watch idea would fly. As for the titillation factor, I’d personally like to see Alustriel’s Bedchamber (hmmm; late-night hardcore fare), Storm’s Harper Training, and some sort of reality show set in Cormyr where contestants are guaranteed a million gp if they can marry into the nobility, and royal rank and title if they can do so and also prove that Azoun IV was their father. :}
4. I have strong bonds not just to Elminster, but to Mirt (the fat, wheezing old moneylender of Waterdeep) and Storm (the sort of woman I’d love to marry or at least adventure with, if she were real).
Amongst darker characters, I’d like to explore more fully the lonely, tragic liches and what motivates them if they’ve lived for centuries and not gone insane. Do they play at manipulating kingdoms, like Larloch? Frustrating power groups (think I’ll smash this Zhent or Twisted Rune or Red Wizard scheme)? However, I don’t feel any personal strong bonds to any villains except a certain female I can’t tell you anything more about, yet (perhaps for years).



So saith Ed. I know what he means about Storm. If she were real I’d want to bed her myself. Yes, Wooly, I DO want to leave you with that image to savour.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  02:11:28  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Hereafter, Ed’s reply to Jerryd:


Jerry, I’ve perused your full globe-of-Toril construal from the Realms-list, and here’s my take on it.

Like our real Earth, Toril is an oblate spheroid rotating in the same direction as Earth does, around a tilted axis (as Earth has). Its distance from its sun is unknown, being roughly equivalent to that of real-world Earth (but affording some “wiggle room” to adjust climate and to a small extent gravity). It’s clear that the Heartlands of Faerun are SLIGHTLY warmer (higher temperature, longer growing season) than real-world Earth regions of the same latitude, but get a trifle colder in winter than real-world locales of the same latitude. In effect, discounting altitude- and wind-current-related factors, this is roughly equivalent to winter temperatures on Toril being about 5 degrees of latitude cooler than on Earth. In other words, Waterdeep at a little north of the 45th parallel on Toril averages the same winter-cold as does a Manitoba, Canada timberlands locale a little north of the real-world Earth’s 50th parallel (though like any large city burning wood and peat and dung for warmth and cooking and industry, crowding people and livestock together, casting minor warming magics, and taking up slightly-warmer-than-winter air from Skullport and the Underdark depths, actual Waterdhavian street temperatures, when one escapes wind chill, can well be higher).
The D&D rules postulate an environment as least as rich in heavy metals as our real world, so Toril must be as dense as our real world. It’s clear from any close examination of my original maps, the Fonstad FR Atlas, and the ProFantasy Interactive Atlas, that Toril is larger than Earth. TSR designers over the years have estimated anything from ten to fifteen percent larger, and I corrected some of them (discovering along the way that map projections seemed to be a subject neglected in the early grades of some American schools) to show that they were correct in seeing about a five percent ‘window’ in size, but that the bottom figure couldn’t be less than 12 percent. We settled on official agreement at twelve percent at a design meeting at the TSR offices after I pointed out that a larger Toril, given similar densities, has increased surface gravity and therefore the “Barsoom factor” (Hey, I’m a strongman! Watch me bend iron bars with my little fingers!) comes into play. That was something we largely wanted to avoid, as it affects not just musculature and body strength, but trajectories and therefore weaponry and spell effects and yadda yadda. :} So 12 it is.
You came up with 14, which considering the slightly wonky maps in the Interactive Atlas, isn’t bad.
There is a way of putting a tiny ‘wiggle room’ in the density/metals problem, too, which is to have celestial-body calamities (asteroid/planetoid impacts) and plate tectonics shift more heavy metals near the surface in Faerun than are to be found elsewhere on Toril (hence some of the in-print, metal-avoiding daily construction materials and weaponry of Kara-Tur). This in turn can cause axial wobble and will tend to be ‘smoothed and evened out’ over the long run, but a thousand years of Realms game time is still but a passing geological moment.
And yes, you can see from my comments here that I stand with the stated-in-print Waterdhavian latitude, so I’d follow the second suggestion in your article (to correct all the locations, rather than to ignore the difference in calculations that left Waterdeep 12 minutes south of the 45th parallel rather than about the same distance north of it).
Placing Toril a trifle closer to its sun than Earth is to the real Sun gives us our warmer climes, and postulating a greater axial tilt than real Earth gives us our swings to and from severe winter at extremes of latitude. Some climate jiggering must take place to avoid howling, all-scouring and fairly constant winds in places, but we already know that such jiggering is taking place, in-game, because of the great southern reach of the Inner Sea North glaciers (a secret that was in the Realms from the first, and made official in the internal-TSR-publication-only “Realms Bible” I wrote years ago, but only officially revealed to the wider gaming public in the 3e Epic Level Handbook: Iyraclea in Appendix 1), and because of my carefully-planted lore about the Phaerimm magically monkeying with the climate (hence the spread of Anauroch).
The slightly smaller size (12 versus 14) leads to a slightly smaller axial tilt than you arrived at, but by and large, your calculations are just fine, and you came to the same conclusions as the TSR designers did when they accepted my presentation all those years ago. Which makes the most valuable part of your article (the “What time is it in Waterdeep when it’s such-and-such a time in Suzail?” and the hours of daylight bits) perfectly valid and very useful to all. Thanks, Jerry!

Interestingly, years ago I wanted to include a very simple Sword Coast naval trading pull-out game in DRAGON, of about the complexity level of the old Milton Bradley childrens’ classic PIRATE AND TRAVELLER, only with water hexes rather than specific game-track routes [but with paths of double-speed hexes for trade-wind-aided open waters], wherein players picked up specific cargoes [cards with values] in various ports and sailed around within the limits of a single sailing season trying to get richer than each other. TSR editors (right up to the Creative Director level) wouldn’t bite, which was a pity because it would have settled so many of the sailing times/coastal road caravan times/merchant shipping questions, down the years. As part of this game, all harbours were to be marked, all islands (of course) named, reefs and ‘wash rocks’ located, and a little ‘back story’ Realmslore snuck in about the two competing methods of seaborne location (the elder meridian was through the highest peak on Tharsult, and the newer competing one through Mintarn).

Regarding those islands you asked about: NDA clearance has been received, so expect my lore answer tomorrow.



So saith Ed. Who’s now got me waiting impatiently, if no one else.
Wheee, more newly-revealed Realmslore!
love to all,
THO


Edited by - The Hooded One on 31 Dec 2004 02:16:46
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30084 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  02:43:45  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

So saith Ed. I know what he means about Storm. If she were real I’d want to bed her myself. Yes, Wooly, I DO want to leave you with that image to savour.
love to all,
THO




And savor that image I will, my Lady... But wouldn't the two of you like some company?

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2393 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  05:20:09  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
Hello all. Well, I go off and get involved in other things and by the time I get back this topic goes from about page 20 to page 80. It's going to take DAYS to read through all of this! (And, of course, old flirting works as well as new flirting... :) ) So, considering the fact that I have all of this wonderous reading to catch up on, please forgive me if the question has already been covered.

Which brings me to my question. I've recently come down with an obsession about trebuchets, and that got me to thinking about siege weapons in the Realms. We know that both catapults and ballistae exist (along with underground varients), along with various types of primitive cannon. Obviously, the presence of mages would somewhat retard the development of siege engines. However, it's easier to build a buch of catapults than wave your hands and create that many powerful mages.

Sigh. One of these years I'll get to the point, I'm sure of it.

Does the Realms have trebuchets? Also, are there other, Realms-specific siege engines? And what armies would use them?

Many thanks for your patience with all the questions, both Hooded Lady and Ed!

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Jerryd
Seeker

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  06:00:46  Show Profile  Visit Jerryd's Homepage Send Jerryd a Private Message
THO, please relay this to Ed. I'm hoping we can arrive at some "offical" specific numbers!
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
We settled on official agreement at twelve percent at a design meeting at the TSR offices after I pointed out that a larger Toril, given similar densities, has increased surface gravity and therefore the “Barsoom factor” (Hey, I’m a strongman! Watch me bend iron bars with my little fingers!) comes into play. That was something we largely wanted to avoid, as it affects not just musculature and body strength, but trajectories and therefore weaponry and spell effects and yadda yadda. :} So 12 it is.
You came up with 14, which considering the slightly wonky maps in the Interactive Atlas, isn’t bad.

Figuring a 12% larger diameter than Earth gives us a diameter of 8,880 miles for Toril (14,280 km for the metrically inclined, as I am in matters of scientific calculations despite being a US citizen). If the overall density is the same as that of earth (5.515 g/cm^3), that will give us a surface gravitational acceleration of 10.9 m/s^2, which is about 11% higher than that of earth. That's still great enough to affect all of the things you mentioned. If you want exactly the same gravity as Earth (9.8 m/s^2), you have to drop the density to 4.942 g/cm^3, which is about 90% that of Earth. I think that is still close enough to provide a reasonably similar metal abundance, especially when gods like Dumathoin may be tinkering with the distribution of metals. Would you agree, or are you willing to accept a 11% stronger gravity to keep the density precisely the same?
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
And yes, you can see from my comments here that I stand with the stated-in-print Waterdhavian latitude, so I’d follow the second suggestion in your article (to correct all the locations, rather than to ignore the difference in calculations that left Waterdeep 12 minutes south of the 45th parallel rather than about the same distance north of it).

I'll keep that in mind. My original latitude adjustment of 1.005 put Waterdeep at 45°01'N, which does technically qualify as "slightly above the 45th parallel." If you want the latitude at 45°12'N, that would be an adjustment of 1.009 from my base calculations. I'll make a note of that, and at some later date issue a corrected article. That will also adjust Silverymoon's latitude accordingly, thus dropping my axial tilt estimate a bit.
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
In effect, discounting altitude- and wind-current-related factors, this is roughly equivalent to winter temperatures on Toril being about 5 degrees of latitude cooler than on Earth. In other words, Waterdeep at a little north of the 45th parallel on Toril averages the same winter-cold as does a Manitoba, Canada timberlands locale a little north of the real-world Earth’s 50th parallel.

What you're saying here means that, roughly speaking, Toril's axial tilt is going to be about 5° greater than that of Earth's (which is 23°27'). This means that Toril will have a roughly 28.5° tilt, which is quite close to my original estimate of 29°20' even without the latitude correction mentioned above. And as I mentioned in my article, with my proposed 1.005 latitude correction, that would reduce the axial tilt to 29°05' which is even closer.

Using the revised adjustment which would place Waterdeep at 45°12' (and Silverymoon at 51°01') it would lower the axial tilt even further. The original clue from the FRCS said that "Midwinter Day in Silverymoon sees little more than 8 hours of daylight." In my original calculations I assumed 8.1 hours because I needed a specific value, but for your perusal I'll present a small table for you to choose from. Using the new latitude of 51°01':

Silverymoon's
Daylight Hours        Axial
on Midwinter          Tilt
8.0 hours             29°31' 
8.1 hours             28°53'
8.2 hours             28°15'
8.3 hours             27°36'


Personally, I used 8.1 because of the phrasing "little more than 8 hours" which to me implies a quite small amount above 8. To me, 8.2 is pushing that. But, in your judgement, which of these four do you most prefer?
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
The slightly smaller size (12 versus 14) leads to a slightly smaller axial tilt than you arrived at,

Actually, as I said in my article, the things that are related to axial tilt are: the latitude of a given point, the number of hours of daylight in a day at that given point, and the time of year (i.e. location in its orbit around the sun). The size of a planet in and of itself has no effect the calculations.
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
but by and large, your calculations are just fine, and you came to the same conclusions as the TSR designers did when they accepted my presentation all those years ago. Which makes the most valuable part of your article (the “What time is it in Waterdeep when it’s such-and-such a time in Suzail?” and the hours of daylight bits) perfectly valid and very useful to all. Thanks, Jerry!

You're very welcome, and thank you for the compliment! And may I say that if you ever want to know a time difference between two particular locations, or want to know how many hours of daylight there are in a certain place on a certain day of the year, I'd be honored to run the calculations for you!
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
Regarding those islands you asked about: NDA clearance has been received, so expect my lore answer tomorrow.

Thank you very much!

Jerry Davis

Edited by - Jerryd on 31 Dec 2004 06:09:01
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Kentinal
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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  06:31:31  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha



Does the Realms have trebuchets? Also, are there other, Realms-specific siege engines? And what armies would use them?




Well almost certainly had trebuchets, as they are a simplier machine then catapults and ballistae are to construct. As for more complex machines, I would not be surprised however have not yet tracked down a list of them.

Edited by - Kentinal on 31 Dec 2004 06:32:56
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Blueblade
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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  15:56:41  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Jerryd, I think that what Ed meant was that with the smaller planet size, he didn’t need the axial tilt to be as great to achieve the climate he’d presented in published Realmslore, not that he thought planet size had to be factored into that calculation.
The amount of WORK you’ve gone to impresses the #$%@ out of me! We know Ed has no life ( ), but when do you have time to game?
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A Gavel
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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  16:07:16  Show Profile  Visit A Gavel's Homepage Send A Gavel a Private Message
I'd say all the siege engines described in 2nd Ed rulebooks are still in the Realms, as they were then. Trebuchets (and most others, of course) would be built on the spot, more than they'd be bought, sold, and shipped great distances.
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A Publishing Lackey
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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  16:13:41  Show Profile  Visit A Publishing Lackey's Homepage Send A Publishing Lackey a Private Message
I, too, want to weigh in with thanks before Alaundo closes this thread. What a year of letting us see behind the curtain, as it were.
Thanks, THO, and thanks, Ed.
Most writers don't have time to do this sort of customer support (for which WotC should pay you, not just thank you as fervently as we do), and I KNOW you don't - - but, hey, thanks for doing it anyway!
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Sage of Stars
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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  16:20:39  Show Profile  Visit Sage of Stars's Homepage Send Sage of Stars a Private Message
I echo Publishing Lackey’s sentiments. As a writer who’s not nearly as busy as Ed is, I stand in awe of this constant creative flow. What a brain. And to do it all without a moment of sleep, too!
(Fess up, THO: Ed doesn’t sleep at all, does he?)
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  16:25:40  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Sure he does. Snores, too.

No, no, I DON’T know that from sleeping with him! I’ve slept over at his cottage and at his house many times, remember? Sheesh, a girl gets a reputation . . .
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  17:16:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
kuje31, I’m sorry, I should have slid in a smiley there to make it clear I was joking about rules battles, not being angry with you. Darn electronic media, that can’t convey tone of voice. Sigh not, I pray. I’ve just chatted with Ed, and he says his comments stand: treat the printed rulebooks as racial norms and then have individuals with hair wherever you want it. After all, elves are the race most likely (by nature, inclination, and available time on their individual hands) to have developed (and experimented endlessly with) cosmetics (including hair dyes) and herbs (drugs) to affect the body, to say nothing of cantrips galore, right?
I recall from Realmsplay, years ago, that there’s at least one elven adventuress in Waterdeep who has a glorious down-to-the-back-of-her-knees mane of deep GREEN hair. We were once in a brothel (ahem: festhall) where at least one of the lady dancers (who were all elves) had half a dozen tiny silver chiming bells braided into her pubic hair, too, so THAT elf had “body hair.”

Dargoth, I’ve relayed your Zhent query on to Ed. We Knights have had thankfully little to do with those pests recently, but I can say we’ve slaughXXX run into two patrols in the woods between Shadowdale and Voonlar, and they retained the familiar “wizard, priest, and ten Zhentilar warriors” mix. One had the priest in evident command, and I’m sure the wizard was being the most supercilious in his snapping of orders, in the other - - before Torm sprang from a bough and broke his neck for him, that is.

Wooly, you’re willing to get between this Hooded One and Storm? You’re a brave man indeed! Consider yourself invited!

THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 31 Dec 2004 17:19:17
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The Hooded One
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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  17:31:10  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Jerryd, I tossed your most recent post in the direction of Ed’s inbox, and just received this quick response:


Fair enough. So (bearing in mind that I can’t speak officially for Wizards), we’re agreed on Toril having a 12 percent larger diameter than Earth (therefore 8,880 miles or 14,280 km). I vote for the same gravity as Earth, so Toril must be about 90% as dense as Earth. I can live with that (as you say, we can assume divine tinkering with the availability of metals).
Adjust the latitude of all base calculations by 1.009, and I agree with your personal choice of 8.1 daylight Midwinter hours for Silverymoon and the axial tilt that results (28°53').
And I may just take you up on that offer of running calculations! I must admit that in running the Realms, I’ve just used the “mental map” comparison of the continental United States silhouette Jeff Grubb put into the Old Gray Box versus the Sword Coast Heartlands, and applied the (politically distorted) time zone differential, because I “know without thinking” how many hours “behind” TSR in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and WotC in Renton, Washington, were from me in Ontario, Canada, and most of the portal jumps or teleports in the ‘home’ Realms have either been relatively short (from point to point within the Dales or within Cormyr, for instance), or between Cormyr or the Dales and Waterdeep or its immediate environs (often atop Maiden’s Tomb Tor).



So saith Ed. Who warns me, Jerryd, that the incoming lore about the islands is long enough (!) that I may split it up into short messages.
love to all,
THO
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  18:23:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

We were once in a brothel (ahem: festhall) where at least one of the lady dancers (who were all elves) had half a dozen tiny silver chiming bells braided into her pubic hair, too, so THAT elf had “body hair.”


That is a very interesting touch...

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Wooly, you’re willing to get between this Hooded One and Storm? You’re a brave man indeed! Consider yourself invited!

THO


I figure it's bound to be interesting, at the least.


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A Publishing Lackey
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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  19:34:12  Show Profile  Visit A Publishing Lackey's Homepage Send A Publishing Lackey a Private Message
As 2004 is drawing to a close, I wonder if THO or Ed could mention a fantasy or sf book or two published during the year that they think some Candlekeep scribes might like?
I’m not talking “best of the year,” or anything like that, because I know how most people hate making such choices. Just things you think gamers might like.

Edited by - A Publishing Lackey on 31 Dec 2004 19:36:23
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The Hooded One
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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  19:43:48  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ah, now. You HAD to ask.
Well, I don’t even have to contact Ed to know some of his choices (we trade book recommendations all the time), and I’ve combined them with mine in a ‘no particular order’ list:

A HAT FULL OF SKY by Terry Pratchett (the second Tiffany Aching so-called childrens’ Discworld novel; a little romp of a delight we both enjoyed).
GOING POSTAL by Terry Pratchett: any Discworld novel primarily set in Ankh-Morpork is going to be an interesting and enjoyable read. This one is another solid triumph. (Myself, I like to think of Ankh-Morpork as a parody of Waterdeep, although I KNOW it’s not; it just makes it all even more screamingly funny, for me.)
Of course, being Discworld fans, we both enjoyed THE ART OF DISCWORLD, ONCE MORE WITH FOOTNOTES, and the DISCWORLD ALMANAK, too. :} If you aren’t familiar with Discworld, you owe it to yourself to GET familiar. The first book in this long series is THE COLOUR OF MAGIC, but I agree with Ed in his oft-made library recommendation: especially for non-fantasy fans, the best book to start with is WYRD SISTERS. At the end of it, you know if Discworld is ‘for you’ or not. (If you have access to the first LEGENDS anthology from Tor Books, edited by Bob Silverberg, you can "try" Terry's Discworld short story therein as an intro, instead.)

IRON CROWN MOON by Julian May (already out in the UK from whence Ed snatched copies for us both, but North American publication won’t be until April 2005, I think). The second in the Boreal Moon Tale. I agree with Ed that May’s setting and magic system are superbly suited for low-magic (but powerful as heck, when it gets unleashed) fantasy gaming.

JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL by Susanna Clarke. A long, rambling, slow-paced Jane Austen period-style novel that many people are going to hate because “it doesn’t go much of anywhere” or “too long-winded” or “literary posing” or some such. Ed and I both loved it for the footnotes, the depiction of magic as a scholarly British ‘club’ pursuit, the sense of mystery and old forgotten history and connections to Faerie. Not for everyone, but worth it.

THE LAST LIGHT OF THE SUN by Guy Gavriel Kay. Darker than Kay’s previous books (grim Viking setting), but first-rate storytelling. Ed has often said that Kay’s earlier A SONG FOR ARBONNE is the best fantasy novel published by a Canadian that he can think of, bare none (with the standalone novel Kay published just prior to that, as a more-ambitious but also more flawed, hence “almost as good, loses out to Arbonne by a whisker” TIGANA a very close second).

BONE by Jeff Smith. A huge, fat black and white “telephone book” of a graphic novel compilation. Perhaps cheating on the date (as it mostly contains older material), but it WAS published this year, and remains a strange (as in: what direction is this story going in? four or five different ones, all at once!) delight.

FORSAKEN HOUSE by Rich Baker. A Realms novel that left Ed positively delighted. I think it’s superbly written, but wanted less battle scenes and more elven intrigue (and, hey, for once: scenes where elves interacted WITHOUT being all tense and daggers drawn, with the fate of the Realms As We Know It hanging in the balance). But that’s just me, committing the cardinal sin of ragging on a book for not being the book * I * wanted it to be. The scene of the elf facing the passage of time for the human companions of his former adventuring group is a stellar moment. A great fantasy read by any measure, even for people who know not, and care less, what the Realms is.

I’m sure I’ll think of lots more as I have time to reflect, but these are the first few to “fall off the top of my head,” as it were.
Oh, yes: one short story that Ed mentioned he was going to nominate for a Nebula, from the December 2004 issue of REALMS OF FANTASY magazine: “The Chamber of Forgetting” by Sarah Prineas. I missed that issue (the local bookstore doesn’t always receive its copies), but have ordered it from a newsstand distributor on the strength of Ed’s recommendation.
love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 31 Dec 2004 19:52:26
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A Publishing Lackey
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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  20:00:03  Show Profile  Visit A Publishing Lackey's Homepage Send A Publishing Lackey a Private Message
Hmm, I miss ROF a lot, too. Its newsstand distribution seems to be spotty hereabouts, too. I’ll have to track that one down. Everything on the list is familiar to me already, but I heartily endorse your choices. Thanks!
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Jerryd
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Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  22:35:39  Show Profile  Visit Jerryd's Homepage Send Jerryd a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
Fair enough. So (bearing in mind that I can’t speak officially for Wizards), we’re agreed on Toril having a 12 percent larger diameter than Earth (therefore 8,880 miles or 14,280 km). I vote for the same gravity as Earth, so Toril must be about 90% as dense as Earth. I can live with that (as you say, we can assume divine tinkering with the availability of metals).
Adjust the latitude of all base calculations by 1.009, and I agree with your personal choice of 8.1 daylight Midwinter hours for Silverymoon and the axial tilt that results (28°53').

Outstanding! Based on the values we've agreed on (not speaking officially for WotC, of course), here's a summary of Toril's physical characteristics. I corrected a typo in the diameter in km, and looked up a more precise value for the gravitational constant for the calculation.
Equatorial Diameter: 14,290 km (8,880 miles)
Polar Diameter:      14,190 km (8,820 miles)
Volume:              1.517x10^21 m^3
Density:             4.941 g/cm^3
Mass:                7.497x10^24 kg
Surface Gravity:     9.798 m/s^2
Axial Tilt:          28.885° (28°53')

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
And I may just take you up on that offer of running calculations!

I would be honored, and I'll keep my spreadsheets handy! Sometime in January I'll put out a list of the same cities with revised latitudes.
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
So saith Ed. Who warns me, Jerryd, that the incoming lore about the islands is long enough (!) that I may split it up into short messages.
love to all,
THO

I eagerly await the lore, happy new year, and consider your love platonically returned, THO!

Jerry Davis

Edited by - Jerryd on 31 Dec 2004 22:44:14
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