Fantasy Dream team

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Fantasy Dream team

Postby mr friendly guy » 2016-12-22 08:00pm

Inspired by all the mythology dream team related threads, I have decided to do a fantasy dream team threads, but with more restrictions.

This team is transported to various worlds in the multiverse by the Dungeon master who sets them quests to complete. After completion the DM transports them to a new world for a new quest and promises them that they will eventually be returned to their respective fantasy worlds after completing an unspecified number of quests. There is no way back to their respective worlds even with gateways or planewalker magic due to the power of plot device. Once transported to a new world, you get a small amount of the local currency and food to last one week. Characters do not age due to the DM’s power, but they can still die from disease, injuries etc. Unless they are immortal to begin with. The DM gives each member a magic talisman which allows them to translate languages of the locals. The DM implants the knowledge of each team member’s language into the other team members, so even if the magical talisman is destroyed, they can still communicate.

So basically your team must be able to complete any fantasy quest, which ranges from the usual find the magic item quest to defeating entire armies and turning the tide of battle. Your team however must have characters that can fit certain D & D archetypes as well as having a team leader. Note characters can fit in more than one category, but you must have only one character in each category. So here are the categories

Team leader – can be any character class

Bard – must be able to do music and have magic. So a wizard which can sing, can squeeze into this category.

Ranger – mainly must be able to use long range weapons as its criteria

Wizard / sorcerer – standard magic user fare

Cleric – magic and healing, and some divinity backing them

Fighter/ Barbarian

Rogue – must be able to steal
3 classes of any type – choose wisely, preferably powerhouses.

So a total of 10 in your fantasy dream team..

Your selection of classes must come from a “modern” fantasy source, so preferably something written in the last 100 years. So Sun Wukong, Hercules is out. Rand Al Thor is in. Sources include things like fantasy novels, comics, anime, games (provided they have some sort of storyline) etc. Superhero sources like Marvel 616 universe is disallowed. So no Dr Strange. Also with games, it has to be a character which you did not create as a player. So no using your pay to win character from your favourite MMORPG.

Black powder fantasy is allowed, but “science fantasy” is not. So Shadowrun is out. Using obscure Doctor Who EU sources to point out magic exists, so I can use the Doctor is also out.

Gods are disallowed. Immortal races like Valheru (Raymond E Feist magician universe) is allowed.

Cookies for those who can use more obscure sources. If you do, give us an idea about each character’s capabilities and why they fit into the certain class you have assigned them.

Bonus cookies for those who can demonstrate combos with the abilities of characters from different universes.

Sample quests are
1. Take the one ring to Mordor and destroy it in the fires of Mt Doom. You start off with the one ring

2. Defeat the Imperial Order from Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. Keep in mind this “Old World” army with support crew is like the size of modern China’s army, and the opposing “New World” population is described like a stone on a table compared to the numbers the “Old world” can muster. Also both sides have magic. And dreamwalkers which can enter the minds of Goodkindverse magic users and take them over unless you have the appropriate protection spells.

Assassinating their leaders might buy you time, but keep in mind, the Imperial Order is an ideology, not just a person

3. Fight off the Fey invasion and put Arianna on the throne.
From Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Fey series, book 3. The Fey control half the world. Most of them are common soldiers who haven’t got magic yet, but some have magic ranging from wizard like, shapeshifter etc.

Arianna is the daughter of the Islander King Nicholas, and a Fey princess, and due the combination of magics from the two peoples, she can shapeshift into numerous shapes as well as having some premonition skills.

At the start of the third book, the Fey King comes to finish what his son started, and take over the islands rather than just coexist in uneasy peace.

Any questions about the quests etc.

I will post my team later, as I am due to start work soon
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-23 01:11am

So strictly pre-industrial fantasy? Its not entirely clear on where the time line is drawn.

If so, that's somewhat constraining, as a lot of my current favourites are more contemporary urban fantasy (I would totally pack this team with folks from the Buffy-verse if I could), but here goes:

Team Leader: Gandalf the Grey (The Lord of the Rings, book version). Arguably the archetypal benevolent wise old wizard (or at least sharing that spot with Merlin), and if he dies, he may level up to Gandalf the White. :) Has plenty of knowledge of lore, strategy, and sword play to make him a well-rounded wizard. The millennia of experience will be ideal for a leader (I am presuming his pseudo-angelic status does not violate the "no gods" rule, as he's not at full power in his Gandalf the Grey form). It also helps that one of the sample quests is the one for which he was intended.

Bard: Adaon son Taliesin (The Black Cauldron- the book, not the Disney film). Just because he's a wise and mature individual, more than for his singing. Also handy with a sword. His magical abilities are very limited, and pretty much dependent on a single artifact, but he is a bard, and I'm going to say he counts.

Ranger: Legolas, son of Thranduil (The Lord of the Rings). Probably the archetypal archer character in modern fantasy, so he fits the ranged weapons speciality perfectly, even though Aragorn is more typically associated with the title of ranger. He'll get on well with Gandalf and Aragorn too, and probably with Adaon.

Wizard/Sorcerer: Nynaeve al'Meara (The Wheel of Time). Interesting personality, great determination, a healer (which this team obviously needs), and a supernatural powerhouse.

I only declined to put her in the cleric's slot because she doesn't enjoy any particular divine patronage.

Cleric: Damned if I can think of one I consider suitable for this team, honestly. Most of the fantasy I read/watch is light on overtly religious elements. So I'm going to follow the letter of the rules while (I suspect) screwing the intent, and pick Melisandra from "Game of Thrones", even though I firmly regard her as villainous.

Fighter/Barbarian: The one, the only, Conan the Barbarian (Conan the Barbarian).

Rogue: Matt Cauthon (The Wheel of Time). Thieving isn't his first specialty (absurd luck and tactics are), but I'm sure he can handle it in a pinch, and he has a roguish personality. ;)

Other three posts:

1. Aragorn, son of Arathorn (The Lord of the Rings). The definitive ranger/long lost heir archetype, and a greater warrior and leader of men. Also has healing and tracking abilities, and will get on well with Gandalf, Legolas, and probably Adaon.

2. Tyrion Lannister ("Game of Thrones"), for comic relief and brains.

3. Susan Sto Helit (Discworld novels). For DEATH-related powers.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2016-12-23 02:12am

Hari Michaaelson aka Caine seems to fall into a grey zone. He's a human from a dystopic caste ridden future Earth but his job is to be dimensionally transported to Overworld, a fairly typical fantasy world with magic and elves and dragons, and have adventures. Is he legal? If he is I'm totally taking him for the Rogue slot.

Khelhus Anasurimbor for party leader, of course. Cnauir for Barbarian. The others will require some consideration.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby mr friendly guy » 2016-12-23 02:53am

I am generally limited the tech at around cannons and guns. So Blackpowder fantasy is in. TRR brought up a good point, and I think urban fantasy is out as its too much tech. It also will limit Legend of Korra, but Aang would most probably still be in, if we use his younger self.

I am aware someone can game the system by using things like Urza from MTG who uses magic for his artifacts and inventions, and also Harry Turtledove's Darkness series, where its world war II but with magic instead of science. That being said, one of these wizards isn't going to necessarily turn the tide.

Also if one can explain how your team will complete some of the example quests, would be great.

*************************************************************************************************

So my team

Team leader - Janus Bet Vhalnich.

From Django Wexler's series of blackpowder fantasy (I got the first four books in Hardback). This guy has no special powers (at least none that he has revealed), but is a damn good planner. I would think of him as a highly functional sociopath, however the latest book reveals he does have feelings for others, so he is just Vulcan like.

To give you an idea of his military genius, he defeated an army of nomads who seemed to be able to attack at will. He figured out how they moved so fast. It was that they had a novel means of communication by using a morse code type system using light, which he adapted. But damn, just read the books.

Oh, and he also has guns.

Bard

Anvar from Maggie Furey's artefacts of power.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Artefacts_of_Power

Basically this guy is a mage from that world and got hold of the Harp of winds, which when played manage to end a magical winter brought on by the antagonists, the sorceror Miathan. That being said IIRC it should also be able to do the opposite, which will be useful for dealing with the Imperial Order quest. But I digress.

A mage in this world is essentially - immortal (they can die from injuries and magical diseases), cannot be drown (they breath under water), and have magical powers. Its been a while since I read the series, but I think he is specialising in air. They also intuitively translate another language and can speak in that language and have some mental communication power with other mages.

I thought this would be an interesting choice to use for the bard. It allows me to have powerful characters on the team.

Ranger
This is going to be a blast. Taniel Two Shot from Brian Maclellan's Powder Mage trilogy. Did I mention I am loving blackpowder fantasy.

Taniel is a powerful powder mage. Basically powder mages learn to be snipers to kill "Privilege" mages, ie the standard classical fireball throwing type of mage. Guns have longer range than magic, and powder mages can make their bullets really travel. They can also ignite bullets from their hands so they fire without the need of a gun, and absorb the kinetic energy of bullets (but this only works against gunpowder weapons).

They also get high on gunpowder, giving them immense strength. Taniel's father, Tamas after snorting a bit of gunpowder managed to easily defeat a warder, a human who has been altered by magic to be superstrong, but even his strength is no match for a powder mages.

Their weakness is gold in the blood stream, which is unlikely to happen here.

Taniel is very powerful for a powder mage, so strong that even without gunpowder he manages to rip a man's skull in half. He also moves fast and even faster when high on gun powder.

So he has got the range weapon, and he does have wilderness survival skills like a ranger.

Wizard/sorceror

Belgarath the sorceror from David Edding's the Belgariad and Mallorean series. With the will and the word he can hurl rocks thrown from catapults back (and this was after he was injured fighting another strong sorceror), create fire, shapeshift into birds and wolves, turn stone into gold (money problem sorted out), can spy via putting his self into the shadow.

Oh, and he is immortal.

Now imagine him figuring out how to make gun powder, combine with Taniel Two Shot and people figuring out how to make guns on fantasy worlds which only have bow and arrows.


Cleric

I am tempted to put Rand Al Thor in this and it will strictly keep to the letter of the law. After all he can heal and he is backed by a divinity (the Pattern). That does however seem to stretch it, so...

Cadderly Bonaduce
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_F ... y_Bonaduce

From RA Salvatore's cleric quintet. Great clerical power, can turn the dead, can speak to the corpses of slain people etc, and healing. All rounder.

Fighter

I am going to pick from Asian fantasy this time. Chi Xue Destroyer of evil, from Singaporean comics the Celestial Zone. Who doesn't like a woman carrying a giant blood red sword. Among her powers are extreme strength (she can shatter rock), super speed and stamina, can make her blood attack you by changing them into swords (so when she is bleeding and the bad guy thought he had won and stepped into a pool of her blood, the blood suddenly attacked), leap great distances, resistant to injury and her ultimate recharge ability. That is when she is drained, she can recharge herself once within a certain time period and fight again.

Rogue

Lone Wolf from Joe Dever's gamebooks and novel series. Too bad the novels never got as far as the gamebooks.
http://lonewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Lone_Wolf

Lone Wolf can fit into the ranger category, fighter category, even cleric (backed by the god Kai). Basically the order of the Kai are psychic rangers. Among his abilities are skill with weapons, psionic attacks, psionic defence, ability to resist acid and hostile environments such as other planes, two forms of magic (Left handed magic from the brother hood and Old Kingdom Magic from the Elder Magi *), ability to manipulate elements, astrology, divination abilities and to see psychic clues, can heal himself and others, communicate and control animals etc.

Also carries the Sommerswerd, a magical sword forged by the Shinati a race of immortals. This allows him to absorb magical attacks against him and also to fire bolts of sunlight (needs to draw in the energy from the sun to do this).

He basically does the Rogue things, infiltrates, overcomes trap and steals stuff from bad guys to sabotage their plans. When he isn't killing them.

* if anyone is interested, right handed magic is used by the bad guys

The three remaining spots

I am bringing Rand Al Thor here. From the last book in the wheel of time before the final battle. He gets the angreal, but doesn't get Callandor.
The ability to destroy large chunks of enemy troops with gateways and weaves of fire is awesome. Also gateways. He is also a healer, so I am already stocking my group with 3 healers (4 if you count Anvar's limited ability with healing).

Now imagine combining gateways and firearms. Ouch.

I am going to dip into Asian fantasy again and bring out Guishan Lian Quan ("Lotus") from Legend of Ravaging Dynasties.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.O.R.D:_ ... _Dynasties

Lets see. The higher ranking sorcerers of this world are the "Dukes" and she is the Duke of the fifth rank (higher the better). At the end of the movie she also gains the power of a Duke of the 6th rank, the first time ever someone has ranks from two different houses. So what can she do.

Control lots of magical animals "Soul beasts." Her personal soul beast is a giant bird. She can bring up an army of soul beasts provided there are similar mystical animals in the vicinity. All Dukes here have immense physical strength that they can tunnel through cliffwalls. She has awesome martial arts skill, and most likely an ability to manipulate water by freezing (most Dukes from the water kingdom seem to be able to do this). After gaining the ability of the 6th duke combined, she is supposed to be more powerful but we don't see the full ability.

For the last spot, its going to be tough. But I am going to go with versatility here. Khelben Arunsun from Forgotten Realms. The blackstaff is a powerful mage and chosen of Mystra with Silver Fire. I figured his manipulative personality is more matched to Janus's own. I chose him rather than the more powerful Elminster, because I sense the Sage of Shadowdale would be too "goody goody two shoes" for my team.

Hari Michaaelson aka Caine seems to fall into a grey zone. He's a human from a dystopic caste ridden future Earth but his job is to be dimensionally transported to Overworld, a fairly typical fantasy world with magic and elves and dragons, and have adventures. Is he legal? If he is I'm totally taking him for the Rogue slot.

I am going to lean towards yes. He might have knowledge of science (well I assume given your description) but he isn't using any tech more advance than a gun, so I figured ok.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby mr friendly guy » 2016-12-24 03:51am

If anyone likes to think of quests from novels which your team would do better than the original protagonists, please post. I am going to deal with some of the sample quests I laid out.
************************************************************************************************************
The first quest is to destroy the One ring after the meeting at Rivendell.

Easy enough. Rand creates a gateway to mount doom, team takes Frodo with them. Between my warriors they will make short work of Orcs. Sorry, when you have characters that can shatter large rocks or rip a man's face off, orcs are going to get demolished. Deposit the One ring in the fires of Mt Doom.

*********************************************************************************************

Next quest, defeat the Imperial Order. Since Goodkind wrote himself into a corner with the antagonists having a massive numerical advantage, the protagonists only win due to deus ex machina. This is blood unsatisfying and I am glad I didn't bother reading the rest of the serie.

So here is how my team will win. Firstly join up with the D'haran army and find out what we can about the Imperial Order. If necessary have Khelbun cast a charm spell on Kahlan just to get them onside. I figured a level 24 wizard and level 3 Archmage could manage that. Now that we know what the D'harans know, Janus could figure out how to deal with the Imperial Order.

We know from Faith of the Fallen that the IO is unused to the cold winters of the New World. Literally thousands of their troops die during winter even though they have some form of shelter in camps, but no city walls. So here is winter time, we get Anvar with the Harp of winds to use the wild magic and create big storms to blow against the IO camp. From the novels the Harp of wind could create such strong winds that the winged folk were force to shelter in their city. The IO don't have a city, so most of their camp would be devastated. Janus would think of this strategy, because his enemies used the same trick (albeit with weaker "winter" powers) on him in Django Wexler's latest book. Without shelter they die from the cold.

I figure the IO magic users might be able to provide some protection, but then between Taniel Two Shot my "ranger" and Rand, they will make short work of them. Simply create a gateway, and then Taniel snipes them with his gun. Soon even the Dreamwalker will be killed by a bullet. Once we destroy their invading army, the next thing is to deal with them in the Old World. This is going to be tricky since while Janus most probably doesn't care about civilian casualties, the other members even Khelben might balk at that. Theoretically with the Harp of winds, they could devastate large chunks of crops by creating winter and causing mass starvation, but even the Harp can only cause weather disturbances in an area about say the size of an average country. The Old World is huge.

So the best way would be to destroy their ideology. Since their philosophy is a mixture of communism's economic practices married with religious fundamentalism (Goodkind is a Randroid), the best way is to create a new religion. This is going to take some time, but we just need some local to serve as our priest who has a different interpretation of their religion. Between Lone Wolf's telepathy and Khelben's magic, I am sure we can give some poor sod visions that the Creator (their deity) is speaking to them. With our backing they destroy the IO's headquarters in each city, add in a few illusions of the Creator and convince the regular folks that we are the true power and that the Order are heretics. Eventually the population will turn against the Order. Among the dictates of the new religion that the Old World leaves the New World alone, as the Creator himself will sow the seeds of their conversion.

Any IO army that tries to resist would be destroyed piecemeal before they can retake our "liberated" city. For example the first city in the series liberated from the order was the dreamwalker's own native city of Altur'Rang. So lets start with that. When the IO marches an army towards Altur'Rang, Rand can gateway, and between our magic users we can devastate large chunks of the army at ranges they cannot fight back at. Khelbun can scry their location before they are anywhere near our city. Our fighters jump in and make short of work of their soldiers in hit and run attacks before retreating when the numbers are against us. When we tire, just gateway back to our city. Rinse and repeat before they even reach the main city.

Just to make doubly sure that they cannot take the New World, we can give the D'haran's knowledge of gunpowder, guns and cannons and the relevant tactics, of which Taniel and Janus are familiar with. :D Without magic users, the IO stands no choice against any army which can actually use these weapons in a competent manner.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-24 04:47am

What happens if we pick characters who are likely to come into conflict?

mr friendly guy wrote:The first quest is to destroy the One ring after the meeting at Rivendell.

Easy enough. Rand creates a gateway to mount doom, team takes Frodo with them. Between my warriors they will make short work of Orcs. Sorry, when you have characters that can shatter large rocks or rip a man's face off, orcs are going to get demolished. Deposit the One ring in the fires of Mt Doom.
You're forgetting the same thing nearly everyone who tries to "fix fic" The Lord of the Rings by effortlessly getting the ring to Mount Doom forgets:

The One Ring corrupts.

The very reason that the Ring was entrusted to a weak hobbit was because if you gave the Ring to a great warrior or magician, they would be tempted to use it- and it would predictably corrupt them and turn them evil. We even see the Ring twisting Boromir at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring Only a hobbit, who lacks the might to flatter themselves into thinking they can control the Ring, and who has a remarkable resistance to its pull, could have carried the Ring to the brink of destruction. And not even a hobbit had the willpower to destroy the Ring at the end; it was only destroyed when Gollum seized it from Frodo, and then overbalanced and fell to his death in the process.

You've surrounded Frodo with a variety of powerful characters, many of them with no particular incentive to trust people like Elrond or Gandalf who try to warn them about the corrupting power of the Ring. Some of them, like Rand al'Thor, are actually quite susceptible to madness and corruption brought about by magical threats.

So I would actually bet on the opposite outcome. The problem isn't hacking their way through a bunch of orcs. The problem is resisting the urge to take the Ring, an artifact of immense magical power, and try to use it. And with all these characters like Rand al'Thor and some wizard who apparently snorts gunpowder like it was cocaine... I'd bet on someone failing their metaphorical saving throw. Then you've got a team of ultra-powerful characters fighting each other over the Ring and everything falls apart.

For a task like "destroy the One Ring," I wouldn't even bother picking strong characters. I'd pick incorruptible ones.

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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Gaidin » 2016-12-24 09:40am

Simon_Jester wrote:What happens if we pick characters who are likely to come into conflict?

mr friendly guy wrote:The first quest is to destroy the One ring after the meeting at Rivendell.

Easy enough. Rand creates a gateway to mount doom, team takes Frodo with them. Between my warriors they will make short work of Orcs. Sorry, when you have characters that can shatter large rocks or rip a man's face off, orcs are going to get demolished. Deposit the One ring in the fires of Mt Doom.
You're forgetting the same thing nearly everyone who tries to "fix fic" The Lord of the Rings by effortlessly getting the ring to Mount Doom forgets:

The One Ring corrupts.

I don't think he forgot. I think that's the reason of that quest. Just like the reason for the million man army from the old world is finding a creative 10 man party solution to THAT.

Ruling request: Is urban fantasy allowed if the character is a good fish out of water match to a typical dungeon master world you might run into these things on?

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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-24 01:39pm

Gaidin wrote:I don't think he forgot. I think that's the reason of that quest. Just like the reason for the million man army from the old world is finding a creative 10 man party solution to THAT.
The problem is that "just teleport to Mount Doom, beat up the orcs, drop the ring in lol" isn't 'a creative ten man party solution.' Or rather it is, but it won't work. It's a solution to the wrong problem.

Fighting the orcs isn't the problem. Teleporting to Mount Doom would help, but it isn't really the problem either.

The problem is finding someone with the willpower to resist the Ring's influence, the temptation to use it. For this purpose, surrounding Frodo (or any other designated Ringbearer) with half a dozen powerful heroes from random works of fiction is almost certainly a very counterproductive approach. You'd do better to pick less powerful, but highly incorruptible, people.

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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Gaidin » 2016-12-24 02:52pm

So be creative.

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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby mr friendly guy » 2016-12-24 07:04pm

Simon_Jester wrote:What happens if we pick characters who are likely to come into conflict?

Team leader manages it. Or maybe have a character who can act as mediator. The characters of course still have to be able to complete quests to get back to their respective worlds. Think of this as a fan fic you're writing.

Simon Jester wrote:
You're forgetting the same thing nearly everyone who tries to "fix fic" The Lord of the Rings by effortlessly getting the ring to Mount Doom forgets:

The One Ring corrupts.

The very reason that the Ring was entrusted to a weak hobbit was because if you gave the Ring to a great warrior or magician, they would be tempted to use it- and it would predictably corrupt them and turn them evil. We even see the Ring twisting Boromir at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring Only a hobbit, who lacks the might to flatter themselves into thinking they can control the Ring, and who has a remarkable resistance to its pull, could have carried the Ring to the brink of destruction. And not even a hobbit had the willpower to destroy the Ring at the end; it was only destroyed when Gollum seized it from Frodo, and then overbalanced and fell to his death in the process.

You've surrounded Frodo with a variety of powerful characters, many of them with no particular incentive to trust people like Elrond or Gandalf who try to warn them about the corrupting power of the Ring. Some of them, like Rand al'Thor, are actually quite susceptible to madness and corruption brought about by magical threats.

So I would actually bet on the opposite outcome. The problem isn't hacking their way through a bunch of orcs. The problem is resisting the urge to take the Ring, an artifact of immense magical power, and try to use it. And with all these characters like Rand al'Thor and some wizard who apparently snorts gunpowder like it was cocaine... I'd bet on someone failing their metaphorical saving throw. Then you've got a team of ultra-powerful characters fighting each other over the Ring and everything falls apart.

For a task like "destroy the One Ring," I wouldn't even bother picking strong characters. I'd pick incorruptible ones.

Lets see. Rand just needs to hold open the gateway really without actually staying in the ring's vicinity long. Although I would say by the last book he was less vulnerable having made peace with Lews Therin and had experience dealing with madness. However I would argue a lot of my picks are resistant to corruption.

Khelbun is level 27 D & D character and chosen of Mystra, fighting evil for hundreds of years (he is 960 years). Lone Wolf is the epitome of incorruptible. He faced Naar the God of evil in his universe and managed to escape. Numerous mental shields, and has lots of experience, like 30+ gamebooks infiltrating evil domains, sensing the evil without being corrupted. Chi Xue is also not going to be corrupted easily. She dedicates her life to wiping out demons and evil monsters wherever she goes. Cadderly, RA Salvatore's chosen of Deneir, is no slouch either when it comes to corruption. Really even if the others are vulnerable to corruption, you only need Rand to open the gateway, those 3 to lead the way and have Frodo drop the ring, while Janus gives the order from the safety of Rivendell.

In any event, we're bringing Frodo with us to drop the ring. Although I also could have had Rand surround it in weaves of Air, or Khelbun create some wards on a box to protect it. I personally feel that's a bit overkill since it takes time to corrupt a person, and really, how long is it going to take to drop the ring there.

Gaidin wrote:
Ruling request: Is urban fantasy allowed if the character is a good fish out of water match to a typical dungeon master world you might run into these things on?

What do you have in mind? I am tempted to limit technology at gunpowder level, although its not a definite rule per se. When I made that rule I was thinking of Shadowrun and Rifts and did not want Cyborg ninja's entering these fantasy worlds, or people armed with gatling gun level of tech.

I am tempted to go with the rule that a) characters can only use a gun or cannons, b) but are allowed to have knowledge of my advance tech as long as they cannot make it.

So a character from an advance world deposited in a primitive one could be ok. However I get the feeling that a lot of the urban fantasy characters do make use of tech more advance than a gun, for example they would have computers, vehicles etc. If we deposit them into a typical fantasy world with only a gun, would we not be changing too much of how the character normally acts? Its like depositing a Cyborg ninja, and saying you can only use the human half of your body.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Gaidin » 2016-12-24 07:40pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
Gaidin wrote:
Ruling request: Is urban fantasy allowed if the character is a good fish out of water match to a typical dungeon master world you might run into these things on?

What do you have in mind? I am tempted to limit technology at gunpowder level, although its not a definite rule per se. When I made that rule I was thinking of Shadowrun and Rifts and did not want Cyborg ninja's entering these fantasy worlds, or people armed with gatling gun level of tech.

I am tempted to go with the rule that a) characters can only use a gun or cannons, b) but are allowed to have knowledge of my advance tech as long as they cannot make it.

So a character from an advance world deposited in a primitive one could be ok. However I get the feeling that a lot of the urban fantasy characters do make use of tech more advance than a gun, for example they would have computers, vehicles etc. If we deposit them into a typical fantasy world with only a gun, would we not be changing too much of how the character normally acts? Its like depositing a Cyborg ninja, and saying you can only use the human half of your body.

A powerhouse like Michael Carpenter in something of a cross between fighter/paladin.

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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-25 12:33am

mr friendly guy wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:What happens if we pick characters who are likely to come into conflict?

Team leader manages it. Or maybe have a character who can act as mediator. The characters of course still have to be able to complete quests to get back to their respective worlds. Think of this as a fan fic you're writing.

Simon Jester wrote:
You're forgetting the same thing nearly everyone who tries to "fix fic" The Lord of the Rings by effortlessly getting the ring to Mount Doom forgets:

The One Ring corrupts.

The very reason that the Ring was entrusted to a weak hobbit was because if you gave the Ring to a great warrior or magician, they would be tempted to use it- and it would predictably corrupt them and turn them evil. We even see the Ring twisting Boromir at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring Only a hobbit, who lacks the might to flatter themselves into thinking they can control the Ring, and who has a remarkable resistance to its pull, could have carried the Ring to the brink of destruction. And not even a hobbit had the willpower to destroy the Ring at the end; it was only destroyed when Gollum seized it from Frodo, and then overbalanced and fell to his death in the process.

You've surrounded Frodo with a variety of powerful characters, many of them with no particular incentive to trust people like Elrond or Gandalf who try to warn them about the corrupting power of the Ring. Some of them, like Rand al'Thor, are actually quite susceptible to madness and corruption brought about by magical threats.

So I would actually bet on the opposite outcome. The problem isn't hacking their way through a bunch of orcs. The problem is resisting the urge to take the Ring, an artifact of immense magical power, and try to use it. And with all these characters like Rand al'Thor and some wizard who apparently snorts gunpowder like it was cocaine... I'd bet on someone failing their metaphorical saving throw. Then you've got a team of ultra-powerful characters fighting each other over the Ring and everything falls apart.

For a task like "destroy the One Ring," I wouldn't even bother picking strong characters. I'd pick incorruptible ones.

Lets see. Rand just needs to hold open the gateway really without actually staying in the ring's vicinity long. Although I would say by the last book he was less vulnerable having made peace with Lews Therin and had experience dealing with madness. However I would argue a lot of my picks are resistant to corruption.

Khelbun is level 27 D & D character and chosen of Mystra, fighting evil for hundreds of years (he is 960 years). Lone Wolf is the epitome of incorruptible. He faced Naar the God of evil in his universe and managed to escape. Numerous mental shields, and has lots of experience, like 30+ gamebooks infiltrating evil domains, sensing the evil without being corrupted. Chi Xue is also not going to be corrupted easily. She dedicates her life to wiping out demons and evil monsters wherever she goes. Cadderly, RA Salvatore's chosen of Deneir, is no slouch either when it comes to corruption. Really even if the others are vulnerable to corruption, you only need Rand to open the gateway, those 3 to lead the way and have Frodo drop the ring, while Janus gives the order from the safety of Rivendell.

In any event, we're bringing Frodo with us to drop the ring. Although I also could have had Rand surround it in weaves of Air, or Khelbun create some wards on a box to protect it. I personally feel that's a bit overkill since it takes time to corrupt a person, and really, how long is it going to take to drop the ring there.

Gaidin wrote:
Ruling request: Is urban fantasy allowed if the character is a good fish out of water match to a typical dungeon master world you might run into these things on?

What do you have in mind? I am tempted to limit technology at gunpowder level, although its not a definite rule per se. When I made that rule I was thinking of Shadowrun and Rifts and did not want Cyborg ninja's entering these fantasy worlds, or people armed with gatling gun level of tech.

I am tempted to go with the rule that a) characters can only use a gun or cannons, b) but are allowed to have knowledge of my advance tech as long as they cannot make it.

So a character from an advance world deposited in a primitive one could be ok. However I get the feeling that a lot of the urban fantasy characters do make use of tech more advance than a gun, for example they would have computers, vehicles etc. If we deposit them into a typical fantasy world with only a gun, would we not be changing too much of how the character normally acts? Its like depositing a Cyborg ninja, and saying you can only use the human half of your body.

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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-25 12:34am

mr friendly guy wrote:
Simon Jester wrote:You're forgetting the same thing nearly everyone who tries to "fix fic" The Lord of the Rings by effortlessly getting the ring to Mount Doom forgets:

The One Ring corrupts...

Lets see. Rand just needs to hold open the gateway really without actually staying in the ring's vicinity long. Although I would say by the last book he was less vulnerable having made peace with Lews Therin and had experience dealing with madness. However I would argue a lot of my picks are resistant to corruption.

Khelbun is level 27 D & D character and chosen of Mystra, fighting evil for hundreds of years (he is 960 years). Lone Wolf is the epitome of incorruptible. He faced Naar the God of evil in his universe and managed to escape. Numerous mental shields, and has lots of experience, like 30+ gamebooks infiltrating evil domains, sensing the evil without being corrupted. Chi Xue is also not going to be corrupted easily. She dedicates her life to wiping out demons and evil monsters wherever she goes. Cadderly, RA Salvatore's chosen of Deneir, is no slouch either when it comes to corruption. Really even if the others are vulnerable to corruption, you only need Rand to open the gateway, those 3 to lead the way and have Frodo drop the ring, while Janus gives the order from the safety of Rivendell.
I'm sorry all the characters I've never heard of turn out to be paragons...

That said, you're forgetting something else important. The Ring is pretty damn good at corrupting the wise and powerful, not just the weak-willed. "Corrupt" does not always mean "bribe." Being powerful, wise, long-lived, and experienced in fighting evil are not the same as being incorruptible by the One Ring.

Gandalf is, essentially, an angel- he's an extraplanar being created by the overarching divinity, to save and protect mortals from the threat of evil immortals. He's been around pretty much since the literal dawn of creation. In Middle-Earth's chronology he predates the sun.

He refuses to pick up the Ring, won't even touch it directly, and commands Frodo not even to offer it to him. Because if he picked it up, he would be too strongly tempted to use its power for good- and that would be his downfall.

Galadriel is one of the most powerful and talented 'mortal' beings in the world of Middle-Earth. Her magical powers are great, her goodness is undoubtable. She played a leading role among elves in the supernatural conflicts that defined (literally) the shape of the world that would become Middle-Earth. No, I'm not talking about wars against Sauron. Before him.

She also refuses to even touch the Ring. Her reaction is this:

“And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!”

She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.

“I pass the test”, she said. “I will diminish, and go into the West and remain Galadriel.”
Honestly, if you hand the Ring over to a 27th level Lawful Good D&D character or whatever...

There is a very real danger that they will fail the test Galadriel passed. Because they don't know the Ring, and Sauron, the way she does.

They might pass. But it's a risk. And the larger the number of outside badass super-talents you bring in, the greater the risk of something going wrong.

In any event, we're bringing Frodo with us to drop the ring. Although I also could have had Rand surround it in weaves of Air, or Khelbun create some wards on a box to protect it. I personally feel that's a bit overkill since it takes time to corrupt a person, and really, how long is it going to take to drop the ring there.
Gollum was willing to murder his best friend over the Ring within moments of first laying eyes on it. Bilbo instinctively kept the Ring secret almost from the moment he acquired it- because it started working on him, subtly. Gandalf and Galadriel both had to make distinct, powerful acts of will to resist the Ring. They succeeded, which is promising... but it suggests that the Ring's powers of temptation are faster-acting than you believe.

Gaidin wrote:Ruling request: Is urban fantasy allowed if the character is a good fish out of water match to a typical dungeon master world you might run into these things on?

What do you have in mind? I am tempted to limit technology at gunpowder level, although its not a definite rule per se. When I made that rule I was thinking of Shadowrun and Rifts and did not want Cyborg ninja's entering these fantasy worlds, or people armed with gatling gun level of tech.

I am tempted to go with the rule that a) characters can only use a gun or cannons, b) but are allowed to have knowledge of my advance tech as long as they cannot make it.

So a character from an advance world deposited in a primitive one could be ok. However I get the feeling that a lot of the urban fantasy characters do make use of tech more advance than a gun, for example they would have computers, vehicles etc. If we deposit them into a typical fantasy world with only a gun, would we not be changing too much of how the character normally acts? Its like depositing a Cyborg ninja, and saying you can only use the human half of your body.
Harry Dresden is only slightly less dangerous in a high fantasy setting than he is in a urban fantasy one.

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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Formless » 2016-12-25 03:12am

mr friendly guy wrote:I am aware someone can game the system by using things like Urza from MTG who uses magic for his artifacts and inventions, and also Harry Turtledove's Darkness series, where its world war II but with magic instead of science. That being said, one of these wizards isn't going to necessarily turn the tide.

Au contraire! If I pick Urza, then it literally does not matter who else I have on the team as long as they are people who can keep the man sane-- he will absolutely win against Sauron, and probably the other scenarios you propose as well. The One Ring? HA! This is a man who literally considered the possibility of using time travel to prevent his arch enemy from ever even coming into existence, and only gave up on the project because his enemies found out and he accidentally blew up his lab (and half of the island of Tolaria) while defending it from Phyrexian Negators.

Okay, here is how it goes down in the One Ring scenario. Whereas Gandalf let Bilbo keep the One Ring for an extended period of time before even becoming suspicious of its true nature, Urza would take interest in such an artifact right from the start. Once informed of its true nature and history by Gandalf (or anyone else), the first thing he would do is probably the same thing many people on this forum would think to do: find some technological way of isolating it so that its corrupting influence is rendered moot. Because he isn't incorruptible-- and he knows this, and his experience is that most people aren't truly incorruptible either. The Phyrexians use corruption as a primary means of conquest, so Urza is more used to that danger than most other fictional characters. So sealing the damn thing in solid rock or some other safe so that even he cannot put it on is exactly the kind of solution Urza would think of first, even if it is only a stopgap.

Next, Urza would do reconnaissance, because he isn't just a glorified engineer. He is also an experienced strategist, and to be blunt, I not sure if anything in Mordor can actually hurt a pre-Mending Planeswalker like him. His body is a physical illusion, he can fly, and he regenerates insanely fast as long as you aren't gouging out his eyes or attacking him with soul-severing weapons. So between that and his natural ability to teleport/planeshift, it would not take long for him to find out just how bad things are and just how big the armies are that he is up against. After this, well, you have a war on your hands and a man well trained in the art of industrialized warfare. The advantages Sauron and Sauroman had are rendered moot: they would not have the initiative because Urza is too paranoid to let Sauroman betray him without a contingency plan in place; their industrialized warfare is matched by Urza's industrial skills (remember, Urza's technology is only powered by magic, but oftentimes we hear him speaking in terms of plain mechanical principles, and some of the inventions he and his students use are totally mundane such as blimps, clockwork, forges, gunpowder, and fluid pumps. He doesn't have to rely on magical robots if that simply isn't an option); and as for the disorganization between the nations that Sauron was counting on, Urza is a master of making allies and unifying people under a common cause or against a common enemy. The man was able to unify whole continents to fight against Phyrexia. Compared to that, unifying the people of Middle Earth is trivial.

And yes, if you haven't noticed by now, destroying the Ring is just a detail to be done near the end of all that. This is the scale of thinking that Urza and other pre-Mending planeswalkers thought on. They were immortal, and most of them quickly learned that big projects can be accomplished if you just dedicated enough time towards them. Even Nahiri spent 40 years building the Hedron network on Zendikar just to trap the three Eldrazi titans, and that was a planet scale project. Imagine if every single building on Earth was hand-crafted by one architect. And compared to Urza, she was a youngling when she did that. Heck, given the power that he had or could have grabbed if he was ever politically minded (and he wasn't), I'm not sure if the One Ring could tempt or corrupt Urza. It offers power, but the bar is set so high in his case that its like trying to bribe the POTUS with pennies.

I don't know enough about the other two books you are talking about to say how he would deal with those scenarios, but you get the idea. Taking on an ideology is likewise easier to do when you have the option of playing the long game.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-25 04:03am

Formless wrote:
mr friendly guy wrote:I am aware someone can game the system by using things like Urza from MTG who uses magic for his artifacts and inventions, and also Harry Turtledove's Darkness series, where its world war II but with magic instead of science. That being said, one of these wizards isn't going to necessarily turn the tide.
Au contraire! If I pick Urza, then it literally does not matter who else I have on the team as long as they are people who can keep the man sane-- he will absolutely win against Sauron, and probably the other scenarios you propose as well. The One Ring? HA! This is a man who literally considered the possibility of using time travel to prevent his arch enemy from ever even coming into existence, and only gave up on the project because his enemies found out and he accidentally blew up his lab (and half of the island of Tolaria) while defending it from Phyrexian Negators.

Okay, here is how it goes down in the One Ring scenario. Whereas Gandalf let Bilbo keep the One Ring for an extended period of time before even becoming suspicious of its true nature, Urza would take interest in such an artifact right from the start. Once informed of its true nature and history by Gandalf (or anyone else), the first thing he would do is probably the same thing many people on this forum would think to do: find some technological way of isolating it so that its corrupting influence is rendered moot. Because he isn't incorruptible-- and he knows this, and his experience is that most people aren't truly incorruptible either. The Phyrexians use corruption as a primary means of conquest, so Urza is more used to that danger than most other fictional characters. So sealing the damn thing in solid rock or some other safe so that even he cannot put it on is exactly the kind of solution Urza would think of first, even if it is only a stopgap.
Uh... it seems like you're writing a fix fic rather than addressing the scenarios presented. How far back do you propose to inject Urza (and optional friends) into the scenario? Do you have Urza associated with Thorin Oakinshield and Bilbo's quest to the Lonely Mountain, several decades before the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy? When and how, exactly, does Urza enter the story with the knowledge to act? How and when does he acquire the considerable knowledge of ring-lore that would be required for him to act as you describe?

Now, Urza is canny and no mistake. If he already knew some ring-lore and knew just what the One Ring might be, he has a fair chance of resisting the urge to make use of it. The problem is how seductively useful the Ring is in the hands of one of 'the wise.'

Urza would, sensibly, focus on Sauron as the real threat- not the Ring. The question is whether he'd take the danger of the Ring corrupting his mind seriously enough to avoid using it and try to beat Sauron the hard way. Or whether he'd see the Ring as a useful shortcut to beating Sauron by assisting him in creating the magically powered armies of constructs and so on that he excels at. For that matter, if he could use the Ring as a power source it would help him against Phyrexia too...

So that's the real hazard with a driven, highly competent military-magical strategist like that.

How's his track record with the temptation to "fight fire with fire" and using dangerous or unstable magical tools and power sources 'for the greater good?' Has he ever conjured up forces too great for him to control? Set in motion events with consequences that, in hindsight, were foreseeably dangerous, but that he felt were necessary to achieve some short-term objective?

And yes, if you haven't noticed by now, destroying the Ring is just a detail to be done near the end of all that. This is the scale of thinking that Urza and other pre-Mending planeswalkers thought on. They were immortal, and most of them quickly learned that big projects can be accomplished if you just dedicated enough time towards them. Even Nahiri spent 40 years building the Hedron network on Zendikar just to trap the three Eldrazi titans, and that was a planet scale project. Imagine if every single building on Earth was hand-crafted by one architect. And compared to Urza, she was a youngling when she did that. Heck, given the power that he had or could have grabbed if he was ever politically minded (and he wasn't), I'm not sure if the One Ring could tempt or corrupt Urza. It offers power, but the bar is set so high in his case that its like trying to bribe the POTUS with pennies.
That may actually be Urza's best defense; he's powerful enough that the Ring may not be particularly important to him. The Ring contains the majority of the power of Sauron. And Sauron is very strong by merely mortal standards, but not quite so impressive by the multiversal standards of MTG planeswalkers.

I suspect the Ring is powerful enough that even Urza would find it useful, but not nearly as overwhelming a power source as it would be for someone like Gandalf or Galadriel.

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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2016-12-25 04:54am

The problem with these scenarios is that they allow people to cherry pick a mixed team with capabilities not present in the setting. For example, Tolkien doesn't have much in the way of teleportation or flight magic but D&D has tons of it. Since your team can literally have abilities the Fellowship could never muster it isn't an issue that say Urza is probably going to succumb to the One Ring given time (obsessive study of artifacts is part of his core personality). His team is going to be able to get rid of the One Ring in a day so there just needs to be one person on the team who can handle the One Ring for a short amount of time it takes a Planewalker to transport them to Mount Doom.

If, for example, my team has Anasurimbor Kellhus from Bakker's Earwa stories and The Lady from Glen Cook's Black Company in the line up I can have The Lady (who has experience knowing not to mess with corrupting artifacts) hold the One Ring while Kellhus chain teleports them from horizon to horizon through the air until they reach Mount Doom. They then burn down any defenders and destroy the Ring. Having Kellhus and The Lady on the team also pretty much allows me to stomp Goodkind's bad guys into the muck because they're both heinously powerful, highly intelligent wizard-generals. This doesn't make me an awesome team picker, it merely makes me well read enough to know a characters from high end settings who are brokenly powerful in other settings. Hell, you don't even have to be that well read. D&D's lack of restrictions on what a high level wizard can do allows you basically field a highly capable team out of the Forgotten Realms alone.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Gaidin » 2016-12-25 10:00am

Awkwardly The Lady should have problems as well. Because while messing with the One Ring makes it easier, theoretically, for the Ring to tempt you, remember, the Ring doesn't need full time contact to tempt you. Borimir is literally a case in point. You just have to be a person that can be tempted. It started messing with Borimir from the beginning. The Lady was a powerful sorceress ruling a massive empire in the north and only teamed up with the reborn White Rose and the Black Company to take down the freed Dominator. Only to turn on each other and strip each other of their powers.

You might have a case for when post Black Company Trilogy when she simply called herself Lady(dropping the honorific) and just lived her live with Croaker to live it. And even didn't at first, trying to redevelop her powers until Croaker called her out on it. She'd make a very good team leader because she knows her shit. But at the height of her powers she was be more interested in conquering the world, first alongside the Dominator, then keeping the Dominator out of it. Now...that's an idea...<looks at his list>

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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Formless » 2016-12-25 03:11pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Uh... it seems like you're writing a fix fic rather than addressing the scenarios presented. How far back do you propose to inject Urza (and optional friends) into the scenario? Do you have Urza associated with Thorin Oakinshield and Bilbo's quest to the Lonely Mountain, several decades before the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy? When and how, exactly, does Urza enter the story with the knowledge to act? How and when does he acquire the considerable knowledge of ring-lore that would be required for him to act as you describe?

Well, of course it reads like a fix-fic (although not really, since a good fix-fic takes a broken narrative and fixes it with better writing. A bad fix-fic just puts a Mary Sue in the narrative and makes it worse for the character's presence). The point of the thread is to bring together a "dream team" of characters and propose how they could solve a given problem. Like Imperial Overlord said, the issue here is that some characters possess abilities that are overwhelming outside the original context and setting that they were written into. mr friendly guy stated that he didn't think that Urza or Harry Turtledove's presence would be game changing on their own, but while I don't know about Harry I do know for a fact that Urza would be a game-changer in Middle Earth. He possesses magical and industrial skills that are completely out of place in Tolkien's setting in terms of raw power and potential. I never said it would make for an interesting story; just that mr friendly guy is underestimating this character.

I can pick other Planeswalkers from Magic, both pre- and post-Mending, and its the same problem. They simply have more powerful magic than Gandalf, end of story. Teferi would literally cast the One Ring outside of time forever (something that he did to his homeland without meaning for it to be permanent; someone else fucked him on that account). Nahiri and Sorin are both experts on sealing magic thanks to their partnership dealing with the Eldrazi, and never lost those skills after the Mending took away Nahiri's immortality and Sorin's overwhelming magic (he's a vampire, so he's still ageless, and I already talked about how immortality is a factor). Venser specialized in teleportation, and wouldn't even need to touch the Ring to cast it into Mount Doom (assuming he knew where to teleport it to). And Jace literally made a backup copy of his personality within his subconscious on Innistrad just in case something there managed to drive him insane (and it did).

These things all make sense within the context of that franchise. Its a high-magic setting pretty much by definition. But not Tolkien.

My point is that narratives like Tolkien's are far more fragile than most people realize. You are right to point out that how these characters deal with the scenario depends on where I inject them into the timeline (although not really by much, especially for those who can teleport or time travel). But mr friendly guy never said when we can and cannot inject them. So its easy to break that delicate balance even without bringing highly powerful wizards into the setting. I could, for instance, bring Tasslehoff Burrfoot from Dragonlance in to be the Rouge and Ring-Bearer and he would be vastly better equipped to do so than Frodo. He's a professional adventurer, hero, and virtually incorruptible due to his disinterest in power and inability to feel fear. I'm sure other people could elaborate on what makes him such a good candidate, but I'm getting off track. It also goes to show that it is overly simplistic to designate some fantasy stories as "pre-industrial" and "post-industrial" and expect that to be a meaningful limitation. Harry Potter is technically post-industrial, but compared to the M:tG characters Harry's arcane knowledge and power is absolutely crap. He would not last very long at all in most stories where he is denied his narrative privileges as The Chosen One. That too is a delicate balancing aspect of Harry Potter (or just bollocks, depending on how much you can stand stories where fate and prophesy spoil the ending). And its a meaningless distinction for some fantasy settings as well, as demonstrated by The Lord of the Rings itself-- technically, the villains are industrialists! I think its only fair, then, to point out that pitting them against another industrialist evens the odds considerably. Remember, Tolkien's heroes did not need that kind of power to defeat Sauron. The narrative is inherently biased towards the villains losing and the heroes winning. Most stories are.

Now, Urza is canny and no mistake. If he already knew some ring-lore and knew just what the One Ring might be, he has a fair chance of resisting the urge to make use of it. The problem is how seductively useful the Ring is in the hands of one of 'the wise.'

Urza would, sensibly, focus on Sauron as the real threat- not the Ring. The question is whether he'd take the danger of the Ring corrupting his mind seriously enough to avoid using it and try to beat Sauron the hard way. Or whether he'd see the Ring as a useful shortcut to beating Sauron by assisting him in creating the magically powered armies of constructs and so on that he excels at. For that matter, if he could use the Ring as a power source it would help him against Phyrexia too...

So that's the real hazard with a driven, highly competent military-magical strategist like that.

I don't think he would really need it. Other planes in Magic such as Mirrodin, Esper and Kaladesh could make constructs without the powerstones Urza used in his creations. And I don't think the Ring can be used for that purpose anyway. Since it isn't part of Magic lore, there is no indication that it can be used as a source of either Mana or Aether, the two primary sources of magical energy used in the Magic Multiverse. Unless you have some evidence that it can be used in the creation of further magical objects. I'm not an expert on Tolkien lore.

How's his track record with the temptation to "fight fire with fire" and using dangerous or unstable magical tools and power sources 'for the greater good?' Has he ever conjured up forces too great for him to control? Set in motion events with consequences that, in hindsight, were foreseeably dangerous, but that he felt were necessary to achieve some short-term objective?

Admittedly bad, but it depends greatly on his companions. Barin was terrible at keeping Urza's more dangerous impulses in check and ultimately suffered a great price for ever associating with the man; but Xantcha, Karn, and Jhoira were all able to remind Urza of his humanity, and as long as they were his companions he was far better at considering the consequences of his actions. It was when Jhoira started to become more and more Teferi's companion and Karn had to receive an upgrade that would allow him to forget (as his eternal memory was starting to drive him insane) that Urza started dabbling more and more in dark shit like eugenics, the strip mining of Tolaria, and the creation of the Soul Bombs (which are exactly what they sound like-- nukes powered by the soul of a planeswalker). Ultimately, he was corrupted by Yawgmoth on Phyrexia itself and temporarily swore fealty to him until Gerrard dueled him with the already mentioned soul-severing sword. But even after that, once he was reduced to a disembodied head unable to regenerate the rest of his body, Gerrard was able to remind Urza of his humanity and mission once again. The thing that has to be remembered is that the reason Yawgmoth could corrupt Urza for even a short time has to do with the respect Urza secretly held for Phyrexia and its creations. He may have fundamentally disagreed with their methods, but they nonetheless represented a corrupted version of something he wanted to build some day: a techno-industrial paradise. His childhood was literally spent digging out the ruins of the Thrawn civilization, and that experience never fully left him. Sauron does not have that history and personal connection to exploit like Yawgmoth did. Sauron is just evil.

That may actually be Urza's best defense; he's powerful enough that the Ring may not be particularly important to him. The Ring contains the majority of the power of Sauron. And Sauron is very strong by merely mortal standards, but not quite so impressive by the multiversal standards of MTG planeswalkers.

I suspect the Ring is powerful enough that even Urza would find it useful, but not nearly as overwhelming a power source as it would be for someone like Gandalf or Galadriel.

I'm not even sure of that. What powers does it grant that Urza could not obtain by studying the spellcasting traditions of the planes? Urza is one of the few spellcasters in Magic who fully enjoyed using all five colors of magic (indeed, its implicit in the way the current stories are told that most of the Gatewatch planeswalkers think in terms of spell schools and traditions rather like a D&D mage does: for instance, everyone talks about themselves as The Mind Mage, the Pyromancer, the Necromancer, etc.). Yet, notably, he still preferred artifice and engineering to accomplish his greatest projects. I think he is the kind of guy who would study the One Ring not so that he can use it himself-- his interest would be in replicating it.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2016-12-25 03:54pm

The Lady will be fine. She's only going to be exposed to the damn thing for a day and she's just going to put it in a box and be teleported to Mount Doom. She's quite aware of what artifacts like this can do, its what was done to her dead husband's soul. It's not going to have the time to overcome her wariness. Which comes back to my point. If I'm really assembling a team then I'll have Deliann from the Acts of Caine for a Cleric (a man who was resurrected from being vaporized and will be resurrected again if he dies) and he's massively ring resistant. We're allowed to pick people who have background and capabilities not present in the fantasy universes where they're going to be solving problems. It's not fucking hard to load up on high capability dudes and win.

Also Urza would be the One Ring's bitch (obsessive interest in artifacts and all), but that's fine. You just need one resistant person on the team to carry the thing until everyone else manages a quick win in a universe with limited flying and no teleportation.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Gaidin » 2016-12-25 06:28pm

I've avoided pairing from worlds unless they were so obvious as to be done. When they were to be done, they will be explained. Some of the takes I think are, interesting. In fact, some of the characters are already mentioned in this thread, just at different points in their series. I in fact prefer these points and I had to take a different point on one of the classes because one of them was an utter impossibility for me to find anything on that was usable(Bard). The takes on a few of them, I think, will be interesting. As I asked for, there are a few fish out of water takes and those will be explained. The challenge, I think, was forming a team that could handle at least the different quests without reforming the teams. And god knows what's going to happen when that nuke skill that's great for the 5 million man army becomes useless in the next treasure dungeon.

Team leader – Lady of the The Black Company series. Circa-post The Black Company Trilogy. Former Ruler of the North and in fact rebuilt that Empire on resurrection. Stripped of her powers, she still can be considered roughly the height of magical knowledge and lore, and a brilliant tactician.

Bard – Thom Merrilin of Wheel of Time. Bonded to Moraine Damodred, Thom is a very politically aware gleeman who is also able to pretty much strike up a conversation with anybody at the bar to learn the local rumors and facts and piece them together to tell the party what's been going on locally. The party's information gatherer.

Ranger – Sagani - Pillars of Eternity recruitable character - Dwarven huntress, sent on a quest to find the reincarnation of a former village elder.
http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Sagani
http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Ranger
(this goes into detail on how to mess with her in game which gives a vague idea of abilities, I'm more worried about the background here obviously)

Wizard / sorcerer – Moraine Damodred of Wheel of Time, Bonded to Thom Merrilin, while at the time carries a sa'angreal. While she was trapped in another realm she was drained of much of her power, but she managed to escape with the sa'angreal she has and it keeps her up to at least her old power level. She's a relative powerhouse for how the Aes Sedai measure things.

Cleric – Lantry - Tyranny recruitable character. Lantry is a Sage of the School of Ink and Quill. He’s a man of letters and numbers, a student of magic and nature, and an archivist obsessed with the accurate accounting of important people and events. His school is famous throughout the Tiers for amassing knowledge from all throughout the known world, but the Sages are even more famous for rarely sharing this treasure trove of learning with outsiders, despite their claims of preserving knowledge for the betterment of mankind. Preservation skills make him the party healer while the he can get rather nasty with those throwing knives. No specific god as much as he's a historian.
http://tyranny.gamepedia.com/Lantry
http://tyranny.gamepedia.com/Lantry_talents
(this goes into detail on how to mess with him in game, which gives a vague idea of abilities, I'm more worried about the background section here obviously)

Fighter/ Barbarian - Caramon Majere - Can't have Raistlin without his brother. These two combine fighting and magic that damn effectively. And he is in fact the one that experienced the full end of times of Raistlin's godhood and that convinced Raistlin to not defeat the Dark Queen and take up her mantle for himself.

Rogue – Myfanwy Thomas of The Rook Series - another urban fantasy choice that fits good for fish out of water. She's a high ranking intelligence agent that protects Britain from rather surreal threats and her odd power is that on contact(and sometimes not) she can basically screw with peoples senses if not shut their bodies down. At one point she full on took control of two corrupt bodyguards and made them shoot themselves in the head. So...sneaking around a place is...quite doable.

Power Wizard - Raistlin Majere of Dragonlance - An extremely powerful wizard who wears the black robes, signifying loyalty to Nuitari. He attempts to overthrow the Dark Queen in literal combat(he succeeds). During his attempt at godhood, his brother interferes, and shows him what his godhood will bring to the world(wasteland) and Raistlin gives his life to keep the Dark Queen from coming to the world. I think that if Galadriel gives him relatively the similar vision she gave Frodo on the effects of the ring then he's a pretty safe guy. He's a person interested in his own power and knowledge. Not in being corrupted by it. And that's a pretty key thing to know for all he wears the black robes.

Power Fighter/Paladin - Michael Carpenter of The Dresden Files - circa pre-Small Favor. Michael is a fairly simple man who has figured out what tempts him and what doesn't. The only known thing that has driven him to near uncontrolled violence is threats on his children. Wielder of Amoracchius, the Sword of Love, one of the three swords of the cross. It gives off its own light when used in combat, can cut through many enchantments, and is an incredibly powerful object of faith. It can apparently be wielded by anyone, but an action of hate will shatter the sword. With Amoracchius, Michael killed Siriothrax, one of the three greater elemental Dragons remaining in the world.

Windrunner - Kaladin of the Stormlight Archive - Kaladin is a spearfighter with training in healing by his father. He has spoken the first three ideals of the windrunners. First: "Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination." Second: "I will protect those who cannot protect themselves." Third: "I will protect even those I hate, so long as it is right." It's not known yet what the fourth, fifth, and sixth ideals of the Windrunners are and how that will effect him, but he made his decision to protect a king he hated in a suicidal fight in the second book when he didn't have his abilities, making him a fairly safe bet. At minimum he can fight like Captain America. At max, pretty much flying like superman and can manipulate gravity without the lasers or superstrength or wind breath. And his honorspren instinctively forms whatever weapon or shield he needs for him.

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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby mr friendly guy » 2016-12-25 06:49pm

Formless wrote:
mr friendly guy wrote:I am aware someone can game the system by using things like Urza from MTG who uses magic for his artifacts and inventions, and also Harry Turtledove's Darkness series, where its world war II but with magic instead of science. That being said, one of these wizards isn't going to necessarily turn the tide.

Au contraire! If I pick Urza, then it literally does not matter who else I have on the team as long as they are people who can keep the man sane-- he will absolutely win against Sauron, and probably the other scenarios you propose as well. The One Ring? HA! This is a man who literally considered the possibility of using time travel to prevent his arch enemy from ever even coming into existence, and only gave up on the project because his enemies found out and he accidentally blew up his lab (and half of the island of Tolaria) while defending it from Phyrexian Negators.


I must admit, I didn't realise Urza would be able to construct his army in so short a time.

Simon_Jester wrote:Uh... it seems like you're writing a fix fic rather than addressing the scenarios presented. How far back do you propose to inject Urza (and optional friends) into the scenario? Do you have Urza associated with Thorin Oakinshield and Bilbo's quest to the Lonely Mountain, several decades before the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy? When and how, exactly, does Urza enter the story with the knowledge to act? How and when does he acquire the considerable knowledge of ring-lore that would be required for him to act as you describe?

The idea is to have a fantasy dream team solve various quests, or solve problems which authors used deus ex machina to solve. And while populating lower powered fantasy worlds with higher powered characters may seem like "bashing" of the former, so be it. I remember the days of SW vs ST fan fics where the Federation would get spanked so bad it wasn't funny.

Imperial Overlord wrote:The problem with these scenarios is that they allow people to cherry pick a mixed team with capabilities not present in the setting.

That's the idea. What's the point of picking a dream team if you can't put them through their paces. It also is interesting when someone can propose a setting where the team might not necessarily be good at, and then you have to come up with innovative ways to use them.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby mr friendly guy » 2016-12-25 07:04pm

Imperial Overlord wrote:The problem with these scenarios is that they allow people to cherry pick a mixed team with capabilities not present in the setting. For example, Tolkien doesn't have much in the way of teleportation or flight magic but D&D has tons of it. Since your team can literally have abilities the Fellowship could never muster it isn't an issue that say Urza is probably going to succumb to the One Ring given time (obsessive study of artifacts is part of his core personality). His team is going to be able to get rid of the One Ring in a day so there just needs to be one person on the team who can handle the One Ring for a short amount of time it takes a Planewalker to transport them to Mount Doom.

If, for example, my team has Anasurimbor Kellhus from Bakker's Earwa stories and The Lady from Glen Cook's Black Company in the line up I can have The Lady (who has experience knowing not to mess with corrupting artifacts) hold the One Ring while Kellhus chain teleports them from horizon to horizon through the air until they reach Mount Doom. They then burn down any defenders and destroy the Ring. Having Kellhus and The Lady on the team also pretty much allows me to stomp Goodkind's bad guys into the muck because they're both heinously powerful, highly intelligent wizard-generals. This doesn't make me an awesome team picker, it merely makes me well read enough to know a characters from high end settings who are brokenly powerful in other settings. Hell, you don't even have to be that well read. D&D's lack of restrictions on what a high level wizard can do allows you basically field a highly capable team out of the Forgotten Realms alone.

The point of this is to showcase some characters from various works of fantasy. If I haven't heard of them the better, because I might be tempted to check out the relevant works. :D So being well read is an advantage. Those quests I gave were just sample quests, if anyone else wants to throw in a quest from another series, be my guest.

I am interested though, in how you propose to use Kellhus and the Lady (I am familiar with both works) to deal with a million man army which has enough population to absorb their losses (at least in the tens to hundreds of thousands). The D'harans through tactics manage to kill tens of thousands of them, only for a relief army to arrive which just replenishes their losses.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Gaidin » 2016-12-25 08:27pm

mr friendly guy wrote:I am interested though, in how you propose to use Kellhus and the Lady (I am familiar with both works) to deal with a million man army which has enough population to absorb their losses (at least in the tens to hundreds of thousands). The D'harans through tactics manage to kill tens of thousands of them, only for a relief army to arrive which just replenishes their losses.

Just The Lady as a character I fully know anything about(not Lady)? She can mess with the enemies most powerful wizards and make them into Taken. And that's just not even counting whatever information she doesn't learn in the Old and New worlds. Nevermind all of her other ability and power.

Remember, though, she's just one person on the team. You want nine other people that are good for handling this. She probably can't do even much for than slow down the enemy army. The team needs to find a way to, well, get the army and their supporters out. Or change their minds. Of course, The Lady is the kind of person that has no problem with the idea of taking over the world herself so....

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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby mr friendly guy » 2016-12-25 10:47pm

Gaidin wrote:
mr friendly guy wrote:I am interested though, in how you propose to use Kellhus and the Lady (I am familiar with both works) to deal with a million man army which has enough population to absorb their losses (at least in the tens to hundreds of thousands). The D'harans through tactics manage to kill tens of thousands of them, only for a relief army to arrive which just replenishes their losses.

Just The Lady as a character I fully know anything about(not Lady)? She can mess with the enemies most powerful wizards and make them into Taken. And that's just not even counting whatever information she doesn't learn in the Old and New worlds. Nevermind all of her other ability and power.

Remember, though, she's just one person on the team. You want nine other people that are good for handling this. She probably can't do even much for than slow down the enemy army. The team needs to find a way to, well, get the army and their supporters out. Or change their minds. Of course, The Lady is the kind of person that has no problem with the idea of taking over the world herself so....

He also chose Kellhus. Perhaps if Kellhus teaches people the magic of the Gnosis, they could destroy lots of IO troops.

*************************************************
Now I went back to look at Faith of the Fallen, and in chapter 40 Kahlan mentions they killed 100,000 IO men but the IO had an army of well over 10 x that.

In chapter 42 we find out that the glass weapon the D'harans deployed which initially took out 60 K of their troops, took out much more. It appears about 150 K were dead or at reduced function from injury due to the glass weapon. The D'Harans waged a winter campaign taking out another 10 K of IO troops. So that's about 110 K troops dead, and another 90 K either injured or dead. So 200,000 men not going to be able to fight due to the actions of the D'harans. The Order also suffered from disease and lost "tens of thousands of men to the fever." So lets say 250 K losses all in all. In the same chapter they discover another relief army for the order of 250 K troops plus drivers and civilians with supplies. Another column of 250 K followed that one, and apparently this was just the first reinforcements. They aren't afraid of losses, because when they die, they just go to heaven go into the Creator's embrace.

So the IO at least had a million man army and was reinforced by another half a million. To give you an idea, modern China's standing army is just under 3 million. Obviously standing army isn't the same as an army on a war footing with conscription and recruitment, but this is pretty good for a pre-industrial civilisation. Its going to be tough dealing with those numbers.
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Re: Fantasy Dream team

Postby Gaidin » 2016-12-25 11:25pm

mr friendly guy wrote:So the IO at least had a million man army and was reinforced by another half a million. To give you an idea, modern China's standing army is just under 3 million. Obviously standing army isn't the same as an army on a war footing with conscription and recruitment, but this is pretty good for a pre-industrial civilisation. Its going to be tough dealing with those numbers.

To wit, they're literally the embodiment of the Napoleonic Armies without gunpowder. Having to come up with the concept of the corps to run their system. Though I don't think that series ever went into that kind of detail. From a military standpoint it was interesting. But that meant about only one book was ever interesting(the one you referenced). Maybe. The rest was preaching, mostly.


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