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 When the Shadovar returned....
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Renin
Learned Scribe

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2019 :  02:13:57  Show Profile Send Renin a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
...was it popular with you and your group?

I could have searched the forums to see how often this conversation took place, but since I wanted to talk about it, I started my own.

For me, I felt the Shadovar was the RSE that heralded the beginning of the end. I despised the event, I hated that they couldn't be stopped...until they just could be stopped. I, quite honestly, hated the novels as well to signal this change in the Realms.

I was playing long before that, and still continue to play in 'my' Realms-which in no way recognizes the Shadovar, their return, and also, I ignore the subsequent Spellplague as well.

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32530 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2019 :  04:48:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I thought the return of Shade would be used to explain the changes to the Realms. When they didn't bother trying to explain anything, I was very disappointed.

As for the Shades themselves, I couldn't stand the way WotC did it. Instead of using them as one faction among many, one that stays in the background and may or may not be involved in whatever is afoot, they became THE evil faction of the setting, and there seemed to be Shades lurking under every rock.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8411 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2019 :  13:42:45  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For my campaigns, it had no effect because I wasn't working in that area. I will admit to liking the concept of Shade returning and "doing something more with Anauroch". I wasn't against the original shadovar trilogy, and I saw their encroachment/conflict with Cormyr interesting. I was nonplussed though when they took over Sembia, and by the end I was starting to suffer from "shadow fatigue".

One thing I thought they should have focused more on in relation to them was the Malaugrym. I felt like we should have seen more of the intrigues of the Malaugrym and/or other shadow cultures seeking to hinder Shade enclave and take the power for themselves.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 08 Nov 2019 13:45:09
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
977 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2019 :  19:41:31  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
/turning on Grognard mode - please don't read if you're sensitive! - I haven't liked ANY Of the edition change novels; Avatar Trilogy was garbage (this is not subjective, honestly it's written by committee and was rushed and poorly edited). Return of the Archwizards I did not make it through, the thousands of beholder armies and treatment of the chosen just felt stupid to me; and couldn't even be bothered to read the books that ushered in the Smellplague because I'd already given up trying to follow the mess WotC had brought in. The Sundering books are probably the best of the bunch.

Way too many Shadow/Shade type enemies already; I think Netheril being an ancient city with the occasional lich or ruined dungeons in the dessert popping up would have been fine and in line with Ed's vision.

I'd play in your Realms!
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
3069 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2019 :  01:49:42  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having gone back to the Old Grey box-set, I don't have a Shade problem in my Realms. If someone wants to use them in their Realms, have at it.

"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
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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
588 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2019 :  13:17:39  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have them in my Realms as a powerful but small organization that is closely linked to a church Shar. Nobody knows much about them and there is a looming conflict with Cormyr and possibly with Zhentarim. They are still more a stuff of rumors than actual enemy and they are more heard of than seen. There are many who oppose them so they have to thread carefully. A few years after their return they are still searching Anauroch, melting glaciers and rejuvinating parts of the desert. They also have a increasing influence on civil war in Sembia but there is no clear winner yet.
What I do not like is a way it should continue so I make my own events from this point on.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32530 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2019 :  14:14:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

I have them in my Realms as a powerful but small organization that is closely linked to a church Shar. Nobody knows much about them and there is a looming conflict with Cormyr and possibly with Zhentarim. They are still more a stuff of rumors than actual enemy and they are more heard of than seen. There are many who oppose them so they have to thread carefully. A few years after their return they are still searching Anauroch, melting glaciers and rejuvinating parts of the desert. They also have a increasing influence on civil war in Sembia but there is no clear winner yet.
What I do not like is a way it should continue so I make my own events from this point on.



I like the way you've handled it. I would likely have done something similar, except for one thing: rather than melt glaciers wholesale, which would be noticeable, I'd've had them pick one or more spots, and just melt the ice there, or magically move the ice elsewhere. Control the weather in these cleared spots, and you've got your farming needs covered. By keeping the farms surrounded by and hidden in the ice, no one knows they're there -- which helps Shade keep a low profile.

And that's assuming they opt to stay right there. There's even less to tie them to that spot than there was before, so they could also relocate to a more habitable clime.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8411 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2019 :  14:23:26  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do like the idea that they still have communities within anauroch. Yes they lost their floating enclave, but I'd prefer that that not destroy their society.... their leadership, yes... society no. So, maybe there are small communities within anauroch, and maybe they are even taking slaves from amongst the Bedine and D'tarig populations (or Zhentarim caravans crossing the desert). Having them also taking orc and goblinoid slaves from the savage frontier would make sense, as most people wouldn't care about it or even notice if they're gone.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Renin
Learned Scribe

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2019 :  19:14:23  Show Profile Send Renin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

For my campaigns, it had no effect because I wasn't working in that area. I will admit to liking the concept of Shade returning and "doing something more with Anauroch". I wasn't against the original shadovar trilogy, and I saw their encroachment/conflict with Cormyr interesting. I was nonplussed though when they took over Sembia, and by the end I was starting to suffer from "shadow fatigue".


ĎShadow fatigueí is a good description. On the whole, I just found these would-be world conquerors boring. The arrogance that never relented (as far as my memory recalls) in the face of continued defeats, or in seeing how the Realms have changed since their time in power only makes them appear that much more foolish, and well, stupid, to be honest.

Iíll also add that I utterly hated the ĎShadow-weave.í At my current age, I canít seperate the thought that perhaps my youthful thinking simply hated a competing magical weave to the Realms, when it was hammered again and again and again that the only magic comes Mystraís Weave. Thatís it. If you can make just as reasonable copies, or facsimiles of it, why hasnít Lathandar made a sun-weave? Instead of druids drawing from a Silvanus, or Chauntea, or Mielikki, or someone else; why not have some Earth-weave? Gahk, I just hated the Shadow weave, and still do.





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Renin
Learned Scribe

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2019 :  19:30:37  Show Profile Send Renin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

/turning on Grognard mode - please don't read if you're sensitive! - I haven't liked ANY Of the edition change novels; Avatar Trilogy was garbage (this is not subjective, honestly it's written by committee and was rushed and poorly edited). Return of the Archwizards I did not make it through, the thousands of beholder armies and treatment of the chosen just felt stupid to me; and couldn't even be bothered to read the books that ushered in the Smellplague because I'd already given up trying to follow the mess WotC had brought in. The Sundering books are probably the best of the bunch.

Grognard mode engaged-total agreement! :)
Although my playing field doesnít go all the way back to only OGB. The problem Iíve had with everything since my purview of TSRís heyday (from the very beginnings to the utter tragedy of Realms lore post-Sundering<not saying 5e; that Iíve left behind too>) is that all itís done is destroy. Itís easy to ruin, wreck, and shatter cities, countries-even planes of existence I guess!-but itís even harder to build something from those ashes.

I would argue nothingís been built; just handwaved and handwiped away. Would I love a 5e supplement that talks about the current doings of the Forest King, with a new monarch, that is establishing a new border/a new ally/or an old enemy with Sembia? Oh hell yes!

How about grumbling exiled and angry Red Wizards of the other schools, banding together with, say, even Aglarond and Rashemen to destroy a greater evil in a Szass Tam only Thay? That would never happen...would it? Iíd write it up, or at least read it...if it was designed!

But, thatís not the way, or at least the case right now. So be it.

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin[be]Way too many Shadow/Shade type enemies already; I think Netheril being an ancient city with the occasional lich or ruined dungeons in the dessert popping up would have been fine and in line with Ed's vision.

I'd play in your Realms!



Heh! Thanks! Iíll admit my Realms uses most lore and books through 3.5. I obviously have downplayed or not even brought about the Shadovar, so Sembia is fine. Results of the Last Mythal series are kind of unfolding; but I am working towards re-establishing Myth Drannor (see, building up!). Azoun is not yet dead, even though I believe Iím past his canon death date of ...1371? Yeah, Iím pushing 1375 just because of my other campaigns. Also, itís like Cormyrís king dying means a whole lot to miners and settlers trying to brave the cold and dangers in the northern Giantspire mountains, between the countries of Damara and Narfell; citizens of neither, and beholden to none!


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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2019 :  00:16:03  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When 3.x came out I was firmly in the middle of a campaign using 2nd edition AD&D rules...and we were far from an advanced timeline; so the Shadovar never really made it into my game at all.

From a reading standpoint, I thought it was poorly implemented. I didn't like how easily they adapted and overcame the desert that had once been Netheril. I just couldn't use any of it.

In my own campaign the main evil had always been a shade however. One single one...not a city. I did eventually adapt to using Shadow Magic in my campaign when we switched to 3.x rules; but still I didn't like the whole city of Shade idea in our campaign. My players were having plenty of trouble still with the Zhentarim, Red Wizards, Cult of the Dragon, Drow beneath the Dales and other firmly established foes that had plenty of potential without another RSE.

The Shadovar...never really a great interest in our circle.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32530 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2019 :  02:10:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Renin


Iíll also add that I utterly hated the ĎShadow-weave.í At my current age, I canít seperate the thought that perhaps my youthful thinking simply hated a competing magical weave to the Realms, when it was hammered again and again and again that the only magic comes Mystraís Weave. Thatís it. If you can make just as reasonable copies, or facsimiles of it, why hasnít Lathandar made a sun-weave? Instead of druids drawing from a Silvanus, or Chauntea, or Mielikki, or someone else; why not have some Earth-weave? Gahk, I just hated the Shadow weave, and still do.



I didn't like the Shadow Weave myself, and it really bugged me that every time they wrote about it, they wrote something different. We've got multiple origins for it, multiple ways it reacts to the presence or absence of the Weave... Heck, what really blew me away was right after one of the so-called "supermodules" came out, and Rich Baker point blank said that the way the Shadow Weave was described in that book was wrong. So we had one of the design team saying that the latest sourcebook was wrong.

It was, like so much else in 3E, simply a poorly thought out and poorly implemented mess.

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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
588 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2019 :  13:30:34  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
I like the way you've handled it. I would likely have done something similar, except for one thing: rather than melt glaciers wholesale, which would be noticeable, I'd've had them pick one or more spots, and just melt the ice there, or magically move the ice elsewhere. Control the weather in these cleared spots, and you've got your farming needs covered. By keeping the farms surrounded by and hidden in the ice, no one knows they're there -- which helps Shade keep a low profile.

And that's assuming they opt to stay right there. There's even less to tie them to that spot than there was before, so they could also relocate to a more habitable clime.


Regarding Anauroch they are quite obvious as they have a large scale plans. They want the whole area to be fertile Netheril basin again so they manipulate the weather in grand scale. That brings them to cross Auril as they mess with her Glacier... (there has been some harsh winters in recent years for the whole area - Moonsea and North included)
Fun fact will be when they find out that Narrow sea is not filling North of Netheril as they remember but Western border.
Their farms might be hidden but their terraforming efforts are not. They also try to subjugate local tribes but are not successful much as most of the tribes have strong superstition against magic. As Anauroch is a nonhabitable area for most surrounding nations nobody objected much when they anounced it all as their domain. Outside they are nearly unknown as I have wrote and are very protective to any incursions from outside - that got them to alienate Zhentarim who used to cross Anauroch with their caravans.
They are faithful to Shar but some (namely Thanthul himself) begin to feel her chains especialy with Rivalen becoming her chosen (instead of himself as she promised) and power over Shadovar slowly shifting from him.
Against them are all other Netheril survivors as they are using Weave (Aumvor, Larloch, Iolaum), Harpers with Seven sisters, Red Wizards, Zhentarim, Cormyr (they realized already that this is not their fight and try to back off). Basicaly they have enemies on all sides. That is why they make their business through Sembia and they have a small "enclave" of Hlontar (former Teshendale ruled by Alokkair - shadow magic netheries lich) as a beachhead to Zhentarim.
As from deities perspective - this is a first expansion of Shar on this scale to Toril. This means she is opposed by Selune, Mystra (Amaunator, Lathander) directly and many others (like Auril and Bane) inderectly. Many of you would probably dislike this perspective so I will add that it mainly means churches of those deities are involved not gods themselves.


quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
I didn't like the Shadow Weave myself, and it really bugged me that every time they wrote about it, they wrote something different. We've got multiple origins for it, multiple ways it reacts to the presence or absence of the Weave... Heck, what really blew me away was right after one of the so-called "supermodules" came out, and Rich Baker point blank said that the way the Shadow Weave was described in that book was wrong. So we had one of the design team saying that the latest sourcebook was wrong.

It was, like so much else in 3E, simply a poorly thought out and poorly implemented mess.


I agree that many of those ideas were poorly implemented and that is why I made my own version.
I have accepted Shadow Weave as a aspect of this world. It was created by Shar as a response to creation of Weave together with the Shadow Plane (similarily Ethereal border is a manifestation of Weave). Due to Shar's stranglehold it is not widespread but she is tempting other deities to embrace it (like Cyric, Velsharoon, Talona, ...). Mystra already sacrificed multiple chosen in attempts to fight it (Sammaster, Halaster) and Harpers are used to fight it all the time. For me Shar's plot will not eclipse in Spellplague and such but her current goal is a destruction of Dancing Place (I will use the idea of Black chronology for this event - 1385 DR Year of the Revelation) and spread of shadow zones on Toril (dead magic zones for Weave).
BTW Maglases prophecy used by Sammaster is actually a forewarning about end of Dracorage and new rise of Dragon power in the world after the Tearfall in 1374 Year of the Lightning Storms.

I am always trying to extract the spirit of the bad ideas and use it in my game to honor the work of people producing it and to keep close to canon Realms. However I do not see a need to keep any bollocks they come with :-)

As for multiple ways Weave and Shadow Weave interact I used that to my advantage saying there is no one way those forces interact so different situations end with different result as any other use of magic in my Realms. My characters have even focused on research to create Shadow magic dead zone in Weave (reverse shadow zones) and with some success already (it might be interesting to end with areas where no magic work at all).
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ElfBane
Learned Scribe

USA
93 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2019 :  14:13:30  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What is the relationship between the Shad_E_var and the Shad_O_var?? In Mark Anthony's novel "Crypt of the Shadowking" (Harper series, book 6), the Shadevar are assigned a role as the "leaders" of the Shadovar. In the novel this Shadevar is a formidable opponent that even a fairly advanced adventuring group would not be able to defeat. The creature has an advanced sense of smell, but does not have ordinary vision sense. The mage of the group, Morhion, defeats the monster.....SPOILER ALERT.... by a spell the gives the monster an ordinary vision sense, and the sensory overload defeats the monster.
One would think that this "grant vision" spell would become widely enough known as the way to defeat said Shadevar monsters. So, if the LEADERS of the Shadovars can be so easily defeated,,, how did the Shadovar become so formidable??
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32530 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2019 :  14:36:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElfBane

What is the relationship between the Shad_E_var and the Shad_O_var?? In Mark Anthony's novel "Crypt of the Shadowking" (Harper series, book 6), the Shadevar are assigned a role as the "leaders" of the Shadovar. In the novel this Shadevar is a formidable opponent that even a fairly advanced adventuring group would not be able to defeat. The creature has an advanced sense of smell, but does not have ordinary vision sense. The mage of the group, Morhion, defeats the monster.....SPOILER ALERT.... by a spell the gives the monster an ordinary vision sense, and the sensory overload defeats the monster.
One would think that this "grant vision" spell would become widely enough known as the way to defeat said Shadevar monsters. So, if the LEADERS of the Shadovars can be so easily defeated,,, how did the Shadovar become so formidable??



The Shadovar -- the inhabitants of Shade -- weren't a thing when that book was written. They were introduced to the setting years later.

There's no connection between the Shadevari and the Shadovar.

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