Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms - Excerpts: Money Matters

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Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms 
Excerpts: Money Matters

By D&D Team

In today's look inside Ed Greenwood Presents: Elminster's Forgotten Realms, we continue with Chapter 4: Money Matters. In the words of the sage Calathra 'Lady Coinmaster' Mralahard of Athkatla, "Flows of coins are like the pumping blood of dragons -- where they are hot and thick, life is vigorous, but where they are cold and few, life is feeble."

Talk about this excerpt here.

so, its just a realms sourcebook, not an inside look at ed's home game as advertised?
I like the preview text a lot, I think D&D needs more books with this type of information. They are headed in a good direction with this for the future.

But I must say, the art is a put off for me.

Starting with the cover. Not that the illustration is bad itself, but not the right illustration for this cover. A big Troll fighting a jumping guy in a quasi superhero type of pose have nothing to do with the book´s theme.

the Troll's hands and feet creates a tangent with the page borders that are very annoying, It would benefit of a larger clear area around the characters for a clean cover. I can´t believe they approved the cover with this problem.

I dislike the interior illustration and the design, the page borders almost in 3E fashion. If they are going in this direction with next it´s going to be a mess. 4E get some horrible illustrations, some great, but the interior design was awesome because it was clean, 2E too. I think those elements are rather disturbing, and better let go. The illustration is over saturated, over bright, over detailed.

i know this is not an art tread, but oh boy...
Over on Candlekeep Brian R. James said it changed plans along the way:

Brian R. James: As described to me a year back, the book was supposed to be the Forgotten Realms as it exists in Ed's original home campaign. Clearly, that changed at some point to reflect an edition-neutral stance.

Not that the book is bad. It's fantastic. 

I was just hoping to see obscure old school Realmslore like Ed's original Moonshae Isles or Tyche being the goddess of luck (instead of Tymora/Beshaba). That sort of thing.

kind of like when they changed undermountain from a box all of a sudden. those changes kept me from buying either product
Over at Candlekeep Ed Greenwood (throught The Hooded One) explained further the changes to the book:

Ed Greenwood: I had a lot of fun working on this book, though the project had the usual too short a time to generate too many words, then a hiccup where it was shortened to 160 pages . . . and then it expanded to 192 pages again.
All of which complicated the captions a little. :}
Here's the thing: part of writing a game book for Wizards is generating an art order. Usually with editorial direction as to how much art, "line style" preferences as to size of art, how many must be previously published (if any) versus brand-new, and so on.
Because of the shifting length of the book, and its gorgeous (but developing, after I'd made the art order deadline) layout and design, the number of pieces of art (and the length that would fit of their captions) kept changing.
So, yes, I wrote almost all of the captions, several times, and Kim Mohan (the veteran editor who first "hired" me as a Contributing Editor for DRAGON, all those years ago) had to prune and rewrite some of them, or work with me on doing so to some of them.
Some of the captions went with existing art ("pick up" this art piece from a DDI article or a previously-published D&D® sourcebook), but most of them went with new art (which if they were header pieces, lost their captions so the explanation for this or that scene had to be worked into the text of the section the header went with). It was all great fun, except for the keeping the captions short part. You see, I didn't want to write smart aleck captions as much as I wanted to shoehorn new lore into those captions - - but there just wasn't space. The first drafts of the captions usually had both, in a "long" version and a short version (that itself usually turned out to be too long). :}
Here's fervently hoping that I get to write a LOT of these. There's so much more of the Realms I want to show everyone.
And I'm sorry that what most gamers got told would be in the book wasn't what someone else had already approved as the contents. With that change in length happening in the middle of the writing. But . . . life happens.
Here's the next thing: there's no way I can ever "show you my campaign" in a sourcebook. The book would have to be about 7000 pages long, for one thing, and for another: my superb players choose where their characters will go and what their characters will do, and I just keep the subplots swirling around them (and some of those subplots stretch for literal decades, while others are petty little things that if put into a book would irk some gamers ).
What I can do is describe the aims and interests of various power groups, large and small, and some of the larger-scope unfolding subplots . . . and I hope I get the opportunity to do so, if not in another sourcebook, then in webcolumns. Believe me, I would LOVE to do more of these. Except for the "icky feel" cover, I am just delighted with how this turned out (although OF COURSE I would like it to have head more pages), and itch to write more, more, more of them.
However, that will only happen if enough gamers buy, buy, buy copies of the book, earning much revenue for Wizards. So (ahem), if you know anyone who likes to have a copy of a book for each room in their house . .

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