A revised map of Athas

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So in preperation of my upcoming Dark Sun campaign (quite possibly not starting for at least 12 months) and future campaigns, I took a look at the map of the Known World. For my Zombie Apcoalypse campaign I wanted to set it in the city of Giustenal. Giustenal holds a special place in my heart as I love the idea of a city sunken beneath the sands (clearly any campaign set in this city would be before it had sunk beneath the ground). But I wanted it further away from Tyr. Right about where Balic is located would be perfect. I don't like city of Balic as I feel it's ruler "Dictator Andropinis" is a Snidely Whiplash over the top villain. That's not how I like my sorcerer-kings to be. So I wanted to get rid of Balic and put Giustenal there.

Then it occurred to me, if I'm going to make that change. Why not put the Ridge Forest on this side of the Ringing Mountains instead of the other side. By putting it on this side you allow halflings to have a much bigger presence in the Known World. Then I figured if I was going to make those couple of changes, I might as well go full hog and make several more.

Below is the result of my work. A reimagining of Athas:
IMAGE(http://i1225.photobucket.com/albums/ee395/JohnLynch1/MapoftheKnownWorld-AthasStyle.jpg)
(here is the version I'll actually use for my Dark Sun campaign. I renamed two of the cities)

In this reimagined version of Dark Sun each city-state (except for Nibenay) has a chief export and plays a prominent role in world economics:


  • Urik/Allanak: Sole exporter of obsidian (obsidian is used for both weapons and as a coin across all the city-states)

  • Tyr: Sole exporter of iron

  • Giustenal/Steinal: Chief exporter of grain (Steinal would be struggling a lot more if it wasn't for Tyr. Urik produces enough grain to cover MOST of its needs, however Tyr only produces a token amount of grain. It relies quite heavily on imports being brought in from Giustenal which grants Giustenal a fair amount of power economically speaking).

  • Gulg: Chief exporter of wooden goods and exotic herbs that can only be found deep in the Forest Ridge.

  • Nibenay/Tuluk: Nibenay isn't actually a big mover or shaker in the world economy. With it bordering the verdant plains, it is more than capable of producing enough food to cover its needs, and with animals to hunt and the Grey Forest on the other side it is quite self-sufficient. However being so far away from the other city-states, most merchants don't regularly come to Nibenay. Niebnay's chief export is artistic works, however their craftsmanship and rarity drives their prices up, putting them out of reach for all but the wealthiest nobles and merchants.


What do people think?


NOTE: Although I drew the map over 3 nights, it is heavily based on ArmageddonMUD, particularly it's geographical features

Okay, so if I'm reading your map right, you basically got rid of the forest where Gulg and Nibenay were and moved them into the Forest Ridge?  

A few things:  Without seeing the rest of your map, why isn't Tyr getting food from Gulg and Nibenay?  Wouldn't the longer journey through the desert cause the grain to spoil that much faster?  

I think it would be more "realistic" (whatever that means in this world) if Nibenay exported extra grain to Gulg and they sold it to merchants who came from elsewhere, especially Tyr.  I don't see Nibenay and its citizens being happy letting Gulg buy their extra grain and getting rich on them, though, or using this extra money in having a better and bigger army.  I would suggest Nibenay have their own caravans and Gulg tries to stop them or they have carved their own way to the Luirs Outpost, either going through the Red Desert or to the south of it through the mountains.  

Is Tyr still in the mountains for the iron?  Just not clear with this map.  Iron doesn't have to be in mountains but that's a good bet on where to find it!  But, again, if you just define Tyr as having the iron mine, okay.

Guistenal can still be a major producer of grain but it would be selling it to Balic, maybe Bodach depending how far you are going back, and villages.  

Why do you see Androponis as Snidely?  And you can certainly define him however!  I see Balic as Roman and Androponis as Augustus, playing the nobles off each other and staying mostly out of it, unless they interfere with his plans, whatever those are.  I actually see him as the most politically adroit SK as I see him as the most hands off of all of the SKs.  

Zombie apocalypse?  Tell me more!  I don't know MUDs.   

The problem I have is more with Dark Sun overall, and I LOVE Dark Sun, than your map.  Travel is supposed to be quite dangerous but the scale of the tablelands map is such that it's the size of Iowa, where I live!  That's tiny for what they are trying to do!  And I never got the vibe that travel would be dangerous over short distances, just the "supposed" long distances between city states.  So, and it's my opinion of course, I would also make the distances bigger as well as the distances between towns.  

For example, in your map, maybe Gulg and Nibenay are on opposite sides of the forest and that puts Nibenay closer to Urik?  Then, make a trade route for between Nibenay and Urik.  (Of course, in saying this, I see Nibenay keeping Urik out of the forest, perhaps Gulg keeping Tyr out but also Nibenay and Gulg arguing over how best to use the forest.)  Then Tyr and Urik are trying to get to the resources of the forest as well?  I guess that depends on how you view the SKs and what you have as their goals.    

Okay, sorry if too much.  I like what you did and whatever you use, have fun!
Okay, so if I'm reading your map right, you basically got rid of the forest where Gulg and Nibenay were and moved them into the Forest Ridge?

Yeah.

A few things:  Without seeing the rest of your map, why isn't Tyr getting food from Gulg and Nibenay?

Gulg has no incentive to export food as they live in the forest and so having enough farms to cater to their needs as well as exporting isn't really efficient. It would require a fair amount of deforestation, causing them to need to travel further to get those goods only found in the forest.

Nibenay is well suited to producing and exporting food. However somehow it hasn't taken place. One can only assume that Gulg is exerting not a small amount of pressure (through it's merchants) to ensure that no-one buys food from Nibenay.

I don't see Nibenay and its citizens being happy letting Gulg buy their extra grain and getting rich on them, though, or using this extra money in having a better and bigger army.

Gulg is self-sufficient for food, thus ensuring Nibenay sells it's food to nobody.

Wouldn't the longer journey through the desert cause the grain to spoil that much faster?

I realise this isn't intuitive due to a lack of a scale. But each pixel represents 2.5 miles (cities are obviously not be drawn to scale). Assuming a wagon has a base speed of 16 miles (halves for a desert).


  • Trip from Nibenay to Tyr: 9.5 days (scrublands) + 17 days (desert) = 26.5 days

  • Trip from Steinal to Tyr: 22 days.


It's actually faster to import grain from Steinal then it is from Nibenay (I realise this is not clear on the map I've uploaded).


As for it spoiling, according to this blog post

So long as you keep your wheat off of a heated cement floor, and out of direct sunlight, you’ll have success in storing it long term.

Check and check. That said, Tyr isn't storing this for 30+ years. They're storing this for months at a maximum. Also it's only going to be in the desert for 5 extra days when coming from Steinal.
Is Tyr still in the mountains for the iron?  Just not clear with this map.  Iron doesn't have to be in mountains but that's a good bet on where to find it!  But, again, if you just define Tyr as having the iron mine, okay.

Yeah, I got a bit excited and lazy, so I didn't draw it in. There's a basin called "Kalak's Hoard" to the north that has the iron mine.

Zombie apocalypse?  Tell me more!

Guistenal can still be a major producer of grain but it would be selling it to Balic, maybe Bodach depending how far you are going back, and villages.

No, Bodach isn't getting sold to. I'll post more details in my Zombie Apocalypse Campaign thread in the next couple of days.

Why do you see Androponis as Snidely?

From the original Dark Sun Campaign Setting (my first view of the world of Dark Sun as TSR envisioned it)
Balic is ruled by the Dictator Andropinis, a powerful sorcerer-king who was elected to his post over seven-hundred years ago. Though the term “dictator” originally referred to the power of dictating (as in stating) a city policy sanctioned by a democratic assembly of property owners, Andropinis has converted the title and off ice into one of total authority.

So basically, he's Hitler. Demoractically elected? Check. Converted the position into a dictatorship? Check. Calls himself a dictator which always has negative connotations? Check.
On the rare occasions that someone is brave enough to voice a complaint about the harshness of Andropinis’ rule, the old man takes great delight in reminding all within earshot that their ancestors elected him to his post for life.

Does he twirl his mustache and cackle evilly while he ties women down in front of wagon trains? He might as well.

I see Balic as Roman and Androponis as Augustus

I don't want to have a Roman analogue in Dark Sun. I also don't want an Egypt analogue either. I want each city to have it's own unique culture. I want Urik to feel completely different from Nibenay.

And you can certainly define him however!

I am. Balic is not known to the rest of the Known World as a city that still exists. When it's revealed it will be a big "Holy Crap" moment.

I never got the vibe that travel would be dangerous over short distances, just the "supposed" long distances between city states.

Agreed. 18 miles between Nibenay and Gulg is 2 and a bit days travel. That is far too close to have any danger pop up.

So, and it's my opinion of course, I would also make the distances bigger as well as the distances between towns.

I'm happy with there being 16 days between Allanak and Luir's Outpost, 13 days between Luir's Outpost and Tyr, and 11 days between Tuluk and Luir's Outpost. Gulg and Luir's Outpost are a bit too close, but that doesn't bother me too much (see zombie apocalypse thread for further details in the next couple of days).

Then Tyr and Urik are trying to get to the resources of the forest as well?  I guess that depends on how you view the SKs and what you have as their goals.

At thi stage, everyone is happy with the status quo. Until the start of the first campaign. Then the world starts going into upheaval with massive world spanning changes being developed in a series of campaigns.   

Okay, sorry if too much.  I like what you did and whatever you use, have fun!

Not at all. Some of my logic is "this happens because I want it that way." For example Steinal MUST be the city that produces Tyr and Urik's extra grain needs in order for the metaplot to develop. I haven't posted too many details yet, but I'll update the zombie apocalypse thread with "state of the world" part in the next couple of days. Thankyou for your input We agree on some things, disagree on others.
Interesting changes.

I thought it was interesting that you found Andropinis to be an over-the-top villain. Out of all the sorcerer-kings, he seems the LEAST villainous to me. From the fledgling democracy (which is bunk, of course, but so is any "first democracy" in a world of dictators) to Balic's relative peacefulness (compared with the pugnacity of Urik, Draj, Nibenay, Gulg, etc. who are always fighting wars with each other), I think Andropinis remains one of the least shallowly-evil sorcerer-kings.
Been thinking about this.

Obviously, you need to do what you need to do for your adventure.  

I think it's essential that the city-states are self sufficient.  Urik may produce the "best" obsidian, whatever that means, but they all have a supply of it in some way.  The exception would seem to be Tyr's iron mine.  I say this because if any city-state was dependent on another, well that would put the SK as dependent on another SK, and I don't see them liking that!  So, I see that you are saying that the grain is extra for the city-states and I think that's good, fwiw.  

I think I made the mistake of applying my changed distances to your game.  Sorry about that.  I increased the scale of the maps to make the place bigger and to make traveling longer and a lot more dangerous.  Again, for my own wants and needs!  

I agree with waxwingslain in terms of Androponis but that's me.  You said you don't want earth analogies but that's I all have to talk about!    Essentially, Androponis is Augustus, a la Roman History.  He came in, "saved" the city, and they elected him counsel for life.  Since you are earlier in the timeline than the Prism Pentad, I see Androponis as fine with the status quo.  He's in one of the more remote cities and there are none to challenge his power.  So, why change things?  Heck, from what I can tell or added, he doesn't seem to want to be a higher level (more powerful) dragon!  He is truly fine with things as they are.  He doesn't care what his subjects do, as long as they take nothing from him.  So you have this Senate that thinks it has all of the power and it does what it wants.  Until it steps on Androponis' plans and those Senators disappear and others are elected.  But the SK doesn't tell them what is or isn't fine to do!  He lets the Senate figure that out on their own.  So, they are very slow to change things themselves out of fear and not knowing what will happen.  To me, that's some interesting conflict between all of the factions.  And Androponis just sits back and watches it all to his amusement.  

In any case, have fun!   
Just a few comments on the idea:

1. From a purely simulationist standpoint it makes the most sense for the city-states to be at least marginally economically-independent (and if you don't give a hoot about simulationism then feel free to ignore the rest of this point). Any city-state without access to its own secure grain supply would be easily defeated by a rival that did have a secure grain supply thanks to comparative advantage and the availability of substitute goods (having access to obsidian weapons may give your army a material edge against opponents who use bone weapons, but that doesn't matter if they can feed their soldiers but you can't). From a simulationist economic point of view there is no case to be made for the continued independence of Tyr and Urik in your current scenario. Furthermore, most pre-industrial long-distance trade relied on arbitrage to turn a profit; by replacing competitive local markets with a non-competitive global monopoly market you would radically alter what it means to be a trader.

2. Although I agree that having so many Earth-analogues crammed into one geographically small location can feel forced, I do feel that it serves a few useful functions. For one, having distinct cultural units is a further argument against regional assimilation in favor of isolated power-bases. Two, it provides a real sense of exotic travel between the cities and prevents it from feeling like a simple "palette swap" when you go from, say, Tyr to Urik. Third is that it provides a relatively simple touchstone that you can broaden as you see fit. Describing Balic as a city of colums, open forums, and men in togas provides a ready cultural image for the player, but with a little research into the background of the analogue's source you can highlight some of the more exciting or "alien" ideas from that cultue to keep your players on their toes (maybe Balic practices a version of bride abduction from the Sabine myth, so players are shocked when one of them is kidnapped and declared legally "married" to a local noble).

3. I would be leery of fiddling too much with the distances. Again focusing on the simulationist perspective, if we accept that the average person walks 3 miles per hour (accounting for flat, hard-packed terrain and no load), then it would take 10 hours of continuous walking to cover 30 miles, which is roughly the distance from Baghdad Iraq to Baqubah Iraq. Trying to make that trip on foot in August when temperatures are on average in excess of 110 degrees would be extremely taxing for a trained, healthy adult and nearly suicidal for anyone else. Factoring in for dust storms, wild beasts, hills, broken terrain, bandits, and the necessity to carry some weight in provisions, that one day trek of 10 hours suddenly becomes more daunting than initially expected.

Don't take any of that fluff above as a dismissal of your campaign! Just looking at your data through a simulationist lens to see if there are areas to make the world seem more alive. While I am not a -huge- fan of simulationism, I do like having players feel like they inhabit a living, breathing world that existed long before they arrived and will last long after they are gone.
Just a few comments on the idea:


3. I would be leery of fiddling too much with the distances. Again focusing on the simulationist perspective, if we accept that the average person walks 3 miles per hour (accounting for flat, hard-packed terrain and no load), then it would take 10 hours of continuous walking to cover 30 miles, which is roughly the distance from Baghdad Iraq to Baqubah Iraq. Trying to make that trip on foot in August when temperatures are on average in excess of 110 degrees would be extremely taxing for a trained, healthy adult and nearly suicidal for anyone else. Factoring in for dust storms, wild beasts, hills, broken terrain, bandits, and the necessity to carry some weight in provisions, that one day trek of 10 hours suddenly becomes more daunting than initially expected.



Okay, been thinking about this and here are my thoughts.  

The problem with these assumptions are mainly more on the city states.  It seems to be accepted that most of the city states existed before the cleansing wars.  We know Tyr did for sure but it seems a reasonable argument.  If these cities were formed during the Green Age, why are they so close?  So, while I agree with your travel speed on foot, I disagree with temperatures in the Green Age.  In that time, travel times would not change but it would be easier in terms of temperatures and even threats.  

My point, then, is that if these cities were around back in the Green Age, they should have been a bit further apart when the Cleansing Wars hit and therefore would be potentially hundreds of miles apart.   At least further apart than they are.  Further, it's my understanding of deserts that while any of them can be treacherous, it's really only the huge sand dunes where there is nothing for miles that are the problem areas to travel.  I assume the rocky badlands are like Utah not the Sahara.   Yes, it doesn't negate temperatures, but it's not as desolate or tough as if it were all sand dunes.  

I'm thinking that having each city state have an area of sixty by sixty miles of "fertile" land creates its own little eocsystem.   Within this ecosystem, you have cultivated lands, by slaves of course, and they are probably divided by the nobles into areas, counties for example or whatever the nobles have done.  Within those areas, then, you have villages as a gathering point and a place to bring food before they are taken to the city state.  So these areas are tough but now within the ecosystem, a lone traveler is possible but it would be best if they went with a group of them.  More than likely, it's a group of slaves (with a task master) taking food to a village or a larger group taking food to the city.  

What this does is set up a LOT more in those city state areas.  Now there is the main city and a plethora of villages and hamlets that are run by the nobles as plantations or ranches.  You still have it that slaves or artisans might not travel far from home, except the exceptional ones that want to go to the city.  It also sets up a lot more jobs.  Now there are local merchants bringing in produce from the surrounding areas.  The big Merchant Houses are the ones that take goods from one city state area to another.  (I add a language barrier between city states for many reasons, such as easier to locate foreigners and find escaped slaves who can't ask for help, and so I see this as the reason the houses base from Altaruk or other villages.  Then the Merchant House has a Tyr trader who knows the local customs and language and he brings his stuff to Altaruk and "sells" (or how ever you have the Merchant House do this) to the merchant from Urik, who knows Urik's local customs and language.)  However, you also have a smaller, contained ecosystem of merchants operating within the city state's controlled area.  It sets up that maybe one of them wants to be as big as the Merchant Houses some day.  

And I do exactly this for my own sense of similationism.  I found a site that talked about population density in the middle ages and came with an online page to figure out density and what was needed to support a given population.  Essentially, each city state needs about a quarter of a million, with 80% of them slaves, to support an area.  If any of the city states were down to less than 50k people?  The city is dead within a generation.  They can't support that.  But this is my own background and what I found, which is why I'm impementing my ideas.  

Thanks for the discussion!

turlough 
I have always thought of the geographical proximity of the cities as being explained by the picture of Athas on every 2E supplement - It's a very small area that has actually been decimated by the Cleansing Wars and the Dragon. If you look at the logo, most of the planet is green, with a little brown patch. Natural barriers can explain the isolation from the rest of the world, and other cultures could have influenced the Tablelands cities before the Sunrise Sea turned into the Silt Sea and the horriffic accident that created the Dead Lands. After the Silt Sea and the Dead Lands were created, the final directions of travel from the Tablelands were cut off, and the cities could have and probably were culturally shaped by their leaders, none of whom, IIRC, were originally from them.
To clarify a little bit, in the matter of the proximity of the city-states (officially speaking), is that, during the Green Age, not all of the current city-states were present (or as large).
Urik, for example, was but a small village under the shadow of the more powerful village of Codesh (which is still around, but serves as one of Urik's ten trade villages).
Eldaarich was built on the site of Daskinor's final victory (basically just a series of goblin caves).
Draj was built over the ruins of an unnamed Green Age site. 

I'm getting lazy to look up the rest, but you probably get my point. 
Well, it appears I'm wrong.  At least with regards to scale.  

According to the travel calculator as per 391, the total distance from Tyr to Balic, via roads, is 490 miles.  I can accept that.  As other have said, even if a large caravan could travel at ten miles a day, that's a long journey!  

But here is my question:  If the rest of Athas is green and verdant, why have people stayed in this area?  Yes, I get that it's isolated, but there are too many psionic abilities (Dream Travel for one) that would allow travel to these areas and even taking people with them.  And once there, what's to stop them from going back via Dream Travel, or the like, and getting more people?  Essentially, the areas where it's least hostile to live is where people should be living, yes?  So, as soon as you create any green area, I think you need to explain why everyone isn't living there.

Now, I thought the Crimson Savanah was explained because the grass would cut flesh but not the exoskeleton of a thri kreen.  So, something like that.  Then, of course, I think it's needed to have humans adapt to that area by wearing something that stops the grasses from cutting them?  

I get that fact that not all of the current city states may have been around as long as Tyr.  We know Tyr was due to canon.  I guess, to me, this raises more questions.  Why are they located together now?  If Urik wasn't there before, why locate it there?  And why locate it there after the defiling that occurred?  

A lot of this is for my own gratification and I get that.  It's not needed to run the game.  In fact, the game probably runs better on ignorance in a "this is how it is and that's all that matters" sort of way.  I guess it gives me a sense of completion.  To me, if this area was the most fertile, as scary as that is, it explains why the most people are here instead of someplace else.  If the rest of the world was like the Dead Lands to the south, where small groups, at best, could eke out a living, then again it makes sense why everyone is here.  I'm not sure I see the natural barriers going north and south that others do, but again I'm probably being too picky.

Thanks for the replies!

turlough 
It is said that the SKs fear and hate Avangions, and there are hints of one in the past (Not Oronis or Kornugard). Perhaps the reason for some of the regions of Athas remaining green is that the SKs had at some point tried to expand their territory and travels, and some unknown Avangion or Advanced Being Elemental slapped them down and sent them running. Maybe the need to supply the Dragon with his levy to keep Rajaat imprisoned caused them to forge a pact not to stray too far away. Life is good in the Tyr region for the Sorceror Kings, even if everyone else suffers. The only ones with the resources for such a long expedition into unknown lands are SKs and merchant houses, who have every reason to stay put. Hostile natives are another probable factor. Everyone else on the planet probably knows about the life-sucking wizards of the Tyr region, and may have the whole area placed under an "embargo' of sorts. The Kreen will just eat anyone who comes their way, the horrors of the Obsidian Plains will do worse, and if one crosses the Silt Sea or somehow gets further north than Saragar, they would most likely be pinpointed as "From the Tyr region" and dealt with....somehow. It's probable that some may have found a way out, it's easy to disappear on Athas and have no real questions asked. It may even be a somewhat common phenomenon. In a land where people die in the streets daily, a few brave souls picking up and disappearing could be written off to being dragged off into slavery, eaten by a monster, or worse. My campaign has been running since 2E, and gone far beyond the Tyr region. It's your game, run with it! As much as I hate 4E, I have used the idea of habitable moons in my game as well. 
Seems I remember the idea bouncing around that a good chunk of the rest of the world was dominated by the thri-kreen. I kind of always liked the possibilities associated with that, but I'll let you do with it what you will.

As for the city-states being close together...though I haven't given it much thought before, it occurs to me that it makes the most sense because of the predicament with Rajaat's imprisonment.


Something to think about as well...
Though I agree with the idea of the original logo showing Athas (the mostly green planet in front of the crimson sun), I have to point out that its green appearance from space does not necessarily mean that it would be fertile land. Remember that the sky appears olive green. What elements in the air would scatter green light from a crimson sun (I always sort of wondered if it could be related to the dust of the Sea of Silt, but not sure by any means)? I do imagine that this would have an effect on the appearance of the planet from space, though.
I always thought that the green planet was artistic license, given that a red planet wouldn't contrast against a red sun very well on cover art.


It is repeated ad nauseaum (by the Wanderer and general narrative canon) that the Tablelands are considered by those that live there to be the last inhabitable place on Athas. Whether this is true or sheer ignorance is hard to say. From a practical perspective the dragon's levy would severely restrict the ability of individual SK's to expand, given that slaves aren't easy to transport forcefully over long distance to maintain Rajaat's prison (as was noted above).  
I go with the "Tablelands are the last inhabitable place on Athas" idea, with the understanding that there are some random thri-kreen tribes wandering the awful wastes. I didn't like the direction 2E eventually took, where (for purely economic purposes) the original, amazing idea of the last scraps of a ruined world was compromised as more and more "distant lands" were discovered, with thriving tribes, new races, cities, etc. I really think it's important in Dark Sun to emphasize that the few hundred thousand people in the Tablelands are IT, and their population falls every year, and the world is pretty much on this huge downward slide to nothingness (possibly barring the intervention of some heroes, if you like that type of game).
I don't know how far "a day-long sweep" from the village at the edge of cultivatable land (think Tectuktitlay's Gift) is, in miles.  But that is as far as the city-state's writ usually runs.  Maybe we are looking at a 30-mile-across circle, each?  And a deep enough desert so the monsters can have lairs, bandits find a mud/waterhole, &c in between cities.  Take a train ride across Arizona to see what the pleasant parts of Athas look like.  Extrapolate the rest.  Since you as DM have poetic license, you can make the wastelands at the edge of the known world (and the edge of the map) as inhospitable and as deep as you want/need for story purposes.

The SKs would not be all-powerful sovereigns if they had to negotiate and compromise with each other.  Therefore each city-state is (nearly) self-sufficient.  Each city can create a small surplus of some goods which it trades for those it runs in deficit.  Each SK can choose to create a surplus of goods by just shorting his city's population, but unrest makes life difficult for him, so there better be something important to be gained.  And keep in mind that they have to keep up a tribute of lives, forever, so you can't just let everybody else die from neglect.  A population base that can create enough victims per Dragon's Levy plus birth replacements for next time is needed.

I like "Urik is like Babylon, Tyr is like Rome, Draj is like Aztecs", &c because it gives me a coat rack to hang my descriptions on.  The PCs can go do research between game sessions if something really gets their attention and merge it into the game.  Less work for me.  Also, suspension of disbelief is easier if the world mostly works like IRL, except for the parts - the game - where we said it's different.

Final takeaway: you are telling a story set in a harsh nasty world.  If you are not an economic modeller or geographic genius, make it up as you need to.  Let the data points be influenced by the story; don't destroy the story because IRL data doesn't match it.

Best complements I have yet received

Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

{BRJN} If Bhaal approves of The Joker, does he approve of Jack Nicholson's portrayal or Heath Ledger's protrayal more?

{Stigger} That question is utterly classic, and completely on target.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the 4e thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (now lost in that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

(News bulletin: Updated thread to be posted after I review the 5e DMG)

 

My 5e characters

Active:

Erevyn Meliamne, Wood Elf Rogue1/Monk2, AL, inspired by "Radar O'Reilly" from M*A*S*H: Perception(max)

Alavos of Kirauma, Half-elf Ancients Paladin8, HotDQ / Tiamat, Warlord themed - now an NPC because I was voted DM for our group !

Characters Ready-to-go:

none at present; gotta work on somebody from below !

Concepts I'm kicking around:

Tiefling Bard - party "face", skillful, future business master (using 3e FRCS background material) and patron to beginning adventurers.

Barbarian w/Tough feat, to be nearly indestructible

"Truenamer" cleric - all spells are Verbal

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC / BBEG version is going to become a beetle version of a Worm That Walks.  (See the 4e MM picture of a Lamia.)  Because lichdom is so cliche.

 

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