EGG / Stephen Marsh manuscript
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:31 pm 
 

simrion wrote in EGG / Stephen Marsh manuscript:Holy "thread-necromancy" Batman! Ii'd be in to buy any authorized reprints and derivatives  :D


If someone wants to make .pdfs who has the originals, I'm more than willing to authorize them to distribute copies (given the copyright rules that apply).  I've never stood in the way of that.  I would be very, err, uncomfortable with someone who doesn't have possession of the originals distributing .pdf copies.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:01 am 
 

I feel extraordinarily honored to be one of the individuals given the opportunity to countersign one of the books at the Con. I am a huge admirer of yours and I consider that book to be, by far, the Jewel of my modest collection.

As of late cons have been a whirlwind of activity for me and most of my acquistiions while attending are put away for later reading. Not this one though, even for the 15 or so minutes I spent scanning and admiring the book I saw much I liked. Your short explanation regarding alignment before Part II is my favorite example. The top half of that page contained the clearest and most succinct four sentences I have ever read discussing what troubled me for years about alignment. You were right about the amoral vs. immoral considerations. its lack of nuances' do limit many situations by ignoring motive and agency. The official definitions/explanations had bothered me for a long time.  To see it put forward without being sandwiched between angry forum posts makes me feel relieved.

Relieved of the burden of reading about alignment in online forums again.

That is truly a mighty gift :)

Thank you again. If there is ever anything I can do for you, whether in my capacity as a faux publisher, huge fan or fellow game enthusuiast, please do not hesitate to ask.

Very Respectfully,

Zach Glazar



  


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:30 am 
 

"If there is ever anything I can do for you, "

You identified yourself as Nogrod.  You helped me reach my goal of getting five copies of the con scenario into the hands of collectors, so you did your part.  My thanks to you.

So you, William and Bad Mike (I'm not sure if copy 0 really counts as a copy since it was the printer's original).  Only two others that I was hoping to give away at the con.

Let me know your thoughts once you've had a chance to look at it.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:22 pm 
 

Curse you Marsh, I have to read it. Have to. It's mammoth.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:40 pm 
 

Steve Marsh wrote in EGG / Stephen Marsh manuscript:You helped me reach my goal of getting five copies of the con scenario into the hands of collectors, so you did your part.  My thanks to you.You helped me reach my goal of getting five copies of the con scenario into the hands of collectors, so you did your part.  My thanks to you., ".


I feel it is a welcome change for me to be part of a goal rather than a quota :) You are welcome though for augmenting my collection with an amazing piece that I would never have dreamed of owning.
Steve Marsh wrote in EGG / Stephen Marsh manuscript:

Let me know your thoughts once you've had a chance to look at it.



Count on it. I started reading through it again last night for about 30 mins and my initial thoughts are mostly wistful wishes about having played in the scenario last year. I am finding the notes at the beginning of the adventures about the nature of planes and the short explanations of your use of the 5e abomination descriptions to be the most interesting and surprising respectively.

Thanks again.

Zach



  


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:49 pm 
 

I had one publisher at the con express an interest. Biggest issue was raising the funds to properly illustrate it.

That and as an editor as I'm (a) not the best editor of my own work and (b) my day job.

I will keep you posted if anything comes of the project and very much welcome feedback on what isn't clear, what you would like more (and less) of, etc.

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:33 am 
 

Given the financial resources of many collectors, and the literary expertise and business acumen of some members, one would imagine the combined effort of the right team, and the use of an online crowd funding platform, could see any 'viable' project successfully through to fruition. The question really is, do you have a 'viable product' that can be published at an acceptable standard, and a cost that the market will bear?

You can outsource rewriting, editing, development, etc. to others. It's all a matter of how much you wish to be involved and how much control you are happy to give away. Just on board here we have numerous publishers of varying expertise, all of whom have varying degrees of success, and outside of the forum you have Goodman Games (who may or may not do 1E/2E/3E work anymore) and Frog God Games who are eminently capable for bringing product to market.

I, for one, would love to see Planes of Existence and City of the Revenant become commercially available products. The question remains, is it financially viable for them to do so?


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:01 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote in EGG / Stephen Marsh manuscript:Given the financial resources of many collectors, and the literary expertise and business acumen of some members, one would imagine the combined effort of the right team, and the use of an online crowd funding platform, could see any 'viable' project successfully through to fruition. The question really is, do you have a 'viable product' that can be published at an acceptable standard, and a cost that the market will bear?

You can outsource rewriting, editing, development, etc. to others. It's all a matter of how much you wish to be involved and how much control you are happy to give away. Just on board here we have numerous publishers of varying expertise, all of whom have varying degrees of success, and outside of the forum you have Goodman Games (who may or may not do 1E/2E/3E work anymore) and Frog God Games who are eminently capable for bringing product to market.

I, for one, would love to see Planes of Existence and City of the Revenant become commercially available products. The question remains, is it financially viable for them to do so?


Well, I'm not terribly concerned about retaining any control.  ;)  

I'm also not terribly concerned about getting paid.

So you've hit the real question.  Given where things have gone and the actual level of interest (rather than the theoretical level) you can tell why I'm only talking of it as possible, rather than probable, and not naming anyone.

I've put together some adventures that lead cleanly into the plane of shadow and a good description of it and many of the inhabitants.  Is that enough?  We will have to see.

Which is why I'm cautiously hopeful, but not terribly pushy about it.  We will see.

And I look forward to the feedback of those who got the con copies.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:23 pm 
 

City of the Revenant would be easy enough to update and get done without disrupting other projects. I've been sent a copy of the scans by the buyer.

But I'm not sure that the publisher who agreed to look at things will find they meet your criteria (which is why I haven't named them).

I'll update people when I know more.

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:05 am 
 

BTW, if I redid City of the Revenant would you want to see it as it was originally done -- for a con to illustrate multiparty war gaming almost with Player Character parties fighting the environment and each other or as an adventure location as I have used it in my campaign?  

I'm leaning towards the later approach and would probably run it at NTRPG Con next year as well as what I am working on (another adventure set that is an introduction to a plane).

The Plane is going to take some time, but the City will be faster because I've used it so much.

Anyway. My motto "will work for feedback"

;)

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:22 am 
 

BTW, in case anyone was curious of how the Plane of Shadow fits into the cosmology from the books ...

       The various realms of The Shadowfell are a dark version of the prime material plane each realm is near, usually with pockets or sealed regions (the prisons).  It functions as an entry-way to the negative material plane for the material plane it is connected to (a subset of Shadow) and it works as a layer from the shadow to the negative energy planes, one of the (perhaps many) ante-rooms to the abyssal levels and realms.
      
       Adventurers hear about The Shadowfell since it is the sort of place of great risk and reward that stirs attention, as well as containing the prisons that are no longer as secure or one-way as they once may have been, allowing stories to escape.  Those who created the prisons were negative energy plane Great Decays or demigod level evil powers that drew energy from those they had imprisoned.  When one of those Decays falls or is destroyed, if the prisons they were farming (so to speak) are not cultivated by another, those prisons begin (or may begin) to weaken and it becomes more likely that outsiders can enter or those within may be able to escape.  In addition, a prison that is still owned or used for power may be permeable so that more life can enter as new fuel for it.  Those imprisoned are already in a lesser hell.

       As a result The Shadowfell is both darker or more negative than true shadow (which is a balance of light and darkness) and more concrete (as each instance of The Shadowfell is more firmly tied the prime material plane it feeds from).

       If redrafted for players, the text would read something like this:

      The various realms of The Shadowfell are a dark version of the prime material plane each realm is near, usually with pockets or sealed regions (the prisons).  Each realm functions as an entry-way to the negative material plane for the material plane the realm is connected to and each realm functions as a layer from the plane of shadow to the negative energy planes, one of the (perhaps many) ante-rooms to the abyssal levels and realms.
    
      Adventurers hear about The Shadowfell since it is the sort of place of great risk and reward that stirs attention, as well as containing the prisons that are no longer as secure or one-way as they once may have been, allowing stories to escape.  Those who created the prisons were negative energy plane Great Decays or demigod level evil powers that drew energy from those they had imprisoned.  When one of those Decays falls or is destroyed, if the prisons they were farming (so to speak) are not cultivated by another, those prisons begin (or may begin) to weaken and it becomes more likely that outsiders can enter or those within may be able to escape.  In addition, a prison that is still owned or used for power may be permeable so that more life can enter as new fuel for it.  Those imprisoned are already in a lesser hell and some prisons upon collapse fall into the Abyss rather than rejoining The Shadowfell.

      As a result  of its function and location, The Shadowfell is both darker or more negative than true shadow (which is a balance of light and darkness) and much more solid or concrete (as each instance of The Shadowfell is more firmly tied the prime material plane it feeds from).  The flux driven by the balance of positive and negative energy no longer occurs in The Shadowfell as it is not in balance.  However, it is often easier to reach as it pulls those who are nearer to the Abyss to itself creating pathways that are easier for all to transverse.  Many who think they are merely passing through the Plane of Shadow are actually being drawn closer and closer to the Abyss through The Shadowfell.

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:01 pm 
 

One fascinating thing I learned from NTRPG Con was Tim Kask's editorial workflow.

Material would come from Gary and go into what I would refer to as a WIP bowel. That was a literal bowl (ok, bad pun) on the desk where Tim worked.

Gary would give direction to Tim who would edit it all into final products. Tim would get clues as to where it came from when Gary would tell him which names went into the credits. That, of course, left Tim with a lot of questions which he still unanswered as to where some things came from.

And it meant that Tim was often doing very difficult work.

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:15 pm 
 

To quote someone else:

"I'm getting that same expanding view of Tim's process, and agree with what a unique task that must have been."

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:59 pm 
 

Steve -
I really like the idea of Shadowfell - and the Plane of Shadow.  Please put me down for one, when you publish the book!

Regards,
Nick

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:20 pm 
 

Add me to the list of people extremely interested in seeing this project make it to publication! :)



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Post Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:52 am 
 

Steve Marsh wrote in EGG / Stephen Marsh manuscript:BTW, in case anyone was curious of how the Plane of Shadow fits into the cosmology from the books ...

       The various realms of The Shadowfell are a dark version of the prime material plane each realm is near, usually with pockets or sealed regions (the prisons).  It functions as an entry-way to the negative material plane for the material plane it is connected to (a subset of Shadow) and it works as a layer from the shadow to the negative energy planes, one of the (perhaps many) ante-rooms to the abyssal levels and realms.
      
       Adventurers hear about The Shadowfell since it is the sort of place of great risk and reward that stirs attention, as well as containing the prisons that are no longer as secure or one-way as they once may have been, allowing stories to escape.  Those who created the prisons were negative energy plane Great Decays or demigod level evil powers that drew energy from those they had imprisoned.  When one of those Decays falls or is destroyed, if the prisons they were farming (so to speak) are not cultivated by another, those prisons begin (or may begin) to weaken and it becomes more likely that outsiders can enter or those within may be able to escape.  In addition, a prison that is still owned or used for power may be permeable so that more life can enter as new fuel for it.  Those imprisoned are already in a lesser hell.

       As a result The Shadowfell is both darker or more negative than true shadow (which is a balance of light and darkness) and more concrete (as each instance of The Shadowfell is more firmly tied the prime material plane it feeds from).



The ante-rooms of the abyss, or lesser hells, are fascinating when considered in game cosmology. Avoiding the narrative trap of faceless ultimate evil versus shining virtues misses the most interesting type stories to read, or in our case, play. The gray areas are where the stories exist.

Closely related to this was something I found interesting after reading through the manuscript AND reading an unrelated article by Mr. Marsh in a 1980 issue of the Dungeoneer. Steve's description of magic types expressed in the 1980 article about and titled, of all things, Nymphs (a favorite of mine creature-wise) dovetailed closely with the description of alignment in the Plane of Shadow cosmology. Chaos being akin to a feral nature was the most interesting to me even before I read the JG article (Dungeoneer 18 FWIW). Feral might be the best word to use when describing the dangers inherent to chaos as it ascribes little forethought to mindless evil. Evil, in the game sense for the sake of the post, is seldom born that way and the opportunity to subvert it before it takes hold in an entity is a fascinating opportunity for understandable complexity. It is true that some sociopaths are just born but I believe many more are created

One of the problems I personally have with many releases is I find the mortal adversaries to have uncivilized motivations for reasons no more complex than an unstated penchant greed or power. Greed IS a powerful motivator but its control over villain is too often just assumed. Which, in my mind makes for uninteresting adversaries. Leaving aside threats that are otherworldly (which are very present in Shadowfell) depth of motivation and origin of evil, even if provided with simple clues, make for the most interesting narratives. Feral being central to chaos lends itself to such depth.

I am quite jealous actually, would that I would have a consistent view of anything game related, let alone the one aspect I find the most philosophically esocteric, almost 40 years after the fact.



  


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:08 pm 
 

Btw, from A&E. http://adrr.com/hero/wildhunt/WIN/1009.rtf

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:45 pm 
 

Great stuff, Steve!  

Is it coincidence that WotC published a 4e introductory adventure called Keep on the Shadowfell?:  http://archive.wizards.com/DnD/Product. ... /217187400


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