Sword of Air question (Wizard's Wall) and structural feedback

Does anyone have more information about the Wizard's Wall and its location, maybe from another LL book? It's mentioned three times in Sword of Air and played up for its importance, but it's not on any of the maps and despite all the background details there's absolutely no description of what it is (a magical barrier? a physical wall? a shimmering dimensional rift like the Veil out of the Wizard's First Rule?). 

As a suggestion for the Frogs, if this is intended to be another "blank slate" feature for the GM to place anywhere and write up a description, that's well and good, but it would be nice to have that noted in the book. I adore Sword of Air, but this seems to be a widespread problem with the text as a sandbox or campaign setting: there's rarely any clear indication whether a feature is actually described somewhere else in the book (or whether it's important to other story/character threads), and the indexing of the book is basically nonexistent, which means I constantly find myself having to pull up the massive PDF (which loads sluggishly in every PDF reader I've tried) and slowly search through the entire thing trying to cross-reference the text.

Other times the book is better about this. It's always a little annoying to see something like "this locale/person/dungeon doesn't exist yet and will be described in a future Lost Lands publication," but that's definitely preferable to wasting time paging through the thing over and over to figure out if I've missed a description somewhere. It's unclear why, for instance, Bard's Gate is given this markup, but Freegate (which is mentioned repeatedly and given prominence on the map, not to mention being a main campaign area adjacent to Sorten's Tower) is not, and is never described. A simple "Freegate is a placeholder city, please design it yourself" would've saved me about 10 minutes  of page-flipping at the time, and hours total with similar searches. 

It's not the improv I have a problem with. In this example, I ultimately had a blast building out Freegate completely from scratch, and it's become such a favorite hub for my PCs that I'm likely to launch future campaigns out of there. But Sword of Air wastes a lot of GM time between its bizarre organization (maps scattered in pieces throughout chapters, character details/descriptions scattered in pieces and buried throughout the entire book, adjacent geographic locations described in wildly different parts of the book, total lack of page number cross-references or PDF hyperlinks) and lack of "upfrontness" about which details are provided by SoA and which should be provided by the GM. Dark Souls style ambiguity is a blast as a player, not so much as a referee.

As for the organizational issues, some would be easier to solve than others (as much as I would love to see the chapter structures redone to place all the GM maps and an index at the beginning of each, or full character descriptions and backgrounds contained in a single write-up rather than dealt out piecemeal). Even if it ultimately only takes 3-5 minutes of searching to figure out that the stolen black lens in Cerannan's inventory mentioned in Chapter 5 is to Kayden's telescopic creation in Chapter 3, a simple "see 178, Kayden's Observatory" would've been nice, and would certainly save a trip to the PC and the PDF. Or barring that, at least hyperlinks in the PDF - those really do come standard in this day and age. If this were a linear railroad campaign it would probably be less of a big deal, but it does lend to a lot of frustration in a sandbox "monkey and the engineer" module, especially for GMs using it in conjunction with other Lost Lands books as part of an Akados-spanning megacampaign.

All that said, I love this module and I've written glowing reviews elsewhere, so please take this as the heartfelt suggestions of a huge Frog Gods fan for any future printings or editions (*cough* 5e *cough*). 

Check the forums here. This one has been answered.  http://froggodgames.com/forum/wizards-wall  Greg gave insights.

If they mention it, there is backstory and I'm sure it'll be described. Eventually. Some day. Probably. Maybe in the LL setting, maybe in 10 years.

RealmWorks is like cheat mode for your Dark Souls Lost Lands frustrations. I can't recommend it more highly for making sense of the many cross references and single mentions. And it makes 5e conversion super simple because you can recycle what you have and only have to focus on NPCs and magic levels. I could care less what version material was written for now.

Thanks for the link! Gives some ideas to play around with for the Wall should the party make it out there. 

As for RealmWorks, has FGG released content for that now? Last I looked into it I was under the impression folks were having to manually enter campaign data on there from scratch. Can't say I have too much interest in typing in all of Sword of Air if that's still the case ;)

 

 

No, nothing released by FGG.  We're entering it from scratch.  Believe me, it's well worth it to enter it yourself as you truly start to see how complex it all is as each link builds upon the last.  It's a great way to spend some time with the music turned up and your favorite beer nearby.

I'm sure, but I already spend enough time building my campaigns and designing Roll20 materials  as it is, and with my combination of sandbox modules + homebrew + freewilled players I never know how much of any given book we're actually going to use. It would suck quite a bit to spend days/weeks entering all of Sword of Air, for instance, only to wind up needing just 2-3 chapters' worth of material.

I also subscribe to the Mike Shea school of "lazy DMing" and would rather put my energies into creative possibilities and player-responsive improv than spending all my time entering detailed world data. That's why I buy FGG modules in the first place ;)

zhern's picture

I bet it also helps build really good familiarity of the information too. I'm going to have to figure out time to finally do it. One of these days...