5E Forgotten Realms: By Ed Greenwood

In the recent Book Wyrms: Elminster article, James Wyatt seems to say that Ed Greenwood will be lead designer for the next iterations of the Forgotten Realms Setting.

I am really happy to learn that Ed will be at the helm of the Realms once again!

''Recently I've seen petitions and strong arguments that Wizards should let Ed design the Forgotten Realms for the next edition of the game. I couldn't agree more, and some of that work is already under way. The Forgotten Realms has changed a lot in the last 25 years, and although there are major themes and ideas and flavors that haven't changed at all, in some ways the Realms has veered away from Ed's original vision. He's always been on board the Realms ship, but he hasn't always been at the rudder (to use his own metaphor), and we are rectifying that even as we speak. Keep your eyes out for some big announcements along those lines in the coming months.'' 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I say let Keith Baker design Forgotten Realms.

It'll be really funny because he's too talented to screw it up on accident and too nice to screw it up on purpose, and then those Forgotten Realms fans will be forced to thank the creator of Eberron for getting their campaign setting back to the way it was.

Anyway, this might help restore some trust WotC lost with the Spellplague.


Anyway, this might help restore some trust WotC lost with the Spellplague.




yeah OMG i cant believe "that several gods were slain, they laid waste to huge territories, and tremendous physical chaos was let loose in the world. This changed not only the appearance of the land, but its political and social fabric as well."

oh wait thats quoted straight from the 2e realms Undecided whoopsy daisy!



i guess ill just conveniently COMPLETELY IGNORE the 2e realms bc it feels better to MAKE BELIEVE 4e was the first fr edition to do something like that. after all i am SUCH a realms aficionado! 


yeah OMG i cant believe "that several gods were slain, they laid waste to huge territories, and tremendous physical chaos was let loose in the world. This changed not only the appearance of the land, but its political and social fabric as well."

oh wait thats quoted straight from the 2e realms whoopsy daisy!



i guess ill just conveniently COMPLETELY IGNORE the 2e realms bc it feels better to MAKE BELIEVE 4e was the first fr edition to do something like that. after all i am SUCH a realms aficionado!



I don't play Realms so I wouldn't know. But however unreasonable the position may or may not be, it was still a hit to WotC's credibility. Letting the original creator take the wheel again seems like a nice olive branch to the FR people.
Letting the original creator take the wheel again seems like a nice olive branch to the FR people.


i dont disagree, if they had his name as 'lead' on the 4e realms, but did not change one single word of content, they would have loved it
Spellplague wasn't enough cliché to figure in the forgotten realms setting.

We want the return of non religious men ending in the wall of the faithless or waiting for the demons to eat what remains of their souls. Because everybody knows that there's no reason to not love gods in the forgotten realms Wink

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Letting the original creator take the wheel again seems like a nice olive branch to the FR people.


i dont disagree, if they had his name as 'lead' on the 4e realms, but did not change one single word of content, they would have loved it


Good point. The next Eberron book could just be a bag of poop lit on fire and left on my porch, but if Keith Baker is credited as the lead then I'll hail it as a masterpiece.


Anyway, this might help restore some trust WotC lost with the Spellplague.




yeah OMG i cant believe "that several gods were slain, they laid waste to huge territories, and tremendous physical chaos was let loose in the world. This changed not only the appearance of the land, but its political and social fabric as well."

oh wait thats quoted straight from the 2e realms whoopsy daisy!



i guess ill just conveniently COMPLETELY IGNORE the 2e realms bc it feels better to MAKE BELIEVE 4e was the first fr edition to do something like that. after all i am SUCH a realms aficionado! 



I liked what they did in 4th edition, but then again I know not everyone wants change but I don't see the point. Its like with Dragon Lance, people hated anything the did after Chronciles and Test of Twins...it was like they always wanted it to be the same place and play in the same world fighting the same fights. They didn't want it to change and when it did they all got pissy about. I loved that setting but I understood if your telling a story a real story then people die and things change. 
Like restarting Spideman...these people don't care about making a good movie they only care about making money, Xmen fight Magneto again and again for 60 years...we can't have change in our geek worlds. I don't understand that. 4th edition FR took some chances and I respect them for that, actually 4th ed took chances with the whole thing and I respect them for that too. So I look to this next DnD with reversations because I don't know if I want to keep having the same fights year after year, or if I'm going to accept that things change. I don't know...I'm sure I'll be called names now. 
Letting the original creator take the wheel again seems like a nice olive branch to the FR people.


i dont disagree, if they had his name as 'lead' on the 4e realms, but did not change one single word of content, they would have loved it


Good point. The next Eberron book could just be a bag of poop lit on fire and left on my porch, but if Keith Baker is credited as the lead then I'll hail it as a masterpiece.


Am I detecting a hint of sarcasm here?
Am I detecting a hint of sarcasm here?


Kinda. But I do think I understand the mindset. There is literally nothing Keith Baker has ever suggested about Eberron that didn't make my games better. He seems to be an endless font of "Making your favorite setting even better." magic, so if his name is on the next Eberron book then I'm going to buy it and challenge anyone who doesn't like it to a knife fight.

I assume that Forgotten Realms people like Ed Greenwood, though I'm not sure if its quite to the same "Everything this person ever says about this setting is now official" level.


Anyway, this might help restore some trust WotC lost with the Spellplague.




yeah OMG i cant believe "that several gods were slain, they laid waste to huge territories, and tremendous physical chaos was let loose in the world. This changed not only the appearance of the land, but its political and social fabric as well."

oh wait thats quoted straight from the 2e realms whoopsy daisy!



i guess ill just conveniently COMPLETELY IGNORE the 2e realms bc it feels better to MAKE BELIEVE 4e was the first fr edition to do something like that. after all i am SUCH a realms aficionado! 



I liked what they did in 4th edition, but then again I know not everyone wants change but I don't see the point. Its like with Dragon Lance, people hated anything the did after Chronciles and Test of Twins...it was like they always wanted it to be the same place and play in the same world fighting the same fights. They didn't want it to change and when it did they all got pissy about. I loved that setting but I understood if your telling a story a real story then people die and things change. 
Like restarting Spideman...these people don't care about making a good movie they only care about making money, Xmen fight Magneto again and again for 60 years...we can't have change in our geek worlds. I don't understand that. 4th edition FR took some chances and I respect them for that, actually 4th ed took chances with the whole thing and I respect them for that too. So I look to this next DnD with reversations because I don't know if I want to keep having the same fights year after year, or if I'm going to accept that things change. I don't know...I'm sure I'll be called names now. 

I was agree until you touched to the comics Wink
For me the first spider-man movie was passable (the technogoblin was awful in my opinion), the second not bad at all (I liked Doc Oc), and the third an ultimate piece of trash. And the relation of the X-Men with Magneto is far more complex than that. Currently, he is accepting orders from cyclop, agreeing that he is a better leader than him.
Restarting spider-man was the only option left after what was left after a less than passable trilogy.
In my opinion again.

The forgotten Realms fan base has always been the more conservative of all settings, that's why I love stop lurking on the boards to play with them Laughing

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.



Anyway, this might help restore some trust WotC lost with the Spellplague.




yeah OMG i cant believe "that several gods were slain, they laid waste to huge territories, and tremendous physical chaos was let loose in the world. This changed not only the appearance of the land, but its political and social fabric as well."

oh wait thats quoted straight from the 2e realms whoopsy daisy!



i guess ill just conveniently COMPLETELY IGNORE the 2e realms bc it feels better to MAKE BELIEVE 4e was the first fr edition to do something like that. after all i am SUCH a realms aficionado!




Oh my god, I can't belive someone says if you use the same cause to make different effects both the effects are dientical! I guess I'll just conveniently COMPLETELY IGNORE that a game setting is a bit more than a bunch of fluffy thngs put toghether at random and is so much closer to a living world with it's history! And if two things are similar in effects can feel completely different!
Am I detecting a hint of sarcasm here?


Kinda. But I do think I understand the mindset. There is literally nothing Keith Baker has ever suggested about Eberron that didn't make my games better. He seems to be an endless font of "Making your favorite setting even better." magic, so if his name is on the next Eberron book then I'm going to buy it and challenge anyone who doesn't like it to a knife fight.

I assume that Forgotten Realms people like Ed Greenwood, though I'm not sure if its quite to the same "Everything this person ever says about this setting is now official" level.



That’s cool Areleth, I think I understand now.  I know a lot of people who when they start talking about movies the first thing they want to know is “who are the actors/director ect ...”.  Generally for me I usually see a movie if I like the premise of the movie, I almost never care about the actors or director (or voice actors for animated movies).  I may be in the minority on this, but I can see how some people have their favorites that they follow.


I generally pick campaign settings based on if the premise interests me, usually I hardly even look who the author(s) are.  Not saying that’s the “right” way to do it, it’s just how I generally go about it.  People who are fans of certain authors are equally “right” to do things their way.

Yeah, the realms is cliche, but that's part of its lovable charm.  That's why so many people have flocked to it.  The changes before were slightly drastic but never altered the flavour like 4th ed's edits did.  It happened in other settings like Dragonlance and Dark Sun, with many of these changes ignored (or in Dark Sun's case, shoved into possible future.)  But, don't push the Realms of Light/Returned Abeir/Shattered Realms setting into the garbage (even though I rather dislike it.)  You may as well put the continuing timeline somewhere else, as it isn't just Ed's content anymore, it's everyone's.  Give Ed his toys while they get theirs'.  Yes, I'm implying splitting the Realms again.  One modular mix, one continuing timeline.  Also, some conversion material for Mulhorand, Maztica, Kara-Tur, and Al Qadim would be quite nice

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This sounds really interesting and I (and I think a lot of people) will be eager to see lore and direction springing from the original source.  Not that he can be the only source, but it may be a good opportunity for him to reiterate in his own words the core elements of the setting as he envisioned/envisions it.  I think this "heart" side of things will be important to a lot of gamers, whether they liked the Time of Troubles or not, or the 4e Realms or not.  Otherwise I'm just looking forward to hearing more about this!

I liked what they did in 4th edition, but then again I know not everyone wants change but I don't see the point. Its like with Dragon Lance, people hated anything the did after Chronciles and Test of Twins...it was like they always wanted it to be the same place and play in the same world fighting the same fights. They didn't want it to change and when it did they all got pissy about. I loved that setting but I understood if your telling a story a real story then people die and things change. 
Like restarting Spideman...these people don't care about making a good movie they only care about making money, Xmen fight Magneto again and again for 60 years...we can't have change in our geek worlds. I don't understand that. 4th edition FR took some chances and I respect them for that, actually 4th ed took chances with the whole thing and I respect them for that too. So I look to this next DnD with reversations because I don't know if I want to keep having the same fights year after year, or if I'm going to accept that things change. I don't know...I'm sure I'll be called names now. 


You're right. Reading and re-reading these forums, one of the things I have learned is that while people may say they aren't bothered by change, some really are, as far as their preferred fantasy setting goes. If you've ever listened to a gamer tell you about his character that he's been playing for 15 years, you've listened to someone who rejects change (at least in their D&D). That player is interested in a perpetual fantasy, where nothing really changes too much and the characters go on doing pretty much the same stuff forever. Because that gamer likes that character or that setting or those novels, and wants to go on liking them.

There's nothing at all wrong with that viewpoint, but it's not shared by everyone. And once you notice that some gamers have that viewpoint and some don't, some of the conflicts over AD&D/3e/4e make a little more sense: 4e was a game where (because of the 1-30 tier system), you were told on day one that your character has a finite endpoint after which you can no longer play it because the character will become an NPC. That really, really bothered some people.

 

I would be glad to see what Mr. Greenwood feels the Realms is about these days, even though I wasn't much of a fan of the Realms back in the day... and grew ever more weary of it as the years rolled on and famous NPCs became more and more all I ever heard about when it came to the setting...

I have to be honest, looking in heroes of the realms and seeing Drizzt as somewhere around 9th level... after I had been told he was supposedly 14th in 3.x and seeing him in character builder as 24th in 4e, I could only sigh heavily... and even heavier still did I sigh when I saw Elminster's level well above 20 in the old days.

Putting all of that (and acknowledging that every setting, no matter who wrote it, that had NPCs with their level based on the end of their career as PCs - not locked somewhere in reasonably high but assumed to be matched or surpassed in a "regular" campaign level - irritated me to no end) aside... I like the 4e Realms the best out of each version of the setting I had read... though I really only read the core of each edition of the setting and a handful of supplements for each, so I wasn't even moderately invested in the setting.

I hold out hope that 5e settings take a fluff-heavy, crunch light, and very general were the crunch comes up, to their presentation.

I want to know about the history of a place and their special cultures and organizations - not see a list of the cool magic items that are more common (or worse, only exist within) this particular campaign setting.

...and I'd rather see a brief description of attitudes and motivations for each NPC with a single reference line (example: Drizzt Do'Urden - 9th level Drow (Elf) Ranger) instead of a full-on PC or NPC stat block... especially since many of those NPCs, when stated out, ended up making people think things like "so... we just met Drizzt... and he agrees that someone should stop these frost giants, but he wants to let us do it instead of him ultra-bad-mammajammin' the whole tribe himself?! It would take him like 5 minutes... does he really think he is too busy to take 5 minutes and save a city?"

Ultra-potent NPCs are unusable in campaigns where the players realize who it is their characters are interacting with - it always involves some plot contrivance where the PCs are supposed to feel heroic and helpful, even though they are just subbing in for some crazy-busy super-man that is conveniently distracted by some other task... so they get left out of the stories, and are therefore just wasted space in the books.

My opinion only, of course, no intent to ruffle any fan-feathers.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.


You're right. Reading and re-reading these forums, one of the things I have learned is that while people may say they aren't bothered by change, some really are, as far as their preferred fantasy setting goes. If you've ever listened to a gamer tell you about his character that he's been playing for 15 years, you've listened to someone who rejects change (at least in their D&D). That player is interested in a perpetual fantasy, where nothing really changes too much and the characters go on doing pretty much the same stuff forever. Because that gamer likes that character or that setting or those novels, and wants to go on liking them.

There's nothing at all wrong with that viewpoint, but it's not shared by everyone. And once you notice that some gamers have that viewpoint and some don't, some of the conflicts over AD&D/3e/4e make a little more sense: 4e was a game where (because of the 1-30 tier system), you were told on day one that your character has a finite endpoint after which you can no longer play it because the character will become an NPC. That really, really bothered some people.


 




The thing is the degree of change has a big effect on whether or not fans will like it a lot of times.  The original time of troubles changes were big, but the realms still felt like the realms so I think while there was some complaining it was overall accepted by the fan base, the 3e to 4e change was drastic enough where it felt more like a new setting with the same place holder names slapped on.  It is one thing to have the romulans win and take over most of known space in star trek, it is another thing to change the ships to sailboats and put star trek in spell jammer world but you slapped the names kirk. spock. mccoy on the crew.  The first big FR change was more like the romulan example, the 3r to 4e change was more like the spell jammer example.

The primary thing is the time of troubles change actually felt  like they fit contextually into the setting even if you did not like the specific change here and there. the 3e to 4e changes did not.  They were changes to fit the rules changes in the game with some bad prose slapped on to obfuscate how little sense it made in the context of the setting.  

To sum up.  Changing the setting is fine, making the setting feel like a totally different setting is not. 
I'm curious how many people grew up thinking that forgotten realms was the default setting of D&D?
Hell, we still use our 2e FR sourcebooks; we didn't even like most of what 3e did for the realms (but then again, we didn't really like 3e heh).  I had no problem with the 4e changes - it felt normal, as normal as 3e.  We just used the 2e stuff because its what we grew to love and didn't want to advance the timeline, no big deal.

I am looking forward to seeing another 'alternate future' for Faerun, even if we ignore that too.  Especially one written by 'The Man.'

@Areleth

I absolutely agree about what Keith Baker does, although I tolerated 4e's FR content much easier than its Eberron content.  The first time I even -imagined- any race being any dragonmark, I just shut the thing altogether.  Much like we still use 2e for our FR, we still use 3e for our Ebs =)

@daganev

I was introduced to Greyhawk before Faerun, but fell in love with FR much more profoundly.  I'm still a Mythdrannor fanatic.
I'm curious how many people grew up thinking that forgotten realms was the default setting of D&D?



Quite a few I'm sure.  Everyone who started during 2e basically.  I'm more of Mystara, known world person.  But I still stole a lot of crap from the forgotten realms for my games. 
There's nothing at all wrong with that viewpoint, but it's not shared by everyone. And once you notice that some gamers have that viewpoint and some don't, some of the conflicts over AD&D/3e/4e make a little more sense

So very true, though there are a million shades of grey in between that viewpoint and its inverse that can get... actually quite confusing.

4e was a game where (because of the 1-30 tier system), you were told on day one that your character has a finite endpoint after which you can no longer play it because the character will become an NPC. That really, really bothered some people.


I am not of the viewpoint that playing the same character for 15 years in a perpetual storyline consisting of more of the same is an enjoyable experience.


I want a campaign to involve a character growing, affecting change upon the world around him and that world similarly affecting change within the character, and whose story comes to a very clear (no "to be continued" and no "maybe one day we will see him again") end - whether that be retirement, death, or acension in some way.


...but I absolutely can't stand 4e's 30 levels and 3 tiers. It forces changes at arbitrary points in the story, inserting elements that might or might not have occured if allowed to unfold in an "organic" manner. There was a feeling, also, that you were on a strict story schedule - get it done by 30th or too bad... but don't finish too early or you aren't really done...


I also found it jarring when approaching the next tier - being 7th level and fighting enemies of 6th to 10th level was fine... then I gain a level and face mosnters of 7th to 11th level, and I can always tell which ones are 11th level because they seem so extremely dangerous in comparison to all the other monsters I've faced so far that I start feeling like the DM might be "out to get me." ...and getting to 9th and 10th level makes it worse before things finally seem to normalize a bit upon hitting 11th and having a new layer of "junk" thrust upon my character (paragon paths and the general tier boosts are complexity added for the sake of adding complexity - which, in my opinion, is a terrible thing to do, especially when that complexity is hard-wired into your character's survivability).


So while I don't want a perpetual fanatasy without change - I don't want change on a strict schedule either... I just want change, somewhere down the line, whenever it "feels right" for that campaign and character.


I want to play one character to level 7 and have him retire (or die in some climactic endeavor) and feel like I didn't "cut the game short," and I want to play another character to level 71 before he settles into some "roll the credits" worthy existence without feeling like the game fell out from under my character or told me "game over now, roll a new starter character," that I ignored.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

I'm curious how many people grew up thinking that forgotten realms was the default setting of D&D?



Quite a few I'm sure.  Everyone who started during 2e basically.  I'm more of Mystara, known world person.  But I still stole a lot of crap from the forgotten realms for my games. 


The bolded portion is an overgeneralization. I started during 2e (specifically by buying up and reading the rules myself and becoming a DM by forming a group of people that, like me, had never played a single RPG before in their lives).

The setting I believed to be "default" for D&D during that experience? It was called "What the DM made up."

...and since I was using the black cover Monstrous Manual, I was incorporating monsters from Planescape, Spelljammer, and Al Qadim in the same game world before I even knew that there was such a thing as "campaign specific monster."

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

So while I don't want a perpetual fanatasy without change - I don't want change on a strict schedule either... I just want change, somewhere down the line, whenever it "feels right" for that campaign and character.


Well, sure. That's a great route to go, because it flows naturally and has both the player and DM actively invested in the character's growth and destiny.

I also agree with your example about the first time an encounter had a level 11 monster in it. YES. It was jarring and it took us all a second to realize "oh, it's a monster from paragon tier, aha!" It didn't wreck anything for me, though, and in the long run I really enjoyed the save the city/save the kingdom/save the world paradigm of 4e. What it can't do is run a game in perpetuity without major modifications (I suppose you could pick a single tier and exponentially increase the xps needed to level?), and I understand that's where some of the hate comes from.


Anyway, this might help restore some trust WotC lost with the Spellplague.




yeah OMG i cant believe "that several gods were slain, they laid waste to huge territories, and tremendous physical chaos was let loose in the world. This changed not only the appearance of the land, but its political and social fabric as well."

oh wait thats quoted straight from the 2e realms whoopsy daisy!



i guess ill just conveniently COMPLETELY IGNORE the 2e realms bc it feels better to MAKE BELIEVE 4e was the first fr edition to do something like that. after all i am SUCH a realms aficionado! 





If you were, you would realize it was not the slaying of gods that was the problem it was changing all the good things of the realms to satisfy those that were too intellectually lazy to read up on it.


CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!
I'm a 2nd Ed player and I can tell you that it was definitely Greyhawk. Forgotten Realms was my setting of choice and my first campaign as a DM and it was pretty new then and I went on to buying the campaign box set in it's next three releases.

Overall I liked what 4E did with the realms (mostly) and all they did was take the places seemingly never used (Maztica, southern states of the sea of fallen stars, the great desert Anauroch) and make them into something that could be fun (although they could have used the Saurials from Azure bonds for the dragonborne maybe).

I wasn't totally sold on some of the god deaths in the new setting but again understood that the deities could have used cleaning up a bit. Again they didn't get rid of anything that was imperative to the setting and all the major important deities were still there with all their charms.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />The thing is the degree of change has a big effect on whether or not fans will like it a lot of times.  The original time of troubles changes were big, but the realms still felt like the realms so I think while there was some complaining it was overall accepted by the fan base, the 3e to 4e change was drastic enough where it felt more like a new setting with the same place holder names slapped on.  It is one thing to have the romulans win and take over most of known space in star trek, it is another thing to change the ships to sailboats and put star trek in spell jammer world but you slapped the names kirk. spock. mccoy on the crew.  The first big FR change was more like the romulan example, the 3r to 4e change was more like the spell jammer example.

The primary thing is the time of troubles change actually felt  like they fit contextually into the setting even if you did not like the specific change here and there. the 3e to 4e changes did not.  They were changes to fit the rules changes in the game with some bad prose slapped on to obfuscate how little sense it made in the context of the setting.  

To sum up.  Changing the setting is fine, making the setting feel like a totally different setting is not. 



This is my problem with 4e realms.  The Realms did not need to be changed for 4e rules.  They used 4e sacred cow slaying to go ahead and do the same to the realms.  That proved to alienate fans.  Mulhorand is too much like EGYPT!  Some people on the internet said they hated that!  Lets cut it out!  Maztica is mesoamerica.  People on the internet said they hated that!  Lets cut it out!  We can use the DRAGONBORN as an excuse.

It is is if they could not think of a more creative way to bring DRAGONBORN into the realms.

As I have said before they changed the realms for people that complained WHY they did not want to play it, so that maybe they would.  In doing so they lost the fans that were with the realms for those features.

I am not an Eberron fan.  I simply don't like it.  The change to the realms was similar to me complaining about WARFORGED, and MAGE TECH and demanding they change Eberron into a more medieval setting.  WHY?  Because I would like to play in Eberron with my friends but it is not too my tastes.  What if they succumbed to pressure like that.  It would remake Eberron in name only.  I would never advocate for this because I am OK with people playing Eberron because it fits THEIR tastes.  The problem was, WOTC listened to squeaky wheels who said the realms would be better if it was to THEIR tastes, instead of what the fans wanted for all those years.

I am willing to bet that people that did not like the rules changes of 4e would have been willing to stay onboard if the realms was not changed so drastically.

CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!
I'm curious how many people grew up thinking that forgotten realms was the default setting of D&D?

I definitely considered it "more default" than the other popular settings just because (and I'm not a major FR afficionado) it seemed to be the ultimate plain-yogurt setting. Not even vanilla; somehow more bland than a blankish slate. It also seemed like sort of a Let Me Tell You About My Paladin setting, more about big famous people who are Not You than about interesting and novel places to have adventures. That's not meant as a dis; that's how I perceived the setting growing up. I'm still less interested in the setting than in, say, Eberron, but my perception of FR was always that it was phenomenonally uncaptivating (and kind of corny or twee or precious). Its most distinguishing feature in my mind has always been not any particular element of the setting - no "feel", no "hook", no "vibe" - but the awestriking amount of detail that's accumulated about it over time. Other settings are defined by what they're like; FR is defined by how much of it there is. (Again, this reflects my traditional perception of FR, and is not meant to be a definitive and perfect description of its place.)

--------------------------

When it comes to campaign settings, I think that a huge amount of their value to a huge number of people is the sort of accumulated fondness that people already have for them. They should be presented in a way that makes them accessible to new players, of course, but FR is valuable - in part - because there's a lot of people who already love FR. Obviously a fairly large group of people like "all the FR fans" aren't going to be universally in agreement on anything, but FR (or any setting, but especially FR because it's relatively close to default) is a lot less valuable if you're alienating FR fans. They're the ones who are buying FR material and evangelizing for it. If your neat idea for FR is going to turn off a bunch of FR fans, it's not really a neat idea. (Obviously almost any idea has some people who will hate it and there are some people who will hate nearly every idea, but we care about volume here.)
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
This is my problem with 4e realms.  The Realms did not need to be changed for 4e rules.  They used 4e sacred cow slaying to go ahead and do the same to the realms.  That proved to alienate fans.  Mulhorand is too much like EGYPT!  Some people on the internet said they hated that!  Lets cut it out!  Maztica is mesoamerica.  People on the internet said they hated that!  Lets cut it out!  We can use the DRAGONBORN as an excuse.

I hate to break it to you but all the countries of the realms were based on our cultures, Chessenta was Greece, Mulhorand WAS egypt even in 2E, Amn & Tethyr were spain (or something like that) and Sea Of Fallen Stars is the Pirates Of The Carrabean thing. So the cultural thing was in the original write up for the setting and not a 4E thing.

I still use material from 2E in my 4E game because the setting is so similar to it's 2E counterpart.

However I would have been happier if they had have set the 4E realms to 1400 or so without the spellplague stuff and even included an expansion later for the changes.
I'm curious how many people grew up thinking that forgotten realms was the default setting of D&D?



Quite a few I'm sure.  Everyone who started during 2e basically.  I'm more of Mystara, known world person.  But I still stole a lot of crap from the forgotten realms for my games. 


The bolded portion is an overgeneralization. I started during 2e (specifically by buying up and reading the rules myself and becoming a DM by forming a group of people that, like me, had never played a single RPG before in their lives).

The setting I believed to be "default" for D&D during that experience? It was called "What the DM made up."

...and since I was using the black cover Monstrous Manual, I was incorporating monsters from Planescape, Spelljammer, and Al Qadim in the same game world before I even knew that there was such a thing as "campaign specific monster."



Unless you were totally oblivious to what was going on in D&D I suspect every player who started during 2e recognized the FR as the default setting.  The PH, DMG etc did not push any settings in the slightest being generic, but almost all the novels, supplements, adventures were FR based.  Hell greyhawk which was big during 1e barely had anything pushed for it in 2e and the rest were pretty much a box set and done style settings.  Default in this context is not supposed to imply it is the setting everyone played in or the assumed setting even.  It is just the basic setting provided.  And FR was it in a big way.  Probably home brew is the most common setting or game groups, but FR was still the default of 2e.  

And as a side note, yes every time someone says or uses everyone it is a over-generalization.   


If you were, you would realize it was not the slaying of gods that was the problem it was changing all the good things of the realms to satisfy those that were too intellectually lazy to read up on it.




lol, no wonder i have you blocked!
The best part of that link is that James Wyatt still works at WotC!


If you were, you would realize it was not the slaying of gods that was the problem it was changing all the good things of the realms to satisfy those that were too intellectually lazy to read up on it.



So, the only reason someone doesn't like the hundreds of pages of backstory to the Realms is because they're not smart? 

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." - Albert Einstein


"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

This is my problem with 4e realms.  The Realms did not need to be changed for 4e rules.  They used 4e sacred cow slaying to go ahead and do the same to the realms.  That proved to alienate fans.  "Mulhorand is too much like EGYPT!  Some people on the internet said they hated that!  Lets cut it out!  Maztica is mesoamerica.  People on the internet said they hated that!  Lets cut it out!  We can use the DRAGONBORN as an excuse."

I hate to break it to you but all the countries of the realms were based on our cultures, Chessenta was Greece, Mulhorand WAS egypt even in 2E, Amn & Tethyr were spain (or something like that) and Sea Of Fallen Stars is the Pirates Of The Carrabean thing. So the cultural thing was in the original write up for the setting and not a 4E thing.

I still use material from 2E in my 4E game because the setting is so similar to it's 2E counterpart.

However I would have been happier if they had have set the 4E realms to 1400 or so without the spellplague stuff and even included an expansion later for the changes.



I realize that.  You seemed to have missed the point I was making.  To make it clearer I will edit my post with quotation marks. I like the cultures of the realms.  My point was there were people that didn't so WOTC felt the need to fix it.
CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!
I realize that.  You seemed to have missed the point I was making.  To make it clearer I will edit my post with quotation marks. I like the cultures of the realms.  My point was there were people that didn't so WOTC felt the need to fix it.

Ah, I see. Mind you even in 3E realms they never stated the cultural similarity for the different countries but did include details that pointed to it with the flavour sections of the book.
The best part of that link is that James Wyatt still works at WotC!


If you were, you would realize it was not the slaying of gods that was the problem it was changing all the good things of the realms to satisfy those that were too intellectually lazy to read up on it.



So, the only reason someone doesn't like the hundreds of pages of backstory to the Realms is because they're not smart? 

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." - Albert Einstein



No it is because they do not feel like reading up on the rich story.  It has nothign to do with intelligence.

THe problem with the quote you used above was the realms was a redux.  They did not boil down the complexity they ignored it.  Einsteins quote according to his biography is to boil things down to the fundamentals.  The designers did not feel like doing that so they IGNORED the lore.



CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!


If you were, you would realize it was not the slaying of gods that was the problem it was changing all the good things of the realms to satisfy those that were too intellectually lazy to read up on it.




lol, no wonder i have you blocked!



The above is evidence you Don't have me blocked.  Feel free to do so if you feel the need.



CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!


If you were, you would realize it was not the slaying of gods that was the problem it was changing all the good things of the realms to satisfy those that were too intellectually lazy to read up on it.




lol, no wonder i have you blocked!



The above is evidence you Don't have me blocked.  Feel free to do so if you feel the need.






He can pull the quote from when someone quoted you, since blocks do not cover that.  Still his initial comparison was more asinine than any response to it so far.  

I am willing to bet that people that did not like the rules changes of 4e would have been willing to stay onboard if the realms was not changed so drastically.



You'd better not put alot of $ on that bet....

You see, the people who left because they disliked the new rules?  They left because they didn't like the those rules.
Shockingly redundant isn't it?

  

Unless you were totally oblivious to what was going on in D&D

That almost sounds like you are trying to be mean... I'll assume you aren't, however.


 I suspect every player who started during 2e recognized the FR as the default setting.  The PH, DMG etc did not push any settings in the slightest being generic

Then... where would the though come from?

almost all the novels, supplements, adventures were FR based.  Hell greyhawk which was big during 1e barely had anything pushed for it in 2e and the rest were pretty much a box set and done style settings.

A quick reference of wikipedia's list of Dungeons & Dragons modules shows that, over the course of 2nd edition, the following are true:

25 Modules released with a Forgotten Realms imprint (including Maztica and Oriental Adventures/Kara-Tur).
29 Modules released with no setting imprint upon them.
30 Modules released with a Greyhawk imprint... and 2 more released in 2010 with 2nd ediiton rules.

Of course, that leaves out the 10 FR series paperback setting supplements for Forgotten Realms that had a 2nd edition logo on them... which I did on purpose because a setting electing to be larger (and therefore require a higher page and word count to detail itself to appropriate degree) should not be held against the more succinct settings. And, it is impossible to weight 10 paperback supplements to a box set expansion like Greyhawk Wars.

Default in this context is not supposed to imply it is the setting everyone played in or the assumed setting even.  It is just the basic setting provided.  And FR was it in a big way.  Probably home brew is the most common setting or game groups, but FR was still the default of 2e.

If default is meant to mean "the basic setting provided," then I have to ask how FR - not even "pushed" as you said in the core rulebooks - is the default instead of Homebrew being both the default (because it is the setting the core books provide) and the most commonly used setting.

FR may have had the most numerically large number of products published for it... just like Vampire the Requiem has had the most numerical products produced for White Wolf's The World of Darkness game... that doesn't change the fact that the default of 2e was homebrew or that the core of The World of Darkness isn't found in any Vampire book. 


And as a side note, yes every time someone says or uses everyone it is a over-generalization.   

Then why say "everyone" in the first place?

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.



If you were, you would realize it was not the slaying of gods that was the problem it was changing all the good things of the realms to satisfy those that were too intellectually lazy to read up on it.




lol, no wonder i have you blocked!



The above is evidence you Don't have me blocked.  Feel free to do so if you feel the need.






unfortunately, you still get notifications when someone on your block list quotes you

No it is because they do not feel like reading up on the rich story.  It has nothing to do with intelligence.



I love rich stories, and yet I do not enjoy reading the history to the realms. Such a paradox... 

THe problem with the quote you used above was the realms was a redux.  They did not boil down the complexity they ignored it.  Einsteins quote according to his biography is to boil things down to the fundamentals.  The designers did not feel like doing that so they IGNORED the lore.


 

You say that they bypassed the fundamentals, and I say that 4ed got to the fundamentals. What I see as the fundamentals for the Realms is "a fantastic world full of magic, hundreds of interesting places, and epic struggles between good and evil." Is your idea of the fundamentals of the Realms to be "all the history and backstories of the people and places of the world" ?

I think that the Lore aspect of the Realms is a side-effect of a very well-documented campaign setting being constantly revised and added upon by two decades of writers and fans who (with the best of intentions) took a simple concept and layered it with thousands of pieces of minutae.

It's like Batman's origin: the simple dead-parents-trained-for-years-superstituous-criminals-I'm-Batman is sufficient for a great story, but a lot of Batman fans feel the need to document every plot twist concerning his backstory over the past 70 years until it's a massive infodump that's not inherently interesting on its own. Now, I have nothing against people knowing all those stories, but when the "fans" are upset that no-one mentions that Batman was inspired by a vision quest in Alaska to take the form of a bat, they're missing the point of simplicity.

Ed never set up the Realms to be a world where the setting's huge backstory was a feature. It started out simply, if more detailed than contemporary settings, and grew to be a setting where it's past was more important than the future. This is just my opinion, but in 4ed, low-level PCs fighting the Red Wizards and Zhentarim is a lot more important to the world than before. The party's story matters more, because some novel PC isn't capable of solving the threat (or has already done so).

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick