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 I need info on mab!

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Verbannon
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PostSubject: I need info on mab!   Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:39 pm

I have a pixie player who is a follower of Mab and I have no info on Mab anyhere! Help please! From what I can tell she leads the unseelie court?
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:45 am

Since 4e doesn't have a Mab (or equivalent), which Mab are you referring to? The only one I know of is from the Dresden Files, who is one of the three queens of Winter (unseelie fey). The three queens are Mother Winter, the Queen Who Was; Mab, the Queen Who Is; and Maeve, the Queen Who Is To Come.

In the Dresden Files, Mab herself is a cold-blooded, pragmatic, deviously Machiavellian plotter whose ultimate aims are unknowable to the average person. She's been described as a force of nature, not actively malicious like a demon or fallen angel, but no saint, either. Like a hurricane or a blizzard: impersonal in her destructive capability, but that doesn't mean much to her enemies. She's the kind of person who will make nearly any sacrifice she deems necessary to fulfill her objectives. Mab has no tolerance for those who challenge her reign or betray her, and such betrayal gets rewarded with literally years of hideous torture, as her knight, Lloyd Slate, found out the hard way. I would recommend that you read the Dresden Files yourself to find out more about this version of Mab, since I have a habit of missing things when explaining stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:52 am

I think my player got Mab from the Dresdan files as he mentioned a book. I assume its a D&D book right? I'm guessing 3.5 or 2e or something. I guess I could read it, find out what general edition its set in and try to extrapolate the passage of time.
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:55 am

I just did some googling, please don't tell me I'm looking at the right thing. The dresdan files I'm looking at isn't even D&D!? Oh no! This is awful! My campaign is ruined! I'm so stupid I shouldn't have just assumed, gah what can I do now!?
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:32 am

I just searched 'queen of air and darkness' alone and discovered there is a D&D equivalent. Last mentioned in 3.5 however the chained god who corrupted her is 4e. So maybe there is hope. Maybe my player will accept instead of being straight from the Dresdon files, be a pixie seeking The Black Diamond in hopes of finding a way of umm... don't know but there might be a thread there.
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:06 am

First, before you panic about the Dresden Files, you need to be aware that the Dresden Files got the name Mab from Shakespeare.

Info on the original Queen Mab is here.

Second, there's nothing wrong with having a different cosmology than the standard. No on is going to break down your door and burn your D&D books for having an Unseelie goddess of winter in your campaign. Unless the player in question is actually a cleric or other divine class then there's no need to even have Mab or even one of her agents/angels ever appear in your campaign (especially if the core plot of your campaign has nothing to do with matters she'd be concerned with). If they are, then Divine Power has the rules for domains and its a pretty simple matter to assign two or three of them to Mab (Winter, Magic and something else) and you're good to go.

Alternately you could weave the Mab angle into the existing cosmology for 4E. The goddess of winter and fate in the default 4E cosmology is the Raven Queen and its rather a huge deal that her true name is unknown. If the player wants to say that the pixies know her as Queen Mab there is absolutely nothing wrong with that... It actually gives a little flavor to the culture of the Pixies and the question to ask then is 'what do they call the other gods?' Do they refer to Correlon as Oberan and to Melora as Titania? Do they envision the goddess of Trickery and love as instead a male satyr named Puck? The idea that different cultures give different names to the same gods is actually pretty common (see the Greek/Roman pantheons) and it also gives the opportunity for philosophical knife fights as the followers of the goddess Sehanine get insulted that the godless infidels would accuse their goddess of actually being a filthy satyr.

Finally, Mab could just be a very powerful unseelie eladrin archfey from the Feywild with an interest in the affairs of this world. If the character in question is a true follower of hers you might require them to take the Unseelie Agent theme from Heroes of the Feywild to represent this devotion to her. In this case, you can use any sort of Eladrin or Fey creatures as her agents (and as NPCs) and she doesn't even NEED stats unless the PC's plan to fight her.

Basically, don't look at this as a problem... look at it as an opportunity.
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:35 pm

I am trying to run a canonical infernal campaign though based on information culled from months of research. D&D has this annoying habit of stating a different version of their canon with every single telling each with only a bit of truth. And it took me a long time to figure out through trial and error the most likely version of events. (Seriously there are about thirteen versions of the rebellion in 4e alone, not to mention back in 2e and 3.5. Which are important as 4e prioritized covering figures not well covered in those editions.)

Now that the players have reached the feywild I decided to do a quick look-up to see how much influence Mab would have on their journey. And came up blank and I started to worry, then I learned Mab didn't exist at all in D&D and I started to panic. And since it was 4 AM my time I typed out my panic. :/ How could I possibly run a canonical campaign if I homebrewed a story inserting a major Shakespearean figure?

All it would take is 5e to decide to use Mab and boom suddenly its no longer a canonical campaign. Plus and I guess more importantly my player would be disappointed if I wrote off Mab as just some minor non-important thing. Especially as I've done major events based on every other character's backstory now and the player was probably expecting her turn now that we are in the feywild. But thats what I would have had to have done.

But now that I earned of the queen of air and darkness I think I can salvage this if my player is willing.
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:07 pm

There really is no such thing as 'D&D Canon'. Versions of D&D up through 3.5e basically espoused the original Gygaxian cosmology, but the details are hugely variable and there's very little consistency between sources, especially from one edition to the next. Even just in the course of 3.5e itself various things evolved, and each setting is in any case not totally consistent with the whole corpus.

Now you throw 4e in there. 4e has a TOTALLY DIFFERENT COSMOLOGY. It attempts to recapitulate many of the ideas, characters, etc from the earlier 'Great Wheel' and its various subsidiary parts, but it is a fundamentally different beast. The similarities are only at the level of "well, this old adventure uses X, and so X can be in the 4e Cosmology too and have approximately the same attributes."

Beyond that no D&D legendarium is even half complete. If you need a new figure, such as 'Mab' to appear then what is the problem? You could equate her with the Queen of Air and Darkness, or simply make up a whole new figure that is the patron of pixies and has the desired attributes. Perhaps the pixies have an overinflated idea of the importance of this figure as well, such that they portray her as the Queen of the Universe or whatever, but to the rest of the world she's just some very minor figure at the Winter Court or something like that.

This disparity could be quite amusing and drive various plothooks all throughout a campaign as the player's character first rejects this absurd notion of insignificance, then becomes angered about it, schemes to change the unjust world, and finally in the end becomes resigned to being the pixie exarch of a fairly insignificant arch-fey, or whatever.
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:04 am

AbdulAlhazred wrote:
There really is no such thing as 'D&D Canon'.
Quoted for truth. 4E's cosmology is so radically different from the prior editions of D&D that it is HAS to be its own universe. For that matter the cosmology of 4E Forgotten Realms, 4E Eberron and 4E Dark Sun are also completely different animals from the 4E Nentir Vale cosmology as well.

Indeed, trying to make the cosmologies across editions and campaign settings make sense is basically impossible. When Verbannon says he wants to run a canon Infernal campaign, such a thing IS possible, but ONLY if you're sticking to one edition's and one campaign setting's version of events.

In the 4E Nentir Vale, Asmodeus was a Exarch who killed his god, took his divine spark and was then cursed/imprisoned along with his followers by the other gods within very astral dominion he had just conquered such that they can only be leave if someone else opens the door for them. Likewise the Nine Hells of Baator are not nine infinite planes, but a finite astral domain in the form of a planet with each of the Hells except the first being a massive (though finite) subterranean cavern with connections leading slowly down to the Ninth Hell at the planet's core.

Asmodeus' history is completely different in past editions of the game as was the configuration of the Nine Hells... if you're playing a canon 4E Nentir Vale themed game you basically have to ignore anything said outside of the DMG1/2, Planar Handbook, Plane Above/Below and the MM1-3+Monster Vaults because none of the other books are necessarily even dealing with the Asmodeus and Infernals of the Nentir Vale setting.
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:03 pm

Chris24601 wrote:
AbdulAlhazred wrote:
There really is no such thing as 'D&D Canon'.
Quoted for truth. 4E's cosmology is so radically different from the prior editions of D&D that it is HAS to be its own universe. For that matter the cosmology of 4E Forgotten Realms, 4E Eberron and 4E Dark Sun are also completely different animals from the 4E Nentir Vale cosmology as well.

Indeed, trying to make the cosmologies across editions and campaign settings make sense is basically impossible. When Verbannon says he wants to run a canon Infernal campaign, such a thing IS possible, but ONLY if you're sticking to one edition's and one campaign setting's version of events.

In the 4E Nentir Vale, Asmodeus was a Exarch who killed his god, took his divine spark and was then cursed/imprisoned along with his followers by the other gods within very astral dominion he had just conquered such that they can only be leave if someone else opens the door for them. Likewise the Nine Hells of Baator are not nine infinite planes, but a finite astral domain in the form of a planet with each of the Hells except the first being a massive (though finite) subterranean cavern with connections leading slowly down to the Ninth Hell at the planet's core.

Asmodeus' history is completely different in past editions of the game as was the configuration of the Nine Hells... if you're playing a canon 4E Nentir Vale themed game you basically have to ignore anything said outside of the DMG1/2, Planar Handbook, Plane Above/Below and the MM1-3+Monster Vaults because none of the other books are necessarily even dealing with the Asmodeus and Infernals of the Nentir Vale setting.

I think you can take it as a given that all the 4e material that isn't setting-specific (IE Plane Above/Below, Demonomicon, etc) is 'canon' for 4e. Even FR in its 4e incarnations follows MOST of the basic cosmology, though Eberron always did have its own unique take on that, as did/does DS.

There are inconsistencies in 4e (as other) canon, and 4e in particular took a philosophy of leaving a lot of stuff unstated. So, if he's using 'canon' for his campaign, he's still going to have to make stuff up or probably decide a few things. Some stuff is also just 'plot hooks', like Demonomicon states that Asmo owes a favor to Pazuzu, or that maybe they are even in league! That would be a cool plot hook of course, but you don't have to consider it to be TRUE. In fact it may be a rumor that is floating around, one that is a lie. I can't imagine any other arch devils who would start THAT sort of rumor!
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:33 pm

That's pretty much what I meant, I just felt that those particular products in general had the best descriptions of the Infernal powers as related to the Nentir Vale/PoLand setting whereas, directing him to say 'Open Grave' probably won't be much help as it relates to the nature of Infernals.

But yeah, most of the 'inconsistencies' are not so much mistakes as they are various plot hooks for DM's to wrap stories around. They never intend any one campaign to use more than a couple in any given campaign and different things might be true at different points in a given universe, especially if you start playing successive campaigns (we started a new campaign recently with the idea being that it is set 1000 years after the end of the last campaign where the PC's epic destinies transformed the world in various fashions. Asmodeus could be up to entirely different shenanigans in the new campaign than he was 1000 years ago and any number of divine/infernal relationships could have been radically altered as well (ex. the favor owed to Pazuzu was paid off 500 years ago and is no longer relevant to the current setting).

I also thought of another very easy way to fit Mab into the mix for a 'canon' arrangement... all the deities are said to have some number of Exarchs (i.e. lesser gods) associated with them, but only a couple of the most prominent have ever been named in the published materials. So just make Mab the Exarch of whatever deity the DM figures is appropriate (I could see arguments for the Raven Queen, particularly in her Winter aspect, and for Corellon as patron of the Fey in general for the god Mab might be associated with).
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:21 pm

Yeah, Mab could be an exarch, those things are kind of 'dime-a-dozen' you can make up tons of different ones and they each could have a few followers, or maybe even their own tiny race! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:59 pm

What about Drow in the feywild? How do say winter fey generally view them? And Unseelie fey? I assume the rest of the fey would treat them like elves would.
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:31 pm

Personally, we've always treated the drow as basically being unseelie elves. From a canon 4e perspective though they're exiles due to being followers Lolth who betrayed Corellon. As Corellon basically is the god of the elves/eladrin he is also the god of the Fey Courts both Seelie and Unseelie and that makes the drow basically an enemy of both courts (to borrow from the Mage game... the Traditions and the Technocracy may fight each other over control of the world, but even they'll call a truce when a Nephandi shows up because the Nephandi wants to burn the world down).
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:39 pm

thanks
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:57 pm

Yeah, there's a lot left open as to exactly how the rest of the Fey see the Drow, and to what extent all Fey are really devoted to Corellon for that matter. The Drow, oddly enough, chose to go to the Shadowdark, not somewhere in the Feydark, maybe that was because they weren't up to messing with the Fomorians. We don't really know the history of the Fomorians though, perhaps the drow encouraged them. Perhaps there was even a war between those two groups at some point, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:42 pm

For what it is worth, the 4E campaign I'm currently running is set in the Shadowfell. And I have one player who is a pixie (albeit a very vile and malicious pixie) who is a native of the Shadowfell (due to her corruption) and an envoy of the Unseelie Fey.

Since there are no Seelie/Unseelie Fey in the core 4E books, I patched together my own framework based upon resources I found online.

Someone previously had mentioned the Queen of Air and Darkness. That was a big inspiration for me. I only really needed a framework for the Unseelie Fey and so Queen Maeve/Mab is their current queen. She is attended by several cohorts (I have 5) that are some sort of "leaders" and do all kinds of task and errands for the queen. Within the Unseelie, there are seasonal courts. I've only put any detail into the Winter Court (since that is where the character is aligned) and that detail is very minimal.

But I would say that pretty much all of the suggestions mentioned in this thread are good. And as there isn't really a whole lot of detail of the complex power structures in the various realms (Feywild, Shadowfell, Astral Plane, Elemental Chaos) you have free reign to make whatever canon you want.

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PostSubject: Re: I need info on mab!   Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:58 pm

For a fun adventure that might work for that setting, check out the Courts of the Shadow Fey, which should still be available on DriveThruRPG, it was a pretty decent adventure with some fun 'unseelie' types, an interesting plot, and a lot of fun played with the concept of 'honor' among the darker fey.
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