Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystara?

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Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystara?

Postby Havard » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:14 pm

80 adventures were released to retailers through something called the Adventurer's Guild. Here are a few that could have connections to Mystara:


Anyone here have any of these modules or know anything more about them? :)

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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby Ivanos » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:41 pm

I have all three.

The College of Wizardry would probably be better as a non-Glantrian school. Maybe the School of Magecraft in Karameikos? It just doesn't feel Glantrian to me. Not quite as refined as I would expect a school in Glantri to be, and the arcane lore involved is different. Maybe Terari is advancing his own research and developments of Alphatian magic?

Return to the Keep on the Borderlands would be a pretty straight forward conversion, IMO.

Jakandor is interesting, I have all the Jakandor products but I never thought of it in Mystara. The Charonti could be descendants of the Azcans and the Knorr a primitive Neathar or Antillian-based people. Throw in topis, agarats and some other Mystara specific undead, add kara-kara or substitute them for some of the human tribes, and it would fit in very well in the Sea of Dread.

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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby NPCDave » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:00 pm

Havard wrote: Return to the Keep on the Borderlands was originally written for Mystara and then quickly retconned to Greyhawk with many Mystara references still intact. Is the same true for this prelude module?


While I can't rule out that possibility, after some careful study of this adventure, I believe it was not written for Mystara originally. First, it came out in 1999 and Mystara was canceled a few years earlier. I believe it was WotC that sent out surveys for what adventures people would like to see reprinted/return, so this wasn't a case of a manuscript lying around for a few years and then published. There are only a couple of clearly identifiable Mystaran NPCs, and they are based on the original adventure modules X2(Castle Amber) and B4(The Lost City). Both of these were popular and classic adventures that many people were familiar with.

Thus my conclusion is that John Rateliff threw those NPCs in as homage to adventures that were contemporary with B2 Keep on the Borderlands and Moldvay B/X D&D, rather than the entire manuscript written for Mystara and then re-written for Greyhawk.

With that said, here is my summary for both Return to the Keep on the Borderlands, as well as the plot elements from the adventure The Displaced, which I also have. I also mention a second promotional tie-in to RttKotB, that being [IQ3] Warriors of the Gray Queen.

1999 - Return to the Keep on the Borderlands

This adventure celebrates twenty-five years of D&D. And just like the title says, it revisits the adventure B2 Keep on the Borderlands, which was first released twenty years earlier.

Like B2, this is an adventure designed to be dropped into any typical D&D setting, only this time with many of the conventions and assumptions oriented for Greyhawk. It also makes more specific suggestions for placing the Keep in the World of Greyhawk, locating it in the southwesternmost part of the Yeomanry. It gives the keep a history in Greyhawk that dates back about thirty years, and the events when PCs tested their mettle against the Caves of Chaos as described in B2 are assumed to have happened roughly twenty years ago, give or take.

I wouldn't even be including this adventure, except for the inclusion of 2-4 NPCs who have ties to Mystara. There was speculation by Mystara fans at the time that perhaps the adventure was originally written for Mystara and then later changed to Greyhawk. While that is possible, I think the more likely explanation is that author John Rateliff decided to throw in these NPCs as a nod to other classic adventures that were released in the early years along with B2.

Dubricus d'Ambreville is a 1st level mage, six feet tall and thin, with an unruly mop of hair. He has pretty good physical stats as well as a high intelligence, with his one weakness being a low wisdom which manifests when he comes up with brilliant but impractical ideas. He is identified as a scion of a famous family of wizards, and has plans to become the next great mage of his lineage. He arrived at the Keep several months ago and has been hoping to find an adventuring band. He hasn't had any luck so far since he always insisted that he should be the leader, but he has recently reconsidered since that condition has only led to refusal. Now he plans to join a group and try to lead through more subtle means. In the meantime, he has been renting a family home in the Keep and passing the time between working as a scribe and scrivener, drawing up contracts for merchants, and running an informal school for children in the Keep who want to learn how to read and write. He occasionally embarks on impromptu lectures in history during these classes which often prove to be popular. While his family are wealthy nobles, he insisted on coming here to make it on his own merits, so he doesn't have much money.

Third, Warrior Maid of Maruda, is a 2nd level fighter, almost six feet tall, with very pale skin, who wears a bronze mask at all times. She hails from the distant underground city of Cynidicea, where she belongs to an order of warrior-nuns who have been charged with exploring the surface world their people abandoned long ago. She arrived at the Keep a few weeks ago, having crossed the desert beyond the mountains. She does not speak Common and has not taught Cynidicean to anyone, so people assume she is mute or at least simple-minded. People call her Third because of her attempts to communicate through sign language her own rank in her Order. The matriarch is Maruda's Champion and the first rank, the chosen few are called the Hallowed Mask and are the second rank, while the Warrior Maids are the third rank. The Green Man Inn inside the Keep has provided her with room and board since she broke up a fight in the tavern on the night of her arrival, and she has acted as an unofficial bouncer ever since. As a Cynidicean, she suffers a -1 penalty when fighting in broad daylight, but does have infravision and the blind-fighting skill. Note that while this book spells it Maruda, I assume this is a simple error as the original B4 adventure module had the goddess name as Madarua.

Both Dubricus and Third are NPCs designed to be available to a PC party as henchmen and/or allies. Dubricus did not appear previously, he is a newly created member of the d'Ambreville family for this adventure, and presumably of the fourth generation, or later.

The last two NPCs of interest are actually characters created by Len Lakofka for L2 The Assassin's Knot. They are an optional event, arriving at the Keep sometime between the PCs second and third visit back to the Keep after making excursions into the wilderness. Tomas is a 7th level assassin and Holga is a 6th level wizard, and, if you check L2, Tomas is a member of the assasin's guild and Holga is an apprentice of a sorceress allied with the guild. This adventure assumes that the pair, teenagers at the time, escaped the destruction of the guild at the end of L2, and pooled their talents to survive. They have had a very successful partnership over the years as they have continued to engage in contract murder. While they hail from the Lendore Isles, the connection to Mystara, which is somewhat tenuous, is the following sentence.

They are here[the Keep] now because Tomas hopes to realize his ambition to found his own assassin's guild in distant Cathos City. To overcome his rival among the loosely affiliated assassins that have gathered in that town, he needs to pull off some notable coup that will cement his reputation...they have traveled to this distant spot to pull off something sure to impress the most jaded assassin


If you are a Greyhawk-phile, and wondering why Cathos City isn't familiar to you, it is because it was only mentioned in the adventure M(Solo)2 Maze of the Riddling Minotaur. As I mentioned before, while that adventure was never officially set in Mystara, being linked to the BECMI ruleset means some people do assume it is set in Mystara as M(Solo)1 was. So this entry sheds light on some kind of assassin's guild forming in Cathos.

As part of this book's release, there were also two tie-in products for Return to the Keep on the Borderlands which are not well-known. The first is a mini-adventure that was included with InQuest Gamer magazine #50 called [IQ3] Warriors of the Gray Queen, written by Jeff Grubb. It is only a few pages with the PCs tracking down the lair of some hostile myconids near the Keep and it doesn't have any special ties to Mystara.

And the Adventurer's Guild module for Return to the Keep on the Borderlands was...

1999 - The Displaced

This short adventure takes place along the road that leads up to the Keep. The PCs are traveling to the Keep when they arrive at the tiny hamlet of Riversford and meet a family who have had to abandon their homestead due to humanoid raiders. The homestead lies in a valley off the road between Riversford and the Keep, it is a six hour hike to reach it.

The PCs will encounter group of bandits in the area who have also been attacked by the humanoid raiders, this can lead to either a parley or a fight. The homestead has been taken over by gnolls who are linked to the gnolls found in RttKotB.

And the one link to Mystara can be found in the list of six pregen characters offered in the back. One of them is Dubricus d'Ambreville, with the same statistics as found in the Return to adventure.
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby JTrithen » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:43 am

NPCDave wrote:While I can't rule out that possibility, after some careful study of this adventure, I believe it was not written for Mystara originally. First, it came out in 1999 and Mystara was canceled a few years earlier. I believe it was WotC that sent out surveys for what adventures people would like to see reprinted/return, so this wasn't a case of a manuscript lying around for a few years and then published. There are only a couple of clearly identifiable Mystaran NPCs, and they are based on the original adventure modules X2(Castle Amber) and B4(The Lost City). Both of these were popular and classic adventures that many people were familiar with.

Thus my conclusion is that John Rateliff threw those NPCs in as homage to adventures that were contemporary with B2 Keep on the Borderlands and Moldvay B/X D&D, rather than the entire manuscript written for Mystara and then re-written for Greyhawk....

... There was speculation by Mystara fans at the time that perhaps the adventure was originally written for Mystara and then later changed to Greyhawk. While that is possible, I think the more likely explanation is that author John Rateliff decided to throw in these NPCs as a nod to other classic adventures that were released in the early years along with B2....


NPCDave, I agree with these likelihoods. I think they're the more plausible scenarios (I do have RttKotB and have looked it over).

NPCDave wrote:Dubricus d'Ambreville is a 1st level mage, six feet tall and thin, with an unruly mop of hair. He has pretty good physical stats as well as a high intelligence, with his one weakness being a low wisdom which manifests when he comes up with brilliant but impractical ideas. He is identified as a scion of a famous family of wizards, and has plans to become the next great mage of his lineage. He arrived at the Keep several months ago and has been hoping to find an adventuring band. He hasn't had any luck so far since he always insisted that he should be the leader, but he has recently reconsidered since that condition has only led to refusal. Now he plans to join a group and try to lead through more subtle means. In the meantime, he has been renting a family home in the Keep and passing the time between working as a scribe and scrivener, drawing up contracts for merchants, and running an informal school for children in the Keep who want to learn how to read and write. He occasionally embarks on impromptu lectures in history during these classes which often prove to be popular. While his family are wealthy nobles, he insisted on coming here to make it on his own merits, so he doesn't have much money.

Third, Warrior Maid of Maruda, is a 2nd level fighter, almost six feet tall, with very pale skin, who wears a bronze mask at all times. She hails from the distant underground city of Cynidicea, where she belongs to an order of warrior-nuns who have been charged with exploring the surface world their people abandoned long ago. She arrived at the Keep a few weeks ago, having crossed the desert beyond the mountains. She does not speak Common and has not taught Cynidicean to anyone, so people assume she is mute or at least simple-minded. People call her Third because of her attempts to communicate through sign language her own rank in her Order. The matriarch is Maruda's Champion and the first rank, the chosen few are called the Hallowed Mask and are the second rank, while the Warrior Maids are the third rank. The Green Man Inn inside the Keep has provided her with room and board since she broke up a fight in the tavern on the night of her arrival, and she has acted as an unofficial bouncer ever since. As a Cynidicean, she suffers a -1 penalty when fighting in broad daylight, but does have infravision and the blind-fighting skill. Note that while this book spells it Maruda, I assume this is a simple error as the original B4 adventure module had the goddess name as Madarua.


I think it's kind of silly introducing characters like this. It's kind of fun, and I understand it's a nod to other settings to get fans of different settings excited or enticed (easter eggs).
But making these really plausible does't really work, especially if the structure of your D&D multiverse allows for multiple settings and worlds.
Does Dubious really come from Mystara (which is one explanation)? It's plausible but very unlikely that a 1st level character would somehow travel between worlds through some kind of gate. Or is there another famous d'ambreville family in Greyhawk (yeah, right)?

The explanation for the Cynidicen is even more silly. Is there another unique underground city in Greyhawk, too, besides the one on Mystara?

But, of course, as always, anyone can just ignore stuff lIke this if they don't want to use it.

I wonder if little stuff like this sometimes irritates Greyhawk fans (that is, the other way around, so-to-speak, than how I feel about it)?

Personally, I have wanted to use RttKotB in my Mystara. So, I have worked a little (in the past) in trying to retcon some of the background info. of the NPCS and such from the adventure into my Mystara.

NPCDave wrote:The last two NPCs of interest are actually characters created by Len Lakofka for L2 The Assassin's Knot. They are an optional event, arriving at the Keep sometime between the PCs second and third visit back to the Keep after making excursions into the wilderness. Tomas is a 7th level assassin and Holga is a 6th level wizard, and, if you check L2, Tomas is a member of the assasin's guild and Holga is an apprentice of a sorceress allied with the guild. This adventure assumes that the pair, teenagers at the time, escaped the destruction of the guild at the end of L2, and pooled their talents to survive. They have had a very successful partnership over the years as they have continued to engage in contract murder. While they hail from the Lendore Isles, the connection to Mystara, which is somewhat tenuous, is the following sentence.

They are here[the Keep] now because Tomas hopes to realize his ambition to found his own assassin's guild in distant Cathos City. To overcome his rival among the loosely affiliated assassins that have gathered in that town, he needs to pull off some notable coup that will cement his reputation...they have traveled to this distant spot to pull off something sure to impress the most jaded assassin


If you are a Greyhawk-phile, and wondering why Cathos City isn't familiar to you, it is because it was only mentioned in the adventure M(Solo)2 Maze of the Riddling Minotaur. As I mentioned before, while that adventure was never officially set in Mystara, being linked to the BECMI ruleset means some people do assume it is set in Mystara as M(Solo)1 was. So this entry sheds light on some kind of assassin's guild forming in Cathos.

As part of this book's release, there were also two tie-in products for Return to the Keep on the Borderlands which are not well-known. The first is a mini-adventure that was included with InQuest Gamer magazine #50 called [IQ3] Warriors of the Gray Queen, written by Jeff Grubb. It is only a few pages with the PCs tracking down the lair of some hostile myconids near the Keep and it doesn't have any special ties to Mystara.

And the Adventurer's Guild module for Return to the Keep on the Borderlands was...

1999 - The Displaced

This short adventure takes place along the road that leads up to the Keep. The PCs are traveling to the Keep when they arrive at the tiny hamlet of Riversford and meet a family who have had to abandon their homestead due to humanoid raiders. The homestead lies in a valley off the road between Riversford and the Keep, it is a six hour hike to reach it.

The PCs will encounter group of bandits in the area who have also been attacked by the humanoid raiders, this can lead to either a parley or a fight. The homestead has been taken over by gnolls who are linked to the gnolls found in RttKotB.

And the one link to Mystara can be found in the list of six pregen characters offered in the back. One of them is Dubricus d'Ambreville, with the same statistics as found in the Return to adventure.


Thanks for writing up these details and overview, NPCDave!

I like the tie-in to Cathos. I'd like to implement that in my campaign sometime (the characters and the guild).

I thin I will add the Riverford hamlet and homestead info. to my campaign, too, and maybe get a hold of the short adventure sometime.... :)
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby Marco Fossati » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:25 am

College of Wizardy isn't easily to be transported to Glantri but could work weel for a wizard school in many other areas of Mystara.

Return to the keep of borderlands can be easily set in mystara, a npc has d'Ambreville name too!

Places suitable for Jakandor are imho some HW isles, or in KW some distant places such as Ulimwengu, Serpent Peninsula or around Davania
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby apotheot » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:57 pm

Officially, none of these three are currently set on Mystara.
The closest would be Displaced, which ties to Return to the Keep on the Borderlands, both of which have several references to Mystara NPC's or Immortals...including a player character! The original Keep on the Borderlands was NEVER a part of Greyhawk prior to RttKotB being released.

The Jakandor adventure has specific ties directly to the Jakandor setting. In spite of some wishful thinking I have seen here and some other boards there was never plans to make the Odyssey settings all a part of Mystara. It was simply a way to briefly showcase new or forgotten settings for a time, to see what people liked. Only the Savage Coast stuff was meant to be set there.

Final Exam, has ties to The College of Wizardry source book, which like Den of Thieves and Bastion of Faith was definitively set in Greyhawk.

Where you wish to place these adventures in your home game is up to you.

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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby Big Mac » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:20 pm

Marco Fossati wrote:Places suitable for Jakandor are imho some HW isles, or in KW some distant places such as Ulimwengu, Serpent Peninsula or around Davania


I was thinking that Jakandor might need to go into the Hollow World, but I wonder what the Spell of Preservation would have to say about the two societies butting up against each other.

Didn't one of them come from somewhere else? Maybe if you had two "archived" cultures and one decided to get up and move somewhere else, you would get the sort of culture clash that Jakandor has.
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby NPCDave » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:23 pm

apotheot wrote:Final Exam, has ties to The College of Wizardry source book, which like Den of Thieves and Bastion of Faith was definitively set in Greyhawk.


The rest of your post is quite accurate, but I wanted to correct this statement, as College of Wizardry is quite distinct from Greyhawk, even though CoW is linked loosely to Den of Thieves which you could argue was originally planned for Greyhawk.

Yes, all three of those books are linked by theme of supporting one major class from 2E (as would have been a warrior book should it have been published), and Bastion of Faith linked CoW and DoT with itself explicitly, but that link wasn't done using Greyhawk.

First, College of Wizardry posits a past historical Age which ended in an apocalypse which is quite unlike similar epochs in Greyhawk lore. It acknowledges as much on pages 8-9 which are devoted to advice for setting College of Wizardry in the established campaign settings of the time, which includes Birthright, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Red Steel and Greyhawk. Each setting gets a paragraph or two dedicated to modifying CoW's default history to bring it into line with each settings history. So Greyhawk is one of many settings suggested for CoW, rather than the definitive setting.

The same thing is true for Bastion of Faith, which suggests modification to place it in Birthright, Dragonlance, FR and Greyhawk. In addition, it describes a new campaign city on an unspecified world which hosts BoF as well as CoW and Den of Thieves along with a martial warrior academy. I think that city was the default setting intended for all three books.

Den of Thieves did not make any suggestions for placing it in established settings, but unlike the other two books, it didn't need to establish an ancient history for the thieves guilds described therein.
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby apotheot » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:11 am

NPCDave wrote:which are devoted to advice for setting College of Wizardry in the established campaign settings of the time, which includes Birthright, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Red Steel and Greyhawk.


These books came at a time when campaign labels on the front of them were deemed a detriment to sales, and "generic" books would have sections like this to fit it anywhere.

Regardless, I seem to recall the Bruce Cordell stated once (maybe in the old Greyhawk mailing list?) that both of his two were supposed to be set in Greyhawk. Bastion using the default gods of the setting supports this.

But as mentioned...accessibility by DM's of other settings was a priority in those days, so the "definitely set" part was not likely done within the products themselves.

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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby GMWestermeyer » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:13 pm

John Rateliff is an accomplished scholar, with a Phd in fantasy literature, in addition to having worked at TSR/WOTC as an author and editor. He also wrote the magisterial, 2 volume The History of the Hobbit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Rateliff

He maintains a blog which he updates pretty regularly: http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/, definitely worth looking at for those interested in TSR/WOTC history.

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NPCDave wrote:Dubricus d'Ambreville <snip> While his family are wealthy nobles, he insisted on coming here to make it on his own merits, so he doesn't have much money.

Third, Warrior Maid of Maruda, is a 2nd level fighter, almost six feet tall, with very pale skin, who wears a bronze mask at all times. She hails from the distant underground city of Cynidicea, where she belongs to an order of warrior-nuns who have been charged with exploring the surface world their people abandoned long ago. She arrived at the Keep a few weeks ago, having crossed the desert beyond the mountains. <snip>


I think it's kind of silly introducing characters like this. It's kind of fun, and I understand it's a nod to other settings to get fans of different settings excited or enticed (easter eggs).
But making these really plausible does't really work, especially if the structure of your D&D multiverse allows for multiple settings and worlds.
Does Dubious really come from Mystara (which is one explanation)? It's plausible but very unlikely that a 1st level character would somehow travel between worlds through some kind of gate. Or is there another famous d'ambreville family in Greyhawk (yeah, right)?

The explanation for the Cynidicen is even more silly. Is there another unique underground city in Greyhawk, too, besides the one on Mystara?


I disagree with the silliness. :) a 1st level d'Ambreville mage is, to my mine, precisely the sport of low level NPC who might have drifted through a gate from Mystara to Gryehawk or some other game world. :)

And since the lands to the west of the Sea of Dust are generally terra incognito an underground city like that works just fine there. :) And since these are NPCs its easy for the DM to use or discard as he or she wishes. :)
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby Havard » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:10 pm

Okay, just to clarify a few things:I am not talking about products that exclusively belong in Mystara. Simply products that have natural connections to Mystara. This includes intentional and unintentional* connections.

With the three original products there are various reasons why I consider them connected to Mystara. Some are a little more obvious than others. With Return to the Keep on the Borderlands, I think NPCDave may be right that it wasn't originally written specifically for Mystara, but I also think it was not specifically designed for Greyhawk before the marketing department slapped the Greyhawk logo on it. Whatever Rateliff's reasons were, the fact that he included references to B2 Keep on the Borderlands, MSOLO 2, X2 Castle Amber and B4 Lost City, he did create a connection to Mystara, or the D&D Game World which is what Mystara was know as back when those modules were published.

College of Wizardry specifically mentions Glantri (in Mystara) as a possible location so that is even less problematic.

Jakandor has a more losse tie with Mystara, but I like to include it mainly because it was part of the Odyssey Line (Along with the Savage Coast products) and I personally consider all of the Odyssey Products as part of Mystara. But I realize not everyone accepts that, hence I mentioned that this was more controversial.

As mentioned I am not arguing that Return to the Keep on the Borderlands, College of Wizardry or Jakandor do not have a place in Greyhawk or any other setting. It is very possible for products to be connected to multiple worlds and they can certainly be used with many different worlds. I am mainly interested in using them with Mystara though, which is why this thread is in the Mystara forum.

However, this thread is not really about those three published game books. This is about the adventurer's Guild Modules linked to those products. Do they contain references to Mystara?

NPCDave wrote:As part of this book's release, there were also two tie-in products for Return to the Keep on the Borderlands which are not well-known. The first is a mini-adventure that was included with InQuest Gamer magazine #50 called [IQ3] Warriors of the Gray Queen, written by Jeff Grubb. It is only a few pages with the PCs tracking down the lair of some hostile myconids near the Keep and it doesn't have any special ties to Mystara.

And the Adventurer's Guild module for Return to the Keep on the Borderlands was...

1999 - The Displaced

This short adventure takes place along the road that leads up to the Keep. The PCs are traveling to the Keep when they arrive at the tiny hamlet of Riversford and meet a family who have had to abandon their homestead due to humanoid raiders. The homestead lies in a valley off the road between Riversford and the Keep, it is a six hour hike to reach it.

The PCs will encounter group of bandits in the area who have also been attacked by the humanoid raiders, this can lead to either a parley or a fight. The homestead has been taken over by gnolls who are linked to the gnolls found in RttKotB.

And the one link to Mystara can be found in the list of six pregen characters offered in the back. One of them is Dubricus d'Ambreville, with the same statistics as found in the Return to adventure.


Thank you very much for posting this (and the rest of your post too) NPCDave. Very useful! :)

I didn't even know about the [IQ3] Warriors of the Gray Queen adventure, but Myconoids don't sound very Mystaran, even though Jeff Grubb did write Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure.

I love that Dubricus is included as a pregen character in The Displaced. What are the other pregens like? Are they taken from the adventure as well?


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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby ripvanwormer » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:29 pm

JTrithen wrote:The explanation for the Cynidicen is even more silly. Is there another unique underground city in Greyhawk, too, besides the one on Mystara?


The Lerara, originally described in "The Lost Passage of the Suloise" in the Glossography in the 1983 World of Greyhawk boxed set, are a fairly close match for the Cynidiceans. They're another race of albino, subterranean humans.

In Oerth Journal #11, Russ Taylor wrote an article called "Repair to the Keep on the Borderlands," where he attempted to fit Return to the Keep better into the World of Greyhawk setting by changing some of the proper nouns to canonical Greyhawk ones. He rewrote Third's backstory to make her a Lerara instead of a Cynidicean.
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby Havard » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:48 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Marco Fossati wrote:Places suitable for Jakandor are imho some HW isles, or in KW some distant places such as Ulimwengu, Serpent Peninsula or around Davania


I was thinking that Jakandor might need to go into the Hollow World, but I wonder what the Spell of Preservation would have to say about the two societies butting up against each other.

Didn't one of them come from somewhere else? Maybe if you had two "archived" cultures and one decided to get up and move somewhere else, you would get the sort of culture clash that Jakandor has.


I have Jakador's Charonti be descendant's of an early Nithian colony of the island while the Knorr are Antalian (Norsemen) who later arrived at the island. I like the idea of keeping the island close to the Savage Coast (along with the other Odyssey material, like Tale of the Comet), but I could also see it being transported to the Hollow World at some point, especially since these are ancient world type cultures.

The Spell of Preservation does not get in the way of conflict, but it will prevent one group from ever completely wiping out the other.

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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby apotheot » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:05 am

I have Jakador's Charonti be descendant's of an early Nithian colony of the island while the Knorr are Antalian (Norsemen) who later arrived at the island. I like the idea of keeping the island close to the Savage Coast (along with the other Odyssey material, like Tale of the Comet), but I could also see it being transported to the Hollow World at some point, especially since these are ancient world type cultures.

The Spell of Preservation does not get in the way of conflict, but it will prevent one group from ever completely wiping out the other.

-Havard


As someone who has yet to use the Jakandor stuff and who has only started dipping his toes in Mystara, I rather like this explanation.
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby NPCDave » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:21 am

apotheot wrote:These books came at a time when campaign labels on the front of them were deemed a detriment to sales, and "generic" books would have sections like this to fit it anywhere.

Regardless, I seem to recall the Bruce Cordell stated once (maybe in the old Greyhawk mailing list?) that both of his two were supposed to be set in Greyhawk. Bastion using the default gods of the setting supports this.


Your post intrigued me so I did a bit of searching and found this very well-researched post by ripvanwormer that covers all the overlapping links between Cordell's home setting of Neverness and Greyhawk.
viewtopic.php?f=44&t=14580

Havard wrote:
NPCDave wrote:And the one link to Mystara can be found in the list of six pregen characters offered in the back. One of them is Dubricus d'Ambreville, with the same statistics as found in the Return to adventure.


Thank you very much for posting this (and the rest of your post too) NPCDave. Very useful! :)

I didn't even know about the [IQ3] Warriors of the Gray Queen adventure, but Myconoids don't sound very Mystaran, even though Jeff Grubb did write Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure.

I love that Dubricus is included as a pregen character in The Displaced. What are the other pregens like? Are they taken from the adventure as well?


Your welcome. If you are curious, you can do a google search on Warriors of the Gray Queen and find that someone has posted that adventure to Scribd.

As for the other pregen characters in the AG module The Displaced, yes, most of them are from pages 17-19 of RttKotB. Those were the pages covering henchmen available for hire in the keep. The other pregens aside from Dubricus found in RttKotB include Con, a 1st level fighter, Brother Martin, a 1st level Cleric, Opal, a 1st level cleric, and Mouse a 2nd level halfling thief. The sixth pregen not found in RttKotB, as far as I can tell, is Duiran, a 1st level dwarf fighter.

Now it mentions that all the pregens are found in RttKotB, so it makes me wonder if Duiran was created as another henchman for hire in RttKotB, added to the pregens for The Displaced, and then cut from RttKotB due to lack of space before publication.
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby Icarus » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:16 pm

NPCDave wrote:First, College of Wizardry posits a past historical Age which ended in an apocalypse which is quite unlike similar epochs in Greyhawk lore. It acknowledges as much on pages 8-9 which are devoted to advice for setting College of Wizardry in the established campaign settings of the time, which includes Birthright, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Red Steel and Greyhawk. Each setting gets a paragraph or two dedicated to modifying CoW's default history to bring it into line with each settings history. So Greyhawk is one of many settings suggested for CoW, rather than the definitive setting.

First, I will say, you are absolutely correct. College of Wizardry, as it is presented in that publication, absolutely does present several worlds for Mathghamhna to appear in.
But, a minor point of form ...
To imply that one of them is not a definitive setting is ... well, I will simply say that the Greyhawk setting continued to use the College of Wizardry after that book, and it was a set location used in at lest a couple of other books after that. So, while I would agree that *any* version of Mathghamhna and the Arcane Order are perfectly valid in whichever parallel world they're set in - the CoW is definitively set in Greyhawk, even if it is not only definitively set in Greyhawk. It can be definitively in more than one place. They are parallel worlds, after all.

As a point of curiosity, just because I simply don't have any clue, and I'm sure there's folks here who are more informed ... were there any other books or settings that had specific use or publication of Mathghamhna or the Arcane Order after the publication of CoW?
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby Marco Fossati » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:39 am

Icarus wrote:
NPCDave wrote:First, College of Wizardry posits a past historical Age which ended in an apocalypse which is quite unlike similar epochs in Greyhawk lore. It acknowledges as much on pages 8-9 which are devoted to advice for setting College of Wizardry in the established campaign settings of the time, which includes Birthright, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Red Steel and Greyhawk. Each setting gets a paragraph or two dedicated to modifying CoW's default history to bring it into line with each settings history. So Greyhawk is one of many settings suggested for CoW, rather than the definitive setting.

First, I will say, you are absolutely correct. College of Wizardry, as it is presented in that publication, absolutely does present several worlds for Mathghamhna to appear in.
But, a minor point of form ...
To imply that one of them is not a definitive setting is ... well, I will simply say that the Greyhawk setting continued to use the College of Wizardry after that book, and it was a set location used in at lest a couple of other books after that. So, while I would agree that *any* version of Mathghamhna and the Arcane Order are perfectly valid in whichever parallel world they're set in - the CoW is definitively set in Greyhawk, even if it is not only definitively set in Greyhawk. It can be definitively in more than one place. They are parallel worlds, after all.

As a point of curiosity, just because I simply don't have any clue, and I'm sure there's folks here who are more informed ... were there any other books or settings that had specific use or publication of Mathghamhna or the Arcane Order after the publication of CoW?


In CoW there are references to Drake, a necromancer who was a teacher here but brake off with Japhet Arcane. Drake is a NPC in Return to The Tomb of Horrors as a necromancer of the necromancy school built around Acererak's Tomb.

RtTToH is definitely set in Greyhawk, but it's easy to trasfer it to another setting.

In CoW you can also find references to the Elders, an ancient race of magic-wielders, mentioned also in the Gates of Firestorm Peaks. Since the Elders are also engineers (see GoFP), if you want to set it in Mystara you can easily replace them with the Blackmoor civilization.
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby Mike » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:43 pm

I thought that RttKotB was given Mystaran easter eggs as a simple nod to history. It draws on several settings because nearly everyone had used it regardless of setting. I see them more as fun than serious. And to make it 100% greyhawk would be annoying. So IMO they acknowledged its roots in this way.

That said, for me it is firmly set in the KW because the original was. I dont care what marketing says. It's nicely done, i like the premise, and mainly the religions/gods need conversion.* It's not like mystara doesn't have mistakes and contradictions written right into canon!

Last I'll note that this is not an isolated instance of modules jumping worlds. I think the most egregiously annoying the the Isle of Dread... how many times has that been stolen and retconned? And that was the module that introduced the KW... it *is* mystara! B1 is another. I believe Night Below had a mystara placement.

Was just thinking that mystara has no M-Sumer or M-Babylon... does it? Could the gods in RttKotB be obscure Immortals from a lost race? Perhaps they are an ancient Oltec culture that lived in Karameikos in the days of Taymora, or before. The chapel of chaos broke into a more ancient vault in the cave of the unknown and began worshipping these lost Immortals, reviving then from dormancy. Maybe they are related to the dark worship and fall of Nithia... ziggurats as proto pyramids? Hmm, I think I'd tie them to outer beings rather than immortals. It would make a great campaign if outer beings suddenly appeared in the Karameikos borderlands, and tried to turn Karameikos down the path of Nithia, or resurrect Taymora. Maybe link in scorpion men from the savage coast, weren't they M-Sumerian?
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby ripvanwormer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:46 pm

Mike wrote:Maybe link in scorpion men from the savage coast, weren't they M-Sumerian?


Yes. The manscorpion patrons are Atzanteotl and Nyx, who work well as analogues for Nergal and Erishkigal from Return to the Keep on the Borderlands.
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby ripvanwormer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:19 pm

Icarus wrote:As a point of curiosity, just because I simply don't have any clue, and I'm sure there's folks here who are more informed ... were there any other books or settings that had specific use or publication of Mathghamhna or the Arcane Order after the publication of CoW?


The Arcane Order and Mathghamhna were described briefly in Tome and Blood and Complete Arcane.
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby Icarus » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:09 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:The Arcane Order and Mathghamhna were described briefly in Tome and Blood and Complete Arcane.
Yep ... those were the ones that I obliquely referenced above.
Since Greyhawk was the default setting of 3rd Edition, I was more wondering if there were any other settings that used Mathghamhna, the Arcane Order, or th College of Wizardry, after its publication. Mostly, like, if anywhere else continued to use it officially, like Greyhawk did.
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby GMWestermeyer » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:57 pm

I pointed this thread out to John Rateliff, and he has posted some thoughts on all of this to his blog:

http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2017/03/return-to-keep-on-borderlands.html
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby apotheot » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:57 pm

GMWestermeyer wrote:I pointed this thread out to John Rateliff, and he has posted some thoughts on all of this to his blog:

http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2017/03/return-to-keep-on-borderlands.html



His thoughts are very interesting and useful. It is worth pointing out that there was also a series of Greyhawk Novels that came out about a year later (including one for Keep on the Borderlands (Nov 1, 2001)) which would have been commissioned about the time the "Return'" series of adventures were released (Return to the Keep June 22, 1999). This leads me to suspect someone in the chain of command always intended to have change be more official and set the Keep on Greyhawk. Otherwise why bother branding the novel at all? 3e was out by then, and they could have just thrown a generic Dungeons and Dragons logo on it and it would have sold just as well if not better.
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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby Havard » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:39 pm

GMWestermeyer wrote:I pointed this thread out to John Rateliff, and he has posted some thoughts on all of this to his blog:

http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2017/03/return-to-keep-on-borderlands.html


Thanks for posting this!

It is really interesting to hear the author's comments. It is also really cool that he posted a link to The Piazza on his blog. :)

It is a little disappointing that he was not thinking specifically about Mystara when writing the module, but I like that he also states that it was not specific to Greyhawk or any other setting either.

As far as I am concerned I still consider this a Mystara product. It has numerous connections to Mystara, whether intentional or not. However, like many other Mystara products it is not exclusively a Mystara product which is not problematic the way I see it.

I also think that The Displaced is highly relevant to Mystara as it includes references both to the Keep on the Borderlands and Castle Amber.

I wonder if there are more adventures from the Adventurer's Guild series that have connections to Mystara as well.

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Re: Adventurer's Guild Modules with Possible Ties to Mystar

Postby apotheot » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:10 am

Havard wrote:I wonder if there are more adventures from the Adventurer's Guild series that have connections to Mystara as well.

No. The ones mentioned here are the closest to Mystara in setting. There were a few more adventures with ties to "generic" adventures such as Axe of the Dwarvish Lords or Council of Wyrms which could be shoehorned into Mystara if you really wanted to though. And it is always possible that the Planescape or Ravenloft adventures could have NPC's with ties to Mystara (though after looking them over I don't think so).
A list of the Adventurer's Guild series and their connecting adventures can be found at https://www.acaeum.com/ddindexes/periodicals/agindex.html

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