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Alaundo
Head Moderator
Admin

United Kingdom
5584 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  08:45:18  Show Profile  Visit Alaundo's Homepage  Click to see Alaundo's MSN Messenger address Send Alaundo a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Well met

This being a collective scroll of any questions the Scribes and visitors of Candlekeep wish to put to a game designer of the Realms, namely - Eytan Bernstein . Eytan has worked on the upcoming Dragons of Faerūn sourcebook.

Present your questions herein and check back to see what news may also come forth from the quill of this Realms master.

Alaundo
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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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An Introduction to Candlekeep - by Ed Greenwood
The Candlekeep Compendium - Tomes of Realmslore penned by Scribes of Candlekeep

EytanBernstein
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  09:38:45  Show Profile  Visit EytanBernstein's Homepage Send EytanBernstein a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi. I hope I can answer questions as they pertain to Dragons of Faerun. The book is not yet out, so there are of course limits to what I can say, but I'll do my best to answer without violating the NDA.

http://eytanbernstein.com - the official website of Eytan Bernstein
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Mace Hammerhand
Great Reader

Germany
2296 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  09:55:38  Show Profile  Visit Mace Hammerhand's Homepage Send Mace Hammerhand a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Eytan,

will Dragons of Farūn be mainly a lore book or a rulesy book?

Will we see items and/or tactics how to beat dragons?

Thanks
Mace

Mace's not so gentle gamer's journal My rants were harmless compared to this, beware!
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Swordsage
Learned Scribe

137 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  10:40:01  Show Profile  Visit Swordsage's Homepage Send Swordsage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What parts of the book did you work on?

The Swordsage
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EytanBernstein
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  12:00:41  Show Profile  Visit EytanBernstein's Homepage Send EytanBernstein a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mace Hammerhand

Hi Eytan,

will Dragons of Farūn be mainly a lore book or a rulesy book?

Will we see items and/or tactics how to beat dragons?

Thanks
Mace



Both. I'd say it's about 60% lore/40% crunch. In terms of crunch, there are plenty new spells, magic items, monsters, traps, and lair hazards. The book is quite low on other types of crunch.

In terms of lore, there are 19 dragons/dracoliches in painstaking detail, a bunch of dragon-related organizations, a huge section on the Rage, and large sections devoted to the Cult of the Dragon and the worship of Tiamat. Even in certain crunch sections, there is significant lore.

http://eytanbernstein.com - the official website of Eytan Bernstein

Edited by - EytanBernstein on 06 Jul 2006 12:11:13
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Mace Hammerhand
Great Reader

Germany
2296 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  12:04:17  Show Profile  Visit Mace Hammerhand's Homepage Send Mace Hammerhand a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cool, I'm looking forward to it.

There (hopefully!) isn't any equivalent of a dragonlance in the items?

Mace's not so gentle gamer's journal My rants were harmless compared to this, beware!
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EytanBernstein
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  12:07:45  Show Profile  Visit EytanBernstein's Homepage Send EytanBernstein a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Swordsage

What parts of the book did you work on?

The Swordsage




The book is a fairly even split between Eric Boyd and I. I did more of the crunchy stuff (though still plenty of the lore) and he wrote more history. Eric has a vast knowledge of FR history, so he did more work on the history of the rage and dragons in general, as well as organizations and other detailed accounts. I wrote most of the monsters, all of the traps/hazards, and both adventures (in chapter 2 and 3). Other than that, both of us worked to some greater or lesser degree on all the chapters - including spells, items, etc... In terms of the preview, pretty much that whole text in the big box was done by Eric. I did the Nartheling writeup (hopefully the link will be corrected soon.)

http://eytanbernstein.com - the official website of Eytan Bernstein

Edited by - EytanBernstein on 06 Jul 2006 12:10:35
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EytanBernstein
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  12:09:06  Show Profile  Visit EytanBernstein's Homepage Send EytanBernstein a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mace Hammerhand

Cool, I'm looking forward to it.

There (hopefully!) isn't any equivalent of a dragonlance in the items?



Sorry, I can't comment on specific items/spells/etc...

http://eytanbernstein.com - the official website of Eytan Bernstein
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Alaundo
Head Moderator
Admin

United Kingdom
5584 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  12:31:03  Show Profile  Visit Alaundo's Homepage  Click to see Alaundo's MSN Messenger address Send Alaundo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well met

I'm certainly looking forward to this tome even more now I'm happy to hear the Rage being covered and was hoping for this all along. Can ye say what level of detail and type of section this will be, Eytan? I assume that the Cult of the Dragon has been updated from this event too. Did Richard Lee Byers have any input into the product?


Alaundo
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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1253 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  12:41:07  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alaundo

Well met

I'm certainly looking forward to this tome even more now I'm happy to hear the Rage being covered and was hoping for this all along. Can ye say what level of detail and type of section this will be, Eytan? I assume that the Cult of the Dragon has been updated from this event too. Did Richard Lee Byers have any input into the product?





The Rage is detailed sufficiently for the DM to run a "regular dracorage", the "Year of Rogue Dragons", and a post-Year of Rogue Dragons campaign.

I talked to RLB while working on this book, and I had access to his novel outlines as well.

The book does NOT focus on the events in the Year of Rogue Dragons trilogy, but it certainly covers those events. It very definitely deals with the aftereffects of that trilogy.

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30283 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  16:14:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How well does this book build upon the original, 2E Draconomicon? That was one of the first FR products I got...

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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  17:10:40  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
Hiya,

I'm going to ask, since it's proper and I've done it to everyone else. Can I keep your replies for the Candlekeep replies that we've been keeping since 2004?

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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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1253 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  17:38:08  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

How well does this book build upon the original, 2E Draconomicon? That was one of the first FR products I got...



We endeavored to remain fully consistent Realmslore-wise, but it's not FR-Draconomicon v3.5e. It's also not the 3e Draconomicon set in the Realms. I like to think of it as a book about the role of dragons (true dragons and their various descendants) and their "supporters" in the Realms.

--Eric


--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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EytanBernstein
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2006 :  03:04:25  Show Profile  Visit EytanBernstein's Homepage Send EytanBernstein a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To add to what Eric said, the 1E and 2E sources were always checked and researched to see what had occurred before. Often, the information needed to be updated to account for changes in subsequent novels and game products, but it was always consulted. That said, the book has a focus all its own and is not just a 3.5 update of previous Dragon information.

http://eytanbernstein.com - the official website of Eytan Bernstein
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EytanBernstein
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2006 :  03:09:38  Show Profile  Visit EytanBernstein's Homepage Send EytanBernstein a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kuje

Hiya,

I'm going to ask, since it's proper and I've done it to everyone else. Can I keep your replies for the Candlekeep replies that we've been keeping since 2004?



Sure, I don't see why not.

http://eytanbernstein.com - the official website of Eytan Bernstein
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EytanBernstein
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2006 :  03:11:25  Show Profile  Visit EytanBernstein's Homepage Send EytanBernstein a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alaundo

Well met

I'm certainly looking forward to this tome even more now I'm happy to hear the Rage being covered and was hoping for this all along. Can ye say what level of detail and type of section this will be, Eytan? I assume that the Cult of the Dragon has been updated from this event too. Did Richard Lee Byers have any input into the product?





Eric already answered most of your questions, but I will add that the Cult gets an entire chapter devoted to it, including a rather nifty adventure. I can't say precisely what's included (not only because of NDAs, but because I haven't seen the final version yet), but I think it will cover most of your Cult needs.

I spoke to Richard Lee Byers a few times (mostly during revision), but he gave his full blessing to use our creative faculties. I believe Eric has spoken with him more than I have. I did read the Rage and the Rite before working on the book (as well as a synopsis of the ruin). It certainly informed our decisions and gave excellent inspiration and vision for the feel of the dragons of FR.

http://eytanbernstein.com - the official website of Eytan Bernstein

Edited by - EytanBernstein on 07 Jul 2006 03:14:34
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2006 :  22:23:27  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

How well does this book build upon the original, 2E Draconomicon? That was one of the first FR products I got...



We endeavored to remain fully consistent Realmslore-wise, but it's not FR-Draconomicon v3.5e. It's also not the 3e Draconomicon set in the Realms. I like to think of it as a book about the role of dragons (true dragons and their various descendants) and their "supporters" in the Realms.

--Eric





This sounds just like a tome to my liking! More on dragon lairs, behaviour, dragon-related intrigue, and their relations to other races... and less on crunch, I hope!

Eric and Eytan, I hope you didn't let George mess around with any prestige classes, did you? ("It was George who designed the 'Fat Old Dragonslayer'-PrC!")

"What am I doing today? Ask me tomorrow - I can be sure of giving you the right answer then."
-- Askarran of Selgaunt, Master Sage, speaking to a curious merchant, Year of the Helm
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4907 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2006 :  00:58:56  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I assume you mean me.

Gods forfend that professional designers of the calibre of Eric and Eytan would let me mess around with their crunch. I did get to give some feedback re the Dracorage Mythal (which was fun to tell you the truth) as did Tom Costa.

The main help I gave was finding dragons. Lots of them. Oh, and doing something I've wanted to do for years.

And just what is wrong with a "Fat Old Dragonslayer"-PrC? Back in the day I'm sure that Mirt dabbled with such things.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1253 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2006 :  02:24:57  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

And just what is wrong with a "Fat Old Dragonslayer"-PrC? Back in the day I'm sure that Mirt dabbled with such things.

-- George Krashos




Of course we included George's FOD PrC. Only George called it a "kit". ;-)

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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EytanBernstein
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2006 :  03:16:53  Show Profile  Visit EytanBernstein's Homepage Send EytanBernstein a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

And just what is wrong with a "Fat Old Dragonslayer"-PrC? Back in the day I'm sure that Mirt dabbled with such things.

-- George Krashos




Of course we included George's FOD PrC. Only George called it a "kit". ;-)

--Eric



My next character in an FR campaign is definitely going to progress into the FODPrC. I'm just not sure what the epic progression will be.

~Eytan

http://eytanbernstein.com - the official website of Eytan Bernstein

Edited by - EytanBernstein on 13 Jul 2006 03:17:33
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2006 :  04:15:35  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Does DoF include anything on the Dragon rumoured to live in the Sleeping Dragon inn in Rassalantar?

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1253 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2006 :  13:21:57  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth

Does DoF include anything on the Dragon rumoured to live in the Sleeping Dragon inn in Rassalantar?



Nope. We focused on the "named dragons" of existing Realmslore, not the reports of unnamed dragons.

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
2885 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2006 :  02:20:19  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-So, Eytan, how'd you get such a sweet job? Want to trade jobs, by any chance?

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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EytanBernstein
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2006 :  10:01:20  Show Profile  Visit EytanBernstein's Homepage Send EytanBernstein a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dagnirion

-So, Eytan, how'd you get such a sweet job? Want to trade jobs, by any chance?



That's a good question. In March of 2005, I answered a Wizards open call for a development position. I took the development test and they liked it, so they did a phone interview. Eventually, they whittled it down to two candidates - myself & Mike Mearls. We both had interviews in Seattle. Mike was way more experienced than I was, so he rightfully got the job.

You'd think I'd be bitter, but the truth is that Mike is probably the most qualified person for that position. It'd be a lie to say that I wasn't disappointed, but in most ways, I got quite lucky. These days, most people have to spend years in the industry before getting to work on major supplements. When I applied, I had a bunch of articles in some smaller magazines and a few e-books, but not much else. Now, I get to write D&D books (with esteemed colleagues like Eric).

Anyway, I was told that they were very impressed and that with more experience, something might open up for me in the future. (Wouldn't that be nice? :) They also offered me the opportunity to do freelance projects. Dragons of Faerun was my first book. I've also completed work on a portion of the upcoming Magic Item Compendium and wrote an article that should be up on the Wizards site in August. It's not realms related, but I think people will like it. (Interestingly enough, Luke Johnson has a very similar story about how he got involved with Wizards. He applied for a design position -now held by Matthew Sernett).

As for trading jobs, I'd have to hear what you do. If it pays well, I'd definitely consider it. You might think it's fantastic to write RPGs (and I wouldn't disagree with you), but unless you are one of the biggest names in the industry - like Monte Cook or Skip Williams - it's hard to have writing be your only source of income. In addition to writing RPG books, I also teach social studies, English, and ESL (English as a Second language). Writing works quite well with teaching because I tend to travel a lot when finding new and interesting places to teach. I was actually teaching in South Korea when I applied for the position. This October, I will be teaching in Poland. Most ESL positions in other countries occur in the afternoons and evenings, which suits me just fine. I like to write late at night and sleep in.

That should answer your question and then some :)

http://eytanbernstein.com - the official website of Eytan Bernstein
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
2885 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2006 :  06:06:01  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:

As for trading jobs, I'd have to hear what you do. If it pays well, I'd definitely consider it. You might think it's fantastic to write RPGs (and I wouldn't disagree with you), but unless you are one of the biggest names in the industry - like Monte Cook or Skip Williams - it's hard to have writing be your only source of income. In addition to writing RPG books, I also teach social studies, English, and ESL (English as a Second language). Writing works quite well with teaching because I tend to travel a lot when finding new and interesting places to teach. I was actually teaching in South Korea when I applied for the position. This October, I will be teaching in Poland. Most ESL positions in other countries occur in the afternoons and evenings, which suits me just fine. I like to write late at night and sleep in.

That should answer your question and then some :)



-Me? I'm still in school, but when I'm off, I'm working with the National Park Service part-time. Basically, I get to walk around in circles, under the hot sun (for now, anyway), in an uncomfortable hat.

-So, what's it like to be able to actually shape the Realms, and be a part of the "Brain Trust"?

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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EytanBernstein
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2006 :  07:05:37  Show Profile  Visit EytanBernstein's Homepage Send EytanBernstein a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dagnirion

quote:

As for trading jobs, I'd have to hear what you do. If it pays well, I'd definitely consider it. You might think it's fantastic to write RPGs (and I wouldn't disagree with you), but unless you are one of the biggest names in the industry - like Monte Cook or Skip Williams - it's hard to have writing be your only source of income. In addition to writing RPG books, I also teach social studies, English, and ESL (English as a Second language). Writing works quite well with teaching because I tend to travel a lot when finding new and interesting places to teach. I was actually teaching in South Korea when I applied for the position. This October, I will be teaching in Poland. Most ESL positions in other countries occur in the afternoons and evenings, which suits me just fine. I like to write late at night and sleep in.

That should answer your question and then some :)



-Me? I'm still in school, but when I'm off, I'm working with the National Park Service part-time. Basically, I get to walk around in circles, under the hot sun (for now, anyway), in an uncomfortable hat.

-So, what's it like to be able to actually shape the Realms, and be a part of the "Brain Trust"?



It's great really. Years ago when I'd read FR novels, I always imagined that I could write some fascinating material. It's my hope that some of the work I do in the Realms will lay the seeds for great RPG campaigns, but also for interesting ideas in future supplements and novels. I've been to Gen Con several times, and have spoken to some of the writers, but this year will be the first in which I am personally more familiar with most of them. I've had the fortune of chatting (via Aim, livejournal, Candlekeep, e-mail, ENWorld, RPG.net, telephone and other sources) with a sizable number of realms designers and novelists this year, so it's been a really eye-opening and fulfilling period of time.

http://eytanbernstein.com - the official website of Eytan Bernstein

Edited by - EytanBernstein on 23 Jul 2006 07:06:01
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