Friday, 12 April 2013

Scoundrels of Skullport - Some Quick Thoughts

Scoundrels of Skullport
I have posted a few times about some general ideas I have for a campaign based in Waterdeep. We had some great experiences there during our 2E days and I still have the enormous maps that came with the City System product which I find really help to bring the city to life.

My ideas normally begin with a piece of art.

However, yesterday I noticed that Ralph Horsley had updated his Deviant Art site with a new piece: the cover art for the Scoundrels of Waterdeep expansion for the Lords of Waterdeep expansion which also appears at the start of this post.

It's stunning. Seriously stunning.

I'm a big fan of his work - I particularly love his cover art for the Neverwinter Campaign Setting - but seeing this latest piece of his has me re-thinking my plans for an eventual Waterdeep campaign. Basically, there's no way I can ignore his Scoundrels of Skullport cover art! Also, it has a trio of villains and I very much prefer to have at least three factions in my games.

While Halaster is canonically dead, one of the Character Theme articles in DDi included a Halaster's Clone theme and, while is is very Manshoon-like, I rather like the idea of a less-than-all-powerful clone of the Mad Mage waking up, finding a very different Waterdeep and also an absent Weave thanks to the effects of the Spellplague, and then he tries to find his way in this new world.

Of course, the return of Halaster - even if only a clone - would set off alarm bells amongst the existing powers beneath Waterdeep... such as the beholder - The Xanathar - and the illithid - a representative of the mind flayer city of Ch'Chitl - depicted in the picture. I can just see the PCs starting as pawns of a broken clone of Halaster - who, in vernacular terms, basically wants his stuff back - and finding that they are cutting across the plans of both.

In other words, it's a perfect picture to inspire a campaign.

Of course, I can still begin such a campaign in the Yawning Portal - so that I can still use that wonderful piece of cover art! - but I can replace the noble family mentioned in the 4E adventures Halls of Undermountain with a clone of Halaster instead. The idea of an ancient wizard manipulating adventurers to get his stuff back is something I find rather appealing in an Old School way....

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

More Names by Ed Greenwood - 2,575 names, to be precise

I've updated my lists again and included names from several issues of Polyhedron. The list is now 2,575 names long and I've decided that it's better to post a link to a Google doc than to continue simply posting the names.

And here it is.

Edit 06Sep13: I've added nearly 800 names. The document is shared here.

A New Banner

One of the drawbacks in living in one of the most third world parts of a third world country is that basic utilities - electricity, internet (yes, it's a basic utility) and water - are all unreliable, despite the fact that I live in a city of 300,000 people.

So, while I've been chugging away writing content for my campaigns, I haven't been posting much of late because of connection issues. I want to get back to posting but I also decided it was time to update the banner I was using, largely because the wizard depicted - Manshoon - may end up playing a fairly significant role in all the campaigns that I am presently toying with.

I've also decided to change the font I use for banners and my Word documents: Ringbearer is similar to the font used in Elminster's Forgotten Realms - which I finally picked up three days ago! - and I was getting tired of Splendours/Bebris Bold after 14 or so years.

This blog has previouly made reference to a possible new campaign which I originally called Doom of Daggerdale (shamelessly stolen from a 2E adventure) but am now calling Blades for Daggerdale (shamelessly stolen from a 4E LFR adventure) and this is the banner that I will be using for that game:

This is, of course, the cover art for Elminster's Forgotten Realms. A couple of days ago I found a post by the artist, Jesper Ejsing, showing his creative process over the course of creating the painting and I rather liked the triptych (if I can correctly call it that) showing the three major stages together. It just seemed like a perfect match for the three part campaign that I plan to run, thus the banner was born.

It looks like our Neverwinter: Year of the Ageless One campaign will restart in earnest next week so that's definitely going to provide me with motivation - and material! - to starting blogging more regularly again. And, if my electricity and internet continue working for the rest of today, I daresay that today's content will be more than just a couple of banners and general chitchat.

And One For Neverwinter Also....
I like how seeing the three stages of the same picture represents how the story of the campaign becomes clearer as the game progresses.

Then again, I don't know anything about art so I could be wrong....