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Matrix Sorcica
Learned Scribe

Denmark
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Posted - 16 Feb 2018 :  18:53:54  Show Profile Send Matrix Sorcica a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Looking at LordofBone's version of Larloch, I'm wondering... My campaign takes place in a setting that's mostly the Sword Coast (really a mix of various settings, but for the purpose of this thread, more or less the Realms) in the years just before the return of Shade. So a lot of focus on Nethereese ruins and stuff, and a major event will be the return itself, all witnessed by the party.

All well and good, but after this campaign I'd like to run Rise of the Runelords in the Realms and Sword Coast vicinity and it occurred to me..... Those runelords seem pretty tame compared to both Shade and in particular to Larloch as he has been presented both in 3.x and now PF. Not to mention the myriad of other powerful spellcasters and groupings of spellcasters.

So, how to make the return of one runelord look like something worth the attention of a campaign?

Also, how do I make the return of a runelord not feel like a repetition of the return of Shade?

Thanks.

sfdragon
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Posted - 16 Feb 2018 :  22:50:49  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
ummm in other words not cliché,

okay depending on what runelord from PF you are using or if you are creating your own. the city of shade came back and made themselves known in the wide world so to speak.

have a runelord come back and be very subtle about his evil plans of domination and he or she does not get detected until midway of his or her plans. so by the time that the heroes find out...

also on the sword coast the only netherese outposts/ ruins iirc are illusk( luskans sewers and ruins) port last( I think) and old owl

well, and the original host tower of the arcane( which hardly matters).

other ruins of note would be any tombs, abandoned elven ruins of ancient aaryvandaar ( a name I cant spell) as well as homes and former homes of liches

again I would have said evil of not little ancient power, cause a menace very subtly


edit: there is that tomb in the silver marches that is trapped with undetectable traps and what not.

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
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Edited by - sfdragon on 16 Feb 2018 22:52:47
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LordofBones
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  04:12:33  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Your choices would be to either increase the Runelords' HD (they haven't been statted out, but they're all probably mythic archmages), or to move their empire elsewhere. Maybe refluff the Imaskari?

While the Runelords are pretty tame by Larloch's standards, chances are that he wouldn't actually care about them. He'll probably look out the window, shrug and get back to sipping his undead-only coffee.
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Markustay
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  04:52:19  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Are you planning to run Rise of the Runelords?

Would it be possible to run that first, and then say that something Karzoug does sets-off a chain reaction to bring Shade back? In other words, have one be the cause of the other. After Karzoug lies (extra) dead, your PC's look up into the sky and see Shade appear (probably something the Runelord was playing with {for its power} turned out to be a trigger to return Shade instead). Like maybe the Karse stone itself. It can't be too hard to insert it into the AP.

If you run them the other way around, it will seem very anticlimactic.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 17 Feb 2018 04:53:14
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sleyvas
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  14:10:08  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just to note up front... I've never read rise of the runelords... I have it.. just haven't had time. But, if anywhere screams "runelords" just as a term in my head and "return of them".... its down in Zakhara with the ruined kingdoms and the geomancers. They were focused on glyph/rune magics. It absolutely may not fit aesthetically to what the module has, but I was just throwing it there for you.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Matrix Sorcica
Learned Scribe

Denmark
77 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  16:47:16  Show Profile Send Matrix Sorcica a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Your choices would be to either increase the Runelords' HD (they haven't been statted out, but they're all probably mythic archmages), or to move their empire elsewhere. Maybe refluff the Imaskari?


Well, Karzoug has. Even if I increase their levels, I still think Larloch (and others) will seem much worse still, plus it risks still becoming an old hat.
Been thinking about moving the empire and use Imaskari (except I know nothing about them, guess it won't matter if I totally refluff them), but I'm really keen on having RotR happen next to the Sword Coast (for campaign and setting reasons).
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Matrix Sorcica
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Denmark
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  17:08:42  Show Profile Send Matrix Sorcica a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Are you planning to run Rise of the Runelords?

Yes. (and thought about including Curse of the Lady's Light from Shattered Star, letting the party gather the Sihedron during RotR and end with the rise of Xin in Dead Heart of Xin after the party defeats Karzoug. Still undecided, though the Sihedron seems rather perfect in conjunction with the Karse stone).
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
Would it be possible to run that first, and then say that something Karzoug does sets-off a chain reaction to bring Shade back? In other words, have one be the cause of the other. After Karzoug lies (extra) dead, your PC's look up into the sky and see Shade appear (probably something the Runelord was playing with {for its power} turned out to be a trigger to return Shade instead). Like maybe the Karse stone itself. It can't be too hard to insert it into the AP.

That is an extremely excellent idea - thanks!

Ever since reading about Xinlenal in the Neverwinter Campaign Setting, I've been spending way to many hours trying to connect Shade and the Runelords. Actually having events with Runelords trigger the return of shade makes a lot of things click.
Maybe the high magic of Netheril is founded in rune/sin magic? I mean, who knows what's really in the Nether Scrolls - and the elves did try to steer them in another direction. Ioulaum may have gotten his knowledge from ancient runelord scrolls and ruins. And that name - Xinlenal - is just too obvious not to use

I will give this further thought, but think it is definitely the way to go. Input and thoughts will be very welcome

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
If you run them the other way around, it will seem very anticlimactic.


Much agreed, that's the concern.
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LordofBones
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  17:09:59  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd suggest ignoring Shade or refluffing your campaign so that the Return of the Shade Enclave never happened, if you want to keep a bit of freshness.
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Matrix Sorcica
Learned Scribe

Denmark
77 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  17:17:31  Show Profile Send Matrix Sorcica a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

I'd suggest ignoring Shade or refluffing your campaign so that the Return of the Shade Enclave never happened, if you want to keep a bit of freshness.


I agree just ignoring the return of Shade would be easiest. But I want it to return plus Netheese Ruins and stuff feature heavily in my campaign already. That's one of the problems actually, one evil magic empire disappeared 10.000 years ago, leaving mysterious ruins, another disappeared almost two thousand years ago and left mysterious ruins. Now they're both set to return....

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  18:19:58  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just to note up front... I've never read rise of the runelords... I have it.. just haven't had time. But, if anywhere screams "runelords" just as a term in my head and "return of them".... its down in Zakhara with the ruined kingdoms and the geomancers. They were focused on glyph/rune magics. It absolutely may not fit aesthetically to what the module has, but I was just throwing it there for you.
Except the Runelords were an empire of High-Magic Cyclops.

'Rune Magic' as in giants, not Norse or Dwarves.

Thematically, it could have been a 'survivor state' on ancient Ostoria. In fact, their was one such realm where the Sea of Fallen Stars is now (there are still cyclopskin on some of the islands). One far-flung outpost may have been in the vicinity of southern Netheril, like around the northern Sunset Mountains, Greycloak Hills (which do contain mountains, but then you have to deal with Evereska¹), or even the southern Greypeak mountains (which are probably the easiest access to the Sword Coast game you have going on, buuuut... thematically doesn't fit that it was once part of the Inner Sea Cyclops realm because of the distance - which is fudgable²). However, having it in or near the Greycloak Hills puts you right in the area where the the whole Return of the Archwizards (Shade) storyline began.

In fact, in the first book, before Shade returned, there was a major encounter at some Stone Giant Caves (The Saga Caves). The Stone Giants were being massacred by the forces of the Phaerimm (but not the Phaerimm themselves, IIRC). This would be the perfect spot to tie the upcoming adventures (for your party) to the Rise of the Runelords. See item ¹ below - this would be where a major NPC would show up and thank them. The Ruins of Dekanter are also right near there, which could provide further tie-in between the nearby mountains and Netheril (in other words, whatever the Cyclopsi were doing in the area, the Netherese were also later interested in - probably Chardalyn).


¹Although Evereska presents a bit of a problem if there is a 'Big bad' in the area they aren't responded this to, you can 'use the problem to fix the problem' in this case. The event that transpired in the 1st RotAW novel has already happened - the Phaerimms are becoming a problem. By having the Rise of the Runelords coincide with all of that, you have an excellent canon reason why both Evereska, and the other 'forces of Good', are not paying attention to what is going on with Karzoug. In fact, they would consider him a minor threat compared with a full-blown incursion of Phaerimm. So you should probably throw at least one Phaerimm (or Phaerimm minions if your PCs aren't high enough) at them during the RotRL AP (maybe even have Laeral or some-such show up for a cameo and thank them for their add - a perfect lead-in for the next thing you plan to run - book 2 of the RotAW series is when the Karstone gets involved and Shade comes back).

²Its possible to say that when the "Great Ones of the Inner Sea" (as the elves refer to them in their ancient histories) were destroyed (by a massive Tearfall which created the SoFS), the Runelords - archmages of the realm - were able to save themselves and fled to the region around the SW corner of Anauroch (where they may have had an enclave/outpost for 'research'). From there, they rebuilt what they could.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 17 Feb 2018 21:05:25
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Matrix Sorcica
Learned Scribe

Denmark
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  20:23:01  Show Profile Send Matrix Sorcica a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay


Thematically, it could have been a 'survivor state' on ancient Ostoria. In fact, their was one such realm where the Sea of Fallen Stars is now (there are still cyclopskin on some of the islands). On far-flung outpost may have been in the vicinity of southern Netheril, like around the northern Sunset Mountains, Greycloak Hills (which do contain mountains, but then you have to deal with Evereska¹), or even the southern Greypeak mountains (which are probably the easiest access to the Sword Coast game you have going on, buuuut... thematically doesn't fit that it was nice part of the Inner Sea Cyclops realm because of the distance - which is fudgable²). However, having it in or near the Greycloak Hills puts you right in the area where the the whole Return of the Archwizards (Shade) storyline began.


I have trouble following this. My realms lore is not so strong. Do you mean what Netheril could have originated?

I'm not much for FR novels, but would you recommend I read the Return of the Archwizards trilogy?

And thanks for all your advice.

Edit: reading this again. You're saying where the Runelords came from and how they're connected to Netheril, right?

Edited by - Matrix Sorcica on 17 Feb 2018 21:24:12
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Markustay
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  21:23:27  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It could help, but you don't need to. In the novels, after the initial 'break-out' of the Phaerimm, the main characters had to journey to The High Forest to find the Karsestone (although most of them didn't know their destination while going there). Various adventures happen - including a big battle over some giant caves (a repository for giant histories being kept by a clan of Stone Giants called Thousand Faces). Many of the Stone Giants were killed (it may have been all), but the characters were able to at least save most of the artwork (which contained the histories - they were in frescoes on the walls).

If you have the Rise of the Runelords AP run concurrent with the first book (BEFORE Shade made an appearance), you could say the characters got to those caves and managed to save some of the giants, or some-such, as part of the RotR (I am sure you can work it in - that particular AP even says to insert side-adventures into it, rather than run it contiguous). If any of your players ever read the novels, rather than go against the canon, they'd be like, "we were there! We got there ahead of them!" It would be kinda awesome.

But no-one needs to read the novels. Now - and I am about to say some major spoilers here so BE WARNED - at the end of that book the main Wizard (one from Shade, which is still in the Shadowfell) manages to get the Karstone, which he is after, but then he is killed before he completes the ritual. In the books, an elf completes it, and Shade shifts in Realmspace (dun-dun-DUHHHH!) So what if the person who killed the wizard was Karzoug? 'Rune Magic' is just different enough from Arcane and Shadow magic for you to say he was able to bypass the dude's defenses (even if he was a Netherese archmage - just say he was taken unawares, while his concentration was on the Karstone). Karzoug takes the stone - a MAJOR artifact - and plans to use it to bring his own empire back. All of this should happen off-stage, of course (you may want to have you PCs going to the same spot, and finding the novel protagonists dead and injured - which they were at that point - and they find out the artifact was already taken... thus merging the two storylines). In this way, they can find out more about their own storyline (the RotRL) - that some sort of 'giant evil cyclops thing' took the Karsetone and ran off with it. This sets everything up for pt.II - the return of Shade.

The PCs continue in their game with their own AP (the RotRL), and in the final moment, when Karzoug is defeated, his 'energies' are sucked into the Karstone, thus completing the ritual, and shade comes back. Their final moment of victory is brief, because they look up and realize they inadvertently caused an even greater threat to manifest. This happens (in FR canon) right between books 1 & 2 - and everything else should proceed just as it had in the novels (which you don't need to read, but you should, because there is TONS of details in there which make great fodder for more adventures).

I'm looking through the RotRL material now - I am familiar with most of the PF stuff (at least, the stuff that is at least 5 years old now). I should have more for you later. I've already worked-out perfect placements for the first couple of parts (so you can use the maps right out of the AP, as-is).

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


Edited by - Markustay on 17 Feb 2018 21:29:27
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Matrix Sorcica
Learned Scribe

Denmark
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  21:29:29  Show Profile Send Matrix Sorcica a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay


The PCs continue in their game with their own AP (the RotRL), and in the final moment, when Karzoug is defeated, his 'energies' are sucked into the Karstone, thus completing the ritual, and shade comes back. Their final moment of victory is brief, because they look up and realize they inadvertently caused an even greater threat to manifest. This happens (in FR canon) right between books 1 & 2 - and everything else should proceed just as it had in the novels (which you don't need to read, but you should, because there is TONS of details in there which make great fodder for more adventures).

I'm looking through the RotRL material now - I am familiar with most of the PF stuff (at least, the stuff that is at least 5 years old now). I should have more for you later. I've already worked-out perfect placements for the first couple of parts (so you can use the maps right out of the AP, as-is).


Thank you. This is immensely helpful and I look forward to what you find.

Are the novels readable, or filler around the adventure ideas you mention?
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Markustay
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  21:31:11  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Readable.
I actually think its one of Troy Denning's best works - his research was top-notch on this particular series (even though his portrayals of a couple of FR 'big guns' seemed... OFF).

Tons of great stuff for you to use in there - those caves are just one thing. His characters are probably the thing I liked least (except for that one Netherese mage, who was probably the only Netherese Mage - other than Larloch - I ever liked.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 17 Feb 2018 21:32:51
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  22:17:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I, on the other hand, couldn't stand the series -- in large part because he got the established characters of the Realms so wrong. In short, if Denning created the character, they did everything right. If Denning didn't create the character, they acted like a bumbling idiot.

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Scots Dragon
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  22:36:00  Show Profile Send Scots Dragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I, on the other hand, couldn't stand the series -- in large part because he got the established characters of the Realms so wrong. In short, if Denning created the character, they did everything right. If Denning didn't create the character, they acted like a bumbling idiot.


This is something of a recurring pattern with Troy Denning's writing.

See also some of his stuff in the old Star Wars expanded universe.
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Markustay
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Posted - 17 Feb 2018 :  23:54:20  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, Mystra's symbol is seven stars, and 'Seven' happens to be a theme in FR with magic and other things. Thus, the Sihedron Rune - a Seven-pointed star - fits perfectly within Realmslore. Almost like it was made to fit there... (it is a shattered 'dark' star... with SEVEN points... familiar, no?)

Often-times when I read through the PF lore, i do indeed get the distinct impression that a LOT of Golarion was created using Realmslore. Those guys were all privy to the 'deeper secrets' of the Realms, and apparently, some of them ran with stuff that was barely hinted at in FR lore. Their whole setting is based upon a single premise - that a MAJOR GOD died a century ago and everything changed. It seems to me they used ED's 'Red Button' before WotC did.

And what goes around comes around - WotC is now (successfully) copying all the things Paizo did right, and are stealing the customers back. You just gotta love corporate back-biting, no matter how well-behaved and pretend-nice everyone acts towards each other.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I, on the other hand, couldn't stand the series -- in large part because he got the established characters of the Realms so wrong. In short, if Denning created the character, they did everything right. If Denning didn't create the character, they acted like a bumbling idiot.

So should we re-name the literary type a 'Denning-Sue?

I HAD mentioned his bad characterizations. When I said it was 'good', I mean he visited a bunch of FR locales, and got them all right, and also pulled in characters and lore form all over, which was a nice touch. So he did his homework, unlike the Twilight Giants series which felt like generic fantasy that got shoe-horned into the Realms as an after-thought (like a series he did for his own setting, that he couldn't sell, so we got stuck with all of that). In fact, all of his (FR) works suffer from that - they don't actual feel like they're taking place in The Realms, EXCEPT for The Return of the Archwizards series, which did feel very much like it was set in The Realms.

Aside from getting known characters poorly, I also didn't like the entire premise of the series, but if that was something that stopped me from reading an FR series, than I probably would not have read 3/4 of the FR books I have.

As for whether I liked the books overall - I'm in the middle. The writing and lore were very good, but I've already mentioned my problems with it. Considering how badly I can tear-apart a LOT of other FR books, that's practically a rave. I've never had a problem with the man's writing itself, other than his EXTREME Mary Sue-isms.

So Wooly, its a proportional thing. Don't ever think my making positive comments is considered a recommendation; sometimes I actually like to NOT be grouchy Gus.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 18 Feb 2018 00:08:32
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Scots Dragon
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Posted - 18 Feb 2018 :  00:06:02  Show Profile Send Scots Dragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Also, Mystra's symbol is seven stars, and 'Seven' happens to be a theme in FR with magic and other things. Thus, the Sihedron Rune - a Seven-pointed star - fits perfectly within Realmslore. Almost like it was made to fit there... (it is a shattered 'dark' star... with SEVEN points... familiar, no?)


Also the Seven Sisters, Halaster Blackcloak's Seven Apprentices...

quote:
Often-times when I read through the PF lore, i do indeed get the distinct impression that a LOT of Golarion was created using Realmslore. Those guys were all privy to the 'deeper secrets' of the Realms, and apparently, some of them ran with stuff that was barely hinted at in FR lore. Their whole setting is based upon a single premise - that a MAJOR GOD died a century ago and everything changed. It seems to me they used ED's 'red Button' before WotC did.


The setting feels genuinely like a sort of half-way meeting between elements of the Forgotten Realms and elements of Greyhawk, with a considerable number of elements from both. The eponymous Pathfinder Society itself, and its leadership in the secret and mysterious Decemvirate, feels sort of like a half-way meeting point between the Harpers and the Circle of Eight.
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Markustay
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Posted - 18 Feb 2018 :  00:10:03  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elminster + The Seven Sisters = 'The Circle of Eight'.

I don't count Khelben because he's only close to Laeral. Elminster knows ALL seven... inside and out.

EDIT:
I never really noticed before, but I suppose they did take the few things GH 'got right' as well, like all those countries right on top of each other, all with a different 'vibe'. FR is much more realistic in that the stuff 'next door' isn't all that much different then whats inside a country. You have to go pretty far in The Realms to notice cultural differences. The complete lack of hard borders is weird, which is probably why Paizo followed GH in that regard.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 18 Feb 2018 00:13:08
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Scots Dragon
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Posted - 18 Feb 2018 :  00:22:01  Show Profile Send Scots Dragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Elminster + The Seven Sisters = 'The Circle of Eight'.

I don't count Khelben because he's only close to Laeral. Elminster knows ALL seven... inside and out.


The Circle of Eight actually consist of nine members given that the presence of Mordenkainen himself isn't counted against numbering. It's an organisation that is perhaps best labelled 'Mordenkainen and...'

So Khelben would actually be kind of needed to fulfil that. And to be extra-awkward, like half of the Seven Sisters wouldn't actually qualify since they're not fully-fledged mages. Only Laeral, Alustriel, the Simbul, and Sylune would qualify to be fully fledged members. Dove, Storm, and Qilue would not.

quote:
EDIT:
I never really noticed before, but I suppose they did take the few things GH 'got right' as well, like all those countries right on top of each other, all with a different 'vibe'. FR is much more realistic in that the stuff 'next door' isn't all that much different then whats inside a country. You have to go pretty far in The Realms to notice cultural differences. The complete lack of hard borders is weird, which is probably why Paizo followed GH in that regard.


I use the lack of hard borders in the Realms mostly as an excuse to pepper the borders with various small fiefdoms and kingdoms that aren't major or well-known enough to be listed on a map.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 18 Feb 2018 :  04:23:45  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just to note up front... I've never read rise of the runelords... I have it.. just haven't had time. But, if anywhere screams "runelords" just as a term in my head and "return of them".... its down in Zakhara with the ruined kingdoms and the geomancers. They were focused on glyph/rune magics. It absolutely may not fit aesthetically to what the module has, but I was just throwing it there for you.
Except the Runelords were an empire of High-Magic Cyclops.

'Rune Magic' as in giants, not Norse or Dwarves.

Thematically, it could have been a 'survivor state' on ancient Ostoria. In fact, their was one such realm where the Sea of Fallen Stars is now (there are still cyclopskin on some of the islands). One far-flung outpost may have been in the vicinity of southern Netheril, like around the northern Sunset Mountains, Greycloak Hills (which do contain mountains, but then you have to deal with Evereska¹), or even the southern Greypeak mountains (which are probably the easiest access to the Sword Coast game you have going on, buuuut... thematically doesn't fit that it was once part of the Inner Sea Cyclops realm because of the distance - which is fudgable²). However, having it in or near the Greycloak Hills puts you right in the area where the the whole Return of the Archwizards (Shade) storyline began.

In fact, in the first book, before Shade returned, there was a major encounter at some Stone Giant Caves (The Saga Caves). The Stone Giants were being massacred by the forces of the Phaerimm (but not the Phaerimm themselves, IIRC). This would be the perfect spot to tie the upcoming adventures (for your party) to the Rise of the Runelords. See item ¹ below - this would be where a major NPC would show up and thank them. The Ruins of Dekanter are also right near there, which could provide further tie-in between the nearby mountains and Netheril (in other words, whatever the Cyclopsi were doing in the area, the Netherese were also later interested in - probably Chardalyn).


¹Although Evereska presents a bit of a problem if there is a 'Big bad' in the area they aren't responded this to, you can 'use the problem to fix the problem' in this case. The event that transpired in the 1st RotAW novel has already happened - the Phaerimms are becoming a problem. By having the Rise of the Runelords coincide with all of that, you have an excellent canon reason why both Evereska, and the other 'forces of Good', are not paying attention to what is going on with Karzoug. In fact, they would consider him a minor threat compared with a full-blown incursion of Phaerimm. So you should probably throw at least one Phaerimm (or Phaerimm minions if your PCs aren't high enough) at them during the RotRL AP (maybe even have Laeral or some-such show up for a cameo and thank them for their add - a perfect lead-in for the next thing you plan to run - book 2 of the RotAW series is when the Karstone gets involved and Shade comes back).

²Its possible to say that when the "Great Ones of the Inner Sea" (as the elves refer to them in their ancient histories) were destroyed (by a massive Tearfall which created the SoFS), the Runelords - archmages of the realm - were able to save themselves and fled to the region around the SW corner of Anauroch (where they may have had an enclave/outpost for 'research'). From there, they rebuilt what they could.



Ah, Giant Cyclops Runelords... in that case my next thoughts go to the Citadel of the Raven and Ironfang Keep, but honestly that would feel forced in my book. The only area I can think of really known for having Cyclops is down in the Shaar. A culture of them down in the south could work I guess. Just to note, Giantcraft even has a statement about Cyclops and Cyclopskin that would make me hesitant to tie them to Ostoria. Also, since 4e ties cyclops to Fomorians and the Feywild, it might be worth making the runelords from the feywild (maybe cyclops that turned against the fomorians or somesuch for their own independence).

From Giantcraft
Not even the giants know what to make of Not even the giants know what to make of unfortunates have tried to claim the legacy of unfortunates have tried to claim the legacy of believe the one-eyed brutes stem from another of Othea#146;s dalliances.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

700 Posts

Posted - 18 Feb 2018 :  05:51:42  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Rune Magic/Sin Magic as practiced by the runelords also draws a bit from Thay, considering the hyperspecialization thing they had going for them. Each runelord had a major artifact weapon tied to his school of magic; the lord of necromancy had a scythe, for instance.

Also, all their schools of magic were kind of like a blend of a focused specialist with 3.5e prohibited schools, and were based on the seven deadly sins (i.e. wrath = evocation, prohibited abjuration and conjuration; gluttony = necromancy, prohibited abjuration, enchantment, etc).

Also, the runelords (at least, the last ones) were human. Like Thay's zulkirs, I guess.

Edited by - LordofBones on 18 Feb 2018 05:52:21
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 18 Feb 2018 :  07:54:16  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my Misbegotten Realms, a Thay tie-in would be perfect, since my Thay is one the Sword coast (which also happens to be the east side of the Easting Reach). But I do not know what maps Matrix Sorcica is using, which is why I am posting now...

Where is you group at right now, Matrix? You said, "The Sword Coast", but that's a pretty huge area. I found the perfect placement for moth magnimar and Sandpoint (and the Sandpoint environs), but I may have gone a bit too far south (its near Candlekeep - I need some islands off the coast there to explain Maginmar's layout). On the other hand, if you are doing a full-blown conversion, then you could just use Waterdeep for Magnimar, and Daggerford for Sandpoint (although thats a LOT more work - since you aren't fussy about canon, ading a few new settlements really doesn't upset anything).

I thought it would be pretty straight forward, but he stuff revolving around Turtleback Ferry is a bit of a problem (an ancient dam), which is why I am asking where the party's 'start point' would be, because it may be better to move the settlements further north (I can use Orlumbor for the islands off the coast... I can even go further north, but then we are encroaching heavily on Daggerford and Waterdeep, and it starts to become weird).

Mountains are no problem, but without campaign specifics, and how far you want to go in the way of conversions and/or homebrew, I'm not sure how 'spread out' you would want stuff to be. I still think a connection to the "Great Ones of the Inner Sea" is perfect - their descendants are cyclopskin! Thats mentioned (canon) in the Pirates of the Fallen stars book, but I think there are two other mentions about the 'lost giant kingdom' that got obliterated there (likely Giantcraft, and at least one other). The description of Xin-Shalast even lends itself to all of this - the other Runelord cities were all destroyed, but Xin-Shalast was out of the way enough for it to still be intact. that implies it was some distance away fro the 'core empire'. Which is why I think somewhere on the edge of the Anauroch is optimal. Once I know more about the campaign, I can figure out which is the better mountain range (is it set north of Daggerford, or south of it?) Once I have a direction, i can place everything from the AP perfectly.

You see, I had wanted to run this in FR myself a few years back, but never got a chance to do it. This is why I am familiar with all of it, and I think it feels very 'Realmsian' (return of ancient empires/BBG's long-buried in primeval ruins).

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


Edited by - Markustay on 18 Feb 2018 07:54:30
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Matrix Sorcica
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Denmark
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Posted - 18 Feb 2018 :  09:40:11  Show Profile Send Matrix Sorcica a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you all, a lot of good ideas here.

@markustay - my current campaign, which is not RotR and now no longer will include the return of Shade, is based in Neverwinter and will eventually have a lot of activity in the Silver Marches. The next campaign will be RotR (with the return of Shade). It will probably be a long time before we get there, but I like to think ahead (TPKs...) and to foreshadow. It is planned to take place south of Daggerford, for reasons I'll explain further below. This may change, depending on your ideas.

I am not too concerned about canon, but like to make my changes fit in the Realms anyway.
So my timeline is a mix of FR history, with a bit of other stuff as well. My timeline is very much Grey box North (Orcs are still in dwarf strongholds, a looming threat) and the Silver Marches have not been founded yet. The players will play a major part in this.
At the same time, the Spellplague (well, something like it, see below) happened 100 years (or more) ago, Neverwinter got destroyed and is in the 4e setting version. So you could say I'm cherry picking from the FR timeline. A nice thing about this is that I know what officially happens next and that allows me to let the party play an active role in the unfolding of major realms events.

My campaign world is FR (north + sword coast) with the Nentir Vale and elements from Golarion. That's why it fits perfectly that some world shattering disaster happened a hundred or so years ago, all the three settings have this as a premise.

I too had placed Varisia south of Daggerford, partly because it's such a cool setting, partly because I want to run RotR (and because I find the FR map between Daggerford and Baldur's Gate pretty dull). So imagine my joy when I found your Misbegotten Realms! Now you know why I've been asking you about it plenty of times.
My Nentir Vale is higher north than Misbegotten, so joyous was the day you started to incorporate Nentir in the Neverwinter area. That you (some day) will fit the Elsir Vale in as well actually makes my setting more or less "complete".

I'm using your Nentir in the Realms map. I intend to place Varisia south of Daggerford, but has never shown the players a map showing this, so can be changed depending on what this thread brings. The campaign setting has never had adventures further south than Daggerford (except Red Hand of Doom, which I will retroactively move to the north).

So there's lots of opportunities to play with the geography, but I don't want to swap Golarion cities for FR ones. That is, I want to keep Magnimar, Sandpoint (and Korvosa), so no "pure" conversion.

Hope this helps, and I'm very grateful for your help and time. That goes for all of you!

Edited to clarify that placing Sandpoint and other locations in the sword coast area is not a problem. However, there's the possibility of Varisia south of Daggerford as well. Excited as to what you come up with.

Edited by - Matrix Sorcica on 18 Feb 2018 15:14:20
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LordofBones
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Posted - 18 Feb 2018 :  11:10:57  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You could always tie it with Velsharoon's ascension; here he could have he studied Sin magic during his travels around Faerun and used the principles of that discipline in preparation of his ascension. He may have deliberately stirred up something in the Thassilonian ruins, and can't really be fussed to deal with it as he's too busy with his other plans. It's canon that he fought a Halruuan wizard in an aerial spell-battle in 827 DR; given the timeline, he's precisely the sort of archmage that would stir something up for his plans.

Hell, maybe he did so on Larloch's instructions as part of a deal with the ancient lich, in return for ancient magics that would help him on his quest.

You don't necessarily need to have him be there in person, but the PCs could stumble on his writings and a few of his discarded notes detailing some ruin or other, including the information he'd unearthed about Karzoug.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 18 Feb 2018 :  20:36:21  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, interesting. Are you using my Misbegotten Realms maps? Because on them, the 'Sword coast' actually became the the 'right coast' of the Easting Reach (and the Dragon Reach, since I sliced-out Impiltur, Damara, and Vaasa right off the map and moved them to my new version of the Sword coast to the far west - The Trackless Coast). I really wish I had time to revisit those maps - they were a labor of love. I will be getting back to the Nentir & Elsir Vale conversion VERY soon -I just have one persnickity project I am trying to finish by the end of the month.

In my MR setting, I put Varisia far south, taking the place of Aglarond (since I merged the sword Coast into the UE). I also wanted to use the stuff from the Egg of Phoenix modules, but I have now rethought all of that. Recently, I was planning on re-using that old AP down in the Utter East just to help flesh stuff out - thematically it's a good fit there. However, I am back to thinking about 'usability', which has become my primary concern (because I am tired of doing maps of places no one will ever use). This means I may decide to port the EoP AP into the north as well.

As an aside, I have already adapted the Night Below stuff onto my Main set of maps (because I hope to make it canon someday) - it was an excellent fit right next to the upper-right corner of the High Moor (when I scaled the map, it was tiny compared to the FR ones... they always are). That was another reason for my line of questioning - I could have had you going right past there in the RotR AP (more adventuring opportunity - even something they could 'come back to' later if it interested the PCs enough). If you look at my 5e campaign map closely, you can actually see what I did there - look to the right of Highstar Lake - that little bit of marsh there is the New Mire on the Haranshire map.

I love sandboxes, but I also like to know ahead of time whats in each part of the sandbox (based on material stolen from just about everywhere), just in case the Pcs decide to wander off in a direction we didn't plan on. That happened to me once; I was 16, running a game for a bunch of college kids, and they tortured me by constantly going AWAY rom the stuff I had worked on ahead of time. They wanted me to improvise, and were enjoying making me squirm (so I guess it was a successful game, since they were all having fun, eh?) But that early experience tainted the way I do things now - I HAVE TO KNOW about stuff nobody might ever encounter, see, hear about, or deal with. I purposely litter everything I do with bits and pieces of sites and adventures from all other sources, so I at least have some inkling of what someone might find there.

Anyway, back to YOU and YOUR GAME. So your Varisia sort of takes the place of that coast between Daggerford (Shining Vale) and Baldur's Gate? I'll have to check that out.

EDIT:
I just took a look, and my copy of the Varisia map is almost exactly scaled to Mike Schley's map of The North - serendipitous, no? I only have to sale the varisia map to 96%.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 18 Feb 2018 21:04:56
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