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Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:17 pm
by Big Mac
Has anyone ever tried to combine the Arcane Age rules with another campaign setting?

One of the things I really love about Arcane Age is that it comes from a time when uber-magic for creating artifacts was still possible. I would be interested to know if anyone has done the same sort of thing with another gameworld.

One of the (free to download from WotC) Arcane Age products has a Netherese Spelljamming port and I'd love to see an Arcane Age Spelljammer game that could visit prequels of Dragonlance, Greyhawk and some other campaign settings.

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:44 am
by Havard
Big Mac wrote:Has anyone ever tried to combine the Arcane Age rules with another campaign setting?

One of the things I really love about Arcane Age is that it comes from a time when uber-magic for creating artifacts was still possible. I would be interested to know if anyone has done the same sort of thing with another gameworld.

One of the (free to download from WotC) Arcane Age products has a Netherese Spelljamming port and I'd love to see an Arcane Age Spelljammer game that could visit prequels of Dragonlance, Greyhawk and some other campaign settings.


Interesting! I've seen a document somewhere, indicating how all the timelines of the different settings are aligned. How long ago was the Arcane Age compared to the 2e FR setting?

A Mystaran parallell to the Arcane Age could be the Age of Nithia, although the Age of Blackmoor corresponds thematically too... :)

Havard

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:16 am
by Big Mac
Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Has anyone ever tried to combine the Arcane Age rules with another campaign setting?

One of the things I really love about Arcane Age is that it comes from a time when uber-magic for creating artifacts was still possible. I would be interested to know if anyone has done the same sort of thing with another gameworld.

One of the (free to download from WotC) Arcane Age products has a Netherese Spelljamming port and I'd love to see an Arcane Age Spelljammer game that could visit prequels of Dragonlance, Greyhawk and some other campaign settings.


Interesting! I've seen a document somewhere, indicating how all the timelines of the different settings are aligned. How long ago was the Arcane Age compared to the 2e FR setting?


I don't recall, to be honest, but we have links to both the free PDFs in the sticky inside this forum.

Havard wrote:A Mystaran parallell to the Arcane Age could be the Age of Nithia, although the Age of Blackmoor corresponds thematically too... :)


The Netherese magic may well be something you could raid for use with one of the uber-powerful races of Mystara's past. The fact that the Neterese accidentally killed a god would seem to indicate they were possibly on a similar level with the Blackmoorians.

And the fact that FR nerfed the Netherese magic could be copied over to Mystara if you ever bring the Blackmoorians back (from suspended animation or time travel or whatever).

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:05 pm
by Havard
Big Mac wrote:I don't recall, to be honest, but we have links to both the free PDFs in the sticky inside this forum.


Yeah, I have the supplement. It says the Netherese began their rise to power 5000 years ago, pretty much the same as the Blackmoorians, though the Netherese appear to have lasted for more than 3000 years, whereas Blackmoor was destroyed roughly 1000 years after their rise to power.

So the era of the Netheril seems to have covered the Mystaran period of BC 4000-BC1000, which includes both the Blackmoor Era and the majority of the Nithian Era. Note that I just skimmed the Netheril pdf.

The Netherese magic may well be something you could raid for use with one of the uber-powerful races of Mystara's past. The fact that the Neterese accidentally killed a god would seem to indicate they were possibly on a similar level with the Blackmoorians.


Blackmoorians relied more on Technomancy than regular magic, but its worth looking into. Offhand, I'd say the Nithians would be closer to the Netheril, though that's just my first impression.

And the fact that FR nerfed the Netherese magic could be copied over to Mystara if you ever bring the Blackmoorians back (from suspended animation or time travel or whatever).


Lots of possibilities here :)

Havard

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:59 pm
by AuldDragon
I never looked at the Arcane Age setting as really having generic "ancient era" rules; the Netheril setting was prior to a big change in magic in FR, and so needed some rules changes. Post Karsus' Folly, you'd play as normal 2nd ed, and, in fact, did in the Cormanthyr supplement (although that had some modified elf rules, too). I wouldn't really expect many of the rules introduced in those supplements to extend to a Dragonlance, Mystara, or Greyhawk setting Arcane Age; they'd have their own (or none at all if there has been no major fundamental changes to the way the world operates). Arcane Age is like the Maztica setting in that it details adventuring in a different cultural setting, but the difference being temporal rather than spacial.

Jeff

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:53 pm
by Havard
AuldDragon wrote:I never looked at the Arcane Age setting as really having generic "ancient era" rules; the Netheril setting was prior to a big change in magic in FR, and so needed some rules changes. Post Karsus' Folly, you'd play as normal 2nd ed, and, in fact, did in the Cormanthyr supplement (although that had some modified elf rules, too). I wouldn't really expect many of the rules introduced in those supplements to extend to a Dragonlance, Mystara, or Greyhawk setting Arcane Age; they'd have their own (or none at all if there has been no major fundamental changes to the way the world operates). Arcane Age is like the Maztica setting in that it details adventuring in a different cultural setting, but the difference being temporal rather than spacial.



Yeah. Rather than making use of the rules so much, I am just as attracted to Big Mac's idea of devising an Arcane Age Spelljammer Era, figuring out what the different worlds were like at that time and whether there was much interraction between them or not. For Mystara, both Blackmoor and Nithia would likely have explored space and other settings may have older civilizations which could have done the same (Ishtar of Krynn?). Would be interesting to imagine what it would be like if they had interracted...

Havard

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:02 pm
by Big Mac
Havard wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:I never looked at the Arcane Age setting as really having generic "ancient era" rules; the Netheril setting was prior to a big change in magic in FR, and so needed some rules changes. Post Karsus' Folly, you'd play as normal 2nd ed, and, in fact, did in the Cormanthyr supplement (although that had some modified elf rules, too). I wouldn't really expect many of the rules introduced in those supplements to extend to a Dragonlance, Mystara, or Greyhawk setting Arcane Age; they'd have their own (or none at all if there has been no major fundamental changes to the way the world operates). Arcane Age is like the Maztica setting in that it details adventuring in a different cultural setting, but the difference being temporal rather than spacial.



Yeah. Rather than making use of the rules so much, I am just as attracted to Big Mac's idea of devising an Arcane Age Spelljammer Era, figuring out what the different worlds were like at that time and whether there was much interraction between them or not. For Mystara, both Blackmoor and Nithia would likely have explored space and other settings may have older civilizations which could have done the same (Ishtar of Krynn?). Would be interesting to imagine what it would be like if they had interracted...


Well, the problem I get with the concept of Arcane Age Spelljamming, is that you have these uber-magic equipped Netherese (with their quad-speed spelljamming ships) and they would be a tad overpowered if you had them fly to Greyspace and land in the City of Greyhawk or fly to Krynnspace and land in the City of Istar.

Actually, I'm not sure that Istar would exist during that time. Humans are supposed to be barbaric back then and the gnomes would have been created by Reorx in the last couple of hundred years. Perhaps Krynn's Arcane Age would be a campaign where gnomes are mutated humans rather than their own race.

Also, I can only find information on the City of Greyhawk back about 500 years. I know it was a trading post back then. Who knows what another 4,500 years of time-travel would do to Oerth.

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:25 pm
by AuldDragon
Big Mac wrote:Well, the problem I get with the concept of Arcane Age Spelljamming, is that you have these uber-magic equipped Netherese (with their quad-speed spelljamming ships) and they would be a tad overpowered if you had them fly to Greyspace and land in the City of Greyhawk or fly to Krynnspace and land in the City of Istar.


I don't remember the Netherese having quad-speed SJ ships; I'm going to have to look that up (you're not thinking of the Quad of Thay, are you?).

Also remember that "Arcane Age" is not a specific time frame; it's basically any "historical" setting. You could look at the green-covered Historical Reference books as the "Arcane Age" settings of our modern world.

Big Mac wrote:Actually, I'm not sure that Istar would exist during that time. Humans are supposed to be barbaric back then and the gnomes would have been created by Reorx in the last couple of hundred years. Perhaps Krynn's Arcane Age would be a campaign where gnomes are mutated humans rather than their own race.


Istar before the cataclysm could definitely be an "Arcane Age" setting; it is a major historical and significant culture in DL's past. But yeah, it is a lot more recent than some other similar campaign settings would be; I can't recall when it was first constituted as a nation, but it ended 360-400 years prior to the current DL era, and so is a fairly recent one.

Big Mac wrote:Also, I can only find information on the City of Greyhawk back about 500 years. I know it was a trading post back then. Who knows what another 4,500 years of time-travel would do to Oerth.


Greyhawk city itself is fairly young, but prior to 1000 years ago, there were two magic-rich empires to the west of where Greyhawk is now. They could probably give Netherese mages a run for their money. I believe they existed for considerable time, too.

It is entirely possible that Netherese magice functions differently, possibly less powerfully, outside of Realmspace before Karsus' Folly.

Jeff

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:06 pm
by Big Mac
AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Well, the problem I get with the concept of Arcane Age Spelljamming, is that you have these uber-magic equipped Netherese (with their quad-speed spelljamming ships) and they would be a tad overpowered if you had them fly to Greyspace and land in the City of Greyhawk or fly to Krynnspace and land in the City of Istar.


I don't remember the Netherese having quad-speed SJ ships; I'm going to have to look that up (you're not thinking of the Quad of Thay, are you?).


Oops. :oops: Right you are. The Netherese must be the ones with double-speed spelljamming, then. I remember that they had something that was overpowered for a groundling race.

AuldDragon wrote:Also remember that "Arcane Age" is not a specific time frame; it's basically any "historical" setting. You could look at the green-covered Historical Reference books as the "Arcane Age" settings of our modern world.


OK. From that level, you could pick various time periods from various settings. Having a unified historical time period would only really be important if you wanted to involve Spelljammer or Planescape.

AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Actually, I'm not sure that Istar would exist during that time. Humans are supposed to be barbaric back then and the gnomes would have been created by Reorx in the last couple of hundred years. Perhaps Krynn's Arcane Age would be a campaign where gnomes are mutated humans rather than their own race.


Istar before the cataclysm could definitely be an "Arcane Age" setting; it is a major historical and significant culture in DL's past. But yeah, it is a lot more recent than some other similar campaign settings would be; I can't recall when it was first constituted as a nation, but it ended 360-400 years prior to the current DL era, and so is a fairly recent one.


Legends of the Twins (MWP - 3e) could certainly help with that sort of campaign.

AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Also, I can only find information on the City of Greyhawk back about 500 years. I know it was a trading post back then. Who knows what another 4,500 years of time-travel would do to Oerth.


Greyhawk city itself is fairly young, but prior to 1000 years ago, there were two magic-rich empires to the west of where Greyhawk is now. They could probably give Netherese mages a run for their money. I believe they existed for considerable time, too.


Interesting. Do you happen to know their names, so that I could see if there are articles about them over at The Great Library of Greyhawk?

AuldDragon wrote:It is entirely possible that Netherese magice functions differently, possibly less powerfully, outside of Realmspace before Karsus' Folly.


True. If Toril (and by extension) has The Weave, then it is possible that the Netherese were heavily tapped into The Weave and would function on a more normal level when outside their home sphere. I would say the same for the current day's Shadow Weave users.

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:34 pm
by AuldDragon
Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Well, the problem I get with the concept of Arcane Age Spelljamming, is that you have these uber-magic equipped Netherese (with their quad-speed spelljamming ships) and they would be a tad overpowered if you had them fly to Greyspace and land in the City of Greyhawk or fly to Krynnspace and land in the City of Istar.


I don't remember the Netherese having quad-speed SJ ships; I'm going to have to look that up (you're not thinking of the Quad of Thay, are you?).


Oops. :oops: Right you are. The Netherese must be the ones with double-speed spelljamming, then. I remember that they had something that was overpowered for a groundling race.


Yeah, you're thinking of the Quad of Thay (which suits the Netherese FAR more than it does the Thayans, IMO. I'd never use it as a Thayan ship in any campaign I ran.). They did have some more powerful Spelljamming magic, but they were 10th and 11th level spells, and ceased functioning after Karsus' Folly.

Edit: Looked up the actual spells and one did allow for double-speed Spelljamming in the void AND in the flow. It was not a helm, though, because that was one thing the Netherese never were able to create. The other spell "locked" and "unlocked" an entire sphere, so it was impossible to enter/exit a sphere through portals; one needed to use teleport.

Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:Also remember that "Arcane Age" is not a specific time frame; it's basically any "historical" setting. You could look at the green-covered Historical Reference books as the "Arcane Age" settings of our modern world.


OK. From that level, you could pick various time periods from various settings. Having a unified historical time period would only really be important if you wanted to involve Spelljammer or Planescape.


Don't forget that half the Arcane Age products dealt with a time frame that was "only" 700 years or so ago. That was Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves. :)

Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Also, I can only find information on the City of Greyhawk back about 500 years. I know it was a trading post back then. Who knows what another 4,500 years of time-travel would do to Oerth.


Greyhawk city itself is fairly young, but prior to 1000 years ago, there were two magic-rich empires to the west of where Greyhawk is now. They could probably give Netherese mages a run for their money. I believe they existed for considerable time, too.


Interesting. Do you happen to know their names, so that I could see if there are articles about them over at The Great Library of Greyhawk?


The Baklunish Empire and the Suel Imperium.

Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:It is entirely possible that Netherese magice functions differently, possibly less powerfully, outside of Realmspace before Karsus' Folly.


True. If Toril (and by extension) has The Weave, then it is possible that the Netherese were heavily tapped into The Weave and would function on a more normal level when outside their home sphere. I would say the same for the current day's Shadow Weave users.


I just glanced at the text in the Netheril set, and it indicates the spells could be cast outside the sphere; however, perhaps they couldn't be memorized outside. Or perhaps Mystra notified all other gods of magic just how dangerous 10th, 11th and 12th level spells were, and they made similar changes to local magical physics secretly.

Jeff

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:00 am
by Cthulhudrew
Havard wrote:How long ago was the Arcane Age compared to the 2e FR setting?


I'm not exactly sure what time period the Arcane Age products were supposed to be set in, but the era of the Netherese Empire covered a pretty long span of time. From its beginnings as a small collective of villages in -3859 DR, to the uncovering of the Nether Scrolls in -3533 DR (and unlocking the vast magical secrets contained within), to the final fall of the Netherese Empire in -339 DR.

The "modern" Realms are set in c.1372 DR, so depending on things, you're looking at a period of 1700 - 4100 years in the past of the Realms. The Arcane Age could theoretically be fixed to correspond to the rise of Blackmoor on Mystara, if one wanted to.

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:18 am
by AuldDragon
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Havard wrote:How long ago was the Arcane Age compared to the 2e FR setting?


I'm not exactly sure what time period the Arcane Age products were supposed to be set in, but the era of the Netherese Empire covered a pretty long span of time. From its beginnings as a small collective of villages in -3859 DR, to the uncovering of the Nether Scrolls in -3533 DR (and unlocking the vast magical secrets contained within), to the final fall of the Netherese Empire in -339 DR.

The "modern" Realms are set in c.1372 DR, so depending on things, you're looking at a period of 1700 - 4100 years in the past of the Realms. The Arcane Age could theoretically be fixed to correspond to the rise of Blackmoor on Mystara, if one wanted to.


Don't forget the Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves campaign expansion was set around 650 DR, the height of Myth Drannor.

Everyone always seems to forget that one... :)

Jeff

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:03 pm
by Big Mac
AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Well, the problem I get with the concept of Arcane Age Spelljamming, is that you have these uber-magic equipped Netherese (with their quad-speed spelljamming ships) and they would be a tad overpowered if you had them fly to Greyspace and land in the City of Greyhawk or fly to Krynnspace and land in the City of Istar.


I don't remember the Netherese having quad-speed SJ ships; I'm going to have to look that up (you're not thinking of the Quad of Thay, are you?).


Oops. :oops: Right you are. The Netherese must be the ones with double-speed spelljamming, then. I remember that they had something that was overpowered for a groundling race.


Yeah, you're thinking of the Quad of Thay (which suits the Netherese FAR more than it does the Thayans, IMO. I'd never use it as a Thayan ship in any campaign I ran.). They did have some more powerful Spelljamming magic, but they were 10th and 11th level spells, and ceased functioning after Karsus' Folly.

Edit: Looked up the actual spells and one did allow for double-speed Spelljamming in the void AND in the flow. It was not a helm, though, because that was one thing the Netherese never were able to create. The other spell "locked" and "unlocked" an entire sphere, so it was impossible to enter/exit a sphere through portals; one needed to use teleport.


That sphere locking spell is definitely overpowered. :lol:

AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:Also remember that "Arcane Age" is not a specific time frame; it's basically any "historical" setting. You could look at the green-covered Historical Reference books as the "Arcane Age" settings of our modern world.


OK. From that level, you could pick various time periods from various settings. Having a unified historical time period would only really be important if you wanted to involve Spelljammer or Planescape.


Don't forget that half the Arcane Age products dealt with a time frame that was "only" 700 years or so ago. That was Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves. :)


Nuts. I really didn't realise that when I started this thread. I guess that Arcane Age for other settings would not be set at any fixed time then.

Still, I suppose that someone could still do an Arcane Age for Spelljammer (or Planescape) as long as they filled a lot of the blanks in.

AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Also, I can only find information on the City of Greyhawk back about 500 years. I know it was a trading post back then. Who knows what another 4,500 years of time-travel would do to Oerth.


Greyhawk city itself is fairly young, but prior to 1000 years ago, there were two magic-rich empires to the west of where Greyhawk is now. They could probably give Netherese mages a run for their money. I believe they existed for considerable time, too.


Interesting. Do you happen to know their names, so that I could see if there are articles about them over at The Great Library of Greyhawk?


The Baklunish Empire and the Suel Imperium.


Hmm. There is an article for Baklunish (i.e. the people of the empire), but the actual article on the Baklunish Empire has not been created yet. I had much better luck with the Suel Imperium article. That looks great. 8-)

I can imagine a setting where the Suel Imperium is at war with the roka, chebi and hochebi (orcs, goblins and hobgoblins), but it looks like you would need to lean on Oerth Journal to fill in the blanks.

AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:It is entirely possible that Netherese magice functions differently, possibly less powerfully, outside of Realmspace before Karsus' Folly.


True. If Toril (and by extension) has The Weave, then it is possible that the Netherese were heavily tapped into The Weave and would function on a more normal level when outside their home sphere. I would say the same for the current day's Shadow Weave users.


I just glanced at the text in the Netheril set, and it indicates the spells could be cast outside the sphere; however, perhaps they couldn't be memorized outside. Or perhaps Mystra notified all other gods of magic just how dangerous 10th, 11th and 12th level spells were, and they made similar changes to local magical physics secretly.


Not allowing them to be memorised (prepared) outside the sphere is a nice dodge. I like it! 8-)

I think it might be the way to go (although I am tempted to have 10th, 11th and 12th level spells on Krynn before the event of Magic Defending Itself (when the gods of magic took away three spellcasters and invented the Orders of High Society).

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:53 pm
by Big Mac
Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:Don't forget that half the Arcane Age products dealt with a time frame that was "only" 700 years or so ago. That was Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves. :)


Nuts. I really didn't realise that when I started this thread. I guess that Arcane Age for other settings would not be set at any fixed time then.

Still, I suppose that someone could still do an Arcane Age for Spelljammer (or Planescape) as long as they filled a lot of the blanks in.


I just found "the Arcane Age race for Spelljammer", hidden in Living Jungle Campaign: Player Information Guide*! 8-) :D 8-)

* = See the [Malatra] Other Malatra Websites (& Free Downloads) thread if you need this.

The Ancient Nubari were very tall and thin humans who had dark brown skin and golden yellow eyes. They had slightly larger than normal heads which tapered to an elongated crown. They also had one finger less than normal humans (or the modern Nubari, who have interbred with the groundlings of the Kara-Tur area who somehow penetrated the Malatra "defences").

The Ancient Nubari were interested in art, magic, science and philosophy.

Nubari technology was advanced in some ways, but mostly it was just different to the sort of technology seen on Toril today. The Nubari used metal as ornamentaion, but developed a way to create especially hard ceramic which could be used for tools like knives. They had no knowledge of traditional weapons and used their magical technnolgy to live in harmony with nature.

The Ancient Nubari were a spacefaring race, travelling between several homeworlds that were shared by other spelljamming races. Each of these worlds was like a paradise compared to Abeir-Toril and while the Nubari knew about Abeir-Toril for millenia, they had no interest in the world.

Things changed when war came to the Nubari and their neighbours. One faction refused to decend into war and fled to Abeir-Toril. Their great spelljammers left just before a powerful invasion fleet arrived and conquered the world they fled from. The Nubari who arrived on Abeir-Toril vowed to create a society without war. They deliberatey chose the Malatian Jungle as their new home, figuring that the groundlings would not want to live in the area.

After they selected the area the Ancient Nubari used their magic to raise the land and form an impossible to reach plateau. This plateau would keep out the large dinousaur population of the jungle from bothering them and also ensure that they did not disrupt the normal way of life of the races on the planet. They had a philosophy of non-violence and found ways to live in harmony with the remaining dinosaurs and animals (that were trapped inside their plateau).

The Nubari did not realise that they had created their new homeland amidst river and bamboo spirts. The spirts hid and observed the ancient race. Seeing that they seemed peaceful, they decided to leave them alone and the Nubari never knew the spirts existed. Things went well, until one day when a disaster (possibly a magical experiment** or a plague) destroyed the Nubari culture and robbed them off their former magic. Many of their building were destroyed in the disaster and the survivors fled into the jungle.

** = I am not sure if this time period would fit in with the fall of Netheril. I have a feeling that the Nubari arrived much later than the Netherese.

That is all the useful information that I can pick out from Living Jungle. There are some remains of buildings in Malatra and the magical devices that render the area invisible (to spacefarers) and cause people to want to avoid approaching (or leaving) are still operating. It is just possible that there may be some pictures in other RPGA products.

But the fact that these four fingered humans have been in space for millenia is really really interesting. That throws the concept of the Arcane being the people who invented helms into question. It is just possible that the Arcane were one of the other races that lived in peace with the Nubari and that (after the war) they were the only race that managed to hold onto the most economical method of making helms.

The ceramic technolgy is also very interesting. I have always thought of this as an elven thing, but again, they may have learned this from the Nubari.

Finally, the concept of magical technology is an interesting one. I could easily see these people making (non-hostile) versions of magical constructs similar to the Clockwork Horrors. In fact, something, very similar to what science fiction would call robots, would be a great way to raise the standard of living without needing to reduce some of their population to serfdom.

With them enjoying art, it would not be a stretch to include the reigar as one of their former allies.

I'm not sure about the Juna, but it might be possible for the two to have met. And if the Star Folk are different to the Juna, then maybe they met them too. Or maybe the Nubari are the Star Folk of elven legend.

Obviously this would all be speculative fanon, but I think (that once a bit more R&D was put into the Nubari) that this sort of thing could be done. Even if you didn't want to play in the Arcane Age: Spelljammer game, it might help build up the timeline of several other worlds within the Known Spheres.

The Ancient Nubari might even be the race that invented the original cones of communication, which according to the theories surrounding the cones might make The Grinder into the remains of one of the homeworlds they once lived on.

Their are several destroyed planets in Spelljammer canon and it might just be possible to tie some or all of them into the Nubari's story and create a setting where the spacefarers actually were better than the groundlings.

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:10 pm
by night_druid
Few points I'd like to make:

The Arcane Age didn't really have a "starting" point. Magic in FR has gradually winded down since its creation, I believe, as the gods change the rules to keep mortals from screwing things up repeatedly. But overall, Netheril had access to 10th & 11th level magic; there was only one 12th level spell ever cast (and only once), so I wouldn't say they had access to magic that powerful. After Netheril's fall roughly 1,700 years ago, magic was capped at 11th level. The Arcane Age continued up until 750 years ago, with it closing at the Fall of Myth Drannor. After that, magic was capped again at 9th level (although it was fuzzy about 10th level spells).

During this time, FR had numerous powerful, magical empires. At various points, you had Netheril, Myth Drannor, Narfell, Raumathar, the Imeraski, Jhaamdath, Calisham, Mulhorand, Unther, Shou Lung, and others. Other events going on at this time include the Thri-Kreen's Lotus Crusade and the constant war for Glyth between illithids and their slave races.

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:45 am
by ripvanwormer
Big Mac wrote:The Ancient Nubari were a spacefaring race, travelling between several homeworlds that were shared by other spelljamming races. Each of these worlds was like a paradise compared to Abeir-Toril and while the Nubari knew about Abeir-Toril for millenia, they had no interest in the world.


I was trying to think of candidates for the Nubari paradise worlds. One possibility is Garden in Realmspace, which I think qualifies as a paradise of a sort. Another possibility in Realmspace is H'Catha, though that might suggest that the enemy who drove the Nubari exiles to Toril was the beholders. It's also possible that the enemy of the Nubari was the one destroyed by the beholder invaders.

Or perhaps the enemy of the Nubari was the illithids, and the Nubari homeworld in Realmspace was Glyth. There were illithids on Glyth 11,000 or so years ago before those mind flayers were forced to flee to Toril, possibly because of Gith's rebellion. I doubt Glyth was ever a paradise, though, so I guess I'll eliminate this possibility.

I think the Nubari should definitely be given a pretty prominent place in the history of Realmspace, though the text seems to indicate that they had homeworlds in more than one sphere. Garden, H'Catha... maybe Anandia and Coliar are the best candidates for "paradise worlds" in Realmspace. Garden might be the most paradisaical, but it's not clear what might have invaded it. The illithids and beholders were definitely around then, and probably the syllix. If the time of the Nubari were pushed back to 8,000 years ago, I could see a war between the Nubari and Torhoon. It was too early for the Vodoni to have been a threat, and probably too early for the neogi. It's too early for the Unhuman Wars, but I can see the Nubari fleeing invaders from the Empire of Zivilyn. If I'm reading Night Druid's history properly, that would have been about 7,000 years ago. If Borka was the primary world of the Empire of Zivilyn in Greyspace, then the Nubari might have been the previous inhabitants of Borka, or they may have lived on Gnibile before its desolation. In Krynnspace, the closest thing to a paradise world might be Chislev (or perhaps they were driven from Zivilyn itself), and it's conceivable the Nubari were involved in the war that destroyed Nex (though I believe that world's destruction was said to have been only centuries ago, not millennia).

It's not directly relevant, but the Nubari fairly closely resemble the Eoxians from Pathfinder's Distant Worlds, another species that more or less destroyed itself after an interplanetary war with its neighbors.

** = I am not sure if this time period would fit in with the fall of Netheril. I have a feeling that the Nubari arrived much later than the Netherese.


But the fact that these four fingered humans have been in space for millenia is really really interesting. That throws the concept of the Arcane being the people who invented helms into question.


Well, maybe! Look at Paul Westermeyer's timeline for a moment. He dates the Netherese explorations of Wildspace at 2618 to 2718 OC. The earliest explicit appearance of the Arcane on that timeline is 2618 OC, when the Netherese were buying their helms from them. The "present day" on that calendar is approximately 5053 OC, so the Netherese stopped spelljamming approximately 2,335 years ago. Reading the "thousands of years ago" line from the Malatra Campaign Book literally, the Nubari Ancients fled to Toril at least 2,000 years ago, or 3053 OC, but could easily have done so 3,000 years ago or more. If they were contemporaries of the Netherese, the presence of the odious Netherese in Realmspace may have been the reason the Nubari avoided Toril. Only after the Netherese disappeared from wildspace in 2718 did they feel comfortable enough to approach the planet.

The Temporum Sphaera dates the earliest appearance of the Arcane at -486 OC, but really I see no reason not to assume they've been around since the earliest mention of spelljamming. If we assume that the Juna had their own method of traveling between the stars and the earliest thri-kreen adopted the technology of the Juna, the elves still might well have been buying spelljammer helms from the Arcane circa -14,959 OC, when an elven spelljammer colonized Bodi.

I'm not sure about the Juna, but it might be possible for the two to have met. And if the Star Folk are different to the Juna, then maybe they met them too. Or maybe the Nubari are the Star Folk of elven legend.


The Juna were (according to Paul's timeline) active from 3,000,000-2,000,000 years ago, so they probably far predated a race whose antiquity was merely numbered in the thousands.

The Ancient Nubari might even be the race that invented the original cones of communication, which according to the theories surrounding the cones might make The Grinder into the remains of one of the homeworlds they once lived on.


That's an intriguing possibility. That would probably make them much more ancient than I've been speculating, but it's not impossible.

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:39 am
by ripvanwormer
The Nubari might have been native to one of the worlds of Faeriespace; there are eight whole worlds in that sphere, plenty of room to fit the Nubari in.

One thing that occurred to me is that despite being described as "wise and peaceful," the Nubari weren't necessarily that nice. They kept the kobold-like butu as "pets" and "servants," which sounds an awful lot like slavery to me. At the very least, the butu were a lesser caste in Nubari society, dominated by the Nubari. A cultural tendency to see the butu (and probably other goblinoids) as fit for nothing better than servants might well have precipitated conflict with the ogres of Zivilyn.

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:37 pm
by TBeholder
Big Mac wrote: Things changed when war came to the Nubari and their neighbours. One faction refused to decend into war and fled to Abeir-Toril. Their great spelljammers left just before a powerful invasion fleet arrived and conquered the world they fled from. The Nubari who arrived on Abeir-Toril vowed to create a society without war. They deliberatey chose the Malatian Jungle as their new home, figuring that the groundlings would not want to live in the area.

After they selected the area the Ancient Nubari used their magic to raise the land and form an impossible to reach plateau. This plateau would keep out the large dinousaur population of the jungle from bothering them and also ensure that they did not disrupt the normal way of life of the races on the planet. They had a philosophy of non-violence and found ways to live in harmony with the remaining dinosaurs and animals (that were trapped inside their plateau).

The Nubari did not realise that they had created their new homeland amidst river and bamboo spirts. The spirts hid and observed the ancient race. Seeing that they seemed peaceful, they decided to leave them alone and the Nubari never knew the spirts existed. Things went well, until one day when a disaster (possibly a magical experiment** or a plague) destroyed the Nubari culture and robbed them off their former magic. Many of their building were destroyed in the disaster and the survivors fled into the jungle.

** = I am not sure if this time period would fit in with the fall of Netheril. I have a feeling that the Nubari arrived much later than the Netherese.
The fall of Netheril is -339 DR, and Yeoman's Loft began catching dust 525 years before that, so it's understandable if they didn't happen to meet each other.
They could have arrived soon before - given that Nubari neither did get bored enough to start active exploration nor deviated far from their initial ideals, the fall probably happened before they began asking "what's next?" - i.e. not long after they built the base settlements, while they were still improving it.

Big Mac wrote: But the fact that these four fingered humans have been in space for millenia is really really interesting. That throws the concept of the Arcane being the people who invented helms into question. It is just possible that the Arcane were one of the other races that lived in peace with the Nubari and that (after the war) they were the only race that managed to hold onto the most economical method of making helms.
Why? Netheril that you guesstimate before them, presumably had helms already. And furnaces did exist even before the helms proper, for one.

Big Mac wrote: The ceramic technolgy is also very interesting. I have always thought of this as an elven thing, but again, they may have learned this from the Nubari.
I don't see why. Either way, coming from a world where good ores are too scarce could do that.
Big Mac wrote: Finally, the concept of magical technology is an interesting one. I could easily see these people making (non-hostile) versions of magical constructs similar to the Clockwork Horrors. In fact, something, very similar to what science fiction would call robots, would be a great way to raise the standard of living without needing to reduce some of their population to serfdom.
Well, there was Al Qadim tradition of mechanical constructs. The problem, of course, is that Nubari apparently weren't good at metalworking.
Big Mac wrote:The Ancient Nubari might even be the race that invented the original cones of communication, which according to the theories surrounding the cones might make The Grinder into the remains of one of the homeworlds they once lived on.
Their are several destroyed planets in Spelljammer canon and it might just be possible to tie some or all of them into the Nubari's story and create a setting where the spacefarers actually were better than the groundlings.
There are two problems here, that apply both to Greyspace and Faeriespace:
1) Lack of traces of planetary invasion somewhere we know of - when they ran, i.e. in historical times. I think it's something mention-worthy. ;)
2) This world should have been destroyed even later - i.e. again, in relatively recent history. The only well known cases are Borka and Reigar homeworld, and they fit neither Nubari nor (1).

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:50 pm
by ripvanwormer
TBeholder wrote:There are two problems here, that apply both to Greyspace and Faeriespace:
1) Lack of traces of planetary invasion somewhere we know of - when they ran, i.e. in historical times. I think it's something mention-worthy. ;)
2) This world should have been destroyed even later - i.e. again, in relatively recent history. The only well known cases are Borka and Reigar homeworld, and they fit neither Nubari nor (1).


We don't have any real reason to think their original world was destroyed, only that they were conquered, and that one faction fled rather than go to war. There might still be many Nubari around in other spheres, and some may have regained their freedom from their erstwhile conquerors, but their paradisaical lifestyle is no more. I think the author's intent was that their society stopped being a utopia the moment they embraced war instead of peace.

This happened thousands of years ago, so it need not have been in "historical times." The text says that "None of the modern people of the Living Jungle remember their ancient origins," so arguably it must be prehistoric by definition (at least as far as the people of Malatra are concerned).

It's true that Faeriespace has supposedly ("for as long as anyone can remember") never known war before the invasion of the space termites; if you're a stickler for that, Faeriespace is an inappropriate choice. It could be that there was a war of conquest in Faeriespace, but it's been forgotten. There's no real reason to single Faeriespace out as a candidate for the Nubari homeworld, though, except that the worlds of Upgood seem fairly pleasant and nature-y. I can sympathize with the view that another choice might be more appropriate.

In any case, Spelljammer canon is so bare-bones in places that limiting its history to things that have been mentioned in official sources seems overly limiting.

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:34 pm
by Big Mac
ripvanwormer wrote:We don't have any real reason to think their original world was destroyed, only that they were conquered, and that one faction fled rather than go to war. There might still be many Nubari around in other spheres, and some may have regained their freedom from their erstwhile conquerors, but their paradisaical lifestyle is no more. I think the author's intent was that their society stopped being a utopia the moment they embraced war instead of peace.

This happened thousands of years ago, so it need not have been in "historical times." The text says that "None of the modern people of the Living Jungle remember their ancient origins," so arguably it must be prehistoric by definition (at least as far as the people of Malatra are concerned).


Someone put me in touch with one of the Living Jungle designers last year (the one who created both the Nubari and the Oscray). I was more interested in the Oscray, when I sent him an email. He was talking of maybe signing up to The Piazza, if he had time. I got busy around Christmas and lost touch with him, but if I can get back in touch with him again, I'll see if he can recall any more about the Nubari, or if he will come here and answer directly.

ripvanwormer wrote:It's true that Faeriespace has supposedly ("for as long as anyone can remember") never known war before the invasion of the space termites; if you're a stickler for that, Faeriespace is an inappropriate choice. It could be that there was a war of conquest in Faeriespace, but it's been forgotten. There's no real reason to single Faeriespace out as a candidate for the Nubari homeworld, though, except that the worlds of Upgood seem fairly pleasant and nature-y. I can sympathize with the view that another choice might be more appropriate.


I'm not sure the designer of the Nubari, knew about Faeriespace, but it does seem like an artificial space. I would have thought that Herospace, with the weird crystals for protecting the planets from visitors was more their style.

Having said that, the "mind control" thing in Faeriespace is fairly interesting. You have one person in charge, and he could maybe be using Nubari to remain in control.

ripvanwormer wrote:In any case, Spelljammer canon is so bare-bones in places that limiting its history to things that have been mentioned in official sources seems overly limiting.


Agreed. But I would personally rather work from the canon and "read between the lines" than reboot things.

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:02 am
by ripvanwormer
Big Mac wrote:I'm not sure the designer of the Nubari, knew about Faeriespace, but it does seem like an artificial space. I would have thought that Herospace, with the weird crystals for protecting the planets from visitors was more their style.


The Nubari are supposed to have lived on paradise planets in a variety of spheres. In Realmspace, Garden seemed the best match, and Faeriespace seems suspiciously similar to Garden on a much bigger scale, thus suggesting it might be their world of origin. Greela in Greyspace is similar to both, only without a giant tree.

I don't want to push the Nubari-Faeriespace connection too hard, as I recognize it isn't perfect. Herospace also seemed a possibility, though obviously only some of the worlds there qualify as paradaisical. I'd be more inclined to think they might have colonized some of the good worlds there than that they were native to the sphere. What makes you connect the Nubari to crystals?

Agreed. But I would personally rather work from the canon and "read between the lines" than reboot things.


I thought I was working from the canon, to be honest. I only objected to the idea that all historical planetary invasions must have been mentioned, if they were worthy of it; I think Spelljammer history is thin enough that there might be any number of major events that just haven't come up in the few pages each world got. At least, I think that's usually true. Faeriespace specifically didn't have an invasion as far back as its present inhabitants can remember (that they're willing to admit to), so any invasion of that sphere must have happened either in prehistoric times or be the object of a massive cover-up. What was I rebooting?

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:41 am
by night_druid
It's also entirely possible that the Nubari sphere(s) may not even be accessible any more due to sphere drift, or are so dramatically altered that they are completely unrecognizable. Perhaps Path, Prime, Winter, &/or Vista -space(s) were Nubari spheres, but population changes have all but erased the Nubari from those spheres (and its not like we know much about them, anyways).

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:36 pm
by Big Mac
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I'm not sure the designer of the Nubari, knew about Faeriespace, but it does seem like an artificial space. I would have thought that Herospace, with the weird crystals for protecting the planets from visitors was more their style.


The Nubari are supposed to have lived on paradise planets in a variety of spheres. In Realmspace, Garden seemed the best match, and Faeriespace seems suspiciously similar to Garden on a much bigger scale, thus suggesting it might be their world of origin. Greela in Greyspace is similar to both, only without a giant tree.


I suppose that dropping references on various levels onto different worlds could be done.

They do not need to have created or engineered the ecosystem on an entire world. Maybe they just lived on a single island on a world. It probably would not be hard to make something similar in size to Evermeet on a fairly large planet and have it go unnoticed.

ripvanwormer wrote:I don't want to push the Nubari-Faeriespace connection too hard, as I recognize it isn't perfect.


Perhaps they had an early influence and then things changed radically. Something suspicious is going on with Faeriespace.

ripvanwormer wrote:Herospace also seemed a possibility, though obviously only some of the worlds there qualify as paradaisical. I'd be more inclined to think they might have colonized some of the good worlds there than that they were native to the sphere. What makes you connect the Nubari to crystals?


Herospace is sort of as "non perfect" as Faeriespace. Both have "paradise" worlds and "hell-like" worlds. I've been reading through the 3e Manual of the Planes recently and it is kind of like someone applied "alignment" effects that you normally only get on the Outer Planes to those parts of the Material Plane in both those crystal spheres. Both of them seem to counter that with an opposite effect. Faeriespace is clearly good balanced with evil, while Herospace is kind of like a planetary system based on The Great Wheel.

As for the thing with the crystals. It is not so much the crystals themselves, but the forcefield effect surrounding each planet in Herospace. That kind of reminds me of how there is a forcefield over Malatra that makes it almost impossible to land a spelljamming ship there. Only with Malatra, the effect is more about diverting you elsewhere, than outright stopping you. (I believe that the oscray got there after they crash landed, and in flying into the atmosphere of Toril without control, they had no choice about their flight path. So misdirection would not work against them. It may have worked against any Elven Navy ships that were chasing them.)

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Agreed. But I would personally rather work from the canon and "read between the lines" than reboot things.


I thought I was working from the canon, to be honest. I only objected to the idea that all historical planetary invasions must have been mentioned, if they were worthy of it; I think Spelljammer history is thin enough that there might be any number of major events that just haven't come up in the few pages each world got. At least, I think that's usually true. Faeriespace specifically didn't have an invasion as far back as its present inhabitants can remember (that they're willing to admit to), so any invasion of that sphere must have happened either in prehistoric times or be the object of a massive cover-up. What was I rebooting?


Sorry, I think that "but" makes the second sentence there look a bit snarky. :oops:

It was supposed to be more a restatement of purpose than a comment on your actual post. You have made a lot of very well-educated guesses since I first met you. I generally agree with almost all of them.

I do think the big problem with Spelljammer (especially in Realmspace, Krynnspace and Greyspace) is that we have a few worlds (Toril, Krynn and Oerth) with a large number of details about fairly trivial conflicts and they are up against other worlds that have a small number of details about fairly major conflicts.

It is almost as if a hundred microscopes are pointed at Faerûn, Ansalon and The Flanaess, while we ask Mr Magoo to take a few photos of the rest of the sphere. ;( :roll:

So we have to assume that each of those other worlds does have the same level of detail. Extrapolating from what is already written is helpful, but it is all educated guesswork. And it can be so hard to find factoids that relate to wildspace.

I think that things do not even necessarily need to be "invasions" - not in the sense of a big military build up. There could be a coup that destroys the leadership and then some sort of process of indoctrination. Darkspace is an example of a once fairly nice planetary system that got screwed up by a single NPC. Maybe if the Nubari were good at making peaceful planets, they were also good at making weak planets. Or maybe they made some peaceful jungles, where someone came along, invented some sort of "civilisation" and just swept the details of the Nubari Era away, thinking that everything before them was "uncivilised".

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:42 pm
by Big Mac
night_druid wrote:It's also entirely possible that the Nubari sphere(s) may not even be accessible any more due to sphere drift, or are so dramatically altered that they are completely unrecognizable. Perhaps Path, Prime, Winter, &/or Vista -space(s) were Nubari spheres, but population changes have all but erased the Nubari from those spheres (and its not like we know much about them, anyways).


Good point.

Maybe we could make something* be an echo of the lost Nubari culture. The culture of Spelljammer has to come from somewhere.

* = Ships that look like birds, might be something that hails from a lost civilisation. But there could be other things more appropriate to the Nubari.

To be honest, this sort of thing only really needs to be fleshed out in a lot of detail, if someone wants to go with a full blown Arcane Age: Spelljammer Campaign Setting conversion. Otherwise a lot of it could be left as mysteries.

Re: Arcane Age minus Forgotten Realms

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:44 pm
by night_druid
Few things:

* The "invasion" had to have happen thousands of years ago. Perhaps the Nubari culture was a victim of the Thri Kreen Celestial Lotus crusade? That certainly would up the scale of that little conflict.

* Somehow, the Nubari felt responsible for the invasion, because it mentions not repeating the mistakes of the past.

* Three fingers, elongated skull, that sorta sounds like the Oortlings. Maybe they share a common origin?

* Oh, and I sorta took Herospace as all nine worlds ARE paradises, for a given alignment. While the "Evil" planets might appear hellish, to an evil character, they're paradises where they can indulge their vices.