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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
581 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2018 :  19:56:45  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So the 5E Durnan from Tales from the Yawning Portal, aside from the great art on the cover and page 7, seems like a real SOB who is "heartless," excepting that the world is cruel and folk must be self sufficient and independent. He said to be ageless and have returned from Undermountain following the Spellplague with enough riches to buy out his descendants (4E Halls of Undermountain) and take his inn back over.

This is fine except, the original Durnan, friend of Mirt, was described (City of Splendors and Expedition to Undermountain, among other sources) as NG and hating unfairness and injustice (not to mentioned married to a CG cleric of Tymora), which seems far from heartless.

This new Durnan seems much more CN, so is it possible its not him? Maybe he's a dopplegange, but if so, he's he working for?

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31520 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2018 :  20:58:35  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's possible that spending a century in Undermountain caused him to change...

But I do like your idea that Durnan 2.0 is an impostor.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2018 :  21:08:39  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think being a total imposter would be a hard thing to pull-off, given the way we have magical divination (and the ability to dispel magical disguises). Also, Mirt is alive, and I doubt he'd be able to fool him (isn't it a wonderful coincidence that all the Mary S... errr... author's 'pet characters' got to survive? It makes the setting just so believable). {dripping sarcasm}

I think it would be better to spin it as he has been 'possessed' - something is 'riding' him, and that's usually very hard to discern, even with magic. We have a couple of those in canon, but not enough to make it egregious. Hey, wasn't the Crown of Horns down there? Myrkul's back, so maybe something else is in the Crown? It doesn't have to be worn full-time (Laeral didn't wear it all the time). Of course, the CoH is a major artifact, so we might not want to use it in this manner. Just a simple possession by something - an 'angry ghost' of someone killed in Undermountain (it could even be the ghost of one of those skulls - a couple were destroyed).

EDIT:
Halaster's soul was 'shattered' at the end of 3e - what if he is being possessed by a Halaster-Shard? Halashards? Could be a thing...

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


Edited by - Markustay on 05 Jan 2018 21:11:23
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1112 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2018 :  21:48:35  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like Wooly's idea that he just changed from his experiences in Undermountain. Its realistic. You must change after a few years of isolation, its a psychological truth. Even more if you experience some trauma in those years (and I believe Undermountain is full of traumatic experiences just waiting to happen).

Now, we are talking of about a century of isolation and traumatic events...

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

(isn't it a wonderful coincidence that all the Mary S... errr... author's 'pet characters' got to survive? It makes the setting just so believable). {dripping sarcasm}


This is what makes the Spellplague and the time-skip pointless, IHMO. The point of those IRL was to get rid of mary sues, plot-device characters and metaplots, create a new blank state for the Realms (with the new changes they wanted for 4e, as well). Yet all the plot-device characters, and the mary sues as well, survived...

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 05 Jan 2018 21:54:54
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2983 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2018 :  21:58:59  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I think it would be better to spin it as he has been 'possessed' - something is 'riding' him, and that's usually very hard to discern, even with magic. We have a couple of those in canon, but not enough to make it egregious. Hey, wasn't the Crown of Horns down there? Myrkul's back, so maybe something else is in the Crown? It doesn't have to be worn full-time (Laeral didn't wear it all the time). Of course, the CoH is a major artifact, so we might not want to use it in this manner. Just a simple possession by something - an 'angry ghost' of someone killed in Undermountain (it could even be the ghost of one of those skulls - a couple were destroyed).




The CoH was made into a plague-monster when it fused with the Yuan Ti who was among the leaders of the Iron Ring.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2018 :  22:38:57  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, okay.

I did say I really didn't care for that idea anyway - I prefer it to be something less conspicuous (not that Halaster's soul is inconspicuous LOL).

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

I like Wooly's idea that he just changed from his experiences in Undermountain. Its realistic. You must change after a few years of isolation, its a psychological truth. Even more if you experience some trauma in those years (and I believe Undermountain is full of traumatic experiences just waiting to happen).

Now, we are talking of about a century of isolation and traumatic events...

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

(isn't it a wonderful coincidence that all the Mary S... errr... author's 'pet characters' got to survive? It makes the setting just so believable). {dripping sarcasm}


This is what makes the Spellplague and the time-skip pointless, IHMO. The point of those IRL was to get rid of mary sues, plot-device characters and metaplots, create a new blank state for the Realms (with the new changes they wanted for 4e, as well). Yet all the plot-device characters, and the mary sues as well, survived...

They told us they were building a new, better setting for us, and yet, they ONLY killed off OUR characters, not theirs. I guess they got annoyed anyone else was playing with THEIR setting (ya know... the one they had been selling TO US for years...) Single greatest TPK in human history. No wonder everyone went running to Paizo (they promised not to mass-exterminate our characters we worked so hard to make).

And I guess you can see how that rubbed nearly all the pre-4e gamers totally the wrong way. It caused an edition war. Say one thing, do the opposite...

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


Edited by - Markustay on 05 Jan 2018 22:43:28
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
581 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2018 :  23:15:56  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like your idea of some sort of Halastar shard a lot Mark. Very cool.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5282 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2018 :  23:59:55  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A doppleganger of the Unseen?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2024 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  08:15:11  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

So the 5E Durnan from Tales from the Yawning Portal, aside from the great art on the cover and page 7, seems like a real SOB who is "heartless," excepting that the world is cruel and folk must be self sufficient and independent. He said to be ageless and have returned from Undermountain following the Spellplague with enough riches to buy out his descendants (4E Halls of Undermountain) and take his inn back over.

This is fine except, the original Durnan, friend of Mirt, was described (City of Splendors and Expedition to Undermountain, among other sources) as NG and hating unfairness and injustice (not to mentioned married to a CG cleric of Tymora), which seems far from heartless.

This new Durnan seems much more CN, so is it possible its not him? Maybe he's a dopplegange, but if so, he's he working for?



Remember that in our very first introduction to Durnan he is seen indiscriminately beating the patrons of a bar to a pulp. While there is never any verification, given some of the things he does you could conclude that literally all of the patrons are killed rather than rendered unconscious. Sounds pretty heartless to me.

Also remember - AL G does NOT mean nice. Never did. Ever met a nice Paladin? Nope. AND he's been sending adventurer after adventurer to their almost certain deaths for a LONG time. Sounds pretty heartless to me :P
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
581 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  15:47:23  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I see your point Masked Mage and an argument could be made that the descriptions differentiate by nuance. It's also possible, as Wooly points out, that years in Undermountain while everyone he loves dies would change him into a crochety, less kind version of himself.

That said, while I don't necessarily want to open a huge debate on what alignment means, but Good generally means helping others (at least those who need it, see a compilation of alignment characteristics across past editions here: http://easydamus.com/neutralgood.html). Indifference and standing by are almost by definition Neutral characteristics (http://easydamus.com/trueneutral.html).

And that said, having another guy live a hundred years just cuz (at least without some interesting back story) to me is boring. I was originally thinking something along the lines of George with the Unseen. Certainly, controlling the owner of the Yawning Portal offers a treasure trove of information. But I think I like Mark's idea of some sort of shard of Halaster, changing him and giving him longer life in the process. It could also be linked to a faction like the Unseen as well. A somewhat warped Durnan might not be as loyal to Waterdeep and more loyal, if he's capable of it, to someone or something else.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31520 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  16:03:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

AND he's been sending adventurer after adventurer to their almost certain deaths for a LONG time. Sounds pretty heartless to me :P



Sending them to their almost certain deaths? So he's forcing people to come to him and pay for a ride down the Well? How heartless, letting people follow their own free will! It's truly horrible to let people take a chance on coming out wealthy, like he did!

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31520 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  16:07:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X


This is what makes the Spellplague and the time-skip pointless, IHMO. The point of those IRL was to get rid of mary sues, plot-device characters and metaplots, create a new blank state for the Realms (with the new changes they wanted for 4e, as well). Yet all the plot-device characters, and the mary sues as well, survived...



I, personally, don't think it had anything to do with all that. I think the entire point was giving their authors the option of not worrying about anything that came before...

I base this on one of the statements they made at the time: that there was nowhere in the Realms where stories hadn't been told. Not only was this patently false, it also presupposes that only one story could ever happen in any given location... And their argument is further negated by the fact that some of the very first 4E novels were a sextet of books all set in the same place.

Also, the fact that they left the timeskip mostly blank further backs up that the effort was purely to create a blank slate where the past didn't matter.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 06 Jan 2018 16:25:09
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2024 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  21:27:34  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

AND he's been sending adventurer after adventurer to their almost certain deaths for a LONG time. Sounds pretty heartless to me :P



Sending them to their almost certain deaths? So he's forcing people to come to him and pay for a ride down the Well? How heartless, letting people follow their own free will! It's truly horrible to let people take a chance on coming out wealthy, like he did!



When you think about it he is. You're an Aussie so I'll make a clumsy Aussie comparison :P. Think of it as sending stupid drunk teenagers croc wrestling. He's making money off of doomed people.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2024 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  21:31:08  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

And that said, having another guy live a hundred years just cuz (at least without some interesting back story) to me is boring. I was originally thinking something along the lines of George with the Unseen. Certainly, controlling the owner of the Yawning Portal offers a treasure trove of information. But I think I like Mark's idea of some sort of shard of Halaster, changing him and giving him longer life in the process. It could also be linked to a faction like the Unseen as well. A somewhat warped Durnan might not be as loyal to Waterdeep and more loyal, if he's capable of it, to someone or something else.



It not Just cuz. Its cuz he's Eds character and WOTC doesn't get to kill off all the characters Ed spent 40-50 years creating just because they want to fast-forward the realms.

Same goes for Mirt, and pretty much every other character who is still alive that he had to contrive some reason for.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31520 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  23:06:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

AND he's been sending adventurer after adventurer to their almost certain deaths for a LONG time. Sounds pretty heartless to me :P



Sending them to their almost certain deaths? So he's forcing people to come to him and pay for a ride down the Well? How heartless, letting people follow their own free will! It's truly horrible to let people take a chance on coming out wealthy, like he did!



When you think about it he is. You're an Aussie so I'll make a clumsy Aussie comparison :P. Think of it as sending stupid drunk teenagers croc wrestling. He's making money off of doomed people.



Aussie? I've never set foot in Australia. I'm in Florida.

And since people do make it out of Undermountain, I don't see that it's certain doom to go in there.

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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2024 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  00:12:33  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

AND he's been sending adventurer after adventurer to their almost certain deaths for a LONG time. Sounds pretty heartless to me :P



Sending them to their almost certain deaths? So he's forcing people to come to him and pay for a ride down the Well? How heartless, letting people follow their own free will! It's truly horrible to let people take a chance on coming out wealthy, like he did!



When you think about it he is. You're an Aussie so I'll make a clumsy Aussie comparison :P. Think of it as sending stupid drunk teenagers croc wrestling. He's making money off of doomed people.



Aussie? I've never set foot in Australia. I'm in Florida.

And since people do make it out of Undermountain, I don't see that it's certain doom to go in there.



Hmm - who's the aussie? Sage maybe... or Krash? Must have gotten you guys mixed up. For Florida, substitute gators for crocs - big gators, not those little ones my sister could wrestle :P

Edited by - The Masked Mage on 07 Jan 2018 00:13:19
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5282 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  00:52:33  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage
Hmm - who's the aussie? Sage maybe... or Krash? Must have gotten you guys mixed up. For Florida, substitute gators for crocs - big gators, not those little ones my sister could wrestle :P



Sage and I are both from Australia.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31520 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  00:59:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage
Hmm - who's the aussie? Sage maybe... or Krash? Must have gotten you guys mixed up. For Florida, substitute gators for crocs - big gators, not those little ones my sister could wrestle :P



Sage and I are both from Australia.

-- George Krashos



I am in Melbourne, but it's not the one most people think of when they hear the name.

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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
581 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  01:35:30  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So the 100 year jump was a horrendous mistake in my opinion. 4E overall (and I played it for about a year) killed D&D for me for a while (although not having time with two little kids didn't help). That said, there has to be some believability to the time jump. Saving a character just because it's one of Ed's is like saying "just cuz" to me. Ed created so many that would save way too many. Durnan is not Elminster or the Seven. He could have died just fine and stayed replaced by Durnan the 6th and I would have been fine.

Frankly, I don't care that much that they brought him back. I'd just like to put some meat on those bones.

But it's also time to make some new and interesting characters and not just keep using the same ones Ed created 50 years ago. There's magic so save some, but there's got to be enough creativity to write new and equally interesting characters.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  02:50:21  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can understand saving Elminster, and even bringing Khelben back (that could be the 'real' Khelben), but I don't understand bringing back Mirt. He's NOT IMPORTANT. I just don't understand the deal with him. I know he's Ed's favorite (even moreso then El), but there was no point in saving someone like that. Overweight old soldier who is now a money-lender (and sometime 'secret lord'). Now that other guy - Elaith Craulnober - now THAT GUY is definitely worth saving... AND PLAUSIBLE.

We all have our favorites, I suppose. Personally, I would have loved to save Alusair - her story was so incomplete. Sad, really.

Thank you for your appreciation of my 'Halashards' idea.


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


Edited by - Markustay on 07 Jan 2018 02:50:59
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2024 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  04:44:45  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage
Hmm - who's the aussie? Sage maybe... or Krash? Must have gotten you guys mixed up. For Florida, substitute gators for crocs - big gators, not those little ones my sister could wrestle :P



Sage and I are both from Australia.

-- George Krashos



I am in Melbourne, but it's not the one most people think of when they hear the name.



AH - that is definitely why. My brain must have filed you into Australia because I read somewhere you mention Melbourne.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  04:52:32  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I can understand saving Elminster, and even bringing Khelben back (that could be the 'real' Khelben), but I don't understand bringing back Mirt. He's NOT IMPORTANT. I just don't understand the deal with him. I know he's Ed's favorite (even moreso then El), but there was no point in saving someone like that. Overweight old soldier who is now a money-lender (and sometime 'secret lord'). Now that other guy - Elaith Craulnober - now THAT GUY is definitely worth saving... AND PLAUSIBLE.

We all have our favorites, I suppose. Personally, I would have loved to save Alusair - her story was so incomplete. Sad, really.

Thank you for your appreciation of my 'Halashards' idea.




Yeah, that's what I'm saying - only backwards. Ed has his characters that no one else gets to use because they are his. I'd say leaving him that little slice of his realms unmolested by the mighty awfulness of the various Edition changes is small enough price to pay for the Realms :) I only wish this would extend further - make hundreds of blue-fire item people come back and give us back all the amazing characters from pre-4E.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  07:28:21  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, any Doctor Who fans here? There must be. Did you see the episode with the library (Silence in the Library) - very important episode; we have the Vashta Nerada, and more importantly, it introduces us to River Song (and only in DW you can meet a series-prominent character in the same episode she dies).

But the point I want to make here is what happened to the people in the library (and if you haven't seen the episode, TOO BAD - too late for me to care about spoilers years later!!!) One of my favorite lines of the show: "Donna Noble Has Been Saved". they were stored. Why couldn't we have something like that - when the 'Blue Wave of death' passes over people and places, how about instead of just dying or going to Abeir, they are 'stored' in some sort of interdimensional limbo - erased from the real world (The Prime material), but their 'essence' and all the information about their physicality gets stored in some sort of 'cosmic data dump' (The Cloudlands? LOL!) We know mortal memories are saved like this - the Astral plane becomes a huge 'filing cabinet' for all those memories (which is why souls don't remember their lives - the 'intellect' goes somewhere else). Or like how the transporter in ST can store people and stuff.

And then when Ao does the Sunder-reset, people simply reappear from a hundred years in the past. Those folks didn't die, they got scooped-up by the disintegrating Weave and became part of the raw magical fabric around Toril. Its may be hokey, but no more hokey than anything canon we've seen.

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

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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1112 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  08:27:28  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's is possible, but it means that someone stored them. In Doctor Who was the child (who stored them at the risk of killing herself, because her databanks didn't had that many memory space). In the Realms, who? And what is the idiosyncrasy of this 'storer'? Why he or she does that? And what kind of people it stores? Evil? Good?

Because, yeah, you want to save a few characters from the novels (instead of making new, more interesting ones, as Tom suggested, and that is a very good idea... but, I'm biased here; I don't like characters from the novels in my Realms), and perhaps our 'storer' saved them just because they are important or something... but I don't see the 'storer' care for everyone. The unimportant peasants even less.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 07 Jan 2018 08:31:22
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Balmar Foghaven
Learned Scribe

Canada
97 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  11:09:19  Show Profile Send Balmar Foghaven a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I mean, for the more prominent and high-level fan favorite NPCS (who I would assume had lots of cash from their adventures) could have their next of kin pay for True Resurrections which IIRC can affect someone who died up to 200 years ago.
The ability and affordability of resurrections notwithstanding, I do recall a possibility for a 'memory storage' system similar to that which Markustay described. For those of you who played "Mask of the Betrayer" for Neverwinter Nights 2, you might recall the Slumbering Coven - a coven of hags who traded dreams as currency for information. They wove the dreams into some sort of tapestry sustained by their willpower, and were shown to be able to recreate physical embodiments of entities from the past using the dreamscape.
Anyway, the point of this reference is that one could argue that if the memories of an individual are stored in a dreamscape-like phenomenon, I'm quite positive that a "mind clone" or transference of consciousness could take place to restore said individual to a new body (or perhaps its old one, creating some wonderful undead shenanigans :P).

"Despair not, for in the end all things shall work out for the best - in at least one timeline."
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7439 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  13:09:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I can understand saving Elminster, and even bringing Khelben back (that could be the 'real' Khelben), but I don't understand bringing back Mirt. He's NOT IMPORTANT. I just don't understand the deal with him. I know he's Ed's favorite (even moreso then El), but there was no point in saving someone like that. Overweight old soldier who is now a money-lender (and sometime 'secret lord'). Now that other guy - Elaith Craulnober - now THAT GUY is definitely worth saving... AND PLAUSIBLE.

We all have our favorites, I suppose. Personally, I would have loved to save Alusair - her story was so incomplete. Sad, really.

Thank you for your appreciation of my 'Halashards' idea.





They kinda did save Alusair... she wanders around the castle as a ghost.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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