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#1 Steve-O

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 08:39 AM

A subject that has been brought up now and then around here is the question of whether or not there is "more info" for the game world of Terrinoth.  Generally the answer is "no" or "not much."

Well, a few days ago I decided that I was finally going to act on my half-cocked idea of running a D&D game in Terrinoth, and one of the things I wanted to do for the game is collect as much background information as I could about the setting.  I sat down and went through all the cards and rulebooks and web posts I could find that contained fluff text about the Runiverse (to coin a phrase) in the four major games.  Descent, Runebound, Runewars and DungeonQuest.  I checked the rulebook from Drakon, too, but it doesn't look like there's any fluff at all there.  I used BGG to get a glimpse of cards from the card expansions I don't own and mine them for fluff text too.

What I've compiled is not by any means complete.  Firstly the fluff text isn't always as specific as one might like, and secondly I'm sure there are some cards I missed (in particular all the cards from Mists of Zanaga and DungeonQuest, since I don't have either of those.)  It is, however, a very interesting read if I do say so myself, and writing this document has helped me to connect many more dots than I had thought possible with relatively little contradiction between the games.  I figured some other forumites might also be interested to see this, so without further ado, here it is:

www.filefactory.com/file/b2ha1af/n/RB_Timeline.doc

Please note, this is not an exhaustive list of every magic item and character ever named on a card.  It is mainly focused on the flavour text and deriving as complete an image of the game universe as I can from that information.  Some of the heroes get mentioned, for example, but most of them don't.  They are characters who populate the world, but we already know about them just from playing the games.

For anyone who's interested, here is a collected document of all the web-based excerpts about these games I was able to find, including a couple of really old forum posts made by somebody at FFG back in the day, and recently reposted by someone else around here (skunkstrype, I think):

www.filefactory.com/file/b2ha1ah/n/Website_Excerpts.doc

Also please note that there's an awful lot of inference and speculation on my part.  I've tried to denote such text by using italics, but I won't rule out the possibility that I got carried away in a couple places and forgot to italicize things.  It's a whole heaping lot of cool info about the Runiverse, but it's hardly official word from On High.

Enjoy!



#2 Valor

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:56 PM

wow! well done thats impressive.  I think thats about as accurate as one can infer.



#3 Zabulus

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 08:11 PM

Wow, that's a fairly comprehensive document. It must have cost you a few nights making it. It also helped me understand the background of these games a bit better. Thank you for that!

Also: Runiverse, I like that :)



#4 Steve-O

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 12:57 AM

Thank you both.  I suppose it has taken me about a week or so now (the days just blend together it seems!)  I was pleasantly surprised at how well most of it came together once I was reading (and paying critical attention to) the fluff.



#5 GoingDown

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 05:42 AM

Oh, really nice! This gives me lots of ideas. I need to use this in my role playing group somehow.

 

I hope somebody will give some kind of rough map of the lands so that all islands are on correct locations.



#6 Steve-O

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 06:09 AM

Apart from the Runebound/Descent Advanced Campaign game boards there's not much in the way of maps, unfortunately.  I tried to include what geographical information was provided in the text file.

Torue Albes is somewhere west of Terrinoth, Isheim is (presumably) north.  Zanaga is generally south and across a body of water.  Nobody is exactly sure where Al-Kalim is (part of the set up talks about how people go off adventuring and kind of stumble across it), although somewhere south is a safe bet since Terrinoth looks like a temperate zone.

Waiqar's valley sounds like it might be to the east (based on web stuff) of Terrinoth, Latari somewhere south of that and the Ru Steppes are probably somewhere north-westish of Terrinoth (Alcaran, the speaker in the Runewars intro, sounds like he had some spies watching the Ru and he's posted to an outpost north-west of Terrinoth.)

Dunwarr is completely unknown, although that's mostly due to a lack of fluff about it (I think it gets mentioned all of once by name.)  Hopefully if the dwarves get introduced as an expansion to Runewars, they'll also get pinned down geographically.

Maybe I'll draw up a little map now that I'm finished the bulk of the text.  It won't be very detailed though.  Probably end up looking more like a Venn diagram than a regular map. =P



#7 shnar

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 06:02 PM

A dwarf-heavy Descent expansion would really be cool. Bunch of dwarf heroes, some dwarven dungeons to go down, lots of new/interesting traps, etc.

-shnar



#8 Steve-O

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 04:08 AM

shnar said:

 

A dwarf-heavy Descent expansion would really be cool. Bunch of dwarf heroes, some dwarven dungeons to go down, lots of new/interesting traps, etc.

 

 

Yeah, that could be interesting.  Especially if they re-included boulders and crushing walls (perhaps with more rocky-themed art for the stand ups this time) along with a few new traps, so we can get more use out of those.  (Hey, they repeated Treachery in WoD and AoD, it's not entirely crazy-talk =P)

Speaking of crazy talk, here's a quick little map of Mennara (or what we know of it:)

Dunwarr's location is a complete guess, as is the idea that it's surrounded by mountains.  It seemed like the biggest gaping hole after I placed everything else, though.  The water touching Ru and Latari is inspired by the fact that their start zones in Runewars have water borders on some edges.  (I know they're officially "rivers" but it still felt right.)

Edit: I suppose I could have just coloured the Dunwarr circle red to represent lots of mountains in the area.  Oh well.



#9 Kartigan

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 04:13 AM

Wow, this is super cool Steve-O, thanks for the effort you've put into this!  Even if a lot of it is speculation on your part, it seems to be pretty clearly marked when it is.  Thanks a lot for putting this together, it must have taken quite a bit of time.



#10 Keggy

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 09:23 AM

Is Drakon set in Terrinoth?  I noticed the minis bore a striking resemblance to my Descent characters.



#11 Steve-O

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:35 AM

Keggy said:

Is Drakon set in Terrinoth?  I noticed the minis bore a striking resemblance to my Descent characters.

Technically, yes.  Although I think Drakon 3rd was published first and then they later decided to recycle those heroes into a Descent expansion.  I did look at the Drakon rulebook online and there doesn't appear to be any significant fluff text in the game.  There are no cards as I recall, just tiles with pictures, so if there's nothing in the rulebook then there's nothing in the game to contribute.  The heroes aren't even given names in Drakon from what I can tell.

We can reasonably assume Drakon herself is a Dragonlord, since her little "I'll eat everyone except whoever steals the most of my gold" game suggests intelligence (and regular dragons don't appear to be sentient in the Runiverse.)  Other than that I don't think there's anything to add, though.

 



#12 JCHendee

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 05:05 AM

Following up on Steve pointing out his docs in the Runebound forum, I was happy to stumble in here as well.  I like the proposed regional schematic you produced, though before I saw it I would have thought Al-Kalim would be to the east of Zanaga.  Still, it works either way for a flavorful conception of the larger world around Terrinoth. I should add that I'm not a Descent player but have been scavenging Terrinoth tidbits for ambiance and notions while playing Runebound.

In my search, I did run across someone using Terrinoth online in the following at RPTools.net, which has someone else's take on its lay and history.  I don't know if there's an official RPG setting that uses Terrinoth.  This one is not as expansive as what Steve has done, but perhaps of momentary interest to some.  I'm guessing that people herein probably already know about DescentInTheDark.com, though it was new to me.



#13 Steve-O

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 05:48 AM

JCHendee said:

 

Following up on Steve pointing out his docs in the Runebound forum, I was happy to stumble in here as well.  I like the proposed regional schematic you produced, though before I saw it I would have thought Al-Kalim would be to the east of Zanaga.  Still, it works either way for a flavorful conception of the larger world around Terrinoth. I should add that I'm not a Descent player but have been scavenging Terrinoth tidbits for ambiance and notions while playing Runebound.

 

Yeah, there's no information as to how Al-Kalim relates to Zanaga (in fact there's no information as to how Al-Kalim relates to anything, as I was discussing above.  The idea that it's south of Terrinoth is actually an assumption, too.)  It could as easily be on the other side.  In fact, after making that little map above I was thinking it might be better to put Al-Kalim to the east and Zanaga further west as that would open up the landmass eastward and close off the landmass to the west.  I was thinking it looked a little strung out the way I did it up there.

Thanks for the RPGnet link, by the way.  More stuff to read is always fun.  I'm curious where that poster got the name Drakavar, though.  I didn't come across that name at all in my research.  Perhaps from a card expansion I don't own and couldn't find a scan of online.  I don't deny the possibility of having missed stuff.



#14 JCHendee

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 07:09 AM

I did a fast read through of our primary document... and ended up a little overwhelmed.  But there was lots to think on therein for some future notions.

I hadn't consider much about the landmass issue, but now you've described it more, I agree. You notion of rearrangement makes more sense (to me) considering Al-Kalim (owned but not played) and Zanaga (not owned).

Sort of wish we have more info about the make up of the various cities and what could happen (or what's available) in them.  From a cursory peek at the map for one of the Descent expansions (don't remember which one), it does seem to have some statistical information, but I don't know how to interpret it.

Thanks again for all your efforts, Steve!



#15 ElricOfMelnibone

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 03:50 AM

Albeit new to this forum, I'd also like to thank Steve-O for the titanic effort he made in reconstructing the pieces of the Runiverse. I hope one day Fantasy Flight makes some book...or...rulebook...or...stuff, that clears all the dark points. Glyr, Corbin and Krutzbeck being some "yougster" dwarves is very cocordant to their appearence. And now that I know of a (dishonoured) Honor Guard of senior mercenaries riding the land...well...I'll be waiting.

I also concord with Steve-O's distaste for the "Aliens in High Fantasy" device...too much used nowadays, with nice results in some anime ("Scrapped Princess", namely), but that's just because High Fantasy isn't a jap thing, while sci-fi is a genre they are masters of, so they obtain better results melding the genres than just sticking to something distant from their own cultural background...

I think western products should mantain their identity and meld genres only when this brings to something really original or really "FUN", expecially when we're taling about Fantasy, which is doubtless one of our most genuine cultural products. And I say it as a fan of the jap-genre.



#16 Steve-O

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 07:52 AM

Thanks for the nice remarks.  I know the project was worthwhile for my own purposes, but I'm glad the community is enjoying it, too.

I don't know that I agree about the Japanese being somehow ill-equipped to tell high fantasy stories (The ones I've seen are pretty good), although I do agree that they have a very different culture than us and that does show in the stories they tell.  Anime have a way of using plot devices that would be corny in any Western effort and making it work (possibly because they have a tendancy to go overboard in several directions at once so the viewer just stops questioning it all. =P)

My primary issue with the "aliens landed on your magical world thousands of years ago" plot device is that it's just too trite.  Not to mention the excuses for why those technologically advanced aliens never took over and revolutionized the world are usually paper thin at best.



#17 shnar

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:56 AM

Steve-O said:

I don't know that I agree about the Japanese being somehow ill-equipped to tell high fantasy stories (The ones I've seen are pretty good), although I do agree that they have a very different culture than us and that does show in the stories they tell.  Anime have a way of using plot devices that would be corny in any Western effort and making it work (possibly because they have a tendancy to go overboard in several directions at once so the viewer just stops questioning it all. =P)

That's a *really* good definition of Anime. Everything just seems to work in that medium, but if you shift it to say a live action film, it just flops and the viewer starts asking a lot of questions. Probably because the animation just flows so nicely, it just works, but once it goes RL, there's too many "Yeah right" moments.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (yes, I know not strictly anime nor japanese, but definitely inspired by) had this problem. Series works *great* but in movie format, it flops and is confusing, with many things just failing.

-shnar



#18 Steve-O

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 04:27 PM

Okay, I've done up a new map that moves Al-Kalim over eastward and Zanaga to the west.  I think this version works better from a continental drift perspective, or something.  Anyway I like it.

It also makes me think Lyssa might be a leonine instead of a loryne.  She's called "Lyssa of the East" and now that Al-Kalim is east, it works. =P

Good ol' makin' stuff up.



#19 Bashwilly

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 05:31 PM

Seriously, GREAT Job, it's a really good base!



#20 shnar

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 11:03 AM

That is really cool! Thanks Steve-O. Now I have to figure out this Campaign Cartographer and make a more painted version of this map ;)

-shnar






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