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The Official Kargatane Q&A thread 
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Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:14 am
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Post The Official Kargatane Q&A thread
This is largely a question that I hope will lead to more but I can understand if it's prying.

Would you guys be interested in possibly a Q&T about your books and your intentions for writing (that doesn't step on anything you want to keep silent on for professional reasons).

I think most of us consider you, along with the original Kargat to be the RL owners as much as anyone.


Last edited by Willowhugger on Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:22 pm
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Evil Genius
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I'm up.


Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:02 pm
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Evil Genius
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Sweet, thanks.

1. So can you describe your relationship with the publishers?

2. What is your favorite work done for the line? Why?

3. What are your regrets about not doing? Having been able to do? Why?


Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:20 pm
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Invisible Menace
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Thanks too! I would also like to throw in a few questions of my own:

4: If you had the chance to continue writting for Ravenloft would you do so for WotC if they asked you?

5: If nothing has happened and things progressed normaly what would you prefer to work on? Gaz 6 - 10? VRA II?

6: Would you spend a bit of your free time and creativity to write up a few things for Ravenloft unofficially (like mr Mangrum's Horsemen, the Shadow of the Knife adventure etc)? Please answer YES to this one! I loved your work (Your's and the rest of the Kargatane).

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Wed Aug 17, 2005 5:23 am
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Evil Genius
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Willowhugger wrote:
1. So can you describe your relationship with the publishers?


In what way? That could be a very awkward question, depending on what you actually mean.

I never met them in the flesh or even spoke to them (living as I do on the other side of the world), but we seemed to have a good working relationship. They offered to write me a reference once, so it can't have been all bad.

Quote:
2. What is your favorite work done for the line? Why?


I am relentlessly self-critical, so it would be a lot easier to ask what I like least about what I've done. For those who care, it's the Necropolis gazetteer. I'm really not happy with the way that came out, which I think is partly due to having such a small word count to work in.

Of my Kargatane stuff, I think Mictlan is my favourite.

Of my printed, writing-drone stuff, I like Noises in the Night, although it was almost pure agony to write. It was nice that it was so well received.

Of the work where I had a little more control, the design of VRGttWalking Dead was good, even if it didn't come out exactly as I'd planned.

Of everything I've ever written ever, my most favourite scene out of everything is in VRGttWD, where one of the twins is grabbed from behind by a Restless Dead (I think), which smells her hair and then runs off. I am truly proud of the perversity and violation in that otherwise harmless encounter.

Quote:
3. What are your regrets about not doing? Having been able to do? Why?


I think it is a real pity that the gazetteers were never completed, since Our Hero had all sorts of exciting adventures ahead of her (I was particularly looking forward to Blaustein, which is the highlight of her story for me). But considering that after the Great Falling Out, the gazetteer writers weren't even really aware of the metaplot, I'm not sure it would have lied up to my expectations.

That is where I have real issues with the way things were handled. The Gazetteers had the potential to be the real flagship of the series, and they were, at times, poorly handled. Our Hero is completely different in character in Mordent, for example, and everyone should have known theb metaplot. These are unforgivable errors.

Another regret is the Great Falling Out. It was a bad thing, and it put me in an awkward position (loyalty to my friends vs. desire for Ravenloft). I think Ravenloft would have benefited overall if the Kargatane had stayed, even though they wouldn't have with the way things were.

Another product I kept desperately trying to pitch but never got done was Lands of Nightmare, a uide to the pocket domains of Ravenloft as seen through the eyes of Dr Illhousen wandering around the Nightmare Lands looking into people's dreams.

Long time/observant readers will also have noticed I'm mad about Doctor Who. A more general regret is that the BBC's slush pile closed before they accepted my Doctor Who novel. I know no one here actually cares, but I really wish that had gone ahead.

alhoon wrote:
4: If you had the chance to continue writting for Ravenloft would you do so for WotC if they asked you?


Of course.

Quote:
5: If nothing has happened and things progressed normaly what would you prefer to work on? Gaz 6 - 10? VRA II?


Lands of Nightmare, as I said.

The Gazetteers. I had already planned out Gaz VI and what I was going to do with it.

VRAII doesn't really appeal to me.

I'm not sure. I'll think about that and get back to you.

Quote:
6: Would you spend a bit of your free time and creativity to write up a few things for Ravenloft unofficially (like mr Mangrum's Horsemen, the Shadow of the Knife adventure etc)? Please answer YES to this one! I loved your work (Your's and the rest of the Kargatane).


Thank you. I've enjoyed writing them (except Noises in the Night, which was like pulling teeth).

My upcoming projects include a PhD in biochemistry, a book of evolutionary biology and (fingers crossed) my Doctor Who novel. At some point, I would like to run some adventures for my friends. I'd also like to work on my writing abilities, since I'm still quite convinced they're lacking. In the gaps between these, I'll try to write something for you. How's that?

But it's amazing how staring at DNA and protein samples all day can suck the creativity out of you.


Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:48 pm
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Evil Genius
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Thank you for those answers.

I also am a big fan of Doctor Who (and had started on my own novel before my publishers directed me to finish my own work).

As a note, none of us wants to particularly here problems with the WOTC group or anything really derogitory. It was actually a question more about how people were contacted and they worked with the mainline.

If this isn't troublesome...

7. What was S's personality and background in YOUR view?

And please satisfy my curiosity...

8. Blaustein included, where did you want S's journey to head?


Last edited by Willowhugger on Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 pm
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Ryan Naylor wrote:
But it's amazing how staring at DNA and protein samples all day can suck the creativity out of you.


Here, here! I know exactly what you mean; my dissertation work just killed my ability to put any two words together that didn't involve rotifers and/or mtDNA sequencing. :-P


Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:52 pm
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Evil Genius
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Rotipher wrote:
Ryan Naylor wrote:
But it's amazing how staring at DNA and protein samples all day can suck the creativity out of you.


Here, here! I know exactly what you mean; my dissertation work just killed my ability to put any two words together that didn't involve rotifers and/or mtDNA sequencing. :-P


Ooooo. I quite like rotifers.

Willowhugger wrote:
If this isn't troublesome...


Well, it beats western blotting...


Quote:
7. What was S's personality and background in YOUR view?


I've never understood the confusion about whether Our Hero was evil or not. She's evil. She dissects living things for the hell of it. She sacrificed her daughter in an experiment on undead (albeit unintentionally, and as of Sithicus and Keening, is starting to regret it), and then rather than put her out of her misery, tried to use her as a proxy to investigate the Shroud.

She's cold and arrogant, with no time for stupidity or social niceties. She seems to have turned into a borderline alcoholic, which was I think unintentional and moderately amusing. Despite all this, she is quite good at getting people to talk to her. She's driven by curiosity/lust for knowledge. Does this sound like anyone we know yet?

She is the illegitimate daughter of a Darkonese nobleman (erm, that is, the people who raised her are Darkonese nobles--so who is her real father? Go on, it's not that hard). She tried to get in to the Fraternity of Shadows but, being a woman, they wouldn't let her in. For some reason, Azalin is interested in her and holds high hopes for her progress around the Core. This quest (which, knowing Azalin as we do, can only involve an escape attempt from Ravenloft) somehow involves the Gentleman Caller and his children and various dukkars and Vistani outcasts, including the Tribe of Hyskosa who are dedicated to thwarting Azalin's schemes.

For what it's worth, I see the Gentleman Caller's place in Ravenloft as a trap to get Isolde stuck there, and having achieved that but failed to destroy her entirely, he now wants to get the hell out. So that could give you more a clue as to what Azalin plans. Or it may be a red herring.

Plus, Azalin gave her a bracelet that somehow protects her (or rather, her mission). After being killed in Verbrek, she woke up some time later in Valachan in a house that had been recently "cleared" by the Kargat.

I think this relates to Roots of Evil or From the Shadows if anyone wants to go try to work out what's actually going on.

Quote:
8. Blaustein included, where did you want S's journey to head?


I would have liked to see a gradual softening of her character, and Azalin's schemes to be made more obvious and to come to a head, possibly in the form of an adventure. I've always had a soft spot for villains who redeem themselves when the chips are down, so that would have been nice.

It's all a bit moot now. Hopefully WotC will continue with them, but I doubt it.


Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:47 pm
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Water Bearer
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So S was one of Azalin's clones that didn't come out exactly like he planned. I had been planning on including his "bloodline", this just gives me precedence.

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Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:00 pm
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Evil Genius
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Awesome answer,

I never would have suspected that S is actually a clone of Azalin. Personally, from my limited experience with the Gaming industry, I find that it's probably best to hope for wrapping up the story later in the form of a supplement rather than anything published by Wizards.

Honestly, I think it's more likely they'll sell the license again than publish anything themselves.

9. Anyone got a conception of what the ToUD would be and what the GC's role was?


Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:58 pm
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Willowhugger wrote:
Honestly, I think it's more likely they'll sell the license again than publish anything themselves.


If by some slim (I would think non-existant) chance someone did purchase Ravenloft from WotC, they wouldn't keep the current plots. They would have their own take on the world and wouldn't feel the need to continue the older plots or even series. I'm sure the Fraternity will come up with something to fill the gap, but I doubt that we'll see it from some other publisher.

Unless the Fraternity wants to enter into negotiations. :wink:

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The Remnants have one saying to represent loss, disappearance, exile, and death. It is Shiao Marests, "Taken by The Shadows".


Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:13 pm
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Evil Genius
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Tobias Blackburn wrote:
Willowhugger wrote:
Honestly, I think it's more likely they'll sell the license again than publish anything themselves.


If by some slim (I would think non-existant) chance someone did purchase Ravenloft from WotC, they wouldn't keep the current plots. They would have their own take on the world and wouldn't feel the need to continue the older plots or even series. I'm sure the Fraternity will come up with something to fill the gap, but I doubt that we'll see it from some other publisher.

Unless the Fraternity wants to enter into negotiations. :wink:


Don't necessarily underestimate the marketing system. Everyone was pretty damned stunned when White Wolf went to the Kargatane for their work but it was a huge body waiting to be tapped as is.


Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:19 pm
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Ah, but the d20 system was new and the market was clean and fresh. Now the market is filled to the brim with far too many d20 publishers. Ravenloft left the field because it apparently wasn't doing well enough to justify the cost. I can't think of any company that could afford the licensing cost and would still be willing to try something that has already failed to be profitable.

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The Remnants have one saying to represent loss, disappearance, exile, and death. It is Shiao Marests, "Taken by The Shadows".


Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:23 pm
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Evil Genius
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Tobias Blackburn wrote:
Ah, but the d20 system was new and the market was clean and fresh. Now the market is filled to the brim with far too many d20 publishers. Ravenloft left the field because it apparently wasn't doing well enough to justify the cost. I can't think of any company that could afford the licensing cost and would still be willing to try something that has already failed to be profitable.


I heard differently...actually, I heard pretty much Ravenloft was outselling everything else. Not everything is simply about whether or not its financially successful.

Ravenloft was a licensed game, maybe Wizards just wanted it back.
Maybe they were worried it was detracting from their home products to produce
Maybe the artistic team lost interest...

etc


Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:27 pm
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Willowhugger wrote:
I heard differently...actually, I heard pretty much Ravenloft was outselling everything else. Not everything is simply about whether or not its financially successful.

Ravenloft was a licensed game, maybe Wizards just wanted it back.
Maybe they were worried it was detracting from their home products to produce
Maybe the artistic team lost interest...

etc


Really. I heard that it wasn't selling well. That's one of the reasons they pulled back on the Gazetters.

I'd love to see Ravenloft come back, but I don't see it happening. If Wizards pulled it back to keep it from competeing with their other products, they won't put it out or let anyone else touch it either. If the artistic team had lost interest, Arthaus would have switched over to a different team.

I realize that there are a number of reasons, but the fact that it removed from the market is a major blow to it coming back into print. Getting the rights will be very expensive and any company that can afford it is likely to have some other setting they are pushing already.

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The Remnants have one saying to represent loss, disappearance, exile, and death. It is Shiao Marests, "Taken by The Shadows".


Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:43 pm
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