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 [2e] Ruins of Myth Drannor: story opportunities?
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Azar
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Posted - 23 Jun 2022 :  05:01:21  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Good evening.

While I was scooping up vintage FR material, I was fortunate enough to stumble across Ruins of Myth Drannor; the fact that I forgot about a classic (some may even say "staple") locale, especially one primarily elven-themed, is almost a crime. Now, from what little I've gathered, the AD&D 2e Ruins of Myth Drannor box set hews closer to the model of Ruins of Undermountain in that it is all (or at least mostly) about the rush of looting the ruins and then escaping in short order (in place of a fairly deep story?). Is this appraisal inaccurate? Are there there ways to enhance the presence of roleplaying that ties into a broader narrative? Is Myth Drannor ultimately a culmination/denouement of a wider campaign...or can it be a focal point?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.

Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 23 Jun 2022 :  05:26:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't say it's about the rush of looting the ruins or anything like that (especially since it's not presented as a dungeon). A lot of 2E source material was designed to give the DM options, not to be a prepared adventure.

So Myth Drannor can be a focal point, or the end of a wider campaign. It could also be the start of a wider campaign, or a side-quest.

The whole idea is that you decide what you're going to do with it, and you make it as prominent as you need it to be.

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Azar
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Posted - 24 Jun 2022 :  00:13:32  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Myth Drannor can be a focal point, or the end of a wider campaign. It could also be the start of a wider campaign, or a side-quest.



To those ends, was there ever any element...hell, any random tidbit...that leaped out at you?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 24 Jun 2022 :  03:50:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Myth Drannor can be a focal point, or the end of a wider campaign. It could also be the start of a wider campaign, or a side-quest.



To those ends, was there ever any element...hell, any random tidbit...that leaped out at you?



Druuth Daern, baelnorns, phaerimm, abishai, the twisted magical effects, the nearby Dawnspire, some of the NPCs like the guy on the flying disk critter or the Company of the Catlash... You've got ruins that can hold all sorts of magical knowledge and goodies, all sorts of groups and individuals with their own interests, and it's all in a place that is as much a symbol as a city.

There's a dracolich nearby, the Knights of Myth Drannor, other adventuring groups, wizards aplenty, Zhents, fiends, a connection to Undermountain, portals to all sorts of locales... Oh, and the blue glowing moss, that was a particularly nifty bit.

This is all stuff I'm recalling off the top of my head. That boxed set, to me, is pure, untapped potential. It's like Legos: sure, you can follow the instructions someone else writes for you -- or you can just grab the bits you like, put them together, and come up with your own unique creation.

I personally think Myth Drannor was another of the greatest missed opportunities of the Realms. If it had been up to me, the Last Mythal Trilogy would have ended with only a small area of Myth Drannor -- maybe a few blocks, at most -- rendered safe. And that area would have acted as a base camp for excursions into the rest of the city, either clearing out areas, looking for particular things, or helping rebuild and expand the safe area. There were years of potential roleplaying opportunities, there, unceremoniously chucked out the window.

I wish the current design team would understand that part of the point of a published RPG setting isn't just to have a place for a few published adventures -- it's a place where you invite players and DMs into a wide-open playground and help them tell whatever stories they want to come up with. That's the kind of product Ruins of Myth Drannor is: a place for DMs and PCs to create their own stories.

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GRYPHON
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Posted - 24 Jun 2022 :  18:10:57  Show Profile Send GRYPHON a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How very strange...I am about to run a new campaign and RoMD is where they are going start. Fate?

I agree that it has a wealth of potential to mine when you just run with it and the PCs decisions.
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Delnyn
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Posted - 25 Jun 2022 :  18:47:57  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I remember the phaerimm of Myth Drannor having much greater magical skill (30 to 34 level mages) than the phaerimm of Anauroch. Yikes!
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Azar
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Posted - 28 Jun 2022 :  08:41:30  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll respond in full soon, however...

I must say that I am surprised at the woefully lopsided V/R ratio of this thread; is not Myth Drannor one of the most popular locales in all of the Realms as far as the fan base is concerned?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 28 Jun 2022 :  11:36:08  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

I'll respond in full soon, however...

I must say that I am surprised at the woefully lopsided V/R ratio of this thread; is not Myth Drannor one of the most popular locales in all of the Realms as far as the fan base is concerned?



Just because someone doesn't comment doesn't mean they like or dislike something.

Also, that Read number includes every time the page is loaded -- whether it's a non-member randomly looking at sites or the page reloading after someone comments.

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LordofBones
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Posted - 28 Jun 2022 :  14:15:22  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

I remember the phaerimm of Myth Drannor having much greater magical skill (30 to 34 level mages) than the phaerimm of Anauroch. Yikes!



It amazes me that Faerun hasn't gone the way of Athas via eldritch abomination magical apocalypse.
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Delnyn
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Posted - 28 Jun 2022 :  22:11:46  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones
It amazes me that Faerun hasn't gone the way of Athas via eldritch abomination magical apocalypse.


We will have to settle for"only" Anauroch. As far as Myth Drannor goes, I will shamelessly hand wave and say the corrupted mythal halted the worst of phaerimm spells. I have no elegant explanation.
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Rymac
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Posted - 29 Jun 2022 :  23:28:52  Show Profile  Visit Rymac's Homepage Send Rymac a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Myth Drannor can be a focal point, or the end of a wider campaign. It could also be the start of a wider campaign, or a side-quest.



To those ends, was there ever any element...hell, any random tidbit...that leaped out at you?



IIRC, the very first entry point into Myth Drannor was the adventure Lashan's Fall from the OGB (re-titled from "Into the Forgotten Realms" in DRAGON Magazine #95).

- Ryan

Edited by - Rymac on 29 Jun 2022 23:52:58
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WalkerNinja
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Posted - 30 Jun 2022 :  06:04:05  Show Profile Send WalkerNinja a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

Good evening.

While I was scooping up vintage FR material, I was fortunate enough to stumble across Ruins of Myth Drannor; the fact that I forgot about a classic (some may even say "staple") locale, especially one primarily elven-themed, is almost a crime. Now, from what little I've gathered, the AD&D 2e Ruins of Myth Drannor box set hews closer to the model of Ruins of Undermountain in that it is all (or at least mostly) about the rush of looting the ruins and then escaping in short order (in place of a fairly deep story?). Is this appraisal inaccurate? Are there there ways to enhance the presence of roleplaying that ties into a broader narrative? Is Myth Drannor ultimately a culmination/denouement of a wider campaign...or can it be a focal point?



I'm in the middle of a 10 year long PBP Myth Drannor game.

IMO, the story isn't in the ruins, it's what happens when you get back from the ruins. What do you do with the treasure, how does society react to that? What are your ambitions?

Matt Coleville's early explanations of basic D&D modules covers this pretty well in his Running the Game series. Myth Drannor is a dungeon. The story is what comes from your players.

*** A Forgotten Realms Addict since 1990 ***
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Renin
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Posted - 20 Jul 2022 :  00:25:56  Show Profile Send Renin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I loved my RoMD box set to death. Every corner has been taped back together more than once. I've set many an adventure and half a campaign into the area. Always almost ready to rescue it...and just falling a bit short each time. It's the one time I loved to roll for Random Encounters-for creatures, for spell effects, for weather, for what's seen. It's so varied, and so fun!
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 23 Jul 2022 :  11:56:29  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been turning to RoMD forever.

I disagree with the thought that it has been under-represented over the years. About 1/4 of lore within 500 miles can be easily traced to it.

Unfortunately, with the edition changes, some things were altered and that has made some problems. After that, one by one it was RSEd out. First the phaerimm, then the ruins, then Myth Drannor itself. Sad.

The only part that is underrepresented that I always wanted something substantial to be done with was Druuth Dearn.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 23 Jul 2022 :  16:12:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage


The only part that is underrepresented that I always wanted something substantial to be done with was Druuth Dearn.



The first time I read the Last Mythal trilogy, when I got to the part where it just casually stated the fey'ri had cleaned out Myth Drannor, I immediately thought about Druuth Daern and wondered how he'd been taken out of the picture so easily.

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jordanz
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Posted - 24 Jul 2022 :  00:32:21  Show Profile  Visit jordanz's Homepage Send jordanz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage


The only part that is underrepresented that I always wanted something substantial to be done with was Druuth Dearn.



The first time I read the Last Mythal trilogy, when I got to the part where it just casually stated the fey'ri had cleaned out Myth Drannor, I immediately thought about Druuth Daern and wondered how he'd been taken out of the picture so easily.



Good poin, also what become of the Alhoon who were also vying for power? The Last Mythal was an awesome trilogy but you're right, the ruins were too important to the realms to just wipe out.

I recall reading "Spellfire" when the protagonist teleported right into the middle of the ruins to witness some very interesting altercations... It was an amazing setting.
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Azar
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Posted - 30 Jul 2022 :  07:47:45  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Myth Drannor can be a focal point, or the end of a wider campaign. It could also be the start of a wider campaign, or a side-quest.



To those ends, was there ever any element...hell, any random tidbit...that leaped out at you?



baelnorns


Speaking of which, I've toyed with the idea of an undead quest-giver...an individual from the halcyon days who lingered on as part of a self-imposed duty; a Baelnorn or maybe a good old-fashioned ghost would fit the bill. Family members of a prominent elven household are obvious choices, but perhaps a majordomo loyal to the end decided to forgo their rightful place in the afterlife. A steward that oversaw matters while the patriarch or matriarch was away wouldn't be altogether unusual for Faerunian elves, right?

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I personally think Myth Drannor was another of the greatest missed opportunities of the Realms. If it had been up to me, the Last Mythal Trilogy would have ended with only a small area of Myth Drannor -- maybe a few blocks, at most -- rendered safe. And that area would have acted as a base camp for excursions into the rest of the city, either clearing out areas, looking for particular things, or helping rebuild and expand the safe area. There were years of potential roleplaying opportunities, there, unceremoniously chucked out the window.

I wish the current design team would understand that part of the point of a published RPG setting isn't just to have a place for a few published adventures -- it's a place where you invite players and DMs into a wide-open playground and help them tell whatever stories they want to come up with. That's the kind of product Ruins of Myth Drannor is: a place for DMs and PCs to create their own stories.



I do not know to what degree I'm bucking Realmsian orthodoxy here, but...my ideal Myth Drannor is essentially untouched by explorers (uncharitably: "interlopers"). Is it wrong that I feel uncomfortable with an abundance of foot traffic in and out of these vaunted ruins?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 30 Jul 2022 :  16:44:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar


Speaking of which, I've toyed with the idea of an undead quest-giver...an individual from the halcyon days who lingered on as part of a self-imposed duty; a Baelnorn or maybe a good old-fashioned ghost would fit the bill. Family members of a prominent elven household are obvious choices, but perhaps a majordomo loyal to the end decided to forgo their rightful place in the afterlife. A steward that oversaw matters while the patriarch or matriarch was away wouldn't be altogether unusual for Faerunian elves, right?


While a dedicated family steward is a reasonable idea, I don't see one becoming a baelnorn -- because baelnorn are powerful wizards, in life. Being a majordomo just doesn't seem like something a wizard powerful enough to be a baelnorn would do.

Baelnorn that remain tied to their families would, I expect, be members of those families. Maybe the head of the house steps aside and lets someone else take that position, and then becomes a baelnorn, or maybe the baelnorn was another family member. I could see an adoptee into the family doing it, as well.

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I personally think Myth Drannor was another of the greatest missed opportunities of the Realms. If it had been up to me, the Last Mythal Trilogy would have ended with only a small area of Myth Drannor -- maybe a few blocks, at most -- rendered safe. And that area would have acted as a base camp for excursions into the rest of the city, either clearing out areas, looking for particular things, or helping rebuild and expand the safe area. There were years of potential roleplaying opportunities, there, unceremoniously chucked out the window.

I wish the current design team would understand that part of the point of a published RPG setting isn't just to have a place for a few published adventures -- it's a place where you invite players and DMs into a wide-open playground and help them tell whatever stories they want to come up with. That's the kind of product Ruins of Myth Drannor is: a place for DMs and PCs to create their own stories.



I do not know to what degree I'm bucking Realmsian orthodoxy here, but...my ideal Myth Drannor is essentially untouched by explorers (uncharitably: "interlopers"). Is it wrong that I feel uncomfortable with an abundance of foot traffic in and out of these vaunted ruins?



It's your Realms. I personally have no issue with your stance. I would say that I feel Ed intended this to be a place to attract adventurers, but it's also true that the city is a fallen dream and the site of many deaths, and I can readily see the idea of wanting to leave it that way.

Me, I liked the idea of the elven Crusade, I just wasn't keen on elements of its execution -- especially the way it ended. I don't like the idea of mythals having keystones, and I don't like the idea of Myth Drannor being fully reclaimed in anything less than a century - and even then, a century might be kind of pushing it.

I think that without a full-on recasting of the mythal, involving a large number of casters, that it would take years -- decades! -- to fully repair the mythal. More likely, you'd have teams of mages going around, clearing out location-specific effects and crafting some sort of magic that would "untwist" the mythal in a small area -- and this would likely have to be renewed, periodically, until there was a large enough area for it to fully stabilize.

Absent a lot of magic, ruins that fell centuries before would take a long time to clear, much less rebuild, and there would be a lot of hostile interlopers getting in the way of that, as well as the potential for unsprung traps -- mechanical or magical -- that could be new or could be lingering from the Weeping War.

Setting that aside, for the moment, though -- without rebuilding, I can see why there's an appeal for going into Myth Drannor. I'm in a 2E campaign right now, and I'm trying to come up with a good reason for my half-elf wizard to want to go there. (I'm trying to avoid the "Imma go retrieve something my family lost there centuries ago but has never bothered to try to reclaim until now!" trope)

Lastly, I'll point out this quote from the Ruins of Myth Drannor boxed set:

quote:
There is an old Dale saying: "We shall watch guard, until Myth Drannor stands proud again!" Although many folk from other parts of Faerun have picked up part of the phrase, saying "Until Myth Drannor stands proud," and meaning "never," to folk in the Dales it is a fierce, deep promise that Myth Drannor will rise again. Harpers, the Knights of Myth Drannor, and Elminster (among others) are working hard to make sure that it won’t soon rise again as a bastion
of evil!

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 30 Jul 2022 17:21:56
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