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  • Scarred Land Hopes

    So, I've been piecemeal reading bits of the scarred lands books I have over the last few days. I remember loving this setting when I was younger and applied far less critical thinking while reading.

    I can still see the what I loved in the setting. How various tropes depart from the standard enough to make things interesting with a nice mix of dark and light.

    Age and experience are revealing some things that I find far more annoying than in my youth, and I hope that the reboot isn't just a blind conversion of the old setting. I'm hoping that a critical eye is being applied to the setting and that it is updated to cover two specific areas of concern for me.

    First, I keep running across small logical inconsistencies. As an example, Hollowfaust/Lokil : Hollowfaust has a population of 22000 or 30000 (two different sources) and has well defined sources of water/food production. Lokil has a population of 50000 that all reside in essentially a single building and a hollowed out mountain with no food source other than trade at the end of a long hostile and sporadic trade route. In my mind canon I have cut Lokil's population to 5000 and at least given them some local food production, but it would be nice if the new edition addressed issues like this without me needing to. Basic needs of a population shouldn't be an afterthought.

    Second, with the kickstarter updating the Wise and the Wicked, I would love to see these and other characters become far more GM friendly with a wider spread of levels so they can actually be used in campaigns. The setting suffers far too much from the Elminster/Gandalf syndrome of every named NPC being in the 16th to 20th level bracket of power. For example I see no real reason that Queen Geleeda needs to be a 18th level NPC. In my mind canon I automatically knock her down to at most 13th level, allowing mid/high level characters to interact with her and still leaving other challenges in the Calastia royalty. She is a Queen, and has excellent minion power regardless of level, and at a lower NPC level she actually has a reason to call on her hag superiors if she gets into actual trouble.

    Again, I am rereading the setting very piecemeal, but I am sure there are other areas of this excellent setting that could use refining, and I'd love the hear others thoughts.

  • #2
    I would agree with the power scaling. Another issue concerning this is that in the later books they introduced a plethora of high-level characters, which seemed quite inconsistent with the design philosophy adopted at first (mostly low- to mid-level characters with a few Elminster-like NPCs here and there). Maybe they will harmonize everything in between, who knows?

    A small problem I have is with the scale between the different continents (with Ghelspad looking like it could be a nation in Termana), as well as the distance between them (99% of this world is water...) I know this is something that can be easily home-ruled, but still, the different continents on the same map look a little bit silly to me ^^

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    • #3
      Thanks Haaz, it's been probably 10 years since I have read the books, but I always remember being blown away by the Hollowfaust supplement for its innovation and then the rest of the world hooked me.

      Back in the day I didn't understand how useful a good spread of NPC power levels were for a GM and how much easier it is to upgrade most NPCs vs downgrading them power-wise. I was skimming the Faithful and Forsaken and almost every ruler had ministats at 15th or up and all stated characters except 1 were 18th or higher (with one being, I kid you not, 36th level), so almost everything from that perspective will need to be adjusted if I was to use it.

      I haven't noticed the scaling issue with the continents since I haven't really looked at Termana again yet. From the scale on the the Ghelspad map it looks like its about 2000 x 2500 miles, so about half the size of continental US I am guessing. Is there a world map somewhere?

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      • #4
        Oh yes, Hollowfaut, I loved it too^^ And I loved all small stories with each spell or magic item in the first Relics & Rituals, it was such a great way to introduce a setting

        (And yes, when I was thinking about power scaling, I was thinking about the Faithful and the Forsaken. To be honest I was never on board with the resurrection of the elf god, I found the forsaken elves were much more interesting than traditional high elves. In the kickstarter page Stewart Wieck confirmed that they were not advancing the metaplot, so forsaken elves would stay forsaken in the upcoming book, and that's great)

        Termana is much bigger than Ghelspad. Like ridiculously bigger (in my opinion). There is no official world map, but there have been several made by the fans based on various information in books like Blood Sea or Lost Tribes. You will find some of them here

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        • #5
          I vaguely remember the elf god being resurrected and maybe ending the entire fertility curse thing. Honestly, I don't have a problem with the god being resurrected, but I wouldn't have it be a "cure" for the infertility. If I used that plot I would have the god resurrected and have him specifically say that the forsaken had already found the solution with half-elves and that they were the future of the high elf race. It would set up great conflict as some swallowed their pride and began to bring up a new generation of high half-elves, humans who fight against having their women and men stolen by the high elves, and the elves who adamantly opposed the transition subtly to violently. Add in the conflict just from normal elves who don't like all the vagrant half-elves who are suddenly showing up in their new ancestral home, ect. A lot of interesting areas of conflict that I'm not sure I've actually seen in a fantasy setting before.

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          • #6
            I really want it to be closer to one book playable, despite the awesomeness of the scarred lands you needed a bare minimum of three books on top of the big three 3.0/5 books to even begin to delve the scarred lands. Give us spells and feats and domains and basic world information in one book, and please give us a pathfinder creature collection asap.

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