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Feanor
Learned Scribe

100 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2006 :  14:01:09  Show Profile Send Feanor a Private Message  Delete Topic
Ok, in your opinion, which are the best swordsmen of the Realms : on my list are Drizzt Do'Urden, Artemis Entreri, Kymil Nimesin, Flar "Starbrow" Melruth (yeah, he died in 714 DR, but he was ressurected in Forsaken House ), Maethrammar Aerasume.

Any others ?

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2006 :  15:39:27  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Feanor, if I were you, I’d ask Ed Greenwood this one directly, in his Questions thread in the Chamber of Sages. Why? Because, as a player in the original Realms campaign, I tell you plainly he’d not choose any of the individuals you’ve listed, for his “best with the sword” list.
We all might gain some fun new Realmslore, when Ed gets around to replying.
love,
THO
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TonyMontana1638
Acolyte

18 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2006 :  17:48:04  Show Profile  Visit TonyMontana1638's Homepage Send TonyMontana1638 a Private Message
Shurrupakk (sp?) anyone? The reaper of unther makes a strong bid for the very top of this list...

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Kaladorm
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1176 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2006 :  18:17:28  Show Profile  Visit Kaladorm's Homepage Send Kaladorm a Private Message
In line with the response given on the best thief thread, my answer will have to be.
Garagos :D
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Vvornth
Acolyte

Sweden
48 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2006 :  02:52:40  Show Profile  Visit Vvornth's Homepage Send Vvornth a Private Message
I'm starting to sense a pattern here.

It's good to be king
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KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
5402 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2006 :  02:56:18  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message
I'm sure Tempus would be offended Kaladorm! You know, as I often think with elven wizards, I am sure there are some people that we don't know becuase they have been on Evermeet forever, only coming out to aid when the island was invaded a few years back, that are horrendously high level. So somewhere out there, I wouldn't be surprised to see a 30th level bladesinger or duelist that none of us have never heard of.
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Kaladorm
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1176 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2006 :  12:10:59  Show Profile  Visit Kaladorm's Homepage Send Kaladorm a Private Message
Can I be let off since Tempus prefers a battleaxe and not a sword? :)
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warlockco
Master of Realmslore

USA
1695 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2006 :  23:40:14  Show Profile  Visit warlockco's Homepage Send warlockco a Private Message
The Best Swordsman is an unknown Human that goes by the name Bob...

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Spree
Acolyte

7 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2006 :  21:27:45  Show Profile  Visit Spree's Homepage Send Spree a Private Message
Kol of Calimshan.

Never heard of him?? Oh that's because he is one of my characters. :) I'll have to write his story one day.
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Fletcher
Learned Scribe

USA
299 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2006 :  21:34:16  Show Profile  Visit Fletcher's Homepage Send Fletcher a Private Message
This is such a sexist post!
Personally i think it is very rude to exclude all the female swordspersons out there.
Huzzah for all the great swordspersons!

Run faster! The Kobolds are catching up!
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Firhyanda
Learned Scribe

USA
108 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2006 :  22:15:16  Show Profile  Visit Firhyanda's Homepage Send Firhyanda a Private Message
Greetings

Did the last few posters see Eds answer to this on the ask ED thread?
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2006 :  01:03:40  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Firhyanda

Greetings

Did the last few posters see Eds answer to this on the ask ED thread?


If not... Here it is -- quoted for ease of reference -

" Hello, all. Ed e-mailed me this for Dargoth (re: “This particular NDA wouldn’t happen to expire in say August 2006 would it?”):
“No.”
So there you go.
In more substantial news, Ed makes VERY swift reply (which makes me guess he was at work on something that touches on this topic, though I really have no idea what) to Feanor, who posted: “Greetings. A question for Ed : - which would be the best swordsmen in the Realms ?”
Heeeere’s Ed:



Well, now. “Swordsmen” you say, so I’m going to narrow my reply down to: male living (not dead or undead) humans.
I’m going to further qualify my reply by saying that among the most skilled masters of bladework, “best” becomes a matter of opinion regarding style, and the average observer can’t identify (let alone properly interpret) most subtle differences because they’re either dead too quickly, or too dazzled by things that happen too swiftly for them to see properly and too deftly for them to measure or grasp the implications of (matters of shifting a foe just a little off balance, or forcing a movement in stance or location, that will lead to a killing stroke three or four maneuvers later).
Moreover, “best” is a steadily shifting title, even when one sets aside divine and magical meddling, because (as with real-world tennis) youthful speed and acrobatic suppleness, plus freedom from injuries and the slowing and crippling effects of aging (on, say, the human knee), must always be balanced against the experience gained in duel after duel after battle: young swordsmen are always rising to the fore, but only step into the ranks of the “best” when those more expert through real-life practice grow too slow to defeat the most skilled younglings (or the younglings overcome their inexperience).
I’m also going to restrict myself purely to matters of bladework, in a one-on-one fight in surroundings that favour neither combatant. In other words, I’m minimizing “street smarts” or dirty fighting or the adventurers’ experience in exploiting traction, lighting, obstacles, distractions, and all of that: factors that seasoned adventurers (like Durnan of Waterdeep) can use to defeat foes who might be a shade faster or a whit better in pure bladework. This will work against Artemis Entreri, for example, but also against a host of other adventurers whom I won’t even mention in this reply, but who might otherwise show up in my answer.
(Personally, I’d rather not do any “best of” rankings, because I think they’re subjective, snapshots of moments in time that are dated even as they’re made, and a bit pointless. Even in pure-skill tournaments, upsets occur, and if a DM wants to create an unknown who’s better than the individuals mentioned here, go right ahead.)
However, I probably possess the best overview of the entire tapestry of the Realms of anyone (though not all that far ahead of, say, Messrs. Boyd and Krashos, closely followed by Schend, Hunter, and Grubb), and can speak from that strength - - not being limited, for instance, by published Realmslore.
So you’re really going to have to trust me here, when I say that the best bladesman in the Realms right now (1375 DR) is: Harmel Artru, a darkly handsome, agile, glib-tongued and lady-charming merchant seacaptain (and sometime pirate), who sails The Winsome Lady independent caravel out of Saerloon (and a secret base somewhere in the Pirate Isles).
Only a whisker-width behind Artru is Loaros Hammarandar, a broad-shouldered, grim giant of a man who can hurl his prodigious strength and bulk around like an acrobat, and is an ever-wary-of-treachery mercenary warmaster currently under hire by Narubel, who commands “the Swift Sword” cavalry force used to quell bandits and unrest in that city and its surrounding farms (and dedicates himself to quietly eliminating all threats to the current rulership, prosperity, and status quo in Narubel).
Close behind Artru and Hammarandar are Skoalam Marlgrask and then Sraece Telthorn.
Skoalam Marlgrask is a professional duelist who travels Chessenta as the champion of whomever sponsors him in duels, making huge sums (because everyone locally knows he’s “the best” in duels, and so tries to outbid opponents seeking to hire his services) that are usually paid in gems and used by Marlgrask to immediately buy property, notably an ever-expanding string of inns and taverns. Marlgrask is polite, saturnine, nondescript of looks but quietly luxurious of dress, and seems able to sense danger (crossbow snipers, for instance) before it can reach out for him. He’s known to be resistant to many natural poisons (having learned this the hard way), but now takes great care regarding what he eats and drinks (hence his purchase of many inns and taverns).
Sraece Telthorn is a smallish, agile, almost feminine man who can dance, tumble, balance, and spring with a skill and precision matched only by the greatest acrobats (once leaping off a parapet to land perfectly balanced on a sloping, protruding flagstaff far below, for instance, and often springing over the slashing swords of opponents). He teaches “swordplay” (fencing) in Yhaunn and Waterdeep, and is believed to travel between the two by means of secret portals of unknown origin and location. Telthorn lives simply, is unambitious (avoiding power and important patrons, and giving much of his coins away), and is beloved by many pleasure-lasses of Waterdeep, who regard him as a kind friend or honorary brother as well as a frequent client.
I’d put the infamous Artemis Entreri after Telthorn, though I could be persuaded to rank two other male human bladesmen between them: Ulmaer Rivrymm of Sheirtalar (a smiling, wax-mustached man of good nature but lightning-swift reflexes and keen sight, who is personal bodyguard to the Overking of Lapaliiya, and can juggle scimitars to entertain), and Aka ‘the Questmaster’ (the mysterious sponsor and trainer of adventurers) who dwells, these days, in the wilderlands of the Sword Coast North.
If I widen my reply to include human females, two must be inserted: Ember Tsartaera between Hammarandar and Marlgrask, and Lyaunthra Aldegal between Marlgrask and Telthorn.
Ember Tsartaera is the tall, cool of manner and sparing of words Knight of Arms (weaponsmaster, or trainer of bodyguards and soldiers) to Lord Albin, ruler of Furthinghome in Aglarond, where she dwells. Ember dresses plainly, lives in spartan surroundings, and is always under iron self-control, keeping to herself and crafting masterwork swords when she’s not practising using them or training others to do so; she never raises her voice (though she can be coldly, cuttingly firm), is always alert and anticipating trouble, and has an acrobatic fighting style; she’s famous in Furthinghome for catching hurled daggers and arrows in flight.
Lyaunthra Aldegal has recently settled in Waterdeep, though she still retains homes in her three previous bases: Silverymoon, Neverwinter, and Secomber. “The Lioness” is a superb maker of bladed weapons and tools (who learned her skills from her now-dead parents), who can resharpen and balance almost any fragment of a mistreated item. She owns and travels between small weapon shops in Waterdeep, Silverymoon, Neverwinter, and Secomber, and specializes in finding just the right weapon for a client, and in weapons-training and -practising with select clients. Known to have ironguard protection afforded by a wearable item (a choker or anklet, most believe), she’s also known to be able to withstand great pain, once (in the days before her ironguard protection) slaying a killer who’d put his blade through her hilt-deep, and then (despite being hit by both acid and fire magics) staggering through four rooms to get healing potions, managing to drink them and pluck forth his blade without passing out. Aldegal is a fire-haired, rugged-looking woman who takes numerous lovers, arrives and departs quietly and unexpectedly, and is seldom to be found where one expects to find her.
Quite a roster.
If I now widen my reply further, to include elves, half-elves, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes (note that I’m still excluding shapechanging races and multi-armed intelligent “monsters”), I’d put Maethrammar Aerasume between Artru and Hammarandar, and Drizzt Do’Urden JUST behind Marlgrask.
However, ask me this a year from now (Realms time), and - - even if there haven’t been fatalities - - these rankings may have shifted around quite a bit. As I said, among individuals of this skill, determinations are whisker-thin.



So saith Ed. Whew. Warned you, didn’t I? What Ed and all of we original players share when reading or listening to debates about “bests” and most this or that of the Realms is that there’s so much as-yet-unpublished Realmslore about this everchanging world that Ed crafted and continues to detail and expand, right alongside other writers (so the argument that “well, we can’t go by Ed’s original, we can only discuss the published Realms, that’s diverged so much from his original” goes right out the window). I happen to agree with Ed that rating “best” bladesmen is a bit pointless because it’s so subjective, changes so fast, and has such little practical roleplaying value - - but I fully understand Feanor’s curiosity in wanting to know. It’s a longing to know and understand the Realms more fully that we all share.
And I hope we will always continue to do so!
love to all,
THO"

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Feanor
Learned Scribe

100 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2006 :  16:53:09  Show Profile Send Feanor a Private Message
Ahem, if that is a swift reply, then I wonder how it will be the long one...

Some points I have to make :

1. As for why was this question posted in 2 different locations, the answer is quite simple : this thread was the original one, but I was suggested that it would be a better idea to post in the Questions for Ed thread.

quote:
What Ed and all of we original players share when reading or listening to debates about “bests” and most this or that of the Realms is that there’s so much as-yet-unpublished Realmslore about this everchanging world that Ed crafted and continues to detail and expand, right alongside other writers (so the argument that “well, we can’t go by Ed’s original, we can only discuss the published Realms, that’s diverged so much from his original” goes right out the window). I happen to agree with Ed that rating “best” bladesmen is a bit pointless because it’s so subjective, changes so fast, and has such little practical roleplaying value - - but I fully understand Feanor’s curiosity in wanting to know. It’s a longing to know and understand the Realms more fully that we all share.



Now, some comments I have to make, because The Hooded One did not understand completely what this thread was about when he made the comment quoted above.

1. The statement "Warned you, didn’t I?" sounds as if he thinks I was let down by this reply. On the contrary, this reply was EXACTLY what I wanted to hear. So, thank you, Ed.

2. Second, this was NOT a debate about "who is the best" because of the subjectivity of such a discussion and that is PRECISELY why I did not rank the swordsmen named by me. I shall give you an example of how I meant my question : for instance, if someone asks me who were the best basketball players over the last 20 years, I share The Sage's opinion that a hierarchy would be highly subjective. But I could speak the names of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Karl Malone, Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley (in no precise order). Indeed, the way I phrased the question was somehow misleading. I think it would have been more to the point as "Which warriors of the Realms are extremely skilled with the blade". You know, like a question "who are the best soccer players around". Anyway, since Ed hit the nail, that is somehow pointless, I just wanted to let Ed and The Sage know that the reply above was indeed the answer which I expected (well, Ed tried to make a hierarchy as well, although I did not ask for it ).

BTW, this is not the end, if someone knows of other warrior who could be in "all-star team" for swordsmen, then he should post it (specifying whom this blademaster is).

PS : the question was not restricted only to human males, but also to elves, half-elves and other sentient races (excluding those with natural bonuses like celestials and others ; you get the idea : you simply cannot put a deva on the same scale with a mortal )



Edited by - Feanor on 28 Jan 2006 17:29:27
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2006 :  17:11:28  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Feanor

Now, some comments I have to make, because The Hooded One did not understand completely what this thread was about when he made the comment quoted above.
Just a small note... The Hooded One is known as the "Lady Herald of Realmslore" for a reason . See her special title under her username in the profile box...

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Edited by - The Sage on 28 Jan 2006 17:14:24
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warlockco
Master of Realmslore

USA
1695 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2006 :  17:16:54  Show Profile  Visit warlockco's Homepage Send warlockco a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Feanor
BTW, this is not the end, if someone knows of other warrior who could be in "all-star team" for swordsmen, then he should post it (specifying whom this blademaster is).

PS : the question was not restricted only to human males, but also to elves, half-elves and other sentient races (excluding those with natural bonuses like celestials and others ; you get the idea : you simply cannot put a deva on the same scale with a mortal )



I can think of some definate people, but I don't they would count much, since they are former PCs turned NPCs for my campaign.

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Feanor
Learned Scribe

100 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2006 :  17:32:18  Show Profile Send Feanor a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by warlockco

quote:
Originally posted by Feanor
BTW, this is not the end, if someone knows of other warrior who could be in "all-star team" for swordsmen, then he should post it (specifying whom this blademaster is).

PS : the question was not restricted only to human males, but also to elves, half-elves and other sentient races (excluding those with natural bonuses like celestials and others ; you get the idea : you simply cannot put a deva on the same scale with a mortal )



I can think of some definate people, but I don't they would count much, since they are former PCs turned NPCs for my campaign.



Only official count. I have one boy (elf) who would kick the ass of Drizzt and Entreri at the same time too.




About what THO said, that such knowledge has little role-play valor, I have to disagree. Yes, hierarchies are subjective and they change. But it does not matter if Aerasume will not be in the "all-star team" 20 years later. It matter that it once was. Second (this is the reason why I asked about an update for Villains' and Heroes Lorebooks), such characters are in a way personalities of the Realms. It does not matter if they are not political figures : role-playing a campaign in the Realms without knowing who is Drizzt is like role-playing a campaign in France during the italian wars (1494-1557) without knowing who was Bayard.
And not all people have the time and the possibility to read those more than 100 novels set in FR.

Really, I'm quite surprised that veteran role-players dismiss so casually such issues, because, IMO, that is one of the great benefits of Forgotten Realms, that it has a well-developed history and culture and "who are the best swordsmen of the Realms" is part of this history (although not the most important one). To make points clear, I shall give an example : it does not matter if Harmel makes an appearance in my campaign. It does not matter if he won't be sucha good swordsman 5 years later. It matters only that I know whom he was - if someone says for instance to my character "damn, you are as good with sword like Harmel was" (just a random sample), I will know what he speaks about.
Or, to make points even more clear : I think such knowledge is important for the same reason why it would be important for someone who plays a campaign in Japan at the begining of the 17-th century to know who Musashi was.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34143 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2006 :  18:39:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Feanor


About what THO said, that such knowledge has little role-play valor, I have to disagree. Yes, hierarchies are subjective and they change. But it does not matter if Aerasume will not be in the "all-star team" 20 years later. It matter that it once was. Second (this is the reason why I asked about an update for Villains' and Heroes Lorebooks), such characters are in a way personalities of the Realms. It does not matter if they are not political figures : role-playing a campaign in the Realms without knowing who is Drizzt is like role-playing a campaign in France during the italian wars (1494-1557) without knowing who was Bayard.
And not all people have the time and the possibility to read those more than 100 novels set in FR.

Really, I'm quite surprised that veteran role-players dismiss so casually such issues, because, IMO, that is one of the great benefits of Forgotten Realms, that it has a well-developed history and culture and "who are the best swordsmen of the Realms" is part of this history (although not the most important one). To make points clear, I shall give an example : it does not matter if Harmel makes an appearance in my campaign. It does not matter if he won't be sucha good swordsman 5 years later. It matters only that I know whom he was - if someone says for instance to my character "damn, you are as good with sword like Harmel was" (just a random sample), I will know what he speaks about.
Or, to make points even more clear : I think such knowledge is important for the same reason why it would be important for someone who plays a campaign in Japan at the begining of the 17-th century to know who Musashi was.



I don't see how knowing who all of the best sword-fighters matters at all... Knowing the major, popular ones, yes. Knowing about ones you've never heard of and will never encounter? Nope, not important at all -- and your analogy is not accurate, for that point. It doesn't matter if you've read one Realms novel or read all of them -- knowing that X fighter or Y thief is better than the rest is pointless, if those characters aren't in a novel or sourcebook.

And appreciating a well-developed history and culture does not hinge on knowing who in the modern era is better than who, if one of the persons isn't a major player and does not interact with them. I've read plenty of novels in a lot of settings and genres, and no matter how well-developed their histories are, knowing who the best is has never been a factor. In fact, it's usually not even brought up.

All-star teams? Why? What's the point? I've been a Realms fan for 15+ years, and I've never bothered to concern myself with details like "who is the best?". It's the history of nations and peoples, their cultures and their interactions -- that's what makes the Realms. Knowing that one guy who wasn't a powerful player was handy with a blade? It's not a factor. If he accomplished nothing but earning some skill, he did not add to the setting. Now, if his skill helped turn a battle, or if he slowed down an assassin long enough to let a king escape, then I want to know about it. If all he did was bounce from tavern to tavern and whip up on other tavern-goers, then he has not made an impact on the setting and is not important.


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Thauramarth
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
682 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2006 :  21:53:44  Show Profile Send Thauramarth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Feanor
About what THO said, that such knowledge has little role-play valor, I have to disagree. Yes, hierarchies are subjective and they change. But it does not matter if Aerasume will not be in the "all-star team" 20 years later. It matter that it once was. Second (this is the reason why I asked about an update for Villains' and Heroes Lorebooks), such characters are in a way personalities of the Realms. It does not matter if they are not political figures : role-playing a campaign in the Realms without knowing who is Drizzt is like role-playing a campaign in France during the italian wars (1494-1557) without knowing who was Bayard.
And not all people have the time and the possibility to read those more than 100 novels set in FR.



There is also the problem in defining what makes the "best" swordsman. Judging from Ed Greenwood's answer, it's a matter of technique, and I can perfectly imagine a swordsman giving a superb display of his technique, until his prospective target gets out his crossbow and places a bolt square between the greatest swordsman ever's eyes. What makes the best swordsman then? Best kill ratio? Good defensive spin? Or just a good spin doctor?


quote:
Originally posted by Feanor
Really, I'm quite surprised that veteran role-players dismiss so casually such issues, because, IMO, that is one of the great benefits of Forgotten Realms, that it has a well-developed history and culture and "who are the best swordsmen of the Realms" is part of this history (although not the most important one). To make points clear, I shall give an example : it does not matter if Harmel makes an appearance in my campaign. It does not matter if he won't be sucha good swordsman 5 years later. It matters only that I know whom he was - if someone says for instance to my character "damn, you are as good with sword like Harmel was" (just a random sample), I will know what he speaks about.
Or, to make points even more clear : I think such knowledge is important for the same reason why it would be important for someone who plays a campaign in Japan at the begining of the 17-th century to know who Musashi was.



I am not sure about that... Not every player character or NPC in a given campaign would know the major characters(major, as ranked by the coverage they get in the novels and game supplements). I have a vague recollection that Ed Greenwood, in one of his answers passed on the Hooded One, once wrote that a considerable part of the population of the Realms lives out their existence without ever knowing that there's such a person as Elminster, Khelben Arunsun, Manshoon, or whatever... Among those who have heard of these, many may well consider them to be mythical figures.

There's exceptions, of course. Everyone in Waterdeep has heard of the Blackstaff, everyone in Shadowdale has heard of Elminster, but there's really no reason why a thief from the slums of Calimport would know of these... or, by extension, of Harmel, or Drizzt, of whomever. I think that sometimes we do not take into account the fact that the Realms are essentially a medieval setting, where many people probably never stray more than half a day's walk from the place they were born, and where communications are not exactly common.

I like to use the standard set for Kasyer Söze in "The Usual Suspects". Even though Kayser Söze is to criminals world wide what Elminster, Khelben or Drizzt are to the Realms fans, only very few people have ever heard of him. In the movie, not all the criminals know him (some think of him as the bogeyman - "don't rat on yer pop, or Kayser Söze will get you"), and not even all the law enforcement people know of him.

Drizzt (as an example) would probably be relatively well-known in the North, a misty character in Calimport, and it's probably none but very well-travelled persons have ever heard of him in the Dalelands, even in the higher levels of society, because he simply does not affect them (Manshoon could probably go through his life without ever crossing paths with him).

Unless I am very much mistaken, Musashi was well-known because he set down his teachings in writing, and his teaching were widespread. Perhaps there were samurai more talented or skilled than he ever was - except that no one remembers them, because their PR was lousy .

The same would apply to "the best swordsmen". Perhaps the best swordsman / woman / elf is unknown to all, because he met his end at the hands of a furious spouse wielding a skillet because said swordsperson was caught, with his swordbelt around his ankles, in the bed of a person he had no business being with?

So I could perfectly imagine that upon being favorably compared with Harmel, a warrior could logically reply "Who?"

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 28 Jan 2006 :  22:29:38  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Thauramarth

Unless I am very much mistaken, Musashi was well-known because he set down his teachings in writing, and his teaching were widespread. Perhaps there were samurai more talented or skilled than he ever was - except that no one remembers them, because their PR was lousy .

The same would apply to "the best swordsmen". Perhaps the best swordsman / woman / elf is unknown to all, because he met his end at the hands of a furious spouse wielding a skillet because said swordsperson was caught, with his swordbelt around his ankles, in the bed of a person he had no business being with?

So I could perfectly imagine that upon being favorably compared with Harmel, a warrior could logically reply "Who?"



A similar point was raised in another novel I'd read. This one character was attending a tournament, which would decide who the world's best swordsman was. People from many different nations attended this tournament... But, as one person pointed out, just because one particular champion would earn the title "World's Best Swordsman", it didn't mean he truly was the best -- it just meant that he was the best of all that had attended. The person pointed out that there was likely a soldier on a distant frontier who was better, but who couldn't attend because his lord wouldn't let him. He also gave a couple of other examples, as I recall.

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Winterfox
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Posted - 29 Jan 2006 :  00:54:07  Show Profile  Visit Winterfox's Homepage Send Winterfox a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Feanor

About what THO said, that such knowledge has little role-play valor, I have to disagree. Yes, hierarchies are subjective and they change. But it does not matter if Aerasume will not be in the "all-star team" 20 years later. It matter that it once was. Second (this is the reason why I asked about an update for Villains' and Heroes Lorebooks), such characters are in a way personalities of the Realms. It does not matter if they are not political figures : role-playing a campaign in the Realms without knowing who is Drizzt is like role-playing a campaign in France during the italian wars (1494-1557) without knowing who was Bayard.


I'm not sure why you see any roleplaying value in this. Characters aren't atheletes or politicians who have to be aware of everyone else in the field of competition. Unless a character's idolizing them, or unless they are political figures in the vicinity, who cares? There are things far more interesting and important than a ranking of who's best at what, not to mention that said ranking is both subjective and unstable. IMO, useless.

quote:
It matters only that I know whom he was - if someone says for instance to my character "damn, you are as good with sword like Harmel was" (just a random sample), I will know what he speaks about.


Uhm, no? In-character, you shouldn't even have heard of such a thing unless Harmel was from your village or town or something. The gamer's knowledge is not the character's; applying the former to the latter is sloppy roleplaying.

quote:
Or, to make points even more clear : I think such knowledge is important for the same reason why it would be important for someone who plays a campaign in Japan at the begining of the 17-th century to know who Musashi was.


Uhhhm, no. Unless you are a swordsman pursuing Musashi's teaching specifically -- there were likely other contemporaries that are unknown to us today, but were famous at the time. As I recall, Musashi didn't make much political impact, either -- why would he be known throughout the country? Or am I mistaken and they had Internet in seventeenth-century Japan?
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Crennen FaerieBane
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Well, Musashi was known in certain circles, since the Daimyos did try to recruit him into the training their soldiers. But, in general, you're right - even if you're the best swordsman in the Realms, you might know diddly when it comes to politics - or you may be so low-born that no one cares. I'm sure there are certain characters who are known as great swordsmen throughout the realms (Musashi-esque), but the majority of NPCs: no one would know about each other.

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warlockco
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Posted - 29 Jan 2006 :  04:15:28  Show Profile  Visit warlockco's Homepage Send warlockco a Private Message
Another thing to keep in mind.

The World's Greatest Swordsman doesn't fear the Second Greatest Swordsman, he fears the World's Worst Swordsman, because there is no telling what the fool will do.

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KnightErrantJR
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Posted - 29 Jan 2006 :  04:47:27  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message
And still, not one person asks who the world's best spiked chainsmen is . . . to say nothing of the world's best orc shotputter . . .
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 29 Jan 2006 :  05:29:45  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by KnightErrantJR

And still, not one person asks who the world's best spiked chainsmen is . . . to say nothing of the world's best orc shotputter . . .



Nor the world's greatest goblin-chucker... That's my minotaur, who's now part owner of a Waterdhavian tavern.

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KnightErrantJR
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Posted - 29 Jan 2006 :  05:48:33  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message
Ah, the fine nuances of goblin chuckery . . .
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Feanor
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Posted - 29 Jan 2006 :  09:57:35  Show Profile Send Feanor a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Winterfox


I'm not sure why you see any roleplaying value in this. Characters aren't atheletes or politicians who have to be aware of everyone else in the field of competition. Unless a character's idolizing them, or unless they are political figures in the vicinity, who cares? There are things far more interesting and important than a ranking of who's best at what, not to mention that said ranking is both subjective and unstable. IMO, useless.




Well, I have not said it is as important as knowing what the Zhentarim is, but, for instance, if you role-play a blademaster character who is obsessed with the question "Who is the best with the sword", then it has a role-play value. After all, this issue appears quite often is Salvatore's novels.

quote:
The same would apply to "the best swordsmen". Perhaps the best swordsman / woman / elf is unknown to all, because he met his end at the hands of a furious spouse wielding a skillet because said swordsperson was caught, with his swordbelt around his ankles, in the bed of a person he had no business being with?


Hmm, I started from the assumption that they would be known for some objective reasons. Besides, you forget one thing : this question was first posted in the open forum. It would be logical to assume that anyone who will be mentioned has a reputation in the Realms, else where you would have heard of him ? Example : Michael Jordan is known as the best basketball player not because he was the most gracious in the field, but because of his overall achievements. After all, these are blademasters, not thieves. If no one has heard of someone, then he is not a very good swordsmen. If he died before he made a reputation, then again he does not count. Gee, do I really need to explain everything ? Really, you all behave as if you've never seen any sport statistics. How anyone decides who was the MVP ?

quote:
Or am I mistaken and they had Internet in seventeenth-century Japan


I think anyone who has read Karl May's novels set in the american far west in the XIX-th century will understand how such reputation is formed and what its effects are, despite the lack of modern communication.
Besides, if some information is considered useless by someone, thus does not mean it has to be useless for everyone, so I gently ask members to post here only if they have something constructive to say. I gave those reasons above as an example of why such information could be interesting for someone, and I'm really not interested in hearing 10 reasons why I should not be interested in this or why this thread is pointless (not bluntly said, but it is implied), condimented with sarcasms. Such posts add absolutely nothing to the topic, but instead simply bury the thread, discouraging people from posting it.
Really, guys, I would have expected more tact from you. If one person started this thread, then it means it is at least one person who wants to hear and there is no need to be shot in the leg for that. After all, this is not a debate about the use of threads who is the best. I asked an information and posted the reasons for my request, so if you don't agree, it's your business. To each, their own. Those who are interested would read, those who aren't will not.

Edited by - Feanor on 29 Jan 2006 10:14:55
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