A question of the realms

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So i am new to the forgotten realms setting, barring some experience from the neverwinter nights games, and I was wondering what was up with the general negativity of 4e forgotten realms? 

I've flipped through the 4e campaign book and I really don't see what the issue is.
first let me take the time to say. Welcome to the realms and the fr web forums here at wotc.


we're a loud and vocal bunch....


now, to your question.

You want to know that....

should you find a copy of the 3.x version of the campaign setting you might come closer to a formal non argumentive answer than asking us why.


okay so I'll sum it up.
spell plague
deity combinations
100 year time jump 
destruction of Halruua
deity killings  that made no sense whatsoever

loss of matzica and the old empires

wotc tring to bring in the haters of the FR(didnt work)
lousy writing styke if the 4e frcg and character guide

lousy large font used in the 4e fr books



      
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
Thank you for the welcome Smile

I can see how bad writing could cast a bad light on a setting, but I suppose my lack of familiarity is what really makes me curious as to what makes the changes that 4e made so egregious.

With such a popular setting, and from what I understand the plethora of canon material, doesn't that make the setting a little stagnant?

Again, coming from an outsiders perspective, is it that the changes were badly implemented or that the changes were more or less unnecessary?
Welcome to the Realms.

Do enjoy the 4E books you have and I mean that sincerely. Take advantage of the new setting and don't bother too much with the issues some fans have with the transition to 4E. It's really not worth your time if you're new to the setting.

Sfdragon gives a good summary for the division between the old and new versions of the setting.

To answer your questions, from my perspective as someone on the side of the previous version of the setting. I think the plethora of material was an assest that made the setting feel alive. Of course with the amount of information, there should have been a way to present it more coherently and gradually, WotC did not seem to think that was worth their effort. A fair enough decision since it's their material and property.

From my view, the changes were a bit of both, badly implemented and unnecessary. This is not to say there should never be changes in the setting, but the specific changes they choose I think not only highlighted, but exacerbated and exaggerated the problems rather than fix them, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. They were the wrong changes to implement.

In the long run, I think the changes did more to harm the setting than repair any real problem that couldn't be overcome with milder means. They could have tried something else first seeing as even the designers admit it wasn't a set of present major problems but ones they felt should be addressed using the opportunity of the 4E transition as opposed to waiting until it became too late. The designers at the time obvious felt differently than I do, but hey, it's the company's setting. My choice was simply whether to be a customer or not. I chose the latter.

Welcome to the Realms.

Do enjoy the 4E books you have and I mean that sincerely. Take advantage of the new setting and don't bother too much with the issues some fans have with the transition to 4E. It's really not worth your time if you're new to the setting.

Sfdragon gives a good summary for the division between the old and new versions of the setting.

To answer your questions, from my perspective as someone on the side of the previous version of the setting. I think the plethora of material was an assest that made the setting feel alive. Of course with the amount of information, there should have been a way to present it more coherently and gradually, WotC did not seem to think that was worth their effort. A fair enough decision since it's their material and property.

From my view, the changes were a bit of both, badly implemented and unnecessary. This is not to say there should never be changes in the setting, but the specific changes they choose I think not only highlighted, but exacerbated and exaggerated the problems rather than fix them, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. They were the wrong changes to implement.

In the long run, I think the changes did more to harm the setting than repair any real problem that couldn't be overcome with milder means. They could have tried something else first seeing as even the designers admit it wasn't a set of present major problems but ones they felt should be addressed using the opportunity of the 4E transition as opposed to waiting until it became too late. The designers at the time obvious felt differently than I do, but hey, it's the company's setting. My choice was simply whether to be a customer or not. I chose the latter.



Smile Again thanks for the welcome.

I'm new to D&D as a whole and seeing such a consensus on a subject (on the internetSurprised), I had to ask.

I can see such a stark change to the setting really putting a damper on such an established mythos. Though I must say, I like the idea of the spellplague. Not quite how it was done, but certainly for what it was trying.      

You like the Spellplauge?  Damn, now we have to tar and feather you... you seemed like such a nice person too.  Real pity there...  Guess there's no point in welcoming you then. 

Seriously though, I think my biggest problem with 4e wasn't the "Realm's Shattering Event" nature of the transition so much as it was a distinct change in the tone and themes of the setting, which honestly started in 3e and progressed darker and darker until 4e turned off the lights almost completely. 

2e, my own personal favorite period of the Realms, was almost whimsical at times, and incorporated humor and light-heartedness at times, so that despite being a place full of monsters and villainous plots, there was still a sense that it wasn't pervasive and depressing.  3e started to get a bit dimmer, and with its use of 3rd person omniscient perspectives, most of the humor and comic relief disappeared and the world started seeming grimmer and grimmer as the edition progressed.  With 4e on the horizon, that just got worse, until we ended up with a semi-post-apocalyptic setting that embraced a Points of Light approach that, while appealing to some I'm sure, wasn't my cup of tea at all.

Toss in that it got rid of some of my favorite aspects of the Realms, and it just reached a point where it was simply intolerable to me, personally.  Largely I think, for me anyway, its an accumulation of events that turned me off of the 4e Realms entirely, rather than just one thing that I couldn't abide.  Which is kinda funny, since I was really looking forward to 4e, and ended up absolutely hating the ruleset, which I honestly did not expect to... but hey, if that hadn't happened, I wouldn't have bothered looking into Mutants and Masterminds, which so far is my favorite ruleset ever, so I guess it worked out for the best in my case.

Oh, yeah, and welcome to the boards, what's left of them anyway, hope you have some fun here.  Somebody should be...

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

- Oscar Wilde

You like the Spellplauge?  Damn, now we have to tar and feather you... you seemed like such a nice person too.  Real pity there...  Guess there's no point in welcoming you then. 


 Now before I'm all tarred and feathered...

The thing I liked about the spellplague was the idea of an unnatural source of power corrupting the area around it. The issue that makes the spellplague a problem, in my opinion, is the flavor. Now if you give it a far realm type of flavor and some matching effects, viola! It then becomes a whole lot better for me.

With that said, it probably doesn't belong in forgotten realms, but I don't think the concept is quite so bad.

 2e, my own personal favorite period of the Realms, was almost whimsical at times, and incorporated humor and light-heartedness at times, so that despite being a place full of monsters and villainous plots, there was still a sense that it wasn't pervasive and depressing.  3e started to get a bit dimmer, and with its use of 3rd person omniscient perspectives, most of the humor and comic relief disappeared and the world started seeming grimmer and grimmer as the edition progressed.  With 4e on the horizon, that just got worse, until we ended up with a semi-post-apocalyptic setting that embraced a Points of Light approach that, while appealing to some I'm sure, wasn't my cup of tea at all.



Now 3e, from your description, sounds like what I'd like. I like dark and gritty and somewhat hopeless
To be honest, I dislike the notion of magic as being unnatural, especially in the Realms.  I know that isn't all that its about, but its present enough to be distasteful to me.  Add to that my hatred of all things Far Realms/Cthuluesque, and there's little to appeal to me about 4e, considering how present it is in the new incarnation.  Probably explains why I'm not a big fan of Bruce "Mr. Tentacles" Cordell.

As to dark and gritty and somewhat hopeless, it was to a certain extent, but not to the same extent that 4e is.  Heroism and hope was still very much present in it to a considerable degree, and it was much more obvious and prevalent than it is in the 4e Realms.  While that was somewhat appealing when I was in my twenties, it got much less so now that I'm nearly 40.  Life's depressingly dark and gritty and somewhat hopeless enough as it is that I want a little escapism every now and then.
 
Any way it goes though, I'm sincerely glad you find 4e appealing enough to have gotten into it, its never a bad thing when another gamer comes along.  But at this point, I'll echo previous sentiments and say that a lot of what's good and bad about previous editions and 4e is irrelevant at this point, not to mention highly subjective, and it just tends to come off as sour grapes these days.



But, having reread your original post, I see something I neglected, which I think is a good illustration of what I'm talking about with the change in tone between editions.  Having played all of the NWN series, I did find the games immensely entertaining, but they were a far stretch from what was previously established about Neverwinter in sourcebooks. 

Officially, Neverwinter was supposed to be the beacon of civilization of the North, I think even surpassing Silverymoon in a lot of respects, a place where slums largely didn't exist, where gardens were everywhere, and which followed a creed of 'follow your weird'.  Oghma was pretty big, and there were several indications that Sune's faith had a strong following there across several different sources, as did Lathander.  It was sort of a beacon of eco-minded green craftsmanship without become industrialization, to put it in a modern context, which I personally found pretty appealing.

Then along came NWN, and by extension 3e, and boy, was that out the window fast.  Sune completely disappeared, Oghma was seriously downplayed, Tyr became the big deity, and everything else just sort of faded into the background.  Okay, so Oleff Uskar ceasing to be a gnome kinda annoyed me (which happened in 2e's The North boxed set, so I can't blame the game for that one), since I just found that priceless, but I digress.  Then eventually, the Wailing Death, though not really the events of the game otherwise, became canon, I think it was with 3e's A Grand History of the Realms, and with 4e, the city was pretty much trashed and essentially became a vassal state to Waterdeep, which it had previously been strongly allied with, along with several other cities, as part of the Lord's Alliance.  Now what happens next I couldn't really speak to with too much certainty, as I don't bother with 4e, which includes the Neverwinter Campaign Setting book.  Which is not to say I haven't looked at it, but I hardly memorized it, and its not something that appeals to me thematically, nor does my antipathy for the 4e ruleset in general add to its appeal.  So, yeah, as time went on, it got darker and darker until it hit nearly rock bottom... the Realms in a familiar microcosm if you will.

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

- Oscar Wilde

And this, Lord_of_Meh, is probably the politest discussion you'll find towards 4e vs. non-4e.

Welcome--and have a taco!
Well, still haven't properly edited my photos yet, so this is what we get. People!! The current status of these boards: POP ON!
and hopefully it will stay that way....
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
I'll sum it up.
spell plague
deity combinations
100 year time jump 
destruction of Halruua
deity killings  that made no sense whatsoever
loss of matzica and the old empires
wotc tring to bring in the haters of the FR(didnt work)
lousy writing styke if the 4e frcg and character guide
lousy large font used in the 4e fr books

Thanks for the list! (I was curious too). Makes sense to me. fwiw (for a non-argumentative opposing view) Although I liked the 3.5e rules more than 4e, I wasn't a FR fan until 4e for one simple reason:
Living Forgotten Realms
It gave me a well supported world that came alive. Indeed: official support, organized play and hundreds of ongoing, interconnected adventures would pretty much make any setting my favorite.
I forgot one in my summed up list:


shoehorned core rulebook lore into other setting 


but oh well it was all off the top of my head originally 
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
and hopefully it will stay that way....



You jinxed it, you fool!

... Can't ... fight ... the urge ...

DIE 4$ DIE!

A Hellplague on the Smellplague!

A plague on both your houses!


Well, at least you slipped a Shakespeare reference in there, so that has to count for something...

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

- Oscar Wilde

4e or not 4e...? That is the question.
Well, still haven't properly edited my photos yet, so this is what we get. People!! The current status of these boards: POP ON!
friends,  waterdahivans, countrymen, give me your ear
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
WHAT?!?!;)

HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

Got Realms?
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
to me it just seems the jump from FR and LFR along with the jump from 3.5 to 4 is like..

going from an awesome game that seems like anything an everything is possible
to a video game where everything is scripted and basically you have no inginuity

i like the grayness in the rules of 3.5 it leaves some interpretation to me i guess
but in 4.0 it's just too...stale? 
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