Interview with Adventure Portal Team pt 2
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The second part of the interview with the Adventure Portal Team.
DN (Dragonlance Nexus):
Adventure Portal Team Interview Pt 2:
This is the second half of the interview with Adventure Portal Project Head, Chuck Martinell.
DN : Can you give us a little more information about the 90% of being factual, published material? Can you expand on this and explain what you mean by that.
CM: Sure, the material that we are using is coming not only from sourcebooks, but also from the novels, articles and maps. One of the biggest things here is that we wanted to look at things from a geographical stand point and not use the "magic" get out of jail free card to explain why things are happening in certain areas.
A great example of this as I mentioned earlier as Ergoth, it is the most prosperous nation after the War of Souls. How many fans of Dragonlance realize this, or want to realize this. This isn't something we came up with, but instead it is listed in the Age of Mortals sourcebook, Dragonlance Campaign Guide sourcebook and is mentioned in a handful of novels. Also coming out of those same sources was the expansion into Sikk'et Hul and the Ackallites being a province. Not our work on the team, but rather bringing together several sources under one source of information.
We have dozens of examples of things people know or have glossed over and dismissed. For me one of those things was doing the research on the upcoming Sancrist article on the Knighthood. I discovered that there is little information out there about the area and that it is really named Gunthar. I already know that most fans will be against that, heck I am, but in an effort to present the material as factual and close to the source as the original I will keep it that way, unless there's a major outcry.
It's not easier being the bearer of information that people may disagree with but we have taken great liberties to keep things the same as possible. Another example in the Knights of Solamnia they do not have a grand master or a high warrior. Instead of promoting the acting Grand Master, who is High Justice and is currently stationed in Sanction, we opted to create a character that is untouched by the corruption found in the knights. It is important to us to keep those things that are precious to the fans intact. We took great lengths to ensure all named leaders of the knighthood remained so the High Justice and High Clerist are both still there. Then again how many fans could name the High Clerist.
DN: So you speak of wanting to keep things for the fans. How are you ranking your success of the articles. Do you use the star system of ratings?
CM: Personally I don't think much of the star rating system found on the Nexus. It doesn't tell much other then someone gave you so many stars based on whatever reason. Instead I focus on what comments are being made on www.dragonlanceforums.com. I read through the messages I receive that are pro or con this project. The one thing you learn early on is that you are not going to please everyone.
Dragonlance fans are perhaps the hardest to reason with. So many fans are happy with the setting in certain places and that is fine. If you like the War of the Lance, great. Unfortunately I lot of these fans can't leave it there. We have seen the fandom rise up time and time again against the newer novels, to a point where I feel sorry for any Dragonlance author. In the Age of Mortals we are given some of the most mature novels ever written but to most fans of Dragonlance these novels strike a lot of emotion.
So when it comes to judging how people think of material it's the discussion that makes the choices, its communication with Adventure Portal team and the Whitestone Council. At the end of this project we are going to be launching into a special never before done sourcebook. This one will be of a lot of interest to individuals but at the same time these projects are going to continue to happy with fan involvement. What I would like for us to do is take an active part in the creation of these projects. Sit down and enjoy the new material, offer feedback and tell a friend.
DN: Wait a special sourcebook? You have been alluding about the future projects for a while, spill the beans.
CM: Don't want to talk to much about things that we haven't done much more then outline. This sourcebook will cover some iconic characters and enable you to run a campaign during a chaotic time in Dragonlance. That's all I am going to say for now, the focus right now is Ongoing Adventures and getting it done.
DN: How far along are you on Ongoing Adventures?
CM: We have about 35% of the book either in rough draft or finished draft. We still have some large areas to tackle but we have been focusing on a few regions for now. One of those regions is the Sancrist/Ergoth area. We want to have that done and those chapters ready by the end of March. During this we are working on the elves (the Treatise will be up shortly), Nordmaar, the Holy Orders of the Stars, Teyr, Knights of Neraka and Abanasia. We are hoping to have a lot of these areas finished up by the end of April and then focus on some of the larger nations and push through much of the material be mid August. We are still on track for Sept 1, 2013 date of release. Which means we will be starting on the next project in mid August and use the same format as this one.
DN: If people want to get involved how can they?
CM: Pretty easy either contact by on the dragonlance forums (handle is Gerrin), use the contact form on the Nexus or send an email to the firstname.lastname@example.org. A lot of ways to get involved. If anyone knows a cartographer out there we could sure use on this project as that is the trouble spot. If you're an artist send us some submissions. We are going to be opening a cover art contest here shortly on the Nexus so stay tuned for that.
DN: Thanks for your time.
CM: Thank you.