[Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

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[Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Havard » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:32 pm

Is there enough setting information in the various Role Aids products to construct a setting based on them? What would this setting be like? Just generic fantasy, or is there something unique to the Role Aids products that could make that world different from anything else?

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Azaghal » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:54 am

I think, IIRC, that with some work a Role Aids setting could be worked up, as I recall between the various products each one had a small to medium sized area worked up for use.
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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by rabindranath72 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:21 am

I had one of the Fez modules, but it was nothing great. The setting description therein was really bare-bones. "Beneath Two Suns" sounds interesting, but I haven't managed to get it. Also Psionics is quite good.

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Havard » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:32 am

I have the Demons supplement. Several of the Role Aids products seem to have focused on demons and other topics that TSR did not want D&D to be associated with at the time. Could this be made into a prominent element in a hypothetical Role Aids Setting?

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Azaghal » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:53 pm

Just scanning some Role Aids titles, there are 8-10 Demons products alone.
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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:07 pm

Just curious, how rules-centric are Role Aids supplements?
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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Azaghal » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:11 am

IIRC, the base system the Role Aids were designed for a loose 1e style, but they should be very adaptable.
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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:27 am

Azaghal wrote:IIRC, the base system the Role Aids were designed for a loose 1e style, but they should be very adaptable.
Cool, now where might a list of Role Aids supplements?
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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Havard » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:14 pm

Twin Agate Dragons wrote:
Azaghal wrote:IIRC, the base system the Role Aids were designed for a loose 1e style, but they should be very adaptable.
Cool, now where might a list of Role Aids supplements?
Check the link in my original post :)

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:36 pm

Havard wrote:
Twin Agate Dragons wrote:
Azaghal wrote:IIRC, the base system the Role Aids were designed for a loose 1e style, but they should be very adaptable.
Cool, now where might a list of Role Aids supplements?
Check the link in my original post :)

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by danbuter » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:22 am

Elves and Undead both provide great settings.

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Havard » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:33 am

danbuter wrote:Elves and Undead both provide great settings.
Thanks Danbuter! I was hoping someone would provide specific recommendations :)

Am I right that these are micro-settings which could theoretically be combined?

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:21 am

I have three major RoleAids supplements: Dwarves, Dark Folk, and Dragons.

Dwarves features a relatively small mountain region that can be plugged in just about anywhere.

Dragons features a vast northern land (similar to Norwold in Mystara, which is actually what I used to associate it with) ruled by dragons.

Dark Folk features an entire continent. Unfortunately it has no real room for the Dragons region; it could be placed on a different continent on the same planet, perhaps.

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Belathauzer » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:58 pm

I've tried at various times to combine all the material into a cohesive setting. It's not an easy task, but I'm certain it can be done with the right amount of time and determination. My biggest issue was losing interest after a while. Also, whereas I have a large amount of the books, it is an incomplete collection; with about half the adventures missing.

I agree with "danbuter" and "ripvanwormer" with regards to the books that have the most relevance. I must say though, that the Dwarves and Elves books are really fairly generic and don't add much that hasn't been done to death already. The settings themselves would still be quite useful to a Role Aids universe/plane. I found the Undead, Dragons, and Dark Folk books to be quite interesting.

The Undead book has what I believe to be a companion adventure - Lich Lords. If it isn't an actual companion, it could be easily tied at least. The setting in Dark Folk would definitely have to be a separate continent from the other books mentioned already; all of which could probably be combined on one large continent. A smaller continent the likes of Australia could work too. Dragons would be a bit difficult to merge as the region seems to stretch from one ocean to another, so other regions would need to be placed north or south of this (unless of course one of those oceans were actually an inland sea).

The other racial/cultural/setting books that would be of some use are:

Giants - I can see this setting being placed somewhere in the north amongst the dwarves (especially considering that the two are racial enemies IIRC).

Lizardmen - this should definitely be used. I honestly feel it is one of the best written of the books. 7 different and distinct tribes (or sub-races) of lizardmen are detailed, complete with history going back to when they dominated their continent. If you're a fan of lost "cold-blooded" cultures in your games, in the vein of REH's Serpent People or Land of the Lost's Sleestak, then this would be a must.

Demons - if you want an element of horror/dark fantasy in your game, similiar to Blizzard's Diablo, then this is a must. These are definitely the most well written books of the bunch. It is quite unfortunate that they never got to publish the final book in the series - Denizens of Dis. Definitely combine this with Sentinels (Angels) and Archmagic, then work in Apocalypse; so once you're finished with the difficult task of creating the world, you can destroy the whole thing. :twisted:

The Fantastic Treasures & Monsters of Myth and Legend series make for great source material.

A good portion of the adventures were "historical", in that they are set on Earth during different periods. considering the Fez series deals with time travel (and what can be percieved as dimensional/multiverse travel too), I don't see why you couldn't link the Role Aids world to Earth via portals & such. The rest of the adventures were very much generic fantasy and should be easy to fit.


Another thought is to help fill in some of the blanks in the world (and trust me, there will be a few), using another classic series of generic fantasy rpg material - the Flying Buffalo Catalyst series. I found their Citybooks invaluable for fleshing out fantasy cities, and who doesn't love Grimtooth's Traps?
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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by GMWestermeyer » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:06 am

Just discovered this thread! Great stuff. I use the Role Aids books to fill out my SJ sphere creations. Most notably, Shipwrecker in Bralspace I based on the Role Aids module Shipwrecker. And I'm using the Dark Isle from the Elves book as a hidden asteroid city for the drow in Bralspace.

Definitely an underused resource, IMO, for AD&D generally and SJ in particular. :)

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Plaag » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:30 pm

I'm selling the old folder modules on Ebay right now: Kobold Hall, Beastmaker Mountain, Blasted Lands, Nanorien Stones and Fez I

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:04 pm

Havard wrote:Is there enough setting information in the various Role Aids products to construct a setting based on them? What would this setting be like? Just generic fantasy, or is there something unique to the Role Aids products that could make that world different from anything else?
Sounds like an interesting idea.

The adventure Beneath Two Suns would seem to imply that "Role Aids world" has two suns. I can't think of another campaign setting, off hand, that has two suns. (Mind you, I don't own the adventure, so it might be a metaphorical title. :? )
Azaghal wrote:IIRC, the base system the Role Aids were designed for a loose 1e style, but they should be very adaptable.
Hmm. I bet that the fact that they are non-TSR products means that the Creature Catalogue team at ENWorld (the people making 3e versions of all D&D stuff) have decided to not do Role Aids. :(

Is there anything supporting this stuff being "official" in some way?
danbuter wrote:Elves and Undead both provide great settings.
Do they have named lands (like 4th Edition has Nentir Vale)? Are there any maps?
ripvanwormer wrote:I have three major RoleAids supplements: Dwarves, Dark Folk, and Dragons.

Dwarves features a relatively small mountain region that can be plugged in just about anywhere.

Dragons features a vast northern land (similar to Norwold in Mystara, which is actually what I used to associate it with) ruled by dragons.

Dark Folk features an entire continent. Unfortunately it has no real room for the Dragons region; it could be placed on a different continent on the same planet, perhaps.
Same question as I said to Danbuter. Do these areas have names or maps?
Belathauzer wrote:I've tried at various times to combine all the material into a cohesive setting. It's not an easy task, but I'm certain it can be done with the right amount of time and determination. My biggest issue was losing interest after a while. Also, whereas I have a large amount of the books, it is an incomplete collection; with about half the adventures missing.
Sounds like you could be the "Michael Knight" of Role Aids fandom. ;)
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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:34 pm

Big Mac wrote:The adventure Beneath Two Suns would seem to imply that "Role Aids world" has two suns. I can't think of another campaign setting, off hand, that has two suns. (Mind you, I don't own the adventure, so it might be a metaphorical title. :?
That adventure seems to be based on the Dray Prescot series by Alan Burt Akers. It thus takes place on the world of Kregen. Putting it in all the other RoleAids stuff would probably severely alter the setting, since Kregen isn't at all a D&D world. I suppose you could mash them together in the same sphere, but they're two different genres - most RoleAids books are high fantasy and Kregen is "sword and planet" like the John Carter of Mars series.

The RoleAids world could probably still have two suns though, if you wanted.
Hmm. I bet that the fact that they are non-TSR products means that the Creature Catalogue team at ENWorld (the people making 3e versions of all D&D stuff) have decided to not do Role Aids. :(
Actually, see this thread and this one, both by Shade from the Creature Catalogue team.
Is there anything supporting this stuff being "official" in some way?
Not official for TSR/WotC, no. Although two unpublished RoleAids products, Shaman and Chronomancer, did end up being published by TSR after TSR's lawsuit ended that line. There are no maps or named lands in either of those books (and I think they were extensively rewritten by the TSR staff).
Same question as I said to Danbuter. Do these areas have names or maps?
Yes, Dragons, Dwarves, and Dark Folk all have maps with names on them. As I said, Dragons and Dark Folk don't fit well together, though they could be on the same world.

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:14 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:The adventure Beneath Two Suns would seem to imply that "Role Aids world" has two suns. I can't think of another campaign setting, off hand, that has two suns. (Mind you, I don't own the adventure, so it might be a metaphorical title. :?
That adventure seems to be based on the Dray Prescot series by Alan Burt Akers. It thus takes place on the world of Kregen. Putting it in all the other RoleAids stuff would probably severely alter the setting, since Kregen isn't at all a D&D world. I suppose you could mash them together in the same sphere, but they're two different genres - most RoleAids books are high fantasy and Kregen is "sword and planet" like the John Carter of Mars series.

The RoleAids world could probably still have two suns though, if you wanted.
If I were attempting this, I'd probably identify any Role Aids products that won't fit in with the bulk of them and exclude them. (Maybe some of them could form a second world or maybe some of them would work as standalone worlds.)
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Hmm. I bet that the fact that they are non-TSR products means that the Creature Catalogue team at ENWorld (the people making 3e versions of all D&D stuff) have decided to not do Role Aids. :(
Actually, see this thread and this one, both by Shade from the Creature Catalogue team.
Woot! :cool:
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Is there anything supporting this stuff being "official" in some way?
Not official for TSR/WotC, no. Although two unpublished RoleAids products, Shaman and Chronomancer, did end up being published by TSR after TSR's lawsuit ended that line. There are no maps or named lands in either of those books (and I think they were extensively rewritten by the TSR staff).
I'd be tempted to look at those and see if they would fit with the Role Aids stuff. I think I'll exclude them from any AD&D "generic combo setting" plan I do (assuming I have time for such a plan).
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Same question as I said to Danbuter. Do these areas have names or maps?
Yes, Dragons, Dwarves, and Dark Folk all have maps with names on them. As I said, Dragons and Dark Folk don't fit well together, though they could be on the same world.
I figure that if Dragonlance can have Taladas and Forgotten Realms can have Al-Qadim, Kara Tur and Maztica, you could probably have a similar, but different setting in another part of the same world. (That could allow you to recycle the same gods and stuff like the way the sun and moon work.)
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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:32 am

Big Mac wrote:I'd be tempted to look at those and see if they would fit with the Role Aids stuff. I think I'll exclude them from any AD&D "generic combo setting" plan I do (assuming I have time for such a plan).
I wouldn't. Shaman and Chronomancer were pretty well incorporated into generic 2nd edition AD&D, being referenced in one way or another in multiple sources. There was a different version of the shaman class in the Skills & Powers series, but the basic concept behind them was referenced in On Hallowed Ground, and chronomancy was referenced in A Guide to the Ethereal Plane and, of course, the Arcane Age series for Forgotten Realms. Neither were what you could call mainstream AD&D, though, and chronomancy in particular, if allowed to run amuck, could completely destroy a campaign. In a game I ran, a halfling PC murdered the first human being to pave the way for a halfling-dominated future. It didn't work out quite the way he wanted - I think I had intelligent dinosaurs take over the world instead.

Although... I just noticed that Mayfair's Apocalypse has a lengthy tie-in with the "upcoming" book Chronomancer. There's a sequence where the adventurers meet a chronomancer and fight dinosaurs and things. At the time that book was published, it was expected that Mayfair would publish Chronomancer, not TSR. So Chronomancer actually fits very well with Apocalypse.

Apocalypse also details a setting, Ulthar Valley, which would fit very nicely in the southeast corner of the continental map from Dark Folk.

Undead has named lands ("Western Duur") and a map which might fit on the western side of the Dragonlands from Dragons, just north of where the map ends. The Table Top Range, where the white dragons rule, could extend northward and become the Dvergar Mountains. The power of the Lichlord Council could keep the dragons from trying to rule that area.

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Re: [Role Aids] A Role Aids Setting?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:34 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:32 am
Although... I just noticed that Mayfair's Apocalypse has a lengthy tie-in with the "upcoming" book Chronomancer. There's a sequence where the adventurers meet a chronomancer and fight dinosaurs and things. At the time that book was published, it was expected that Mayfair would publish Chronomancer, not TSR. So Chronomancer actually fits very well with Apocalypse.
Perhaps we could try to infer what Chronomancer might have been like, without it being published by TSR.

If there are any TSR elements in Chronomancer, they would presumably have been added after they took the manuscript from Mayfair. If we assume that anything not specifically connected to D&D was already there, that could be a way to infer how Mayfair's original version would work.
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