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nblanton
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USA
35 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2018 :  18:55:53  Show Profile Send nblanton a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I've got a few questions to help develop where my campaign goes from here.

Currently, my PCs are about to arrive in Tilverton on orders from Randal Morn to establish contact with an Iron Throne agent to secure a shipment of weapons for the Freedom Riders to assist in the upcoming conflict that is brewing between the Freedom Riders and the occupying Zhents.

A little context is in order to establish where and why these events are occurring.

First, my PC's backstories include a former Purple Dragon officer originally from Daggerdale, but joined the Cormyrian military and took part in the Horde campaign. She was technically retired but asked to look for the missing princess and got zapped by "something" and knocked her back to a 40 year old level 1 fighter. That something will be Gothyl from SotD trilogy. Another is a transmuter from Baldur's Gate who's foster father was an (unknown to him) Iron Throne agent, a third is a bard from Scardale Town who's son was supposedly murdered by members of the Zhent occupying force, and the forth is a young fighter from Daggerdale who just found out that he is actually a bastard son of Lashan Aumersair hidden away by El in Daggerdale (not that his character has any idea who Lashan is, he just found a note in his "father's" things after he was killed).

Anyway, due to heavy losses that the Zhent's were taking shipping weapons down the Tethyamar Trail, the primary source of weapons for the rebels has dried up. The surrounding dales and Cormyr while sympathetic to Morn were not willing to openly arm the rebels hence the need to involve the Iron Throne.

So, my backstory complete here is what the characters have ran into now that they have arrived in Tilverton. Basically, I've set the city up for the events in Curse of the Azure Bonds adventure, but instead of the characters being the ones to get the bonds, another just introduced group has the bonds. I'm going to play out the events in Tilverton basically as the adventure is written, with the only change being that the Zhent portion of the bonds will be Fzoul trying to rid himself of Xeno Mirrormane, not whatever the effect was in the original adventure. I think this works out pretty well, as I'm setting the current date to late summer of 1367 which aligns with Manshoon leaving the Keep.

So, the questions I mentioned. First, my Iron Throne goes completely against canon, especially the stuff from Lords of Darkness but is it believable? My IT was formed around the same time as Lashan tried his attempt at conquest and in my head they are not "ebil merchants", but just rather amoral ones. They started as a way to sell contraband materials to Lashan and his army from Sembia without doing things out in the open. Currently, the biggest secret the IT has going on is that it is the supplier of smoke powder to the Gondsmen. I know that in many peoples' minds the Gondsmen make the smoke powder themselves, but re-reading the Firearms section of Forgotten Realms Adventures the exact wording is:
quote:
...Gond the Wondermaker, were
taught how to make reasonably safe and
accurate smoke powder weapons.

Which makes me think that the Gondsmen are not making magic items, but just the devices to use them (perhaps I'm reading that quote like Sammaster would). Eventually, I might have the IT be in contact with off-world merchants and be bringing the stuff in via spelljammers.

Second, has anyone used a published adventure like I'm doing? Have the PCs not be the center of the action, but beside it? If so, are there any pitfalls to look out for? I want the PCs to run through this portion with them somehow having a falling out with the IT and not getting the weapons delivered, as I want the PCs to have to negotiate with the Brightblade dwarves that were introduced while the PCs ran through Doom of Daggerdale. Currently, the none of the characters have taken any of my hints about trying to set that up. I was hoping the thought would have came to them, but it hasn't. So, I guess that is a third question as well. Granted, I also trying to prevent railroading, so that is another problem.

I'm not sure if this a focused set of questions or just a ramble. This is my first time DM'ing since 1999 and I'm wanting to provide a reason for my group to keep coming back.

Edited by - nblanton on 14 Mar 2018 18:58:00

LordofBones
Senior Scribe

706 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2018 :  00:37:12  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You can try importing the firearms and gunslinger over from pathfinder to the realms, if you'd like toe xpand your campaign a bit.
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nblanton
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USA
35 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2018 :  00:59:35  Show Profile Send nblanton a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To be honest, I wasn't really wanting to bring firearms into the campaign. I was just using smoke powder as a MacGuffin. I was reading some older threads about Gond and that part of the plot was introduced .

This one http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19994 specifically and it got me thinking more about how the Gondsmen actually feel about magic.

Those folks are doing lots of stuff in my world behind the scenes, the biggest one is the production of so-called "dead" items made with materials taken from dead magic zones that prevent spells from disrupting the mechanisms. The only one that has been introduced is the dead lock which is a mechanical lock that can be picked as any other but is impervious to spells like knock.
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Cyrinishad
Learned Scribe

292 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2018 :  19:05:18  Show Profile Send Cyrinishad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nblanton

...it got me thinking more about how the Gondsmen actually feel about magic.

Those folks are doing lots of stuff in my world behind the scenes, the biggest one is the production of so-called "dead" items made with materials taken from dead magic zones that prevent spells from disrupting the mechanisms. The only one that has been introduced is the dead lock which is a mechanical lock that can be picked as any other but is impervious to spells like knock.



I like your idea of "dead magic" materials... it fits very well with the somewhat darker, portrayal of the Gondsmen in the book "Elminster's Forgotten Realms".
In that book, there is a Secret Creed of the Gondsmen that indicates they have 3 overall goals:

1. Influence and Control all the Rulers of Faerun.
2. Undermine and Subsume the deity Waukeen.
3. Eliminate all Spellcasters that denigrate, hate, fear, or oppose Gond, Inventions, or Mechanics.

Until I read that book, I hadn't realized quite how ruthless and imperalistic the Gondsmen could be as an organization.

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. -Socrates

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss

Edited by - Cyrinishad on 28 Mar 2018 19:05:55
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7062 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2018 :  23:04:32  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Along those lines, I can see Gondsmen being interested in certain other materials from VGtatM. Granted, later editions made these metals simpler, but honestly I like the more interesting versions if the rules themselves could be made simpler.

Arandur: Once the exclusive secret of the gnomes, this legendary metal has since been worked by elven smiths of Evereska and Evermeet. Many gnomish locks and hooks, as well as some fabled elven warblades, have been forged of arandur, though new forgings #151;and folk who know how to work the ore #151;are both rarer than ever today.

Arandur is a rare natural metal found in igneous rock, usually as streaks of blue-green ore amid vitreous glass. So that it does not become as brittle as the glass it is found in, it must be tempered with the blood of a red or blue dragon in its forging. Because of this, working it is not a task for the roadside village smith. The finished forged metal is silver-blue with a green reflective shine.

Arandur bonds with other metals so well that Merald#146;s meld and crown meld spells are not necessary when enchanting an item made of it and other metals. It is famous for holding a sharp edge even when abused and was the favored material of old for making swords of sharpness and vorpal weapons. Items made primarily of arandur automatically succeed in all item saving throws vs. fall, normal fire, cold, and electricity. They receive a +3 bonus to all item saving throws vs. acid, crushing blow, disintegration, magical fire, and lightning. Arandur also partially absorbs magic missile energy pulses; folk who wield a sword or shield made of arandur or wear arandan armor take ld2 (to a minimum of 1) fewer points of damage per magic missile bolt directed at them.


Hizagkuur: This extremely rare white metal is named for its long-ago dwarf discoverer and is found only in scattered, but very rich, deposits deep in the Underdark as a soft, greenish-gray claylike ore or a flaky mud. Its preparation is complex, and it is a secret known only to a very few senior dwarven smiths and elders.

If even a single element of the process is wrong, the hizagkuur remains mud and not a usable metal. If successfully transformed into a metal, hizagkuur must be cast, worked, or forged into final form within a day and thereafter can never be worked again. (If an item made of hizagkuur is broken, only magical mendings accomplished by limited wish or wish spells can repair it.) If hizagkuur is left untouched for that 24 hours, it becomes inert and unworkable unless either a wish or limited wish is cast and properly worded to allow a second chance at working it.

Hizagkuur is unsuitable for use in the crafting of magical items or items that are to be worn because once it has cooled and hardened after being worked, it reflects all magic cast at it 100 percent back at the source and also deals 2d12 points of electrical damage per touch (or per round of continued contact) to all beings coming into contact with it. It sees most use as a sheathing for fortress gates, vault doors, and seals on coffers or hatches of crucial importance.

Items made primarily of hizagkuur automatically succeed in all item saving throws vs. normal fire, cold, and electricity. They receive a +6 bonus to all item saving throws vs. magical fire and lightning and a +1 bonus to all item saving throws vs. acid, crushing blow, fall, and disintegration.

Telstang: Originally a gnomish secret, this alloy of copper, mithral, platinum, and silver has been adopted by the halflings and by certain elven and orc peoples in the Sword Coast North. Its making remains known to few, and in many writings it is hidden behind the term #147;truesilver,#148; which has also been applied to mithral, or the phrase #147;the trusty metal,#148; often misunderstood by human sages to mean steel or perhaps bronze#151;the very mistake the writers hoped they would make.

Telstang is a dull silver in hue, rather like pewter, and is known as the singing metal because it gives off a clear bell-like tone when struck. It is nonferromagnetic but readily forgeable, though it tends to be brittle and easily snapped off or shattered in large pieces. It never oxidizes and so lasts forever if not struck or dropped. Telstang#146;s shortcomings make it unsuitable for use in weapons or armor, but it is often worn (by folk who know of and can get it) as bracers, buckles, brooches, pendants, and the like because of its most valuable property: Telstang and all organic material in contact with or encased in it cannot be altered in state; that is, a warrior wearing telstang and the telstang itself cannot be affected by paralyzation, polymorph spells, disintegrate, petrification, shape change, and similar attacks. However, such a being also cannot be aided by beneficial magical state-altering effects such as those conferred by such spells as spider climb and water breathing.

Except where the special property of telstang comes into play, items made primarily of this metal automatically succeed in all item saving throws vs. normal fire, cold, and electricity. They receive a +2 bonus to all item saving throws vs. acid, disintegration, magical fire, and lightning, and save normally vs. crushing blow and fall.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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nblanton
Seeker

USA
35 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2018 :  03:34:37  Show Profile Send nblanton a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Cyrinishad and Sleyvas for those tidbits.

The stuff from Elminster's Forgotten Realms is what I was looking for. I've seen it on these forums, but I believe that book is a 4e work, and I've avoided those. Perhaps it is worth checking out, if I can find a copy. Just in the stuff that I've seen about the Gondsmen, they seem to be extremely apathetic to the end use of their wares or who knows they built them. In CotAB there numerous instances in the thieves' guild where you run into items made from the local Gondsmen, from masterwork secret doors to clay golems defending a shrine to Mask and the family crypt of the head of the thieves guild. Not to mention the clockwork inquisitors from the Cryrinshad debacle.

I've recently went on a shopping spree and bought a few things from the 1990s that my sister sold when I joined the navy, including the gods books and the 2nd Edition Campaign Setting boxed set, and looking through those, it appears that prior to Lords of Darkness, the Iron Throne wasn't developed at all and was sorta like Sembia was at the time, a group that could be used as the DM sees fit (and perhaps that was why they were used as a scapegoat BBEG in the first Baldur's Gate video game). The description says that the leaders are unknown and rumored to be anything from Zhents, to Drow, to spacefaring Arcane (I sorta like the latter).

Given the goals of both groups, Gondsmen and the Iron Throne, I could easily just have the Iron Throne be a mercantile offshoot of the faith itself.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5125 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2018 :  09:51:08  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Iron Throne was written up in the 2E Cloak and Dagger accessory and also got some time in the 3E Power of Faerun sourcebook.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2978 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2018 :  12:51:18  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elminster's Forgotten Realms is a system neutral book.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep

Edited by - Brimstone on 23 May 2018 12:52:36
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1639 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2018 :  15:31:22  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nblanton

To be honest, I wasn't really wanting to bring firearms into the campaign. I was just using smoke powder as a MacGuffin. I was reading some older threads about Gond and that part of the plot was introduced .

I don't see why not, it's just that both of those are not hot enough to be worth the costs.
Smokepowder firearms are slow and expensive compared to classic tension weapons, in concealable one-shot category lose to drow pneumatic sleeve-gun because they still have finicky locks.
While smokepowder is expensive and has alternatives for demolition purpose and even as propellant (those Thayan bombards).
As a plot hook to Spelljammer it makes sense.
quote:
This one http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19994 specifically and it got me thinking more about how the Gondsmen actually feel about magic.

It's not "how the Gondsmen actually feel about magic", it's merely "Gondsmen include some aggressive folk who act a bit too proactively against those already antagonistic toward them".
The latter should not be much of a surprise. And there's still not enough of aggressive Gondsmen to form a specialized organization, like Holy Slayers in Al-Qadim.
While even the dwarves have their Holy Hammer, the elves... heh, heh, yeah. So where's the big deal?
quote:
the biggest one is the production of so-called "dead" items made with materials taken from dead magic zones that prevent spells from disrupting the mechanisms. The only one that has been introduced is the dead lock which is a mechanical lock that can be picked as any other but is impervious to spells like knock.

Not bad, but no big deal either. Between indirect use of magic and dead magic zones being purge-able.
In a right market (Thay, Halruaa, Nimbral, Sshamath, Ravens Bluff...) that's likely to sell like hot cookies, sure. Elsewhere, less so - but then, why won't you send goods somewhere they can fetch a good price?

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31146 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2018 :  18:34:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I could be mistaken, but I'm not aware of anything that says materials from dead magic zones retain an immunity to magic when removed from such zones.

To me, that's like assuming that if you take a rock out of the ocean, that rock will forever remain wet.

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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1639 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2018 :  19:41:21  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I could be mistaken, but I'm not aware of anything that says materials from dead magic zones retain an immunity to magic when removed from such zones.

To me, that's like assuming that if you take a rock out of the ocean, that rock will forever remain wet.

There were mentions, in several novels IIRC.
Not always, or rather not in all dead magic zones (it obviously doesn't happen in motile bubbles from Guardian's Tear and from that quasimagic device under Ravensgate), but this happened with some stuff caught in Helmlands when those formed during ToT.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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nblanton
Seeker

USA
35 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2018 :  20:08:52  Show Profile Send nblanton a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the reply, Iíve been saying Lords of Darkness when I meant Cloak and Dagger the whole thread. Hopefully, no one was confused.

Iíll purchase a copy of Elminsterís Forgotten Realms if thatís the case. Sounds like a good piece of lore. As to the other ďgoalsĒ of the Gondsmen, Waukeen is currently missing/dead as Iím running my campaign in early summer 1367. As for the dead magic items being canon, Iím not super worried about it. I usually start with canon and go from there. My 1370 will not include shades, a returned Netheril, or have Tilverton blasted into some other plane.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31146 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2018 :  20:17:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I could be mistaken, but I'm not aware of anything that says materials from dead magic zones retain an immunity to magic when removed from such zones.

To me, that's like assuming that if you take a rock out of the ocean, that rock will forever remain wet.

There were mentions, in several novels IIRC.
Not always, or rather not in all dead magic zones (it obviously doesn't happen in motile bubbles from Guardian's Tear and from that quasimagic device under Ravensgate), but this happened with some stuff caught in Helmlands when those formed during ToT.



I just checked the 2E FRCS, the 3E FRCS, the 4E FRCG, Forgotten Realms Adventures, and Magic of FaerŻn. None of them mentioned or even implied that an object from a dead magic area retained an immunity to magic.

It is mentioned that active spells remain active when going into a dead magic area, as do things like constructs, and that even if a magical item has its abilities suppressed by a dead magic area, it works normally once it's back out -- which further supports dead magic being entirely localized to a place and not affecting anything moving in and out of that place.

I've no issue with the idea of magically-inert materials, or even ones that block magic in an extremely small area... It just needs to be something more than picking up a conveniently-placed rock to gain the effect. As I said earlier, a rock pulled out of the ocean isn't going to stay wet forever.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 23 May 2018 20:21:06
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nblanton
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USA
35 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2018 :  03:15:15  Show Profile Send nblanton a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dungeon #75 has a priest of Talona crafting poisons from plants grown inside a dead magic zone. The resulting poisons are immune to magical cures.

Off the top of my head, that is one source that makes a similar use of dead magic zones for game plots.

Or perhaps the Gondsmen are actually lying about the origin of their dead locks and the internals are just a reduced power alloy of Hizagkuur that Sleyvas mentioned from VGtATM (I had forgotten the materials portion of that book).

Either way, I'll agree that dead magic regions are just that, part of the weave in that 3-D volume of Realmspace is simply disconnected or missing and has nothing to do with the materials in the volume. I'm just using it as a plot device, nothing more.
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