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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2007 :  02:57:23  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by createvmind

Hello All,


Ed I've been going over my little glossary of words and don't recall where I read the term "White arms" which signifies bladed weapons, is this a term you created? If yes what is the term for blunt weapons and piercing weapons or ranged weapons and who made it up, is it common throughout Faerun or only in certain areas?





Go figure! I just read this phrase, in its original French form: arme blanche (or some such thing and don't ask me what the article ought to be; French grammar isn't my forte). It refers to a sword held by an armored sword arm, which was very gallant, very Gallic, and the cause of tens of thousands of French soldiers being killed because they wouldn't adopt the longbow (a peasant's weapon) or arquebus (also a peasant's weapon, but Spanish, too, which the French nobility found even worse).


I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2007 :  03:01:14  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hello again, all. This time around Ed responds to a query, from Jamallo Kreen, to whit: “Well met! I've been reading The Further Adventures of Beowulf this week, and I have a question about the wintery scenes at the beginning of "B and the Wraith":

(snip)

No, although I’m familiar with Blackwood and even more familiar with the various Canadian aboriginal “horror of the wilds” tales he drew on (from, hey, growing up Canadian, knowing a lot of native people, and sitting around a lot of campfires in my youth hearing all the scary tales). When writing those scenes (which I had to edit down severely, BTW) I was influenced by my own numerous Boy Scout experiences of tramping through dark, unknown Canadian woods by night, in snowstorms. A thin crust of ice atop deep, fluffy, wallowing snow . . . or the soft, gentle, deceptively deadly warmth of downy flakes of beautiful, endlessly-falling snow swirling amid the dark treetrunks . . . ask THO sometime about walking nude (except for boots) in the winter snow, from warm cabin to another where someone she wanted to seduce was sleeping . . . :}


(snip)




That's sooo cool! (And the snipped stuff, too!)

I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2007 :  03:22:39  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One



My various PAGES FROM THE MAGES articles in DRAGON (and the later 2nd edition sourcebook of the same name, plus VOLO’S GUIDE TO ALL THINGS MAGICAL) detailed spell ink formulae for many magical (as in, suitable for writing down spells) inks. In the Realms, squid or octopus ink is one of the “base” ingredients for “better” inks, usually with the blood of some sort of mammal as a “fixative” to bond other ingredients into the ink and make it stable in hue and lasting on the page.

(snip)



Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Do you mean "giant squid" and "giant octopus" ink, or are you saying that the ordinary kind will do? This is a very important issue in my campaign now, believe it or not. Someone (who should have known better) bought "ordinary" squid and octopus ink, and I expect to rule that when he begins to write scrolls, they will lack efficacy because he used sub-standard materials. The PC really ought to have known better; he was told to use giant cephalopod inks at least three times. However, if ordinary cephalopod inks are acceptable for magical writings, then I shall have to start plucking the crow and pre-heating the oven!


I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2007 :  15:20:46  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, gentles!
To AlorinDawn: I'm sorry, but I'll be on assignment elsewhere at that time. Nice try, though.
Perhaps some day. If you're VERY good. And the Fort Wayne (or wherever we are) authorities are looking the other way. Most places in Canada embrace the no G-string rule . . .
Ahem.
As for Realmslore: Jamallo Kreen, Ed meant what he said: squid or octopus "inks" are a base for better inks (meaning: consistent hue, lasting color and darkness on the page, lack of uncontrollable spreading on coarse writing surfaces) everywhere. You are correct, though, to associate giant squid or octopus with spell-writing inks (although there are alternatives, such as the blood of certain monsters). As I said to createvmind, don't get Ed started! Please!
(Yes, I'm down on my knees, begging.)
love,
THO
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2007 :  18:56:38  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message
Thanks for the Nelanther answer Ed and sweet Lady of the Hood. I have been wondering about that one for some time. Seems like a pirate campaign involving the lands of the Sword Coast from Skullport to Amn might be somewhere in the future.
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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2007 :  02:38:42  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

Hello again, gentles!
To AlorinDawn: I'm sorry, but I'll be on assignment elsewhere at that time. Nice try, though.
Perhaps some day. If you're VERY good. And the Fort Wayne (or wherever we are) authorities are looking the other way. Most places in Canada embrace the no G-string rule . . .
Ahem.
[snip]
love,
THO

About this Canada, which I live in, and its prevalence of the no G-string situations... ahem... something stirs in this old knight... must be spring and the garden blooming around me old jousting equipment... ahem... anywaaaays... are there any good Canadian Cons out and about the GTA? (this old knight has moved here 2.5 years ago, from far away Vancouver Island, and it's been work-work-work ever since... and no more Cons... whereas he used to attend at least one a month back in old BC... what's up with this crazy lifestyle you guys - and now I!! - have in Ontario? is this somekind of disease or was I bound to go through a "no play" period in my life, seeing that I am in my early thirties and all, and hope to become something of myself at some point?)

(I dare anyone to answer that in 25 words or less... let's see how hard it is to voice a good message spell! or is it sending? )
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Kyrene
Senior Scribe

South Africa
648 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2007 :  07:43:43  Show Profile  Visit Kyrene's Homepage Send Kyrene a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Most places in Canada embrace the no G-string rule . . .

Dear THO, could you elaborate. It must be because I'm from a stixville country on the stixville continent of the planet, but I'm unfamiliar with that.
quote:


(Yes, I'm down on my knees, begging.)

Erm... while you're down there...

Sorry, just couldn't resist. You're allowed to look askance at me, my wife certainly always does, then giggles before slapping me gently.

Lost for words? Find them in the Glossary of Phrases, Sayings & Words of the Realms

I am a sexy, shoeless god of war!

The Sellplague began, for all intents and purposes, in the dominions of the Corporation. Greed murdered Good Design, unraveling common sense in the cosmos and destroying her dominion. At the same time, Sales Fears and Warcraft Envy happened into alignment. This cataclysmic coincidence led to upheaval, shaking apart the primeval order, opening up holes in wallets, and reshaping everything...
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Iakhovas
Acolyte

Germany
13 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2007 :  07:56:53  Show Profile  Visit Iakhovas's Homepage  Send Iakhovas a Yahoo! Message Send Iakhovas a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kyrene

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Most places in Canada embrace the no G-string rule . . .

Dear THO, could you elaborate. It must be because I'm from a stixville country on the stixville continent of the planet, but I'm unfamiliar with that.
quote:


(Yes, I'm down on my knees, begging.)

Erm... while you're down there...

Sorry, just couldn't resist. You're allowed to look askance at me, my wife certainly always does, then giggles before slapping me gently.



*sigh* Describe all you want, but please please have consideration for the readers who do not at all appreciate "lewdness" in this board. I am one of them. It would seem that now and again, this unfortunately happens. So please THO, I would truly appreciate it if you make an effort in this regard. I'm prolly a minority here, but all the same... please accomodate me.

Thank you, in advance, for your consideration.
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Penknight
Senior Scribe

USA
536 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2007 :  09:39:22  Show Profile Send Penknight a Private Message
Hello again, Lady THO. I was sort of wondering about something that I believe appears in Elminster in Myth Drannor... I think that the reference is to 'storm swords' or 'storm blades'. My copy is not with me at the moment, and I was wondering if Mr. Greenwood would mind telling us about them. Are they artifacts? Major magic items? I would be interested to hear anything at all Mr. Greenwood would like to reveal about them. I don't recall ever seeing them in any Realms book save this one, but if I am wrong, please let me know. Thank you kindly, Lady.

Telethian Phoenix
Pathfinder Reference Document
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2007 :  15:15:13  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Hello All,

I am trying to determine what (if not NDA) info on Sigil and how to get there exist within Candlekeep AND if that knowledge is made avaialable to visitors, basically is Sigil knowledge something really obscure in the realms since I've only read of it in one novel. Have any of your created characters been to Sigil and if so how do the "good" guys view it as opposed to the "bad" guys in terms of sharing such information?

Thanks
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AlorinDawn
Learned Scribe

USA
312 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2007 :  15:22:14  Show Profile  Visit AlorinDawn's Homepage  Click to see AlorinDawn's MSN Messenger address Send AlorinDawn a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Penknight

Hello again, Lady THO. I was sort of wondering about something that I believe appears in Elminster in Myth Drannor... I think that the reference is to 'storm swords' or 'storm blades'. My copy is not with me at the moment, and I was wondering if Mr. Greenwood would mind telling us about them. Are they artifacts? Major magic items? I would be interested to hear anything at all Mr. Greenwood would like to reveal about them. I don't recall ever seeing them in any Realms book save this one, but if I am wrong, please let me know. Thank you kindly, Lady.



I think those swords are covered in one of the Volo's Guides (All Things Magical I think). If my memory serves me well, I remember Storm Swords launch a crazy number of 9 dice lighting bots per day

Currently reading: Eyes of The Dragon by Stephen King

Long live Sniffy Wigglebottom

Edited by - AlorinDawn on 31 May 2007 15:29:07
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2007 :  18:28:09  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Hello All,

Another quick question I hope, Ed your insight on if I use detect poison on a creature, will the entire creature glow or just the concentrated area of poison? So if elf is poisoned does the spell show a glow of the poison spreading with the glow spreading from point of origin or would glow encompass the elf's entire body? I'm trying to determine if a poisonous being immune to poison drinks poison and feigns injury and the PC cast Detect Poison on "victim" will the caster be able to determine the difference having previously cast the spell on poisonous creatures and poisoned comrades? Or will he still see the poison spreading in the immune persons system but be unaware that the being is indeed immune to the poison? If Neutralize Poison is used after that then what would the Detect Poison caster see then since the creature is poisonous themselves.

See my issue?

Is that clear?

Thank you
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2007 :  01:43:00  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met again, fellow scribes. This time Ed responds to this query from createvmind: “Ed I have a player who is a cleric and is trying to use the spell Read Magic to try and read a wizards spellbook, tell me if I'm close on this please. I don't think this is possible just cause one uses the spell, but if I'm wrong then please assist here. This is obviously less about the "rules and mechanics" than it is about just roleplay and immersing oneself in a world as oppossed to just finding ways to metagame information.
1- I assume all wizards write spells in their own cryptic fashion so such a thing like a simple read magic would not tell anyone other than another wizard what the spell might be.
So the text for a fireball spell by this particular mage would read...
I pluck at the Art about me seeking the precise mote of power,
With breath of the volcano to call forth it's incandescent might
and dung of (other term for bat) to send my power forth
I shape my will to burn my enemies before me.
Think it probably contains more, just off the top of my head, but a non-wizard wouldn't know this meant FIREBALL even with Read Magic.
2- I also assume that the wording and choice of color pertaining to certain symbols written in a spellbook would be a method in which the scriber would know when to raise change his inflection or tone or what somatic movement is required at that precise point. So how would you deal with this in gameplay if the person asked you what spells they now "understand" by using read magic and not being an arcane caster, all of course in Faerun.
Thanks”
Ed replies:



I have no idea what the current “official” game ruling on this is, but I do know how the first head of the RPGA adjudicated it for the tournaments of the day, and what the 2nd edition “official decision” was, at least for the Realms, because I had input into that decision.
Any non-arcane-spellcaster employing Read Magic can literally do that: read what’s written on the page. That does NOT mean they can cast the spell, or even necessarily understand its precise effects or nuances of use. A sorcerer using Read Magic on a wizard’s spellbook could indeed “learn” the spell for later casting (in other words, they could [by act of mental will] choose that spell they now “know” to “come to them” for later use), but they would still have to master its specifics by trial and error (if I can fly a plane, it doesn’t mean I can fly ALL planes just by sitting in the cockpit and getting going; with many of them, I might not even know how to turn the engines on!). Note that anyone trying to use a spell of a higher level than they can master is highly likely to screw up UNLESS it’s a divine spell placed in their mind by the deity or a divine servant, just for this use (“I give you the power to rend those gates, and let the army in!”).
So a cleric using Read Magic on a wizard’s spell would almost certainly end up knowing what the spell does (in general, not specific detail). An experienced cleric, who has seen fireballs cast by wizards and perhaps used other fire magics herself, would know that this spell was a battle spell that unleashed fire, probably explosively, and perhaps with spherical areas of effect, AND THEN COULD WELL GUESS it was a fireball (though it could be a flaming sphere, or a meteor swarm). Some wizards were taught to title their spells, or open the written spell with an explanatory preamble: “Being a magic to unleash fire upon ye foes, in the form of” and if the cleric has one of these in hand, the cleric can certainly read and understand that.
However, a cleric knows how to pray for magic, and written divine spells are just that: prayers. The cleric COULD pray to their god with the wizard’s fireball spell open in front of them and plead to be granted that magic, and the deity MIGHT hear and heed (giving them a clerical equivalent of a fireball, with specifics as you the DM choose, and “wiping away” the written wizard’s spell in the process). I would base the chances of this happening on their level, their diligence of service to the deity (not their adventuring buddies or even their temple, but in the eyes of the deity), the specific purpose they request the magic for (do they just want a cool new weapon in their arsenal, or do they want it once, right now, to defeat a specific foe?), and whether or not they understand what spell they are asking for (did they use the Read Magic to learn this is a fireball, or are they just guessing it is, because they saw the wizard open the spellbook to “about this spread of pages” while memorizing a spell that turned out to be a fireball?).
The cleric could not use Read Magic to read a wizard spell, and then calmly cast it just as if they were a wizard. They COULD “fake it well,” because they can see the symbols (if any) to be drawn, read the incantation to be uttered (if any), and read the instructions for the sequence of actions that unleashes the magic, and the gestures that are to be made. So they could PRETEND to cast the spell well enough to fool any non-wizard.
Some wizards use crytic shorthand phrases and insert “garbage” symbols and lines of false incantation so that only they can use a spell they have written, but this practice has become steadily rarer over the centuries, because it so often backfires (you’re wounded and under attack, but your loyal apprentice can’t help you because they snatch up your spellbook and can’t successfully cast the spells - - or you end up in jail or worse because someone in authority used or purchased one of your spells, and it didn’t work or went dangerously awry, because you or they forgot to ignore each and every spurious bit, and insert the missing words in the right place, and so on).
It’s become so much easier to use Explosive Runes or an equivalent, that won’t trigger when you read the pages but will if anyone else does, and not have your spellbook filled with glitches that could trip you up.
Many wizards do use “code phrases” and colored notations to indicate tone and inflection of voice, and even where the incanter should breathe in a sentence or passage. Correct pronunciations are often “written in” in contrasting colors, and so on. Not “knowing the code” when casting spells from a spellbook won’t always cause “nothing to happen” when a spell is cast, but more often will cause the spell to “go wrong” in effects. Which would also leave an unauthorized wizard in the difficulties of long trial-and-error experiments with the book until they cracked the code - - and leave that PC cleric possibly unable to “fake” casting the spell (as I mentioned above) convincingly, and CERTAINLY prevent them from reading it wholly or correctly.
In other words, by properly using Read Magic, a cleric could “understand” the general nature and power level of arcane spells written in a wizard’s spellbook, but unless their deity personally wanted them to be able to use any of those spells, that’s as far as their use of them could go. They would “know” what magic they had to sell, barter, or give to a wizard, but be unable to use it themselves.



So saith Ed. Who covered this ground pretty thoroughly years ago with various TSR designers of the time.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2007 :  01:53:15  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Fair enough, Iakhovas. I'll try to keep it clinical.
Kyrene, a G-string can mean a literal string tuned to "G" on a stringed musical instrument (hence, AIR ON A G STRING), and it can also mean (as I meant it) a VERY abbreviated undergarment (like a "thong" bathing suit bottom or underwear) that strippers (dancers who disrobe in "adult" clubs and other establishments) are required to "keep on" in some jurisdictions (many American states). Several Canadian provinces (notably Ontario and Quebec) do not require the wearing of such garments, and so receive some tourist visits from Americans seeking unfettered gazing.
(Iakhovas, how'd I do?)
love,
THO
P.S. Kyrene: but of course. No looking askance from me.

Edited by - The Hooded One on 01 Jun 2007 01:57:10
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2007 :  02:30:54  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Just received an e-mail from Ed in which he told me he's just "putting the last finishing touches" on TWO still-top-secret projects for your future reading pleasure . . . and he received his contributor's copies today of ASTOUNDING HERO TALES, a pulp action adventure short story anthology edited by Jim Lowder and published in trade paperback by Hero Games (it contains a long-lost Lester Dent story, TWO Hugh Cave stories, stories by Robin Laws, Darrell Schweitzer and of course Ed - - and more!). Boy, Ed's a busy boy this year . . .
love to all,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2007 :  02:38:11  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
I will note however, that Candlekeep does have a Code of Conduct in place [see my sig], and that the Lady Hooded One's "more creative" antics are usually within the limits established by Candlekeep's CoC. While I agree that it is always responsible for us to remember that some content, especially sexually-related discussion, *can* indeed be considered inappropriate at times, I'll point out that we've long established a trend for "friendly, and often provocative" discussion with the Lady Hooded One here in this scroll, and elsewhere at Candlekeep. I'd wouldn't like for our Lady Herald of Realmslore to suddenly feel the need to be "overly sensitive" with regard to these types of discussions. This is, after all, why we have a CoC and "Terms of Use" that potential scribes must agree to before joining Candlekeep.

So, while I do see the concerns raised with Iakhavos's earlier comments, I still think we need to appreciate that mature discussion can, and often likely will be, a part of Candlekeep's online community and that, so long as it's monitored by capable moderators, ALL the interests of nearly every scribe here, will be protected.

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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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2007 :  02:58:46  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
That's a truly thorough answer, my mouth is still wide open as I type this, thank you much, now I must with a frown let the cleric know what spells he did read.

Thanks again.
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Kyrene
Senior Scribe

South Africa
648 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2007 :  07:11:44  Show Profile  Visit Kyrene's Homepage Send Kyrene a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

...that strippers (dancers who disrobe in "adult" clubs and other establishments) are required to "keep on" in some jurisdictions (many American states). Several Canadian provinces (notably Ontario and Quebec) do not require the wearing of such garments, and so receive some tourist visits from Americans seeking unfettered gazing.


Thanks dear lady THO. The undergarment and profession I am familiar with, the said laws I wasn't and was the reason for my question. I am now educated by you even if slightly lambasted -- in hindsight, I should have asked in PM -- by Iakhovas. I can thus state that we embrace the no G-string rule in sunny South Africa too.

Now returning you to our regular "Ask Ed" questions...

Lost for words? Find them in the Glossary of Phrases, Sayings & Words of the Realms

I am a sexy, shoeless god of war!

The Sellplague began, for all intents and purposes, in the dominions of the Corporation. Greed murdered Good Design, unraveling common sense in the cosmos and destroying her dominion. At the same time, Sales Fears and Warcraft Envy happened into alignment. This cataclysmic coincidence led to upheaval, shaking apart the primeval order, opening up holes in wallets, and reshaping everything...
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WalkerNinja
Senior Scribe

USA
561 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2007 :  14:40:50  Show Profile Send WalkerNinja a Private Message
Well said, Sage.

Ed, a question has recently manifested itself in my mind.

Which of your own published works (game accessory or novel) do you consider to be your best work? Perhaps I can frame the question a little differently as I wouldn't want you to have to choose your favorite child.

Donald Trump walks up to you and says that he is considering buying the FR license from WotC and it was suggested to him that you be the man to head up his new project. You would be getting a 7 figure income and total control over where the Realms go. He's never read any of your stuff and only has time to read one, maybe two, of your works. Which do you hand him?

*** A Forgotten Realms Addict since 1990 ***
Treasures of the Past, a Second Edition Play-by-Post game for and by Candlekeep Sages--http://www.rpol.net/game.cgi?gi=52011

Edited by - WalkerNinja on 01 Jun 2007 14:41:28
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2007 :  21:40:26  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by WalkerNinja

Well said, Sage.

Ed, a question has recently manifested itself in my mind.

Which of your own published works (game accessory or novel) do you consider to be your best work?

(snip)




Ditto.

I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2007 :  22:37:28  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

So, while I do see the concerns raised with Iakhavos's earlier comments, I still think we need to appreciate that mature discussion can, and often likely will be, a part of Candlekeep's online community and that, so long as it's monitored by capable moderators, ALL the interests of nearly every scribe here, will be protected.
Hear hear! excellent! I agree! Thanks!

Ok... Friday night... what do I do... hmm.. strippers?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2007 :  01:51:22  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, everyone. This time I present the words of Ed in response to AlorinDawn’s posts: “Ed & THO, I know you have likely been asked about the topic of longevity magics in within the 3.5 edition rules. If I am asking something that has already been covered (the search method seems a tad broad when I look for things, maybe I'm missing something) maybe one of my fellow scribes could direct me to the thread. That being said, here is my query.
How available would say a potion of longevity or an elixir of youth be now that we have a far more refined way of magic item creation? I know you still play 2nd edition, but hope you may have some insight to share on the subject. While I understand Mr. Schend authored Blackstaff and that Malchor is a powerful wizard, it seems that the use of longevity magic is common enough amongst those able to afford/create it by the scene in Blackstaff and the age of many of the NPCs in the realms of advanced age.
Thanks”
and: “Ed & THO, While I understand you still play 2nd edition, I'll refocus my longevity magic inquiry and hope you can provide some guidance. With the rules as they stand in 3.5 edition, how would you handle the making of longevity potions in order for them to maintain the appropriate level of scarcity? I'm considering making it a requirement to take a separate feat (Create longevity magics), which would require an instructor to obtain, or an appropriate amount of coin spent in research. Thanks.”
Wooly Rupert then commented: “I'm not Ed... But I'd not require a feat to do it. I'd require some seriously exotic components, some seriously complicated steps for making the potion, and then say that those who do know the correct procedure are very few, and not willing to share. For added fun, you could make a high chance of failure, even if the steps are all followed correctly (perhaps one of the main ingredients is quite unstable, and/or has a limited shelf life).
I've never actually DM'ed... But I do favor using flavor over rules, and I don't like making feats just for one activity that won't happen all that oft (because making longevity potions is not useful or desired for most situations).”
and Jamallo Kreen added: “Not only do I fully concur, but I would suggest using the Volo's Guide to All Things Magical tables for Halaster's potion (or at least one of the others) to determine what the effect of such a potion would be on a user. I would imagine that the effects of a Potion of Longevity made nowadays would be highly tailored to one person's metabolism and so each batch would react differently with different folk.
AlorinDawn, don't forget that there is a canonical precedent for what happens to someone who is propped up by various potions who then enters a dead magic zone. Centuries-old twenty-something level arcanist in a dead magic zone? Drops like a rock!”
Ed replies:



Well asked and well said, all. AlorinDawn, to answer your first query: I’d say potions of longevity, elixirs of youth, and similar magical means of extending normal lifespan would be rare, highly-sought-after treasures. Real ones are likely to be well guarded (“in depth,” including false potions [probably poisons] nearby for would-be thieves to be led to, instead), and NEVER offered for sale in shops (alchemists and powerful wizards may peddle a single potion, discreetly, to a wealthy buyer approached on a one-to-one basis, usually passing off the potion as “discovered among the treasures of Archwizard X after his unfortunate demise at the hands of Y”).
That does not mean longevity magic is unknown to the very wealthy, who often hire wizards to help them cheat death, or among powerful mages who try to devise their own life-extending or -renewing magics. You are right in supposing that at a certain power level its pursuit (and the results, however efficacious or otherwise) becomes common.
Wooly and Jamallo both pointed out the limitations and drawbacks I would certainly apply as a DM. I would also side with Wooly in not going the “make it a feat” route, because I’m a roleplaying DM: I think this quest for immortality or at least vigor should be a process played out over time, NOT something one could ever find an instructor for, or “take” upon level advancement. I would handle it with subtle variances in body chemistry, so a would-be instructor would have to say: “What works for you may not work for me, and be warned: experiments that don’t work AGE you, so if a night of tinkering and gulping might bring you tottering to the edge of your grave!”
In general, in the Realms, I have always run things like this: very few individuals know how to make these magics, and like those who had to discover how for themselves, they jealously keep this secret for themselves, sharing the potions only with those they fall in love with and want to have as companions “forever.” Everyone else has to discover the process anew for themselves, either by finding it written down in an ancient tomb or cache (warning: there are plenty of “wrong” formulae out there!), or by finding the potions as treasure. Such potions were once far more common than they are today (someone in the failing days of Netheril was making and selling lots of them), because magic was once more widespread and better understood than it is now. People have been drinking them, but there are still a lot of them out there, hidden in dungeons not yet fully plundered.



So saith Ed. We Knights gained a FEW such potions in a decade (real time) of adventuring, and kept them as our best-hidden, most valuable treasure.
love to all,
THO
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Calrond
Learned Scribe

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2007 :  06:47:01  Show Profile  Send Calrond a Yahoo! Message Send Calrond a Private Message
As far as content goes, the conversation in question sounded rather tame. I, for one, find THO's flirty conversations very entertaining and a great way to pass the time between Ed's replies. To me, it's flair and personality, not smut. Also, I have philosophical issues with the majority being asked to feel that they have to dance to the tune of the minority. It's just irksome to me, I mean no offense.

Also, sort of on the subject, I came across something I found that Ed had written (I'm fairly certain) at least 3 years ago. It's an article called "Alustriel of Silverymoon, Queen of 'Courtly Love'".

http://www.geocities.com/timessquare/castle/2566/ed-alustriel.htm

At the end of the article, Ed describes a gaming session where the PCs had to look for Alustriel in a bathhouse-style room filled with naked people making love, and he mentions the looks on the players' faces at that point.

My question is if you were a part of that gaming session, Hooded Lady, and if so, can you add anything to the story? (Why did the players need to find Alustriel? What happened when they found her?) My curiosity has been piqued.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2007 :  01:54:33  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Oooh, yes, I WAS. Tell you the tale another time soon, though. I'm on duty tonight, and racing to fit this in . . .
Hello again, all. This time I bring you the words of Ed in response to Penknight’s query: “Hello again! Just recently, my gaming group and I were talking about styles of dress and mannerisms in the Realms, when the topic of perfumes and colognes came up. I am running an NPC aasimar female paladin from Cormyr, (the daughter of my old 2nd Edition character that I have mentioned before), and I was asked by one of my group about what type of perfume she wore. I quickly answered with "Moonfire" (which I said was made by the followers of Selûne), forgetting that it was a magic item from Magic of Faerun. (I thought it sounded like an appropriate name, as well as a mysterious, exotic one).
I was sort of curious if you could tell me a bit about the different colognes and perfumes that are popular in the Realms, especially in Waterdeep, Cormyr, and Mulhorand. Thank you for your valuable time, sir and Lady THO.”
The Sage helpfully posted: “While Ed will likely have more... Penknight, I will direct you to the small selection of bath oils, perfumes, and other personal supplies, which are likely to found in most popular bathhouses across the Realms, referenced in Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue. Ed's also briefly mentioned a few himself in previous replies as I recall, so you may want to search through the compiled files as well.
Also, see "The Deadliest Perfume" from DRAGON #121, which has details about lotus blossoms and their usage as a perfume source in Kara-Tur.”
Ed replies:



This is a huge topic, so I’ll just do the “light” approach here.
First, the word “cologne” is unknown in the Realms. Men and women use “scents” or “perfumes” (though the latter term increasingly in usage tends to mean stronger smells that can be used on objects, or misted for spray into the air of an area, to provide a lasting smell to mask less pleasant odors).
Most scents are derived from natural substances (from plant saps and distillates to beast ichor and organs), combined with each other (and sometimes herbs or spices) in secret ways.
The combinations (smells) are secret, and so are the processes, because it’s not easy to create scents that don’t stain (garments and flesh), and are stable, remaining in combination for long, without “going off” [rotting into disgusting sticky messes] or separating from their base liquid, which is usually alcohol distilled from vegetable sources. (The source for most Waterdhavian vegetable alcohols is Goldenfields.)
Guilds try to control scent-making in Waterdeep and Cormyr, but Waterdeep is so full of independent alchemists (and charlatans pretending to be alchemists), as well as importers from the busy perfumers of Calimshan and the Tashalar, and elves, gnomes, halflings, and dwarves who make, use, and prefer their own traditional scents, that any guild control over scent-making is a mere fiction. Almost every shopkeeper has “a bottle of something” to sell you, as do most festhalls (“Like how our girls smell? Take some of that smell home with you!”) and even freelance prostitutes.
However, there are some large-scale producers, and some fairly well known formulae (so that many producers make very similar scents), and some of the most widely-available and best-known scents include:

Bluestars: blue translucent liquid with gold flecks, strong “medicine” smell until applied to the body (all known humans and humanoids; on orcs it smells like fresh-baked bread), whereupon it turns transparent and smells like fresh before-storm winds (and instantly and lastingly banishes body odors and strong food-related smells such as curry and garlic); effects last for about a day. Bluestars is purportedly made from forest dew that has mirrored starlight, virgins’ tears, and a distillate of alicorn (unicorn horn), but in fact contains none of these and is derived from the powdered shells of a certain sort of snail, a particular clay, and the saps of three weeds. Cost per 1-pint flask: 220 gp. (high price due to odor-banishing properties and purported but false efficiacy as a ward against poisons)

Darkdew: A scent that has been associated with “dangerous females” for nigh a century, this opaque black oily ointment is said to come from the Underdark, and have something to do with both the blood of monsters and the sweat of aroused she-drow (but in truth is a combination of three plant oils, six herbs, and a distillate of slugs). It turns transparent upon touch with the skin, and imparts a musky smell to the wearer for most of a day that most folk (from fey to goblinkin) find arousing. Some humans, half-elves, and elves can orgasm merely from smelling darkdew, and purchase it for their own private use, or for lovemaking with a partner where both parties wear it (darkdew tastes like black, bitter, unsugared licorice). Cost per 1-pint flask: 176 gp.

Harlyr: The cheapest widely-known perfume in Waterdeep, harlyr (pronounced “Har-LEER”) is a rose-red translucent liquid that feels slightly oily or gummy, and smells of nothing at all. When applied to the body (all known humans and humanoids, except half-orcs, orcs, goblins, and hobgoblins, upon which it makes a black stain that smells like scorched urine), it turns transparent, sinks into the skin, and for a short time (we might say 3 hours or so) smells strongly of a clear and pleasant fragrance like freshly-opened roses. Correctly known to be made of nut oil, alcohol, and the sap of three abundant, nondescript field flowers. Cost per 1-pint flask: 4 sp.

Jassal: Subtle but capable of wafting for long distances “wild and fashionable” scent that looks like a blue-green translucent alcoholic drink, and smells like ripe cherries. On the body, it turns transparent, goes on with a chill (the alcohol evaporating), and imparts that same cherry smell for a goodly time (about 6 hours). It is widely believed to be made from cherries, alcohol, and some secret ingredient - - and in fact is made from alcohol and the distilled roots of thistles, nettles, and three small flowering weeds. Priestesses of Loviatar long ago discovered that if a body drenched in jassal is whipped, the skin briefly feels intense “on fire” pain, but heals itself of all scratches, weals, bruises, and other small wounds - - so the church now uses jassal in many rituals. Jassal-coated flesh makes loud cracking sounds, and emits an intense cherry smell, even if the initial smell has faded almost to nothing. Cost per 1-pint flask: 140 gp.

Sunrise: A yellow-orange translucent liquid that smells like fresh-grated lemons. On the body it turns transparent, and instantly imparts a minty “fresh” smell with a citrus tang, that lasts for a goodly time (about 6 hours). It is widely believed to be made from alcohol, various citrus fruits, and “a secret ingredient,” but in fact is alcohol in which particular sorts of mussels, oysters, and snails have been boiled, plus a few drops of the juice of a particular sort of melon, and more than a few drops of rabbit urine. Cost per 1-pint flask: 20 gp.

Tanlarl: A reddish-brown, oily ointment that turns transparent (and stops feeling oily) upon contact with the skin (warning: the smell is a very strong aphrodisiac to orcs and half-orcs, who may be moved to caressing males they would otherwise shun in favor of females). It smells of faint woodsmoke before body contact, and on some bodies of either gender and any race has no smell at all, but on most female bodies smells mildewy, and on most male bodies smells warm, leathery, and very arousing to females. It is widely believed to be made from the body secretions of rare monsters, but is in fact derived from vegetable oils, the livers of oxen, and certain herbs.
Cost per 1-pint flask: 12 gp.

1 gp to about 16 gp is the per-flask price range for most scents, by the way (with “reeking” Dock Ward “bad equivalents” available for 4 sp to 3 gp per flask.
Oh, and “Moonfire” sounds just fine to me. :}



So saith Ed. Perfumer to the Realms. Think I’ll go find me some of this darkdew stuff . . .
love to all,
THO
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2007 :  05:23:03  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Hello All,

Ed can you explain the advantage of Yaun-ti making humans into Tainted and brood gaurds? In the description it doesn't say anything in regards to a Yaun-ti actually gaining control of the tainted human just from the transformation.

I assume that this process makes tainted humans more vulnerable to mental domination by the Yaun-ti but doesn't actually make the human a slave of the Yuan-ti due to transformation.

If I'm correct then would I be correct in assuming that only Yaun-ti perform this process, never do they give the potion to their slaves to administer on their behalf since they can't follow up with the mind control. Or does the process ostracize the once human from normal society and leave them no choice but to serve the Yaun-ti for fear of human prejudice?

I've notice mention of a Tainted One Harper in Serpents Cowl (SK) but it's not made clear whether he was a Harper prior to transformation.

Basically I'm trying to see if the tainted ones sent to deal with the PC's would be given potion to attempt to transform the human PC's by their Yuan-ti master.
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