Thunder Rift the Collection

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Sturm » Thu May 10, 2018 9:33 am

Well TR dragons could easily hunt outside the Valley, should they even need or will to do so.
The question is what's outside the Valley? What relations these dragons have with one another? Do they secretly mastermind some humanoid/human population or have other agendas for being there?
If you use dragons as intelligent beings, they should have motivations and goals beyond sitting on treasure, IMHO.
By the way, do you have a preference on where to place Thunder Rift?
I am more and more inclined to consider the isolation of the whole place something magically motivated.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Thu May 10, 2018 2:03 pm

Sturm wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 9:33 am
Well TR dragons could easily hunt outside the Valley, should they even need or will to do so.
The question is what's outside the Valley? What relations these dragons have with one another? Do they secretly mastermind some humanoid/human population or have other agendas for being there?
If you use dragons as intelligent beings, they should have motivations and goals beyond sitting on treasure, IMHO.
By the way, do you have a preference on where to place Thunder Rift?
I am more and more inclined to consider the isolation of the whole place something magically motivated.
All of those are questions for the individual DM to answer for themselves, I was only focusing on TR's dimension since canon sources contradict themselves. I figured determining each dragons territory size would help settle the Rift's size issue.
As for my own personal preference for placing TR? Karameikos: Northeast of Castellan Keep. Gives one canon pass access to Ylaruam, another access to Karameikos, iirc the third would come out in the strip of land connecting Darokin w/ Ylaruam. By placing it there, it means that Alfhiem is to the west; but, it also means that there is a very good chance Shadow Elves have tunnels connecting to TR.
I do not actually place TR as "hidden & unknown" to the rest of the Known World. I just look at it as being very difficult to reach. I generally have TR's existence know to 4, maybe 5, kingdoms: Karameikos, Ylaruam, Darokin, Thyatis & maybe the Shadow Elves (depending on the AP I follow)

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Sturm » Thu May 10, 2018 3:01 pm

Ok thanks. I've yet to make a final decision, but probably I will choose a more remote area of Brun..

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Thu May 10, 2018 3:17 pm

Another thought is to not worry about TR's physical location & simply have each canon route be a path leading to a portal/gate. Perhaps the actual portal/gate form is hidden w/in the surrounding cliff walls & therefore noone actually knows they're passing thru such things. You could even rule that Scorch had to find such a portal in order to enter TR.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Sturm » Thu May 10, 2018 3:46 pm

Yes this would mean TR is magically hidden somehow, maybe not even on Mystara's surface. Pondering this, I will have to read the original material better to decide.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Havard » Thu May 10, 2018 3:57 pm

TR can be located anywhere. Colin McComb said the original intent was to place it somehwere in the mountains of Karameikos. One of the reasons I had been interested in finding a location for it was because I wanted to figure out which human and demihuman cultures in the Known World the Thunder Rift equivalents could be related to.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Thu May 10, 2018 4:15 pm

Havard wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 3:57 pm
TR can be located anywhere. Colin McComb said the original intent was to place it somehwere in the mountains of Karameikos. One of the reasons I had been interested in finding a location for it was because I wanted to figure out which human and demihuman cultures in the Known World the Thunder Rift equivalents could be related to.

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I tried starting a conversation on that subject; but, it hasn't gone very far. (See: Various Demi-human clans in the Thunder Rift)
I did try to link Kogolor & Modrigswerg clans to the Riftian Dwarves. In my version of TR, I also linked the Kahoki clan to the Longrunners so that Adelle (Escape from Zanzer Tem's dungeon: Solo) would have the Knowledge of Magic Lore skill & be able to try to identify magical items found during said adventure.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Fri May 11, 2018 5:51 pm

To help determine the Rift's dimensions:

TSR 9387 Sword and Shield pg. 6: "After a week of travel, you reach Avenal, the keep of the dreaded Black Knight." "Your village has recently suffered raids from various monsters such as lizard men and orcs."

Going by the TR poster map, the only visible city/town/village close to Avenal is Melinir located roughly 1/3rd of the way up the map. If we add in Edgewater to the mix, that gives us 2 sites roughly the same distance away from Avenal as a starting point. Note, of course, it only stated "A week of travel". No mention of being on horseback or foot. By foot, I think, you can cover 20 miles a day. By horseback maybe 40 miles a day? Traveling an entire week means covering roughly 140-280 miles to reach Avenal from either Melinir or Edgewater. If Torlynn was the starting point, you'ld need to add, maybe, an extra day.
Being that the mentioned village is being raided by lizard men and orcs, that should place it w/in reach of The Black Swamps, Marshwoods &The Horned Hills. Since no village is depicted on the poster map, it requires the DM to create their own. Which would place it roughly 1/4th of the way up the map.
Based off that: 560 miles N-S on foot, or 1,120 miles N-S on horseback. As well as roughly: 280 miles E-W on foot or 510 miles E-W on horseback. (Someone can feel free to correct my math if movement rates by foot or horseback is wrong.)
On pg. 4 of Sword and Shield it states: If the PC does not have a horse, armor, shield, or lance, the Black Knight will lend it to him for the jousting only. Perhaps this was done to cover the possibility that the PC's horse died just trying to reach Avenal. (Solo covering that much distance thru monster infested lands? The PC is lucky to only lose their horse.)

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Fri May 11, 2018 6:09 pm

Goblin's Lair: Palace of Dread pg. 2: "With a guide provided by the Mayor of Kleine, you and your companions travel for two rainy days through a craggy, ominous landscape of rocky outcroppings and steep-sided valleys."
That description takes you from Kleine to just North of Raven's Ruin. Studying the map, that description indicates that from Kleine it's 3 days East OR West to the valley walls surrounding TR. Making TR a total of 6 days travel East-West. And as to be expected, no mention is made of being on foot or horseback.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Fri May 11, 2018 6:24 pm

DragonQuest: The Eisenmond Blade pg. 12: "It is an old, ruined castle about two days ride from here." "The orcs were headed down into the valley, but they never completed their journey." Taking these into account, the castle mentioned is most likely in the northern section of The Horned Hills. Viewing the poster map, from Torlynn you have to come south around a mountainous bend to actually reach the Horned Hills. As the crow flies, from torlynn you should be able to reach the surrounding cliff walls in 1 day.
But note the first quote said: two day RIDE. If horses cover 40 miles a day, reaching the castle is 80 miles from Torlynn. (Of interest to me was the fact that the first adventure takes place in mines w/in the mountains above Torlynn. "In the mountains above the town is an old iron mine." Nearest mountains to Torlynn on the map are roughly 5-10 miles away.)
Once Estorax Rex awakens, his lair becomes the self-same iron mine above Torlynn.
Last edited by Gravesguardian on Sun May 13, 2018 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Fri May 11, 2018 6:35 pm

Quest for the Silver Sword pg. 4: going from the starting town to Torlynn takes 3 days by carriage. (Placing Melinir as the ONLY possible starting point since it also says you start in the Dragon's Den Inn) But if you look at the above listing for DQ, you should've reached Torlynn w/in 1 day, or atleast partway into the 2nd morning.
Reaching the Wizard's Keep only takes a 2 hour hike, not ride, which places the keep at maybe 5-6 miles? That should put it in the hilly areas North of Torlynn rather than the open clearing even farther North.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Fri May 11, 2018 6:41 pm

Assualt on Raven's Ruin of course destroys any possible sense of map reality by stating that "It takes only two or three HOURS to get there, walking around the steam vents and geysers of the Burning Hills." That should've read: two or three DAYS." That is until you remember that Palace of Dread cleanly stated 2 rainy days to reach your destination....which just so happens to be north of Raven's Ruin. (I actually think based off the map, the Gnome stronghold is roughly 1/2 to 1 full days travel north of RR.)

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Fri May 11, 2018 6:49 pm

The Knight of Newts places Castle Kraal as a three day journey from Melinir which is only possible if the party walks or rides around the entire Lake Ganif. Based off other comparisons on the poster map, it should take only two days going from Melinir east to the swamp and then south before angling southwest.

I've obviously not listed some adventures only because they start the party off right at the dungeon, w/ no mention of how much time it took to get there.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Fri May 11, 2018 7:54 pm

Veiwing the RC pg. 88 for Overland Movement Rates:

Foot, no encumbrance (carrying less than 400 cn of encumbrance (or less than 40 lbs) gives us: 36 miles Trail, 24 miles Clear, 16 miles Hills, 12 Miles Mountainous & 16 miles Desert.

Riding Horse however gives us speeds that clearly state will kill a single horse & should only be used if the PC has multiple horses to swap out. Otherwise we're directed to use the movement rates for a War Horse. Those rates give us: 36 miles Trail, 24 miles Clear, 16 miles Hills, 12 miles Mountainous & 8 miles Desert.
Interesting that a War Horse & an unencumberd person have the same Clear rate of 24 miles per day.
Operating off unencumbered foot & war horse rates, the Rift measurements should be: 6 days x 24 miles per day = 144 miles E-W & 21-28 days x 24 miles per day = 504-672 miles N-S. (Depending on if the starting village in Sword and Shield is placed at 1/4th of the way up the poster map, or 1/3rd of the way (ie. Melinir))
That's certainly alot bigger then the 21 E-W by 32 N-S that the poster map would have us believe.

Thoughts? Comments? Corrections?

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Sturm » Fri May 11, 2018 10:02 pm

Quite big indeed, this is 8-9 72 miles hexes N-S. It makes sense the Rift is so big to contain all those people and locations, but it is difficult to place it on the map of Mystara. I once considered Brun and Davania but now I think the first has not the appropriate location and the second is quite different in tone from typical TR inhabitants. Skothar could be a better choice.
Or TR really is somewhere else, like in the HW or Faerie :)
BTW these dimensions exclude placing it in the KW, as it would be bigger than Karameikos. Note however that dimensions could be a bit lower if you consider movement in wilderlands, outside roads, should be relatively slower. Also if the PC has no maps, they could get lost at times. If not, the roads still bends, so 24 miles on map and air may easily become 48 on land.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Fri May 11, 2018 10:09 pm

Sturm wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:02 pm
Quite big indeed, this is 8-9 72 miles hexes N-S. It makes sense the Rift is so big to contain all those people and locations, but it is difficult to place it on the map of Mystara. I once considered Brun and Davania but now I think the first has not the appropriate location and the second is quite different in tone from typical TR inhabitants. Skothar could be a better choice.
Or TR really is somewhere else, like in the HW or Faerie :)
BTW these dimensions exclude placing it in the KW, as it would be bigger than Karameikos.
That could be a serious problem huh? All the math was done on the fly so its very possible I messed it up. W/ that being said: steal an idea from the Hollow World & have Thunder Rift as a floating landmass in the outer world under an Immortal level spell of Invisibility. The canon exits would become gateways/teleports to ground level sites as I mentioned in a prior post.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Sturm » Mon May 14, 2018 8:42 am

In the past Havard and others (see also http://pandius.com/thr_size.html and http://pandius.com/TR.jpg) calculared the north sud dimension at about 25 miles, but I'm not sure on what their calculations were based. Indeed yours seems more soundly however, as are based on travel times, which even if variable up to a certain point, still seems to assure a Rift much bigger than 25 miles long.
If it was "only" 25 miles long it would be possible to cross all of it in just one day with a rested horse (knowing the roads/paths).

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Mon May 14, 2018 3:15 pm

Sturm wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 8:42 am
If it was "only" 25 miles long it would be possible to cross all of it in just one day with a rested horse (knowing the roads/paths).
unencumbered on foot you'ld be able to cover the 25 miles in a day. now maybe someone else can figure what my currently calculated miles translate into per inch on the poster map.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Sturm » Tue May 15, 2018 11:43 am

Well athletes are known to have covered 100 km in one day or 50 in less than 4 hours. This in smooth roads, and a well known path, rested and trained. I have walked 20 km in a day in a path in the wilderlands with a backpack and I could not do the same the following day.
I believe PC, even if we could consider them strong and trained, could be more like me, considering they have armor, weapons and backpack.
I have also ride 10 km on horse in 2 hours and I do not know if I could do much more in a single day.
All this rested, young and relatively in shape.
Then in the wilderlands there is bad weather, dead end trails, obstacles and, on top in fantasy, monsters. Once I had a trekking trip with a local who knew the path and assumed the group could do 30 km a day easily. The group did less than 20 because it was too hot and there was not enough water, so we had to stop and search for some. Then he also did not remembered the path as well as he thought, and we had to backtrack a bit.
That's to say from personal experience I'd say the RC miles per day are overly optimistic, or at least valid just for one day. At the very minimum, you should consider that 36 miles on a map are actually at least 48 miles on the road, as no road in any world is perfectly straight. If hills of wood, 36 miles are easily 72, with ups, down and obstacles, so it should take at least 4 days to cover them.
This fact is not specified in the rules but it is very important to consider.

About the maps I'd say you are correct however, the distances estimated so far are wrong:
Here http://pandius.com/TR.jpg the distance Melinir - Avenal is estimated 11 miles, here http://pandius.com/4548272427_46cc6e211b_o.png the same, here http://pandius.com/thunder_rift_map_hex ... aeikfn.png 18 miles.
but if the modules says one week of travel, it should be much more. The terrain is marsh and plain and much depend if you can cross the river or have to follow it, in which case the distance greatly increase. However going by RC let's say a medium group of PCs cover 24 miles a day, so in a week they should walk 168 miles. Let's say the follow the east side of the river, in this map http://pandius.com/TR.jpg the scale should be adjusted to 8 miles per hex, meaning 128 miles following the river from Melinir to the keep. 128 on the map probably means 168 or nearly so if considering the normal bends of any path.
Using the same map your second example Goblin's Lair should be a path of 56 miles. Over the hills with rain I'd say is a trip of at least three days.
In the third example, the Eisemond Blade, it would be at least 56 miles as well from Torlynn. It could be possible to cover them on horseback if there is a decent trail, I suppose.
Therefore this map http://pandius.com/TR.jpg should really be 8 miles per hex and this one http://pandius.com/4548272427_46cc6e211b_o.png 4 mils per hex, while this one http://pandius.com/thunder_rift_map_hex ... aeikfn.png it is 5 miles per hex.
Hence the Rift should be 216 miles north south and around 144 east west.
This means it is bigger than the Isle of Dread and placing it in the Known World is impossible. In this 72 mph map of Mystara I made: http://pandius.com/Mystara72mphClimate.png it should occupy 3 hexes in N-S direction and 2 in the E-W direction, so I'd say there are not much places in which you could put it. The big mountains in Davania, maybe, but as Davania is supposed to be a bit lost world with dinosaurs, a bit South America and a bit Africa it does not really fit with Thunder Rift.
The mountain of Skothar IMHO could be the best fit, also because there is no fan material there and anyway Skothar is supposed to be the ancient seat of Blackmoor, which was inhabited by the same races of TR and also had a vague celtic-british theme as TR.

Concluding I have to thank you Graveguardian as I will include this discovery in my work for Threshold issue #20 about Skothar, obviously mentioning you. As far as I know, no one had done before a precise examination of the distances in TR as you did and I think they prove quite convincingly that the dimensions of the place have been grossly underestimated so far.
By the way such dimensions make much more sense with the variety of environments and people in TR, and also its relative isolation.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Tue May 15, 2018 4:49 pm

You're welcome & thank you for juggling all those maps to get more precise dimensions. Were you by any chance able to figure out how the new dimensions would translate to the original poster map? At 216 miles N-S & 144 miles E-W, how does that work w/ the maps 1" per ? ? (Yes, the first ? is to represent the new mileage.) I'll definately be looking forward to whatever article you write for #20. (Think I mentioned before: all I'm good for is ideas, it's for better minds than mine to make them into something.)
Also, 216 miles N-S - does that mean Melinir (1/3 of the way up the map) is 72 miles from the Southern-most point in the Rift?

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Tue May 15, 2018 5:43 pm

Wondering if anyone knows of a suitable map to use w/ this:

The mysterious keep w/ it's waterwheel high atop the cliffs surrounding the Gloomfens is a relic from ancient Blackmoor. Build under the orders of King Uther Andahar, the keep houses a portal, in a secret room in the dungeon, that connects to ancient Blackmoor. W/ this portal, small groups of Blackmoorians (usually numbering 15-20) are secretly slipped in the Rift & then make their way into the lands beyond the Rift. In this way, Uther has been slowly saving remnants of Blackmoor. Those who come thru, from the past, tend to head for major cities where it's easier to blend in. Some few have, however, built small villages far off the beaten path. Only the Lord/Lady of the Keep can control the portal & they are always someone of Uther's blood. Those rare few Riftians that actually reach the keep are politely given the option of going thru to Blackmoor, or having their memories erased & being deposited somewhere outside the Rift. (referred to as the Comeback Keep & built sometime after humans find their way into Thunder Rift; but, before Duke Hector Barrik's Keep is relocated to the Hollow World during the Goblin Wars. During the years spanning the Goblin Wars (as well as the years spanning the Sword vs. Wand conflict), the CBK's portal cannot be activated. Due to its location, the CBK avoids the affects of the Goblin Wars & the Sword vs. Wand conflict much later.)
Uther, & by default Blackmoor, has no designs on the Rift; it is simply a means to get groups of their people into the other lands & thereby save fragments of Blackmoor. All of the small Blackmoorian villages that have sprung up, house small libraries (no more than 50-100 tomes) of Blackmoorian lore. Almost all of these tomes are related to "normal" village survival: blacksmithing, farming, herbalism, woodland lore etc. Some few tomes, perhaps 5-10, deal w/ subjects such as: alchemy, history: Blackmoor, magic (various topics), & spellcasting (no more than 1 or 2 tomes). All Blackmoorian subjects going thru the portal are forbidden, under penalty of death, from carrying technology from the past w/ them into the future. Likewise, they are forbidden from trying to recreate ancient tech in their new times.

My mapmaker lacks a symbol for waterwheels.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Tue May 15, 2018 5:57 pm

What I would like to do w/ the above post is to expand it on the off chance that a party of adventurers ever reaches it. My original purpose for the CBK was:
#1. Save fragments of Blackmoor by relocating small groups into the Rift & beyond.
#2. Give PC's another way out of the Rift & into areas of the Known World, besides Karameikos.
#3. Give Dm's a way to shift PC's between Settings. (The portal to Blackmoor only opens when the current leader of the Keep opens it, otherwise noone knows where the portal leads to.
#4. Known only to the current leader of the Keep, is the fact that hidden away beneath the Keep is a chamber housing Uther, The Fetch & all of Uther's Companions; all sleeping peacefully in stasis 'til such a times as they might once again be needed to lead the reborn Blackmoor.

Those are just the 4 "solid" purposes I had for it. (Splitting these last 2 posts over to a different topic so I don't further clutter this one.)(Btw, can anyone tell me how to delete just these last 2 posts?)

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Sturm » Wed May 16, 2018 10:51 am

Gravesguardian wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 4:49 pm
Also, 216 miles N-S - does that mean Melinir (1/3 of the way up the map) is 72 miles from the Southern-most point in the Rift?
Looking at the maps it should be slightly more than 80 miles from the southern most point in a straight line.

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Sturm » Wed May 16, 2018 10:55 am

Interesting idea about the Keep, but does Uther knew Blackmoor would have been destroyed in the future? I do not recall if this was stated somewhere in the DA series. Sure it could be assumed the PCs told him, but now I do not remember if there is a passage about that.
Anyway this also would fit with my idea to place TR in Skothar
Khoronus discover that, but fan more or less assumed he became Immortal before Uther was born and he saved some Blackmoorians "in a faraway planet".

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Re: Thunder Rift the Collection

Post by Gravesguardian » Sun May 27, 2018 2:07 am

Sturm wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:55 am
Interesting idea about the Keep, but does Uther knew Blackmoor would have been destroyed in the future? I do not recall if this was stated somewhere in the DA series. Sure it could be assumed the PCs told him, but now I do not remember if there is a passage about that.
Anyway this also would fit with my idea to place TR in Skothar
Khoronus discover that, but fan more or less assumed he became Immortal before Uther was born and he saved some Blackmoorians "in a faraway planet".
Uther was informed of Blackmoor's future by the future adventurers and it is mentioned in the later modules that The Fetch slipped operatives into the future era (around Darokin, I think)

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