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    Canonfire :: View topic - Greyhawk Appearance in The Curse of Strahd - SPOILERS!!!
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    Greyhawk Appearance in The Curse of Strahd - SPOILERS!!!
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    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
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    From: Montevideo, Minnesota, US

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    Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:31 am  
    Greyhawk Appearance in The Curse of Strahd - SPOILERS!!!

    *** SPOILER ALERT!!! ***

    Please do not post spoilers *in thread titles*; especially for an adventure *I* happen to be going through *right now*. Now I must stop reading. - Cebrion Laughing










    ***

    Mordenkainen makes an appearance in the module as a Mad Mage, someone who has gone to Barovia a year ago to battle Strahd only to have been defeated by the vampire. His loss drove him insane and resulted in him losing his staff, spellbook, recalling his name and where he is from. When he meets the PCs he has a Mind Blank spell cast upon himself (to protect himself from Strahd and others from getting into his head I suppose). If the characters wait out the remaining hours of the Mind Blank spell they are able to figure out what condition ails him and possibly cast a Greater Restoration to heal Mordenkainen of his insanity. The Archmage will then agree to assist the PCs in the final showdown with Strahd.

    Now the possibility of the PCs encountering Mordenkainen looks like it only happens if they go to Mount Baratok and he agrees to assist the PCs in Strahd's demise only if he is the chosen ally based on the card readings of Madam Eva, otherwise he declines (no reason given why he would decline, though it does state that once he is cured he will go look for his missing staff and spellbook).

    The only information they give is his background relating to the module, that he is from Oerth, and the leader of the Circle of Eight. They provide his current spell list and how many spell slots he has available in each spell level.

    1st level: 4 slots (one already used)
    2nd level: 3 slots
    3rd level: 3 slots
    4th level: 3 slots (one already used)
    5th level: 3 slots
    6th level: 1 slot
    7th level: 1 slot (already used)
    8th level: 1 slot (already used)
    9th level: 1 slot

    With this given, Mordenkainen is an 18th level Wizard in 5th edition. No other statistics are given, no ability scores, feats, magic items, etc. It mentions he has a lost staff and spellbook but we never find out what kind of staff it is.

    I'm glad they reduced him to 18th level compared to his 20+ listing for 3rd edition, though at the same time, consistency would be nice. I wish they would have given him a stat block along with magic items, though if one has previous incarnations of Mordenkainen, that is easily enough figured out, just takes some time to copy the information or derive your own version of the Archmage and make it up.

    Anyway, I found it very refreshing that they tied Oerth in the module, even though it is not a dominating part of the adventure but rather a thin thread.

    Now in the module, Barovia is listed as a demiplane and more akin to the original module. I think I will make Barovia an actual tiny cursed kingdom in Oerth, most likely setting it in the Foothills of the Griff Mountains which border the Troll Fens. Seems to me that's where I had it in 3rd edition, basing it primarily on terrain and weather described in the module Expedition to Castle Ravenloft.

    Canonfire ate my first post, seems like the site hasn't been right when I post, it usually goes to a "Page Not Found". Guess I need to copy messages before posting just in case. Took me 3 or 4 tries to get it to post. Finally went from Preview to Submit, then it worked, then it double posted.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
    GreySage

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    Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:31 am  

    That's good news, mostly. Smile

    Like you, I consider Ravenloft a small, cursed, and well-hidden kingdom on Oerth. I place it in the Clatspurs, between Perrenland and the Vesve Forest.

    SirXaris
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    GreySage

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    Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:03 am  

    This is probably a younger Mordenkainen than we knew in 3e, considering this is a reboot of the original 1st edition Castle Ravenloft rather than a sequel. It probably takes place in the 1st edition era, circa 576-581 CY before the Horned Society's invasion of the Shield Lands mentioned in the City of Greyhawk boxed set.

    The mists of Ravenloft can also snatch people out of time, so he might be younger still.

    There's a very good article placing Barovia on Oerth by Greyson here: http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=884

    I think the background of Strahd as a Knight of the Watch fighting the Baklunish is closest to his canon background as a Balkan-like warlord fighting an invasive Turkish-like people. I might have placed Barovia in Ket and had him in charge of the Keoish occupation of that land during the reign of Tavish III, but Greyson's take is good too.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:57 am  

    I like Perrenland and the Clatspurs for Barovia as well. I find Castle Ravenloft to be a good stop-over point on the way to the Lost Caverns and the Forgotten Temple. I can also imagine Iggwilv and Strahd working together back when she conquered Perrenland back in the day. Now there's a power couple for you.
    GreySage

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    From: LG Dyvers

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    Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:41 am  

    SouthernGent wrote:
    I like Perrenland and the Clatspurs for Barovia as well. I find Castle Ravenloft to be a good stop-over point on the way to the Lost Caverns and the Forgotten Temple. I can also imagine Iggwilv and Strahd working together back when she conquered Perrenland back in the day. Now there's a power couple for you.


    That's almost exactly my thinking on the matter. Wink

    I also like this idea very much. They might even work in combination.

    rasgon wrote:

    There's a very good article placing Barovia on Oerth by Greyson here: http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=884

    I think the background of Strahd as a Knight of the Watch fighting the Baklunish is closest to his canon background as a Balkan-like warlord fighting an invasive Turkish-like people. I might have placed Barovia in Ket and had him in charge of the Keoish occupation of that land during the reign of Tavish III, but Greyson's take is good too.


    SirXaris
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    GreySage

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    Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:20 am  

    I notice that this Mordenkainen doesn't have his 3rd edition bald goateed look, either. He has a long black beard and hair, streaked with gray. Of course, after a year trapped in the Barovian wilderness even 3e Mordy would be looking pretty shaggy. And they confirmed that it's canon that he's friends with Elminster.
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:48 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    I notice that this Mordenkainen doesn't have his 3rd edition bald goateed look, either. He has a long black beard and hair, streaked with gray. Of course, after a year trapped in the Barovian wilderness even 3e Mordy would be looking pretty shaggy. And they confirmed that it's canon that he's friends with Elminster.


    Where did you see a picture of him...I can't find it.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:18 am  

    There's no picture, just descriptive text.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:19 pm  

    I'm not sure if this is a reboot of I6.

    I6 took place in 528 BC and Curse of Strahd is set in 735 BC (the start date of the 2E Realm of Terror boxed set and 5 years before the Grand Conjunction).

    Also Van Richten makes an appearance in CoS and he wouldn't have been alive back in 528 BC when the original I6 was set.

    But 735 BC would equate to about 584 CY so Mordy would be pretty powerful around that time.
    Novice

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    Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:15 am  
    Re: Mordenkainen and the Curse of Strahd

    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
    With this given, Mordenkainen is an 18th level Wizard in 5th edition. No other statistics are given, no ability scores, feats, magic items, etc. It mentions he has a lost staff and spellbook but we never find out what kind of staff it is.

    I'm glad they reduced him to 18th level compared to his 20+ listing for 3rd edition, though at the same time, consistency would be nice. I wish they would have given him a stat block along with magic items, though if one has previous incarnations of Mordenkainen, that is easily enough figured out, just takes some time to copy the information or derive your own version of the Archmage and make it up.

    I'm sure you know this already, but for the benefit for any possible dismayed reader:

    The Mad Mage DOES have a statblock. He's an Archmage, and his stats can be found on page 342 of the Monster Manual.

    For example; his Intelligence is 20 (+5).

    A few more tidbits taken from his statblock and CoS description:

    His AC is 12 (15 with Mage Armor). The Mad Mage sports 99 hit points and his saves are Str +0 Dex +2 Con +1 Int +9 Wis +6 Cha +3. He's got a +13 bonus for the skills Arcana and History, and he's capable of bestowing a supernatural Charm on the heroes (as per the DMG).

    He does know (and use!) the spell Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion ;)

    He is a NPC though. Do not expect feats, class features or details on equipment. But that's normal for 5th Edition.
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