Live from Barsaive: Episode 21

Special guest: Graymayne, co-author of the recently released Earthdawn source book, Travar: The Merchant City.

Episode Highlights:

  • Learn how to make Travar a part of your campaign, no matter what type of game you prefer
  • How the history of Travar ties in with the founding of Thera
  • Bungee jumping, Earthdawn style

Get your copy of Travar: The Merchant City from FASA Games!

  • Patrick Martin

    Another awesome episode. I’ve been waiting to start my 4th edition game specifically until after Travar came out. Love the book. It is truly an extraordinary source book, for many games and not just those set in the city. The write-up of Omasu and the Triumph, then what happened to K’tenshin after Thera left are just a couple important examples.

    Highlights for me included the subtle nods to Terror in the Skies with Drimsby and the fates of the ships involved. Most favorite? The Harbormaster. His whole story is very interesting.

    One side note: I noticed a certain quartermaster in the Avara family (achura) last name is Matos. All Matos are elves, but he’s a human? I planned on using him (no calling, maybe he’s a Traveled Scholar and there’s no discipline for him yet? :)) an easy change regardless, but I’m curious if there’s something more to him.

    • I’m also very impressed with Travar. I haven’t gotten a chance to get very far into it yet, but I plan to soon. Most likely Travar will be the next setting we cover after Parlainth.

      We’ve only got one Parlainth episode out so far, so it will still be a while. As it turns out, Barsaive is a pretty big place. 🙂

  • Lou Prosperi

    It’s always a good thing to have a new episode of Live From Barsaive, but I have to admit to having a couple of issues with this one. Actually, the issues are mostly centered on your guest. “Graymayne” if you read this, PLEASE take these as constructive criticism.

    First, your guest referred to himself, as well as others, only by online handles instead of their real names. This was very jarring to me, and came across as not so professional. In fact, when the guest said “I’m Graymayne”, I actually said, out loud to myself, “that’s NOT your name. What’s your real name?” My advice for the future for your guest would be to introduce himself using his real name, NOT an online handle.

    Consistently referring to the book’s main author as “FWD” was very distracting. Again, that’s NOT his name. Using screen names comes across as thought there’s a secret club and everyone has a code name, and can be very off putting to “outsiders”. Also, not everyone knows who “Mataxes” and “Dammi” are and why you would be working with them. It might have helped if you explained who they are and their role in the process.

    Second, the guest all but refused to explain any of the ideas and concepts in the book, suggesting that people who want to know more should get the book. I understand trying to sell your work, but frankly, if he can’t be bothered to explain anything about the “Ivory Codex” or other things he thinks are so cool, why should I bother to buy the book?

    I think a better approach would have been describe a couple of the cool bits in the book so that listeners have a better idea of what’s in the book and whether or not it’s something they would want.

    Again, the above is meant as constructive criticism in case your guest should appear on other podcasts.



    • Unfortunately, I only got a chance to briefly thumb through the book before the interview, so I wasn’t able to fill in much detail.

      I can empathize with struggling about how much to say or not say, but this episode definitely was on the lean side as far as details go. It’s always kind of a balance, and it does get tricky because we have a mix of players and GM’s listening.

      I think for the upcoming Travar series, my plan will be to read the whole book cover to cover, then to go back and choose which details can be included without spoiling it. It’s easier to do that once I have a better understanding of the whole.

      One thing we are going to try with the Parlainth series (and may do with Travar also), is to have a whole episode with a big spoiler alert at the top. That way we can include some more details without ruining the surprises for anyone. That episode will probably be geared more toward GM’s rather than players, but it would probably be interesting to both.