Signup
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Touring the Flanaess
Adventures
in Greyhawk
Cities of
Oerth
Deadly Denizens
Greyhawk Wiki
#greytalk
JOIN THE CHAT
ON DISCORD
    Canonfire :: View topic - Valley of the Mage
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Valley of the Mage
    Author Message
    Novice

    Joined: Jan 17, 2021
    Posts: 4


    Send private message
    Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:09 pm  
    Valley of the Mage

    Many years ago, my character, during the end of the Great War, took over The valley per The tsr version and module. Many years later, and much research, Iíve found, thereís an entirely different spin on the Vale.
    Gary Gygax apparently wrote a series about a thief named Gord and a certain Basilev, who later became a demiurge.
    Based one what Iíve found via published interviews etc, I find two ďwrongsĒ done regarding the Vale.
    First, and this doesnít mean first chronologically, but rather first as in how Iím listing them, TSR/WotC really did wrong by the creator of the game that continues to create their paychecks. Corporate greed is everywhere.
    Second, the final Gord book, by general consensus, seems to be a finger in the eye from Gary to TSR. It comes off a bit petty and vindictive. A point I am painfully familiar with in life, and I get the why and wherefore.
    Third, stooping to the same childish level, TSR published the module; Vale of the Mage. This was a few years after my character had settled there. This irked me to no end.
    I quit playing actively around 1991.
    It is now 2021. My son, 24 and my daughter, 20, are now getting into it and once again, Iím called back to the realms.
    Iím undertaking the task of rewriting the Valley of the Mage, without the laziness of the ďofficialĒ module, or the vindictiveness of the book series.
    Things I would like to keep;
    The demiurge. I want to bring this to life.
    Oerthblood, build a connection.
    The importance of the Vale in regards to Oerth and how it protects either the plane, the planet or their protector.
    Feel free to post ideas, but donít be upset if I donít use LoL of them.
    Iím aware of Mordenkainens interest, my character finds him to be, at best, a potent annoyance.

    Lastly, letís keep it fairly simple-ish. For example, Iím not (at this time anyway), concerned about planetary alignment, magic waning, or super detailed cosmicology.


    Spoiler: ďThe Black OneĒ, is either going to die or become a non-issue, because in my old campaign of over a month of playing, heís simply gone. Iíve no intention of dealing with this upstart excuse for a spell thrower again.

    Thank you for your time and your feedback.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3134
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:38 am  

    It's worth reading Rick Miller's take on the Vale of the Mage in Oerth Journal #18.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 13, 2020
    Posts: 7
    From: Emigre from Mystara

    Send private message
    Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:16 pm  

    Wasn't aware of that reply. The GH time line shows elves in the valley 10,000 years prior to the Suel calendar from memory, so they have been there for a LONG time. For a reason. They are clearly outcasts or "strange" to other elves, which is also unusual. the suggestion is because they are loyal to a human mage, but it clearly goes deeper. The Black One in the TSR was clearly a blow in. It wasn't him that was the human, or caused the split. That is the key the the Valley, and the story. What is the millenia long story of the Valley and why are they different. Protecting the planet is a new one, but now I will have to go look for that source. Sounds like a cool one though. Plus now I have to go read OJ 18 ....
    Novice

    Joined: Jan 17, 2021
    Posts: 4


    Send private message
    Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:00 pm  

    Thank you for the reference. Thatís a lot of information!

    Though it is radically different from how our campaign played out. We left off at the end of the Great War. My Character, Reximus, had just settled with what was left of his army.
    We had met with the Mage and First Protector as well as the Jakar (singular per the module, not a group per the journal), after a Druid duel between Ranxaeroth (my Druid character) and Jakar, they came to an understanding of sorts. Jaran or Jason, would be given land for him and the FP, and would be able to live and research in peace with no distractions. Reximus took command of Valley defenses. The Elves chose a new king. The gnomish clans chose a council of clan leaders, The Crystaline Council as their governing body.
    Reximus used the few remaining Spelljammers to move his home and hoard to the valley. All but emptying his primary coffers, military training camps, a monestery, The Temple of the Night Tiger, and an academy of herbalism and science were begun.
    This is how it closed on our world. This is where the new story will begin.

    If anyone has any stats on Basilev, the demiurge, or Gellor, or the city of Bardillingham, please post them here for reference.
    Iíve most likely read them, but who knows. Hopefully, fresh eyes will reveal fresh answers.

    Thank you for the information thus far. Letís get this moving.

    Thank you.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 05, 2020
    Posts: 19


    Send private message
    Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:07 pm  

    Ranxaeroth wrote:

    If anyone has any stats on Basilev, the demiurge, or Gellor, or the city of Bardillingham, please post them here for reference.


    The 1980 World of Greyhawk folio lists the Mage of the Valley (not yet named Basiliv) as "Magic-user, 18th level".

    However, the Gord books imply a being of far greater power.
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

    Joined: May 29, 2018
    Posts: 496


    Send private message
    Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:30 pm  

    WingofCoot wrote:
    Ranxaeroth wrote:

    If anyone has any stats on Basilev, the demiurge, or Gellor, or the city of Bardillingham, please post them here for reference.


    The 1980 World of Greyhawk folio lists the Mage of the Valley (not yet named Basiliv) as "Magic-user, 18th level".

    However, the Gord books imply a being of far greater power.


    In 1980 18th level was pretty freaking powerful. Not sure if Gygax saw it as demiurge powerful but outside of munchkin play that was damn high level for Greyhawk.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 29, 2006
    Posts: 484
    From: Dantredun, MN

    Send private message
    Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:45 pm  

    Check out Roger Moore's old "Valley Elves in Greyhawk" here (scroll down). One document is rules, the other background.

    FWIW, the intro to the VotM in Greyhawk Adventures isn't any better than the later module, but it is different, describing a barren, foggy land instead of a tropical valley.
    -
    It's not really accurate to say the 1989 module had anything to do with greed. TSR certainly did some Greyhawk sabotage in '86-87 when they were spooked by Gygax, Mentzer, and Kuntz who retained some rights and were financing their new companies with thinly-veiled Greyhawk products, but that threat soon evaporated or was crushed by TSR's legal team.

    By 1988, James Ward cooled the higherups down and was pushing hard for real Greyhawk products. Some went to good authors, like Sargent, Mobley, and Brown, and some went to mediocre staff writers, like Slade and Rabe.

    I do like Rabe's Lirr-worshiping Tree People. That's a cool idea.
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

    Joined: May 29, 2018
    Posts: 496


    Send private message
    Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:19 am  

    vestcoat wrote:
    Check out Roger Moore's old "Valley Elves in Greyhawk" here (scroll down). One document is rules, the other background.

    FWIW, the intro to the VotM in Greyhawk Adventures isn't any better than the later module, but it is different, describing a barren, foggy land instead of a tropical valley.
    -
    It's not really accurate to say the 1989 module had anything to do with greed. TSR certainly did some Greyhawk sabotage in '86-87 when they were spooked by Gygax, Mentzer, and Kuntz who retained some rights and were financing their new companies with thinly-veiled Greyhawk products, but that threat soon evaporated or was crushed by TSR's legal team.

    By 1988, James Ward cooled the higherups down and was pushing hard for real Greyhawk products. Some went to good authors, like Sargent, Mobley, and Brown, and some went to mediocre staff writers, like Slade and Rabe.

    I do like Rabe's Lirr-worshiping Tree People. That's a cool idea.


    I think Smedger's Spinecastle is fantastic, but I can't think of anything else post-Gygax era that is more than mediocre and plenty that is just pure crap. Sargent was an excellent adventure writer for GW but the wrong person for Greyhawk and after digging into Night Below I found it quickly languishes.

    What did Mobley and Brown author?
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 29, 2006
    Posts: 484
    From: Dantredun, MN

    Send private message
    Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:26 pm  

    JasonZavoda wrote:
    ...I can't think of anything else post-Gygax era that is more than mediocre and plenty that is just pure crap. Sargent was an excellent adventure writer for GW but the wrong person for Greyhawk and after digging into Night Below I found it quickly languishes.

    What did Mobley and Brown author?

    They did Greyhawk Ruins. TSR's best megadungeon IMO and maybe the best 2e module for any setting. Just needs a few fiends and weird monsters added to the mix, because the authors couldn't reference out-of-print products, TSR's whitewashing was at a high-water mark, and they only had the first few MC appendices to draw on. Joe Bloch posted an old letter he received from the authors that shows they really did their research.

    If you don't like Sargent, I can see how post-Gygax Greyhawk would be a bust. I'd encourage you to give him another shot, though. His modules demand real problem-solving, with a great mix of stealth, role-playing, and brutal combat.

    City of Skulls is the pinnacle of his approach and might be an acquired taste, but Into the Mistmarsh and Five Shall Be One are less idiosyncratic and excellent (just ignore Slade's sequel).

    Night Below requires TLC to keep fresh; similar to the Temple of Elemental Evil.

    As for other 2e authors, WG8 and GA are half good and half bad because they both had big design teams. Shattered Circle, Slavers, Return of the Eight, Vecna Reborn, The Rod of Seven Parts, and the GH mods in latter 2e Dungeon mags are awesome.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 05, 2020
    Posts: 19


    Send private message
    Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:56 pm  

    JasonZavoda wrote:
    WingofCoot wrote:
    Ranxaeroth wrote:

    If anyone has any stats on Basilev, the demiurge, or Gellor, or the city of Bardillingham, please post them here for reference.


    The 1980 World of Greyhawk folio lists the Mage of the Valley (not yet named Basiliv) as "Magic-user, 18th level".

    However, the Gord books imply a being of far greater power.


    In 1980 18th level was pretty freaking powerful. Not sure if Gygax saw it as demiurge powerful but outside of munchkin play that was damn high level for Greyhawk.


    True - but in the Gord books Basiliv is impressive even in the company of quasi-deities, demi-gods, etc.; the fact that he's disappeared in Dance of Demons (IIRC) is considered a huge threat by the assembled Lords of Balance.

    He wouldn't necessarily need higher level spellcasting than that, given that 18th level is enough for 9th level spells; but the later version of the Mage of the Valley should have some of the 'other perks' of quasi-deities/demigods.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 22, 2019
    Posts: 39


    Send private message
    Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:15 pm  

    vestcoat wrote:
    If you don't like Sargent, I can see how post-Gygax Greyhawk would be a bust. I'd encourage you to give him another shot, though. His modules demand real problem-solving, with a great mix of stealth, role-playing, and brutal combat.


    I am running a group through the Power Behind the Throne (a chapter of the Warhammer series the Enemy Within written by Sargent). I am going to say that he does not seem to have any confidence in using the system he was writing in to do what he wants. He instructs the GM to ignore the system at points. His NPCs are also laughably powerful; it's as if every character was meant to be on the scale of Philidor the Blue. As an example, the court physician has an 8 strength; in Warhammer Fantasy, dragons have a 7 strength.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 29, 2006
    Posts: 484
    From: Dantredun, MN

    Send private message
    Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:10 pm  

    LarethTheBeautiful wrote:

    I am running a group through the Power Behind the Throne (a chapter of the Warhammer series the Enemy Within written by Sargent). I am going to say that he does not seem to have any confidence in using the system he was writing in to do what he wants. He instructs the GM to ignore the system at points. His NPCs are also laughably powerful; it's as if every character was meant to be on the scale of Philidor the Blue. As an example, the court physician has an 8 strength; in Warhammer Fantasy, dragons have a 7 strength.

    Good to know and thanks for sharing this! I've never had a chance to chat about his non-D&D products much. I picked up Lichmaster, Empire in Flames, and Power Behind the Throne over the last couple of years, but haven't done more than skim them yet.

    I like Middenheim OK and used chunks of it in my barbarian campaign, but was disappointed to find it was only inspired by Sargent and not written by him.
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    Page 1 of 1

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum


    Forums ©


    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.31 Seconds