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 There can be only one! ...on faerun too?¿?
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tauster
Senior Scribe

Germany
399 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2004 :  22:14:42  Show Profile  Visit tauster's Homepage Send tauster a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
after watching an old episode of "highlander" (the series), suddenly it came to me: why not transfer that concept into the realms?

as far as i know there is no such thing as immortals who behead each other in the realms, but of course i can be wrong...

so why not blatantly copy the idea?
lets have a closer look about the pro´s & con´s.

pro

- immortals both in the movies and the series aren´t known to the world at large (except for the watchers and each other), so establishing them shouldn´t change the "public" face of faerun too much. "...they have always been there, behind the scenes. moving among us without arousing suspicion..." you get the idea...

- in a world with other longliving races like elves, dwarves, faeries (who could very well be immortal), several types of undead, dragons, outsiders, etc., another long-living "race" shouldn´t have too much impact on the overall "balance of power". heck, there are potions of longevity- so even mortals may taste a whiff of immortality!

- in a fantasy-world like faerun, immortals could be of (almost) any race, giving more variety to them. [rant]imagine your party of pc traipsing through the stonelands and finding, allured by the ringing of steel on steel, a towering hobgoblin and a nimble halfling locked in awesome swordplay. their fighting prowess excels almost everything the pc have ever seen... until here, this scene may come to life in faerun without insolent copycatting. but wouldnt it be cool to describe the famous quickening (eerie lights, lighning, thunder...) that follows the beheading? the faces of your players when they begin to realize what kind of battle they just saw? [/rant]

contra

...well... i can´t really find anything against my idea...
so what problems/conflicts did i overlook?


i slighly modified the vampires (the stats and the general rules around vampirism) to bring them more in line with the ones of anne rice and have made very good experiences with that, so why not trying with good ol´ duncan mc cloud what worked with marius?

tauster

Edited by - tauster on 14 Jun 2004 22:22:43

SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2004 :  22:39:21  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wasn't there another thread not too long ago that had this idea?
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AutoSponge
Seeker

18 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2004 :  23:47:46  Show Profile  Visit AutoSponge's Homepage Send AutoSponge a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about the fact that it is infinitely cheesy? I mean, it's not even *good* sci-fi (not to mention unoriginal) and you want to copy/paste it into your high-fantasy game?

Perseus was immortal after beheading the gorgon medusa in greek myth. All the creator of Highlander did is extend the metaphor to whoever might be able to slay Perseus.

Vampires are often decapitated to ensure their destruction, and other vampires can profit in power by slaying one of their own.

Celtic druids believed that an immortal soul was passed to another being and performed decapitation rituals for that effect.

There's probably more than a couple chinese tales or believes with similar ideas.

It's nothing new, so don't feel like you have to pay homage to Highlander for the idea. But I'd say it's a bit redundant in a high-fantasy setting like FR.
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Chyron
Learned Scribe

Hong Kong
279 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2004 :  02:19:25  Show Profile  Visit Chyron's Homepage Send Chyron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There was a great Japanese manga series called Mermaid's Scar that dealt with this same concept (immortals who could only be killed by losing their head). It pre-dates Highlander as well, but deals with immortality as more of a curse.

Still for the realms, I think the Chosen are really like the immortals here. And the notion that if you kill them you get their power (or silverfire) is a prominent belief. So I am not sure the concept would fit well. You might just take the idea and modify it. Maybe you can make a Chosen of Tempus or Malar who are selected by hunting or battle and rather than granting silverfire the post grants a type of immortality and a few other battle benefits, thus it is open to any who can best the current Tempan / Malarite chosen (which should not be an easy task)of which 'there can be only one' (sorry, but it fits )

In a custom campaign I played in, my DM had a legend of 7 immortals (in the sense that you would not age or die from age). If you managed to kill one of them (a task which was left to much speculation) , then you would become one but there could only be seven (as opposed to one) and of course many many folks hunted after this legend so you would likely find immortality less than a blessing.

But stop for a moment and consider what you want to implement. What is the purpose of your immortality in the game? IS it just a device to make characters long lived or near invulnerable? Consider the campaign ramifications before you make any decision. I think immortality is an attractive choice, but all too often the cons are not taken fully into account. A single immortal character among a party would greatly imbalance the group. An entire party would greatly change the level of gaming. Be sure you ware ready to handle such a change. Also if you have not done so, I would recommend that you read the Elminster Books by Ed Greenwood, as they discuss the life of a ‘near’ immortal and you can see how time and challenges build up against someone with such renown.

Just My Thoughts
Chyron :)


Edited by - Chyron on 15 Jun 2004 03:27:51
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
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Posted - 15 Jun 2004 :  03:13:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And for another look at immortality, look at the novel Flying Dutch, by Tom Holt (I believe). 'Tis a different spin on being immortal..

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 15 Jun 2004 03:14:37
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Bookwyrm
Great Reader

USA
4740 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2004 :  05:13:01  Show Profile  Visit Bookwyrm's Homepage  Click to see Bookwyrm's MSN Messenger address Send Bookwyrm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm sorry, but this is completely unoriginal. Are you going to be suggesting a Vampire Slayer as well? Three powerful sister sorcerers? It's almost as bad as taking Cortez and using him in the Realms because the author couldn't be bothered to think of an original plot.

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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2004 :  05:49:06  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It seems D20 publisher, Mongoose is tackling this idea with this October release:

quote:

The Book of Immortals Hardcover - $34.95
Focusing on epic play from 20th level onwards, The Book of Immortals introduces a wealth of new d20

material for one of the most neglected, yet central themes of fantasy campaigns - the quest for ultimate power!


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Bookwyrm
Great Reader

USA
4740 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2004 :  07:41:59  Show Profile  Visit Bookwyrm's Homepage  Click to see Bookwyrm's MSN Messenger address Send Bookwyrm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've no problem with a d20 set for Highlander. I've actually seen a PDF somewhere that details some aspects someone made. What I'm irritated at is sticking it in the Realms.

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Arivia
Great Reader

Canada
2887 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2004 :  07:42:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SiriusBlack

It seems D20 publisher, Mongoose is tackling this idea with this October release:

quote:

The Book of Immortals Hardcover - $34.95
Focusing on epic play from 20th level onwards, The Book of Immortals introduces a wealth of new d20

material for one of the most neglected, yet central themes of fantasy campaigns - the quest for ultimate power!






Of course-they have to focus on the divine ascension aspect, not any of the other options epic levels offer...*thud*
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kahonen
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
358 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2004 :  12:27:31  Show Profile  Visit kahonen's Homepage Send kahonen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Woahhh! I've got to express disappointment at the tone of the reponses to this post. I thought for a moment I'd logged onto the Wizards forums by mistake.

None of us have any idea of Tauster's backgound: for all we know, he could be a kid who really believes he's just had an entirely original thought and this could be the first time he's thought outside of the TSR/WOTC/Hasbro box.

Do people offer constructive criticism. Nah! Just give him a hard time because it's not original and a little cheesy.

I thought Candlekeep was better than that

I get the impression at times that the more regular posters at Candlekeep forget that the vast majority of users aren't literary geniuses or walking encyclopedias of Realms knowledge. The reason most people come here is for advice.

Tauster hasn't posted since starting this thread. I wonder how many other potential members have read this thread and been put off posting?

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Bookwyrm
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USA
4740 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2004 :  12:49:59  Show Profile  Visit Bookwyrm's Homepage  Click to see Bookwyrm's MSN Messenger address Send Bookwyrm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
::grumbl::

Okay, yeah. It's a bit harsh. And "unoriginality" isn't in itself a valid arguement. I never insulted Tauster, though. I just dislike the idea he put forth. Strongly so.

You say that potential members may have been put off by this. Well, I was gone for over a month. That's my longest absence ever, and it was prolonged by this thread and others that were just stupid.

Tauster, nothing against you. I just don't think that Highlander and the Realms should mix at all. I see no way that they could be compatible. I don't just mean the mechanics of the idea, I mean the entire mix. If you want a fantasy Highlander go right ahead. I'd even help, if I knew more about the show. It just doesn't make sense to mix it into the Realms. That's all.

Hell hath no fury like all of Candlekeep rising in defense of one of its own.

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Mystery_Man
Senior Scribe

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2004 :  13:07:46  Show Profile  Visit Mystery_Man's Homepage Send Mystery_Man a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kahonen

Woahhh! I've got to express disappointment at the tone of the reponses to this post. I thought for a moment I'd logged onto the Wizards forums by mistake.


Yikes! Me too.

When I saw the Highlander for the first time about a hundred years ago I thought I was the best movie ever. They should have stuck with the philosophy of "only one" though. As far as in the Realms goes nah. It could be a cool concept to have a mortal that cannot die but thats been done in Dragon Lance.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31691 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2004 :  14:02:11  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
tauster, you may also want to look into the 1e DM's Guide to Immortals. I've spoken about this particular tome before; in particular it's focus on higher dimensional beings.

Anyway, the 'Guide' provides an extensive ruleset for running immortals, and other beings of greater-than-mortal-ability in your campaigns.

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tauster
Senior Scribe

Germany
399 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2004 :  18:26:06  Show Profile  Visit tauster's Homepage Send tauster a Private Message  Reply with Quote
whoops, almost missed all those replies...

first, some clarifications:
- i don´t mind whether the tone of some replies is harsh or not. i am old enough to distinguish between averseness to an idea (however strong) and flaming. the latter i haven´t found in candlekeep yet.

- i fear my "little rant" gave a totally wrong impression: it was just rant, nothing more. i don´t think i would use such a scene to indroduce the concept of "highlander-like immortals" to my players (all of whom love both the realms AND highlander, btw.)

- i know that combining those two things is not very original, i just wanted to know if there are some logical contradictions that could create a credibility gap.

i think i should have written my posting in a slightly different style to avoid some of the misunderstandings, but being a non-native englishspeaker that´s kind of difficult for me.

- i had no intention to make immortals highlevel-characters per se. my players and i are more fond of low- and midlevel adventures. and i certainly won´t use apotheosis. the realms are full with godlings, there´s no need for a whole new group of them!

now, some replies:

@kahonen: thx for "defending" me! though you´re slightly wrong about my age (25 years, 7 of them knowing and loving the realms), i really appreciate your coming to my defence. i´ve read some hundred "nonrealms-" fantasy-novels , perhaps a hundred from the realms and almost all fr-sourcebooks ever published (though i seem to forget many details after a while...), so i deem myself familiar both with the realms and the genre. i do not write this to appear realms-wise (far from it!), but to avoid possible misunderstandings about “my background”, so please do not take it as bragging!
about your remark on contructive criricism… i tend to agree: some said that the concept of highlander and the realms do not mix together well, but seem to argue exclusively on a "flair-basis", so to speak. both the realms and the highlander-universe feel different, but that´s “only” a problem of proper intregration (see below). i found some things that would facilitate an integration (the pro´s) but found that contra´s other than the different "feel" of both concepts are conspicuously absent; so the motivation of my posting was to locate those logical counter-arguments.


@bookworm: no offense taken, really! and thx. for the hint towards that old sourcebook! i hope i´ll find it somewhere.


and finally, a word or three about what seems to create the most aversion to the combination:

whenever i integrate a new element to a campaign, "interweaving" it with the existing world takes the lions share of time and effort. whether it is a new npc, a new guild, city, or whatnot: when it doesn´t interact with it´s "environs" and has no real place in the world, it won´t appear authentic and my players will almost certainly feel that something´s wrong (or "not exactly right") with it.
the same applies to "realmsian immortals". should i stick with the idea (which is long from being decided), the next task will be to adapt a small number of npc´s (even if i decide to introduce them, i don´t think my players will encounter more than a handful of immortals in the next years) until they really appear to belong to the realms. if i can´t do that, i won´t use them.

maybe i´ll resurrect this thread sometime in the future when i am finished and on the verge of introducing them, and perhaps i can convince some of the critics that it can be done without blatantly copying...


tauster
:)
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Sarelle
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
508 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2004 :  19:02:06  Show Profile  Visit Sarelle's Homepage  Click to see Sarelle's MSN Messenger address Send Sarelle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well doen for taking the (not-so-constructive) criticism so well, tauster. I hope to see more of you on these boards soon.

In the interest of keeping on-topic - I have never seen Highlander, don't plan to, and only vaguely know about it. However I think that an invincible mortal isn't so much of a cheesy idea - it would be considered munchkinny by a large amount of fantasy fans, so it is almost never used, thereby eliminating any chance of stereotyping.

If you look at it one way - all main characters are invincible. Authors don't like killing them off, mostly. So actually stated immortality is not so big a change. As long as such a character was more than a cardboard cut-out character, his/her personal dilemmas might be quite interesting. It is a bit of a generic idea, for the Realms - but then again FRness comes from new ideas being incorporated into the world.

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My character, drawn by Liodain: Sarelle / Sarelle (smaller)
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Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2004 :  21:36:08  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This reminds me of the concept of crossover elements of two media. You have to weave the two elements together. With D&D/FR, you have to use stats.

Even in D&D connected materials like Dragon their is hints of crossover. Dragon has converted other media charactres like Mulder and Scully from the X-files as D&D characters and using media characters as Bases of PCs. Plus their is the Spider-man/Lolth stories of Nodwick that looks fun.

We have to remember, this campaign wouldn't be a Cannon world but a play world. And crossover can be fun. Plus premises from other media can be fun.

The Premise of plane travling to different Material planes (Ie Oerth and Krynn or alterntive versions of Faerun) is uses in the Manual of Planes. Plus I uses it in WOTC board for a planar adventure. I also used the season four plotline of Jackie Chan Adventures for a Faerun Planar adventure connecting Tarakuno with Shar.

The d20 pages had sites were characters from different media are tried to mesh with the d20/D&D world. (I have seen the Hulk, and He-man characters my self.)

I'm curious about what other crossover ideas people might find fun, funny or interesting. But I might make that another thread.


Now for Highlander...

Possible help...

An immortal gains power from decapitating an Immortal. That might be in the form of XPs/increased CR. More XP/CR gain from a character who has killed more immortals. Another idea is the development of a PrC or more for immortal. PErhaps even epic ones.

What you might look at for help is Spellfire Wielders of "Magic of Faerun" and the Spellfire Heirophant from "Player's Guide to Faerun" as examples. Spellfire is similar to the Immortal's immortality. Triggered by an event, great power, and new rules.

Then there's the possiblity that the gift of Immortality is recent rather than ancient. A side effect from the Time of Trouble. That limits the power of immortals.

Plus their is the possiblity of ALignment shifting Quickenings, (Like the bad one Duncan when through in the TV series)

Plus what do the goes think about this???

Thanks.

Ed Greenwood! The Solution... and Cause of all the Realms Problems!
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Lysander
Learned Scribe

USA
183 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2004 :  22:46:45  Show Profile  Visit Lysander's Homepage Send Lysander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know this is a Forgotten Realms forum but...

(deep breath)

Have you looked at Birthright?

There, you have the (near) immortality and Bloodlines you seem to be seeking . . . but without a 20th level character in the neighborhood.

Lysander
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AutoSponge
Seeker

18 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2004 :  00:52:24  Show Profile  Visit AutoSponge's Homepage Send AutoSponge a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have to post in my own defense because I'm paranoid...

If you read closely, I'm not saying Tauster is cheezy, I'm saying Highlander was/is. My final note to Tauster is that it's a bit redundant in the realms when you have so many avenues for immortality already (I didn't mention lichdom, chosen of X, etc.).

Don't take my post the wrong way. Thanks, now stop trying to get me... you're all out to get me...
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Tethtoril
Moderator
Moderator

95 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2004 :  01:44:22  Show Profile  Visit Tethtoril's Homepage Send Tethtoril a Private Message  Reply with Quote
*Whew!* I was gone for a day. Someone left a window open in one of the scroll rooms and I had to chase a few things down. It is wonderful to see an almost explosion work out its own snarls. Thanks be to the mature nature of these halls and the scribes working within. Thank-you everyone!

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Lady Kazandra
Senior Scribe

Australia
921 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2004 :  11:01:46  Show Profile  Visit Lady Kazandra's Homepage Send Lady Kazandra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AutoSponge

I have to post in my own defense because I'm paranoid...

If you read closely, I'm not saying Tauster is cheezy, I'm saying Highlander was/is. My final note to Tauster is that it's a bit redundant in the realms when you have so many avenues for immortality already (I didn't mention lichdom, chosen of X, etc.).

Actually, I have to agree with you on this AutoSponge. The very concept of immortal characters in D&D is made even more redundant today, especially in the 3e environment. There are now so many more options available to PCs (whether they be Epic or not) that allow them to attain levels of power that effectively equate with the notion of being "immortal". Bringing in an idea from another genre altogether, just seems like a poor strategy.

I think it's a better idea to simply examine the options already available, and if you're looking for "something" extra, try tinkering with these options a little.

"Once upon a time the plural of 'wizard' was 'war'." -- The Last Continent, by Terry Pratchett
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2004 :  10:29:51  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage  Click to see Capn Charlie's MSN Messenger address  Send Capn Charlie a Yahoo! Message Send Capn Charlie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, Autosponge, I could step in and defend highlander as a highly enjoyable(in my, and millions of others opinions) series, but such would be pointless.

I will however say that if highlander is incredibly cheesy for some of those reasons, then the forgotten realms is a subplane of wisconsin, inhabited by nacho elementals, and cheddarmen. The vein of any of your arguments could be used to argue to anyone wanting to nick any single element in the realms to not feel like they were copying from the realms.

Personally, I like the idea of using an occasional crossover concept, and have used many different genres, most heavily westerns, for inspiration and and ideas for my game.

As to the issue of immortals in the realms, I say why not. It might be an interesting idea to see some bhaal spawn like plot of their having to kill one another off to ascend to godhood/ultimate power/break a curse/whatnot.

In fact, it might be an interesting idea to have a band of adventurers or soldiers cursed to live forever until they slaughter one another, with the last one left being freed of the curse. Sounds like aperfect punishment for a group of soldoiers who betray their lord, and turn on him in combat, perhaps for money. The lord, a wizard, as his dying curse reqires them to with the gold they seem to love so much betray one another as well. So that they can now only be killed with gold weapons, a variant on the head cutting.

if done properly, even the most groan worthy or out there idea can be done in such a way as to have a lot of un for everyone involved. Sometime I should tell you about the favorite NPC in my game: Chong the Cleric.

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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