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    Canonfire :: View topic - Fireland Project Journals
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    Fireland Project Journals

    Are you excited about an upcoming Fireland supplement?
    Yes!
    95%
     95%  [ 23 ]
    No!
    4%
     4%  [ 1 ]
    Total Votes : 24

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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:20 pm  
    Fireland Project Journals

    Hello, fellow Greyhawk Enthusiasts!

    As many of you know, I am currently working on publishing a sourcebook detailing the subcontinent of Fireland. For those of you not familiar with this particular corner of Oerth, Fireland is a landmass located just northeast of the Flanaess, over a thousand miles across the Solnor Ocean from the Thillonrian Peninsula. The most information we have from canon materials regarding the area comes from the Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins sourcebook and comprises about two paragraphs. Gary Gygax himself has described it as being something like old Iceland, replete with a sort of ancient Norse mien. Needless to say, this landmass begs further development!

    Of course, this is where my work comes in. When it is complete, my project will (hopefully) yield a fully-realized sourcebook for your perusal, much on the order of the TSR products The Marklands, Iuz the Evil, and Ivid the Undying. I have created this thread as a means of letting you, the community for whom this sourcebook is intended, follow along step-by-step during my work on the text. This will allow you to get a good understanding of what you can expect to see in the completed work as well as get a grasp of how far along in the process I am.

    For those of you who aren't interested in this part of Oerth, I'm sorry I've taken up this much of your time. Skip over this thread and get to something that whets the appetite of your imagination more satisfactorily. For those of you that have been fascinated with this particular bit of Greyhawk lore as long as I have, however...I hope you enjoy following along the creation process as I undertake it!


    Warmest, from Fireland,

    The Colorless Mage of Perrenland
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    Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:06 am  

    Personally I look forward to the supplement. I don't think Wizards will be releasing any for Greyhawk any time soon?

    What influences are you drawing from? Have you been involved in a campaign set in Fireland?

    Cheers
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:48 am  

    Warlock,

    warlock wrote:
    Personally I look forward to the supplement. I don't think Wizards will be releasing any for Greyhawk any time soon?


    Heh. I tend to agree. And since we can't expect anything new from them--especially a product that treats the setting with the kind of reverence it deserves--it falls to us, the fans who truly love Greyhawk, to create such new source materials.

    This knowledge is what finally prompted me to begin work on the aforementioned sourcebook.

    warlock wrote:
    What influences are you drawing from? Have you been involved in a campaign set in Fireland?


    Personally, my campaigns (the ones I have presided over as Dungeon Master, anyway) have centered around three separate locations on Oerth: Perrenland, the Thillonrian Peninsula...and, yes, Fireland.

    I have always viewed Fireland as sort of "The Great Beyond". It is very certainly canon to the setting...and yet we know so precious little about it. That's always sparked my imagination and definitely was a big part of the reason for my personally setting a campaign there. I would suspect many of our fellow DMs and Players feel the same way. There is simply a story there that begs to be told....and I would be the one to tell it. :)

    My influences are manifold, but they boil down to two primary sources. The first of which is definitely Gygax and that which we already have as canon regarding Fireland. This is to say that we know that the region is a close analogue to Earth's Iceland and has a very strong nordic (read: Norse and Viking) flavor to it. This is something that I absolutely want to capture. And while Oerth's Fireland will not be a simple "cut and paste" of those Earthly traditions...one will easily see the parallels, just as one can see the feudal influences in Furyondy. The second of my influences is Sargent and his three Flanaess sourcebooks (The Marklands, Iuz the Evil, and Ivid the Undying). I do not necessarily endorse all of what Sargent brought to the Greyhawk setting, but it cannot be argued (to me, anyway) that any finer source materials were written for the setting, aside of what Gygax initially created and put down. Thus, I want to capture the same format and style of his books. Simply put, I want a reader to be able to pick up Fireland and nod to him/herself, feeling he or she hasn't missed a beat since Sargent stopped writing for the setting.

    Hopefully that answers your questions. Thanks for the interest in the project!!! :)


    TCM
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    Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:53 am  

    Do you have a copy of the second edition Vikings supplement. It might have some ideas as far as fantasizing a Viking world. At least as far as monsters and treasure. I also think you need to look into Finnish culture and myth a bit more as they had some very distinct and often odd things. Also check out the Bard series of novels by Kieth Taylor which is set in a slightly fantasy Dark Ages. The second book Bard II mostly deals with the Vikings and the Baltic sea area. The books have a cool feel to them and are pretty good at taking a historical setting and adding magic to it.
    GreySage

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    Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:50 am  

    I think all real Greyhawkers are going to vote "yes" to this even if they don't have a particular interest in Fireland itself.

    We need new Greyhawk material and yes, we -- the fans -- are going to have to produce it. No one else is, sadly enough.

    So, onwards and upwards! Best wishes "Colorless!" Happy Cool Wink
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    Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:22 am  

    I'll second everything Mystic said.

    Looking forward to it, colorless.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:30 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    I think all real Greyhawkers are going to vote "yes" to this even if they don't have a particular interest in Fireland itself.


    -The only reason we'd vote "no" is the fear that the designer will screw everything up, and then we'll be stuck with a bunch of crap which is considered "canon".

    Right, MS? Razz

    vonbek wrote:
    Do you have a copy of the second edition Vikings supplement. It might have some ideas as far as fantasizing a Viking world. At least as far as monsters and treasure. I also think you need to look into Finnish culture and myth a bit more as they had some very distinct and often odd things. Also check out the Bard series of novels by Kieth Taylor which is set in a slightly fantasy Dark Ages. The second book Bard II mostly deals with the Vikings and the Baltic sea area. The books have a cool feel to them and are pretty good at taking a historical setting and adding magic to it.


    -Hmmm... I think Finland and the Baltic is literally heading in the wrong direction (you could fit that into the Thillonrian Penninsula anyway). Not that it would be awful, but it might be better to take a cue from history, plus the legend of the North Atlantic-- think Inuit and Indians, with the occasional Irish monk thrown in. And sea monsters, of course...

    the_colorless_mage wrote:
    Warlock,

    ...Personally, my campaigns (the ones I have presided over as Dungeon Master, anyway) have centered around three separate locations on Oerth: Perrenland, the Thillonrian Peninsula...and, yes, Fireland.


    -Hooray! Someone designing a WOG who actually plays WOG!

    Just do us a favor, and don't feel that you need to "BLOW IT UP"! Evil

    Good Luck, Colorless Mage!
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:07 pm  

    All,

    Wow! It's awesome to see how much interest the announcement of this project has generated! With that said, here are some answers and replies to some of the questions and comments lobbed my way in this thread:

    vonbek wrote:
    Do you have a copy of the second edition Vikings supplement. It might have some ideas as far as fantasizing a Viking world. At least as far as monsters and treasure. I also think you need to look into Finnish culture and myth a bit more as they had some very distinct and often odd things. Also check out the Bard series of novels by Kieth Taylor which is set in a slightly fantasy Dark Ages. The second book Bard II mostly deals with the Vikings and the Baltic sea area. The books have a cool feel to them and are pretty good at taking a historical setting and adding magic to it.


    Thanks for the suggestions, Von Bek! While I have the Vikings supplement, I'm actually trying hard not to look at it too closely. The reason for that being that I would like to stay away from the possibility of simply rehashing what's already been done (and done damn well, as you point out) in published source material. It's been my experience that this approach tends to yield fresh and new ideas, rather than a sense of "I've seen this before".

    Your points about the Finnish mythology are also well-taken. It can't be understated how big a fan Mr. Gygax was of that particular mythology and you can rest assured that that means I'll be drawing from it myself (though hopefully, as I alluded to, not so much that you begin to see too many direct analogues between Fireland and Suomi).

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    I think all real Greyhawkers are going to vote "yes" to this even if they don't have a particular interest in Fireland itself.

    We need new Greyhawk material and yes, we -- the fans -- are going to have to produce it. No one else is, sadly enough.


    I couldn't agree, Mystic-Scholar. In a sense, I wish that it weren't necessary for me to write this sourcebook. In a perfect world, Greyhawk would be a fully-supported campaign setting, written for by some of the most talented Greyhawk fans in the professional RPG industry. However, since we deal in reality--the task has fallen to me. I will endeavor not to let any of you down!

    Ragr wrote:
    Looking forward to it, colorless.


    Thank you for the kind words, man. Knowing that there are people like yourself really looking forward to helps fuel the fire that keeps the project moving forward.

    jamesdglick wrote:
    -The only reason we'd vote "no" is the fear that the designer will screw everything up, and then we'll be stuck with a bunch of crap which is considered "canon".


    Believe me, Mr. Glick, that very thought is the source of much trepidation for me. I take the charge of writing this material very seriously. I have been a fan of the setting since my childhood and I love the setting in a way that only each one of you that come to this site and keep the lights of the Flanaess from dimming can really understand.

    I can't promise that you'll love everything in what I'm writing or if, in fact, any of it will even be of great use to your own, personal campaign. But my hope is to get it more right than wrong. And that, when you flip the final page of the material, no matter your feelings on it, you'll feel like it's kept the spirit of the setting within its bounds.

    On that note, we will see, I suppose.

    jamesdglick wrote:
    -Hmmm... I think Finland and the Baltic is literally heading in the wrong direction (you could fit that into the Thillonrian Penninsula anyway). Not that it would be awful, but it might be better to take a cue from history, plus the legend of the North Atlantic-- think Inuit and Indians, with the occasional Irish monk thrown in. And sea monsters, of course...


    You are certainly on the right track here, with your suggestions. Those are the central themes that are in play, for certain. However, those are not all I intend on encapsulating by half! :)

    jamesdglick wrote:
    -Hooray! Someone designing a WOG who actually plays WOG!

    Just do us a favor, and don't feel that you need to "BLOW IT UP"!


    Far from it, my friend! We are building, not destroying! Consider, if you will, my work to be an addition to the most beautiful mansion (Mordenkainen's Magnificent, perhaps?) in the world. Another wing, perhaps. I can only hope that my decor clashes not with that of the remainder of said home.

    Now--back to work!!!


    TCM
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    Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:33 pm  
    Fireland Progess: Installment #1

    All,

    To catch you up to speed where I'm currently at with respect to my upcoming Fireland supplement:

    1) The project outline for the supplement has been constructed. It places my page count to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 94 pages;

    2) The master map is completed, sans placename location. I expect to have this completed by the end of the week. I approached Darlene Pekul about the possibility of her creating a font for my use in the map but was rebuffed. I may try and approach her again, however. She is so synonymous with Greyhawk maps that I feel it is certainly worth the effort;

    3) Discussions with prospective artists for the project are complete. I have retained two artists for the project that will do the total sum of work for the piece. I have chosen only two to give the piece an even "feel" and a sense of continuity within its pages;

    4) The introduction to the piece has been written. I begin on the main body of the work this evening.


    TCM
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:33 am  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    The only reason we'd vote "no" is the fear that the designer will screw everything up, and then we'll be stuck with a bunch of crap which is considered "canon". Right, MS?


    James, you sure got that right! Happy

    Fortunately -- for me -- I have faith in the Colorless Mage. And it looks like several others "here" do as well, thank goodness! Wink Laughing
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    Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:33 pm  
    Progress Update

    Progress Update:

    1) The master map of the sub-continent (along with surrounding lesser islands) is complete, for the exception of placename labeling, a legend, and compass rose. The reason for the delay in the above is that I have attempted to contact Darlene Pekul once again about the creation of font to be used in those items. Ever since the 1983 Boxed Set's release, I--and I assume many of you--have always inextricably tied her work to Greyhawk maps. Not giving an earnest effort in having the magic of her calligraphy bring the map to life would be a shame, indeed.

    2) I have completed negotiations with the two artists I intend on producing the artwork for the cover and interior of the sourcebook. I have chosen to go with a very small art team so as to give the overall look of the book an even, homogenous look. Outside of D&D, my hobby is collecting original comic book art, so this stage was not as difficult as it might sound. I have several friends in the comic industry and have tapped those contacts to get two very talented people that are willing to work for me at a cost I can stomach (that was the hard part).

    3) I have completed the Introduction and the leading bit of flavor prose for the project. As you know, it is my aim to make this sourcebook familiar in format, yet stand out as different from any other Greyhawk source material you've ever read before. To do that, I have taken a page from the old Dragon Magazine articles "Voyage of the Princess Ark". Leading into every section of the book will be excerpts from the journals of an intrepid adventurer and explorer who has been tasked with circumnavigating Fireland for the information of his lord, back in the Flanaess. A more conventional set of source materials and gazetteer will follow each of these passages. The first of these excepts is completed.

    4) I have started, as a means of keeping the project interesting for myself, writing capsules concerning interesting NPCs possibly encountered in Fireland (it helps break up the task of the prosework). The first two of these are completed.

    More to come as I continue onward! Please, as ever, do not hesitate to offer suggestions of the types of things you'd like to see included in the sourcebook! :D

    TCM
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    Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:20 am  
    Re: Progress Update

    the_colorless_mage wrote:
    Progress Update:

    More to come as I continue onward! Please, as ever, do not hesitate to offer suggestions of the types of things you'd like to see included in the sourcebook! :D

    TCM


    This is greta news indeed, I really cant wait to read your work. Will this be for sale or free. I really dont have a problem paying or contributing to something this worth while.

    When do you think it will be ready. Any chance of seeing a sample map and the intro to the GAZ.

    Once again well done!! BRAVO!!
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    Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:02 am  

    Dark Herald,

    Thanks, first, for the kind words! :D

    Now, some answers to your questions:

    1. The sourcebook, when completed, will be free. I will publish it in a .PDF format and disseminate it through several sources--Canonfire! likely being one such place. The artwork for the project--since I am employing professional illustrators--is not inexpensive, but that is a burden I am prepared to accept alone in the name of delivering a high-quality product;

    2. I can't give you any solid timetable, I'm afraid. I first decided that I was going to fully commit to this project in late December and was, at that time, considering an early March release. That, in hindsight, was not only foolish but unreasonable. The project's scope is simply too large to finish that quickly while retaining any type of quality whatsoever.

    In the spirit of at least attempting to answer your question, though...at this point, my best guess is that I might be ready to release the sourcebook in late summer/early autumn. I hope that's swift enough for you! :)

    3. I am really reticent to release any textual excerpts from the project until the whole of the book is ready. I just don't feel comfortable offering up anything that hasn't been properly edited and revised in that manner. I hope you understand that. I'm something of a perfectionist and, since, I'm putting so much into the project, I want it to be fully-formed when you receive it.

    Once again, thank you for your interest in the project! I'll be posting another update as to my progress on Tuesday, and I think you'll be pleased with what you read. Again, if you have any suggestions as to the types of things you'd like to see--please offer them up!!! :D

    TCM
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    Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:25 am  

    Thanks for the swift reply Happy

    If there is anyway I can be of assitance, le me know.

    I still feel obligated to contribute something in return for the work you put into getting this done.
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    Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:47 pm  

    Dark Herald,

    Thanks you for the kind offer! At this point, what will probably happen is that I will create a small website for the express purpose of disseminating the project (along with putting it up on places like Canonfire!). That website will likely contain a PayPal donation link. That way, if after reading it you feel sufficiently moved to do so, you can contribute then.

    Right now, I'd hate to accept anything for it, though. Who knows? I might be hit by a bus tomorrow and never complete the project. Or I just might do a lousy job and you might feel it's not worth the donation. At this point, only Istus knows! Happy


    TCM
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    Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:04 pm  
    Ah, deadlines...

    Hi yet again,

    >I first decided that I was going to fully commit to this project in late December and was, at that time, considering an early March release. That, in hindsight, was not only foolish but unreasonable.<

    NOOB! ...Just kidding. I was leaving myself six months for big projects, but I think I'm going to have to start leaving myself eight months so I'll be embarrassed less often...

    ~Scott "-enkainen" Casper

    On an un-Yak-Man-related note, does anyone know why my avatar keeps disappearing off of Canonfire? I've loaded it twice in the past...
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    Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:43 pm  

    Scottenkainen,

    I think I'll follow your lead in this matter, going forward. It's something like the old axiom when it comes to satifying customers: "Promise little, deliver much". Laughing

    TCM
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    Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:40 am  

    Fellow Greyhawk Enthusiasts,

    I thought I would update this thread with an update on my progress.

    o Several sections of the sourcebook have been completed (sans editing). These sections include:
    - Trade & Money (including sub-sections on Resources, Trade & Transport), Cost of Goods, and Coinage);
    - Weather & Climate;
    - Languages (including a sub-section on names and a Firelandic glossary that just keeps growing and growing...);

    o I have completed several interesting (well, *I* think they're interesting, anyway) NPCs and a few new magic items and spells.

    o I have received some of the finished art for the project from my art staff and am VERY pleased with what they've delivered. The roughs on the few pieces remaining and the cover look extremely promising, as well.

    o I've almost completed negotiations with the calligrapher who will be providing the textual artistic flourishes to the project. I'm especially excited about this part, as I think this, in particular, will really help the project maintain the high production values I've placed a premium on, thus far.

    In short, things are going very well. I am very optimistic that I'll be able to keep my (revised) deadline of a September release for the project. Wish me luck! :D

    TCM
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    Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:16 am  

    Thats great news TCM Happy

    Look it is September already Wink

    The suspence is killing me ...

    Good luck!
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