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Faraer
Great Reader

3295 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2006 :  19:48:40  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Rowan

Just a quick question. The Old Grey Box was released by TSR in 1987, and here we are creeping up on 2007 slowly but surely. Ed, are you or WOTC planning anything special for the (technically) 20th anniversary of the Realms?
It's both the 20th and the 40th anniversary of the Realms...
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2006 :  01:49:46  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 Faraer

quote:
Originally posted by Rowan

Just a quick question. The Old Grey Box was released by TSR in 1987, and here we are creeping up on 2007 slowly but surely. Ed, are you or WOTC planning anything special for the (technically) 20th anniversary of the Realms?
It's both the 20th and the 40th anniversary of the Realms...

That's right... the 20th anniversary for the published Realms -- starting in 1987 and the 40th anniversary of Ed's own home Realms campaign in 1967.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2006 :  03:34:02  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Geez, way to make a lass feel old. (Looks down.)
Yep. Once pert and proud, but pretty soon my knees'll have company . . .
Ahem.
Hi again, all. Kuje has been very patiently waiting for some private lore from Ed, and is going to have to wait a little longer, I’m afraid - - wherefore Ed guiltily turns to answering these questions of his: “I'm curious, Ed, about make-up and other beauty products. I can't recall any references to such things in published lore, or maybe there's some in passing but, those references don't give enough details. So, where is make-up made? What cities import and or export these types of products? What kinds of make-up are there? What are they made out of? Hmmm, lets see...what else. How much do they cost? How are they sold? Are there shops/stores that sell them? Who uses them the most? I figured that nobles and other...carnal workers, shall we say?, would use them. And, anything else you might think is relevant to the topic.”
Ed replies:



Faraer is right; we haven’t dwelt on details of cosmetics yet. I was waiting for the great caravan and merchant book that will never come. :}
This is a very broad topic, so I’m going to restrict my reply to “fleshpaint” makeup: substances painted, smeared, or rubbed onto skin, either to cover blemishes or introduce artificial colours or both. I’m also going to restrict it to those substances used by what 2nd Edition D&D called “humans, demihumans, and humanoids,” leaving out the dyes and such that, say, yuan-ti use.
There are literally thousands of “secret recipes” for making fleshpaint (also known as adratha in Calimshan and dardarra in the Vilhon, but never “blush” or “rouge” or “makeup,” for that matter) in the Realms, but in general, they can all be broken down to this:

A particular mud or chalk base is gathered, dried, and pulverized into powder. To it are added powdered natural ingredients (boiled essences of bark, reptile hide, plant roots or leaves or sap, and so on) that impart both colours and scents (NOT perfumes or scents, but something to stop the mud and the next ingredient [grease] from stinking). This mixture is then mixed with grease (usually animal fat, but sometimes oils from certain crushed seeds), and the resulting glop is usually simmered over heat. Various additional colour agents and scent agents may be added and the mixture treated again in various ways; many of the most popular cosmetics are kept from separating, “going bad” (rancid), losing their hues, or turning into something that irritates or even consumes skin by applications of particular (secret) cantrips.

In general, fleshpaint making takes place in southern Tethyr, the Vilhon, Chessenta, and locations to the south of that, being most popular in rural Calimshan, Mulhorand, and Var the Golden (though the witches of Rashemen have long practiced these arts, using material brought from the east through the Great Dale). Ormpur and Sheirtalar are just two of many cities that have local fleshpaint crafters. (The reason for this geographical ‘range’ is that most of the best natural ingredients for colouration are found in southern climes.)
It should be noted that all across the North, barbarian women and “old wives” who live close to the land know well temporary cosmetics (which berries can be rubbed into the skin, etc.); I’m speaking now of the making of goo in little jars (or large casks, that are emptied into little jars when they reach a market like Waterdeep or Athkatla) that can be transported great distances, stored on shop shelves, and sold to folk over a season or three.

So fleshpaint is made in thousands of rural and urban kitchens, generally but not exclusively in the south. Much of the rural stuff is sold or bartered to passing peddlers, or just used locally (sold in the village tavern or square or out of the home, or taken on muleback or sack-over-shoulder once a tenday to the market in town). The urban stuff is made in bulk, often by guilded workers (and sometimes as a daytime sideline by, to use your term, “carnal workers”), and is sold in shops, from street vendors, and at markets.

The cities that export these products are: every port and crossroads caravan trading-center in the Realms south of the places I mentioned. The cities that import them are all those same places (fleshpaint’s a very “personal tastes” thing, with those who use it trying and swearing by substances made by particular people, or from a specific area, and so on), plus everywhere else in the Realms (large population centers in particular, so important ports with large local consuming populations or lots of other populations to serve, like Waterdeep, Baldur’s Gate, Athkatla, and so on).

Like collectibles and fine wine, fleshpaint costs whatever the market will bear. Scent, hue, and properties (does it cover warts, scars, or other bad skin flaws? or conceal distinctive tattoos? does it match my skin? does it stay supple, or start to crack and flake, or come off onto other things I touch, if I sweat excessively while wearing it, or wear it for long periods, or rub my bare skin ardently and rhythmically against someone else’s?) all affect price. Like everything else: cheaper in the market or on the street, and more expensive in a shop, particularly one that carries a larger selection. A glass “two thumbs” jar (widemouth glass jar large enough in diameter for a merchant to thrust both his thumbs into at once, and deep enough when empty for his thumbs to easily touch the bottom) will cost a minimum of 4 sp for the very worst stuff, 4 to 8 gp for most cheap, everyday stuff (so, a median price of 6 gp/jar), and good stuff: 20 or 25 gp/jar or even more. Sometimes a LOT more (this one contains flecks of gold, or the blood of this elf maiden prince so-and-so killed, or a love spell, or . . .) 50 gp to 75 gp.

Who buys fleshpaint? Actors, prostitutes, and anyone wanting to cover skin blemishes (male and female) or even their identity. The heaviest users are fat, aging women trying to look more attractive or exotic or both - - and of that group, the heaviest users are nobles and especially wealthy wannabe-nobles, who may have closets full of a wide selection of scents, fleshpaints, specialized lip-paints, and so on. They’ll rub a foundation onto themselves, add eyeshadow and reddeners to make highlights and shadows, paint their lips and nails (with quite different things), and sometimes also paint adornments - - by which I mean: on one’s cheek or under the eyes or upper breast (or around nipples) or palm, with henna or fleshpaint of a contrasting hue to the foundation, applied with a needle under the skin, or onto the skin with a shaped thin stick or wooden tool cut on an angle like a quill pen, draw a symbol or an illustration of a flower head or a staring eye or star or whatever, as a “beauty spot.”



So saith Ed. Whew. I’d say that more than covers it, Kuje.
love to all,
THO
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Lemernis
Senior Scribe

378 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2006 :  03:37:51  Show Profile  Visit Lemernis's Homepage Send Lemernis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

quote:
Originally posted by Rowan

Just a quick question. The Old Grey Box was released by TSR in 1987, and here we are creeping up on 2007 slowly but surely. Ed, are you or WOTC planning anything special for the (technically) 20th anniversary of the Realms?
It's both the 20th and the 40th anniversary of the Realms...

That's right... the 20th anniversary for the published Realms -- starting in 1987 and the 40th anniversary of Ed's own home Realms campaign in 1967.




I recall seeing Ed's birth year cited once, which happens to be mine as well which is why it stuck to my brain. I was 8 years old in 1967. Ed was DMing campaigns at age 8?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2006 :  03:53:29  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Nope. D&D didn't come along until 1974, and Ed didn't encounter it until 1975.
In 1966, Ed was writing Mirt the Moneylender fantasy stories (yes, he was born in 1959, and yes, that makes him young - - but the man IS a genius, and was a child prodigy). In 1967, he mapped the Sword Coast, coined the name "Forgotten Realms," and started writing more ambitious stories, that explored his unfolding world. Which, yes, makes the Realms older than the D&D game.
Since then, Ed has written or contributed to more than 180 books and game products. Wince.
love to all,
THO
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2006 :  05:10:33  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
Bugger,

I was going to bug you about that private lore since it was a couple of months ago that you said a month. Ah well. :( I just hope I get it before Gencon. :)

But my thanks on the make-up reply.

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 09 Apr 2006 05:12:12
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Akashayana
Acolyte

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2006 :  07:22:03  Show Profile  Visit Akashayana's Homepage  Send Akashayana an AOL message  Click to see Akashayana's MSN Messenger address Send Akashayana a Private Message
Hey there again.

If possible, I'd like to ask Mr. Greenwood if he would reveal a bit more than is currently printed on the Raurin Desert. Not its gloriously devastated ancient history, but rather how it and its surrounding mountain ranges have developed since. I am especially curious about the creatures and general ecology of the area.
Has the wrath of the Mulhorandi gods made the area completely uninhabitable? Do desert folk reside therein despite the dragons, sandstorms, and frequent lightning strikes?
Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you.

-Tlazcotl

-America is the only country in history to go from barbarism to decadence without civilization inbetween.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2006 :  01:29:51  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all! A mundane technical reply this time, from me to this from Dargoth: “Hooded One: Do you and Ed have Excel? (Or a means of viewing Excel Spreadsheets?)”
Sorry, no. Ed primarily works in Word (not Office) on old (pre-OS 9) Macs, and for security reasons I can’t touch anything Microsoft. We can both read anything made into a .pdf in older versions of Adobe Acrobat, but not if they require Reader 6 or up.
No, we’re not Luddites; I in fact customarily work in betas and proprietary applications and operating system variants that haven’t yet been (or will never be) released to the public. We both deliberately prevent cross-contamination, viruses, etc. by working with Mac-only software too old and simple to permit most problems from occurring.
Ed tells me that many Word tables I send him leap off his monitor (columns of cells placing themselves to the right of his scrollable margins), and he can only read them by selecting the text and “squashing” the table into incoherence, and then trying to sort it out by context.
So whatever you were going to try to send him, Dargoth, it’s probably simpler not to. Please remember our Ed is perhaps the busiest writer alive; I feel guilty enough about how much of his time answering scribes’ Realmslore queries that I pass on to him is taking, already.

And to Julian Grimm, who asked “. . . I was wondering how close the original Undermountain boxed set was to your home Undermountain,” Ed and I have recently answered this exact query, here at Candlekeep.

love to all,
THO
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2006 :  04:56:51  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi, all! A mundane technical reply this time, from me to this from Dargoth: “Hooded One: Do you and Ed have Excel? (Or a means of viewing Excel Spreadsheets?)”
Sorry, no. Ed primarily works in Word (not Office) on old (pre-OS 9) Macs, and for security reasons I can’t touch anything Microsoft. We can both read anything made into a .pdf in older versions of Adobe Acrobat, but not if they require Reader 6 or up.
No, we’re not Luddites; I in fact customarily work in betas and proprietary applications and operating system variants that haven’t yet been (or will never be) released to the public. We both deliberately prevent cross-contamination, viruses, etc. by working with Mac-only software too old and simple to permit most problems from occurring.
Ed tells me that many Word tables I send him leap off his monitor (columns of cells placing themselves to the right of his scrollable margins), and he can only read them by selecting the text and “squashing” the table into incoherence, and then trying to sort it out by context.
So whatever you were going to try to send him, Dargoth, it’s probably simpler not to. Please remember our Ed is perhaps the busiest writer alive; I feel guilty enough about how much of his time answering scribes’ Realmslore queries that I pass on to him is taking, already.

And to Julian Grimm, who asked “. . . I was wondering how close the original Undermountain boxed set was to your home Undermountain,” Ed and I have recently answered this exact query, here at Candlekeep.

love to all,
THO




Hmm that may make things a bit difficult

I wasnt going to send Ed anything but I was going to ask him a question which would probably been easiest answered in the form of an Spreadsheet or Table format

What I was going to ask was if Ed could briefly describe the relationships between the various Noble houses of Waterdeep

I thought the best way to do this would be to use a Table or spreadsheet format with the Noble houses listed along the X and Y axis

For example if you looked along the Table on the row for the the Cassalanter family and looked over to were there row intersected with the Cragsmere family you might put the code BR for Buisness rival (Both the Cassalanter and Cragsmere families have money lending listed as Trades and interests in Eric Boyds)

While if you looked at the Gundwynds vs Gost or Ilvastarr vs Belabrantan they might have BF for Blood Feud etc

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2006 :  17:03:18  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
Purple Dragon Knight posted this on a different thread here on Candlekeep.

"To Eric or Ed (through THO):

I know this is a last minute question, as I would need the answer within the next 10 hours (i.e. I am DMing the next instalment of my campaign tonight, 7pm Eastern Time), so I will completely understand if this comes later, and will adapt my game accordingly.

Basically, I looked into the Law section of City of Splendors to find out what kind of sentences could result of the improper use of magic in the streets of Waterdeep. Basically, a chimera broke loose of a cage, which was part of a menagerie headed towards the Field of Triumph. Of course, the PCs stepped in front of the crowd to protect them. The wizard, not so much... and while staying behind the crowd, flung an ice storm at the chimera, aiming the best he could through the gaps offered by the moving crowd. Turns out that due to the poor visibility, he did not notice three circus folks surrounding the chimera from the other side, wielding long poking sticks. They froze to death when the maximized ice storm materialized on the chimera, them and the front part of a shop.

What would be the sentence for such an act, keeping in mind that dozens of witnesses gave statements to the City Watch, and keeping in mind that the menagerie owner did NOT press charge or complain against the PCs?"

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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rweston
Seeker

Canada
19 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2006 :  21:08:43  Show Profile Send rweston a Private Message
Greetings to Ed & THO.
I hope all is well with you both.

I have followup query on a question answered earlier this year.
The original query asked if a priest of bane could "hide" his holy symbol/allegience to Bane when casting spells - the answer being "no" to any spells above 2nd level (which makes perfect sense).
I did however wonder about priests of gods like Mask or Liera. Would they be the exception to the rule, given thier portfolios of theft, sneakiness, deception, lies & illusion?

I loved all the realmslore in Powers of Faerun. I kept turning the page going "what does that have to do with this chapter?" and then quickly realized you were sneaking in as much color & lore as you could. Thanks, this is probably my favorite release since the Grey Box and Waterdeep & the North.

Also, because I don't think we can say it enough, thanks to you both for all the time you take out every week crafting answers to our queries. THO the time you take to read the board, collect queries, fire them off to Ed & then post replies on daily basis, it's very generous.

Rory

Grey Box sensibilities
3.x rules
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2006 :  22:03:29  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ed Comes Through!
Kuje, please forward this to Purple Dragon Knight, hot off Ed's keyboard:

Sentencing depends on Pc's contrition (or lack thereof) in court. Here's the best possible outcome: guilty on three counts of Murder With Justification, and three counts of Magical Assault. Result: exile from Waterdeep for 10 years total for the first three, and damages of 2000 gp payable by the PC wizard to the kin/survivors of the three dead circus folk (payable to the circus in lieu, if no kin or can't easily be found). So, 2000 times three. If the PC can't pay, forfeiture of all goods to kin (failing that: circus), plus a year of (supervised)spellcasting in service to Waterdeep (in effect, PC becomes unpaid employee/servant, does some adventuring/monster cleanup in Undermountain, and casts spells for coin, coin then turned over to kin/circus (full year, coin in excess of 2000 each is considered interest on delayed payment of court fine).
If PC behaves just right, impresses Palace official, can be parlayed into real job (rest of PCs allowed to tag along IF they behave).
Good luck!
Ed


And there you have it. More Realmslore as usual, later . . .
love to all,
THO
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2006 :  22:47:55  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
Thanks Ed and THO. :)

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

5037 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2006 :  23:10:00  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Kuje, a postscript: Ed didn't mention it, but it's obvious to me as a player in his campaign: the exile would begin after the other punishments (so after the fine payments or the year of service). And if the Palace officials Ed mentions are pleased enough with the PC wizard, the exile would just be quietly forgotten (assuming the aggrieved kin and/or the circus aren't dwelling in Waterdeep). He did just this once, with a PC from the Company of Crazed Venturers.
love,
THO
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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2006 :  23:29:58  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Ed Comes Through!
Kuje, please forward this to Purple Dragon Knight, hot off Ed's keyboard:

Sentencing depends on Pc's contrition (or lack thereof) in court. Here's the best possible outcome: guilty on three counts of Murder With Justification, and three counts of Magical Assault. Result: exile from Waterdeep for 10 years total for the first three, and damages of 2000 gp payable by the PC wizard to the kin/survivors of the three dead circus folk (payable to the circus in lieu, if no kin or can't easily be found). So, 2000 times three. If the PC can't pay, forfeiture of all goods to kin (failing that: circus), plus a year of (supervised)spellcasting in service to Waterdeep (in effect, PC becomes unpaid employee/servant, does some adventuring/monster cleanup in Undermountain, and casts spells for coin, coin then turned over to kin/circus (full year, coin in excess of 2000 each is considered interest on delayed payment of court fine).
If PC behaves just right, impresses Palace official, can be parlayed into real job (rest of PCs allowed to tag along IF they behave).
Good luck!
Ed


And there you have it. More Realmslore as usual, later . . .
love to all,
THO

ROTFLMAO!! Hi Hi Hi! [giggling like a little girl at this point, quite atypical for a senior member of the Purple Dragons...]

Onomatopées aside, thank you! thank you! thank you! thank you!
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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2006 :  23:32:50  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Kuje, a postscript: Ed didn't mention it, but it's obvious to me as a player in his campaign: the exile would begin after the other punishments (so after the fine payments or the year of service). And if the Palace officials Ed mentions are pleased enough with the PC wizard, the exile would just be quietly forgotten (assuming the aggrieved kin and/or the circus aren't dwelling in Waterdeep). He did just this once, with a PC from the Company of Crazed Venturers.
love,
THO

[actually crying a little here... tears of joy, of course...] Oh, and did I mention the wizard is a lightfoot halfling? I can't wait to see his face when his fellow carnies present him with his new, tailor-made, tiny little clown suit! [thunderous, bellowing mind-laughter, now...]
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rweston
Seeker

Canada
19 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  00:31:58  Show Profile Send rweston a Private Message
Purple Dragon Knight,
I could be misreading your comments if so - ignore this.

It sounds like you're interpreting that the character would be in service to the circus if he could not pay the fine.
From my reading of the above(and my waterdeep & the North) the PC would be in service to Waterdeep city for a year (assuming he could not pay the fine), and any coin he earns during that time would be turned over to the circus.

It seems the dead carnies kin/and or the circus just get paid off - the city itself gets the benefit of any service, it seems unlikely that the magisters of the city would sentence the wizard to serving the circus as a clown.

Rory Weston

Grey Box sensibilities
3.x rules
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  00:41:11  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Oh, Rory, you're right, but this is rich! I handed it on to Ed, who also roared with laughter and said:

Go for it. Who knows which Black Robe is on the bench this night? Wait, I've got it: the ten years of exile is WITH THE CIRCUS. Yesss!


So saith Ed. Giggling here, too.
love,
THO
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rweston
Seeker

Canada
19 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  00:56:42  Show Profile Send rweston a Private Message
I was worried there was a misreading of the lore. I blame Denier.

I did think it was funny though.

A whisper as you enter the court:
"oh no you're in for it now. Magister Stone...crap he's usually on the night bench. They call him the "Halaster of the Bench" cause you never know what he's going to do..."


Rory

Grey Box sensibilities
3.x rules
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  03:37:13  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all. This arrived in my e-inbox from Ed, so I’m turning the floor (or table, or wherever he prefers - - purr - - over to him):



To Rowan and Faraer: well, yes, we are celebrating those anniversaries: by finally writing and releasing what should have been the very first published Realms novel, way back when. Actually, that’s what I’m hoping all readers of SWORDS OF EVENINGSTAR do: pretend as they open the book that it’s their first glimpse of the Realms, with what we now call the Old Gray Box promised at their local hobby store one week from now . . .
(ripple of harp strings)
And I was still young and slender, my hair dark, my smile bright, comely lasses flocking to me . . .
(twanging cacophony of breaking strings)
As the Lovely Lady Hooded would say: Ahem.
To Kuje: Sorry. Please hang in there. Things are so busy on the writing front right now that the impending visit of family at Easter and the looming, many-clawed darkness of Taxes are going to hit me unexpectedly - - even though I’m expecting them. Sigh. I want to do a proper job with what you’ve sent me, so I need to carve out at least two days to deal with that - - and there are three different parties who’ve been waiting for me to deal with THEM for far longer than you have. I need clones; WHERE ARE MY CLONES? (Send in the clones . . .)
Well before GenCon. Promise.
Which reminds me: Spin A Yarn needs to be written, too. Gulp.
To Dargoth: that’s a good idea (plotting the relationships between the various noble houses of Waterdeep on an X and Y axis), but I’m afraid it just wouldn’t work. You’re oversimplifying, I’m afraid, because only a very few houses have such a strong leader that they speak and act with one voice (in Oz, despite having various autocrats as prime ministers, you never seem to get governments that always speak calmly with one unified voice, right?). Most Waterhavian noble families have a dominant matriarch or patriarch who speaks for the house and swaggers in public, but if that head of the house doesn’t reach agreement in private with spouse, a dowager mom if one exists, and any number of uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters, all of those other family members are going to “do their own thing,” often spending family money or wielding family investments as part of it. It’s the norm for there to be money and policy struggles behind closed doors - - and for the losers to just become more covert in their defiance of the winners. So almost NO family can be plotted neatly in one place or position on such a spreadsheet: individual family members will be scattered (e.g. a brother having a deadly feud with a man of family X, whilst his older sister is having an affair with that man’s mother - - and his younger sister is having an affair with that man). It’s also oversimplifying, as you did with the Cassalanters and Cragsmeres, to assume that two families sharing the same fields of activity are necessarily Business Rivals. In many cases, they drew up private pacts, sometimes over a century ago, to geographically (or by specific product) divide the field between them, to co-exist rather than compete (remember: unlike our modern real world, there are no laws against such practices - - and despite the laws, such behaviour happens all the time in our modern real world). And a last kick at your idea: any such chart would be at best a snapshot of a moment in time, out of date the moment it was done.
Most of the adventuring and roleplaying fun of a Waterdeep-based campaign is the everchanging, sometimes swiftly-shifting nature of alliances, positions, viewpoints, and attitudes among the nobles and the wealthiest wannabe-noble merchant families, and you can REALLY entertain your players by having their characters groping around trying to learn who’s friends with who, who’s lying about their deals and alliances, and who’s changing sides today. Nobles have a hard time keeping score, and outsiders can be utterly bewildered.
Let me paint you an example. A PC thief sneaks into noble revel, and late at night discovers the matriarch of noble house X and the patriarch of noble house Y making energetic love in the gardens. The PC is bewildered, because he had thought these two people hated each other fervently, and their families were coldly formal to each other at best. So he sneaks away, and a day later slips a truth drug into the glass of the matriarch when he catches her alone, and asks her if she and the patriarch of Y are friends - - and she honestly spits, “No. I hate the very ground he walks on! I despise Y, and house Y, and Y’s little dog, too!”
The PC thief blinks at her, and says, “But - - forgive me - - you were with him in the gardens, at the Z’s revel just the other night . . .”
And the matriarch blinks back at HIM. “Yes - - so? I hate and despise the man, but he’s one of the most handsome beasts in all the city! We see each other often, and hold several joint shipping investments, as it happens. That was just rutting - - ’Tis not like I TRUST him, man!”
Now, imagine every noble house being a collection of such strong-willed, self-absorbed hedonists, who hunger more for personal freedom than they respect any authority or agreement (remember the behaviour of the nobles Elaine and I showed you in CITY OF SPLENDORS ‘the novel, not the game book’), and the impracticality of such a chart should be clear.
P.S. I am not unmindful of your Thorp family request.



So saith Ed. And as a well-scratched and bitten veteran of Waterdhavian revels (some of those nobles play rough, dear), I fervently concur. Trying to learn who was up to what really is the roleplaying heart and soul of Ed-as-DM Waterdeep campaigns.
love to all,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  03:46:15  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

To Rowan and Faraer: well, yes, we are celebrating those anniversaries: by finally writing and releasing what should have been the very first published Realms novel, way back when. Actually, that’s what I’m hoping all readers of SWORDS OF EVENINGSTAR do: pretend as they open the book that it’s their first glimpse of the Realms, with what we now call the Old Gray Box promised at their local hobby store one week from now . . .
That would've been neato indeed . 'Tis a shame it never happened that way... but I'm more than willing to pretend for effect .

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Kuje
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Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  03:50:10  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
No problem Ed.

I do appreciate it you taking your time to do this for me and if I get impatient, just smack me and tell me to go sit in the corner and wait. :)

As I said, I really DO appreciate it and as a fledgling writer, who is trying to get through a novel, btw how do you write them so fast and so many at once? Gods!, I do appreciate the advice and I do realize how busy you must be.

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

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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
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Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  10:37:57  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One


To Dargoth: that’s a good idea (plotting the relationships between the various noble houses of Waterdeep on an X and Y axis), but I’m afraid it just wouldn’t work. You’re oversimplifying, I’m afraid, because only a very few houses have such a strong leader that they speak and act with one voice (in Oz, despite having various autocrats as prime ministers, you never seem to get governments that always speak calmly with one unified voice, right?). Most Waterhavian noble families have a dominant matriarch or patriarch who speaks for the house and swaggers in public, but if that head of the house doesn’t reach agreement in private with spouse, a dowager mom if one exists, and any number of uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters, all of those other family members are going to “do their own thing,” often spending family money or wielding family investments as part of it. It’s the norm for there to be money and policy struggles behind closed doors - - and for the losers to just become more covert in their defiance of the winners. So almost NO family can be plotted neatly in one place or position on such a spreadsheet: individual family members will be scattered (e.g. a brother having a deadly feud with a man of family X, whilst his older sister is having an affair with that man’s mother - - and his younger sister is having an affair with that man). It’s also oversimplifying, as you did with the Cassalanters and Cragsmeres, to assume that two families sharing the same fields of activity are necessarily Business Rivals. In many cases, they drew up private pacts, sometimes over a century ago, to geographically (or by specific product) divide the field between them, to co-exist rather than compete (remember: unlike our modern real world, there are no laws against such practices - - and despite the laws, such behaviour happens all the time in our modern real world). And a last kick at your idea: any such chart would be at best a snapshot of a moment in time, out of date the moment it was done.
Most of the adventuring and roleplaying fun of a Waterdeep-based campaign is the everchanging, sometimes swiftly-shifting nature of alliances, positions, viewpoints, and attitudes among the nobles and the wealthiest wannabe-noble merchant families, and you can REALLY entertain your players by having their characters groping around trying to learn who’s friends with who, who’s lying about their deals and alliances, and who’s changing sides today. Nobles have a hard time keeping score, and outsiders can be utterly bewildered.
Let me paint you an example. A PC thief sneaks into noble revel, and late at night discovers the matriarch of noble house X and the patriarch of noble house Y making energetic love in the gardens. The PC is bewildered, because he had thought these two people hated each other fervently, and their families were coldly formal to each other at best. So he sneaks away, and a day later slips a truth drug into the glass of the matriarch when he catches her alone, and asks her if she and the patriarch of Y are friends - - and she honestly spits, “No. I hate the very ground he walks on! I despise Y, and house Y, and Y’s little dog, too!”
The PC thief blinks at her, and says, “But - - forgive me - - you were with him in the gardens, at the Z’s revel just the other night . . .”
And the matriarch blinks back at HIM. “Yes - - so? I hate and despise the man, but he’s one of the most handsome beasts in all the city! We see each other often, and hold several joint shipping investments, as it happens. That was just rutting - - ’Tis not like I TRUST him, man!”
Now, imagine every noble house being a collection of such strong-willed, self-absorbed hedonists, who hunger more for personal freedom than they respect any authority or agreement (remember the behaviour of the nobles Elaine and I showed you in CITY OF SPLENDORS ‘the novel, not the game book’), and the impracticality of such a chart should be clear.
P.S. I am not unmindful of your Thorp family request.




The idea was for the Spread sheet to be simplified and generic (I thought it would have been a much to hit you up for a expansive write up of each of Waterdeeps Noble houses and their relationships with each other) What I was aiming for was those Rivalry/Vendettas/Alliances that have spanned generations like the Ilvastarr vs Belabranta feud described in the Ilvastarr's vault section of City of Splendors

Your above posts makes the Nobles of Waterdeep sound more like modern day investment banks or multinationals (Where different competing buisness own shares and interests in each other) than Europes feuding Medevial aristocracy (ie Romeo and Juliet etc).

I was under impression that the ruling Lord or Lady of a Noble house had more or less absolute power in where the families fortunes where spent. Presumably all nobles would have some sort of allowance from the family finiances

For example Bob th 3rd born son of the Noble family Smith decides he wants to buy a Vinyard in the Moonshae Islands he doesnt have enough personal wealth to buy the Vinyard so he has to approach his Father John the Patriarch of the family. John decides that the Vinyard isnt a good investment and knocks Bob back.

Bob would presumably have 2 options

1)Save his family Allowance up and buy Vinyard when hes got enough money

2) Bob could approach someone like Mirt and try and get a loan from him (presumably when John Smith finds out about Bobs loan he would let Mirt know that this is Bobs loan and his alone the house of Smith has no part in it ie If the whole thing goes pear shaped Mirt then your issue is with Bob not me or the rest of my family)

Thorp family: Excellent I plan on using Hulmara Thorp as a potential romance plot for one of the PCs (Im not sure what sort of a women she'll be from Erics Nobles CoS WE I get the felling shes a quiet, shy Wallflower type, although the predominate religion in the family is Tempus (Which is not a religion you associate with quiet, Shy, Wallflowers!)

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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  11:50:27  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message
My PCs are something of a bizarre and eclectic collection of Realmsian Jokesters. The newest campaign they are thoroughly and completely unwilling to take the story seriously and run it almost like Rozencratz and Gildenstern are Dead frankly. I frankly have found it very enjoyable to just simply let the campaign on their own whimsies and they have asked me to forward these rather peculiar plot developments.

1. Dire enemies of the Zhents that they happen to be from more serious campaigns; the PCs have decided to give Manshoon, Fzoul, and Semmenon a set of birthday presents (do they even celebrate birthdays in FR?). For Manshoon they gave him a Rod of Ressurection with the words ("Thought you might find this a bit safer") attuned to him and him alone. For Fzoul an Psylantry of Faithfulness that detects OTHER people's faith made by the PC's wizard and cleric to detect Cyricist faith ("Not even you deserved what the Thug put you through"), and a set of 6 Potions of Vigor for Semmy "For Ashemi and he"

They've also paid for a retirement home for aged warriors of Bane and other servants of the Zhents (a rather expansive almost Waterdevhavian affair). When I asked why, they said "They've been such good sports about all this"

2. The PC's Wizard has a bit of a grudge against Khelben Blackstaff for reasons too common to PCs but his stated choice of revenge is a bit peculiar. The player with numerous layers of illusion and polymorph has decided to give Khelben a reputation as an enormous lech and libertine. Using teleport liberally and asking for some spell to cover up any enquires for awhile (though he's sure that Khel will pierce them...he hopes the Old Man doesn't have the news reach him for many years), the Khel imposter has made it his effort to visit every Brothel amongst the Swordcoast to the Moonsea.

The Pcs have been helping the matter with suggestions and paid bards (often with many disgruntled Harper friends) to add to it. It hasn't helped the PC has also requested to make numerous Lewd spells they liberally share with fellow magic users starting under the name Khelban's Erotic...

3. In one of the most metatextual jokes in the game, the PCs have opened a 'fantasy' camp in Cormyr. In exchange for a fee, the PCs will train anyone willing to go through the rigorous course then head down to the dungeons they themselves have created with magic or modified of cleaned out lairs (the PCs following) with illusionary beasts and actual treasures left for those they particularly like. Nonlethal but hurtful traps also there.

Thanks Ed for your time.

Though I do have to ask one more, are there any Xvim worshippers still out there?

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/

Edited by - Charles Phipps on 11 Apr 2006 11:57:28
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
30019 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  17:21:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

Though I do have to ask one more, are there any Xvim worshippers still out there?



I would tend to doubt it, since they had the dream of their god blowing up... Besides, to paraphrase from the old FRA: one deity of tyranny destroying and replacing another deity of tyranny is a pretty good endorsement.

I preferred Xvim. He seemed to have more style, as opposed to the "Ooh! I'm evil and scary!" vibe I've always gotten from Bane.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 11 Apr 2006 17:22:40
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