Finally reading "Red Steel"

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Dave L
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Finally reading "Red Steel"

Post by Dave L » Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:38 am

After reading "The Black Vessel", I thought I'd take the plunge and actually read some 2e material.

I know - it's the slippery slope! ;)

I'm starting with "Lands of the Savage Coast", and just reached Almarron which is the main setting of "The Black Vessel".

So far so good, but then comes Cimarron, and I nearly fell off my seat laughing!
Sir John of the Wain, Duke of Cimarron (cool, unwavering, wheellock-wielding, human Honorbound duelist Paladin)
The Duke rides again!
Paladin - couldn't be anything else really.
Sir John - well, given the sort of people who are normally knighted, I have no problems with this. Actually I was very pleased to read today that Terry Pratchett is being knighted "for services to literature" - the quality of our knights certainly seems to be improving! :)
Many insurgents lost their lives during a disastrous battle at the Old Fort, after refusing to yield before the baron's vastly superior forces. Rallying his last troops by the famous call "Remember the Old Fort!" the self-appointed General Cimarron finally defeated the baronial troops at the battle of Hondo.
Remember the Alamo!
During the recent wars, Sir John distinguished himself as a front-line battle leader, and the noble families of Cimarron declared him a duke. This makes Sir John uncomfortable, and the title is a point of contention with the other rulers of the Savage Baronies, who jeeringly refer to him as "The Duke."
This is so cool! :mrgreen:

The Duke lives on in Mystara - has anyone had their PC's meet up with him?

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Re: Finally reading "Red Steel"

Post by agathokles » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:18 pm

Dave L wrote: So far so good, but then comes Cimarron, and I nearly fell off my seat laughing!
Eh eh, Mystara's full of puns of this kind -- 2e Savage Coast is actually toned down with respect to VotPA (especially Renardy and Bellayne).

GP

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Re: Finally reading "Red Steel"

Post by Eric Anondson » Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:01 am

Dave L wrote:The Duke lives on in Mystara . . .
I too smiled the whole time I first read Cimarron's entry. I still smile when I get to Sir John's details. :D

The VotPA stuff on Renardy and Belayne was rather remarkable. The place names most of all. Not sure how I think about the name changes . . .
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Re: Finally reading "Red Steel"

Post by Havard » Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:01 am

What did you think of the Black Vessel Dave? Feel free to start a separate thread about it if you feel like writing a review :)

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Dave L
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Re: Finally reading "Red Steel"

Post by Dave L » Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:57 am

Havard wrote:What did you think of the Black Vessel Dave? Feel free to start a separate thread about it if you feel like writing a review :)

Havard
Not sure about a review, how about I just tell you what I thought of the book? ;)

This was pretty much my first introduction to the whole Red Steel campaign setting, apart from bits I've picked up on the forums.

The novel gives a lot of background colour to the area, with good explanations of the Curse, legacies etc.

There were areas where the plot was a bit weak - why is it that when older and wiser beings trap some sort of mega-villian after great effort, the guys in "our time" who release it are able not only to defeat it, but to KILL it? We don't know all that they did, we don't have the resources/technology they did, yet we're able to finally kill the bogeyman when they could only capture it.

This is a general rant on my part, and only really impacts this book in the last chapter or so.

The other annoying part of the book was the character with a charm legacy, who is able to unduly influence the local ruler. Do these guys have NO magical security at all?

However, those were my only two quibbles with the book, really. I liked the obviously developing mutual attraction between two of the main characters (given that they were of different species) - the fact that the book ends before this is resolved was a nice surprise - you can write your own ending.

Given my comments on magical security it might seem strange that I also liked the fact that there was a low-magic feel to the whole thing, which may seem strange with the whole curse motif, but worked well for me (hey, I never said I was consistent :) ). Only one character had an actual grasp of the principles involved - the rest were pretty much working in the dark.

The novel did leave a lot of scope for developing the setting - how much that would conflict with the canon material I'm not too sure, but I don't think it would be insurmountable.

All in all, four out of five I'd say.

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Re: Finally reading "Red Steel"

Post by Dave L » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:22 pm

agathokles wrote:
Dave L wrote: So far so good, but then comes Cimarron, and I nearly fell off my seat laughing!
Eh eh, Mystara's full of puns of this kind -- 2e Savage Coast is actually toned down with respect to VotPA (especially Renardy and Bellayne).

GP
I've just been reading through the VotPA articles for the first time and got to the Cimarron issue - I want a Smithy & Westron six-shooter crossbow! :mrgreen:

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