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Month Index: November, 1994

From:     Greg Stone <gxs@orville.oeb>
Date:     Thu, 10 Nov 1994 15:56:13 PST
Subject:  Re: Nilespace/Pharaohspace - Anyone interested?
Hi Jammers,

Hans van Dongen and I have exchanged some ideas (mostly Hans) on an
Egyptian setting for a sphere.  I suggested that they be posted to the
list as someone else maybe interested, particularly the Netbook boys.
As my group is almost finished in Pharaohspace and Hans has to translate
his notes from Dutch for the rest of us I thought I would see if anyone
was actually interested before doing any more work.
So if anyone is interested please let us know and please feel free to
add to or suggest any changes.  I no-one interested I guess we can turn
our efforts to something else.

All credit for Nilespace should go to Hans van Dongen, Erik Timmers and
Rob Goedemans. The little bits between (Pharaohspace) are mine I guess

Below is our conversation so far.  Some of it has already appeared in the list, sorry if this annoys anyone.

 - GregS


From: gxs@orville.oeb (Greg Stone)
To: VDONGEN@??????.??????????.nl
Subject: Re: Nilespace

>Hi there,

Hello to you and everyone else,

>From: rjp3@???????.edu (Richard J. Pugh)

>In one of my campaigns we have Nilespace, a sphere reigned by Egyptian

This is really interesting as I am currently running an Egyptian sphere
myself called Pharaoh space.

>               Furthermore, we have some great Egyptian things like a sun
>going down into a planet, crossing the Night Nile (the underworld) and
>each kingdom has its own moon (like it has its own crown , for those who know
>about Egyptian mythology).

I would really like to hear more about your sphere.  I was unable to
find much information at the local library so most of my campaign is based
on limited knowledge.
Some things that I use are the idea of a giant dung beetle who walks around
the inside of the sphere pushing the sun.  Also to simulate the underworld
I have a plane across the center of the sphere dividing it in half.  The
top half is for the living and anyone can enter into it through portals in
the crystal sphere.  The bottom half is the underworld.  There are no
portals in the sphere for this half so you can only enter from the top half.
Although doing so will kill the character.
Although dead the character can act as normal in the underworld and may not
even know his fate.  To get back to the world of the living so to speak
requires the resurrection of the character, if not available he/she is stuck
in the underworld.  I haven't figured out what's there yet but I don't think
the characters will be bored }:>

>This is all the divine Thot had to say...
>serving him as best as he can, Qrefcit, priest of Thot

..and very tasty too!

 - GregS	Too new to this to have a sig. yet.
		How about "Nile.  Just do it!"
email: G.Stone@???.???.au


From: VDONGEN@??????.??????????.nl
Subject: Nilespace
To: G.Stone@???.???.au
Message-Id: <01HIXKNP18W28WWIFI@??????.??????????.nl>
X-Envelope-To: G.Stone@???.???.au
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Hi Greg,

I'll send you more info about Nilespace as soon as I have time,
probably sometime next week. Thanks for your reply, by the way...

Qrefcit, priest of Thot (I still believe Thot created it all, not Ptah)
(Hans van Dongen)


From: VDONGEN@??????.??????????.nl
Subject: Nilespace
To: G.Stone@???.???.au
Message-Id: <01HJ6YJUTASI8WX3SI@??????.??????????.nl>
X-Envelope-To: G.Stone@???.???.au
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Hi Greg, here is the info about Nilespace that you asked for.

Nilespace, an Egyptian crystal sphere

Nilespace is a crystal sphere consisting of planets orbiting in space. The
crystal shell is black on the inside. Light-emitting stars are in it, some of
them moving (called wanderers). Special features are:

I.   Most of the habitable earth bodies are small (size A, B en C).
II.  These bodies orbit around the axis of the system, but the orbits are
     small and the orbital planes are not through the central body but
     parallel to each other. The axis, and the bodies moving perpendicular
     and close to it, form a kind of cylinder called the Nile.
III. The center of the crystal sphere is a large (size E) earth body, called
IV.  There are two fire bodies (suns). Both have an orbit that leads them
     through Ra. If the first sun is inside the planet (a route called the
     Night-Nile) then the other is outside of it. The first sun lights one
     side of Ra, the second sun the other side. Furthermore, the other earth
     bodies always receive light from one of the suns, and are dependent of
     their own rotation to create day-night cycles.
V.   The biggest part of the sphere, starting at the orbit of the outmost
     planet (half total radius) up to the crystal shell, is filled with
     Desert Sargasso. Only the Nile (cylinder) is free from Desert Sargasso.
     From the Desert Sargasso the Nile can be seen as a light string in the

Desert Sargasso: Desert Sargasso makes one dry up. After 3 months in the
Desert Sargasso, no water will be left at all. Furthermore, the use of magic
in general and spelljamming in particular costs a lot of water (spelljamming:
1 ton cargo per day; magic: 2 gallon per spell level). This water is not lost,
however; the Desert Sargasso feeds several sources at its inner edge.

VI.  The planets close to the axis are habitable, for water is found there,
     and the influence of the Desert Sargasso is not felt.
VII. The axis of the system has a magical property, that sages describe as the
     circulation of magical energy. It can be used for a restricted kind of
     spelljamming: Nilejamming. Nilejamming is cheaper than normal
     spelljamming. A Nilejammer Sail can be bought for 1000 monetary units
     (gold pieces, Selket in our case) and is all that's needed for
     Nilejamming. No spellcaster is needed, anyone can learn to fly a
     Nilejammer. However, Nilejamming only works in the Nile. It is slower
     (1/8 spelljammer speed towards the center, 1/4 spelljammer speed towards
     either mouth) than spelljamming. A maximum of 30 tons can be moved. No
     Nilejamming whatsoever is possible in the Desert Sargasso.

New nonweapon proficiencies:
Nilejamming (General; Dex-1; 1 slot)
Nilespace navigation (General; Int+4; 1 slot).

There are two cultures in Nilespace: Egyptian and Nubian. The Egyptian culture
holds the north of the sphere, the Nubian culture the southern part (consider
the Nile running north-south). Races and cultures from outside the crystal
sphere can be found on two planetoids, Naucratis and Alexandria.

Ra is the home planet of our PCs, it has two moons, a red one and a white
one. Each one is the symbol of one of the two Egyptian pharaos (the southern
and the northern kingdom) that are constantly at war. This is just like
in real Egypt, where the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom had a white
and a red crown (I can't remember who had which, at this moment). The moons
orbit Ra in a normal fashion, they are void worlds and have no population.
Just outside their orbits is a shell of Desert Sargasso which makes Ra hard to
reach from outside this shell.

At this very moment, the crystal sphere is rebuilding from an era in which it
was torn apart by wars and disasters. The knowledge of how to reach Ra
(Nilespace navigation, Desert Sargasso shell) has been lost; Ra is cut of from
the rest of the Nile (this has kept our campaign a groundling campaign for a
long time; only because they had to help a soon-to-be-halfgod NPC by flying
through the Night-Nile could they get a spelljamming vessel). A gnomish ship
driven by a giant spacehamster has recently reached Ra, they were the first
visitors since a long time.

Some of the planets in Nilespace are based on real places in the real Egypt.
Politically seen, there are two important planets: Memphis and Thebe. Memphis
is the crystal sphere's capital and more cosmopolitan than Thebe. Thebe is
more Egypt-like and can be called the religious capital. A planet called
Rakote is more or less independent. Naucratis is a trade center from other
crystal spheres within the Egyptian empire. Kis is the cultural capital
planet, and El Lahoen is a planet with lots of large dungeons. The Nubian part
of the sphere has yet to be designed.

What should follow now is an extensive list of planets and their features, but
I have this list only in dutch, and it's far too much to translate on a sunday
evening. If you really want these data, send me an E-mail, and I'll try to
make time for it one day.

Hope you can use some of this stuff, have fun!    Hans van Dongen


To: VDONGEN@??????.??????????.nl
Subject: Re: Nilespace

Thank you very much for the info.  I hope you didn't go to far
out of your way.

You did not post it to the list?  I 'am certain a lot of people
would be interested.  It would probably make in into the
proposed netbook.  Still, if it is private I don't want to force

One thing I have a problem with is having the demihuman and humanoid races occurring
naturally in an Eygptian setting.  Is
there any corresponding races, real or legendary in accent Egyptian culture.

Some new spelljamming ships I've come up with are:
	Sphinx Ship - same as a dragon boat
	Hyena Ship  - still on the drawing board, it will have a
 			set of jaws for crushing other ships.
			(This might become a lion ship)

I don't know if Hyenas are found in Eygpt but I made a geuss
that they would be.  I don't know that many animals that are;
crocadiles, lions(?), hipopotimus, valtures.

Thanks again for the infomation.

 - GregS

email: G.Stone@???.???.au


 From Cinetic Mail Manager V2.1 (archive)
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 1994 14:33:12 PST
Reply-To: G.Stone@???.???.au
From: gxs@orville.oeb (Greg Stone)
To: VDONGEN@??????.??????????.nl
Subject: Re: Nilespace

>From: VDONGEN@??????.??????????.nl
>Subject: Re: Nilespace
>To: G.Stone@???.???.au
>Hi Greg,
>you're right about the demihumans, as far as I know there is no legendary
>real equivalent in ancient Egypt. But this is a fantasy game, right, and
>I feel it a pity to leave them out of the game. However, we adopted a few
>new races: sphinx, werecat, and mazzik (desert elf). I have descriptions
>for you if you are interested (I'll have to send these by normal mail
>though). I could also try to find my lists of common animals, plants, food
>etc. of ancient Egypt, if you would like. Just let me know.

Don't bust a gut on my account (as we Australians would say). The characters are really only
passing through, but due to the interest I might make it a regular port.  Put it along a trade
route or have the characters open a new trade route to it.  Eygpt was fairly isolated from the
rest of the world wasn't it, so did they trade much with anyone or have anything much to
trade?  Where did all the gold come from, did they mine it them selves?

>About sending Nilespace to the list: I just never thought about it, but it
>may be a nice idea. I do hope that you still have it, then, for the mail
>I sent you was my only copy of the english version, and I erased it after
>sending it to you (I normally only need the dutch version). Could you
>please forward it to the list? Just put the names of Erik Timmers,
>Rob Goedemans, and mine under it (Erik Timmers cam up with most of the

I'll put it all together and send it in.

> If the
>netbook would become an option, then I might better start translating the
>planet-descriptions into english...

Don't get to carried away just yet.  I send it in and see what the response is.  It might be a bit
slow as everyone is tied up with the 'Groundlings with Spelljammers' thread at the moment
and I think its exam time too (fond memories of my collage days :).  But I'am sure the
netbook guys would be interested.

>Bye, Hans van Dongen

See ya,

 - GregS

email: G.Stone@???.???.au

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