[Laterre] Newbie Guide to Laterre?

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[Laterre] Newbie Guide to Laterre?

Postby Angel Tarragon » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:06 pm

What information is available? what sources cite Laterre? How much information is available? Are there any fan works expanding upon Laterre? How hard would it be to create a Newbies' Guide to Laterre (akin to Newbies' Guide to Mystara)?
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Re: [Laterre] Newbie Guide to Laterre?

Postby Havard » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:12 pm

This thread goes into a great detail about Laterre.

I think a Newbie Guide to Laterre would be an interesting project. :)

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Re: [Laterre] Newbie Guide to Laterre?

Postby Angel Tarragon » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:00 am

I completely forgot that I stated that thread. Thanks for the reminder, Havard!
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Re: [Laterre] Newbie Guide to Laterre?

Postby Cthulhudrew » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:01 am

One thing I'd note- that may or may not be clear from the other thread- is that Clark Ashton Smith's stories are set in the real world Earth, in various time periods around the 13th century (with one story actually delving several centuries earlier than that, albeit briefly). The world of "Laterre" is just inspired by the stories, and crams them all into the same timeframe (again with one brief exception), and the name Laterre was not given to it until Aaron Allston's Mark of Amber module around the time of the 2E conversion of Mystara. Prior to that, again, it was always pretty much implied to be the real Earth. Mark of Amber named the world* and added some history that diverged notably from that of RW France (through the addition of a French monarch that was not a real historical person).

*Admittedly, the name "Laterre" in and of itself needn't disassociate the world from being the real Earth, as it is just a portmanteau of the French "the earth," but other things make it clear it is intended to be a different world.

Personally, I still much prefer RW Earth to the idea of a separate "Laterre" but others may differ on that point.
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Re: [Laterre] Newbie Guide to Laterre?

Postby Havard » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:26 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:One thing I'd note- that may or may not be clear from the other thread- is that Clark Ashton Smith's stories are set in the real world Earth, in various time periods around the 13th century (with one story actually delving several centuries earlier than that, albeit briefly). The world of "Laterre" is just inspired by the stories, and crams them all into the same timeframe (again with one brief exception),


The different timeframe of the stories is interesting. Perhaps there is a way to retroactively move them again, or perhaps some of the occurences repeat themselves in different periods of history?

and the name Laterre was not given to it until Aaron Allston's Mark of Amber module around the time of the 2E conversion of Mystara. Prior to that, again, it was always pretty much implied to be the real Earth. Mark of Amber named the world* and added some history that diverged notably from that of RW France (through the addition of a French monarch that was not a real historical person).


Are you sure the name "LaTerre was" not mentioned in Gaz3?

Who is the monarch in question? I missed that bit. What other historical occurences are mentioned?


*Admittedly, the name "Laterre" in and of itself needn't disassociate the world from being the real Earth, as it is just a portmanteau of the French "the earth," but other things make it clear it is intended to be a different world.

Personally, I still much prefer RW Earth to the idea of a separate "Laterre" but others may differ on that point.


I think an alternate Earth is better than actual earth as it gives us some flexibility. I like the idea that other myths and magical things might be real in LaTerre. I also like Ripvanwormers idea that it could be the same world as the one described in Masque of the Red Death and perhaps even the world of Conan, Stormbringer etc.

But this depends on the needs of one's campaign of course. :)

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Re: [Laterre] Newbie Guide to Laterre?

Postby ripvanwormer » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:59 am

I also like James Mishler's idea of using Gary Gygax's Epic of Ærth setting (not to be confused with Oerth) as Laterre. Ærth is similar to Earth, but legendary lands like Atlantis, Lyonesse, Ys, and Lemuria never sank, monotheism never caught on, the gates to Faerie never closed, and magic reigns.

It's a cool setting, and one advantage is that you don't have to worry about how monotheism jibes with the D&D cosmology.
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Re: [Laterre] Newbie Guide to Laterre?

Postby agathokles » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:14 pm

Laterre is really just a name for CAS's medieval earth setting, which is related to both Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos and to Howard's Conan.
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Re: [Laterre] Newbie Guide to Laterre?

Postby Cthulhudrew » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:26 am

Havard wrote:The different timeframe of the stories is interesting. Perhaps there is a way to retroactively move them again, or perhaps some of the occurences repeat themselves in different periods of history?


Several of the stories are very specific in the timeframe they are set, though not all are. It could certainly be done to rework them as repeated events. Retroactively changing them is somewhat less elegant a solution, IMO, but could be done (as was pretty much done with module X2).

For instance, you could always have the Colossus of Ylourgne be resurrected at some point after the original story (perhaps along with his creator, Nathaire, who dies in the original), and continue to have an aged but still alive Gaspard du Nord be the NPC contact for PCs involved in the action.

Note that in at least a couple of cases, there has already been some retconning of the original stories as regards Mystara (Malachie du Marais and Giles Grenier, notably, both of whom met their untimely ends in the original stories. Malachie du Marais is quite notably a different character in his story than the Mystara version, as is Sephora.)

(And on that latter note, in my own campaigns, I've done much as you suggest, in that I have the NPC known as Genevieve de Sephora as a different character than Sephora; her daughter, with Malachie du Marais having somehow inexplicably escaped death in the original story- which in part explains why he is now an albino.)

Are you sure the name "LaTerre was" not mentioned in Gaz3?


Positive. I'm not 100% sure it wasn't named in PC4: Night Howlers, which preceded Mark of Amber, but I'm fairly certain it wasn't until the latter that it got a name.

Who is the monarch in question? I missed that bit. What other historical occurences are mentioned?


King Huber the Kind, for whom there exists no historical French monarchical counterpart. There aren't really any other historical references per se, other than some vaguely described battle between the d'Ambrevilles and some enemy (opposing noble or foreign army isn't quite clear, though I'd assume the latter), and the notion that Huber moved against the d'Ambrevilles for rumored practice of witchcraft. Neither of which necessarily lends itself to any particular historical French conflicts, although I have connected the witchcraft rumors to the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars in the south of France (albeit distantly; my d'Ambrevilles hail from the Hundred Years War era nearly a century and a half later).

I think an alternate Earth is better than actual earth as it gives us some flexibility. I like the idea that other myths and magical things might be real in LaTerre. I also like Ripvanwormers idea that it could be the same world as the one described in Masque of the Red Death and perhaps even the world of Conan, Stormbringer etc.


You mean you don't believe myths and magical beings exist in our RW? :P

I actually like combining all or parts of those with the RW myself.
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Re: [Laterre] Newbie Guide to Laterre?

Postby Havard » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:29 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Havard wrote:The different timeframe of the stories is interesting. Perhaps there is a way to retroactively move them again, or perhaps some of the occurences repeat themselves in different periods of history?


Several of the stories are very specific in the timeframe they are set, though not all are. It could certainly be done to rework them as repeated events. Retroactively changing them is somewhat less elegant a solution, IMO, but could be done (as was pretty much done with module X2).

For instance, you could always have the Colossus of Ylourgne be resurrected at some point after the original story (perhaps along with his creator, Nathaire, who dies in the original), and continue to have an aged but still alive Gaspard du Nord be the NPC contact for PCs involved in the action.

Note that in at least a couple of cases, there has already been some retconning of the original stories as regards Mystara (Malachie du Marais and Giles Grenier, notably, both of whom met their untimely ends in the original stories. Malachie du Marais is quite notably a different character in his story than the Mystara version, as is Sephora.)

(And on that latter note, in my own campaigns, I've done much as you suggest, in that I have the NPC known as Genevieve de Sephora as a different character than Sephora; her daughter, with Malachie du Marais having somehow inexplicably escaped death in the original story- which in part explains why he is now an albino.)


Thanks, this overview is very useful. I like the changes you have made in your campaign as well.

Are you sure the name "LaTerre was" not mentioned in Gaz3?


Positive. I'm not 100% sure it wasn't named in PC4: Night Howlers, which preceded Mark of Amber, but I'm fairly certain it wasn't until the latter that it got a name.


Okay, thanks for confirming. I did not realize the name was added that late. I had assumed later material wanted to go with the name Dimension of Myth that was introduced in WotI, but I guess that is just a name used by Immortals, while mortals might use LaTerre.

I kind of like having the name LaTerre to cover it since it makes it clear that we are speaking of a specific iteration of Earth even if we want to keep it pretty true to RW history.



Who is the monarch in question? I missed that bit. What other historical occurences are mentioned?


King Huber the Kind, for whom there exists no historical French monarchical counterpart. There aren't really any other historical references per se, other than some vaguely described battle between the d'Ambrevilles and some enemy (opposing noble or foreign army isn't quite clear, though I'd assume the latter), and the notion that Huber moved against the d'Ambrevilles for rumored practice of witchcraft. Neither of which necessarily lends itself to any particular historical French conflicts, although I have connected the witchcraft rumors to the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars in the south of France (albeit distantly; my d'Ambrevilles hail from the Hundred Years War era nearly a century and a half later).


Ahh, nice catch. It seems like an interesting decision to just make up a monarch like that. Maybe they didn't want to smear any historical figures if they want King Huber to become a kind of villain. Or perhaps this suggests that King Huber at a later point disappeared from LaTerre, becoming effectively removed from history? What happened to him? Did he follow through to Mystara? Or perhaps, in attempting to achieve Immortality, he became a kind of demon?

I like the connection to the Cathars. I guess there could have been other purges that followed the ones from R/W history. LaTerre seems to have had an even more prominent battle against magic users than any RW persecutions related to Witchcraft.


I think an alternate Earth is better than actual earth as it gives us some flexibility. I like the idea that other myths and magical things might be real in LaTerre. I also like Ripvanwormers idea that it could be the same world as the one described in Masque of the Red Death and perhaps even the world of Conan, Stormbringer etc.


You mean you don't believe myths and magical beings exist in our RW? :P


:lol:

I actually like combining all or parts of those with the RW myself.


Yeah, me too. But I also think we risk moving away from one important element to LaTerra that I think is the fact that this is a dark version of our real earth. But it is certainly worth toying with a history going back to ancient Atlantis and other legends that could still have some impact in the medieval era of the Ambreville family.

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