Adventurers Fanmail for Feb 2006 through Aug 2006

published Friday 8 September 2006

From: Tyler Sherkin Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2006 23:34:08 Subject: Hey Hey Just saw your answers to my questions in your Feb 24 fanmail section and wanted to thank you for taking the time to respond. At this point, I think it should just be implied that I'm also saying "great job!" with regards to The Adventurers because I've been ecstatic with the storyline since this whole "Belphanior and Xusia's gates" thing began. :) Cool. I try to respond to all the posts I can, but it does take time, and during the spring and summer, my time is limited due to softball.
From: Matthew Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 13:12:37 Subject: Fan Mail I have e-mailed you once before to say thanks and am doing so again. As everyone else has stated, "Friday's are no longer just for happy-hour". First thing Friday morning, get to work, get coffee, got to Peldor and read away! Oh and as for the threat of ending it at 1,000....seems I have heard this song and dance before????....hmmm. If it happens so be it and know that you have a faithful reader and I wish you the best. Favorite story line "How many times have I told you not to touch green glowing things in a dungeon!" It's definite this time - I can't write these forever, and I want the saga to end on my terms (as opposed to just whenever I get sick of writing).
From: Neil Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2006 18:36:50 +0530 Subject: The Guardian released: 3/3/06 notes: Originally I was just going to end this arc in this episode, with a big final battle in the vault, pitting the adventurers against the last survivors of Creon's ruling government. Then I got the idea to have a mythical guardian that only got summoned every hundred years or so, in times of extreme need. Hopefully it will turn out to be something worthy of the fear and legend I've associated with it here, though I have to confess that I've spent a lot of time researching ancient beasts of mythology and haven't found anything that suits me but that I haven't used in the last 900 stories. Sometimes I think the Tarrasque is more useful as a legend/myth/threat/etc. than it is as an actual beast. As for ideas, well, you could try a blood golem (not sure if you've already used that already). Anyways. As usual, good stuff, looking forward to it. Cheers. Agreed on the tarrasque - I unleashed that far too early in my stories. As I've often said, there was no master plan or pacing for the first 600 or so, I just burped out whatever crazy ideas came to mind. It was very bad pacing.
From: Tyler Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2006 11:14:26 Subject: Finale critter In the /War of the Spider Queen/ series, recently published by WotC, the archmage of Menzoberranzan, Gromph, sends demon assassins against his sister, Quenthel. To unnerve her, he disguises each assassin as an aspect of Quenthel's deity, Lolth. Thus, the first demon is Darkness incarnate, the second is Chaos incarnate, etc etc, until the last one, which is Evil incarnate. Maybe something more fitting to Monmurg would be acceptable for your vault guardian, like Tyranny incarnate or Greed incarnate, or what have you. Most of the demon assassins were more or less incorporeal, lending them immunity to physical attacks, and more or less immune to most magical effects except those daimatrically oppposed to their nature. So, the Evil incarnate demon was vulnerable to good-aligned attacks, Chaos incarnate was vulnerable to law-aligned attacks, and so forth. Of course, for Quenthel, whose powers come from the aspects of her deity, this was most serious, since what priestess of a god of darkness actually uses light spells? For Belphanior, I'm not sure what would cause him as much trouble, or whether you really want to tailor fit the guardian to his abilities, but it might not be unreasonable to assume that the greedy, money-grubbing, power-clutching rulers of Monmurg worship only their own material possessions, and thus created a guardian of faithlessness, which is only divinely-vulnerable, thus depriving Belph of Skektek, Lyra, Alindyar, and his own considerable magical might. If the guardian were created to mimick the prevailing identity of Monmurg, then having a couple of priests in the vault wouldn't invalidate its existence; maybe the creators of the guardian knew that priests would be required to control it, even if none of them happened to be particularly devout, so a small clergy has regularly been maintained in Monmurg ever since. Perhaps then you could consider the guardian the Incarnation of Irreverence, requiring faith to defeat it, a singular weak spot in not only Belphanior, but most of his crew and allies as well. Of course, there are still Jenna and Elgon, but neither are of great power. Just an idea, if you'd care to use it. Good idea, but it's way too late now (probably because I don't read/answer fanmail on a regular basis).
From: Ben Yee Date: Sun, 05 Mar 2006 19:38:26 Subject: A silly thought hi Thomas, Just a thought that came to mind while rereading the Whole Saga this weekend - it's a shame you never ran them through WG7/Castle Greyhawk. Or at least the first level with the minitaurs, uniducks, gas orcs and horizontal jet-propelled piercers... That was an interesting, if "non-serious" module. I own it, and it's somewhere in my vaults.
From: Eric Barrett Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 06:05:53 Subject: Monmurg arc - hurah! Thomas, A thrilling and substantial climax for the Monmurg arc! It was an awesome battle, and it was good to see Razor Charlie have his day, too. (Was that his record for most speech in an episode?) That was very well-written. Thanks for making that for us -- it must have taken quite a bit of time, both for the arc and for its triumphal battle. Glad you liked it...wait until I write the final battle against Al-arakara.
From: Matthew Link Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 13:01:48 Subject: Adventurers 910 Heyo, Thomas, I've read for years, but haven't written. The very short version is that I wanted to say thank for the Monmurg arc. 910 was a good climax to the adventure. I like the other arcs in their way and wouldn't have them dropped, but the occasional high adventure is the stuff that keeps me coming back. Best to you and yours, Thanks for the praise.
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 14:21:47 Subject: Re: #912 A great ending. I have thoroughly enjoyed the demolishion of Monmurg, and it is of course just a thing Belphanior would do, having hated slavery throughout the campaign. Since it was way overdue, I've started reading from chapter 1 again, and I'm currently at about 570, where this 'bounty hunter' from - precicely - Monmurg had attacked the fortress in Helgate, failed, but used a ring of recall to withdraw. Where I left off, Belphanior & co followed on a ship, which sunk, and they're floating in to an island ... Oh yes, Monmurg would be on the very top of Belphanior's mind. Other reflections from the re-reading: Towards the end, Ged was intolerable. And, it is amazing how great Peldor developed to be. Mongo is a fighting machine but perhaps with too few interesting options. Alindyar and Lyra, on the other hand, would have great possibilities ... and it is very interesting to see what part they now take. I saw someone thinking that taking the city was too easy. On that, I don't agree. With sufficient power and speed you can take down a much stronger enemy, if he's far from prepared. Like Nazi Germany's Blitzkrieg, or heck, even like the US forces' rush towards Baghdad three years ago: Iraq's formidable forces never got _time_ to react. Now if only Bush, or preferably someone smart, had recreated a puppet-Hussein ... Ah, the politics of war...
From: Ben Sartori Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 00:15:45 Subject: RE: chapter #912 of The Adventurers Awesome, just awesome. This is just the sort of fantastic plot behind the plot which makes for truly great writing. I bet you felt pretty good when you finished that one off. Cheers, I was pleased, except that there are repercussions which I have to deal with in future stories.
From: Sohaib Nasim Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 16:47:05 Subject: The Green Dragon Inn. Hi there. I have been reading your stories since abt 3 years now, although this is the first time I am writing in an email, I just have to say that your story work is just gr8 and you have developed the Belphanior character very nicely. Thanks, he's my favorite one.
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 11:09:14 Subject: Re. Adventurers In the process of re-reading the Adventurers ... I came upon this piece of information in the notes for Story 809: Anyway, for those who are keeping track, here's the items destroyed list for the party: Belphanior: belt of giant strength (from episode 773), periapt of wound closure, boots and cloak of elvenkind, silver string gateway, potion of ESP (all by acid) Otto: belt of ogre power, necklace of adaptation, liquid road, flute of the dead, metal scroll case w/magic scroll (all by acid) Ys: potion of intimidation (drank) I am not sure wether you have commented upon this already, but ... surely it must be wrong. At least Belphanior's belt, and the silver string gateway, was used later, and indeed, the gateway was in use as late as Monmurg? It's hard to say - they have gotten (and lost) so many items that I have trouble tracking them all. From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 12:27:13 Subject: FW: Re. Adventurers Heh ... amazing. He lost some of these items _again_, to Tyros in Monmurg, as per Story 867! Everything else he'd been carrying at the time of his capture was gone and presumably lost forever: the bracers of defense and belt of ogre power, the ring of wizardry, boots and cloak of elvenkind, the silver string, lightning rod, well of many worlds, and several potions. The silver string was lost twice yet used in the Monmurg attempt ... Belt of ogre power? Had he gotten a new one? He got a giant strength belt after the Fortress of Nine (and lost it again). And the well of many worlds ... that one was lost in Panagaea. Slightly amusing :) I wish I knew. One thing's for sure: they're gone now!
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 16:08:51 Subject: Adventurers #913 Hey ... I fell back laughing when it turned out to be Peldor! Seriously thought it would be Mongo, all the way. But it was a great piece, enjoyed it very much :) Wait until the next April Fools story!
From: Randolph J. Finder Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 09:53:19 Subject: Tatoos in Peldor Description, Epsiode 913 The Feather Tattoos are still in the description of Peldor on the site, and it says is correct up to Episode 900. If you want to complicate his life, he could have an important meeting of the Oligarchs the following morning that he has missed. Are his allies in the Thieves guild good enough to keep him from having problems there? The question is how long before Tanya decides that he wouldn't have gone off without telling her and *needs* to be rescued. I would imagine that Tanya as wife of an Oligarch has a few friends in the Wizard's guild. While they might charge her, they would be willing to take the job and wouldn't charge her an amount that would cause significant problems. I will get those feather tattoos removed immediately from his description on the site. [Publisher's note: they were removed once, but accidentally restored during file recovery after a disk crash. They are definitely gone now.]
From: Eric Barrett Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 13:31:36 Subject: Re: chapter #913 of The Adventurers Thomas, Brilliant episode! I enjoyed this one as much as the Halloween episode you wrote some time back (with the fog). It felt like that one's comedic twin. > There might have been a reference to this somewhere in the 1st > edition rulebooks, or I might have gotten the idea from the old > encounter tables in those rulebooks. There definitely was -- I remember it too (and I'll bet a half-dozen other people will tell you the same thing). It's one of the things I liked about the 1st-edition rulebooks: they had a lot of good, clever *ideas*, rather than just being humongous guide- and rulebooks. Appreciative as always, Let it never be said that I don't pay tribute to the classic AD&D rulebooks!
From: Robert Endries Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 14:40:38 Subject: Regarding Adventurers 913 Yahoooo! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for giving us another Peldor adventure! I never realized how much I liked that character until he was gone! I though Peldor being retired was as immutable a rule as Ged being dead (hmmm ...), so this episode was a TOTAL surprise. I know we shouldn't expect anything more from Peldor other than the occasional cameo at the Green Dragon every 100 episodes or so, but I really want to thank you for writing this story, and encourage you to work him in a little more frequently if you could. And stealing the watch off the dead ogre? Peldor will always be, MUST always be, Peldor. If you do write the follow up for this one, showing Tanya getting Peldor back, the tag line should be "Some men are born to greatness; others have greatness thrust upon them. Then there are those of us who have it both ways." Benjamin "Hawkeye" Pierce, M*A*S*H While Peldor may have been born to greatness - just ask him, he'll tell you - he surely had greatness thrust upon him during this adventure. Peldor came through with flying colors. And so did you. I like the character, it's just that I like Belphanior more.
From: Rob Dickerson Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 17:29:15 Subject: whatever Hi, I've been reading your adventures from the beginning and can't stop. They are tiding me over until my newly created D & D group starts up. I haven't played in over 10 years. If you live near Baltimore and start up a new campaign after episode 1000, drop me a line. I don't and I won't --- I don't actually play the game, and haven't since 1991 --- but thanks for the offer.
From: Richard Reese Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 05:17:49 Subject: Life in General Dear Mr. Miller. I have read every chapter you have and enjoyed them all the excerpts from your real life are truly a bonus. your Life without Dignity piece stood out to me because I had a similar event happen to me. I was at a walk-a-thon for cancer victims at the local fair grounds when I happened apon a fair barn that was selling off an elderly couples possessions. I knew nothing about them except threw what they owned and what were displayed apon the tables. The older husband was an electrician I deduced because of the old manuals and tools. His wife a stay at home mom because of the furnishings , home appliances, and embroidery. The couple were Catholic and very religious due to the many holy symbols of the catholic faith. I knew I would have been happy to enjoy their company because of the sporting equipment and old games on display. The real reason I am sending you this is to say life is not Possessions, Hell even the Egyptian Pharos can tell you that!, Life is the time you spend and what you do with it. Something my coworker said to me one day changed my life. He said even the house you own and the land it is on someday will be someone else's. We really Own nothing. Fill your life with events and knowledge, share it with others that will leave a true legacy. Your stories are your legacy be proud of them. Definitely...though some people are able to also leave a legacy by passing on house/land (and possessions) to their children, grandchildren, etc. I can only hope that someday, a descendant of mine will look with wonder upon all of the things I've collected (comics, coins, baseball cards, books, DVDs) as well as all of the things I've written, and simply marvel at it. That's immortality.
From: Rob Dickerson Date: Mon, 8 May 2006 15:12:26 Subject: mistake Hi Thomas, I have been reading and enjoying your stories from the beginning for the last couple of months. Currently, I am on # 488. After seeing a couple responses regarding continuity, I decided to start keeping track of things I notice in case you ever decide to go back and edit. Since I sometimes read 20+ episodes in a day, I am more prone to notice things that your original readers didn't. Offhand, I can only recall one mistake...When the Adventurers are kidnapped, Ged specifically, he has left Lightbringer in another room and doesn't have it on him when taken. In the dungeon during rescue, Lightbringer is available for Ged to use. If I pick up anything else I'll let you know. Thanks. Maybe you can identify all of the destroyed/regained items that another reader was talking about (see above).
From: Philip Quan Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 14:26:37 Subject: Condolences and Best Wishes Thomas, I am very sorry to hear what has happened and I send you my deepest condolences and support. I was shocked to hear this news today. I hope that the important things are taken care of now and your surviving parent is alright, and you are alright too. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance. My parents are ~75 so I keep a close eye on them by living 2 minutes walk from them although they are not as strong as they used to be. I recently helped them set up a Will precisely for this reason. It was certainly complicated and it took us 4.5 months to tie down the various details, what if scenarios! I think I better update my old Will which is ~6 years old. Take Care and Best Wishes. Everyone should keep this stuff up to date, for many reasons.
From: Eric Barrett Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 09:33:10 Subject: Re: chapter #919 of The Adventurers Thomas, I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. I'm facing the same thing soon and not looking forward to it :-/ P.S. I was amazed that the stories continued. Props to both you and your publisher for this logistical feat. I am a very strong believer in the publishing schedule (and it didn't hurt that I had several future episodes already written and ready to go).
From: Neil Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 22:52:21 Subject: Condolences For what its worth, I'm very sorry for your loss. Thanks.
From: Tyler Sherkin Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 14:27:19 Subject: Hey Hey, I just logged onto and saw consecutive "personal emergency" listings in the Rants section. Are you OK, man? I am now, thanks.
From: "Josh Howell" Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2006 14:48:34 Subject: Musing from Today's Story "As a side note, I often wonder how such people ever got to be in positions of power to begin with." A lot of life is like golf in that avoiding mistakes can be more important than achieving positive results, especially if you have the good fortune to be involved in an enterprise that is heading in basically the right direction anyway. A gentleman who I know got to a relatively lucrative and powerful position in a Canadian railroad by following the maxim. "Never pass up an opportunity to keep your mouth shut." I myself prefer "Fortune favors the bold." which my explain why I am not running a railroad. Hmm.
From: Kyle Kohlhaas Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 23:21:00 Subject: My Condolences Thomas, I have been out of the country for some time and just read Chapter #919. I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a parent is very hard, and as you said, that grief is greatly compounded without a will. My father was killed in a car accident just over two years ago and it took my mother and I almost 6 months to get the paperwork and most everything taken care of. Be sure to support your remaining parent as much as you can. With my mother her grief turned into anger at all the world after a short while. Dealing with that was difficult, but I just made myself available, less for me to talk to her and more for me just to listen to her. Don't expect more than day-to-day living for a long while. My thought and prayers are with you, Thanks for the kind words.
From: -alpha- Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2006 02:20:14 Subject: Adventurers Hi Thomas! Your stories at are very interesting. Really, really interesting. By now I'm on my summer holidays and majority of my time is being spent while reading them. Hope you'll continue writing. Thank you for your work. Glad you like them!
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 11:33:02 Subject: #925 You write, "Sometimes I worry that episodes like this, while containing a decent amount of battle and banter, don't live up to the expectations generated from other big battle episodes. " They do. Outstanding.
From: Eric Barrett Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 09:41:14 Subject: Re: chapter #929 of The Adventurers Thomas, One of the hallmarks of great storytelling is great characterization. Razor Charlie first smiling, and then giving a paragraph-long speech (!!) was so out of character that the effect was jarring. Upon reflection, I realized this meant you'd built a very *effective* character; his boundaries had been established in my mind, and when he stepped outside of them I knew it immediately, just as I would with any real-life acquaintance. All of your characters are like that. If Belphanior did something boneheadedly stupid, or Skektek decided that magic wasn't the answer, or Peldor decided to abandon his family, they'd all be absolutely shocking. Here's to you, one of the best storytellers I've ever read! Interesting insight. I didn't plan RC's speech that way, but I think he was automatically in character when I wrote it.
From: William Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2006 15:15:41 EDT Subject: noticed this movie was not on your list.... Suspect Zero.... serial killer movie, but with a twist on who he targets... highly recommended. For reading... Knights of the Dinner Table comic... when you want to reminisce on your gaming days... I don't really have many gaming days...
From: Håvard Lindheim Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 14:48:30 Subject: RE: chapter #934 of The Adventurers Good stuff happening all over throughout the past episodes. Keep it up. I must say that with so "few" episodes left, I don't want to read more than neccessary about the Oddysey crew. (Though it's not bad reading, it's just that the other stuff is much more interesting, given the limited time left.) Their quest has to get wrapped up, though.