Ray Vallese's page

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I should add that many of the characters in Uncaged (like A'kin) existed in other Planescape products before I picked them up and ran with them. Maybe they had a few lines written about them, or maybe they were little more than names mentioned in passing. When I started Uncaged, the first thing I did was go through all the Planescape books at the time and make a list of potential NPCs to include -- characters who seemed interesting to me.

Just wanted to get that on the record to recognize the contributions of my friends and colleagues who planted the seeds for a lot of what you liked in Uncaged.


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1. Yes.

2. Yes.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. To be honest, I never intended Kylie to be the literal daughter of Shemeshka. I figured it was part of a scheme or mind game.

And A'kin has a bit of Garak in him (from Deep Space Nine, one of the best shows on TV at the time), so at any point he can be as friendly or as devious as the DM needs him to be. I think in Faction War we fingered him as the brains behind The Factol's Manifesto, which of course called that book's veracity into question.

- Ray

P.S. Someone else here gave me the title "factol." I would not presume to claim such an honor.


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Q: Berk

A: I myself am not above berking things up ("berk it up" is how we'd often refer to the need to rewrite ordinary text to fill it with cant). But of course the cant comes from old real-world slang, so "berk" is a word that predates Planescape by quite a bit:

Q: Coliseum Morpheon and Faces of the Tarnished Souk

I know *of* those products (in that I know they exist), but I haven't read them. Of the authors, the only one I know is Clinton Boomer, who can write the hell out of a page. I've only seen bits of RPG work from him, but I love his first novel, The Hole Behind Midnight.

Q: why was planescape set up in a fashion to encourage edition warring? Was it a mistake or oversight or something done for legal reasons?

A: I'm honestly not sure what you mean. Planescape had already been created by the time I joined TSR in 1994 (the boxed set had just come out), so I wasn't part of the mix that made it. If you're referring to the "smarter-than-thou" attitude that other commenters in his thread have mentioned, that was intentional within the setting (showing PCs that the world was much bigger than they thought), but we didn't want *players* to feel like they were being talked down to -- more like they were part of a cool club. Obviously, Planescape was a 2e setting that didn't make the jump to 3e, so no edition warring was intended. Also, the web is full of interviews with Zeb Cook and others about the origins of Planescape. Here's one now:

Q: Why the magic saturation? Was that likewise intentional or did it just happen?

A: We wanted to give the denizens of the planes access to all sorts of crazy stuff to make the game more fun, and likewise PCs often needed more power to hold their own on the planes. Really, we also limited magic in that items could lose their bonuses as they travel away from their home planes, not to mention clerics traveling away from their deities. But I was never a big crunchy rules guy, so I may not be the best person to answer this question.

Q: What are your thoughts on the paizo Era take on planescape back in dungeon magazine?

A: I saw some things here and there, but I didn't pay a lot of attention to the magazines back then. Sorry. I loved that the planes were so wide open that writers could pretty much do whatever they wanted.

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Sure, I'm always happy to talk about Planescape, though I can't promise I'll remember details about everything. And hopefully I won't have to plead the fifth amendment.

That WOULD be cool. Hey, if Twin Peaks can come back 25 years later, surely it's time for Planescape.

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Hey, folks! A friend just pointed me here, so sorry for rekindling an older thread.

I just wanted to point out that when we did Faction War and broke all the toys, we fully intended to follow it up with another big adventure that put some of them back together. But that never came to pass because the Planescape line was sadly canceled.

So we didn't intend to destroy everything and then walk away going "Nyah nyah!" even if that's what it seems like. ;)

- Ray

P.S. Thanks for the Uncaged love. I'm glad to hear people still like that book, all these years later.

cannon fodder wrote:
lolz, Colin, SKR and Ray look like a creature advancement table. XD

Is it weird to laugh at a joke five months late? If not, then: ha! (Hey, I only just saw it. And yes, it's true. I have a lot more HD than Colin does, but he can probably run faster than me.)