Adventurers Fan Mail after chapter 644
[from here down was added on wednesday 16 august 2000]
First of all, I was going to put off e-mailing you until
I finished catching up on the series (currently on #308...
starting from #001... after a week... I must be mad), but I
found #308 to be simply too good.
DAMN, that is POWERFUL. It was the one wherein Gorin
once again gets blasted by a fireball and dies, possibly
irretrievably. Mongo goes spare - extremely well-written,
I was literally shaking by the time he finished cursing at
Ged. That might not be my favourite chapter, but it's
certainly the most memorable.
I can't even remember how I found your archive of
stories, but I'm glad I did. The first AD&D gaming session
I had was one of those school-run six-session
three-hours-at-a-time deals, and sadly it wasn't that much
fun. Then I found your site and thought wistfully, "Why
the HELL couldn't it have been like _that_, dammit?!?"
So congratulations, you've found another follower :) By
the by, do you still accept pics of the adventurers?
Unforntunately, this email address is not on your mailing list,
and it has never been in the from field of any of your surveys.
However let it be known that it is not a sign of disrespect.
This just happens to be the only email I can send at my work.
My other email address is subscribed to your mailing list.
About the surveys, I have never read one of your stories
with a survey attached to it within the allotted time for your
tally and such. I have been a fan for a long time, but only
last week did I break the 600 mark and eventually get caught
up. My brother turned me on to The Adventurers back when
it was still hosted on your old url. However it was during a period
of my life where movies and tv has killed my attention span and
although as a youth I enjoyed reading. So when I started college
this past fall I had some time on my hands ( I had just finished up
with a campaign in my hometown, because my school was 7 hours
away). So I started reading (from #0) and got to about #128 and stopped.
Not that the storyline was boring or anything, but it just so happens
that I had met a woman (now my fiancé) and my time was otherwise
occupied. When I started working at this job, some free time came up.
(I have been designing web pages, as well as phone tech support, and
other IT stuff) So during breaks, lunch, boredom I would knock back
20 or so chapters. During some of them there would be a survey,
but it would be from years (yes . . . years) past so I thought sending
you the email would just be moot.
Anyway . . . the two real reasons I emailed.
1. I just got finished reading Chapter #665 . . . I like this storyline
quite a bit. I have always been a big fan of Greek Myth and
this has been an interesting change to you other storylines.
I am also a big fan of the Mainframe Productions show ReBoot.
And coincidentally, my favorite episode of that show was when
the cast had to play a dungeon crawl game . . . filled with lots
of crazy antics . . . Well . . . the last two trials they endured were
very similar to your third trial . . . The second to the last trials was
similar to the shadows that Belph and crew had to deal with . . .
A shadow monster formed from their respective shadows from a
candle. The way they had to defeat it though (or rather the way
they did since the shadow wasn't tangible like in your stories),
was that Mike the TV ( a character that reminds a lot of Bosco)
blows out the candle. The last trial was when they entered the
treasure room . . . they were surrounded by mirrors which created
mirror images of them and they were finally forced to switch attackers
to win the fight. Very cool.
I have so much more but I think this says it all.
I am a huge fan of all your stories, and I plug it whenever I can.
Thanks for so many wonderful stories ( and for free no less )
Loved that last chapter especially the shadow part
I liked the candle! That was a cool idea. Halfway through the story, I
was thinking, why don't they fight each other's shadows? Lo and
[from here down was added on tuesday 22 august 2000]
I think that writing out the originals and doing stories on their children
and henchmen would be a great idea because people can relate to the weaker
character living in the shadow of greatness.Weaker characters aspiring to
become more are more entertain-ing as the regular passer by could be the very
one to end their lives.After level 20+ with so much powerful magic at your
command,where is the challenge?Just food for thought.By the way,I think your
stories and the Assassins are the best of the genre online.If you haven't
read The Assassins you can at http://www.elf.aust.com/~goran/archive/htm
Editor's note: URL is very broken
Great story. I really enjoyed this episode together with the last 3
challenges that the Adventurers had to endure to get to the Oracle. I like
the build up in suspense especially towards the end when Belphanior was
told about his future. I have to congratulate your writing which entertains
and absorbs the reader.
I passed a copy to another colleague who also loved it. I asked him (a DM)
whether he would allow the time stop and spell of disintegration. He said
that once any spell enter the area of time stop, it would also be affected
by it so to maximise the chance of success you need to (a) Fly to near the
creature where the spell is destined (b) Set-off the disintegration spell
(c) fly away from the area. However, he would roll a dice to see whether
one can cast the disintegration spell once time stop has been cast as this
is grossly unfair to the hydra with minimal saving throw.
What do you think ?
I know that it is already too late but I hope that Victoria will not be
forced to leave Belphanior forever. He is a bad cookie but I think he
deserves some happiness in his life.
I really look forward to reading your next few episodes at Highgate.
With Best Wishes.
I found your stories on the internet earlier this
year, and since them have read them all. I have
always enjoyed reading your notes at the end of each
episode, but I was heartbroken on 667 to hear your
negetive tone. Despite what you may be feeling, you
have done a great job with the series.
The conflict with Orcus should not have been the last
episode of the series... would you have been
satisfied if Empire Strikes Back had been the last
installment of the Star Wars series? The good guys
(I'm back on Adventurers now) took on insurmountable
odds and, for the most part, escaped. That was more
than anyone else could possibly hope to expect. I
loved it, but it was hardly the note of victory you
want to end your stories on.
And you are feeling that you have recycled to many of
your plots, that you are running out of them.
Six-hundred is a lot of episodes... there is going to
be repetition. You have done an excellent job though
of keeping the surprises coming, of keeping the
writing fresh, and of always providing something new
through the personal melodramas that have been playing
out since the beginning. The only request I would
like to make, and this reflects in no way on your
writing or conception, is that I want to see more of
the Misadventurers. I loved those guys, and the
lower-level adventurers were beacoup fun.
I keep having these little one-liner thoughts, I
promise this will be the last one. Akira Kurosawa
didn't make great movies by telling epic stories.
There is no reason you have to pit the super-heroes up
against gods for it to be fun and challenging.
And this is totally unrelated... you ought to take a
poll, sort of a "guess who is going to die" contest.
The foreshadowing that led up to Ged buying it had me
more rivetted than any similar plot line in any movie
or show before. Congratulations. I am getting worked
up again because I love all your characters so much
and I don't want to see any of them go. Except
Jutoki, he needs to back up off Aja and let her raise
her armies of undead with the support a life-partner
is suppost to provide.
I don't know how much fanmail you get, don't know if
you are going to read any of it, or this one in
particular based on its length. Man, I think of you
as a God, the intangeble celebrity that is more a
mythical being than a real human. Perhaps unhealthy,
but whatever. Man, YOU ROCK!
...and good call on the vampires in 667...
I agree. I was always under the impression (back when I played frequently)
that undead (like the vampire) only created "sub-undead" via level drain (or
strength drain in the case of shadows, etc.). Physical damage was never
sufficient to cause "unlife", thus skeletons, zombies, etc. couldn't create
others like them. Good call.
100% Agree, that's how I have run games for years. In addition, death via
physical attacks from Vampires won't cause vampirism.
Just ran a party through the Crypt of the Undead King... what a bloodbath.
Nice foreshadowing! I will be very interested to see who will betray Belph.
> Consider this written in stone forever, at least in my stories.
> I will not debate or discuss it.
FWIW, It's also 100% correct. A vampire that kills via damage, and not
draining or bite, does not pass on vampirism. Snapping of the neck
certainly qualifies on that score.
After Anne Rice, it's not uncommon to find AD&D campaigns that require
the vampire to engage in a very conscious creation act via sharing of
blood or some such, which makes more sense to me anyway but is not AD&D canon.
Seems pretty straight forward to me, and is totally in keeping with all that
I "know." I can't believe that anyone would debate you on this.
However, I would ask you to clarify if neckbiting has the same effect as
draining levels through touch. If Victoria kills someone by touch drain --
someone who perhaps has too much wisdom to be overcome by the vampire gaze
and willingly give up their neck -- will they become a vampire in your
world? I believe so.
Hope the vacation was good. Write up some endnotes on it if you get a
chance. And keep up the good work!
I'm Erkki Laanemets from Estonia and I recently discovered the
Adventurers. After that, some busy and happy days followed, during which
I didn't do much except reading. I truly must say, that reading them all
at once was really a remarkable experience. Not very often is it
possible to see the advancement of a writer over the years and in your
case it shows. I thought that I really should thank you for writing
these inspiring series over all these years and inform you, that even in
distant and cold Estonia there are people who read your stories.
I don't think that it would be impossible for a future episode to surpass
the Abyss one. If it involved a return to the Abyss because of something
Orcus did and caused the balance of power to shift permanently in the
disfavor of Orcus, then it would surpass it.
[from here down was added on thursday 24 august 2000]
You probably don't remember, but I mailed you like, I dunno, half a year ago
when I had only read a handful of stories. Now I am up to number 476 and
still enjoying them tremendously, whatever you do, please keep writing.
Anyway, the reason I write now: at the end of 476 you wrote that you didn't
get many reactions to the stories of Bosco and his brothers. I know its
kinda late (4 years or something :)), but I wanted you to know I loughed out
loud on that one. Gorin's reaction of "I'm not even gonna ask" when he sees
there's seven of them is _so_ recognizable if you know Bosco, great stuff.
That's about it, good luck,
An appetizer, shall we say? I can't wait to see what's coming up ( of
course, besides the BIG fight that will erupt ) ... Will Belphanior come
back in time? Will Victoria evade final death another time? You will
know in the... next story!!! =)
Apart from that, I wanted to know if you had already reflected on Peldor
and Tanya's child. I'm actually playing a character who is a father (
and a single one, at that ) , and I never thought the Dm could find so
many ways of exploiting her. The child is probably the only being for
whom the parents are ready to do anything... And it places him/her/it
under a great deal of danger. Especially when the parents do not have a
great deal of power to protect the baby ( Sorry, but although Peldor is
strong, he hasn't got any wards, and can do close to nothing to protect
his home that a determined wizard cannot easily bypass ) , and when the
aforementioned parents hold a great deal of political power, and can be
subjected to blackmailing very easily. And the death threat works really
well : a baby hasn't got the constitution it takes to survive a
resurrection, so all those spells that annoy you are nil. Peldor being
an Oligarch, someone who wishes to know a great deal about the politics
of the free city knows what to do...
On another note, I wondered if you plan ( or if you already did ) to buy
the 3rd ed? And what is your opinion about it? Will we ever see a
conversion of the Adventurers to 3rd ed style ( doubtful, but I might as
well ask ) ? Even if you don't buy it, I would advise you to check it
out, because I really think it brought a great renewal to the game, that
was buried under tons of optional rules.
Well! That's all folks!
I love having the Adventurers drop into my inbox. I always look forward
to the next episode -- it is a great way to get away from the daily
routine for a short while.
I REALLY like this group... to bad they have to die :) or do they.. heheh.
Yes, I have to agree that these types of stories are among my favorites as
well. Hearkens back to the good old Helgate days of Dagron Larthos SP?)
and Torin, and Zara's crew. One issue that immediately came to my mind is
that you might like to establish for the sake of the story the motivation for
two individuals as powerful and gifted as Parekh and Drak. Why would they
hang out with some unknown vampire slayers, when they could be
experiencing exploits no less profitable or varied that those of the adventurers
Yes, monday and thursday afternoons are good times here at work...thanks.
[from here down was added on tuesday 29 august 2000]
First off, Congrats on the new Adventurers stories since January 2000. I
understand the sabbatical you took for 1999, but _goddamn_ it I missed
those stories. You forced me to read everything from Adventurer's #000
through again ;) a couple of times!!!
<notes: Ahhhhhh. Now THIS is the kind of story I like.>
I can tell. It seems that when you are writing something that really gets
you going, the level of your writing gets "kicked up a notch" (sorry,
What a kick-ass group of companions to test their mettle against
Helgate's finest! I can't *wait* to see this confrontation. Finally,
what the storyline has needed...arch-rivals, equal in power to the
Companions themselves, yet with a conflicting purpose! Woohoo!!
--Ahem. I want 669. Now. ;-)
Whee! This plotline is going very well. Very intriguing, as well. There
are lots of options (and each and every one very promising ;). (not
including Victoria and the vampire hunters and the Ket agent.
1: There's no fight (politics, politics) ;)
2: There's a fight and Helgate falls (the big B will probably spend the
next few years paying back... OUCH!).
3: in the middle of the fight, big B comes back (another OUCH).
This was very simplistic, but I just had to send it (don't ask me why ;).
In hope of getting the next episode soon,
Reading, ever ready for tons of Belphanior :)
But when oh when will the Adventurers again get more interesting clerics on
their side? The one new is too little 'fleshed out', I feel, compared to the
huge history of Ron and Ged. Is it possible to give a small background on her?
And 'play her out' some - or maybe add another cleric, maybe some 'old' ally of
Mongo, or - unlikely, but perhaps funnier - some halfling cleric, a hitherto
unknown friend of Bosco?
Hmmm That was a twist I wasn't expecting.... :) Nice to be surprised now and
Hello Thomas :)
I'm an Adventurers fanatic (read ALL episodes thrice) and just want to say
how much I admire you for creating such a compelling story line and likable
characters (and how you 'improved' your players' characters after the actual
campaign was over).
It occured to me that I'd really like to 'chat' with other Adventurers fans.
Is there any chance you could have a message board on www.peldor.com ? I'm
sure I'm not the only one that would enjoy posting there :)
What do you think?
Love the stories. Please keep them coming!
> notes: I promise you one thing, and you can hold me to it when the
> dust clears: if Helgate goes, it won't be quietly.
Nope, it sure won't. Especially not if Belphanior, Mongo and company
teleport their first. With gorilla <sp?> tactics, or perhaps the use of the
castle, those two alone would cause a lot of trouble for a conventional army
(Mongo has already kicked the crap out of an orcish army with Yod). If the
drow came to help, as unlikely as it would be, that army would be in trouble.
I believe the lynch pin would be the spellcasters of the armies.
I think I wrote you (along time back) to say I liked your style. Well I
like your style, Tom.
Things are getting interesting in Hellgate! What a great read...
You are on a roll of really interesting writing/reading and I am enjoying the
Adventurers' stories very much. I'm not sure why, but I wasn't expecting
Perrenland to move on Hellgate so quickly. And I certainly wasn't expecting the
other city-state to move on it at the same time. I'm not sure why, but I think
I initially expected Belphanior to mount some huge defense and fight everyone
else off. With him gone, I was expecting Otto to do the same thing -- until I
stopped for a moment and thought about it and realized it would likely be
suicide. Nope, I think Otto is just going to play it cool and keep his people
alive until Belphanior gets there. But even when Belphanior arrives, I don't
think he's just going to wade in there swinging. My gut feeling is that even if
Belphanior sneaks in and kills the generals leading the army, he is not going to
solve his problem. To do that he might have to undertake either a commando raid
directed at one of the Perrenland leaders -- picture the fellow waking up with
Belphanior's knife at his throat and he and Belphanior having a heart to heart
(with Perrenland's leader recovering quickly and dealing amazingly levelheadedly
and shrewdly with Belphanior) which results in the Perrenland leader withdrawing
his forces and creating somekind of political alliance with Hellgate in which
Perrenland agrees to help Hellgate maintain its independence against outside
forces, but neither does it establish a military presence there. (I should be
able to think of a present day example, but the US has bases pretty much
everywhere -- Taiwan comes to mind, but I think we have a base there, don't we?
Maybe Isreal is a better example?) Or perhaps Belphanior will just do that
diplomatically. But killing the generals won't do it. They'll just send more,
and if Belphanior keeps doing it, they were likely just send in an overwhelming
force and just raze the town, a la Carthage. Brute force, or plain
ruthlessness, will not solve this problem for Belphanior. This one will require
a little more cunning and guile.
And I am very interested in the Victoria plot thread as well. Although I would
have thought otherwise, the Hellgate plot thread is turning out more interesting
than the Mongo quest thread. I have very high hopes for that thread as well,
and look forward to its continuation.
Keep up the good work!
I'm not really sure what's involved with wand/staff creating in the AD&D
system, but wouldn't big B's wands start running out of charges or sth?
(afaik he hasn't "spent" one yet). He could start making more of these...
(and new B spell:) a spell that makes an object fly as fast as the
earth-slings make them (btw, why hasn't he used one yet? An interesting
idea for the current plotline: why not have Otto use the weapons(if
there's a battle).
[from here down was added on thursday 7 september 2000]
I just got a mental thought of Belph teleporting in right in the middle of the
two armies.Hehe.....Poor armies....masterfully set up!This'll be a good one.
Second, and once again, I condsider the possibility to read your
adventurers stories a gift, and when you decide that enough is enough and
stop. So be it. Its been fun, and whining about that, or the regularity of
posts shouldn´t change your decision. You have no obligation to do what you
don´t want to do. But I think you know all that.
Later and regards
Things are shaping up to be very exciting. I know you don't rely to much on
game mechanics but if you incorporate the fighter sweep rules, 1 attack per
level against <1 level foes, things could get very interesting when Mongo,
Belphanior, and crew show up. Most armies consist of <1 forces so the
majority of the soldiers in both forces would be mowed down rather quickly.
I can see Angus playing a fairly pivotal role in any mass battle as well.
Since it takes at least a +3 weapon (which only leaders of any army will
normally have) to hurt him and he is immune to most spells, not much is going
to stop him from wiping out an army. Add to that the cloud kill ability
that iron golems have (which I don't recall Angus ever using) which kills
<6 HD without a saving throw I think and there is going to many bodies
laying around. The leaders and magic-users will have their hands full with
the adventurers so they might not be able to handle Angus until it is too
Mongo by himself could pretty much level the armies, not counting higher level
leader types. His armor class is low enough that not too many are going to be
able to hit him. He hits hard enough to kill most with a single blow. He
is too strong to be overborne. His hammer can throw some lightning bolts to
quickly kill 20 or 30 soldiers to begin with. His Ring of Fire Elemental command
allows him some other mass killing spells that will kill most low level
soldiers, provided he learns how to work it, which is doubtful considering the
time frame. Maybe he will be so hot with rage it will activate a fireball
through sheer act of will. Unless he just gets too tired from swinging that
hammer or if they run faster than him, which isn't too hard, he will
eventually get them all.
Keep up the great stories. I am particularly looking forward to this battle.
Whenever an evil dude is stalking a character, going to
their house and fiddling around, the character's never
home. I guess this makes some sense, especially in
Belphanior's case, but still, how lucky (or unlucky) can a
Also: how well-known are the Adventurers? It could be
interesting, having a group of thieves hailing from
elsewhere try to rob, say, the Green Dragon Inn after
hours... except to find some very uncooperative victims.
Just a thought.
Hi. I have been reading for a long time, not exactly
sure how long. I just wanted to let you know that not only do your stories
break the boredom, but the determination in your self-styled bitching has
helped motivate me. I am a senior in highschool at my fifth high school to
be exact. I have had a pretty rough time the last few years of my life. A
new high school every year, along with my moms new husbands. I trained in
martial arts, but found myself missing practice with one excuse or another.
My school work suffered too. I kept cursing my luck and sitting around in a
funk. I blamed everyone around me for crap always happening to poor me.
After reading all that you have been doing though I decided to say screw it
to all the BS that I percieved to be holding me back. Since then I picked up
flagging training and got my black belt, scored perfect 5's on my AP chem and
English tests, and I even went to the Air Force Academy for a week of
seminars to prep me for my entry there. In addittion to all that I have been
more focused and all around happier to be active. I just wanted to let you
know that your determination helped spark my own. Thanks and by the way love
the current Helgate in peril storyline. Keep it up.
Been putting off reading for a while, went at it today and read the last
few chapters, and ... wow! I love this arc so far, and I've a feeling the
best is yet to come. Also, the vampire hunters are a dead cool bunch.
I've been feeling kinda so-so about The Adventurers lately; no bad stuff,
but it hasn't been great. Seems like that just changed, and I'm back to
waiting impatiently for the next chapter to pop around.
Thanks, and keep up the good work!
How come Bunger, the town drunk, sounds like the Fonz? :)
On a serious note, that was one of the best entrances Belphanior has made.
Ever. Can't wait for the next installment.
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! More! Send more! Send the rest up to
700! More! Must read more!!!!!!!!!!
First you send THAT kind of Adventurers' episode and then you make us
Wa-hoo. I can't wait ... given you've stated that Bel won't die
(701-749...) and I'll assume no-one short of Bel can kill Mongo (my opinion,
anyway), I'm waiting to see what's what...
Keep up the good work. Dave
In a word: Nice. Belph sure has a way with words, eh? I'm definitely
looking forward to seeing how this two-way (or 3-way or even 4-way?) battle
unfolds. As always, your NPCs (which is not really the correct term
anymore) are excellent; Ghuust and Nigel Bloodstone in particular already
seem like real, developed characters, rather than guys with a 2-sentence
writeup on their past experiences and stats. (Even if this isn't the case :)
it's appearances case that count in this case.)
Keep it up,
Hi... Just writing to say I really like this
storyline you've been doing lately. The whole thing
was a great idea... I'm still wondering who dies and
who leaves. (Otto and Victoria... But I haven't
figured yet who dies and who leaves... It seems too
simple to have Victoria die, since everybody's out to
get her, but I don't really see why Otto would die...
I do see a reason that both of them would leave...
Victoria never said she'd stay long anyway, and it's
getting dangerous now the people know where she is,
and Otto is a real wanderer anyway. So I guess it's a
toss up... But those are just my thoughts) I guess
Belphanior is definitely losing Helgate, hopefully to
Perrinland... I just like Perrinland more than Ket.
My guess is he might lose Blackrazor in all of this as
well, but I'm not sure why I think that. Anyway...
Thanks for entertaining me during comp. tech. class.
The only problem with your stories is that I'm reading them faster than
you're writing! I'm on #628 now and should be all "caught-up" by tomorrow.
I didn't ask this before, but what happened to the "noble" that the
shapechangers were supposed to have taken over in Greyhawk? I know it
wasn't Org because he was normal at the time (I think he was), this happened
in the first episode with the shapechangers. They found the husk, but never
identified who? I thought it might be that jerk who was messing with
Belphanior, but after Bel tossed him around I guess not.
On a side note, I like Belphanior too, my favorite AD&D character in a
recent game has a magical "eye" implanted in the middle of his forehead, and
tried to use the wand of Orcus also (got changed from C/G to L/E in the
process, side effect of the artifact).
I have been a long time reader.. I really missed the year that you were
gone. I backed off of reading your stories for a while to let them build up
some.. A couple weeks ago I started reading again. You have left us in a
cliffhanger. I feel like in one of the old serials. I am really really
interested in the next story.
I don't know why I am writing. I just thought I would say "Thanks". You
probably don't hear it enough. Good luck in all that you do.
> notes: Are you kidding? This is no time for words!
No, Thomas Miller, dungeon master and fantasy author extrodinare, this is a
time for words: You are the man. I couldn't have imagined a better lead
into a battle. No analysis, suggestion, or query. I love it. You are the
...I can't help but think about when you responded to my other fan mail,
leaking a desire to end the series. I quake at the thought that such a well
crafted and momentous battle as the one that is coming could so perfectly
mark the beginning of the end. I don't want it to end.
This is my pathetic plea to keep you writing... if you are tired of the
fantasy genre, play around. Experimental writing is a wonderful thing, I
would feel honored to continue reading it.
And great imagery there with the lives of soldiers. Fantastic.
Just great! I would have to end on this chapter! How do I get on your
P.S. Looking forward to the next story, keep up the good work!
anyway, the storyline is really really good at the moment! thanks for
giving us such entertainment. if you ever get the time a rough sketch
of the levels of the two generals would be interesting, but i'm
grateful for just the fiction.
Sorry to bother you but I just had to complement you once again. Your
stories are great and I always look forward to receiving them. I'm
constantly amazed at how you can generate such quality stories and so many
of them on such a regular basis.
I'm sure I speak for many more when I say thanks.
I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying this storyline!!
I'll refrain from sending such inane comments for the rest of this arc,
for the sake of your inbox -- just assume that you're getting one each
[from here down was added on monday 18 september 2000]
Excellent beginning of the battle for Helgate!! Can't wait for the next
>notes: This is an ideal situation for me. Both outlander forces
> were warned, loudly and clearly, not to fight. In my mind, they are
> now fair game for Belphanior et al. In real life, this is the way
> things should be, too.
Damn bloody right!!
>notes: This is an ideal situation for me. Both outlander forces
> were warned, loudly and clearly, not to fight. In my mind, they are
> now fair game for Belphanior et al. In real life, this is the way
> things should be, too.
Just a comment (and a standard
but Nigel seemed like a fairly nice guy who didn't want to fight
unneccesarily and it seemed like Tonga's fault for initiating the conflict
by blaming the sniper on Nigel, and like Nigel was trying to stop him.
'Course, if he didn't want to die, he shouldn't have come here in the first
place with 400 heavy cavalry when Perrenland had clearly been told
'no'...that's probably what you meant, but oh well...
BTW, I was looking at that Halloween thingy and wondering if you'll ever
finish it - don't live all your loyal fans hanging in suspense like that:)
Or are you going to wait till this year's Halloween?
Anyway, sorry for wasting your time again. Kupo later.
I wanted to compliment you on your current thread, especially on how you
deal with the vampire hunters. For now, we don't have an inkling of
their real power, though you dropped some subtle and less subtle hints
of what it might be. It would seem like this time old Belphanior got
himself against a group of good and powerful adventurers. If the
wizardress was tested by the circle of 8, and they have a high priest of
Pholtus ( he of the blinding light, how appropriate to fight a
vampire... =) , it can only mean a lot of trouble for Belphanior.
Please don't let us cook much more... I want to know who the 3 the
oracle talked about are... =)
As for Belph only for episodes 700 to 749... Well, that's a lot, and
it's not like he isn't getting attention now... I just hope you throw in
some drow and Rob action, since they are the others characters I prefer.
It's kind of strange that I like Rob, isn't it? I liked him since the
beginning, even when he only was a clumsy lvl 1 priest... And now he's a
high priest of Trithereon. Long live him!
Salutations from a Sunny France,
I may have to kill you. Scratch that. Hurt you, but not your typing
fingers. Here you go adn FINALLY after buliding up the town fo Helgate to
its current postition adn I'm sitting here in theMediteranena Ocean on the
USS Saipan w/ only hte Adventurers website and an outdated issue of Maxim
for entertianment. AAH!!! Idon't know if I can keep waiting this long!
God! I love these stories. All I'm hoping for right now though, is for some
of the other "adventurers" to show up. Maybe Alindyar with the "Black Blade
of Disaster" or some other devious spell :)
The question of the adventurers mortality always comes to mind, but to be
honest, what I really want to see is for Belphanior and the rest to totally
and utterly destroy (or come to some kind of stalemate/agreement with) the
Keep up the wonderful work, it makes my days so much brighter!
Excellent story line. This is very exciting. Total chaos and overwhelming
numbers of enemies. I can't wait to see Belphanior start to pull out his most
deadly and destructive magics...
Looking ahead though I cannot see Hellgate surviving beyond the battle. Once
the town realises that this was the first of possibly many attacks, the
remaining inhabitants would ship out as soon as they were able.
Keep up the hard work!
You're having entirely too much fun writing this, for which we, the
readers, thank you. :)
Love it as always, Tom. Keep up the great work.
Very nice. Shaping up to be very interesting.
I recenly read the Party of Nine series and felt really sorry for them. I
agree that some of them were sufficiently dumb to deserve to die, but
there were others, who seemed victimized by the stupidity of the rest.
Specifically, I liked Arlanni, Abner, and Arkayn. It was a pity to see
Abner die and the other two get tugged away to their deaths by the
bozos. At least, you let Arlanni live, maybe in exchange for Arkayn.
I myself have had similar experiences with my AD&D characters, when I
would realize the party is going to die but I would fail to persuade them
to follow me to safety. It is a no win situation, really. If you stay
with them, you die. If you don't, the others think you are not a good
Next, I heartily enjoyed the "Interview with a Vampire" episode. I must
say Belphanior demonstrated much bravery, wisdom, and open mind. Then
again, he got richly rewarded for that by living through it and getting an
incredible girlfriend! Yes, Victoria is one in a million. Damn, I am so
On a related note, it seems the Oracle's prophecy approaches fruition
for Belphanior. I sure hope you do not plan to have Victoria being any of
the three. My guesses for those are Razor Charlie, Otto, and Ys.
Right now, Victoria will be under attack by Bram's party. The three
mentioned are the real security risk. Ys never elaborated where he came
from, why he was immune to undead powers, and why he was so scared of Wee
Jas. Razor Charlie is afraid of Victoria; his amulet and his fear may
conspire against him. Otto is suspicious, if not hostile, towards Victoria
because of some prehistory. Any and all may crack under the weight of
coming events. I would hate to see Otto go, because he is such a great
side-kick, friend, and ally to Belphanior. Besides, he is a really cool
Another thing that came to my mind on this topic is that nobody ever
identified the repulsion amulet Razor Charlie pocketed. That is because he
did it secretly and not even Victoria noticed the mage drop it in the
mud. An item of such power may well have properties Charlie might not be
aware of or much care about. What if something Bram does somehow triggers
the special powers inside. The item might even be intelligent though
dormant or biding its time.
It would be an interesting plot twist to see Charlie go crazy and turn on
Victoria. Then she counterattacks, but is repelled by the amulet nobody
but Charlie knew about. That may involve some prehistory of Bram's; maybe
the amulet was his, or the mage was his relative. Then of course enraged
Belphanior kills Razor Charlie with Blackrazor in the battle. A
Razor killed by a razor. Beautiful! Maybe the deadliest warrior among the
marshals falling prey to his own human frailties; specifically, his
fears and his mistrust. Had he trusted Victoria and Belphanior, he would
have gotten the amulet identified, so he would not have fallen under its
I hate making stories about items, because stories should be about the
deeds of adventurers and should contain parables and morals of human
significance. This idea of mine might seem tied to the properties of an
item, but ultimately it is about trust and friendship and about how fear
and mistrust can doom a man.
Later, Otto considers the ramifications of the vampire's presence and
doubts his own ability to allay his suspicions and misgivings towards
Victoria. Fearing he might end up doing something like Charlie, he gives
Belphanior a choice to make, although he knows what the answer would
be. Otto packs his stuff and leaves Helgate for good. Curtain...
I like how lots of people are dying in the storyline. It makes things
realistic - basically what would happen if two armies had a battle in a
small town =) Also I like how a major character died as well, too many
series have every main character live through everything.
Good job! This story arc has had me most riveted in a long while!
Fantastic battle story!! Can't wait to see how it ends up!
Congratulations and thank you on the exciting and fantastic fighting
sequences so far.
The fight was well balanced. Belphanior's group was really hit (or should I
say heated up :-) ) by those fireballs (damage 5d6 - 10d6). I am a little
bit surprised that Ys' group wasn't better protected against fire attacks
with rings of protection vs fire (handed out from Belphanior). Surely they
must have known that this kind of thing is going to happen ?
Just a small bit of inconsistency.
Bram's group is no ordinary vampire slayer.
They are capable of wiping out a whole caveful of vampires (like the group
Victoria dealt with) and should be at least the equal against Belphanior's
group. I am surprised to see such a powerful group going after Victoria
Concerning Drak large size, is this due to the simple 1st level enlarge
spell ? At 10% per level, Drak (at 8 ft original height) must have grown by
150% to 20 foot tall. This means that Parekh must be around level 15 !!
I just hope that the two groups can come to a truce and not have to fight
to the death although I doubt you will allow that to happen.
Something else that is slightly inconsistent.
I expect the 2 generals to be above average intelligence with good
Even when enraged, a good general should know when he is outgunned and
would retreat to come back stronger another day for revenge. Nigel
Bloodstone and Tonga seem to be too simple minded.
Apart from these few observations, I applaud you for your enjoyable and
I really look forward to reading the next few stories.
With Best Wishes.
I like the war in Helgate scenario that's buildling up.
hurry up writing!
i cant wait!
arrrrghh! the suspense!
seriously i think this is one of the most exiting story branches ever!
keep up the good work!
[from here down was added on thursday 21 september 2000]
thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank
you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you
*goes to read*
Could you possibly put up on the web page, or in the notes section of a
future story, the stats on some of the players in the recent story? The
group of vampire hunters, and the generals would be kinda interesting to
A few encouraging words - I have enjoyed this arc immensely and await the
suspense happily. Sorry to hear that it's commplicated for you, but I can
see it - I imagine it's like trying to DM a party with 20-30 players. :)
Anyway, take care!
Whether you like it or not... this has by far been your best masterpiece and
truly was an honor to participate and read. Your writing style has greatly
improved and and you can even say "leveled up". I was holding my breath
through the whole story and there were quite a few gasps. I even had to
leave the story a couple of times to walk around and cool off cause I was
afraid of what was going to happen. Keep up the good work and all I got to
"BRAVO!!!" and thank you for all the good times ;)
Your Faithful reader and admirer,
How about mail that says -
You fiend! All this build up to the climax and now we won't know what
happened for a while!
Excellent story. You surprised me a few times.
I can see why you hate writing stories this complicated. It was difficult to
even follow, because of the complexity... however, it was a masterstroke. It's
an incredible ending to a long story arc, and it was very well done. I enjoyed
it very much. Thanks for your time, and thanks for keeping us all entertained
for such a long time. :)
A fantastic story.
The tale was well thought out and you managed to keep the suspense going
right till the end. You tied all the ends together nicely. I really thought
that the parties needed a wish or some sort of divine intervention to get
out of their trouble. The anti-magic sphere was very well used indeed. Well
I liked the way Tonga was invulnerable to weapon attacks and almost killed
Belphanior himself. This should teach Belph. to be more careful in the
future. I think that Belph. will also find ways to keep non magical
missiles from hitting him (trade with Peldor) and to keep a few more
healing potions in his bag of holding. It seems that a few scrolls of
protection from evil would be useful in the future to keep the hordes of
undead at bay while one is pelting them with fireballs, etc..
The way you managed to turn the two potential groups of enemies and unite
them against a more powerful common enemy was brilliant. I liked the
logical manner how Parakh decided that it was not really her fight and
wanted to teleport away. I thought it was highly realistic how Neko ran
away from the fight due to fear and cowardice. You really understood the
emotions of the people involved. I am a little surprised that Bosco didn't
invoke the power of 1 of his wishes to even out the odds a bit.
I hope that Belphanior will survive and rebuild Helgate although
realistically I think Belph. will now be forced to go with Mongo and
rebuild his powerbase elsewhere. Probably half of his marshals will be dead
(resurrection :-) ?)
Just a few clarification questions :
Just what is Ghuust ? What are his powers ? Which God does he worship ? Why
is he so keen on killing Aja ? What are the arm numbing powers of his
scythe ? He doesn't seem to belong to a group of Vampire slayers. As a
matter of fact, he seems to be almost an undead himself. How did they all
met up and join force with Bram ?
Where did Aja find the evil relic ? Wouldn't Wee Jas realise the power of
the relic and warned Aja ?
It would be wonderful to see the stats (and items) of Bram's group.
Thank you for a great story and please keep them coming.
I thought Hellgate might be flattened, but I didn't expect the
castle to be destroyed in the process. Excellent finale. Sorry
if it was so tough...
Err... Sorry for the profanity, but that's just about the only reaction I could
have to story 675... So much happened over the span of a single episode that I
am still stunned from it... We don't know who is alive and who isn't ( and I
won't even ask you about them, although I do have my ideas. I'll just wait and
see. ) .
The aja/circlet thing was the biggest surprise I had... I mean, the thing in
there must have been at least a demigod... If not much more. God bless the
Helgate... Destroyed. Perrenland or Ket will not have it. No one will : Jamaine
dead, Ganzer dead, Claudia dead... OMG, but I liked some of these! I will
sincerely miss them. I did think that rulership was not something a still young
elf like Belphanior would assume, and I thought that perhaps you would take it
out in some way... But I did not think in THIS way.
Apart from that, this was an amazing story. It makes honor to the "each 25
episodes, you get a big event" (un)written rule. I also have another idea on
how to undo, or help in undoing this, that is, if Belphanior survived and meets
Alindyar. I won't say either. I just hope I hit the right spot this time.
Good writing. This is one of the stories of the Adventurers that really made my
day... Like the Vampire Lord, Orcus, or angry Alindyar ( the one where he saves
a village from orcs. ) ones...
Keep on writing, sir Thomas!
amazed, stunned and joyful belgian reader.
Ghhhhh.... ughhhhhhh.... frpppppppp....well, fucking yea! This is one of
the best, if not the best episode you've ever written. Well, I suppose the
fight with the balor, (Elik?) across the Sea of Dust is still my fave, but
this surely reaches place 2.
That episode showed you can do damn awesome battle scenes, even without
the sheer number of people fighting. So if you don't like writing them, don't.
I sort of have hoped for a while that Belph would just start roaming solo.
Just to let you know, all of the effort that went into that story is
greatly appreciated. I was on the edge of my seat. I loved every second of
it. I wanted to be able to read faster. The adrenaline is still pumping.
Even though you dislike such complicated stories, they are a great pleasure
to read. And it is not just because of the major battle, the major twists
made for the best of the story. Thank you very much.
Been a long time reader of your stories and I LOVE them. It was your work
that got me interested in greyhawk, and reinterested in D&D with 3rd ed
coming out. Much appreciated, but enough of the general butt kissing and
I really enjoyed your latest story. I know it must have been a bitch to
right, but I really enjoyed it.
Keep writing cause your work is very much enjoyed by myself and a buncha
guys in my officer & in the game I run. And thanks for a heck of a lot of
Hey, I DM play by email games all the time and I can sympathize that
its a pain to write about so many small groups. Plus it ruins the
continuity of the story to have to jump around like you had to.
Anyway, just wanted to say I've been reading your stories for about 3
years now and this Helgate series was some of your best writing.
Whether it was difficult for your or not you did a good job. It it
nice to see an adequate challenged put before such a powerful group.
You did a good job making the Aja-being mysterious enough to make her
seem almost all-power, but I liked that she had weaknesses as well.
Too bad Aja bit the dust (I guess litterally in this case, heh), I
kind of liked her. It will be intersting to see how it effect Jutokai
(he could use a bit more of a murderous instinct him). BTW, I don't
know if you had a chance to peruse any of the third-edition material
yet (or if you ever plan to). They have an interesting "prestige
class" in there called Arcane Archer which would fit rather well with
Jutokai...anyway, just an idea.
Oh, and almost forgot. Neko leaving at the end was excellent. It
really brings out her character so much better and allows it to
develop more in the future. Hopefully we'll get a chance to see her
Anyway, just wanted to say I really enjoyed this last series of
Kick ass battle!
This was simply awesome. Thanks for one of the best combats so far (even if
you don't like writing them :-)
I will reply though that, that was a truly riveting story and
thoroughly enjoyable... One of your best...
I just read chapter 675. I'd like to congratulate you on a great end to
this arc. I think this is one of the most entertaining story arcs. You
said in your notes that it was hard to do, but I think that's probably one
of the reasons it was good; it was a difficult task and you did it well. I
won't try to convince you to do something like this again, I'm just
congratulating you for doing it well here.
I think I remember reading that you've seen Lodoss War. Did you get the
idea for the circlet from that series? And have you seen any other anime?
Well, I'll be looking forward to more of the Adventurers.
sorry I haven't been feeding back to you as much as I should do
lately. Still, I had to after this splendid culmination of all the plot
threads - I really think you did a marvellous job of describing all the
chaos and plethora of magical effects. I'll respect your wishes and
not ask about their fates. I normally hate cliffhangers, but
something about this one is different. Maybe its the way Neko
survived - even if no-one else does, the story will be told and
elaborated upon and legends will be born. That was a masterful
I'm not really too worried about the main characters - Mongo,
Belphanior, Ys and Nigel are just too damn tough to die. The more
I think about it actually, the more worried I get - they do use
magical regeneration a lot...
I know you've grown tired of the characters (some of them) and I
expect you'll take the opportunity to thin the ranks. I know that
any new characters you create to write about will be just as
interesting and imaginative as Razor Charlie or Ys. You've also
said that you wish going up against Orcus had been it; you didn't
feel you could top that. Maybe this didn't top it, but it was still
impressive enough for me!
Have you seen the 3rd edition rules, and can we expect to see
sorcerors/blackguards or other 3e stuff in the future?
I hope you get lots more positive feedback from other people, and
have a great time reading it!
You really outdid yourself with that last story! Fantastic! I LOVED it!
Filled with high adventure and lots of suspense, great teamwork -- I really
enjoyed the part where Mongo stepped in to help Belphanior beat Tonga Dun (or
whatever his name was) -- and a band of smart people with opposing interests
thrown together and having to unite to face a deadly threat. I like Bram and
his people trying to teleport away and being unable to. And the castle falling
apart was totally unexpected, but given the way that it was constructed, e.g by
magic, it makes perfect sense! Tonga's magic power -- invulnerable to harm by
weapons -- was a great foil to the unstoppable power of Blackrazor. I wish I
had more time to really get into an analysis of the whole story, but things have
been pretty hectic here. (Yeah, I know, I should try living your schedule to
see what hectic really is!) Keep up the great work!
so far this has been your best story
can't wait to see what happens
675 was a great story! I can't remember a better one. Despite the fact
that you apparently find writing complicated storylines annoying, they
KICK ASS. :D ...675 was the best story in ages.
BTW Belphanior has the Amulet of Necros which renders him immune to
the effects of undead... I guess that this includes negative energy
(level drain). If this I am indeed correct, then why does he fear
batting undead into mushy goo with Blackrazor.
Sincerely your fan,
I just finished reading your latest episode. It was good. It was nice to
see things shaken up. The fallout should be interesting.
You commented that you don't like writing stories with as many characters
as you had in the last episode. I don't like reading those ones as much,
either. It's harder to form a mental image when so much is happening.
I have always loved the episodes where Belphanior and Otto were alone (just
after he left Greyhawk... around 210?). It's easier to focus on just a few
Anyways, nice work.
Just a few words...
Well Done! :)
Unbelievable episode 675 buddy, you've really outdone yourself... I
especially liked Mongo's solution to Tonga Dun's immunity : )
Keep up the good work man....
What a great episode. I had forgotten about the anti-magic sphere.
When Bephanior pulled the level it hit me what he was doing, it caught me
by complete surprise. I must say that I don't send you any mail because
I understand about your schedule. I usually read the installments on my
lunch hour at work. the whole thread with the Helgate group along with
Mongo, Gorgo and Bosco have been excellent. I await the next installment
That last episode was a nice bit of writing. As much of a pain
as it probably was to write, I really enjoyed it (along with
the many adventures so far). Thanks.
Hello! I just finished reading Adventurers #675 on your web site.
That was amazing. That's the first time in quite a while I really
thought Belphanior would actually bite the big one. I was glued to the
screen for the entire episode. I know you said you don't like writing
episodes that complicated, but that one was awesome! Where the "veterans"
are now, you practically need an earth-shaking conflict to make them fear
for their lives. I can't wait to see episode #700 and/or the resolution
of this one. The worst part is, you already told us you've written that
far, and I have to wait 12 weeks for you to dribble it out. 8)
Anyway, thanks a lot for posting your work. I visit your site
religiously twice a week. I won't try to tell you what to do, but
whatever it is you want, please keep doing it! Thanks for some excellent
First off, I loved the story. Lots of action and lots of unexpected
twists, and it's good to see the principals suffer a real setback.
Second, I'm not writing about either of the things you asked us not to
When the Oracle said that someone close to Belphanior would betray him,
I immediately thought it would be Otto (forced into it by the overwhelming
military forces gathered in Helgate) or Victoria (because of the vampire
hunters). Aja came right out of left field. Nice twist.
Ghuust was the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. The dialog
between him and Aja was riveting. It's too bad he had such a brief cameo,
but it's probably the best way to keep him enigmatic.
Is the scene at the end of the last story a hint that we'll be seeing
more of Neko solo? I know you'd originally planned to have the
Adventurers' children take over, but since that seems to be a long way off
(and what is the child of a 6 foot elf and a vampire anyway? Ghuust? :-)
I wouldn't mind if you built a party - or at least a story arc - around
the former Marshal.
Thanks for writing! The stories get better and better.
I have been reading the Adventurers for a good while already, but your latest
(Adventurers 675) got me finally writing. First of all a great story, although
seeing the end of Helgate was a little sad. But I guess, alas, all good things
must come to and end. Eagerly waiting what happens next...
Thank you for countless hours of wonderful reading!
Thought I'd send a note telling you I really enjoyed that last Belphanior arc.
Made my Mondays and Thursdays at work much more enjoyable.
Thomas, I just wanted to say two things:
First, Damn what a storyline! I never get tired of your
Adventurers stories (though for some reason I can't seem to make
it through many of your other stories - oh, well - same thing with
Patricia Cornwell, too) I hope you keep writing them as long as
they're fun. I will keep reading them, and I know that you know
when to quit, so, forward!
Second, I hope that all has been well with you. I was glad to read
that your schedule (which would have killed me by now) has been
working for you. Between my wife, my work, our 8 inside dogs, and
family obligations, it's hard enough to get two consecutive game
sessions to rub together! How you do it I don't know.
Be well, and keep writing!
Thought I would just drop you some info...
Anti-magic zones, spells, or spheres, do not ( normally ) negate the magical
constructs in their radius : That is, Angus and all the undead would just do
fine while they are in an anti-magic zone. They cannot use their magical
abilities ( like the death cloud that iron golems spit ) , but they do not
suffer any ill effects. As for all spells, items, permanent effects, etc...
They are negated by being in such a zone, but return immediately after you
leave the concerned area ( with what was left of their duration intact ) .
Artifacts are not normally affected by anti-magic spells, such is their power.
Only anti-magic zones suppress the power of artifacts... And I do not know if
the anti-magic stone qualifies as that ( although it *is* a heck of a powerful
This was your best work yet. The way you handled the mass combat, the
intricately entwined plot lines of the three forces, and the conclusion of
Helgate was worth the years of reading pleasure and a great ending monument
to Bel and his work.
I'm lifting my morning mug to you, thanks again for writing your stories
and sharing them.
While it is sad to see Helgate go, I don't think it really suited Belphanior
to settle down. He still want's to adventure so now he won't have anything
holding him back. The group can always stay at the Green Dragon Inn!?!
Is Belphanior still a wanted man in Greyhawke?
I was going to send you a note after the last episode when Belphanior opened
the Anti-Magic sphere suggesting the box holding it have a automatic closing
method after some amount of time like 10 minutes or something... I didn't
think I had to hurry up with the note because I thought you weren't going to
write about Belphanior and the other survivors for a while.
I guess I was wrong... No matter. This ending frees up Belphanior of any
responsibility to Helgate.
You mentioned the Sky Ship, Is that still functioning? It is magical but I
guess he can retrieve his belongings even if it isn't functioning.
So, what are the chances of Belphanior teaming up with Bram and the others?
Well despite the fact you hate writing this type of story, it was still an
Hurrah! I liked Helgate as an occasional diversion, but it was starting to
seriously detract from the other main characters.
I assume that we shall now see the excrement hitting the air moving device
in other characters lives for a while now :)
[from here down was added on thursday 28 september 2000]
I read the most recent few episodes concerning the death of Helgate, and I
must say I enjoyed them immensely. Everything that happened was rather
logical, well written, and from a certain point of view, inevitable. I
particularly liked the Aja idea and the comparison you built up between
Nigel Bloodstone and Tonga Dun.
With her dabbling in death magic, Aja had been asking for this fate for
quite a long time. I felt it coming for her, although I really did not
expect it to happen so soon. Through the words of Gruumst, you summarized
it very well "One cannot truly worship death unless one is dead". There is
a relevant Daoist saying from Dao De Dzin:"In trying to surpass the Grand
Master, one seldom fails to chop off his own hands" the Grand Master being
Death, of course. In any case, there was something rather creepy and
unnatural for a lively young attractive human woman to spend her time
in dark crypts messing with undead and chanting prayers to Death.
Next, Nigel is one of the best depictions I have seen in fiction of a
sane, wise, and responsible general. He probably does not measure up to
Lord Marcus, but in his own right, he is a great character, and I would be
glad to see him surface again in the adventurers' saga.
Finally, I have the suspicion you have decided to withdraw the Victoria
trump into your sleeve and pull her out at an opportune time. The way
Belphanior abandoned her under the rock in an anti-magic field, she will
be really pissed off when she makes it out. Speaking of which, what's B's
problem? I thought he loved her. He is sufficiently wealthy to bring an
army of dwarven miners and dig her out. Hell, if I had my woman down
there, I would be far more proactive. Instead, he buries her even
under more rock, just so as to deny the sphere trinket to others?! Does B
_really_ care about anybody? Life has been hard to him, I admit, but if he
cannot learn to give more than he takes, then he is not much more than
just the next wretch down the street, IMHO. I somehow expected him to
demonstrate more grandeur and magnanimity eventually.
As far as future ideas go, it seems to me the original adventurers have
grown far too powerful and successful. I see little reason for the drow or
Peldor and Tanya or Songa and Rillen to adventure anymore. It seems
family, children, and peaceful career are much more relevant to them than
anything else. Yes, the past catches up with them now and then, but they
do not generate new enemies like Belphanior, so their excitement and
problems are on the wane. Braving dangers, exploring dungeons, questing,
and saving the world should be left in the hands of the henchmen. I think
even Mongo should build a kingdom and settle down (and put aside the Coat
What I would suggest is that a new party is built, which includes Arnold,
Deryck, Nenya, Bosco, and Gorin. This new wave will return the magic and
excitement in which active heroes' lives abound. Now they should get
henchmen of their own, which means new interesting characters are
introduced and the saga continues. You have a lot of room to expand the
personalities of the new bosses, since now they will leave the shadow, be
in charge and get to do things their way.
For example, Gorin has demonstrated thoughtfulness, wisdom, and strong
will. He would make an excellent leader to the party - careful,
diplomatic, and slow to anger. Deryck would be the other pillar of reason
and act as a subcommander. Nenya can become the crazy dashing bitchy mage,
who overcompensates deep sadness and depression coming from the Greyhawk
wars destroying Ged's legacy. Deryck's tragedy is to watch his mate
brave dangers recklessly while he himself believes in far more cautious
approaches but fails to convince her to follow them. It is also time we
saw the darker side of Bosco - even a halfling cannot remain a kid
forever. How about Bosco becomes more deceptive and wily, with a tinge of
evil creeping up - perhaps his greed finally starts getting the better of
Finally, I would like to see Arnold become more religious and dual-class
into a priest. I think that will be a very interesting twist. Arnold has
been around for quite awhile, so it is time for him to consider the world
experience he has acumulated and start thinking more along the lines of
cause and effect, and life and death. World-wise revelations dropping
out of Arnold's mouth can be rather entertaining and thought-provoking. It
is also time his wisdom increased. He has seen so much that it is doubtful
that he can stick forever to the barbarian values. I think it would be a
waste to let him spend the rest of his existence being a caricature of
Anyway, I hope you are not too shocked by my heretical ideas.
I really like the recent storyline that you've been running, with Belphanior
and the boys. I think it is going to be interesting to see how Belphanior
rebuilds Helgate, and I am saddened that the castle fell.
Well, at least Ys lived. He, Razor Charlie and Eduardo are my favorites
among the marshals of Helgate. I think I have a picture that would suit him
(it's attatched, if you want).
General ideas that you can reap if you want:
- a Peldor story of some kind, soon (my true favorite)
- some background on Ys (a nice, long [perhaps series] story about Ys'
background, one of these days
- the whereabouts and doings of Alindyar and Lyra
- some focus on Eduardo, and his movement into the thiefly practices
- maybe a switch back to Peldor's keep, for a peldor story, something
involving his followers
I am sending this in late, but the Hellgate series was
terrific. Is this a precursor to the turmoil the
Greyhawk wars could produce?
I am looking forward to the Halloween conclusion.
Thanks for all the stories,
Just wanted to say congratulations on the Helgate story arc. Its a
little late, but just wanted to let you know it was some of the most
entertaining stuff I've read in a while. Couldn't wait to finish it. It's
most entertaining seeing powerful and interesting bands converging on one
spot and making a mess.
No, this is not about me asking you questions about one of our favorite
Since I know you won't be buying 3rd ed material, and perhaps some of
your readers will wonder what would his stats be if converted to 3rd ed,
and since I had some spare time on my hands, I converted him. I don't
know if I will have the courage to do ALL of the adventurers to be
totally honest, but I enjoyed doing this. Included with the .txt file
are some notes on the third ed that I thought would help you understand
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
The iron dwarf, male dwarven 16th level fighter ( subrace unkown ), a living
4', 360 lbs ( armored ), age unknown
Alignment : Chaotic evil
Strength : 27 (+6, thanks to girdle of giant strength +6 ) = 33 Bonus : +11
Constitution : 20 Bonus : +5
Dexterity : 15 Bonus : +2
Intelligence : 3 Bonus : -4
Wisdom : 3 Bonus : -4
Charisma : 5 Bonus : -3
Armor class : Mithral +5 Full plate ( spell resitance : 19 ) , Ring of
protection +5, Dex 15 = 30
Hit points : 203
Move : 30 feet / round
Attack bonus, with +5 Keen waraxe of Flaming burst : +33/+28/+23/+18
Dmg per attack : 1d10+23 ( +1d6 points of fire damage )
Spell resistance : 19
Critical hits : On a natural roll of 18-19-20, roll again. If the second roll is
still good enough to hit the ac of the opponent, then a critical hit is
achieved. The iron dwarf deals 3d10+69 ( +2d10 points of fire damage ) on a
Saving throws : Resistance : +22, Will +5, Reflex + 11 ( Thanks to gloves of
resistance +3 ) .
Regerates 16 hps per hour ( 1hp/hour/level ) .
Immune to gasses. Always able to breath, thanks to necklace of adaptation.
Ring of elemental resistance, Major ( fire ) : The iron dwarf ignores the 30
first points of damage he receives by fire each round.
Immune to mind-affecting spells, including Enchantment-Charm and Illusions.
Does not need to eat, drink or sleep ( The items that you used were removed in
the new edition... So I just gave these abilities to him ) , if he does not want
Things I took the liberty of adding to him : The damage bonus is so big because
when you wield a weapon two-handed, in the new edition, you get ( your str bonus
* 1.5 ) as a dmg bonus. Additional damage is because of the magic of his weapon,
and his specialization in it. I added a quality to the axe ( Keen = Increases
the critical hit range of the initial allotment. Don't worry, It's alread
included. Fire burst : The axe can ignite whenever the wielder wills it to, and
it deals +1d6 points of damage to each attack. On a critical hit, the dmg is
magnified ) . Rings of protection no longer add to saving throws. I modified his
level to what I thought would be better ( mainly to give him 4 attacks per round
) . Lastly, If I ever do Yod and Mongo, don't worry, they are as tough as this
Notes on new edition : Now, all rolls in the game are made with a d20. Thaco
disappeared, being replaced with attack bonuses : with the iron dwarf example,
he has four attacks per round, one with +33 to his roll, second one with +28,
etc... Initiative is rolled once per combat : Once you get it, you act at the
same time for the rest of the combat. Ac : Instead of going from 10 to -10, it
goes starts at 10 and doesn't stop... But there are other limitations. If I do
the other adventurers, I will send them with all the correct scores, of course.
Saving throws are made against Difficulties ratings depending on the level of a
caster, the size of the threat... 10 is a very easy saving throw, 20 is a medium
one, and 30 is a nearly impossible one. Difficulties above 30 are what you can
expect from spells from gods, eon-old liches, and the like.
Example : The iron dwarf gets hit by a disintegration spell cast by Alindyar.
The DR for him is 23 ( 10 base, +7 for Alindyar intelligence, +6 for the level
of the spell ) . He rolls a 15, easily resisting the spell. Now alindyar is in
How to calculate the DC for a spell : Base of 10 + The relative stat bonus of
the caster ( Wizards use intelligence, Sorcerers and Bards charisma, Clerics,
Paladins and Druids wisdom. ) + The level of the spell.
Hit points : Now, you roll hit dices for each level. You don't stop rolling at
level 9, or 10 depending on your class. You keep rolling, and always add your
constitution bonuses and the like. Bear in mind that in 3rd ed, you get dealt
more damage faster, that's why it was modified.
Magic resistance becomes Spell resistance. Divide old magic resistance by 5, and
add 11. You come up with something between 12 and 31. To overcome a spell
resistance, a caster rolls 1d20 and adds his level as a bonus. If he rolls
above, he overcomes it.
Each four levels a character achieves, he gains a single bonus characteristic
point he can place wherever he wants ( ie : increasing Str from 18 to 19, etc...).
Xps are now based on a comparison between the pc level and the difficulty of the
monster : A 16th level fighter does not gain a scrap of xp from killing an orc.
Now, if he kills an orc horde ALONE...
Quick note on dragons : Dragons are now... Well, they ARE dragons. That is,
killing one is no longer as easy as it used to be. 2nd ed dragons compared to
3rd ed are like comparing a blowgun to a laspistol.
I have to congratulate you after re-reading (again!) the arc of
stories I've mentally labelled "The Fall of Helgate". Of all of the
original adventurers (and of all of them *period*) my two
favorites have always been Peldor and Belphanior. And this
story arc showed Belphanior at his best - in the thick of things,
with chaos, death, destruction and blood all around.
I like Peldor because of his James Bond/Lupin the Third (from
japanese anime) similarities; the smooth-tongued rogue with the
beautiful women on his arms, equally at home fighting with wits and
word as he is with fist and weapon.
And Belphanior? Because he's an elf. Because he's a mage and
a thief, yet can't be underestimated in a sword-fight. And because
he says and does what he wants to, when he wants to, *who* he
wants to. This is something that appeals to me. Belphanior plays
by his own rules, and no one else's. If his code is in line with the
the codes of the land he's in, and others he's with, well and good.
But if it isn't, he won't break *his* code to fit in and conform to
someone else's ideas of what he should and shouldn't do.
In some ways, Belphanior reminds me of John Constantine. The
main character ('hero' would be going to far, IMO) of the comic
"Hellblazer" (put out by DC comics Vertigo line). He's a nasty
SOB. Death, destruction, pain, loss, and betrayal all seem to follow
him around. He's hard on his friends; several of them are dead,
damned, or both. But he fights against forces he can't possibly
beat forever - Heaven *and* Hell - because he feels that both have
screwed up humanity. To John, people don't need to let others - be
they angels, demons, politicians, businessmen, ect... - rule over them.
And, although he's definately an anti-hero, he often means well.
In Helgate, Belphanior had a home. His first since his domicile in
Greyhawk was destroyed. And here *he* set the laws. Laws that were
often harsh, yes. Laws that would have seemed strange at best in
other lands, yes. But his rule didn't seem that heavy. He wasn't taxing
people to near death/slavery. And, as long as you didn't start anything,
Belphanior and co. wouldn't finishing anything (or anyone). He might not
have been *loved* by the locals, but he wasn't ~just~ feared for his
powers and skills. I honestly think many respected the fact that he tried
to keep the peace without nosing overly into their personal affairs.
And here came two armies, one from Perrenland and one from Ket, both
to take over the area. Not because the locals had begged them to free
them from the Mad Elf. Not because they knew that the town's ruler
consorted with a "foul vampyr". But because controlling the town would
strengthen their abilities to defend their borders - and to attack their
And between them, they destroyed the town. Exterminated it's population.
Cost Belphanior who knows what in magic, gold, art objects and other
treasures. Destroyed who knows how many hours of work on his part -
building his castle, forging laws, keeping the peace, ect... Cost him
several loyal followers, and quite likely a woman he loved.
Oh, other factors played a part, yes. The priestess might have still have lost
herself to the evil that wanted to own her body. The vampire hunters weren't
in Helgate for a vacation, after all. But those two armies were the snowballs
that started the avalanche, the staws that broke the camel's back.
John Constantine and Belphanior have another thing in common: they're both
very bad people to cross. Perrenland *and* Ket might both have cause to
regret their actions in Helgate in the years to come. Particularly if/when the
Greyhawk Wars occur. Belphanior led several comanions into the land of the
Sea Princes once. Freeing all the slaves in a city, looting it and virtually
destroying it. Because, as I recall, he didn't care for them or for slavery.
I for one, shudder to think about what he might eventually do to countries
that did *this* to him.
Once again, I tip my hat to you. I hope to read many more stories by you
over the coming years.
[from here down was added on thursday 5 october 2000]
The Belphanior roundup was truely ephical.
I must also say it's very nice that you manage to describe the lives of all
the adventurers, in a way that makes the story flowing.
> Arnold: But to answer your question, I began to care after the wife and
> children came along.
> Songa: What?!?
> Rillen: Wife and children?!?
Extremely good cliff-hanger, this one ;-)
Met vriendelijke groet,
Helgate's fall was very well scripted, up there with your best. I still like
your shapeshifter storyline best. It had a true sense of loss and showed the
desperate courage of heroes that you see in all too few movies these days.
I know you've got a lot of ideas already, but for the future have you considered
adding more 'moral dilemma' stories? Ones where the adventurers do the wrong
things for the right reasons; be they political, to save a fellow at the expense
of their honor, strengthen one evil party so that they balance another evil
party(like Iuz vs. the Scarlet Brotherhood), etc? I guess I'm a star trek fan
so I look for and enjoy moral quandaries in the fiction I read.
I hope you're still enjoying the contracting job with CNN. I tried contracting
for a while and finally realized I couldn't hack the additional hours and stuck
with my full time job. I did learn a lot though.
At last, i'm finally able to write you, after more
than 7 year, yes that's right. 7 years, belive it or
not, i started reading The Adventurers back in 1993.
I started playing AD&D in 1987, and i'm still playing,
sometimes as a player and sometimes as a DM, and i
have to say that after reading The Adventurers, my
style of play changed radically, i was just, as a
player, the quiet type, not too involved in the
adventure, and as DM just ok, nothing too relevant,
but thanx to a very good friend of mine, who back in
93, he have access to the web in his school, and he
started to get the stories, and show them to me.
It was right then that my view of the game changed.
If you are wondering why until now i write, that's
simple... i didn't have a pc with a modem until a few
days, and just started looking for the stories, to my
surprise, there was a page dedicated to The
Adventurers, and now at last i'm able to continue
reading your stories.
When my friend graduates in 94, i lost contac to the
stories because my friend live in El Paso TX. and i
live in Monterrey N.L. Mexico
I stop reading the stories around episode 210 or so.
And now thanx to the Internet, i'm able to continue
reading the stories.
Well that is all for the moment, i just wanted to tell
you, and thank you, you are really a very good writer
and DM, keep up the good work there.
ps: My Favorite character is (well, i like them all,
really) GED! he is really cool, i even started a
character much like him.
Well that's all...