Forgotten Realms: Why?

I know opinions differ, but I really liked Points of Light as a setting. The best part was how easy it popped out, and something like Eberron, Forgotten Realms, or Dark Sun could be put into its place, because Points of Light was unobtrusive in a way that left both plenty of wiggle room and adventure-hungry players and DMs starved for details.

Forgotten Realms, though, has incredibly specific fluff. Even attempting to refluff and appropriate Forgotten Realms stuff in 4e, like the useful Masked Lord theme, leaves the abilities with a distinct undercurrent of Forgotten Realms flavor. Alone, that's not so bad, but when the entire setting has that going on - well honestly, I just don't want to feel like I'm playing Forgotten Realms with the serial numbers filed off. 

Anyone else feel this way? Anyone like the idea of Forgotten Realms as a core setting? I'm open to friendly discussion.  
WoTC didn't say the Forgotten Realms will be the default setting for D&D Next, only that it will be the first one published.  so the question is moot.

Personally, i hope Point of Light 9Nentir Vale is retained.  I don't want any of the famous setting to become the default setting because this usually means it won't be published and i want all of them to be.  I prefer the default setting to remain generic in the Core, such as the Nentir Vale was. A  regional map, some briefly detailed locations and generic deities would suffice IMHO. 

What i want is a default backdrop in fact, more than a fully detailed setting.

[sblock]

 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I agree. The worst thing that happened to Grayhawk was being named the default setting for 3E. Greyhawk is little more than a memory now, and I wouldn't wish that on ANY campaign setting. I think the core rules should be setting neutral, with advice in the DMG on world building and campaign details.
WoTC didn't say the Forgotten Realms will be the default setting for D&D Next, only that it will be the first one published.  so the question is moot.

Personally, i hope Point of Light 9Nentir Vale is retained.  I don't want any of the famous setting to become the default setting because this usually means it won't be published and i want all of them to be.  I prefer the default setting to remain generic in the Core, such as the Nentir Vale was. A  regional map, some briefly detailed locations and generic deities would suffice IMHO. 

What i want is a default backdrop in fact, more than a fully detailed setting.
 

Hyup, I fully agree.  I loved the generic fantasy backdrop (great term for it) presented in the 4E books.  It contained just enough information to be useful and spur your own creative ideas without being so bulky as to seem daunting.

As a dyed in the wool Forgotten Realms fan, I do not see the point of making it the default setting.  Forgotten Realms is not for everyone, and those that like it will use it. 

I don't see the point of making anything a default setting.  Even in AD&D although all the modules were taking place in Greyhawk, they could easily be dropped into any world.  I basically used module N3 as the start of my Moonshaes campaign.

If there is a small village in PoL, it will be much easier to incorporate than a small village like Shadowdale.  Sure, you can just use the old skull inn and the buildings, but then what is the point.  Using Realms shadowdale carries a lot of baggage.

Same with a city like Waterdeep, or even the very small icy realm of 10 towns and icewind dale.

Just use PoL.  It is better to present baseline generic for the core than any setting like FR, Dark Sun, or Eberron.

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As a dyed in the wool Forgotten Realms fan, I do not see the point of making it the default setting.  Forgotten Realms is not for everyone, and those that like it will use it. 

I don't see the point of making anything a default setting.  Even in AD&D although all the modules were taking place in Greyhawk, they could easily be dropped into any world.  I basically used module N3 as the start of my Moonshaes campaign.

If there is a small village in PoL, it will be much easier to incorporate than a small village like Shadowdale.  Sure, you can just use the old skull inn and the buildings, but then what is the point.  Using Realms shadowdale carries a lot of baggage.

Same with a city like Waterdeep, or even the very small icy realm of 10 towns and icewind dale.

Just use PoL.  It is better to present baseline generic for the core than any setting like FR, Dark Sun, or Eberron.




The best reason for using some kind of setting for your books is because you can sell more stuff if everything is linked in some fashion.

Creating Points of Light is probably the worst thing you could do to your IP.

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As a dyed in the wool Forgotten Realms fan, I do not see the point of making it the default setting.



You'll be happy to know then, as Plague already pointed out...  It's not.   

I don't see why you would feel overwhelmed/enslaved by the amount of FR fluff - in any edition.
Are you really incapable of simply reading it & picking/choosing the bits YOU want influancing your game?  Or just outright ignoring swathes of it?

Why do people read the novels as being cannon vrs just a chronicle of how some other FR campaign might've played out?  Even when later the characters/details are statted out in a game book.  I mean, would you listen to the tales of how MY campaign went & then feel you had to mimic it?  I don't think so.  So why do you do this with WoTC fluff?  
And what happens if you only own certain books & not others?
(ex; I don't own any FR books - aside from a misc. module or three - past 1e.  Nor have I read an FR novel since the early 90's.  And yet, as people go ranting on about how spell-plagues & dragonborn ruined the setting, etc etc etc, I'm still running FR based games that work just fine.)

Along the same lines.  WHY does almost everyone confine their campaigns to the areas of the map detailed by the company?  If you look at a FR (or GH, or DL, etc etc) map you'll see ALOT of space.....
So why aren't you setting your own campaigns there?  Afterall, you're complaining about being constrained.  Yet WotC (& TSR before them) is providing you all the space you're asking for.  AND you have the bennifit of being able to call it a FR campain & work in any FR detail you like.  Well?   
As a dyed in the wool Forgotten Realms fan, I do not see the point of making it the default setting.  Forgotten Realms is not for everyone, and those that like it will use it. 

I don't see the point of making anything a default setting.  Even in AD&D although all the modules were taking place in Greyhawk, they could easily be dropped into any world.  I basically used module N3 as the start of my Moonshaes campaign.

If there is a small village in PoL, it will be much easier to incorporate than a small village like Shadowdale.  Sure, you can just use the old skull inn and the buildings, but then what is the point.  Using Realms shadowdale carries a lot of baggage.

Same with a city like Waterdeep, or even the very small icy realm of 10 towns and icewind dale.

Just use PoL.  It is better to present baseline generic for the core than any setting like FR, Dark Sun, or Eberron.




this mirrors a lot of my own opinions on it. i love me some FR, but i don't want to see it foisted on people who don't like it.

as for an actual default setting, i think there was some genius in the PoL/Nentir Vale. it was vague and every detail was in passing, but that just invited you to build something cool around the skeleton it offered.



I'm a bitter Realms fan too and like Mournblade, I don't it as a default.  It doesn't help that the setting keeps having rediculous existential crisis based on vocal forum complaints...  No matter, I thought PoL was too developed to the point that it intruded in any and every setting it could get its hands on, resulting in frustrating retcons ranging from random elements appearing out of no where to invalidation of prior lore.  I want something more general than PoL, with more focus on how to build simple cities, dungeons, and local areas...  Perhaps even kingdoms!  (Kinda like Kingmaker)

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I love the realms, I like Greyahwk, anda few others.

that said, I ahte POL NEntir Vale. it shoehorned a good deal of itself into the realms and of which well.... we wont go there.

all that said and unsaid, if NEntir vale comes back as the core setting than I hope wotc learned well enough not to shoehorn in changes to the races of the realms becuase the way it is in nv.

there was no reason to destroy lurien.... the only reason why it went was because of the nv halfling was nomattic due to ancient castetrophe event that robbed them of their homeland.

I also hope that they make the supllement books that are not attached to any setting, for instance the 4e underdark book would ahve done far better if they didnt attach it to anything that was nentir vale...... it might not have been but it seemed like it awas to me....



anyway move on dont reply to me, Im ranting and it would only lead to a rant reply...


but no I dont want the realms as a core setting, Id be happy if there was no core setting but others wouldnt be             
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
I want a TRUE generic setting. Nentir Vale was far too developed with maps and everything.

When the game terms of the Nentir Vale crept into game terms liek names for paragon paths and epic destinys you didn't want to use it all in say a FR setting ("but there IS NO Ravenqueen in FR...")
I want a TRUE generic setting. Nentir Vale was far too developed with maps and everything.

When the game terms of the Nentir Vale crept into game terms liek names for paragon paths and epic destinys you didn't want to use it all in say a FR setting ("but there IS NO Ravenqueen in FR...")



Just ignore the flavor and use the mechanics...
I have been disappointed in the extreme changes to the Realms to the point that I would actually prefer them to wait a year to release it. It's almost as bad as the hatchet-job that TSR did on Dragonlance to shoehorn it into the terrible SAGA rules (5th age killed Krynn for me). As for the Nentir Vale, I would like it to stay, but hope that the full fleshed-out stuff that made it into Dragon turns it into its own setting with separate books & maps of the greater area. However, as I have stated in the past, the more settings that get some publishing love, the happier I will be. 
 

Just roll some dice.

 

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 Not 100% sure I have got this right but PoL as a concept was fine for example. Nentir Vale not a problem. PoL applied to other settings. Dark Sun not a problem (2nd ed DS was PoL more or less anyway).

 PoL FR problem.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

POL was a quasi setting, but ultimately became nentir vale...... or atleast its how I look at it
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
(2nd ed DS was PoL more or less anyway).

That was more because inbetween the PoL was "horrible awful desert that will kill you"

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I agree in that I feel like being the 'core setting' is like a death sentence. I am a huge fan of FR, but I was a GH DM many years ago and was very unhappy by what happened to GH in 3e.

Also, I just don't understand why someone(s) thought FR wasn't already PoL. Did ANY of the designers bother to look down in the corner of the map at the scale? Nentir Vale is Pol, correct? We agree on that? It fits perfectly between the High Forest and the High Moor, and disturbs NOTHING (the lore & geography become additive - it does not invalidate any FR lore). The rivers even line up nicely (and 'Winterbole' becomes the southern edge of the High Forest).

The Realms are freakin' HUGE... it is a horrible misconception that it is civilized; the settlemetns are far apart, and TONS of badness exist in-between everything. I can take a dozen PoL settings and shoe-horn them in (TO SCALE!) inside the Heartlands of the Realms (and have done so).

The Realms wasn't Pol - it was THE PoL of PoL settings. Every single smaller region was a separate, PoL setting. Its a damn shame no-one (in-charge) ever realized that. Not a rant... just an observation.
Even PoL is too much setting for a rulebook, honestly. The Realms, well, there's a certain amount of historical/setting lockout that occurs when someone unfamiliar with the setting attempts to utilize it in a game. You've almost got to have a degree in Realmslore to run a really fantastic game. Oh, and you've got to really understand the setting. Sounds silly, but there you have it.

That sounds like a very elitist statement, but those of us that know the Realms well can tell you that there's very little quite so bad as playing in a badly realized Forgotten Realms game.
I don't see why you would feel overwhelmed/enslaved by the amount of FR fluff - in any edition.
Are you really incapable of simply reading it & picking/choosing the bits YOU want influancing your game?  Or just outright ignoring swathes of it?

Why do people read the novels as being cannon vrs just a chronicle of how some other FR campaign might've played out?  Even when later the characters/details are statted out in a game book.  I mean, would you listen to the tales of how MY campaign went & then feel you had to mimic it?  I don't think so.  So why do you do this with WoTC fluff?  
And what happens if you only own certain books & not others?
(ex; I don't own any FR books - aside from a misc. module or three - past 1e.  Nor have I read an FR novel since the early 90's.  And yet, as people go ranting on about how spell-plagues & dragonborn ruined the setting, etc etc etc, I'm still running FR based games that work just fine.)

Along the same lines.  WHY does almost everyone confine their campaigns to the areas of the map detailed by the company?  If you look at a FR (or GH, or DL, etc etc) map you'll see ALOT of space.....
So why aren't you setting your own campaigns there?  Afterall, you're complaining about being constrained.  Yet WotC (& TSR before them) is providing you all the space you're asking for.  AND you have the bennifit of being able to call it a FR campain & work in any FR detail you like.  Well?   

We currently play in a F.R. Campaign. We still use the first AD&D Box set. +1 to CCs for being not beholden to the WOTC molestation of F.R. or it's whack history. I haven't ever bought a WOTC setting. No need to change from the Traditional Realms game for us. You kids and your pre occupation for the new & shiney and keeping up with the Jones.Tongue Out
The realms attempts to be too many things to too many people and is very polarizing. The only way I could accept it is if the timeline goes further in the past, i.e. the beginning of the realms, similar to knights of the old republic adding a fresh spin to star wars.
I agree in that I feel like being the 'core setting' is like a death sentence. I am a huge fan of FR, but I was a GH DM many years ago and was very unhappy by what happened to GH in 3e.

Also, I just don't understand why someone(s) thought FR wasn't already PoL. Did ANY of the designers bother to look down in the corner of the map at the scale? Nentir Vale is Pol, correct? We agree on that? It fits perfectly between the High Forest and the High Moor, and disturbs NOTHING (the lore & geography become additive - it does not invalidate any FR lore). The rivers even line up nicely (and 'Winterbole' becomes the southern edge of the High Forest).

The Realms are freakin' HUGE... it is a horrible misconception that it is civilized; the settlemetns are far apart, and TONS of badness exist in-between everything. I can take a dozen PoL settings and shoe-horn them in (TO SCALE!) inside the Heartlands of the Realms (and have done so).

The Realms wasn't Pol - it was THE PoL of PoL settings. Every single smaller region was a separate, PoL setting. Its a damn shame no-one (in-charge) ever realized that. Not a rant... just an observation.

 

 

The developers over-thought their way from your common sense conclusion. Have you ever seen the Chris Perkin’s interview on the 4e Forgotten Realms? Based on their logic the FR’s would have never worked featured PoL well because there were too many high level NPCs to bail them out and steal their thunder and it takes too long to absorb the material necessary to run FR. Undecided



We know the Fogotten Realms' better than the devs. Its not just filled with wild badlands most of the people live in the scattered settlements that arent even on the 3e FRC map. If you are a human living in Faerun chances are you live in a PoL.   
The realms attempts to be too many things to too many people and is very polarizing. The only way I could accept it is if the timeline goes further in the past, i.e. the beginning of the realms, similar to knights of the old republic adding a fresh spin to star wars.



*Face Palm worthy contradiction in the house!!!!!* Its going to be polarizing when people wont accept it unless time is rolled back 1,000 years but then a great many fans want to see it rolled back 100 to 120 years so I wont spank you. How about not touching the clock at all? Nothing is more polarizing than moving a timeline lifetimes.
I used to like the Realms, back in 1E.  Much of 2E Realms wasn't that bad either.

It badly needs a total re-set IMO, rather than (yet another) worldwide cataclysm.  Badly executed metaplots like the ToT and Spellplague are what ruined the Realms for me and my player groups, and expanding on a bad metaplot is just about the worst thing they could do.

I also hope FR does not become the default setting, but for a totally different reason than most here. I hated the Forgotten Realms. This isn't a criticism of those who like it, but I found it chockerblock full of little things hat just seemed to be against the grain. Seemed like a fine setting for a certain type of fantasy story, but not a great place for an rpg. In many ways it was like playing a Star-Wars game set at the same time as episodes 4,5 and 6, everything needs to be fitted in with the "main plotline"

At any rate, I quite liked Greyhawk for its vanilla blandness that let it mix reasonably well with anything, and I loved the PoL for the style of game it pormoted (although I don't think the mechanics of 4e were optimally suited to the same style of game)

That all being said, I don't really mind what the default setting is, as long as it doesn't affect the baseline assumptions and mechanics (like having "Harper" as a prestige class at the cost of something more transferable to other settings)
The benefit of the early timeline as the base, is anyone is free to advance it. However, it offers an opportunity to give a glimpse of the realms no one has ever seen. Then if they want to release a timeline module for 3E or 4E, then everyone can have their cake and eat it to. If you re-start the realms in recent times, then do you choose 3E or 4E? Or even worse add in a bandaid to combine the two that makes no sense.