Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Realmslore
 Chamber of Sages
 Author's forum
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 14

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6559 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  11:10:58  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having done lots of legwork on products written by Eric Boyd and others, I can say that every once in a while I'll get an e-mail saying I need you to find a list of "every dragon in the Forgotten Realms". Believe it or not, the doesn't always follow such a sentence! Also, I gave Thomas Reid a bunch of references to the Shining South before he wrote that product; the same refernces were given to Elaine as well for her Halruaa novel trilogy. When Eric wrote DDGttU, I scoured every extant product for references to the Underdark, drow, kuo-toa. mind flayers etc. etc. As to how Eric or other writers use such info, well they'll have to tell you themselves (Eric will no doubt be along here directly to do just that)

I have noticed that more and more fiction and gaming authors are becoming extremely diligent with their FR research. They know Candlekeep is watching, waiting to pounce! Of late I wouldn't fault any of the writers for their efforts.

-- George Krashos

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

Edited by - George Krashos on 19 Oct 2006 11:17:33
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  16:49:18  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Paj: I'll try to answer your question from the perspective of a freelance writer who does FR fiction:
My research mainly consists of reading the pertinent sourcebooks. Unfortunately, sometimes you miss a relevant source. When you consider just how much FR material has been published over the years, you can appreciate that it's easy to do.
Unfortunately, face-to-face conferences are often impossible, since many of us freelancers don't live anywhere near WotC HQ in Washington. I sometimes ask the experts for help via email. Obviously, you don't want to be pestering people on a regular basis, so if I think I've absorbed the gist of something from the sourcebooks, I tend to leave it at that. It's possible that on occasion, this results in me missing something I would have preferred to know.
Writers sometimes run afoul of the fact that the FR and D&D themselves have changed over time. For example, older sources tells you that drow see in the infrared spectrum and they all have the natural ability to levitate. Those "facts" have been retconned and are no longer valid. Shifts like that can make it tricky for the writer to know what actually is correct. In my experience, they also frequently lead to the writer who conformed to the new version (as your editor tells you to) being castigated by readers who don't realize things have changed.
I think that pretty much everybody who works on the FR tries hard to get it right. Unfortunately, conttinuity errors are inevitable in any long-running series. You can find them in the Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Nero Wolfe stories, and those were all set in the real world and written by a single person. When the series is set in a wholly imaginary universe and you have scores of people working on it, inconsistencies become far more likely. So we writers just have to hope that when we slip, the readers can find it in their hearts to cut us some slack.
Go to Top of Page

LaughingWizard
Acolyte

USA
29 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  20:20:59  Show Profile  Visit LaughingWizard's Homepage Send LaughingWizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Continuity is certainly an important issue. I find that when I read, I pick up on those things and it hurts the "suspension of disbelief" so critical in the genre. I struggle in my own writing with plotting because of this. I have a definite timeline of events in time in my world and am always asking myself where I should begin a character's tale, chronologically. I can generally envision them at different ages, in different situations. Do you tell the reader how they got to be who they are, or do you go back, write the story and show the reader? Woe is me! I would prefer to do everything cronologically, but real world time constraints stop this. I find I don't like "prequel" novels, because I can't connect well with the characters after seeing them "later." Does anyone else have this hangpup?

A woman, or a man, may come to hold many treasures in life. Gold, gems, a good name, lovers, good friends, influence, high rank--all of these are of value. All of these most covet. But of them all the most valuable, I tell ye, are friends good and true. Have these, and ye will scarce notice the lack if ye never win aught else."

The adventuress Sharanralee, Ballads and Lore of One Dusty Road, Year of the Wandering Maiden
From Spellfire by Ed Greenwood
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  20:42:00  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Laughing: My rule (and I think many writers would agree) is to start with something interesting. Your first job is to motivate the reader to keep reading. Show him something exciting or intriguing and he'll stick with you, even if he doesn't fully understand the story situation. So create a strong hook and drop all that exposition in later, in little pieces, as it becomes particularly relevant. Because if you make everything crystal clear at the beginning but you fail to arouse the reader's interest, he'll quit on you.
Go to Top of Page

James P. Davis
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
244 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2006 :  07:14:45  Show Profile  Visit James P. Davis's Homepage Send James P. Davis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Paj

Or is it more a face-to-face meeting with other Authors/designers with Pizza and pop :P ?


Man, I hope not. I've been missing out on the party!

Seriously though, for me it's very much like Richard described. If the sourcebooks get me comfortable in a particular place I'll run with it, if not I'll bug a designer or two with a question (thanks again George and Eric!). Besides, the research is all part of the fun. Once I get a story in mind, I love seeing how it changes and grows as I learn the details and the history...and the details. Did I mention the details?

Best,
--James

"Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red."--Clive Barker

FR: RotD2:"Possessions"
Wizards:Bloodwalk
Citadels: The Shield of Weeping Ghosts
Wilds: The Restless Shore
Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep: Circle of Skulls (May 2010)
Book trailers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC-ska7ohVk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfvFdQ8bLp0
Go to Top of Page

Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4598 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2006 :  18:09:52  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For my part, I do my best to keep things consistent and continuous, but I know there's only so much I can do. Richard's got the right of it: the first priority is to make the story readable with an interesting/engaging scenario. The facts of the setting you add as you write it.

I'm also a little liberal when it comes to certain elements of "continuity." For instance, if one character says XX about a character or situation, that isn't necessarily true or false -- it's more the character's opinion than a definitive narrative statement. It's different, of course, if the narrator says it, in which case it should be valid in a real sense. For this, research is both imperative and, I've found, fun.

Cheers


Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2006 :  14:21:38  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Happy Holidays to everyone who visits Candlekeep!
Go to Top of Page

Victor_ograygor
Master of Realmslore

Denmark
1072 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2006 :  14:28:49  Show Profile  Visit Victor_ograygor's Homepage Send Victor_ograygor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Richard Lee Byers and Happy Holidays to you and you're family.

Victor Ograygor The Assassin and Candel keeps cellar master

Everything I need to know about life I learned from killing smart people.

Links related to Forgotten Realms
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9571

Adventuring / Mercenary Companies / Orders / The chosen from official sources
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11047

Priests in Forgotten Realms.
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9609&whichpage=1
Go to Top of Page

Alaundo
Head Moderator
Admin

United Kingdom
5680 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2006 :  15:36:49  Show Profile  Visit Alaundo's Homepage Send Alaundo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Happy Holidays to everyone who visits Candlekeep!



Well met

Season's Greetings to ye also Richard, and to all authors herein. Many thanks on behalf of all here at Candlekeep for the presence and information ye continue to give us all.


Alaundo
Candlekeep Forums Head Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct


An Introduction to Candlekeep - by Ed Greenwood
The Candlekeep Compendium - Tomes of Realmslore penned by Scribes of Candlekeep
Go to Top of Page

Uzzy
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
618 Posts

Posted - 25 Dec 2006 :  01:07:18  Show Profile  Visit Uzzy's Homepage Send Uzzy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Merry Christmas to you too, Richard, and to all the authors who come here!
Go to Top of Page

James P. Davis
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
244 Posts

Posted - 25 Dec 2006 :  08:19:28  Show Profile  Visit James P. Davis's Homepage Send James P. Davis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for 2007!

"Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red."--Clive Barker

FR: RotD2:"Possessions"
Wizards:Bloodwalk
Citadels: The Shield of Weeping Ghosts
Wilds: The Restless Shore
Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep: Circle of Skulls (May 2010)
Book trailers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC-ska7ohVk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfvFdQ8bLp0
Go to Top of Page

Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1696 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2006 :  02:11:11  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Missed the chances to wish ye all a Merry Yule or Christmas, but may you all have the best of new years to come!

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
Go to Top of Page

Mace Hammerhand
Great Reader

Germany
2296 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2006 :  08:25:15  Show Profile  Visit Mace Hammerhand's Homepage Send Mace Hammerhand a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Happy new one to all of you!

Mace's not so gentle gamer's journal My rants were harmless compared to this, beware!
Go to Top of Page

Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4598 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2006 :  06:26:32  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year!

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"
Go to Top of Page

Gareth Yaztromo
Acolyte

Australia
37 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2007 :  01:16:43  Show Profile  Visit Gareth Yaztromo's Homepage Send Gareth Yaztromo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a technical question. I was wondering if any of the authors here or even fellow board members know the page dimensions and font size for a regular novel? And if anyone knows how to adjust Microsoft Word or OpenOffice so the page settings are such? Thanks. Oh on a side note do any of the authors here write their stories in Word's default page settings or do they adjust it like what I'm trying to do?

"Gereth Yaztromo is arguably the most famous wizard of Allansia due to his part in a number of the most well known sagas of that region from the third century AC. He is also known as one of the three Star Pupils of the Grand Wizard of Yore.."
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2007 :  02:41:37  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Gareth, obviously the page dimensions of a novel are going to vary depending on whether it's mass-market paperback, trade paperback, or hardback. Come to think of it, there are different sizes of hardback.
Font and font size are similarly variable.
I use Word and write my stories in 12-point Courier, double-spaced, with the normal default Word margins, and that's acceptable industry-wide. I led Word worry about the pagination.
You probably know this, but just in case you don't, an author submitting a book to a publisher doesn't have to make the manuscript look like a published book in the store would look. In fact, you shouldn't try. If you don't know what a professional manuscript looks like, you can find the info in many of the how-to-be-a-pro-writer type books that are on the market.
Now if you're trying to self-publish a book, I guess you do need to worry about such things. I've never self-published, so I can't advise you about that, but I'm sure there are how-to references for that kind of writing and publishing, also.
Go to Top of Page

Gareth Yaztromo
Acolyte

Australia
37 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2007 :  01:50:34  Show Profile  Visit Gareth Yaztromo's Homepage Send Gareth Yaztromo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the feedback Richard. :)

I was considering self-publication and I guess I should have said that in the last post. And I will definitely research more about publication submission (I have submitted once to WotC) as well as self-publication formats. Also another question: I know authors can't read other people's works due to legalities (non-solicited work = possibilities/fear of copying [or appearing to copy] ideas and getting sued) however could this rule be ignored if the writer included a disclaimer protecting those who read it? I however do not intend on asking authors to read my work (until its published that is) but this was just a little curiosity I had. Thanks again in advance.

"Gereth Yaztromo is arguably the most famous wizard of Allansia due to his part in a number of the most well known sagas of that region from the third century AC. He is also known as one of the three Star Pupils of the Grand Wizard of Yore.."
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2007 :  03:06:20  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I imagine such a disclaimer would give the pro writer a degree of protection, but I'm not sure it would make it absolutely impossible for the other guy to sue him under any circumstances.
Of course, I'm not an attorney, so what do I know? Paul, are you reading these posts?
Go to Top of Page

Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1696 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2007 :  10:27:59  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gareth Yaztromo

This is a technical question. I was wondering if any of the authors here or even fellow board members know the page dimensions and font size for a regular novel? And if anyone knows how to adjust Microsoft Word or OpenOffice so the page settings are such? Thanks. Oh on a side note do any of the authors here write their stories in Word's default page settings or do they adjust it like what I'm trying to do?



Good rule of thumb--250 words per manuscript page in Courier 12 point is about the standard you shoot for to vague out how many pages you've written. Thus, a 90,000 word standard FR novel comes out to be 225 pages on general principle.

I usually leave it at defaults and go by word count, rather than by sizing things up in formatting. After all, what happens if they change the formatting while I'm writing?

Steven
who hasn't been to sleep in 24 hours....

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
Go to Top of Page

lowtech
Learned Scribe

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2007 :  05:43:53  Show Profile  Visit lowtech's Homepage Send lowtech a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

I tend to menton hair color pretty faithfully. I suspect that might not be such a bad idea, since I think it's something we all tend to notice immediately the moment we see someone for the first time, and pretty much all my descriptions are coming at the reader via the point of view of one character or another. That's not true of eye color, and I don't believe I metnion it as consistently. I don't recall any editor ever insisting that I put it in when I've left it out.



I don't understand why some authors (and readers) object to describing the hair color, skin color, and general body type of the main characters at the beginning of a novel. I do not want to imagine a fuzzy human-shaped blob while reading a novel, and nothing brings me out of the story faster than a physical trait being brought to attention in the middle of a novel that completely contradicts a preceding mental image of that character. I prefer for general physical traits of important characters to known as soon as possible.
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36588 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2007 :  06:38:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lowtech

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

I tend to menton hair color pretty faithfully. I suspect that might not be such a bad idea, since I think it's something we all tend to notice immediately the moment we see someone for the first time, and pretty much all my descriptions are coming at the reader via the point of view of one character or another. That's not true of eye color, and I don't believe I metnion it as consistently. I don't recall any editor ever insisting that I put it in when I've left it out.



I don't understand why some authors (and readers) object to describing the hair color, skin color, and general body type of the main characters at the beginning of a novel. I do not want to imagine a fuzzy human-shaped blob while reading a novel, and nothing brings me out of the story faster than a physical trait being brought to attention in the middle of a novel that completely contradicts a preceding mental image of that character. I prefer for general physical traits of important characters to known as soon as possible.



The issue is the presentation. No one has said that getting the info out there is bad. What many people dislike, however, is the "info-dump". Describing just about every aspect of a character in one paragraph would be an info-dump. Many people find it jarring to have all of the info thrown out there at once. However, a few details here, a few details there, the mention of this quirk way over here... That accomplishes the same goal, and is more elegantly done.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2007 :  07:52:11  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:

Originally posted by lowtech

I don't understand why some authors (and readers) object to describing the hair color, skin color, and general body type of the main characters at the beginning of a novel. I do not want to imagine a fuzzy human-shaped blob while reading a novel, and nothing brings me out of the story faster than a physical trait being brought to attention in the middle of a novel that completely contradicts a preceding mental image of that character. I prefer for general physical traits of important characters to known as soon as possible.



Its much a question of the style of writing used. Some authors use a highly descriptive writing style and then you can give much information of this sort. Others use more of a narrative and at times slightly impressionistic style where a detailed description would seem out of place. Think of Howards Conan stories, how much description was really used? just a few details to give a reader the idea of the character. Lord Dunsany hardly gave a description at all and Moorcock has a tendency to just mention a peace of clothing that stands out.

Its a matter of preferred style of both reading and of writing, so the style that appeals to one reader would not necessarily appeal to others. As a fan of 19th century french literature I like highly descriptive writing, but most readers today finds it slow and dislike the "info-dumping" A Realms novel written in such a style would be interesting, but not to any ones taste.
Go to Top of Page

Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4598 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2007 :  21:36:58  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know if I mentioned this before, but *I* describe characters by what traits another character would see or perceive -- what would draw their attention.

If a man gazes at, say, Twilight for the first time, it's a description of her hair (black) and/or what she's wearing (scarlet cape is the most eye-catching, and black breeches and white, billowy blouse), and probably her skin color, and her race (elf) if it's obvious. The thing I describe first is what catches his eye first -- probably the red.

If he's looking at her face, it's her face I describe, and probably her eyes (she has very distinctive eyes). If he's staring at her chest (entirely possible), then describing her eye color would just be silly.

I don't skimp on facial tics or visual cues -- how she walks -- or the information you would gather from other senses -- the texture of her skin, her smell, the tone of her voice.

I do think it's important for readers to visualize the character, and I like giving them particular things to focus on (the eyes, the cape, etc), but I also don't like (i.e. don't like reading) paragraphs that describe a character, as though there's some omniscient narrator giving you all the ins and outs (ouch -- that sounds bad) of a character's body, scent, movement, quirks, etc, etc. Breaks up the flow of the story, I think.

Better to give a few details that the reader can latch onto that inform his/her vision of the character.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"

Edited by - Erik Scott de Bie on 04 Feb 2007 21:38:42
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2007 :  01:21:49  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Approaches to description from two great sf/fantasy writers who happened to be two of the best stylists the field has produced:
Poul Anderson tried to appeal to at least three senses on every page.
When describing a character, Roger Zelazny's rule of thumb was to mention no more than three atrributes or details, so as to keep the story moving forward. If you've read his stuff, you know that despite this terse approach, you form a vivid picture of his characters in your head, because he chooses the right three details to spark your imagination and get you to do the rest of the work.
Go to Top of Page

Kaladorm
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1176 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2007 :  21:43:48  Show Profile  Visit Kaladorm's Homepage Send Kaladorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More importantly, if I am bombarded with a full paragraph of 'Enter hero. He looks like.....' then chances are I'll have forgotten most of what I've been told about his looks by the time said character starts doing something in the novel to grab my attention
Go to Top of Page

Kaladorm
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1176 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2007 :  21:46:44  Show Profile  Visit Kaladorm's Homepage Send Kaladorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And while I'm on the subject (thanks Rich for sparking this one in the old noggin), Smells! A smell can tell a lot about a character, but usually the only smells we get told about are: perfume (usually a simple way to make an elvish lady seem even more elegant), tannin (oh look a leatherworker), and sewage/refuse to describe a villain
Go to Top of Page

Kaladorm
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1176 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2007 :  21:47:53  Show Profile  Visit Kaladorm's Homepage Send Kaladorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
[Bah want to edit my posts as I think of more but cookies are misbehaving]

The above post of course excludes Dragonbait and co. from the argument. Bless him and his myriad smells
Go to Top of Page

Zanan
Senior Scribe

Germany
942 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2007 :  21:11:18  Show Profile  Visit Zanan's Homepage Send Zanan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello again!

This one goes out to Bruce Cordell, with regard to the Darkvision novel.

Over at the WizBoards as well as hereabouts we had a disuccion about the "Dark Gods" of the Realms, i.e. those who are addressed as "The Dark Gods", not those usually viewed as such.
http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=801550

Now, according to the collection there, only five deities - Bane, Bhaal, Myrkul, Loviatar and Talona - have been listed as belonging to "The Dark Gods". In Darkvision (p.69) though, Zeltaebar Datharathi makes an exclamation calling on the "Ten Dark Gods". My obvious question would be, whether this was just an exclamation or whether you had certain deities in mind.

Rest assured, this is not going to be one of these right or wrong things. It's just that novel material is considered canon by many and at one time or another, the question would arise anyway. And there are quite a few who go into minute details about nearly everything - not me, of course (well, at least not with the Dark Gods). As I am working on one of them though, I got interested ...

Cave quid dicis, quando et cui!

G a wyrd swa hio scel!

In memory of Alura Durshavin.

Visit my "Homepage" to find A Guide to the Drow NPCs of Faern, Drow and non-Drow PrC and much more.

Edited by - Zanan on 06 Apr 2007 21:13:56
Go to Top of Page

KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
5402 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2007 :  05:18:33  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For what its worth, Erik Mona on the Paizo boards is asking hypothetically who you would want to see write a Pathfinder novel, if one were ever to be written. I chimed in with a few suggestions, but I though I might give a head's up to any of our authors that might want to put a bug in Mr. Mona's ear about interest . . .

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/pathfinder/general/whoShouldWriteThePathfinderNovel&page=1#194566
Go to Top of Page

Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2007 :  19:59:53  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have some questions which arose when I saw that in Player's Guide to Faerun gnomes and Lantanese and Nimbralese could receive "pistols" (with masterwork balls, but not masterwork guns, if I recall correctly). I searched for references to pistols in the FR materials I have and could find no stats for these Gnomish pistols. Would someone please provide them to me? DMs and players alike should know their stats since they are becoming that common.

This question arose after I read the Dragon 2001 Annual article "Firearms in Freeport," by Chris Pramas, informed by my reading of "The Way of the Gun: Gunpowder Weapons for D&D," by Michael Shortt in Dragon #321 (July 2004), and also the artillery information in AEG's marvellous book entitled simply ... War.

What I have discovered is that Wizards, Paizo, and 3rd party publishers are all over the place on firearm statistics. The most common fault, in my opinion, is a ridulously short range or insufficient stopping power for firearms -- in our world guns supplanted bows because they could do what bows couldn't -- punch through heavy plate armor, and didn't need extensive training to use. In AD&D the ability of a bullet to do massive damage and penetrate armor was reflected in the principal that if your damage die roll was the highest number on the die, you rerolled damage and added, repeating the process indefinitely, so that a firearm dealing a D12 in damage could conceivably do 35, or 47 (or more!) points of damage with one shot; that principle, unfortunately, does not appear to have carried over into 3rd edition.

Ed Greenwood weighed in on the subject of firearms as early as Dragon #70 (if not earlier), but that article reflects 1st edition rules. What I would very much appreciate is the FR authors and game designers weighing in on a few pertinent questions (barring an NDA which I know hangs over at least one part of my questions):

1. What firearms are known and used on Toril, and what is their firing mechanism (i.e. matchlock, wheellock, flintlock, or some Gnomish contraption)? The wheellock mechanism would be known to many spelljammer crews in Waterdeep, Nimbral, Calimport, and Shou Lung (or at least its spaceport), and might be introduced a century sooner than it would if firearms developed as they did in our world.

2. I'm going to guesstimate that the following firearms are known and used on Faerun: pistol (proven by PGF), handcannon (which is not an arquebus, by the way, but a very crude handgun and the likely predecessor of the pistol), the arquebus, the musket (an advanced arquebus), and some form of cannon or mortar (inspired perhaps by the Thayvian bombards, which are canonical, pardon the pun). If this is so, what do the great, high, and learned sages think would be appropriate stats for these weapons if they do exist on Faerun? Every D20 sourcebook gives different information on each of them.

3. Is smokepowder used for mining and/or demolitions, and if so, by whom?

4. I think this is NDA, but if gunpowder is introduced to Toril, will it likely be weaker or more powerful than smokepowder? (It would certainly be cheaper, and the making of it would probably spawn light industries, as it did on Earth.)

5. Finally, would the great sages please put forth a tentative timeline of when each sort of firearm has been (or likely will be) introduced to Toril, to Faerun in particular? Faerunian firearms development has been extremely fast by Earth history standards, but Shou Lung's rocket (and presumably fire-spear) technology seems to be only about as developed as it was during the wars against the Mongols (and didn't that just work out well -- about as well as Shou Lung's weapons did against the Tuigan?!).

I would greatly appreciate it if other scribes not weigh in here about the various virtues (or monstrousness) of smokepowder, and whether or not is stronger than magic, whether guns themselves are good or evil in the real world, and the very fundamental question of: should firearms even be introduced into the Forgotten Realms? There are separate scrolls for all of those topics, and the last one is moot: firearms do exist, and in quantities sufficient to make "pistols" regional bonus items at 1st level character creation.

I think that this is also the place most appropriate for me to express my kudos to Michael Shortt for his explanation of why a field gun is so very devasting: a cannonball travels five hundred feet and inflicts damage on everything in its path (well, at least until it hits a wall or something, I suppose), Reflex save for half, and no critical threat, but 6D6 of damage on everything in a 500-foot line of fire. This very closely reflects what Earth guns could do by at least the 17th century, if not much earlier.

I heartily thank in advance any of the authors or designers who express their opinions on this scroll.




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.

Go to Top of Page
Page: of 14 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2023 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000