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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32281 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2018 :  05:21:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I'm so tired of WotC just pulling things out of hats (I could have said that more bluntly) with no regards to previous lore.



Indeed. Going with one of the two unnamed apprentices would have been easier and would have avoided any lore issues... Plus, they could have done something really interesting with that apprentice -- what if, theoretically, the apprentice became undead and tried to join the Twisted Rune? Even before Halaster's Highharvestide, I would expect him to look upon such a thing with disfavor.

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Petra_W
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Germany
30 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2019 :  11:15:52  Show Profile Send Petra_W a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I liked the waterdeep adventure very much. A nice base to establish more adventures in and around waterdeep. You can just take one story path for the dragon heist, but the other 3 villains have potential for other adventures to deal with them.


Now its recommendet to progress the campaign in the mad mage book. Am I right, that it is just a dungeon crawler like "Tales of the jawning portal?". One room after another, with monsters, traps and riddles? A magic item here and there and opportunity to level up. But lore wise or history wise not much?


I think TotyP has gotten no DDAL Season, right? So Mad mage will also get no adventures at DMG? The feature just the "story adventures" like Season 8 with waterdeep?


edit and OT: Is there a chronological overview for the DDAL products on DMG? The layout there could be better.

Edited by - Petra_W on 04 Jan 2019 11:18:33
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8204 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2019 :  12:07:07  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Petra_W

I liked the waterdeep adventure very much. A nice base to establish more adventures in and around waterdeep. You can just take one story path for the dragon heist, but the other 3 villains have potential for other adventures to deal with them.


Now its recommendet to progress the campaign in the mad mage book. Am I right, that it is just a dungeon crawler like "Tales of the jawning portal?". One room after another, with monsters, traps and riddles? A magic item here and there and opportunity to level up. But lore wise or history wise not much?


I think TotyP has gotten no DDAL Season, right? So Mad mage will also get no adventures at DMG? The feature just the "story adventures" like Season 8 with waterdeep?


edit and OT: Is there a chronological overview for the DDAL products on DMG? The layout there could be better.



TotyP was taking various adventures from previous editions of the game and simply updating them to 5e. There is commonality at least to Undermountain in that the various levels have links to one another, etc... They aren't absolutely disparate.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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32281 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2019 :  04:27:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I've had a look at Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Bit sad that there's no mention of Bandaerl, the archlich of the Lost Level, and peeved that they used Elder Runes (I had plans!) but it looks pretty solid. Their take on Jhesiyra Kestellharp is interesting ...

-- George Krashos



I can't stand their take on Jhesiyra Kestellharp.

Secrets of the Magister says that Halaster may have grabbed her -- but it also says she may have been gone from Myth Drannor before Halaster started snatching people from there, and notes that two elves saw her disappear into the woods in a web of her own spellcraft.

Me, I prefer to think that she somehow became one with the Weave.

I also think that tying Jhesiyra Kestellharp to Undermountain is problematic from the angle of Mystra's involvement with Halaster. You'd think that she'd have an issue with a former Magister being treated like that, and would have said something when she spoke to Hally. Or she would have done something directly, since Mystra's Magisters get special options from her when they die or retire. Halaster imprisoning Jhesiyra means he somehow used magic to keep the goddess of magic from getting someone she would be specifically interested in having.

So once again, WotC ignores prior lore and creates problems.

Now, from what I recall, we never had details on all of Halaster's apprentices. There was Jhesiyra Kestellharp, Arcturia, Trobriand, Muiral, and one that I just learned of: Maerlyn. That's 5 out of 7 -- so either of the unnamed 2 would have been a better choice for the role of "recaptured escaped apprentice."

I think the way I'd spin it would be to go with one of my recent suggestions, and have Undermountain act as a kind of phylactery for Halaster. The unnamed apprentice would also be permanently bound to Undermountain, but not to the point of being reincarnated/reformed as a living being, the way Halaster is. Instead, this apprentice would be a disembodied intelligence. The apprentice would be able to whisper a few words here and there, maybe manipulate things as per the mage hand spell, and not much else -- I don't know that I'd even go as far as a visible manifestation.

And because the apprentice has a bond to Undermountain similar to Hally's, Hally is utterly unable to detect him/her. He knows the apprentice is still around in some form, but can't do much about it without risking his own bonds to Undermountain.

I'm also not digging this "knot in the Weave" thing. I'm still pondering how to respin that to something else.

Edit: Cast banish typo



Thinking on this a bit more...

New idea: Jhesiyra Kestellharp leaves Undermountain to go do her own thing. She winds up with some apprentices of her own, ones that are very talented.

When Halaster later came for Jhesiyra, she was elsewhere. Thinking to protect her, one of the apprentices used her magic to assume Jhesiyra's form.

Back in Undermountain, Halaster used his magic to permanently bind this apprentice (whom I am dubbing Twosiyra) to Undermountain. And then his madness caused him to wander off and basically forget about her.

The apprentice didn't last long after that, but because of Halaster's workings, when she died, she was still bound to Undermountain.

The real Jhesiyra, also hiding in a different form, found out what happened and snuck into Undermountain. She found Twosiyra, but wasn't able to free her. Jhesiyra was able to strengthen Twosiyra, though, at the latter's request, giving her some more options.

Instead of the ridiculous idea of not letting PCs go thru gates into areas where they could be killed, Twosiyra is more of an occasional helper. She can, a few times a day, whisper a dozen words or so to people. And even fewer times a day, she can use a mage hand type effect.

As a way to work against Halaster, what Twosiyra does is warn adventurers when she can -- minor things, like "strong foes ahead!" or "'ware traps in the floor!" And sometimes, she'll use the mage hand to either trip a trap before someone hits it, or do something like grab a trip wire to keep it from having an effect when someone hits it.

All minor things that help adventurers, and keep Halaster's Halls from being quite as deadly as they could be. Of course, she's only one person, so she can only be in one place at a time -- and even then, she's very limited in what she can do. So there are a lot of adventurers that she's unable to help, and any group of PCs might not get any more than one or two assists every few days. She won't shadow one party as their unseen protector, because there are always a whole bunch of fools wandering the Underhalls, and she wants to help as many as she can.

This keeps the idea of someone looking out for the PCs, without breaking the lore or having the ridiculous idea of keeping PC idiocy from leading to a TPK.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 17 Mar 2019 :  01:40:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Something else bugging me as I slowly read thru this Undermountain book... Why would the Xanathar Guild have that much interest in Undermountain? Sure, I can get the idea of keeping an eye on what the locals are doing, and maybe having a couple of kinda-sorta safe places in the Underhalls. But not much more than that -- there's no need for an organization built on controlling crime to be active in an area where there isn't crime. Yes, there are fools and magic and money to be found in Undermountain -- but also death and monsters and traps and adventurers and more death. For every ten people that go into Undermountain, maybe 2 or 3 make it back out -- and for every 10 of those survivors, maybe 2 or 3 come out ahead.

For a criminal organization, there is far more risk than reward, in Undermountain, and I just can't see it being worth the resources to be very active, there.

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Dargoth
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Australia
4607 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2019 :  02:04:36  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Something else bugging me as I slowly read thru this Undermountain book... Why would the Xanathar Guild have that much interest in Undermountain? Sure, I can get the idea of keeping an eye on what the locals are doing, and maybe having a couple of kinda-sorta safe places in the Underhalls. But not much more than that -- there's no need for an organization built on controlling crime to be active in an area where there isn't crime. Yes, there are fools and magic and money to be found in Undermountain -- but also death and monsters and traps and adventurers and more death. For every ten people that go into Undermountain, maybe 2 or 3 make it back out -- and for every 10 of those survivors, maybe 2 or 3 come out ahead.

For a criminal organization, there is far more risk than reward, in Undermountain, and I just can't see it being worth the resources to be very active, there.




If you read further there are various Groups trying to invade Skullport and take it over(One of the Drow house for one) so Xanthars has militerised to counter that. Also Xanthars thing is having business between Skullport and Waterdeep and to travel between those you need to traverse the top 3 levels of Undermountain

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 17 Mar 2019 :  02:35:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Something else bugging me as I slowly read thru this Undermountain book... Why would the Xanathar Guild have that much interest in Undermountain? Sure, I can get the idea of keeping an eye on what the locals are doing, and maybe having a couple of kinda-sorta safe places in the Underhalls. But not much more than that -- there's no need for an organization built on controlling crime to be active in an area where there isn't crime. Yes, there are fools and magic and money to be found in Undermountain -- but also death and monsters and traps and adventurers and more death. For every ten people that go into Undermountain, maybe 2 or 3 make it back out -- and for every 10 of those survivors, maybe 2 or 3 come out ahead.

For a criminal organization, there is far more risk than reward, in Undermountain, and I just can't see it being worth the resources to be very active, there.




If you read further there are various Groups trying to invade Skullport and take it over(One of the Drow house for one) so Xanthars has militerised to counter that. Also Xanthars thing is having business between Skullport and Waterdeep and to travel between those you need to traverse the top 3 levels of Undermountain



Needing to traverse the top three levels is one thing. Needing to control those levels is another... And since there are other ways into Skullport, there's even less need for controlling large areas of Undermountain.

And needing to counter groups trying to take over Skullport is another good reason not to waste your manpower elsewhere.

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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1363 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2019 :  03:11:27  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's because someone at WtoC is super obsessed with Xanathar and Jarlaxe, and wanted to give them a huge role in the adventure, that's why.

So, yes. It felt forced.

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 17 Mar 2019 03:12:02
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4607 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2019 :  07:47:41  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

That's because someone at WtoC is super obsessed with Xanathar and Jarlaxe, and wanted to give them a huge role in the adventure, that's why.

So, yes. It felt forced.



Actually I dont think theres any mention of Jarlaxe in DoTMM

Im actually a little disappointed they didnt include MORE links with the factions in Dragon heist in DoTMM, theres a couple but I would have liked the writers to factor in the choices the players might have made in DH and who the DM may have chosen as the DH villian.

Im kind of hoping we get another RP heavy module set in Waterdeep that would more naturally follow on to Dragon Heist. (Something revolving around dealing with Neverember wouldnt be a bad idea... hmmm thats an idea, a module where you travel to Neverwinter with goal of deposing Neverember and you have multiple paths depending on which faction you sided with in Dragon Heist.....)

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5545 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2019 :  09:30:19  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not surprised they struggled to work out what in the planes could have motivated the Emerald Enclave in the context of the adventure.

— 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
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Posted - 17 Mar 2019 :  15:27:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

That's because someone at WtoC is super obsessed with Xanathar and Jarlaxe, and wanted to give them a huge role in the adventure, that's why.

So, yes. It felt forced.



Actually I dont think theres any mention of Jarlaxe in DoTMM

Im actually a little disappointed they didnt include MORE links with the factions in Dragon heist in DoTMM, theres a couple but I would have liked the writers to factor in the choices the players might have made in DH and who the DM may have chosen as the DH villian.

Im kind of hoping we get another RP heavy module set in Waterdeep that would more naturally follow on to Dragon Heist. (Something revolving around dealing with Neverember wouldnt be a bad idea... hmmm thats an idea, a module where you travel to Neverwinter with goal of deposing Neverember and you have multiple paths depending on which faction you sided with in Dragon Heist.....)



I think that would work a lot better for Neverwinter than it did for Dragon Heist. That was one where the use of factions felt really forced.

...And I still don't understand the seasonal aspect of it.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8204 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2019 :  21:24:26  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Not surprised they struggled to work out what in the planes could have motivated the Emerald Enclave in the context of the adventure.

— George Krashos



LOL... I'm so glad I'm not the only on who just shakes his head every time I see the emerald enclave active in the north or anywhere else that they don't have any power.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
32281 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2019 :  03:25:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert


Now, from what I recall, we never had details on all of Halaster's apprentices. There was Jhesiyra Kestellharp, Arcturia, Trobriand, Muiral, and one that I just learned of: Maerlyn. That's 5 out of 7 -- so either of the unnamed 2 would have been a better choice for the role of "recaptured escaped apprentice."


This book actually lists all of the Seven, and Maerlyn is not on that list. I was about to take issue with that, but then I did some more research.

Jhesiyra Kestellharp, Arcturia, Trobriand, Muiral, and Nester are all mentioned in the original Ruins of Undermountain boxed set. Nester doesn't get much air time in that one; he died and didn't accomplish as much as the others.

Two others are mentioned in The Grand History of the Realms: Marambra Nyghtsteel and Rantantar. I'm not familiar with these two; so far as I know, their only mentions in published Realmslore are in The Grand History's list of The Seven, and in Dungeon of the Mad Mage's list of The Seven.

Maerlyn was either a later apprentice, or there were originally 8, and she was rather thoroughly removed from history.


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