I have been working on Kalidnay in Ravenloft for a few years now. Its been a slow slog and there is still much to improve. It is now at the stage where I can start getting some feedback. One thing that is required is more gothic horror elements. That is something that I plan to weave into the work.
Apologies for the delay in responding. It’s taken a few days to sit down and read the PDF. For what it’s worth, here’s my 2 ceramic bits:
On the whole, I like it. You’ve taken a fairly bare bones description of Kalidnay, largely devoid of gothic horror in the 2E RL products and made it a cultural product of Athas while bringing in some RL horror elements. You’ve pushed Kalidnay in a very different way to how I have but it makes sense, fits into either RL or DS and has a number of different power players and centres for DMs and PCs to navigate between.
There are a few typos and sentences that don’t make sense (nothing that a re-read won’t pick up). I do wonder whether or not you’ve spent too much time dwelling on what happens if Kalidnay makes it back to Athas, which lessens the ‘permanency’ of the DP including a Domain in the Demiplane. Maybe take the existing references and include them in a ‘Dread Possibility’ box? I also love the Dread Possibilities - they’re well thought out, are relevant to the Domain and faithful to the dual campaign settings.
I’d like to see a map - I know you showed me a draft but it would really help see how the locales fit together. I’d also like to see a little more on the Veiled Alliance. Perhaps the Magocrat faction is dominated by the descendants of the Arcanamachs (or perhaps not, that would mess with peoples heads for the former Preservers to be the bad guys here)? Perhaps one or more of the Magocrat leaders have been busy failing Powers checks and sliding into a more and more degenerate state (the DP might want to set up other candidates for Darklord if something happens to Thakok-An after all)?
The only other feedback I’d give would be on non-Athasian PCs visiting from the rest of Ravenloft (or else the wider multiverse). There’s useful info here, certainly on finances (the 2E version that your metal turns into bone and ceramic on entry was just asinine), but I’d like to see a bit more on the culture clash. Visiting elves and dwarves will likely be horrified by their Athasian counterparts, while an encounter between outlander and Athasian halflings just make me laugh thinking about it.
Excellent suggestions. At my pace it may take years but I’ll get there. That said, other domain netbooks have been collaborative between several people. Perhaps I can generate some interest.
I’m only a bit into it, but so far, I’m not sure I care for Thakok-An being a homosexual rapist.
I honestly can’t decide if it reads in a “Some people are gay, some people are rapists, so some people are gay rapists.” way or in a 1980’s style "Homosexuals = pedophiles " way. One is (weirdly) inclusive, the other, trite and offensive.
I ASSUME you were going for a synthesis of a new/interesting take on the idea and Thakok-An being an contemptible proto-Darklord…
I’ll keep reading, just 2cp so far.
I took it as a powerful person violating others because they can - an abuse of power (both psionic and secular authority). The sexual orientation of Thakok-An didn’t enter into it when I read it. I mean lets face it, sexual assault is something that people in authority do IRL, the templarate of any city in Athas has got to be worse than anything we have here (except in certain regimes where its used as an instrument of repression). Thakok-An being a sexual predator is entirely plausible for a templar and for a Darklord, that’s small beer.
Yeah, i ABSOLUTELY agree with that. If Thakok-An wasn’t a gay male, it’d be standard fare for a Ravenloft DL.
Are we far enough out from the 80’s for that to be OK? I hope so. Either way, I’m in.
Thakok-An is a rapist that happens to be homosexual. He’s also a tragic figure. He is transgressive of the social order of Kalidnay, and he has fallen in love with the heterosexual Kalid-Ma, who happens to mercy bed the female templars that fall in love with him.
One of the themes of Ravenloft is pathos. A homosexual Thakok-An has more pathos than a heterosexual pairing. Years ago I wrote about my thoughts on this right here on the arena.
You are probably right about this being “weirdly inclusive”. Thakok-An isn’t meant to be a role model for anyone.
Finished it. I like the document a lot.
Could use a bit more editing, but solid writing and ideas. I especially like the reconciliation of the VA and Defilers.
I definitely agree that there needs to be a map. What might also be nice is the inclusion of a smaller map whit each of the entries for the geographic locations. Just the real map shrunk down with a dot to note the placement of the location in question. You’d get an immediate general sense of the placement of the location described, but you’d still need to look at the more detailed map to really see detail and the whole domain at a glance. Just a thought…
My map making skills are… lacking. This is what I sent to Kalindren ages ago.
The entire document needs a lot of work. I just wanted to get it out there.
Pffft, I’d say that map is pretty good. Certainly much better than anything i could do.
If you simply shrunk it down (possibly in black & white, or not) and put a big dot on top of the location you’re speaking of, it might lend a sense of where everything is…
If you think it still needs A LOT of work, i can wait to see the end result. Very nice.
I’ve got a document and maps of a non ruined kalidnay in the works, but its not a ravenloft clone. I’me liking the 4E story with PFRPG/5E mechanics.