Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

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Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby dulsi » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:44 am

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): Split from the Well of Souls or Veil of Souls? topic in the Ghostwalk forum.

Havard put Ghostwalk down. It has nothing to do with Blackmoor. You can't consume it. :)
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Big Mac » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:17 am

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): Split from the Well of Souls or Veil of Souls? topic in the Ghostwalk forum.

dulsi wrote:Havard put Ghostwalk down. It has nothing to do with Blackmoor. You can't consume it. :)


I'm sure he could start up a "Ghostwalk in Blackmoor" topic (like the other topics that have spun off of his Ghostwalk and other settings discussion) if he wanted to. :P

I would imagine that, for Blackmoor to import Ghostwalk, there would be a simple choice between:
  • Adding a new city (perhaps in the area of the Egg of the Coot to explain why nobody noticed it before) that has the effects of Manifest or
  • Ignoring the city of Manifest, but putting the Ghostwalk tunnls, the caves of the Deathwarden dwarves and the Veil of Souls deep in the dungeons of Blackmoor.

Hiding a Blackmoor version of Manifest in the area of the Egg of Coot might be the most fun option of the two, as it could be a city that PCs get magically sucked to if they get killed in the area controlled by the Egg of the Coot. And the Manifest zone, that keeps ghosts alive could also somehow protect living people from being possessed by the Egg of the Coot. The entire city would be under siege, with no communication to the rest of the Blackmoor Campaign Setting, until the PCs discover it. But it could somehow be the key to defeating the Egg of the Coot.

The second option would make it easier to discover a semi-Ghostwalk location below Blackmoor, but I wonder how interesting the Deathwarden dwarves...and the True Afterlife (which would need to be a demi-plane with a Hotel California effect that connects to Blackmoor's dungons) could be. I guess you could have an Underdark version of Manifest one or two levels up, instead. Perhaps it could be an undercity you eventually reach if you fight through enough dungeon levels. :?

ANDDDDDD CUE HAVARD! :twisted:
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Giant Space Hamster » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:58 pm

Havard wrote:Thanks for the input guys! Haha, we can start a thread about using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor. Big Mac's post is really providing alot of great options for such a discussion to delve further into. I don't think using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor would be too difficult.


MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): Split from the Well of Souls or Veil of Souls? topic in the Ghostwalk forum.
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby RobJN » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:12 pm

This sounds a whole lot like the Fusion Boundary concept of Thorn's World That Was: an Aetheric reflection of a city (or cities) in the Known World where the bodiless souls still carry on, in some cases not knowing that they've passed into Another World.
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Le Noir Faineant » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:01 pm

I actually did that, but only of sorts - Manifest was part of the Nuchar continuity of adventures, and supposedly had existed in Thonia's past, around the area where the Thonian Rand was placed in Blackmoor's present.

(North of the Great Bay, perhaps on the Eastern shore of 1030 NC's Markovia.)


Not the greatest fit, in actual play, IMO. If I ever went back to it, I'd probably run Ghostwalk all by itself.


I think, and that might interest Rob, that my current treatment of the Dwarven Empire in our Meleon campaign was initially inspired by the module. Not a cheap plug, but I liked the concept of the Dwarves being mankind's spiritual guardians, and being corruptable in different ways than Man was. (As the backstory with the Deathwardens in GW explains, IIRC.)
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Big Mac » Sun May 01, 2016 4:11 pm

RobJN wrote:This sounds a whole lot like the Fusion Boundary concept of Thorn's World That Was: an Aetheric reflection of a city (or cities) in the Known World where the bodiless souls still carry on, in some cases not knowing that they've passed into Another World.


Sounds like you had ghosts walking around in more than one city. How big an area did this happen in?

The ghosts in Ghostwalk all know they are ghosts (and some of them save up cash so that they can be brought back to life). How did you handle people not knowing they were dead? Was that a small number of ghosts who were in some sort of denial (or who had been driven insane by some sort of death trauma)? Or was it a magical illusion that made them feel like they were alive?
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Big Mac » Sun May 01, 2016 5:06 pm

Le Noir Faineant wrote:I actually did that, but only of sorts - Manifest was part of the Nuchar continuity of adventures, and supposedly had existed in Thonia's past, around the area where the Thonian Rand was placed in Blackmoor's present.

(North of the Great Bay, perhaps on the Eastern shore of 1030 NC's Markovia.)


Woah! You mentioned Taladas! I love me a bit of Taladas. (Any chance you could write about your Taladas games in the Taladas and Otherworlds subforum, some time.)

Right. Where were we. Oh, yes Nuchar. It looks like you shunted the Nuchar aspect of your game outside the main Blackmoor area. Did you create a city for Nuchar that was anything like Manifest (ghosts and mortals living alongside each other)?

Le Noir Faineant wrote:Not the greatest fit, in actual play, IMO. If I ever went back to it, I'd probably run Ghostwalk all by itself.


Having looked at how much (or little) work would be required to get Ghostwalk to work with a number of settings now, I'm coming to the conclusion that it works better as a campaign setting, than as a sourcebook. However, I don't expect everyone to play the same way as me, so if people want to reboot Ghostwalk, to shoehorn it into other worlds, I'd be interested to see them give it a go. :)

Le Noir Faineant wrote:I think, and that might interest Rob, that my current treatment of the Dwarven Empire in our Meleon campaign was initially inspired by the module. Not a cheap plug, but I liked the concept of the Dwarves being mankind's spiritual guardians, and being corruptable in different ways than Man was. (As the backstory with the Deathwardens in GW explains, IIRC.)


The Deathwarden Dwarves are an interesting idea. I'm not even sure if they are a universal think in Ghostwalk. I think they are just a single clan. Sadly, Ghostwalk doesn't give us any examples of non-Deathwarden dwarves, but other settings have multiple dwarven clans living in different parts of the world.

I can imagine someone running a Blackmoor/Ghostwalk game ("Ghostmoor"? ;) ) wanting to keep Blackmoor's original dwarves, as is and make these dwarves a bit like the Swiss Guards that look after Vatican City.
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby RobJN » Sun May 01, 2016 5:17 pm

Big Mac wrote:Sounds like you had ghosts walking around in more than one city. How big an area did this happen in?

The ghosts in Ghostwalk all know they are ghosts (and some of them save up cash so that they can be brought back to life). How did you handle people not knowing they were dead? Was that a small number of ghosts who were in some sort of denial (or who had been driven insane by some sort of death trauma)? Or was it a magical illusion that made them feel like they were alive?

Fortunately, it only affected pockets of civilization, where high concentrations of Andahar onyx either naturally occurred, or was stockpiled. The people simply carry on with their lives, as if nothing happened. In most cases, this is just a loop of several minutes, to hours, to days. Other, hardier types have retained their full sentience, and make the best of their situation, freely roaming the reflected world, some just getting by, while others are driven to escape. Those who've managed to activate a reflected Lightning Road pass back into the Prime plane as the various disembodied undead, since they don't have a physical body to rematerialize (the shock of finding that out usually being what drives them mad). The forthcoming second half of the current Thorn's Chronicle story arc will be covering the ins and outs of living between the Prime and Aetheric-Reflected Fusion Boudary. :twisted:
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Le Noir Faineant » Mon May 02, 2016 8:50 am

Big Mac wrote:Woah! You mentioned Taladas! I love me a bit of Taladas. (Any chance you could write about your Taladas games in the Taladas and Otherworlds subforum, some time.)


I really don't remember much from that time, but I have the notes somewhere. If I manage to put them in order, sure. We followed the basic plot of "Ariakan's Lorebook", I believe: A couple of knights of Takhisis on patrol. I think the campaign finished somewhere in the Rainward Islands (?), but I am not sure how the campaign went in detail. Basically, low-level skirmishes, and a lot of hack-and-slay.

Right. Where were we. Oh, yes Nuchar. It looks like you shunted the Nuchar aspect of your game outside the main Blackmoor area. Did you create a city for Nuchar that was anything like Manifest (ghosts and mortals living alongside each other)?


Nope, not really. We really used stuff as written; we ran a fairly quick game, back in the day, and so, we needed new material pretty quickly. Mind you that this was during a time when it was comparatively difficult to get PDF and map work, if not in print. So, we really just played the first few scenarios, and then left again, IIRC, to play almost all scenarios from the "Libris Mortiis" book, also by WotC.

Having looked at how much (or little) work would be required to get Ghostwalk to work with a number of settings now, I'm coming to the conclusion that it works better as a campaign setting, than as a sourcebook. However, I don't expect everyone to play the same way as me, so if people want to reboot Ghostwalk, to shoehorn it into other worlds, I'd be interested to see them give it a go. :)


The problem with the book was that it, apparently, conceived as a stand-alone setting, yet sold to WotC as a supplement for economical reasons. The concept finally presented was fairly interesting, if too mellowed down, so it would fir with the lines WotC was looking to supplement: Ghost overlords to a human town could very, very nicely, if presented with the necessary grit. GW, by all accounts, was an arabesque, but not particularly gritty. - Then again, WotC tried the same with a Ravenloft city book, a few years later ("Gloomwrought"), and it became the terrible terrible.
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Big Mac » Mon May 02, 2016 1:35 pm

RobJN wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Sounds like you had ghosts walking around in more than one city. How big an area did this happen in?

The ghosts in Ghostwalk all know they are ghosts (and some of them save up cash so that they can be brought back to life). How did you handle people not knowing they were dead? Was that a small number of ghosts who were in some sort of denial (or who had been driven insane by some sort of death trauma)? Or was it a magical illusion that made them feel like they were alive?

Fortunately, it only affected pockets of civilization, where high concentrations of Andahar onyx either naturally occurred, or was stockpiled. The people simply carry on with their lives, as if nothing happened. In most cases, this is just a loop of several minutes, to hours, to days. Other, hardier types have retained their full sentience, and make the best of their situation, freely roaming the reflected world, some just getting by, while others are driven to escape. Those who've managed to activate a reflected Lightning Road pass back into the Prime plane as the various disembodied undead, since they don't have a physical body to rematerialize (the shock of finding that out usually being what drives them mad). The forthcoming second half of the current Thorn's Chronicle story arc will be covering the ins and outs of living between the Prime and Aetheric-Reflected Fusion Boudary. :twisted:


So you linked this in with Andahar onyx. Could ghosts carry Andahar onyx around, to gain the ability to move anywhere in the world?
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby RobJN » Mon May 02, 2016 2:29 pm

Big Mac wrote:
RobJN wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Sounds like you had ghosts walking around in more than one city. How big an area did this happen in?

The ghosts in Ghostwalk all know they are ghosts (and some of them save up cash so that they can be brought back to life). How did you handle people not knowing they were dead? Was that a small number of ghosts who were in some sort of denial (or who had been driven insane by some sort of death trauma)? Or was it a magical illusion that made them feel like they were alive?

Fortunately, it only affected pockets of civilization, where high concentrations of Andahar onyx either naturally occurred, or was stockpiled. The people simply carry on with their lives, as if nothing happened. In most cases, this is just a loop of several minutes, to hours, to days. Other, hardier types have retained their full sentience, and make the best of their situation, freely roaming the reflected world, some just getting by, while others are driven to escape. Those who've managed to activate a reflected Lightning Road pass back into the Prime plane as the various disembodied undead, since they don't have a physical body to rematerialize (the shock of finding that out usually being what drives them mad). The forthcoming second half of the current Thorn's Chronicle story arc will be covering the ins and outs of living between the Prime and Aetheric-Reflected Fusion Boudary. :twisted:


So you linked this in with Andahar onyx. Could ghosts carry Andahar onyx around, to gain the ability to move anywhere in the world?

Actually, from the Aetheric plane, any reflective surface can be used as a "window" into the Prime. The main problem is having your body there on the other end if you want to pass back through to the Prime Material plane and not be stuck as a ghost. The Lightning Roads sidestep this limitation, bonding a teleport to the ghost-walk side... but that process generates insane amounts of heat converting the downdraft of energy back into matter (thus, the lightning storms and need for a large body of water to act as the heat sink and somewhere soft-ish to land.)
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Havard » Mon May 02, 2016 3:40 pm

Seems to me that Blackmoor is focused on such a small region and such a specific style that combining it with Ghostwalk in a way that does Ghostwalk justice and still feels like Blackmoor is going to be difficult to pull off. My interest in this topic came from the confusion that Ghostwalk had a Well of Souls similar to Blackmoor's Well of Souls (from DA4), but it turns out it was just a typo, as in Ghostwalk it is called the Veil of Souls.

I still think it could be interesting to pull some ideas from Ghostwalk into a Blackmoor campaign. Ghosts have been a part of the setting since the original campaign. But if I was to do this I would probably not really do something that would do Ghostwalk the justice it deserves, but rather just steal some ideas from Ghostwalk and discard the rest.

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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Le Noir Faineant » Mon May 02, 2016 5:34 pm

The thing is, Ghostwalk is not particularly fit for a Northern setting; it's based on Arabian tradition, and it's the WESTERN European elements that feel shoehorned into it. Lankhmar, Greyhawk, FR's Shining South work well with it - but no "grim winters" there. :)
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Big Mac » Mon May 02, 2016 7:07 pm

Le Noir Faineant wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Woah! You mentioned Taladas! I love me a bit of Taladas. (Any chance you could write about your Taladas games in the Taladas and Otherworlds subforum, some time.)


I really don't remember much from that time, but I have the notes somewhere. If I manage to put them in order, sure. We followed the basic plot of "Ariakan's Lorebook", I believe: A couple of knights of Takhisis on patrol. I think the campaign finished somewhere in the Rainward Islands (?), but I am not sure how the campaign went in detail. Basically, low-level skirmishes, and a lot of hack-and-slay.


I don't think I've heard of Ariakan's Lorebook before. But if you are going with the Knights of Takhisis, that must have pushed your plotline a bit further forward down the timeline. And I do wonder what they would be doing there after the creation of the dragon armies. But I'm getting off topic. This is supposed to be about "Ghostmoor". ;)

Le Noir Faineant wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Right. Where were we. Oh, yes Nuchar. It looks like you shunted the Nuchar aspect of your game outside the main Blackmoor area. Did you create a city for Nuchar that was anything like Manifest (ghosts and mortals living alongside each other)?


Nope, not really. We really used stuff as written; we ran a fairly quick game, back in the day, and so, we needed new material pretty quickly. Mind you that this was during a time when it was comparatively difficult to get PDF and map work, if not in print. So, we really just played the first few scenarios, and then left again, IIRC, to play almost all scenarios from the "Libris Mortiis" book, also by WotC.


Libris Mortis seems to be another "sourcebook" that would work better as the theme for a campaign setting, than as something that could be shoehorned into every campaign setting. (But if someone wanted to do a Blackmoor conversion of Libris Mortis I would be happy to watch them give it a bash. ;) )

Le Noir Faineant wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Having looked at how much (or little) work would be required to get Ghostwalk to work with a number of settings now, I'm coming to the conclusion that it works better as a campaign setting, than as a sourcebook. However, I don't expect everyone to play the same way as me, so if people want to reboot Ghostwalk, to shoehorn it into other worlds, I'd be interested to see them give it a go. :)


The problem with the book was that it, apparently, conceived as a stand-alone setting, yet sold to WotC as a supplement for economical reasons. The concept finally presented was fairly interesting, if too mellowed down, so it would fir with the lines WotC was looking to supplement: Ghost overlords to a human town could very, very nicely, if presented with the necessary grit. GW, by all accounts, was an arabesque, but not particularly gritty. - Then again, WotC tried the same with a Ravenloft city book, a few years later ("Gloomwrought"), and it became the terrible terrible.


I thought that Gloomwrought was supposed to be a city in the Shadowfell. Wouldn't that make it part of Nentir Vale or Forgotten Realms rather than Ravenloft?

I think that the main two problems with Ghostwalk, was that the authors proposed it as a 7 unit book, got told to cut it down to 6 units, then the project got put on hold for ages, and pulled out of mothballs, just as WotC was switching from 3.0 to 3.5. The distribution people had not seen that the book had been cut down in size, so they promisd a 7 unit book, and an extra unit of content had to be created in a hurry (from the part of the project that they had abandoned - a description of the True Afterlife).

WotC also chopped out the idea of including a poster map of the campaign area (but didn't move the poster to the book) which made the setting a lot less easy to work with, until they added it into the second Ghostwalk web enhancement. (Sean K Reynolds rescued the online fans, on that front, by uploading his Ghostwalk sketch map to his website, until the "professional map" was published. I actually think that his sketch map has some more interesting details on it - ones that were cut from the official map.)
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Big Mac » Mon May 02, 2016 7:12 pm

RobJN wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Sounds like you had ghosts walking around in more than one city. How big an area did this happen in?

The ghosts in Ghostwalk all know they are ghosts (and some of them save up cash so that they can be brought back to life). How did you handle people not knowing they were dead? Was that a small number of ghosts who were in some sort of denial (or who had been driven insane by some sort of death trauma)? Or was it a magical illusion that made them feel like they were alive?

Fortunately, it only affected pockets of civilization, where high concentrations of Andahar onyx either naturally occurred, or was stockpiled. The people simply carry on with their lives, as if nothing happened. In most cases, this is just a loop of several minutes, to hours, to days. Other, hardier types have retained their full sentience, and make the best of their situation, freely roaming the reflected world, some just getting by, while others are driven to escape. Those who've managed to activate a reflected Lightning Road pass back into the Prime plane as the various disembodied undead, since they don't have a physical body to rematerialize (the shock of finding that out usually being what drives them mad). The forthcoming second half of the current Thorn's Chronicle story arc will be covering the ins and outs of living between the Prime and Aetheric-Reflected Fusion Boudary. :twisted:


So your version of the "Ghostwalk" is that instead of passing onto the next life, ghosts that were "perfectly normal ghosts" come back to normal world, discover they don't have a body and then turn into evil undead?

That's kind of a bit mean. :lol: :twisted:

Can ghost characters, that find out about the Lighting Road, get someone to cast a magic spell to build them a new body to come into? (In the Ghostwalk Campaign Setting, one of the things about dead PCs/NPCs is that they can get restored to life without penalty in Manifest...and only need to find the cash to pay for the spell to be cast. So if you don't want to be dead, you can go on an adventure or two to "raise the cash to be raised". :lol: )
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Big Mac » Mon May 02, 2016 7:21 pm

Havard wrote:Seems to me that Blackmoor is focused on such a small region and such a specific style that combining it with Ghostwalk in a way that does Ghostwalk justice and still feels like Blackmoor is going to be difficult to pull off. My interest in this topic came from the confusion that Ghostwalk had a Well of Souls similar to Blackmoor's Well of Souls (from DA4), but it turns out it was just a typo, as in Ghostwalk it is called the Veil of Souls.


Well, you could still use this topic to see exactly what the Veil of Souls does to see if you can raid any Veil of Souls concepts and use them in the Well of Souls. :)

Havard wrote:I still think it could be interesting to pull some ideas from Ghostwalk into a Blackmoor campaign. Ghosts have been a part of the setting since the original campaign. But if I was to do this I would probably not really do something that would do Ghostwalk the justice it deserves, but rather just steal some ideas from Ghostwalk and discard the rest.


I am coming to the conclusion that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to fit Ghostwalk into any other campaign setting (as a sourcebook) without having to do a lot of rebooting.

That's why I've personally decided that it would be better to go the other way and see how hard it would be to extrapolate an entire world around Ghostwalk.

(Or...an entire crystal sphere for Spelljammer/Ghostwalk crossover games! :twisted: )

But, I do think it would be fun to look at using Ghostwalk in other campaign settings...including Blackmoor, even if that does mean ripping Ghostwalk's concepts apart, using some and discarding others.

I know you are interested in Orcus - for example. There is the plotline of Orcus disguising worshippers as a cult of another deity and then trying to take over a fishing community to create an undead army (which is already something in the past in the Ghostwalk Campaign Setting). Are there any islands in the Blackmoor area that could be used as a stand in for the peaceful island of Inuitea?
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Big Mac » Mon May 02, 2016 7:23 pm

Le Noir Faineant wrote:The thing is, Ghostwalk is not particularly fit for a Northern setting; it's based on Arabian tradition, and it's the WESTERN European elements that feel shoehorned into it. Lankhmar, Greyhawk, FR's Shining South work well with it - but no "grim winters" there. :)


Wow! Really? I didn't get that vibe from the Ghostwalk book.

Perhaps I should be raiding ideas for Ghostwalk from Arabian Adventures and Al-Qadim then. :?

EDIT: I've made a topic called Is Ghostwalk based on Arabian tradition? in the Ghostwalk forum, to take this cool idea back to the forum where it belongs. :)
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby RobJN » Tue May 03, 2016 4:56 am

Big Mac wrote:
RobJN wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Sounds like you had ghosts walking around in more than one city. How big an area did this happen in?

The ghosts in Ghostwalk all know they are ghosts (and some of them save up cash so that they can be brought back to life). How did you handle people not knowing they were dead? Was that a small number of ghosts who were in some sort of denial (or who had been driven insane by some sort of death trauma)? Or was it a magical illusion that made them feel like they were alive?

Fortunately, it only affected pockets of civilization, where high concentrations of Andahar onyx either naturally occurred, or was stockpiled. The people simply carry on with their lives, as if nothing happened. In most cases, this is just a loop of several minutes, to hours, to days. Other, hardier types have retained their full sentience, and make the best of their situation, freely roaming the reflected world, some just getting by, while others are driven to escape. Those who've managed to activate a reflected Lightning Road pass back into the Prime plane as the various disembodied undead, since they don't have a physical body to rematerialize (the shock of finding that out usually being what drives them mad). The forthcoming second half of the current Thorn's Chronicle story arc will be covering the ins and outs of living between the Prime and Aetheric-Reflected Fusion Boudary. :twisted:


So your version of the "Ghostwalk" is that instead of passing onto the next life, ghosts that were "perfectly normal ghosts" come back to normal world, discover they don't have a body and then turn into evil undead?

That's kind of a bit mean. :lol: :twisted:

That's just one of the ways ghosts come about. ;) There's still the usual "unfinished business," "too Eeeeevil to die," and various curses to contend with on Thorn's Mystara.

Big Mac wrote:Can ghost characters, that find out about the Lighting Road, get someone to cast a magic spell to build them a new body to come into? (In the Ghostwalk Campaign Setting, one of the things about dead PCs/NPCs is that they can get restored to life without penalty in Manifest...and only need to find the cash to pay for the spell to be cast. So if you don't want to be dead, you can go on an adventure or two to "raise the cash to be raised". :lol: )

There is at least one documented case of an Aetheric shadow gaining a physical body, but it required the help from the Prime Material side. The wild magics of the stone upon which Blackmoor Castle was built may or may not have also played into it.
Rob
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Re: Using Ghostwalk in Blackmoor

Postby Le Noir Faineant » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:19 am

FWIW, this is a map I use for the town of Cold River, in my World of Meleon's kingdom of Duneyrr. - Which, in itself, is really as far a Blackmoor simulacrum as I will ever make.

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w151 ... du3jf.jpeg

(Cold River has no Blackmoor equivalent, though. It is very, very loosely inspired by Arneson's Bleakwood setting, from the "Adventures in Fantasy" boxed set, and partly built using the old Chaosium/Midkemia Press city creator.)
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