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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2007 :  18:09:04  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Wooly, I can't get hold of Ed right now to get more exact wording, so I'm just going to paraphrase his lore answer to that very issue, as given to us some time ago.

Translocational spells (teleport, dimension door, et al) "work" by taking the transported beings, items, air in their lungs and immediately around them, etc from their starting place, and then "racing them along the Weave" to a new spot. Somewhat like racing along a spiderweb of interstate highways so blindingly fast the trip seems instantaneous. Sometimes unintended destinations are reached, but that's how the journey "happens." Beings who have spellfire (unless they are Chosen or others able to perceive the Weave and therefore "warp it and ride it," regardless) can't "ride along" the Weave; they instantly burn or fall through its strands (which aren't really strands at all, but flows of natural forces [convection currents, gravity, breezes, decomposition and combustion, etc. etc.]), and so remain where they are. Being seen as "immune" or "unaffected" by translocation magics.
This particular ring, and certain other items and even spells of the highest level (2nd edition: 10th level spells), accomplish such journeys in a different way: they drop the to-be-transported beings, etc. out of contact with the Weave, and then reconnect them with another strand, elsewhere in the world.
In other words, if we see Toril as a chessboard that's actually an open grid of wires rather than a solid surface, these second sort of magics don't enable travel across the game board that is Toril; rather, they lift the board up, leaving a playing piece (the to-be-transported) behind, and then move the board and set it down again so that the piece is now in a new square of the board.
Make any sense at all?
You see, when Ed discusses "metamagic" with us (Realms players, that is), he talks on a whole different level than the published game rules. You can see hints of that in the "toolbox" spells printed in VOLO'S GUIDE TO ALL THINGS MAGICAL. Problems have arisen many times over the years when other designers working in the Realms conceive of magic differently (and why shouldn't they? They are trying to remain consistent with, or augment and alter, only the published game material) than Ed does, and therefore shape magics differently.
Many of Ed's original spells are long, complicated rituals, which players can have their PCs improvise, like cooks in a kitchen substituting different ingredients or the cooking implements on hand - - but very little of those have made it into print.
And no, he does NOT have time right now to elaborate. That much I know very well. There are 3 novels, the 4e Realms, and some other stuff that's NDA'd on his plate, first.
love,
THO
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2007 :  20:15:30  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
We have a Plato's cave situation with Realms magic: lots of example manifestations, but only glimpses and inferences about the underlying structure. Was there ever serious talk of presenting the thing itself?
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Sanishiver
Senior Scribe

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2007 :  06:05:02  Show Profile  Visit Sanishiver's Homepage Send Sanishiver a Private Message
This is the kind of thing I really like.

I’ve tried to do it a bit in my campaign (with our own versions of spellsongs that are a quantum leap from atypical 3E Bard-class abilities).

I hope 4E has a door that can open big enough to let more free-form stuff like this in for use in game play.

09/20/2008: Tiger Army at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz. You wouldn’t believe how many females rode it out in the pit. Santa Cruz women are all of them beautiful. Now I know to add tough to that description.
6/27/2008: WALL-E is about the best damn movie Pixar has ever made. It had my heart racing and had me rooting for the good guy.
9/9/2006: Dave Mathews Band was off the hook at the Shoreline Amphitheater.

Never, ever read the game books too literally, or make such assumptions that what is omitted cannot be. Bad DM form, that.

And no matter how compelling a picture string theory paints, if it does not accurately describe our universe, it will be no more relevant than an elaborate game of Dungeons and Dragons. --paragraph 1, chapter 9, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2007 :  03:57:02  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Faraer, there was always a back-and-forth argument between these two conflicting needs/desires: 1. To explain EVERYTHING for the paying customers. Drawbacks: VERY long and complicated rules tomes (Book of Ebon Bindings, anyone?) that some gamers will find a turnoff for various reasons, AND stamps out the "awe and wonder" of having some mysteries (especially in Realms fiction).
and
2. That there sense of wonder, and keeping it paramount in a long (three-decade or more) "slow reveal" in novel after novel of Realms fiction, so that there were always new secrets (another layer of "secret lore," if you will) behind the secrets just revealed.

Personally, I'd not be surprised if part of the current reboot of the setting is a desire to open up "design elbow room" again by restoring that time of exploring the new, without lots of accumulated lore to remain consistent to.
I'm not advocating this line of thinking, mind you, just guessing that such a desire for freedom may have played a large part in deciding to relaunch the setting.
And yes, this of necessity endangers the "splendid store of accumulated history and lore" (to use Ed's words) that current fans of the Realms have come to value so much.

However, that's why there has been ongoing design debate about Realms magic at the highest levels. Of course, the easy way out of such arguments has always been the one chosen: just adhere to the current game edition's magic rules. Realms window dressing (prestige classes, feats, etc.) can be added, but the Way Things Work must match the core game rules. "Easy way" is not necessarily a value judgement on my part; others might say "most elegant way" or "most sensible way, given that this is a gaming company and this is a D&D product."

It's also not a debate that ever really ends. Like all of the classic saw-offs (guns vs. butter), it surfaces again and again, having been "settled" only for a given game edition or company administration or design team, or . . .
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 02 Dec 2007 03:58:14
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A Publishing Lackey
Seeker

74 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2007 :  16:22:17  Show Profile  Visit A Publishing Lackey's Homepage Send A Publishing Lackey a Private Message
Now, that post, THO, has articulated more clearly one of the root tussles in both fantasy fiction series design and FRP worldbuilding than many articles I've read.
Were you at the Worldcon (World SF Convention) in Toronto a few years back, when Ed was on a panel with Guy Gavriel Kay, Nick Sagan, et al? This very thing was tossed around (Guy worked on editing The Silmarillion, but ultimately disagreed with Christopher Tolkien's decision to publish everything of his father's unfinished notes, citing J.R.R. Tolkien's wise judgement that "readers should be left wanting more," and Ed pointed out to the mainly sf reading (not gaming) audience that providing specifics in the form of game rules and stats is necessary for roleplaying, but is always done at a cost in lost "sense of wonder" and mystery.
In short, no right answers, but an essential dilemma that must be continually wrestled with. With the continued popularity of a setting (sales) dependent on the perceived success of each successive wrestling match.
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Sage of Stars
Seeker

USA
59 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2007 :  16:35:24  Show Profile  Visit Sage of Stars's Homepage Send Sage of Stars a Private Message
Leaving us drowning in metaphors, here . . .
Well said, the both of you. NDAs of course prevent us from ever seeing "the whole story" of how these design decisions are made, the arguments that rage, etc. until years and years of re-remembering and nostalgia layering have passed, if at all.
Not that most gamers care. They just want the product they buy and take home to be perfect for their needs, that's all.
An impossible fulfillment task, being as if every consumer had exactly the same needs, we'd all only need one product.
Ed obviously saw that in childhood, and so was quite willing to share the Realms and embrace lots of different views of things, from different authors. I suspect that if the thread currently active elsewhere here at the Keep in which the differing depictions of iconic characters are being discussed, Ed would say that differing but reconcilable depictions of characters offered (as opposed to instances were something is clearly WRONG) are either a necessary evil to achieve a full rich tapestry, or an inevitable essential in weaving such a tapestry.
I'm not trying to put words in the man's mouth here. I'm trying to recall the wording he used at a long-ago GenCon panel in which he addressed just this issue. Answering a gamer's question about Bob Salvatore asking Ed's permission to use Alustriel, and their discussion of how to depict the character.
I seem to recall an occasion since then, when Ed was asked about Bob showing Alustriel one way and Ed himself another, in which Ed replied that most of the Chosen are so complex and multi-sided (as well as less than sane), that no contradiction existed, and that he only regretted the lack of opportunity of showing all of those sides in one story, by one author, to clear up some ongoing fan arguments (he said Silverfall was too short in its "section for each Sister" wordcount for him to really do that).
BTW, I am not trying to lure Ed into speaking up, here. If he has to remain silent until April or June to give us all the Realmslore goodies we all need, I'll regret it, but be happy we're getting the goodies eventually.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2007 :  16:58:29  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Thank you for those flattering comments. You'll turn an old gal's head, you will.
I'd just like to remind everyone that Ed isn't dead yet, or dead to the world, so keep those lore queries coming.
In fact, Ed will be reading a new Christmas short story (that he hasn't written yet, I suspect) this coming Friday, December 7th, at the Port Hope Public Library. This is an annual tradition, and eventually Ed will publish a book of these short stories, with the proceeds donated to the library.
One of the stories has been a fantasy, but most of them are heart-warming (tear-jerking, if you prefer) little modern-day-real-world-setting vignettes about the spirit of Christmas. Meant to be read aloud.
The library holds this open House every year, with local childrens' writers doing readings, usually a choir signing carols at some point, and every year Ed and fellow "famous Candian writer" Farley Mowat give readings. This year, Ed is at 2:30pm, and Farley at 4 or 4:30 (they were the other way around, time-wise, last year).
Ed is actually at work, running the library circulation desk, from 1 through 6 (another staff member will relieve him just for the actual reading), so he won't have much time to really talk with scribes or other fans who show up. However, he'll be happy to sign things, answer questions, etc. so long as he can do it in between helping other patrons at the desk.
Ed also wants everyone to know how touched he's been by their sympathies in the wake of his father's death, and to tell you he's very happily writing Realms stuff for us all. AND very happy that certain scribes, cloaked in the secrecy of NDAs, are also hard at work on the Realms, too.
Your questions keep him thinking in the Realms and enjoying it in his imagination, he says. So keep those questions coming!
love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 02 Dec 2007 21:01:31
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2007 :  18:39:25  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message
I hear the call for questions THO :)

I would like to have Ed describe the typical "summer town" that get assembled outside of the cities like Triel, Soubar, etc. in the Weatern Heartlands.

I would also like to know if there is any "marshal" like described in PoF that operates in the Western Heartlands, and if yes, under which authority (Elturel?).

Edited by - Skeptic on 02 Dec 2007 18:40:51
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2007 :  21:28:21  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
I think The Book of the Art could be popular among Realms fans and also D&D players wanting a really involved, expanded magic system, but I agree there are things it's better not to lock down.

The difficulty with the slow reveal is that you have to read everything to follow it. And when you have lots of magical phenomena but the sense binding them together is harder to grasp, some people are going to see 'too much nonsensical magic'.

I think there would be many advantages and few disadvantages to a 10,000-word outline laying out such basics as the experience of learning and casting magic, the categories mages use to keep track of the sea of spells, and what the Weave is in relation to the rest of nature and to spell-workers. If things already work consistently and evidently a certain way, it doesn't spoil mysteries to describe openly what it is.

D&D magic rules have never defined more than a small part of how magic works, with a focus on short-term adventuring spells. Many different metaphysical and social extensions can be built that stay consistent with those rules, and were in the 1990s.

On a sales level, the question of how much to tie settings to current rules amounts to selling books to people who aren't active fans of the setting vs to people who aren't active fans of the rules and would like an alternative. In the last decade D&D has tried to handle a broader range of fantasy while its own norms got more tightly and centrally defined than the 2E days.

And of course these difficulties are within the bounds of a medium, the setting sourcebook, which isn't mainstream. Sourcebooks come out either as run-off from extremely popular movie/novel settings like Middle-earth and Star Wars (whereas Pocket Books has found 'non-fiction' (non-narrative) Star Trek books unprofitable), or for RPG-specific worlds, published by small presses with the unique exception of Wizards of the Coast.

Edited by - Faraer on 03 Dec 2007 00:12:49
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Gelcur
Learned Scribe

224 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2007 :  23:53:39  Show Profile  Visit Gelcur's Homepage Send Gelcur a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
This particular ring, and certain other items and even spells of the highest level (2nd edition: 10th level spells), accomplish such journeys in a different way: they drop the to-be-transported beings, etc. out of contact with the Weave, and then reconnect them with another strand, elsewhere in the world.
In other words, if we see Toril as a chessboard that's actually an open grid of wires rather than a solid surface, these second sort of magics don't enable travel across the game board that is Toril; rather, they lift the board up, leaving a playing piece (the to-be-transported) behind, and then move the board and set it down again so that the piece is now in a new square of the board.
Make any sense at all?



This actually make perfect sense thank you that was a great answer and the one I was looking for.

It is very interesting to see the differences between Ed's home campaign, the novels, and the game mechanics. I have found as I read more and more of the novels I start introducing and recommending players cast spells more like the wizards in the novels do. It just seems to add so much more flavor.

Thanks again!

The party come to a town befallen by hysteria

Rogue: So what's in the general store?
DM: What are you looking for?
Rogue: Whatevers in the store.
DM: Like what?
Rogue: Everything.
DM: There is a lot of stuff.
Rogue: Is there a cart outside?
DM: (rolls) Yes.
Rogue: We'll take it all, we may need it for the greater good.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  03:17:14  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
A pleasure, Gelcur.
And yes, A Publishing Lackey, I was at that panel. Too small a room (Toronto has the LOUSIEST Convention Centre) for all those seeking to crowd into it. They should have used the "double room" behind it, which was used for the Terry Pratchett panel - - which was, ahem, Ed and Terry Pratchett. I thought it was going to be merry oneupmanship, but Ed rightly let Terry dominate, and just put in comments when the pace flagged.
I thought the funniest bit was after the panel, when fans were crowding forward for autographs. Terry had a huge lineup, and Ed only a few, of course, but because Ed's written so many books, and people know he'll stay and patiently sign everything, some people even brought wheely-carts full of books (few or no multiples), it took Ed as long to sign as it did Terry.
Terry's eyes really widened when the two leather dominatrix-garbed ladies went straight past him to Ed, to get tall stacks of Realms novels signed. Terry frowned at the books (all hardcovers, all different, gamebooks and novels) and then leaned over and asked Ed, "HOW many books have you written?" and Ed said quite honestly, "Er, hundred and sixty-something. I've lost count, really."
Terry rolled his eyes and said, "Well, I'd obviously better get writing!"
And Ed tapped a book and said, "These? These are easy!" He tugged on a page of one of them and said brightly, "These grow on trees, you know!"
"Watch out," one of Terry's fans said to Ed, and then pointed at Terry. "You'll end up in a book!"
"Don't tempt me," Terry told him, and everyone laughed.

Enough of old con stories, however. The important point is that Ed, Guy Kay, Neil Gaiman, and many others are acutely aware of the saw-off between Revealing All and Keeping The Mystery, and that there are many right answers, depending on the book or scene or series marketing plan or movie tie-in or whatever.
love,
THO
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AlorinDawn
Learned Scribe

USA
312 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  14:42:30  Show Profile  Visit AlorinDawn's Homepage  Click to see AlorinDawn's MSN Messenger address Send AlorinDawn a Private Message
Ed & THO,

At what times of the year in the Realms does one normally give presents to loved ones and friends, such as we do for birthdays and Christmas?

Thanks

Currently reading: Eyes of The Dragon by Stephen King

Long live Sniffy Wigglebottom
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  18:48:03  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Faraer, there was always a back-and-forth argument between these two conflicting needs/desires: 1. To explain EVERYTHING for the paying customers. Drawbacks: VERY long and complicated rules tomes (Book of Ebon Bindings, anyone?) that some gamers will find a turnoff for various reasons, AND stamps out the "awe and wonder" of having some mysteries (especially in Realms fiction).

(snip)

love,
THO



I'd love itif Ed wrote a Book of Ebon Bindings-type grimoire for the Realms!

Perhaps the Zhents would seem "more Evil" than they do to me if we could look at one of their grimoires ("First bring the slaves whom you are going to sacrifice into the summoning chamber ..."). That's a bit more Evil than, "Oh my God the Zhentarim just gained a monoply on teakettles in Triboar!"




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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AlorinDawn
Learned Scribe

USA
312 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  20:09:57  Show Profile  Visit AlorinDawn's Homepage  Click to see AlorinDawn's MSN Messenger address Send AlorinDawn a Private Message
ED & THO,

Does the hammer duclimer exist in the Realms? If so by whom is it most commonly played by (races & nationalities)?

Thanks

Currently reading: Eyes of The Dragon by Stephen King

Long live Sniffy Wigglebottom

Edited by - AlorinDawn on 03 Dec 2007 20:10:46
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  21:37:18  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by KnightErrantJR

original Realms and worlds like Newhon, but now I'm wondering, othe


Taking of Newhon, I seem to recall that Tamper Tencoin advetured with a Newhon Ghoul (I think its in the Namara write up in FR4?)

just wondering what ever happened to Tamper and what plots and schemes he was into?

Thanks

Damian

ps IDHTBTH so it may well detail Tampers demise in The Magister? if so don't go bothering Ed on my account

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  21:38:19  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Dear Ed and THO,
I have yet another Cormyr question: how well do Cormyrean nobles who aren't long time rivals, or related through family marriages ties or trade relationships, know each other?
Or to put it more specifically:
If a noble family who lives primarily in, say, Marsember comes to Court, and the young sons go off wenching and are dining in some fine eatery in Suzail or other, and they see other diners being seated in the same room, and those diners happen to include other young male nobles who live primarily in northwestern Cormyr, how likely are they to recognize them, on sight? Or know they're nobles without asking anyone, even if they can't put names to faces (that have "grown up" some since they might last have bumped into each other at Court)?
Thanks!
BB
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  21:42:28  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message
Oooh, good question.
Makes MY Cormyr question seem easier.
Okay: if I've just arrived in the kingdom for the first time, aboard a boat from Turmish that docks in Suzail, and I want to buy a sturdy riding horse, am I going to have to pay a lot? I assume Suzail has a market and stables, and I know it's a land where horses are reared and trained, but do they ship most of them elsewhere (e.g. Sembia)? Are the prices "standard" as per core rules, or higher? Rising, in the wake of the devastation of the Devil Dragon wars, or falling? "?"
Thanks in advance.
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  22:41:36  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Malcolm


Okay: if I've just arrived in the kingdom for the first time, aboard a boat from Turmish that docks in Suzail,


Guess it depends how wealthy you look , or how desperate

Its just a matter of economics - if the Dragon War has resulted in less horses available the price goes up, if the Dragon War has resulted in less people around to buy horses the price goes down.
However I would say that if you are buying a decent horse then the price would go up regardless, in times of stress I think that people would prefer to have a hardier/stronger/faster etc horse that might actually get them out of the danger zone/give them some protection if attacked. So a much better than normal horse would cost more than the standard price.

Just my thoughts

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  23:15:38  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message
Blueblade asks: How well do Cormyrean nobles who aren't long time rivals, or related through family marriages ties or trade relationships, know each other?

Or to put it more specifically:
If a noble family who lives primarily in, say, Marsember comes to Court, and the young sons go off wenching and are dining in some fine eatery in Suzail or other, and they see other diners being seated in the same room, and those diners happen to include other young male nobles who live primarily in northwestern Cormyr, how likely are they to recognize them, on sight? Or know they're nobles without asking anyone, even if they can't put names to faces (that have "grown up" some since they might last have bumped into each other at Court)?
Thanks!

Garen answers:
Nobles receive a great deal of training and instruction on how to recognize nobles, and the traits (read: stereotypes) of particular oldblood families from across the realm. Part of their upbringing includes tutoring on the various arms, badges, and liveries of prominent houses and their major branches.

For the given example, it depends greatly on whether or not the noble in question was flaunting his status, acting "normal," or intentionally trying to hide his lineage. Most nobles--particularly heirs and wealthy second sons--tend to travel about with entourages, or at the very least one capable valet or bodyguard. Unless the noble is purposefully traveling alone, or is well-practiced at the craft of deception, it is generally fairly easy for the trained eye to notice a raised pinky, a too-wary companion, an overly servile "friend," or disproportionate deference by a barkeep.

So, to keep the answer short: it's fairly easy to spot a noble, unless you're not looking, or the noble is making an effort to hide. Spotting and recognizing, however, are completely different matters.
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  23:24:58  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Malcolm

Oooh, good question.
Makes MY Cormyr question seem easier.
Okay: if I've just arrived in the kingdom for the first time, aboard a boat from Turmish that docks in Suzail, and I want to buy a sturdy riding horse, am I going to have to pay a lot? I assume Suzail has a market and stables, and I know it's a land where horses are reared and trained, but do they ship most of them elsewhere (e.g. Sembia)? Are the prices "standard" as per core rules, or higher? Rising, in the wake of the devastation of the Devil Dragon wars, or falling? "?"
Thanks in advance.
Nothing official on this just yet, but here's my take:

It has been some four plus years since the Dragonfall, which is enough time for even yearlings and ponies from around that time to have bred more than once, making your average riding horse about as available as they were before. Heavy horse from Waymoot are still the best around Cormyr, but are less available than they were before; a great mass of the most valuable horseflesh in Cormyr was wiped out by Nalavara and her hordes, making the best breeding stock all the more prized. Your standard varieties of horse--the sorts that are found in the core books--are about as easy to find in places like Suzail as they were in 1370; it's the more expensive, more specific breeds that are tougher to get hold of.
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2007 :  23:41:39  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by AlorinDawn
Does the hammer duclimer exist in the Realms?
The dulcimer is mentioned in "Music of the Forgotten Realms" (Dragon #123) and the 1993 boxed set. Zakhara also has a hammer dulcimer called the santur (see "Sounds of Wonder & Delight", Dragon #190).
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 04 Dec 2007 :  19:01:50  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Thanks, Garen Thal. Great answer! I meant to rule out "ostentatious noble behaviour" and really just meant do distant-dwelling nobles see each other often enough to recognize each other's faces on sight, but you covered that just fine.
So now [cough] I have another.
When young nobles are "presented" at Court for the first time, are there prior public announcements of just WHICH noble is going to make their maiden Court appearance? Or is it usually a surprise of exactly who turns up, on annually expected days or tendays?
Thanks!
BB

Edited by - Blueblade on 05 Dec 2007 01:40:55
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2007 :  02:02:39  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
I just posted a quotation from Ed's GenCon notes, years ago, about Alustriel, over on page 2 of the "Best portrayal of canon character" thread in Novels. Didn't want to repost it all here, but wanted to alert interested scribes, because it is a "direct Ed quote."
BB
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2007 :  02:11:45  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Thanks, Blueblade. It is indeed, and I have more notes from that session on some other topics, too. Now to FIND them...
Skeptic, your question has of course been forwarded to Ed, who is still eyebrow-deep in "do yesterday!" Realms work, but I can say this much:
Most such towns have wandering dirt roads, ALWAYS wide enough for two wagon-teams to comfortably pass each other; wagons "put up on blocks" (under axles, with wheels still attached but weight-strain thus taken off them) to serve as dwellings, with wagon-to-ground sloping tents to provide cover for entrances and cooking areas; dirt latrines surrounded by loose earth (from the digging) walls for privacy; tents for most additional dwellings; and outdoor cook-ovens made from stone, with mud-brick chimneys.
That much I remember off the top of my head from Ed's verbal descriptions, as he DM'd us. Hopefully he will provide more soon (more likely, he'll provide more when he can).
love,
THO
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The Sage
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Posted - 05 Dec 2007 :  02:14:40  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Blueblade

I just posted a quotation from Ed's GenCon notes, years ago, about Alustriel, over on page 2 of the "Best portrayal of canon character" thread in Novels. Didn't want to repost it all here, but wanted to alert interested scribes, because it is a "direct Ed quote."
BB
I'll repost it here for ease of reference:-
quote:
Originally posted by Blueblade

I feel the need to chime in here about Alustriel.
Ed once spent about twenty minutes at a GenCon seminar explaining Alustriel to questioners who wanted to know how to run her in their Silverymoon-based campaign (as an NPC, of course).

He said Alustriel is:
[[switching to Ed's notes here]]

. . . a kind, nice, understanding person (the sort who leaves the need coins, someone who had something crucial broken or stolen a replacement, etc., WITHOUT a big public giving; she just arranges for them to find it when they awaken, or something of the sort).
However, she has learned to be a SUPERB actor, playing whatever role will best suit the needs of a strong, continued Silverymoon (and then an extended Silver Marches) at the moment. So she'll be the stern, wiser ruler, and then turn around and be the coldly calculating bargainer or tactician, and then be the quietly comforting friend.
One of her roles is as the "Queen of Courtly Love," which involves candlelit indoor pool parties (orgies) with any number of envoys from afar and young adventurers (including Harpers) whom she wants to reward, influence (get them to be her friends or in love with her or in lust with her), let others get to know and see (so, for instance, attending Harpers can get to see an envoy 'with their guard down,' and so on), give participants a chance to meet each other in VERY relaxed circumstances and establish friendships or do what we modern real-world types would call "networking."
It is wrong to view Alustriel as "wanton" or "promiscuous" in the modern real-world North American sense of these words; she is using her body as a diplomatic tool, in full control of herself at all times (so she's always "reading" everyone around her and being aware of their reactions, while trying not to seem to do so; she is NOT trying to satisfy her own pleasure).
When Bob portrays Alustriel quite differently, he's simply showing another side of her character - - the side she believes is the proper way (Silverymoon's interests paramount at all times, remember) to relate to Drizzt.
When Alustriel encounters unhappy loners, her automatic instinct is to comfort them, and lovemaking is one way she won't hesitate for a moment to use - - if she thinks it will "work" and won't be bad for Silverymoon.
A DM who thinks Alustriel just wants to bed any handy male of any race, or any attractive male, or any male she thinks she can manipulate into helping her out, is entirely misreading the character.
Correcting or preventing such misconceptions is the very reason why I wrote THE SEVEN SISTERS sourcebook.


So, so saith Ed. (Sorry, THO. I've always wanted to type that. )


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Edited by - The Sage on 05 Dec 2007 02:16:18
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