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    Canonfire :: View topic - Marriage and the Marchioness
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    Marriage and the Marchioness
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:20 pm  
    Marriage and the Marchioness

    POTENTIAL SPOILER!!!!!

    #1 Assuming that the Istivin Trilogy in Dungeon #117-119 is "canon", and that the missing Marquis of Sterich is permanently "missing", who are the likely candidates in Keoland, Geoff or the Yeomanry to become her new husband should such a union occur? It seems to me that several neighbors have missing heirs (boy, Resbin Dren is thorough) which limits her options (and her immediate displacement). I am not a Keoland expert, but I was hoping someone nearby (Flen) would make a good choice. He would be a vassal chosen by the King of Keoland, right? A man that would reclaim some power for Keoland? Does Skotti have a viable choice from within his own house?

    Who would it be (with the premise that she would remarry and maintain her station in Sterich)? Does he have a name? Where can I find more on him?

    #2 Let's assume that the Marchioness doesn't remarry. What would be the fallout? Who would take over? With titles in turmoil in Sterich, I would think that there are no viable internal candidates with clout or resources or favor with Keoland to take over. Civil War in Sterich? Hmm? Would Skotti enforce martial law and reabsorb Sterich into Keoland without a war? Might he appoint a steward? How might Duke Owen I respond? It just seem that the Trilogy left a huge hole in the middle of some folks campaign (yes, one could just ignore it). Any thots? Question
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:27 pm  

    It is not clear to me that Resbin Dren has any claim to the rulership of Sterich if her husband is dead. It is especially not clear that her new husband would become the Marchioness. It is most likely that some other cousin would be put in place and Resbin pensioned off (widow's portion). If there are no other cousins, then the matter of the inheritance would come before the Court of the Land and King. This assuming you accept that Sterich is palatinate lordship of Keoland, not an entirely independent realm. If its an independent realm, there'd probably be a civil war or something near to it over the issue.

    But, to answer your questions... Flen, sadly, would not be a viable choice as written in the LGG. It is yet another heirless realm devoid of leaders. The Count died in the wars and his son went missing while "adventuring" in the Jotens subsequently. The Countess rules there, grief stricken. Though its not clear in the text whether the title resides with the dead Count or the Countess herself. Regardless, there is no match for Resbin there.

    There are many second sons, favored servants, and the like who might serve as a match for Resbin if it comes down to a Sheldomar wide marriage hunt. However, you'd pretty much need to make those folks up as they are not extant in published material afaik.

    I think it is simply inconcievable that she doesn't marry if you attach the title to her and her heirs (which I wouldn't, btw. Especially if you accept the canon implication that she is olman). She might be left in power with a designated heir in place if putting her aside was too difficult for some reason. But the inheritance of major domains, especially war threatened ones, is just too important to be left to drift. Every nearby lord (Keoish counts, Yeoman leaders, the Duke of Geoff, the King of Keoland, etc) know they would risk being sucked into a maelstrom of violence and civil war if the matter is never resolved.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:16 am  

    Mmmm...I love the smell of dynastic struggle in the morning. :)

    Does Keoland have something equivalent to the Salic Law banning women from inheriting title? The fact that both the Marchioness and the Countess of Flen seem to be (un)happily ruling their fiefs does seem to suggest that widows can hold and inherit title under Keoish Law. That said - there's no guarentee that they'd be able to pass on title to their children by another marriage. Nor is there any guarentee that they can bestow title through marriage (i.e. that if Resbin remarried, her husband would be Marquis in title; de facto, of course, he'd wield a heck of a lot of swing if he were worth his salt). Equally, just because it's law wouldn't stop ambitious noblemen from trying to force the issue and grab power (and a wealthy fief) through a wedding vow.

    It's probably a grey area as to who would have precedence - the Marquis's brother (say) or the Marchioness's son by a second marriage (or even her husband by a second marriage). I'd hedge a bet that title would pass to the brother or his children before it would pass through the Marchioness and her line.

    The Court of the Land would be the ultimate arena of arbitration, though the great lords of Sterich (if there are any) would have a strong say in things.

    Noble politics is cool! Smile
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:02 am  

    Countess Allita Elgarin is only a Countess by marriage? Surely that can't be right? If it was she might only be ruling Flen for up to 7 years after her husband's disappearance after which time it is possible to have someone declared legally dead.

    I know that Princess Jessa remained Baroness of Sayre after bumping off her husband but she had children and her actual legal status sin't clear. She may be ruling as Regent until tehy achieve maturity.

    The Triad has made it clear that a Keoland cannot have a queen, Jessa being appointed as Regent while they debated who should succeed King Kimbertos.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:36 am  

    I'm not clear on whether the Countess of Flen is the daughter of the previous Count or his wife. I assumed the latter, but as you say, it could could be the former.

    Keoland has always had kings - but as the kingship isn't strictly hereditary, it may have different rules to the (presumably) hereditary succession among the nobility.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:51 am  

    For a variety of reasons, it was decided in LG that individual provinces were by primogeniture unless the eldest child disqualified themself for some reason (marrying to another province or committing an overt crime or somesuch). The Kingdom as a whole would only have a male King.

    For Sterich, it depends.
    Technically, Resbin has no right to succeed. She is not the lawful heir of Querchard. With no children, the title starts bouncing around to Querchard's siblings, their children, his father's siblings, their children, and so on. Finding who that might be is likely a considerable task. That means the final decision is likely to default to the Court and the King.
    If someone can get a dominanting amount of support in the Court, their claim will be acknowledged, and everyone else will be SOL.
    If nobody can, Kimbertos will be in a position to slip someone in the way he did with his cousin Jorgos in Nume Eor.
    This sets up an obvious conflict between the interests of Kimbertos and the various factions in the Court. If they can't compromise, he gets another overt supporter. The question is if they can agree on who gets the new ally. Given the rest of the situation in Sterich, it is likely to set up a massive domino effect, with half or more of the holdings in Sterich reassigned by the time things settle out.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:22 am  

    First of all, the Salic Law says nothing about widows. Widows did not inherit titles in either Salic or non Salic derived systems. They were granted a "widow's portion", essentially a fraction of the revenues as a pension. Salic law prevented daughters, nieces, sisters, etc from inheriting. THough everywhere that claimed to use it created exceptions all the time....

    Anyway........

    It is not clear whether Allita Elgarin is the Countess by birth or by marriage. In my campaign, she is the holder of the title in her own right. I made that decision because 1) it explained why she was ruling the County with her husband and son both dead and 2) because she was a priestess of Xerbo, who is the patron of Flen. While its possible that the Count met and married a priestess or that she became a priestess after marriage, I liked the idea that she was dedicated to the temple at a young age but then ended up inheriting unexpectedly. YMMV.

    It is clear that Resbin Dren has no basis for holding the title of Marchioness if her husband is dead. And the whole idea that the Sterish, much less the Court of the Land, accepting an Olman (if you use that background) in that role is simply preposterous. The only argument for her ruling in her own name is that no one has the means to get rid of her.

    That is possible, given that her neighbors are largely messed up. Geoff is hosed still and in no position to do anything, while Keoland's attention is fractured and divided. She's a very powerful sorceress, so if she a strong enough mercenary army to back up her magic it might be that the weak Sterish nobility are in no position to effectively support any other claimants.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:38 am  

    This is actually a pretty cool hook for adventures. Assuming it's proved that the Marquis is incapable/dead - that immediately starts a succession race.

    The Marchioness may try to hold the throne through her sorcery, guile and the liberal hiring of mercs (like the PCs?). Meanwhile various cousins, nephews and pretenders roil out of the woodwork to make their claims. Some may offer themselves as suitors, others may demand the Marchioness relinquish the throne (perhaps using hired mercs of their own and/or maybe they try to bribe or persuade the PCs away from the Marchioness?).

    Others will appeal to Keoland for aid and arbitration, perhaps promising to be loyal vassals and strengthen Keoland's writ in the March. Others may oppose them in the name of Sterich independence or the common self-interest of the Sterich nobility (such as it is) to determine their own policy.

    Even if the Marchioness (as per her character write up in Dungeon) has no ambitions of her own, if the lead contender is suitably unsuitable (charming, but tyrannical/corrupt or whatever), she might be persauded to hang onto the throne for the good of the people of Sterich. Obviously, her opponents would portray her as coveting the throne, a throne that's not hers by right. If she's half Olman, as suggested, then they'll use that against her, accusing her of dark savage rites and no doubt blaming the taint that's fallen on the city on her.

    All in all - a proper nest of vipers. Happy

    Ditto Flen perhaps too...
    The prospect of a noble fief will have adventurers, lowlifes and opportunists from all across the Sheldomar flocking to Flen and Istivin to pledge their alliegence to the banner of the highest bidder. It kinda of reminds me a little of Deadwood season 3, A Fistful of Dollars or Yojimbo, where the various factions bring in hired guns/swords to settle things. The PCs wander into town and are immediately sized up and propositioned by each of the various factions.

    Who needs dungeons to have adventures when you have nobles? Happy
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 29, 2006 3:41 am  

    The most interesting plot deveopment to bung in the mix would be if Resbin were pregnant...
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:35 am  

    It would certainly help her cause out a lot...if anyone believed it was the Marquis's of course (which it could, if you'll excuse the pun, conceiveably be).

    That said - what age is the Marchioness supposed to be? Older than her picture, I think...
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:43 am  

    Yes - she is middle-aged. She's no 'Flander's Mare' but the Court Artist was a little flattering methinks.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:11 pm  

    PaulN6 wrote:
    Yes - she is middle-aged. She's no 'Flander's Mare' but the Court Artist was a little flattering methinks.


    A very standard practice and neccessary skill of self-preservation for any artist Wink
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:27 pm  

    Woesinger wrote:
    It would certainly help her cause out a lot...if anyone believed it was the Marquis's of course (which it could, if you'll excuse the pun, conceiveably be).

    That said - what age is the Marchioness supposed to be? Older than her picture, I think...


    Her age is never really stated in canon, but the picture of her in Dungeon is nonsense that directly contradicts canon and should be ignored. She is specifically described in LGG as being a large, homely woman. Not some anime-esque waif. Apparently that little aspect of Sterich canon being violated didn't bother the "guardians of GH" at Paizo.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:56 pm  

    As I see it both are canon and, to the extent that you find an “anime-esque waif” inconsistent with “large and homely” you have a conflict.

    You can say, IMC, I do not like one or the other, LGG is better as a more thoughtful sources, or Dungeon is better as more specific, more current and not tied to the living campaign. You can also make other arguments.

    Not have the LGG in front of me, I would prefer to translate “large” into “tall” (so un-Olman) “homely” into “shy” or something similar. Alternatively, having lost her husband, she could have lost a few pound, in anticipation of finding a new husband, which could do much for both. Laughing Or, similar to what PaulN6 said, consider that the picture was painted much earlier. Perhaps just before her marriage. Now that might be a good plot hook. A PC expecting an engagment agreed to based on an outdated picture ... and wacky antics ensue.
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    Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:57 pm  

    Wolfsire wrote:

    Not have the LGG in front of me, I would prefer to translate “large” into “tall” (so un-Olman) “homely” into “shy” or something similar.


    "Large Framed" is the exact quote from the LGG. That doesn't mean "tall" in any interpretation.

    She's also a 13th level Sorceress. That implies a decent to high charisma, so despite being noted as "reclusive" in regard to her subjects, shy is a bit of a stretch.

    Also, Olman? I assume this is something I overlooked in the Dungeon trilogy? Nonsense. LGG and moreso LGJ1 suggest that the Olman are considered almost subhuman in Keoland (and by extension, its provinces). Moreover, Querchard's isolation from gradsul makes the chances of him meeting, much less courting, an Olman bachlorette rather far fetched. Resbin should be Oerid, Suel or Flan. I made her Flan myself, but I wouldn't overly object to Suel or Oerid. Olman is ridiculous though. No self respecting Keoish noble would marry an Olman, and even if we ignore that and say he did, an Olman marquessa would have been removed, by some means or other, the moment her husband went missing.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:37 pm  

    ratdemon wrote:
    "Large Framed" is the exact quote from the LGG. That doesn't mean "tall" in any interpretation.


    I can think of those words as an even better euphemism. Wink

    As to the Olman aspect, if you are interested in that, and have not committed to her being otherwise, there are several forums in which it has been discussed here at CF! that can be found with the search function above left. The main point is her languages and references to her husband meeting her while traveling.

    We forward in this generation, triumphantly! -Sir Mix-A-Lot
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:33 pm  

    Wolfsire wrote:

    As to the Olman aspect, if you are interested in that, and have not committed to her being otherwise, there are several forums in which it has been discussed here at CF!


    Not all that interested, really. As I said, I think it's nonsense. I do have a fairly detailed alternate version of her, created well before the dungeon trilogy was published, and crafted with care to follow existing canon up to that point, so I'm not just ranting for the sake of ranting.

    Since this thread is based on the assumption that the dungeon trilogy is canon, hoewever, I haven't, and won't post my version unless there is a desire by anyone here to see it. Let me know.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:29 pm  

    One very minor but very important note about the Istivin article in Dungeon 117.

    It is never stated that Resbin is Olman. She is a "large framed, dark skinned foreigner" who happens to speak Olman.

    Therefore, there is no hard canon that insists she is Olman, and if you ask me, future references to her in GH lore can establish her as being of any dark skinned human race (touv and flan are also dark skinned compared to the Suel-Oerid folk of Sterich).
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:42 pm  

    Resbin Dren Emondav is not Olman!

    She is from Zahind (Zindi or Zindia, if you don't like Eric Mona's altered national name). It is clearly stated in the Istivin trilogy... Dungeon #117, page 47, rumors of Istivin 14-15.

    "They say she is a witch from the fabled land of Zahind, southwest across the treacherous Sea of Dust!"

    Under her Dungeon #117 description (page 42)...
    "The formidable marchioness of Sterich is a dark-skinned, large-framed woman of unknown origin with graying black hair bound tightly into a severe bun."

    In this context, I believe that her homeland is "unknown (unheard of)" to the general populus of Sterich. The dark-skin infers an east Indian appearance.

    There are few threads by Eric regarding this on the web. Search for "Zahind".

    Regarding her age: she moved full-time to Istivin after Lolth's ploy was thwarted in CY 576. This implies that she and the Earl were married prior to that.

    IMCC, I placed her date of birth in CY 555 and Querchard's at CY 545. This would make her 39 in CY 594 when the Istivin trilogy takes place (and the Marquis 49). They met in Zahind in CY 573 and marry in CY 574.

    Hope this clarifies her "printed" origins finally. Happy

    Skech
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    Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:09 pm  

    Posted threads are not canon.

    Rumors in sterich are not fact.
    Case in point: prior to the adventure starting, it's assumed/rumored by many that Querchard is dead. He shows up in the adventure. Rumor=Fact? NO.

    The "unknown origin" in her character section is fact.

    Her origins are not known.
    GreySage

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    Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:24 pm  

    Actually, she could be Rhennee. A Rhennee wisewoman, exiled from her clan, might pose as a native of exotic Zahind rather than accept the stigma of being of the Rhenn-folk.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:25 am  

    I was with ya in the "Not Olman" camp until someone pointed out that they only non Flanaessi language she speaks is Olman. No Zahindi, no Suhfanghi, just Olman (and the usual readout of local lingos).

    So she's either pure Olman (unlikely, I think) or she's half Flanaessi, half-Olman and covering up her Olman side under the guise of being a "dusky foreigner" (more likely) or (as Ras points out) is Rhennee and just pretending to be a dusky foreigner, but did at least travel enough in the sweltering south to pick up Olman (possible - though she doesn't have Rhoppan/Rhennee cant in her resume...).

    The angle that she's hiding something about her real origins has a certain appeal. After all there might actually be something to the fact that her public picture looks so different to her actual appearance - perhaps she maintains glamers and illusions to appear young and attractive, while liberally charming the crap out of any one she comes in close contact with or needs to control to hold on to power. This would tie in with her being reclusive (don't want to get spotted by someone with true sight). She could be a complete con artist - a resourceful gold-digger who hit the motherlode.

    My spake is that she's a civilised Suel-Olman from the Hold, Sasserine or somewhere thereabouts that Querchard met on his travels in the south and west. She put the charms on him (what first attracted you to the heir to the throne of Sterich, Ms Emondrav?) and, pretending to be a dusky foreigner to deflect her low-born status in the eyes of the Keoish nobility, ensconced herself in Instivin, where she's now using all of her considerable wiles to hold on to the very comfortable niche she's carved out for herself.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:17 am  

    Skech wrote:
    Resbin Dren Emondav is not Olman!

    She is from Zahind (Zindi or Zindia, if you don't like Eric Mona's altered national name). It is clearly stated in the Istivin trilogy... Dungeon #117, page 47, rumors of Istivin 14-15.

    "They say she is a witch from the fabled land of Zahind, southwest across the treacherous Sea of Dust!"

    Under her Dungeon #117 description (page 42)...
    "The formidable marchioness of Sterich is a dark-skinned, large-framed woman of unknown origin with graying black hair bound tightly into a severe bun."

    In this context, I believe that her homeland is "unknown (unheard of)" to the general populus of Sterich. The dark-skin infers an east Indian appearance.

    There are few threads by Eric regarding this on the web. Search for "Zahind".

    Regarding her age: she moved full-time to Istivin after Lolth's ploy was thwarted in CY 576. This implies that she and the Earl were married prior to that.

    IMCC, I placed her date of birth in CY 555 and Querchard's at CY 545. This would make her 39 in CY 594 when the Istivin trilogy takes place (and the Marquis 49). They met in Zahind in CY 573 and marry in CY 574.

    Hope this clarifies her "printed" origins finally. Happy

    Skech


    Good man! I'm glad I didn't totally imagine the suggestion that she was Zahindi. It is a more interesting origin and does help her noble credentials in my view. The Olman are too savage - have you seen their list of deities? Yikes!
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:29 am  

    Rasgon,

    My group also made the conclusion that she was Rhennee as well. They thot she had a "scarf" of disguise while another postulated that she was actually a drow agent connected with the Erenhei-cinlu (an obese, tall drow with some skin disease, at that).

    Chatdemon,

    I understand and appreciate your take on Resbin. I was just pointing out the "printed" take on her by Eric Mona (who did write the Sterich part of LGG). I can't find any other textual source which indicates her origins. Some don't consider Dungeon "canon". Fine. By extension LGG may not be "canon" as Eric wrote both. I would sincerely like to see your take on her as per your previous offer.

    This whole canon debate is sad and limiting. It seems to divide folks more than having a real function anymore (a focus for future expansive works). To me, canon is what I use to define which elements of printed material work well together to complete my campaign regional sourcebooks. If it adds to my game without major contradition and fills the voids (thereby reducing my work load), it's canon enough for me. I like most of the work done here and often use it as "canon". I'm not likely to publish my work/research so I don't have to answer to a higher authority like an editor (or devoted fan-base). In reality, I just have to answer to my gamers and our collective sense of fun.

    Oops, I'm ranting and I apologize for that. I know you were not attacking me, so I shouldn't have felt defensive. Canonfire is such a great place, and this "canon" issue has begun obscuring the positive contributory and fun nature of this place. I know I may be a "mooch" since I do not write for the site, but I am hesitant to do so with "canon" cannoneers waiting to open fire. Sterich has been my recent campaign project. I have compiled about 7000 words so far, but it needs polish. Maybe someday...

    These have been very useful and energetic postings. Thanks to everyone for all of their insightful and divergent perspectives.

    Cheers,
    Skech
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    Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:50 am  

    “This whole canon debate is sad and limiting. It seems to divide folks more than having a real function anymore (a focus for future expansive works). …”

    I fully agree, but you cannot wish it away. This is why I felt it important to attempt diffuse the issue by restating canon, http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=2043

    If you say that both LGG and Dungeon are canon and they conflict it begs the better questions: So what? How do we reconcile? Which is better and why? What else would be better, etc.

    Declaring something is better because it is canon is pretty weak, but not illegitimate. But it is all the weaker if no one agrees on what is canon. So, IMO, it is better to include as much as possible under the rubric and then get to the real issues about why something is good or not. This forum has illustrated that point. There have been good reasons presented as to why Resbin would be one way or the others. For what it is worth, I have not made up my mind on her and, at least for now, keeping it a mystery (and one that can be debated) is better. My interest is in advancing the Olman, but that might be better served if she were a Zahindi of Xamaclan, or one with connections thereto, I don’t know.

    And Chatdemon, I will echo Skech’s acceptance of your offer to present a background on Resbin. I do not care if it is canon, apocrypha or heresy. It is very relevant, and if it is good, it is good. Based on your other works, I expect is will be.
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    Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:44 am  

    Dunno what you guys are worried about. I've never seen a problem with folks being critical of things simply for not being canon unless one tries to to say something is definitive 'fact'.

    My problem here is two fold: First is Shadows over Istivin. While it looks like it might be a fun adventure to play, as campaign backstory I find it unutterably awful. Just ugh.

    Second, even the LGG story for Resbin strikes me as highly implausible. Its not completely impossible for an obscure foreign woman to gain control of a state without any real legal basis. Catherine the Great managed it, for instance. But its far more likely that a wild foreign marriage would be strongly resented and cause all manner of unrest. Given that Sterich is already unstable, that Resbin is rumored to be responsible for Querchard's death, and she's a mage, and she's apparently got no local support except what her charms as a plain, 'large boned' woman bring her, I have a hard time accepting she'd be allowed to run Sterich.

    If she's turned into a very effective politician and schemer, possibly in conjunction with Woesinger's latest conjectures (and you add all the unrest, Keoish interest, and whatnot that would exist), an interesting situation could be made of it.
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    Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:15 am  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    Second, even the LGG story for Resbin strikes me as highly implausible. Its not completely impossible for an obscure foreign woman to gain control of a state without any real legal basis. Catherine the Great managed it, for instance. But its far more likely that a wild foreign marriage would be strongly resented and cause all manner of unrest. Given that Sterich is already unstable, that Resbin is rumored to be responsible for Querchard's death, and she's a mage, and she's apparently got no local support except what her charms as a plain, 'large boned' woman bring her, I have a hard time accepting she'd be allowed to run Sterich.

    If she's turned into a very effective politician and schemer, possibly in conjunction with Woesinger's latest conjectures (and you add all the unrest, Keoish interest, and whatnot that would exist), an interesting situation could be made of it.


    I think the intro to the mod is fine. Querchard is alive and Resbin has the backing of some political and magical heavyweights to rule as his proxy.
    Her position if Querchard dies is untenable if there are no children but the background of politcal unrest and false claims of nobility means that she might be given some official sanction from Keoland while succession is sorted out, particularly when you look at some of the political unrest that arose in Keoland recently - they could be debating it for years and that's only if Resbin and her cohorts actually make querchard's death public... Loads of potential for a sequel! Maybe Resbin has an heir stashed away in Zahind (or wherever).
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    Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:54 am  

    Unless s/he's Querchard's child, then s/he's heir to nothing. the claim goes through the male line, not the consort's.
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    Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:56 am  

    Well, the specifics of Resbin and Querchard are not my main sticking point with the background of that mod, but that's been discussed at length in other threads and isn't germane to this particular topic.

    It is possible to make a story for Q and R that makes some semblance of sense without contradicting published material. Its just not really supported by the material either.

    Querchard was not originally in line to be Earl of Sterich, being a fourth or fifth son or cousin of the previous Earl. As such, his his dynastic and political responsibilities were not especially onerous. Being a curious and adventurous sort, he chose to study to be a Bard of the Old Lore and made a good fist of it. He travelled far and wide, displaying his charm and wit while making many friends and some enemies.

    During this time he got to know his distant cousin Kimbertos, when they both were in Grayhill for a while, away from the formality of the court. Eventually his travels took him across Jeklea Bay to the town of Sasserine and surrounding lands. There he met Resbin Dren, a local girl of zahindi ancestry. He fell in love with her and they married, much to the chagrin of his family.

    Querchard and Resbin returned to Sterich and continued to travel about, generally avoiding Istivin due to the social censure that they faced for their unpolitic marriage. As a result, they were not around during the first giant invasion and the "Lolth's Bubble" incident, which resulted in Querchard becoming the senior surviving member of his family and the Earl.

    Q & R were welcomed, albeit grudgingly in some quarters as many had feared a loss of Sterich independence if there was a serious succession crisis. But Q & R had the support of the Old Faith and of Kimbertos, though they made Lashton of Grayhill an enemy.

    With the devastation of the Sterich branch of the Qualtaines during "Lolth's Bubble", Resbin's forceful insistance that Querchard is still alive, and the near certaintly that an outside lord appointed by the Court of the Land would replace her, Resbin has managed to hold on to local support and remain in power. Lashton and many others would love to replace her, but Kimbertos currently supports her (mainly out of respect for his friend, hope of his survival, and guilt over the initial loss of Sterich).

    Her local support is mainly of the "better the devil you know" sort, but it is enough to survive Querchard's disappearance. The proof of his death, however, would be another matter. But the Court of the Land is tied up with other matters and the local nobility is fragmented and embroilied in all manner of disputes. So far, Resbin has been carefully using those feuds and divisions to keep majority support.
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    Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:28 pm  

    Vormaerin, that's a fine synthesis! Huzzah, sir!
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    Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:51 pm  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    Eventually his travels took him across Jeklea Bay to the town of Sasserine and surrounding lands. There he met Resbin Dren, a local girl of zahindi ancestry.


    That certainly has promise. And it makes me wonder, how do you get zahindi ancestry in the Jeklea ... Cool
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    Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:02 pm  

    Well, the issue is that she's supposedly intended to be Zahindi, yet she only speaks Olman and various Flanaessi languages. So she's probably from an emigre family of some sort. I would say that her family were nobles of Zahind who lost out big time in a political struggle and fled eastwards. Probably by sea. If a big adventure in the Pearl Sea can start in Sasserine, I'm sure Pearl Sea refugees can end up there.

    Since coming to Sasserine, the family has made some sort of fist of it as merchants or mages or whatever until Resbin meets our buddy Querchard.
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    Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:53 am  

    I think the issue is that the local people think she MIGHT be Zahindi but she is, in fact, Olman.
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    Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:27 am  

    PaulN6 wrote:
    I think the issue is that the local people think she MIGHT be Zahindi but she is, in fact, Olman.


    Well, the real issue is more likely the fact that very few Sterish folk will even know what an Olman is, much have ever heard of Zindia/Zahind and its people.
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    Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:34 am  

    They will definitely know what an Olman is, even if they couldn't recognize one on sight. Even before the war, they had at least heard of them. Zahind is a different question and depends on what you think of Flanaess trade patterns. If there is some sort of "silk road" across the dry steppes or trade through the Densac gulf, the name will be known as a legendary locale.

    Anyway, we are not trying to reconcile a problem with believability. That's best done by tanking the whole Olman/Zahind concept entirely. We are trying to address a conflict between the two sources. The author of the LGG article apparently intended her to be zahindi, while the dungeon magazine artcle supports (but does not state) her being Olman.
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    Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:40 pm  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    The author of the LGG article apparently intended her to be zahindi...


    From where do you draw this assertion? The LGG entry never mentions Zahind.
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    Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:18 pm  

    From earlier in the thread, where the author's comments in other venues were referenced.
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    Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:48 pm  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    From earlier in the thread, where the author's comments in other venues were referenced.


    Maybe I'm just dense, but I just reread the thread (twice) and I got nothin'. The only post I saw that even hinted at Erik Mona's intentions (I assume that's who you meant by "the author") was Skech's post here, and I don't follow the logic. The rumor about Resbin being from Zahind is printed in "Touch of the Abyss," which is credited to Greg Vaughan. Her stat block — the one that includes the controversial Olman language (and no other) — is printed in "Istivin: City of Shadows," which is credited to Greg Vaughan and Erik Mona.

    So, assuming the credits are accurate, the Zahind rumor was strictly the work of Vaughan, and the apparently-contradictory Olman attribution was included in the section co-authored by Mona. While I have already addressed the "contradiction" elsewhere (gossip isn't always true), it seems that Skech's earlier post got this backwards, somehow attributing the Zahind rumor to Erik Mona. (Of course, Erik could always jump in here at any time and set us all straight.... Wink )
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    Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:40 pm  

    Well, that's the recent attribution. I do know that every time the topic comes up (several times this year already, just do a search), there is a strong faction asserting the Zahind origin as the intended one. There are also those who assert her being Olman. There are plenty of folks (including myself) who think an Olman or Zahindi origin is highly unlikely.

    You can bug skech for links to the other threads where he says it was explained that she was intended to be Zahindi, as per the rumors, if you are interested.

    Simply put, there is no "fact" to her origin other than its not local. My post above was an attempt to weave the differing views into a single strand that didn't make me completely ill. :P That meant accounting for the Zahind and Olman arguments without cheesing off the folks who don't believe that the Sterish/Keoish nobility would accept a socially ridiculous marriage by the ruler of Sterich (or his heir).
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    Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:54 am  

    I think Vormaerin sums it up when he says there is no fact other than she's not local...and even then she's only descirbed as dark-skinned, large framed woman, who is reclusive. We also know she is a LN female human Sor13.

    and that's that...

    you can fling as many theories about as you like - but let's be honest - in light of the 'facts' all of them could be right.

    I appreciate that there is no harm arguing your point or theory across but at the end of the day if you want her to be Flan, Olman, Zahindi or even an oversized dwarf you can do.

    I think I mean this inp articular about whether the Marchioness could inherit rulership of Sterich...I mean why on oerth not? During the events of The Queen of SPiders it is quite likely that Resbin, albeit maybe from behind the scenes being reclusive and all, kept things together and saw to the protection of the STerish commoners with great passion...the people may love her and SKotti may realise this and decide to let her continue ruling.

    Imean if you want her to rule then do.

    I personally find her an intriguing character and think the SHeldomar is lacking female rulers anyways so she's the gal for me.

    Initially I decided she was of pure Flan origin but I quite like the idea of a foreign princess or chiefs daughter wedded by Querchard uon his travels. The Olam argument is a weak one but one that is just as plausible as any others...

    I personally have chosen to avoid the Zahindi option as I dont want my players having new undetailed lands made known to them...I want to stick with what is already known...

    I mean she could even be Baklunish...

    On another note it was mentioned earlie ron in this thread that she couldn;t oossibly be shy as she had a high charisma being a sorceress. That's not necessarily the case...that's like saying shy people have no strength of character...not true...and anyways she's not shy she's reclusive. On another note regarding her being large-framed...and how no-one would want to marry a big boned woman...it's only in recent times it's been considered sexy to be skinny....and the slim nubile elf maids and warrior women of dnd is clearly some guy's perv-fantasy that has become the norm in fantasy roleplaying.

    Resbin could be plump, even on the slightly fat side and still be very prettyand sexually desirable...take a look at a Reubens painting to see their idea of beauty...

    I think Resbin's exotic beauty and earth mother figure would make her quite the catch and also lets not forget - she's a 13th lvl sorceress...she's not some trophy bride from afar.

    Anyways my vote goes to a post Giant Invasion Sterich ruled by Resbin of an origin that due to the sketchy facts can be from where so ever I please :o)
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    Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:19 am  

    Exactly. If you want to make her end up the ruler of Sterich, you can. You aren't really under any obligation to consider Dungeon magazine adventures as fact anyway. Heh, I'm having a hard time thinking of even one thing I used from the Shadows over sterich adventure in my campaign.. Hmm, I rather like the text description of Resbin, so I'll use that. Everything else is out the window. Even the maps, since IMC I put both Flen and Istivin on the Javan and Davish, respectively.

    My problem with this Resbin situation and other such things in various publications is not that it couldn't happen, but that absolutely no thought is given to explaining why such a bizarre situation resulted and what affects it has. There is tons of RP in that, but it is rarely explored or utilized.
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    Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:53 pm  

    Does it help that Fiendish Codex mentions Lolth's gate to and involvement in Istivin?
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    Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:15 pm  

    Lolth's Gate in teh supermodule edition of the series is an entirely different issue. Q1 was written by a different author group than the G & D series and its quite clear that the Q1 author completely misunderstood the storyline. The GDQ supermodule simply built on that misconception with the Lolth's Bubble element.

    When you throw in the Greyhawk Wars material and Liberation of Geoff, you get a really tangled web of contradictory material. You can reconcile it, just like you can create some equivalent of my post above to justify the various portrayals of Resbin.

    The presence or absence of teh Bubble doesn't directly affect the issues with Resbin, though it obviously makes it easier to have a previously minor family member who unexpectedly inherits the title background for Querchard.
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    Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:57 am  

    Hey and if we want more thoughts on Dungeon and rules of succession - did anybody notice that one of the barbarian kings died in a recent mod and was replaced by a LG npc with no apparent familial blood ties?

    Run with that one guys - I'll be in the car.
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    Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:02 pm  

    I like Vormaerin's synthesis but want to push against the presumption that Querchard and Resbin Dren had no children.

    The lack of mention of children doesn't seem probative of that presumption because D&D and GH often don't mention mundane things like families or children. Instead, the game and the setting tend to focus on individuals.

    Also, the Istivin: City of Shadows entry for the Marchioness notes that Resbin "is greatly disturbed by the fate of her husband. She has given him up for lost, but refuses to allow dishonor to fall on his name. ... She fears if she shows any weakness at all in front of the nobles, she and House Qualtaine could be unseated."

    To me this suggests that House Qualtaine still exists, and if she has lost hope for Querchard, then the House's existence may reasonably be understood to consist of legitimate children. While Querchard may have living siblings and cousins, if there were no children, Resbin would not be relevant in the generally European-esque setting of the Flanaess.

    IMC, I think I'll have Resbin have several children (maybe three) but all minors. Likewise, I think that Querchard should have a younger brother and an older sister still living.

    Regarding the Court of the Land and Sterich's legal status after its reclamation, I think it's fair to understand that when Kimbertos retitled Querchard Marquis, he re-established Sterich being part of the kingdom.

    My question is whether its seven major counts are part of the Court of the Land. What do you think?
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    Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:28 pm  

    I think they are in the canon version, which has the Court of the Land be a rather large inclusive body.

    In my campaign, they are not. The Court of the Land is the assembly of the 'barons' and various officials with baronial stature. I also don't call them counts, as I find it distasteful to have the subordinates of an earl or marqrave be called counts. I have them referred to as Landgraves (an equivalent title to count in europe, but one I can give lesser stature without confusion).

    As for the children issue, yeah its possible to assume they exist and that's why Resbin is still in power. I've just gotten the impression, perhaps unfounded (would need to reread a bunch of stuff) that the inheritance situation was dubious there. Perhaps that's just the status of Querchard confusing things.
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    Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:19 pm  

    Another old thread to dredge!

    I thought that Resbin Dren Emondav was a drow, just based on her name. Half-Drow, maybe?

    BTW, "Dren" is nerd spelled backwards, and there's a "demon" in "Emondav".
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    Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:00 pm  

    Howdy all - I'm dredging this old thread among many others because I am preparing a campaign in and around Sterich. I was drawn to this section of Greyhawk through the Istivin trilogy in Dungeon (issues 117-119) and have since discovered (or remembered) that this region was the setting for the famous GDQ series. It's been 20 years since I played some of those, so I had forgotten. Embarassed
    Right now, I'm just in the planning stages of the campaign - heck, even my players don't know where the campaign will begin. But my quandry is what edition to do. Should I run the GDQ series via 2nd edition and then move into the trilogy or should I somehow covert the GDQ series (maybe even starting with ToEE or the Slavelords series) to 3.5 and go from there?
    Any suggestions?
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    Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:15 pm  

    hedgeknight wrote:
    But my quandry is what edition to do. Should I run the GDQ series via 2nd edition and then move into the trilogy or should I somehow covert the GDQ series (maybe even starting with ToEE or the Slavelords series) to 3.5 and go from there?
    Any suggestions?


    -It's obvious that you should you use one set of rules for the campaign (converting PCs in the middle is crazy, particularly if you consider the difference in level progression); if you (or your players) don't have a preference for one set of rules or the other, I'd go AD&D, since trying to convert the GDQ modules to D&D 3.5 would presumably be harder work than converting the "Dungeon" articles to AD&D (note: I don't know how long the articles are; I'm guessing they're a lot shorter than GDQ).
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    Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:07 pm  

    If you guys have been playing 3.5 I'd say stick with that. All the monsters in GDQ have probably been converted to 3.5 so just print out the 3.5 stats for those monsters to go with the 1e text, although you probably want to consider the differences between the monsters in 1e and 3.5. No embarrassing TPK's that way. Wink

    Good luck, no matter which way you go!
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    Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:28 pm  

    Converting the GDQ series to 3.5e could quickly become a problem, given that 3.5e giants are MUCH more dangerous than 2e giants. And since the damage they cause is much greater, simply reducing their numbers isn't enough. Other than that, though, it wouldn't be difficult.
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    Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:39 am  

    I'm going to dip my toe in using the Dungeon adventure path set in Istivin, which features a small fort run by hill giants and frost giants. My pcs are only level 12 though so even a single hill giant is going to be tough. Mind you, I want them to be scared of giants to lead into the Liberation of Geoff campaign and GDQ.

    I agree though, it is going to be really tricky. It is next to impossible to take out a giant sentry without him raising the alarm and that could bring a world of hurt down. So the only alternative is a skill challenge to sneak inside (like the Death Star). At least it will make it easy to understand why Geoff is still occupied by a relatively small number of humanoids.
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    Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:00 am  

    bubbagump wrote:
    Converting the GDQ series to 3.5e could quickly become a problem, given that 3.5e giants are MUCH more dangerous than 2e giants. And since the damage they cause is much greater, simply reducing their numbers isn't enough. Other than that, though, it wouldn't be difficult.


    That's a really good point. 3.5 giants are brutal - 2 hill giants in my Red Hand of Doom game nearly wiped out the entire party!
    Maybe if they are really young giants.... Wink
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    Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:27 am  

    The T.H. Lain novel Against the Giants portrays the adventurers as being extremely sneaky and using all available magic to avoid encounters in the giants' strongholds. That may be a workable solution for your campaign, assuming your players can handle stealthy tactics. It still allows for a healthy casualty rate if someone fails a skill check, though. Of course, the novel also describes the adventurers as being able to slay giants in just two or three blows, and that's not likely to happen if you play according to the rules.

    Or perhaps you could simply rule that the great majority of the giants (especially the toughest ones) are out hunting or raiding or otherwise not present. That helps with the casualty rate somewhat, but it does alter the adventure's "feel" a bit.

    As a third alternative, perhaps you could keep all the numbers the same and just use the stats for ogres or something similar instead of the stats for giants. I haven't spent much time with that alternative, but on the surface it seems workable.
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    Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:55 am  

    hedgeknight wrote:
    ...That's a really good point. 3.5 giants are brutal - 2 hill giants in my Red Hand of Doom game nearly wiped out the entire party!
    Maybe if they are really young giants....


    -"The old men and chilren they send out to fight us, they can't slow us down!" Evil Grin

    ...they can, however, kill us in large numbers... Razz
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    Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:24 pm  

    I recall going through the adventure in 1e rules, and even then we used stealth ans stealth magic to decimate the giants. So far as combat went, we used lots of area spells and in large encounters we also used spells like wall of stone/ice/force/iron to break up the monsters into manageable groups that could be taken down piecemeal. We also had about 8 characters in the party:

    Human Paladin
    Dwarf Fighter
    Elven thief/mage
    Human dual-classed Mage(Fighter)
    Human Cleric
    Human Cleric
    Human Thief
    Human Ranger

    This turned out to be an effective group, as even when things did get rough there were enough warrior types to keep the monsters at bay long enough for the spell casters to do their thing, and even if things got really bad, the spell casters could fight decently enough too.

    As has been said, giants are simply foul in 3.5 and not to be taken lightly. The above tactics ought to still work well against them, but as the DM I would make sure that the average levels of the PCs is 1-2 levels higher than the adventure recommends. So, as G1-3 is slated for levels 8-12 I'd alter than to levels 10-14. G1-3 actually states "The optimum mix for a group is 9 characters of various classes, with an average experience level of 9th..." I'd recommend no party having less than 6 members, with 8 being better, and that the average level for them be 11th, and not less than 10th at all.
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    Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:51 am  

    Right now I have six players...and two more in the wings who have expressed an interest in playing. I really don't want to run a game with 8 players, but like you said, their chances of survival may be a lot better. I could always keep the six and run an NPC myself...I've done that in most of my games and it helps. Wink

    I'm actually considering starting in the Temple of Elemental Evil and then working into GDQ. Whew! That's gonna take awhile.
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    Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:16 am  

    hedgeknight wrote:
    I'm actually considering starting in the Temple of Elemental Evil and then working into GDQ. Whew! That's gonna take awhile.


    Ah, but it's worth it. I've done that myself. You may want to add a few side quests to ToEE, and perhaps even a short adventure or two afterwards, just to get everyone's level up. With only six you'll likely want to start the PCs a level or two higher than GDQ recommends.
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    Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:57 am  

    Working on characters presently and fine tuning the intro to ToEE...the village of Hommlet. Also, working on character backgrounds and such - helping to get the players started.
    Ironically, even with all of the "old timers" in the group, our knowledge (mine too) of Greyhawk is surprisingly limited. It's like we are relearning the setting all over again! Which is nice. Wink

    And it looks like I'm only gonna have six players. I am starting all single-classed spellcasters off at 2nd level. Should I have the other characters level up too?
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    Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:24 am  

    hedgeknight wrote:
    Should I have the other characters level up too?


    It depends on which rules system you're using. If you're using 3e/3.5e/4e, then yes, I'd level up everybody. If you're using 1e/2e/OD&D, then I wouldn't bother.
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    Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:54 am  

    With less than a week away from "launch", I have seven players - four fighters, one fighter/cleric, one magic user, and one something...probably a thief.

    Is it appropriate to create a campaign log in the forums? If so, where?
    Or, should I just drop a note here every now and then? Question
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    Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:44 pm  

    DMPrata wrote:

    So, assuming the credits are accurate, the Zahind rumor was strictly the work of Vaughan, and the apparently-contradictory Olman attribution was included in the section co-authored by Mona. While I have already addressed the "contradiction" elsewhere (gossip isn't always true), it seems that Skech's earlier post got this backwards, somehow attributing the Zahind rumor to Erik Mona. (Of course, Erik could always jump in here at any time and set us all straight.... Wink )


    My plan for her was always that she came from Zahind. The lack of a Zahindi language in her list of languages is an editorial oversight on my behalf, perhaps partly attributable to the fact that nothing had previously been established about the language of Zahind.

    Although the rumor came from the part attributed only to Greg, I was the editor in chief of Dungeon at the time, and I'm fairly certain I put it in there.

    Another interesting fact: Even though I described her as basically sort of large and not that attractive, the artist made her a hot-looking woman anyway, and we had to run with that art.

    Sometimes you don't get exactly what you want in the publishing world, alas. :)

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    Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:14 pm  

    iquander wrote:
    My plan for her was always that she came from Zahind.


    That is absolute revisionist nonsense. Shall I go dig out my greytalk chat archives of discussions held before that material appeared in the magazines where you, I and others discussed Resbin's origins being flan, and her marriage to Querchard being one of convenience to gain him support from the local "natives"?

    Furthermore, the LGG, which is the hardest canon source on Resbin, makes no implication of her being a nonstandard (suel, flan or oerid, given that region) human subrace. I think you wrote that too?

    Then again, maybe she's really another of Iggwilv's alter egos, fresh from Robilar's odd oerth... You tell us.
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    Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:16 am  

    iquander wrote:
    DMPrata wrote:

    So, assuming the credits are accurate, the Zahind rumor was strictly the work of Vaughan, and the apparently-contradictory Olman attribution was included in the section co-authored by Mona. While I have already addressed the "contradiction" elsewhere (gossip isn't always true), it seems that Skech's earlier post got this backwards, somehow attributing the Zahind rumor to Erik Mona. (Of course, Erik could always jump in here at any time and set us all straight.... Wink )


    My plan for her was always that she came from Zahind. The lack of a Zahindi language in her list of languages is an editorial oversight on my behalf, perhaps partly attributable to the fact that nothing had previously been established about the language of Zahind.

    Although the rumor came from the part attributed only to Greg, I was the editor in chief of Dungeon at the time, and I'm fairly certain I put it in there.

    Another interesting fact: Even though I described her as basically sort of large and not that attractive, the artist made her a hot-looking woman anyway, and we had to run with that art.

    Sometimes you don't get exactly what you want in the publishing world, alas. :)

    --Erik


    Zahind totally works for me - gives me an excuse to giver her dragonborn guards to introduce them to Eastern Oerik. The artist didn't just make her hot, s/he made her white and blonde... I just assumed Change Self was on her spell list...
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
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    Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:53 am  

    chatdemon wrote:
    iquander wrote:
    My plan for her was always that she came from Zahind.


    That is absolute revisionist nonsense. Shall I go dig out my greytalk chat archives of discussions held before that material appeared in the magazines where you, I and others discussed Resbin's origins being flan, and her marriage to Querchard being one of convenience to gain him support from the local "natives"?


    I thought about this a bit on the way home, and it's actually possible that this is, as you say, revisionist history. I think the original plan actually was to leave it undetermined, and the idea about making her Zahindi was something that slipped in during the Istivin trilogy. She definitely does not have an appropriate name for a Zahindi. It actually sounds like I was shooting for more of a Rhennee name with her.

    If you have chat logs that have me saying she was supposed to be Flan, I won't dispute that. I honestly can't remember. But I wonder, if I'd meant for her to be Flan in the first place, why didn't I call her out specifically as Flan in the LGG?

    I'd sort of hoped that some of your animosity would have abated over the last couple of years, but I guess that was wishful thinking.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 488
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    Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:00 am  

    iquander wrote:
    I thought about this a bit on the way home, and it's actually possible that this is, as you say, revisionist history.


    If we can agree simply that canon is vague on the matter, and agree to disagree on the details, I'm fine with that.

    iquander wrote:
    But I wonder, if I'd meant for her to be Flan in the first place, why didn't I call her out specifically as Flan in the LGG?


    No idea, I'm the first to admit it's difficult to recapture thoughts from 10 years ago if notes weren't taken.

    iquander wrote:
    I'd sort of hoped that some of your animosity would have abated over the last couple of years, but I guess that was wishful thinking.


    We both know the hard feelings related to sterich/istivin things were deep and personal, however, many of the new crop of CF users don't, and there's no need for them to. As I said earlier in this post, if we can agree to disagree and say that canon is vague and open to interpretation, I'm fine with that.
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    Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:00 pm  

    I absolutely agree that the canon on this is vague, and intentionally so. The idea was to leave it open for DMs to do with as they please, so in that sense whether or not she was "supposed" to be Rhennee, Zahindi, Flan, or otherwise is irrelevant.
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