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[Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:00 pm
by Big Mac
I had a topic, way back in 2011, called [Council of Wyrms] What "connectivity" does CoW have?, where I asked if there was any crossover material for Spelljammer, Planescape and/or Ravenloft and Ripvanwormer explained that Council of Wyrms was set in the distant past:
ripvanwormer wrote:Council of Wyrms was deliberately isolated from other campaigns because dragon PCs would tend to unbalance them. It says "The time is the distant past, the world is an unnamed sphere much like Toril or Oerth yet subtly different." So not only does it explicitly not take place in any of the other established D&D worlds, it doesn't even take place in the same time period. They designed it so that there was essentially no way to take a dragon PC from the Council of Wyrms setting to anywhere else. If a character from Council of Wyrms were to somehow stumble upon magic that allowed it to travel to other worlds, it would end up there in some ancient time when dragon PCs would fit in.

Other than the use of the term "sphere," there's no Spelljammer conection that I can see.
The topic then went off in a different direction (which was great at the time). Having learned that Io's Blood Islands wouldn't be in the same time period as other campaign settings (except perhaps the Arcane Age products from Forgotten Realms) I'd like to set that aside, come back to the start of the discussion and branch off from there to see if anyone has seen any mentions of space in the Council of Wyrms boxed set or Council of Wyrms hardback.

I might start another "[Iospace]" topic later, to discuss what sort of era the SJ universe might have been in during the time of the Council of Wyrms boxed set (i.e. post 1st Unhuman War, pre-1st Unhuman War, pre-Elven Navy or whatever) but for now, I'd prefer to focus on what canon space elements the Council of Wyrms boxed set has.

Has anyone seen any references to what is in the sky? Is the sun mentioned? Do we have a moon, stars, constellations or anything else?

NOTE: I picked "Iospace" as a potential Council of Wyrms/Spelljammer crossover tag over "Wyrmspace" as "Wyrmspace" and "Iospace" were both in use, but the only mention I saw of "Iospace" was a namecheck on a Spike's Hammer webpage on Reocities that had zero details. Naming the crystal sphere after Io felt right.

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:57 pm
by Boneguard
It's been a while since I read it, but IIRC, the Sun, Moon and stars/constellations were not mentioned..well maybe in passage but nothing specific. Which is good as it gives us lot's of creative power.

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:25 am
by Coronoides
Interestingly, while one sentence on the boxed set put CoW in the distant past other aspects of the design (islands separated from the rest of the world be a vast ocean for example) and TSR's own promotional material for the setting did indicate you could drop the Io's Blood Isles into another setting. For example, the re-release as a hardback volume was promoted as ‘campaign option’ intended to be dropped into any campaign world (Dragon Magazine issue 315).

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:31 am
by GMWestermeyer
From my sphere guide:
Dragonspace
Connects To/From: Unknown
Planets and Ports: Io's Blood
Sources: Council of Wyrms
Description and Notes:
This is the home sphere for the Council of Wyrms setting.

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:26 am
by Big Mac
Boneguard wrote:It's been a while since I read it, but IIRC, the Sun, Moon and stars/constellations were not mentioned..well maybe in passage but nothing specific. Which is good as it gives us lot's of creative power.
Any passing statements can be useful. Things like a mention of the calendar or seasons of the year could confirm that the Council of Wyrms planet has axil tilt and an orbital period of one standard* year.

* = Most planet based D&D settings have a year that is almost identical to the real-world year and a moon that is almost identical in apparant size to our own one.

A few D&D settings suggest that certain special materials are formed from rocks that fall from space.

I could just roll up a random crystal sphere using the AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set, but I'd rather extrapolate things from Council of Wyrms canon, if possible...even if it does involve taking a few leaps. :)

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:39 am
by Big Mac
Coronoides wrote:Interestingly, while one sentence on the boxed set put CoW in the distant past other aspects of the design (islands separated from the rest of the world be a vast ocean for example) and TSR's own promotional material for the setting did indicate you could drop the Io's Blood Isles into another setting. For example, the re-release as a hardback volume was promoted as ‘campaign option’ intended to be dropped into any campaign world (Dragon Magazine issue 315).
I have wondered about that myself.

But having looked at the fact that the first description specifically rules out a connection to Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk, as well as the fact that the canon Council of Wyrms map does not logically fit onto any canon D&D world I can think of, I'm inclined to pass off the "Campaign Option" claim as a marketing pitch aimed at getting GMs to buy the reprint book.

For me, building a crystal sphere around the Council of Wyrns canon...and trying (in my own way) to "respect" the CoW canon and infer what that crystal sphere would be like based mostly on how the general rules of Council of Wyrms and Spelljammer intersect with each other, seems a lot less like a reboot. So "dropping Council of Wyrms into the Spelljammer universe" is probably almost as far as I would like to go with that second concept. (Having said that if anyone else wants to start a topic for something like a Council of Wyrns/Dragonlance mashup or a Council of Wyrns meets Birthright game, I'd love to see how they want to do that. Canon is really just a tool. I use it for inspiration. Not everyone does. :) )

What I might do later, after I figure out what, if anything in the CoW boxed set refers to space, is have a look at what we know about the past of Spelljammer and Forgotten Realms's Arcane Age products. I believe they had higher levels of magic and perhaps the ability to create artifacts. But that's something for later. :)

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:40 am
by Big Mac
GMWestermeyer wrote:From my sphere guide:
Dragonspace
Connects To/From: Unknown
Planets and Ports: Io's Blood
Sources: Council of Wyrms
Description and Notes:
This is the home sphere for the Council of Wyrms setting.
Thanks Paul.

Is "Dragonspace" a canon name or a fanon name?

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:42 am
by Zeromaru X
This idea is pretty interesting. You can even locate the world of Iomandra in Iospace, as this is a whole world created by Io to be ruled by dragons.

In fact, the Io's Blood archipelago can even exists in Iomandra, as well...

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:12 pm
by ripvanwormer
For reference, Iomandra is detailed here: https://iomandra-next.obsidianportal.com/wikis/world

I'm not sure if that's official, though.

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:29 pm
by Zeromaru X
Its "semi-official". It was Chris Perkins homebrew world in 4e. It got a pretty good coverage in the old WotC site, but the info died when the forums died. That link you shared has a lot of the original stuff Chris posted in the old WotC forums, indeed.

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:41 pm
by Lord Sheriff Takari
with regards to building a Crystal Sphere around the CoW setting
this shouldn't be too difficult.

if the core material in the CoW Box Set does not go into detail about the world itself or a printed Calendar to base from
you can easily build something very plausible along with the other elements in the system <planets, asteroids, and other stellar features.

the real question that comes up is how you as a DM will make the Spelljamming Connection to the other spheres and the greater Multiverse

the timeline as posted in the CoW Box Set would only apply within the Sphere Itself <Dragons are exceptionally Long Lived so the progression of general Knowledge
takes longer than say an Elf or Human culture
a CoW PC arriving from the "Homeworld" onto any other setting would see things are greatly different in the great Beyond versus back home
but they may find that returning home might not be possible
the Sphere is only 1 way <you can leave, but you can't come back.> thus preventing higher Tech items from coming back to the CoW world and disrupting the balance of life.

there also arises the issue of PC Dragons unbalancing the local worlds where they arrived, this can be countered by the Resident Dragons who will NOT Tolerate another Draconic Intruder in their turf
<general Canon for Dragons in the assorted Monster Manuals has them barely tolerating each other long enough to mate and raise young before parting ways.
and Dragons of another Color will be fought fiercely and driven off or killed outright!>
the Draconic PC would be wise to be very careful when entering a new Crystal Sphere and landing on the local world and make contact by cordial means to the local resident lest they find themselves in a very real battle for their existance

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:23 am
by Coronoides
The description of the calendar on book 2 page 40 may be of use.
9 months 45 days each
3 weeks of 15 days per month
A year is 405 days
A cycle is 2000 years
All of the above are named in the book.

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:10 pm
by Coronoides
Hmmm...
Thinking about the whole ‘distant’ past issue. May be the Io’s Blood Sphere is a ‘lost world’ with low technology. In canon they don’t even have ocean going vessels there are hints of early Iron Age culture (see my thread on this viewtopic.php?f=103&t=18738). To such people a spelljammer ship will be miraculous. You could play up how ‘backward’ and ‘parochial’ spelljammers find the dragons and vassals on first contact. For thier part the Dragons will fear that an advanced flying ship with HUMANS on board is a scout for another invasion!

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:02 pm
by Big Mac
Zeromaru X wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:42 am
This idea is pretty interesting. You can even locate the world of Iomandra in Iospace, as this is a whole world created by Io to be ruled by dragons.

In fact, the Io's Blood archipelago can even exists in Iomandra, as well...
...and...
ripvanwormer wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:12 pm
For reference, Iomandra is detailed here: https://iomandra-next.obsidianportal.com/wikis/world

I'm not sure if that's official, though.
Thanks both.

Iomandra might be a good fit. I think I'll hold off kitbashing Council of Wyrms and Iomandra into a combined planetary system until I learn more about Iomandra. (But other people might want to push ahead with this sort of idea.)

I can also see people doing a "Council of Wyrms is the past of Iomandra" campaign.
Zeromaru X wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:29 pm
Its "semi-official". It was Chris Perkins homebrew world in 4e. It got a pretty good coverage in the old WotC site, but the info died when the forums died. That link you shared has a lot of the original stuff Chris posted in the old WotC forums, indeed.
I think I'll see if I can extract some of the archived Iomandra content (before it gets lost) at some point.

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:21 pm
by Big Mac
Coronoides wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:23 am
The description of the calendar on book 2 page 40 may be of use.
9 months 45 days each
3 weeks of 15 days per month
A year is 405 days
A cycle is 2000 years
All of the above are named in the book.
Thankyou! That's very useful.

A year is 405 days

So we have a long year (405 days) which could be used to infer that the Council of Wyrms planet was further away from it's sun than the likes of Krynn or Toril.

If we assume that all planets travel at the same speed in the SJ universe (and we should not assume that, but we could start off assuming it to test stuff) we might be able work out what orbital track the world would need to go in...and therefore guess at the distance between the world and it's sun.

Is there any mention of the day length? Or is that assumed to be 24 hours? (If it is shorter or longer than 24 hours it would throw off numbers inferred from the above information you have provided.)

9 months 45 days each

I'm assuming this comes from something...like the orbit of a moon.

3 weeks of 15 days per month

I'm assuming this is a cultural thing, but if there is a moon, then the people in the world may divide the moon's phases into three.

There are three types of dragons in Council of Wyrms and it's possible that each week relates to a particular type of dragon (metallic, chromatic or gem).

Where can we get 15 from? I don't think there are 15 types of each dragon. Are there 15 deities? Are there 15 of anything else?

The real-world week had some sort of association with the known celestial bodies. Perhaps a back formation for "Iospace" could go with 15, have a "Sun-day" and a "Moon-day" and then run with what is left to give us 13 celestial bodies (other than the CoW planet itself).

I might come back to this.

A cycle is 2000 years

Hmm. I need to work out what a cycle does (in celestial terms).

I know that, in the real-world, we have precession. That sort of thing might be a bit over complex for use in a Spelljammer game.

Can you tell me more about what the cycle is and what influence it has on the Council of Wyrms world?

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:29 pm
by Big Mac
Coronoides wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:10 pm
Hmmm...
Thinking about the whole ‘distant’ past issue. May be the Io’s Blood Sphere is a ‘lost world’ with low technology. In canon they don’t even have ocean going vessels there are hints of early Iron Age culture (see my thread on this viewtopic.php?f=103&t=18738). To such people a spelljammer ship will be miraculous. You could play up how ‘backward’ and ‘parochial’ spelljammers find the dragons and vassals on first contact. For thier part the Dragons will fear that an advanced flying ship with HUMANS on board is a scout for another invasion!
That's a useful topic there. I'll have to keep an eye on it.

I thought I saw something about one of the races around Io's Blood Islands having some sort of primative ships...in a different topic. Or am I mixing CoW up with something else. :?

There are some less advanced ships (like longships) in the Spelljammer setting. It is certainly possible to have spacefarers (in "Iospace") without also having the most advanced stuff.

If Iron Age works for most of the Council of Wyrms planet, I'd be tempted to run with having that elsewhere (in the same sphere).

Rock Hoppers use quite primitive ships, for example.

If we are in the ancient past, then a lot of the ships in the AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set, might not yet have been invented. :?

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:49 pm
by Coronoides
You could use actual orbital mechanics to determine the distances its fairly simple in this case.
15 is the number of dragon races present in the Io’s Blood Isles.
Various time periods are named but I’m technically starting work now so can’t look them up.
A cycle could be marked by a comet or a regular pulse of the Sun that produces a warmer (or colder) year. Both of those are just guesses. It may do nothing like our century.

Re: [Iospace] What connects Council of Wyrms to space?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:48 am
by Boneguard
I was also thinking comet for the "Cycle" or the maybe it could be based on a # of occurrence of a phenomenal.

Say 20 insurance of an event occurring every 100 years (say a planetary alignment or an eclipse or a freak portal to the Flow so big that it can be seen from the inner planets

Or every century or 2000 years there is an early event that occurs,