Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Serten the sacrifice

Subject: [GREYTALK] Serten the sacrifice Re: [GREYTALK] Serten the Still
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 06:09:27 -0400
From: Jason Zavoda
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

On Sun, 20 Aug 2000, Erik Mona wrote:

> I don't have that source in front of me, so I can't check to see if all of
> those mentioned are indeed mages (Iuz?), but ignorance of the "real" Serten,
> whether by the mercenaries who wrote Greyhawk Ruins or by part of the vaunted
> "Team Greyhawk" is hardly solid ground on which to build a rhetorical castle.
> :)

Serten is one of the old guard and the battle of Emridy Meadows one of the legendary events. Neither should be altered casually.

> >>>
> And the battle has several paragraphs written about it as well.
> >>>
> Piffle.

Piffle? Hardly Piffle. Three paragraphs on Pg11 of the guide to the world of Greyhawk, three = several, a few slight mentions elsewhere.

> The sum total of information on that battle can hardly be classified as
> "several paragraphs." Certainly there is no accounting of even the generals
> in the battle, or even, for that matter, where the hell "Emridy Meadows" is,
> specifically. I hardly think the loss of a borderline retarded priest of St.
> Cuthbert, even if he had powerful friends, qualified for the type of
> "top-line" news ("the good guys won") that we have on the battle so far.
Sure it does, why was Serten brought up in the LGJ in the first place and sacrificed except for name recognition. History can be rewritten and named characters can be killed.

> >>>
> To glibly throw out such a
> useful character especially because he is a mystery and still a legend
> is an unfortunate choice.
> >>>
> What about Serten makes him "useful"? I can think of a few reasons why it
> might be neat to have the dumb but well-meaning cleric from Rogue's Gallery
> still alive, but all are outweighed, in my opinion, by the implication that
> the "heroes" (or at least "main characters") of the Greyhawk campaign are
> mortal.

No, they're fictional, and so is the entire setting, but consistancy helps to make the fiction believable and keeping away from glibly killing off major NPC's keep the setting useful to the widest range of gamers.

> And, if you like the guy so much, I guess there's some similarly-named
> misguided mage out there that everyone's free to use. :)
> >>>
> Choosing to alter the campaign in such a notable way is even
> more unfortunate.
> >>>
> Whatever. If the choice is between leaving the campaign stagnant or exploring
> some of its mysteries and going forward, always leaving new mysteris behind,
> I'll choose the latter.
> --Erik

Whatever? Serten and the Battle of Emridy Meadows are both notable. Killing off a character and altering past history, just to prove a point, these things did nothing to create mystery or even explore the mysterious. They only prove that the campaign can change at any moment, that is more of a Forgotten Realms way of developing a campaign.
If you wanted to expand the setting you should have made Serten live, put depth and history behind him, make everyone understand why he had earned a name and place among the great and powerful.
Better to say that the Living Greyhawk made Serten live and be worthy of his well known name, than to say Living Greyhawk killed Serten to prove a point.
Death does not relieve stagnation it merely ends future potential.

Jason Zavoda

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