[The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

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[The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Big Mac » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:58 pm

Over on Facebook, someone asked if The Realm (the campaign setting from the D&D cartoon TV show) was part of Mystara. The discussion got turned to how to incorporate The Realm into Mystara (not a bad goal) but I got curious about the original question. I didn't really pay much attention to the show, when it was first on, as I didn't like the central theme of a bunch of kids getting turned into D&D characters by a magical roller coaster*. However, I'm paying more attention to these sort of things now, as I'm amazed to see just how many campaign settings have been created over the years. So I hunted through the thread not for the hope (of raiding it for Mystara) but for what facts might be there to give us an idea about the world of The Realm.

* = I've avoided Quag Keep for the same reason. I don't want Earth to be in my D&D games.

James Mishler (who you will normally see in our Wilderlands forum) said that The Realm had multiple suns and multiple moons. That to me illuminated both Mystara and Greyhawk (also a possible candidate for The Realm). Not only that, it also ruled out Krynn, Toril and most of the AD&D campaign settings. You could probably shoehorn the setting into Spelljammer, but there are no SJ elements in the TV shows**.

** = Or are there? Muhahahah! ;)

My research led me to the item that this thread is about. A website that not only confirmed that The Realm has four suns and three moons, but also provided me with more information about the campaign setting than you could shake a stick at. So without further ado, I give you the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon encyclopaedia.

I've said elsewhere that I believe that every D&D campaign setting should have its own encyclopaedia of canon and it is amazing to see that The Realm is better documented than many of the tabletop campaign settings. :shock: :o :cool:
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Havard » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:15 pm

Big Mac wrote:Over on Facebook, someone asked if The Realm (the campaign setting from the D&D cartoon TV show) was part of Mystara. The discussion got turned to how to incorporate The Realm into Mystara (not a bad goal) but I got curious about the original question. I didn't really pay much attention to the show, when it was first on, as I didn't like the central theme of a bunch of kids getting turned into D&D characters by a magical roller coaster*. However, I'm paying more attention to these sort of things now, as I'm amazed to see just how many campaign settings have been created over the years. So I hunted through the thread not for the hope (of raiding it for Mystara) but for what facts might be there to give us an idea about the world of The Realm.
As I just posted in Facebook, that discussion was not about incorporating the Cartoon Show into Mystara if you accept the basic fact that Mystara is the sum of all post 1981 TSR era non Advanced D&D products. If you dont accept this definition of Mystara, then what makes any of the modules or Gazetteers part of Mystara?

However, this doesn't mean you cannot also construct a world of its own from the Cartoon Show. My basic idea is that its not one world, but many, that the Dungeon Master sends the kids to, but for the sake of this thread, I guess your intention is the one world thing.

I haven't looked through all the links you provided too closely, but I know that someone did make a map of "The Realm of Dungeons & Dragons" which should be out there somewhere.

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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Big Mac » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:00 pm

Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Over on Facebook, someone asked if The Realm (the campaign setting from the D&D cartoon TV show) was part of Mystara. The discussion got turned to how to incorporate The Realm into Mystara (not a bad goal) but I got curious about the original question. I didn't really pay much attention to the show, when it was first on, as I didn't like the central theme of a bunch of kids getting turned into D&D characters by a magical roller coaster*. However, I'm paying more attention to these sort of things now, as I'm amazed to see just how many campaign settings have been created over the years. So I hunted through the thread not for the hope (of raiding it for Mystara) but for what facts might be there to give us an idea about the world of The Realm.
As I just posted in Facebook, that discussion was not about incorporating the Cartoon Show into Mystara if you accept the basic fact that Mystara is the sum of all post 1981 TSR era non Advanced D&D products. If you dont accept this definition of Mystara, then what makes any of the modules or Gazetteers part of Mystara?
I don't think it is quite that simple. I fully accept that AD&D tabletop stuff goes with AD&D settings or (is left dangling in a generic limbo) and I accept that tabletop D&D stuff has mostly* been retconned into Mystara (even if it didn't really get designed for the Known World). But the basic problem with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is that it is a very poor name (for marketing purposes).

* = Greyhawk predates Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, so I wouldn't automatically assume that anything printed before 1e was non-GH without consulting a Mystara expert (like yourself) or a Greyhawk expert. I wouldn't expect anything with BECMI rules to be part of an AD&D setting such as Dark Sun, but cartoons (and even choose your own adventure books) do not have rules. In fact the only rules I've seen written for The Realms are written for 3e (and nobody thinks this is a 3e campaign setting).

If you make a cartoon, a novel, an interactive fiction book or any other non-tabletop product you are going to be selling to a public who know that D&D is a roleplaying game but who don't care about "Basic D&D" or "Advanced D&D". I think that "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" is a poor brand name and I'm not suprised that WotC dropped the world "Advanced" as soon as they updated from 2e.
Havard wrote:However, this doesn't mean you cannot also construct a world of its own from the Cartoon Show. My basic idea is that its not one world, but many, that the Dungeon Master sends the kids to, but for the sake of this thread, I guess your intention is the one world thing.
I don't actually have an intention, other than finding out how this world was set up and what the designers were trying to do. If there is canon information that nails it down to Mystara, that would be great. If there is canon information that nails it down to Greyhawk, that would also great, and with Gary Gygax leaving the main TSR team to try to do multi-media tie-ins, I would be more likely to expect this to be his world than another designer's world. if it turns out to be impossible to connect with any other D&D world, that would also be great.

I've not read enough about this yet. And I've got a nagging feeling that if we keep talking about this, I'll become so interested that I'll end up buying the DVDs of the series and the six "choose your own adventure books" so that I can check this would out the same way that I checked out the DragonStrike world.

But the impression I always had about the cartoon was that it was like nothing from any D&D campaign setting I had ever seen. I've looked at the writers of the list of D&D cartoon episodes on Wikipedia and do not recognise any names of tabletop writers. Perhaps you (or someone else) can recognise some names I don't know, as there are a lot of D&D people I don't know. (I did spot Margaret Weis as the author of one of the six books. And lo and behold she uses a similar dragon for Dragonlance. Coincidence? Or something more sinister? :twisted: Maybe Dragonhelm will snap up a copy. :lol: )

Anyhoo, it is possible that Dungeon Master sends the kids to different worlds. I've not read anything to back that up yet, but there are about 280 articles about the setting and I've only hopped to a minority of them, so I know very little about it at this stage. However, if your world-hopping concept turns out to be the way that The Realm was intended, I would think it would have more in common with Planescape than with Mystara.

Were you thinking that some of the locations from individual episodes match up with (non-prime) things from the BECMI cosmology?

Do you know of any Dragon, Dungeon, Polyhedron or other magazine articles that involve The Realm? Maybe something like that might introduce a connection.
Havard wrote:I haven't looked through all the links you provided too closely, but I know that someone did make a map of "The Realm of Dungeons & Dragons" which should be out there somewhere.
You should look through the encyclopaedia (if you have time). If you want to find a way to incorporate The Realm into Mystara, I can not think of a more useful resource. Even if you end up needing to do a few tweaks (and I think you will need to tweak things to make it work better) you can use the encyclopaedia to do the best tweaks possible.

I know there was that big empty slot on the back of Mystara. Maybe you could use a crowbar to squeeze The Realm into there.

I also think that it migth be worth doing the same sort of thing that WotC's 4e team did when they raided other settings to find cool stuff for Nentir Vale. Instead of actually using The Realm as is, you could dump a lot of the weird stuff (and the impossible to keep things like the four suns) and raid individual elements of The Realm to create a ton of new locations to populate a new Mystaran continent.

(I would certainly want to use the website if I was interested in doing a version of The Realm for Spelljammer, although I'm not sure I'm quite that interested in using the setting. It has a little bit too much involvement with the real-world for my liking. I would want to tone that right down, and maybe even remove the kids and Dungeon Master. And if you want to pull that stuff, anyone looking forward to it would probably feel unsatisfied.)
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Chimpman » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:30 pm

The delux edition of the DVDs contains a booklet for the cartoon's "The Realm" setting. I could break it out and see how much fluff info it has on the setting - it's been a while since I looked at it.
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Havard » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:11 am

Big Mac wrote:I don't think it is quite that simple. I fully accept that AD&D tabletop stuff goes with AD&D settings or (is left dangling in a generic limbo) and I accept that tabletop D&D stuff has mostly* been retconned into Mystara (even if it didn't really get designed for the Known World). But the basic problem with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is that it is a very poor name (for marketing purposes).
I will try not to derail this much further, but I reject the notion that D&D line material was retconned into Mystara. While the Mystara name appeared late, there was since 1981 the idea of the "D&D Game World" (later called the Known World) which was the default setting for all modules produced from this point on. The only modules that could be said to have been retconned were the early B modules.
If you make a cartoon, a novel, an interactive fiction book or any other non-tabletop product you are going to be selling to a public who know that D&D is a roleplaying game but who don't care about "Basic D&D" or "Advanced D&D". I think that "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" is a poor brand name and I'm not suprised that WotC dropped the world "Advanced" as soon as they updated from 2e.
Possibly, though the real reason why the AD&D name was introduced was to dodge having to pay royalties to Dave Arneson. The court battles with Arneson over this issue were still ongoing when this show was running (1981-1983).
I don't actually have an intention, other than finding out how this world was set up and what the designers were trying to do. If there is canon information that nails it down to Mystara, that would be great. If there is canon information that nails it down to Greyhawk, that would also great, and with Gary Gygax leaving the main TSR team to try to do multi-media tie-ins, I would be more likely to expect this to be his world than another designer's world. if it turns out to be impossible to connect with any other D&D world, that would also be great.
There are Greyhawk elements in the Cartoon(Tiamat, Warduke, Strongheart etc), but the reason why Greyhawk is not specifically brought into the picture is perhaps the same legal situation as mentioned above. Or perhaps Gygax really didnt care. Or maybe he actually anticipated that this was not a show that would appeal to the more mature audiences so he didnt want his world "dirtied" by too close associations to this children's show? Similarly Warduke and Strongheart appear in several Mystara products.

I think the real risk here is to attribute too much intention to what the designers were doing here. I think they really didnt care that much about these issues.
Anyhoo, it is possible that Dungeon Master sends the kids to different worlds. I've not read anything to back that up yet, but there are about 280 articles about the setting and I've only hopped to a minority of them, so I know very little about it at this stage. However, if your world-hopping concept turns out to be the way that The Realm was intended, I would think it would have more in common with Planescape than with Mystara.
The Dungeon Master brings the kids to new places all the time. These locations could be in the same world or on separate worlds. Its more like the DM bringing out a new module for each session never caring to explain how the PCs got from one module to the next.
Were you thinking that some of the locations from individual episodes match up with (non-prime) things from the BECMI cosmology?
No, I am not talking about planar locations, but it is certainly possible that they could move from one Prime Plane to the other.
Do you know of any Dragon, Dungeon, Polyhedron or other magazine articles that involve The Realm? Maybe something like that might introduce a connection.
I know that the cartoon was widely hated by TSR employees, so I doubt it.
I know there was that big empty slot on the back of Mystara. Maybe you could use a crowbar to squeeze The Realm into there.
Since the Cartoon isnt very popular, I havent given it much thought, but there are vast areas of Mystara that have not yet been given canonical or even fanonical treatment. No crowbar would be needed.
(I would certainly want to use the website if I was interested in doing a version of The Realm for Spelljammer, although I'm not sure I'm quite that interested in using the setting. It has a little bit too much involvement with the real-world for my liking. I would want to tone that right down, and maybe even remove the kids and Dungeon Master. And if you want to pull that stuff, anyone looking forward to it would probably feel unsatisfied.)
Sounds like a good idea. I doubt anyone would object much. :)



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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by rabindranath72 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:46 pm

Given the classes that appear in the cartoon, it would seem the rules-framework the cartoon was based-on is AD&D+Unearthed Arcana (we clearly see a Cavalier, Barbarian and Thief-acrobat.) Given the status of the Known World at the time, I would exclude immediately that Mystara is involved in any way, shape or form.

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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by timemrick » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:22 am

Not long after the D&D cartoon DVD boxed set was released, a friend of mine who had also grown up on the show gave me a copy as a gift. Rewatching the series was cheesy nostalgic fun--even the groaning at how utterly ridiculous the show regularly was. (If I wrote fanfic at all, I would've dived into the setting with gleeful abandon, just to make some sort of sense out of it.) My kids, who were around 5 and 6 at the time, thought it was the best thing ever!

FWIW, there isn't any world background in the so-called Animated Series Handbook--just 3.5 stat blocks for the kids, and an adventure with the sketchiest possible intro. For me, the whole thing was a disappointing read. The adventure is for 7th level, so the kids are statted up accordingly, with their special weapons presented as new magic items. There are clever bits, but lack much of the artifact-like mystique of how they're presented in the TV show. (For example, Hank's bow only has a couple of powers, not the wide array of flashy stunts he used in many episodes.) The appendix with Venger's stats are more fun, but still feel a bit too 3E for the old-school flavor of the show.
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Morfie » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:54 am

BECMI D&D - Contains the logo.

AD&D - Classes as mentioned above, but also the creatures. I had a brief look at the site and it contains Githyanki & Ki-rin.

The Classes are interesting though - this series began in 1983 and Unearthed Arcana wasn't published until 1985..

I would put it in AD&D Greyhawk away from the Flaeness, if anywhere.

Perhaps it will become the default setting for D&D Next.. :twisted:

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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:11 am

From what I recall of the Realm, it's such a weird hodgepodge of landscapes- not even landscapes that naturally flow into one another- that it doesn't seem as if it would/should really fit into any existing TSR/D&D world. It seems to be pretty much its own place. Maybe a demiplane or something (it is kind of reminiscent of Alice's Wonderland- or Dungeonland- in its myriad makeup).
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by rabindranath72 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:05 am

Morfie wrote: The Classes are interesting though - this series began in 1983 and Unearthed Arcana wasn't published until 1985..
Most of the UA stuff had appeared in Dragon Magazine in some form, in the years before UA was published, so it's quite possible these were the sources used.
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by dulsi » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:39 pm

timemrick wrote:FWIW, there isn't any world background in the so-called Animated Series Handbook--just 3.5 stat blocks for the kids, and an adventure with the sketchiest possible intro. For me, the whole thing was a disappointing read. The adventure is for 7th level, so the kids are statted up accordingly, with their special weapons presented as new magic items. There are clever bits, but lack much of the artifact-like mystique of how they're presented in the TV show. (For example, Hank's bow only has a couple of powers, not the wide array of flashy stunts he used in many episodes.) The appendix with Venger's stats are more fun, but still feel a bit too 3E for the old-school flavor of the show.
It annoyed me that they gave the characters weapons. I think the stats could be done better in 4E. Instead of giving them class powers give them powers based on their magic item. That way Shiela could have an immediate interupt to cause a attack to hit an adjacent opponent by turning invisible at the right moment. The show just can't be reflected well in 3E. (Granted I think it still might work better in Cartoon Action Hour.)
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Big Mac » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:04 pm

Chimpman wrote:The delux edition of the DVDs contains a booklet for the cartoon's "The Realm" setting. I could break it out and see how much fluff info it has on the setting - it's been a while since I looked at it.
...and...
timemrick wrote:FWIW, there isn't any world background in the so-called Animated Series Handbook--just 3.5 stat blocks for the kids, and an adventure with the sketchiest possible intro. For me, the whole thing was a disappointing read. The adventure is for 7th level, so the kids are statted up accordingly, with their special weapons presented as new magic items. There are clever bits, but lack much of the artifact-like mystique of how they're presented in the TV show. (For example, Hank's bow only has a couple of powers, not the wide array of flashy stunts he used in many episodes.) The appendix with Venger's stats are more fun, but still feel a bit too 3E for the old-school flavor of the show.
This might be something worth splitting off into a different thread.

I find this booklet interesting, as it is (despite its limited scope) a 3e conversion of a rules-neutral D&D product. If things had been different, and The Realm had been given follow up (3e) articles in Dungeon and Dragon magazine, the setting might have actually been given enough information to make it playable on the tabletop.

From, what I could tell at the D&D Cartoon Encyclopedia, the Animated Series Handbook reuses a map from a TSR-era book about the cartoon (an annual or somesuch) and, I'm not sure, but I think the adventure (or maybe just the maps) are borrowed from existing 3e content.

Despite this book being tiny, it kind of creates a situation where there is more 3e content for this setting than content for any other ruleset...

...unless anyone knows of any 0e, 1e or 2e content for the setting.
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Big Mac » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:39 pm

Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I don't think it is quite that simple. I fully accept that AD&D tabletop stuff goes with AD&D settings or (is left dangling in a generic limbo) and I accept that tabletop D&D stuff has mostly* been retconned into Mystara (even if it didn't really get designed for the Known World). But the basic problem with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is that it is a very poor name (for marketing purposes).
I will try not to derail this much further, but I reject the notion that D&D line material was retconned into Mystara. While the Mystara name appeared late, there was since 1981 the idea of the "D&D Game World" (later called the Known World) which was the default setting for all modules produced from this point on. The only modules that could be said to have been retconned were the early B modules.
We could always start a new thread to discuss the question of if The Realm was supposed to be included in another campaign setting.

BTW: I did not mean that all of Class D&D stuff was retconned into Mystara. But I do know that Bruce Heard said that anything that was written for Classic D&D rules got put into Mystara and that some things were not so good a fit as others.

I know that Greyhawk (and Blackmoor) were both created before AD&D existed, so - even though Mystara is a great setting - I do not automatically see a case for any Classic content being automatically added to Mystara. Adding most of the Classic stuff to Mystara does make sense, but I don't accept that it should all be automatically added to Mystara, especially when we are talking of a funky thing like The Realm.

Basing this decision on the shape of the logo, just does not feel like a logical thing to me. As I said elsewhere, we have the 3e logo on the Animated Series Handbook. And there is more 3e content for The Realm than content for any other rules system (as far as I know). I could say that this book is "evidence" that WotC added The Realm to the default 3e setting (which would be Greyhawk). But I think that would be an association that would be equally illogical.

For me, the description of the moons and suns of The Realm seem to be something that is more important than logos and the year it was written.
Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:If you make a cartoon, a novel, an interactive fiction book or any other non-tabletop product you are going to be selling to a public who know that D&D is a roleplaying game but who don't care about "Basic D&D" or "Advanced D&D". I think that "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" is a poor brand name and I'm not suprised that WotC dropped the world "Advanced" as soon as they updated from 2e.
Possibly, though the real reason why the AD&D name was introduced was to dodge having to pay royalties to Dave Arneson. The court battles with Arneson over this issue were still ongoing when this show was running (1981-1983).
From what I understand, the thing about shafting Dave Arneson out of his royalties was all based around claiming that AD&D rules were not a thing that was derivative of Classic rules. I don't see how that applies to a cartoon (that has no rules).

Surely, the way to shaft Dave Arneson out of getting royalties for the cartoon would be to avoid any references to Blackmoor Campaign Setting elements.
Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I don't actually have an intention, other than finding out how this world was set up and what the designers were trying to do. If there is canon information that nails it down to Mystara, that would be great. If there is canon information that nails it down to Greyhawk, that would also great, and with Gary Gygax leaving the main TSR team to try to do multi-media tie-ins, I would be more likely to expect this to be his world than another designer's world. if it turns out to be impossible to connect with any other D&D world, that would also be great.
There are Greyhawk elements in the Cartoon(Tiamat, Warduke, Strongheart etc), but the reason why Greyhawk is not specifically brought into the picture is perhaps the same legal situation as mentioned above. Or perhaps Gygax really didnt care. Or maybe he actually anticipated that this was not a show that would appeal to the more mature audiences so he didnt want his world "dirtied" by too close associations to this children's show? Similarly Warduke and Strongheart appear in several Mystara products.
I find it hard to think of a reason why Gary Gygax would worry about a legal association between the D&D cartoon and Greyhawk.

Perhaps the other people at TSR (the ones that booted out Gary Gygax and his buddies) would have wanted to break any ties between The Realm and Greyhawk, but I didn't think they were trying to boot him out at that time. Perhaps someone with inside knowledge would know about the time when pressure on Gary Gygax started. :?
Havard wrote:I think the real risk here is to attribute too much intention to what the designers were doing here. I think they really didnt care that much about these issues.
Agreed. And this is why I don't think that The Realm is part of another campaign setting. Why would cartoon designers want to tie themselves up in knots following a bunch of tabletop canon, when they could just do the thing that Nentir Vale did later and build a new world and "raid the cool stuff".
Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Anyhoo, it is possible that Dungeon Master sends the kids to different worlds. I've not read anything to back that up yet, but there are about 280 articles about the setting and I've only hopped to a minority of them, so I know very little about it at this stage. However, if your world-hopping concept turns out to be the way that The Realm was intended, I would think it would have more in common with Planescape than with Mystara.
The Dungeon Master brings the kids to new places all the time. These locations could be in the same world or on separate worlds. Its more like the DM bringing out a new module for each session never caring to explain how the PCs got from one module to the next.
For me, this is going to come down to questions like, do we have the same suns and moons in certain episodes? That will nail some of the down to the same material plane.

Then I'm going to be asking about the lighting and laws of nature. If they are consistent then we are probably on the same plane (and not on another one).

Surely a study of that could nail some of the episodes down to the same world.

I'd rather look at that sort of stuff, and see what actually was going on with The Realm, than look at the sad anti-Arneson politics that split Dungeons & Dragons into two camps. Looking at how the cartoon was created could be fairly interesting, while looking (again) at the dirtbags that were trying to rob Dave Arneson, kick out Gary Gygax and otherwise sabotage D&D creators is just a bit saddening.
Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Were you thinking that some of the locations from individual episodes match up with (non-prime) things from the BECMI cosmology?
No, I am not talking about planar locations, but it is certainly possible that they could move from one Prime Plane to the other.
That could be true of any story that has a cutaway scene, that leaves the reader with missing information.

For me the question is: can this be done without The Realm being a Planescape-like setting? And is the single world model more or less likely than the cosmology model?
Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Do you know of any Dragon, Dungeon, Polyhedron or other magazine articles that involve The Realm? Maybe something like that might introduce a connection.
I know that the cartoon was widely hated by TSR employees, so I doubt it.
That would seem to be more reason to exclude it from Mystara and Greyhawk (and any other settings that were created back then) to me.

<thinks>
I wonder if it is worth putting on a WWBHD T-shirt? :P
</thinks>
Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I know there was that big empty slot on the back of Mystara. Maybe you could use a crowbar to squeeze The Realm into there.
Since the Cartoon isnt very popular, I havent given it much thought, but there are vast areas of Mystara that have not yet been given canonical or even fanonical treatment. No crowbar would be needed.
Maybe there should be a thread about that in the Mystara forum. I would be interested to see how much of The Realm would be preserved and how much would need to be removed.
Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:(I would certainly want to use the website if I was interested in doing a version of The Realm for Spelljammer, although I'm not sure I'm quite that interested in using the setting. It has a little bit too much involvement with the real-world for my liking. I would want to tone that right down, and maybe even remove the kids and Dungeon Master. And if you want to pull that stuff, anyone looking forward to it would probably feel unsatisfied.)
Sounds like a good idea. I doubt anyone would object much. :)
There would probably not be any objection for any project that opened up The Realm for tabletop play.

I kind of think that it would be more "sincere" for The Realm to get a standalone treatment, like what has been done with the PelenorRevived website.
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Havard » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:53 pm

Big Mac wrote: We could always start a new thread to discuss the question of if The Realm was supposed to be included in another campaign setting.

BTW: I did not mean that all of Class D&D stuff was retconned into Mystara. But I do know that Bruce Heard said that anything that was written for Classic D&D rules got put into Mystara and that some things were not so good a fit as others.
You are missing an important point. Things were never retrofitted or retconned into Mystara. From 1981 and on anything published under the Classic D&D line were assumed to be part of the D&D Game World. So it grew organically rather than having someone sit down later on and try to piece things together. Sure, that happened too, but the continous process is what you are missing here.
I know that Greyhawk (and Blackmoor) were both created before AD&D existed, so - even though Mystara is a great setting - I do not automatically see a case for any Classic content being automatically added to Mystara. Adding most of the Classic stuff to Mystara does make sense, but I don't accept that it should all be automatically added to Mystara, especially when we are talking of a funky thing like The Realm.
As I said, I am talking about the products published from 1981-1995. Products published prior to 1981, such as the Greyhawk and Blackmoor supplements are a different matter.

I am not saying there couldnt also be exceptions to this rule, and the cartoon could possibly be such an exception given its wackyness, but the general assumption from 1981 on was that AD&D products would be designated to Greyhawk, FR, Dragonlance or one of the other AD&D settings, while the Classic D&D items belonged to the "D&D Game World".
For me, the description of the moons and suns of The Realm seem to be something that is more important than logos and the year it was written.
I agree that this is important, though my suggestion in the other discussion thread was that each episode need not take place in the same setting. Not every episode shows the moons and suns mentioned.




Havard wrote:I think the real risk here is to attribute too much intention to what the designers were doing here. I think they really didnt care that much about these issues.
Agreed. And this is why I don't think that The Realm is part of another campaign setting. Why would cartoon designers want to tie themselves up in knots following a bunch of tabletop canon, when they could just do the thing that Nentir Vale did later and build a new world and "raid the cool stuff".
If you are interested in the truth, then there is no Realm. We can make it into a world, we can make it into Greyhawk or we can make it into multiple worlds. From what I know there is little evidence that the designers put much thought into this beyond what is seen in the episodes. Many interpretations are equally valid.
For me, this is going to come down to questions like, do we have the same suns and moons in certain episodes? That will nail some of the down to the same material plane.

Then I'm going to be asking about the lighting and laws of nature. If they are consistent then we are probably on the same plane (and not on another one).

Surely a study of that could nail some of the episodes down to the same world.
I am pretty sure that you will find that many episodes do not show the sun(s) and moons at all.
I know that the cartoon was widely hated by TSR employees, so I doubt it.
That would seem to be more reason to exclude it from Mystara and Greyhawk (and any other settings that were created back then) to me.[/quote]

Not necessarily. I havent heard anything negative about it from Bruce Heard and Gary Gygax was directly involved. I think the story about TSR writers hating the cartoons mentioned Margaret Weis and Roger Moore.


I kind of think that it would be more "sincere" for The Realm to get a standalone treatment, like what has been done with the PelenorRevived website.
Go for it!

My point was not to derail this thread or claim that it could not be given such a treatment, but simply to explain that my own take is equally valid. Also, I wanted to reject the idea that things were at any point retconned into Mystara. :)

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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Darva » Sun May 06, 2012 10:18 am

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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Big Mac » Wed May 23, 2012 1:09 am

Just to be clear, I'm not on a crusade to stop Mystara fans from raiding the cartoon to enhance Mystara.

I just want to look at the thing, in its own context, which is why I started this thread up in Other Worlds.

Please do start up a thread in the Mystara forum and talk about how to import the cartoon locations into Mystara.
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed May 23, 2012 1:20 am

I'd imagine it would be possible to craft a rough atlas of The Realm, based on locations mentioned in the various cartoons and other media. It might take some doing, though (probably easier if anyone owns the DVDs). I'd be kind of curious to know whether the various spots match up in any way, shape, or form with the very rough map of a world depicted in The Rescue of Ringlerun coloring book (for the LJN/TSR line of toys; Warduke, et al). I doubt it does, but given the crossover between the characters of Strongheart and Warduke, it would be neat.

If nothing else, that rough map might serve as a tapestry on which to try and place more specific geographic locales from the cartoons.

I can scan that map if anyone is interested.
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 25, 2012 1:49 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:I'd imagine it would be possible to craft a rough atlas of The Realm, based on locations mentioned in the various cartoons and other media. It might take some doing, though (probably easier if anyone owns the DVDs). I'd be kind of curious to know whether the various spots match up in any way, shape, or form with the very rough map of a world depicted in The Rescue of Ringlerun coloring book (for the LJN/TSR line of toys; Warduke, et al). I doubt it does, but given the crossover between the characters of Strongheart and Warduke, it would be neat.

If nothing else, that rough map might serve as a tapestry on which to try and place more specific geographic locales from the cartoons.

I can scan that map if anyone is interested.
There is already a world map on the encyclopedia. They also have some of the scripts and the series bible. (And they have an article about the lost final episode.)
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Cthulhudrew » Fri May 25, 2012 5:17 am

Big Mac wrote:There is already a world map on the encyclopedia.
Interesting. I can already see some similarities between the map in Rescue of Ringlerun and this one- both are pretty crude (the RoR one much moreso, actually), but they could certainly be woven together to create something a bit more than the sum of their parts.

This map seems to be missing some elements from the original cartoon, such as the Hall of Bones and the town from that episode of the same name.
They also have some of the scripts and the series bible. (And they have an article about the lost final episode.)
I remember reading that script from the final episode some years ago. And one of my favorite comic writers - Steve Gerber - wrote an episode of the series. Not to mention the cool Frank Welker doing voices on the show. I really should try and pick up the DVD collection one of these days.
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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Tim Baker » Thu May 04, 2017 9:02 am

Since this thread was linked to from Facebook and G+, this week, I figured it was okay to perform some thread necromancy and comment on it. The social media posts are in reference to a podcast going through each episode of the D&D cartoon. Since the posts didn't include a link to the podcast, I'm including it here.

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Re: [The Realm] D&D cartoon encyclopaedia

Post by Big Mac » Thu May 04, 2017 12:34 pm

Tim Baker wrote:Since this thread was linked to from Facebook and G+, this week, I figured it was okay to perform some thread necromancy and comment on it. The social media posts are in reference to a podcast going through each episode of the D&D cartoon. Since the posts didn't include a link to the podcast, I'm including it here.

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Ack. That wasn't supposed to happen. FB and G+ were supposed to link to the [The Realm] Picklewater Industries D&D Cartoon podcast topic (which links to this topic in it's first post). :oops:

I've just put on my Facbook/Google+ editing hat and fixed the incorrect links.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
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