Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by maddog » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:49 pm

Tim Beach wrote:Darkkensteel.
I think that's probably one too many "k's" but I could live with it if you like it. :)
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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by stanles » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:36 am

maddog wrote:
Tim Beach wrote:Darkkensteel.
I think that's probably one too many "k's" but I could live with it if you like it. :)
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I'd go with Darkkensteel, otherwise it becomes Darkensteel, which means something else entirely to Dark-ken-steel.
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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Havard » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:20 pm

Thanks for sharing this with the community Tim! I am so happy that you are willing to involve us in this process.

I am undecided on 1 vs 2 ks, but I like what the name implies. I also find these Elder Chuul fascinating. I like how this setting has a dark twist to it :)

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PS: GP, what do you think about making this thread a sticky?

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by mktriton » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:52 am

Would the Blacksteel setting be considered as one of the Savage Baronies that disappeared from mystara, kind of in the same way that Nithia disappeared from the face of Mystara into the Hollow world.

I theorized it would be a barony that was between Cimarron and Guadalante where the ruins of Buenos Vientes is a thriving city on one of Ravenloft's Islands of Dread. I can see a sinister version of red steel, where a dark lord was about to manipulate the land around him to do this bidding like turning the soil into quicksand, or a version of the Terra Vermelha now renamed Terra Negras, where a dark ritual turn the city of Antro do dragao into a ruin on Mystara but a dark city on Ravenloft caused by a dark ritual involving a long forgotten Hulean Apprentice of Hosadus, that killed many innocents and sent the land to Ravenloft's Embrace.

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Tim Beach » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:35 pm

mktriton wrote:Would the Blacksteel setting be considered as one of the Savage Baronies that disappeared from mystara, kind of in the same way that Nithia disappeared from the face of Mystara into the Hollow world.

I theorized it would be a barony that was between Cimarron and Guadalante where the ruins of Buenos Vientes is a thriving city on one of Ravenloft's Islands of Dread. I can see a sinister version of red steel, where a dark lord was about to manipulate the land around him to do this bidding like turning the soil into quicksand, or a version of the Terra Vermelha now renamed Terra Negras, where a dark ritual turn the city of Antro do dragao into a ruin on Mystara but a dark city on Ravenloft caused by a dark ritual involving a long forgotten Hulean Apprentice of Hosadus, that killed many innocents and sent the land to Ravenloft's Embrace.
I was actually thinking of a city in Herath, because spiders are creepy, and a place like that hadn't really been done in Ravenloft before. Specifically, I was thinking of Belphemon, the capitol of Herath until it was sacked by Yazak tribes. I think some aranea probably did something bad when the goblinoids attacked.

On the other hand, you make some very fine points about some of the extinct baronies. There are some definite possibilities there.

Besides the ones you mention, there are three items in the Savage Baronies timeline that intrigue me:
1) In 970, Los Elegidos disappeared without a trace. (That's almost like asking for it to be taken into Ravenloft, especially when the name translates, I believe, as "The Elected.") This also interests me because Los Elegidos is the correct name of Los Matones in Narvaez -- talk about scum and villainy.
2) In 971, the Barony of Barbosas is conquered and absorbed by Hule.
3) In 1005, an internal holy war begins in Narvaez. Holy wars tend to be good places for terrible acts. I also really wanted to add the Inquisitor kit to Narvaez paladins, and an inquisition is likewise a good place for abuse.

Perhaps several places have been drawn into Ravenloft.

Sigh. More food for thought while I'm working on other stuff.

Tim
Last edited by Tim Beach on Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Tim Beach » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:38 pm

So, my count on two K's in Darkkensteel is

1 for
1 against
2 ambivalent

Any other thoughts?

More to come fairly soon.

Tim

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Havard » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:49 pm

I was feeling a little creative...

Image

Two k's might not look too bad afterall... :)

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Plaag » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:01 pm

Havard wrote:I was feeling a little creative...

Image

Two k's might not look too bad afterall... :)

Havard
Nice! May change my vote with that.
Wonder if you could make the 2 "k's" like that into a face.

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by maddog » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:38 pm

k. er... make that kk. I'm all for two k's now! :)
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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Cthulhudrew » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:12 am

Count me in as a "Two K"er. I didn't like it at first, but it's grown on me. I think it gives the word a bit more character than just a straightforward "written as it sounds" approach. Though I wouldn't be surprised if some regions wrote it "Darkensteel" as a dialectical variant.
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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by OldDawg » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:44 am

Hey Tim,

I would vote to go with a single "k" in the name. A double-k in that position just reads "wrong" - even with the understanding that it's a concatenated word. If I might suggest an alternative for consideration:

Darkened Steel

with the stated etymology that Darkened <Dark+kenned (i.e. your "known or learned by dark means"). As a bonus, this gives you a ready term (Darkened) that can be applied to other bad mojo things in the setting (e.g. a fabled tome called the Darkened Lore of Lucien), and one that is easily processed (euphonically, typographically, connotatively) by an unfamilar reader.

Running a little further with the idea, good mojo could then be associated with "Enlightened", and a ready campaign goal theme of bringing about the Enlightenment of the Darkened Age.

Anyway, just some suggestions. Feel free to pilfer or discard as you see fit.

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by mktriton » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:12 am

Tim Beach wrote:
mktriton wrote:Would the Blacksteel setting be considered as one of the Savage Baronies that disappeared from mystara, kind of in the same way that Nithia disappeared from the face of Mystara into the Hollow world.

I theorized it would be a barony that was between Cimarron and Guadalante where the ruins of Buenos Vientes is a thriving city on one of Ravenloft's Islands of Dread. I can see a sinister version of red steel, where a dark lord was about to manipulate the land around him to do this bidding like turning the soil into quicksand, or a version of the Terra Vermelha now renamed Terra Negras, where a dark ritual turn the city of Antro do dragao into a ruin on Mystara but a dark city on Ravenloft caused by a dark ritual involving a long forgotten Hulean Apprentice of Hosadus, that killed many innocents and sent the land to Ravenloft's Embrace.
I was actually thinking of a city in Herath, because spiders are creepy, and a place like that hadn't really been done in Ravenloft before. Specifically, I was thinking of Belphemon, the capitol of Herath until it was sacked by Yazak tribes. I think some aranea probably did something bad when the goblinoids attacked.

On the other hand, you make some very fine points about some of the extinct baronies. There are some definite possibilities there.

Besides the ones you mention, there are three items in the Savage Baronies timeline that intrigue me:
1) In 970, Los Elegidos disappeared without a trace. (That's almost like asking for it to be taken into Ravenloft, especially when the name translates, I believe, as "The Elected.") This also interests me because Los Elegidos is the correct name of Los Matones in Narvaez -- talk about scum and villainy.
2) In 971, the Barony of Barbosas is conquered and absorbed by Hule.
3) In 1005, an internal holy war begins in Narvaez. Holy wars tend to be good places for terrible acts. I also really wanted to add the Inquisitor kit to Narvaez paladins, and an inquisition is likewise a good place for abuse.

Perhaps several places have been drawn into Ravenloft.

Sigh. More food for thought while I'm working on other stuff.

Tim
I'd love to help out, it just that my campaign, self run very long one, i would think Herath would be a bridge too far for my character to make from the KW. Not to mention that the Aranea don't make good villians, unless i was to add Lolth and the Drow into the mix. but the Aranea are under Korotibu's influence, just the Aranea of Herath. A Ravenloft realm involving Spiders would be brilliant!! They already have a realm involving Wererats, Lycantropes, and Vampires. But Shapeshifting Arachnids?! This could be good, but what about the human inhabitants, they are hardly any other than the Traders from Vilaverde, and Texeiras, and a few from the Baronies and Minrothads.

A dark Savage Barony who uses the Inquisition for ethnic cleansing with no endorsement from their Immortal would be excellent, with a Paladin of that Benevolent Immortal on a quest to bring the order back to correct path. However it's bishop's misguided motives attracted the dark forces of Ravenloft to take the barony into Ravenloft, once the Bishop has the Barony leader killed 'in the name of the immortal'

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Tim Beach » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:25 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:Count me in as a "Two K"er. I didn't like it at first, but it's grown on me. I think it gives the word a bit more character than just a straightforward "written as it sounds" approach. Though I wouldn't be surprised if some regions wrote it "Darkensteel" as a dialectical variant.
I think the regional spelling variant is perfectly reasonable, especially given that different languages/cultures would have different rules for how words are spelled anyway. When I pronounce the word, or hear it in my head, it's "darkensteel," which matches the rhythm of the name of a certain dark setting we've been talking about.

That brings me to another question. First, let me say that I like Havard's design a great deal (though I might want to make a couple of the letters a little more clear, for easier reading). But when people see that, or even the text "DarkkenSteel," are they inclined to break the pronunciation to be as it is written (equal emphasis on the first and second syllables)? More to the point, do any of you pronounce it as written? Or do you blend it together as "darkensteel," with primary emphasis on the first syllable?
OldDawg wrote:Hey Tim,

I would vote to go with a single "k" in the name. A double-k in that position just reads "wrong" - even with the understanding that it's a concatenated word. If I might suggest an alternative for consideration:

Darkened Steel
Given what I've just talked about, I'm afraid "Darkened Steel" would be out as a name contender, for the simple fact that it splits the word and breaks the rhythm even further. That said, however, the etymology you suggest is good, and using the term Darkened for bad mojo items is very good, and one I will likely, as you suggest, pilfer. (On that note, please PM me with your actual name; assuming I do get this to print one day, I would like to give credit where it is due. Anybody else that makes suggestions I like should do the same.)

In the real world, we see many examples of words and names being shortened in speech and sometimes as written (the example that springs to mind is Worcestershire being pronounced -- approximately -- "wustasher"). It would be reasonable to follow a path such as ...

Dark Kenned Steel
Darkkennedsteel
Darkkennsteel
Darkkensteel
Darkensteel

Thanks for the feedback!

Tim

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Plaag » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:56 pm

Tim Beach wrote:
In the real world, we see many examples of words and names being shortened in speech and sometimes as written (the example that springs to mind is Worcestershire being pronounced -- approximately -- "wustasher"). It would be reasonable to follow a path such as ...

Dark Kenned Steel
Darkkennedsteel
Darkkennsteel
Darkkensteel
Darkensteel

Thanks for the feedback!

Tim
Well the saying: "Less is more" would probably be best here. The bottom 2 work, the rest not so much.

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Havard » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:40 pm

Tim Beach wrote:First, let me say that I like Havard's design a great deal (though I might want to make a couple of the letters a little more clear, for easier reading).
Thanks, let me know if I can be of further help with this. I am but an amateur in logo design, but its fun playing around with these things. I agree with you about the letters being a bit too ornamentative btw :)

I think we are all just excited about this project and want to see where it is going :)

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by OldDawg » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:59 am

Tim Beach wrote:But when people see that, or even the text "DarkkenSteel," are they inclined to break the pronunciation to be as it is written (equal emphasis on the first and second syllables)? More to the point, do any of you pronounce it as written? Or do you blend it together as "darkensteel," with primary emphasis on the first syllable?
For me, that doubled velar stop invariably is reduced to a single stop, with syllabifaction [dahr* - kin steel]. I have to consciously emphasize the doubling in order to produce it.
OldDawg wrote:
Darkened Steel
Given what I've just talked about, I'm afraid "Darkened Steel" would be out as a name contender, for the simple fact that it splits the word and breaks the rhythm even further.
Curious, how do you pronounce "DarkenedSteel" (w/ or w/o the orthographic space)?

I'd probably say [Dahr*-kint' steel] if the words were visually joined, devoicing the -d [and glottalizing it like British "butter"]and adding a small secondary stress on the middle syllable.

I'd probably say either [Dahr*-kind steel'] or [dahr-kind' steel*] - the choice depending on the surrounding words [ain't linguistics fun :ugeek: ]

By way of comparison, I pronounce Ravenloft as [Ray*-vin lauft].

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Tim Beach » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:54 pm

I've been thinking about Black Steel and Darkkensteel for the last couple of months, and I plan to start posting here soon, hopefully just after GenCon. I'm working on my other game launch right now, but the Black Steel projects are fairly high on my priority list.

Tim

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Eric Anondson » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:27 pm

Good to hear you're thinking on it still!
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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Hugin » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:02 pm

Excellent news, Tim! Looking forward to all that you've been conjuring up.

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Re: Tim Beach's Black Steel setting

Post by Havard » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:46 pm

Keep us posted on this project Tim! And good luck with your other game at GenCon! :)

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Re: [AD&D]What would have been the next SC supplement?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:29 pm

I'm a late-comer to this thread, but I've got to say that I find both the Black Steel concept and the Darkkensteel concept very interesting and exciting.
Tim Beach wrote:I will try to give a brief overview of what I'm talking about -- without giving too much away just now. A year or two ago, I started thinking a lot about a fantasy setting with superheroes. It occurred to me that Red Steel had, in many ways, already introduced the idea. However, I wanted to make the idea more overt, with super-powers more rare. In my home campaign several years ago, I was using lupins and rakastas, but around 3 or 4 years ago, I decided I wanted to publish my home campaign (despite Wizards having rejected it in the search that gave them Eberron). With this in mind, I shifted to make my home setting more mine. I kept the ideas of the lupins, rakastas, and aranea, with significant changes to their physical, cultural, mental, and arcane natures.
Hmm. I've often looked at 3e's templates (for things like vampires or celestial creatures) and wondered if it would be possible to break them down (and level out the LA that gets added to PCs/NPCs that had these templates added).

Races of Ansalon (Dragonlance 3rd edition by MWP) had a way of doing this with high LA/HD races (so that they could be played as 1st level characters. If the same sort of thing could be done to water down a template (and hand bits out on a level-by-level basis) you could turn templates into some sort of "superhero class" or (and I know you don't like them) some sort of superhero PrC.

Maybe (if you are going to illiminate the PrCs) you could have regular classes and "super classes". The super classes, could take the place of PrCs, but do far more. Maybe super classes could make humans grow wings, breath water and a bunch of other impossible things. Obviously, what they did would need to fit in with your concept, but you could go in dozens of directions with this concept and still make it compatible with the basic 3e mechanics. That might make a Darkkensteel book of Super Classes have some sort of appeal to people playing 3e games with other campaign settings.
Tim Beach wrote:Option 2: Write new Red Steel anyway. There's a certain amount that can be done without worry: you can report on Red Steel in a news-like fashion; you can satirize it (usually); you can have a fan site (this is a bit of a gray area, but is generally viewed as acceptable). I could theoretically make new Red Steel as a free product (fan use)). Unfortunately, for the amount of work involved, it isn't practical. Because I've chosen writing as a career, writing large projects for free is a money-losing proposition for me. Now, I'm going to create and write whether I get paid for it or not; I can't help it. And I recognize that there are both altruistic and marketing reasons for doing free stuff, and I am opposed to neither of those. What it comes down to is this: the more time I spend on free stuff, the less time I have for the stuff that might generate income. And it's a sad reality that I have to make choices like that. My day job is pretty secure, but in the current economy, even that isn't a guarantee. Ultimately, this option isn't really viable.
It would be great if there was some sort of Free Gaming Foundation out there that could finance open gaming products. But sadly no such sort of thing exists.

I was actually wondering if it would be legally possible* for game designers to make "buskware" websites, where everything is free, but people can use PayPal (or whatever) to donate money...if they choose to. Now, I'm guessing that most people wouldn't pay for freebies (so this probably would not be a sensible thing to do for a new campaign setting). But if it was possible to create OD&D or AD&D content on a buskware basis or if it was possible to make professional quality freebies for out of print TSR campaign settings on a buskware basis, perhaps this is a way that authors would be able to support stuff that they can not support in a normal commercial manner.

* = I'm not sure if this sort of thing would be desirable to designers. It might be a non-starter. But it seems to be an option that has been overlooked.

Basically, what I'm getting at (from the point of view of Black Steel/Darkkensteel) is that any generous Mystara fans could stump up the cost of creating artwork and so on and you could put out something like Black Steel when it was affordable. If the fans donate money slowly, then maybe you would make something small or make something bigger every couple of years. But if the fans got on board with the project (and gave you a ton of cash) you might be able to afford to take some time off of your regular work and work on a more advanced freebie project.

But I can think of a number of other projects that "need doing" but are crawling along because they are done on a voluntary basis by gifted amateurs. Firstly there are the fan conversions to 3e. Some of these are done as campaign settings, but not all of them. But even if they are done, there are all the monsters to convert. The Creature Catalog team (over at ENWorld) are doing a great job, but if a bit of money was put into that sort of thing, maybe there could be commercial art or attractively typeset PDFs that contain 100 percent of the unconverted monsters of TSR. I saw someone put together a fan book that customised some of the generic monsters to Eberron once. Now, that sort of thing could be done for Mystara, Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Ravenloft or anything else.

But, I speak from a 3e bias. And this sort of thing could equally be done for older editions of the D&D rules. It could also be done for retro-clone rules. I don't see why there could not be a freebie "C&C Guide to Savage Coast" or a freebie "Dark Dungeons Guide to Thunder Rift".

Anyway, I'm not a lawyer, so perhaps there is some sort of flaw in this concept. But if fans were able to support freebie gaming, it might make development of "non-commercial work" a bit easier.

I suppose the idea might die on its bottom if fans turned out to be unwilling to subsidise game design, but that is another question.
Tim Beach wrote:Assuming I were to publish a variation of Black Steel -- arcane superheroes in a dark fantasy setting -- here's what we know:
1. I would publish under the OGL, using a version of 3.5.
2. I can't use lupins, rakastas, tortles, and shazaks.
3. I would use heavily altered substitutes for at least lupins and rakastas. The rakasta-substitute will also fill in for elves.
4. I wouldn't talk about Inheritors, Legacies, cinnabryl, or red steel.
5. I would use a variety of cultural archetypes and keep at least some of the swashbuckling feel.
This sounds good. Maybe you could do this (with your Darkkensteel Campaign Setting concept), sell it the usual way and then later on write a freebie article (or PDF) for Vaults of Pandius that tells people how to reboot Darkkensteel and add in Mystara elements to turn it into Black Steel. Maybe selling new campaign settings, but then donating some freebie conversion documents to the fan community, would be another way for you to earn money, but still give the old school fans a bit of freebie support.
Tim Beach wrote:Here's what we can decide:
1. Should I use aranea, or my alternate? (One thing you should know: the alternate allows me to bring in some elements of thri-kreen, and of Dark Sun in general.)
Can't you do both? :idea:

If the two ideas work well together they could be allies. If the two ideas don't work together, they could be enemies - out to exterminate each other.

You could maybe even throw in something similar to the Neogi from Spelljammer.
Tim Beach wrote:2. Should I use dwarves and humanoids (goblins, hobgoblins, gnolls)?
Hmm. I never got to play with Red Steel the first time around, and I'm just looking to see it converted to 3rd edition. So my lack of experience means this sort of addition/subtraction probably would not make a difference to me. But these races are fairly popular and including them might make your game appeal to more non-Mystara fans.

I suppose you could always make these races optional, do them later as a web enhancment, or something like that.
Tim Beach wrote:3. Would you like to see substitutes for tortles, phanatons, wallaras, enduks, and ee'aar?
There are some major fans of animal-headed humanoids (and similar critters) out there. I suppose it all depends on how you are going to tie these races in with your campaign setting. I certainly think, with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles out there, that a tortle replacement would have legs.
Tim Beach wrote:4. What about the shazaks, ators, and caymas? Substitute standard lizardfolk? Or something of my own creation? Or ignore them?
Lizardfolk would be good. But you could always take the standard SRD lizardfolk as a baseline and make few tweaks. And there is no reason why you couldn't use standard lizardfolk for one of your races and add one or two "new lizardfolk subraces".
Tim Beach wrote:5. Do firearms stay?
I like firearms. But as not everybody does, I would say add a sidebar that tells a GM how to get rid of them. That way you can make the Darkkensteel Campaign Setting that you would want to run yourself, but still give your punters the option to remove "controversial" stuff.
Tim Beach wrote:6. Are there any cultures that people would like to stay or go? Or show up?
I've got no opinion here. As this isn't supposed to be exactly the same thing as Red Steel, I think you can "get away with" any amount of similarity or change**.

** = From my point of view, you could get me to "buy into" the Black Steel concept just as easily with one connection or with a dozen connections.
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Re: [AD&D]What would have been the next SC supplement?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:28 pm

Tim Beach wrote:
Havard wrote:About Black Steel and 3E. I think it makes sense that you intent on using that ruleset. I've grown tired of it myself, but at least it will be a system that most people will be familiar enough with to port it to whatever system they are using. What do you think about making it fairly rules light though?
I think that's a fine idea, generally speaking. The most important thing to include in a published version would be an alternative-to-Legacies system (how the powers are acquired, how they operate, that kind of thing), but there's no reason why that can't be written in a subsystem-neutral (and portable and replaceable) way. I could also shift how some things are addressed, like saying "improves armor class by 3" rather than either "+3" or "-3." Thank you for the suggestion.
The feat system in 3E, however, is an unfortunately good way to handle some other aspects, but I'll give some thought to how that might be generalized.
If I can ask -- and suggest the answer go into the Q&A topic -- what is it about 3E that makes you tired of it?
I grudgingly learned the 3e rules, and eventually came to prefer them. But one of the major reasons why I now really like them is a logistical one. With the SRD being free (if used under the OGL), it is possible for the entire set of rules to be used by any commercial or non-commercial project. And, while the PHB, DMG and MM are no longer commercially available, the end of the d20 STL (the d20 System trademark licence) there is no longer any real incentive for people not to add in the "character creation rules" like The Impossible Dream did with the enhanced version of the SRD they have on their download page.

So, while there might be some people out there that don't like the 3e rules as much as earier (or later) D&D rules, using them would allow you to bump the Darkkensteel concept up to a full Darkkensteel Player's Book, Darkensteel Gamesmaster's Book and Darkkensteel Monster Book (should you ever want to go down that route). That means that a 3e version that works well can always be given as much support as you want it to be given.

But I'm sure that other people, like Havard, would like to use different rules. In an ideal world, where money and time was no object to you, I would suggest that you bring out a 3e book that provided the rules of Darkkensteel and then followed that up with rules-neutral books that expanded the world. If at some time you (or someone else*) was able to invest the time to support other rules systems, you could duplicate the original (rules heavy) book and make a C&C Darkkensteel Campaign Setting, an OSRIC Darkkensteel Campaign Setting a Labyrinth Lord Darkkensteel Campaign Setting or whatever. And that one rules-specific book could be designed to tell people all of the core stuff that could support an entire product line.

* = I'm thinking of something similar to WotC's Ravenloft licence, Dragonlance licence or the Blackmoor licence, but without the built in self-destruct mechanism (that prevents republication). Maybe something where the other party can sell the converted version for the first X years and then you get to sell it yourself after that. Or maybe a split-profit licence where you both get trickle payments forever.
Tim Beach wrote:
Havard wrote:Since many people might want to convert it to another edition or game, the book might be 3E, but could stay clear of unneccessarily long lists of spells and PrCs?
I assume that when you say "lists of spells," you're talking about a long list of fully described spells. I would be inclined to make a list of spell names, probably, but including the full descriptions would be a waste of space. However, to aid the switch in edition or game, a short description of the spell would be useful, especially for the more obscurely titled ones.
Well, if you create new magic using classes, or new domains (for example a Black Steel Domain) I think it would be essential to do this to the same sort of spell list detail as FRCS, DLCS or Dave Arneson's Blackmoor. Maybe new spells could be a bit more compact than SRD spells, but unfortunately for people like Havard the lists themselves are something people really need to have.

Maybe a compromise would be to look at your Darkkensteel house style and make a spell list style that was one or two point sizes smaller than the rest of the body text. That sort of thing might be able to cut down the impact of the spell lists, without removing the information. In fact, you might be able to create a house style where other "essential crunch" is shrunk down to make more space for the fluff.
Tim Beach wrote:In regards to Prestige Classes, I'll tell you something of a secret: I don't like them. First, they're all over the map in terms of power. Second, the it seemed to me that Prestige Classes were, first and foremost, different ways to role-play a character; in many ways, they were culture-specific archetypes, and in some cases, archetypes that should define your character from the first level. I have been working on an alternate system, and I think you'll like it.
Hmm. Sounds like you would be pushing towards making a slightly modified 3e system for your campaign setting.

I've seen people converting PrCs to "substitution levels". That looks like a fairly workable way to try to do it, but I've never used them myself. Here is a conversion of the Wizard of High Sorcery to substitution levels. The Dragonlance community seems to be pretty keen on this mechanic.

I'll be interested to see if your new mechanic gets taken up outside your own campaign setting.
Tim Beach wrote:
Havard wrote:Instead you could make room for actual setting contents, which will be useful regardless of editition. This is something I feel is missing in current 4E material BTW.
I'm afraid I have to agree with you there. It feels like they've sacrificed some story substance for ease of play (especially combat). You can still role play, but that's not where the emphasis seems to be (and maybe it never really was -- a lot of people do play according to their ability to fight).
If I wanted to "move forward", I think I would be far more inclined to go with something like Pathfinder, that advances the rules, rather than something like 4e, which goes back to square one.

Talking of Pathfinder, I'd personally rather have 3e material, but you might want to look at that to see if you can make Darkkensteel as Pathfinder compatible as possible. If a few "Pathfinder sidebars" could take care of the one or two parts of 3e that have been removed in the Pathfinder Reference Document then you might be able to put a Pathfinder compatible logo on your PDF. I'm not sure how many third-party settings have been written for Pathfinder, but you might be able to capture a slightly larger slice of the pie if you can cater to their customers.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
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