What's the Difference

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Gawain_VIII
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What's the Difference

Post by Gawain_VIII » Fri May 30, 2008 4:20 am

Okay, I understand that the VotPA's Sacage Coast had a different red curse (more of a drug addiction) than the AD&D RS/SC... and I realise that RS was printed while SC was online... but they were both made for AD&D 2nd Ed.

So, my question is... what is the difference between Red Steel and (AD&D) Savage Coast besides the name?

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Hugin » Fri May 30, 2008 4:29 am

This something I've actually wonder about for many years. *anxiously awaiting enlightenment*

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Gawain_VIII » Fri May 30, 2008 4:34 am

Hugin wrote:This something I've actually wonder about for many years.
Good! Now I dont feel like such a loner... with all the Mystaraphiles running about, I was worried that I might be the only one that didn't know all the intracate details of these two? settings.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Thorf » Fri May 30, 2008 9:57 am

Although I can't tell you the specifics, as far as I know there are two main versions of the Savage Coast setting: the original version from the Princess Ark articles, written for OD&D and published in Dragon magazine; and the Red Steel boxed set version, written for AD&D. The online Savage Coast Campaign Setting files are largely just the same as Red Steel, as far as I know. Although I think the Orc's Head Peninsula book is new info...

So effectively we're dealing with the Savage Coast (Princess Ark version) and Red Steel/Savage Coast (AD&D version).

One of my many projects is to assemble a compendium of the Princess Ark version of the Savage Coast (which was presented as a series of mini-articles over a period of years). It hasn't progressed very far, though.

Incidentally, I still haven't read the Savage Coast online books, nor for that matter Red Steel, in its entirety. I really must do that at some point.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by agathokles » Fri May 30, 2008 11:31 am

There's no difference between RS and SCCB except for a reordering of the material: SCCB includes both the RS core book and the Savage Baronies expansion.
There's also the Orc's Head book which, IIRC, does not appear in the RS line.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Gawain_VIII » Fri May 30, 2008 2:18 pm

agathokles wrote:There's no difference between RS and SCCB except for a reordering of the material: SCCB includes both the RS core book and the Savage Baronies expansion.
There's also the Orc's Head book which, IIRC, does not appear in the RS line.
Thanks! That's what I needed to know--now I don't have to try and find the RS stuff. (But if I do happen to cross it, I'll snatch it up for sake of completeness. I just won't go out of my way searching for it.)

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by RobJN » Sat May 31, 2008 4:16 am

The 2nd Editionification of the Princess Ark Savage Coast material was originally released as two box sets, TSR 2504 Red Steel and TSR 9500 Savage Baronies. Red Steel covered the entirety of the coast with a broad brush, including the Red Curse, Legacies, new magic, new items, etc. Savage Baronies was a combination gazetteer and adventure that focused on the titular baronies.

The two box sets were implicitly set after Wrath of the Immortals, with the collapse of the Red Curse's confinement to the Baronies, and spreading along the length of the coast. The Savage Coast of the Princess Ark articles was explored largely before the Week Without Magic.

In the early days of TSR on the web, the Red Steel and Savage Baronies box sets were slapped together for an online release of the "Odyssey" line, along with a Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium and the Orc's Head Peninsula "book." This was a planned set that was 99.9 percent finished, but never released in print, and is an online exclusive.

The boxed sets also came with CDs (as that was the gimmick of the day), but surprisingly, the Red Steel music was actually fairly well done. Cheesy dialogue tracks aside, it (mostly) caught the feel for the setting.

The main difference between the Dragon Magazine article version and the boxed sets lay in how the Red Curse manifested, and of course, its scope along the length of the coast. With the Princess Ark, the potency of the powers was not so much an effect of the land (as it was in the boxed sets), but was something that was actively controlled by the curse-ee. This is what led to the generalized idea that the Red Curse was tied to "drugz-r-bad" use. Those exploiting the distillation of the Red Curse and imbibing more and more got (to quote the Genie in Aladdin) "Phenomenal Cosmic Powers"(tm), but at the cost of health and overall lifeforce. It is worth noting that the ultimate power levels of the original curse led to corruption, insanity, and descent into Chaos.

The 2nd Edition did away with the "higher contamination level means higher powers" idea and swapped it for a baseline Legacy that inherently twisted your PC unless he wore cinnabryl to keep the ill effects at bay.

Was it the "Ask Bruce Heard" thread that had the discussion of the "whys" behind the changing of the Red Curse/Savage Coast between Princess Ark and 2nd Edition continuums..? I know I read of TSR's reasoning behind it somewhere, I just can't place where...

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Hugin » Sat May 31, 2008 5:29 am

Thanks for the run-down guys! It helps quite a bit.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sat May 31, 2008 6:05 am

RobJN wrote:Was it the "Ask Bruce Heard" thread that had the discussion of the "whys" behind the changing of the Red Curse/Savage Coast between Princess Ark and 2nd Edition continuums..? I know I read of TSR's reasoning behind it somewhere, I just can't place where...
The only place I recall reading about the rationale was in a sidebar in the "Red Steel" article in the Dragon magazine with the Legacy Worlds (#315, IIRC). Frankly, the explanation left something to be desired, to me.

As you point out, the original version of Cinnabryl poisoning was basically- everyone is infected due to soil contaminations, and it essentially impairs their mental faculties (sort of a lesser and non-lethal version of lead poisoning, at least to natives). Undepleted cinnabryl acted like medicine and allowed full access to one's faculties (not unlike the Red Steel version). It was only if you actively delved into special ceremonies using the stuff that you gained the higher powers (and that was the aspect that- kind of- resembled drug addiction). To do so was very dangerous, and expensive, and rare.

With the advent of Red Steel, suddenly everyone broke out with their Legacies and unless they used undepleted cinnabryl, would also suffer disfiguration. Frankly, it seemed like this was the more "drug addiction" sort of scenario to me- cinnabryl became essentially their Methadone to stave off the effects of the curse.

The Red Curse scenario also requires that the populace at large make much more use of cinnabryl than previous (your Int and Wis scores were lowered, but you could still function, and- frankly- outside of metagaming, its not as if someone would recognize if they weren't as smart as they should be), and it also led to the Savage Coast turning into a fantasy equivalent of Gamma World- neither of which were my cup of tea.
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Re: What's the Difference

Post by OldDawg » Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:22 am

Thorf wrote:Although I can't tell you the specifics, as far as I know there are two main versions of the Savage Coast setting: the original version from the Princess Ark articles, written for OD&D and published in Dragon magazine; and the Red Steel boxed set version, written for AD&D.
Technically, there are three versions, including the original Rasmusen X9-"Tortles of the Purple Sage" view of the land which was much closer to an El Dorado/ Valley of Gwange vibe.

Obviously, no Red Curse in this iteration.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Havard » Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:54 pm

OldDawg wrote:Technically, there are three versions, including the original Rasmusen X9-"Tortles of the Purple Sage" view of the land which was much closer to an El Dorado/ Valley of Gwange vibe.
Or even four if we consider the the article "Cinnabar, Red Steel, and the Red Curse" from Dragon#315 which had conversions to D&D 3.5 and presented a slightly different take on the Curse.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by waylander39 » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:12 pm

IIRC there was way back in the mists of time an adventure entitled the Savage Coast which brought the area to the attention of the Known World for the first time. It was an expert level classic D&D scenario but from what I heard it only gave a cursory description of the area.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by cab » Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:37 pm

waylander39 wrote:IIRC there was way back in the mists of time an adventure entitled the Savage Coast which brought the area to the attention of the Known World for the first time. It was an expert level classic D&D scenario but from what I heard it only gave a cursory description of the area.
Hoping not to sound too harsh, but thats a real low point of the X-series modules. Really bland.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Gawain_VIII » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:14 pm

cab wrote:
waylander39 wrote:IIRC there was way back in the mists of time an adventure entitled the Savage Coast which brought the area to the attention of the Known World for the first time. It was an expert level classic D&D scenario but from what I heard it only gave a cursory description of the area.
Hoping not to sound too harsh, but thats a real low point of the X-series modules. Really bland.
I think X9 tried to re-create the success of X1... rather simple, almost childish plot... with a huge, generically described area to explore with almost no goal...

X1 succeeded because they developed 1 sotryline a little more... X9 failed because they offered 6 hooks... and didn't develop any of them.

Now, if X9 were re-written with the "modern" coast... that would make a great edventuring experience.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by NPCDave » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:18 pm

I am not sure if the original question got answered, being the difference between the 2E AD&D Red Steel box set, and the 2E AD&D online Savage Coast releases.

The answer is that much of the text for the Savage Coast releases is word for word taken from the Red Steel box set.

However, the online Savage Coast publications went further down the coast with more description of those orc clans in their jungles, and contained an adventure that brought the PCs in conflict with that cinnabryl dragon called Pyre. I believe the adventure was originally run at GenCon or as an RPGA adventure.

The online Savage Coast also had a monstrous compendium that contained a number of monsters not found in Red Steel. I can't remember for sure, but I think two of those monsters made it into a Dungeon Magazine adventure. You can look up which one on the Pandius Mystara index, I think it was issue #62.

Besides these two versions, as others mentioned, there was also the

1) Savage Coast version from module X9, and Dungeon Magazine #6 and #7.
2) The VotPA series in Dragon Magazine.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by JoeNotCharles » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:13 am

Gawain_VIII wrote:
cab wrote: I think X9 tried to re-create the success of X1... rather simple, almost childish plot... with a huge, generically described area to explore with almost no goal...

X1 succeeded because they developed 1 sotryline a little more... X9 failed because they offered 6 hooks... and didn't develop any of them.

Now, if X9 were re-written with the "modern" coast... that would make a great edventuring experience.
I think it failed because there were barely any actual detail in the huge area - most of the encounters were along the coast, and they'd naturally be encountered in order, so there's no real exploration involved as in X1. And they were way more bland - X1 had all the islands around the main Isle, and native tribes and things, leading to lots of side quests and hooks, while in X9 there was really no reason given to spend any time in the area after running through it once.

I guess what it comes down to is that any DM with a sheet of hex paper could just make up their own wilderness area as well as X9 did it.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Rimx » Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:54 am

Gawain_VIII wrote:So, my question is... what is the difference between Red Steel and (AD&D) Savage Coast besides the name?
The online version has a few more kits(Savage, Shamans, and Filchers) and expands the list of kits by nations and by race. The lizard kin are added as playable races.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Tim Beach » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:40 pm

As a few other people have stated, there's very little difference between the hardcopy versions (Red Steel and Savage Baronies) and the online Savage Coast book. The latter included a few items -- like the aforementioned kits -- that had to be left out of the hardcopy versions due to space considerations. It also received a better organization.

As for the changes in how things worked (cinnabryl, et al), yes, there was the mention of how much the Princess Ark material sounded like drug addiction. Another reason (big in my mind) was to make everything compatible with 2E rules, and to give the cinnabryl system rules less open to abuse. By attaching Legacies to level -- and by essentially giving them to everyone -- we lessened the chances of a power disparity (such as one group of characters having Legacies, while nobody else did, or a low-level character bulking up because he was rich enough to do so).

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Havard » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:03 pm

Tim Beach wrote:As a few other people have stated, there's very little difference between the hardcopy versions (Red Steel and Savage Baronies) and the online Savage Coast book. The latter included a few items -- like the aforementioned kits -- that had to be left out of the hardcopy versions due to space considerations. It also received a better organization.
The online versions are nice! I wish we could have seen hard copies of those as well. I would have bought those even though I already own the Red Steel ones.
As for the changes in how things worked (cinnabryl, et al), yes, there was the mention of how much the Princess Ark material sounded like drug addiction.
This element is still in there though isn't it? Something that bothers me with the Red Curse is that _everyone_ (including animals and monsters) have these powers. There is much about the AD&D version of the Curse that I do like though.

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Re: What's the Difference

Post by Tim Beach » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:03 am

This element is still in there though isn't it? Something that bothers me with the Red Curse is that _everyone_ (including animals and monsters) have these powers. There is much about the AD&D version of the Curse that I do like though.
Well, yes and no. It's a point of view thing. In the original version, you very clearly took a drug to get more powerful. In the AD&D version, getting the power was both bad and good, so it was still like drug use -- but the source was different. You couldn't help it; it was a powerful curse, and it happened to everybody, no choice, like a disease. And you wore a cinnabryl amulet to get you through it; the cinnabryl wasn't a drug, it was medicine, to help you survive this disease to which you had been subjected.

You still had the potion taken by Inheritors, but that was downplayed, and an Inheritor is either a hero (who might take a medicine to become more powerful, to do good; there are precedents in comics, but only Hourman comes to mind right now) or a villain (and it's not surprising that they would take drugs to gain power to do evil; Dr. Jekyl, anyone?).
Are people addicted to cinnabryl? Possibly, but again, it's not a drug, it's a cure (at least of the symptoms). Are they physically dependent on it? Well, sort of, but that aspect isn't really presented at all, and if it were, it would be presented in a good light. People take aspirin to help their heart. I take decongestants almost every day because my sinuses are messed up. Am I addicted? No -- I can choose to stop. Does it make me feel better to take it? Yes, absolutely. Will I choose to stop? No. Does anybody think I'm addicted to decongestants, or care? No -- they don't make me high, they help me breathe better.

So, yes, a lot of the elements are still there, but there turned around to make them less controversial. This was back before D&D had anywhere near a mainstream status (we've made huge strides in the last decade -- I mean, TV commercials for WoW?) and there were enough people attacking D&D for no good reason -- why give them an actual reason by promoting something that looked like drug use? The important things were that a) at a glance, it didn't look like drug use; and b) with a deeper look, you still couldn't say "look, they're encouraging people to take drugs and get high." Are the elements there? Yes, some of them. Does the big picture say "drug use"? No. Could it be construed as drug use? Yes -- but that's when you point out the curse, and the medicinal aspect.

***

As for animals and monsters with Legacies, there were a couple of things to consider.

First, if they didn't get Legacies, I would have to explain why the Legacies affected only certain types of beings. (Admittedly, this isn't too hard -- just make it part of the curse, with the bonus that it actually provides a clue to the nature of the curse.) I'd also have to have defined exactly what counted as a person, or alternately, set some sort of arbitrary limit that determined which creatures got a Legacy. Again, not so hard -- anyone with an intelligence over 6 (or whatever) gets a Legacy. Maybe except for goblins, because of the nature of the curse (another clue). And maybe a small handful of monsters -- again, another clue. But I didn't wan to do these things, because ...

Second, the cool factor. I thought, and still think, that having a winged bulette, or an owlbear that can throw fireballs, is a pretty awesome. Do I want every snake and rabbit levitating or shooting lightning? Well, no, not so much ... but it would be cool if some of them did. If you think differently, come up with the arbitrary restriction. Maybe it's an intelligence limit. Maybe it's size -- you must be this tall to get a Legacy. I would suggest that, to limit it, a creature doesn't get a Legacy unless at least one of the following is true:
1) The creature is at least medium/man sized.
2) The creature has an intelligence of at least ... whatever an ogre has in your system.
3) The creature is unnatural (this one is a little looser -- you have to define "unnatural"; I'd include at least owlbears and bulettes as unnatural, but maybe something small, like a cockatrice could get a Legacy this way).

Those are my thoughts.

Thanks again for reading.

Tim Beach

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