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shades of eternity
Learned Scribe

274 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  02:51:24  Show Profile  Visit shades of eternity's Homepage Send shades of eternity a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
In the tradition of such characters as Volo and thanks to the power of Aurora’s Clearinghouse, I'd like to present Angus MacGuinyss and his associate Portia Quickheart as they explore the Nation of Amn.

I still need a cover, but I'd love feedback on this experimental concept and to get feedback before I launch it on the dmsguild.

Thanks all. :)

check out my post-post apocalyptic world at www.drevrpg.com

Edited by - shades of eternity on 21 Sep 2019 02:52:05

ElfBane
Learned Scribe

USA
92 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  10:03:24  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about a hyperlink?
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shades of eternity
Learned Scribe

274 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  12:03:55  Show Profile  Visit shades of eternity's Homepage Send shades of eternity a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knew I forgot something.

removed


Happy Viewing. :)

check out my post-post apocalyptic world at www.drevrpg.com

Edited by - shades of eternity on 13 Oct 2019 01:00:20
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jamesewelch
Learned Scribe

94 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  15:14:03  Show Profile Send jamesewelch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It looks amazing. There's a ton of stuff in here. Great job.

You don't need the OGL at the end. Since this is FR specific, you need the updated/new DMsGuild legalese there. I'd also recommend adding at least one or two game play mechanics, because DMsGuild doesn't allow "prose" to be published. Having at least a few game play mechanics (either something as simple as a few 5e Backgrounds for Amn, a random encounter chart, etc.) might save you a headache in case someone flags this as prose.

If you're looking for some good (free) public domain stock art, I use Pixabay.com quite a bit. There's a ton of great (legit) public domain artworks there. Some of the other "public domain image web sites" aren't very legit (they just take copyrighted images and upload them and say they are public domain). Another image idea is taking public domain photographs and photographs of paintings (Wikimedia Commons) and running them through lunapic.com filters (fantasy or other filters) which create a nice effect and images that look like they belong in RPG books.

I'd also just recommend having an editor read over it. Even if you feel its perfect, having another set of eyes look it over. I noticed some style (indents, spacing, etc.) deviations from the "D&D House Style Guide", but overall it was a great read. The DMsGuild Creators Circle has a great Discord channel (and Facebook Group) with lots of editors, reviewers (both pre-release and "commercial" reviewers-like publishing on their website/blog/youtube for marketing), artists, etc.

For a game set in Amn, this feels like a must have. I know there's a bunch of creators working on specific regions of Faerun (doing basically what you've done but for other regions). Their goal is to cover everything in a similar manner. So hopefully, you can make contact with them and get this into their bundle.

I think having a cover with Angus on it would do great. Similar to Hamund's Harvesting covers - if you can find the artworks.



Edited by - jamesewelch on 21 Sep 2019 15:16:55
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8400 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  16:12:26  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just a thought that people were discussing a while back and which I decided to do. It relates to this because you have Amnish trading to Laerakond getting ruined, but perhaps there's another way to handle it. What if instead their trade is disrupted a few years, and in the intervening time the "ties" become strained as the merchants stuck in Laerakond decide to venture into new territories. You wouldn't need to detail WHAT they've done, just put in nebulous statements about their being some time of unsurety and "recent contact being re-established and negotiations restarted".

We don't KNOW that Laerakond (Returned Abeir) is gone do we? We know that "things" did return, but in actuality, it was "portions". In other words, lower Tymanther stayed, the city of Airspur stayed but most of Akanul left and the Chondathan cities returned, there's hints that Telos and the Warlock Knights of Vaasa are still around. So, what if Laerakond STAYED? Sure Maztica returned (and presumable the nearby Anchorome and Katashaka which we never heard anything about, so which would ALSO have presumably been gone to Abeir.... but what happened when Laerakond first came over? There was this "false" evermeet that was created "near it"... so not where Evermeet would have been, so it was displaced. Presumably, this false evermeet is gone, but perhaps Laerakond itself just got displaced but stayed on Toril? Or maybe it never WAS EXACTLY where Maztica was, because with 3 continents gone, who had a really good basis to understand exactly WHERE it was in comparison to Maztica.

Now, why do I say all of this? Well, Laerakond wasn't bad, and some people may have really appreciated it. So, why hack off something in the realms unless we really have to. Also, in looking at Ed's recent conversations with others, I've also come to realize that Laerakond was a place in his original realms (maybe not the Laerakond that got published, but he says that he had a Laerakond), so now the name "returned abeir" finally makes sense to me.

So, if we were to keep it, why doesn't anyone KNOW about it? I mean, we've heard of Nimbral returning, Lantan returning, and that whole SWATHE of continents returning. NOTE: I'm saying SWATHE because it could almost be like there was a big knife that came in at an angle and removed all of those at once... Maztica/Anchorome/Kataskaka/Nimbral/Lantan, etc.... and then there was some smattering of "side blows" where Halruaa, Samarach, Thindol, Tashluta also had portions disappear. Maybe its because that whole swathe returned, and in the returning, it PUSHED Laerakond further south and westward. How does this help? Well, in order to get there without using magic, the Amnish people would have to pass through that area south of Maztica/Lopango and north of Katashaka. This area might have pirates. It might have sea creatures that are a danger. Plus, they're passing new cultures that have returned from being away for 100 years. But a picture says a thousand words. Here's the idea:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yU0mrNNsrO6hBjKCVkgKcZw4Az44kkoo/view?usp=sharing



Personally, as I think through this idea, one of the things I was going to be having was this Metahel expansion into a few small cities in Lopango and Katashaka. Given their proclivity to become sailors and the idea that they have a relation to viking cultures, they'd make a great pirate culture in the area without being "YARR, I'm a pirate". I had also wanted to put in a non-sahuagin / non-Kuo-toan sea threat (thinking octopus bottomed people. The Amnians and the people over in Laerakond may also start trying to setup a NEW Amnian settlement (not Helmsport) down at the tip of Lopango to enable ships from both sides to go THERE and perform trading between the two places. They may even try to setup this settlement on say an island, to make encroachment by neighbors less likely initially, and then if the place is successful expand to the nearby larger continents if they can tame an area to their own will. I'm thinking out loud here, but that little "leg" of Lopango that extends right near Katashaka might also make a nice place for such an isolated trade point.

If you like this idea, I'm willing to work with you on ideas for possible placement. I have some ideas I'm pursuing for Northern Katashaka, but I have been rethinking them and as you can see from that map... I just got finished putting in Laerakond yesterday and I'm about to pursue updating Katashaka. Once I have Katashaka done (at least the northern third to half), I'm probably going to finally put this up on DMs Guild. I'm going to try and assimilate anything else from Seethyr's works into it as well (and I'm going to go back up to Anchorome and add some of the ideas I'd been discussing, such as naming the areas where the Kercpa are, etc...).


BTW, as an aside.... I never realized how insane the weather patterns of Laerakond are. You've got the frozen Tundra of Fimbrul, and then literally right next to it is a jungle and swamps named Melabrauth. It makes me think that Fimbrul has some kind of cold primordial in its surface somwhere.



Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 21 Sep 2019 16:24:28
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4804 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  16:13:51  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Have you got a history for Angus mcguiness, his name sounds ffolk and I have a habit of unashamedly stealing manmade npcs to use in my moonshaes. Is 1350s, 1360s, 1370s, 1400s, etc.

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shades of eternity
Learned Scribe

274 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  17:01:29  Show Profile  Visit shades of eternity's Homepage Send shades of eternity a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jamesewelch

It looks amazing. There's a ton of stuff in here. Great job.

You don't need the OGL at the end. Since this is FR specific, you need the updated/new DMsGuild legalese there. I'd also recommend adding at least one or two game play mechanics, because DMsGuild doesn't allow "prose" to be published. Having at least a few game play mechanics (either something as simple as a few 5e Backgrounds for Amn, a random encounter chart, etc.) might save you a headache in case someone flags this as prose.

If you're looking for some good (free) public domain stock art, I use Pixabay.com quite a bit. There's a ton of great (legit) public domain artworks there. Some of the other "public domain image web sites" aren't very legit (they just take copyrighted images and upload them and say they are public domain). Another image idea is taking public domain photographs and photographs of paintings (Wikimedia Commons) and running them through lunapic.com filters (fantasy or other filters) which create a nice effect and images that look like they belong in RPG books.

I'd also just recommend having an editor read over it. Even if you feel its perfect, having another set of eyes look it over. I noticed some style (indents, spacing, etc.) deviations from the "D&D House Style Guide", but overall it was a great read. The DMsGuild Creators Circle has a great Discord channel (and Facebook Group) with lots of editors, reviewers (both pre-release and "commercial" reviewers-like publishing on their website/blog/youtube for marketing), artists, etc.

For a game set in Amn, this feels like a must have. I know there's a bunch of creators working on specific regions of Faerun (doing basically what you've done but for other regions). Their goal is to cover everything in a similar manner. So hopefully, you can make contact with them and get this into their bundle.

I think having a cover with Angus on it would do great. Similar to Hamund's Harvesting covers - if you can find the artworks.






Thanks for the feedback. :)

Man I must be blind. Where is the Dmsguild legalese to add?

Can you send me the discord info as well? I'm not finding it.

Got the formatting info though. Before I do a deep dive, what sticks out specifically just so I can get a jump on it?

I'll be more then happy to have it thrown in a bundles when completed. I'll just need to make contact so if you are one of those people, pm me.

I do like the cover idea, but I'll probably do a minotaur in sillouette if I find something just to keep costs down.

What basic pics would you want added? I'll see what I can tweak through the power of stock, creative commons and public domain art and a healthy usage of gimp. :D

If this is successful, Muranndin and Tethyr are next, but open to any other future locations where I can send a surprisingly charismatic minotaur and his halfling attache. :)


quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just a thought that people were discussing a while back and which I decided to do. It relates to this because you have Amnish trading to Laerakond getting ruined, but perhaps there's another way to handle it. What if instead their trade is disrupted a few years, and in the intervening time the "ties" become strained as the merchants stuck in Laerakond decide to venture into new territories. You wouldn't need to detail WHAT they've done, just put in nebulous statements about their being some time of unsurety and "recent contact being re-established and negotiations restarted".



The main reason I limited it was mainly to reduce scope creep, but it's easy enough to say they heard some sort of rumor that Laerakond is somewhere and they are sending expeditions out (and thus giving pcs a chance to be big darm heroes). :)

It's also why I stayed away from Anchorome and Maztica, but hell, with your brainstorming in the areas as of late, if you want to tie it into Amn, I'm not going to say no and more or less follow your guy's leads. Just PM me the tweaks. :)

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Have you got a history for Angus mcguiness, his name sounds ffolk and I have a habit of unashamedly stealing manmade npcs to use in my moonshaes. Is 1350s, 1360s, 1370s, 1400s, etc.



Angus MacGuinyss is a Stonelander Minotaur with a bad case of wanderlust, of which I wrote about in the following link.

https://www.dmsguild.com/product/203993/The-Minotaurs-of-the-Stonelands

I'll be more then happy to send you a complimentary copy if you send me via pm your contact info. :)


check out my post-post apocalyptic world at www.drevrpg.com

Edited by - shades of eternity on 21 Sep 2019 18:18:09
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jamesewelch
Learned Scribe

94 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  20:23:18  Show Profile Send jamesewelch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by shades of eternity

Man I must be blind. Where is the Dmsguild legalese to add?

Can you send me the discord info as well? I'm not finding it.

Got the formatting info though. Before I do a deep dive, what sticks out specifically just so I can get a jump on it?

I'll be more then happy to have it thrown in a bundles when completed. I'll just need to make contact so if you are one of those people, pm me.

I do like the cover idea, but I'll probably do a minotaur in sillouette if I find something just to keep costs down.

What basic pics would you want added? I'll see what I can tweak through the power of stock, creative commons and public domain art and a healthy usage of gimp. :D

If this is successful, Muranndin and Tethyr are next, but open to any other future locations where I can send a surprisingly charismatic minotaur and his halfling attache. :)




* What do I include in the legal text within my DMs Guild title?
https://support.dmsguild.com/hc/en-us/articles/217520927-Ownership-and-License-OGL-Questions

Be sure to change "[your legal name or company name]" with your actual legal name or company name.

* Discord
https://discord.gg/sGznKyW


"what sticks out specifically just so I can get a jump on it?"

Well, the first thing I noticed is the first thing my editor slapped my wrists about. I did the same thing with paragraphs. No idents with a empty line/space between each paragraph.

The official style is no indent on paragraph 1 (of section) and then indent all follow paragraphs with no spaces/lines between paragraphs. Take a look at any WotC book you have laying around (especially 5e stuff) and you see what I mean. I think they have an example in the Style Guide as well.

"bundles"

I'm not doing those bundles, it's just something a few people have been talking about. Everybody thinks that books like this, focusing on a specific region of Faerun is a great idea. I mean, some regions (like Sword Coast) will be more popular than other regions, but still the idea of regional books is something that others believe is a current missing niche.

"pics"

There's a few really good minotaur stock arts on DTRPG for $5 or less. Dean Spencer has a full page for $10 (reg $15) and the same character but without the full background (just a "splat" behind him) for $3 - I don't think you'll find a better minotaur than that price. You could slap your title on that and call it done. For me, I'd also find a halfling face and put that in a small circle or something on cover since they are also a main character in the doc. (Just note that Dean Spencer's license is 1 buy per use, so if you reuse the same image in another document then you're suppose to buy it again. Read any stock art license before purchasing.)

I think any pics could work - scenery, organization logos, or just anything to break up the text.

(If I remember correctly and I could be wrong) The "rule of thumb" is to try to have a 1/4 page image at least every 3 pages of content.

I love images, so my docs are always image heavy (I probably average 1 image per 1.5 pages or lower).

You could also make "parchment notes" as images with hand written fonts, etc. In a doc like this, I feel that you could use the halflings notes as "yellow stickies" (using parchment, etc.) putting those in at angles or with textures, would also break up the text. I'm probably not describing this very well, so let me know if you're not following me.





Edited by - jamesewelch on 21 Sep 2019 20:35:42
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5636 Posts

Posted - 22 Sep 2019 :  05:06:16  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry to say this, but I'm a bit old fashioned in my taste on using "exotic" elements in Realms work. Minotaurs are monsters, and in a place like Amn - given the events relating to the creation of Muranndin, I can't see him just travelling around that realm giving people travel tips. I don't think that Amn is as monster-tolerant as you make it to be - certainly the 4E FR Campaign Setting book gives no indication that this is the case and the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide doesn't say anything about this either. I can see you are keen to use one of your creations in this further work, but I'm not sure that it works in this particular case. Also, that name is Scottish. The Realms and Earth analogues are often an unfortunate fit. If you feel that the minotaur is an essential part of the proposed product, that's fine. But in my opinion, if the minotaur's name was Angur muk Genass (let's say that in minotaur speech "muk" means "(from the) herd of ...") then that would be slightly less jarring. I keep seeing your minotaur in my head wearing tartan. You've done a ton of work here, and very well done in that regard, but I'd look at your choice of narrator. My 2cp.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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shades of eternity
Learned Scribe

274 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  23:23:44  Show Profile  Visit shades of eternity's Homepage Send shades of eternity a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Alrighty then, I've done some tweaks and added some basic art based on the feedback.

I'm a sucker for a minotaur doing the main narration, but added an explanation (since it involves Amn and Waterdep, it's for marketing reasons) :D.

Laerakond now gives me a chance to declare the possibility of a "South-West Passage" so ty kindly :D

I'll check over for stupid mistakes before going ahead with a cover, but just wanted to give a head's up. :)

check out my post-post apocalyptic world at www.drevrpg.com
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jamesewelch
Learned Scribe

94 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2019 :  00:22:09  Show Profile Send jamesewelch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indents look better, but you have a mix of really big idents and some normal size indents. Good luck on the release.
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shades of eternity
Learned Scribe

274 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2019 :  01:30:46  Show Profile  Visit shades of eternity's Homepage Send shades of eternity a Private Message  Reply with Quote
gah fixed I think

plus completely forgot about the need for game play mechanics.

I guess It's still a work in progress. :)

check out my post-post apocalyptic world at www.drevrpg.com
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jamesewelch
Learned Scribe

94 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2019 :  02:49:27  Show Profile Send jamesewelch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You don't need the game play mechanics, but I always throw in something just so I'm safe. I think even simple random encounters chart specific to the region would be fine. Plus, that's something you can redo for each area, so you have a standard format/feel to everything.

Edited by - jamesewelch on 25 Sep 2019 02:49:52
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shades of eternity
Learned Scribe

274 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  22:49:47  Show Profile  Visit shades of eternity's Homepage Send shades of eternity a Private Message  Reply with Quote
K added game mechanics, and added a cover.

now a dilemma.

My original plan was to do these as a homage to Volo and Rick Steve from PBS. Something quick, fun and silly that does a lot of the heavy lifting for a particular area for a gm to go what's in <insert location here> and build their own adventures, including fellow dm guild content creators.

However, I'm getting feedback to expand the cities and add adventures.

I'm kinda at a crossroad as it will certainly add content, but it will also slow things drastically, defeating the purpose.

So I guess I'm asking which way to head and why?

check out my post-post apocalyptic world at www.drevrpg.com
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1391 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2019 :  00:53:19  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


BTW, as an aside.... I never realized how insane the weather patterns of Laerakond are. You've got the frozen Tundra of Fimbrul, and then literally right next to it is a jungle and swamps named Melabrauth. It makes me think that Fimbrul has some kind of cold primordial in its surface somwhere.





This is what I was going to say. There is Cirotralech, who is imprisoned under Fimbrul.

Going to read the stuff. Guess I will give you my opinions tomorrow.

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 10 Oct 2019 00:58:18
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jamesewelch
Learned Scribe

94 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2019 :  02:32:30  Show Profile Send jamesewelch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:



So I guess I'm asking which way to head and why?




Which way generates the most fun for you? If one way feels fun and other way feels like not-fun, then go the fun way. It's easy to get scope creep and keep adding more and more and more content and never finish a product, so just don't fall into that - you need to figure out where your cut off line is at. Also, you need to figure out what is the most fun for you, because that's your motivation to keep going.

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shades of eternity
Learned Scribe

274 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2019 :  01:02:05  Show Profile  Visit shades of eternity's Homepage Send shades of eternity a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well that answers that.

https://www.dmsguild.com/product/291457/Angus-Guide-to-Amn

It's officially on the dmsguild.

I removed the googledrive link, but if there is still interest, pm me and I'll more then happy to send you a complimentary copy for you guy's help. :)

If there are any problems, let me know.

I had an absolute blast writing my tour guide for Amn. Are there any other areas in the Forgotten Realms that you'd like to have the Angus' treatment?

check out my post-post apocalyptic world at www.drevrpg.com

Edited by - shades of eternity on 13 Oct 2019 02:51:24
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1391 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2019 :  20:43:34  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Already read up. I think is good. There are a few things about the dragonborn that I don't feel are accurate, but I guess are minor concerns from a dragonborn fan.

Like, why they remained in Amn, when they can go to Tymanther? I
Or if they were slaves from the dragon empires of Laerakond, and that kind of stuff.

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...
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shades of eternity
Learned Scribe

274 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2019 :  21:09:14  Show Profile  Visit shades of eternity's Homepage Send shades of eternity a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well mainly I always try to make things multispecies and since Amn is the most likely nation to be the first place to make contact via shipping, it made sense that some came back in some fashion and settled there. It's the same reason I made darm sure people from Maztica and Chult also ended up in Amn.

Making them mostly settle in the town Keczulla, where being involved in the mint plays on silly stereotypes. :p

Mostly I thought they were from Duskport and Eskorn, but if a PC could explain it from elsewhere, it could be added easily enough.:)

check out my post-post apocalyptic world at www.drevrpg.com
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