The Convert (NIPI Aquaria)

Quest for the lost city of Empyrea in Frank Mentzer's Aquaria Setting.
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The Convert (NIPI Aquaria)

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:26 am

I've been reading about The Convert in Havard's Published Material thread in this forum and in his Gary Gygax' New Infinities Productions Inc. thread in The Squish Bits forum, but it doesn't really say much about the adventure in those places.
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I'm not really looking for spoilers (maybe putting things in hide tags could give me a choice to read or not read) but I would like to know a bit more about this.

Has anyone bought this? Has anyone run the adventure?

What is the setup at the start of this adventure? (i.e. are the PCs all in a pub or travelling or what?)

What part of Aquaria is the adventure set in?

What is the best way to connect this adventure to the TSR Aquaria products?

What is the best way to connect this adventure to the Eldritch Ent Aquaria products?

Here is one specifically for Frank: Is there any way that The Convert might ever be republished by Eldrich Ent?
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Re: The Convert (NIPI Aquaria)

Postby Big Mac » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:07 pm

I've found a fairly cheap copy on Amazon and ordered it.

But I would still like to here from anyone who has mixed this with TSR or Eldritch Ent products set in Aquaria.
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Re: The Convert (NIPI Aquaria)

Postby Havard » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:53 pm

Hey BM,
I bought a copy a while back, but haven't done anything with it yet.

As to Eldrich Ent getting the rights, I think NIPI rights are held by Gygax' widow (I assume Gail). Frank mentioned elsewhere that he was interested in getting the rights to another NIFI release, Cyborg Commando.

The Convert deals with a prince who has returned to the capital and has changed radically. He begins introducing new laws that could result in the destruction of the realm. The adventure starts in a place called "Capital City", which could be taken to be an alternate name for the City of Empyrea?


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Re: The Convert (NIPI Aquaria)

Postby Big Mac » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:10 pm

Havard wrote:Hey BM,
I bought a copy a while back, but haven't done anything with it yet.


Great. I can pester you with questions. ;)

Joking aside, I know you were interested in Aquaria long before we had a forum for it here. If you get to do anything with this, I would love to know how you marry up the old and new stuff.

I know you have spoken about combining Wilderlands and Blackmoor stuff. Have you considered using Aquaria stuff alongside your Blackmoor stuff?

Havard wrote:As to Eldrich Ent getting the rights, I think NIPI rights are held by Gygax' widow (I assume Gail). Frank mentioned elsewhere that he was interested in getting the rights to another NIFI release, Cyborg Commando.


I saw that. I figure that the situation for The Convert might be different, because I thought that Gary G. was pretty into authors retaining copyright back before he got ambushed and pushed out of TSR.

I guess the question to ask is if Frank Mentzer sold the total rights to The Convert or if he just sold the rights for it to be published worldwide for a certain amount of time.

I'm not sure that Gail Gygax would have control of NIPI rights. I had heard that TSR took those rights as part of a court settlement. But I'm not totally sure. So the question is does NIPI stuff last forever (in which case WotC might own it) or does it revert back to Frank for a second printing (or whatever)? :?

Havard wrote:The Convert deals with a prince who has returned to the capital and has changed radically. He begins introducing new laws that could result in the destruction of the realm. The adventure starts in a place called "Capital City", which could be taken to be an alternate name for the City of Empyrea?


"Capital City" sounds vague enough that it could work with the new Aquaria products.

I have to say that (as a newbie to Aquaria) if names like "City of Empyrea" are problematic, I would have zero problems with Frank Mentzer purging anything that was problematic and replacing old names with cool new names.
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Re: The Convert (NIPI Aquaria)

Postby ExTSR » Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:01 pm

The Convert was an RPGA tournament once, and after the lawsuit TSR gained ownership of the NIPI treatment.

In that and R4 you will find Nimbortan and the Kazars (Cidin Kazar, Uriah Kazar) which come from Judges Guild's Wilderlands of High Fantasy (Valon Sector). My campaign started in 1976-77, and that came out in '77 while the campaign was still shaping up, so I used that map.

(btw, legally this lends extremely strong support for my claim that the bulk of the campaign predates my TSR employment, during which time everything I wrote belonged to TSR).

Bledsaw didn't take action against TSR for my references, so I guess it was okay with them.

However, various details have been changed... in fact, everything published has been excised. The towns, even rivers & mountains and the coast itself, have all been renamed and reconfigured. This was actually a cosmetic and minor process; the core campaign story & timeline are highly detailed, entirely original, and span about 300 years.

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Re: The Convert (NIPI Aquaria)

Postby Big Mac » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:42 am

ExTSR wrote:The Convert was an RPGA tournament once, and after the lawsuit TSR gained ownership of the NIPI treatment.


Thanks Frank. I would generally much rather talk about your visions for Aquaria and how the stuff you have written works in a game, but the context of TSR's internal politics does help me to understand why Aquaria didn't get a fair chance to have a decent-sized product line (like the campaign settings I saw, when I played 2nd Edition AD&D).

ExTSR wrote:In that and R4 you will find Nimbortan and the Kazars (Cidin Kazar, Uriah Kazar) which come from Judges Guild's Wilderlands of High Fantasy (Valon Sector). My campaign started in 1976-77, and that came out in '77 while the campaign was still shaping up, so I used that map.


I think Havard will be happy to hear that, as I believe he uses the Wilderlands map bolted onto the end of his Blackmoor map. :)

ExTSR wrote:(btw, legally this lends extremely strong support for my claim that the bulk of the campaign predates my TSR employment, during which time everything I wrote belonged to TSR).


That sounds logical to me.

I guess that, from a legal point of view there is "Frank Mentzer's homebrew Aquaria", then there is "RPGA Aquaria" (which is based on your homebrew, but located on Oerth), then there is "NIPI Aquaria" (which I'm sure you based on your homebrew but TSR's lawyers may have argued was based on your RPGA stuff*) and now you have "Eldritch Ent Aquaria" (also based on your original homebrew, but revamped to take into account all the cool stuff you have learned since the 1970s).

* = I don't think I would agree with that sort of claim, but I am not a lawyer, so my opinion is not good for much.

I'm not sure of the exact setup at Eldritch Ent, but it seems to me that you are four gentlemen who are there to help each other get some cool stuff out to the fans (and not there to screw each other over). It seems to me that "Eldtritch Ent Aquaria" is going to be both a much more pure version of your homebrew world, as you seem to be more in the driving seat with Eldritch Ent's products. :)

ExTSR wrote:Bledsaw didn't take action against TSR for my references, so I guess it was okay with them.


From what I can tell TSR and other RPG companies all used to take inspiration from each other and do it without throwing lawyers at each other. It is kind of a shame that that sort of atmosphere changed. I think it has held back the hobby.

ExTSR wrote:However, various details have been changed... in fact, everything published has been excised. The towns, even rivers & mountains and the coast itself, have all been renamed and reconfigured. This was actually a cosmetic and minor process; the core campaign story & timeline are highly detailed, entirely original, and span about 300 years.


I'm really starting to think that, from a logistical point of view, I would probably be a lot better off learning about "EE Aquaria" and learning the "clean" names for places from the begining. If I do that, I don't need to "unlearn" any TSR-polluted names. At some point, I guess I might have to figure out a conversion guideline to "clean up" The Convert and make it work with the new/old setting.

However, I'm glad I have that problem (and that Aquaria isn't just another neglected TSR IP). Thanks for coming back to the gaming community, and doing the EE thing, Frank. :cool:
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