Adventurers Fanmail for Nov 2005 through Jan 2006

published Friday 24 February 2006

From: Andy Hinojosa Date: Thu 3 Nov 2005 Subject: Stories Hey Thomas I was just thinking about the horror themed introduction you did. You explained very well the story concerning the vampire city and it's slaves. It would be interesting if Belphanior did venture there to find Victoria and found out about the slaves and used one of his newly aquired items the Fork of Doom to suddenly take over the human populace and have them fight against there vampire slave masters. It would be very chaotic considering the vampires couldn't just outright kill all their food... We all know how much Belphanior hates slavery. How much more would he hate this form of slavery? Thanks again for your great work. Wish you could write faster. The best time I had was when I started on episode one and realized I had so many more to read... We'll see what happens. A storyline like the vampire city could be a disaster if done wrong, so I have to be careful.
From: Tyler Sherkin Date: Fri 4 Nov 2005 Subject: Fan Mail Hey man, just wanted to drop you another "Great job!" e-mail. I'm really finding this whole gateway storyline quite interesting. Keep it up! Glad you like it!
From: Wayne MacLaurin Date: Sat 12 Nov 2005 Subject: Dumb TV - Incompetence I was reading through a backlog of your rants and saw the Oct 28th one about dumb TV and morons that succeed due to political correctness.. Do yourself a favor and pick up _Incompetence_ by Rob Grant. Its a mystery/sci-fi novel that uses that exact premise as the plot driver... its very very funny in that context. P.S... the Adventurers continue to be a blast to read and the best part of my Friday mornings... I haven't had cable TV since 1996.
From: TMOakenshield Date: Tue 15 Nov 2005 Subject: Hi, Mr 'Adventurers' ! I'm a long-time reader of the Adventurers, and still liking your work. You know yours may very well be the longest one-man work published on the web ? Get your place in the Guiness hall of records ! I hope we'll learn more about Mongo's new girdle. Reading your notes about it, I would have thought Belphanior would be the first to reach "godlike" power level, with all the items, connections and enemies he made over time. I hope we'll see more of your 'epic' style (like your Oerth-2, or Xusia storyline styles) with long story arcs, strong villains and dramatic events for the heroes ! I used your style for some thirty-some stories of my own - with no intent to devote them anywhere as much time as you did, the first ones are quite old already, but I'm thinking of bringing them to a good climax for conclusion. They're set later in time in WoG, and with no reference to your characters. If you read them & don't like them I have no objection to feedback ! They can be found here. I'll put this link up in the fanmail so others can check it out.
From: Ben Sartori Date: Fri 25 Nov 2005 Subject: RE: about The Adventurers Even before I see 900, excellent year mate, well done. I'd say you've made many people happy. Cheers big ears. I just hope all those people realize that I can't do it forever!
From: Tyler Sherkin Date: Thu 24 Nov 2005 Subject: Writing Love the stories as ever but I had some questions for you with regards to writing, if you don't mind:
  1. Do you have any advice for someone looking to start up a sort of serialized fiction similar to the Adventurers (e.g. something that would be released regularly)?
  2. How do you keep track of all of the characters and treat them all appropriately when they've grown beyond a traditionally sized group?
Good questions. Answers:
  1. Make sure you have the time to write/proof/release your work on a regular schedule. You readers don't see an episode a week because I have tons of free time --- you see an episode a week because I drive myself to produce that much, no matter what the sacrifice.
  2. Actually, I have a lot of trouble tracking all of the characters --- which is why I don't. Though I have a few readers who think that every living character ever introduced must be involved in another storyline at some point, that isn't the case.

From: Zachary Stewart Date: Fri 25 Nov 2005 Subject: Thank you fan mail. I have been reading your work since the mid 90s and have seen many ups and downs. I would like to take this time to thank you for all your effort and would like you to know that it is appreciated. Enjoy your vacation, and I'm sure I am not alone in being eager to see more of Peldor. Hopefully the "downs" weren't in the quality of my writing!
From: Kitri Date: Wed 30 Nov 2005 Subject: Peldor question Why did Peldor's feather tattoos disappear? I still remember laughing my ass off when he acquired ALL of the feathers. Got something planned? Thanks again for the stories! They disappeared because I didn't want the man to have all these godlike powers for the rest of his life and the rest of my stories --- it took away the challenge for the character.
From: Lee Date: Wed 7 Dec 2005 Subject: Blackrazor The new official version is here. Regards, Lee He's referring to the White Plume Mountain revamping for the 3rd edition rules.
From: Matt Paley Date: Fri 16 Dec 2005 Subject: Random fam mail Downloaded 'The Adventurers' to my PDA recently. Perfect reading for train journeys. Keep up the good work - it is appreciated! IMHO Number 1 character is Belpanior - the best story was Helgate. The improvement in your writing style as the episodes progress is impressive, to be honest the first 50 or so are pretty rough but by the end you are doing a great job. Anyway - never worry that that the hours of work are going to waste. Glad you like it. Belphanior, as you should all know by now, is my favorite character to write.
From: Trevor Bancroft Date: Mon 26 Dec 2005 Subject: My best Christmas present this year! This was my best Christmas present this year: "a Peldor adventure" ! A Peldor anything aside from him raising his family or playing host to the other adventurers is music to my ears. Honestly, I'm a father myself and do have the wish to settle down and do right by them. But I also realize that there are situations that could bring me to actively defend them. In Peldor's world there are many things that could bring me to that and Peldor is far more able than I am. You know what would be the best? If towards the end of the your saga that Peldor held some kind of ace up his sleeve and played some vital role in the saving of Oerth. Even if he came in like Batman with a final peice of the puzzle. I'm sure you'll come up with something and no matter what I love your writing. The only downfall to my anxious anticipation of the finale to your saga is that it means I wont be able to read any further adventurers. :( P.S. - I am currently playing in a 3.5 campaign with some friends and have been for a while. Guess who I'm playing as my character? Razor Charlie! :D Its great fun. If you ever want details, let me know. I love this game! As I've said before, the problem with Peldor was that I married him off too early. This is what happens when you start writing in 1991 with no greater plan that to put a tiny bit of material online. Whatever I do after the Adventurers will be scripted out from start to finish, with much better pacing that the Adventurers had.
From: Keith Hudgins Date: Wed 28 Dec 2005 Subject: Wish list kudos Just dropping a line. Been reading your stories for years now, and I enjoy every one of them. Thanks for writing, and the struggle you've gone through to continue delivering your stories to all of us. The secret is proper time-budgeting.
From: Michael Feemster Date: Sat 31 Dec 2005 Subject: Thanks for the Stories Since you said that you plan on stopping at 1000 chapters I would like to thank you for providing great entertainment over the last ten years. Many people will follow you in writing fiction on the Internet for private publication. I have seen other Dungeon and Dragons and Harry Potter fan fiction take off with this medium. As a teacher I try to tell young students about this so that they can possibly write stories to reach a wide audience. No matter what happens in the future, you have set the standard for this type of writing. I have seen improvement in your style and your stories. You have your readers anxiously waiting for Friday to see what happens next. It has been a great privilege to know you through your rants and the stories of The Adventurers. I wish you the best in your future. You have one of the pioneers in being able to reach a worldwide audience through your storytelling and the Internet is better because of it. On behalf of your many friends, thank you. You're welcome, but remember, it's not over yet --- episode 1000 will come at the end of 2007.
From: Uri Goldberg Date: Sun 1 Jan 2006 Subject: Adventurers - a small correction A small correction of an error I noticed in the updated Crimson Blades info: Sydaar the thief was slain by Belphanior in 739, and hence she's unrecoverably dead. I'm anxious to read the continuation of the saga... Happy new year! I will get this fixed.
From: Neil Date: Fri 6 Jan 2006 Subject: Happy Holidays Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, and thanks for all the good stories. Cheers. Thanks!
From: Neil Date: Sun 15 Jan 2006 Subject: Re: chapter #902 of The Adventurers > This could be Belphanior's greatest, most ambitious, and most > ballsy endeavor yet. I suppose you readers will be the judge > of that, though, when all is said and done. I'm debating whether I should keep myself in suspense and read as you release them, or whether I should just not read any until the entire adventure is over, and read them in one go... =P By the time I'm finally answering all this fanmail --- February 2006 --- this arc is almost over, but hopefully it all worked out.
From: Robert Date: Sun 15 Jan 2006 Subject: Wherefore Brutus? I think somehow we missed an episode between 901 and 902 - I'm sure others have sent word, but I missed the fight that knocked Brutus out. Still enjoying all the stories, and enjoying the weekly commentary on life. I too am still reading my comics - just turned 40 yesterday - and don't plan on stopping, although they are getting quite expensive. I could buy a new hardcover every week, or several paperbacks, with the money I spend on comics. Keep up the great work! Sometimes, it is implied that certain things take place "offscreen". When a bully tries to make trouble in a tavern full of very powerful adventurers, and that episode ends with them all chuckling, you should know what's going to happen next.
From: Scott Kitchen Date: Fri 20 Jan 2006 Subject: Looking forward to next week already... I can already tell that next week's going to be a blast, both literally and figuratively. This was a great set-up. Glad you like it.
From: Thomas Taylor Date: Sun 22 Jan 2006 Subject: Adventurers E-mail Just wondering if you have ever used any supplements other than the modules you have run the Adventurers through in the past? Some products published somewhat recently (when 3.0 was released) are The Adventure Begins (fleshes out a lot of Greyhawk) and the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer. Have you ever used either of these or any of the "recent" (post 3.0) release products are source material for the Adventurers? I have not, because I haven't reached that point in my stories' timeline. I have tons of Greyhawk Wars and post-Wars TSR/WotC accessories in a box, to be used when my stories reach that point in fictional time. Of course, if episode 1000 comes first, then we will not see the Greyhawk Wars in my writing.
From: H\'8cvard Lindheim Date: Mon 23 Jan 2006 Subject: Re: Episode 903 Stunning. Absolutely stunning. I wasn't sure wether the target was the City of Vampires or slavers - my bet was on the Vampires tough. This is a brilliant set-up. I think I haven't fully appreciated the strength of the slavers until now. Yes, I understood they were powerful, just not HOW powerful. But the enemies' power is truely revealed in what you write about the preparations. Still, I wonder how large their armed forces are, the number and quality of their magicians, etcetera. I'm certain to find out! Thanks for the party at the Green Dragon Inn too. Nice to see the old gang. Oh, and nice touch with the robed figures. There's so much to look forward to here ... Cool.
From: Philip Quan Date: Fri 27 Jan 2006 Subject: Fantastic episodes 903, 904 : Freedom of Slaves I have greatly enjoyed reading episodes 903 and 904, especially concerning the planning and execution of these tasks. I think that Belphanior might have used the hourglass to freeze time and quickly kill the slaver leaders in episode 904. An idea suddenly occurred to me that perhaps you, the author himself, also look down on slavery (as well as people's rights and freedom) and uses Belphanior to express your discontent at people in power abusing their power to the misery of untold innocents. Last week, episode 903 intrigued me so much that I went back and reread the stories up to episode 850 relating to when Belphanior was captured by the slavers when the Gateway malfunctioned. It is interesting to observe how the slavers chose to justify their argument for slavery in episode 849. [The key sentences] really stood out to me. When people are power hungry and greedy, they will be prepared to make up any rule, any excuse to do whatever it is that they want. I also realised that there is a minor loose thread with the wolfmen (episode 837) and Belphanior probably will return to the forest with his team (+protection to lycanthropy) to finish off the werewolves once and for all. Many thanks for a wonderful story and I look forward to reading more of these exciting tales. While slavery is inherently wrong, that's not why Belphanior's acting like this. The truth was, this aspect of his character got defined early on by the player, and now I'm just using it as a way to write a story arc about how to decimate a kingdom.
From: Simo Kostiainen Date: Fri 27 Jan 2006 Subject: Chapter 904 of the adventurers I've never emailed you telling how great work you are doing. I'll just say that now; You are doing a great work with the Adventurers. I've been reading the stories since -96 and the day when you decide to stop writing them will be a sad day for me. I will probably understand your reason for quitting, but I will also be upset anyway. The task of writing The Adventurers must be a taxing indeed, and I am going to be grateful of what you have done, but still upset... ;-) Any storyline that still holds my interest after several rereads is a job very well done. Thank you. Just thought you ought to know. Thanks for the praise. When it's all over, it will have been a 16-year work that, if printed on double-sided 8.5x11 paper, would stack up to about two feet of printed material. Think about that, all of you, the next time you're in the bookstore.
From: Max Eric Jules Du Jardin Date: Fri 3 Feb 2006 Subject: Your recent stories I'm a long-time reader of the adventurers, and I just thought I'd drop you a line concerning the last few stories. I realise you enjoy writing about Belphanior the most, but I find myself wondering what is his point for attacking the Sea Princes - yet again if I might add. He freed slaves, got hunted by the hired assassins, killed the would-be assassins, got magically transported without his equipment to the place for execution (which, in my opinion, he should not have evaded), and now he is back for more. Don't get me wrong - I like the guy. But as of right now, he's really uni-dimensional. I enjoyed the stories about his rule of Helgate much more. Now it's just slaughter, slaughter, get more magical items to slaughter more people. And it's different from when the old gang adventured together. Now; Apart from the fact the Sea Princes are a whole nation, and that as such, Belphanior will never win against them, what exactly is he trying to achieve? And why haven't they really fought back? I hate to say it, but for a prosperous nation with high slave income, they've been doing little. I realise Belphanior is powerful, and so are his friends, but you said yourself sometimes things go too far. Exploration of the gates was fun, but this (again, in my humble opinion) isn't; Belphanior himself said "I always figured I'd be the first one to buy it" at Ged's funeral. And he has made so many enemies, or enemies by proxy, it's impossible to count them. Hell, by slaying Orcus' high priest, then killing his most powerful undead servant, and various others, I have to wonder how he didn't either make it into demi-godhood, or why he isn't a smoldering pile of ash by now. I know you sometimes kill important characters. I think Belphanior should have been long dead and buried - no one can do all the high-profile killing he has done, and make so many enemies, and make it out. Not on Oerth, where so many powerful individuals are present with different affiliations. And not when the only thing Belphanior does to others is... put them in danger. Anyone associated with him is in peril. And he periodically needs his old "friends" to help him... And he does nothing for them in return. When he got possessed by the Balor's eye, who had to fight legions of demons and undeads to save him? And what did he do in return for them? I'm sorry this turned out as a rant. Because I love your writing, but I feel you've been focusing on Belphanior too much. I don't know if you have other plans in mind, but one thing I would love to see written from you, would be a fresh start with new adventurers. Maybe not on Greyhawk, maybe somewhere else. You bring up a good point. My response is this: there are two kinds of people...the kind who sit at home and have a family and no danger and a safe life, and the kind who need something more. For every 99 accountants or librarians in the world, there will be one Navy SEAL or secret agent. For every 99 adventurers who end up like Peldor, there will be one like Belphanior. Without the Belphaniors of the world, all story plotlines would be purely reactive, never proactive. Powerful individuals have to do something, not just wait around for things to happen. I agree that he hasn't really given back to his friends, and that to follow him is to risk death every single day; I will try to address this sometime.
From: Mark Spano Date: Mon 6 Feb 2006 Subject: The adventurers I have been reading your series for many years now and one of the things I loved about the older episodes was that you would talk about current events and the like. Reading episodes from 5 years ago, it was like watching history happen. Could you do some of that again (especially since my home town, Pittsburgh, just won the superbowl! *laughs*)? [Ed. note: he says he knows about the "news" entries but does not read them] Anyways, love the stories :-) This is what the rants section of the website is for, as I decided to split the non-writing stuff from the writing itself.
From: James Moran Date: Mon 6 Feb 2006 Subject: Other story sites I've been looking for other sites with long D&D stories and have been having a hard time finding any. If you know of any that are not on your links page could you send them to me. I've read The Adventurers 5 times and also am glade that you started writing again. I've listed all that I know about, but that doesn't mean there aren't more. These days, I recommend comics and books and movies to people, figuring that if they like my work, they'll also like the other work/media that helps inspire me. If any of you fans are reading this and can contribute the location of good D&D fiction, please let me know.
From: Eric Barrett Date: Fri 10 Feb 2006 Subject: Re: chapter #906 of The Adventurers > notes: I hate that this battle is dragging out across more than a > month of real/reader time, but there's no other option. I can't give > you a 100K king-size story one week when all of that material takes > me several weeks to write. Without pacing, I'd burn myself out as an > author. Better to tell the story in weekly pieces and keep myself > semi-sane, no? I know you're something of a perfectionist, but don't trouble yourself over this point. It's great reading! Thanks as always for the great story. Thanks! Glad you like it, no matter what the pace.
From: Stefan Stirzaker Date: Mon 13 Feb 2006 Subject: Re: chapter #906 of The Adventurers Much better to spread it out, I know the stories will end again eventually but I really look forward to my weekly update! Congrats on such a good story arc from story #1 to present. readers have it easy...some good comic book stories can take many months to finish!
From: T. J. Crocker Date: Fri 17 Feb 2006 Subject: kudos to you, sir You probably don't remember me - my name is TJ Crocker, and I'm a long-time fan of the Adventurers saga (you've got some of my old artwork in the fan art section). I just wanted to write in and give you some well-deserved kudos on your continuing work. I understand the amount of time and effort that goes into keeping the saga alive, and I want you to know that I appreciate it! I look forward to a new episode every Friday, and I even read through the older stories on occasion. Recently, I started the saga from the beginning, and read it during my lunch break - I'm up to #323 at the moment. I must say that I really like what you've done with all the characters lately. The Belphanior episodes are still great (haven't read today's episode yet, but will as soon as I get home from work), and they are overall my favorite. The newer ones (with Mongo along for the ride) are especially interesting. I can see where a lot of Belphanior's personality is taken from a certain Rogue Warrior we all know. And I have to tell you that the "new world" arc with Rillen, Songa, and the rest has me intrigued. You mention in your footnotes that some people don't seem to understand the human adventurers' needs to settle down (Peldor, especially), but I agree with you that it is a very realistic course for them to take, given their limited lifespans and all they've already accomplished. At the same time, though, I often find myself wondering what Peldor et al are up to while the rest are gallivanting around Oerth. Surely the life of Greyhawk's Guildmaster of Thieves is not so boring that some interesting tales might not come out of it now and again? Just a thought... Question: I know you don't have that much time on your hands these days, but have you given any thought to a serious update of the Rogues' Gallery? It hasn't been updated beyond episode 600 or so, and could use a bit of attention. Also: since you are trying to weed out any references to D&D in the saga, do you intend to keep the Characters, Spells, and Monsters sections formatted with D&D in mind (complete with ability scores, THAC0, etc)? I guess that's enough of my rambling. I really enjoy your work - you've put in a lot of time over the years, and the results are outstanding. Good job! I remember everybody who contributes anything - praise, ideas, criticism, and especially artwork! I'm glad you like them and are re-reading them (which is something I need to do, if I ever find the time.) Not many people seem to care for the "lost continent" arc, which may be because of the characters involved; I hope to show them in a better light once the exploration of their crash site begins. As for Peldor, his stories are tough to write since there aren't many things that would tear a man away from his family, and I've grown tired of writing City-of-Greyhawk-based stories. I know that the Rogues' Gallery needs to be updated, I just haven't had the time. I plan to keep the "Characters, Spells, and Monsters" sections because the references are useful; I've had them around for 900+ episodes, so keeping them in place for less than a hundred more (since I'll stop writing this at #1000) won't hurt.