Forgotten Realms? NDA (and then… not so much)

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erdana, Arial, Helvetica; color:#000000; font-size:small">erdana, Arial, Helvetica; color:#000000; font-size:small">[Please note that this is the same as the thread I began over at Candlekeep. I'd prefer not to have to jump back and forth between the two forums, but I understand that some folks are only comfortable posting on one site or the other, so I'll try and monitor both threads.]

Good morning, gentles!

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited, along with a number of my fellow lore-lords of the Realms—those being Eric Boyd, George Krashos, Brian James, and Erik Scott de Bie—to chat with members of the story team over at Wizards of the Coast (including D&D Creative Director James Wyatt, Matt Sernett, and ex officio non-employee but kinda sorta, Ed Greenwood) about the future of the Forgotten Realms. We got a sneak peek at some of the secrets that are going to be revealed at this Gen Con’s D&D Keynote and the ‘What is the Sundering?’ panels that will follow it, as well as a glimpse at how the Realms will be treated in the coming years and edition(s).

There is good reason for us all to be excited.

None of us can talk all that much about what’s going to happen over the next week and a half, but I encourage you all to stay tuned. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of next week, information’s going to come out that will affect what you think about the state of Realms publishing. In a good way, I think.

If you can make it to Gen Con, you’ll want to make sure to be at the "The Future of Dungeons & Dragons" keynote (Thursday night), and at least one of the Sundering panels (Friday afternoon and Saturday morning). If you can’t make it, the links below will help you get as much exposure as you can.

The full slate of Gen Con D&D Panels is listed here.

The D&D keynote will be live streamed here.

The ‘What is the Sundering?’ panels will be posted here. No word yet as to whether they will be live, or edited and posted later.

Also not to be missed—and following immediately after the D&D keynote—is our own panel, Candlekeep Presents: 25 Years of the Forgotten Realms. If you’re going to be at Gen Con, you should not miss this event, where we’ll be discussing the revelations of the address, speculating about the future of the Realms, and possibly welcoming a surprise guest or three. From what I hear, there will also be a fun giveaway at some point in the night, which we already expect to go well past our scheduled end time of 10 pm.

These are exciting times for the Forgotten Realms, folks. Get ready. Get excited.

Get to Gen Con (or, you know, to a computer...).

Brian
Reboot using "The Sundering"...

HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

It sounds more like a split timeline than a reboot, tbh... If it is any of these two, then I just hope it'll be any year before 1375 DR.
if it's a reboot, and it doesn't reboot to the original timeline start for published products (ie, before ToT), then I'm out. It'll be hard to bring me in for any reboot, but if it screws 4e players and no one else, screw that.


But, I don't think Ed would be down for that. He just doesn't seem like anywhere near that much of a jerk.
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
the split timeline might be good if that is what it is.


regardless ladies and gentlemen, I do ahve a request.

For those of us who cant make it to gencon, whatevercon, will you please tell us what they said?    
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
Probably will be a timeline split. I don't think WotC will shoot themselves in the foot and invalidate RA's and Ed's 4E Realms novels. Or the other authors 4E work for that matter.

HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

Split timeline sounds reasonable, but it should happen any year before the whole drowpocalypse BS, not at 1385 DR. It has the possibility to please many fans, and the only downside would be development resources being split among the two timeline, but it's not an actual downside since supporting all eras would be even more draining (and it wouldn't please as many people, because it would leave the future of many popular storylines set in stone, as long as the setting itself is concerned -personal campaigns can obviously ignore all of it-).

We'll know after the GenCon...
 Didnt the "Sundering" happen like a 1000 years ago? I is cornfused
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
 Didnt the "Sundering" happen like a 1000 years ago? I is cornfused


That isn't hard to do Silver...;)

HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

The problem with a split timeline is the potential for one of those timelines to get more emphasis than the other. For example, if WotC sees a non-spellplague timeline getting 30% more sales than the spellplague timeline, they'd probably publish more books from the latter. Eventually, the timeline that gets more published products becomes the defacto official timeline while the fans of the other timeline are left out and their world is seen as "alternative" or "alternate".
The problem with a split timeline is the potential for one of those timelines to get more emphasis than the other. For example, if WotC sees a non-spellplague timeline getting 30% more sales than the spellplague timeline, they'd probably publish more books from the latter. Eventually, the timeline that gets more published products becomes the defacto official timeline while the fans of the other timeline are left out and their world is seen as "alternative" or "alternate".



^ The same would happen with multiple eras support. If one of the eras sells more, well you can guess what will happen...
So, a split timeline would be even better than sourcebooks/novels set in the past, IMHO, because it would remove the ''set in stone ending'' ugliness for many of the storylines/characters/deities etc... (published Realms-wise, ofc. Again, as I said, personal games can ignore everything deemed bad/boring/unfitting etc...), while providing the same kind of support.
The problem with a split timeline is the potential for one of those timelines to get more emphasis than the other. For example, if WotC sees a non-spellplague timeline getting 30% more sales than the spellplague timeline, they'd probably publish more books from the latter. Eventually, the timeline that gets more published products becomes the defacto official timeline while the fans of the other timeline are left out and their world is seen as "alternative" or "alternate".



^ The same would happen with multiple eras support. If one of the eras sells more, well you can guess what will happen...
So, a split timeline would be even better than sourcebooks/novels set in the past, IMHO, because it would remove the ''set in stone ending'' ugliness for many of the storylines/characters/deities etc... (published Realms-wise, ofc. Again, as I said, personal games can ignore everything deemed bad/boring/unfitting etc...), while providing the same kind of support.



It looks like alienation either way, so this is probably the least controversial.  At least there would be continuation for other eras.  Since what they've revealed is vague, there could be other possibilities as well...  Some less savory than others (soft-reboot, eXtreme reboot, alternate universe, abolish timeline, etc...)  Seeing as the flavour of 5e is modularity, these probably won't happen (except erasing the timeline, which would make novelists' heads explode)...  Well, as long as I can have my pantheon and realms pre-Plague and other players get what they want, I'm content

The Knights of W.T.F. may as well be ghosts, but the message still stays;

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
  • PRAISE THE SUN!


It looks like alienation either way, so this is probably the least controversial.  At least there would be continuation for other eras.  Since what they've revealed is vague, there could be other possibilities as well...  Some less savory than others (soft-reboot, eXtreme reboot, alternate universe, abolish timeline, etc...)  Seeing as the flavour of 5e is modularity, these probably won't happen (except erasing the timeline, which would make novelists' heads explode)...  Well, as long as I can have my pantheon and realms pre-Plague and other players get what they want, I'm content



Why would it be alienating? Splitting the timeline at some point is like having multiple eras support, the only difference being that pre-Plague fans can have their pantheon, NPCs and Realms back without the clause that in X year some god/NPC disappears or some nation turns into zombieland/explodes/gets flooded/whatever. This is a very modular approach (even more than standard multiple eras support) because it can open space for a real modular development of plots which have been rushed or interrupted, rather than one with an already definite ending, while still being able to provide support for ''modern'' era, or for the wailing years, or pre ToT, or Crown Wars era etc... (and not invalidating any work, since it'd be still canon in one of the timelines).

Anyway -personally- I'll be interested only if they split the timeline (any time pre drowpocalypse), or if they bring back the flavorful and characterizing deities that were unjustly removed from canon because ''too much lore'', and nations/organizations that add flavor to the setting, but that were turned into shadows of themselves. I won't buy material which covers an already largely detailed era, or which develops stories/characters destined to end in a few years in a horrible way. I want to see such plots (or new plots with people/organizations/deities I like) developed in new ways which aren't constrained by old destructive canon (and which don't kill/destroy stuff because it feels cool). If I wanted to just run a game set in the past, I would have a lot of material available for use and wouldn't need WotC at all to do so. Seeing again the setting I like growing is another matter, one that can't be solved with a multiple eras support.

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that DocNecro's getting at the idea of no matter what WotC does, they're going to upset/alienate someone, so they're best off doing it to the least number of people possible. Now what they actually do is another matter entirely, as 4e showed us...

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

- Oscar Wilde

Thanks, Brian for the update.  Please keep updating us here on the Wotc boards for those of us who don't frequent Candlekeep.

Having read both threads, I'm excited about the team and the feedback for this new version.  Like everyone, I'm scared of a time split (the whole sundering thing does sound like this), and I'm equally scared of the "one edition to rule them all" lingo that hangs around D&D Next.

My only hope is that the Realms continues to move forward.  I know that gamers have nostalgia as part of their core DNA, and so change is harder for gamers than it is for most.  Personally, I'm not even sure I can invest in a gaming product (D&D Next) that could face a reboot again in 5 years.

Still, I'm a long-time fan of the Realms, and I would support any effort that is going to bring us more Realms game material, novels, and online content.  Although the novels have been there in 4th edition, the game material pales in comparison to what we saw in 3rd, so I'm hopeful that the fresh energy aimed at the product can bring it back to the forefront of the product line.  I'll continue to support Realms products with my wallet, regardless of how D&D Next turns out from a gaming standpoint.

I'm excited to hear about the Realms story moving forward.  I'm enjoying the running storyline of the current drow Encounters season and the hints that are in the blurbs from the next two connected seasons of Encounters.

Sounds like an exciting GenCon.  Good luck to everyone working to keep the Forgotten Realms the best fantasy setting out there. 
I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that DocNecro's getting at the idea of no matter what WotC does, they're going to upset/alienate someone, so they're best off doing it to the least number of people possible. Now what they actually do is another matter entirely, as 4e showed us...



Yup, I'm pretty much being cynical again.  With a split approach, one will inevitably fade into dust.  This would essentially be a retcon without the immediate slap on the Shatter... I mean Plague-Era Realms fanbase (Phew, that was a close one )  So yeah, I don't think any approach is perfect.  The "One Realms" idea is a bunch of idealistic concepts that look good on paper, as the damage is ignored.  A retcon would be a direct slap in the face, saying what you liked didn't happen...  Even though the devil on my shoulder would looove that, it's still not right.

So, for the time being a split/multi-era would probably be the best bet.  If there's enough participation from both parties, then perhaps it wouldn't be alienating.  So, I withdraw my overt cynicism.  I blame the fact it's been raining since last afternoon, lol  (I hate New Jersey!!)  Also, I support the idea of multi-era.  That way, exploring content from the past would feel fresh and you can delve into things you haven't thought of or looked into before.

Now, seeing canon given a different look would be pretty cool.  Like, what if Cyric was destroyed before completely ascending to godhood (I WOULD LOVE THAT!) or what if one of the drow houses killed Drizzt while he was an infant.  All interesting concepts that could be dabbled with.

The Knights of W.T.F. may as well be ghosts, but the message still stays;

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
  • PRAISE THE SUN!
All this means is you're getting double the Drizzt.  Ponder on that.

Currently playtesting Murder in Baldur's Gate with the current iteration of D&D Next.

Also running a 2nd edition AD&D game.

Why would it be alienating?

Becaue it's not longer one Forgotten Realms.

 

Splitting the timeline at some point is like having multiple eras support

It is not, because they are then non-canon to each other.

With novels set in the past I can ready every novel, just like now, and all contribute to the Forgotten Realms.


With a split we have novels contributing to Realms A and Realms B and they will be non-canon for each other. 


No sense in following both and for me no more sense in following any FR products at all.


 

All this means is you're getting double the Drizzt.  Ponder on that.

No, I am getting no Drizzt at all. I get a freak Drizzt A and a freak Drizzt B with no reason to follow either of them


Splitting the timeline at some point is like having multiple eras support

It is not, because they are then non-canon to each other.

With novels set in the past I can ready every novel, just like now, and all contribute to the Forgotten Realms.


With a split we have novels contributing to Realms A and Realms B and they will be non-canon for each other. 


No sense in following both and for me no more sense in following any FR products at all.




The fact that they're not canon to each other doesn't mean that people don't get the material they want and like, so I don't see any problem here, provided that the distinction between the two timelines is done carefully. Why wouldn't it make sense for you to follow any FR product at all? If you enjoyed all the eras of the current timeline, you could follow the original one (with all canon intact). The ones who want to see the setting they like grow without the shackles of a canon which destroyed much of what they enjoy can follow the other. If they only support multiple eras, then there's no reason for me to follow, as I explained in my other post.

While I can read a novel about some character/storyline of a past era, I know that the end of all of that -as long as the Realms as a setting are concerned- is set in stone, and it's horrible, and this reduces my whole interest in it to 0. I won't see any actual future possibility for the characters/lands/stories removed from current canon.

About the one timeline fading into dust matter, it'd happen with multiple eras approach as well. The era which sells more gets more and more books, while the others fade into dust. That's exactly the same.

Now -as I said- I don't think that a split timeline is necessary, it's a solution that would work, as I see it. However I could get on board if WotC continued to develop the current era (plus supporting past ones), while restoring in it many of the characterizing and unique deities/lands/organizations, so that new stories about them, which can make them flourish without being constrained by an already defined ending, can be written and enjoyed. Publishing material about older eras alone can't provide this.



The fact that they're not canon to each other doesn't mean that people don't get the material they want and like,

Except when they like to follow the development of the one setting.

 

While I can read a novel about some character/storyline of a past era, I know that the end of all of that -as long as the Realms as a setting are concerned- is set in stone, and it's horrible, and this reduces my whole interest in it to 0.

And for me it's the excat opposite. I won't read a  novel about some character/storyline of a past era  if I know that it's not part of the one canon timeline but splits off in an alternate future.

about the one timeline fading into dust matter, it'd happen with multiple eras approach as well. The era which sells more gets more and more books, while the others fade into dust. That's exactly the same.

It's not the same, because no matter which wins, it's the same setting. With a split setting it's not.

I don't even care which one wins, as long as it fits seemlesly into the one canon timeline without retconning or splitting anything that come before away.


If they want to start again in 135X and continue with parallel stories[*] to the events leading up to 14xx I don't care as long as it's clear that this is just a different view on the same timeline that will eventually end where we are now.


If they want to just focus on stories set in 15xx going forward that's just as well for me. 


As long as it stays one Realms.




[*]which would also solve the "why doesn't Elminster solve this" issue, since if they focus on events happening parallel to the already known events we know where Elminster was currently busy at that time.


The fact that they're not canon to each other doesn't mean that people don't get the material they want and like,

Except when they like to follow the development of the one setting.

 

While I can read a novel about some character/storyline of a past era, I know that the end of all of that -as long as the Realms as a setting are concerned- is set in stone, and it's horrible, and this reduces my whole interest in it to 0.

And for me it's the excat opposite. I won't read a  novel about some character/storyline of a past era  if I know that it's not part of the one canon timeline but splits off in an alternate future.

about the one timeline fading into dust matter, it'd happen with multiple eras approach as well. The era which sells more gets more and more books, while the others fade into dust. That's exactly the same.

It's not the same, because no matter which wins, it's the same setting. With a split setting it's not.



1) They would still get to follow one setting, just pick the timeline they enjoy. They'd still have the current one with all the canon stuff and continuity preserved, just as it is now, but there would be also another one for the (many) people who dislike the current status of the Realms.

2)Novels about a character/deity/storyline who will disappear from canon in X year because ''too much lore'', barring any actual possibility of development beyond what's set in stone just hold no interest to me. Whatever happens there, the ending is decided, and it will feel ugly, rushed and unfitting for many stories. With a split timeline, you would still get your canonical novels in the original timeline, and other open-ended still canonical stories in the other one. This could also be solved by restoring the elements of the past who were unjustly removed because ''too much lore'', and it would work for me, as long as novels are concerned. For game materials, supporting all eras looks like a fine approach. Honestly, I don't care if they split the timeline or simply go with the restoring things route, as long as stories about what I used to enjoy, and whose endings are not ultimately decided (and not so unpleasant) get published.

3)Err... I don't get this. Why would you care if one era is ''still considered canon'', if the support for it fades into dust? It'd be a soft retcon too, because -say- 1300s gets most of the development resources, and 1400s -while ''being still there''- become ''distant'' and, with the passing of time, basically forgotten. Anyway, either with 2 timelines or multiple eras, it's up to WotC to not let this happen. So this argument doesn't really hold against a split.
both eras are canon.

alienate one fanbase??


well they already did that so....


   
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
All this means is you're getting double the Drizzt.  Ponder on that.



That's quite possibly the worst news I've heard in the last year.
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

both eras are canon.

But they are entirely different settings. No reason to call both FR.

alienate one fanbase??

well they already did that so....


And now they can alienate even more fans. Why ever care for some protagonist and his heroics again if the damocles sword of him being shoved of in some alternate universe with the next edition has been hung up.

One of the great thing about the Realms was that it was a living developing setting. One cared about what happed to it because when it happened it happened and the Realms were changed for better or worse.


If they split the Realms nothing matters anymore as anything could just be shoved into some alternate Realms version any time. What happens no longer matters because there is no guarantee that it will stay to have happened in X years from now.




If someone remember my post in the old forums prior to 4e he knows that I hated the spellplague and 4e Realms with a passion. Yet now I have to defend them because the now suggest way of handling the Realms is even worse, a thousand times worse.


I'd rather be stuck in a Realms I like less and be on board to see how they change and maybe get back to a state I like then being presented with two bizzard Realms, even if I would have normally liked the new bizzaro version better

And now they can alienate even more fans. Why ever care for some protagonist and his heroics again if the damocles sword of him being shoved of in some alternate universe with the next edition has been hung up.

One of the great thing about the Realms was that it was a living developing setting. One cared about what happed to it because when it happened it happened and the Realms were changed for better or worse.


If they split the Realms nothing matters anymore as anything could just be shoved into some alternate Realms version any time. What happens no longer matters because there is no guarantee that it will stay to have happened in X years from now.


If someone remember my post in the old forums prior to 4e he knows that I hated the spellplague and 4e Realms with a passion. Yet now I have to defend them because the now suggest way of handling the Realms is even worse, a thousand times worse.




There's no threat of characters being shoved into an alternate timelines. You have two of them, equal up to X year, and separated after it. Some events could fit nicely in both, but many others are independent. Besides one can still care about what happens in the Realms, because it will have effects. If your want to have the feel of ''one Realms'' just follow the original timeline, it'd be still there, unaltered. If you want to see what you like developed without the barrier of an ugly canon which says in X year a character/nation/deity that you like is going to disappear, follow the other timeline. Either way, what happens in stories will keep having impact on the Realms, so there will be reasons to follow the development.

To me, the solution is either a split timeline or continuing the current story, while bringing back what added depth, variety and characterization to the Realms, but that was lost with the simplifying and the streamlining of the setting. As I said, multiple eras support can do well only from a gaming PoV, but it won't solve much if one wants to see his/her favorite elements of the setting they like developed without the constraint of canonical ''impending doom''. Only those two possibilities can provide it without alienating whole fanbases (something that a reboot or simply continuing with the current Realms, without restoring anything, would do).

and I'd like to take the time to tell everyone to chill out for a momet.


Do we even know what the sundering is yet???


or are we just speculating and getting a little to hot under the collar??     
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
Uhm, we're just speculating, discussing what a split timeline would bring... but none's getting hot, I guess. If it sounded like I was getting angry, well.. I apologize about it, but I didn't mean to be hostile or aggressive.
I highly doubt that it will be a split timeline, given that every author I have seen post has talked about how they don't like the concept. Although, I do agree with you Irennan knowing the ending often times does ruin the book / movie. I would love a split timeline, but if that is not possible then I would like to see a serious effort to make the current realms appealing to a broader audience. I really don't care about events leading up to the spell plague or what happened during it. If we are stuck with it, I would like to move on and attempt to put it as far in the rearview mirror has possible.
Until we know more on the sundering..... debating on what it is , is pointless.


Dual timelines, yeah that would be the first opionion, it works and it does not.


a reset button and thus retconning everything  back to tthe grey box era could also work and mind you it resets everything making every novel obsolete. This also works, but only partially.....


Sundering away from the 4e mess of 4e relams and abeir it could also mean....... anyway, as I said pointless as we could put our colective heads to gether and still only be eating porriage               
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....

or continuing the current story, while bringing back what added depth, variety and characterization to the Realms, but that was lost with the simplifying and the streamlining of the setting.

That would be my favorite announcement from GenCon.

 

As I said, multiple eras support can do well only from a gaming PoV, but it won't solve much if one wants to see his/her favorite elements of the setting they like developed without the constraint of canonical ''impending doom''.

Well, the "doom" is only impending if they did something that is explicitly rendered void by the spellplague (e.g. negotiating a better trade agreement between Amn and Matztica), otherwise the spellplague is just annother event happening to them. Being hit by the spellplague is not a death sentence, a great lot of people where hit and not slain and not mutated and simply left to cope with the changed Faerun around them.

Unless their previous adventure was about something that was explicitly destroyed, the spellplague is just a bad day or month and then on to the next adventure.


And the FR could really need some novels set in the years during and after the spellplague to fill the gap between end of 3e and start of 4e.


 

Uhm, we're just speculating, discussing what a split timeline would bring... but none's getting hot, I guess. If it sounded like I was getting angry, well.. I apologize about it, but I didn't mean to be hostile or aggressive.

Well, I am actually getting a little hot. Not at the fellow posters here but at WotC and 5e in general.

So far I felt fairly secure in the eye of approaching 5e. Sure, so far the rules alienated me, but that's OK, I don't have to actually play the game, I can be content with just reading the sourcebook and novels for lore without ever playing a round of 5e.


And from what WotC has stated so far I felt fairly secure that I could continue to enjoy the stories and lore. But this thread now gave me the dread feeling in my stomach that "I might lose it all". That their fix to the FR will turn it into something I just can't stomach anymore.


I was so close to having read all FR novels ever published (at least temporarily until the next one comes out), after 14 years I am now at 230/265* read and still reading faster than Wotc publishes and I have the fear that they completly ruin the setting for me before I can say that I have at least once for a short time catched up to the bleeding edge of new releases.


Although, I do agree with you Irennan knowing the ending often times does ruin the book / movie.

But you don't know how it ends. You know the heroes will eventually run in the spellplague (unles the novel set even deeper in the past and the heores won't live to see the spellplague a 200 years in the future anyway), but whatever that actually means is open.

They could die, a lot people did. They could be horribly mutated, also a lot of people did. They could only gain some minor mutation with beneficial powers, some people did. Or they could survive unscathed and be left to deal with the afermath, most people had to. 


 

back to tthe grey box era could also work

Could it really? How many of the current FR fans even know the Grey Box? Sure, the oldest hard core of FR fans, but for most fans FR gained over the lifetime (e.g. during the time of great PC games like Baldur's Gate) wouldn't recognize it and simply see that many things they have taken for granted about the FR, since they were in the FR since they started following them 20 years ago, would suddenly not be there anymore.

I mean sure, the Motorwagen 1 was the first car, but I certainly would not buy it if Mercedes decides to re-offer it as their next new model





*as of 15th of Juli, some new novels might have been announced now that raise the total count a little higher

Well, the "doom" is only impending if they did something that is explicitly rendered void by the spellplague (e.g. negotiating a better trade agreement between Amn and Matztica), otherwise the spellplague is just annother event happening to them. Being hit by the spellplague is not a death sentence, a great lot of people where hit and not slain and not mutated and simply left to cope with the changed Faerun around them.

Unless their previous adventure was about something that was explicitly destroyed, the spellplague is just a bad day or month and then on to the next adventure.




And the FR could really need some novels set in the years during and after the spellplague to fill the gap between end of 3e and start of 4e.





^Yeah, and that's my point. All the stories/characters/nations modified/removed by the Spellplague (and by events in the late 1300s, like the Zentharim getting ''pwned'', Eilistraee and Vhaeraun undergoing the ''drowpocalypse'', Thay turning into an undead-fest, with Tam supreme and unrivaled by anyone) would get the canonical ''impending doom'', barring effective further development for any stories about them, and these are characterizing elements of the setting. But I still want to see stories about them (besides new stories), and that's a thing that only a split timeline or restoring many elements and tweaking some others could provide. And I agree with you that support for the wailing years would be welcome.

But you don't know how it ends. You know the heroes will eventually run in the spellplague (unles the novel set even deeper in the past and the heores won't live to see the spellplague a 200 years in the future anyway), but whatever that actually means is open.

They could die, a lot people did. They could be horribly mutated, also a lot of people did. They could only gain some minor mutation with beneficial powers, some people did. Or they could survive unscathed and be left to deal with the afermath, most people had to.




No, I wouldn't know the conclusion of a particular story, but I would know that things are going to end badly, and that the ending isn't something that enriches the setting, but some deus ex machina to remove flavorful elements from it, because too much lore. This surely would ruin the fun, at least to me, because it is hugely different if compared to reading about the past of someone who died achieving something relevant and in a way that was fitting for his/her goal in life, improving the Realms instead of depriving them of soemthing cool.


or continuing the current story, while bringing back what added depth, variety and characterization to the Realms, but that was lost with the simplifying and the streamlining of the setting.

That would be my favorite announcement from GenCon.



This.
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

or continuing the current story, while bringing back what added depth, variety and characterization to the Realms, but that was lost with the simplifying and the streamlining of the setting.

That would be my favorite announcement from GenCon.



This.



+1

HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

^Yes, I'd like that too. And I think that it'd be the best option, since people seem to react so badly to a split timeline (on these forums, at least). We'll find it out on Thursday (or Friday)...
it is the best option to continue with it and fix the mistakes of late 3x and the early 4e well okay most of 4e.....


the split timeline is a good idea, but its flawed just like a reboot.  
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
I don't think that a split timeline really is a flawed option (unlike a reboot, that would remove canon, therefore making some people upset) if performed carefully, as it has the potential of satisfying many people.

But honestly at this point I don't care whether they split the story or restore what was lost in the current era, I just want to see the organizations/nations/deities I like back in action to shape the story of the Realms, without the constraints of a canon which establishes that they're going to disappear in X years
Still, this risks alienating people who feel invalidated.  Why not welcome them on board too?  Though, this shouldn't be a problem, since Wizards said they'd have multi-era support.  But still, the inevitable spellplague future feels like an obligation with this method...  Perhaps splitting Classic Realms and Realms: Spellplague wouldn't be the worst idea.  This way it fits the modular approach DDN sets to accomplish without making others feel like they're not part of the setting anymore (The Abeir/Dawn War retcons/shoehorning didn't help at all)  But if they did that, it wouldn't surprise me if Wizards used this as a way to test the waters before seeing which way will be traveled further in the future... and which will be buried deep.  Well, time will tell.


The Knights of W.T.F. may as well be ghosts, but the message still stays;

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
  • PRAISE THE SUN!
Yep, hated the time-line split in Star Trek (at the many intervals they did it) and I hate the idea for it now with the Forgotten Realms. As I see it, WotC has problems contributing to multiple SETTINGS let alone specific settings with multiple/alternate timelines, which means that one most assuredly would die off with little support. So they might as well dissolve the Post-Spellplague Realms all together so I don't have to get my hopes up for the 2 per year Dragon™/Dungeon™ articles we'll proably get for the "bad-version" of the Realms and possibly the continuation of 1 or 2 story lines.

Or, to make matters worse, if they split the time line then the Post-Spellplague Realms will pretty much be the "breeding" ground for crazy, off the wall schemes any freelance designer or author wants to plop into the setting because it's "alternate" or "different" from traditional Realms and thus, more easily messed with because who cares?

Of course, no one's saying thats what will happen and I'm holding out hope with Erik Scott de Bie's influence that he speaks for the fans of the Post-Spellplague Realms who don't want to get shelved into the "crazy, limbo-Realms" section and forgotten entirely.  
The ''one portion of fanbase gets forgotten'' could very well happen with multiple eras support as well: the era that sells more gets supported, while the others fade into dust, or -as you said- get used as ''breeding ground'' for crazy ideas. It's up to WotC to not let this happen. Also, a split timeline is as resource draining as publishing sourcebooks/novels for every era, because by setting the ''crossroad'' at -say- 1372 DR WotC would have to develop stories set in that time, just like they would do if the timeline wasn't split, the only difference being that in the former case the possibilities are not limited by random destruction.

A split timeline itself can easily satisfy many fans, if performed carefully and without discrimination, because the people who like the Spellplague would get their original timeline unaltered and still developed as before (plus sourcebooks for the past, if they wish, since the two timelines would be equal up to the ''fork'', and would differ for how the events are developed in novels during 5e), while the ones who don't would get another one, which allows the development of the stories that they enjoy and that were sadly and brutally interrupted, or ended before their time, without canon that establishes when and how they're going to end, which really sucks.

As I've already said in this thread, I don't think that the game material is the main cause of the issue. They may tell me that ''Realms are modular, you can use any organization/deity/NPC in your game as you see fit, and here are examples of how to do it'', but I already know it (actually many, many people know it) and don't need someone to tell me that, and If I was running a campaign, I'd surely do so. Modularity and material for all eras is good, but they won't cut it alone for the ones who are interested in the Realms as a setting and disliked the changes happened in the late 1300s and 1400s. As I see it, WotC have 2 choices if they want to bring back such fans: either they fix the 1400s Realms (this seems to be  the best course of action at this point), or provide and support a different version of the setting.
Speculating is fun, and I am going to throw my hat in the ring.  I believe this sunderling will involve a separation of the Forgotten Realms from whatever the next iteration of the D&D rules are going to be.  Therefore there will be no more Time of Troubles or Spellplauge type of events needed.  WOTC will just produce lore, plot ideas, and other interesting facts and will let players decide what rule system to use.  

As far as the time line goes, I think they will continue from their current spot, and include material if not already covered by previous products in the timeline.
Speculating is fun, and I am going to throw my hat in the ring.  I believe this sunderling will involve a separation of the Forgotten Realms from whatever the next iteration of the D&D rules are going to be.  Therefore there will be no more Time of Troubles or Spellplauge type of events needed.  WOTC will just produce lore, plot ideas, and other interesting facts and will let players decide what rule system to use. 



It'd be about time...

As far as the time line goes, I think they will continue from their current spot, and include material if not already covered by previous products in the timeline.



This would be fine, if they brought back all the good and interesting elements that they thrown out of the window.