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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2007 :  02:41:37  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Gareth, obviously the page dimensions of a novel are going to vary depending on whether it's mass-market paperback, trade paperback, or hardback. Come to think of it, there are different sizes of hardback.
Font and font size are similarly variable.
I use Word and write my stories in 12-point Courier, double-spaced, with the normal default Word margins, and that's acceptable industry-wide. I led Word worry about the pagination.
You probably know this, but just in case you don't, an author submitting a book to a publisher doesn't have to make the manuscript look like a published book in the store would look. In fact, you shouldn't try. If you don't know what a professional manuscript looks like, you can find the info in many of the how-to-be-a-pro-writer type books that are on the market.
Now if you're trying to self-publish a book, I guess you do need to worry about such things. I've never self-published, so I can't advise you about that, but I'm sure there are how-to references for that kind of writing and publishing, also.
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Gareth Yaztromo
Seeker

Australia
37 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2007 :  01:50:34  Show Profile  Visit Gareth Yaztromo's Homepage Send Gareth Yaztromo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the feedback Richard. :)

I was considering self-publication and I guess I should have said that in the last post. And I will definitely research more about publication submission (I have submitted once to WotC) as well as self-publication formats. Also another question: I know authors can't read other people's works due to legalities (non-solicited work = possibilities/fear of copying [or appearing to copy] ideas and getting sued) however could this rule be ignored if the writer included a disclaimer protecting those who read it? I however do not intend on asking authors to read my work (until its published that is) but this was just a little curiosity I had. Thanks again in advance.

"Gereth Yaztromo is arguably the most famous wizard of Allansia due to his part in a number of the most well known sagas of that region from the third century AC. He is also known as one of the three Star Pupils of the Grand Wizard of Yore.."
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2007 :  03:06:20  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I imagine such a disclaimer would give the pro writer a degree of protection, but I'm not sure it would make it absolutely impossible for the other guy to sue him under any circumstances.
Of course, I'm not an attorney, so what do I know? Paul, are you reading these posts?
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1632 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2007 :  10:27:59  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gareth Yaztromo

This is a technical question. I was wondering if any of the authors here or even fellow board members know the page dimensions and font size for a regular novel? And if anyone knows how to adjust Microsoft Word or OpenOffice so the page settings are such? Thanks. Oh on a side note do any of the authors here write their stories in Word's default page settings or do they adjust it like what I'm trying to do?



Good rule of thumb--250 words per manuscript page in Courier 12 point is about the standard you shoot for to vague out how many pages you've written. Thus, a 90,000 word standard FR novel comes out to be 225 pages on general principle.

I usually leave it at defaults and go by word count, rather than by sizing things up in formatting. After all, what happens if they change the formatting while I'm writing?

Steven
who hasn't been to sleep in 24 hours....

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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lowtech
Learned Scribe

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2007 :  05:43:53  Show Profile  Visit lowtech's Homepage Send lowtech a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

I tend to menton hair color pretty faithfully. I suspect that might not be such a bad idea, since I think it's something we all tend to notice immediately the moment we see someone for the first time, and pretty much all my descriptions are coming at the reader via the point of view of one character or another. That's not true of eye color, and I don't believe I metnion it as consistently. I don't recall any editor ever insisting that I put it in when I've left it out.



I don't understand why some authors (and readers) object to describing the hair color, skin color, and general body type of the main characters at the beginning of a novel. I do not want to imagine a fuzzy human-shaped blob while reading a novel, and nothing brings me out of the story faster than a physical trait being brought to attention in the middle of a novel that completely contradicts a preceding mental image of that character. I prefer for general physical traits of important characters to known as soon as possible.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30340 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2007 :  06:38:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lowtech

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

I tend to menton hair color pretty faithfully. I suspect that might not be such a bad idea, since I think it's something we all tend to notice immediately the moment we see someone for the first time, and pretty much all my descriptions are coming at the reader via the point of view of one character or another. That's not true of eye color, and I don't believe I metnion it as consistently. I don't recall any editor ever insisting that I put it in when I've left it out.



I don't understand why some authors (and readers) object to describing the hair color, skin color, and general body type of the main characters at the beginning of a novel. I do not want to imagine a fuzzy human-shaped blob while reading a novel, and nothing brings me out of the story faster than a physical trait being brought to attention in the middle of a novel that completely contradicts a preceding mental image of that character. I prefer for general physical traits of important characters to known as soon as possible.



The issue is the presentation. No one has said that getting the info out there is bad. What many people dislike, however, is the "info-dump". Describing just about every aspect of a character in one paragraph would be an info-dump. Many people find it jarring to have all of the info thrown out there at once. However, a few details here, a few details there, the mention of this quirk way over here... That accomplishes the same goal, and is more elegantly done.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2007 :  07:52:11  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:

Originally posted by lowtech

I don't understand why some authors (and readers) object to describing the hair color, skin color, and general body type of the main characters at the beginning of a novel. I do not want to imagine a fuzzy human-shaped blob while reading a novel, and nothing brings me out of the story faster than a physical trait being brought to attention in the middle of a novel that completely contradicts a preceding mental image of that character. I prefer for general physical traits of important characters to known as soon as possible.



Its much a question of the style of writing used. Some authors use a highly descriptive writing style and then you can give much information of this sort. Others use more of a narrative and at times slightly impressionistic style where a detailed description would seem out of place. Think of Howards Conan stories, how much description was really used? just a few details to give a reader the idea of the character. Lord Dunsany hardly gave a description at all and Moorcock has a tendency to just mention a peace of clothing that stands out.

Its a matter of preferred style of both reading and of writing, so the style that appeals to one reader would not necessarily appeal to others. As a fan of 19th century french literature I like highly descriptive writing, but most readers today finds it slow and dislike the "info-dumping" A Realms novel written in such a style would be interesting, but not to any ones taste.
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2007 :  21:36:58  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know if I mentioned this before, but *I* describe characters by what traits another character would see or perceive -- what would draw their attention.

If a man gazes at, say, Twilight for the first time, it's a description of her hair (black) and/or what she's wearing (scarlet cape is the most eye-catching, and black breeches and white, billowy blouse), and probably her skin color, and her race (elf) if it's obvious. The thing I describe first is what catches his eye first -- probably the red.

If he's looking at her face, it's her face I describe, and probably her eyes (she has very distinctive eyes). If he's staring at her chest (entirely possible), then describing her eye color would just be silly.

I don't skimp on facial tics or visual cues -- how she walks -- or the information you would gather from other senses -- the texture of her skin, her smell, the tone of her voice.

I do think it's important for readers to visualize the character, and I like giving them particular things to focus on (the eyes, the cape, etc), but I also don't like (i.e. don't like reading) paragraphs that describe a character, as though there's some omniscient narrator giving you all the ins and outs (ouch -- that sounds bad) of a character's body, scent, movement, quirks, etc, etc. Breaks up the flow of the story, I think.

Better to give a few details that the reader can latch onto that inform his/her vision of the character.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)

Edited by - Erik Scott de Bie on 04 Feb 2007 21:38:42
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2007 :  01:21:49  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Approaches to description from two great sf/fantasy writers who happened to be two of the best stylists the field has produced:
Poul Anderson tried to appeal to at least three senses on every page.
When describing a character, Roger Zelazny's rule of thumb was to mention no more than three atrributes or details, so as to keep the story moving forward. If you've read his stuff, you know that despite this terse approach, you form a vivid picture of his characters in your head, because he chooses the right three details to spark your imagination and get you to do the rest of the work.
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Kaladorm
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1176 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2007 :  21:43:48  Show Profile  Visit Kaladorm's Homepage Send Kaladorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More importantly, if I am bombarded with a full paragraph of 'Enter hero. He looks like.....' then chances are I'll have forgotten most of what I've been told about his looks by the time said character starts doing something in the novel to grab my attention
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Kaladorm
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1176 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2007 :  21:46:44  Show Profile  Visit Kaladorm's Homepage Send Kaladorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And while I'm on the subject (thanks Rich for sparking this one in the old noggin), Smells! A smell can tell a lot about a character, but usually the only smells we get told about are: perfume (usually a simple way to make an elvish lady seem even more elegant), tannin (oh look a leatherworker), and sewage/refuse to describe a villain
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Kaladorm
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1176 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2007 :  21:47:53  Show Profile  Visit Kaladorm's Homepage Send Kaladorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
[Bah want to edit my posts as I think of more but cookies are misbehaving]

The above post of course excludes Dragonbait and co. from the argument. Bless him and his myriad smells
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Zanan
Senior Scribe

Germany
942 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2007 :  21:11:18  Show Profile  Visit Zanan's Homepage Send Zanan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello again!

This one goes out to Bruce Cordell, with regard to the Darkvision novel.

Over at the WizBoards as well as hereabouts we had a disuccion about the "Dark Gods" of the Realms, i.e. those who are addressed as "The Dark Gods", not those usually viewed as such.
http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=801550

Now, according to the collection there, only five deities - Bane, Bhaal, Myrkul, Loviatar and Talona - have been listed as belonging to "The Dark Gods". In Darkvision (p.69) though, Zeltaebar Datharathi makes an exclamation calling on the "Ten Dark Gods". My obvious question would be, whether this was just an exclamation or whether you had certain deities in mind.

Rest assured, this is not going to be one of these right or wrong things. It's just that novel material is considered canon by many and at one time or another, the question would arise anyway. And there are quite a few who go into minute details about nearly everything - not me, of course (well, at least not with the Dark Gods). As I am working on one of them though, I got interested ...

Cave quid dicis, quando et cui!

G a wyrd swa hio scel!

In memory of Alura Durshavin.

Visit my "Homepage" to find A Guide to the Drow NPCs of Faern, Drow and non-Drow PrC and much more.

Edited by - Zanan on 06 Apr 2007 21:13:56
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KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
5402 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2007 :  05:18:33  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For what its worth, Erik Mona on the Paizo boards is asking hypothetically who you would want to see write a Pathfinder novel, if one were ever to be written. I chimed in with a few suggestions, but I though I might give a head's up to any of our authors that might want to put a bug in Mr. Mona's ear about interest . . .

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/pathfinder/general/whoShouldWriteThePathfinderNovel&page=1#194566

"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

http://knighterrantjr.blogspot.com/

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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2007 :  19:59:53  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have some questions which arose when I saw that in Player's Guide to Faerun gnomes and Lantanese and Nimbralese could receive "pistols" (with masterwork balls, but not masterwork guns, if I recall correctly). I searched for references to pistols in the FR materials I have and could find no stats for these Gnomish pistols. Would someone please provide them to me? DMs and players alike should know their stats since they are becoming that common.

This question arose after I read the Dragon 2001 Annual article "Firearms in Freeport," by Chris Pramas, informed by my reading of "The Way of the Gun: Gunpowder Weapons for D&D," by Michael Shortt in Dragon #321 (July 2004), and also the artillery information in AEG's marvellous book entitled simply ... War.

What I have discovered is that Wizards, Paizo, and 3rd party publishers are all over the place on firearm statistics. The most common fault, in my opinion, is a ridulously short range or insufficient stopping power for firearms -- in our world guns supplanted bows because they could do what bows couldn't -- punch through heavy plate armor, and didn't need extensive training to use. In AD&D the ability of a bullet to do massive damage and penetrate armor was reflected in the principal that if your damage die roll was the highest number on the die, you rerolled damage and added, repeating the process indefinitely, so that a firearm dealing a D12 in damage could conceivably do 35, or 47 (or more!) points of damage with one shot; that principle, unfortunately, does not appear to have carried over into 3rd edition.

Ed Greenwood weighed in on the subject of firearms as early as Dragon #70 (if not earlier), but that article reflects 1st edition rules. What I would very much appreciate is the FR authors and game designers weighing in on a few pertinent questions (barring an NDA which I know hangs over at least one part of my questions):

1. What firearms are known and used on Toril, and what is their firing mechanism (i.e. matchlock, wheellock, flintlock, or some Gnomish contraption)? The wheellock mechanism would be known to many spelljammer crews in Waterdeep, Nimbral, Calimport, and Shou Lung (or at least its spaceport), and might be introduced a century sooner than it would if firearms developed as they did in our world.

2. I'm going to guesstimate that the following firearms are known and used on Faerun: pistol (proven by PGF), handcannon (which is not an arquebus, by the way, but a very crude handgun and the likely predecessor of the pistol), the arquebus, the musket (an advanced arquebus), and some form of cannon or mortar (inspired perhaps by the Thayvian bombards, which are canonical, pardon the pun). If this is so, what do the great, high, and learned sages think would be appropriate stats for these weapons if they do exist on Faerun? Every D20 sourcebook gives different information on each of them.

3. Is smokepowder used for mining and/or demolitions, and if so, by whom?

4. I think this is NDA, but if gunpowder is introduced to Toril, will it likely be weaker or more powerful than smokepowder? (It would certainly be cheaper, and the making of it would probably spawn light industries, as it did on Earth.)

5. Finally, would the great sages please put forth a tentative timeline of when each sort of firearm has been (or likely will be) introduced to Toril, to Faerun in particular? Faerunian firearms development has been extremely fast by Earth history standards, but Shou Lung's rocket (and presumably fire-spear) technology seems to be only about as developed as it was during the wars against the Mongols (and didn't that just work out well -- about as well as Shou Lung's weapons did against the Tuigan?!).

I would greatly appreciate it if other scribes not weigh in here about the various virtues (or monstrousness) of smokepowder, and whether or not is stronger than magic, whether guns themselves are good or evil in the real world, and the very fundamental question of: should firearms even be introduced into the Forgotten Realms? There are separate scrolls for all of those topics, and the last one is moot: firearms do exist, and in quantities sufficient to make "pistols" regional bonus items at 1st level character creation.

I think that this is also the place most appropriate for me to express my kudos to Michael Shortt for his explanation of why a field gun is so very devasting: a cannonball travels five hundred feet and inflicts damage on everything in its path (well, at least until it hits a wall or something, I suppose), Reflex save for half, and no critical threat, but 6D6 of damage on everything in a 500-foot line of fire. This very closely reflects what Earth guns could do by at least the 17th century, if not much earlier.

I heartily thank in advance any of the authors or designers who express their opinions on this scroll.




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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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2007 :  20:33:46  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  Reply with Quote
The 3/3.5e versions of the weapons are in the 3/3.5e DMGS, which is what the FRCS tells you to use. It's on page 162 of the 3e DMG, but not sure what page in the 3.5e DMG.

Gunpowder doesn't work in the Realms, so says the 1e and 2e box sets since the physics of the world is different, which is why the world has magical smokepowder.

The 2e Skullport sourcebook has a large page on the smokepowder weapons that exist in the Realms as does the 1e/2e cross over book, FR Adventures but the current sources are in the 3/3.5e DMG's.

In Faerun, smokepowder was given to the followers of Gond during the ToT's but Kara-Tur has used it for decades.

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

Edited by - Kuje on 02 Jun 2007 20:35:15
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2007 :  21:17:04  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I wish I had masterwork balls.
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2007 :  21:20:57  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  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

I wish I had masterwork balls.



HAHAHA. I really don't want to comment, but I LOL'd on that comment.

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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KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
5402 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2007 :  21:35:14  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

I wish I had masterwork balls.




"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

http://knighterrantjr.blogspot.com/

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KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
5402 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2007 :  22:02:52  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jamallo Kreen
1. What firearms are known and used on Toril, and what is their firing mechanism (i.e. matchlock, wheellock, flintlock, or some Gnomish contraption)? The wheellock mechanism would be known to many spelljammer crews in Waterdeep, Nimbral, Calimport, and Shou Lung (or at least its spaceport), and might be introduced a century sooner than it would if firearms developed as they did in our world.


In the Forgotten Realms Adventures hardcover from second edition, the following smokepowder weapons and items are mentioned:

Rockets (Shou)

The Seige gun (Thayvian)

The Arquebus (Gondsmen)

The Blunderbuss (Gondsmen, derisively known as the Gondgun)

The Bombard (Thayvian)

Caviler (Gondsmen)

Musket (Gondsmen)

Ribald (Gondsmen, also called "Gond's Pipes")

Starwheel Pistol (Spelljammers)


All of the Gondsmen built weapons didn't appear until after the time of troubles. It also notes that five years from the time that Gondsmen introduce these weapons, that "knockoffs" start showing up that have an extra chance to foul or misfire (1-2 on a d20).

Guns made by Gondsmen are marked with the cog symbol of Gond, and I would guess by now, that Gondsmen have "reverse engineered" starwheel pistols and make them "locally" as well.


quote:
2. If this is so, what do the great, high, and learned sages think would be appropriate stats for these weapons if they do exist on Faerun? Every D20 sourcebook gives different information on each of them.



As Kuje pointed out, the DMG has stats for these. Its on page 145 of the 3.5 DMG. It only has pistols and muskets, however, and there is no chance for them to misfire. They are also listed as taking a standard action to reload.

For an alternative, but still WOTC d20 source, d20 Past has stats for almost all of the weapons mentioned on page 20, and includes the chance for the weapon to foul on a 1, 1-3 in poor weather, and taking two full round actions to reload, with a feat that allows for a single full round action to reload (strangely, the weapons in the DMG take only a standard action to reload, making them as easy to reload as a heavy crossbow).




"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

http://knighterrantjr.blogspot.com/

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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2007 :  00:14:09  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kuje

The 3/3.5e versions of the weapons are in the 3/3.5e DMGS, which is what the FRCS tells you to use. It's on page 162 of the 3e DMG, but not sure what page in the 3.5e DMG.

Gunpowder doesn't work in the Realms, so says the 1e and 2e box sets since the physics of the world is different, which is why the world has magical smokepowder.

The 2e Skullport sourcebook has a large page on the smokepowder weapons that exist in the Realms as does the 1e/2e cross over book, FR Adventures but the current sources are in the 3/3.5e DMG's.

In Faerun, smokepowder was given to the followers of Gond during the ToT's but Kara-Tur has used it for decades.



Ah! I don't have Skullport. Yet another "eesential" buy, I think!


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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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2007 :  00:40:41  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  Reply with Quote
Also remember, at least in the current rules, that the weapons and the ammo can be enchanted. I know, in the past, I've had a few people tell me that that this isn't so according to the new rules but I haven't seen anything that states that enchantments can't be added to masterwork guns/ammo.

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

Edited by - Kuje on 05 Jun 2007 00:42:24
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2007 :  09:42:39  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jamallo Kreen

quote:
Originally posted by Kuje

The 3/3.5e versions of the weapons are in the 3/3.5e DMGS, which is what the FRCS tells you to use. It's on page 162 of the 3e DMG, but not sure what page in the 3.5e DMG.

Gunpowder doesn't work in the Realms, so says the 1e and 2e box sets since the physics of the world is different, which is why the world has magical smokepowder.

The 2e Skullport sourcebook has a large page on the smokepowder weapons that exist in the Realms as does the 1e/2e cross over book, FR Adventures but the current sources are in the 3/3.5e DMG's.

In Faerun, smokepowder was given to the followers of Gond during the ToT's but Kara-Tur has used it for decades.



Ah! I don't have Skullport. Yet another "eesential" buy, I think!





Dont think, just find! This is one of the better Realms accessories written in my opinion. As with Drizzts guide to the underdark you can read it a dozen times and still only skim the surface of everything the book contains.
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2007 :  01:44:11  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

quote:
Originally posted by Jamallo Kreen

quote:
Originally posted by Kuje



(snip)

The 2e Skullport sourcebook has a large page on the smokepowder weapons that exist in the Realms as does the 1e/2e cross over book, FR Adventures but the current sources are in the 3/3.5e DMG's.

(snip)




Ah! I don't have Skullport. Yet another "eesential" buy, I think!




Dont think, just find! This is one of the better Realms accessories written in my opinion. As with Drizzts guide to the underdark you can read it a dozen times and still only skim the surface of everything the book contains.



I'm looking! I'm looking! I really am!

I still have a lot of questions about smokepowder weapons on Toril. A lot....


(I think that I miswrote earlier, it is not Nimbral which grants a pistol as possible bonus starting equipment, it is the Nelanther Islands which does so. That only makes my further questioning more to the point.)

Although I persist in not owning a copy of Skullport, I did check current edition Dungeon Master's Guide, as kuje pointed out, and see that (unnoticed by me -- d'oh!) Michael Shortt's article, "The Way of the Gun" explicitly credits the DMG for his information on "pistols," "bombs," and "muskets." That, however, leaves most of my original questions unanswered.

The DMG (and Shortt's article) give the damage die for various firearms in both (S) and (M) sizes.

So ... do the Lantanese use small pistols and the Nelanther pirates medium pistols, or are all pistols (and muskets) one size or the other? I can easily see that the gnomes of Lantan would recognize the human realms as their biggest potential market, and would make all of their pistols medium-sized so that (potential customer) humans would be able to try out a pistol which probably fits their hands better than a gnome-sized (S) pistol, and which does more damage than a (S) weapon, too, but at the same price (250 gold pieces).

Who makes the pistols of the Nelanther Isles -- gnomes or humans? If gnomes, do they make them to fit their own hands or the hands of human customers paying that 250 in gold? If humans make them, and they make them in (M) size, my earlier questions may be recalled: how widespread is their use and have others taken to making them, using captured pirate pistols as prototypes?

kuje correctly points out that gunpowder doesn't work on Toril (although I thought that there was an NDA covering its possible development in the near future -- in the 1370s, that is), but all of the firearms in the DMG and Shortt's article are gunpowder weapons; a weapon using smokepowder may cost more money (or less) and may do far more (or far less) damage than its gunpowder-using counterpart. (It was a god who introduced the stuff, after all, except perhaps in Shou Lung, as kuje correctly pointed out, and I don't think that Gond would short-change his worshippers cum protectors.)

I continue to strongly disagree with Shortt's assertion that an arquebus is a "hand cannon." I have always understood a hand cannon to be a very primitive device -- just a pipe lashed to a wooden stock, sealed at one end, and having a hole drilled into it for the match to be manually touched to the main powder supply directly. An arquebus uses a matchlock mechanism (by definition; see George Cameron Stone's A Glossary of Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor...) and has a powder pan on which is placed gunpowder (preferably of a much finer grain than the stuff in the barrel), which is ignited by a match held by the "serpentine," not the bare hand, and whose burning then ignites the powder in the barrel. In brief, an arquebus is a matchlock which has a trigger, a hand cannon has no trigger. So, are there native arquebuses on Toril or not? If so, what do they cost, who makes them, what damage do they do, and what is their range increment?

Nor is a "musket" an arquebus: by definition (according to Stone), a musket was originally a gun which was too heavy to be fired without a gun rest, and which was ranked as the smallest of cannon: "originally it was a smooth bored gun with a four foot barrel and shooting round balls weighing twelve to a pound." Different sized cannon were named after birds, and the "musquet" is no exception: it is "a male sparrow hawk, the smallest of hawks." An arquebus may be used with a gun rest (or balanced against a wall or anything else of sufficient height), but the early musket had to be placed on a rest.

I don't thing I'm going overboard in citing early terminology for the musket, because Gond introduced the Lantanese to smokepowder in 1358 DR, less than twenty years before the current "official" date, and muskets were not produced in RW Europe until more than a century after the first arquebus was made. One of the first recorded arquebuses was used by the Swiss in 1386, but the firs recorded use of the term "musquette" (from the French) was -- per the OED -- in the 16th century, some two centuries later.)

The 2nd edition "arquebus" came in one size only (M), and did identical damage to small, medium, and large foes: 1D10, subject to at least one additional die of damage every time a "10" was rolled for damage; this weapon has not been updated and presented as such in any 3rd edition FR books of which I am aware (and I have almost all of them). The DMG "musket," comes in both (S) and (M), which do, respectively, 1D10 and 1D12 damage with a 150 range increment and a x3 critical multiplier. If this "musket" is what used to be called (and still ought to be called) an "arquebus," I would appreciate it if some game designer or knowledgeable author would say so canonically (please forgive the pun). If they are different weapons, would someone please state that canonically and give us the stats for a Realms arquebus?

Shortt also stated in his article as an optional rule that, subject to DM consent, weapons could be made more effective by being considered "a size category larger, which more than compensates for their long reload times." Okay, so a gnomish (S) pistol may optionally be considered as a (M) gun, but what then are the stats for a (L) pistol or "musket"? They sure as heck won't do 6D6 (the damage for a large-sized "field gun") in my game, and probably not in any other DM's game, either.

Shortt continues with another optional rule: "Another possibility is to increase their threat ranges or critical multipliers, simulating the unpredictable nature of early firearms." That's well and good, particularly since a smokepowder gun may function differently than a gunpowder version of the same weapon, but if that is the case in the Realms, would someone please say so?

But all of the above ignores Chris Pramas's article ("Firearms in Freeport") in the Dragon d20 Special issue, which, when still published by Wizards of the Coast and edited by Eric Mona, stated that "Freeport has been designed for use in any fantasy d20 System campaign. Since it's an island city, it's easy to drop into your home campaign or any published setting." (Bolded text original, italics mine.) If Wizards says that Freeport can be dropped somewhere on Toril, a DM has to face the fact that in Freeport, weapons manufactured by "the gnomish mechanical genius Kolter" deal far more massive damage and have much, much shorter range increments than those listed in the DMG. Those stats for his guns raise all of the questions which I posed at the beginning of this scroll.

I iterate that I would like the Realms novelists and game designers themselves to give us what they regard as the correct (or at least "appropriate") information for the various smokepowder weapons, made in different locations, possibly by different races, and certainly by different craftsmen (or craftsgnomes, who would be far more likely to tinker with design than would a human). In particular, I'd like information on what the current firing mechanism(s) used by guns on Toril is/are.

As for firing mechanisms, the wheel lock is almost certainly known, if only from spacers, if not from gnomish invention or divine revelation, but Jeff Grubb in Concordance of Arcane Space, (one of the Spelljammer boxed set books) gives us the stats for a five pound, 700 gp "wheel lock pistol," with a rate of fire (ROF) of 1/3 (one shot every three rounds), range increments of 30 yards, and doing a mere 1D4 damage against any sized opponent, but subject to adding additional dice of damage each time a "4" is rolled for damage. The Cloakmaster series of novels has Teldin Moore setting down more than once on Toril, and has at least one key supporting character who is from Toril, so knowledge of the wheel lock is known by some people on Toril, but is it widely used, or is the matchlock the preferred method of ignition, or was Gond "generous" enough to teach his gnomish worshippers the secrets of the flintlock, a devastatingly effective firing system (good enough for the Battles of Yorktown and Waterloo!). Let us please note that Jeff Grubb wrote at a time when the 2nd edition matchlock arquebus did 1D10/1D12 damage, so he presented a technologically advanced pistol which did four damage dice less damage than an arquebus, while the current DMG has the whatever-lock pistol doing only one damage die less damage than a "musket" of the same size category. Grubb's non-magical "bombard" did 2D10 against personnel (1D6 against hulls), but Shortt's article gives bombard damage as 10D6 (!), which is fairly realistic in my opinion.

Ed Greenwood (of whom we've all heard!) gave us the "Giff gun" in his book, Lost Ships. Ed didn't give us weight or size on Giff guns, but they did 3D6 anti-personnel damage and 1D4+1 hull damage (when they didn't blow up in the user's hands ... er ... paws ... whatever), and they had a range in Wildspace of 2000 yards, and although we may presume that their range is less in an atmosphere, what is their range if they are fired in Toril's atmosphere?

Dale "Slade" Henson might have resolved all questions on Torilian guns in Realmspace, but he, alas, deals with no gunpowder weapon (that's "gunpowder weapon," mind you) than the magical bombard (+1 to +3). My original questions, however, specifically excluded Thayvian bombards, which are more or less magical devices, and which Ed has dealt with quite recently in answer to another, very specific query of mine.

A Mighty Fortress Campaign Supplement lists a fair selection of firearms, large and small, but their damage dice all seem lower than their 3rd edition counterparts (whatever you want to call them).


SO! Will the authors and designers please supply us with some input on what firearms are actually used on Toril, what they look like, how they work, etc.?



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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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
463 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2007 :  19:58:46  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jamallo, unfortunately, I don't know that you're going to get any better answers than you've already gotten. The information on early firearms in D&D varied from edition to edition of the game and among campaign settings and the level of detail that you ask for is generally just not there. Combine that with the fact a lot of players don't use firearms in their D&D games even if they exist in a setting, and there just hasn't been a lot of time put into rationalizing a comprehensive and consistent system.

IIRC, firearms were first introduced to the Realms in 2E's Forgotten Realms Adventures (as noted above), which had a list of which firearms were available, but a lot of Realmsian time has passed since then, so almost anything is possible. Again, in the Realms, firearms use magic smokepowder instead of gunpower as noted, but otherwise work as firearms in the DMG. Smokepowder was priced out in 3E's Magic of Faerun, but firearms should otherwise be priced as they are in the DMG. As with other 3E weapons, you can have masterwork and magic firearms and ammunition. As for creating distinctions between new types of firearms and old, even variations that were statted in earlier editions of the game, your best bet is to adapt the stats used in other d20 supplements like Ptolus or Iron Kingdoms or Freeport or Polyhedron's Spelljammer mini campaign from a few years back or make up your own. But whatever system you use, make sure its consistent. The same goes for the nomenclature of various firearms. There are clearly some inconsistencies between different rule sets and different editions. You'll have to solve them probably on your own however makes the most sense to you. The same goes for which firearms can be found where and used by whom. The information, other than that already sited by you and others, just isn't there.
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