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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
422 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2007 :  20:00:28  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and everything I said is just my best guess and the most logical answer I have. It's not official in any way (nor do I think you'll get an official answer, though you could email the Sage at WotC).
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Faraer
Great Reader

3295 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2007 :  02:39:05  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bottom line: no one writing for the Realms is keen for guns to become prevalent. So they'll "canonically" stay rare and marginal until someone changes their mind.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30083 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2007 :  05:19:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Heh, the cannon shall not become canon.

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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2007 :  03:40:37  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

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.



Thank you, Tom. Ironically, I had a question from one of my players, which I think is best suited to you (although others may weigh in, as they like): How difficult is it for a Thayan to lose his or her accent and acquire a Mulhorandi accent? Would skill points need to be devoted to it, or just a lot of practice? It's an issue in my campaign now, because two of the PCs in the Army of the Alliance of the West are Thayans, and they have been advised that it would be safest for them to pass themselves off as Mulhorandi. Since you wrote the article, if not the book, on the subject, what's your opinion?

(I also have the information on firearms from FRA, which I am placing in the next post, in reply to KnightErrant JR.)

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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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2007 :  03:48:55  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KnightErrantJR

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).




Thanks much. Our thoughts crossed in cyberspace, but you posted first, including some information which I missed. Here's what I wrote a few days ago:

Days after posting my last barrage of questions about firearms in the Realms, I was preparing a copy of the 1990 Forgotten Realms Adventures book for sale on eBay, when I discovered -- mirabile dictu! -- the answers to most of my questions. The old answers, anyway, from AD&D 2nd edition.

In brief, the firearms available in the Realms in the aftermath of the ToT were as follows (note that I have corrected "caviler" to "caliver;" it's a carbine-like weapon mid-way between a pistol and an arquebus in size, firing lead bullets weighing 1/20th of a pound to the musket's 1/12th pound):

Arquebus, 500 gp, (M), 1D10, uses multiplier, range 150+ feet
Blunderbuss, 500 gp, (M), 1D4, uses multiplier, range 30+ feet
Bombard, 20,000 gp, (H), 2D20, no multiplier, range 1500+ feet
Caliver, 450 gp, (M), 1D8 uses multiplier, range 120+ feet
Musket, 800 gp, (M), 1D12, uses multiplier, range 180+ feet
Ribald, 1200 gp, (L), 1D4, no multiplier, 12 barrels, range 90+ feet
Starwheel, 1000 gp, (S), 1D4, uses multiplier, range 90+ feet

(By "multiplier" I mean the practice of rolling a damage die and adding the result each and every time one attack's damage die does maximum damage, so that a starwheel pistol might do 4 + 4 + 4 + 3 if one got lucky; these weapons all predate 3rd edition critical hit multiplication of damage.)

The "starwheel pistol" is -- no surprise! -- the wheel lock, and is not (as of 1363 DR) manufactured on Toril; it's an off-world import (which is probably why its price is so high).

The ribald, which Jeff aptly describes as similar to a Nordenfeldt gun, had 12 small barrels, and it was the only firearm in AD&D which did extra damage based on a victim's size, for the very simple reason that the larger the target, the more bullets can hit it. A size Huge target bought all 12 barrels, for 12D4 in damage.

From 1364 onward, all of these weapons were common enough to sell for the list price in "larger stores." From 1359 to 1361 they were rare curiosities and sold for ten times the listed price; from 1362 to 1363, they were still rare, but common enough to be found in "well-stocked weapon shops, but at twice the listed price."

As of 1364 no magic firearms were known (on Toril itself, anyway), but it was expected to be only a matter of time before they were introduced.

So spake Jeff Grubb!

Now my principal questions are: did non-starwheel personal firearms all have matchlocks (as opposed to loose match cords)?

Is the above information "still good" in the 3.$ Realms?

Have the prices of firearms dropped below the "old" list prices (due to mass production of parts and/or smaller profit margins per unit but with a higher demand)?

In the past decade have snaphaunces or full-on flintlocks been introduced?

What cities or countries have military or watch units whose members are all fully equipped with firearms? (The Tudors were all big on guns, even though the English longbow could be more effective -- in trained hands; I can readily imagine the Zhents using massed firearms firing in volleys to wipe out a generation or two or three of Dales longbowmen.)

What individuals are considered the most masterful gunsmiths?

Have any brilliant military innovators arisen yet who are capable of using firearms with expert efficiency, such as Oda Nobunaga, who introduced lines of gunners three deep, one of which would fire while the other two were reloading, thus guaranteeing a continuous hail of bullets; or Maurice of Nassau, who formalized the musket drill and had it printed in an illustrated manual so that reloading time was reduced and soldiers would fire in volleys instead of at will; or like Gustavus Adolphus, who lightened his artillery to make them easier to haul around Europe and kill Germans and Austrians (and Poles, and Spaniards, and Italians, and...)? Jeff Grubb gave us the scoop up to 1364 (and AD&D 2nd edition), but what's the score in the 1370s (and under the current rules)?

I hope that the Great Sages will feel rather more comfortable wighing in on these questions. I hope.


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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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2007 :  16:14:52  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jamallo Kreen

quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

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.



Thank you, Tom. Ironically, I had a question from one of my players, which I think is best suited to you (although others may weigh in, as they like): How difficult is it for a Thayan to lose his or her accent and acquire a Mulhorandi accent? Would skill points need to be devoted to it, or just a lot of practice? It's an issue in my campaign now, because two of the PCs in the Army of the Alliance of the West are Thayans, and they have been advised that it would be safest for them to pass themselves off as Mulhorandi. Since you wrote the article, if not the book, on the subject, what's your opinion?

(I also have the information on firearms from FRA, which I am placing in the next post, in reply to KnightErrant JR.)



I'd simply make this a Perform or Bluff check (if you're playing 3.x that is).

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
422 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2007 :  19:13:36  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with Kajehase on the accent issue. I'd let players use either a Perform (acting) or Bluff check (player's choice) to hide their accent and/or mimic another. It's like acting or lying. Since they have similar ancestry and language, you might give them a +2 circumstance bonus (and vice versa for Mulhorandi spies in Thay). As for the DC, I don't know; accents seem to be harder than most things to change convincingly, so at least 15. As for permanently changing your accent, anyone can do it with time. Maybe they would need to make the initial check and then a series of checks one a month for a few months to have a permanent change. Look at Madonna's accent changes from pure New York to her often fake high-brow English.

Regarding 2E firearm information, I would take it as a guide and convert it to better match up with the 3.5E DMG, prices, damage, range, etc. I would not use any of the 2E information at face value. The rest is pretty much up to you. We do know that guns appear to have spread up the west coast of Faerun from Lantan to at least Waterdeep, where I believe they may remain illegal (can't remember the old short story in one of the anthologies on guns too well). We also know that they exist in Kara-Tur (see FR12 The Horde and the novel trilogy as well), presumably the Thayans have developed more than cannons, and I gave Nadul DaRoni guns in the old WotC web column and he lives in Cormyr, but ultimately, they will remain relatively rare so long as they require an Exotic Weapon Proficiency, are expensive, are slow to reload, and other forms of magic can form alternatives.
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2007 :  20:32:26  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

I agree with Kajehase on the accent issue. I'd let players use either a Perform (acting) or Bluff check (player's choice) to hide their accent and/or mimic another. It's like acting or lying. Since they have similar ancestry and language, you might give them a +2 circumstance bonus (and vice versa for Mulhorandi spies in Thay). As for the DC, I don't know; accents seem to be harder than most things to change convincingly, so at least 15. As for permanently changing your accent, anyone can do it with time. Maybe they would need to make the initial check and then a series of checks one a month for a few months to have a permanent change. Look at Madonna's accent changes from pure New York to her often fake high-brow English.

Regarding 2E firearm information, I would take it as a guide and convert it to better match up with the 3.5E DMG, prices, damage, range, etc. I would not use any of the 2E information at face value. The rest is pretty much up to you. We do know that guns appear to have spread up the west coast of Faerun from Lantan to at least Waterdeep, where I believe they may remain illegal (can't remember the old short story in one of the anthologies on guns too well). We also know that they exist in Kara-Tur (see FR12 The Horde and the novel trilogy as well), presumably the Thayans have developed more than cannons, and I gave Nadul DaRoni guns in the old WotC web column and he lives in Cormyr, but ultimately, they will remain relatively rare so long as they require an Exotic Weapon Proficiency, are expensive, are slow to reload, and other forms of magic can form alternatives.



Kajehase: thank you.

Tom: thank you. (In the story I think it was smokepowder itself which was vexing Blackstaff, which is irocin, since it is a magical substance. I can't recall the name, but I think it was in Realms of the Arcane.)

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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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2007 :  16:37:38  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Seeing as a pistol (with accessories) is part of one of the equipment kits in the Waterdeep region in the FRCS, I'd guess that if it's still banned, that ban has been about as useful as the papal one on crossbows was.

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2007 :  16:38:28  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And, a designer said I was right on a rules-question. Cool

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett
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Zanan
Senior Scribe

Germany
942 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2007 :  15:13:00  Show Profile  Visit Zanan's Homepage Send Zanan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just doing a revision on Jaleigh Johnson's Howling Delve and have to say that book is simply a treat. Amnian life (remember Baldur's Gate II, Cowled Wizards, Shadow Thieves et al?) at its best. This authoress surely deserves her own thread!

More later ... up till then: Welcome to the Realms Jaleigh!

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.
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Zanan
Senior Scribe

Germany
942 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2007 :  23:36:17  Show Profile  Visit Zanan's Homepage Send Zanan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While writing the revision on the second novel of the Sembia series I stumbled over the question regarding the "origin" of the main protagonists. Maybe the authors can assist me here and tell me whose brainchild the Uskevren family and its members are?

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 02 Aug 2007 23:37:10
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2007 :  06:53:59  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 Zanan

While writing the revision on the second novel of the Sembia series I stumbled over the question regarding the "origin" of the main protagonists. Maybe the authors can assist me here and tell me whose brainchild the Uskevren family and its members are?



I believe it is Ed's since they showed up way back in FR Adventures.

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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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31689 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2007 :  08:18:09  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From THO, back in March '04:-

"Most of the lead characters in novels not by him [Ed] were created by others, though he did name and create a surprising number of them, from almost all of the Uskevrens in the Sembia series..."

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Zanan
Senior Scribe

Germany
942 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2007 :  13:52:45  Show Profile  Visit Zanan's Homepage Send Zanan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cheers for that, will double check the FR Adventures.

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.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1765 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2007 :  04:20:16  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Who created Shamur Uskevren depends on your point of view, I guess. I was given her name and a couple facts about her and built what I hope is a fully developed character from there.
I believe it's the same with Erevis Cale and Paul Kemp, only more so. I don't think Paul was given anything other than Erevis's name and his position in the Uskevren household. So I would definitely be inclined to give Paul credit for creating the character.
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Zanan
Senior Scribe

Germany
942 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2007 :  10:03:11  Show Profile  Visit Zanan's Homepage Send Zanan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Who created Shamur Uskevren depends on your point of view, I guess. I was given her name and a couple facts about her and built what I hope is a fully developed character from there.
I believe it's the same with Erevis Cale and Paul Kemp, only more so. I don't think Paul was given anything other than Erevis's name and his position in the Uskevren household. So I would definitely be inclined to give Paul credit for creating the character.



Having checked on Shamur in "FR A", it looks as if only the names of her and Thamalon are in there, with little additional information. Erevis Cale is, AFAIK, "purely Kemp", so to speak.
What would interest me is what age Shamur and Thamalon have during the events described in Shattered Mask? I'd guess that Shamur (give her five years to climb to Thief 11 (as she was listed), i.e. 15 to 20) must be around 50 (20 plus 30 years of marriage), not counting her stasis years?

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.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1765 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2007 :  14:55:10  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't recall nailing down Shamur's age down exactly, but you're in the right ball park. 45-50. She could conceivably be as young as 45 if none of three children is older than his or her early 20s, and I believe that's correct.
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Zanan
Senior Scribe

Germany
942 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2007 :  17:48:44  Show Profile  Visit Zanan's Homepage Send Zanan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for that "confirmation"!

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.
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Ozzalum
Learned Scribe

USA
277 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2007 :  19:43:47  Show Profile  Visit Ozzalum's Homepage  Send Ozzalum a Yahoo! Message Send Ozzalum a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So this is my first post on this topic though I have read all 11 pages a few times now. I just finished the first, reasonably polished, draft of a book set in the Realms. It was a fun exercise and my first attempt at a full length novel. I learned a lot from writing it and tried to apply what lessons I could from the advice offered here. I just wanted to say thanks for the help, even though you didn't know I was reading.

Given that WotC is not interested in unsolicited works for FR I was wondering if anyone here had any advice on submitting to their other fiction lines. I have a layout for a non Realms specific novel that I think could be made for the Mirrorstone young adult series. Does anyone here have any advice for writing books aimed at a teen audience?
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1765 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2007 :  04:44:37  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ozzalum: My advice is to read the Mirrorstone writer's guidelines on the Wizards site if there are any. Then send a query letter to the editor of the Mirrorstone line. Ask if he or she is willing to look at a submission from you, and if so, what form it should take (complete manuscript, outline and sample chapters, or what.)
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Ozzalum
Learned Scribe

USA
277 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2007 :  14:32:43  Show Profile  Visit Ozzalum's Homepage  Send Ozzalum a Yahoo! Message Send Ozzalum a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Richard. I would have included a link to their guidelines but this whole posting to internet forums is still new to me. It does appear from a submission standpoint that they are looking for complete manuscripts. They read the first three chapters and get back to you.

I guess I was wondering if anyone had general advice for writing to a younger audience. I remember reading somewhere, probably from Ed or THO, that FR books were at one point written with teen males as the target. I can certainly see that, (elven lasses and whatnot) but after I read the WotSQ novels and the one scene of rather horrendous torture contained therein, I thought maybe the policy had changed.

Aside from less graphic violence and "fading to black" before love scenes, is there much of a difference between teen and adult fiction? It's been a little while since I was a teen myself, but not so long that I have my own teens to study, so I feel a little out of touch with the young folk.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1765 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2007 :  01:47:50  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
As you note yourself, YA fiction tends to place limits on how graphic and disturbing you can be, although these days, that can vary greatly from line to line and publisher to publisher. Still, I suspect it's a safe bet that you can't go too crazy in a Mirrorstone novel. Heck, you can't go totally crazy in a regular Forgotten Realms novel (Otherwise, I'm sure WotC would have snapped up my proposals for Threeway in Thay and The Oral Orc.)
Beyond that, I don't know of anything specific to tell you except that a YA novel must star teenage protagonists and address YA themes. A story with an adult protagonist simply won't fly. Neither will a novel with a teenage hero who just goes and does standard fantasy-hero stuff like killing a dragon or whatever. He must also grapple with coming-of-age problems associated with being a teen.
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Ozzalum
Learned Scribe

USA
277 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2007 :  03:26:03  Show Profile  Visit Ozzalum's Homepage  Send Ozzalum a Yahoo! Message Send Ozzalum a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good stuff, Richard. I'll have to be sure to thank the WotC editorial staff for keeping "The Oral Orc" off store shelves!

Thus far I'm meeting the two criteria you've set, young protagonist and a coming of age story. I guess it's a fine balance of not making the protagonist too whiny, (as adults tend to view teens) or too capable, (or else he's already come of age and what's the point.)

Thanks again. I really appreciate the feedback.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

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Posted - 27 Aug 2007 :  16:48:32  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed Greenwood definitely created the Uskevren family (not Cale), and wrote a short "bible" for the Sembian series, with a few paragraphs of detail for each character. However, Richard is quite correct to say that the Shamur character we know from published Realms fiction is "his" (developed and brought to life by him).
However, as one of Ed's original players, I can say that Ed definitely created the noble family and brought to life both Shamur and Thamalon; they appeared onstage as NPCs in Realmsplay in the early 1980s, long before anyone had thought of the Sembian series. There are even two short stories by Ed involving Shamur (who had an adventuring career before her marriage, remember), that I've read and that Ed quietly put away in a drawer forever when the Sembian project was being developed, so as NOT to "tie the hands" of whichever writer "drew" Shamur, so the character could become his or her own.
So, you see, Ed clearly created the character, who had a fictional and in-game life before the published TSR/WotC Realms version. Yet Richard is also quite right in seeing the Shamur we now know as his work.
(I believe it was Phil Athans (picking up on Ed's FR ADVENTURES Selgaunt city writeup mentions) who wanted Shamur involved in the Sembia series.)
This is one of the sometimes tricky properties of a shared world setting, that can get VERY tricky if the creatives involved have big egos or get possessive or just fail to communicate and end up trying to use the same character at the same time (the most famous example: Princess Alusair). The "rules of the game" are, of course, that Wizards can use any character as they see fit, handing it to any creative. In practice, things work best if, say, Elaine is involved or at least notified when someone else uses Elaith (though he, too, was one of Ed's well-developed, frequently-used NPCs before the Realms was ever published).
Which is a very long way of saying:
Ed created Shamur. Richard breathed new life into Shamur and crafted the Shamur all scribes here EXCEPT Ed's former players "know." Ed set aside his version so whoever developed Shamur could make their character "theirs" (and the fascinating thing in this case is that Ed's old short stories could still "work" today; the young, adventuring Shamur could and would have changed as a person to become the Shamur of the Sembia novels.
love to all,
THO
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