What do you expect or want in a Gondor source book?

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Otaku-sempai
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Re: What do you expect or want in a Gondor source book?

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:32 am

torus wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:16 am
My feeling so far is that the TOR settting books have been good but could be better. I find them a little too wide ranging and superficial in their details, too many general overviews of places and a shortage of locations and smaller-scale regional maps. I don't need encyclopedic coverage; in truth I'd like them to cover less territory and flesh out more people, places and landscapes. If there was to be one book covering all of Gondor (and Umbar!), I think it would be of little use.
I think that most of us are agreed, torus, that Gondor is too large for a single region book (plus one adventure book) to do it justice. I think the wildest proposal so far was for three region guides, a separate book for Minas Tirith, plus adventures. Cubicle 7 might not want to go quite that big.
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Re: What do you expect or want in a Gondor source book?

Post by Jussi Marttila » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:36 am

I think that something like Heart of the Wild (Heart of the Free, Home of the Brave?) would be more than sufficient. Taking a closer look at particular areas could be done with a book like Erebor, if it's necessary. After all, despite the size of Gondor, it's still one kingdom, with some regional differences and so on. In general. C7 has been really good about about presenting goodly-sized swathes of territory with just enough detail.

Arguably, Easter Eriador could have used more detail than what we got in Rivendell, but Eriador has a significant structural issue: there's a whole lot of nothing there, canonically, and at the same time, there's areas like Bree that come in sharp focus in Tolkien's work. But you couldn't really do Gondor like that, since most would expect Minas Tirith to be included in the main book about Gondor.
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Re: What do you expect or want in a Gondor source book?

Post by Glorelendil » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:41 pm

Jussi Marttila wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:36 am

Arguably, Easter Eriador could have used more detail than what we got in Rivendell, but Eriador has a significant structural issue: there's a whole lot of nothing there, canonically,
That's something I'd still really like to find a solution to.

Random Ruins Generator is a start, perhaps. A catalog of NPCs, Hazards, plot hooks, and random encounters might be a way to handle those empty regions.
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Re: What do you expect or want in a Gondor source book?

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:19 pm

Jussi Marttila wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:36 am
I think that something like Heart of the Wild (Heart of the Free, Home of the Brave?) would be more than sufficient. Taking a closer look at particular areas could be done with a book like Erebor, if it's necessary. After all, despite the size of Gondor, it's still one kingdom, with some regional differences and so on. In general. C7 has been really good about about presenting goodly-sized swathes of territory with just enough detail.

Arguably, Easter[n] Eriador could have used more detail than what we got in Rivendell, but Eriador has a significant structural issue: there's a whole lot of nothing there, canonically, and at the same time, there's areas like Bree that come in sharp focus in Tolkien's work. But you couldn't really do Gondor like that, since most would expect Minas Tirith to be included in the main book about Gondor.
Even discounting Bree and the Shire, Rivendell did not manage to cover all of Eriador in spite of vast areas of empty lands. I don't think that the main sourcebook for Gondor should largely ignore Minas Tirith, especially as the Heroic Culture: Men of Minas Tirith would be expected to be included in it. I still see at least two region books, a campaign book, and at least one sourcebook such as Bree for a more detailed look at a particular city or port (Minas Tirith, Dol Amroth and/or Pelargir). One alternative would be to start with a Minas Tirith sourcebook that includes a detailed look at the city, Men of Minas Tirith, and several adventures; then release a region guide for Gondor with a new Heroic Culture: Men of the Southern Fiefs (for example).

So, I can almost see your suggestion working if a Minas Tirith book is released before or concurrent with the general Gondor region guide. Separate books for Pelargir, Dol Amroth and/or Umbar could follow later.
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you expect or want in a Gondor source book?

Post by Rich H » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:37 pm

Perhaps going with something similar to MERP in this respect would provide enough room for content. Something along the lines of:

Gondor: Ithilien and Anórien
Gondor: Lebellin, Belfalas and Westwards
White Towers and Fluttering Penants: Minas Tirith, Dol Amroth and Pelargir

Accompanied by:

Adventure Anthology (like TfW)
Campaign (like DoM)

Five books seems like enough of a page count to cover most elements but not too vast as to never be completed. Perhaps combine the first two into a larger tome, call it Gondor: The Land of Kings and Stewards.
Last edited by Rich H on Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What do you expect or want in a Gondor source book?

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:44 pm

There are many great suggestions in this entire thread. It's hard to determine what might be the best combination for Cubicle 7, the design team, and for TOR itself.
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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torus
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Re: What do you expect or want in a Gondor source book?

Post by torus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:54 pm

Jussi Marttila wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:36 am
I think that something like Heart of the Wild (Heart of the Free, Home of the Brave?) would be more than sufficient. Taking a closer look at particular areas could be done with a book like Erebor, if it's necessary. After all, despite the size of Gondor, it's still one kingdom, with some regional differences and so on. In general. C7 has been really good about about presenting goodly-sized swathes of territory with just enough detail.
Well I have to disagree on this. I mean surely the aim is to provide material that inspires and supports adventures, not just tick off areas of Middle-earth as notionally 'covered' by a page or two of general description. If there's a limit on how many books they are going to produce (and surely there is), I'd prefer them to skip some regions altogether and focus on smaller areas, describe networks of inhabitants and places, make them come alive. Heart of the Wild was just about ok for a region with very low population density; taking the same surface-skimming approach with such a rich and large region as Gondor would result in a fairly useless book as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: What do you expect or want in a Gondor source book?

Post by Glorelendil » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:22 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:44 pm
There are many great suggestions in this entire thread. It's hard to determine what might be the best combination for Cubicle 7, the design time, and for TOR itself.
Best course of action is easy:
Step 1: Go on a hiring spree, vacuuming up all the best talent.
Step 2: Crank out a 256 page book every month.

Oh, I forgot...
Step 0: convince Elon Musk that gaming is more profitable (and fun!) than silly old rockets.
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Re: What do you expect or want in a Gondor source book?

Post by zedturtle » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:30 pm

Gaming supplements do not, as yet, return themselves to the shelf, nor does a set of them do it in perfect synchronicity.
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Re: What do you expect or want in a Gondor source book?

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:21 pm

torus wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:54 pm
Well I have to disagree on this. I mean surely the aim is to provide material that inspires and supports adventures, not just tick off areas of Middle-earth as notionally 'covered' by a page or two of general description. If there's a limit on how many books they are going to produce (and surely there is), I'd prefer them to skip some regions altogether and focus on smaller areas, describe networks of inhabitants and places, make them come alive. Heart of the Wild was just about ok for a region with very low population density; taking the same surface-skimming approach with such a rich and large region as Gondor would result in a fairly useless book as far as I'm concerned.
Granted, Gondor at the end of the Third Age occupies an area of approximately 150,000 square miles. It is still a large kingdom. Certainly there are some border regions (at least) that don't need their own entries in a Gondor region guide, but can just be covered in the history section. Harondor and Old Pukel-land come to mind. And I'm not sure that the design team wants to try (if they are even allowed to) to deal with the kinsmen of the Woses that remain hidden until the last days of the War of the Ring--and off-stage (as it were) at that. At the same time, I have no objection to our talented designers coming up with some notable persons and/or places for such regions as Pinneth Gelin, Anfalas. Andrast and Tolfalas.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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