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Brom Greenstar
Seeker

Argentina
25 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2005 :  13:01:21  Show Profile  Visit Brom Greenstar's Homepage Send Brom Greenstar a Private Message
As always Mr Greenwood your words have been inspiring, so my players better prepare for layers of intrigue!
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Mystery_Man
Senior Scribe

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2005 :  21:38:30  Show Profile  Visit Mystery_Man's Homepage Send Mystery_Man a Private Message
Many, many thanks to Ed for taking the time to post such a lengthy and thorough answer to my question(s). This helps tremendously, and I dare say doesn't deviate too much from what I had planned but now I am definitely pointed in the right direction.

And yes, it was I who lit the fire on the Realms list. Not so much that I was defending a position of defeating Larloch (as that was never my intention in the first place) but the position that if someone wanted to, let them. But then I should know better than to get into a subjective battle of "how to run the Realms the right way", never again!

Questions answered. Campaign enriched. More Larloch lore to chew on.
So, again thanks much!

I'll be glad to cut and paste Ed's reply and send it off to my listserv thread if no one else does.

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2005 :  03:26:20  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed wants everyone to know that he’s struggling not to fall TOO far behind on his replies - - wherefore some recent queries, that can be swiftly and easily answered because of the directions of his own ongoing Realms-work, are being quickly answered, and others are taking much longer.
Which is why he’s herewith tackling this question by Sanishiver (J. Grenemyer), which came with thanks that Ed begins his reply by responding to: “On average, is the typical reaction of the City Watch of Waterdeep consistent throughout the various Wards of the City whenever young noblemen engage in ‘harmless’ destruction while play-battling on someone else’s property and are confronted by the Watch, such that said nobles can offer up the promise of compensation with the expectation that they’ll not be arrested, be given back their weapons and be allowed to go on their merry way?”
Ed speaks:



You’re very welcome. Elaine and I had great fun breathing life into the Gemcloaks, and as you point out, painting divers details of Waterdeep and Waterdhavian life into the prose throughout the novel, to give ‘borrowing’ DMs some rich nuggets.
The Watch (see also THE NIGHT TYMORA SNEEZED, my 2004 Spin A Yarn tale posted on the Wizards website, and my tale in REALMS OF THE DRAGONS) have a primary duty to keep the peace. Which means this: tolerate individual fights unless there’s a strong possibility of large brawls or general riots or death occurring, authority being defied, or a panic or fire starting (which is why they move so swiftly and in such numbers when tavern brawls erupt), but VERY quickly and firmly confine violence and lawlessness, and remove belligerents (both hotheads and drunks) to the dungeons, to sleep the night away and be released upon payment of a fine [this also allows the Watch and the Guard to mind-probe or interrogate suspicious individuals, in the privacy of the lockup]. The Watch is primarily a ‘swing fists to keep order’ force, not fighting soldiery (they call in the Guard for that), but the safety of the city is paramount, and they can be quite brutal with visiting outlanders who behave dangerously.
The real answer to your question is: it depends on who’s involved. In a rough ‘worst to best treatment’ that the Watch renders, folk go from visiting laborers (and beggars, and folk seeking work) at the bottom, through visiting sailors, visiting peddlers and poor pilgrims, visiting ‘small merchants,’ Waterdhavian beggars, children, unemployed, and ‘day-laborers,’ visiting wealthy and successful merchants, guilded Waterdhavians, outlander wizards and important priests, wealthy and successful Waterdhavian widows and ‘idle gentry,’ wealthy and successful Waterdhavian active merchants, Waterdhavian wizards, Waterdhavian high-ranking priests, Waterdhavian young or wastrel or elderly ‘sideblood’ nobles, Waterdhavian officials of all sorts (according to rank, with magisters at the top), Waterdhavian noble heirs, and Waterdhavian senior nobles, with the heads of Waterdhavian noble houses and the Lords highest of all.
In other words, if young wastrel nobles are playfighting in the courtyard of a noble villa, they can expect to get arrested if the owner of said villa demands it; if they are playfighting in Dock Ward, they can expect to go free. If they harm a noble heir, and the patriarchs of the heir demand justice, they’ll face justice (though usually noble families meet in private to settle things, unless the families involved are already feuding).
Drunkards and murderous hotheads (a young noble who tries to stab or hack someone as a Watch officer observes him, when said target isn’t already attacking him) WILL be arrested.
Nobles usually get released upon payment of fines, or (depending on their character, behaviour, testimony about why they acted as they did, and the character of the ranking Watch officer on duty) given a lecture and then released in the dead of night. Sometimes their weapons are confiscated, or kept and returned to their elder kin by the Watch so as to embarrass them into not behaving so badly again (to some older nobles, family reputation is EVERYTHING).
It’s also important to note that nobles don’t play pranks and get off “Scot-free” (to use an old real-world expression rooted in escaping English justice by getting over the border into Scotland): they pay for everything they break, plus a bit extra to mollify angry merchants, the next day, via their stewards (or sometimes, family factors [= trade agents] or seneschals), who visit the aggrieved merchants to “settle up.” Money is everything in Waterdeep; nobles who don’t pay for what they break lose prestige and tend to be harshly treated by kin, peers, and the Watch (not believed or trusted if involved in future troubles, not seen as good investment risks or marriage material, and so on). Of course, FEMALE nobles who indulge in wild behaviour are considered scandalous by the city - - but admired and even avidly chased and courted by ‘wild’ male nobles, and by the lowlives in Dock Ward, who admire and understand such “kicking over the traces” conduct.
So nobles may be arrested if they start battles in Sea Ward or North Ward and damage the property and peace of wealthy, noble, or successful folk (and visitors staying in expensive inns); they’ll certainly be quickly ‘run off.’ They may also be arrested anywhere for their own safety (if the Watch judges hustling them out in a jailbound Watch lock-wagon is the best way to extricate them alive), or if their pranks bid fair to start a large fire or a huge brawl. Otherwise, they can “cut up fair” with impunity in Dock Ward, South Ward, and Trades Ward (impunity meaning they face merchants defending property, and the Watch moving in as soon as things get out of hand). They’ll have to be “quick and sharp” to play pranks involving swordplay and destruction in most places in Castle Ward, will be arrested promptly if they try anything more than individual duels in the City of the Dead, and ditto in Sea Ward and North Ward. Please note that this DOESN’T mean the Watch will stand by and watch duellists proceed to the death; it means they won’t charge in with weapons drawn if they see only two combatants, but stop to ask what’s going on first.



So saith Ed, who’s hard at work trying to finish up several projects for Wizards, because he’s deep in planning future works for 2009 and beyond! (And no, he won’t even breathe hints about them, even to me, so don’t ask.)
love,
THO
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2005 :  03:42:38  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

So saith Ed, who’s hard at work trying to finish up several projects for Wizards, because he’s deep in planning future works for 2009 and beyond! (And no, he won’t even breathe hints about them, even to me, so don’t ask.)
love, THO


How about that book about Bane for 2010!

Go on Ed you know you want to!

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Sanishiver
Senior Scribe

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2005 :  06:12:11  Show Profile  Visit Sanishiver's Homepage Send Sanishiver a Private Message
Wow, that just rocks!

Thank you very much Ed for answering!

I have to say that the way Ed puts it, running a campaign where the PCs are watchment of the city actually sounds like a fun idea. Uber potential for roleplaying there, not to mention numerous unique situations requiring shrewd in character (and out of character) judgment on the part of the players.

09/20/2008: Tiger Army at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz. You wouldn’t believe how many females rode it out in the pit. Santa Cruz women are all of them beautiful. Now I know to add tough to that description.
6/27/2008: WALL-E is about the best damn movie Pixar has ever made. It had my heart racing and had me rooting for the good guy.
9/9/2006: Dave Mathews Band was off the hook at the Shoreline Amphitheater.

Never, ever read the game books too literally, or make such assumptions that what is omitted cannot be. Bad DM form, that.

And no matter how compelling a picture string theory paints, if it does not accurately describe our universe, it will be no more relevant than an elaborate game of Dungeons and Dragons. --paragraph 1, chapter 9, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene

Edited by - Sanishiver on 14 Sep 2005 06:18:27
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2005 :  21:15:24  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
Well met! I have a couple of questions today for Ed:

1. Does becoming the Chosen of a deity confer agelessness and (near) immortality regardless of whether the deity lives or dies, or do the body clocks of the Chosen start ticking when their deity dies? (I mean my question vis-a-vis DM knowledge of characters.)

2. I note that hurting a Lord of Waterdeep merits immediate punishment and that the punishment is more severe than for hurting a non-Lord. If only one Lord is "open," is the punishment for harming a "hidden" Lord equal to or worse than that for harming anyone else? If worse, how is the punishment justified without revealing the Lord's identity? For example, if a Waterdhavian noble (not Joe Beggar from Turmish) stabs Mirt the Moneylender, how can the assailent be punished for assaulting a Lord without the City acknowledging that Mirt is a Lord? For that matter, if a Lord doesn't flash a Lord's insignia, do the Magistrates even know who the hidden Lords are, or are they left guessing as are other folk?

I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2400 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2005 :  03:02:22  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
I just want to apologise for taking so long to send in my thanks to Ed for his response on elven banners. I just moved to grad school, and was without internet for a distressingly long period of time.

One further question along the same lines, way back when, how did the various elven nations know who was friend and foe on the battlefield, if they didn't have banners? (Other than the obvious "We're all moon elves, and the attackers are gold elves" battles)

Also, in your Realms of Eddie (bad title, since they at once point *were* all your Realms) stories you mention that the sign of Siluvanaede was a griffin (silver, I believe, it's in your preface to Making of a Mage that I love). What were the "signs of the realms" of other old elven realms? (I'm thinking specically Aryvandaar, Miyeritar, Eaerlann, and Ilythiir... I'd love to scare my players with the sign of Ilythiir deep in some dungeon...)

Many thanks, as always.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2005 :  22:50:54  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, everyone. In yet another bound-to-be-controversial gods and divine spellcasters reply, Ed deals with Jamallo Kreen’s question: “If a caster of "divine" spells comes from outside 3E Realmspace with a class or prestige class other than "cleric" which very specifically allows access to "divine" spells without prayer to a deity ("Favored Soul," for instance), are they ... ah ... stuff outta luck without a Torilian patron (as they were in 2E) unless one of the above-suggested flukes occurs? What of spellcasters who rely on spirits for their spells but who come from outside Realmspace? Are there local spirits anxious to grant spells in order to add another worshipper/friend/whatever to their collection (not least because said mobile spellcaster can be a useful defender for them)? Or do the spirits of Toril arch their eyebrows at such types with an attitude of, "Why should we give spells to someone who would associate with Mount Watchmacallit on Planet Xyz?"”
Ed replies:



Hear now my usual caveat: I’m not (and have never been) a WotC staff designer, and am not the best source for game rules “rulings,” official or otherwise. However . . .
To gain divine spells in Realmspace, one MUST have a patron deity to grant them (one cannot worship an alignment, idea, concept, or principle and receive spells in answer to prayers). However, as Asgetrion suggested, “perhaps one of the Toril's deities would actually grant this divine spellcaster his spells, while trying to subtly convert/manipulate this priest to worship him/her in the long run?” I’ll go Asgetrion one further: I’d say that it’s very likely that a god of the Realms would almost always grant the ‘wandering’ divine spellcaster spells, in hopes of gaining a temporary tool or agent to further their aims, if not a new worshipper in the long run.
So, to borrow Wooly Rupert’s phrasing, “a local deity with a similar portfolio or alignment” WILL usually “grant your spells - - either out of a similarity to your deity, or an agreement with that deity,” or in hopes of their own gain. It’s like paying a nickel to buy the contents of an entire house: likely to reap something worth more than the magical expenditure, no matter what turns up. And yes, to echo Wooly’s point about 1st and 2nd level spells “coming back” just generally, if you want to maintain that in 3.5e Realms (and I as a DM would), just assume that granting such low-level spells is done automatically by greater gods to anyone of the right alignment (it’s one of the things that makes and keeps them “greater”).



So saith Ed. Doing the stealthy, gentle Canadian compromise thing, as usual.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2005 :  04:02:56  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed just sent me a “business of the moment” multi-reply, and here ’tis:


To Brom Greenstar, Mystery_Man, and Sanishiver: you’re all very welcome! A pleasure!

Dargoth: WotC has said a firm “No!” to that Bane novel many times now, the latest time being at GenCon Indy 2005, whereat I asked several times, with well-prepared arguments. Sorry.
I CAN’T just write about whatever I want to write about: novels must be fully outlined and approved. I have a lot of freedom at the first draft stage, but that doesn’t mean, if I veer off from writing something about, say, the Knights of Myth Drannor into “Return of Bane, Told At Last” territory, that it would survive the editor’s scalpel. Remember, that scalpel always comes last. On many of my books, for various reasons, I’ve never seen galleys: things have jumped from my turning in a “final” draft to seeing the published book in the stores.

Sanishiver: a City Watch campaign set in Waterdeep could be GREAT fun. Have a glance at Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch in the Discworld novels - - not for the misfit members taken to extremes, or the humour (though Terry’s novels are both screamingly funny and superb satire), but for how interesting the lives and unfolding adventures of a Watch patrol can become when its membership does exhibit a lot of gender and racial variety. How about a Watch patrol where one member is disgraced nobility; another secretly in the pay of an outlander merchant trying to learn all he can about “business opportunities” in Waterdeep (i.e. who the moneylenders are, how much they’ll usually loan, what loans they like and what pitches they’ll nix - - and who the guildmasters are and what directions they’re aiming their guilds in), where the Watch member somehow discovers, a year or more into the secret relationship, is really trying to learn all of Waterdeep’s important NPCs for a secret Amnian financial takeover attempt; another is being blackmailed by Waterdhavians; still another came to Waterdeep to escape a past somewhere else, that inevitably catches up with him when someone ELSE comes to Waterdeep . . . and so on.

Jamallo Kreen, your two Sept. 14th questions happen to touch on matters I’ve been thinking or working on just now, so here are some swift replies:
1. “Does becoming the Chosen of a deity confer agelessness and (near) immortality regardless of whether the deity lives or dies, or do the body clocks of the Chosen start ticking when their deity dies?”

The body clocks of the Chosen start ticking the moment their deity dies, accepts their renunciation of Chosen status, or strips them of Chosen status (losing the portion of divine essence they hold; mortals who don’t hold some spark or mote of divine essence aren’t truly “Chosen,” regardless of what titles they may use or be given).

2. “I note that hurting a Lord of Waterdeep merits immediate punishment and that the punishment is more severe than for hurting a non-Lord. If only one Lord is "open," is the punishment for harming a "hidden" Lord equal to or worse than that for harming anyone else? If worse, how is the punishment justified without revealing the Lord's identity?”

The city would never reveal the identity of a Masked Lord by bringing such a charge unless the Lord was murdered, beyond reasonable likelihood of resurrection. The legal charge exists for instances when one or more Lords wearing their masks are attacked in public (e.g. at a Council meeting).
What ‘really happens’ in most cases of Masked Lords being murdered or severely wounded, is that the killers are either slain on the spot or after a hunt, or captured, disabled (usually painfully), and thoroughly mind-reamed by Khelben (or sometimes Tarthus, Laeral, or a senior Watchful Order magist) to learn what they know, their fate thereafter depending on precisely what is learned of their motives, mental state at the time of the attack (were they being controlled by someone else?), and capabilities (how dangerous are they?). In other words, some Lord-attackers down the years have quietly “disappeared” rather than facing proper public justice.
And no, the Magisters don’t officially know who any of the Masked Lords are, though some of them may make some pretty shrewd personal guesses, and “everyone” seems to “know” that Mirt the Moneylender is a Lord.



So saith Ed. Who will return with more replies on the morrow.
love to all,
THO
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2005 :  05:40:48  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
This might be a touchy subject for some but I thought I would ask because it's been blown up on the WOTC boards.

Ed, are there any black or other colored NPC's in the published lore? :)

This is the thread where this started:

http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=501989&page=1&pp=30

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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Sanishiver
Senior Scribe

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2005 :  06:40:30  Show Profile  Visit Sanishiver's Homepage Send Sanishiver a Private Message
Ed,

Thank you very much for the suggestions. Though I'm too steeped in my current campaign to run another, I'll gladly take your suggestions and turn them into a memorable group of NPCs. Now that my players have earned themselves a home in Castle Ward, I imagine they'll attract the attention of the watch sooner rather than later.

Thank you again!

J. Grenemyer

09/20/2008: Tiger Army at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz. You wouldn’t believe how many females rode it out in the pit. Santa Cruz women are all of them beautiful. Now I know to add tough to that description.
6/27/2008: WALL-E is about the best damn movie Pixar has ever made. It had my heart racing and had me rooting for the good guy.
9/9/2006: Dave Mathews Band was off the hook at the Shoreline Amphitheater.

Never, ever read the game books too literally, or make such assumptions that what is omitted cannot be. Bad DM form, that.

And no matter how compelling a picture string theory paints, if it does not accurately describe our universe, it will be no more relevant than an elaborate game of Dungeons and Dragons. --paragraph 1, chapter 9, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
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Scarabeus
Seeker

Canada
27 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2005 :  07:07:00  Show Profile  Visit Scarabeus's Homepage  Click to see Scarabeus's MSN Messenger address Send Scarabeus a Private Message
[quote]Originally posted by Kuje

This might be a touchy subject for some but I thought I would ask because it's been blown up on the WOTC boards.

Ed, are there any black or other colored NPC's in the published lore? :)

I remember the trader Akabar Bel Akash. He's a Turami. You can find him in FR7 Halls of Heroes. Here's a Quote: Like many Turmish merchants, Akabar sports a mustache and a long,square beard. He is dark-skinned, blueeyed, and has curly brown hair which he often bands with gold cords.

You can also find some characters from Kara-Tur in this book has well as Dragonbait who can be considered a colored NPC if you like the green . FR10 The Old Empires also has colored NPC's, but no famous ones.
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2005 :  07:20:37  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Scarabeus

I remember the trader Akabar Bel Akash. He's a Turami. You can find him in FR7 Halls of Heroes. Here's a Quote: Like many Turmish merchants, Akabar sports a mustache and a long,square beard. He is dark-skinned, blueeyed, and has curly brown hair which he often bands with gold cords.

You can also find some characters from Kara-Tur in this book has well as Dragonbait who can be considered a colored NPC if you like the green . FR10 The Old Empires also has colored NPC's, but no famous ones.



I know of all them but I was looking for a more direct response from Ed because some of those posters are claiming that since he's white, he doesn't make a balanced world and most of his NPC's are white..... And that there really isn't that many black, or other colored, NPCs.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2005 :  09:55:18  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kuje

quote:
Originally posted by Scarabeus

I remember the trader Akabar Bel Akash. He's a Turami. You can find him in FR7 Halls of Heroes. Here's a Quote: Like many Turmish merchants, Akabar sports a mustache and a long,square beard. He is dark-skinned, blueeyed, and has curly brown hair which he often bands with gold cords.

You can also find some characters from Kara-Tur in this book has well as Dragonbait who can be considered a colored NPC if you like the green . FR10 The Old Empires also has colored NPC's, but no famous ones.



I know of all them but I was looking for a more direct response from Ed because some of those posters are claiming that since he's white, he doesn't make a balanced world and most of his NPC's are white..... And that there really isn't that many black, or other colored, NPCs.

The intelligentia of The Boards That Shall Not Be Named has struck again.........

If I were a ranger, I would pick NDA for my favorite enemy
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2005 :  12:24:59  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

quote:
Originally posted by Kuje
I know of all them but I was looking for a more direct response from Ed because some of those posters are claiming that since he's white, he doesn't make a balanced world and most of his NPC's are white..... And that there really isn't that many black, or other colored, NPCs.



Kuje, I don't think anyone was accusing Ed specifically of being unbalanced. The Forgotten Realms these days are way beyond only what Ed decrees, after all... And it was Ed who showed that Caladnei was actually "mulatto" in Elminster's Daughter. ('twas Troy Denning who "messed/mixed up" her description in the Return of the Archwizards series, and I'm not saying that was soley his fault either - these things happen, especially in a world shared as extensively as this one).

I must ruefully admit to also suffering from "colour blindness" in my own works, and the last post I made to that thread I did with blushing cheeks, realising just how much I fall into the same trap. I'm not being a hypocrite, I'm just admitting to my own weakness. Though in my own defense, I must say that most of what I write is set in a relatively small geographic region - if I were to ever expand beyond a single kingdom, I would probably take into account other races.

Zandilar
~amor vincit omnia~
~audaces fortuna iuvat~

As the spell ends, you look up into the sky to see the sun blazing overhead like noon in a desert. Then something else in the sky catches your attention. Turning your gaze, you see a tawny furred kitten bounding across the sky towards the new sun. Her eyes glint a mischevious green as she pounces on it as if it were nothing but a colossal ball of golden yarn. With quick strokes of her paws, it is batted across the sky, back and forth. Then with a wink the kitten and the sun disappear, leaving the citizens of Elversult gazing up with amazed expressions that quickly turn into chortles and mirth.

The Sunlord left Elversult the same day in humilitation, and was never heard from again.
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2005 :  15:43:10  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Zandilar

Heya,

Kuje, I don't think anyone was accusing Ed specifically of being unbalanced. The Forgotten Realms these days are way beyond only what Ed decrees, after all... And it was Ed who showed that Caladnei was actually "mulatto" in Elminster's Daughter. ('twas Troy Denning who "messed/mixed up" her description in the Return of the Archwizards series, and I'm not saying that was soley his fault either - these things happen, especially in a world shared as extensively as this one).

I must ruefully admit to also suffering from "colour blindness" in my own works, and the last post I made to that thread I did with blushing cheeks, realising just how much I fall into the same trap. I'm not being a hypocrite, I'm just admitting to my own weakness. Though in my own defense, I must say that most of what I write is set in a relatively small geographic region - if I were to ever expand beyond a single kingdom, I would probably take into account other races.



Actually there are a few posters who are claiming that the game designers/authors, and Ed, have done what I said. Shrug and a few posters over there are making broad assumptions at the time I wrote my request to Ed.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2005 :  15:50:12  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. I forwarded the WotC board thread and the posts here to Ed, on the topic of races presented in the Realms, and here’s his reply:


Sigh. I suppose this is what inevitably happens when almost two decades have elapsed since the launch of the published Realms.
For the record, folks, “my” (original) Realms has always been inhabited by humans of all sorts of skin hues. With different cuisines (Volo’s Guides, anyone?), fashions, dialects, and architecture, too. As far as racism, conscious or unconscious, goes, I fail to see how a calmly-reasoning person can detect any such thing in the design of the Realms (note: as opposed to the attitudes of particular Faerûnian characters) when the setting features different races (elves, dwarves, halflings, humans, orcs) dwelling together, marrying, and interbreeding (half-orcs and half-elves have been in the D&D game from the beginning, and in the Realms before D&D existed). The Savage North (where much early Realmsplay occurred) tends to be dominated by Nordic-hued humans, but from the outset I furnished TSR with descriptions of the folk of Turmish, Calimshan, et al that were very “eclectic” - - and Waterdeep was stressed as a veritable ‘United Nations’ of different folk, in my first turnover packages. I’m a Canadian, remember, who grew up in the most multicultural city in the world (Toronto), so a skin-colour-mix is ‘normal’ for me, not unusual.
However, what the posters on the WotC list are obviously forgetting, or are too young to realize when they make statements about my design, is that the published Realms has a ‘look and feel’ dominated by TSR artists and editors of the time, and their determination that Tolkienesque fantasy sold, so Tolkienesque (and King Arthur, and Merrie Olde Englande of Robin Hood fame) was what was going to be emphasized. And so it was.
I had several TSR fiction editors change characters to white “because that’s what the majority of our audience will identify with,” and that, after all, is one of the root goals of a publisher.
I’d appreciate it if a kindly scribe (Kuje?) will post this to the WotC boards; my antiquated computer system prevents me from doing so.
And Zandilar, there’s nothing wrong with “colour blindness.” THAT’s true non-racism; it’s only folks caught up in racist attitudes, disputes, and controversies who repeatedly pay attention to skin colour. I deal with people as individuals; I may be interested in their personal backgrounds, but I don’t see them as members of a monolithic “people” (because these days, with the exception of a few isolated tribes, no one truly is).
To GothicDan on the WotC boards: Chult was indeed part of my original Realms. It didn’t have Ubtao or the “Lost World” elements (those were added by TSR), but it did have the jungles with their fearsome monsters (and LOTS of serpentfolk), and black-skinned (I use the word “black” here because I really mean coal-black hued) human tribes inhabiting them. Nor did I not detail the cosmology until the publisher asked me to; the Realms had a detailed cosmology before there was a D&D game. It’s hard for people to reach proper conclusions in any discussion dominated by inaccurate statements (assumptions, I assume) about what I did or thought or now believe. Please remember that I handed TSR a detailed continent that they chose (necessarily at first due to limited time and resources, but later deliberately) to spotlight only tiny portions of: Waterdeep and the North, the Dales and the Heartlands). Even after nigh-twenty years of Realms products, Sembia and the Border Kingdoms and many other areas (not just cities) are relatively undetailed, in print. They are not all so undetailed in my basement full of boxed notes, nor even in the various lore packages I turned over to TSR and WotC over the years. Just last week I was asked to “create” a map of a place that I’d actually handed to TSR in 1986, and which they’d never published and subsequently lost.
I say again: the focus on the “bright white” area of the Realms is the result of publishing decisions, not of the underlying design.
However, there’s nothing at all wrong with this debate, so long as it stays calm and people pay attention to exactly what other posters post, and try to keep things reasoned and factual as possible.
One of my fiercest ongoing battles with TSR and later WotC, down the years, has been my desire to geographically cover the entire surface of the globe, Faerûn first, and their desire to feature just a few areas over and over again.



So saith Ed, who’s hard at work on a non-Realms project (!) for WotC. And no, neither he nor I will say more.
love to all,
THO
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 16 Sep 2005 :  16:01:29  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
Done. :)

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2005 :  21:25:36  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi, everyone. In yet another bound-to-be-controversial gods and divine spellcasters reply, Ed deals with Jamallo Kreen’s question: “If a caster of "divine" spells comes from outside 3E Realmspace with a class or prestige class other than "cleric" which very specifically allows access to "divine" spells without prayer to a deity ("Favored Soul," for instance), are they ... ah ... stuff outta luck without a Torilian patron (as they were in 2E) unless one of the above-suggested flukes occurs? What of spellcasters who rely on spirits for their spells but who come from outside Realmspace? Are there local spirits anxious to grant spells in order to add another worshipper/friend/whatever to their collection (not least because said mobile spellcaster can be a useful defender for them)? Or do the spirits of Toril arch their eyebrows at such types with an attitude of, "Why should we give spells to someone who would associate with Mount Watchmacallit on Planet Xyz?"”
Ed replies:



Hear now my usual caveat: I’m not (and have never been) a WotC staff designer, and am not the best source for game rules “rulings,” official or otherwise. However . . .
To gain divine spells in Realmspace, one MUST have a patron deity to grant them (one cannot worship an alignment, idea, concept, or principle and receive spells in answer to prayers).

(snippity)

So saith Ed. Doing the stealthy, gentle Canadian compromise thing, as usual.
love to all,
THO




Many thanks, THO and Ed for the answers to this and my queries from two days ago (I always welcome further details vis-a-vis "the Classics," though!).

I have a RULES question which may well belong elsewhere, but Ed may be able to provide insight which settles the matter for the more formal amongst us: is the creature known as the "ur-priest," who can "steal" divine power to do clerical magic even possible within Realmspace? Admittedly the things of the Gods are known to the Gods, etc., but the DM is something of an Overpower; as such, being a DM, I'd like to know if allowing an ur-priest to function according to the written rules is possible in "real" Realms gaming, or if some deity (Gargauth, for example) would knowingly and deliberately power the spells of the ur-priest for reasons which are (probably) nefarious? (I could imagine a Good or Neutral deity, far-seeing Savras, for instance, powering spells for such a priest in the expectation of eventually acquiring him or her as a worshipper, but Gargauth or Cyric or Bane would probably do it just to raise heck and create eventual despair; a demon lord or devil would probably be delighted to grant spells to an ur-priest and then appear some time later contract and pen in hand and an announcement that only a signature is necessary for the spells to keep on comin'.)

I'm sorry if I seem to be flogging an expired equine, but I have a Thayvian PC in my campaign, and the player has hopes of him becoming an ur-priest. I have said that is not a guaranteed available class, but I would like to know what options Ed and others consider to be available for such a PC before I slam the door on the PC. (Eternal damnation for the character is one of the possibilities -- mwahahahahaaaaaa! -- but not the only one. "Hey, everybody! Field trip to Hell! XP! XP!")

I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.


Edited by - Jamallo Kreen on 16 Sep 2005 21:26:50
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KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 17 Sep 2005 :  01:20:21  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message
I hate to be redundant, as I am sure someone must have asked this before, but I couldn't find anything in a search, so here goes:

Is there something that we haven't yet learned about Maalthiir? He seems pretty ruthless to the point of certainly qualifying as evil. If he had inherited Hillsfar and didn't change the status quo, I might understand his neutrality, but given that he actively took over the city and changed it, I have a hard time "getting" him.

So are there aspects to his personality we don't know, or deep dark reasons that he took over the city that, at least in his mind, justify some of his harsher actions?

"Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder."--Saint Thomas Aquinas

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2005 :  02:05:29  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Ed’s reply to Pipers Youth reminded him that he’d never answered Ardashir’s query from back in January about that same amusing little SILVERFALL web piece. Wherefore:



Yes, Ardashir, I’ve written about twenty short stories of that sort, and countless little snippets. I often used to entertain my players (in the days before TSR bought the Realms) with little “Ed (gulp) meets Storm while she’s strolling around unclad, and struggles to keep his gaze away from certain vistas, to her vast and teasing amusement” or suchlike tales, often only about a page long. My players loved them, and used to “re-use” them by substituting the names of real people for the characters’ names (a trick anyone can use to temporarily turn, say, a Harlequin romance into a laugh riot). I’ll have to figure out ways to sneak more of them into places where Realms fans can see them. Plying Peter Archer with strong drink at GenCon was my “classic” plan, but he stands tall, unresponsive to such blandishments. On the other hand, it was he who championed “Edtime Stories” as a “someday” WotC book. :}



So saith Ed. Who I can just see putting the salacious finishing touches on such a tome. I’d buy it, but then . . . you all know what I’m like.
love,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2005 :  03:23:12  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
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

So saith Ed, who’s hard at work on a non-Realms project (!) for WotC. And no, neither he nor I will say more.
love to all,
THO
Hehe... you may not be able to say anything more about the project itself, but can you at least suggest when you might be able to talk more about it?

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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2005 :  13:12:56  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by KnightErrantJR

I hate to be redundant, as I am sure someone must have asked this before, but I couldn't find anything in a search, so here goes:

Is there something that we haven't yet learned about Maalthiir? He seems pretty ruthless to the point of certainly qualifying as evil. If he had inherited Hillsfar and didn't change the status quo, I might understand his neutrality, but given that he actively took over the city and changed it, I have a hard time "getting" him.

So are there aspects to his personality we don't know, or deep dark reasons that he took over the city that, at least in his mind, justify some of his harsher actions?

Well he is a real racist(which is the main reason I was disappointed when Saarya didn`t manage to kill him)

If I were a ranger, I would pick NDA for my favorite enemy
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 18 Sep 2005 :  15:05:58  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, scribes. I present Ed’s reply to Asgetrion’s late May questions about local lords in Cormyr (Ed will deal with the guilds questions posed in the same post, at some later time): “The local lords and heralds seem to leave few duties for the nobility, so I would like to know if the local nobility has any authority over commoners in rural communities in Cormyr, and what are their duties to the Crown? What is the difference between nobility and the local lords? Is there any rivalry between the noble families and the Heralds? I am also curious about the fact that none of the local lords in Cormyr seem to come from the Realm's many prominent noble families - why? Are these posts seen by nobility as only fit for "upstarts" who wish to "get their hands dirty with commoner trash", or perhaps the King has always wished to fill these posts with people he can trust (such as ex-Purple Dragons or ex-adventurers)?”
Ed speaks:



First of all, a reminder to all scribes again that Heralds (and heralds; and yes, there IS a difference) are NDA’d right now, so I’ll say nothing about them.
The nobility in Cormyr typically, down the centuries, tried to behave like absolute tyrants (killing “commoners,” raping or forcibly marrying them, seizing their land and property at will, and so on). As a result, the nobles have seen more and more of their real power stripped from them by ever-stronger laws protecting the rights of “citizens” (commoners) passed by the Crown and enforced by Purple Dragons (loyal to the Crown, not nobles) and the War Wizards (loyal to the realm, not the Crown nor the nobles). This has resulted in Cormyr becoming one of the strongest, most resilient, “loyal” kingdoms in Faerûn, and having a steady stream of rebellious nobles.
Nobles are also, by definition, “entitled” to their powers, by birth. They may or may not be incompetent or corrupt, but they certainly have a higher chance of being so than persons appointed into office by a monarch on merit, who feel personal loyalty to that monarch for elevating them.
All of which is why Azoun IV appointed his own local administrators, giving them the title of “Lord” to make it clear that they held his royal authority, and were just as “good” as any noble (Myrmeen Lhal in Arabel, a female, is “Lady Lord of Arabel,” not “Lady of Arabel”). His local lords are his judges, eyes, and military commanders locally (although in all of these roles they can be overruled by specialists “sent in” by the Crown: War Wizards to act as judges, as seen in my story “The Grinning Ghost of Taverton Hall;” War Wizards, Highknights, and others to act as spies; and Purple Dragon officers of sufficient rank to act as military commanders), fulfilling such roles so that the neighbourhood nobles don’t have to - - or try to. So you’re quite right: “the King has always wished to fill these posts with people he can trust (such as ex-Purple Dragons or ex-adventurers).” The occasional local lord (Ildool) has ‘gone bad,’ but on the whole Azoun knows he can trust his local lords far more than he can any collection of nobles.
Nobles may now sneer at local lords and their work (and some of them may secretly be quite relieved not to have to try to carry out those duties), but the truth is, Azoun barred them all from such service. Not explicitly, but for the few exceptional individuals among the nobility he could trust as local lords, he doesn’t want to make them hated or endangered by other nobles because they are singled out as trusted exceptions.
Cormyrean nobles do have roles and duties to the Crown: they sit as juries in local justice (along with commoners), can dispense temporary justice or military leadership in the absence of local lords, magisters, and Purple Dragon officers of rank. They have duties to report to Crown officers irregularities they perceive in the behaviour of local lords, outlander visitors, commoners, and everyone else in “their lands,” and all “information, rumors, and sightings that may of interest to the security of the realm” (War Wizards investigate these reports, not trusting in them at all until corroborated by their own findings).
Nobles also have the duties of serving on road-patrols when commanded to by the Crown, and furnishing food, drink, shelter, remounts, and even reinforcements (in the form of themselves or trained-to-arms servants and bodyguards) to Crown military forces when the Crown deems it needful (a Purple Dragon force can ride up to the gates of a noble and demand - - not request - - shelter).
Many nobles are proud to serve their country, and rise high in rank among courtiers at the Royal Court or within the ranks of the Purple Dragons. Azoun just didn’t trust enough nobles to let them do it without his own hand-picked, competent personnel (the “local lords”) in place to make sure the needs of the realm were served well.



So saith Ed. Creator of Cormyr, Azoun, the War Wizards and Purple Dragons, and almost all of those pesky nobles, too.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2005 :  05:06:49  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, fellow scribes. Ed of the Greenwood replies to Skeptic’s request for information on the laws and enforcement of drug use, sale, and production in Waterdeep:



The drug trade in Waterdeep is largely confined to Skullport (dealing, storage of large amounts): “topside” or in the city proper there is no drug production and only runner-to-client selling, face to face (some nobles send their stewards, bodyguards, or trade agents to buy). Aside from the Serpent and certain individuals detailed in Eric Boyd’s superb CITY OF SPLENDORS: WATERDEEP sourcebook, runners tend to be lone individuals or gangs of no more than three (a runner and two “lookouts,” often young children, such as girls, who serve the runner as eyes and as places to stash drugs if the Watch approaches; Watch officers will be far more reluctant to search a young girl’s crotch than the body of a hard-bitten, known-to-them Dock Ward tough).
A Lords’ Edict was long ago issued banning the making and selling of drugs in Waterdeep - - so the “crime” involved is Willful disobedience of Any Edict (exile for 5 years or a 1,000-gp fine, the former enacted on all outlanders and non-property owners, the latter against all Waterdhavian landowning citizens - - who will find themselves VERY closely watched for a month, then again in the third month, because the Watch wants to catch and fine them again). It’s not a crime to use drugs, nor (strictly speaking) to possess them. In practice, nobles and wealthy merchants will receive nothing but a stern “we’re watching you” warning if caught with either small or large amounts of drugs, but a “commoner” merchant or labourer will be assumed to have the drugs to sell, and will be sentenced accordingly (unless members of the Guild of Apothecaries & Physicians).
Aside from those guild members, drugs that can readily be used to kill (even just with overdoses) can, if the Watch or magisters involved desire it, be treated as poisons, and arrested beings are charged with “Murder” even though no killing has yet occurred. (Waterdhavian justice has no “attempted murder” or “intended murder” charges, so what happens is a murder trial, usually resulting in a sentencing for “Murder With Justification” (5-year exile or 3 years of enforced hard labour).
Please bear in mind that Waterdeep has no “war on drugs” real-world attitude, because alchemy, doctoring, and the like all approve of using herbal and created substances to help the sick or injured, and most clergy use mind-altering or pain-numbing herbs and “drugs” as part of their rituals. Drugs are only seen as bad when they are clearly intended to be used to incapacitate someone so they can be taken advantage of (killed, robbed, raped, kidnapped, made to sign or say things they otherwise wouldn’t, and so on). Poisons are always seen as bad except when used with state sanction in war, or by physicians as part of medical treatment (and this latter use is VERY closely watched).



So saith Ed. Who will return with more Realmslore soon.
love to all,
THO
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