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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 07 Sep 2021 :  00:55:20  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On pirate NPCs in the Realms

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1434945954323501056

Sep 7 2021

@Michael75535436

I am looking to add a pirate NPC in my adventure. Do you have any recommendations from the Forgotten Realms that would make an interesting NPC for the players to interact with? They are a group of 4-6 5th level characters.

@TheEdVerse

Are you familiar with the 2e Realms sourcebook PIRATES OF THE FALLEN STARS by Curtis Scott? A tome full of them!

It's available on the DM's Guild. Read its writeup there (on the "here's the product to buy" page; just scroll down) for info on a lot of related and followup Realms and other D&D releases.

And I've stuffed other pirates (and brigands) into a lot of Realmslore in the years since.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 07 Sep 2021 :  00:58:32  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Mintiper Moonsilver in home Realms

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1434941742407720966

Sep 7 2021

@smparlin

Ed, was Mintiper Moonsilver primarily a lore piece or did he actually interact much with the PCs in your home Realms, and if so, in what role?

@TheEdVerse

Mintiper was an active NPC in home Realmsplay. Although the PCs rarely saw him, as he was tirelessly traveling (adventuring), he left word (usually tips and warnings) for them with many Harpers and innkeepers across the Sword Coast North, and their paths did cross a few memorable times (he saved their behinds at least twice with timely interventions in battles they were losing). The irrepressible Torm (the thief, not the god) even fell into the habit of calling out a greeting to him in the thick of a hard fray, in hopes he'd appear and aid the Knights. Yet Mintiper was primarily a provider of subplots for the buffet in front of the PCs, for them to choose from. Like most major NPCs, I charted his life-path (in general, not in detail) so I knew what he was up to and striving for, as the years passed.

And then, of course, the master Realms scholar Eric L. Boyd adopted him for a series of Wizards website columns that enriched us all!
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2021 :  02:01:46  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On spells with expiry

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1436476413281017856

Sep 11 2021

@frank_oni_oni

HI. Did arcane and divine casters create spells that told them how much time was going by? A fly spell or waterbreathing spell last a certain duration does the spell impart when time is expiring to user in some manner? Or is it guesstamation?

@TheEdVerse

Depends on the incantation (everyone who experiments with spells, as opposed to just copying and using them, tinkers).

Some expire without warning, some create a rising whistle in the caster's inner ear, and some begin to tint vision a warning rose-red near expiry.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2021 :  02:10:02  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On tallglasses

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1436346493384986625

Sep 10 2021

@RpgMatch
Is a tallglass in Faerun what we would refer to as a wine glass?


@TheEdVerse

A tallglass fulfills the same FUNCTION on a menu as a wine glass, but is closer to what we call a "tumbler." I.e. the big cylindrical glass in "a glass of water" or "a glass of milk."
Most tallglasses look like champagne flutes with deep bowls and short stems.

@RpgMatch
Like anyone of these?

<Image of flutes: https://twitter.com/RpgMatch/status/1436452800469209090/photo/1>


@TheEdVerse

Those are all indeed flutes, but a tallglass in the Realms looks more like this: <Image: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1436474209018990594/photo/1>

Or like this: <Image: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1436474212072529922/photo/1>

Or this: <Image: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1436474337096306708/photo/1>
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  01:48:39  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On annual property taxes and prices in Waterdeep and why Volo gave up Trollskull Manor

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1437251124378185734
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1437279686061699078
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1437285368278265857
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1437610283158097924

Sep 13 2021

@frank_oni_oni

I just wrote an epic Reddit post on Waterdeep real estate prices and why Volo gave away Trollskull Manor away in Dragonheist.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially if your name is @ChrisPerkinsDnD or @TheEdVerse

https://www.reddit.com/r/WaterdeepDragonHeist/comments/pn1xyw/waterdeep_real_estate_prices_why_volo_gave/


@TheEdVerse

Great thread!

Yes, Waterdeep has annual realty taxes.

See my Twitter answers for Feb 20/20: “The nobles ignored that, so the Lords paid out of city coffers, and added it to the taxes of the two noble houses (which is, sadly, standard procedure in the city; nobles, like anyone else, who don't pay taxes in full get property seized in lieu).”

And for Apr 25/20, re. 1375 DR: “Buildings in Waterdeep didn't have numerical addresses then. (They did have "roll numbers" in the Palace tax records and floorplan registry.)”

And for Apr 29/90: “The city provides a subsidy in the form of a per-head daily ‘credit’ against temple taxes (temples are buildings, and attract a realty tax like all other city properties) that in almost all cases wipes out annual taxes and leaves most temples in the black (yes, in such situations they do receive coins or more often trade-bars from the Palace coffers).”

And (same reply thread, Apr 29/20): “The city also licenses (approves of) construction work, wines and other consumables, and the operating fitnesses of coaches, wagons, and carriages (not handcarts) to maintain public safety. It also steps in to pay for emergency repairs when roof deterioration or some other cause threatens to result in the collapse of a private building (seizing the property if the owner won’t pay or can’t be found, and working out a slow-repayment-over-time deal, otherwise).”

And on May 8/20: “a selection of scribes to quickly copy something, draw up a contract or trade agreement in quadruplicate (a copy to each party, plus a temple copy for the temple holding the money, plus a tax-record-remittance copy for the Palace).”

And on August 9/20, re. privileges of noble houses of Waterdeep: “certain tax deferrals in return for specific investments in civic works programs.”

Your construction costs for Waterdhavian buildings (twice the average base of most other places) are spot-on. Plus building permit costs, which rise substantially if a street has to be blocked off for any length of time (you’re inconveniencing not just neighbours, but traffic flow and therefore commerce in the city).

(The same inflated prices also apply in cities where space is at a premium due to lack of room for expansion [or expansion within the city walls], or where guilds are strong and therefore rates are high, and in cities that have always been expensive, like Athkatla.)

Your taxes for North Ward are too low: it’s equal to Castle Ward, not 5 percent less, and rises above that “equal” in the first two rows of city blocks (heading east) immediately adjacent to Sea Ward.

And back taxes owed is EXACTLY why Volo gave Trollskull Manor away.

@RpgMatch

Can you confirm that the property tax rate in Waterdeep is ~1% of the property price per year? It's .88% in NYC, but 2.5% in the Flemish region of Brussels.

@TheEdVerse

Nope. You're applying a flat formula across a city that, like all real-world cities, has grown over the years. Most real-world cities have the same disparities that exist in Waterdeep: taxes vary from place to place within a city, and rates also vary with social class (political clout); i.e. the nobles, AND temples, AND guilds get themselves tax breaks, and wheeler-dealer wealthy individuals broker deals with the Palace (just as in real life): I give you this land for civic purposes if you'll give me a low rate on yon property over there. In Waterdeep, the annual realty tax ("property tax") rate tends to be lower than 1 percent of the property price; Waterdeep doesn't have "mill rates," it has set taxes per property that get reviewed by the Palace (and always raised) on about a twenty-year cycle. (And the above brokering comes into play to win yourself delays in reassessment.) Waterdeep has always had a "flee south to warmer climes for the winter" problem that it has attempted to soften by keeping realty taxes low (as it has other sources of revenue like the gate taxes, docking fees, permit fees, etc.).

You can use a percentage of purchase price rate as a VERY rough guide to estimating probable taxes, but don't make the mistake of thinking the city calculates taxes that way.

It's always perilous to apply modern real-world ways of doing things to the Realms. And just a brief glance at real-world cities of any longevity (London, Paris, Rome) will reveal that as years pass, their taxation systems change radically (and are inconsistent).

For years, I've worked in public libraries, and run D&D mini-campaigns as library programs. Once I ran for five middle-aged, conservative female librarians who wanted NO bloodshed, no monsters, and no magic.

So I gave them a Waterdeep campaign that was Jane Austen-like "social whirl" on one level (daughters of ambitious guildmasters trying to break into the nobility, or at least become social equals with the weakest, poorest nobles), and on the other: turn Daddy's guild money, not quite keeping pace with his ambitions, into large fortunes by shrewd property investments (buy, sell, flip, reno, rent out, etc.), and impress Daddy so much that he lets you behave like a full guild member or more, because you understand finance and social nuance better than he does. They loved it, and as a result, we delved into (and I detailed) the byzantine property valuations, tax system, and tax dodges of Waterdeep.

And I inspired two of them to try becoming real estate magnates in real life. One had a disastrous time, but the other left her library job behind for wealth and a big mansion in Woodbridge and a trophy husband.

Ah, they grow up so fast... ;}

@VentureSatchel

Truly inspiring! I love a good bit of socioeconomics in my RPGs. Perhaps why I'm looking to play the Spreadsheet Simulator that is Traveller5.

@TheEdVerse

Just as it's possible to play LORDS OF WATERDEEP as an entirely "builder" game, outcompeting each other without open conflict (just don't use the mandatory quests cards), playing merchants competing in a law-and-order environment that prevents knifings can make for a fascinating game without PC combat. That has just as much tension and competition, and far more CHARACTER acting and bluffing, and players using their wits, than rolling of dice to decide one's fate. :}

@DFW_DM_Monty

Yep that’s being printed out and added to my City of Splendors Box Set. Very well done! One question, does Waterdeep have an Assessment Review Board that I can protest the Assessor’s value of my property?

@TheEdVerse

It has an Office of the Civic Treasury in the Palace with a seen-it-all desk clerk (lady in her 60s, face like a basset hound: Thraea) out front, tax collectors with bodyguards coming and going, and 3 overworked assessors in offices piled high with ledgers and notes.

-Edited on 15/9/21 to add another question and tweet

Edited by - questing gm on 15 Sep 2021 01:33:00
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10657 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  13:31:44  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by questing gm

On annual property taxes and prices in Waterdeep and why Volo gave up Trollskull Manor

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1437251124378185734
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1437279686061699078
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1437285368278265857

Sep 13 2021

@frank_oni_oni

I just wrote an epic Reddit post on Waterdeep real estate prices and why Volo gave away Trollskull Manor away in Dragonheist.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially if your name is @ChrisPerkinsDnD or @TheEdVerse

https://www.reddit.com/r/WaterdeepDragonHeist/comments/pn1xyw/waterdeep_real_estate_prices_why_volo_gave/


@TheEdVerse

Great thread!

Yes, Waterdeep has annual realty taxes.

See my Twitter answers for Feb 20/20: “The nobles ignored that, so the Lords paid out of city coffers, and added it to the taxes of the two noble houses (which is, sadly, standard procedure in the city; nobles, like anyone else, who don't pay taxes in full get property seized in lieu).”

And for Apr 25/20, re. 1375 DR: “Buildings in Waterdeep didn't have numerical addresses then. (They did have "roll numbers" in the Palace tax records and floorplan registry.)”

And for Apr 29/90: “The city provides a subsidy in the form of a per-head daily ‘credit’ against temple taxes (temples are buildings, and attract a realty tax like all other city properties) that in almost all cases wipes out annual taxes and leaves most temples in the black (yes, in such situations they do receive coins or more often trade-bars from the Palace coffers).”

And (same reply thread, Apr 29/20): “The city also licenses (approves of) construction work, wines and other consumables, and the operating fitnesses of coaches, wagons, and carriages (not handcarts) to maintain public safety. It also steps in to pay for emergency repairs when roof deterioration or some other cause threatens to result in the collapse of a private building (seizing the property if the owner won’t pay or can’t be found, and working out a slow-repayment-over-time deal, otherwise).”

And on May 8/20: “a selection of scribes to quickly copy something, draw up a contract or trade agreement in quadruplicate (a copy to each party, plus a temple copy for the temple holding the money, plus a tax-record-remittance copy for the Palace).”

And on August 9/20, re. privileges of noble houses of Waterdeep: “certain tax deferrals in return for specific investments in civic works programs.”

Your construction costs for Waterdhavian buildings (twice the average base of most other places) are spot-on. Plus building permit costs, which rise substantially if a street has to be blocked off for any length of time (you’re inconveniencing not just neighbours, but traffic flow and therefore commerce in the city).

(The same inflated prices also apply in cities where space is at a premium due to lack of room for expansion [or expansion within the city walls], or where guilds are strong and therefore rates are high, and in cities that have always been expensive, like Athkatla.)

Your taxes for North Ward are too low: it’s equal to Castle Ward, not 5 percent less, and rises above that “equal” in the first two rows of city blocks (heading east) immediately adjacent to Sea Ward.

And back taxes owed is EXACTLY why Volo gave Trollskull Manor away.

@RpgMatch

Can you confirm that the property tax rate in Waterdeep is ~1% of the property price per year? It's .88% in NYC, but 2.5% in the Flemish region of Brussels.

@TheEdVerse

Nope. You're applying a flat formula across a city that, like all real-world cities, has grown over the years. Most real-world cities have the same disparities that exist in Waterdeep: taxes vary from place to place within a city, and rates also vary with social class (political clout); i.e. the nobles, AND temples, AND guilds get themselves tax breaks, and wheeler-dealer wealthy individuals broker deals with the Palace (just as in real life): I give you this land for civic purposes if you'll give me a low rate on yon property over there. In Waterdeep, the annual realty tax ("property tax") rate tends to be lower than 1 percent of the property price; Waterdeep doesn't have "mill rates," it has set taxes per property that get reviewed by the Palace (and always raised) on about a twenty-year cycle. (And the above brokering comes into play to win yourself delays in reassessment.) Waterdeep has always had a "flee south to warmer climes for the winter" problem that it has attempted to soften by keeping realty taxes low (as it has other sources of revenue like the gate taxes, docking fees, permit fees, etc.).

You can use a percentage of purchase price rate as a VERY rough guide to estimating probable taxes, but don't make the mistake of thinking the city calculates taxes that way.

It's always perilous to apply modern real-world ways of doing things to the Realms. And just a brief glance at real-world cities of any longevity (London, Paris, Rome) will reveal that as years pass, their taxation systems change radically (and are inconsistent).

For years, I've worked in public libraries, and run D&D mini-campaigns as library programs. Once I ran for five middle-aged, conservative female librarians who wanted NO bloodshed, no monsters, and no magic.

So I gave them a Waterdeep campaign that was Jane Austen-like "social whirl" on one level (daughters of ambitious guildmasters trying to break into the nobility, or at least become social equals with the weakest, poorest nobles), and on the other: turn Daddy's guild money, not quite keeping pace with his ambitions, into large fortunes by shrewd property investments (buy, sell, flip, reno, rent out, etc.), and impress Daddy so much that he lets you behave like a full guild member or more, because you understand finance and social nuance better than he does. They loved it, and as a result, we delved into (and I detailed) the byzantine property valuations, tax system, and tax dodges of Waterdeep.

And I inspired two of them to try becoming real estate magnates in real life. One had a disastrous time, but the other left her library job behind for wealth and a big mansion in Woodbridge and a trophy husband.

Ah, they grow up so fast... ;}

@VentureSatchel

Truly inspiring! I love a good bit of socioeconomics in my RPGs. Perhaps why I'm looking to play the Spreadsheet Simulator that is Traveller5.

@TheEdVerse

Just as it's possible to play LORDS OF WATERDEEP as an entirely "builder" game, outcompeting each other without open conflict (just don't use the mandatory quests cards), playing merchants competing in a law-and-order environment that prevents knifings can make for a fascinating game without PC combat. That has just as much tension and competition, and far more CHARACTER acting and bluffing, and players using their wits, than rolling of dice to decide one's fate. :}



Well, I didn't read through his whole extrapolation, but its interesting to see someone trying to figure out expenses for buildings in Waterdeep. I give the guy props.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  01:35:39  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On poems/songs in The Code of the Harpers

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1437798062483726341

Sep 14 2021

@GMRaphi
Ok #adnd veterans!
Who wrote the Harper songs / poems in this book? @TheEdVerse was it you?
<image of The Code of the Harpers: https://twitter.com/GMRaphi/status/1437760059983945733/photo/1>


@TheEdVerse

Of course. ;}
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  01:37:59  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On pronouncing Obarskyr

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1437797074922319874

Sep 14 2021

@seanodaniels

All my research is for naught, so I now desperately appeal to the authorities: How does one pronounce Obarskyr?
@TheEdVerse @erinmevans

@TheEdVerse

"Oh-BAR-skeer."
Little used at Court, however, in favour of "Cormyr," as in: "Azoun of Cormyr."
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2021 :  02:42:49  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the use of treacle in the Realms

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1438240442391408641

Sep 16 2021

Artie_Pavlov
Hi @TheEdVerse! is there anything you can share about the use of treacle in the realms? In cooking, magic, or what it's made of? Thanks in advance!

@TheEdVerse

Sure. In our world, treacle is unrefined sugar syrup, commonly called “molasses” if it’s dark (opaque brown), and “golden syrup” or some variant of that if it’s light (translucent and golden).

In the Realms, “treacle” means just the dark stuff, as the lighter variety is called various things including, yep, “golden syrup.” In the Realms as in our world, this light syrup finds its way into tarts and sponge puddings (treacle tart and treacle sponge pudding are classic British desserts).

In our real world, molasses finds its way into oatmeal for those who can’t get maple syrup, into pies like pecan pie, into bread like pumpernickel, and into sauces (BBQ sauce), into meat marinades, into rum, into gingerbread cookies, and into baked beans.

If I was writing that same sentence about the Realms, I’d say: treacle finds its way into oatmeal for those who can’t get maple syrup, into pies like nutbrown tarts, into bread like darkloaf, and into firefruit meat sauces and marinades, into rum and darkfire slake, into ginger biscuits, and bean-barrel-sauce (some eat it with the beans, and some wash it off, treating it like a disposable preservative or to make “sweetwater,” a cheap dessert drink or baking/cooking sweetener).
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2021 :  03:45:32  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Sea of Fallen Stars being saltwater

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1439308217960574984

Sep 19 2021

@RpgMatch

So the Sea of Fallen Stars is saltwater, not fresh?

@TheEdVerse

The Sea of Fallen Stars (aka The Inner Sea, a name it bore some thirty years before Paizo existed, let alone Golarion) is indeed saltwater. With some brackish inlets.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2021 :  01:23:02  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On pronouncing drow in the Realms

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1439670423239671809
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1440700292819939334

Sep 20 2021

@TokakuT

Hey @TheEdVerse how is the word drow pronounced in the realms?

@TheEdVerse

"Drow" to rhyme with "cow" and NOT "drow" to rhyme with "row" (as in, propel a boat). This comes to us from Gary Gygax, who put drow in the game.

However, regional accents do affect vowel sounds, so you may hear various pronunciations across the Realms.

@dm_punks

Droo

@TheEdVerse

"Droo" is a brown sauce made from boiling down three sorts of roots and the edible turtles of the River Ith. Rather peppery, but used in many dishes in the southern duchies of Tethyr, and all across Calimshan.

Calling any elf a brown sauce? Expect a negative reaction.

- Edited to add tweet for Sep 22 2021 tweet and response

Edited by - questing gm on 23 Sep 2021 00:56:29
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2021 :  01:00:56  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Felhaur’s Fine Fish never mentioned in Volo's Guide to Waterdeep

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1440480156397703168

Sep 22 2021

@Sundered_Ant

Hey @TheEdVerse, got a hopefully simple question about your most prolific city.

In the book "Volo's Guide to Waterdeep," one of the little maps show these two stores never mentioned anywhere in any book. I'm assuming they were cut for space mind sharing anything about them?

@TheEdVerse

Hi! I've found the first Spices Street shop; here you go:

Felhaur’s Fine Fish
[3 coins]
A third-generation fishmonger’s shop known to all in Dock Ward, and widely trusted. The fish is kept just submerged in water to keep the air from getting at it, under smooth, flat stones as fishweights, and atop a layer of crushed ice, in shallow metal display trays atop gently-sloping-towards-the-customer counters. Eels, sea cucumbers, octopuses, squids, and shellfish are to be had as well as silverfin and other scaled and finned “ordinary” fish.

Proprietor: There are persistent rumors that Imber Felhaur, the current owner, a balding middle-aged man with a moustache and a weary but friendly manner and face (he works the shop with his three sons and three younger daughters; his wife Lhorrim dislikes fish, and takes no part in the establishment), is involved in smuggling. He wears a cleaver at his apron-belt, and has been known to order folk who mentions smugglers in his hearing to “Get out. NOW.”

[Volo note: No less a personage than Elminster tells me Felhaur is a message-drop for smugglers, and no more than that, but sensitive about it because the Watch overtly and menacingly keep an eye on him. The Old Sage also tells me Lhorrim, whose day job is pickling and jarring seaweed and whelk, has a sideline she never advertises: sewing up wounds with no questions asked, disinfecting as she goes with her pickling brine—which hurts like the fire of the gods; El won’t tell me how he knows THAT.]
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2021 :  01:13:33  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On half-dwarves in the Realms

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1441061842466578432

Sep 23 2021

@Artie_Pavlov

Hi @TheEdVerse. are half-dwarves your thing in the realms? or inherited/created? Also, they seem to be super rare. Is there any breeding-specific lore? I seem to always forget that in the realms dwarves actually can breed with humans.

<Image of Nuli Barbarak: https://twitter.com/Artie_Pavlov/status/1440988057596043264/photo/1>

@TheEdVerse

I can't recall if this made it into published Realmslore, or just internal design lore, but I have answered this via the Hooded One: most half-dwarves can "pass" as either (usually short, stocky) human or as a (tallish) dwarf. And do, so they SEEM rare.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2021 :  01:20:46  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On sign language in major cities and thieves' cant

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1441068006663233536
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1441203963399901184

Sep 23 2021

@DjPhalcona

@TheEdVerse A quick question for you regarding languages in the forgotten realms. Do any of the major trade cities have a sort of sign language like an ASL style thing for maybe deaf travelers or merchants of the sort?

@TheEdVerse

Docks, mills, forges, and other noisy workplaces long ago devised a SIMPLE “hand-code” for moving around and handling cargo, that, over time, caravan and seafaring merchants took all over the Realms.
Despite the name, it’s a system of arm gestures (the subtle hand gestures are more for tallying and negotiating, and segue into covert hand-signals used in ruling courts, etc.) for “Approach” and “Get back!” and “Danger!” and “Over There!” and “Go/It’s that way” and “Go/It’s FAR that way” and “Set it down just THERE” and the like. Kenku use it all the time, as do half-orcs and others who don’t want to stumble over spoken language they’re not comfortable in, or speak in an accent they know won’t go over well. Gnomes and halflings often use it alongside speech, in everyday situations, to either carry on two conversations at once, or to speak to one party (say, a fellow gnome or halfling) but to exclude another (such as a human). Example: gnome behind counter, speaking to a customer on the other side of the counter, but gesturing to a gnome stock-fetcher through a trapdoor, who’s in a storeroom below.

@Banjinkun

I have a follow up. How widespread is Thieves' Cant within the Realms? Can non thieves know it ? And how far is it spread across Faerun and other lands, continents, planes...

Thanks!

@TheEdVerse

Thieves' Cant is everywhere across the Realms. Many non-thieves (especially merchants who fence stolen goods, or just have to pay 'protection' $ to thieves) know a few words of it. However, it's hard to stay current in any language (or code) if you're an outsider.


- Edited to add tweet on Sep 24.

Edited by - questing gm on 25 Sep 2021 02:31:12
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2021 :  02:36:49  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On rakshasa magical immunity against silverfire and spellfire

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1441455038346432517

Sep 25 2021

@shadowfox6908

@TheEdVerse would spellfire and or silverfire affect a Rakshasa, considering its limited magic immunity?

@TheEdVerse

Both would, without exceptions, even if the spellfire or silverfire is being used to accomplish something akin to the effect of a spell of 6th level or lower.

Both spellfire and silverfire are versions of the raw power of the Weave; spellfire literally the natural energies of the world unleashed as consuming flames, and silverfire as a fine-tuned, controlled and focused version of gathered natural energies (if spellfire is a blowtorch, silverfire is a laser beam).

A rakshasa has innate spellcasting abilties and an innate limited magic immunity, but spellfire and silverfire aren’t “magic” save in the loosest sense of the word: something that I don’t any other way to make happen must be ‘magic.’ Rather, they are a means to channel the natural energies of the world from the Weave WITHOUT using spells; the rakshasa’s immunity is applied against spells, and so can’t be applied successfully against spellfire or silverfire.

If I have a magical power that prevents explosions but not ignition, and am put in a wooden outhouse with a lit bomb, and I use my power to prevent the bomb exploding, but the lit fuse causes the outhouse to burn, and the bomb melts along with me inside the resulting inferno, I used my magical power but it didn’t prevent my being harmed.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2021 :  02:42:09  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On rangers and druids following Amaunator

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1441061842466578432

Sep 23 2021

@cainer1967

Hello Ed. Would it be ok for a Druid or Ranger to follow Amaunator in the sword coast? The sun aspect seems as though it might be of interest to them, but the lawful nature may also conflict. Thank you

@TheEdVerse

Yes, to both.

Remember, all sane intelligent beings in the Realms believe in, and to some extent worship (even if it's just "please don't harm me" prayers) all of them.

So deities are used to mortal worshippers of different alignments, and vice versa. It's more working together/common aims than it is alignments, when it comes to all mortal/deity relationships.

The sun is vital to life and growth. I can see both a druid and a ranger "gardening" nature to let sunlight (for growth and renewal) into dense woods.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
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Posted - 25 Sep 2021 :  02:54:16  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On first publication of Baldur's Gate

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1441466478650445825
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1441485524024188935

Sep 25 2021

@Squach

I imagine @TheEdVerse would be the best person to tell you about the first time Baldur’s Gate was mentioned in publications (and maybe tell the tale of how/when he came up with it).

@TheEdVerse

Baldur’s Gate first appeared in a Realms short story I wrote entitled “The Box That Crept On Talons” in 1968. (Yes, six years before D&D first appeared.)

My father really liked that tale, and wanted to proudly hand it around among his friends at work as he was in the habit of doing with most of my scribblings, but because it was a full-length story and he was afraid of losing it as it made the rounds, he had me retype it on Gestetner mimeograph stencils to make copies of it. It was later published, along with other Realms tales including one set in Baldur’s Gate entitled “Mirt Kisses A Monster” and another that has several scenes in the Gate, entitled “But She Kept A Dagger There,” in a chapbook collection I put together entitled COME OCTEMBER (1976).

I’ve forgotten when the first mention of Baldur’s Gate made it into The Dragon, but the first time I mentioned it in an article manuscript was for the Gates article that appeared in issue #37; I think it was in one of the paragaphs that got cut in editing, that detailed the “stops” in a chain of linked gates (one of which was in a second-floor bedchamber of a noble’s tallhouse in Baldur’s Gate, up on the peninsula that shelters the ‘bowl’ of the main city).

Baldur’s Gate was not named for Baldr or Balder (the son of Odin and Frigg), but for a character I’d created, who lived there before the city grew up around him and the natural sheltered harbour at the rivermouth: a dwarf named Harbaldur, a smith who made a living forging grand, ornamented, but massively strong gates for castles and vaults.

“Balduran” was added later by TSR (I think by Tim Beach), though I did have a seafaring explorer who sailed west out of Baldur’s Gate to explore the seas, named Shala Lonstur (a halfling lady who disappeared from lore when TSR acquired the Realms; I’m guessing they wanted to focus to be on humans, and male humans at that, so the gamers they saw as their target audience could “identify”).

And I’ve coined literally thousands of names, adopting them if they “feel right” (in sound) for the character of the being I’m trying to apply them to; “Harbaldur” is one of these, as to me, the sound of it fit a skilled, confident, gruff dwarf who hammered on an anvil.

@Squach

You are, as always, a gentleman and a scholar, my friend. Thanks for the lore, and know that in my Realms Harbaldur will always be the real founder of the city, even if that Balduran kid came around later to steal the glory. ;-)

@TheEdVerse

The dwarves, being shorter, always get overlooked.

(Ahem. I'll go quietly.)

Oh, while I'm at the revealing ancient history game: Anchorôme is a campaign about hopping along a chain of islands, and that archipelago itself, NOT a continent. ;}
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
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Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  02:49:16  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Elminster's greatest piece of advice

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1441771850405761026

Sep 25 2021


@srkrxs

Hello, so we are playing post campaign now with our 20th lvl characters. My character Kairon has met Elminster and started to study under him and learn from him. What is the greatest piece of advice Elminster would pass on to an apprentice?

@TheEdVerse

"Being a wizard of any worth to the world, know ye, is knowing when NOT to hurl thy spells."
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  16:52:12  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the creation and first appearance of Baldur's Gate:


Sep 22, 2021


@TomeShowNews

Does anyone remember what year Baldur’s Gate lore first reached the public eye? My Google-fu is failing me.


@Squach

Define “Baldur’s Gate lore”. Like, the first time any lore at all was provided anywhere? Cuz that’s almost certainly sometime in the 80s in some Dragon article written by Ed.


@TomeShowNews

Yes, that’s a perfect definition of what I mean by “Baldur's Gate lore.” I’m sure you’re right, I’m just trying to nail down exactly when that was.


@Squach

I imagine @TheEdVerse would be the best person to tell you about the first time Baldur’s Gate was mentioned in publications (and maybe tell the tale of how/when he came up with it).


@TheEdVerse

Baldur’s Gate first appeared in a Realms short story I wrote entitled “The Box That Crept On Talons” in 1968. (Yes, six years before D&D first appeared.)

My father really liked that tale, and wanted to proudly hand it around among his friends at work as he was in the habit of doing with most of my scribblings, but because it was a full-length story and he was afraid of losing it as it made the rounds, he had me retype it on Gestetner mimeograph stencils to make copies of it. It was later published, along with other Realms tales including one set in Baldur’s Gate entitled “Mirt Kisses A Monster” and another that has several scenes in the Gate, entitled “But She Kept A Dagger There,” in a chapbook collection I put together entitled COME OCTEMBER (1976).

I’ve forgotten when the first mention of Baldur’s Gate made it into The Dragon, but the first time I mentioned it in an article manuscript was for the Gates article that appeared in issue #37; I think it was in one of the paragaphs that got cut in editing, that detailed the “stops” in a chain of linked gates (one of which was in a second-floor bedchamber of a noble’s tallhouse in Baldur’s Gate, up on the peninsula that shelters the ‘bowl’ of the main city).

Baldur’s Gate was not named for Baldr or Balder (the son of Odin and Frigg), but for a character I’d created, who lived there before the city grew up around him and the natural sheltered harbour at the rivermouth: a dwarf named Harbaldur, a smith who made a living forging grand, ornamented, but massively strong gates for castles and vaults.

“Balduran” was added later by TSR (I think by Tim Beach), though I did have a seafaring explorer who sailed west out of Baldur’s Gate to explore the seas, named Shala Lonstur (a halfling lady who disappeared from lore when TSR acquired the Realms; I’m guessing they wanted to focus to be on humans, and male humans at that, so the gamers they saw as their target audience could “identify”).

And I’ve coined literally thousands of names, adopting them if they “feel right” (in sound) for the character of the being I’m trying to apply them to; “Harbaldur” is one of these, as to me, the sound of it fit a skilled, confident, gruff dwarf who hammered on an anvil.
#Realmslore

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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
173 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2021 :  00:32:06  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Umberlee being called the Bitch Queen

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1442006437580861442

Sep 26 2021


@DorkyTeacher

@TheEdVerse How does Umberlee feel about being referred to as the B** Queen?

@TheEdVerse

She revels in it. Anything that gets worshippers. So, a la "If you can't be a Shining Example, Be A Dire Warning," negative attention is still attention. Fear and hatred will do just fine for her. She drowns a lot of sailors, costing herself worshippers, so needs new.
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