Nagpa brought into 5E

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Nagpa brought into 5E

Post by Havard » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:02 pm

This thread in the Nentir Vale section here at The Piazza made me aware that WotC are bringing back another BECMI/Mystara creature: The Nagpa.

The Nagpa originally appeared in the AC9 Creature Catalog. They first appeared as a PC race in PC2 Top Balista which gave them are more integral role on Mystara. The Voyage of the Princess Ark expanded on their Mystara origins.

In this video, WotC's Jeremy Crawford talks about how the Nagpa will appear in Mordenkeinen's Tome of Foes, but will be tied to the Raven Queen. Crawford seems very much in love with AC9 Creature Catalog, having brought several creatures from that book into 5E with Tomb of Annhilation's Tortle Package.

It is a bit disappointing that WotC appear to be dropping all of the connections the race has to Mystara, but at the same time it is always nice to see a Mystara race get revisited.

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Re: Nagpa brought into 5E

Post by stebehil » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:47 pm

The Nagpa always reminded me of the Skeksis from Jim Hensons Dark Crystal, which predates the X4 module (marking the Nagpas first appearance) by two years. The images are very similar, so I´d guess David Cook was inspired by the movie.

Mystara does not seem to play any role in D&D at this point. The books so far seem to be written with FR in mind, but might be placeable in other game worlds. In the PH, the gods from FR, Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Eberron are included, so I´d guess that these game worlds will recieve the attention, if any. Mordenkainen is a GH character, but from what I´ve heard, the connection to GH will be weak in the new book, if it is even there.

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Re: Nagpa brought into 5E

Post by Havard » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:16 pm

stebehil wrote:The Nagpa always reminded me of the Skeksis from Jim Hensons Dark Crystal, which predates the X4 module (marking the Nagpas first appearance) by two years. The images are very similar, so I´d guess David Cook was inspired by the movie.

Mystara does not seem to play any role in D&D at this point. The books so far seem to be written with FR in mind, but might be placeable in other game worlds. In the PH, the gods from FR, Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Eberron are included, so I´d guess that these game worlds will recieve the attention, if any. Mordenkainen is a GH character, but from what I´ve heard, the connection to GH will be weak in the new book, if it is even there.
Good point about X4 predating AC9.

It has been speculated that Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes will involve alot of Other Planar stuff so that could explain this character being referenced. Looks like they are purging any Mystara references from the Nagpa and replacing it with this new revised Raven Queen mythology.

And yeah, the Skeksis are awesome! :)

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Re: Nagpa brought into 5E

Post by Knightfall » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:14 am

Havard wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:16 pm
stebehil wrote:The Nagpa always reminded me of the Skeksis from Jim Hensons Dark Crystal, which predates the X4 module (marking the Nagpas first appearance) by two years. The images are very similar, so I´d guess David Cook was inspired by the movie.

Mystara does not seem to play any role in D&D at this point. The books so far seem to be written with FR in mind, but might be placeable in other game worlds. In the PH, the gods from FR, Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Eberron are included, so I´d guess that these game worlds will recieve the attention, if any. Mordenkainen is a GH character, but from what I´ve heard, the connection to GH will be weak in the new book, if it is even there.
Good point about X4 predating AC9.

It has been speculated that Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes will involve alot of Other Planar stuff so that could explain this character being referenced. Looks like they are purging any Mystara references from the Nagpa and replacing it with this new revised Raven Queen mythology.

And yeah, the Skeksis are awesome! :)

-Havard
The first thing that comes to mind for me is how do we bring the Raven Queen into Mystara as an Immortal related to nagpas? Is she their patron? Is it just another name for an existing Immortal?

Thoughts?
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Re: Nagpa brought into 5E

Post by Havard » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:51 pm

The Raven Queen is somewhat similar to Nyx. Not sure what immortals are associated with the Nagpa though?

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Re: Nagpa brought into 5E

Post by Sturm » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:15 pm

Bruce Heard in VotPA described the Nagpa as cursed Varellyans (http://bruce-heard.blogspot.it/2012/03/ ... agpas.html). Supposedly an Entropic Immortal cursed them, so maybe they are not much the religious type.
But I'd like to make their story more complicated and having them as a breed of gyerians natives of the region in Davania that the Varellyan partially destroyed, hence they were forced to take their form.
The nagpa in Hule which appears in X4 and X5 however could have another story entirely, and be followers of Bozdogan/Loki? Nyx is Entropic too but not sure if she would get much along with Loki.
Still a group of nagpa followers of Nyx would work very well IMHO.

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Re: Nagpa brought into 5E

Post by stebehil » Tue May 29, 2018 7:07 am

Just had a look at the MToF Nagpa. It has almost nothing to do with the original design, beside the name and the appearance. They came into existence via a curse by the Raven Queen, who cursed 13 meddlesome wizards into this form. The 13 are still alive, so there are no others, I´d guess. They are quite powerful, being full 15th level spell casters, on top on having charm and paralysis as bonus actions/spell-like abilities. The charm ability is called corruption, but the original corruption power is gone. (for those playing 5e, they are Challenge 17, on par with a Death Knight, a Dragon Turtle or an adult red dragon.)

I also saw a frost salamander close to the BECMI/RC version, and a tortle, as well as the nightwalker mentioned elsewhere.

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Re: Nagpa brought into 5E

Post by Havard » Tue May 29, 2018 2:59 pm

stebehil wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 7:07 am
Just had a look at the MToF Nagpa. It has almost nothing to do with the original design, beside the name and the appearance. They came into existence via a curse by the Raven Queen, who cursed 13 meddlesome wizards into this form. The 13 are still alive, so there are no others, I´d guess. They are quite powerful, being full 15th level spell casters, on top on having charm and paralysis as bonus actions/spell-like abilities. The charm ability is called corruption, but the original corruption power is gone. (for those playing 5e, they are Challenge 17, on par with a Death Knight, a Dragon Turtle or an adult red dragon.)

I also saw a frost salamander close to the BECMI/RC version, and a tortle, as well as the nightwalker mentioned elsewhere.
Thanks for providing this information Stebehil! :)

Ripvanwormer has a pretty cool idea for reconciling the 5E version of the Nagpa, the Shadar-Kai and the Raven Queen with the story from the Voyage of the Princess Ark:
ripvanwormer wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:11 pm
In 3e, shadar-kai were a race of fey who attempted to bind the material plane and the Plane of Shadow together. Their ritual was interrupted by mortal heroes and the backlash poisoned their souls, leaving them bound to the Plane of Shadow and cursed to lose them to its depths.

In 4e, shadar-kai were a race of humans who, fearing death thanks to the predations of Nerull, made a pact with the Raven Queen upon her ascension, gaining long lives in exchange for service to their mistress.

From Dragon #372:
Chris Sims wrote:Shadar-kai were once humans, native to the world. They were all members of an extended tribe who called themselves Shadar-Kai. These early humans had seen the abuses Nerull, once god of death, perpetrated on the souls who passed into his power. They also feared the unknowable reaches of death into which most souls pass even now. When the Raven Queen slew Nerull and ascended to godhood, in an age now largely forgotten, the Shadar-Kai struck a deal with her.
In 5e, shadar-kai are an elven subrace. According to the Unearthed Arcana column, "Once they were elves like the rest of their kin, but now they exist in a strange state between life and death, their skin pale and their bodies marked by piercings and eerie tattoos."

According to Mike Mearls in the video above:
Mike Mearls wrote:"The shadar-kai obey her, they follow her, they're very faithful to her, and they're about as old as she is. How she actually came to be, there's a lot of different stories, it's not exactly clear what may have created her but it's clear the shadar-kai are somehow attached to it and they serve her will, they are tied to her. The shadar-kai were once elves and so the Raven Queen may have once been an elf herself, it's not exactly clear right now what her relationship might be. You do have this idea that Corellon Larethian, you know, the elves springing from his divine blood. And the elf pantheon essentially being the most powerful of the elves rising to godhood because they have the divine element in their blood and so there's some suspicion that she's somehow tied to that, that that might be how she might have attained this cosmic position. There's also some thought that maybe there's this kind of cosmic tragedy, that she didn't actually intend to become the Raven Queen, she intended to be something else, and something went wrong, and now she's trapped in the Shadowfell and that her weird obsession with souls and plucking souls and bringing them to her and commanding the shadar-kai might actually be in some strange way her trying to escape her predicament."
As you can see, he's pretty vague here. He doesn't say the Raven Queen was an elf, but he suggests she might have been. On the other hand, he's saying this isn't clear and there are a lot of different stories that might contradict this.

Jeremy Crawford, in this video, is more explicit that in the particular story he's telling, the Raven Queen was originally an elven sorceress.
Big Mac wrote:Is this actually a change or is it a clarification?

Is there 4e canon that suggests that the Raven Queen was not an elf?
I don't think that's the right way of looking at it. I don't think the very different origins of the Raven Queen in 4e can be said to be clarified by the information given for 5e; nor do I think they can be said to have been changed.
Jeremy Crawford wrote:It is said there was a mighty elf queen who saw this chaos that was going on among her people, among elves, and she thought, "If I could marshal enough magical power I could not only ascend to godhood but I could help restore order to my people," an order that at that time Corellon and Lolth seemed incapable of providing.
In 4e's Divine Power, the original race of the Raven Queen isn't specified. She was simply a mortal sorcerer-queen of unspecified race. When she died, Nerull deemed her a worthy consort and named her Nera, after himself. She discovered the means by which Nerull held the souls of dead mortals in thrall and seized this power for herself, and then by freeing almost all those souls she grew powerful enough to defeat him.

What I think Mike Mearls was saying is that this story is still true and valid for Nentir Vale, but it's not the story they tell on every world. On Oerth, Nerull is still alive and still answers his priests and grants them spells, and on Toril they don't acknowledge Nerull at all, so they don't tell a story there of the Raven Queen slaying him. Instead, they tell the story that Jeremy Crawford tells about an ancient elven queen.

That doesn't mean the Raven Queen of Nentir Vale has now been revealed to be an elf, or that they've changed her backstory so that she was always an elf. It just means that on some worlds and in some cultures, they say she was an elf, but that's not necessarily the case everywhere.
Big Mac wrote:The impression I got was that the Nagpa were supposed to be part of the Shadar-kai, and that they cast the spells or carried out the ritual that got the entire community shunted off of the Material Plane.
The shadar-kai were elves in this story. They hoped the Raven Queen would grant them a path back to Arvandor. The nagpa were evil wizards who attempted to steal power from the ritual being conducted by the shadar-kai and the Raven Queen. He didn't say these evil wizards were shadar-kai or elves.

The nagpa may or may not have been elves. The shadar-kai were a group who were followers of the Raven Queen, while the proto-nagpas were an unaffiliated group who tried to take advantage of their ritual.

According to Dragon Magazine #157's "The Voyage of the Princess Ark" by Bruce A. Heard, nagpas were created when at the climax of a civil war in the nation of Varellya one of the princes conjured an Immortal to slay his rival, but the Immortal turned on them and turned the nation into desert, cursing its citizens to be eternally reborn as twisted vulture-creatures. If you assume the unnamed Immortal they attempted to summon was the Raven Queen (or her Mystaran equivalent, such as Nyx), the story isn't necessarily that much different. My 3e conversion of the nagpa is here.
Source: viewtopic.php?f=72&t=19379#p209736

I rather like using Nyx as a parallell with the Raven Queen. This also helps combing the origin stories of the Nagpa.
stebehil wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 7:07 am
The 13 are still alive, so there are no others, I´d guess. They are quite powerful, being full 15th level spell casters, on top on having charm and paralysis as bonus actions/spell-like abilities. The charm ability is called corruption, but the original corruption power is gone. (for those playing 5e, they are Challenge 17, on par with a Death Knight, a Dragon Turtle or an adult red dragon.)
This bit about the 13 is a bit annoying. Not sure how to handle that. They are also crazy powerful. Perhaps other weaker Nagpa have appeared over the centuries that followed?
I also saw a frost salamander close to the BECMI/RC version, and a tortle, as well as the nightwalker mentioned elsewhere.
Thanks!

It is interesting that Frost Salamanders were a uniquely Mystaran creature before 4E. I wonder if we should do something with them. Like have a Castle of the Frost Salamanders somewhere...

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Re: Nagpa brought into 5E

Post by stebehil » Tue May 29, 2018 6:23 pm

Well, you could use both versions. The new 5e version might be "greater" Nagpa, and might be somehow related to the "lesser" version, like descendants. Or the immortal responsible for the lesser version had seen the greater one, but lacked the power to turn so many people into the greater version (the 5e version is said to have been wizards anyway, which might explain their power), so the lesser version resulted. The greater version might be a legend among the lesser kind, akin to a bogeyman.

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