Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Weird red metals, dominions, immortals, hollow planets, invisible moons, and a lot of glorified magic zeppelins. It's all here.
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Thorf » Sun May 06, 2012 9:36 am

I just downloaded the PDf file and viewed it offline.

Seriously guys, it's not that hard. With the expansion of cloud-based services this is increasingly what things are going to be like from now on, most likely.

Besides, it's a new article from Bruce!
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby BlackBat242 » Tue May 08, 2012 3:17 am

Precisely... I downloaded the PDF, so I didn't have to read it online (and I could keep it).
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby nerik » Thu May 10, 2012 1:17 pm

Bruce, while browsing Vaults of Pandius, I came across this: Mystara-space: filled with air (which would appear to be an implementation of one of your ideas mentioned here: Ideas about space), my question is, how big an area of space did get filled with air by the Alphatian magic?

Also, was this even what caused the ship gravity rules to change from those in your original Voyage of the Princess Ark article (and Champions of Mystara) to those described here: Mystara-space: gravity? (It also seems to be refered to here: Mystara-space: navigation as well).

Have you had any further ideas on Mystaran space travel?

Thanks!
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Havard » Thu May 10, 2012 6:38 pm

Bruce,
I just bought one of those binding machines. I plan on printing out a collection of your articles and binding them into a booklet. This will include the later articles on the Nagpa and the Goatmen as well as older material from Pandius. Do you have any suggestions for a title to such a booklet? :ugeek:

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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Ambreville » Thu May 10, 2012 9:28 pm

Ports of Mystara -- Updated

Hear! Hear!

I'm opening this article to anyone who wishes to contribute. Ports are listed with spaces available for short comments. See ports listed on pg. 3 for examples. If you're interested in helping out, post comments here about the port(s) you've selected. I'll try my best to incorporate them to the file, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

http://bruce-heard.blogspot.com/2012/05/ports-of-mystara-updated.html
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Chimpman » Thu May 10, 2012 11:27 pm

Ambreville wrote:Ports of Mystara -- Updated

Hear! Hear!

I'm opening this article to anyone who wishes to contribute. Ports are listed with spaces available for short comments. See ports listed on pg. 3 for examples. If you're interested in helping out, post comments here about the port(s) you've selected. I'll try my best to incorporate them to the file, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

http://bruce-heard.blogspot.com/2012/05/ports-of-mystara-updated.html

Love this article Bruce. Just a quick shout out to our friends who frequent the Spelljammer forums, but this article might be a useful tool for you as well!
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Ambreville » Fri May 11, 2012 12:09 am

Spelljammer is another set I need to dig out of my garage. I've been thinking of using it wholecloth for Mystara.
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Bouv » Fri May 11, 2012 8:14 pm

Hi Bruce,

I've just started listening to some of the podcasts that are out on the web about D&D/AD&D. Have you particpated in any (interviews)? And if so, which ones?
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Ambreville » Fri May 11, 2012 8:19 pm

Bouv wrote:Hi Bruce,

I've just started listening to some of the podcasts that are out on the web about D&D/AD&D. Have you particpated in any (interviews)? And if so, which ones?


Try here: http://bruce-heard.blogspot.com/2012/03/podcast-from-yours-truly-on-save-or-die.html
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Ambreville » Sun May 13, 2012 6:36 pm

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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Thorf » Sun May 13, 2012 7:05 pm

Wow! Amazing, Bruce. This stuff will be great for my Atlas project someday. :D
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Bouv » Sun May 13, 2012 8:13 pm

Ambreville wrote:
Bouv wrote:Hi Bruce,

I've just started listening to some of the podcasts that are out on the web about D&D/AD&D. Have you particpated in any (interviews)? And if so, which ones?


Try here: http://bruce-heard.blogspot.com/2012/03/podcast-from-yours-truly-on-save-or-die.html


Thanks Bruce, I've actually just started listening to this series!
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Ambreville » Tue May 15, 2012 1:41 am

Ports have been revised, from the Arm of the Immortals to the Isle of Dawn (incl.). I'll work on Alphatia and the ports farther east in the coming days. Let me know if you like that version better.

http://bruce-heard.blogspot.com/2012/05/ports-of-mystara-updated.html
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Ambreville » Wed May 16, 2012 3:51 am

I've gone about as far as want to go with Ports of Mystara. All the ports have been updated. Now would be a good time to start pitching comments to flesh out these destinations. I'll enter them in conventional paragraph format at each relevant section break to avoid cluttering the lists. This should allow me eventually to add more relevant maps. I'd like to create a simple list of ports for volunteers to sign up and cross off ports they're interested in. I'm not sure how to proceed with this step, since I'm allowing four different entry points (here, the blog, Piazza, and Dragonsfoot). Any ideas?

http://bruce-heard.blogspot.com/2012/05/ports-of-mystara-updated.html
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Culture20 » Wed May 16, 2012 6:37 pm

I didn't see any ports listed for airships (was expecting some in Floating Ar at least). I could see how there might not be similar ports for rockships in Rockhome and other specialty watercraft.

Also, Threshold was missing, despite the prominence that the Windrush plays in travel there (and the prominence that Threshold has for BECMI nostalgists). :)

Finally, I always got that feeling that the "Necklace" of the Serpent Peninsula would make a good portage site (although I could understand its absence due to lack of large civilizations in the area).
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Ambreville » Wed May 16, 2012 7:37 pm

Airships need a completely different system, which is why they aren't listed here.

I used the Gazetteer-scaled maps, which of course do not show Threshold as a port city. Naturally, it's on a small lake, and yes, there are "boats" there, but nothing comparable to other ports. Based on my compilation, you'd need vessels 20 Hull Points or less to navigate downstream from Threshold. Threshold's lake probably allows bigger vessels (but then, does Threshold really need them?)

Necklace area? You mean the stretch between Tyjaret and Kladanovic? That would be 120 miles across unpopulated savanna (half of which would be on river). Wouldn't it be just as fast (certainly easier, safer, and vastly cheaper) to detour through the Dhikki Namazzi gap???
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby paleologos » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:22 am

Hey, Bruce

I've always wondered if the name for the Silver Tower Inn in Glantri City was perhaps inspired by La Tour d'Argent in Paris...every time I'm there, I can't help but wondering!
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Ambreville » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:58 am

It is! :-)
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Mortis » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:38 pm

Ambreville wrote:Necklace area? You mean the stretch between Tyjaret and Kladanovic? That would be 120 miles across unpopulated savanna (half of which would be on river). Wouldn't it be just as fast (certainly easier, safer, and vastly cheaper) to detour through the Dhikki Namazzi gap???

Not to put words into Culture20's mouth, but I think he may mean the Dhikki Namazzi gap, whose circle of surrounding islands could be considered a necklace.

Here's Thorf's map of the area.

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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Traianus » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:14 pm

Bruce,

You're work on the various Alphatian states is fantastic, I've really enjoyed revisiting them on your blog. In some earlier blogs, you mentioned you had found an "updated" version of the Dominion Economics spreadsheet. I've got the original version you can still download from Pandius, but it is a bit wonky with the newer versions of Excel. Would you consider making the updated version available? It really is a fantastic world building aid.
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Cthulhudrew » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:48 pm

Speaking of spreadsheets, what I found really impressive was his latest work on Stoutfellow, with the demographic breakdown of the capitol city of Denwarf-Hurgon. That was really cool!
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Culture20 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:23 am

Mortis wrote:
Ambreville wrote:Necklace area? You mean the stretch between Tyjaret and Kladanovic? That would be 120 miles across unpopulated savanna (half of which would be on river). Wouldn't it be just as fast (certainly easier, safer, and vastly cheaper) to detour through the Dhikki Namazzi gap???

Not to put words into Culture20's mouth, but I think he may mean the Dhikki Namazzi gap, whose circle of surrounding islands could be considered a necklace.

Here's Thorf's map of the area.

Regards
Gary

I actually meant The Necklace found in this older map http://pandius.com/x6-wild-lands-24.png, so Bruce was correct.
It's either the river the Throat empties into or the name for the region where the peninsula joins the mainland. There's not much of a reason to do portage on water...
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Havard » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:46 am

Great article you wrote on Aasla, Bruce! :)

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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Carillion » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:44 pm

Hello Bruce

I must echo the sentiment of some of the posts above and offer a big thank you for the excellent work you have put into developing Alphatia.

I also don't know how you do the maps so quickly. It always takes me weeks, if not months, to do just one!
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Re: Hi! (Bruce Heard Q&A)

Postby Ambreville » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:58 pm

Hi guys (& gals)

For whatever reason, the Piazza stopped notifying me of new messages on this thread. Sorry I missed your messages.

@Traianus [[You're work on the various Alphatian states is fantastic, I've really enjoyed revisiting them on your blog. In some earlier blogs, you mentioned you had found an "updated" version of the Dominion Economics spreadsheet. I've got the original version you can still download from Pandius, but it is a bit wonky with the newer versions of Excel. Would you consider making the updated version available? It really is a fantastic world building aid.]]

The "updated" version is of course very different and much more complicated. Unfortunately, I still use the same spreadsheet version on my computer, so problems related to the more recent Excel release are likely to be accentuated. That's one issue. The second one is that the updated dominion worksheet isn't formatted to be used by the public. For example, there are no explanations, safeguards against accidental deletions, convenient graphic layout, etc. Finally, after all the second-thought developments, corrections, and transitional coding, it now looks like "Frankenstein." It's full of patches, large sections of obscure coding cluttering the screen, and older parts I'm not entirely certain I can delete without provoking a problem elsewhere in the file. The cleanup is very slow. It's a nasty little bugger, if you'll pardon my Renardois, that requires constant vigilance on my part to make sure it is used correctly. Even then, I find myself fine-tuning internal mechanics, refining conceptual issues, and, erm, adding *more* stuff! For example, the issue about airships and submersibles came up, prompting me to add subroutines to analyze the data and provide results both logical and informative. Neat stuff, but unfortunately, it requires more input from the user (affinities to air and water elements, general fleet strategies, etc.) One major problem I ran into was the issue of basic population numbers vs. the existence of experience levels. How do you account for this as regards realm-wide economics? Is the population counted as 0-level citizens, 1st levels, or do we account for the population solely from the standpoint of total Hit-Dice-worth of living beings, including normal people and monsters, right up to multi-HD creatures like dragons and such? Naturally, trying to retrofit old mechanics with this concepts or with ideals designed to reflect D&D-ish matters causes many headaches and conundrums. Another retrofit was the idea of general economics based upon the price of bread, thus devising a system to calculate a fluctuating price of bread and the effect of such on local economies and, in particular, the military... As you can see, I'm no-way-near able to release something like this to the public. :-)

@Cthuldrew [[Speaking of spreadsheets, what I found really impressive was his latest work on Stoutfellow, with the demographic breakdown of the capitol city of Denwarf-Hurgon. That was really cool!]]

Thanks. That's another example of the sort of things in run into, such as combining data from two separate dominions. It was more complex than I first thought. It's added experience for me as I progress through my re-hashing of Alphatia. The next hurdle is to figure out the economics of the Imperial District, since it's collecting tributes from all other subject realms... Ya-freakin'-hoo!

@Havard [[Great article you wrote on Aasla, Bruce! :)]]

Again, thanks! That one was pretty silly and vastly more fun to work on as a result. Again, I fixed some data processing issues related to grossly-oversized city population. Things like calculating city area, port area, wall perimeter, etc, led to interesting demographics research about current day cities. That one was really time-consuming.

@Carillion [[I must echo the sentiment of some of the posts above and offer a big thank you for the excellent work you have put into developing Alphatia. I also don't know how you do the maps so quickly. It always takes me weeks, if not months, to do just one!]]

I do these maps in my sleep. I've gotten so used to the software, I can move pretty fast now. I spend more time thinking about what I actually want to do with the realm and what slant to give feature names (city tags, forests, etc.) than actually keying the map. The latter is the easiest part. :-)
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