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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1904 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2004 :  21:43:00  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey all,

I'm here. :-)

I think all the questions that were directed at me were answered, but feel free to fire away.

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1904 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2004 :  21:59:50  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OK,

On further reflection, I can probably say SOMETHING about the High Forest.

1) I wrote a bunch of stuff about the northern High Forest in the Mintiper's Chapbook articles. Here's the link for those who haven't seen them already: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article.asp?x=dnd/mc/mc20020130a

2) The Legacy of the Green Regent campaign from the RPGA has some interesting information on the Loudwater area, including the southern High Forest here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=gr/welcome

3) You'll find a small amount of information about the High Forest in the upcoming "Serpent Kingdoms", but it could be expanded into something much larger.

--Eric


--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Shadowlord
Master of Realmslore

USA
1298 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2004 :  00:29:17  Show Profile  Visit Shadowlord's Homepage Send Shadowlord a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, welcome Mr. Boyd (or Eric, as I have found many of the notable Realmsian people here at Candlekeep like to be referred to by their first name)!

Would you happen to know anything about the Western Heartlands, the Forest of Wyrms and the Graycloak Hills in particular? I'm thinking of DMing a campaign in that area.

-Shadowlord

The Chosen of Vhaeraun
"Nature is governed by certain immutable rules. By virtue of claw and fang, the lion will always triumph over the goat.Given time, the pounding of the sea will wear away the stone. And when dark elves mingle with the lighter races, the offspring invariably take after the dark parent. It is all much the same. That which is greater shall prevail. Our numbers increase steadily, both through birth and conquest. The dark elves are the dominant race, so ordained by the gods." Ka'Narlist of the Ilythiiri.
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1904 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2004 :  01:10:45  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Name: Eric is fine.

Greycloak Hills: Latest update is events from "Return of the Archwizards" trilogy (summarized in the Player's Guide to Faerun).

Forest of Wyrms: "Serpent Kingdoms" will touch on this forest.

Western Heartlands: This is a pretty broad area. Did you have anything in mind in specific? "Serpent Kingdoms" will touch on the history of this area (the areas surrounding the Serpent Hills), as did Races of Faerun (history of the Tethyrians).

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Shadowlord
Master of Realmslore

USA
1298 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2004 :  01:40:51  Show Profile  Visit Shadowlord's Homepage Send Shadowlord a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Alright, Eric it is.

Hmm, I think the Serpent Kingdoms book you keep bringing up may cover the questions I want answered. Any idea when it is released?

The Chosen of Vhaeraun
"Nature is governed by certain immutable rules. By virtue of claw and fang, the lion will always triumph over the goat.Given time, the pounding of the sea will wear away the stone. And when dark elves mingle with the lighter races, the offspring invariably take after the dark parent. It is all much the same. That which is greater shall prevail. Our numbers increase steadily, both through birth and conquest. The dark elves are the dominant race, so ordained by the gods." Ka'Narlist of the Ilythiiri.
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Sarta
Senior Scribe

USA
505 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2004 :  02:26:05  Show Profile Send Sarta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

1) I wrote a bunch of stuff about the northern High Forest in the Mintiper's Chapbook articles. Here's the link for those who haven't seen them already: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article.asp?x=dnd/mc/mc20020130a


Your stuff for the chapbook was gold! Thanks a ton for that. I've done quite a bit of revision of my future plans for the campaign I'm writing thanks to it -- I believe it will all be for the better!

Sarta
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2004 :  06:34:08  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Shadowlord
Hmm, I think the Serpent Kingdoms book you keep bringing up may cover the questions I want answered. Any idea when it is released?



July.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35571 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2004 :  07:20:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I should love to see what Sage Schend has to say about the Manshoon clones... Sure, there's officially only three "Manshoons" still around, but since there were ways around the compulsion to kill each other, I'm sure there's some former Manshoons out there. I should love to know some of the ideas Sage Schend had...



Well, there's the ideas from that other link posted (thanks, Sarta).

Other ideas were never solidly set. We'd hoped to set Manshoon up as a lurking menace of opportunity and a major wandering threat. Before the M-Wars, he was always up in Zhentil Keep or the Citadel of the Raven plotting away. After the dust-up, he's forced to stay constantly on the run, on his guard, and using up all his carefully hidden away contingency plans in hopes of staying alive another day.

In effect, we turned him from being a wizardly despot and leader into a terrorist isolated and estranged from the terrorist group(s) he founded.

As always, you can do what you will of it, but officially, having the 3 Amigos where they're at works okay. If you need more, I noted other options previously (undead forms, ghosts, possession/mind swapping, etc.)

Remember that he's only a ravening madman out to blindly kill when he's within range of another Manshoon clone, so as long as they stay discrete distance away (and outside of the official eyes), there could be more still (if you so choose):

up in the Tears of Selune/on the Rock of Bral;

perhaps hiding among the settlers of the Borderlands in Maztica;

maybe he's trading magics with the mysterious spellcasters of Kozakura or Shou Lung;

calling in favors with genies could have taken a Manshoon away to the south and al-Qadim;

get the idea?

Have fun, and remember that ALL the disenfranchised Manshoons, while they may want other things, would definitely do anything (aside from revealing themselves gratuitiously and opening themselves to risk) to foul up any plans of Fzoul.....

Steven



Well, the reason I asked is because I've been fiddling with the idea of a Manshoon clone as an NPC. I will prolly use the swapped mind option, but I'm not sure. I've simply not come up with a concept I like, yet...

I like your ideas for how to get a Manshoon clone clear of the compulsion. Another one I had was for one to make a home for himself on a seafloor -- though I don't recall his name, I know there's a lich in the Sea of Fallen Stars who simply transplanted his entire tower into the water...

Anyway, have you, personally developed any Manshoons that were somehow sticking around in the Heartlands? I ask because I'm still looking for ideas!

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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fourthmensch
Acolyte

USA
32 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2004 :  11:14:28  Show Profile  Visit fourthmensch's Homepage Send fourthmensch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, everyone, for the input on the Manshoon clones! (especially Steve--I didn't mean to step on toes by addressing the question to George, I just thought it was a good segue into the topic. Actually I have no idea who spawned the "Manshoon Wars" idea, and who subsequently developed it, etc. I just loved the idea, and like I said, I've been kicking around this idea for a few years now :)).

I was really trying to figure out how to have Manshoon, as evil and cool as ever, in the middle of the Simbul's palace without seeming ridiculous. I toyed with the "helm of opposite alignment" idea a bit, but it seemed too lame; I want him to be a bad guy. So your ideas made a lot of sense. If a desperate Manshoon approached the Simbul, offered some of his unique magics, and perhaps intimated that he might go to one of the Zulkirs if she refused... then I can see how an uneasy peace might have been forged. Oh, such wonderful intrigue! I can't wait to blow my player's minds with that one.

And, if I may get sentimental for a moment... Thank you for all of the work you have done. Every word has breathed a bit more life into the Realms.

(PS Wooly, if you're interested in kicking around some ideas on the other thread, I'm game.)

I want you to go home and ponder the meaning of the word subversive.

Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6303 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2004 :  11:52:28  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always envisaged the Manshoon clones to be a huge, under the surface plot thread to be incorporated for years into the future as DMs and Game Designers wished. In other words, any personage of note in the Realms in future products could be a Manshoon clone in disguise. So when "King Deryth of the Dalelands" emerged in 1382 DR to unify the Dales for the first time since Anecar the Mantled King, we could reveal that it was a Manshoon clone the whole time!:)

My personal favourite Manshoon clone idea was one that stayed close to home - specifically Thar. A Manshoon clone that took the shape of an ogre mage and united the beastmen (ogres) of Thar into a ravening horde that devastated the cities of the Moonsea, thus giving Manshoon his revenge and affording him the opportunity to regain his power in the aftermath.

I liked the many Manshoons idea for the vistas of opportunity it provided to DMs and designers. It was nipped in the bud somewhat by FRCS, but it still can be run as a major campaign plot thread IMHO.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1659 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2004 :  06:46:35  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
I like your ideas for how to get a Manshoon clone clear of the compulsion. Another one I had was for one to make a home for himself on a seafloor -- though I don't recall his name, I know there's a lich in the Sea of Fallen Stars who simply transplanted his entire tower into the water...


Even worse...what if he goes to take up residence in Myth Nantar? Or perhaps even shapechanging himself into a koalinth or merrow and taking over a tribe with his magics?

And I think the lich & tower is Vamar's Tower, just east of the coast off of Starmantle.

quote:
Anyway, have you, personally developed any Manshoons that were somehow sticking around in the Heartlands? I ask because I'm still looking for ideas!


Okay, I had a truly scary/ugly idea to this....

What if Manshoon could alter his clones/himselves to be alternate races to escape the killing compunctions? Imagine Manshoon trapped in the body of a halfling or a dwarven woman! Heck, why not a Manshoon yuan-ti?

Steven
Who's chuckling evilly now and wringing his hands ala Snidely Whiplash

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Bruce Donohue
Learned Scribe

Canada
131 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2004 :  07:12:09  Show Profile Send Bruce Donohue a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yikes Steven your brain is indeed on overdrive, nice to see, but scary at the same time.

Isn't one undead Manshoon enough? We already have Manshoon the Vampire Lord named the Faceless of the Night Masks.
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1659 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2004 :  18:13:28  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Donohue

Yikes Steven your brain is indeed on overdrive, nice to see, but scary at the same time.

Isn't one undead Manshoon enough? We already have Manshoon the Vampire Lord named the Faceless of the Night Masks.



If one Manshoon of any kind were ever enough, we wouldn't be having this discussion now, would we?

Steven
Who has the odd image now of Manshoon with massive forearms, muttering about "me spinach" as a jaunty sailor's tune pipes in the background (thanks to thoughts of Manshoon near the SOFS)

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Prince Forge of Avalon
Learned Scribe

USA
117 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2004 :  20:18:33  Show Profile  Visit Prince Forge of Avalon's Homepage Send Prince Forge of Avalon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steven & George, thanks for the ideas and reviews, sorry I was offline for so long and did not get back to you sooner.

Eric, great to see you here, I have to tell you I LOVED THOSE CHAPBOOKS! They were great, I do have a question though, has the Grandfather Tree ever been stated anywhere, and what would you make it out to be if you did?



Here's to you Uncle Steve, Long live WVU!!!!!!!

PFoA
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Prince Forge of Avalon
Learned Scribe

USA
117 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2004 :  05:27:38  Show Profile  Visit Prince Forge of Avalon's Homepage Send Prince Forge of Avalon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dear Designers,
I have a more unusaul question and would like your advise on it: One of my long time players recently submitted to me an in game magical research proposal, I believe the theory to be sound he reasoned that there could be some magical process akin to the undead template except in reverse, a connection to the postive material plane. He's called his template the Eternal template and is doing in game research to perfect this process.

I was wondering if you might have any suggestions in regards to this idea, any input would be appreciated. Thank you as always for your time and assistance!

PFoA
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1659 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2004 :  19:21:23  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Prince Forge of Avalon

Dear Designers,
I have a more unusaul question and would like your advise on it: One of my long time players recently submitted to me an in game magical research proposal, I believe the theory to be sound he reasoned that there could be some magical process akin to the undead template except in reverse, a connection to the postive material plane. He's called his template the Eternal template and is doing in game research to perfect this process.

I was wondering if you might have any suggestions in regards to this idea, any input would be appreciated. Thank you as always for your time and assistance!

PFoA




Off the top of my head....comes some dandruff.

Moving along....

Like the idea of positive energy research, but I can see a number of hurdles...

Churches or at least clerics and priests specifically might try to impede the research as it infringes on their healing. For that matter, tinkering with positive energy could disrupt local healings or (if uncontrolled) could cause huge surges of growth in local fauna and flora, which in turn elates or pisses off the druids and/or sylvans of the area.

While it's a sound idea for research, the spill-over and the potential problems can easily steam roll. After all, the guy's fiddling with the energy of life itself. What if he inadvertantly makes Bob (who happens to be be herding sheep nearby) immortal? What's Bob to do? What if people in the village around him can't die due to some unforeseen energy surges (and thus prolonging some horrible living conditions without the release of death)?

For that matter, there's always the loophole that immortality does not always equate with eternal youth....

Last but not least, if he's using Mystra's magics to investigate all this and he starts stepping on other gods' toes, they'll be using their clergy (or Mystra will use her Chosen) to shut this guy down for the sake of the Balance and peace on the Realms and the planes.

All said, it'd really make things interesting in both short and long term adventure possibilities for your campaign....Good luck!

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Prince Forge of Avalon
Learned Scribe

USA
117 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2004 :  00:51:31  Show Profile  Visit Prince Forge of Avalon's Homepage Send Prince Forge of Avalon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks alot Steven.

Let me explain a few things though, #1 hes a good guy/hero of the North, with the backing of the goodly churches, hes planning on asking another player in the group, a cleric of Selune to help and get the higher up's to assist in his plan, the template is basically designed to offset the undead template, kind of like a ying and yang thing. I've always been in agrement with the whole "equal and oppisite reaction, opposing forces thing.

I have to admit I like his idea, I never said I'd make it easy for him.

PFoA
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1904 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2004 :  17:29:52  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Regarding stat'ting the Grandfather Tree:

I'd suggest something like an advanced elder treant (see Epic Level Handbook) with sorceror and/or druid levels.

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4607 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2004 :  02:22:51  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A couple questions foe Eric

1) Are you able to talk about Serpent Kingdoms?

2)Last year when you did the Races of Faerun interview you mentioned you where writing a Module for a Dungeon magazine, did that ever get published? (We poor FR fans seem to be suffering another Dungeon drought)


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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Erin Tettensor
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
89 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2004 :  12:40:00  Show Profile  Visit Erin Tettensor's Homepage Send Erin Tettensor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a question for any of the designers, and it's something that's been bugging me for some time.

I'm not familiar with all of WoTC's shared worlds by any means, but I am quite familiar with a few. And what I want to know is, do all D&D settings have to contain the staples? Can there be a world without elves, dwarves, and gnomes -- so long as it substitutes other cool races as well? Is there any market for a blend of Norse and Asian traditions with some truly excellent prestige classes?

On a totally unrelated thread, how does one pitch a new brand new world to WoTC?

(What? Are those two question related? No. Certainly not. What makes you think that?)
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1659 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2004 :  14:57:23  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zyx

I have a question for any of the designers, and it's something that's been bugging me for some time.

I'm not familiar with all of WoTC's shared worlds by any means, but I am quite familiar with a few. And what I want to know is, do all D&D settings have to contain the staples? Can there be a world without elves, dwarves, and gnomes -- so long as it substitutes other cool races as well? Is there any market for a blend of Norse and Asian traditions with some truly excellent prestige classes?

On a totally unrelated thread, how does one pitch a new brand new world to WoTC?

(What? Are those two question related? No. Certainly not. What makes you think that?)



Yes, all D&D worlds have to contain the staples and rarely preclude elves and dwarves and gnomes and the like for one reason--People don't buy them without them.

Any time TSR strayed from standard Western European tropes of fantasy (i.e. castles, knights, dragons,and the usual Tolkien-esque fantasy elements), sales dropped by a marked amount. TSR allowed the production of Oriental Adventures and a few other strays off the path (Dark Sun, Planescape, etc.), but that was due more to believing in the designers who had passion for the work, not an expectation of sales numbers they liked.

A world with a mix of Norse & Oriental sounds interesting, but in the 14 years I've been involved in the industry, TSR/WotC has allowed new world building from outside its own design staff exactly once and that's the EBERRON world due this summer. YOu'd have a better chance of pitching it at other D20 companies, as there's no chance anyone at WotC could even legally look at your world. Sorry about that but it's the truth as I see it.

Steven Schend

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2004 :  15:25:38  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zyx
On a totally unrelated thread, how does one pitch a new brand new world to WoTC?


I'm not a designer, but I play one on T.V.....

I'd be very surprised to see WOTC currently open to new worlds with the recent contest and now push to get consumers interested in Eberron.

However, many D20 companies have published new worlds in recent months and I can see others in the future possibly doing the same. Thus, it might be more feasible to go that route as Mr. Schend suggests.

Good luck regardless if you do pitch a world to anyone.

Edited by - SiriusBlack on 14 Apr 2004 15:26:54
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Erin Tettensor
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
89 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2004 :  16:09:46  Show Profile  Visit Erin Tettensor's Homepage Send Erin Tettensor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the immortal words of Winnie the Pooh: "Bother."

In truth, I expected that answer. It's weird, though. How many permutations and combinations of castles and dragons and enchanted blades can people really want? I mean, what's the difference between these supposedly different worlds, really?

Pitching the idea elsewhere is interesting. But actually the whole notion is, at the moment at least, pretty much a whim. The world in question comes from a novel I have written and will soon be shopping around. It just occurred to me recently that the races and "character classes" in the story are quite unique, and would be a lot of fun to play in a D&D setting. And from there the dreams of honour and glory just started going crazy... ;)
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2004 :  16:31:17  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zyx
In truth, I expected that answer. It's weird, though. How many permutations and combinations of castles and dragons and enchanted blades can people really want? I mean, what's the difference between these supposedly different worlds, really?



Well if I recall right, wasn't that one of the goals of the setting contest search? To find something different. Thus, I look forward to seeing what Eberron offers that distinguishes it from previous fantasy worlds.
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Erin Tettensor
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
89 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2004 :  21:17:21  Show Profile  Visit Erin Tettensor's Homepage Send Erin Tettensor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All right, I confess: I know absolutely nothing about Eberron. I heard nothing about the contest, and know nothing about its results. I wouldn't have even known about the Maiden of Pain open call if I hadn't happened to send a writing sample at precisely the right time. This week has seen my first reading of, and posting on, a D&D message board.

So call me a newbie.

If what you say is true, though, then maybe we can look forward to something truly original this summer. Now there's a novel gig I'd really love to be in on!
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