A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

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A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Mon May 16, 2016 1:16 am

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): Split from the: Would you support a Nentir Vale fanzine/blog? topic.

Taking inspiration from this topic and using the Neverwinter Campaign Setting as a guide, I'm working in a small document that serve a mini-campaign setting for the Nentir Vale. Maybe a pdf 30-40 pages long. But I'm having some doubts, I'll appreciate some advice about that.

It's a a good idea to focus on the new edition 5e? Or in both, 4e and 5e? or should I do it edition free? Edition free would have its own issues, though, as some races (like dragonborn), concepts (the World Axis), and other stuff don't exists in all editions...

I'm also wondering if I should add some fan stuff, like some calendar I've saw in a Obsidian Portal's wiki, and a proper timeline of events, or if I should leave the setting as vague as it was in the 4e DMG. The timeline is another issue, as I'm not sure if I should advance the timeline to the end of the Abyssal Plague novels, or just leave the novels outside my document (as in the novels important stuff happens, like the deaths of important NPCs from Fallcrest or the discovery of the last living descendant of the Nerathi imperial bloodline).

I will finish a proper draft soon, and I'll grateful if Tim can help me with the proofreading.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Mon May 16, 2016 1:29 am

I'd prefer if it were edition-neutral. I suspect many (if not most) Nentir Vale fans are using 4e, while some have converted the setting to other systems (e.g., 5e or 13th Age). If there's a lot of interest, and folks are clamoring for conversions of their favorite aspects of the setting, knowledgeable forum members could help in dedicated threads for each conversion.

I like the idea of starting small and incrementally adding content. You could begin with the core material, and then grow the document over time. Perhaps you could even offer an "canon" version and a "fanon" version that's expanded, so that people can choose what they like. By keeping the initial release short, you're most likely to get it out and find out if people like it and use it. If you try to put all possible content in it before releasing it, there's the risk that life will intrude, and it will never get made.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Mon May 16, 2016 1:49 am

Well, the idea is to cover the Nentir Vale, and its Feywild, Shadowfell and Underdark immediate surroundings. With Hammerfast, Threats to the Nentir Vale and the Neverwinter Campaign Setting books, I have enough materials to do this. I have also the Feywild, Shadowfell and Into the Unknown books for the latter locations. With that and the Chaos Scar adventures, I guess I have enough material to do an interesting setting.

But you're right, I will focus on a small scale, and to do it edition free. That will save me a lot of work. There is still the issue of the timeline.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Mon May 16, 2016 2:55 am

Since you've already done all the work of compiling the timeline on here, I would suggest including it.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Mon May 16, 2016 4:25 am

The compiled timeline does not include the changes done to the Vale in the Abyssal Plague novels. As I said before, those changes include the deaths of some the NPCs of Fallcrest (and other towns as well, as Winterhaven), and the discovery of the last member of the Nerathi imperial bloodline (Falon of Nenlast). The novels also killed Vestapalk and solved the abyssal plague, that is one of the most interesting plots in the Vale.

I'm not sure if include the timeline with the changes done in the novels, or the leave out the novels of the timeline.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Mon May 16, 2016 4:37 am

Personally, I'd be fine leaving those out. I think most readers will be familiar with the timeline without those elements. You could always add a footnote to provide clarity around what's included on the timeline.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Thu May 26, 2016 2:44 pm

Very well, this is what I have right now. I guess I'll have finished this in the weekend as the history of the vale was the most complicated topic of the setting (to many products to look into). I have left the history in a way none of the adventures had began yet.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2mLfp ... sp=sharing
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Fri May 27, 2016 6:13 am

I only skimmed through this so far, but it looks really good! Coming in at 25 pages, this is going to take some time for me to go over in detail. I'll try to get started this coming weekend.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:56 am

I made some edits to the first page in the Google Doc that I created from your Word document (I don't have Word on my computer). I have change tracking enabled, so you can see what I added or deleted. Please let me know if these are the types of edits you had in mind.

I also sent you an invite to chat via Google, if that's a convenient messenger platform for you.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:07 pm

Thanks, I'm going to see the document right now.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:35 am

I've updated the history section of the document, with history about the three Ghost Towers of the Nentir Vale: The Ghost Tower of Castle Inverness, the Ghost Tower of the Witchlight Fens, and the Wandering Tower (that in truth isn't a "Ghost" Tower, but a powerful and ancient mimic). Also, removed all historic mentions in the Geography section and put them in the History section.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:50 pm

Sounds good.

Were my edits on the first page helpful? Is a Google Doc a reasonable way to track suggested changes?

Do you want to communicate on this thread, or move to email or instant messenger?
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:19 am

Yeah, I've updated those changes as well.

I guess this topic is good, as leaves open the option for anyone to participate.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:00 am

I completed proofreading the first 20 pages, this weekend. Sorry for the slow pace. My updates and comments are in the Google Doc. Please let me know if you have any questions.

I'll work on the remaining half of the document as soon as I get a chance.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:28 pm

No problem. I'm still adding some stuff, so take your time.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:27 am

I've completed proofreading through page 27.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:39 pm

Thanks. I'm updating the document tonight. Sorry for the really late answer, real life stuff got in the way.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:24 am

Sounds good. I won't have a chance to work on it tonight, so you're good to go.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:58 am

I have updated the article, including the corrections Tim noted, plus the Shadowfell and Feywild sections.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:02 am

Awesome! It's been fun to read through, and I've learned a ton.

I'll continue with the proofreading as time permits. Sorry for the slow pace.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:02 pm

Don't worry about it. This also help me to improve my english.

BTW, updated a lot of stuff:

The story of the creation of the Nentir Vale, demographics and currency, some missing factions, all the common and unique monsters of the Vale, and the playable races as well. The only missing stuff is the mythology and the list of the gods and their enemies.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:01 am

That sounds fantastic. Thanks!
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:19 am

There is missing the some stuff of the primordials and the primal spirits, and demons as well, but this is nearly finished. If someone want to see, criticize, help, or throw at me rotten tomatoes, here's the link.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MN0 ... sp=sharing
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Tim Baker » Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:08 am

Zeromaru X wrote:There is missing the some stuff of the primordials and the primal spirits, and demons as well, but this is nearly finished.

I proofread the rest of the document, tonight. The new content appears to have already been proofread extensively, as I only found a handful of typos (missing spaces, extra spaces, needed capitalization, a misspelling). It was very minor. It's looking good. Thanks for all of the time and effort you've poured into compiling all of this information!

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): Zeromaru X discussion of his second netbook split into a new topic, called: History of the Nentir Vale.
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Re: A Nentir Vale Gazetteer

Postby Big Mac » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:57 am

Wow!

I've not been here for a while, and this is getting really good.

Zeromaru X wrote:Taking inspiration from this topic and using the Neverwinter Campaign Setting as a guide, I'm working in a small document that serve a mini-campaign setting for the Nentir Vale. Maybe a pdf 30-40 pages long. But I'm having some doubts, I'll appreciate some advice about that.


We have diverted off of the original topic (a fanzine/blog) and onto a project to create netbooks for Nentir Vale. I think I should put my moderator hat on and split the topic and have a new topic with a new name. This started off being A Nentir Vale Gazetteer, but then you split off History of the Nentir Vale into a separate (and larger) netbook, so I'm not sure what name to use for a new topic. (Maybe "Please help Zeromaru X create Nentir Vale netbooks").

There is also the thing that if we want to invite in newer fans (to show them your netbook/s) it might actually be easier for them to come into a topic that has a link to your netbook in the first post. Obviously, you are still in the process of making things, but maybe when you feel a netbook is ready for public consumption, we could make a new topic (named after that netbook) and link from this "working topic" to a topic where other people can read about the netbook and ask questions about it.

Zeromaru X wrote:It's a a good idea to focus on the new edition 5e? Or in both, 4e and 5e? or should I do it edition free? Edition free would have its own issues, though, as some races (like dragonborn), concepts (the World Axis), and other stuff don't exists in all editions...


It seems like you already made the call here, but my opinion on this sort of thing is usually that you (as the person doing the hard work) should work in a way that works best for you. If you don't have fun making something, it is harder for you to finish.

Don't forget that you always have a couple of options when it comes to editions:
  • "Code sharing": You don't convert stuff to another edition but work with anyone who wants to convert from your preferred ruleset to another rulesest,
  • Sidebars: You write something for one edition, but use sidebars to give suggestions (or specific rules) for converting things to another edition and
  • Revisions: If you use version numbers for your project, you can have something like "0.1", "0.2"..."0.10", "0.11", etc for pre-release versions, "1.0", "1.1", "1.2", etc for the first "complete" form and then come back with "2.0", "2.1", "2.2", etc, if you want to make a radical edit (like adding new sidebars that supports a different D&D edition).

Again, do what works best for you, but you don't have to make something perfect straight away. When Tim has had time to do a proofreading check, we can put out an open call for people to read your netbook and look for errata (with you updating the version number to let everyone know you have addressed any errata reported up to that day).

And, we could even go looking for Nentir Vale fan artists, who might want to have some of their art in your netbook(s), at some stage. :)

Zeromaru X wrote:'m also wondering if I should add some fan stuff, like some calendar I've saw in a Obsidian Portal's wiki, and a proper timeline of events, or if I should leave the setting as vague as it was in the 4e DMG. The timeline is another issue, as I'm not sure if I should advance the timeline to the end of the Abyssal Plague novels, or just leave the novels outside my document (as in the novels important stuff happens, like the deaths of important NPCs from Fallcrest or the discovery of the last living descendant of the Nerathi imperial bloodline).

I will finish a proper draft soon, and I'll grateful if Tim can help me with the proofreading.


I would suggest making some sort of attempt to contact anyone who has created fan material. It can be very hard to track down some people, so if you include anything be sure to credit everyone who contributed something you used as inspiration, so that they don't see your end document and think that you stole their work. (Links to everyone's fansites in an appendix could also be good. It allows fans of your netbook to go back to the source and also helps the person who inspired you get more visitors.) :)

As for the timeline, again, it seems that you made a call here.

Given what you and TIm have said later, I would suggest that if the novels move the Nentir Vale timeline beyond the timeline of the gamebooks that perhaps a "post-Abyssal Plague" netbook could be a later project that includes all that cool novel stuff and allows fans who have exausted all the 4e (and 3e) plotlines to play games set after (or maybe even during) the Abyssal Plague.

You don't need to make every and any netbook epically large (although it would be great if they were all full of 99 pages of useful information) so if there is a fairly simple (but radical) concept that fills 8 to 16 pages, you could mark that down as a side-project, work out what might need to go in it, and then put it to one side so it doesn't distract you from doing what you are trying to do now. (And if you don't come back to a possible side-project, because it is too "hard" that's fine.)

Plus, topics are free, so you could always start churning out topics with a "[netbook]" tag as you go along, and come up with new ideas, so that we can see if the name of the netbook pulls in some random Nentir Vale fans who are trying to hunt down the very thing you are working on. I would say, make this forum your home and create as many topics as you need to make organising things easy for you. :)

(We can ask Havard to edit his Other Nentir Vale websites sticky and add any of the netbooks you make to his first post, so that people can still find them, even when they are long finished and they drop off of the first page.)

EDIT: I'm going to put my global moderator hat on and split this topic up, so that I can raise awareness of the two great netbooks that are in progress.
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