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bloodtide_the_red
Learned Scribe

USA
111 Posts

Posted - 01 Oct 2020 :  17:41:06  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Ships that sail between the stars? Next ye will spin tales of a talking hippopotamus that walks on two legs and carries a bow. I asked ye to research facts about other worlds, not spend a week in an opium den."
Elminster's note to Volo in Volo's Guide to Monsters

So this quote makes it seem like Elmisnter does not know about wildspace or spelljamming, and even more so does not even believe in the whole idea. Though it's a fair guess old El is also being a bit coy here. But it's interesting that Elminster is most intentionally trying to hide wildspace and spelljamming to the unknown person he is talking too.

But, speaking to someone else most likely years earlier he said: "Come, then, if ye are so bold. See what the deeps of wildspace have to offer, Elminster said, and he smiled at me, almost sadly. But mind: The Realms, now they are home,an ye know enough to recognize trouble when it raises blade or hand to smite ye. Ye will have no such comfort in space. Some places even the gods avoid!. He gestured toward the Helm, dark, silent, and menacing. It waited patiently. Sit,he said simply, and take thy vessel to the stars. "

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Gelcur
Learned Scribe

335 Posts

Posted - 01 Oct 2020 :  19:55:20  Show Profile  Visit Gelcur's Homepage Send Gelcur a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I must say I find this scroll interesting. More in the fact of condensing as much stray Realms related Spelljamming into one place.

I know Ed wrote SJR1 "Lost Ships", the first spelljammer supplement I'm pretty sure. In there Elminster gives us some of this banter through Ed. I also recall something like a half dozen 'jamming ships being stationed in Evermeet. And two in Everlund. And vaguely remember a few spelljamming ships being listed among the Cormyr's defenses, I may be wrong though.

I always thought introducing Spelljamming into my Realms would be fun. But I never had a good enough grasp of all the lore that existed to feel confident to present it right. Things like does it break the economy I'm sure are solvable, and likely have behind the scene/screen answers. Again I vaguely remember Ed saying something along the lines that portal networks are highly sought after and highly guarded but also that mishaps often do happen especially when magical items are sent through.

Wish I had more time to research and find the exact posts and sources on these but maybe others here can help. Keep up the great work.

The party come to a town befallen by hysteria

Rogue: So what's in the general store?
DM: What are you looking for?
Rogue: Whatevers in the store.
DM: Like what?
Rogue: Everything.
DM: There is a lot of stuff.
Rogue: Is there a cart outside?
DM: (rolls) Yes.
Rogue: We'll take it all, we may need it for the greater good.

Edited by - Gelcur on 01 Oct 2020 19:57:20
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9635 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2020 :  00:45:40  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

"Ships that sail between the stars? Next ye will spin tales of a talking hippopotamus that walks on two legs and carries a bow. I asked ye to research facts about other worlds, not spend a week in an opium den."
Elminster's note to Volo in Volo's Guide to Monsters

So this quote makes it seem like Elmisnter does not know about wildspace or spelljamming, and even more so does not even believe in the whole idea. Though it's a fair guess old El is also being a bit coy here. But it's interesting that Elminster is most intentionally trying to hide wildspace and spelljamming to the unknown person he is talking too.

But, speaking to someone else most likely years earlier he said: "Come, then, if ye are so bold. See what the deeps of wildspace have to offer, Elminster said, and he smiled at me, almost sadly. But mind: The Realms, now they are home,an ye know enough to recognize trouble when it raises blade or hand to smite ye. Ye will have no such comfort in space. Some places even the gods avoid!. He gestured toward the Helm, dark, silent, and menacing. It waited patiently. Sit,he said simply, and take thy vessel to the stars. "





Interestingly enough, if Volo's Guide to Monsters is supposed to be a "treatise" of some sort written by Volo on the subjects that that book covers and being delivered to the common folk of the realms, then in theory he IS letting the cat out of the bag on some things I believe (because it did have Giff in it, and I think it did cover some on spelljamming didn't it? I know it covered neogi, and talked about them having plane travelling ships. That might be why Elminster is being coy. Kind of like talking to a reporter and saying "off the record" and telling them some facts. Elminster may think the world still isn't ready for the revelations, but putting the cork back in the bottle can be really hard.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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comradecrunk
Acolyte

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2020 :  01:40:01  Show Profile Send comradecrunk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The way I have it figured is that the rest of realmspace doesn't want Toril out there. Each planet has its own conflict and there are plenty of shenanigans happening in space, but nothing on the scale of worlds being destroyed every 100 years or so. It's so bad that on receiving bad news its not uncommon to be met with snarky phrases like "what have the elves done this time?" or "don't tell me, mystra got herself killed again." Since the gods of Realmspace are all the same, think about the Time of Troubles. You're some small village of rock gnomes out on some asteroid somewhere and to you Ibrandul is a big deal. One day you wake up and all your village's magic just stops working. Come to find out your actual god was murdered on Toril. Not to mention the sphere wide Armageddon the Netherese caused on any magical/spelljamminng society a few thousand years earlier.

In my version of Realmspace, things are bumping along in Waterdeep and spelljamming is still kept a secret from the general population. Kara Tur is home to three open spelljamming ports. And in Calimshan it is somewhat of an open secret. Space is about to be blown wide open, creating all the trade and military questions you mentioned.

So then the Time of Troubles happens, and The Era of Upheaval begins. Life slowly starts to go back to normal but trade from other worlds has all but ceased and spelljamming is sort of lost in the events, at least on Faerun. The Shou Long, the Wa, and The Dock are still operational at the time. The mages like Elminster, Khelben, and Gamalon who had taken charge of Faerun's transition to space just shelved it and over time anecdotes became rumors and rumors became legends and legends became at best superstitions. A few ships might crash here and there, a visitor might come, people still study the stars, but spelljamming is cut short.

Then the Spellplague happens. From space this is an astronomical event that engulfs every planet out to Garden in a blue supernova and all attention is suddenly shifted towards Toril. The neogi see an opportunity to raid in the chaos, The elven navy rushes to Selune and begins rescue operations, and some nations on Coliar and Karpri saw it as a declaration of war. Even the Beholders on H'catha saw the explosion and have taken an interest. Fortunately, the chaos created by the Spellplague had occupied all their time and they couldn't respond, those who did discovered that when exposed to the blue fire for too long spelljamming helms had a tendency to explode. Toril was basically sealed off from the rest of realmspace.

After the 2nd Sundering, when Evermeet was planning to return to Toril, there was a summit called to discuss what had become known as the cerulean storm. Through careful negotiation over several years most of the big factions of space including the Illithid, Neogi, Shou Long, Elminster, Royal Court, and others had reached an agreement called the Treaty of Evermeet. In basic terms, they agreed that Toril would be off limits as long as they never reached for space and cut it out with all the apocalypses. The elves were forbidden to return to the planet and the nations of Kara Tur were effectively grounded, cutting the fleet off from the rest of their people. Despite these concessions, it was the weight of Mystra's return that kept most spacers away, as it was well known that Toril was her favorite planet.

Anyway, so everything has been all well and fine. Space is doing space things, Toril is just as problematic as ever with the world ending according to Wizards' release schedule, and life goes on. The problem is that people took notice when Halaster kidnapped The Scavenger and some are calling it a violation of the treaty.

Also the crystal sphere is locked only by Mystra's will. The sphere itself is her spell book and she has effectively shut it to travel in phlogiston. every spell written in every known and unknown language in the entire sphere is there, but actually trying to read from a spell you're not supposed to (such as phlogiston travel or 10th level spells) just basically kills you. As far as economics goes, this has a two fold effect. First, the Arcane are gone, which means the amount of spelljamming tech in the sphere is finite. This has the secondary effect of making Realmspace really only suitable for 10th level characters and above, as even the most humble space vessel is a prize for pirates thanks to its helm.

And that brings us up to the current timeline. The adventure I'm writing is set sometime in the current timeline and it involves taking the helm from Dungeon of the Mad mage and going to investigate Stardock, there they find neogi invasion plans that sends them off to Anadia to stop a brood of neogi religious fanatics.

Edited by - comradecrunk on 02 Oct 2020 02:06:37
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bloodtide_the_red
Learned Scribe

USA
111 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2020 :  03:39:39  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Realms are a bit odd as they have no skyship trade. Somehow no place....worldwide for 2,000 years plus of history has skyships....except the couple of "secret" ones Hallura and Nimbral have. But making a skyship is not that hard, even for just an average level spellcaster......and the Realms is over flowing with arch wizards and high level spellcasters. To just pick one super easy example: Cromyr. The War Wizards alone could take say ten high level members, give them say ten years and build a massive fleet of skyships. Really making a flying ship is way down at the bottom of a list of what a powerful spellcaster can do.

So it's hard to say no one knows how to make a sktship. Really take ship add magical fly is very basic. But it makes no sense that no one does.

Plus you have the Wildspace problem. Starting in about 1100 DR, Known Space includes Troil. So.....why don't people from Known Space go there? The temptation of normal trade is more then enough......but just like a skyship, a spelljammer breaks all the rules. Like all the "poor places in the NORTH that are Officially locked in show and ice all winter with zero trade....well except for the ship that just zips out of the sky to trade. Or say even a single spelljammer could make a TON of money just trading things in the east to west route. So why don't they?

There is plenty of spelljammer activity in Realmsspace, and even more so the Tears of Selune.......but they ignore the huge planet that they literary are right next too?
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9635 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2020 :  14:08:52  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

The Realms are a bit odd as they have no skyship trade. Somehow no place....worldwide for 2,000 years plus of history has skyships....except the couple of "secret" ones Hallura and Nimbral have. But making a skyship is not that hard, even for just an average level spellcaster......and the Realms is over flowing with arch wizards and high level spellcasters. To just pick one super easy example: Cromyr. The War Wizards alone could take say ten high level members, give them say ten years and build a massive fleet of skyships. Really making a flying ship is way down at the bottom of a list of what a powerful spellcaster can do.

So it's hard to say no one knows how to make a sktship. Really take ship add magical fly is very basic. But it makes no sense that no one does.

Plus you have the Wildspace problem. Starting in about 1100 DR, Known Space includes Troil. So.....why don't people from Known Space go there? The temptation of normal trade is more then enough......but just like a skyship, a spelljammer breaks all the rules. Like all the "poor places in the NORTH that are Officially locked in show and ice all winter with zero trade....well except for the ship that just zips out of the sky to trade. Or say even a single spelljammer could make a TON of money just trading things in the east to west route. So why don't they?

There is plenty of spelljammer activity in Realmsspace, and even more so the Tears of Selune.......but they ignore the huge planet that they literary are right next too?



For spelljamming, that's why I went through what some might call juxtapositions in the timeline I gave as a general idea (i.e. with Nimbral being the country that was acting as the liason to the stars and eventually the moon trying to horn in on this action). I can understand outside spelljammers being willing to hide their ability and work through a single culture if said culture is willing to do a lot of the groundwork for them. Essentially, Nimbral is kind of acting like Wal-Mart or Amazon for them and providing the best deals to incoming merchants by gathering the goods from around the world for them in secret. In doing this, the incoming merchants keep the world from "horning in on their markets" by keeping them in the dark AND they have quick one stop shopping for the best goods there are. To note, this is probably a good way to explain why the people on the moon are always worried about "finding the best stuff".... the best stuff is what they sell to the merchants coming in, and being known as having the best stuff makes them a good market. So, in essence, I picture Nimbral initially being the merchants, then they actually get competition with the moon base that they helped get into the business. Then the arcane show up and get the Shou buying helms and then the merchants were going in two directions (and perhaps the arcane knew the shou would lose their ships to attrition and they set them up. Perhaps even the arcane were pirating back their own helms to resell. I half wonder if the arcane don't target smug, self-assured groundling emperors to sell helms to because they know these are cultures they can dupe into buying lots of helms quickly and then recover them.... I'm now picturing the arcane as con artists with their own privateer fleets for just this type of service).

Now, why we don't see more "atmosphere-locked" skyships developed (not spelljammers, but just skyships), yeah, that one has perplexed me as well. Its even noted that Thay knows how to make them as well in the lore, and yet we don't see any there. Thematically, I get that Halruaa is isolationist, so I get why the hundreds of skyships that they have are staying home to a degree (at the same time, why have skyships if you don't travel.... I mean they make great patrol vessels, but...). The only thing I can come up with is that there's a materials issues, but the only materials I can see might be A) turtle shells and B) the gas in the balloons... and I don't see either being an insurmountable issue. They aren't even using fly... they're using levitate and then sailing AND they have to periodically renew the levitate spells, so its not even permanent. I feel like any culture with any decent level of organized wizardry should be able to recreate them for their country at least, and same for any merchants who have a significant spellcaster percentage. If Halruaa has hundreds, I feel like the Zhents should have a dozen or more easily. Thay should have dozens. Cormyr, Calimshan, Amn, Sembia, Tethyr, Impiltur, Mulhorand, etc.. should all have a small fleet of at least a half dozen or so just to patrol their borders (and I'd put Sembia and Amn having 2 or 3 dozen privately owned ones for merchant companies). Baldur's Gate having a famous mercenary company of its size should have a handful for tactical reasons. Even large city-states like Waterdeep, Silverymoon, Cimbar, etc... should have a couple in addition to any aerial cavalry they have. The only thing I can figure is that the damn things provoke dragons and similar flying creatures, who basically act like pirates and steal the things if they're being used for merchant vessels, or destroy them out of spite just to prove their air superiority. As a result, I figure any flying airship is going to have an escort that's separate. This might be aerial cavalry on griffins, pegasi, hippogriffs, asperii, giant eagles, etc... or simply a bunch of folks on brooms of flying (which admittedly, used to be much rarer and not as common as say a potion). Thematically, this fits the imagery we see on the cover of the 3e shining south where that skyship is escorted by dragonne mounted cavalry.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 02 Oct 2020 14:17:52
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bloodtide_the_red
Learned Scribe

USA
111 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2020 :  17:53:23  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not a fan of the silly hot air balloon type skyship. They just don't fit. They might be fine for casual travel, something like a yacht, but nothing else. But it's so easy, by the rules, to make even a simple cargo skyship. By 3E rules it's a simple flying 'stronghold space', and with a couple simple spell effects like levitation, shrinking(item spell) and extra demensional space....you could have a single cargo skyship that could load ALL the trade goods of the ENTIRE city of Waterdeep in it's hold and then just fly over to Kara-Tur to trade. Plus crazy battle skyships...like an all metal skyhawk: a giant animated metal hawk ship that can protect wand blasts from it's eyes (and the beyond cool Archangel variant that can fire metal Feathers of Sharpness).

How could any single location like Nimbral possibly "gate keep" and spelljamming trade world wide? Any one can land anywhere and trade. Even if Nimbral wanted to, blockading a planet is a bit silly.

I do have two solutions to both the above, from my own home Realms:

1.The Skyshield (taken from Mystara) toril is surrounded by a massive sphere of force. For the most part, things can't get in or out. There are occasional breaches and powerful magic can smash it's way in (plus you can teleport or plane shift past it). BUT even passing through the Skyshield by any method is dangerous....like a 50% chance of death and destruction.

So simply put....it's not worth the risk for most. Maybe the Skyshield is natural? Maybe it's a left over after effect of the Imarski Barrier? Maybe it was created at the dawn of time to protect the world/Chauntea from the fighting of Shar and Sel#251;ne (so...maybes it's part of Mystra/The Weave). Oh, also floating clouds of anti magic.

Nimbrial, with illusions (plus the folks on the moon too) could easily hide any natural breaches in the Skyshield AND, worse, make plenty of fake breaches. This would sure make Nimbral an effective gate keeper. Though, sure, some people do slip through....but not whole merchant fleets.

2.For skyships (or any powerful magic) I add the idea that Ed uses a lot that "powerful magic can act up if too much is in one place" and "magic is strange, unknowable, wild, dangerous, and deadly" . And a skyship is a very small place. So once you get a basic skyship with say a dozen enchantments....you will have problems. The ship might explode...or produce any other magic effect. Or wild magic effect. Or burn out and go dead magic. And so on and so on. So it's easy to build a skyship, but it's hard and tricky to keep one flying.

3.Much of the above can assumed to be Natural....or not. As the Realms are not a natural place. Maybe Mystra, Azuth, Bane or Talos (or anyone else) does target skyships for some reason. Maybe is a bunch of arch spellcasters (Sharn? Dragons?)

4.Plus there are a ton of anti magical monsters, plus anti fly ship/anti spelljammer monsters, and again dragons. And maybe that massive swarm of jammer leeches formed naturally....maybe Mystra cast mass polymorph on some flies or maybe an archmage found them elsewhere and slipped them through a portal.

5.Espionage. It's not just a sky space race....it's a cold war. Nobody wants someone else to get the first skyship or spelljamming fleet. So it's all spy vs spy. Governments, religious groups, merchant groups and private folks....all in a vast cloak and dagger game.

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comradecrunk
Acolyte

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2020 :  22:12:01  Show Profile Send comradecrunk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are some eerie similarities between your thoughts and mine on Realmspace. This topic inspired me to compile my notes on the subject into a 2 page document. I've been writing tons of Realmspace lately. Here is a short version of a timeline through 4e. In 3e I just kind of assume it's like 2e. Lots of secret spelljamming and gathering information while trying to ease Faerun into being a spacefaring civilization, mostly because of how volatile the continent is without adding space monsters to the mix.

Check it out! Let me know what you think. Fair warning, it needs a bit of an editing pass and I am **horrible** at coming up with names of all sorts.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wfx522oeaaeqzx9/Realmspace%20I%20-%20The%20Dawn%20Heralds.pdf?dl=0

Edited by - comradecrunk on 02 Oct 2020 22:12:45
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AuldDragon
Senior Scribe

USA
397 Posts

Posted - 05 Oct 2020 :  01:20:19  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Jeff/Aulddragon,

First, let me say, thank you very much for joining this conversation, because I get the idea that you were possibly involved in the design and you definitely played it.


I was definitely not involved; it's just my favorite campaign setting, and I'm currently running a 2e campaign in the setting. :)

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

For instance, as I think about remote colonies, my thoughts turn to portals being setup between Toril and these remote colonies... and suddenly I'm seeing a need to make construction of such much more expensive than a portal that jumps goods from say Waterdeep to Aglarond (which itself should be expensive). However, with magic, I think setting up these remote colonies would be a heck of a lot faster than what we can do in our real world.



There is a New Waterdeep somewhere, although it hasn't been detailed much beyond some quotes from residences. Spelljamming actually has some issues with setting up colonies, given the air requirements on vessels, although that is less of an issue if they bring multiple low-level priests and wizards along. Setting up magical portals would help, but that gets to what I was saying before about teleportation being an easier and cheaper way to handle shipping.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

The Octopus Ship and the Cuttle Command had some movement to their tentacles, as I recall, but it was purely a mechanical thing and was more of a "reposition so this weapon has a different firing arc" thing than anything else. I do seem to recall, though, mention of some individual Octopus Ships having magically animated tentacles.

While I'm not a fan of the current design team's shtick of "Who cares if X was this way before, we're doing this other thing now!" I gotta admit that having a grappling Nautiloid is thematically appropriate. I'd not make it a standard feature on all Nautiloids, obviously, but if it was stated that this was a one-off, I'd not complain.



Yeah, the Cuttle Command and Octopus have wooden tentacles that are mobile due to machinery, and I wouldn't mind a special Nautiloid that replaced the piercing ram with a grappling ram, but my serious issue is with the living nature of the redesign. That causes some serious issues with the canon of the Astromundi Cluster. They made the choice *because* they thought it would be cool, rather than doing something that makes sense that is *also* cool.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

So, possibly the elven communities were "in the know" and were specifically keeping the information hidden as to the extent of what the ships were from groundling communities. Hell, it may have only been known to the elven leadership at that? People may have known that they had flying ships, but not that they could leave the world with them. In that way, they may have thought of them as similar to Halruaan Skyships.


It is canon that the Imperial Elven Navy maintains contact with most planetary elven nations that they are aware of. The Monarch Mordent was a ship sent by the IEN to aid Cormanthor specifically, but it was also about the only aid they were capable of giving at the time. It's probably reasonable to see the fall of Cormanthor as one of (a multitude) of elements that prompted the First Unhuman War.

quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

"Ships that sail between the stars? Next ye will spin tales of a talking hippopotamus that walks on two legs and carries a bow. I asked ye to research facts about other worlds, not spend a week in an opium den."
Elminster's note to Volo in Volo's Guide to Monsters

So this quote makes it seem like Elmisnter does not know about wildspace or spelljamming, and even more so does not even believe in the whole idea. Though it's a fair guess old El is also being a bit coy here. But it's interesting that Elminster is most intentionally trying to hide wildspace and spelljamming to the unknown person he is talking too.


I would say it is a certainty that Elminster is trying to hide the fact of Spelljamming, considering he has a remote hideway in Realmspace and has traveled the stars.

quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

Plus you have the Wildspace problem. Starting in about 1100 DR, Known Space includes Troil. So.....why don't people from Known Space go there? The temptation of normal trade is more then enough......but just like a skyship, a spelljammer breaks all the rules. Like all the "poor places in the NORTH that are Officially locked in show and ice all winter with zero trade....well except for the ship that just zips out of the sky to trade. Or say even a single spelljammer could make a TON of money just trading things in the east to west route. So why don't they?

There is plenty of spelljammer activity in Realmsspace, and even more so the Tears of Selune.......but they ignore the huge planet that they literary are right next too?



They don't ignore it, they just stick to the known ports. Toril is known as a Groundling world, and groundlings are looked down upon as "Clueless" are in Planescape. The known ports basically where cargo is sold off, and bought by merchants who would use Groundling style vessels to sell it at other ports. This preserves the secrecy, while also allowing it to be a trading destination. As I mentioned, think of it like cargo from China arriving at Los Angeles, then being shipped into the Midwest, rather than being shipped directly to the midwest.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
My streamed AD&D Spelljamer sessions: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/playlists?flow=grid&shelf_id=18&view=50
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 05 Oct 2020 :  04:41:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

The Octopus Ship and the Cuttle Command had some movement to their tentacles, as I recall, but it was purely a mechanical thing and was more of a "reposition so this weapon has a different firing arc" thing than anything else. I do seem to recall, though, mention of some individual Octopus Ships having magically animated tentacles.

While I'm not a fan of the current design team's shtick of "Who cares if X was this way before, we're doing this other thing now!" I gotta admit that having a grappling Nautiloid is thematically appropriate. I'd not make it a standard feature on all Nautiloids, obviously, but if it was stated that this was a one-off, I'd not complain.



Yeah, the Cuttle Command and Octopus have wooden tentacles that are mobile due to machinery, and I wouldn't mind a special Nautiloid that replaced the piercing ram with a grappling ram, but my serious issue is with the living nature of the redesign. That causes some serious issues with the canon of the Astromundi Cluster. They made the choice *because* they thought it would be cool, rather than doing something that makes sense that is *also* cool.


I wasn't aware that the tentacles on this one were living; I've not even seen a copy of the book, yet, and I'll not be laying hands on it until I find it for a reasonable discount. Does the book say that this is standard issue?

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AuldDragon
Senior Scribe

USA
397 Posts

Posted - 05 Oct 2020 :  05:13:17  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I wasn't aware that the tentacles on this one were living; I've not even seen a copy of the book, yet, and I'll not be laying hands on it until I find it for a reasonable discount. Does the book say that this is standard issue?



There was a picture and short bit of text from the book posted over at the Piazza, and the image shows the tentacles clearly splayed about limply, and this is some of the text:
"Designed to move through the Astral Plane, nautiloids are bizarre flying ships that can also transport mind flayers between the various worlds of the Material Plane. The Id Ascendant is one such ship.

A nautiloid looks like an enormous nautilus shell fitted with one or more exterior decks and a large, forward-facing mass of rubbery tentacles. The mind flayers use these tentacles to scour the surface of a world for interesting creatures to take back home for study or a feast.

The mind flayers have lost the secret of manufacturing nautiloids, meaning that the loss of any vessel brings them one step closer to remaining trapped on the Material Plane."

Here's the thread:
http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25222

So I guess *technically* it doesn't say they're alive, but they're certainly not wooden vessels like they used to be. The artwork makes it look much more organic than the classic vessel, too. The description and imagery matches what's been shown in Baldur's Gate III, loosely at least. So I suppose they might be enchanted to be life-like (it does say "manufacture" but that could be applie to elven vessels, too, even though grown is the standard comment), but I'm not sure how much difference that would really make.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
My streamed AD&D Spelljamer sessions: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/playlists?flow=grid&shelf_id=18&view=50
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."
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Ayrik
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Posted - 05 Oct 2020 :  05:37:00  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Illithids are powerfully psionic predators. Masters of telepathy and psychokinesis. They could deceive observers into seeing and sensing things which aren't real. They could imbue inanimate objects to be moving - or living - or possibly even thinking creatures. They could mentally subjugate and alter any "organic" being under their control. They can use their psionic "technology" to construct things.

I'd always thought their nautiloids were some Cthulhu-inspired version of "living" spelljammer ships, not unlike the ones "grown" by the Elven Armada. Perhaps even the same species, though perverted by illithid manipulations. Maybe even the result of implanting one of their own tadpoles into the ship's "brain".

But I agree, none of this is explicitly described in Spelljammer lore. It's all speculation.

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
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Posted - 05 Oct 2020 :  11:53:37  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

The Octopus Ship and the Cuttle Command had some movement to their tentacles, as I recall, but it was purely a mechanical thing and was more of a "reposition so this weapon has a different firing arc" thing than anything else. I do seem to recall, though, mention of some individual Octopus Ships having magically animated tentacles.

While I'm not a fan of the current design team's shtick of "Who cares if X was this way before, we're doing this other thing now!" I gotta admit that having a grappling Nautiloid is thematically appropriate. I'd not make it a standard feature on all Nautiloids, obviously, but if it was stated that this was a one-off, I'd not complain.



Yeah, the Cuttle Command and Octopus have wooden tentacles that are mobile due to machinery, and I wouldn't mind a special Nautiloid that replaced the piercing ram with a grappling ram, but my serious issue is with the living nature of the redesign. That causes some serious issues with the canon of the Astromundi Cluster. They made the choice *because* they thought it would be cool, rather than doing something that makes sense that is *also* cool.


I wasn't aware that the tentacles on this one were living; I've not even seen a copy of the book, yet, and I'll not be laying hands on it until I find it for a reasonable discount. Does the book say that this is standard issue?



Just like the Waterdeep book, which also has a nautiloid, the information given is more of a "this is this ship". For instance, the one in the dungeon of the mad mage is called "the helm of the scavenger". The illithids on the one in rime of the frostmaiden aren't even standard illithids, but rather gnome ceremorphs and "squidlings" whose bodies are so small that they walk around on their oversized mouth tentacles. My take when I'm seeing this stuff is to not try and backwards engineer the rulesets by considering it standard, but rather to look at each as a one off, and then hopefully we can come up with our own rules or they can come up with some rules for spelljamming. Basically, I see this stuff as exactly the kind of design I expect people to do... give a small hint, and work out the broader details as they see some kind of feedback from the public (which partly is what this thread is about, is I hoped that we could give some insight from us, the end public, about what we'd like to see beforehand rather than after they've put something out).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 05 Oct 2020 :  12:24:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon


I was definitely not involved; it's just my favorite campaign setting, and I'm currently running a 2e campaign in the setting. :)

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

For instance, as I think about remote colonies, my thoughts turn to portals being setup between Toril and these remote colonies... and suddenly I'm seeing a need to make construction of such much more expensive than a portal that jumps goods from say Waterdeep to Aglarond (which itself should be expensive). However, with magic, I think setting up these remote colonies would be a heck of a lot faster than what we can do in our real world.



There is a New Waterdeep somewhere, although it hasn't been detailed much beyond some quotes from residences. Spelljamming actually has some issues with setting up colonies, given the air requirements on vessels, although that is less of an issue if they bring multiple low-level priests and wizards along. Setting up magical portals would help, but that gets to what I was saying before about teleportation being an easier and cheaper way to handle shipping.

Jeff



Yep, the New Waterdeep is on Maztica's northern side, and actually it was delving these far flung bits of Toril that got me to thinking more and more about spelljamming, in relation to red wizard trade enclaves along with there being now refugees that would probably look more favorably on those enclaves. Granted my favorite bit of the canon new world is Fort Flame and the City of Gold.

It was in the world that I saw definitely there should be some kind of "network" setup between red wizard trade enclaves, but it also needed to be profitable, so only select enclaves would have it, etc... and trade occurring within a continent via standard shipping to the focal point and then between continents via portals once its shown "its worth it".

I guess maybe we should think along the same lines with spelljamming colonies being setup by Torilian countries (or groups of countries working in a small alliance, though that's harder to picture working). Also, I think I'm kind of jumping the gun with considering building a portal between worlds, because the portal SHOULD be expensive as heck and thus.... maybe they might actually WANT to spend 10 or 20 years researching a planet, sending colonists to study and find "the best place to put the expensive portal's endpoint". After all, just because they can go to ... for instance karpri... doesn't mean they're rolling in dough. Yes, there are resources there, but they do have mostly similar stuff at home. So, perhaps they create away teams of adventurers, and maybe they even create "support teams" of laborers, cooks, farmers, etc... that they also send over way before they ever consider where to finally put their end portals.

So, IF they were going to setup some kind of remote colony, what would be the "driving things" that they'd want? I actually am thinking portability of the community becomes a very important thing. However, I don't think you can make everything portable. You can make say some base that's composed of a handful of daern's instant fortresses that you connect or surround with simple wall spells or "daern's instant curtain walls". You can use bags of holding to carry tools, food, etc... You can have something like a murlynd's spoon, cauldron of plenty, etc... for feeding people. You can have lots of portable lighting in the form of continual flame torches. You can have construct or summoned mounts (or even a figurine of wondrouse power that's just a donkey or draft horse for farming). But the farm itself would be hard to transport simply because of how much acreage it would require to feed animals and people.

So, that being said... maybe the idea of building remote farms is then cast aside in favor of a leaner crew with magic that can either produce food OR the use of spelljammers to travel back and forth with new supplies on a say 3 month basis. This of course also ties the colonies back to the home world and keeps them loyal. Maybe only once they find an area that seems safe and habitable enough for farmers does that stage of colonization begin.

I would also note, that while this all seems very impacting, in truth other than providing a dream... it won't impact the average person living on Toril all that much. I only stress on this because its natural for us to put on the "our world" goggles and try to think of it like what's happening here. But there's still no mass media or television to deliver images of what's going on on the remote colonies. So, the average person might hear about it, and maybe periodically the "king" sends someone around to relay stories about what's happening with "the famous adventurers that are exploring another world for us", but its nothing more than a dream that "one day we may go onto the new world". They might even have multiple adventuring groups that do the exact same thing, but sending them somewhere closer (i.e. Maztica, anchorome, katashaka, etc....).... and in fact a lot of the ideas behind my United Tharchs of Toril mindset are kind of exactly that... people expanding somewhere else in a smallish way and seeing whether they can thrive and grow there.

So, if the building of teleportation means between worlds only comes after they've gotten a good handle on setting up a place that they have good control over (extremely good control, because they also don't want the portal being used for invaders from another world), are there any topics or ideas I'm not covering that might be something people might consider or need?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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AuldDragon
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Posted - 05 Oct 2020 :  16:37:03  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just like the Waterdeep book, which also has a nautiloid, the information given is more of a "this is this ship".



I don't read the text I shared as "this is a one-off." I read it as "this is standard for the line." I could certainly be wrong, but considering BG3 matches it, it is at least not a one-off, even if there are others, but there's no precedent for it in Spelljammer.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

There is a New Waterdeep somewhere, although it hasn't been detailed much beyond some quotes from residences. Spelljamming actually has some issues with setting up colonies, given the air requirements on vessels, although that is less of an issue if they bring multiple low-level priests and wizards along. Setting up magical portals would help, but that gets to what I was saying before about teleportation being an easier and cheaper way to handle shipping.


Yep, the New Waterdeep is on Maztica's northern side, and actually it was delving these far flung bits of Toril that got me to thinking more and more about spelljamming, in relation to red wizard trade enclaves along with there being now refugees that would probably look more favorably on those enclaves. Granted my favorite bit of the canon new world is Fort Flame and the City of Gold.


Sorry, I specifically meant in somewhere in Spelljammer, not somewhere else on Toril. There's a few quotes in the Complete Spacefarer's Handbook that set up a funny little back-and-forth between New Waterdeep and a goblinoid port nearby. The quotes are also supposed to give DMs some adventure ideas.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I guess maybe we should think along the same lines with spelljamming colonies being setup by Torilian countries (or groups of countries working in a small alliance, though that's harder to picture working). Also, I think I'm kind of jumping the gun with considering building a portal between worlds, because the portal SHOULD be expensive as heck and thus.... maybe they might actually WANT to spend 10 or 20 years researching a planet, sending colonists to study and find "the best place to put the expensive portal's endpoint". After all, just because they can go to ... for instance karpri... doesn't mean they're rolling in dough. Yes, there are resources there, but they do have mostly similar stuff at home. So, perhaps they create away teams of adventurers, and maybe they even create "support teams" of laborers, cooks, farmers, etc... that they also send over way before they ever consider where to finally put their end portals.


Given the distances and logistics involved, I would actually say that most of the (human) Spelljammer colonies are wholly independent and unauthorized. The aforementioned "New Waterdeep" in my view was probably set up by some adventurers who were originally from Waterdeep, gained access to a helm, adventured in space for a time, surpassed 9th level, and settled down to set up a fortress and gain followers. Most of the followers would not be from New Waterdeep, but since the adventurers were, they just decided to name it that. Even if Spelljamming is known, setting up authorized, supplied, and protected colonies would be a logistical nightmare. Instead, it would probably be a group of people from the city who just decide to travel to the stars on their own.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
My streamed AD&D Spelljamer sessions: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/playlists?flow=grid&shelf_id=18&view=50
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."
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sleyvas
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Posted - 05 Oct 2020 :  17:27:40  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon


quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I guess maybe we should think along the same lines with spelljamming colonies being setup by Torilian countries (or groups of countries working in a small alliance, though that's harder to picture working). Also, I think I'm kind of jumping the gun with considering building a portal between worlds, because the portal SHOULD be expensive as heck and thus.... maybe they might actually WANT to spend 10 or 20 years researching a planet, sending colonists to study and find "the best place to put the expensive portal's endpoint". After all, just because they can go to ... for instance karpri... doesn't mean they're rolling in dough. Yes, there are resources there, but they do have mostly similar stuff at home. So, perhaps they create away teams of adventurers, and maybe they even create "support teams" of laborers, cooks, farmers, etc... that they also send over way before they ever consider where to finally put their end portals.


Given the distances and logistics involved, I would actually say that most of the (human) Spelljammer colonies are wholly independent and unauthorized. The aforementioned "New Waterdeep" in my view was probably set up by some adventurers who were originally from Waterdeep, gained access to a helm, adventured in space for a time, surpassed 9th level, and settled down to set up a fortress and gain followers. Most of the followers would not be from New Waterdeep, but since the adventurers were, they just decided to name it that. Even if Spelljamming is known, setting up authorized, supplied, and protected colonies would be a logistical nightmare. Instead, it would probably be a group of people from the city who just decide to travel to the stars on their own.

Jeff



That's where we're going to differe a little (and that's fine, each person's view of the world is different). The one thing that is kind of finite in the world is land, and if they can find land that's less contested, even better. Meanwhile, most adventurers don't have a lot of resources outside of their local group of friends and family. If those adventurers are going to give up their life and move to another world, I don't see it turning into a colony. I see it being a small village of a couple houses or so on some planet. Now, they may attract more people from other spelljamming worlds or somesuch, but they may just as well attract people who just come in and take their resources.

Governments though, they would have more of an ability to find people who would work together to form a colony. They might even be able to build a team for the purpose and have a second and third team in the wings to support them. They might ferry these teams back and forth between the world so that these people don't feel so isolated (and to keep them loyal to the people that support them). Governments might also have the resources to have a backup spelljammer waiting should there be issues (even if its by reaching out to an allied nation and asking for help by having them send some of their own adventurers to escort a second team from the original country to check on a colony that's sent a rescue alert or gone quiet). That's kind of how I could see things happening. For instance, if Cormyr, Tethyr, and Impiltur all somehow acquired a pair of ships each, they might be able to negotiate an agreement to send their own separate colonies up in a relatively near area to each other (relatively near might be 200 miles apart mind you). Then between the 6 total ships, they might ferry supplies near constantly for the things that "oh shoot, we forgot this or didn't think we'd use so much of that" to all 3 colonies. Meanwhile countries like Amn and Sembia (or possibly more likely trading cartels within those countries) might offer their ships specifically as "escorts" and additional carrying capacity in this caravan for the sole purpose of actual trade, scouting out the landscape for additional expansion once the other three countries invest the time and money to establish order. Thus, if most of these colony deliveries are happening with 4 or 5 ships at a time, they're less likely to be targeted by space pirate groups (even moreso if those space pirates find out that any attack will end up with 3 countries specifically hunting them down not only to get their stuff back, but also acquire the ships of the pirates).

Bear in mind, I'm trying to think this through as people come back with ideas, so please keep them coming. I think this is being a very productive and useful conversation. I may not be right, but at least I think we're building ideas.

To note, in the above ideas, the 3 countries are not near one another on Toril, but they aren't horribly dissimilar. Also, of those countries, only one of them (Tethyr) would have any chance of settling a colony in the True World (i.e. Maztica/Anchorome, etc...). Meanwhile, they've already got competitors who have gotten a headstart, and those competitors don't share anything like the same ideals. So, for Tethyr to settle in the True World might happen, but they stand less of a chance of it working. Cormyr and Impiltur are flat out of luck in expanding into the True World in a significant way without some serious work. However, in working with 3 countries that each respect an idea of sovereignty and have somewhat similar outlooks, an alliance can theoretically happen with all 3 of them being equally capable of success.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 05 Oct 2020 17:35:50
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comradecrunk
Acolyte

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Posted - 06 Oct 2020 :  07:14:21  Show Profile Send comradecrunk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just like the Waterdeep book, which also has a nautiloid, the information given is more of a "this is this ship".



I don't read the text I shared as "this is a one-off." I read it as "this is standard for the line." I could certainly be wrong, but considering BG3 matches it, it is at least not a one-off, even if there are others, but there's no precedent for it in Spelljammer



Well everything in 3e+ refers to them as planar ships not spelljammers anyway. In my headcannon that reads as they lost the tech a way long time ago and the spelljamming ships are just a facsimile.

Also as of at least 5e the tentacles do move. Check out the trailer for Baulders Gate 3, which Wizards has said is cannon.
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Mirtek
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Posted - 07 Oct 2020 :  23:29:49  Show Profile Send Mirtek a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

There aren't any examples of "locked" spheres in Spelljammer lore.

Spheres are sometimes defended (at least in stories) by heavy military forces - extreme and excessive military forces - fleets and armadas of spelljammers, orbital fortifications, space dragon patrols, space beholder formations, gunpowder and steel and wizards guarding every approach.
It seems like a whole lot of expense and effort to me. Why would anyone install a standing military if there's easier ways to keep intruders away?

I think you can't lock a sphere any more than you can lock a plane. How could you prevent gates and portals from opening? How could you keep planeshifters and teleporters out of an entire world, an entire star system?

A god might be able to do it. Or an overgod. Though it's worth noting that we have examples like Realmspace and Kyrnnspace, the domains of two overgods who are known to be somewhat territorial and intolerant of intruders - and yet their spheres don't seem to be locked.


All that being said ...

Crystal spheres are like bubbles in the Flow. They bob and bounce and drift around, they go with the flow, they're always in motion. That's why navigators are still needed and why travel times are always variable even when jamming well-known trade circiuts in the Triad.

Spelljammer lore indirectly asserts (through lore about the kreen races) that Athas was once accessible from the spacelanes. Maybe the Triad was once the Tetrad (or some other polyad). Athas (the world of Darksun) drifted away ages ago, many millennia ago, but it was once connected the same way the Triad spheres are all caught in the same eddy within the Flow.

So perhaps Realmspace has drifted away. Or is still drifting. It may have become disconnected or entirely lost to spelljamming civilization. Or it may still be accessible but so distant, so awkwardly located in the Flow that travel to it (or travel back from it) isn't practical, profitable, or pleasant enough to bother. (And let's be honest: we know that teleporting and worldwalking and planar transport are all still viable travel methods, nobody would use spelljammers anymore if the journey is now too long, too expensive, too uncertain, or too dangerous.)

Isn't Athas locked?
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Ayrik
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Posted - 08 Oct 2020 :  00:40:35  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Athas is not "locked" - it is unknown and unreachable.

Spelljammer lore strongly implies (but doesn't say outright) that Athas was once connected to the rest of the Spelljammer setting. But so long ago that even the kreen races who evolved there have forgotten their first origin - their Kreenspace "homeworld" is implied in 2E lore to be a colony, although their half-forgotten racial memory considers it their homeworld.

No path to Athas has ever been discovered (or at least never been recorded) in Spelljammer lore. They aren't even aware Athas exists, they have no reason to search for it and nobody has ever stumbled upon it in the uncharted reaches of the phlogiston. While Athas itself has no spelljammers, not even in their legends. Athas certainly lacks the ability to manufacture spelljamming helms, because these would be constrained by the special conditions (and rules) of the depleted magical wasteland permeating Darksun.

It is possible that the kreen initially reached their kreenspace "homeworld" through planar magics. And Athas does have a few extremely tenuous connections to other planes. Although it is also strangely isolated from the Outer Planes and has strangely localized Inner Planes, not unlike Eberron and Abeir in some ways.

It's even possible that Athas doesn't exist within a crystal sphere at all. We assume it must, for consistency. But it is slightly contraindicated in Darksun lore.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 08 Oct 2020 00:43:00
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Mirtek
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Posted - 09 Oct 2020 :  00:37:21  Show Profile Send Mirtek a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The undead "almost-dragon" sorcerer king actually has a quite well working planar portal and used it to go outside (and learn). And I vaguely recall references to the hull of a crashed spelljammer somewhere.


But I guess that's off topic in regard to spelljammers and Toril. Just thought it could be a canonical example of a locked sphere

Edited by - Mirtek on 09 Oct 2020 00:38:18
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Ayrik
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Posted - 09 Oct 2020 :  01:24:47  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Where is this ruined spelljammer in Athas?

The giths in Athas are degenerates who might have originally been (already degenerate) gith pirates ... able to arrive onboard a ship they once sailed on astral seas ...

[/Ayrik]
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cpthero2
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Posted - 23 Oct 2020 :  22:55:38  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader sleyvas,

Well, The Blackstaff does have a record of destroying things, including lives, so I could see him going around destroying stuff for a century straight! lol

Best regards,


Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 24 Oct 2020 :  03:41:49  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

Great Reader sleyvas,

Well, The Blackstaff does have a record of destroying things, including lives, so I could see him going around destroying stuff for a century straight! lol

Best regards,





*sigh* You just can't help singing that over-played song, can you?

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cpthero2
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Posted - 24 Oct 2020 :  23:01:20  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Master Rupert,

quote:
*sigh* You just can't help singing that over-played song, can you?


Well, it is an evil song, I grant you that. I wish it could be a good song. ;)

Best regards,

Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 25 Oct 2020 :  04:03:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

Master Rupert,

quote:
*sigh* You just can't help singing that over-played song, can you?


Well, it is an evil song, I grant you that. I wish it could be a good song. ;)

Best regards,




Yes, the song you sing is an evil one -- it inflicts pain and suffering on others just because the singer wants to.

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