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Caladan Brood
Senior Scribe

Norway
410 Posts

Posted - 28 Apr 2015 :  21:04:23  Show Profile  Visit Caladan Brood's Homepage Send Caladan Brood a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I found a sudden interest in all things Silverymoon and am pouring through my sourcebooks et al to find everything on this beacon of hope in the savage north.

One thing I just can't wrap my head around: Why do they have an invisible bridge? It must be extremely impractical to traverse a bridge you can't see (except in moonlight, then you can see a shimmering force-field; reminds me of Legend of Grimrock 2)? From what I've gathered it is meant as a defensive measure, but that is illogical too because it would be wiser to have the bridge *visible* so the orcs (or whatever) actually try to use it and *then* let the magic dissipate (and let the orcs fall into the icy cold river). When it's invisible, the orcs won't know it's there, right? Also, how am I to describe the beauty and splendor and good nature of Silverymoon without snickering when I describe people seemingly walking in the air above the river that divides the city?

On a related topic (another question), is this correct: Lady Galadriel Stormborn Lady Alustriel creates an alliance - under her leadership, Silverymoon and various other city-states (such as Sundabar) become a confederation known as the Silver Marches? And then later it is renamed Luruar?

(Trying - for the first time - to learn a little bit about what has been going on in the Realms since 1367 DR, lol. All because of Silverymoon. I like that name. But during research I began to get enough of the word "silver" used everywhere.)

Oh, another question - the story of how Sammaster and Alustriel had a relationship, which soured - is this backstory to be found in a novel?

That's it for me today! Have to say I really like the "Silver Marches" 3rd Ed sourcebook. So much fluff. To think that I have never read it before.

Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3068 Posts

Posted - 28 Apr 2015 :  21:15:30  Show Profile Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well it's an interesting way to show off Silverymoon's magical might.

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 28 Apr 2015 :  21:42:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sammy and Alustriel's relationship is described in the old 2E sourcebook The Cult of the Dragon. I don't believe it's in any novels.

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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2015 :  07:42:29  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As a defense in the middle of the city... that does not make any sort of sense. The manipulations of the bridge are no more than those of a drawbridge so the effects are so slight as to be laughable to any invader capable of breaching the walls. The best defense the bridge offers is by reducing the number of barges present in the city that would be available to cross the river since it is the river that is the real defensive barrier. Still, that means a section of the city would just be lost if an invader made it that far through the walls.

I wonder how they get beasts of burden to go on it since they are not prone to plunging over cliffs to their deaths even when goaded. Horses, cattle, and the like tend to stop before the edge of thin air. This is just another one of those things that was best not to think too hard about.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4920 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2015 :  12:49:57  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the Moonbridge is something more than just an invisible bridge.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1489 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2015 :  14:27:45  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

The manipulations of the bridge are no more than those of a drawbridge

Except it's an indestructible drawbridge. And time to raise/lower is negligible, which is kind of good both for not clogging traffic and plain convenience.
quote:
As a defense in the middle of the city... that does not make any sort of sense. [...] Still, that means a section of the city would just be lost if an invader made it that far through the walls.

Was it always in the middle of the city?
quote:
This is just another one of those things that was best not to think too hard about.

The results of proposed approach do not impress me.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2015 :  16:57:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Caladan Brood

When it's invisible, the orcs won't know it's there, right?


Exactly. So they won't try to use it, and will instead have to go into the river -- which will slow them down dramatically -- or find other means of crossing. The latter, of course, still provides plenty of issues for attackers.

quote:
Originally posted by Caladan Brood

Also, how am I to describe the beauty and splendor and good nature of Silverymoon without snickering when I describe people seemingly walking in the air above the river that divides the city?



I could have sworn the bridge was outside the city walls...

But either way, what is so humorous about people walking on air, that you can't keep from snickering? It's a fantasy setting. People can travel thru the air, unsupported, using a number of magical means, and there are more options if they use some sort of support, like a flying mount, a flying transport of some sort (anything from a flying carpet up to the Spelljammer itself).

There is a lot of magic in the Realms, and people in Silverymoon are more magically inclined than most. Walking across an invisible bridge is such a minor thing, magically speaking, that it's more blasé than humorous.

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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2015 :  18:48:40  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholderExcept it's an indestructible drawbridge. And time to raise/lower is negligible, which is kind of good both for not clogging traffic and plain convenience... Was it always in the middle of the city?
[quote] This is just another one of those things that was best not to think too hard about... The results of proposed approach do not impress me.
It took the place of a stone bridge, the stone bridge allowing rapid development and habitation of the other river bank colloquially called the "New City." map So, yes, the magical Moonbridge was always in the middle of the city. It is a force effect and not a real device meaning it is subject to the same destructive dispells and disenchants as any other force effect. And it does look silly as soon as you see the classic literature professor hobbling his way up the span, nursing that bad back twinge, and using the walking cane more to find the edge of the bridge than support his weight. The number of people accidentally falling off the bridge must be no small number and the traction must be terrible and now I'm thinking about and the more I think about it the dumber it gets. And I'm still wondering what happened during the Spellplague to this piece of magic and the people whom were treating it like a minor thing at the time Mystra/Midnight went boom.

Must... get... back... to topic. Not... think.

Definitely give the wikidot, Northern Journey PBEM, Project Silverymoon, and FRWiki online resources a look for more information.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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Caladan Brood
Senior Scribe

Norway
410 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2015 :  12:40:35  Show Profile  Visit Caladan Brood's Homepage Send Caladan Brood a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the replies, folks.
Wooly Rupert, I hope you didn't think of this scroll as an attack on the integrity or structure of the Forgotten Realms. I do love the Realms, but there are many things I can't wrap my head around, things that are (in my opinion) rather silly, or not well developed (it's not uncommon to find weird elements that are retroactively explained in some way, after the designer realized the weaknesses of the idea).
In my search for everything Silverymoon, I have begun to set up a private database where I can gather all REALMS material, from the oldest sourcebooks to the newest, articles etc. and then I'm bound to wonder sometimes about certain ideas; the bridge is one of those ideas I feel I must scrap as it is presented - in "my" Silverymoon, the bridge is visible, but more of a glittering force-field.
Let the orcs see it, I say - then we dispel the bridge when the hordes are halfway across.

(Point being, I am not angsting over this - just a fun discussion to be had, maybe.)

quote:
I could have sworn the bridge was outside the city walls...


On all three versions of the Silverymoon map I found online, it's definitely inside the walls:

From the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas:
http://dnd.steinhour.net/images/Forgotten_Realms_Campaign/Forgotten_Realms/Maps/4870_Silverymoon.JPG

From The North Boxed Set:
http://www.nj-pbem.com/data/Grapics/Maps/Silverymoon.jpg

From 3rd (or is it 4th) Edition:
http://dustin.wikidot.com/local--files/silverymoon/silverymoon.jpg
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2015 :  17:12:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Caladan Brood

Thanks for the replies, folks.
Wooly Rupert, I hope you didn't think of this scroll as an attack on the integrity or structure of the Forgotten Realms. I do love the Realms, but there are many things I can't wrap my head around, things that are (in my opinion) rather silly, or not well developed (it's not uncommon to find weird elements that are retroactively explained in some way, after the designer realized the weaknesses of the idea).
In my search for everything Silverymoon, I have begun to set up a private database where I can gather all REALMS material, from the oldest sourcebooks to the newest, articles etc. and then I'm bound to wonder sometimes about certain ideas; the bridge is one of those ideas I feel I must scrap as it is presented - in "my" Silverymoon, the bridge is visible, but more of a glittering force-field.
Let the orcs see it, I say - then we dispel the bridge when the hordes are halfway across.


No worries; we all have a certain point at which the suspension of disbelief can't be pushed. For me, an invisible bridge does not push past that. I'll agree that it's an odd thing, and it's not something I would create for a city. It could be useful in other scenarios -- like in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade -- but I'd not do that for everyday use.

Despite that, though, it's just not a big deal, to me.

I can see where it might bug others, but that's not an attack on anything, as far as I'm concerned.

And it's certainly better than BattleTech "fizzics" -- I used to be really bugged by people accepting lasers and other weapons with abnormally short ranges, but then hating an author because he had fusion engines explode.

quote:
Originally posted by Caladan Brood

(Point being, I am not angsting over this - just a fun discussion to be had, maybe.)

quote:
I could have sworn the bridge was outside the city walls...


On all three versions of the Silverymoon map I found online, it's definitely inside the walls:

From the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas:
http://dnd.steinhour.net/images/Forgotten_Realms_Campaign/Forgotten_Realms/Maps/4870_Silverymoon.JPG

From The North Boxed Set:
http://www.nj-pbem.com/data/Grapics/Maps/Silverymoon.jpg

From 3rd (or is it 4th) Edition:
http://dustin.wikidot.com/local--files/silverymoon/silverymoon.jpg



You are correct; that was my mistake. I had a pdf of The North boxed set handy and checked that one. I didn't comment further, since I was wrong and didn't have anything else to contribute.

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Rymac
Learned Scribe

USA
283 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2015 :  22:49:52  Show Profile  Visit Rymac's Homepage Send Rymac a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe when someone is upon it and/or crossing it, it's not invisible to them? Standing upon it implies not believing there isn't an invisible bridge.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2015 :  23:54:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would also think that an invisible bridge would have some mechanism for making sure people don't fall off. Invisible barriers, or somesuch.

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Caladan Brood
Senior Scribe

Norway
410 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2015 :  12:28:17  Show Profile  Visit Caladan Brood's Homepage Send Caladan Brood a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In a similar vein, but not trying to be negative, just wondering, how do you guys handle spells like Raise Dead, Resurrection et al? If every priest of a certain level has access to these spells, why don't the commoners stage a rebellion which forces these priests to aid those who can't afford it? Would priests perhaps keep secret such knowledge (if yes, how do priests of good alignments justify this?)
Does the fear of death/character loss occur in your REALMS games, or is the nearest Raise Dead scroll but a stone's throw away?
Genuinely curious about this (in preparation for the weekend game I made a thread about two weeks ago), don't want to open a new scroll for it - this one can be about things that don't make sense to people, or things that need an explanation or whatever.

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3545 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2015 :  12:53:13  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I stick to the 1e conventions where most people are commoners and the other npc classes. Only the truly exceptional individuals had the skills required to become one of the actual character classes.

So most of the priests are likely little more than adepts able to cast maybe one or two 1st level spells, perhaps not even that (cantrip is still impressive to a commoner).

These nondescript individuals are perfectly capable of forming the political ties necessary to become high up in secular or lay authority (not every king needs to be a 20th level fighter).

For the few npcs with character classes, you would be classed incredibly powerful if you reached level 9. Probably 1 in a million would be capable of advancing beyond that, and the chances of death in the process are quite high.

So ignoring the fact that casting a resurrect or raise dead spell is going to be quite expensive for a normal person (even a priest), i dont have many people on the planet capable of performing the spell.

But then i also use my own ruleset so levels arent really important anymore for npcs or monsters.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2015 :  13:13:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Caladan Brood

In a similar vein, but not trying to be negative, just wondering, how do you guys handle spells like Raise Dead, Resurrection et al? If every priest of a certain level has access to these spells, why don't the commoners stage a rebellion which forces these priests to aid those who can't afford it? Would priests perhaps keep secret such knowledge (if yes, how do priests of good alignments justify this?)
Does the fear of death/character loss occur in your REALMS games, or is the nearest Raise Dead scroll but a stone's throw away?
Genuinely curious about this (in preparation for the weekend game I made a thread about two weeks ago), don't want to open a new scroll for it - this one can be about things that don't make sense to people, or things that need an explanation or whatever.





Keep in mind that a priest powerful enough to cast a spell like raise dead is also going to have access to a nice number of spells for dealing with people trying to force him to do things against his will.

You could also play up the divine angle, as well... The priest casts the spell, but his deity decides whether or not to actually bring the person back.

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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1489 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2015 :  14:07:55  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I would also think that an invisible bridge would have some mechanism for making sure people don't fall off. Invisible barriers, or somesuch.

It have to be something more than a mirror-smooth band of quasi-solid magical force, or it would be absolutely unusable, except maybe for extreme skating.
There indeed are possibilities.
Being a force effect, it may compulsively maintain adhesion, for example. That is, you couldn't even run on it, because it won't let go of a foot until another appendage touches it (except at a terminus area, obviously).
Though "parapet" walls would make sense, too.
It raises a question about how to keep it clear, but it may let small items fall through, and passing thruogh water in any state is a known effect - thunderlance does it.
Oh, great. I now imagine a cheesed off outsider hobo who slipped into Silverymoon and tried to hide from rain under Moonbridge... only to discover that raindrops fall right through.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
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Rymac
Learned Scribe

USA
283 Posts

Posted - 02 May 2015 :  04:27:06  Show Profile  Visit Rymac's Homepage Send Rymac a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

It have to be something more than a mirror-smooth band of quasi-solid magical force, or it would be absolutely unusable, except maybe for extreme skating.
There indeed are possibilities.

Escalator effect?
quote:
It raises a question about how to keep it clear, but it may let small items fall through, and passing through water in any state is a known effect - thunderlance does it.

Bridges and roads are designed higher in the middle, drain to the curb on each side, and from the curbs drain into a sewer, ditch, or flood control system, through a grate or scupper. A scupper is simply a drain opening through which water exits from a flat-roof system, or other places where water would pool. Some bridge construction does have something like scuppers. I realize that is highly technical, but the Silverymoon Moonbridge is a civil construct of sorts, as well as a magical one. It's one way it could be designed so the rainwater does off to the two entrances of the bridge.

Or the water and other fifth that accumulates on the Moonbridge could teleport to that rather infamous level of Undermountain.

Edited by - Rymac on 02 May 2015 18:29:26
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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 02 May 2015 :  10:25:19  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have always viewed NPC clerics as the most encountered practitioners of the divine with an average of 1 for every 100 civilized people. The gods walk Faerun. Their chosen walk Faerun. Their miracles are seen all over. Devoting oneself to these very real divinities lends power beyond the realm of most peoples' imaginations. Why wouldn't there be throngs of people seeking to throw themselves body and soul into the service of that power? Consider the numbers of people who become priests in real life without any of the assurances that are provided by the Forgotten Realms of the irrefutable proof of existence of gods and the absolute horror of the afterlife for non-believers as opposed to the rewards for the pious believers. How religion did not become the be all and end all of existence for the beings within the Forgotten Realms is a mystery to me but such is the case with the FR.

As for the cost of services... I have always viewed that cost as what PCs have to pay only. Everyone else pays a percentage of what they make as that represents a sacrifice of the individual to the god with a commensurate power given as received. In that way the highest of the high is in no better standing before the altar than the lowest of the low because what are gold coins and scraps of paper before the power of an immortal god? Money by itself has no meaning and easily won wealth has little spiritual value. A few silver coins placed on the collection plate by a commoner struggling to get by have greater spiritual value than a similar number of silvers given by the noble landlord who acquired those coins and more for each rent without ever toiling to earn that keep. Peasant's would have no need to rise up against the clergy because the clergy would have been aiding them for far less compensation than what they would demand of their betters (nobles, merchants, PCs) and have likely used other forms of payment for their services (like quests, servitude, and/or services performed for the benedictions of various spells).

I don't like the 1e conventions for NPCs because the FR runs counter to them on every level. Just about everything has classes and levels to the point that a 1st level anything is rather rare to encounter in any being that has survived a few years passed the age of majority/maturity. Sean Reynolds has a good write-up for explaining how to apply levels to NPCs like peasants in a way that makes perfect sense and I use that as a basis for my NPCs.

The more people theorize and defend the Moonbridge the sillier the idea becomes to me. Its like that story I stumbled across about how dwarves had tried to breed outside their race but the misbegotten progeny of their attempts with everything created all the goofy little races (halflings, gnomes, goblins, kobolds) and they stopped because it was just too silly. Just let it go.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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Mapolq
Senior Scribe

Brazil
465 Posts

Posted - 02 May 2015 :  18:05:56  Show Profile Send Mapolq a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The bridge is there for a really long time. It's there because someone wanted it to be there, and because they could. I don't see any sense for the Silvaeren to tear it down and build a stone bridge in its place or something... it'd sound silly.

Never sleep under the jackfruit tree.

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Edited by - Mapolq on 02 May 2015 18:07:49
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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 02 May 2015 :  19:42:03  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mapolq

The bridge is there for a really long time. It's there because someone wanted it to be there, and because they could. I don't see any sense for the Silvaeren to tear it down and build a stone bridge in its place or something... it'd sound silly.


No, you got it the wrong way around. There was a stone bridge there for a really long time. Then that got torn down and replaced by the invisible, force-effect Moonbridge. I am positive that at least a few of those links I provided earlier have the history of that. Some 300 years after the stone bridge had replaced a wood & rope bridge did the stone bridge get replaced by the magic one (843 DR). This inferred information was derived from the following. Silverymoon became a walled city in 637 DR. "Some unnamed human tribe built a small wood-and-rope bridge over the shallows of the Rauvin, after having used the area as a river ford for years. The bridge was replaced decades later by a stone bridge built by humans and dwarves together and called Silverymoon Ford" and "Within a century of establishing a bridge at Silverymoon Ford, the Moonsilver Inn was built nearby by Gareth Ammakyl, and this was the first permanent building on Lurue’s holy lands. It took another six decades for much of a lasting village to form around the inn, and yet another century or more before Silverymoon became a city even marked on maps of the Savage North." That establishes the stone bridge some time in the 5th century.

So, just to recap, regular stone bridge came before the Moonbridge. And, oh yeah, "This famous span connects the New City with the rest of Silverymoon. It is composed entirely of magical energy akin to a wall of force, and is similarly indestructible. The bridge is almost completely invisible by day (Spot DC 25) but at night it shimmers with a silvery translucence under the light of the moon." The time of the New Moon must suck for drunks attempting to cross the bridge at night. That would be a leap of faith! A Spot check DC25 just to see the stupid thing during the day and... Stop... thinking... about it!

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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Mapolq
Senior Scribe

Brazil
465 Posts

Posted - 02 May 2015 :  21:23:38  Show Profile Send Mapolq a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I consider five hundred years to be a very long time. Point is, there's little necessity of a reason for something to be done other than someone powerful enough wanted it at some point in the past (unless you're talking from a design standpoint, and not in-world like I assumed, then the argument might be similar, but it's another whole can of worms).

It's not like we don't do many useless things with our spare economic capacity.

Never sleep under the jackfruit tree.

Tales of Moonsea - A Neverwinter Nights 2 Persistent World. Check out our website at http://www.talesofmoonsea.com and our video trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am304WqOAAo&feature=youtu.be, as well as our thread here at Candlekeep: http://www.forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12955

My campaign thread: http://www.forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16447

Edited by - Mapolq on 02 May 2015 21:27:30
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