I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

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sam
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I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by sam »

In my impression, Greyhawk Set and the Earth is closely related. I've seen the world travelers like Murlynd; And the "five parallel worlds" remarks.

On the other hand,Forgotten Realms Set also and "Earth" have a certain connection. But the problem is, “Earth” where that Realms leads to and “Earth” where that Oerth leads to is the same place or not? (or at sometimes is same, like some crossover)

In Questions for Ed Greenwood (2009), I saw some Ed replies: [Earth IS accessible by spelljammers, but its crystal sphere must be (hint of truth: IS, for all of the following) either very hard to find in the Flow, or very perilous to enter and traverse, or both, because spelljammer visits are VERY rare. Time does elapse at different rates in different crystal spheres, so it's hard to say what year spelljammers arrive, except from the point of view of Earth (the very few known visits were in the very ancient past, and in early Victorian times).]

So can this be understood as Toril and the Earth in the same “Prime Material Plane” ? If yes, in this cosmology, how should I understand the Greyhawk's Earth?

I have also heard of another theory, such as "D&D Earths" more than one, but many; Is this correct? Or like that: The Phlogiston has an Earth in the crystal sphere; But in another plane or dimension also exists “Earths”, One of them is linked to Oerth?

Thanks.

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by Zeromaru X »

In the Forgotten Realms wiki, they say Earth has its own Prime Material, independent of that of Toril and Oerth.

http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Cosmology

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

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Mystara has its own Earth-like Dimension called LaTerre. This might or might not be the same place. It is also possible that this could be the Ravenloft world of Gothic Earth.

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by ripvanwormer »

Elminster of Shadowdale and Mordenkainen of Greyhawk (and Dalamar of Krynn) all visited the same Earth, the Earth where Ed Greenwood lives, many times in the long-running Dragon Magazine series "The Wizards Three," meeting in Ed Greenwood's basement to trade news and magic while Greenwood eavesdropped and sent reports of those meetings to Dragon Magazine.

Whether Earth is in a crystal sphere or a separate plane of existence depends on which edition of the game you're reading. In second edition, post-Spelljammer, there is only one Prime Material Plane and every world is in a sphere (however, the ending of the last Spelljammer novel may contradict this). In third edition they brought back the concept of multiple material planes, this time connecting them via the Plane of Shadow (in first edition they were connected via the Astral Plane). The d20 Modern settings Shadowhunters and Urban Arcana crossed over with D&D on occasion; the ogre mage Estavan of Sigil visited that world on a mission for the Planar Trade Consortium.

There does seem to be more than one Earth. Besides the "real world" where Ed Greenwood lives and writes, there's Gothic Earth, from the Masque of the Red Death setting, which may be the same as the magical Earth of the Historical Reference series and the Earth of the module Castle Amber (also called LaTerre). The module The Immortal Storm included a visit to a nonmagical modern Earth, rationalizing it as a pocket universe in the Outer Planes. The BECMI book Wrath of the Immortals used the concept of "dimensions," putting the D&D multiverse in one dimension and the Earth of Castle Amber in another. You might also add Aerth from Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys RPG.

The paladin and magic-user Murlynd of Oerth seems to have visited our own modern Earth, since he owns a VHS player and belonged to the Lake Geneva wargaming club. I wouldn’t say this was necessarily the only Earth he's visited, however.

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by sam »

Okay, thanks for all the replies. :)
On the other hand, I noticed the Habitat of Greyspace. Does it have a further "detailed background"?(Even unpublished adventure about it,I wish)Or is it just an Easter egg that points to Metamorphosis Alpha?

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by ripvanwormer »

sam wrote:Or is it just an Easter egg that points to Metamorphosis Alpha?
That's all it is, I think.

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by sam »

So...
I also saw Fraal from Alternity appeared in Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four. I really like the description of this article, and I think they are from another "cosmology"? (For the universe with only one Prime Material Plane)

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by ripvanwormer »

They're from the Star*Drive setting (and the Dark•Matter setting), which as you say doesn't have crystal spheres.

Tangently related, I think the quasi-deity Tsolorandril may be a fraal.

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by sam »

Great. :D
There is a question is ask on behalf of my friends:Does the official publications of D&D have any explanation for the major differences between magic and technology?

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by apotheot »

ripvanwormer wrote:; the ogre mage Estavan of Sigil visited that world on a mission for the Planar Trade Consortium.
Not doubting you, but would love a reference on that one.
ripvanwormer wrote: There does seem to be more than one Earth. Besides the "real world" where Ed Greenwood lives and writes, there's Gothic Earth, from the Masque of the Red Death setting, which may be the same as the magical Earth of the Historical Reference series and the Earth of the module Castle Amber (also called LaTerre).
I thought that was pretty clearly confirmed in the MotRD box set... Will have to look it up when I have time.
ripvanwormer wrote: The module The Immortal Storm included a visit to a nonmagical modern Earth, rationalizing it as a pocket universe in the Outer Planes. The BECMI book Wrath of the Immortals used the concept of "dimensions," putting the D&D multiverse in one dimension and the Earth of Castle Amber in another. You might also add Aerth from Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys RPG.

The paladin and magic-user Murlynd of Oerth seems to have visited our own modern Earth, since he owns a VHS player and belonged to the Lake Geneva wargaming club. I wouldn’t say this was necessarily the only Earth he's visited, however.
I vaguely recall there being something called Truespace, a crystal sphere so massive that our entire observable universe along with accompanying laws fits within... This would make the entire Alternity game as well as Metamorphosis Alpha basically Campaign Settings that are hard to get to/from due to magic being much less common in our universe, technology having different rules in different settings, and the lack of Grubbian Physics...At least I am pretty sure that was how Ed described it at one point at a con...anyone help me out?
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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by ripvanwormer »

apotheot wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:; the ogre mage Estavan of Sigil visited that world on a mission for the Planar Trade Consortium.
Not doubting you, but would love a reference on that one.
It's from the d20 Modern book Urban Arcana, which included an adventure starting on page 307 called "Estavan's Estate." The world of Urban Arcana is similar to our own, but creatures and magic from D&D have recently started appearing in it from across a mysterious boundary known as "Shadow" (i.e. the Plane of Shadow, but "Shadow" is used in this setting to describe all creatures not native to this Earth). It's similar to Shadowrun, I suppose, but it's a contemporary setting and most people in the world still aren't aware that magic exists.

In "Estavan's Estate," the PCs have already been encountering mentions of a mysterious organization called the PTC (the Planar Trade Consortium). The current executive officer of the PTC is Estavan.
Urban Arcana wrote:Morton Estavan is, in reality, the ogre mage called Estavan. He has traveled the various planes of existence and is known on many worlds. Through the tendrils of Shadow, he engages in trade, buys and sells goods of all descriptions, and has built a vast merchant empire that spans a number of adjacent realities. He appears as a large man who always dresses in impeccable custom-tailored suits and imported leather shoes. He is soft spoken, endearing, and the ultimate salesperson. It is said on some realities that Estavan can sell sand to an earth elemental, and he does indeed have remarkable powers of persuasion.

Estavan's base of power in the Planar Trade Consortium revolves around the fact that he is one of the only denizens of Shadow who has the ability to freely cross the veil that separates the worlds. The source of this power is beyond the scope of this adventure arc; the heroes should not be able to gain access to this ability no matter how the adventure turns out. Even so, Estavan's fiendish partners are attempting a hostile take-over of the company.


The "source of this power" seems to be a portal (probably to Sigil) located in a secret room in Estavan's estate. Estavan was originally detailed in Dragon #213, in Planes of Conflict (in the description of Yeoman in Bytopia), and in Uncaged: Faces of Sigil. He also appeared in the 4th edition Dungeon Master's Guide 2. The adventure "A Conspiracy of Doors" from the DMG2 would actually work decently well as a sequel to the adventures in Urban Arcana, for all that they're for different game systems.
apotheot wrote:I vaguely recall there being something called Truespace, a crystal sphere so massive that our entire observable universe along with accompanying laws fits within...
Truespace is from the adventure Dawn of the Overmind. It's the home of the artificial world Penumbra, created by the illithids during the age of their great empire. Its physics are more like our own than standard Spelljammer spheres. If you go by the travel times stated in the adventure, it's relatively small for a crystal sphere, however: with a radius of about 800 million miles (a tenth the radius of Greyspace). I discussed my reasoning for this measurement in this thread. The thing that's big about it is Penumbra, a disk-shaped planet about with a radius of 200 million miles, far vaster than any other known D&D world.

I should note that Polyhedron #73 and #74 adapted the solar system from the Space: 1889 RPG (a sort of pulp-influenced steampunk setting with Victorian space travel) to the Spelljammer setting.
sam wrote:Great. :D
There is a question is ask on behalf of my friends:Does the official publications of D&D have any explanation for the major differences between magic and technology?
For this, it's best to read some of the classic fantasy stories that inspired this trope in D&D, particularly The Incomplete Enchanter by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. Basically, though, it's just a given that different planes/spheres have different levels of magic and technology. There's a useful set of charts in the 1st edition Manual of the Planes showing how alternate material planes vary depending on their magical and technological level.

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

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sam wrote:I have also heard of another theory, such as "D&D Earths" more than one, but many; Is this correct? Or like that: The Phlogiston has an Earth in the crystal sphere; But in another plane or dimension also exists “Earths”, One of them is linked to Oerth?
There are also a bunch of Historical References products, from 2nd Edition AD&D, that are based on Earth: I'm not even sure that all of these "Earth" sourcebooks are compatible with each other, let alone Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, and other settings. :)
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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

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sam wrote:Okay, thanks for all the replies. :)
On the other hand, I noticed the Habitat of Greyspace. Does it have a further "detailed background"?(Even unpublished adventure about it,I wish)Or is it just an Easter egg that points to Metamorphosis Alpha?
TSR really should have put out a boxed set for Greyspace...at least a boxed set. But, aside from the content in the Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set, all we have is SJR6 Greyspace and some stuff in War Captain's Companion.

What you actually have is something that (from a canon point of view) is much smaller than Greyhawk...but which you need to make appear much larger and more complex than Greyhawk.

I don't think I've heard of this Habitat/Metamorphosis Alpha connection before. I might start a topic about it in the Spelljammer forum.
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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

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sam wrote:Great. :D
There is a question is ask on behalf of my friends:Does the official publications of D&D have any explanation for the major differences between magic and technology?
I'm not exactly sure what you mean here, Sam, but there was a theme to Greyspace, where the locals were supposed to be abandoning magic in favour of science*.

* = I'm not sure that makes sense, because science is not a faith - it is based on scientific methodology. And in the D&D multiverse, scientific theories would prove (beyond doubt) the existence of magic, deities and a bunch of other impossible things. However, that's not related to your question.

There is something, in Eberron, called an Artificer. They can "make" things and pretty much use the D&D rules of magic as part of how the "make things". There is even an entire Dragonmarked house that is about "making things". It's all "D&D magic pretending to be technology". I'm not sure if that's what you are after. :?
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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by Zeromaru X »

Then there are guys like the Blackmoorians, with their archmages and their FTL spaceships...

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

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ripvanwormer wrote: It's from the d20 Modern book Urban Arcana, which included an adventure starting on page 307 called "Estavan's Estate."
Gotcha. have never bothered with any of thy d20 modern stuff as I, at the time, didn't like the system. Will have to change that now that I know there is lore buried in them. Am well aware of Estavan.
ripvanwormer wrote:
apotheot wrote:I vaguely recall there being something called Truespace, a crystal sphere so massive that our entire observable universe along with accompanying laws fits within...
Truespace is from the adventure Dawn of the Overmind. It's the home of the artificial world Penumbra, created by the illithids during the age of their great empire. Its physics are more like our own than standard Spelljammer spheres. If you go by the travel times stated in the adventure, it's relatively small for a crystal sphere, however: with a radius of about 800 million miles (a tenth the radius of Greyspace). I discussed my reasoning for this measurement in this thread. The thing that's big about it is Penumbra, a disk-shaped planet about with a radius of 200 million miles, far vaster than any other known D&D world.
I know it, but I doubt that this is what Ed was referring to back at the con talk in 1996, since it was a few years before Dawn was published. He may have just been talking about game ideas thrown around the office an the theme (and name) was later used by Bruce.
ripvanwormer wrote: I should note that Polyhedron #73 and #74 adapted the solar system from the Space: 1889 RPG (a sort of pulp-influenced steampunk setting with Victorian space travel) to the Spelljammer setting.
I had forgotten about this one, would be interesting to see how it mechanically would fit into Gothic Earth...perhaps the Red Death was slowly changing the way physics works in order to remove threats from beyond. Someone did a nice timeline of Gothic Earth up to 1650 here http://www.nwnravenloft.com/downloads/g ... e%20v2.pdf Though it includes aspects like Castlevania and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, it also does a fairly good job of codifying the various reference books and castle Amber with the GE setting. (For the record, I am pretty pro a Single Earth Theory and would love to explain things that way as it helps keep the multiverse tidy.)
-Apotheot

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

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On the question of magic and technology, I have taken note of this passage,from Saga of Old City,Chapter 7:

[“How can you explain technology?”
Gord took a shot at that one. “It is a myth of the ignorant used to fool gullible folk and frighten children!”
“Nonsense!” the elderly scholar retorted. “It is the counterpart of magic within the dimension of probability and works in inverse proportion to it.” Then he resumed firing off questions.]

I think this revealed some Gary attitude on the relationship between magic and technology. But it is too vague for me.

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

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Big Mac wrote:
sam wrote:Great. :D
There is a question is ask on behalf of my friends:Does the official publications of D&D have any explanation for the major differences between magic and technology?
I'm not exactly sure what you mean here, Sam, but there was a theme to Greyspace, where the locals were supposed to be abandoning magic in favour of science*.

* = I'm not sure that makes sense, because science is not a faith - it is based on scientific methodology. And in the D&D multiverse, scientific theories would prove (beyond doubt) the existence of magic, deities and a bunch of other impossible things. However, that's not related to your question.

There is something, in Eberron, called an Artificer. They can "make" things and pretty much use the D&D rules of magic as part of how the "make things". There is even an entire Dragonmarked house that is about "making things". It's all "D&D magic pretending to be technology". I'm not sure if that's what you are after. :?
That would be interesting because I am sure there was a line somewhere in one of the books to the effect that smokepowder did not work within Oerth's atmosphere...
"If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it might just be a crow".

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

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sam wrote:On the question of magic and technology, I have taken note of this passage,from Saga of Old City,Chapter 7:

[“How can you explain technology?”
Gord took a shot at that one. “It is a myth of the ignorant used to fool gullible folk and frighten children!”
“Nonsense!” the elderly scholar retorted. “It is the counterpart of magic within the dimension of probability and works in inverse proportion to it.” Then he resumed firing off questions.]

I think this revealed some Gary attitude on the relationship between magic and technology. But it is too vague for me.
As I'm sure you know, Gary Gygax first mapped out his alternate Earths in Polyhedron #21.
Gary Gygax wrote:"By the way, action takes place on Yarth, a place somewhat similar to Oerth, the setting of Greyhawk, et al. It has fewer magical properties than Oerth but more than Earth. It is not impossible that additional works will be contracted for in months to come, action being set on Yarth or perhaps another alternate world, Aerth. On Earth, magic is virtually non-existent. On Uerth, dweomers are weak, chancy things. Yarth has a sprinkling of things magical, and Oerth is pure magic."
So the quote from Saga of Old City that you brought up above is in reference to that: there are five (known) alternate Earths and the more magic they have, the higher the possible technology level, and vice versa. Oerth is highly magical, but as Khedrac mentioned above, gunpowder doesn't burn there. Earth has little or no magic, but gunpowder burns real good.

Here's another thread on the alternate Earths/Oerths.

The 1st edition Manual of the Planes included charts (in appendix one) describing how each Material Plane is defined by three factors: physical, magical, and temporal. The physical factor defines "the level of scientific reality in the plane." A physical factor of 10 means that all sentience is impossible because all matter reacts with all other matter explosively. A physical factor of 0 means gunpowder doesn't burn and most winged creatures can fly in Earth-gravity regardless of their size (this is the physical factor of Oerth). A physical factor of -10 means the entire plane is aware and all elements exist only in their pure states. Our Earth probably has a physical factor of 6 or so: creatures over 10 feet tall are unlikely, certain liquids and gases are chemically inert.

The magical factor defines a plane's magic level. A magical factor of 10 means that every sentient creature can do magic and their power is limited only by their imagination; these planes quickly dissolve into demiplanes where individuals rule as omnipotent god-kings. A magical factor of 0 is D&D standard, where magic is usually possible with training but Vancian rules limit magic. A magical factor of -10 means no magic, creativity, or imagination exists. The nonmagical Earth from The Immortal Storm is probably around -7, but our own Earth is probably more like -4 (because we don't have a lot of magic, but we still have music and roleplaying games). Note that Elminster and Mordenkainen were able to cast spells when they visited Ed Greenwood's house, though, so perhaps Earth's magical factor is higher than I think.

The temporal factor defines a plane's relationship to other Prime Material Planes. 10 means the nature of the planet and its connection to the other planes are wildly different from Oerth-standard. A temporal factor of 0 means the Material Plane is identical except maybe your friend's double has a goatee and is evil. -10 means the plane is identical, but millions of years in the past or future. A version of Earth that exists in the Victorian era would have a temporal factor of -5 in relation to an Earth of 2016. A version that exists in medieval times would have a temporal factor of -7. The Forgotten Realms has a factor of 4 compared to Oerth because it has familiar races, but the continents are in a different arrangement. Earth would have a temporal factor of 5 because so many of Oerth's monsters and humanoids are missing.

Anyway, the sage in Saga of Old City is suggesting that the physical and magical factors are inversely related. An increase in magic means there's more "scientific reality" in the plane and vice versa. This isn't necessarily the case in the Manual of the Planes, which allows for planes with both magic and science, or neither magic nor science.

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Re: I have a lot of questions about "Earth"

Post by sam »

Yes, I also saw four ratings in the Dungeon Master Option: High-Level Campaigns. I am looking for more different answers and opinions. :D

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