Link Advice #4

Age of Legends

Earthdawn.pl’s 10th anniversary is being celebrated as you know. Their competition is over now and the winners will be published in regular posts one by one on their page. The following text is part of the 10th anniversary and it was one of the first texts on EARTHDAWN.PL and it is at least as old as the site.

This text gives a great insight into the history of Barsaive, the working of magic and the parties that shape Barsaive until today. It is especially a great work because of the narrative style, it let’s us see the world through the eyes of the long living Obsidimen.

 

Age of Legends

Translation of the words of Omasu, obsidiman Merchant from Travar addressed to obsidiman Otolk from Ayodhya during his first journey after the Awakening.
-
Merrox, Master of the Hall of Records, 1508 TH

 

The origins of the story you are about to hear go back to thousands of years ago, but let us not dispute about those distant moments, for we will have a lot of time for that in the future. Allow me now to tell you about the events of most importance that had the decisive influence on what the Barsaive and we, its dwellers are now. So listen carefully, because this lesson you should memorize for the rest of your life.

The level of magic in our world has always cycled with time passing by, preventing almost any use of magic, when it was low and allowing mages to create flying castles just by the lift of a finger during its peak. We have known about this for ages, what we did not realize however, was that the increase in the level of magic caused by the astral and physical planes drawing towards one another would also bring something else...

As you know, in the south west Barsaive lies the city of Vivane, ruled by the mighty Theran Empire. This nation was founded by the students of an elven scholar, Elianar Messias, who for his greatest finding paid the ultimate price - he gave away his own life, so that we could have a chance to live. For you should know that their knowledge and power Therans have built on the books found by Elianar, books which he himself named the „Books of Harrow" and although him they led to insanity and death, us gave hope for survival of the most difficult time in our history!

Therans, after they had made their discoveries, came to our province spreading the dreadful word of the impending Scourge - a terrible time of terror, suffering and fear in which the entities living in the astral plane, called the Horrors, would come to our world running wreak and havoc among the Namegivers. At first, nobody believed Therans. However mysteriously missing, overcome by madness or simply brutally murdered in an unknown way people were a clear evidence for the existence of evil, which began to manifest itself in Barsaive with unprecedented strength. To those who would submit to their authority, Therans promised to reveal methods of protection against the approaching Horrors. And although Barsavians were definitely unwilling to put their fate in Theran hands, having no other choice, they began building shelters according to the plans provided by the Empire, in which they were going to wait the coming Scourge through...

You are surely curious what kind of shelters were they? Well... Namegivers were forced to separate themselves from the outside world, hide in built underground kaers or behind thick, covered with runes, walls of citadels. There existed no other way, for the fight against so powerful beings such as Horrors was doomed to failure from the start - nobody, not even the greatest of heroes, was able to withstand a confrontation with these monsters during the Scourge. Therefore mankind was condemned to a more than four hundred years of separation from the sunlight and gusts of wind that you can even feel on your skin at this very moment, forced into isolation and existence in closed societies, forced by a necessity, forced to practice a parody of life in order be able to live in the future...

You probably thought to yourself that the burden of such an existence is impossible to bear, that life conducted this way would only end in a collective madness and bloody carnage, which would occur no matter whether Horrors were involved in it or not. There is much reason in this, however the kaer dwellers had two things that allowed them, at least to some extent, to survive. These two things were hope to see the sunlight, the stars, the vast green leas and the forests of Barsaive and a book called "The Book of Tomorrow", prepared by the dwarfs from Throal, the largest kingdom in our province. What they contained was our history and culture - the heritage of all denizens of Barsaive. Do not be surprised therefore, that in most places in our province you will be able to communicate with strangers in the dwarven language - "The Book of Tomorrow" is an obligatory book for all of us even today.

Residents of Barsaive managed to survive – although many shelters were indeed destroyed and their inhabitants killed or, even worse, transformed into horrible monsters, inspiring fear among the living no lesser than Horrors themselves, nevertheless a large number of Namegivers was saved. However, the survival of the Scourge did not mean the end of all troubles - the world denizens of Barsaive found after leaving their shelters is completely different from the one they remembered from the stories of their ancestors. Once lively forests are full of yet unknown monsters resembling decaying corpses, fertile lands are covered with dust, which makes breathing impossible, not to mention letting the sun rays reach the earth so it could yield fruit! Fortunately, not all places have been corrupted by the Horrors - a large part of the land is in a condition good enough to live on it and cultivate it, or at least, with Passion's blessing, adapt it to the latter. Still, even these areas hold threats, as not all of the Horrors are gone from our world! The level of magic ceased to fall about a hundred years ago, the causes of which could not be determined even by the most prominent scholars, and what powerful Horrors were able to take advantage of and keep searching for the souls of people susceptible to corruption, break their will and inflict as much evil as it is possible!

There are also other enemies which the residents of Barsaive have to cope with - the Theran Empire wanting to regain authority over the province, frightening cultist organizations in the service of Horrors or Mad Passions and last but not least there are Namegivers themselves, whose lust for power pushes them to acts so vile that even the worst Horrors would not be suspected of such behavior!

In this difficult situation you are to live and experience our, nevertheless, beautiful land. Only you can decide which path you will follow, and what you will achieve, however you must know that, as perhaps never before, right now Barsaive needs brave heroes who could lead us in the right direction, towards freedom and happiness. Yes, my dear Otolk, Barsaive has many legends and many heroes - but today, our world is awakening - today is the Age of Legends - legends carved with the greatness of our own hearts!

Author: Andrzej Swędrzyński

Translation: Wojciech "Sethariel" Żółtański

Earthdawn World Wide - France

frankreich

“Allons enfants de la Patrie le jour de gloire est arrivé…”


Besides that France got one of the most beautiful national anthems in the world, their English accent is also simply the best I’ve ever heard Smile. But you are here on the Earthdawn Blog and it isn’t my intention to talk about the French and their anthem, no I want to inform and talk about Earthdawn in France.

The best is to start with the beginnings of Earthdawn in France. The first edition Earthdawn rulebook (Earthdawn – prémière edition – livre de base) was published in France 1996 in French!!! Only 3 years after the original FASA edition rulebook was published.


The French publisher of the first edition books is “Jeux Descartes”. Some time ago I made an interview with Damien Coltice wherein he stated some critics about “Jeux Descartes”. It looks like that their decisions about which books will be translated weren’t that well chosen. When you look at the table below, you’ll notice that two essential books weren’t translated; “Denizens of Earthdawn” and “The Adept’s Way” are missing. I can’t tell you why they didn’t translate those two books, maybe some of my French readers can leave comments to tell us about that issue. Nevertheless here’s a short overview of the releases of “Jeux Descartes” since 1996: 

French
English
Published in France
Earthdawn – Livre de base
Earthdawn
01/1996
Accesoires du Maître de jeu   

01/1996
Le Compagnon   
Companion
01/1997
Barsaive
Barsaive
01/1997
Les Brumes de la Trahison   
Mists of Betrayal
01/1997
Corrompue   
Infected
01/1997
Horreurs
Horrors
01/1998
Trame brisée  
Shattered Pattern
01/1998
Parlainth
Parlainth
06/1998
Aventure à Parlainth   
Parlainth Adventures
09/1998
L’Empire Theran
Theran Empire
01/1999
Créatures de Barsaive  
Creatures of Barsaive
01/1999
Les Dagues de Cara Fahd
Blades
02/1999


In 2009 it was Black Book Éditions to start the conversion of the Red Brick’s classic edition. No not conversion, translation. Yes the French are the only ones that have the classic version translated in their language. All the Polish and German fans might get a little bit jealous. Here’s another short list of the so far accomplished “Classic” translations of Black Book Éditions:

French
English
Published in France
Kaer Tardim
Kaer Tardim
05/2009
Le Recueil du Joueur
Earthdawn Players Compendium
09/2009
Le Dossier de Personnage
“Includes players support stuff” (correct me)
09/2009
Le Recueil du Joueur – édition limitée
Earthdawn Players Compendium – Limited Edition
09/2009


But that’s not all they recently (September 2009) released the first novel in French. It is “Dark Shadows of Yesterday” (“Les Ombres noires du passé”) French players can buy for only 9,90 € !!! 

126_Les_Ombres_noires_du_passe
But the best or worst (more jealousy!!!) as you see in the table above Black Book Éditions released a “Limited Edition” of the 520 pages thick Players Compendium. Only 200 copies were sold and the hard leather cover with golden throal symbol only costs 74,90 €. Jealousy!!
110_Le_Recueil_du_Joueur__collector
I also found out that they are currently working on the translation of “Prelude to War” and announced the release for November 2009, so I guess the book is not far away.


I got no information if the Earthdawn Third Edition will be translated into French. I guess they have enough to do translating the Classic Edition and that there might be no publisher who wants to battle with Black Book Éditions at the moment.

 
But now enough of the published French Earthdawn books. I want to inform you a little bit about the places on the net, where French Earthdawn fans meet and support Earthdawn.


One of the oldest addresses on the net is the French Yahoo Mailing list for Earthdawn. It exists since 1998 and, as I was told, 28.0000 posts were made since then. And as I saw at my first visit the community is still active there.


As you might know French is a language that is spoken in various countries and that’s why the French community is supported from Canada, Belgium, Swiss and of course France. It looks like that there are 3.000 to 5.000 players in those countries but only around 20 to 300 of them are active in communities or forums. But there are several good pages that you should have a look at. Even if you’re not capable of speaking French maybe you should use these buttons of Google to quickly translate the pages into your preferred language.

 
Here are some French pages you should have a look at:

As on my previous posts of EWW I wouldn’t be able to provide those information without the help of several insiders. This time many thanks go to Scorpinou, Mahar and Fred Troll grognon.


Funny thing at the end. As I was told Mordom can be translated as “mort d’homme” which means “dead man”. Smile

Old RedBrick Interview

First I wanted to add this one into the next Link Advice, but I think it’s worth to be mentioned on its own. I recently discovered an old RedBrick interview from 2004. Yes it took me over 5 years to find it. It was held between Matt Wilson from “The Circle of Four” and RedBrick, mainly James. I tried to contact Matt to get his permission to post the old interview over here, but it looks like he is no more into Earthdawn or working on his page (emails not delivered). That’s why I just post some excerpts over here, if you want to read the whole interview head over to Matt’s circleoffour page. Keep in mind it is from 2004.

 

obsidi
Tribal Obsidiman by M.A.T.T.

COF: Can you tell us who you are and what you're responsible for within RedBrick? How is the cleaning job going and are you still needing someone to make the coffee?

RB: Let's see. Richard Vowles looks after the web site programming and development, on top of being a Director in the company, and keeping on top of projects generally. James Flowers is the Line Developer for RedBrick's Earthdawn products, and is also a Director in the company. He's kept busy sorting out what's going out the door, working with the current crop of writers and answering questions, posting on forums, that sort of thing. Marcus Bone is our editor, associate and conscience. He's being kept busy at the moment working through content, but his real focus will be on assisting with print production, as that's his background. Conan McKegg is the quiet one in the troupe. An associate, he has several products published in the industry and lends us his experience. Also part of the troupe is Kim Flowers, who looks after the royalties and payments side of things; Paul Tobin, who is now getting more actively involved with the artwork side of things; and Michael Sheehan, who is involved with in-house writing and additional project management tasks. The cleaning job is going well—it pays the bills—and if you can make great coffee, you are always welcome!

COF: Who is RedBrick, where are you based? and how did RedBrick come to be formed?

RB: We are based in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city (just over a million people). Not Australia—we're the double-island chain further down toward the South Pole. *smile* NZ's biggest claim to fame of late, I guess, is Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, which was filmed here. A couple of associates live in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand (about 8 hours drive from Auckland).

How did RedBrick come to be formed? Hmmm. Sort of by accident, to be honest. James has been GMing Earthdawn since…………….

COF: Windling Swordmaster or Obsidiman Warrior??

RB: Obsidiman warrior. Strong and reliable.

Again you find the complete interview over HERE. Enjoy.

Character background sheet

A new player joins your group and he/she never played Earthdawn before. You pass him/her information about Earthdawn, the world, the history, the Namegivers and so on. And of course he/she creates a character.

To encourage the player to reflect the characters history and get a feeling for his character’s attitude I made a questionnaire from several sources that provides Earthdawn specific questions that help to flesh out an Earthdawn character.

word_icon


Beside those questions that help to build your characters history it is important that you give your character several personality traits. A choice of personality traits is given in the sourcebooks chapter “Character Creation”.

If you have already built your own questionnaire and want to add something, just leave a comment.

And the winners are!

The 3 Google Wave accounts for the commenters go to:

  1. seaofstarsrpg
  2. Deinol
  3. Shannon

The other 2 invites for my followers go to:

  1. MkaY
  2. Asaraludu

Congratulation! I would have given all of you an invitation but random.org made my decision much easier.

I gonna contact the winners. If some of the winners aren’t contacted soon, please let me know.

“Wave” your hands up high!

Wave? High? What’s going on?

 

Today I received my invitation for Google Wave. For all those who never heard of it watch this info video.

googlewavebig

But that’s not all, I additionally received further invitations for Google Wave. I will pass two invitations to my current 6 followers and spent the remaining 3 invitations randomly to those who comment on this post until the end of Tuesday Nov. 17th! But please don’t just comment like “Here I want…”. Tell a little bit about your Earthdawn history or your current character you’re playing (Name, adepthood, circle etc.). If you’re not playing Earthdawn tell about which RPG your currently into.

 

The winners will be picked randomly and announced on Wednesday Nov. 18th. I can’t tell you how long it’ll take till you get your invitations from Google.

 

By the way, several articles were already written about using Google Wave for gaming online:

Link Advice #3

Earthdawn Spell Cards

Yesterday I discovered those Earthdawn Spell Cards on the RedBrick forum. This great fanwork made by Maskhim shows again what the Earthdawn community stands for, from fans for fans.
I got the permission of Maskhim to upload his files. He made two versions of his spellcards with sheets of 2x2 and 3x3 cards on it, but see for yourself.
image
UPDATE
I just published this post as I received message of Maskhim that he recently added some new landscape spell cards that got a different layout and are more graphical, but again see for yourself. Note all cards are editable!!!
image 
UPDATE #2

Maskhim just published on the Earthdawn forum his translation of the Earthdawn Spellcards. Now you can download a german and a polish version of the Earthdawn Spellcards!

If you like to use cards in your Earthdawn game, maybe you should have a look at the Combat Cards
Links:

Preview of Q-Workshop’s Astral Dice Set

I already reported about the 10th birthday Birthday Cake of Earthdawn.pl. The competition of their jubilee offers the winners incredible prizes, as I already mentioned also the yet unavailable Astral dice of Q-Workshop. I received some preview pictures of the prizes (thx to Sethariel).

 

 z0225092009

 

And what do we, as experienced Earthdawn fans, discover immediately? Closer look?

 

z0325092009

 

Yes! As the title says, previews of Q-Workshop’s new Astral dice. Closer look?

 

z0425092009

 

Unfortunately I can’t offer a review of the dice about their luminosity in the dark. But I guess one day I’ll hold them in my hands and then you’ll get to know more about the dice. Until then you have to live with those preview pictures…… aren’t they pretty? ………Tongue out

Immortal Twilight

Today I received the long awaited Earthdawn novel “Immortal Twilight”, sequel to “Dark Shadows of Yesterday”. I ordered it on 4th October, so it took LULU 9 days to print and sent it to Germany, what is very acceptable. The quality of the book is great, but after the first look I realized that there are no illustrations inside, hey why?, ok excepting the map of Daylen Jagaro.

IM-TW-cover

Even this time the right book is under the cover Winking (?) and I gonna read the 305 pages with pleasure and a dictionary on hand. Yes, my English isn’t good enough for some special expressions Hank uses in his books, but I improve with every book. Tschaka.

Link Advice #2


If you know further good links that should enter the next Link Advice, please email me.

Want to test Earthdawn Third Edition?

RedBrick Limited released their new Earthdawn Third Edition sourcebooks some weeks ago. This gives a lot of roleplayers the opportunity to enter Earthdawn from anew and being able to stay with one system (no more Living Room Games or Earthdawn Classic version switching).

For all those who never played Earthdawn but want to have a look at it before buying the core rulebooks, RedBrick yesterday released a FREE demo for the Earthdawn Third Edition, called Misguided Ambitions. This demo provides an overview of the world of Earthdawn and it's history, a starting adventure with a cast of character you can play, combat rules and all basic tables you’ll need to play the starting adventure. Misguided Ambitions is available via DrivethruRPG and Rpgnow, as a e-book of 36 pages.

You'll just need "a couple of dice and your friends" to test Earthdawn Third Edition.


 ed3_misguided_ambitions
Above you see Chorak Bonecracker chief of the Bloodlore moot

First 3rd edition dice roller

Some of you might have seen the discussion on one of my previous entries about dice software. It was Spader who commented that he also made a one-click dice roller. After a few days he contacted me and showed me his dice roller.

ED dice roller screenshot_spader

As you can see the window is kept simple, you just click the step and the dice is “rolled”. But there are some special features of this dice roller, that differ it from others:

  1. It uses the new step system of the Earthdawn 3rd edition (no more D20)
  2. You can add Karma dice to all your rolls with just one click.
  3. It automatically re-rolls maximum dice, as every good dice roller for Earthdawn should do.

So all of you who switched to the new Earthdawn Third Edition should have a look at this dice roller. For those who “keep up the classic flag” or still use the D20 step system, download the old system step.mdb file and replace the existing one in the dice roller folder. Then this dice roller uses the “old” step system. Enjoy and thanks to Spader for this great software.

UPDATE:

Spader just updated the dice roller to version 1.3. It now includes the option to switch via right click to the classic or the third edition dice table. The dice roller is now packed in an *.exe file.


Links:

Birthday of Earthdawn.pl



I look at the age of my blog (1,5 years) and I feel like a kid when I see that Earthdawn.pl celebrates his 10 year existence.

Congratulation!!
torte
But what would be a jubilee without a contest or prizes the fans can win? Yes you guess right, Earthdawn.pl started a competition with incredible prizes for the winners to celebrate their 10th jubilee. The criteria and further info’s about the competition can be found HERE (Google translation).

Unfortunately only polish text’s and work’s will be accepted. But maybe we get to see a translation of the winner, I’ll try to encourage Sethariel to translate one or all the three winning entries. So, if you are from Poland and want to write something for Earthdawn, HERE’s your chance to win some extraordinary stuff, such as 3rd edition sourcebooks and astral dice!

I hope that Earthdawn.pl and all his fans, supporters and responsible persons keep up the great work another 10 years. All the best and congrats again!

Earthdawn Quiz Nr. 7

Here we go, 10 questions await you again in my new Earthdawn Quiz Nr. 7. But this time I suggest to read everything carefully. Any complaints about the difficulty, the correctness or your score? Please, leave a comment!

Fritz Leiber – Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series

FrtizLeiber Who of you ever heard of Fritz Leiber or of “Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser”? I myself have to admit that I’ve never heard of him or his two main characters since yesterday. I read an article at Spiegel online (for all my German readers I recommend to read this article.) about the Roleplay-ancestor Fritz Leiber. I thought: “Hm, never heard of him” so I started to read the first paragraph of the article and as he was described as the Anti-Tolkien, my interest awoke. Yes, yes for all of you Lord of the Ring lovers, it is the best fantasy series ever written, calm down Winking. I never read and never will read it, I mastered to watch the movies and that’s it.

Now back to Mr. Leiber and his novels.

Link Advice #1

A new blog category is opened with this entry. I gonna recommend and give advice of useful RPG resources that you should visit. The links are mostly not Earthdawn related but still useful for your game. If you know further good links that should mentioned please email me, to post them in the next advice.

Name generators

Earthdawn gimmicks

Blogs n Pages

Guest entry of SaDe

“It took me a long time……. too long to present you the first result of my open call to become a guest blogger on earthdawn.blogspot.com. But finally the silly season is almost over and the first guest entry is finished. I am very honored and pleased to pass the word to SaDe.”

Hugs to everyone. Most of you might know me from the previous interview I made with Mordom.

We have a little game series on Earthdawn.co.hu and I decided to make an english page, where similar contests will be running. Maybe some of you enter the contests, not for the prizes, but for the fun. The current august challenge is about “potion”. Like the title says, you have to write a potion, the effect and other info (price, common, rare, components, etc.)

There are also some small prizes available for the winning entry. If you are interested in my new website and want to take part at the monthly challenge have a look at: http://throal.earthdawn.co.hu/news.php

In this guest post I want to introduce some of our previous game entries and winners. The first challenge was “write a before-scourge spell”.

This was the game winning spell. This translation was corrected by Quorlox

Cool Waft
Circle: 4
Frequency: Very rare
Threads: the number of targets
Weaving difficulty: 6/13
Range: 10 meters/yards
Duration: Rank hours
Effect: Willforce+thread number
Spellcast difficulty: Highest Spell Defense among the targets

Designed by Flameheart Timur, a Questor of Floranuus, who was an Elemental Miner/Elementalist. He was inspired as he was mining near the Scarlet Sea on the Blazewalker before the Scourge.

The spell summons a small air elemental who moves air around the characters, creating a cool breeze that protects against heat and neutralizes heat-induced fatigue (ED1 Survival Guide, p. 98). This spell adds 3 Steps to the fatigue test, and significantly increases the character's comfort level.
Designer's note: it's not looks like strong spell, but the you can enchant it into item, or it can be very comfort to the adventurers (not by necessity near the Death's Sea).

Another topic was to write about “grimoires” and Greg was so kind (and hyperactive Smile) to translate his winning entry:

Grimoire of a Hundred Drinks
The Grimoire of a Hundred Drinks may look like a leather cylinder, with a bronze cap at both ends. After removing the top and bottom cap the leather can be unwound and spread out. It is a square shaped piece of lush brown cowhide, with a timeworn, scratch marked and sun faded outer surface, but a remarkably unscathed, mint condition inside. Both faces of the leather are rimmed with a gilded pattern of interleaving wildflowers. On the outside the pattern has lost the golden plating on most places, but on the inside you can even feel the embossing.

A bottle made out of clay, and covered with red glaze can be found inside the case, without a cork. The bottle looks similar to the ones found in each and every tavern inside Throal used for serving beverages with the only distinction that this bottle also has a vignette. The contents of the grimoire are listed on the vignette in or'zet writing.

The Grimoire of a Hundred Drinks was in the possession of Mellaus of Tirtage an ork Elementalist, until his death due to the continued consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol. Mellaus was the regular guest and patron of numerous taverns and barrooms in Tirtaga in which his grimoire has continued to make the rounds of his late owner. It has found itself in the hands of some of the local Elementalists, who made a tradition of passing the grimoire to someone who is thirsting for the spells described in the grimoire and who will pass it on again after emptying it. Now it looks like someone has forgot to forward it or lost the grimoire in a drunken stupor in the Halls of Throal.

For each of the spells contained in the grimoire there is a drink, but the vignette only lists the names of the spells, not the drinks belonging to the spell. The spellcaster has to fill the bottle to the brim with a drink and than spill out all of the bottle onto the leather pad. The leather soaks up the drink without any residue and the Pattern of a spell and the necessary directions and explanations to use the spell became visible. The text is written in or'zet language.
If someone is to spill a drink on the leather that has no spells associated or uses anything other than the bottle to pour the drink, the drink will run down the leather.
Contrary to the name of the grimoire, it doesn't really contain hundred spells but only a selection of twelve: Heat Food (ED p.159.), Purify Earth (AM p.6.), Purify Water (ED p.159.), Air Mattress (AM p.6.), Boil Water (ED p.159.), Path Home (ED p.160.), Sterilize Object (ED p. 160.), Stick Together (ED p.160.), Plant Feast (ED p.161.), Porter (ED p.161.), Repair (ED p.161.), Throne of Air (ED p. 161.).


Greg also translated his entry of another challenge. The topic was “write a monster/legend/etc. to this image”:


http://earthdawn.co.hu/uploads/kepek/ja.jpg


Raggok Avatar
Before the Scourge the Passions have done a lot to safeguard the survival of the Namegiver races.
But some may ask, if the dragons are also Namegivers, did the Passions also support them and did the dragons act up on helping the other races as they have helped each other?

Not long before the Scourge Mountainshadow and some other dragons were willing to share their knowledge of kaer making and magic to the other Namegiver. The Theran fearing their profits and plans started a campaign against the dragons, killing a Great Dragon among many others. The answer of the dragons was bloody as well. Finally both sides agreed on leaving the other in peace, as long the dragons are not giving out the secrets of protection from the Scourge.
The Passion Rashomon was than the Passion for rulership and civic values and he was obliged by the feelings, spoken and unspoken wishes of the Namegiver to take matters in it's own hand.

The Passion took physical form in an Avatar and the Namegiver asked Rashomon to plead to the Great Dragons, so the dragons take in the other Namegiver into their well-defended lairs or teach them how to protect themselves from the oncoming Scourge. In the eyes of the Namegiver the Passions usually take on the form of an idealized member of the viewers race and in crowds sometimes everyone sees the Passion in a different form.

This avatar, tasked by the prayer of the disappointed and dreading people has chosen to take on the form of a Great Dragon.
We don't quite know if the Passion was successful or not, but fact is that some dragons have allowed the Namegiver to take shelter in their lairs and the t'skrang received guidance from a dragon.

The Passion Rashomon however suffered a terrible fate, as the rampaging Horror or the fact that he was the patron Passion of the island of Thera made him go mad. The avatar travelling Barsaive also went through this sudden, horrible and sweeping change that deformed it's very essence. When a Namegiver encounters the avatar, he or she will see a creature that is made up of parts of a dragon - the body, wings, the tail and the crest on the head - and parts of his or her own race - legs, arms, the head and distinctive features like horns, fangs, eyes and skin color. Altogether it looks like a thing stuck halfway between transforming from a dragon into another race.

The avatars behavior also shows this duality, the intelligence and superiority of a dragon combined with the characteristics of the Namegiver it just met. When it encounters a dwarf it will be stubborn and sophistic, with an orc it will be impulsive and foulmouthed. It will represent the worst stereotypes of any races manners because it is the avatar of a Mad Passion.

Unless the characters do anything against Raggok or the avatar, it will not physically harm them, but it will ruthlessly pursue and take vengeance on anyone who opposes or displeases Raggok. It will scheme and manipulate with the cunning and patience of a dragon. However it's goals and methods are undeclared and invisible like that of a dragon.

If the avatar gets into combat, it's dual nature will prohibit it to move through the thoughts of Namegivers like other avatars of Raggok. But it's movement speed is still untraceably fast and it's powers are still beyond that of a Namegiver.
However if the players would have the distinctive unluck to kill the avatar, they could be sure to attract the special attention of Raggok himself that follows them everywhere to deal vengeance at the most unpleasent moment.
(Statistics for the avatar are the same as Crarites's, found on page 109 of Throal - the dwarven kingdom)

Adventure hooks:
- A small village was raided by an orc scorcher band. The villages listened to some really bad advice and summoned the Mad Passion. The characters should help them talk things out with the avatar, or deal with the scorchers before the avatar.
- The avatar is contemplating one of it's long-term plans and asks for some advice and thoughts from the players. A moral dilemma: Do you give advice to a Mad Passion? If it's plans endanger your beloved ones?
- The party got itself into one of those long-term plans of Raggok. Besides the characters it means pain and suffering to a lot of people. The characters must find the avatar to get themselves out of the plot and to suggest a new course of action to the Passion.
- The bored avatar is cruelly torturing itself when the players meet it. If they pass on without any emotion or remark the avatar will task them with part of it's plans.
- The avatar can serve as an archvillain for high circle players. One of the Great Dragons (e.g. Icewing) is annoyed by the emotions and memories he has towards the avatar and wants it gone. The characters start out as just pawns in the power struggle between a dragon and a creature thinking like a dragon, but their further role is up to the players


I thank Mordom for the opportunity to make a guest post on his blog and I hope you all have a look at http://throal.earthdawn.co.hu/news.php


Hugs SaDe

The New Earthdawn Third Edition

Well then, I haven't made any clear post about RedBricks upcoming Earthdawn Third Edition so far. Ok, I just made a small post about the cover previews, agreed. But so far I didn't want to spread any theories about what is coming nor did I want to comment the future of Earthdawn by publishing a new edition. I just wanted to know your opinion about the upcoming Third Edition and if you're going to buy it. The results of the poll were:













But nevertheless I stayed focused on what RedBrick announced and what they told the community on their forums. When the announcement was made that RedBrick "has signed contracts with Mongoose Publishing to publish new editions of their Earthdawn, Fading Suns, Blue Planet, Age of Legend 4e, and Equinox", a thread called "The times, they are A-changing" was opened on the earthdawn.com forum. And like James expected at beginning of the thread the topic became HOT, 381 replies were posted so far and even 7 smiley only posts in a row were accomplished. :-)

A lot of questions and a lot of answers were posted in this thread. So, I brought together several questions and their answers to a word document, to offer your "question-marked-faces" a better overview. I chose mostly the answers of Dammi, James and Arma because their knowledge of the Third Edition is most credible ........ I guess.

This collection is sometimes, very..... specific so if you are looking for basic clarifications watch below. Here's the collection of the forum Q&A:


On march 17th RedBrick announced their first official Questions&Answers, to clarify basic questions on the cooperation with Mongoose Publishing, the future of the old books and many further basic questions. About the future of the old books and their availability the following post was made on earthdawn.com on june 23rd:

We recognize that there are a number of Earthdawn fans who will want to complete their collections, and as that may entail considerable cost, we are phasing our Earthdawn Classic over a three-month period, as follows:

* Core Rulebooks (Player's and Gamemaster's Compendiums): 31 July 2009, Midnight EST
* Non-Adventure Supplements (Name-giver's, Nations, etc.): 31 August 2009, Midnight EST
* Adventure Supplements (Burning, Ardanyan's, Shards, etc.): 30 September 2009, Midnight EST
* Novels (Anarya's, Dark Shadows): No end-of-life at this stage

After these dates and times, the products shown will no longer be available for purchase from our Lulu storefront (print) or our DriveThruRPG and RPGNow storefronts (ebook).

We are still looking into providing a special price for customers who have purchased Earthdawn Classic eBook products with a comparable Earthdawn Third Edition offering. At this time we cannot guarantee anything, but if our plan works out, this will be in the form of a "time-limited, special price coupon" sent out direct to purchasers of the relevant books at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. It would be prudent to ensure that your account details are correct on these stores, just in case.

"To sweeten the wait for the release of the first two Earthdawn Third Edition core rulebooks, the Player's Guide and the Gamemaster's Guide", the previews of the Third Edition came and still come up every monday. The previews cover in every edition a topic to make clarifications about the changes, the new system and the improvements that come along with the Earthdawn Third Edition. Although it wasn't announced yet, we also get to see a preview of the content of both books.

The following topics have so far been covered in the previews:
- #1 Disciplines
- #2 Namegiver Races
- #3 Talents, Skills and Knacks
- #4 Of Items Magical & Mundane


And guess what? Yes every preview had a seperate thread in the forum, where new questions, comments and shoutings were posted. But I didn't make a word document out of those questions about the previews, because I think that every aspect of the previews and the questions that came up will be cleared, when the books will be published.

And now the basic question: When will the first books of the Third Edition be published? Well I read in the forum that someone pre-ordered the books via amazon.de .com or wherever and that amazon stated the delivering date at 7/21/2009. But today I had a look at amazon.com and they state the 15th of July. But all of this remains speculation until an official release date is announced by RedBrick or Mongoose, but be sure it's not far away.

So I hope your "question-marked-faces" were enlightened a little bit. I am sure that the decision of RedBrick to make a new Earthdawn Third Edition was the best publicity for the Earthdawn RPG since years and will provide us an easier gaming in future.

Finally: Earthdawn forever, baby!! or Earthdawn everywhere, baby!!

Earthdawn Quiz Nr. 6

After four month I created a new Quiz. Hope you enjoy it and are able to solve the questions. Good luck.

Become a Guest Blogger on Earthdawn Blog

Hereby I make the Open Call to become a Guest Blogger on this blog.


I am reading various blogs on the net and several did a so called "Guest Blogging". Readers, Visitors, Authors, Scientists, Fans and many others are invited to write a post or article for the blog. So I decided to make a similar open call for my readers to invite them to write a guest article or do a "Guest Blogging".

What's going on and how can you become a guest blogger?

It's very simple. If you got an idea for a post, an article, a topic for a discussion, a private project, an interview or anything else that should be spread to the Earthdawn community, here's your chance. Write down a short excerpt of your idea and contact me.
Please use as subject for your contact-email: "Guest Blogging" to guarantee a better overview. All the other emails without that subject will be ignored, so make sure you do it right!

Content of the email should be:
- your name
- a short description of your idea
- your blog URL or website URL if available

I can't tell right now how many guests will be approved, this depends on the amount of incoming topics and how they differ from others. I also can't tell whose idea will be approved and why and why others don't. This is the first time I make such a open call for guest bloggers and therefor I want a maximum of 3 or 4 guest bloggers. But be sure that this won't be the last time I make this open call and if you don't make it, please try again next time or I will contact you again when I make an Open Call again.

Please consider also the general rules for your article:
- your article, topic or whatever must be related to Earthdawn. If you don't know what Earthdawn is, first look at "What is Earthdawn?"

- your article has to be written in English, I'll support you in translating it if you think your English isn't good enough.


- one article per head.

- you're not allowed to use any pictures or material you don't own the rights for or at least got the permission to use them.


- all your pictures and texts remain under your copyright and you got the right to tell me to remove them at any time.


So what do you get from all of this "Guest Blogging"? Sorry, but I can't pay you, :-)! The only thing I can provide are back links to your site including a short description, the appreciation of other Earthdawn fans and the immortality of your post.

The Open Call will be closed on 4th July, after that I will contact the chosen and start talking about their idea and the execution of the "Guest Blogging".

I hope the idea of Guest Blogging on the Earthdawn Blog will be a successful story and I hope you'll like the articles.

Earthdawn World Wide - Poland

As I announced some time ago, the next topic of "Earthdawn World Wide" will be Poland. Finally I am proud that a lot of people from the polish Earthdawn community helped me to get together those information about the Earthdawn scene in Poland. Special thanks go to Sethariel.


The polish Earthdawn community is active on various websites, but there are three main websites, that cooperate Earthdawn.pl, Kaer Earthdawn and Akademia Wiedzy. The following description of the history and the content of the 3 websites was written and sent to me by Sethariel.

Earthdawn.pl was the first polish website related to Earthdawn. It started in the end of 1999 and in the beginning it was only a page of the Official Polish Earthdawn Mailing Group. It had a list of members, some most important info's about ED and about the Mailing Group. Andrzej Swędrzyński was the person who organized the site and the mailing group. As time went by earthdawn.pl started to organize an Earthdawn Play by E-Mail (PbM) game, and started to include some earthdawn fanmade material. First there were stories created by the members of the PbM, and then some scenarios and other stuff was created. Earthdawn.pl always had of course news about the most important things concerning earthdawn in Poland. If a new earthdawn book was published in Poland, earthdawn.pl always had information about it. Earthdawn.pl also had a big list of links to polish and English earthdawn fan sites. This role of earthdawn.pl hasn't changed since then.

Another role was converting English earthdawn material into polish language. This had started even before Earthdawn was published in Poland, as earthdawn fans made a big contribution to the translation of the whole system and earthdawn mechanics. In 2000 members of earthdawn.pl contacted Benjamin Legangneux, the author of EDCG and got a permission to translate his program into polish. The result came quite quickly. In 2002 earthdawn.pl translating team translated James D. Flowers Earthdawn Downtime System (System Czasu Wolnego). In 2003 earthdawn.pl took care of earthdawn IRC channel. The channel exists until today, has its own page and is taken care of by other fans. In 2004, earthdawn.pl organized with Kaer Earthdawn (section of polter.pl site) an Earthdawn Competition searching for text describing a random place in Barsaive. Not many were sent, but they were of good quality. The 3 winning texts are available on earthdawn.pl site and on Kaer Earthdawn. In the meantime earthdawn.pl started to include some English published sourcebooks reviews. In 2005 the "Codex Arcanus" of Earthdawn Publishing Trust was translated into polish.
In 2006 Earthdawn.pl Forum was created. It's quite active till now. Earthdawn.pl has changed a lot during its existence in the web, the layout changed, people responsible for the site changed but the site remained during that time a place where all polish ED loving fans meet.

In 2004 a section of Earthdawn on Poltergeist site (polter.pl) was created. It was called Kaer Earthdawn and is active till today. It had some breaks due to lack of redactors. It was very active in 2004-2005 when Rheged was the main redactor, In 2005-2006 it was run by other redactor - Chavez. In 2009 it was taken by Mariusz "Kot" (or Mackotek) Butrykowski and is very active now. Since the beginning of 2009 an unwritten agreement of partnership with earthdawn.pl and Akademia Wiedzy on Moorhold.net site was made. The articles are published quite regularly, every week or every two weeks on every site.

Akademia Wiedzy (The Academy of Knowledge) has a similar history like Kaer Earthdawn. It was created in 2004-2005 not sure. But it was being reconstructed many times when one redactor left and there was no one to take care of its Earthdawn section. Akademia Wiedzy is a section of Moorhold.net site. Akademia Wiedzy has an untypical atmosphere because it is run like a Theran School of Magic, where information from the World of Earthdawn is gathered. Akademia Wiedzy includes also most important Earthdawn related news and information about polish and world earthdawn fandom. The articles are published more or less once a month. There are plans to take all of the material on Akademia Wiedzy and make a fanbook. The redactors now are Marek 'Nixos" Widz. There is a quite good partnership between Akademia Wiedzy and earthdawn.pl. Some of the earthdawn.pl members were correctors of the texts published there. Kaer Earthdawn on Polter.pl keeps informing about any new articles published on Akademia Wiedzy.

Beside those 3 sites other interesting sites appeared: Inkluz.pl (home of a once very popular fanzin with a section of Earthdawn run by Encefalograf, unfortunately not active since 2005), ED Corner, gerion.pl, Ajfel's site - active till 2006, Earthdawn section on Wrota Wyobrazni (inactive), Pradera's site (provides the great Travelling Calculator that I already introduced in this post), Parlainth, Wrota, Earthdawn section on Elixir, Wieża Snów (home of a fanzin that used to include Earthdawn related articles) and of course some other smaller fansites. There was also an Earthdawn Wiki Project. It developed very slowly and it develops very slowly till today. It can now be found on Wikia.



For most Earthdawn fans the fanworks of EDPT or the german "Foliant des Abenteurers" are well known. But the polish community also created their own fanworks, that are well known there. I received some info's about two fanworks or -projects in Poland that cover various topics.

The first work is "Kronika Skradzionych Legend"
"Kronika Skradzionych Legend" is the first, unofficial fanmade Earthdawn sourcebook published and printed in Poland (2007). The book is written from the perspective of a t'skrang woman Troubadur - T'saanas V'shala from the House of V'strimon. "Kronika Skradzionych Legend" contains texts about theran mages, the Death Sea and Creanian Tarot (a deck has been included as a bonus to the sourcebook). On 170 pages, with lots of illustrations, every Earthdawn fan will find something interesting. There are new magical items, adventure ideas and different new creatures. The authors decided to develop also a new discipline – Firedancer (Tancerz Ognia). A scout gliding above the Death Sea and searching for kernels of true elements. The last thing in the sourcebook is the whole epic campaign "Powietrzny Okręt" (Air Ship), half of it was published in the polish magazine about role-playing - "Magia i Miecz" (Might and Magic).

Additionally I received a pdf preview of "Kronika Skradzionych Legend" and further preview pics of the content. Thanks for the explanation and the preview go to Nixos and Dziewic.

The second project that I want to introduce to give you an insight to the polish Earthdawn community is the previously mentioned polish roleplaying magazine "Magia i Miecz" (Might and Magic).

A lot of fanmade material has been published in "Magia i Miecz", the first and longest lasting RPG magazine in Poland (1993-2002). It is dead now since 7 years and had 103 editions. But as it was alive, it contained a lot of Earthdawn material. For example translations of articles from Earthdawn Journal, new polish articles and polish Earthdawn adventure scenarios, including scenarios from "Powietrzny Okręt". A very good campaign called "Pachnidło" (Perfume), with a plot about the perfumers in Throal. There was also some material in newer magazines like "Portal" (also dead, but its company still supports other RPG publications including their own RPG systems) or "Gwiezdny Pirat" (Star Pirate), but they contain a lot of stories and don't provide the quality "Magia i Miecz" did.


The fanworks that I mentioned first should be honored much more, especially when you look at the situation concerning Earthdawn publishers in Poland. There is no official Earthdawn publisher anymore and that since 7!!! years now. The former publishing company was "Wydawnictwo MAG". The last book they published was Horrors in 2002, then they decided to drop any RPG line and started to publish literature only.
Currently the polish Earthdawn community is without a publisher and that since a long time. But various books from FASA have been translated and were published in Poland by Wydawnictwo MAG. Here's a list of the translated and published Earthdawn books in Poland:




For me it is incredible how Earthdawn survived in Poland and has still such a strong fan community, without a publisher far and wide. I think the new 3rd edition of Red Brick is the perfect chance for a polish publisher to translate Earthdawn and give the polish community back what they deserve: Polish Earthdawn books!!!

I want to thank again all the supporters that helped me with this article. I know it took me a while to complete it. But nevertheless I hope I was able to provide enough informations about the polish community and the history of Earthdawn in Poland.

Kłaniam się nisko!

Cover of the Earthdawn Third Edition

I guess everyone already read the news of RedBrick showing a preview of the cover art of the 3rd Earthdawn Third Edition core rulebooks Players- and Gamemasters Guide. As I had a close look at the cover of the player's guide I thought: "hm, I know this cover".

And finally I remembered the german fanbook "lost treasures" and its cover made by Kathy Schad.















I think these are great covers and they differ a lot from the old covers so that everyone will recognize: "These are the 3rd Earthdawn Third Edition, the new and exciting core rulebooks for Earthdawn done by RedBrick". But I am also happy that a former fanbook cover made it in a different form to an official cover of Red Brick. Great work Kathy.

New: FDA "Die Wildnis ruft"

The german fanproject "Foliant des Abenteurers" published yesterday its newest edition "FDA Vol. IV: Die Wildnis ruft". This edition of the FDA offers a lot of suggestions what can happen in the wilderness of Barsaive. Topics are for example: the tribe of the K'stulaami is described, the discipline of the Shaman is described in detail and in another chapter are rules and examples given for the use of herbs and poisons.

The german fan base and especially the FDA team has proven again that they do a heck of a job to provide some awesome stuff to support Earthdawn. Thanks guys!! For all of you who want to support and help the FDA team have a look at the FDA construction thread, where the FDA 5 is already being prepared.

I am really sorry for the non german speaking visitors, that I introduce again a german fanwork. But nevertheless have a look at it. BTW, the cover was made by Johannes Bech

Links: FDA Vol. IV "Die Wildnis ruft"

The Hunt for Gollum - Fan Movie

On 3rd may the fan movie "The Hunt for Gollum" was released. I have to admit that I haven't heard of it until today. Shame on me!
The crew started the project already back in 2007, published several trailers and finally yesterday the long awaited 40 minutes movie got released. Over here you can watch the movie in HD, which I recommend.

The story is described on the Blog as follows:

A new chapter in the Lord of the Rings saga, created by fan's of Tolkien. This short film is set in Middle Earth and depicts events leading up to the Fellowship of the Ring. Synopsis: The Ring of Power has been taken from Gollum by Bilbo of the Shire. The heir of Isildur sets out to find him before he falls into the hands of the enemy and reveals the location of the Ring...




I say fan movie of the year! Where's the oscar?

Collection of d6 random tables

Age of Fable (free retro browser rpg) offers 246 random d6 tables. The tables are not system related and can be used for every fantasy Rpg. The free tables are sorted into categories that cover magic, wilderness, creation of characters and many more. At the library of Age of Fable you'll find further useful resources for fantasy Rpg's like a Creature Generator or a Random Map Generator.

(found via Rollenspiel-Almanach)

The art of mapmaking - an interview with Telarus

The following interview was held between Telarus and Sethariel. Telarus gives an insight into his work of mapmaking and describes the development of the "Atlas of Barsaive".


When I first saw the Atlas of Barsaive I was really amazed by the author's accuracy in placing all of the most important locations in the map, including mountains, lakes, forests, not to mention small towns. Mapmaking in high standard. Meanwhile the Atlas of Barsaive by Telarus became quite popular with the fans. Some of them, like me, started wondering how to create a map of your own or at least modify the Atlas to one's needs. I contacted Telarus. We talked. The idea for this interview came as a result.

Hi Telarus. I am very pleased that you have found some time to answer my questions about the process of mapmaking. What or who inspired you to create your Barsaive map?

The idea came to me in a very abstract way, to begin with. I had the concept for an in-game item, a Threaded Map, that housed an Interactive Atlas of Barsaive. It would top out at a very high thread rank, with lower abilities including simple navigation and distance travelling, higher threads included mapping out the local area after a ritual had been cast. Something a high level Illusionist would craft up in a mad furry to mark the hiding place of the Mask of Oltion, or something like that. Deeds would include riddles and puzzles in the 'software', and traps and geasa (quests with curses/fine-print attached). Something to drive high-level play ("Your sister is the flashing red dot I've placed on your little toy, and I've released six jehuthras..they're the green ones. You're half a mile away, but so are the jehuthras. Good luck.") ....well, you have to assume an item like that is going to get marked, right?

Sounds very interesting. I suppose once we had a similar idea. Have you ever created that Threaded Map?

I have not laid out the actual stats of the Atlas. I currently do not have an active ED game going, so that was put aside for now. I really like the idea of Magical Maps, and would like to see some ideas from the ED community on those, threaded or otherwise. I also use Earthdawn as a reference a lot in my college studies in Video Game Design, so I may whip up a few Threaded or Legendary Maps as an exercise in applying the ED system.

Some possible Map Bang!s include:
(A Bang! is a sudden plot event/twist that the GM has no emotional attachment over, but forces the PCs to make a difficult choice or puts stress on one of the PC's existing conflicts. Having a collection of these Events to throw every now and again can be a good GM technique.)

~ Maps to Kaers that house people related to the PCs.
~ Magical Maps that have a time-limit coded onto them (a changing set of symbols that the PCs can't translate at first).
~ Maps left as clues at crime scenes (these can be normal paper maps, coded maps drawn in blood, or even just random cryptic clues, like colored pebbles left scattered around a wreaked caravan that would only mean something to someone fluid in written Obsidimen.

How did this inspiration turn into the idea of an interactive map you created?

I had recently suffered some strife a few years before (my house burnt down, with most of my books and gaming materal.. I know what a melted bowl of dice looks like.. ugh). Luckily I had archived a digital copy of most of my favorites, and the original FASA materials were included as I had possesed some damaged copies that I could bare to cut up and scan. The maps in the various Earthdawn box-sets have always impressed me, and I'm very happy to see RedBrick standing up to the high bar set by the FASA art direction. But, this was before any of the buzz and press about ED 'Classic' out of New Zealand. So when I found my files, I realized that I had a good way to present this Interactive Atlas idea to my players.

That is why you created the Atlas of Barsaive. What kind of programs did you use?

My first few prototypes were Flash files which had maps that you could easily zoom in and out on, and drag the terrain around with the cursor. At that point I didn't have any of the map drawn and had just worked out a simple interface. Then I collected the Barsaive box set map and the Sky Point/Vivane box set map into Adobe Illustrator (I found that the maps were not to scale with each other, or even aligned with each other) and manipulated them together. At that point it was a matter of rendering the terrain with the vector tools. This actually took the longest, as I preserved some of the original art by carving out the mountain valley shading and relief-lighting. I'm talking about a few months of drawing squiggly lines with a digital pen. During this time I was also experimenting with styles for the forests, the lava in Death's Sea, and the rivers, and the snow on the mountains.

Once that was done, I referenced all the other maps I could find in the material (Blood Wood, Cara Fahd, Serpent River, many others) and began adding location markers and Names (a few more months of intermittent work). Finally, roads and borders (man, orks like to draw borders - I think that's Theran induced trauma) and some other little details would finish it.

When I finally put the map back into Flash, and tried to drag it around, it began to show signs of error. Very slow reponse times at close zoom levels, but it was a working prototype. I believe Sade has an archive copy of that on her website.

Did you have any help from the fans?

I have recieved much feedback from many fans about the map, and they have caught many omissions and small errors that creeped in during the crafting. I'd like to thank everyone for helping to improve this resource.

How long did it take you to make it?

It spent about 2-3 years at a corrupt .fla flash file and an incomplete version of the illustrator file. During this time, RedBrick has given the Earthdawn community much needed dose of energy and new ideas. When I saw the need for a good map resource for the community, I knew that I would have a better release with some more work. I pulled all the vector info out of the corrupt .fla file, and re-worked all of the styling and labels and crafted the PDF version of the Interactive Atlas of Barsaive. This took a few weeks, and it has undergone various updates as the community has helped me maintain it.

What was the most difficult part of the work?

Hand tracing rivers and crags only for so long each day so I could spend time with my girl.

What was the easiest part?

I would say that the few weeks of re-drawing areas near the first release of the PDF. It was soooo close to being ready that the last few weeks were fun to do and flew by.

Do you have any advice for someone making his own fan map?

There are a wealth of gaming mapper resources out on the net. I would recommend learning a robust graphics program (Gimp is a good Open Source alternative. Inkscape is another good Open Source vector illustration tool), and start learning about maps.

Once you have an overview on how maps are presented, and the different styles they come in, investigate some of the digital mapping tools available. You really don't need anything too pricy, and there are tons of tutorials found by googling for "fantasy maps tutorial" or similar search terms. These will be the "Threads" that you weave your map out of.

Next, you have to have the right Pattern.

Don't make a map for map's sake. Ask youself what the purpose of this map will be (possibilities):

- Only to be seen by the GM, and updated..then used to generate a 'player' version with certain thing hidden? That will require certain techniques and file organization. Save a copy of the file, add in the "fog of war". There are some tools that can even calculate light sources for you.

- Hastily-scrawled looking map that show a small area of the docks. That requires others, and investigating textures like parchment and charcoal.

- A battle map would require reasonable tactical areas, thinking about line of sight issues, and attention to scale and where the action should be focused.

- Formal Kaer blueprint with encoded trap markers all over it.

- Many other intents and possibilities.

Then start doodling, draw and rough out a basic version. Save this. Next, start a new file and use your tools and techniques to make a better one. You'll probably go through a few of these cycles before you have something you like and which fulfills the purpose you set out for. Learning is an iterative proccess.

Any future plans concerning your map?

Right now I am learning 3d computer graphics and effects at school. I plan on using my PDF Atlas as the basis for a few different project ideas. From 3d rendered flying pans down the Badlands terrain, to images used in a Wiki-style atlas. I want to stick as close as possible to real world digital elevation model (DEMs) data as a base, and use my PDF atlas to tell me where to carve or lift terrain for rivers, volcanoes or other 'Barsaivian' features.

I also plan outlandish things in my mind, like modeling a large chunk of Bartertown including the Gates of Throal, and using the 3d version of my map to render the background and horizon-level terrain.

Yes, you'll definitely see more material from me at some point.

Thank you Telarus, for the interview and sharing your knowledge with us.

Thanks for the interview too, Sethariel! It's good to see the community taking a hand in crafting the future of Earthdawn.

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