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    Canonfire :: View topic - Chainmail Miniatures/Western Oerik - the essential books?
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    Chainmail Miniatures/Western Oerik - the essential books?
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:18 am  
    Chainmail Miniatures/Western Oerik - the essential books?

    Hi Folks,

    With all of the talk about Western Oerik lately, I've decided to look into the Chainmail Miniatures line but I only want the essential books (ie. I don't want to end up with dozens of boxes of miniatures in the hope there's one sentence of lore on a miniature's stat card).

    So... what are the essential books to collect?

    I looked up TSR Archive http://www.tsrinfo.net/archive/cm/cm.htm - and it would seem the essentials would be:

    88000 Core Rulebook
    17861 The Ghostwind Campaign (Set 1 guidebook)
    88010 Blood & Darkness (Set 2 guidebook)
    88580 Fire & Ice (Set 3 guidebook)
    88960 Shadow of the Drow (Set 4 guidebook)
    88339 Starter Set

    Or are any of the above titles not worth getting (ie. they offer very little lore on Western Oerik)?

    Also, I noticed that the Core Rulebook says PDF format only on the TSR Archive site. Is this true?

    Thank you
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:38 am  

    Don't know about the books but there were articles in Dragon that gave a lot of useful background around the Chainmail warbands that related to Western Oerik.

    It would take me a while to dig up the relevant issues but I certainly remember some good background on exiled drow from the Vault (House Despana?) and several other factions.
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:05 pm  
    The Sundered Empire, essentials

    :D WOW! I am thrilled to see a lot of stuff going on about Western Oerik!
    dead wrote:
    So... what are the essential books to collect? ... Or are any of the above titles not worth getting (i.e. they offer very little lore on Western Oerik)?
    Well, you certainly have all of the essentials there. I'm actually kind of glad that you put the item #s in; I'd been telling myself that I was going to get them all straightened out, but, I hadn't bothered to get around to putting them all in my MS OneNote with all of the other pages and pages of notes.

    That being said, I will put my two cents out there. Unfortunately, all of the books you mention are made for a miniatures game - that's the nature of the beast. With the exception of the one PDF, there were miniatures in every one of those. The guidebooks that you're listing are part of the expansion sets. And thus, the crunch to fluff ratio is about 10:1. There's not going to be a lot of setting material or anything that couldn't be summarized in just a few pages when taken collectively. It's interesting that in some of the books where there were expansions and whatnot, or where the miniatures themselves are introduced, there is often a blurb with fluff about the model themselves. For example, there's a neat little bit in Fire and Ice, Chapter 5: Warriors of the Sundered Empire, p15 that discusses one of the Ahmut's Legion undead miniatures:
    Quote:
    The equicephs were one of the Old Races that used to dominate Western Oerik. Large, horse-headed humanoids, they were a peaceful people. Rampaging Abyssal armies wiped them out during the Demon War, and no living equiceph has been seen since. Clerics of Nerull, always fond of plundering battlefields, found the remains of a tribe of equicephs. Now the Skeletal Equiceph walks the world again, brought back to unlife by forbidden magic and denied peace even in death.

    The "Starter Set" contains both the original Rulebook (not the later PDF "Core Rulebook") and the Model Description booklet, so there's good stuff there as well. As Flint mentioned, the largest majority of the setting material came from the Dragon magazine articles that were running concurrently with the published game products. In the table below, the bolded lines are articles that were about particular factions, while the others are about places or items, prestige classes, what have you.

      The Empire of Ravilla - Grey and Wood elves - #285 , p92
      Ahmutís Legion - Undead - #286, p88
      The Armies of Thalos - Human, gnome #287, p88
      Naresh - Gnolls - #289, p110
      Peopleís State of Mordengard - Dwur -#291, p100
      Drazenís Horde - Orcs, goblins, ogres, hobgoblins - #292, p102
      The Free States - Varies - #293. p100
      Underground Scenarios - * - #294, p98
      The Children of Nassica - * - #295, p98
      The Ebon Glaive - * - #296, p100
      Exiles from the Vault: Kilsek - Drow - #298, p98
      Soldiers of the Last Order - Hobgoblin - #315, p102

    If you're interested in a strictly academic discussion of the material, I own all of the material above that we've discussed, and would be happy to go over the purely RP material here ... just "Fair Use" discussion of the setting material provided. I happen to be one of the few fans, I think, that absolutely *loves* the Sundered Empire.
    Flint wrote:
    I certainly remember some good background on exiled drow from the Vault (House Despana?) and several other factions.
    For what it's worth, it was house Kilsek that got kicked out ... well, to be fair, they walked out with their heads held high, but, nevertheless they still had to go.
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    Last edited by Icarus on Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:21 pm  

    The Ghostwind Campaign accessory has The Story of Bonebreak.

    Blood & Darkness has more on the death of Stratis.
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:42 pm  
    Blood and Darkness, Sundered Empire

    Thanael wrote:
    Blood & Darkness has more on the death of Stratis. I put together a few exceprts in a pdf here
    That's a nice little PDF there, Thanael. That's similar to what I did in MS OneNote to have stuff readily accessible when I am writing.
    Dead - That's precisely the thing that I was talking about ... taken all together, there's not but a few pages of material in each one. Thanael did a nice summary.

    Although, in response to Thanael's questions presented in the PDF:
    The Demon War was, ... well, a long time ago ... it was about 500 years long and lasted from about 1500 YBP, to 1000 YBP. (Years Before Present)
    There's sparse details about what (precisely) it was ... but, the descriptions given are clear: Demons marauded across the western end of the continent. Essentially, Abyssal gateways open in the heart of the realm now known as Ravilla, bringing forth demon hordes commanded by Yeenoghu and Baphomet. The wood elf Peramil journeys to the lands of the gray elves, who send their assistance. The Demon War was primarily between demons and elves. After the Demon War, elves were tasked with guarding the sealed abyssal portals, and entire cities were built to guard them.

    There's also a fun little tidbit from the Drow Warrior miniature (in Blood and Darkness). We all know about the split in the elven race eons ago, but ...
    Quote:
    Reports from the underground fighting mention ebon-skinned elves with white hair who are masters of darkness and poison. Ravillan legend speaks of an ancient civil war between the good and evil halves of the elven race: The good elves won this war and forced their evil kin, the drow, deep under the earth. Since that legendary time, no elf in the lands of the Sundered Empire has seen a drow. The Oligarchs of Ravilla refuse to believe the drow are a reality. They say enemies of the empire arc using magical disguises to spread disarray in the elven ranks.

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    Last edited by Icarus on Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:30 pm  
    Re: The Sundered Empire, essentials

    Icarus wrote:


    That being said, I will put my two cents out there. Unfortunately, all of the books you mention are made for a miniatures game - that's the nature of the beast. With the exception of the one PDF, there were miniatures in every one of those. The guidebooks that you're listing are part of the expansion sets. And thus, the crunch to fluff ratio is about 10:1. There's not going to be a lot of setting material or anything that couldn't be summarized in just a few pages when taken collectively. It's interesting that in some of the books where there were expansions and whatnot, or where the miniatures themselves are introduced, there is often a blurb with fluff about the model themselves. For example, there's a neat little bit in Fire and Ice, Chapter 5: Warriors of the Sundered Empire, p15 that discusses one of the Ahmut's Legion undead miniatures:
    Quote:
    The equicephs were one of the Old Races that used to dominate Western Oerik. Large, horse-headed humanoids, they were a peaceful people. Rampaging Abyssal armies wiped them out during the Demon War, and no living equiceph has been seen since. Clerics of Nerull, always fond of plundering battlefields, found the remains of a tribe of equicephs. Now the Skeletal Equiceph walks the world again, brought back to unlife by forbidden magic and denied peace even in death.

    As an aside, equichephs are detailed in the Miniatures Handbook (artwork, stats, brief history, etc.).
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:01 pm  
    Re: The Sundered Empire, essentials

    Bluebomber4evr wrote:
    As an aside, equichephs are detailed in the Miniatures Handbook (artwork, stats, brief history, etc.).

    Yes, in fact, they are ... I have loved them for quite some time. I hadn't thought about the fact that some wouldn't know what they were. There is mention of the ancient civilization in the MH description of them. I think that it's interesting that they sort of imply that the ancient equicephs could still exist somewhere on Oerth (or whatever world you're playing in). They are "Often Lawful Evil", but, the ones from the ancient culture could be nice little ponies! Laughing
    Miniatures Handbook wrote:
    This humanlike creature stands almost 11 feet tall and has a head and legs like those of a horse. It wears heavy armor and wields a mighty axe of curious design.
    Equicephs are merciless and relentless slavers, raiding out of their forest homes to take captives. They often raid nearby hills to capture hobgoblins, which are accustomed to following orders and are small enough for equicephs to push around. But equicephs arenít picky. Theyíll make slaves of any creatures that they can catch and coerce.
    The equicephs are long-lost remnants of a distant, peaceful civilization. This ancient society maintained the peace by exiling its worst criminals to a land across the sea. The equicephs are the descendants of these cruel lawbreakers. They retain the superior intellect and insight of their ancestors, though they apply their gifts to villainy rather than to harmony. Whether the peaceful equiceph society still survives somewhere over the horizon or has long ago fallen is a disputed matter of legend.
    Equicephs speak Common and Sylvan.

    Here are images of both the living equicephs, and the unliving ones of Ahmut's Legion.



    [Edited to add valid links, after Dropbox changed linking policies.]
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    Last edited by Icarus on Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:19 am; edited 3 times in total
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:55 am  
    Re: The Sundered Empire, essentials

    Wow, thanks for your help, everyone.

    Icarus wrote:
    Unfortunately, all of the books you mention are made for a miniatures game - that's the nature of the beast. With the exception of the one PDF, there were miniatures in every one of those. The guidebooks that you're listing are part of the expansion sets. And thus, the crunch to fluff ratio is about 10:1. ... As Flint mentioned, the largest majority of the setting material came from the Dragon magazine articles that were running concurrently with the published game products.


    If the crunch/fluff ration is 10:1, I'm probably not diehard enough to hunt down these books. Much appreciated for letting me know, though :) Maybe I'll just check out the Dragon magazines.

    I wouldn't mind just buying the Chainmail core rulebook, however... which leads to a couple of other questions:

    1) Which rulebook has a map of Western Oerik in it? Does the core rulebook and/or Starter Set have a map?
    2) Is the core rulebook PDF the same as the rulebook in the Starter Set?
    3) Was the core rulebook PDF once available as a "free" PDF? Or, did you have to buy it? (Just wondering how to legally get my hands on it...) :)

    Thank you
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:50 am  
    Re: The Sundered Empire, essentials

    dead wrote:
    1) Which rulebook has a map of Western Oerik in it? Does the core rulebook and/or Starter Set have a map?
    2) Is the core rulebook PDF the same as the rulebook in the Starter Set?
    3) Was the core rulebook PDF once available as a "free" PDF? Or, did you have to buy it?

    So, the rulebook that has the map was the Core Rulebook PDF. They aren't the same ... sadly there was always a lot of continual errata with Chainmail, as much as there is with a TCG, or more. They did make the announcement that a PDF would be produced when they were switching it from "Chainmail" to "D&D Miniatures" (for marketing and brand reasons), but, sadly, it was not free. Please, be careful here to not confuse the Comprehensive Rules for the Core Rules. One is free, the other is not.

    One would presume that since it was distributed freely, Canonfire could host the Comprehensive Rules, but, I have reason to believe that there's not a whole lot of people looking for that particular PDF enough to warrant it.

    P.S. - In some of the books, the ratio might be as high as 4:1. Happy
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    Last edited by Icarus on Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:11 am; edited 4 times in total
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:04 am  

    I edited/removed some posted content. Be careful of what you discuss folks.
    Icarus wrote:
    One would presume that since it was distributed freely, Canonfire could host it...

    Icarus wrote:
    Yes, they made the announcement that it was produced for free when they were switching it from "Chainmail" to "D&D Miniatures" for marketing and brand reasons.

    The Chainmail Core Rulebook was indeed made available as a download, but you will note that the word "free" is nowhere to be seen on the page your link leads to. The truth of the matter can be found in this quote from another linked page:

    "All the special abilities for the Set 5 models are available in the Chainmail Core Rulebook, which is available as a for-pay electronic download for $9.99 from SVGames."

    So far as I know, the Chainmail Core Rulebook was never offered as a *free* download, and has not been available as a "for-pay" download for some time now.

    As a general note, everyone should make sure to double check the status/prior status of any copyrighted material before discussing the distribution of it, as it is expressly against the Forum Rules to discuss the distribution of files that were never freely distributed by the copyright holder. Ergo, the original pamphlet-sized Chainmail Core Rulebook which came in the Starter Set and the updated pdf version are *off limits* for such discussion. Expect a few other things to disappear too...when I get around to it...as they violate the established parameters for what can be posted as a reference. If you are not sure what those parameters are then read the Forum Rules.

    On topic, I once had a chance to get a hold of some of the unreleased Chainmail stuff, as I know one of the miniature sculptors who worked on the line, but I foolishly didn't jump at chance to do so. Cry
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:14 am; edited 5 times in total
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:10 am  

    Carry on.
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    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:48 am  
    Is this enough SE stuff for a campaign?

    On a similar vein ... I am curious about the amount of material presented? Is it really enough to base a campaign on, without having to do all that much writing as a DM for setting material? Is this considered something like a baseline? How much info does a DM need to have - in the community's opinion - to be able to run a satisfactory campaign with the bare essentials?
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:50 am  

    There is a ton of WotC article links regarding Chainmail posted HERE. Very nice job by Big Mac. Cool

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