Does Chronomancy link MotRD to the HR Series?

"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all." — Edgar Allan Poe
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Big Mac
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Does Chronomancy link MotRD to the HR Series?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:50 am

A while ago Havard was talking about using the Red Death with the Historical Reference Series. BPIJonathan and Ripvanwormer said there is a Dragon Magazine article, called Seeds of Evil that shows people how to do this. Jonathan had pointed out that the HR books were not really designed with Masque of the Red Death in mind and I got the impression that Havard was talking about adapting them...an other historical settings...to work with the Red Death theme.

But according to the TV Tropes article for Masque of the Red Death, a later D&D product, called Chronomancy creates a canon link between MotRD and the HR settings:
TV Tropes wrote:Unlike Ravenloft, it was set in a more modern era, an 1890s version of Earth called "Gothic Earth" —the latter supplement Chronomancy confirmed that this was the same Earth as that of the Historical Reference supplement line.
I've not heard of Chronomancy and I can't find anything about it online. Do you think they meant Chronomancer?
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Re: Does Chronomancy link MotRD to the HR Series?

Post by brassdragon » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:09 am

It is Chronomancer, on page 88 (in the "Chronomancy and Official AD&D Worlds" appendix and under the subhead "Historical Reference Campaign"):
The RAVENLOFT® campaign expansion, Masque of the Red Death and Other Tales, shows this same magical Earth in the late 19th century, though with a dark strain of horror. (The world is nicknamed "Gothic Earth.")
I love having PDFs for this sort of research. :D

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Re: Does Chronomancy link MotRD to the HR Series?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:45 pm

brassdragon wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:09 am
It is Chronomancer, on page 88 (in the "Chronomancy and Official AD&D Worlds" appendix and under the subhead "Historical Reference Campaign"):
The RAVENLOFT® campaign expansion, Masque of the Red Death and Other Tales, shows this same magical Earth in the late 19th century, though with a dark strain of horror. (The world is nicknamed "Gothic Earth.")
I love having PDFs for this sort of research. :D
Thanks brassdragon.

Is that literally all it says?

The HR series has a number of different magical items (and magical effects). Has anyone ever tried to compile them with the items/effects of MotRD, so that we can get an overall picture of the Gothic Earth?
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Re: Does Chronomancy link MotRD to the HR Series?

Post by brassdragon » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:06 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:45 pm
Is that literally all it says?
There's a little more to the section, but the focus of that appendix is very much on how chronomancy can fit into various published AD&D settings:
Historical Reference campaign: The seven volumes in the HR series describe Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East of Earth across a variety of historical periods, from 2200 B.C. (Age of Heroes) to A.D. 1650 (A Mighty Fortress). Magic is assumed to be possible, though it is limited in nature and normal technological development occurs at the same time.
Certain historical figures of this "magic Earth" may have had limited knowledge of chronomancy, given their reputed predictive or magical abilities (e.g., Nostradamus, Roger Bacon, Michael Scot, Dr. John Dee). Mythical figures with extraordinary magical powers might have time-traveling abilities, too (e.g., Oracle at Delphi, Baba Yaga, Merlin, Morgan le Fay). Fabled Atlantis, said to have existed in the distant past, might be the home of a Guardians-like force of Temporal Champions.
The RAVENLOFT® campaign expansion, Masque of the Red Death and Other Tales, shows this same magical Earth in the late 19th century, though with a dark strain of horror. (The world is nicknamed "Gothic Earth.") H.G. Wells published The Time Machine in 1895; if this tale is assumed to be in part autobiographical, he would be the only known time traveler from this period. There is evidence that Murlynd (see GREYHAWK campaign) has been to this world, during this and other time periods.
My take is just that whoever wrote that appendix thought Masque of the Red Death was sufficiently based on the real world to lump in with the historical settings rather than with Ravenloft. But it did get published by TSR.

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Re: Does Chronomancy link MotRD to the HR Series?

Post by Havard » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:30 pm

Roger Moore wrote the chronomancy article, so if anyone wants an excuse to say MotRD is the earth of the HR series this might be it. I think it might be more accurate to say that the HR series detail more than one version of magical earth though. Most of those books do offer different interpretations for the DM to choose between.

At the same time MotRD is fairly removed from the rest of the Ravenloft setting as well.

It is definitely possible to link Gothic Earth to the Earth of the HR series, Mystara's LaTerre, Greyhawk's Earth, the Earth of the Wizards Three Articles, Dave Arneson's Blackmoor meets WWII experiments, D20 Modern's Earth and even more removed things like Conan, Elric etc.

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Re: Does Chronomancy link MotRD to the HR Series?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:07 pm

brassdragon wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:06 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:45 pm
Is that literally all it says?
There's a little more to the section, but the focus of that appendix is very much on how chronomancy can fit into various published AD&D settings:
Historical Reference campaign: The seven volumes in the HR series describe Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East of Earth across a variety of historical periods, from 2200 B.C. (Age of Heroes) to A.D. 1650 (A Mighty Fortress). Magic is assumed to be possible, though it is limited in nature and normal technological development occurs at the same time.
Certain historical figures of this "magic Earth" may have had limited knowledge of chronomancy, given their reputed predictive or magical abilities (e.g., Nostradamus, Roger Bacon, Michael Scot, Dr. John Dee). Mythical figures with extraordinary magical powers might have time-traveling abilities, too (e.g., Oracle at Delphi, Baba Yaga, Merlin, Morgan le Fay). Fabled Atlantis, said to have existed in the distant past, might be the home of a Guardians-like force of Temporal Champions.
The RAVENLOFT® campaign expansion, Masque of the Red Death and Other Tales, shows this same magical Earth in the late 19th century, though with a dark strain of horror. (The world is nicknamed "Gothic Earth.") H.G. Wells published The Time Machine in 1895; if this tale is assumed to be in part autobiographical, he would be the only known time traveler from this period. There is evidence that Murlynd (see GREYHAWK campaign) has been to this world, during this and other time periods.
My take is just that whoever wrote that appendix thought Masque of the Red Death was sufficiently based on the real world to lump in with the historical settings rather than with Ravenloft. But it did get published by TSR.
Oooh! So Chronomancer also links Gothic Earth to Greyhawk.

That makes it part of the D&D Multiverse (rather than something separate).

And that implies that the "Gothic Earth"/"Historical Reference" setting would have some sort of Spelljammer or Planescape connection to the rest of the D&D Multiverse.

What sort of level of magic do you think that Chronomancer would suggest was included in a Gothic Earth campaign that used time-travel rules? Presumably there would need to be enough magic in the Gothic Earth to allow player characters to travel through time.

There is actually a forth crystal sphere, in the AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set, called "Earth System" (on pages 42 and 90 of Concordance of Arcane Space). I've always thought of that as kind of useless (except to compare the real-world with the big three crystal spheres) but I guess it would fit in if someone was going to run Gothic Earth as part of the D&D Multiverse, it would need to have a crystal sphere.
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Re: Does Chronomancy link MotRD to the HR Series?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:24 pm

Havard wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:30 pm
Roger Moore wrote the chronomancy article, so if anyone wants an excuse to say MotRD is the earth of the HR series this might be it. I think it might be more accurate to say that the HR series detail more than one version of magical earth though. Most of those books do offer different interpretations for the DM to choose between.
Brassdragon said this connection came from Chronomancer. That was written by Loren Coleman. If Roger Moore wrote an article about chronomancy, that's two different sources to look at.

I know what you mean about different interpretations. HR6 Age of Heroes came with a circular map of the world, that could be interpreted as a flatworld, if you wanted. :)
Havard wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:30 pm
At the same time MotRD is fairly removed from the rest of the Ravenloft setting as well.
I would have thought that Gothic Earth would need to be a Ravenloft domain...rather than something connected to the Historical Reference series, in order to get a decent Ravenloft/Masque of the Red Death connection going.

But, then again, if Greyhawk can be linked to Gothic Earth, I suppose that the link between Gothic Earth and Ravenloft proper would be similar to the sort of links between Dragonlance and Lord Sith's domain in Ravenloft. :?
Havard wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:30 pm
It is definitely possible to link Gothic Earth to the Earth of the HR series, Mystara's LaTerre, Greyhawk's Earth, the Earth of the Wizards Three Articles, Dave Arneson's Blackmoor meets WWII experiments, D20 Modern's Earth and even more removed things like Conan, Elric etc.
I find it hard to believe that all of these fictional Earths could be compatible. :?

That's going beyond the MotRD/HR link and throwing everything into a kitchen sink approach.

Perhaps it is worth having a separate topic to discuss the similarities between the various Earths. There might be some mutually exclusive canon that rules out links to some of these alternative Earth worlds. :)
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Re: Does Chronomancy link MotRD to the HR Series?

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:37 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:24 pm
Brassdragon said this connection came from Chronomancer. That was written by Loren Coleman. If Roger Moore wrote an article about chronomancy, that's two different sources to look at.
Roger E. Moore wrote the appendix in Chronomancer dealing with chronomancy in the D&D worlds. There was an expanded version published online (link goes to an rtf file hosted on Wizards of the Coast's website; you can read an HTML version here), which you can see has some of the same text. While credited to Moore, the text says "This article is an updated and expanded excerpt from the Chronomancer accessory." He also discussed the subject in Polyhedron.
I would have thought that Gothic Earth would need to be a Ravenloft domain...rather than something connected to the Historical Reference series, in order to get a decent Ravenloft/Masque of the Red Death connection going.

But, then again, if Greyhawk can be linked to Gothic Earth, I suppose that the link between Gothic Earth and Ravenloft proper would be similar to the sort of links between Dragonlance and Lord Sith's domain in Ravenloft. :?
Yes, it's likely that Gothic Earth and Ravenloft are only linked in the same way that Ravenloft is linked to other worlds on the Prime Material Plane.

We've had earlier threads on this. Here's one of them.
Perhaps it is worth having a separate topic to discuss the similarities between the various Earths. There might be some mutually exclusive canon that rules out links to some of these alternative Earth worlds. :)
Zeromaru's topic on "the many Earths" is a good start. There's also this thread, by sam.

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Re: Does Chronomancy link MotRD to the HR Series?

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:31 pm

This is what Roger E. Moore wrote in Polyhedron #115:
The HR series could easily describe the same magical Earth, since they generally share the same modifications to AD&D spellcasting (the "slow" AD&D system, you could call it). You could even attach Gothic Earth to these volumes as their "future history," as is done in the Chronomancer optional accessory, with minor historical changes.
In Polyhedron #117, Moore made a longer list of connections between Earth and AD&D worlds.

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