The Companions Islandia Campaign
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:13 pm 
 

Shane wrote:Lance, the following question was posted by Geoff from the MMB:



Hi Shane,

I have been thinking about this one for the past day (and even went to find my Companions modules).

They were covered in the Brotherhood of the Bolt series (Curse on Hareth, Plague of Terror, and Brotherhood of the Bolt), specifically in the Brotherhood of the Bolt.

First some background to put my answer in perspective.

Some of the character stats in John's game were of his own creation (with similarities to other RPGs (stat range 3 - 18 - referenced from the Brotherhood of the Bolt module)):

Malignancy (MAL) - a measure of how powerful one is, based on experience, expertise, combat skill level, or the like. MAL is an aggressiveness rating similar to the Monstermark (see 'The Monstermark System," by Don Turnbull, White Dwarf, issues 1 to 3). Non-adventurers have a MAL of 1 - 2, beginning adventurers have a MAL of 5 to 8 (depending on armor and weapon), experienced adventurers have a MAL of 10 to 50, dragons and other exceptionally powerful creatures have a MAL of 50+.

Intellect (INT) - The ability to think clearly and logically.

Personal Magnetism (PM) - the strength of one's personality. a measure of the psychic force at one's disposal allowing one to control magic or influence others.

Now to the EBFs (summarized from Brotherhood of the Bolt):

Evil Black Floaties (EBF): a generic non-corporeal monster

Murk and mist have coalesced into a cloak of a creature without substance.

....some RPGs call these examples of the more powerful walking dead wraiths, ghosts, spectres, wights, and so on...

....Most of the floaties of this type are not inimical to the player character, but may give them warnings or send them on a quest to right ancient wrongs....

....The truly vile monsters of this type are the non-corporeal types, created by the addition of a great deal of power to living bodies....

It then goes on to list the stats for this type of creature:

INT = 14 - 18

PM  = 12 - 18

MAL = 25 - 70

Thus, there exists among the EBFs a kind of Hierarchy, with their abilities covering a wide range. Common to some is the ability to drain away life force...others sap the strength or the will, and still others may kill by a touch. Some do none of these, merely being able to instill primal terror in those who view them, or spread confusion, distrust, or unrest. Most have the power of limited telekinesis....

I know my answer did not directly answer Geoff's question but this is just to give you an idea of what they really were (in the game and to the parties involved), something not to be trifled with and we never REALLY knew how powerful they really were. It was up to John.

It could of been as lowly in power as a wraith, or as powerful as a super-spectre.

Some were man-sized, others well......we once ran into one that was 100 FEET LONG...yes, I am not kidding here.

How did the party defeat it??? We did not, at least, not directly. The party enlisted the aid of a River Spirit (see Companions module, Places of Mystery IV - Highroad: Volcrax's Toll).

What the party essentially did was instead of giving the Water Spirit just  coin, we tossed in some of our magic items to persuade it to fight for us (although, I think this was one of John's ways to drain off some of our excess magic items).

Well, it worked; the Water Spirit rose up and defeated the quite large EBF.

Lance

  


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Post Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:58 pm 
 

Hi Lance, we were able to get your interview posted at the official World of Mystara website, here

Thanks for your help in detailing this lost piece of Mystaran history.

Shane

  


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:06 pm 
 

islandia was the appalachian mountains with the water table raised 500 feet. iirc the advantage to the gm`s ( & module writers) was nobody would specifically recognize the land mass for what it was but yet the gm`s were intimately familiar with the maine terrain (so they were able to descibe things in great detail). i never gamed with them, but i talked with peter rice at gencon and at his game store in bath maine (the toy soldier i believe). again iirc they were able to take their maps straight from the usga maps. they had a gorgeous full color map ( it was about 6 feet square) with them at their booth that i tried to get them to sell to me, but no dice. he did put me in touch with the guy who did the maps for them and i had him make me a 6 miles to the inch map of islandia ( it`s about 20 feet long ! ) but he never colored in the topography (other than the rivers).

  

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Post Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:50 am 
 

20 feet long!  No wonder he never colored it in.   8O


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:29 pm 
 

I know this thread is a little old now, but I thought I would provide a little useful feedback.

I am good personal friends with dean2918 and played in an Islandia campaign with him back in the mid 80's.  I would love to say that we played with William John Wheeler, but that is not the case.  Instead, the DM for the campaign was a person who had play tested Islandia modules while living in Maine.  He later moved to Iowa, where dean2918 and I were high school students, and started a group in the Islandia modules.  Lots of fun.  I sure miss it.....   :(

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:05 pm 
 

Allan,
If you can track down WJW, I'd love to see the set of five republished through DW. If you publish as a retrospective you don't need to comply with WoTC's d20 lisence, and if it's put into some historical context (biographical) then Hasbro cannot enforce their copyright over the D&D name. I can ofcourse supply the OCR.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:31 pm 
 

I'm just interested in the original stuff ..,  :(


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Post Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:28 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Allan,
If you can track down WJW, I'd love to see the set of five republished through DW. If you publish as a retrospective you don't need to comply with WoTC's d20 lisence, and if it's put into some historical context (biographical) then Hasbro cannot enforce their copyright over the D&D name. I can ofcourse supply the OCR.


Hi all,

I followed up with my friend about the emails he had forwarded to WJW from me and he stated he never receievd a reply  :(  So I am not sure what is going on.

If someone has another route to contact John, good luck.

Sorry my attempt did not pan out.

Lance

  


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Post Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:31 am 
 

fletch wrote:I know this thread is a little old now, but I thought I would provide a little useful feedback.

I am good personal friends with dean2918 and played in an Islandia campaign with him back in the mid 80's.  I would love to say that we played with William John Wheeler, but that is not the case.  Instead, the DM for the campaign was a person who had play tested Islandia modules while living in Maine.  He later moved to Iowa, where dean2918 and I were high school students, and started a group in the Islandia modules.  Lots of fun.  I sure miss it.....   :(

fletch


Was the person who DM'ed for the campaign named Peter Rice?

He was the other half of the Companions (from what I remember).

There may of been more but John and Peter were the only owners I knew about.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:41 pm 
 

I had hoped maybe someone would bump into him at GenCon or some such. IIRC he used to do lectures on the Con circuit on campaign building. I just thought someone might spot him. Maybe this is another case of publish and see if we can flush out the copyright owner? I've posted letters to most of the WJW's I can find in the states, and sent a couple of dozen e-mails. I got zip.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 1:54 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:I had hoped maybe someone would bump into him at GenCon or some such. IIRC he used to do lectures on the Con circuit on campaign building. I just thought someone might spot him. Maybe this is another case of publish and see if we can flush out the copyright owner? I've posted letters to most of the WJW's I can find in the states, and sent a couple of dozen e-mails. I got zip.


I do not think he does anymore lectures at GenCon. He stopped when TSR and he could not agree on a lecture fee.

I have not seen him but then again, GenCon is a big place.

  
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