Adventurers Fanmail for Dec 2004 through Oct 2005

published Friday 4 November 2005

From: Samuel "Shane" Simmons Date: Tue, 07 Dec 2004 17:42:12 -0800 Subject: Belphanior and Gorath..? Hello... I have never emailed you before, despite having read The Adventurers for several years now... I do have a question though --- have you conisidered the possibility of Belphanior attempting to create an alliance of some sort with Gorath? I figure that Belphanior is too pragmatic (and lacking in conventional morals, for that matter) to disregard the obvious potiental of such a powerful ally. I do wonder what Gorath's reaction to such a proposal would be, though. Also, for that matter, I look forward to reading when (if?) Gorath has need of Belphanior's help as part of his earlier deal with the elf. Anything's possible. I will someday come back to the Gorath story hook but I just haven't had time yet. Stay tuned.
From: Craig "Bones" Boonzaier Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 14:17:45 -0800 Subject: We are not worthy I started reading your work last year and i am currently at the point after the Panagaea Quest. The Adventurers is truly a master piece and i enjoy them. Your writing skills have surely developed over the course of the stories. I played 2nd edition and currently play 3rd from time to time so the stories were really interesting. I even play Magic the Gathering with my friends. My favourite is naturally Belphanior and I liked Rob when he was clumsy. All in all I would like to say well done for an impressive part of the fantasy genre reading works. Good luck with the future Glad you like it. I sense definite improvement since the beginning of the writing, back in 1991.
From: Lucius Chiaraviglio Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 22:02:00 -0500 Subject: Re: chapter #850 of The Adventurers On Friday 10 December 2004 08:00, you wrote: > [. . .] > * Magicoitus Interruptus (Parekh, 7th level) - a 1-round-duration, > ranged Anti-Magic Shell...think EMP but for magic not electronics; ^^^ > it nullifies previously cast spells and renders item effects useless > right then and there, though subsequent spells/powers work fine Hmmm . . . you play Starcraft, by any chance? (Of course, an exact analog of the Starcraft variety of EMP would also cause loss of all spell energy until recharged.) > [. . .] > * Firebomb (Parekh, 8th level) - basically a Delayed Blast Fireball > that burns for an hour, even without fuel, and can't be extinguished > by water, sand, or lack of air Wow . . . this sounds at least 9th level to me. I've never played Starcraft. As for the spell level, I try to keep things fair but sometimes I'm off by a level or two. I wouldn't think that would be a 9th level spell, given that it's really nothing more than a big tough fire.
From: Pekka Savola Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 12:13:46 +0200 (EET) Subject: Re: chapter #850 of The Adventurers Hi, Just a comment, > * Magicoitus Interruptus (Parekh, 7th level) - a 1-round-duration, > ranged Anti-Magic Shell...think EMP but for magic not electronics; > it nullifies previously cast spells and renders item effects useless > right then and there, though subsequent spells/powers work fine This seems a much too effective spell (at least without major caveats on its use, like affecting only 5th level or more minor spells) especially for 7th level -- this can be used (too effectively) to nullify any magic protection (even if it wasn't otherwise dispellable, much more powerful than this one, or should have some protection against this kind of "EMP"). But nevermind .. the story is the most important part, and you're doing very well with it. Keep 'em coming! :) Heh. See my above reply.
From: Ben Yee Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 01:00:58 -0800 Subject: re: story850 That. Kicked. ASS. Two questions: One, did Belph get the crystal eye back? Two, are we ever going to find out what the rest of the group was up to in the meantime? Thanks for all the kickass stories. He got a new eye. As for the others...for questions like this, it helps if you tell me which group (i.e. Belphanior's crew, Peldor, Mongo.)
From: Matt Paley Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 18:08:09 +0000 (GMT) Subject: Episode 850 Excellent end to the Belphanior vs Slavers story. My only comment is what happened to Drusilla? She was trapped in Belphanior's iron flask.
From: Brian Dougherty Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 14:50:20 -0800 Subject: Xusia's Keep Hi. I just wanted to compliment you on your work on the Adventurer's site. Wonderful stuff! :) I also had a question to ask you regarding the first Xusia adventure. I have a fairly extensive collection of fan-made adventures which I use for my home campaign. Your first Xusia adventure has been one of them for a couple of years now. When I add an adventure to my collection, I take the time to format it into a Word document and add maps (if necessary) for my personal use. I'm working on a series of maps for the first Xusia adventure and, if you are interested, would be willing to send you copies for your site archives (in jpg, gif or png form - your choice) when they are all completed. The idea would be to add something complimentary to that excellent adventure in thanks to you for writing it. For myself, it would allow me to DM the adventure with the knowledge that the maps reflect's the author's original intention for the dungeon. The maps I have in mind are as follows: - A small overland map showing the Cairn Hills area and the Keep's location (Completed) - A map of the keep (Completed) - A map of the various dungeon levels (In progress) Also, to give you a visual on what the mapping style will look like, I've attached the maps that I've completed so far in gif format. Let me know what you think. Any and all comments, corrections, criticisms or input would be warmly welcomed. Thanks very much for creating and maintaining a fantastic resource site. Regards! Yes, that is fine, and appreciated! Send them to me and I'll get them on along with a credit for you.
From: Frank "Steven" Marley Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 23:19:10 +0200 Subject: Madi Gras Hi Thomas I've been a South African fan of The Adventurers for quite a while (since my varsity days, which seemingly aren't that long ago) and often read the reviews you wrote about your experiences of New Orleans' Madi Gras. Thus you have inflamed in me a desire to go and see for myself this event. At the moment I've managed to procure my way to America (I'm working at Mount Snow in Vermont) and thus my next steps would be to obtain a place to stay for a reasonably cheap amount as well as some way of getting to New Orleans. If you could name a few places which are okay to stay in during the festivities I would be in your debt. Thank you in advance This question has been rendered moot, for now, due to the fall 2005 storms in New Orleans. It's unfortunate that my fan mail response has taken so long, but anyway...I'd stay away from that city until they get some rebuilding done.
From: Kitri Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 17:27:36 -0500 Subject: yes we are! >You readers still seem to be enjoying the stories, which counts for a lot, >in my opinion as the writer I've been enjoying your stories for years...thanks so much! Glad you like them!
From: Geoff Fraser Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2005 12:54:37 +1030 Subject: The Adventurers Echoing your latest comments about another year of writing - 'Enjoying the stories' - love 'em! Can't get enough of them. I keep hanging out for the next episode. Congratulations and keep them coming! Cheers, Geoff. By the time you read this, I'll probable have my "end of 2005" writing comments up too.
From: Brian Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 20:38:05 -0800 Subject: Xusia's Keep - Formatted Module Enclosed Hello again and Happy New Year! After sending my first letter to you (offering the maps I had created for Tomb of the Undead King) I decided to go one better and send you the formatted module in it's entirety along with .png copies of all of the maps. I had a lot of fun with your adventure and this is sent as a "thank you" for the work you put in creating it and then providing it online. I sincerely hope you won't mind, but in the process of formatting, I added descriptive boxed text to each entry. (I strongly suspect this won't be a problem, since this is for my personal offline collection of Greyhawk adventures and is not for distribution in any way shape or form - regardless, I do like to make sure!) I did a little editing of the introduction to help it match up a bit better with the second Xusia adventure while preserving the original storyline. Also, I have no idea if the maps are accurate or not, since many rooms lacked full dimension descriptions. (I did the best I could.) Finally, I took the liberty of creating the remainder of the new spells from the list you gave at the end of the module. I figured you might enjoy seeing someone else's take on the seeds you gave in the adventure. (I certanly relished the chance to add new bits of lore to the spells to try and give them an authentic Greyhawk feeling.) Once again, I must thank you for writing the adventure in the first place. I look forward to any comments or criticisms you might have and I hope you enjoy my work as much as I have enjoyed yours. This is a priceless addition to my collection of adventures. Warm regards, Brian Dougherty Thanks! I will get them up on the site as soon as I can.
From: Lucius Chiaraviglio Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 02:54:05 -0500 Subject: Re: chapter #853 of The Adventurers Okay, here goes: from the end of the episode: > notes: Well, I've been writing again for one year - this episode gets > released to the world on the last day of 2004. I can't say that it's > been easy for me to find the time to keep doing these, and I can't say > how long I'll keep it up, but here are some encouraging facts: > [. . .] > 2) I have a girlfriend who supports my writing habit and helps me make > the time to pursue it We, the fans of the Adventurers, feel the need to petition the Legendary Loremaster of the Adventurers to keep his current girlfriend . . . 8-) ^ \\_ (peril-sensitive sunglasses) I'll let her know.
From: Jim Sidaris Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2005 13:30:26 -0800 Subject: Long time... write. Hey Thomas! I've been reading since about episode 50 I think...1992 or '93, I guess. Wow, that was a long time ago! I used to write you fairly regularly, and you even used a few of my even generated a full story. (debrief of Alindyar and Lyra by the Circle of 8 after they returned from the isle of the Ape, sans Orcus' wand.) Anyway... I read your comment at the end of the most recent story and just thought I'd add my voice to those motivating you to keep writing. I am an avid, regular reader, always reading them the day they are published, unless I have absolutely no access to a computer. I know what you mean about the difficulties of sticking with it...sometimes this kind of stuff just gets pushed way down the priority list. But hopefully it remains rewarding. The stories are great, the writing is great...concentrate on Belphanior, going forward since that's where your interest're writing will be better, which means people will enjoy the stories that much more. (and I'd guess that helps you enjoy the writing a bit more...its circular) For what its worth, the stories I enjoy the most are the ones that have more of a unknown feel to them. I am anxious to see where this big sea quest goes, but I like the recent arc about Belphanior's troubles with the teleportation gate/slavers more. (During the Belphanior arc, I knew the upcoming episode would be about him trying to escape, but I couldn't know _when_ it would happen, or if he might have to make multiple attempts, etc. That following Friday when I start reading the next story, I wouldn't be able to make any kind of confident guess on where Belphanior would be by the time I'm done reading. (On the big boat, I know the next episode is going to be at sea and that they group will face some challenge. I know that when that when the episode is over they'll still be on the boat, despite whatever cool challenge they had to overcome.) So, keep it alive in '05. (I should trademark that, once I get over how corney it is) Take care. The only real enduring barrier to my writing is that it takes several hours of dedicated work to produce a single episode. I have a lot going on, and often have to scrape for those couple of hours each week to get a story written and proofed. And I haven't missed any of my posted schedules in all these years. It takes not only hard work and dedication, but hard work and dedication week in and week out, busy or not, sick or healthy. Think about that, all of you who read this.
From: Ted Manahan Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 09:20:37 -0700 Subject: Latest Adventurers Hi Thomas - Just a quick note to let you know that I continue to appreciate the Adventurers stories. I've been reading since the begining. I like the Odyssey story line, and I'm interested to see what they will find on the edge of the world. So far the challenges they have encountered (Giant shark, whirlpool, sea men) seem quite consistant with the context of their world. And what about the Scarlet Brotherhood? Anyway, keep up the good work. The stories are always a Friday highlight! Ted Well, by now you know that they've (crash) landed on a mysterious island...
From: Michael Feemster Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 17:22:57 -0800 (PST) Subject: Odyssey Story Tom, I've enjoyed the latest story arc with the crew of the Odyssey. (I am still curious about Belphanior's crew during his wandering). You are starting to get real good at making these as cliffhangers every week. I have started making books at Kinko's of your books so I can read and share with my dad. We used to play D and D long ago. Keep up the good work. You give another reason to be thankful of Fridays. Thanks, and I'm glad you're enjoying them! I try to make most episodes be cliffhangers.
From: Uri Goldberg Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 17:49:05 +0200 Subject: New continent discovery, mapping, etc. Hi! The exploration arc turned out to be quite interesting, despite my expectations, so well done! You spoke about official and unofficial maps. I've an idea that can make things much easier for you to create your own world without any contradiction with any "official" map: You said that voyages like that were made in the past, but no one came back to tell the tale. The reason for that can be that somewhere near the whirlpool there's an invisible boundary between the world of Oerth and a parallel world that is similar, but not the same. This can be viewed like Amber's shadows. Now the voyagers sailed, passed that point, and now they are charting a completely different world! There may be a situation when some of them will try to teleport home, only to find home totaly different (for example - ruled by dark elves). Now the challenge will change to return home, since the way home is very elusive - for example, one may need to navigate through the exact point near the whirlpool to return to the home world. Anyway, I'd like to thank you for writing the stories - one of my favorite pastimes on Friday is finding a new Adventurers story and reading it :-) Keep up the good work! As I reply to this, the nature of the voyage has already been determined... thanks for the ideas (you will note that the final product did resemble your ideas in some ways.)
From: Dale C. Barnett Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 21:52:12 -0500 Subject: RE:Pay for Stories Thomas, I think in the email below from "charlie" he was suggesting a "if you'd like to donate towards the cost of maintaining the website" kind of thing..... Could be mistaken. * From: Charlie * Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 * Subject: Just a Fan! * * Hi there! * * I'm just writing a quick note to let you know that I appreciate you * continuing the Adventurer stories again. I know it takes up some of * your time, but there are thousands of us out there that appreciate it. * Thank you for creating a story line that I myself have been able to read * unlike many books and stories out there. * * On a side note, have you considered setting up a donation account * through paypal or something? I'm sure there are some sub'ers that would * help out. I know I would. Just a suggestion for ya. Anyway, Thanks * for keeping the stories going. It's very appreciated. :o) * * TM> I haven't gone the "pay for stories" route because I can't figure out * TM> how to do it properly AND fairly AND not alienate readers. Plus there's * TM> the legal issues deriving from my stories being set in the Greyhawk world......... Good point. I suppose I could set up a "donations" account or something, but I do not want my personal bank account information tied to anything, and I've heard too many horror stories about PayPal. I need a one-way route for people who want to donate. I'd say "send cash" but that's not really a safe idea.
From: Dale C. Barnett Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 22:11:56 -0500 Subject: Ed's fiction page This link is now broken I'll get it removed...thanks. [Editor's note: Done.]
From: William Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 17:33:29 EST Subject: 2 movie recommendations 'Shaun of the Dead' for comedy and 'Suspect Zero' for suspense/ psychological horror with a twist...can't say anymore without spoiling the plot. Enjoy! My girlfriend (who often vets movies for me) was iffy on both of these. I may check them out when I get a chance. Thanks.
From: Uri Goldberg Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 18:54:38 +0200 Subject: Chapter 858 Hi! I read chapter 858 (enjoyed it, of course :-), and I have a few things to say about it. Obviously the adventurers are up against plant creatures of some sort. In this setting, Peyote and Daffodil are in their element. After all, Peyote is a highly ranked druid, with an extensive arsenal of powers at his disposal, and Daffodil is quite close behind. Those powers, such as speaking and commanding plants, should win this battle swiftly. Peyote's predicament shouldn't be a problem - here are some options for him to use (depends on the powers he has according to your point of view): he can change into a water elemental and flow out of the plant, or a fire elemenal and burn the plant from the inside. He can change to a huge grizzly bear and tear the plant apart, or change into a snake and slither out. He might be able to simply walk though the branches and leaves and walk out. Daffodil is in no need of escape, and can either command the plants, or summon help. Charging head-first to save Peyote and swinging Thornbolt wouldn't make sense - she has much better options, and she should know Peyote will probably take care of himself. Charging in for her can be compared to Lyra chaging in with a dagger to save Alindyar in a similar situation. Your depiction of Peyote's acting was good, but I also think that that unlike what the others said it wasn't naive. In my opinion Peyote would know his powers, and wouldn't put himself in harm's way like that without knowing all his options. Like meeting a snake in his wood, Peyote would be friendly as you depicted, but when threatened he would calmly settle the matters right, with little or no risk to himself. In situations like these he's still the master. It's possible that Peyote - being so good with plants - never suspected he'd encounter one that he couldn't control. And foolishness is part of his personality. Also, Daffodil didn't just "charge in", she first tried a spell of plant control, which failed, and then she used her staff to touch/strike the foe (as well as Peyote) and deliver a powerful electric shock.
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 16:16:51 +0100 Subject: Current episode Thank you again! Each Friday, as I am about to go home from work, another episode comes ticking in. (I'm in Oslo, on CET, so it's about 3 o'clock when they arrive.) It is great, this variation in stories. Sure, I've read that you prefer Belphanior, but it really doesn't show. All the groups are interesting to read about, in their ways. And now, Alyindar, Mongo & co! I am really concerned about Lord Marcus and what happened at the Greyspire. Fully agree with Mongo there; just GOT to find out what happened. There are bound to be asses in want for kicking. Carry on! Hooray! By now, you know what happened at Greyspire. I imagine that as I work further through this fan mail, I'll find more email on that topic.
From: Marc Winsor Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 14:19:50 -0700 Subject: Adventurers Just read your latest post and have to say I enjoy this story line much better than the ship one. Songa irritates me, all her "bah Magic bah" talk. It rubs off on Rillen, who should know better. He has a ton of magic and he knows it has saved his life many times. In a world of magic, you need it if you want to be able to live as an adventurer. I believe you wrote a story about them getting captured by some magic-users and pointed out in the comments that in magic vs non-magic, the magic wins nearly every time. I like the Chess set idea and how the pieces are mini-characters, they are interesting. I hope at some point we see all of them, maybe not at the same time, but that would be cool too. Also, at some point I'd be interested in seeing the Crimson Blades and the 4 Ills again, you gave them a decent setup and they are interesting characters. Keep up the writing the stories are entertaining and I enjoy reading them each week. I have a plot idea about the 4 ills, it may take some time though. Keep looking for it! As for the Crimson Blades, they will definitely be back.
From: Robert Ericksen Date: Fri, 04 Mar 2005 09:52:39 -0500 Subject: mongo Hello Thomas, I love how you did this episode. Mongo definately has a set of adamentium balls, you just got to love him for it. I hope the priests can do something about the hordes at least. I know G' Nasai will have to be dealth with the old fashioned way. I am anxiously awaiting the next story... Thanks for all you efforts, they definately start my Fridays off well. Mongo definitely did something, as you saw in that arc...
From: Eric Barrett Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 12:03:13 -0800 Subject: Re: chapter #863 of The Adventurers Thomas, I'm really enjoying this Mongo/Alindyar/Lyra/Bosco story arc. It's great fun to read your descriptions of combat between masters of their domains (i.e. the Adventurers versus a demon lord). It reminds me of something I wanted to email you about a while back. Some time ago, you wrote about the difficulties of keeping stories about a powerful group of people interesting, something I've heard echoed by other authors, amateur and professional. In fact, I even recall an admonition in the Dungeon Master's Handbook (I don't remember if it was 1st or 2nd Edition) that DMs -- and what's a DM if he's not an author? -- shouldn't hand out treasure willy-nilly to prevent this. But I've always longed to have an author write about characters beyond the point where they become powerful; this is one of the reasons I enjoyed Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series so much, at least before it became Robert Jordan's Boiler of Pots. Too many authors throw their characters away right when they become interesting (Raymond Feist, I'm talking to you!). I'm glad to see you've overcome the challenge by simply giving your characters bigger, more important foes. One unrelated question: I continue to see you caveating Alindyar's spells at the end of each episode. Are people STILL emailing you to complain that you're not following D&D rules? You made it clear years ago (literally) that you were escaping that trap. I guess some people lack reading comprehension. As always, thanks for the awesome stories! I get a few occasional questions or gripes, but for the most part, long-time readers seem to know that I don't use many of the official rules anymore.
From: Kevin Stewart Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 13:10:00 -0800 (PST) Subject: Faithful Reader Hi, i just have a few questions i want to ask you. 1.) What ever happened to Cynder in the Abyss? 2.) Will we ever see him appear again? 3.) Can we ever expect to see Lyra and Alindyar, and the rest of the group (possibly) adventure with any of the Circle of Eight members? 4.) What exactly is Alindyar now? ( after training with the tonberry did his class change after the training finished?) 5.) And last but not least, What ever happened to the female thief Arlanni from the Belphanior's Castle story arc? (after Arlanni woke up in the temple of Pelor.) and can we expect to see a story arc with her in it? Thank you for reading this e-mail and (possibly) posting it. 1.) This was covered in one of my rants in 2004; Cynder almost certainly became a dracolich, which will be shown if we see him again 2.) see above 3.) Maybe, if he ever joins their ranks. 4.) I've been deliberately vague on this issue. He's an illusionist of sufficient power that (to most weaker beings) the illusions are effectively real. 5.) Arlanni is gone, having her own adventures. I don't expect to see her again.
From: Ben Sartori Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2005 00:16:24 +1000 Subject: RE: chapter #866 of The Adventurers > Bosco: Whoa! (he looks around in the darkness) I have _got_ to stop > drinking that illegal rum before bedtime! I think the same could be said for the author! Happy April Fools. Good to see Ged hasn't been forgotten. I don't drink much anymore!
From: Neil Savant Date: Sat, 02 Apr 2005 03:09:20 +0530 Subject: Quote? >minotaur: What good is it being a hammer if you can't find a deserving nail? I saw this before, I think at the bottom of some of the old episodes? Some company motto or the like? It was a quote I used to have in my email signature, many many years ago.
From: Matthew Brousal Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2005 12:55:25 -0700 (PDT) Subject: My utter enjoyment of your tales!! I have been reading your Peldor stories on and off for about 4 years and if no one has told you before......YOU F>)&**&ING ROCK!!!!!! I cannot express my gratitude enough for the pleasure I have in reading your tales. Thnak you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks, I'm glad you enjoy them!
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 16:03:51 +0200 Subject: Previous episode Finally Mongo found out about that ring. And in good time, too! Interesting arch, that was. And now, to the latest Belphanior tales ... He had to learn of its true nature, sooner or later.
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 15:00:58 +0200 Subject: #869 Interesting, this. Must be under water, that chamber. Perhaps deeeeeeep. No, _probably_. Bosco would have let the water in, I'm sure. Hah!
From: Costas Krallis SV1XV Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 20:40:15 +0300 Subject: Re: chapter #869 of The Adventurers At 08:00 22/4/2005 -0400, you wrote: > next: what lies above The ocean, I guess... > notes: I hope that you enjoy my exploratory stories as much as you > enjoy my combat stories (then again, after 800+ episodes, Yes, I do. Please continue! Best regards It was a good underwater adventure.
From: Markus Hietava Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 00:21:39 +0300 Subject: New & old ventures Hey Thomas and again thank you for your continuing work. I started reading when you were writing 600, I think, and all I can say is the same thing I said in the very first post I made, you're doing a damn fine job, keep up the good work :P I just finished catching up on Adventurers' new adventures (no pun intended), and I continually find myself drawn more and more to the different Belphanior stories. Every time he takes a beating (usually in magic items, sometimes in other things), he just bears it and comes out leaner, meaner and tougher than before. Then he proceeds to begin anew his quest for power, slowly building up power bases in different places. This latest setback in his power levels was probably the hardest you've hit him with (though I don't have the specifics, as I can't really see the changes in Belph's section of the website -- I could be horribly, horribly wrong for all I know ;) ). Though considering the power levels involved in the current sagas, that's to be expected. If he lost the Book of Beasts or some of his books, it'd probably take years to rebuild some of those. I'm sure he's thinking about different kinds of contingency plans right now -- about to be implemented when his current quest ends. Some of those *will* contain different kinds of ways to go around the most annoying thing in the D&D heritage -- memorizing spells, and particularly the need to actually have a spellbook or a -scroll present for the actual memorizing. He's well-versed in different kinds of thiefly hiding skills, so I'd assume he'll go for pockets of fake skin containing one or two spells each, maybe imprint tattoos in his skin (or the skins of others) with ink that is only visible under certain conditions -- maybe make a cantrip-level spell, castable whenever, which he can use to trigger small effects such as the tattoos or pockets. He'll also probably begin setting up caches of magic and finances around the world. Not likely he'll want to end up like the last time. Alindyar on the other hand seems to be be going more and more away from the 'real' world where everyone else lives. His perceptions are beginning to seem more god-like every time. During the Xusia hunt, he used his powers in large scale twice IIRC, once in a town with the earth elemental and the second time against the beholders, where he redefined the corridor. Then it appeared to be more like a power-up that he wasn't fully equipped to handle or mastered fully yet. Now, on the other hand, he seems to be drifting. When there's a direct purpose for his actions, he's the same Alindyar as always -- incomprehensible but (horribly) efficient. However, Lyra's thoughts on him have been strangely neutral -- as if she has no opinion or refuses to think she has one on her mates new views of the world. Nevertheless, Alindyar seems to be moving steadily towards something. Rillen and Songa seem to be doing little more than fighting and lamenting on how they are unable to escape the reaches of civilization. Maybe it's just me, but their frustration (mostly Rillen's) seems to be spiraling towards an inevitable breakdown. Or explosion. That'll be interesting, to say the least. I've also noticed that as the characters' respective power levels go up, the power levels of their allies go up as well. The casual lobbing of several 7th and 8th level spells in one day in a small area is no mean feat and will not go unnoticed. Not to even speak about the other things that kinda went haywire there :P And whatever happened to Victoria? There are a lot of loose ends in the Big B department, and none of 'em good :/ The Big B should be two levels from getting his hands on 9th level spells if I recall my AD&D correctly. Now that'll be the day. Fear the spellbook of Kronos in his hands. Or Wish ;) On a lighter note, some thoughts on spells: Whatever happened to Alindyar's electrical golem? ;) Another thing that popped into my mind during the ship chapters is another use for a Wall of Stone. Simply cast the wall variant of the spell a hundred feet above a ship and watch it split the poor thing into flotsam. In fact, I don't know which would be more fun, have one of the Adventurers' companions come up with it or see them cope with a bloody *wall* falling down on them :P Two or three of those cast in succession and not even half a dozen wizards can save a ship :/ Here's a spell idea for Alindyar: Sunorb, like sunray but an actual orb that shines like the Sun. Or maybe a priestly variation :P I'm also wondering when he'll stop trying to keep everything under his strict control and learn to just give slight nudges to things or the states or energy states of things and make *them* want to change themselves. That'll be a sure nudge on the (demi)godhood path. Anywho, I think I've rambled enough for one night. If you didn't bother reading through it, I don't blame ya :P Anywho, keep up the good work! The major change to Belphanior's power levels after the arc you mention was that he lost a number of magic items. I've always claimed that I gave them too much magic early; it should have been rationed out better over the various adventures. At this point, all I can do is work with it and slowly, logically get things evened out. As for Alindyar, the changes in him are definitely intentional. I've been trying to do something different with Rillen and Songa, and their views on certain societal stupidities reflect my own actual views. Power levels...I've already referenced that in this paragraph. Belphanior has a racial limit to how far he can advance as a wizard, so 9th level spells will elude him unless he finds a way. I let the electrical golem fade from the scene because I realized that golems and elementals each have their "thing" they can be made of, and the two groups need to be distinct. Maybe I'll use the wall-of-stone-as-ship-killer idea sometime, thanks.
From: Kai Frederking Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 19:50:38 +0200 Subject: Development of The Adventurers Hi Thomas I'm currently catching up with the more recent stories (actually with the last 6 months). First and foremost: I tremendously enjoy the reading and am thankful, that you still invest your time in them. Although my following comments may seem to be mainly negative, the good outweighs the bad by far. It's just meant as constructive criticism. - In the past, you repeatedly complained about the power-level achieved by the party - and rightly so. Anyway, you are making things harder for yourself by not only maintaining this power level, but increasing it. Take for example the Mongo-Storyline: A chess piece (BB) that can cast a gate-spell . and it isn't even one of the major pieces of the set. Alindyar "transcending" (episode #863) the normal levels of spellcasting? Hell, he's an 18th level caster, powerful, but just an 18th level archmage. If he had to play by the rules, he'd still be powerful, but not almighty. When you decided to abandon the (A)D&D rules, you did it in a way favoring only the player characters. Mighty foes get killed by single blows or arrows, etc. - I like the Mongo-thread best, followed by Belphanior. The Oddyssey is rather boring. Funny that the creators of this ship should name it after a hero from a foreign (our) world. Why not name it after some leader who led his tribe into the Flaness after the twin cataclysms? - Some of the adventurers were more fun when they were still handled by their original players (okay, ancient history). Belphanior was truly chaotic then, while you model him with a lawful touch (ruling Hellgate, leading his company, planning and scheming). You do a great job with Mongo, Bosco, Alindyar, and Peyote. Halbarad was always boring, but is more so now. Rillen is redundant and making Rob sane was a biiig mistake. It is a pity that the namesake of your site has been retired so early (see next paragraph). - It's time for something terrible to happen to some of the adventurers again. Taking out Ged was hard, but an excellent idea. Since then, they had it too good. How about killing off Peldor's family, giving him a reason to adventure again - and the best motive there is for it: Revenge. - Retire some of the support characters. People like Eyer are just cluttering the story. It's okay to have them for a couple of episodes, but you have more than enough interesting characters to carry the story without them. Again, THANK YOU for the great stories over all these years! Kind regards Kai P.S.: Have you ever considered taking up role playing again? Your girlfriend and you, plus a handful of friends could make for a hell of a team. Gives additional inspiration and a nice pastime in addition to softball (not that I insinuate that you have time to pass . ) :-) P.P.S.: I finally found out why I can't e-mail you via my primary SMTP provider. It seems your POP provider blocks its IP range. Since 1&1 (my provider) is one of the major German ISPs, there may be others who try to mail you but can't. Maybe there are some slightly too global spam filter settings in place. For the time, I'll use hotmail. The power levels in the Adventurers are permanently broken and I've given up on "fixing" them - but you bring up good points. I named the ship after a concept, not Odysseus; no reader would want to read about the voyages of a ship called "Demos Markellan III" or something like that. Changes in the adventurers' personalities are to be expected, as they have changed over 10+ years of game time. If I killed Peldor's family, that would change him into something far different than the Peldor everyone wants to see again. Think carefully on this.
From: Kai Frederking Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 19:51:06 +0200 Subject: Comment on episode #866 One word about episode #866 (Bosco's dream): BRILLIANT ! :-) Glad you found it funny and amusing!
From: Kai Frederking Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 19:51:36 +0200 Subject: Hourglass of Kronos Hi Thomas Sorry for the e-mail bombardment - I hope you don't add my name to the spam-filter :-) What happened to Belphanior's hourglass? It's on his "kept" list, but was actually taken from him (and not explicitly recovered). If you didn't make up your mind on it yet: Let it be lost. I thought he had it. I'll have to check old episodes and my notes.
From: Kai Frederking Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 19:56:09 +0200 Subject: me again - episode #869 this time Hi Thomas I just finished catching up. In episode #869 you write: >There was a large, pale shell-like central portion, from which >hung a dozen long tubes of bone that resembled snake skeletons. Squids aren't actually vertebrae (while snakes are). A squid's "skeleton" is just a piece of sepia, an ovaloid disk supporting the central body. The rest is purely muscle. That's one of the reasons we don't know much about the squids and octopi from the depths - there are no skeletons. The only indications of their existence are the contents of sperm whale (or is that cachalot whale in these p.c. days?) stomachs and the rare find of a rotting cadaver on a beach. Btw: Funny that some highly intelligent adventurers don't draw the right conclusion from "water rune" and "high pressure". Drawmij might have done better . :-) Best regards Maybe this squid was magical and did have some sort of "skeleton"...or maybe it just hadn't rotted away yet.
From: Lucius Chiaraviglio Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 19:43:42 -0400 Subject: Re: chapter #870 of The Adventurers > released: 4/29/05 > notes: I don't know if everyone's realized it, but the wispy thing > does speak consistently. If you were to reference all of the words he > ever used, you might see some patterns of words vs situations. I do > not recommend that you perform this analysis, especially since someday > I'll probably post a copy of his dictionary. > +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Hey, it looks like I guessed right: On 15 Dec 1997 I wrote: | [. . .] the wispy thing does seem to have a language of its own. | I have half-toyed with the idea of an unofficial wispeak-to-English | dictionary, but I don't have the time right now to search back through all | of the episodes with the wispy thing to determine meaning from context. Glad you're considering releasing this. I can't put my finger on the reason why, but the wispy thing just somehow seems RIGHT for the Adventurers, even if most of them are no longer with Belphanior on a regular basis. I actually have a lexicon of the wispy thing's words and their meanings, but this falls under the category of "writer's bible" and for now, it can't be public information.
From: Dave Dunn Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 11:04:25 -0700 Subject: Thought You might enjoy this. Hi Tom, I imagine you get unsolicited recommendations all the time, but I simply couldn't resist. These are two web comics I stumbled across. Check out the first few episodes. Also, the latest Belphanior stories are great. (Down with the Sea Princes!) Thanks for still putting out quality material. The Sea Princes will get their just rewards in the near future...
From: Robert Ericksen Date: Fri, 06 May 2005 11:58:32 -0400 Subject: Adventurers 871 Hello Thomas, I too am glad you are back on the Belphanior arc. I so enjoy reading his adventures. I agree with your point that it is obvious to us they were underwater but I did realize that it is all new to them. I was hoping they wouldn't just open a portal and drown themselves... I know you already have the next story written and the whole thing worked out already but the first think that came to mind after the shark's first hit was leakage and my first idea to prevent it was a large dome shaped wall of force. If I remember my AD&D correctly, it lasts forever too. If they can't do on big enough for the whole structure, at least they can protect themselves from the water and pressure of it. I don't know if Belphanior or Skektek have that spell, I know I always made sure I had it... Just an idea. As for Cespedes and the big battle at the Fortress of Nine, unfortunately I don't remember much details. What chapters was that battle? Do you also know what other chapters they encountered him in? That would be very helpful... Thanks and keep up the great work, Bob Ericksen I don't recall either, but I think the Fortress of the Nine battle was in the high 700s. [Editor's note: the end is easier to pinpoint than the beginning] 751: Belphanior meets Demogorgon and agrees to attack the Fortress 764: the Champions, led by Rob, enter the Fortress at the top 767: Belphanior's group enters the Fortress at the bottom 776: the armies battle outside the Fortress 781: "Now it's a party." 784: aftermath
From: Costas Krallis SV1XV Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 19:09:43 +0300 Subject: Re: chapter #872 of The Adventurers > notes: I always thought it was funny how, in movies with undersea > or submarine settings, some big impact will cause leaks to spring, and > then characters are always able to turn wheels or pull levers to make > the leaking stop. Hi Thomas, In real life this can only happen if the leak develops at a small fixture like a pressure gauge or at a small cooling water pipe. These devices are always connected through isolation valves. If a leak develops at the pressure hull of a submarine, there is no simple way to stop it. I really enjoy this thread with the underwater structure. I agree with you, what we see in many movies is just wrong. At least the group didn't drown!
From: Kevin Hudson Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 09:06:16 -0400 Subject: Hola Do you by chance have better versions of the Fortress of the Nine maps? I can't make out the room #s at all. Thanks and keep up the good work. Unfortunately, I do not. They were made in AutoCAD which is exportable to JPG format but the resulting images will look different on different monitors.
From: Thomas Hamilton Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 12:10:00 -0400 Subject: In regards to your summer movie choices You should consider Serenity based on Firefly Firefly was a great, but short lived, Science Fiction show by Joss Whedon (Buffy/Angle) about a group of smugglers 500 years in the future. Great characters, good acting and interesting plot lines. I don't have cable, and never have. It's not an issue of money, but rather of time and the potential wasting of it. I will check this stuff out on DVD as I have time.
From: Uri Goldberg Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 12:07:39 +0200 Subject: Comment on your recent news Hi Thomas! I've been a reader of The Adventurers for years now, and I also read your news items. About your recent news post, it seems to me that The Adventurers are becoming more of a burden. If you feel stressed by the writing now, I expect it would become hell by the end of 2007. What I suggest is to reduce the pace, and post every 2 weeks, or a week and a half. This way you'll reduce the stress the writing causes, and I hope you'll continue to enjoy writing them. Last time you stopped, I thought it was for good, but yet you continued after a long break. Maybe another break, albeit a shorter one, is required, or as I said - reduce the pace. Thank you yet again for writing The Adventurers. I wish you all the best! :-) It's not the pace, it's the fact that my life is only getting busier. Well, that and the fact that I've used up almost all of the plot lines I have in my head. This is not an invitation for more - I'm saying that when I've told all the tales I want to tell, I'll know I'm done.
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 16:40:50 +0200 Subject: chapter 874 Yes! Nenya! We want Nenya! She'll show up now and then.
From: NNK Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 06:16:19 +0530 Subject: Reader's Choice If you decide to make it reader's choice, please don't put it at the end of an episode; link to them or something instead. I like the element of surprise... I assume you're talking about the nature of the island (ocean voyage arc.)
From: Jason Riley Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 21:49:07 -0400 Subject: episode 876... > The opening portion of this episode pretty much reflects how > I, personally, react to heat/humidity. In other words, I don't like it > at all. I've frequently bragged of my superpowers that allow me to > resist cold - it's true. I really can walk outside in 50-degree (F) > weather with a short-sleeved t-shirt on and not shover. I simply don't > get cold as easily as the average human being. The flip side of this, > of course, comes in the hot season. I think it wouldn't be so bad if > not for the humidity in my part of the U.S. At some point, I'd like to > move northward, where the hottest part of the year is only 80 degrees > or so, but for now I'm trapped where I am. Dude, you are a Canadian trapped in a Southerner's body. I am from a place called New Brunswick, borders with Maine, it's climatically perfect for you assuming you can hang with winter ;) It rarely gets far above 80F. Still has that nasty humidity. > As for the story stuff, well, I'll put it this way: I know what the > barrier is, and I know what's inside it and beyond it. What I don't > know is what exactly is on the "lost continent" that they'll find > eventually. I have about a dozen possibilities, of which about five > are good (meaning that I'd be happy writing a story arc with them.) I > just need to decide. I'm toying with the idea of putting it up to a > readers' vote! No voting, that'll spoil the surprise! I've taken up DMing again after a 20 year hiatus and I admire your writing even more, it gives a guy a lot to live up to. They pick me to chronicle all the adventures even when I'm not DMing. Keep up the good work! I'm not really a Southerner either. I just live here because I've got a good history at a reasonably well-paying job, and I don't like change.
From: Lucius Chiaraviglio Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 00:58:56 -0400 Subject: Re: chapter #876 of The Adventurers On Friday 10 June 2005 08:00, you wrote: > [. . .] > released: 6/10/05 > notes: The opening portion of this episode pretty much reflects how > I, personally, react to heat/humidity. In other words, I don't like it > at all. I've frequently bragged of my superpowers that allow me to > resist cold - it's true. I really can walk outside in 50-degree (F) > weather with a short-sleeved t-shirt on and not shover. I simply don't > get cold as easily as the average human being. The flip side of this, > of course, comes in the hot season. I think it wouldn't be so bad if > not for the humidity in my part of the U.S. At some point, I'd like to > move northward, where the hottest part of the year is only 80 degrees > or so, but for now I'm trapped where I am. Come on up here! We have heat and humidity now (unseasonably warm, I would say), but up until a few days ago we had temperatures from 40 `F to 50 `F and rain. > As for the story stuff, well, I'll put it this way: I know what the > barrier is, and I know what's inside it and beyond it. What I don't > know is what exactly is on the "lost continent" that they'll find > eventually. I have about a dozen possibilities, of which about five > are good (meaning that I'd be happy writing a story arc with them.) I > just need to decide. I'm toying with the idea of putting it up to a > readers' vote! I would think that unless these things are really big, a lost continent would have room for all five of them, especially if the continent had some substantial geographic barriers within it. I'm still working it out in my head.
From: Ping N. Lam Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 06:21:37 -0400 Subject: "What's New" section of web site Hello Thomas Miller, I was reading your web page, Friday 10 June 2005 "What's New" section, where you mentioned that you didn't feel comfortable with charging people for your writing. A different possibility of making money is to put advertising on your web site instead of directly charging for the stories. That would be a more indirect way and would not be selling copyrighted material. I started a company myself and wouldn't mind advertising on your site (except for the fact that I'm currently in the stages of finding investors to fund advertising. It's a site that allows people to trade any product like a stock exchange, a more flexible version of eBay.) There may be other companies that might be interested in advertising on your site. Ping Lam Sorry, but I dislike seeing web-page advertisements on sites I visit, and thus I would never make my readers see advertisements either...
From: Olli Kuusela of Finland Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2005 19:52:19 +0300 (EEST) Subject: gateways Greetings Thomas! It's nice to see that you still find time to entertain us with your great stories. I just read episode 875 and it reminded me how I imagined the gateways to work before you compared them to stargates in Stargate SG-1. You see, my first image was a stone portal in Eye of the Beholder - a legendary computer fantasy rolegame. Those portals are activated by touching them with a specific magical stone item. Unlike your gateways or stargates they worked only as pairs. There was about a dozen of these stone relics that each had its own pair of portals. To make travelling more efficent, there was a chamber, a hub, with about half a dozen stone portals. And this room (just a bit smaller than your chamber in 875) was in Underdark (or someplace that looked like Underdark as the game takes place in the sewers of Waterdeep) And as a reader I have a request: please try to avoid those "trouble of the day" stories that we've seen during the ocean voyage. Keep writing and you'll soon hit the longest number yet: DCCCLXXXVIII =) My gateways were loosely based on the plot device in the "Deathlands" series. Stargate is on my DVD list for the next few years, so I'll watch it sometime.
From: Kai Frederking Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2005 14:09:00 +0200 Subject: Episode 876 Hi Thomas I would have expected a high priest of Pelor - god of the sun - to be less cranky in the blistering countenance of his deity's face :-) Regarding the continent: 1 The lost continent is the original cradle of human (or pick another race here) civilization. A cataclysmic event forced its inhabitants to flee westward about ten thousand years ago, founding the human civilizations of the Suel and Bakluni in the western Flanaess. Today, the lost continent has partly recovered from the cataclysm, but is still the playground of dragons/demons/devils/mutant ninja flumphs. Remnants of the old civilization still exist, but have degenerated due to their focus on survival instead of cultural development. 2 The continent is the testing ground of the gods. They populated it, but something went terribly wrong. Therefore the gods decided to cut it off of the rest of the world, removing it physically by a couple of thousand miles from the rest of the world, and surrounding it by the fog wall. Then the gods had a second try on the western continents. 3 The continent developed independently and is home to a mix of culture (as is the Flanaess). A good opportunity to insert some "oriental adventures". The adventurers would be seen as gaijin, uncouth, uncivilized, and most likely unwelcome. This area might even have different gods (and be outside the sphere of influence of the other Greyhawk gods) - kind off a problem for the priest types in the party. Druidic magic might still work, since its bound as much to nature as it is to deities - if not more so. 4 The continent is populated by a lizardmen culture (probably of the Ys-type) [replace by catpeople, dog-men, or birdfolk as needed]. There are good, evil, and neutral factions, some allied, some at war. They are culturally advanced, clothing themselves, literate, trading, and possibly even just harnessing the power of steam. There are philosophers, tyrants, rebels, demagogues, etc. The adventurers arrive just at the beginning (or in the middle) of a great struggle, either between the factions (rebels vs. tyrant), or against a common enemy (demons invading from the south). 5 The adventurers find a rich but underdeveloped culture of natives. Since their task is to colonize this continent, they have to enslave or kill these natives, conveniently robbing their treasures. Oh, sorry, that was the American scenario, we already had that. Just joking :-) Kind regards Kai (Hamburg, Germany) Actually, one of my possible plotlines was #5, except in my case someone would think ahead to what would happen in the long run. My writing of it would come across as a biting sarcastic criticism of how the colonists pillaged the New World over the course of the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, and into the 1900s. Let there be no mistake, I am fully aware of what happened and I don't like it.
From: Kai Frederking Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 01:20:28 +0200 Subject: Rant 2005/06/17 You wrote "Related note: most bad drivers' vehicles have plenty of damage already - that's how you can tell you're looking at a bad driver." That's only true of poor, bad drivers - at least in my country :-) Anyway, 95% of men believe themselves to belong to the top 5% drivers (btw: so do I :-)) Hmm.
From: Kai Frederking Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 01:36:02 +0200 Subject: episode #877 Hi Thomas I'm curious how the longboat party will make its way back to the Odyssey. To row into a fog bank of unknown thickness on the open sea, before the invention of the magnetic compass, and without the use of magic - that's daring indeed. I'd rather face a demon prince with a pocket knife :-) Shouldn't they at least have used Ariadne's trick of taking some thread or twine with them? Good point, but it's too late to worry about it now.
From: Eric Barrett Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2005 10:58:20 -0700 Subject: Re: chapter #879 of The Adventurers The rotting boat is an excellent plot twist! It'll be good to have the large party of powerful characters exploring a new land, bereft of their greater powers and home-base support. You've said you'll be going to the Belphanior arc next, and I can't wait, but for once I'm just as eager to read the next Halbarad/Peyote/Daffodil episode as I am the next for Belphanior! I'll get back to the "lost continent" soon...
From: Trevor Bancroft (long time reader) Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 20:25:31 +0000 Subject: The Odyssey Just wanted to let you know about the following inconsistancy. From episode 813: >Peyote: (nods proudly) Everything, from the big stuff to the tiniest > details, was done right. The wood was cut in the winter, curved and > clamped and steamed with the greatest of care. Hell, there's actually > a whole lot about that ship that's _special_...the waterproofing, the > braces, the hull itself. Don't tell anyone, but there's a thin sheet > of metal inside the hull!" I believe it was mentioned after that at some point as well, but didn't go so far as to look. The reason I brought it up was because I had suspected things to go much differently when the wood started decaying from the hull of the ship. Had I been the captain of that ship I would have been a bit let down that the water was eating away at the first wooden layer of the hull but not overly concerned to the point that Kiel had seemed. Of course, it is quite possible that I am missing something here. Perhaps the water has ate away the metal as well. At least that would be a good way to explain away the issue...but I do think it needs to be done. ;) I had figured the steel lined hull was for added support and in case something set the wood on fire (or something to that effect). To that end it seems it would have remained there if the water only eats away at wood. *shrug* Not trying to nitpick. Just trying to help out before you get a flood of emails from people noticing the same thing. Lemme know if your looking for suggestions. :D Also, on a side note - I do love your stories very much. They are inspiring to me. I also understand that you can only write for so long in someone else's word before you run into problems. You see...I see you talk about the problems in your stories being power related. I don't think it is so much power related as relative power to the setting. The problem is that you are using Greyhawk and the challenges that the adventurers can face is limited to what Greyhawk can offer. Don't get me wrong, I like Greyhawk and love the adventurers. I'm just saying I think you may misunderstand the problem you face. I realized this myself years ago when I started DMing. That is why I always make a homebrew world. Yes, it is definately more work. But if you want to do it right from the start so that you don't have to worry about these problems in the future it is the only way to do it. Plus once the adventurers progress to the point where they have outgrown previous challenges you can always come up with something greater. :) Now...the problem I think you would run into at that point is if you are even going to base it on D&D or just make it typical high fantasy. Thats the problem I face whenever get to thinkin about writing a book. You see, I'm a big fan of D&D and I like the idea of being able to say "he casted magic missle" or use other things in that context. But we both know what that means in the book industry and Wizard$ of the Coa$t. Anyway, I look forward to ANY of your further writing. Be it the adventurers in the context they are in currently (god I miss Peldor though), in a different setting, or a different group altogether. You wont lose me as a reader! :) Good point on the metal hull-layer; I'd assume it was so thin that it couldn't support the weight of the inner wooden hull after the outer wooden hull had been eaten. As for power levels...the point I've been trying to make for years isn't that the power levels are too high now, just that they got too high too fast. Rather than have adventurers at 20th level in 800 episodes, I'm saying that they should have reached 20th level in, say, 1500 episodes. I should have paced things better all the way from episode 1, so that the progression of the characters' power was a smooth upward slope, rather than the early spike which it actually was in my stories. This happened because when I sat down and published episode 1, I never planned to reach episode 50, let alone episode 100, 500, 800, etc. There was no grand scheme of my writing - its success and continuing existence are accidental.
From: Wayne Rasmussen Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 14:55:35 -0700 Subject: I am shocked! I can't believe you got back to writing these stories again. Well not surprised, but you know. Did you know there is a dnd MMORPG coming out? see I don't play online games - I just don't have the time. Maybe when I was 20, but not now.
From: Matt Paley Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 22:12:45 +0100 (BST) Subject: peldor et al You have website troubles, everything after episode 881 has vanished. I need my weekly fix of the adventurers! I was an avid reader (via the mailing list) many years ago and I thought episode 800 would be the last but I checked the website after a gap of a few years and found that you had started again. Excellent stuff. Just for the record the best bit (IMHO) was Helgate/Victoria. Keep up the good work! This was a past website outage and is fixed now. I am fond of the Helgate days, that was my Western writing period i think.
From: M. Sardonic Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 15:15:55 -0400 Subject: web-site update Thomas, Still enjoy the stories after years and years. Is there a plan to update the website wrt the index and chapter/books? The last overhaul was in December 2000. And it only goes up to story number 700. I will get working on this.
From: Costas Krallis SV1XV Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2005 22:19:30 +0300 Subject: Re: chapter #882 of The Adventurers > Belphanior: If any of Xusia's treasures turn out to be dangerous, > we'll destroy them. It's that simple. > Ys: It might not be so simple. I recall a legend I heard once, about > a ring... You cold-blooded serpent - what do you know about my Precious? Talk before I spill your green blood all over the place. ------- Fine business, Thomas. I enjoy all three threads. I threw this "Lord of the Rings" reference in there just for fun. I hope you readers notice such little things...
From: Edward Joesting Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 13:49:03 +0000 Subject: Home Thomas, I'm sure you have been thinking of it for awhile, after the issue at you complex it's probably time to get a home. Two suggestions though, move to where you want to retire now or start to look. You are at a good age to find work wherever you want to live for the rest of your life, and certainly have excellent experience. P.S. I personally like small towns, where I live the kids are polite and I have been "sirred" and "excuse me'd" by them several times. It's not that easy anymore, not with a girlfriend who's going to become a wife in the next couple of years and is still in school here, plus has close family here.
From: Trevor Bancroft Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 11:41:49 -0400 Subject: Belphanior's frozen weapons I would have figured that while Belphanior was back with Nenya et all that he would have had those weapons he found in the frozen gate identified?... Trevor Bancroft Long time fan of The Adventurers I thought he had? If not, I will take care of it soon.
From: Brian S. Johnson Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 13:06:59 -0700 Subject: Fan.. atic I started reading the Adventurers in early 97', found them online surfing one day, and couldn't close the browzer for the next six monts while i caught up. you've done an excellent job GMing and story telling. Take care. I'm happy to hear of such addictions!
From: Mike Cullingham Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2005 09:27:20 -0600 Subject: on the subjects of the adventurers & non-sports On a lighter note concerning non-sports, there's the story of the Canadian Olympic Hide & Seek Team that got interviewed on ESPN: And since I seem to recall you're a fan of more grim and gritty fantasy worlds, I've found the newly released Iron Heroes "d20" game to be fairly inspiring in that way. There are a fair amount of free previews available for it over at: And dealing with the Adventurers, thanks for the latest episode. With this gateway arc, it seems you're really balancing the pacing well. Suspense-action with a bit of humour and a real sense that this is an adventure worthy of Belphanior & crew. I also really enjoyed the last few episodes of the Odyssey arc. I didn't see the current situation of that group coming, but at the same time it's completely plausible and can explain logically how an unknown other continent might exist in a magical world. I'm always looking forward to the Friday releases. Keep 'em coming. It's sometimes hard to believe that I've been reading these for over a decade, longer than I kept reading any individual title in comic books. mike Glad you like them. It's hard for me to believe that I've been _writing_ them for over a decade!
From: Anke I. Beckedorf Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2005 11:15:59 -0400 Subject: Hi! Thanks to Your brother I have been on You mailing list for some time now. Unfortunally I'll be leaving here soon and therefore loose the email account that is entered in Your list. I do not want to miss Your weekly stories, I enjoy them a lot! Thank You! And keem on writing, You are doing a great job there! I will take care of it.
From: Ted Manahan Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 08:41:15 -0600 Subject: FW: chapter #886 of The Adventurers Hmmm - Belphanior with a small army of nearly unstoppable golems. The mind boggles.... Heh. Just wait until you see what he does with them.
From: Lee Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 22:09:54 +0200 Subject: Something entertaining to read Check Good netstories are hard to find :) I do believe you'll enjoy it. I'll check it out when I get a chance.
From: David Pope Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2005 23:47:06 -0400 Subject: RE: chapter #889 of The Adventurers >Drak: How long are you going to avoid telling Belphanior about your > secret cabal of archmagi? >Parekh: A while yet. He doesn't need to know everything; for now, he's > serving our ends as well as his own. Besides, if he finds out about > Cespedes' change of heart, he might get angry. >Drak: We wouldn't like him when he's angry. Heheh - "We wouldn't like him when he's angry." :) Yeah, I thought a while about this discussion/text before I wrote it. I think they can't help but fear Belphanior a little, even if they're technically "more powerful" than him.
From: Daniel Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 13:29:13 -0400 Subject: Peldor Magic Item Idea First off, I'd like to say Wow! on your awesome series. I really appreciate and enjoy The Adventurers and just want to say thanks and keep up the awesome work. Secondly, I was reading through the series from the beginning for the third time and began seeing your requests for fan ideas on storylines or magic items and what not. I've never gotten a chance to play much D&D myself, but I research it and look into the core books and try to learn as much as possible. Much of what I have learned I learned from your stories, while I have supplemented it with 3rd ed. core rulebooks. I came up with an artifact idea for 3rd ed. and then decided to slightly modify it to see if you would think about putting it into your stories. I call it The Crown of the King of Fools. I havent come up with a history yet, but the idea is that it is an intelligent crown whos purpose is to spread chaos. Its rather hard to describe the looks of it, but imagine a 4-spired crown with 8 eyes surrounding it. The "spires" are horns on 8 different faces that encircle the crown. between two spires(devil horns) is a smiling evil face while beneath the spire(single horn like a unicorn) is a frowning sad face. Each face shares its eye with the face next to it. The materials are adamantium, ebony(black ivory?), ivory, some mithral wire to form the mouths and either glasteel or gems as the "eyes". The crown is meant for chaotic characters only. It also has a second form where the wearer pulls it down over their head and wears it as a mask. When pulled down, the mask melds into the users features becoming invisible, like a second skin. Only a CN character can utilize the mask. In the crown form, it is a +1 Crown with the following bonuses to the wearer: +2 Int, +2 Wis, Regenerate(2HP/turn), Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Continual:Detect Law and Chaos, At will: Disguise Self, 1/day Magic Circle Against Law, 1/week Dispel Law. The crown has the stats: 18Cha, 18Wis, 12Int, Empathy, 16 Ego, hearing. I'll get to the drawbacks after the Mask form. The Mask has the same benefits as the crown plus the following: +4 Cha, Wearer requires no food or water and can breathe underwater or in a vacuum, Continual: Chaos Claok(3rdEd)(+4 AC bonus, +4 save bonus, spell resistance 25 vs lawful spells and spells cast by lawful creatures, immunity to possession and mental control(charming, dominate, etc), any lawful creature succeeding on a melee attack against the wearer is confused for 1 round),Detect Good and Evil, At Will: 120ft darkvision, true seeing, charm person, 1/day: Chaos Hammer(1d8/2caster lvls max 5d8 to lawful creatures or 1d6/caster lvl max 10d6 to lawful outsiders, both slowed for 1d6 rounds, 1/2 to non-lawful, chaotic creatures immune), Confusion, 1/(2weeks): Charm Monster(Mass), Insanity, 1/week: Word of Chaos. Mask Form: all same attributes as crown except Ego and has 120ft darkvision and blindsense. As for the drawbacks, I couldnt decide which one should apply to just the crown. 1 drawback was that the wearer was compelled to attack all lawful creatures and protect all chaotic creatures. The other drawback was a little more complex and was a series of mood swings and alignment tilts depending on the time of day. The wearers mood would swing from happy to depressed and back again every 6 hours with an alignment change that, while not causing their alignment to leave CN, brings it very close to CG and CE. Also, the wearer must sleep exactly 6 hours every night, passing into unciousness at midnight and awaking at 6am. The wearer is truly happy only between the periods of near-CG and CE because of his choice of being neutral on the good-evil spectrum and not having to feel the burden of such extreme morals. It does not bother the wearer however, that through it all, he clings tenaciously to his chaotic ways. Whew. That was kinda've a long explanation, but it is an artifact. I'm sure since you have tons of D&D expertise such that you can probably alter it somewhat and make it much simpler. This is my first attempt at making an item, so I wont be put out if you decide to change some aspects if you even decide to use it at all. If you have read this far, then thank you for your patience with my lengthy description, and I hope to see its use sometime in the future. Your appreciative reader, Daniel It's a good item, but two issues: 1) I don't use 3rd edition so a lot of the details are beyond me, and 2) it doesn't fit in with the plans I have for Peldor (I know a lot of readers will perk up here..."What?!? You actually have plans for Peldor?!?") I will keep it on file, and of course share it here so others can see and use it.
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 16:38:13 +0200 Subject: Adventurers Oh yes, a Mongo! That would be good. Of course, I guess people a-plenty have mentioned that Mongo would be the obvious user of Otto's "dwarven hero" belt. So far I am a tad bit disappointed that nothing has been going on - that I've noted - between Belphanior and Neera. I am sure Neera has proved that she has brains worthy of a "Belphanior's GF", and probably the looks; I don't remember her description anymore. What is more unclear is her views towards him. Is he too much of a brute, living a too dangerous life? But maybe Belphanior needs to finish off Victoria before something happens? Ah, another friday, another story. Good work! The Belphanior-Neera dynamic will be addressed in the near future.
From: Jyri Nousiainen Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 19:45:41 +0300 Subject: Just another old-school reader... Hello there, I was in the mailing list loooong time ago, until after you went off to hiatus, I think. I changed email addresses rapidly between 98-00, so I wasn't even aware you still kept this up. Damn great to see you're still alive. Have to go to back and read it all from the start again, I guess, before catching up to what's going on. Going to take me ages... Looking forwards to it. Anyway, that's all I had to say, just reminding you that there are people alive here and expressing my hearfelt gratitude for this huge piece of work. No need to bother with replying, since I didn't apparently have anything constructive to say. I'll reply anyway: good to have you back!
From: Manuel Sgt David E Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 09:22:43 +0900 Subject: Great stories I am a fan having been reading your stories for over a year now, reread them every now and again and there still as good as before. I was just curious if you had updated the characters page because I noticed it didn't have Jenna in it and am also kind of curious about everyones new lvl's if they have gained any am sure they have. Well thank you for listening to me I hope you continue writing. Your stories are great. Adding Jenna and Elgon - and other updates - will happen after episode 900 is out in November 2005. I like to make such updates every 100 episodes.
From: Uri Goldberg Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 13:53:06 +0200 Subject: Some nitpicking with chapter #891, and other stuff Hi! I'm one of your long time readers from Israel (Uri Goldberg - I don't know if you remember or not). How're you doing these days? Just a little nitpick considering chapter #891 - baby Ariel speaks in boo and bah, and she's 2 and a half years old. At this age, she should've been speaking not only comperhendable words - she should've been making whole sentences (she may use her own invented funny words and grammer, but still - whole senteces). And for the good stuff - I just love the "getting back together" parts. It's like meeting old friends. And I'd love to see Alindyar & Lyra join forces with Belphanior for a quest or two. They would be even tougher than they are now... And of course, having Mongo is always good for a party :-) Bring it on, I say! :-) And for some non-adventurers stuff (but somewhat close): First, I recommend you have a look at "The Order Of The Stick" ( - it's a comic about a D&D adventurers party, utterly hilarious. Second, there's a movie called "V For Vendetta" coming up on November. It's based on a dark comics by Alan Moore, and if it's even half as good as the comics, it's going to be great, so I recommend you check it out. And last, thank you again for keeping writing "The Adventurers". They're great! :-) All the best, Uri Goldberg I don't do well with babies, thus the "boo" and "bah" (although bear in mind, she probably has to listen to Bosco a lot, so that might have warped her brain.) I know of the Order of the Stick and I'll check out "V For Vendetta" when it hits DVD (I don't go to theaters much anymore.)
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 14:39:31 +0200 Subject: Chapter #891 Really, really great to see the old faces. Yes, I'd like to see more of them! - but ok, I see your point. Just let the stay in the Free City last a couple of days extra, will you? They don't have to DO much but talk ... Remember, for us the readers it's like meeting old friends! Hello Goodbye is just not enough! And Belphanior needs other advisors than Parekh & co. I am sure Peldor must invite them all to a grand party in the near future. Been a while since we saw the cookery of the Green Dragon Inn excel. But of course I'll happily read whatever you write in this saga :) I'm working on an arc for Peldor, but it's tough with his family around (and no, I don't want to kill them off.)
From: Jim Park Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 10:23:58 -0400 (EDT) Subject: Mongo in the mix Tom, I am really glad that you are still writing and I know that you like Belphanior the best of the characters to write and he has really grown on me but my favorite character is Mongo, then aagin I prefer to play Dwarven fighters when I game. I am glad to see you using him in this arc. I look forward to the new stories every Friday. Thanks, -Jim I think Mongo adds something to any story he's in.
From: Mikko Rasa (the DataBeaver) Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 17:26:21 +0300 Subject: The Adventurers episode 892 This is a truly great fantasy series. I've read it for two years now (reading just the archives took over a year) and I've enjoyed every bit of it. Keep up the good work! Thanks, keep reading!
From: Robert Ericksen Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 10:50:30 -0400 Subject: Belphanior takes over Greyspire... Hello Thomas, After reading last weeks episode, I had a crazy idea I meant to send to you but forgot to. Now I see this weeks episode and it reminded me. I haven't read this week's episode yet, it's printing now, so maybe you already addressed this... Greyspire is now empty and Belphanior is looking for a new base. Would it be completely crazy for him to take over Greyspire??? I don't know if Lord Marcus would like that but he doesn't have an army to house there anymore... Besides, one of the gateways was in the Rift Canyon. That could be a way to get to and from the gateways from his home base. That would mean clearing out the unfriendlies in the canyon first but that could be fun, especiall with Mongo helping out, maybe even Alindyar and Lyra too. I'm sure there isn't anything down there they can't handle... As for Ys, I had a feeling it would be he that would suffer an adverse effect from an item. I was thinking it might make him go berzerk or start transforming him into a demon or something like that which would make him attack the party and then they would have to find a way to subdue such a powerful friend... Could have been interesting... I am curious to see what happens to him now. Thanks for the continued entertainment, Bob Ericksen ps. Tell Matt Hurd to drop me a line... I have another base in mind for will see sometime between episodes 900-1000.
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 17:05:42 +0200 Subject: Adventurers #892 >I think I have too many characters involved in my stories. Sorry. You're wrong. Great amount. Perhaps not for you as a writer, but I won't consider that :) It's a lot of personalities to juggle.
From: Tyler Sherkin Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2005 02:11:43 -0400 Subject: The Adventurers I just wanted to say how great some of these latest episodes have been lately. They're shorter than I'd like but that's life, right? I really like the way you've been portraying Alindyar, I love the focus on Belphanior's group and how you're showing the development of the others (even in passing as part of one episode) as one might expect to happen in "realistic-ish" life. Great job, man, I hope you hit #1000 and have the will and energy to keep going because I really love this stories. Every few months I started from #000 and read all the way through and it's just mind-boggling the progression you've made as a storyteller. Great stuff and thanks for all the awesome reading! Thanks for the praise. I'll probably stop writing for good in the next few years, but I want to reach #1000.
From: Cole Younger Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 13:41:31 -0400 Subject: Enjoy your stories I recently stumbled onto your site and am quite pleased with your adventurers and their adventures. My favorite character of all time is the Mad-Elf Belphanior, though Peldor is my second favorite. As for the villians Xusia and the nine are kick ass and I've enjoyed using your modules and some of your ideas in my role-playing campaign. Right now I'm in the middle of the Adventure's quest to Pangeaa, anyway i was wondering if you had any stats or Charatcer Sketches of the Crimson Blades, given in my opinion they could Rival the Nine. Anyway thanks for taking the time to listen and it might be interesting to chat with you or discuss you stories sometime. I'm working on getting something on the site for the Crimson Blades, stay tuned. It will probably get put up this December of 2005.
From: Ted Manahan Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2005 08:31:24 -0600 Subject: Mongo The latest story is fun - I went to the character page to see what this new belt is, but Mongo's page is only current as of episode 800 :( Don't keep us waiting! Also, no problem if these stories go beyond chapter 900. Round numbers are nice, but there must be lots of stories waiting beyond these portals! The stats will be updated after episode 900 comes out in November 2005.
From: NNK Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2005 01:22:04 +0530 Subject: God-like Characters I always hate it when one of my favorite characters get too strong, because the player has to stop playing them because its not fun anymore (or in this case, the author). At least in this case, my very favorite char isn't there yet (Belphanior). He might get there soon, given some of the stuff he's unearthed recently!
From: Dale C. Barnett Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2005 13:07:34 -0400 Subject: Re: Winding Down Thomas: Personally I think you are to be praised the hard work that you do in writing these stories, and of course the rants. I always keep checking back in the rants section! I think you would do well to take the rest of 2005 off, and possibly even January 2006 off! Everyone needs a break, and with Christmas in the last part of December there is no reason why you should spend that time, or any part of December writing something like this. Don't stress yourself out around the Christmas season, the world today does that enough for us already if we let. Just my opinion and wanted to express another thank you for the stories. Well, episode 900 is scheduled to ship out to the world on 25 November 2005, so I'll automatically have a break until the firt Friday in 2006, which is when you'll see episode 901.
From: Shane Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2005 21:56:43 +1000 Subject: received 895, no 894, glad you're still alive :) Hi Thomas, I've just received episode 895 even as I was beginning to wonder if something had happened to you, having not received episode 894; maybe it was eaten by a grue. Good to know you're still out there. :) Regards, Shane. Trust me, it's good to be alive! Missed episodes are, at this point, an issue between your email server and's weekly sendings, and I don't get involved in the technical details of that. If you miss one, you can always go to the site to find it. [Editor's note: except when the DSL modem on the server experiences problems and the ISP refuses to believe me, insisting that I should "check my wiring". Grrrrr.....]
From: Michael Davis Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 05:58:53 -0400 (EDT) Subject: The Adventurers Mr Miller, Excellent body of work I MUST tell you. It took me 6 weeks to read all the episodes to the tune of an average of 3 to 5 hours a day. I have been gaming for over 20 years and have been an avid reader of fantasy/sci-fi for longer then that and IMHO your work ranks up there with the best of them. The characters have stayed true to themselves thru the course of their exsistence. In someways I wish I had found these stories years ago but then I would have had to wait like the rest thru the 2 year sabbatical you took. So its all good. Now for a specific question and comment. 1. The death of Ged. Well done and very much in line of a true priest saving a long time friend. He may not have agreed with Beph. all the time but he saved him anyway. 2. What happened to Bosco's ferrets? The last I remember they were in a special backback on an adventure. I have now signed up for the mailing list and will have to wait like everyone else for the next chapter. Glad you like them and thanks for the high praise. Ged's sacrifice was along the lines of something which all writers wrestle with at some point: killing off a major character. It wasn't easy, but I think it turned out okay. I dropped the ferrets because they seemed silly (and also because I don't own any ferrets, thus I can't accurately represent their behavior on a regular basis - this is the same reason you don't see much of the characters' children.)
From: Richard D. Reese Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 21:43:10 -0700 Subject: world news what do you think about New Orleans the storm damage ect. you ever going back? Probably not, and not because of the storm. The whole Mardi Gras party scene was getting old for me, as I got older. It's not a place I would want to take a girlfriend/wife. I think of Mardi Gras like I think of singles bars: there was a time for that, but for me it's past.
From: Richard D. Reese Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 21:32:28 -0700 Subject: Your Stories. Dear Tom I would like to thank you for continuing your series. I had read your stories a year ago and just found them again. I'm 43 and have a large family to take care of my only solace is a little time at the computer and reading such great tales you have created. Glad to see you have returned to something you love doing and are truely great at. Thanks. One nice thing about my writing is that I might spend 1-2 hours a week creating something which brings joy to several hundred people each week.
From: Philip Quan Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 13:38:20 +0100 Subject: RE: chapter #896 of The Adventurers Great story Thomas. I really enjoyed the long descriptions you gave in this chapter. I thought that Parekh and co have found Victoria in the hideout at Helgate. In my hypothesis, I was thinking that Victoria would have little chance of surviving if they did meet 6 vs 1, though I am sure she would take some of these foes with her. I was wondering what Belphanior would do if he knew that Parekh killed Victoria. I guess he would be upset but being a practical guy, he would keep working with Parekh for their mutual benefits. You have now piqued my curiosity as to how anyone can survive fighting in Skava-Ra. I guess the best way is to bring along lots of high level priests, cast lots of protection vs evil 10' radius, people to cast tons of Sunray spell. Strong fighters with lots of holy weapons (isn't there one really holy weapon found by Belphanior team recently ?), holy water. Force field to protect against things thrown against them by vampires. I think the best strategy is not to fight the vampires head on because there are too many of them and they are far too powerful (with too high a risk of death and contamination) but to try and collapse the cavern and destroy the food chain, and then find out and destroy the vampires once they have been broken up into small groups. Are there powerful explosives that they could see in those days? Thanks once again for a wonderful story. I greatly look forward to reading more about this arc. These are good questions, and will be addressed in strategy sessions if Belphanior ever decides to take on Skava-Ra and its inhabitants.