5e Forgotten Realms spoilers

103 posts / 0 new
Last post
From EN World's 5e compilation: "The Forgotten Realms will be supported from the start, and a video game art studio from China has been hired to fully detail the Realms. We asked if going forward support would be continued for the current time after the Spellplague and the Neverwinter Campaign. A WotC spokesperson answered, "The Forgotten Realms has a rich history and we will support all of it. It is for the gamers to decide which time they would enjoy playing in." That would allow Wizards to take advantage of a massive back catalog of products."
---
"We know there are things that people like and dislike about different timelines in the various settings. If there's information that's part of the canon, it still happened. We won't tell people in what time period to play in."

From the New product seminar: "We have Elminster's Forgotten Realms in Quarter 4. We basically went to Ed and said hey, why don't you take all your campaign notes, all the information you've been putting together for your FR campaign and lets compile it into a book. Show us the realms as you've developed it in your campaign setting and lets get that to everybody. It's our celebration of the Forgotten Realms and pulling back the curtain to show you what the designer of the campaign setting has done."
---
"Is Ed's Forgotten Realms edition neutral? It focuses on his specific campaign, so his individual stories might mention mechanics from different editions, the stories and lore should apply to all editions. "
---
"Ed's Forgotten Realms system neutral? As system neutral as possible."
---
"Resetting of timelines for the Realms? I can't give a specific answer to that. We know there are things that people like and dislike about different timelines in the various settings. If there's information that's part of the canon, it still happened. We won't tell people in what time period to play in. We want to support all timelines of all settings going forward."

2/17/2012 update: The Lords of Waterdeep boardgame appears to be set in the pre-spellplague setting. It uses the old Waterdeep lords instead of the new ones.

Also, the recent Cormyr Royale article provided support for both pre and post-spellplague, and the author's subsequent Cormyr article is intended to be period independant.
That's the best answer they could give imo.
I don't like the idea of some video game company from China getting to "fully detail the Realms".  Part of the problems with recent Realms and DnD in general is that the art has gotten way too modern and aggressive.  Lots of us grew up with a more classic style of DnD art that had lots of romantic flavor to it and felt more adult.  Late 3E and all of 4E carry this simple color pallet type of art that just feels like it is targeting 18yo's.  Granted I have not seen any of the work from this studio.  So I can't judge it yet, I'm just concerned. 
That's the thing with art, is that everyone has different tastes. For me, I wasn't a big fan of the older art. The stuff we saw on Everquests boxes or the older Realms novels. I'm not going to say all the 3E and 4E art is great, because it certainly isn't. I just think they need to grab a lot of artists from a lot of places and make it diverse. To be honest, I've found a lot of the Magic: The Gathering art to be better than the stuff they put in D&D books with 4E. There are a few cover artists (Todd Lockwood and Raymond Swanland) that I absolutley adored and I hope they do more stuff with those guys.
I think I would be happy if they just toned down some of the aggressive, everyone is a baddass art that they tend to use.  I mean, I know that most PC's are weapon weilding, spell throwing death machines.  But I don't think it reflects a well roleplayed game where some characters might be meek and some might be peaceful but forced into violence, while some are just cold blooded killers.  Maybe more nuiance to the art subject.  I also want to see more realistic weapons and armor.  Let the unrealistic swords and warhammers to WoW and Final Fantasy.
I really couldn't care less about the art.  I care about the lore, the story.  As long as that's right, they can put in whatever horrible art they want.
Lore is important, but art does play a part in giving an evocative and quick view of the setting.

One of my problems with the 3E art was the unbalanced focus on NPCs, just the NPCs in a pose with faded minimal background or no background at all. This helped reinforce the notion that the setting only cared about its own big names when that wasn't remotely the case, but the art didn't help (as lovely as those portraits were, especially Todd Lockwood's work for the 3E FRCS).

They could have shown the NPCs interacting with their surroundings and environment more. Show the characters in their setting, or just focus on the setting scenes.
I don't like the idea of some video game company from China getting to "fully detail the Realms".

I figured it'd be kinda like this

Part of the problems with recent Realms and DnD in general is that the art has gotten way too modern and aggressive.  Lots of us grew up with a more classic style of DnD art that had lots of romantic flavor to it and felt more adult.

The does not seem like a valid arguement for WotC to not create newer art. fwiw: WotC actually has made efforts to be inclusive of classic (retro) D&D artwork in many of their recent products. But that's an exception rather than an industry norm.

I think I would be happy if they just toned down some of the aggressive, everyone is a baddass art that they tend to use

From EN World's 5e compilation:
 "...in the last two editions if you look at the art, I think you'll see a lot of characters that look like super heroes. They all look like they've been to the gym recently, they don't have backpacks for traveling through the dungeon - the guys are well shaven. In our recent art we've added a more diverse, modular approach - you've got people that look vastly different. You'll have the halfling who's a bit overweight with some food stains on his clothes along side the more heroic look dashing sort." - Jeremy Crawford
Most of its pretty encouraging actually... I'd have to agree with crzyhawk on it, it is the best answer they could have given.

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

I'm with Stigger on this one, considering all of the routes that they could be taking, this is probably the one that is least likely to result in disaster.

Attempt to provide an inclusive product that will, hopefully, appeal to the players of all editions without directly contrdicting any of the extant lore that people may be making use of? Yeah, I can see the logic in that.

As for the art, while I do agree that things have gotten a little more youthful in their outlook, suggesting that WotC not take advantage of the current trends in fantasy art (and it reallt isn't just them doing this) is like suggesting that the art that we grew up with (80s in my case) should only have reflected that which existed 2 decades earlier (limit themselves to 50s to 60s fantasy art... really?). They didn't limit themselves from taking advantage of the current trends then. Why would we expect them to do it now?

Ed's book, remains of interest to me even if it isn't canonical, first of all just to see what the man himself actually did with the setting, but also to get campaign ideas (that must have had at least some degree of success when he used them). I am looking forward to it with bated wallet.

My approach to the NPCs of previous editions.

Show
I always saw the High Level NPCs as shepherds of the Realms not its defenders. Making sure that not too many sheep were lost as they milled around (as they are wont to do) and bringing on the young'uns into the job. In that way a shepherd never has time to go and hunt down all of the wolves but is pretty dashed effective at keeping them away from the sheep when they rear their heads.
"It was a puzzle why things were always dragged kicking and screaming. No one ever seemed to want to, for example, lead them gently by the hand." - Terry Pratchett
Glad to hear they're not going to break with established lore.
The Spellplague was heart wrenching, I lived to see my favorite aspect of Fantasy murdered before me and I was powerless to stop it.

Please 5e, please just say it never happened. If you do I will buy every book you publish.

Just no more Spellplague...no more... 
Yes, I do regret my Forum Name...Tech N9ne is clearly the best rapper of all time. I am currently looking to get in on a Real Adventures PbP game. PM me if you are looking for another PC.
Separate universes are the only solution.

To kill the Realms? I wouldn't call it the only solution, but it would definately work to kill them for me

Separate universes are the only solution.

To kill the Realms? I wouldn't call it the only solution, but it would definately work to kill them for me




This, retcons are evil.  With all timelines supported, you can just set your games in the past where things are the way you want it.  I fail to see the problem?
Retcons are a necessary evil.

Retcon = Evil
Spellplague = Abomination 
Yes, I do regret my Forum Name...Tech N9ne is clearly the best rapper of all time. I am currently looking to get in on a Real Adventures PbP game. PM me if you are looking for another PC.
The problem is that if I do not want anything to do with the Spellplague, it will still be forced on me.

I believe their intent is to allow for campaigns in any time period. And considering that more fluff books were published between Time-o'-Troubles and Spellplague than for any other setting (in numbers unlikely to ever occur again), it seems like you're already the big winner.

fwiw: I know older players that similarly objected to time of troubles. And me... well, for over two decades I objected merely to the very presence of the Faerun at all, feeling that it was a new-fangled blasphemy to AD&D's traditional Greyhawk setting. At every turn I felt that this new setting was being forced upon me, while my old setting was effectively abandoned.
Not quite the same. FR wasn't the only setting put out by TSR. The other settings diverged in tone, though Mystara and Dragonlance tread similar tropes and territory if you're "blaming" FR for filling the same niche. The generic points-of-light setting for 4E could be blamed just as much since it displaced Greyhawk as the core setting, however minimally 3e actually used GH. Grant LFR did take LGH's spot, but that's just one section of one edition.

The comparable situation is Dragonlance 5th age (Spellplague and 4E FR has many similarities with that DL shake-up) or maybe the Greyhawk Wars (probably not even close to the scale of the Spellplague and 4E transition, but my Greyhawk knowledge is cursory at best).
The problem is that if I do not want anything to do with the Spellplague, it will still be forced on me. The time line won't change and I'll have to deal with all the pre-spellplague ...

Who's going to "force" the Spellplague on you?

I really don't think WotC has the resources to hire Canon Police to make sure your game conforms. ;)

If you don't want anything to do with the Spellplague, why not just don't have anything to do with it?



then how will the novels be done post plague if there are two dimensions??



I dis the time jump more than the plague, but I dislike them      
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
It will be forced on me if I want my game to be canon. By canon the Spellplague will happen/has happened. I am not interested by it. Solution, two Realms.



Well yes. That is what having a canon game means. By choosing to have a canon game you are implicity saying "I will accept the FR as they are", what you seem to be arguing for is the "I will accept the FR as they are... except for the bits I don't like" which is the very definition of a non-canon game. Expecting canon to take the shape you want it to just so that you can continue to call your game canon suggests that you don't put much value in what other people, and other groups might want out of the setting. You are, of course, welcome to that view should you wish to continue in it.

You may even refer back to your claim that:

The Spellplague is detested by so many people keeping it together will finish the FR.



Though I would put money on the fact that you have little in the way of hard evidence to support that assertion. Forums are famously useless for gauging this kind of feeling, because those who enjoy the direction this are taking are most likely to just get on with enjoying it, and it is primarily those who dislike what is going on that are more likely to post their views (often and loudly). And if that isn't the very definition of a skewed sample then I really don't know what is... and I do know what is.

One for those who want the Spellplagueless canon and another for those who want the Spellplague canon. MArket will decide if both merite to be supported.



Let's explore this for a moment, shall we?

1) WotC is a business.
2) This means that they like money (as does Hasbro).
3) The more money, the better, yes?
4) What that means is that if they have the chance to make more money, and they know or have evidence that it will make more money they are likely to take it. Yes?

So on that basis, what logical reason would they have for putting out a single product that they would expect to sell to fewer people, if two products would make more money?

Or, turning it on its head, why create two products, one of which may tank, to sell to a split market when you can produce a single product that attempts to cater to both? There is, probably, less in the way of production costs for a single product, and even if all of both groups don't buy it, even if they lose people like you and me, if they are likely to make more money doing it this way then isn't that the way that they will do it?

The bottom line is that what you or I would like to see happen (a spellplagueless universe with split product lines) is about as likely to occur, in practical terms, as cheese-rolling becoming an olympic sport. Call for it? Feel free! Debate it? Go ahead! Expect it? Oh heck no.

My approach to the NPCs of previous editions.

Show
I always saw the High Level NPCs as shepherds of the Realms not its defenders. Making sure that not too many sheep were lost as they milled around (as they are wont to do) and bringing on the young'uns into the job. In that way a shepherd never has time to go and hunt down all of the wolves but is pretty dashed effective at keeping them away from the sheep when they rear their heads.
"It was a puzzle why things were always dragged kicking and screaming. No one ever seemed to want to, for example, lead them gently by the hand." - Terry Pratchett
The problem is that if I do not want anything to do with the Spellplague, it will still be forced on me. The time line won't change and I'll have to deal with all the pre-spellplague ...

Who's going to "force" the Spellplague on you?

I really don't think WotC has the resources to hire Canon Police to make sure your game conforms. ;)

If you don't want anything to do with the Spellplague, why not just don't have anything to do with it?






It will be forced on me if I want my game to be canon. By canon the Spellplague will happen/has happened. I am not interested by it. Solution, two Realms.

One for those who want the Spellplagueless canon and another for those who want the Spellplague canon. MArket will decide if both merite to be supported.

Everyone is happy!



Nobody is happy.  Breaking the lore with a retcon is the worst possible thing they could do.  No, keeping the spellplague won't spell the end of the realms.  Most people who don't like it (such as myself) will get over it and continue playing in their favorite campaign setting.
Nobody is happy.  Breaking the lore with a retcon is the worst possible thing they could do.  No, keeping the spellplague won't spell the end of the realms.  Most people who don't like it (such as myself) will get over it and continue playing in their favorite campaign setting.


Retcons happen all the time, that's not the issue.

What will be an issue is if they keep the Spellplague in any way.  If they simply advance the timeline and keep 4E, I am OUT.  I'm not buying spellplague-infused 4E awfulness now, why would I suddenly choose to accept that dreck?

There is no "getting over 4E" at all.  Either it is completely dumped, or I will not return as a customer.  I'm not alone in this.

WARNING: Wall of Text follows:

It will be forced on me if I want my game to be canon. By canon the Spellplague will happen/has happened. I am not interested by it. Solution, two Realms.

Practically speaking, no game is “canon”. You deviate from it more and more as time goes by in your campaign and the players become more powerful and have a proportionately larger influence on the setting.


I can understand the sentiment, however. It’s the idea of being attached to the official setting. Of having your campaign mirror as closely as possible what’s published.


This idea comes from having a fixed start time (i.e., the date in the setting most published products are set in). This forms the background you’re “in” when you start your campaign. As new novels and sourcebooks are published, so goes the background in one’s own campaign.


The problem is, not every change due to timeline advancement is in the background. With this in mind, let’s consider Tilverton.


For me this idea of keeping my D&D campaigns attached to the published Realms died about the time Tilverton was destroyed. You had this out of the way town that was the perfect jumping off point for adventures in Cormyr, Sembia, Anourach, the Dalelands/Myth Drannor and the Moonsea region…and Wizards of the Coast’s novels department gave it the axe!


Even though it was just one insignificant settlement in the wider Realms, its destruction caused people some angst because they’d been using Tilverton for several years of real life gaming. They felt like in order to stay “official” this meant they had to destroy it in their campaigns too.


I myself never set my adventures in Tilverton (though quite a few other people did, as I later came to find out), but I felt like its destruction meant I had to adjust my world view of the Realms. It also meant I (and others like me who didn’t use Tilverton) had to cross Tilverton out on all my maps.


It was then that I realized the more the timeline advanced, the more it was I needed to disassociate my personal view of what the Realms is in my D&D campaigns from what’s published.  


This idea became a lot easier to swallow when I realized it’s a major drag to be constantly re-writing Realms history and resolving inconsistencies between sourcebooks for parts of the world my players will never, ever visit, just for the privilege of being “up to date” with the published Realms.


Likewise when I realized what the Realms “is” at the gaming table is always just a sliver of the vastness of the Forgotten Realms as a whole. At the gaming table you only ever focus on very small parts of the game world. The majority of what happens (and what’s important) is what the players do through their characters.


Speaking of players: they just don’t care about the whole setting. What they care about is their characters. After that, players look to their DM for what the Realms is. They don’t look to the sourcebooks or novels first.


And if they don’t look to the sourcebooks first, then why should I?


To me, keeping up with the Realms in its entirety is a huge drag on the most important resource I have as a Dungeon Master: time. It’s an 8 hour a day job and I just don’t have time for that if I want to eat and maybe pay rent consecutive months out of the year.


Make no mistake: I love the Realms in its entirety, warts and all, but I realized twelve years ago that my Realms campaigns became the best they’ve ever been after I stopped worrying how closely they matched the published campaign setting.


RM, unless your campaign is within spitting distance of the year the Spellplague goes off, I don’t think you have anything to worry about buddy.




Nobody is happy.  Breaking the lore with a retcon is the worst possible thing they could do.  No, keeping the spellplague won't spell the end of the realms.  Most people who don't like it (such as myself) will get over it and continue playing in their favorite campaign setting.


Retcons happen all the time, that's not the issue.

What will be an issue is if they keep the Spellplague in any way.  If they simply advance the timeline and keep 4E, I am OUT.  I'm not buying spellplague-infused 4E awfulness now, why would I suddenly choose to accept that dreck?

There is no "getting over 4E" at all.  Either it is completely dumped, or I will not return as a customer.  I'm not alone in this.




Retcons happen all the time in comic books.  I'd prefer to see my favorite setting not lower itself to that level.  if they retcon the realms, I won't be back.  See how that works?  Both of us get to speak with their wallets, and have equal votes.  Changing history should never be an option...especially because of a few stubborn people who refuse to even try to move forward.

This is why supporting all timelines makes the most sense; everyone can have the realms they way they want it.  It's just a few stubborn people who aren't willing to compromise at all that cause grief and whine "I can't play in the most recent times because it makes me sad.  My way or the highway for me!"

All I can say is, good luck on the road.

This is why supporting all timelines makes the most sense; everyone can have the realms they way they want it.  It's just a few stubborn people who aren't willing to compromise at all that cause grief and whine "I can't play in the most recent times because it makes me sad.  My way or the highway for me!"



Honestly, the only way I can see that view being valid without rebuttal is if someone's interactions with the Realms are novel/sourcebook only, because they are a slave to what is decided by WotC. That used to be me, and it was one of the reasons I took the changes so hard (and still do when I actually think about them). Now, I play in the Realms... but in a way I do so while viewing them as an entirely new setting. My knowledge of the atmosphere of Waterdeep or Suzail helps when running the games, but I personally don't regard the Playing Realms as the same as the Narrative Realms. In the former I feel more than happy dragging my players half way across Faerun to Severely Inconvenience Sea Wraithes at the bottom of Umberlee's Cache, in the latter I find myself mourning the loss of Queen Fee, Mother Laspeera, Tessaril Winter and Mreen!

I do hope that they allow novels to be set back before the Spellplague and Time Jump. I would dearly like to spend time with those characters again!

My approach to the NPCs of previous editions.

Show
I always saw the High Level NPCs as shepherds of the Realms not its defenders. Making sure that not too many sheep were lost as they milled around (as they are wont to do) and bringing on the young'uns into the job. In that way a shepherd never has time to go and hunt down all of the wolves but is pretty dashed effective at keeping them away from the sheep when they rear their heads.
"It was a puzzle why things were always dragged kicking and screaming. No one ever seemed to want to, for example, lead them gently by the hand." - Terry Pratchett
as much as enveryone detests the palgue, Ed had something called the spell storm to do in his notes.
WOTC from what I recalled had it renamed to the spell plague.


nobody likes it

so what


thje time jump caused more of the rift than the plague  did.....       
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
Actually, there are those who argue none of the Spellplague and the changes made with the 4E Realms were retcons. They were all additive elaborations on existing possibilities in the setting. The actual intent is another matter, but those concepts are meta-game and reside outside the game universe and continuity.

Take for example, Abeir-Toril. No one ever said there wasn't a separate Abeir and a Toril. No source ever said Eladrin couldn't be advanced elves or elven progenitors.

Likewise, the approach for 5E could be to undo the Spellplague in a way that is not technically a retcon.
.. in the latter I find myself mourning the loss of Queen Fee, Mother Laspeera, Tessaril Winter and Mreen!

I do hope that they allow novels to be set back before the Spellplague and Time Jump. I would dearly like to spend time with those characters again!


Have you read Cormyr Royale by Brian Cortijo from last month's Dragon (I think it was Dragon) magazine? Lots of talk about Laspeera and crew there.

Like you, I hope the novels are set in any era.

Hmmm... just not feelin' the Realms Luv in here.

Seriously though, our relationship is pretty simple with WotC.  They put out products, we either buy them or not, voting our approval or disapproval with our wallets.  If they solicit our input, we may or may not give it to them, but at the end of the day, how much impact that input has on their products is solely up to them.

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

Have you read Cormyr Royale by Brian Cortijo from last month's Dragon (I think it was Dragon) magazine? Lots of talk about Laspeera and crew there.



Yup, and I enjoyed it greatly. However, reading what is effectively an historical account of the the evolution of Comyr and her personalities is a fundamentally difference experience to being in the thick of the action in a novel or even a short story. I would like my experience of these characters to be, comparatively, more personal again. Hence my wish for novels in earlier eras!

My approach to the NPCs of previous editions.

Show
I always saw the High Level NPCs as shepherds of the Realms not its defenders. Making sure that not too many sheep were lost as they milled around (as they are wont to do) and bringing on the young'uns into the job. In that way a shepherd never has time to go and hunt down all of the wolves but is pretty dashed effective at keeping them away from the sheep when they rear their heads.
"It was a puzzle why things were always dragged kicking and screaming. No one ever seemed to want to, for example, lead them gently by the hand." - Terry Pratchett
Funny, reading that post of your there Iluvrien made me realize why I hate the novels so much... it upsets me, as a DM, when some author comes along and uses a character from some sourcebook and uses them for something I don't like, or don't think they would do, at least as far as I was thinking of them.  That was happening for a while back in the day, and no, not with the 'big' characters, I'm pretty okay with that, it was the little ones (like the one mentioned below, among others) that I seized upon that really upset me.
 
It was kinda like opening up the 3e Silver Marches book and seeing a character I loved and used all the time back in the day (Xara Tantlor in Silverymoon) suddenly become evil with an imp, instead of being good with a faerie dragon.  It just ruined the whole book for me really, or at least the cities section.  Just totally rewrote wholecloth entire sections of a previous campaign... and what really pissed me off was that the imp couldn't even get into the city with the Mythal present in the first place!

I realize that its a bit irrational, and probably unreasonable, but I'm okay with that.

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

I think the best possibly solution is to maintain all the current Canon as is and slowly delve into the far past (pre-ToT), the recent past (pre-plague), and future (post-plague). Notice I didn't say current....because there isn't one. The current timeline is where you (the player and DM) set the game at. And hopefully there will be information that fits near or around that time. If it's in the 1385 DR and you stop the Spellplague, awesome! You don't have to pay attention to Xpage of the 5E-FRCS or if you love playing in the 1481 DR, then you can vaguly go over or skip Xpage of the 5E-FRCS. If you like both and like jumping back and forth amongst campaigns or even in the same campaign.....well the whole book is yours for the using. 

 
One the great element of the FR was that time passed in the setting. This won't happen. Time will pass and boom, Spellplague. Inevitable. 

The Spellplague is detested by so many people keeping it together will finish the FR.


Unless they just freeze the FR. Which again is not a solution. I want a evolving FR that doesn't evolve toward the Spellplague. Two universe is the only solution.


On of the great elements of the FR was that time passe in the setting and stayed passed.

Start one retcon and you open the can of worms forver. Why should anyone bother for the passing time if the damocles sword of it being possibly retconned at any time has been hung up?



 

It will be forced on me if I want my game to be canon. By canon the Spellplague will happen/has happened. I am not interested by it. Solution, two Realms.

One for those who want the Spellplagueless canon and another for those who want the Spellplague canon. MArket will decide if both merite to be supported.

Everyone is happy!
That is the worst solution. Not only starts with two dimension (destroying One Story, One Canon, One Realms) but then also leads to one being ret-conned out of existence.

 

Retcons happen all the time, that's not the issue.

For many people it is and they simply do not follow things where ret-cons happen.

 

Consider it like two different settings. Different settings increase porduction costs, but also bring in money.

Once upon a time a might red dragon called TSR thought the same ....

 

The designers saying vaguely they'll support all time lines instead of saying we will continue with post-spellplague only.


However they said the following:


On timelines: "I can't give a specific answer to that. We know there are things that people like and dislike about different timelines in the various settings. [u]If there's information that's part of the canon, it still happened.[/u] We won't tell people in what time period to play

Funny, reading that post of your there Iluvrien made me realize why I hate the novels so much... it upsets me, as a DM, when some author comes along and uses a character from some sourcebook and uses them for something I don't like, or don't think they would do, at least as far as I was thinking of them.  That was happening for a while back in the day, and no, not with the 'big' characters, I'm pretty okay with that, it was the little ones (like the one mentioned below, among others) that I seized upon that really upset me.



I can complete understand your feelings on that score, Stigger, I get exactly the same feeling when confronted with different authors' take on the same character. One of the most egregious examples of this has always been the portral of several characters in the Avatar trilogy (Storm, Jhessail Silvertree and Mystra being the worst, if memory serves). I thought character assassination was only a problem in the real world!
 
It was kinda like opening up the 3e Silver Marches book and seeing a character I loved and used all the time back in the day (Xara Tantlor in Silverymoon) suddenly become evil with an imp, instead of being good with a faerie dragon.  It just ruined the whole book for me really, or at least the cities section.  Just totally rewrote wholecloth entire sections of a previous campaign... and what really pissed me off was that the imp couldn't even get into the city with the Mythal present in the first place!



But you see, this is yet another reason why I find it interesting that people either claim to run or even want to run "canon campaigns", unless there is already an degree of uncertainty in that tag.

1) First of all, it assumes an encyclopedic knowledge of all canon material published for that location/character/organisation, otherwise how do you know exactly what the canonical description of that place/object/person is? And since because the "unless otherwise contradicted" agreement with Ed has not, as far as I know, been repealed does that not also include So Saith Ed as well? Anyone who can compile that much information across that many sources before starting a campaign has my respect!

2) With respect to what you describe above, unless you only use canonical information, (i.e. you do not include any detail that is of your own devising to fill in an undescribed npc, location or whatever) any campaign that is continuous for any length of time runs the risk that any future product produced at any time may contradict details that you have created (or even a change that was introduced through timeline advancement that you didn't include), either through the effect of a novel or sourcebook or any other canonical source.

On which basis it is my honest belief that either people use "canonical campaign" with the rider "to the best of my knowledge" or accept that no campaign will remain canonical for very long (unless they have far more predictable players than my lot who are aware of the well-detailed areas and stick to them, or if the setting is at that point unlikely to see further products that may contradict the information you have provided). How, in either of those cases, can people then be unhappy about the Realms that they play in not reflecting the canon Realms since it is unlikely that it has ever done so perfectly?

I realize that its a bit irrational, and probably unreasonable, but I'm okay with that.



Nah, it was a good point well made, sir!

...I just hope I don't come off as even more crazy ;).

My approach to the NPCs of previous editions.

Show
I always saw the High Level NPCs as shepherds of the Realms not its defenders. Making sure that not too many sheep were lost as they milled around (as they are wont to do) and bringing on the young'uns into the job. In that way a shepherd never has time to go and hunt down all of the wolves but is pretty dashed effective at keeping them away from the sheep when they rear their heads.
"It was a puzzle why things were always dragged kicking and screaming. No one ever seemed to want to, for example, lead them gently by the hand." - Terry Pratchett
Heh, I didn't get upset about the canonical changes, that I can (and usually do, ignoring the existance of Shade and reborn Netheril entirely, for example) happily ignore.  For me, it wasn't the canon getting it wrong or changing, it was the feel of the setting that upset me, the slowly, but perceptible moving of it steadily towards this darkly grim place that I stopped recognizing after a while.  To me, this meant that sourcebooks became less and less relavent to me, since thematically, they largely stopped being even useful as sources for ideas, since they deviated so far from my concept and thematic choices for the Realms.  Sure, technically there were still ideas in there that could be of some use, but the larger themes tended to turn me off of them.

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

Just give me back the unreliable narrator!

Not this everything set in stone crap.





HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

Separate universes are the only solution.

To kill the Realms? I wouldn't call it the only solution, but it would definately work to kill them for me




This. A retcon would be to FR what the Death and Return of Superman was to comic books.


Frak that. As much as I like some of the stories surrounding that whole mess, it was absolutely terrible.


The Spellplague happened. It's part of the lore now. Really great work has been done in the 4e era, as well. The Eye On The Realms articles and Backdrop: X articles have been fantastic, not to mention some of the novels.

You (the general "you", not the person I quoted above, obviously) want those of us who have campaigns, characters and even fiction inspired and informed by those articles and stories to lose the last four years of work because you can't handle your realms being tainted by the existence of an element of the lore that you can completely ignore in your campaigns? That's just awesome. Way to go. I'm going to go over *here* and play the game I want to play, without trying to scream the company into catering to me exclusively.


Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
I don't like the idea of some video game company from China getting to "fully detail the Realms".  Part of the problems with recent Realms and DnD in general is that the art has gotten way too modern and aggressive.  Lots of us grew up with a more classic style of DnD art that had lots of romantic flavor to it and felt more adult.  Late 3E and all of 4E carry this simple color pallet type of art that just feels like it is targeting 18yo's.  Granted I have not seen any of the work from this studio.  So I can't judge it yet, I'm just concerned. 



See, and for me, the majority of the old art was boring, even when I was a kid playing from books and boxes using that art. I would have prefered some DiTerlizzi style stuff, for instance. As much as my nastolgia thinks of the cover of the box for HeroQuest (my introduction to RPGs, from which I immediately moved to DnD) with great fondness, I don't actually think of that art as all that compelling if I disregard that nastolgia.


And I want the art to be the kind of thing I can look at, and judge positively, with or without any kind of nastolgia or similar bias.


But then, I'm a strong anti-traditionalist. I am immediately skeptical of nastolgia, or traditionalism*, in myself or others. Because of that, I don't expect my views on this to be anywhere near universal.


*I really, really dislike traditionalism. Traditions can be fine, so long as they're still around because they are still relevant and useful, but I hate seeing something stick around because it's a tradition. As with pretty much everything, I recognize that people vary, and I'm not about to try to claim that my POV is inherently superior to other peoples'.


Anyway, I think that to some extent, DnD is going to have to have some amount of modernity in it's art. It did back in the day, and it always has since then. But there have been comments that designers want to see more "realistic", less "comic book-ish" art going forward, so modernity will be tempered by that desire.

Which is fine. Reynolds isn't all that far from that, for me. Sure, his Eberron and PF art are high action for the most part, but I expect DnD art to show adventurers adventuring. If you take his art, decrease the "Dungeon Punk" aspects (mostly the crap ton of things being carried by characters), make what gear they are carrying make sense, and maybe ask him to try out a little less sharp lines, etc (basically, change it by maybe 20% or so), you have what I would call a really good balance between modern style, realistic/toned down....tone and the kind of action that makes us want to play the character's being depicted.


On the other hand, I want to see fantastic things. I, like many DnD players, am not here to play in a gritty medieval europe-esque world where everyone is dirty and illiterate and all the gear is practical and there are no floating cities. That should be represented, but so should Sharn.


some stuff
 This is a good example. No one looks unrealistic, cartoonish or comic book-ish, but they do look cool.

I love bearded axes. That aside for the moment, this pic is great. She should be one of the pics for the Vryoloka race. i don't know who this artist is, but they should be hired.
Just another cool shot of someone who is clearly ready to get things done, using realistic gear, etc. ANd I like the art style. I want to play this character.

Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
On of the great elements of the FR was that time passe in the setting and stayed passed.

Start one retcon and you open the can of worms forver. Why should anyone bother for the passing time if the damocles sword of it being possibly retconned at any time has been hung up?


 



This. Basically, in a few years we'd be saying this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PlwDbSYicM
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
On of the great elements of the FR was that time passe in the setting and stayed passed.

Start one retcon and you open the can of worms forver. Why should anyone bother for the passing time if the damocles sword of it being possibly retconned at any time has been hung up?


 



This. Basically, in a few years we'd be saying this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PlwDbSYicM






that video = lame 

a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
Never would expect WotC to retcon the Spellplague away. It would be a move with too much uncertainty attached, and WotC probably doesn't need that right now. I would like to see it reduced in scope and scale. Since we don't know overly much about it and some of the effects could be ongoing, this can be done without causing massive disruptions like its initial arrival/occurrance.

I'm just tired of big RSEs, especially ones that junk whole regions. It's easy to destroy a region and turn it into an ill-defined wasteland. You take the existing area, all settlements become ruins, terrain might have some hazards, populate with themed monsters, there you go. It's harder to build a region, especially with 100 years to account for. Sure I do this for fun, but if I have to do it, what am I buying from WotC?

I would like to see some of the old elements brought back for 5E into the 1480s+ Realms. Some of the lost regions and nations (if Netheril and Imaskar can return, it should be trivial for some of the Spellplagued lands). I wouldn't mind a few more cameos by established pre-4E FR characters, not so much the big names like Drizzt, Entreri or Elminsters, but some second tier characters to show some continuity, that not everyone disappeared in the previous century. Some of the characters can be represented by descendants, play up this aspect more. I want the century to feel less blank and grim, show the rebuilding process from a thematically less drastic Spellplague start earlier and the results come to fruition sooner.

Keep the Spellplague, keep the century jump, but tone down the significance of those steps and put the Realms back as much as possible as they were.