Impassable mountains? Says who?

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Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 10, 2019 1:03 pm

Over in the topic that Argentmantle posted to talk about his new Thunder Rift map, he said this:
Argentmantle wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 11:39 pm
What do you think should be done to symbolize the impassable mountains.
I've heard people tell me this before (that you can't get out of Thunder Rift because of impassable mountains) but where does that actually come from?

What actually happens if people try to climb up into the mountains?

Do the people living in Thunder Rift have no mountaineering skills?

Are there dangerous monsters in the mountains?

Are the mountains so high that there is no air?

Or do the Immortals have something in the mountain ranges that zaps people who try to travel through them?

What do you do, if you are a GM and the players see "impassable mountains" as a challenge and decide that they are going to be the first to climb them?
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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by RobJN » Fri May 10, 2019 1:41 pm

Thunder Rift says so, on page five:
"Bounded on all sides by sheer cliff faces nearly a half mile high, with only a few paths providing exits to the rest of the world..."
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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Gravesguardian » Fri May 10, 2019 4:52 pm

If the party wants to try climbing the cliff walls, let them try. (Say at maybe 1/3 of their normal skill and checking every 10'.) Make sure they understand that they'll need more pitons and rope than the party can carry though. Of course, a nice DM/GM would tell them that to their Thief's trained eye, only magic will let them reach the top of the cliffs.

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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri May 10, 2019 5:02 pm

It's just a function of Thunder Rift as a self-contained mini-setting. If you incorporate the Rift into a larger game world, there's no need to say the mountains are unusual.

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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 10, 2019 5:29 pm

RobJN wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:41 pm
Thunder Rift says so, on page five:
"Bounded on all sides by sheer cliff faces nearly a half mile high, with only a few paths providing exits to the rest of the world..."
That's pretty impressive.

It reminds me of the wall in Game of Thrones. We know people can try to climb that. :)
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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 10, 2019 5:33 pm

Gravesguardian wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 4:52 pm
If the party wants to try climbing the cliff walls, let them try. (Say at maybe 1/3 of their normal skill and checking every 10'.) Make sure they understand that they'll need more pitons and rope than the party can carry though. Of course, a nice DM/GM would tell them that to their Thief's trained eye, only magic will let them reach the top of the cliffs.
Thanks.

That sounds more like the work of an expedition, that a single trip by a single party.

If a party went up a cliff with ropes and pitons, they could attempt to scale up to a point where they can stop off. Then they could either go back down the fixed ropes to come back with more supplies, or set up a pulley system to haul up equipment from hirelings that are helping them.

Do they have spyglasses in Thunder Rift, or are they restricted equipment? I'm guessing that a thief or a person with the climb skill could try to scope out the cliffs for an easier route up.

Is there a geological excuse for why Thunder Rift has cliffs on all sides? Is it some sort of big crevasse or something?
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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 10, 2019 5:34 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:02 pm
It's just a function of Thunder Rift as a self-contained mini-setting. If you incorporate the Rift into a larger game world, there's no need to say the mountains are unusual.
Thanks. I kind of got that was the "out of character reasoning" for this.

I was wondering about the "in character reasoning", as well as how a GM would deal with allowing PCs to get into or out of Thunder Rift.
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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri May 10, 2019 5:38 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:34 pm
I was wondering about the "in character reasoning", as well as how a GM would deal with allowing PCs to get into or out of Thunder Rift.
I guess what I'm saying is that if you're going to let the PCs scale the mountains at all, you should just make them standard mountains. There's no point in making them weird mountains unless it's to justify how unscalable they are.

Some people have Thunder Rift as a demiplane. In which case, the mountains just continue to the end of the universe.

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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by RobJN » Fri May 10, 2019 5:44 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:33 pm
Is there a geological excuse for why Thunder Rift has cliffs on all sides? Is it some sort of big crevasse or something?
Thunder Rift is a big, secluded valley, named for the really big waterfall at one end that you can pretty much hear all over.
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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by night_druid » Fri May 10, 2019 5:51 pm

When PCs try to pass through them, the mountains animate and become monsters with HD equal to their height in inches. They smash the puny PCs with giant fists that do 100d100 damage per hit. Because "Impassable Mountains" makes for an interesting monster entry...;)
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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Gravesguardian » Fri May 10, 2019 6:06 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:33 pm
Do they have spyglasses in Thunder Rift, or are they restricted equipment?
In the adventure "Sword and Shield", they use Plate Mail while jousting rather than Suit Armor. While there is no actual listing of goods to be found in TR, if you have the Rule Book from the big black boxset (Escape from Zanzer Tem's Dungeon) you can use the equipment listing in it for TR. Multiple modules, adventure packs and the TR Campaign setting make frequent mention of the D&D Rule Book; but, DMR1 DM Screen that has Escape from Thunder Rift adventure w/ it, has a full listing of weapons that can be used and it speaks of using the Rules Cyclopedia.
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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Tim Baker » Fri May 10, 2019 6:37 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:38 pm
Some people have Thunder Rift as a demiplane. In which case, the mountains just continue to the end of the universe.
That's an interesting approach. Perhaps instead of making the mountains go infinitely up, they instead magically prevent progress up the cliff face beyond the halfway mark. Climb as much as you like, but when you look down you realize you're still only halfway to the top.

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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Argentmantle » Fri May 10, 2019 6:59 pm

Well, it could certainly serve as a domain of dread with some changes to darken it up.

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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 10, 2019 7:45 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:38 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:34 pm
I was wondering about the "in character reasoning", as well as how a GM would deal with allowing PCs to get into or out of Thunder Rift.
I guess what I'm saying is that if you're going to let the PCs scale the mountains at all, you should just make them standard mountains. There's no point in making them weird mountains unless it's to justify how unscalable they are.
Sure.

If I decided to learn about Thunder Rift and run an "Escape from Thunder Rift" game, that would probably be a sensible option.

But I figure that if a GM says they are "impassable mountains" and the players decide to take them on, you can either give them the big "nope", or you can try to find a way to let them explore those "impassable mountains" and build an adventure around the idea.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:38 pm
Some people have Thunder Rift as a demiplane. In which case, the mountains just continue to the end of the universe.
I guess that would work, as no campaign setting really needs to be on a spherical planet, if the designers have another way to deal with the geographical stuff.

I heard that Thunder Rift was never overtly part of Mystara and that the connection was implied by the designers, but never actually written in canon. Making Thunder Rift a demiplane makes it self-contained. :)
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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Argentmantle » Fri May 10, 2019 8:18 pm

I'd probably make into an 'Expedition to the Barrier Peaks'? Or something similar or even toss a Dragon Mountain in it.

If you're a fan of rock climbing or the like, you could build an adventure around it.

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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by RobJN » Fri May 10, 2019 9:59 pm

McComb said the direction he was given in designing it was to make it setting-neutral, so DMs could drop it wherever they wanted.
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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Havard » Sat May 11, 2019 8:30 pm

I don't see any problem with letting the PCs traverse these mountains at their own risk, but the majority of the peoples of Thunder Rift do not view that as a viable route in and out of the valley. That puts those controlling the few routes connecting the valley to the outer world in a position of power over the inhabitants which is something the PCs could change if they wanted to. :)

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Re: Impassable mountains? Says who?

Post by Robin » Sat May 11, 2019 11:43 pm

Hmm
I have used Thunderrift as the Outer Plane of some as yet unidentified Immortal.
And the Players are actually dead souls who have traversed through the Gate of Eternal Rest on Limbo after their Mortal demise, only discovering there is no eternal rest, only more adventuring....as the Immortal desires to have some angels,,,and souls in the eternal Rest Plane (actually mostly the Home Plane of that Immortal) can continue adventuring and become Angels instead Immortals (actually they are then a sort of Immortal creation/alteration)...at least that was suggested in Bruce Heard article on Death/Limbo and beyond in Dragon Magazine...
And I had at roughly the same time laid my hands on the Thunderrift material , recognized the limited area, and used it as described above.
As such the Mountains maybe passable, yet are somewhat different in appearance;
1;...a vast Plane with dotted valleys all over like Thunderrift, each a bit different, This may be a Sphere, Spheroid, or Horizontal Plane, mostly Limited in size
2;...A infinit limited Plane Like Limbo, where one side exits on the other
3;...A limited Plane, where the edges of the Plane end into the Astral Plane, or just end into a forcefield
4; something completely different; another Plane next to the one the PC's are in
Eitherway the "impassable Mountains" would be the Planar border to its edge, or the walls of the valley as created by the immortal. sort of a Dish Plane with a dome air-envelop within the mountains grasp
Image

The next Image I used as a combination of 1 and 3 how I did it...the various valleys can be seen, as the edge of the Plane and the Astral(or Other) Plane beyond, seen by the adventurer breaking through it...He might now become an angel of the Immortal in question
Image

This system clearly keeps the Thunderrift restrictions, yet also enables for PC's (following the Thunderrift DM screen adventure) to return to Mystara....when passing thus actually reincarnating into a new body mimicking there own... to be alive anew...yet unknown to them
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