Adventurers Fan Mail after chapter 644

[from here down was added on wednesday 16 august 2000]

  First of all, I was going to put off e-mailing you until
I finished catching up on the series (currently on #308...
starting from #001... after a week... I must be mad), but I
found #308 to be simply too good.

  DAMN, that is POWERFUL.  It was the one wherein Gorin
once again gets blasted by a fireball and dies, possibly
irretrievably.  Mongo goes spare - extremely well-written,
I was literally shaking by the time he finished cursing at
Ged.  That might not be my favourite chapter, but it's
certainly the most memorable.

  I can't even remember how I found your archive of
stories, but I'm glad I did.  The first AD&D gaming session
I had was one of those school-run six-session
three-hours-at-a-time deals, and sadly it wasn't that much
fun.  Then I found your site and thought wistfully, "Why
the HELL couldn't it have been like _that_, dammit?!?"

  So congratulations, you've found another follower :)  By
the by, do you still accept pics of the adventurers?


Unforntunately, this email address is not on your mailing list, and it has never been in the from field of any of your surveys. However let it be known that it is not a sign of disrespect. This just happens to be the only email I can send at my work. My other email address is subscribed to your mailing list. About the surveys, I have never read one of your stories with a survey attached to it within the allotted time for your tally and such. I have been a fan for a long time, but only last week did I break the 600 mark and eventually get caught up. My brother turned me on to The Adventurers back when it was still hosted on your old url. However it was during a period of my life where movies and tv has killed my attention span and although as a youth I enjoyed reading. So when I started college this past fall I had some time on my hands ( I had just finished up with a campaign in my hometown, because my school was 7 hours away). So I started reading (from #0) and got to about #128 and stopped. Not that the storyline was boring or anything, but it just so happens that I had met a woman (now my fiancé) and my time was otherwise occupied. When I started working at this job, some free time came up. (I have been designing web pages, as well as phone tech support, and other IT stuff) So during breaks, lunch, boredom I would knock back 20 or so chapters. During some of them there would be a survey, but it would be from years (yes . . . years) past so I thought sending you the email would just be moot. Anyway . . . the two real reasons I emailed. 1. I just got finished reading Chapter #665 . . . I like this storyline quite a bit. I have always been a big fan of Greek Myth and this has been an interesting change to you other storylines. I am also a big fan of the Mainframe Productions show ReBoot. And coincidentally, my favorite episode of that show was when the cast had to play a dungeon crawl game . . . filled with lots of crazy antics . . . Well . . . the last two trials they endured were very similar to your third trial . . . The second to the last trials was similar to the shadows that Belph and crew had to deal with . . . A shadow monster formed from their respective shadows from a candle. The way they had to defeat it though (or rather the way they did since the shadow wasn't tangible like in your stories), was that Mike the TV ( a character that reminds a lot of Bosco) blows out the candle. The last trial was when they entered the treasure room . . . they were surrounded by mirrors which created mirror images of them and they were finally forced to switch attackers to win the fight. Very cool. I have so much more but I think this says it all. I am a huge fan of all your stories, and I plug it whenever I can. Thanks for so many wonderful stories ( and for free no less ) Scott
Loved that last chapter especially the shadow part Andreas
I liked the candle! That was a cool idea. Halfway through the story, I was thinking, why don't they fight each other's shadows? Lo and behold...;) -- Eric
[from here down was added on tuesday 22 august 2000] I think that writing out the originals and doing stories on their children and henchmen would be a great idea because people can relate to the weaker character living in the shadow of greatness.Weaker characters aspiring to become more are more entertain-ing as the regular passer by could be the very one to end their lives.After level 20+ with so much powerful magic at your command,where is the challenge?Just food for thought.By the way,I think your stories and the Assassins are the best of the genre online.If you haven't read The Assassins you can at Editor's note: URL is very broken ...Thanks!
Hi Thomas, Great story. I really enjoyed this episode together with the last 3 challenges that the Adventurers had to endure to get to the Oracle. I like the build up in suspense especially towards the end when Belphanior was told about his future. I have to congratulate your writing which entertains and absorbs the reader. I passed a copy to another colleague who also loved it. I asked him (a DM) whether he would allow the time stop and spell of disintegration. He said that once any spell enter the area of time stop, it would also be affected by it so to maximise the chance of success you need to (a) Fly to near the creature where the spell is destined (b) Set-off the disintegration spell (c) fly away from the area. However, he would roll a dice to see whether one can cast the disintegration spell once time stop has been cast as this is grossly unfair to the hydra with minimal saving throw. What do you think ? I know that it is already too late but I hope that Victoria will not be forced to leave Belphanior forever. He is a bad cookie but I think he deserves some happiness in his life. I really look forward to reading your next few episodes at Highgate. With Best Wishes. Philip
I found your stories on the internet earlier this year, and since them have read them all. I have always enjoyed reading your notes at the end of each episode, but I was heartbroken on 667 to hear your negetive tone. Despite what you may be feeling, you have done a great job with the series. The conflict with Orcus should not have been the last episode of the series... would you have been satisfied if Empire Strikes Back had been the last installment of the Star Wars series? The good guys (I'm back on Adventurers now) took on insurmountable odds and, for the most part, escaped. That was more than anyone else could possibly hope to expect. I loved it, but it was hardly the note of victory you want to end your stories on. And you are feeling that you have recycled to many of your plots, that you are running out of them. Six-hundred is a lot of episodes... there is going to be repetition. You have done an excellent job though of keeping the surprises coming, of keeping the writing fresh, and of always providing something new through the personal melodramas that have been playing out since the beginning. The only request I would like to make, and this reflects in no way on your writing or conception, is that I want to see more of the Misadventurers. I loved those guys, and the lower-level adventurers were beacoup fun. I keep having these little one-liner thoughts, I promise this will be the last one. Akira Kurosawa didn't make great movies by telling epic stories. There is no reason you have to pit the super-heroes up against gods for it to be fun and challenging. And this is totally unrelated... you ought to take a poll, sort of a "guess who is going to die" contest. The foreshadowing that led up to Ged buying it had me more rivetted than any similar plot line in any movie or show before. Congratulations. I am getting worked up again because I love all your characters so much and I don't want to see any of them go. Except Jutoki, he needs to back up off Aja and let her raise her armies of undead with the support a life-partner is suppost to provide. I don't know how much fanmail you get, don't know if you are going to read any of it, or this one in particular based on its length. Man, I think of you as a God, the intangeble celebrity that is more a mythical being than a real human. Perhaps unhealthy, but whatever. Man, YOU ROCK! ...and good call on the vampires in 667...
I agree. I was always under the impression (back when I played frequently) that undead (like the vampire) only created "sub-undead" via level drain (or strength drain in the case of shadows, etc.). Physical damage was never sufficient to cause "unlife", thus skeletons, zombies, etc. couldn't create others like them. Good call.
100% Agree, that's how I have run games for years. In addition, death via physical attacks from Vampires won't cause vampirism. Just ran a party through the Crypt of the Undead King... what a bloodbath. Great module. Cheers, David
hi Thomas! Nice foreshadowing! I will be very interested to see who will betray Belph. Cheers! Adam
> Consider this written in stone forever, at least in my stories. > I will not debate or discuss it. FWIW, It's also 100% correct. A vampire that kills via damage, and not draining or bite, does not pass on vampirism. Snapping of the neck certainly qualifies on that score. After Anne Rice, it's not uncommon to find AD&D campaigns that require the vampire to engage in a very conscious creation act via sharing of blood or some such, which makes more sense to me anyway but is not AD&D canon.
Seems pretty straight forward to me, and is totally in keeping with all that I "know." I can't believe that anyone would debate you on this. However, I would ask you to clarify if neckbiting has the same effect as draining levels through touch. If Victoria kills someone by touch drain -- someone who perhaps has too much wisdom to be overcome by the vampire gaze and willingly give up their neck -- will they become a vampire in your world? I believe so. Hope the vacation was good. Write up some endnotes on it if you get a chance. And keep up the good work! Robert
Hello I'm Erkki Laanemets from Estonia and I recently discovered the Adventurers. After that, some busy and happy days followed, during which I didn't do much except reading. I truly must say, that reading them all at once was really a remarkable experience. Not very often is it possible to see the advancement of a writer over the years and in your case it shows. I thought that I really should thank you for writing these inspiring series over all these years and inform you, that even in distant and cold Estonia there are people who read your stories. Erkki
I don't think that it would be impossible for a future episode to surpass the Abyss one. If it involved a return to the Abyss because of something Orcus did and caused the balance of power to shift permanently in the disfavor of Orcus, then it would surpass it.
[from here down was added on thursday 24 august 2000] You probably don't remember, but I mailed you like, I dunno, half a year ago when I had only read a handful of stories. Now I am up to number 476 and still enjoying them tremendously, whatever you do, please keep writing. Anyway, the reason I write now: at the end of 476 you wrote that you didn't get many reactions to the stories of Bosco and his brothers. I know its kinda late (4 years or something :)), but I wanted you to know I loughed out loud on that one. Gorin's reaction of "I'm not even gonna ask" when he sees there's seven of them is _so_ recognizable if you know Bosco, great stuff. That's about it, good luck, Roger
An appetizer, shall we say? I can't wait to see what's coming up ( of course, besides the BIG fight that will erupt ) ... Will Belphanior come back in time? Will Victoria evade final death another time? You will know in the... next story!!! =) Apart from that, I wanted to know if you had already reflected on Peldor and Tanya's child. I'm actually playing a character who is a father ( and a single one, at that ) , and I never thought the Dm could find so many ways of exploiting her. The child is probably the only being for whom the parents are ready to do anything... And it places him/her/it under a great deal of danger. Especially when the parents do not have a great deal of power to protect the baby ( Sorry, but although Peldor is strong, he hasn't got any wards, and can do close to nothing to protect his home that a determined wizard cannot easily bypass ) , and when the aforementioned parents hold a great deal of political power, and can be subjected to blackmailing very easily. And the death threat works really well : a baby hasn't got the constitution it takes to survive a resurrection, so all those spells that annoy you are nil. Peldor being an Oligarch, someone who wishes to know a great deal about the politics of the free city knows what to do... On another note, I wondered if you plan ( or if you already did ) to buy the 3rd ed? And what is your opinion about it? Will we ever see a conversion of the Adventurers to 3rd ed style ( doubtful, but I might as well ask ) ? Even if you don't buy it, I would advise you to check it out, because I really think it brought a great renewal to the game, that was buried under tons of optional rules. Well! That's all folks! Bye, Max
Hi Thomas, I love having the Adventurers drop into my inbox. I always look forward to the next episode -- it is a great way to get away from the daily routine for a short while. Poul
I REALLY like this group... to bad they have to die :) or do they.. heheh. definitely interesting. Steven
Dear Thomas, Yes, I have to agree that these types of stories are among my favorites as well. Hearkens back to the good old Helgate days of Dagron Larthos SP?) and Torin, and Zara's crew. One issue that immediately came to my mind is that you might like to establish for the sake of the story the motivation for two individuals as powerful and gifted as Parekh and Drak. Why would they hang out with some unknown vampire slayers, when they could be experiencing exploits no less profitable or varied that those of the adventurers themselves? Yes, monday and thursday afternoons are good times here at work...thanks. Jason
[from here down was added on tuesday 29 august 2000] Greetings Thomas, First off, Congrats on the new Adventurers stories since January 2000. I understand the sabbatical you took for 1999, but _goddamn_ it I missed those stories. You forced me to read everything from Adventurer's #000 through again ;) a couple of times!!! Adam
<notes: Ahhhhhh. Now THIS is the kind of story I like.> I can tell. It seems that when you are writing something that really gets you going, the level of your writing gets "kicked up a notch" (sorry, Emeril). Nice job. Steve
What a kick-ass group of companions to test their mettle against Helgate's finest! I can't *wait* to see this confrontation. Finally, what the storyline has needed...arch-rivals, equal in power to the Companions themselves, yet with a conflicting purpose! Woohoo!! --Ahem. I want 669. Now. ;-) Eric
Whee! This plotline is going very well. Very intriguing, as well. There are lots of options (and each and every one very promising ;). (not including Victoria and the vampire hunters and the Ket agent. 1: There's no fight (politics, politics) ;) 2: There's a fight and Helgate falls (the big B will probably spend the next few years paying back... OUCH!). 3: in the middle of the fight, big B comes back (another OUCH). This was very simplistic, but I just had to send it (don't ask me why ;). In hope of getting the next episode soon, -Markus
Reading, ever ready for tons of Belphanior :) But when oh when will the Adventurers again get more interesting clerics on their side? The one new is too little 'fleshed out', I feel, compared to the huge history of Ron and Ged. Is it possible to give a small background on her? And 'play her out' some - or maybe add another cleric, maybe some 'old' ally of Mongo, or - unlikely, but perhaps funnier - some halfling cleric, a hitherto unknown friend of Bosco? -- Håvard
Hmmm That was a twist I wasn't expecting.... :) Nice to be surprised now and again.... Kerry
Hello Thomas :) I'm an Adventurers fanatic (read ALL episodes thrice) and just want to say how much I admire you for creating such a compelling story line and likable characters (and how you 'improved' your players' characters after the actual campaign was over). It occured to me that I'd really like to 'chat' with other Adventurers fans. Is there any chance you could have a message board on ? I'm sure I'm not the only one that would enjoy posting there :) What do you think? Simon
Love the stories. Please keep them coming! David
> notes: I promise you one thing, and you can hold me to it when the > dust clears: if Helgate goes, it won't be quietly. Nope, it sure won't. Especially not if Belphanior, Mongo and company teleport their first. With gorilla <sp?> tactics, or perhaps the use of the castle, those two alone would cause a lot of trouble for a conventional army (Mongo has already kicked the crap out of an orcish army with Yod). If the drow came to help, as unlikely as it would be, that army would be in trouble. I believe the lynch pin would be the spellcasters of the armies. - Brian
I think I wrote you (along time back) to say I liked your style. Well I like your style, Tom. Alan
Things are getting interesting in Hellgate! What a great read... Ted
Tom: You are on a roll of really interesting writing/reading and I am enjoying the Adventurers' stories very much. I'm not sure why, but I wasn't expecting Perrenland to move on Hellgate so quickly. And I certainly wasn't expecting the other city-state to move on it at the same time. I'm not sure why, but I think I initially expected Belphanior to mount some huge defense and fight everyone else off. With him gone, I was expecting Otto to do the same thing -- until I stopped for a moment and thought about it and realized it would likely be suicide. Nope, I think Otto is just going to play it cool and keep his people alive until Belphanior gets there. But even when Belphanior arrives, I don't think he's just going to wade in there swinging. My gut feeling is that even if Belphanior sneaks in and kills the generals leading the army, he is not going to solve his problem. To do that he might have to undertake either a commando raid directed at one of the Perrenland leaders -- picture the fellow waking up with Belphanior's knife at his throat and he and Belphanior having a heart to heart (with Perrenland's leader recovering quickly and dealing amazingly levelheadedly and shrewdly with Belphanior) which results in the Perrenland leader withdrawing his forces and creating somekind of political alliance with Hellgate in which Perrenland agrees to help Hellgate maintain its independence against outside forces, but neither does it establish a military presence there. (I should be able to think of a present day example, but the US has bases pretty much everywhere -- Taiwan comes to mind, but I think we have a base there, don't we? Maybe Isreal is a better example?) Or perhaps Belphanior will just do that diplomatically. But killing the generals won't do it. They'll just send more, and if Belphanior keeps doing it, they were likely just send in an overwhelming force and just raze the town, a la Carthage. Brute force, or plain ruthlessness, will not solve this problem for Belphanior. This one will require a little more cunning and guile. And I am very interested in the Victoria plot thread as well. Although I would have thought otherwise, the Hellgate plot thread is turning out more interesting than the Mongo quest thread. I have very high hopes for that thread as well, and look forward to its continuation. Keep up the good work! Robert
I'm not really sure what's involved with wand/staff creating in the AD&D system, but wouldn't big B's wands start running out of charges or sth? (afaik he hasn't "spent" one yet). He could start making more of these... (and new B spell:) a spell that makes an object fly as fast as the earth-slings make them (btw, why hasn't he used one yet? An interesting idea for the current plotline: why not have Otto use the weapons(if there's a battle). -Maketus
[from here down was added on thursday 7 september 2000] I just got a mental thought of Belph teleporting in right in the middle of the two armies.Hehe.....Poor armies....masterfully set up!This'll be a good one. Tim
Second, and once again, I condsider the possibility to read your adventurers stories a gift, and when you decide that enough is enough and stop. So be it. Its been fun, and whining about that, or the regularity of posts shouldn´t change your decision. You have no obligation to do what you don´t want to do. But I think you know all that. Later and regards Andreas
Things are shaping up to be very exciting. I know you don't rely to much on game mechanics but if you incorporate the fighter sweep rules, 1 attack per level against <1 level foes, things could get very interesting when Mongo, Belphanior, and crew show up. Most armies consist of <1 forces so the majority of the soldiers in both forces would be mowed down rather quickly. I can see Angus playing a fairly pivotal role in any mass battle as well. Since it takes at least a +3 weapon (which only leaders of any army will normally have) to hurt him and he is immune to most spells, not much is going to stop him from wiping out an army. Add to that the cloud kill ability that iron golems have (which I don't recall Angus ever using) which kills <6 HD without a saving throw I think and there is going to many bodies laying around. The leaders and magic-users will have their hands full with the adventurers so they might not be able to handle Angus until it is too late. Mongo by himself could pretty much level the armies, not counting higher level leader types. His armor class is low enough that not too many are going to be able to hit him. He hits hard enough to kill most with a single blow. He is too strong to be overborne. His hammer can throw some lightning bolts to quickly kill 20 or 30 soldiers to begin with. His Ring of Fire Elemental command allows him some other mass killing spells that will kill most low level soldiers, provided he learns how to work it, which is doubtful considering the time frame. Maybe he will be so hot with rage it will activate a fireball through sheer act of will. Unless he just gets too tired from swinging that hammer or if they run faster than him, which isn't too hard, he will eventually get them all. Keep up the great stories. I am particularly looking forward to this battle. Marc
Whenever an evil dude is stalking a character, going to their house and fiddling around, the character's never home. I guess this makes some sense, especially in Belphanior's case, but still, how lucky (or unlucky) can a guy get? Also: how well-known are the Adventurers? It could be interesting, having a group of thieves hailing from elsewhere try to rob, say, the Green Dragon Inn after hours... except to find some very uncooperative victims. Just a thought. Laura
Hi. I have been reading for a long time, not exactly sure how long. I just wanted to let you know that not only do your stories break the boredom, but the determination in your self-styled bitching has helped motivate me. I am a senior in highschool at my fifth high school to be exact. I have had a pretty rough time the last few years of my life. A new high school every year, along with my moms new husbands. I trained in martial arts, but found myself missing practice with one excuse or another. My school work suffered too. I kept cursing my luck and sitting around in a funk. I blamed everyone around me for crap always happening to poor me. After reading all that you have been doing though I decided to say screw it to all the BS that I percieved to be holding me back. Since then I picked up flagging training and got my black belt, scored perfect 5's on my AP chem and English tests, and I even went to the Air Force Academy for a week of seminars to prep me for my entry there. In addittion to all that I have been more focused and all around happier to be active. I just wanted to let you know that your determination helped spark my own. Thanks and by the way love the current Helgate in peril storyline. Keep it up. John
Been putting off reading for a while, went at it today and read the last few chapters, and ... wow! I love this arc so far, and I've a feeling the best is yet to come. Also, the vampire hunters are a dead cool bunch. I've been feeling kinda so-so about The Adventurers lately; no bad stuff, but it hasn't been great. Seems like that just changed, and I'm back to waiting impatiently for the next chapter to pop around. Thanks, and keep up the good work! Ronny
How come Bunger, the town drunk, sounds like the Fonz? :) On a serious note, that was one of the best entrances Belphanior has made. Ever. Can't wait for the next installment. Take care, Steve
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! More! Send more! Send the rest up to 700! More! Must read more!!!!!!!!!! -- Eric
First you send THAT kind of Adventurers' episode and then you make us WAIT?? AAARGGHH!!!! -Maketus
Wa-hoo. I can't wait ... given you've stated that Bel won't die (701-749...) and I'll assume no-one short of Bel can kill Mongo (my opinion, anyway), I'm waiting to see what's what... Keep up the good work. Dave
In a word: Nice. Belph sure has a way with words, eh? I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how this two-way (or 3-way or even 4-way?) battle unfolds. As always, your NPCs (which is not really the correct term anymore) are excellent; Ghuust and Nigel Bloodstone in particular already seem like real, developed characters, rather than guys with a 2-sentence writeup on their past experiences and stats. (Even if this isn't the case :) it's appearances case that count in this case.) Keep it up, mike
Hi... Just writing to say I really like this storyline you've been doing lately. The whole thing was a great idea... I'm still wondering who dies and who leaves. (Otto and Victoria... But I haven't figured yet who dies and who leaves... It seems too simple to have Victoria die, since everybody's out to get her, but I don't really see why Otto would die... I do see a reason that both of them would leave... Victoria never said she'd stay long anyway, and it's getting dangerous now the people know where she is, and Otto is a real wanderer anyway. So I guess it's a toss up... But those are just my thoughts) I guess Belphanior is definitely losing Helgate, hopefully to Perrinland... I just like Perrinland more than Ket. My guess is he might lose Blackrazor in all of this as well, but I'm not sure why I think that. Anyway... Thanks for entertaining me during comp. tech. class. Casey
Thomas, The only problem with your stories is that I'm reading them faster than you're writing! I'm on #628 now and should be all "caught-up" by tomorrow. I didn't ask this before, but what happened to the "noble" that the shapechangers were supposed to have taken over in Greyhawk? I know it wasn't Org because he was normal at the time (I think he was), this happened in the first episode with the shapechangers. They found the husk, but never identified who? I thought it might be that jerk who was messing with Belphanior, but after Bel tossed him around I guess not. On a side note, I like Belphanior too, my favorite AD&D character in a recent game has a magical "eye" implanted in the middle of his forehead, and tried to use the wand of Orcus also (got changed from C/G to L/E in the process, side effect of the artifact). Ed
I have been a long time reader.. I really missed the year that you were gone. I backed off of reading your stories for a while to let them build up some.. A couple weeks ago I started reading again. You have left us in a cliffhanger. I feel like in one of the old serials. I am really really interested in the next story. I don't know why I am writing. I just thought I would say "Thanks". You probably don't hear it enough. Good luck in all that you do. Brett
> notes: Are you kidding? This is no time for words! No, Thomas Miller, dungeon master and fantasy author extrodinare, this is a time for words: You are the man. I couldn't have imagined a better lead into a battle. No analysis, suggestion, or query. I love it. You are the man. ...I can't help but think about when you responded to my other fan mail, leaking a desire to end the series. I quake at the thought that such a well crafted and momentous battle as the one that is coming could so perfectly mark the beginning of the end. I don't want it to end. This is my pathetic plea to keep you writing... if you are tired of the fantasy genre, play around. Experimental writing is a wonderful thing, I would feel honored to continue reading it. And great imagery there with the lives of soldiers. Fantastic. Woody
Just great! I would have to end on this chapter! How do I get on your mailing list? P.S. Looking forward to the next story, keep up the good work! ed
anyway, the storyline is really really good at the moment! thanks for giving us such entertainment. if you ever get the time a rough sketch of the levels of the two generals would be interesting, but i'm grateful for just the fiction. Greg
Sorry to bother you but I just had to complement you once again. Your stories are great and I always look forward to receiving them. I'm constantly amazed at how you can generate such quality stories and so many of them on such a regular basis. I'm sure I speak for many more when I say thanks. Adam
I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying this storyline!! I'll refrain from sending such inane comments for the rest of this arc, for the sake of your inbox -- just assume that you're getting one each time ;) -- Eric
[from here down was added on monday 18 september 2000] hi Thomas, Excellent beginning of the battle for Helgate!! Can't wait for the next installment!! >notes: This is an ideal situation for me. Both outlander forces > were warned, loudly and clearly, not to fight. In my mind, they are > now fair game for Belphanior et al. In real life, this is the way > things should be, too. Damn bloody right!! Cheers, Adam
>notes: This is an ideal situation for me. Both outlander forces > were warned, loudly and clearly, not to fight. In my mind, they are > now fair game for Belphanior et al. In real life, this is the way > things should be, too. Just a comment (and a standard disclaimer:don'tshootandI'msorryforfillingyourmailboxwiththisandmwastingyourtime bymakingyoureadit) but Nigel seemed like a fairly nice guy who didn't want to fight unneccesarily and it seemed like Tonga's fault for initiating the conflict by blaming the sniper on Nigel, and like Nigel was trying to stop him. 'Course, if he didn't want to die, he shouldn't have come here in the first place with 400 heavy cavalry when Perrenland had clearly been told 'no'...that's probably what you meant, but oh well... BTW, I was looking at that Halloween thingy and wondering if you'll ever finish it - don't live all your loyal fans hanging in suspense like that:) Or are you going to wait till this year's Halloween? Anyway, sorry for wasting your time again. Kupo later. Sam
Hello! I wanted to compliment you on your current thread, especially on how you deal with the vampire hunters. For now, we don't have an inkling of their real power, though you dropped some subtle and less subtle hints of what it might be. It would seem like this time old Belphanior got himself against a group of good and powerful adventurers. If the wizardress was tested by the circle of 8, and they have a high priest of Pholtus ( he of the blinding light, how appropriate to fight a vampire... =) , it can only mean a lot of trouble for Belphanior. Please don't let us cook much more... I want to know who the 3 the oracle talked about are... =) As for Belph only for episodes 700 to 749... Well, that's a lot, and it's not like he isn't getting attention now... I just hope you throw in some drow and Rob action, since they are the others characters I prefer. It's kind of strange that I like Rob, isn't it? I liked him since the beginning, even when he only was a clumsy lvl 1 priest... And now he's a high priest of Trithereon. Long live him! Salutations from a Sunny France, Max
I may have to kill you. Scratch that. Hurt you, but not your typing fingers. Here you go adn FINALLY after buliding up the town fo Helgate to its current postition adn I'm sitting here in theMediteranena Ocean on the USS Saipan w/ only hte Adventurers website and an outdated issue of Maxim for entertianment. AAH!!! Idon't know if I can keep waiting this long! Seth
God! I love these stories. All I'm hoping for right now though, is for some of the other "adventurers" to show up. Maybe Alindyar with the "Black Blade of Disaster" or some other devious spell :) The question of the adventurers mortality always comes to mind, but to be honest, what I really want to see is for Belphanior and the rest to totally and utterly destroy (or come to some kind of stalemate/agreement with) the attackers. Keep up the wonderful work, it makes my days so much brighter! // Tobias
Hi Thomas Excellent story line. This is very exciting. Total chaos and overwhelming numbers of enemies. I can't wait to see Belphanior start to pull out his most deadly and destructive magics... Looking ahead though I cannot see Hellgate surviving beyond the battle. Once the town realises that this was the first of possibly many attacks, the remaining inhabitants would ship out as soon as they were able. Keep up the hard work! Pete
You're having entirely too much fun writing this, for which we, the readers, thank you. :) Love it as always, Tom. Keep up the great work. Scott
Hmm, Very nice. Shaping up to be very interesting. Greg
Hi, Thomas, I recenly read the Party of Nine series and felt really sorry for them. I agree that some of them were sufficiently dumb to deserve to die, but there were others, who seemed victimized by the stupidity of the rest. Specifically, I liked Arlanni, Abner, and Arkayn. It was a pity to see Abner die and the other two get tugged away to their deaths by the bozos. At least, you let Arlanni live, maybe in exchange for Arkayn. I myself have had similar experiences with my AD&D characters, when I would realize the party is going to die but I would fail to persuade them to follow me to safety. It is a no win situation, really. If you stay with them, you die. If you don't, the others think you are not a good friend. Next, I heartily enjoyed the "Interview with a Vampire" episode. I must say Belphanior demonstrated much bravery, wisdom, and open mind. Then again, he got richly rewarded for that by living through it and getting an incredible girlfriend! Yes, Victoria is one in a million. Damn, I am so envious! On a related note, it seems the Oracle's prophecy approaches fruition for Belphanior. I sure hope you do not plan to have Victoria being any of the three. My guesses for those are Razor Charlie, Otto, and Ys. Right now, Victoria will be under attack by Bram's party. The three mentioned are the real security risk. Ys never elaborated where he came from, why he was immune to undead powers, and why he was so scared of Wee Jas. Razor Charlie is afraid of Victoria; his amulet and his fear may conspire against him. Otto is suspicious, if not hostile, towards Victoria because of some prehistory. Any and all may crack under the weight of coming events. I would hate to see Otto go, because he is such a great side-kick, friend, and ally to Belphanior. Besides, he is a really cool character. Another thing that came to my mind on this topic is that nobody ever identified the repulsion amulet Razor Charlie pocketed. That is because he did it secretly and not even Victoria noticed the mage drop it in the mud. An item of such power may well have properties Charlie might not be aware of or much care about. What if something Bram does somehow triggers the special powers inside. The item might even be intelligent though dormant or biding its time. It would be an interesting plot twist to see Charlie go crazy and turn on Victoria. Then she counterattacks, but is repelled by the amulet nobody but Charlie knew about. That may involve some prehistory of Bram's; maybe the amulet was his, or the mage was his relative. Then of course enraged Belphanior kills Razor Charlie with Blackrazor in the battle. A Razor killed by a razor. Beautiful! Maybe the deadliest warrior among the marshals falling prey to his own human frailties; specifically, his fears and his mistrust. Had he trusted Victoria and Belphanior, he would have gotten the amulet identified, so he would not have fallen under its power... I hate making stories about items, because stories should be about the deeds of adventurers and should contain parables and morals of human significance. This idea of mine might seem tied to the properties of an item, but ultimately it is about trust and friendship and about how fear and mistrust can doom a man. Later, Otto considers the ramifications of the vampire's presence and doubts his own ability to allay his suspicions and misgivings towards Victoria. Fearing he might end up doing something like Charlie, he gives Belphanior a choice to make, although he knows what the answer would be. Otto packs his stuff and leaves Helgate for good. Curtain... -Emil Kartalov
I like how lots of people are dying in the storyline. It makes things realistic - basically what would happen if two armies had a battle in a small town =) Also I like how a major character died as well, too many series have every main character live through everything. Good job! This story arc has had me most riveted in a long while! Gabe
Fantastic battle story!! Can't wait to see how it ends up! Adam
Hi Thomas, Congratulations and thank you on the exciting and fantastic fighting sequences so far. The fight was well balanced. Belphanior's group was really hit (or should I say heated up :-) ) by those fireballs (damage 5d6 - 10d6). I am a little bit surprised that Ys' group wasn't better protected against fire attacks with rings of protection vs fire (handed out from Belphanior). Surely they must have known that this kind of thing is going to happen ? Just a small bit of inconsistency. Bram's group is no ordinary vampire slayer. They are capable of wiping out a whole caveful of vampires (like the group Victoria dealt with) and should be at least the equal against Belphanior's group. I am surprised to see such a powerful group going after Victoria alone. Concerning Drak large size, is this due to the simple 1st level enlarge spell ? At 10% per level, Drak (at 8 ft original height) must have grown by 150% to 20 foot tall. This means that Parekh must be around level 15 !! I just hope that the two groups can come to a truce and not have to fight to the death although I doubt you will allow that to happen. Something else that is slightly inconsistent. I expect the 2 generals to be above average intelligence with good strategic senses. Even when enraged, a good general should know when he is outgunned and would retreat to come back stronger another day for revenge. Nigel Bloodstone and Tonga seem to be too simple minded. Apart from these few observations, I applaud you for your enjoyable and inventive writing. I really look forward to reading the next few stories. With Best Wishes. Philip.
I like the war in Helgate scenario that's buildling up. Chris
hurry up writing! i cant wait! arrrrghh! the suspense! seriously i think this is one of the most exiting story branches ever! keep up the good work! kjetil
[from here down was added on thursday 21 september 2000] Chapter 675: thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you !!!!! *goes to read* Kjetil
Could you possibly put up on the web page, or in the notes section of a future story, the stats on some of the players in the recent story? The group of vampire hunters, and the generals would be kinda interesting to read about. Thanks Abe
Hey Thomas, A few encouraging words - I have enjoyed this arc immensely and await the suspense happily. Sorry to hear that it's commplicated for you, but I can see it - I imagine it's like trying to DM a party with 20-30 players. :) Anyway, take care! David
Whether you like it or not... this has by far been your best masterpiece and truly was an honor to participate and read. Your writing style has greatly improved and and you can even say "leveled up". I was holding my breath through the whole story and there were quite a few gasps. I even had to leave the story a couple of times to walk around and cool off cause I was afraid of what was going to happen. Keep up the good work and all I got to say is.... "BRAVO!!!" and thank you for all the good times ;) Your Faithful reader and admirer, Steven
How about mail that says - EXCELLENT!!! Harold
You fiend! All this build up to the climax and now we won't know what happened for a while! Excellent story. You surprised me a few times. Bob
I can see why you hate writing stories this complicated. It was difficult to even follow, because of the complexity... however, it was a masterstroke. It's an incredible ending to a long story arc, and it was very well done. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for your time, and thanks for keeping us all entertained for such a long time. :) -Keith
Hi Thomas, A fantastic story. The tale was well thought out and you managed to keep the suspense going right till the end. You tied all the ends together nicely. I really thought that the parties needed a wish or some sort of divine intervention to get out of their trouble. The anti-magic sphere was very well used indeed. Well done. I liked the way Tonga was invulnerable to weapon attacks and almost killed Belphanior himself. This should teach Belph. to be more careful in the future. I think that Belph. will also find ways to keep non magical missiles from hitting him (trade with Peldor) and to keep a few more healing potions in his bag of holding. It seems that a few scrolls of protection from evil would be useful in the future to keep the hordes of undead at bay while one is pelting them with fireballs, etc.. The way you managed to turn the two potential groups of enemies and unite them against a more powerful common enemy was brilliant. I liked the logical manner how Parakh decided that it was not really her fight and wanted to teleport away. I thought it was highly realistic how Neko ran away from the fight due to fear and cowardice. You really understood the emotions of the people involved. I am a little surprised that Bosco didn't invoke the power of 1 of his wishes to even out the odds a bit. I hope that Belphanior will survive and rebuild Helgate although realistically I think Belph. will now be forced to go with Mongo and rebuild his powerbase elsewhere. Probably half of his marshals will be dead (resurrection :-) ?) Just a few clarification questions : Just what is Ghuust ? What are his powers ? Which God does he worship ? Why is he so keen on killing Aja ? What are the arm numbing powers of his scythe ? He doesn't seem to belong to a group of Vampire slayers. As a matter of fact, he seems to be almost an undead himself. How did they all met up and join force with Bram ? Where did Aja find the evil relic ? Wouldn't Wee Jas realise the power of the relic and warned Aja ? It would be wonderful to see the stats (and items) of Bram's group. Thank you for a great story and please keep them coming. Philip
I thought Hellgate might be flattened, but I didn't expect the castle to be destroyed in the process. Excellent finale. Sorry if it was so tough... Pete
Fuck me. Err... Sorry for the profanity, but that's just about the only reaction I could have to story 675... So much happened over the span of a single episode that I am still stunned from it... We don't know who is alive and who isn't ( and I won't even ask you about them, although I do have my ideas. I'll just wait and see. ) . The aja/circlet thing was the biggest surprise I had... I mean, the thing in there must have been at least a demigod... If not much more. God bless the anti-magic sphere. Helgate... Destroyed. Perrenland or Ket will not have it. No one will : Jamaine dead, Ganzer dead, Claudia dead... OMG, but I liked some of these! I will sincerely miss them. I did think that rulership was not something a still young elf like Belphanior would assume, and I thought that perhaps you would take it out in some way... But I did not think in THIS way. Apart from that, this was an amazing story. It makes honor to the "each 25 episodes, you get a big event" (un)written rule. I also have another idea on how to undo, or help in undoing this, that is, if Belphanior survived and meets Alindyar. I won't say either. I just hope I hit the right spot this time. Good writing. This is one of the stories of the Adventurers that really made my day... Like the Vampire Lord, Orcus, or angry Alindyar ( the one where he saves a village from orcs. ) ones... Keep on writing, sir Thomas! =) Bye, Max amazed, stunned and joyful belgian reader.
Ghhhhh.... ughhhhhhh.... frpppppppp....well, fucking yea! This is one of the best, if not the best episode you've ever written. Well, I suppose the fight with the balor, (Elik?) across the Sea of Dust is still my fave, but this surely reaches place 2. That episode showed you can do damn awesome battle scenes, even without the sheer number of people fighting. So if you don't like writing them, don't. I sort of have hoped for a while that Belph would just start roaming solo. -- Joeru
Just to let you know, all of the effort that went into that story is greatly appreciated. I was on the edge of my seat. I loved every second of it. I wanted to be able to read faster. The adrenaline is still pumping. Even though you dislike such complicated stories, they are a great pleasure to read. And it is not just because of the major battle, the major twists made for the best of the story. Thank you very much. Bryan
Greets, Been a long time reader of your stories and I LOVE them. It was your work that got me interested in greyhawk, and reinterested in D&D with 3rd ed coming out. Much appreciated, but enough of the general butt kissing and such. ;) I really enjoyed your latest story. I know it must have been a bitch to right, but I really enjoyed it. Keep writing cause your work is very much enjoyed by myself and a buncha guys in my officer & in the game I run. And thanks for a heck of a lot of good reading! --- Wright
Hey, I DM play by email games all the time and I can sympathize that its a pain to write about so many small groups. Plus it ruins the continuity of the story to have to jump around like you had to. Anyway, just wanted to say I've been reading your stories for about 3 years now and this Helgate series was some of your best writing. Whether it was difficult for your or not you did a good job. It it nice to see an adequate challenged put before such a powerful group. You did a good job making the Aja-being mysterious enough to make her seem almost all-power, but I liked that she had weaknesses as well. Too bad Aja bit the dust (I guess litterally in this case, heh), I kind of liked her. It will be intersting to see how it effect Jutokai (he could use a bit more of a murderous instinct him). BTW, I don't know if you had a chance to peruse any of the third-edition material yet (or if you ever plan to). They have an interesting "prestige class" in there called Arcane Archer which would fit rather well with Jutokai...anyway, just an idea. Oh, and almost forgot. Neko leaving at the end was excellent. It really brings out her character so much better and allows it to develop more in the future. Hopefully we'll get a chance to see her again. Anyway, just wanted to say I really enjoyed this last series of stories. ...Eric
Kick ass battle! -mew
This was simply awesome. Thanks for one of the best combats so far (even if you don't like writing them :-) -Angelos
I will reply though that, that was a truly riveting story and thoroughly enjoyable... One of your best... Kerry
I just read chapter 675. I'd like to congratulate you on a great end to this arc. I think this is one of the most entertaining story arcs. You said in your notes that it was hard to do, but I think that's probably one of the reasons it was good; it was a difficult task and you did it well. I won't try to convince you to do something like this again, I'm just congratulating you for doing it well here. I think I remember reading that you've seen Lodoss War. Did you get the idea for the circlet from that series? And have you seen any other anime? Well, I'll be looking forward to more of the Adventurers. Alan
Hi Thomas. sorry I haven't been feeding back to you as much as I should do lately. Still, I had to after this splendid culmination of all the plot threads - I really think you did a marvellous job of describing all the chaos and plethora of magical effects. I'll respect your wishes and not ask about their fates. I normally hate cliffhangers, but something about this one is different. Maybe its the way Neko survived - even if no-one else does, the story will be told and elaborated upon and legends will be born. That was a masterful finishing touch. I'm not really too worried about the main characters - Mongo, Belphanior, Ys and Nigel are just too damn tough to die. The more I think about it actually, the more worried I get - they do use magical regeneration a lot... I know you've grown tired of the characters (some of them) and I expect you'll take the opportunity to thin the ranks. I know that any new characters you create to write about will be just as interesting and imaginative as Razor Charlie or Ys. You've also said that you wish going up against Orcus had been it; you didn't feel you could top that. Maybe this didn't top it, but it was still impressive enough for me! Have you seen the 3rd edition rules, and can we expect to see sorcerors/blackguards or other 3e stuff in the future? I hope you get lots more positive feedback from other people, and have a great time reading it! :-) Sean
Tom: You really outdid yourself with that last story! Fantastic! I LOVED it! Filled with high adventure and lots of suspense, great teamwork -- I really enjoyed the part where Mongo stepped in to help Belphanior beat Tonga Dun (or whatever his name was) -- and a band of smart people with opposing interests thrown together and having to unite to face a deadly threat. I like Bram and his people trying to teleport away and being unable to. And the castle falling apart was totally unexpected, but given the way that it was constructed, e.g by magic, it makes perfect sense! Tonga's magic power -- invulnerable to harm by weapons -- was a great foil to the unstoppable power of Blackrazor. I wish I had more time to really get into an analysis of the whole story, but things have been pretty hectic here. (Yeah, I know, I should try living your schedule to see what hectic really is!) Keep up the great work! Robert
Wee haaa so far this has been your best story can't wait to see what happens -Andreas
675 was a great story! I can't remember a better one. Despite the fact that you apparently find writing complicated storylines annoying, they KICK ASS. :D ...675 was the best story in ages. BTW Belphanior has the Amulet of Necros which renders him immune to the effects of undead... I guess that this includes negative energy (level drain). If this I am indeed correct, then why does he fear batting undead into mushy goo with Blackrazor. Sincerely your fan, Olli
Hey Thomas; I just finished reading your latest episode. It was good. It was nice to see things shaken up. The fallout should be interesting. You commented that you don't like writing stories with as many characters as you had in the last episode. I don't like reading those ones as much, either. It's harder to form a mental image when so much is happening. I have always loved the episodes where Belphanior and Otto were alone (just after he left Greyhawk... around 210?). It's easier to focus on just a few characters. Anyways, nice work. Thanks Dave
Just a few words... Well Done! :) Ciao, Marios
WOW.... Unbelievable episode 675 buddy, you've really outdone yourself... I especially liked Mongo's solution to Tonga Dun's immunity : ) Keep up the good work man.... Jason
Thomas, What a great episode. I had forgotten about the anti-magic sphere. When Bephanior pulled the level it hit me what he was doing, it caught me by complete surprise. I must say that I don't send you any mail because I understand about your schedule. I usually read the installments on my lunch hour at work. the whole thread with the Helgate group along with Mongo, Gorgo and Bosco have been excellent. I await the next installment tomorrow. Jim
That last episode was a nice bit of writing. As much of a pain as it probably was to write, I really enjoyed it (along with the many adventures so far). Thanks. Cal
Dear Thomas, Hello! I just finished reading Adventurers #675 on your web site. Wow. That was amazing. That's the first time in quite a while I really thought Belphanior would actually bite the big one. I was glued to the screen for the entire episode. I know you said you don't like writing episodes that complicated, but that one was awesome! Where the "veterans" are now, you practically need an earth-shaking conflict to make them fear for their lives. I can't wait to see episode #700 and/or the resolution of this one. The worst part is, you already told us you've written that far, and I have to wait 12 weeks for you to dribble it out. 8) Anyway, thanks a lot for posting your work. I visit your site religiously twice a week. I won't try to tell you what to do, but whatever it is you want, please keep doing it! Thanks for some excellent stories! - Craig
Hi! First off, I loved the story. Lots of action and lots of unexpected twists, and it's good to see the principals suffer a real setback. Second, I'm not writing about either of the things you asked us not to write about. When the Oracle said that someone close to Belphanior would betray him, I immediately thought it would be Otto (forced into it by the overwhelming military forces gathered in Helgate) or Victoria (because of the vampire hunters). Aja came right out of left field. Nice twist. Ghuust was the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. The dialog between him and Aja was riveting. It's too bad he had such a brief cameo, but it's probably the best way to keep him enigmatic. Is the scene at the end of the last story a hint that we'll be seeing more of Neko solo? I know you'd originally planned to have the Adventurers' children take over, but since that seems to be a long way off (and what is the child of a 6 foot elf and a vampire anyway? Ghuust? :-) I wouldn't mind if you built a party - or at least a story arc - around the former Marshal. Thanks for writing! The stories get better and better. James
Greetings, Thomas! I have been reading the Adventurers for a good while already, but your latest (Adventurers 675) got me finally writing. First of all a great story, although seeing the end of Helgate was a little sad. But I guess, alas, all good things must come to and end. Eagerly waiting what happens next... Thank you for countless hours of wonderful reading! Toni
Hey Thomas, Thought I'd send a note telling you I really enjoyed that last Belphanior arc. Made my Mondays and Thursdays at work much more enjoyable. Thanks again, Greg
Thomas, I just wanted to say two things: First, Damn what a storyline! I never get tired of your Adventurers stories (though for some reason I can't seem to make it through many of your other stories - oh, well - same thing with Patricia Cornwell, too) I hope you keep writing them as long as they're fun. I will keep reading them, and I know that you know when to quit, so, forward! Second, I hope that all has been well with you. I was glad to read that your schedule (which would have killed me by now) has been working for you. Between my wife, my work, our 8 inside dogs, and family obligations, it's hard enough to get two consecutive game sessions to rub together! How you do it I don't know. Be well, and keep writing! -Henry
Thought I would just drop you some info... Anti-magic zones, spells, or spheres, do not ( normally ) negate the magical constructs in their radius : That is, Angus and all the undead would just do fine while they are in an anti-magic zone. They cannot use their magical abilities ( like the death cloud that iron golems spit ) , but they do not suffer any ill effects. As for all spells, items, permanent effects, etc... They are negated by being in such a zone, but return immediately after you leave the concerned area ( with what was left of their duration intact ) . Artifacts are not normally affected by anti-magic spells, such is their power. Only anti-magic zones suppress the power of artifacts... And I do not know if the anti-magic stone qualifies as that ( although it *is* a heck of a powerful trinket. ) Max
Thomas - This was your best work yet. The way you handled the mass combat, the intricately entwined plot lines of the three forces, and the conclusion of Helgate was worth the years of reading pleasure and a great ending monument to Bel and his work. I'm lifting my morning mug to you, thanks again for writing your stories and sharing them. Miq
Thomas, While it is sad to see Helgate go, I don't think it really suited Belphanior to settle down. He still want's to adventure so now he won't have anything holding him back. The group can always stay at the Green Dragon Inn!?! Is Belphanior still a wanted man in Greyhawke? I was going to send you a note after the last episode when Belphanior opened the Anti-Magic sphere suggesting the box holding it have a automatic closing method after some amount of time like 10 minutes or something... I didn't think I had to hurry up with the note because I thought you weren't going to write about Belphanior and the other survivors for a while. I guess I was wrong... No matter. This ending frees up Belphanior of any responsibility to Helgate. You mentioned the Sky Ship, Is that still functioning? It is magical but I guess he can retrieve his belongings even if it isn't functioning. So, what are the chances of Belphanior teaming up with Bram and the others? Bob
Well despite the fact you hate writing this type of story, it was still an Excellent ride! -joe
Hurrah! I liked Helgate as an occasional diversion, but it was starting to seriously detract from the other main characters. I assume that we shall now see the excrement hitting the air moving device in other characters lives for a while now :) Jamie
[from here down was added on thursday 28 september 2000] I read the most recent few episodes concerning the death of Helgate, and I must say I enjoyed them immensely. Everything that happened was rather logical, well written, and from a certain point of view, inevitable. I particularly liked the Aja idea and the comparison you built up between Nigel Bloodstone and Tonga Dun. With her dabbling in death magic, Aja had been asking for this fate for quite a long time. I felt it coming for her, although I really did not expect it to happen so soon. Through the words of Gruumst, you summarized it very well "One cannot truly worship death unless one is dead". There is a relevant Daoist saying from Dao De Dzin:"In trying to surpass the Grand Master, one seldom fails to chop off his own hands" the Grand Master being Death, of course. In any case, there was something rather creepy and unnatural for a lively young attractive human woman to spend her time in dark crypts messing with undead and chanting prayers to Death. Next, Nigel is one of the best depictions I have seen in fiction of a sane, wise, and responsible general. He probably does not measure up to Lord Marcus, but in his own right, he is a great character, and I would be glad to see him surface again in the adventurers' saga. Finally, I have the suspicion you have decided to withdraw the Victoria trump into your sleeve and pull her out at an opportune time. The way Belphanior abandoned her under the rock in an anti-magic field, she will be really pissed off when she makes it out. Speaking of which, what's B's problem? I thought he loved her. He is sufficiently wealthy to bring an army of dwarven miners and dig her out. Hell, if I had my woman down there, I would be far more proactive. Instead, he buries her even under more rock, just so as to deny the sphere trinket to others?! Does B _really_ care about anybody? Life has been hard to him, I admit, but if he cannot learn to give more than he takes, then he is not much more than just the next wretch down the street, IMHO. I somehow expected him to demonstrate more grandeur and magnanimity eventually. As far as future ideas go, it seems to me the original adventurers have grown far too powerful and successful. I see little reason for the drow or Peldor and Tanya or Songa and Rillen to adventure anymore. It seems family, children, and peaceful career are much more relevant to them than anything else. Yes, the past catches up with them now and then, but they do not generate new enemies like Belphanior, so their excitement and problems are on the wane. Braving dangers, exploring dungeons, questing, and saving the world should be left in the hands of the henchmen. I think even Mongo should build a kingdom and settle down (and put aside the Coat of Arnd). What I would suggest is that a new party is built, which includes Arnold, Deryck, Nenya, Bosco, and Gorin. This new wave will return the magic and excitement in which active heroes' lives abound. Now they should get henchmen of their own, which means new interesting characters are introduced and the saga continues. You have a lot of room to expand the personalities of the new bosses, since now they will leave the shadow, be in charge and get to do things their way. For example, Gorin has demonstrated thoughtfulness, wisdom, and strong will. He would make an excellent leader to the party - careful, diplomatic, and slow to anger. Deryck would be the other pillar of reason and act as a subcommander. Nenya can become the crazy dashing bitchy mage, who overcompensates deep sadness and depression coming from the Greyhawk wars destroying Ged's legacy. Deryck's tragedy is to watch his mate brave dangers recklessly while he himself believes in far more cautious approaches but fails to convince her to follow them. It is also time we saw the darker side of Bosco - even a halfling cannot remain a kid forever. How about Bosco becomes more deceptive and wily, with a tinge of evil creeping up - perhaps his greed finally starts getting the better of him. Finally, I would like to see Arnold become more religious and dual-class into a priest. I think that will be a very interesting twist. Arnold has been around for quite awhile, so it is time for him to consider the world experience he has acumulated and start thinking more along the lines of cause and effect, and life and death. World-wise revelations dropping out of Arnold's mouth can be rather entertaining and thought-provoking. It is also time his wisdom increased. He has seen so much that it is doubtful that he can stick forever to the barbarian values. I think it would be a waste to let him spend the rest of his existence being a caricature of Conan. Anyway, I hope you are not too shocked by my heretical ideas. Emil
I really like the recent storyline that you've been running, with Belphanior and the boys. I think it is going to be interesting to see how Belphanior rebuilds Helgate, and I am saddened that the castle fell. Well, at least Ys lived. He, Razor Charlie and Eduardo are my favorites among the marshals of Helgate. I think I have a picture that would suit him (it's attatched, if you want). General ideas that you can reap if you want: - a Peldor story of some kind, soon (my true favorite) - some background on Ys (a nice, long [perhaps series] story about Ys' background, one of these days - the whereabouts and doings of Alindyar and Lyra - some focus on Eduardo, and his movement into the thiefly practices - maybe a switch back to Peldor's keep, for a peldor story, something involving his followers Thanks, Tyler
I am sending this in late, but the Hellgate series was terrific. Is this a precursor to the turmoil the Greyhawk wars could produce? I am looking forward to the Halloween conclusion. Thanks for all the stories, George
Just wanted to say congratulations on the Helgate story arc. Its a little late, but just wanted to let you know it was some of the most entertaining stuff I've read in a while. Couldn't wait to finish it. It's most entertaining seeing powerful and interesting bands converging on one spot and making a mess. Ryan
Hello! No, this is not about me asking you questions about one of our favorite evils. Since I know you won't be buying 3rd ed material, and perhaps some of your readers will wonder what would his stats be if converted to 3rd ed, and since I had some spare time on my hands, I converted him. I don't know if I will have the courage to do ALL of the adventurers to be totally honest, but I enjoyed doing this. Included with the .txt file are some notes on the third ed that I thought would help you understand my conversion. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Max ----- The iron dwarf, male dwarven 16th level fighter ( subrace unkown ), a living killing machine 4', 360 lbs ( armored ), age unknown Alignment : Chaotic evil Strength : 27 (+6, thanks to girdle of giant strength +6 ) = 33 Bonus : +11 Constitution : 20 Bonus : +5 Dexterity : 15 Bonus : +2 Intelligence : 3 Bonus : -4 Wisdom : 3 Bonus : -4 Charisma : 5 Bonus : -3 Armor class : Mithral +5 Full plate ( spell resitance : 19 ) , Ring of protection +5, Dex 15 = 30 Hit points : 203 Move : 30 feet / round Attack bonus, with +5 Keen waraxe of Flaming burst : +33/+28/+23/+18 Dmg per attack : 1d10+23 ( +1d6 points of fire damage ) Spell resistance : 19 Critical hits : On a natural roll of 18-19-20, roll again. If the second roll is still good enough to hit the ac of the opponent, then a critical hit is achieved. The iron dwarf deals 3d10+69 ( +2d10 points of fire damage ) on a critical hit. Saving throws : Resistance : +22, Will +5, Reflex + 11 ( Thanks to gloves of resistance +3 ) . Regerates 16 hps per hour ( 1hp/hour/level ) . Immune to gasses. Always able to breath, thanks to necklace of adaptation. Ring of elemental resistance, Major ( fire ) : The iron dwarf ignores the 30 first points of damage he receives by fire each round. Immune to mind-affecting spells, including Enchantment-Charm and Illusions. Does not need to eat, drink or sleep ( The items that you used were removed in the new edition... So I just gave these abilities to him ) , if he does not want to. Things I took the liberty of adding to him : The damage bonus is so big because when you wield a weapon two-handed, in the new edition, you get ( your str bonus * 1.5 ) as a dmg bonus. Additional damage is because of the magic of his weapon, and his specialization in it. I added a quality to the axe ( Keen = Increases the critical hit range of the initial allotment. Don't worry, It's alread included. Fire burst : The axe can ignite whenever the wielder wills it to, and it deals +1d6 points of damage to each attack. On a critical hit, the dmg is magnified ) . Rings of protection no longer add to saving throws. I modified his level to what I thought would be better ( mainly to give him 4 attacks per round ) . Lastly, If I ever do Yod and Mongo, don't worry, they are as tough as this chum is. Notes on new edition : Now, all rolls in the game are made with a d20. Thaco disappeared, being replaced with attack bonuses : with the iron dwarf example, he has four attacks per round, one with +33 to his roll, second one with +28, etc... Initiative is rolled once per combat : Once you get it, you act at the same time for the rest of the combat. Ac : Instead of going from 10 to -10, it goes starts at 10 and doesn't stop... But there are other limitations. If I do the other adventurers, I will send them with all the correct scores, of course. Saving throws are made against Difficulties ratings depending on the level of a caster, the size of the threat... 10 is a very easy saving throw, 20 is a medium one, and 30 is a nearly impossible one. Difficulties above 30 are what you can expect from spells from gods, eon-old liches, and the like. Example : The iron dwarf gets hit by a disintegration spell cast by Alindyar. The DR for him is 23 ( 10 base, +7 for Alindyar intelligence, +6 for the level of the spell ) . He rolls a 15, easily resisting the spell. Now alindyar is in trouble. How to calculate the DC for a spell : Base of 10 + The relative stat bonus of the caster ( Wizards use intelligence, Sorcerers and Bards charisma, Clerics, Paladins and Druids wisdom. ) + The level of the spell. Hit points : Now, you roll hit dices for each level. You don't stop rolling at level 9, or 10 depending on your class. You keep rolling, and always add your constitution bonuses and the like. Bear in mind that in 3rd ed, you get dealt more damage faster, that's why it was modified. Magic resistance becomes Spell resistance. Divide old magic resistance by 5, and add 11. You come up with something between 12 and 31. To overcome a spell resistance, a caster rolls 1d20 and adds his level as a bonus. If he rolls above, he overcomes it. Each four levels a character achieves, he gains a single bonus characteristic point he can place wherever he wants ( ie : increasing Str from 18 to 19, etc...). Xps are now based on a comparison between the pc level and the difficulty of the monster : A 16th level fighter does not gain a scrap of xp from killing an orc. Now, if he kills an orc horde ALONE... Quick note on dragons : Dragons are now... Well, they ARE dragons. That is, killing one is no longer as easy as it used to be. 2nd ed dragons compared to 3rd ed are like comparing a blowgun to a laspistol.
I have to congratulate you after re-reading (again!) the arc of stories I've mentally labelled "The Fall of Helgate". Of all of the original adventurers (and of all of them *period*) my two favorites have always been Peldor and Belphanior. And this story arc showed Belphanior at his best - in the thick of things, with chaos, death, destruction and blood all around. I like Peldor because of his James Bond/Lupin the Third (from japanese anime) similarities; the smooth-tongued rogue with the beautiful women on his arms, equally at home fighting with wits and word as he is with fist and weapon. And Belphanior? Because he's an elf. Because he's a mage and a thief, yet can't be underestimated in a sword-fight. And because he says and does what he wants to, when he wants to, *who* he wants to. This is something that appeals to me. Belphanior plays by his own rules, and no one else's. If his code is in line with the the codes of the land he's in, and others he's with, well and good. But if it isn't, he won't break *his* code to fit in and conform to someone else's ideas of what he should and shouldn't do. In some ways, Belphanior reminds me of John Constantine. The main character ('hero' would be going to far, IMO) of the comic "Hellblazer" (put out by DC comics Vertigo line). He's a nasty SOB. Death, destruction, pain, loss, and betrayal all seem to follow him around. He's hard on his friends; several of them are dead, damned, or both. But he fights against forces he can't possibly beat forever - Heaven *and* Hell - because he feels that both have screwed up humanity. To John, people don't need to let others - be they angels, demons, politicians, businessmen, ect... - rule over them. And, although he's definately an anti-hero, he often means well. In Helgate, Belphanior had a home. His first since his domicile in Greyhawk was destroyed. And here *he* set the laws. Laws that were often harsh, yes. Laws that would have seemed strange at best in other lands, yes. But his rule didn't seem that heavy. He wasn't taxing people to near death/slavery. And, as long as you didn't start anything, Belphanior and co. wouldn't finishing anything (or anyone). He might not have been *loved* by the locals, but he wasn't ~just~ feared for his powers and skills. I honestly think many respected the fact that he tried to keep the peace without nosing overly into their personal affairs. And here came two armies, one from Perrenland and one from Ket, both to take over the area. Not because the locals had begged them to free them from the Mad Elf. Not because they knew that the town's ruler consorted with a "foul vampyr". But because controlling the town would strengthen their abilities to defend their borders - and to attack their neighbours/rivals/enemies. And between them, they destroyed the town. Exterminated it's population. Cost Belphanior who knows what in magic, gold, art objects and other treasures. Destroyed who knows how many hours of work on his part - building his castle, forging laws, keeping the peace, ect... Cost him several loyal followers, and quite likely a woman he loved. Oh, other factors played a part, yes. The priestess might have still have lost herself to the evil that wanted to own her body. The vampire hunters weren't in Helgate for a vacation, after all. But those two armies were the snowballs that started the avalanche, the staws that broke the camel's back. John Constantine and Belphanior have another thing in common: they're both very bad people to cross. Perrenland *and* Ket might both have cause to regret their actions in Helgate in the years to come. Particularly if/when the Greyhawk Wars occur. Belphanior led several comanions into the land of the Sea Princes once. Freeing all the slaves in a city, looting it and virtually destroying it. Because, as I recall, he didn't care for them or for slavery. I for one, shudder to think about what he might eventually do to countries that did *this* to him. Once again, I tip my hat to you. I hope to read many more stories by you over the coming years. The Apprentice
[from here down was added on thursday 5 october 2000] The Belphanior roundup was truely ephical. I must also say it's very nice that you manage to describe the lives of all the adventurers, in a way that makes the story flowing. Cheers! Håvard
> Arnold: But to answer your question, I began to care after the wife and > children came along. > Songa: What?!? > Rillen: Wife and children?!? Extremely good cliff-hanger, this one ;-) Kind regards, Met vriendelijke groet, Tim
Helgate's fall was very well scripted, up there with your best. I still like your shapeshifter storyline best. It had a true sense of loss and showed the desperate courage of heroes that you see in all too few movies these days. I know you've got a lot of ideas already, but for the future have you considered adding more 'moral dilemma' stories? Ones where the adventurers do the wrong things for the right reasons; be they political, to save a fellow at the expense of their honor, strengthen one evil party so that they balance another evil party(like Iuz vs. the Scarlet Brotherhood), etc? I guess I'm a star trek fan so I look for and enjoy moral quandaries in the fiction I read. I hope you're still enjoying the contracting job with CNN. I tried contracting for a while and finally realized I couldn't hack the additional hours and stuck with my full time job. I did learn a lot though. Be well, Chris
At last, i'm finally able to write you, after more than 7 year, yes that's right. 7 years, belive it or not, i started reading The Adventurers back in 1993. I started playing AD&D in 1987, and i'm still playing, sometimes as a player and sometimes as a DM, and i have to say that after reading The Adventurers, my style of play changed radically, i was just, as a player, the quiet type, not too involved in the adventure, and as DM just ok, nothing too relevant, but thanx to a very good friend of mine, who back in 93, he have access to the web in his school, and he started to get the stories, and show them to me. It was right then that my view of the game changed. If you are wondering why until now i write, that's simple... i didn't have a pc with a modem until a few days, and just started looking for the stories, to my surprise, there was a page dedicated to The Adventurers, and now at last i'm able to continue reading your stories. When my friend graduates in 94, i lost contac to the stories because my friend live in El Paso TX. and i live in Monterrey N.L. Mexico I stop reading the stories around episode 210 or so. And now thanx to the Internet, i'm able to continue reading the stories. Well that is all for the moment, i just wanted to tell you, and thank you, you are really a very good writer and DM, keep up the good work there. ps: My Favorite character is (well, i like them all, really) GED! he is really cool, i even started a character much like him. Well that's all... Ramiro