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Oerth Yarth Aerth Uerth Earth

 
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:15 pm    Post subject: Oerth Yarth Aerth Uerth Earth Reply with quote

Oerth

Oerth is the most magical of the five worlds in the continuum. This is the Oerth known to us from the game supplements and modules. Spellcasters can get very powerful, powerful enough to create demiplanes and rule mighty empires. Human magicians destroyed half the continent with the Rain of Colorless Fire and Invoked Devastation. The very stones and minerals beneath the Oerth are sometimes charged with magical energy, and the planet's weather might be entirely magical. The physical laws of nature have less pull on Oerth than on many worlds, so that titanic creatures can fly without difficulty and gunpowder will not ignite. Oerth's magic makes it a tempting target for a wide variety of otherworldly peoples and powers.

In the terminology of the 1st edition Manual of the Planes, Oerth has a physical factor, magical factor, and temporal factor of 0.

Yarth

Yarth is a close parallel of Oerth - very close in some places, so much so that people have been known to blunder through gates linking the two and not realize they've ended up on a different world, and the locals usually call it Oerth in their various tongues. Many familiar names exist in Yarth's version of the Flanaess, including the Free City of Greyhawk, Blackmoor, and the Sea of Dust. The national boundaries are different, though, and many unfamiliar names exist here as well. Yarth is less magical than Oerth, and as a result its history has been very different. While there have been a fair number of necromancers and even liches in Yarth's history, these fell mages have never ruled nations. Yarth is a place for warriors and clever rogues, and it is these that have determined the world's history more than anything. There was no empire of Vecna here, no Asberdies or Keraptis or Glittering Wizards of the Isles of Woe. There was, for a brief time, a cambion warlord called Iuz, but he was of little real power and was ultimately slain by a lucky dagger from an inexperienced woman of noble birth. While Yarth's Great Kingdom fell into decadence, its House of Naelax never made any pacts with creatures of evil and never ascended to the throne. While this world has a Sea of Dust, it is an entirely natural phenomenon, and the ancient Suel were always a people of the raw and unforgiving desert (though they ultimately spread to the southern jungles). There are fewer born to this world with any magical talent, and those who are able to cultivate eldritch forces are unable to perform magic above the ninth level. The laws of nature are more unforgiving here, so that truly large flying creatures must have hollow bones and perhaps metabolize lighter-than-air gases in order to remain aloft. The most fearsome dragons are entirely land-bound. Many of the more exotic humanoid species, such as lizard men and illithids, have become extinct due to competition from the faster-breeding, more energetic humans. Demihumans are very rare, and some believe them to be only legend. Gunpowder would be explosive on Yarth if any of the locals had discovered it.

Some of Oerth's gods are known to this world, including Nerull and Pelor, but many other gods of Yarth are entirely local. The demigoddess Mayaheine is likely originally from Yarth. Yarth has no Olmans or Olman pantheon; south of the Flanaess, the world is populated mainly by descendents of the Suel.

The further one goes from Yarth's Flanaess, the less the shape of the continents resemble the Oerth. Not far from the Baklunish lands to the west is a coastline resembling that of Earth's North America, and beyond that a mighty ocean. The other continents resemble those of Earth more than Oerth, though they're clearly a hybrid of the two.

Heward has reported that gates that once opened to Yarth are now closed, and he fears something may have happened to it. Some in Heward's circle believe that during the height of the Greyhawk Wars on Oerth, there were machinations among the powers of the Lower Planes to release the dark god Tharizdun and bring darkness eternal to all the worlds and planes. The Great Powers beyond the gods intervened; Proctor Chronos decreed that Tharizdun should be temporarily released and made to battle Master Entropy on a world of the Material planes. Dame Tolerance decreed that chance should decide which world this would be, and as a result Tharizdun ended up on Yarth rather than Oerth, despite Yarth's uninvolvement with the whole affair.

Yarth is the world of the Sagard the Barbarian books, which I have not read. Here I've assumed that it also contains elements from Quag Keep, Brother Wolf, Dance of Demons, Night Watch, and other "Greyhawk" novels that don't fit with the present canon.

In the parlance of the 1st edition Manual of the Planes, Yarth's physical factor is 3, its magical factor -1, and its temporal factor 2.

Aerth

Also spelled "Ærth," Aerth is much more like Earth than Oerth. Its continents are roughly similar to those of the former world, though there are many differences, and Aerth includes additional lands, including Lemuria, Atlantis, Ys, and Lavondys, that never existed on Earth and have long since sunk beneath the seas of Uerth. Aerth has a fair percentage of magic-users (called "dweomercraefters" here), many of them taught in formal academies, but magic of the great heights possible on Oerth is still impossible here; magic is limited to the ninth level of power. There are no native magical races or creatures; the only sapient life native to Aerth is human. Aerth would be a much less magical world than it is if not for the presence of an anomalous parallel (not part of the five-world continuum), called Phaeree, connected to Aerth by many gates. It is from this world that those elves, dwarves, goblins, oni, genies, and dragons known to the people of Aerth hail. Phaeree is an intensely magical world, more magical even than Oerth. Physical law is entirely meaningless there, as the shape of the lands shifts constantly under the thaumaturgical forces, and the only laws are those of tradition, oaths, riddles, and poetry. The leakage of magical creatures and phenomena from Phaeree to Aerth makes Aerth a realm where magic has affected history much more than it has in Yarth, though much less than on Oerth; there was no Rain of Colorless Fire here.

One major difference between Aerth and Earth is that monotheistic religion never took hold on this world; there are no Christians, Muslims, or Jews. The presence of great magic meant that many great empires of the past, like those of Egypt, Babylon, and the Aztecs and Iroquois, never stopped ruling in their respective lands. The flow of time is identical on both Aerth and Earth, though the dating system is of course different. There is, however, a substantial time differential between Aerth and Oerth and Yarth. For every day that passes on Aerth, a month passes on Oerth and Yarth. The presence of magic and many extremely ancient, stable governments has also slowed the rate of technological advancement. Certain technologies like gunpowder and alternating current may be, as on Oerth, impossible here, though the world itself is less overtly magical. Some inherently magical minerals do exist beneath the world's surface, however, just as they do on Oerth. Both Aerth and Oerth may be hollow, with civilizations existing on the inside surface.

The world of Aerth is as described in the Epic of Ærth sourcebook (and accompanying novels) by E. Gary Gygax. Other possible inspirational sources include the Lavondys trilogy by Jack Vance, The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford, the Kull and Conan stories by Robert E. Howard, and the King of Ys series by Poul and Karen Anderson.

In the parlance of the 1st edition Manual of the Planes, Aerth's physical factor is 2, its magical factor 0, and its temporal factor 4. Phaeree's physical factor is -6, its magical factor 7, and its temporal factor 10.

Uerth

Called "Uerth," "Gothic Earth," or "Mythic Earth" by planar cartagraphers, the locals mostly call it Earth in their various languages; one prominent culture calls it La Terre. The continents of Uerth are identical to those of Earth today, although in the distant past the lands of Atlantis, Lavondys, Ys, Hyperborea, and Lemuria sank into the sea, and their ruins can still be found beneath the waves. In the far future the present continents will sink, making way for the final continent of Zothique at the world's end.

The history of Uerth is mostly similar to that of Earth, although supernatural forces lurk behind many of the world's events. There are some minor differences in place-names; for example, the French province known on Earth as Auvergne is called Averoigne here, while the English county of Devon is called Lower Wessex. There is some congress with other dimensions and planes, including possibly the counter-world of Phaeree known to the people of Aerth. Magic works on Uerth, but it carries a heavy price, often resulting in its practitioners being enslaved to unsympathetic entities with their own agendas. Uerth is likely the world where Murlynd developed his strange hybrid of magic and technology, as both sciences work on this world. Using technology to enhance his magic may have helped Murlynd avoid the thralldom experienced by so many of Uerth's adepts, though perhaps the benevolent influence of his patron Heironeous helped as well.

Uerth is quite possibly the origin of the Rhennee gypsies, the Europe of this world the true identity of the "Rhop" of their legends, although others have suggested they come from Earth or perhaps Oerth itself. Either Uerth or Aerth is the origin of the gods of the Olman pantheon, who dwell as physical entities in the stars and the far corners of the world.

Uerth is somewhat out of sync with Earth temporally, existing in the latter decades of the 19th Century, with the appropriate technological level. Time flows on the same rate on both worlds and on Aerth, but at a very different rate on Oerth and Yarth. As with Aerth and Earth, for every day that passes on Uerth, a month passes on Oerth and Yarth.

Uerth is here interpreted as the world of Clark Ashton Smith's writings, as introduced to D&D in Castle Amber. It's also the Earth of H.P. Lovecraft and, by extension, Robert E. Howard. It's the world of the AD&D "Historical Reference" series and of the Gothic Earth setting. I snuck in a reference to the novels of Thomas Hardy (Tess of the d'Urbervilles) as well.

In the parlance of the 1st edition Manual of the Planes, Uerth's physical factor is 5, its magical factor -3, and its temporal factor 5.

Earth

Earth is our own world, interpreted here as a place where magic does not exist at all. There were never any miracles or spells in Earth's past; the gods worshiped by the people of this world do not answer prayers. There was never a lost continent of Atlantis, King Arthur never drew a sword from a stone, and there were never any dragons unless you count the dinosaurs, who died out hundreds of millions of years ago. If life exists on other worlds, its inhabitants have never visited the planet Earth. The world evolved naturally, coalescing from stellar gas, cooling into rock, with life originating through natural processes. When people die, they depart the world forever; there are no ghosts and ouija boards are so much nonsense.

There is only one concession to the supernatural on Earth, and that is the presence of planar gates. They are exceedingly rare on Earth, but they do sometimes form, opening up into Uerth, Aerth, and sometimes other worlds as well. They are Earth's sole manifestation of the potent arcane energies that flow elsewhere in the multiverse. Through these gates, travelers from elsewhere have occasionally come to Earth and interacted with its inhabitants, though they are usually dismissed as fools and madmen. Murlynd has been to Earth, which is where he picked up his state-of-the-art VCR in the early 1980s (and, more recently, his high-definition, surround-sound DVD home theater system). St. Cuthbert has also come to Earth when, early in his career, he needed a place to hide his mace from the forces that wished to destroy him.

Earth is the world described in "The City Beyond the Gate" in Dragon #100, and it's the world where Mordenkainen meets with Elminster and Dalamar in the "Wizards Three" series in Dragon Magazine. Magic is not impossible here; it's just that the world's natives do not know how the trick of it, and may be mentally incapable of using it. They've heard of magic, and even celebrate it in their fiction and their superstitions, but not a single one has ever cast an authentic spell.

For every day that passes on Earth, a month passes on Oerth and Yarth.

It is now the 21st Century on Earth, and things are exactly as we know them from news reports and our daily lives. Alternately, one could claim that Earth is not our own world, but a parallel less magical than our own. In this case, Earth is a world like our own except for the utter lack of fantastic or speculative fiction (nobody plays D&D, which spares us from having to speculate that Gary Gygax found a worldgate).

In the parlance of the 1st edition Manual of the Planes, Earth's physical factor is 5, its magical factor is -4 to -7, and its temporal factor is 5.
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MichaelSandar
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rasgon, that is an excellent write-up! This could be expanded upon for a major CF! article, but you covered a lot of the bases already! I need to get my hands on a copy of 'Wizards Three'!

Thanks for all the info!
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Wolfsire
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting.

That first paragraph under Earth was well designed to offend atheists, monotheists, polytheists and every other persuasion, equally. Not an easy task. :-)
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolfsire wrote:
That first paragraph under Earth was well designed to offend atheists, monotheists, polytheists and every other persuasion, equally. Not an easy task. :-)


Heh. I was a little worried some would find that offensive, which is why I took care to say "interpreted here as" rather than "this is the way the real world is." If Uerth is "our world with a secret supernatural history," then for the sake of contrast it helps if there's another world that's "our world with no supernatural influences at all." Though, you probably wouldn't want to run a D&D campaign in it.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rasgon wrote:
Though, you probably wouldn't want to run a D&D campaign in it.


Maybe Top Secret Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rasgon that was an entertaining read. It evokes alot of Moorcock's Eternal Champion cosmology for me, where Elric and his like can encounter alternate timelines/worlds.

I am most pleased with the Mayaheine and Rhennee origins which fit like gloves. It would be cool to run a campaign bridging all these worlds as it seems Murlynd and co. might have at one time.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was just very good!

Quote:
Uerth

Called "Uerth," "Gothic Earth," or "Mythic Earth" by planar cartagraphers, the locals mostly call it Earth in their various languages; one prominent culture calls it La Terre. The continents of Uerth are identical to those of Earth today, although in the distant past the lands of Atlantis, Lavondys, Ys, Hyperborea, and Lemuria sank into the sea, and their ruins can still be found beneath the waves. In the far future the present continents will sink, making way for the final continent of Zothique at the world's end.

The history of Uerth is mostly similar to that of Earth, although supernatural forces lurk behind many of the world's events. There are some minor differences in place-names; for example, the French province known on Earth as Auvergne is called Averoigne here, while the English county of Devon is called Lower Wessex. There is some congress with other dimensions and planes, including possibly the counter-world of Phaeree known to the people of Aerth. Magic works on Uerth, but it carries a heavy price, often resulting in its practitioners being enslaved to unsympathetic entities with their own agendas. Uerth is likely the world where Murlynd developed his strange hybrid of magic and technology, as both sciences work on this world. Using technology to enhance his magic may have helped Murlynd avoid the thralldom experienced by so many of Uerth's adepts, though perhaps the benevolent influence of his patron Heironeous helped as well.

Uerth is quite possibly the origin of the Rhennee gypsies, the Europe of this world the true identity of the "Rhop" of their legends, although others have suggested they come from Earth or perhaps Oerth itself. Either Uerth or Aerth is the origin of the gods of the Olman pantheon, who dwell as physical entities in the stars and the far corners of the world.

Uerth is somewhat out of sync with Earth temporally, existing in the latter decades of the 19th Century, with the appropriate technological level. Time flows on the same rate on both worlds and on Aerth, but at a very different rate on Oerth and Yarth. As with Aerth and Earth, for every day that passes on Uerth, a month passes on Oerth and Yarth.

Uerth is here interpreted as the world of Clark Ashton Smith's writings, as introduced to D&D in Castle Amber. It's also the Earth of H.P. Lovecraft and, by extension, Robert E. Howard. It's the world of the AD&D "Historical Reference" series and of the Gothic Earth setting. I snuck in a reference to the novels of Thomas Hardy (Tess of the d'Urbervilles) as well.

In the parlance of the 1st edition Manual of the Planes, Uerth's physical factor is 5, its magical factor -3, and its temporal factor 5.


Soo...
We can say that Masque of the Red Death (the RPG from Arthaus/TSR, not Poe's short story) takes place here? Wink
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jakob81 wrote:
We can say that Masque of the Red Death (the RPG from Arthaus/TSR, not Poe's short story) takes place here? Wink


Absolutely. That's the "Gothic Earth setting."

Part of my inspiration here was Roger E. Moore's article Chronomancy and the Multiverse, which explicitly says that the Masque of the Red Death setting is the same as Averoigne from Castle Amber/Clark Ashton Smith, and suggests Murlynd has visited it.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are great write ups Happy

What about Gary's new Lejendary Earth? Should this fit into the scheme of things?

Your write-up on Earth isn't offensive. It's fiction afterall! Happy

The only thing I'm not sure about is how some worlds are out of temporal sync. I'd probably make them all work on the same time scale (a day for a day), it's just that some are more technologically advanced than others. This would be less disconcerting for world travellers.

I don't picture Oerth ever really advancing in technology (well perhaps at an extremely slow rate). Perhaps the magical nature of it just puts this inventiveness in a kind of stasis. I mean, the Suloise empire is pretty ancient - more ancient than real world humans - and their tech level is still medieval.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dead wrote:
What about Gary's new Lejendary Earth? Should this fit into the scheme of things?


I don't know enough about it to say, I'm afraid. I have a copy of Epic of Ærth, but I don't have any Lejendary stuff.

I'm sure the five worlds I describe above aren't the only ones in the multiverse by a long shot (there are all the Q1 worlds, for a start), so I'm sure Lejendary Earth can fit in somewhere - the five above were enough for a continuum, though.

Quote:
Your write-up on Earth isn't offensive. It's fiction afterall! Happy


Exactly.

Quote:
The only thing I'm not sure about is how some worlds are out of temporal sync.


Yeah, I'm not sure I like that either. I did that because the Earth from the "City Beyond the Gate" adventure was presented out of sync, but I think I'd ignore it myself. It makes things more difficult than fun.

Quote:
I don't picture Oerth ever really advancing in technology (well perhaps at an extremely slow rate). Perhaps the magical nature of it just puts this inventiveness in a kind of stasis.


A big problem for Oerthly inventors is the fact that materials like fossil fuels and gunpowder are chemically inert there, so it's harder to empower items and wars of technology.

Samwise has argued that the Suel and Baklunish cultures were Iron Age in technology (say, like the Roman Empire in 500 AD; maybe the Oeridians had invented the stirrup, but the Suel and Baklunish hadn't adopted it yet), so you wouldn't expect the Flanaess to have progressed much beyond medieval tech in a mere thousand years regardless. They're probably still rediscovering old Suel and Baklunish tricks. I suppose it depends on your tastes. Both empires are very old (we know the Baklunish empire was founded around 1 BH, and the Suel had some level of civilization as early as 1100 SD), but if they were Stone Age when they were first founded, it wouldn't be strange if they had only reached the late Iron Age even thousands of years later. I like to point to the city of Jericho, founded 10,000 years ago, as an example of how slow such societies change. Ancient Egypt plugged along for 3500 years or so before the Greeks took it over.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:38 am    Post subject: Oerth time vs Earth time Reply with quote

Hi all -
Rasgon, a most excellent article, and one that could easily fit into an OJ article mirroring Roger Moore's and Gary Holian's articles regarding the Oerth (the Whole Oerth, iirc).
I like that you give 1 Earth Day = 30 Oerth Days. This gives rise to why a combat takes 1 hour but in game time it is only 1 minute.
But the Uerth = Earth time gives rise to an issue. If the Rhennee were indeed from Uerth, and they live for say 60yrs Uerth time, but unless they radically "de-volved" to fit Oerth's time line, would they not live for a super-duper long time? I'm no math wiz so I'm likely way short, but if 1=30 then wouldn't the Rhennee live 30x longer (60yrs x 30 = 1,800 yrs). Again, I'm likely way off, heck I could even be backwards (with them living X times shorter).
If this is possibly true, then would it not make the Rhennee near impossible to hail from Uerth/Aerth/Earth or anything with a different time line? I say that because if they indeed do, I do not believe that they have been on Oerth long enough for evolution to take hold and bring them in line with normal ages. If they do live super long lives, they would be even more unique and I could see a massive PC/NPC population boom, even if we say they are similar to Olves and do not produce offspring as often as humans and orcs.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: Oerth time vs Earth time Reply with quote

TheocratIssak wrote:
But the Uerth = Earth time gives rise to an issue. If the Rhennee were indeed from Uerth, and they live for say 60yrs Uerth time, but unless they radically "de-volved" to fit Oerth's time line, would they not live for a super-duper long time?


No, people age at the rate of the world they're in, not at their original world's rate. A native human of Oerth dwelling in Uerth would live 60-100 years local time, not Oerth time.

It's time that changes between worlds, not the rate that living creatures age at.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So would the transplanted cooshee (Cu Sith) from the Scottish highlands of Uerth experience 210 days, almost a year, for every day on Oerth? Wink That might explain why they are so fast, but the Olve might think they are kind of twitchy.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolfsire wrote:
So would the transplanted cooshee (Cu Sith) from the Scottish highlands of Uerth experience 210 days, almost a year, for every day on Oerth? Wink


It would experience exactly one day for every day on Oerth, but 1/30 of a day would pass back at home. If it never went home, this wouldn't matter to it. It wouldn't affect the rate at which it aged or how fast it could run.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry, I was just joking. I understand how it works. I just had to toss in the dog years multiplier for fun.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rasgon, it is interesting that you note the Roman Empire to Medieval technology continum. I think this is something that is terribly misunderstood in a historical sense, and for that reason affects Oerth.

Simply put, one would not progress from the Roman period to the Medieval Period. One would devolve to the Medieval period. At the fall of the Roman Empire the level of metallurgy, science, structural engineering, sanitation, city planning, mass crop production, transportation, administration, naval warfare, military organization, cartography, poetry, sculpture, etc., etc., etc., were significanlty more advanced than they would be for centuries afterwards.

I am familiar with Sam's Arguments. I proposed an aquaduct in Gran March and he claimed it was too advanced, as was a relatively short canal. While such things may present a cohesive image of the medieval period, they are hardly appropriate to the Roman, or even earlier civilizations.

There is a reason it was call the Renaisance or RE Birth. I point this out, becuase it may well parallell the history of the Flaness. I know it does IMC. The Suel and Baklunish were much more advanced than the Flaness today. Though there are exceptions to this, for the most part, this is still a fairly brutal frontier land with terrible uncertainties in the lives of the general populace.

That's the reason there are so many Dragons to slay Happy


Last edited by Anced_Math on Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolfsire wrote:
I'm sorry, I was just joking.


I know you were (thus the smiley), but thought I should clarify things anyway.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anced_Math wrote:
Simply put, one would not progress from the Roman period to the Medieval Period.


I agree with you; that's why I said "They're probably still rediscovering old Suel and Baklunish tricks." I said "progressed much beyond medieval tech," not "progressed much beyond Roman tech."

But there were some advances in the Dark Ages, though, which is why I mentioned the stirrup.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like this article on the five worlds. I use a unique system for time dilation, in my Earth/Oerth campaign:for every time increment passing on Oerth, the next higher one passes on Earth, so for example:

one second on Oerth=one round (6 seconds) on Earth,
one round on Oerth =one minute on Earth,
one minute on Oerth =one hour on Earth,
one hour on Oerth =one day on Earth,
one day on Oerth =one month on Earth,
etc, and so on, and so forth.....

I have a in-game means to change the time dilation, but the players have to find it, heh heh. This unique time dilation system means I have had to really keep track on events happening on both planes. The time dilation worked after the Suel lords in my campaign captured the Earth characters in my campaign, and temporarily captured their souls. Once they got back to their bodies and returned to Earth, six months passed, and their loved ones and bosses thought they were dead.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figured out that the time dilation scale presented here is the opposite of what I use.

I'm gonna switch it up to the one presented here, and REALLY screw with their heads LOL!! I can say it's another axiomatic shift between the two worlds.
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