What Needs to be Done With the Realms for D&DN?


 I like the classic Realms (1987-2008). While 4th ed may not be my preferred D&D I can take it or leave it depending on what aspect of it is being mentioned. Parts of 4th ed were fantastic, other parts were not to my taste. At least it seemed to be good at what it was trying to achieve (balance, tactics etc). Being the forever DM I would play 4th ed or any other edition of D&D if a DM offered to run a game. My tolerence however does not extend to 4th ed FR.

 FR is also  take it or leave it IMHO. Even with classic FR I thought a few things were just sill (Time of Troubles, Elminster) but overall I like the setting. I like following the events in the world as the timeline advances even if I do not like everything that is happening. I do not like massive disruptin to the Realms such as the planar shift  that happened with the 2nd ed to 3rd ed transition let alone the 4th ed realms. In 3 editions of D&D the Realms has had 3 different cosmologies. Beats me why they couldn't have just used the Great Wheel from 2nd ed to 3rd ed like they did for the core rules.

 Anyway what I would do is either a reboot back to the original FR or back to 3.5 Realms and pick up the timeline in 1375DR where it left off.

 Yes I realise this will likely annoy 4th ed fans of the Relams who may not have liked the classic Realms. THe Realms existed over 20 years with an apparently successful D&D product line with tie in novels and popular video games with mass crossover appeal (Baldurs Gate, Eye of the beholder I,II,II, Pool of Radience etc). FR was popular and like it or not it was the most sucessful camapign setting for 20 odd years in D&D. The 4th ed FR came along with the spellplague and nuked entire sections of the Realms. While I wasn't a fan of fake Aztec/Egypt area of the Realms if they were removed in some whty I would have reffered it to make sense and tie in to existing FR lore. Maybe the Sarrukh for example kill off the Mulhorandi people/pantheon for example. THere are also numerous ways they cold have added the Dragonborn to the setting. Dragons of Faerun for example had dragon eggs rain from the sky and Dragonmen existed in FR pre 4th ed anyway.

 Around about now someone is probably gonna start screaming about having their needs excluded and I am being selfish. Thats OK but I kind of have to be blunt here so I will be. Tough luck. I do not like Dragonlance, Ravenloft, World of Darkness, and various other settings, genres etc. Rather than complain about Ravenloft for example I made the conscious decision to just not play it. I do not expect Ravenloft to change to suit my needs, if you like Ravenloft all power to you knock yourself out and go and play Ravenloft.

 If you are a fan of 4th ed FR odds are we are going to disagree entirely. One of us is probably going to be disapponted. Even a multi era type FR like Star Wars will not work becasue in a few years the spell plague will happen (ty Grand History of the Realms). One more or less has to retcon that books existence away along with the spellplague to fix the Realms. I supppose they could make the Spellplague the default Realms but I doubt it. If they did pick up the Realms in 1375 and you like the Spellplague you can do it in your home games. If they keep it and just reset the clock to 1375 it will always be there as part of the future in official published material and its not really that far away (6th ed FR set during the SP bleah no thanks).

 I do not want a multiera frozen in time FR as the timeline advancing has always sort of being the thing to the Realms. Not everyone likes the metaplot or everything about the metaplot but to me it seems to define the Realms. If one doesn't like the classic Realms I suggest you can always do what I do in regards to Dragonlance and Ravenloft. You don't like it thats fine I understand but why destroy it for those that do? There are plenty of other settings one can use or one can create there own. If you want to kill off all of the FR NPCs, drop mountains on continents and have Drizzt doing tricks on the streets of Calimport by all means go ahead in your home games.

 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 


Anyway what I would do is either a reboot back to the original FR or back to 3.5 Realms and pick up the timeline in 1375DR where it left off.

It was confirmed months ago that this is NOT what they are doing, and they have no interest in doing so. The Spellplague isn't being retconned, and the 5E era of the Realms is expected to start around 1500 DR or so (perhaps a few years before), as the Sundering is expected to occur anywhere between 1485-1500 DR. That being said, it was also said that certain elements of the Spellplague, such as Returned Abeir/Laerakond, won't be sticking around.

I do not want a multiera frozen in time FR as the timeline advancing has always sort of being the thing to the Realms. Not everyone likes the metaplot or everything about the metaplot but to me it seems to define the Realms.

Well, they have said they are interested in making the 5E Realms open to the idea of different eras in which players can set their games, so we'll have to wait and see how that turns out.

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D&D should not return to the days of blindfolding the DM and players. No tips on encounter power? No mention of expected party roles? No true meaning of level due to different level charts or tiered classes? Please, let's not sacrifice clear, helpful rules guidelines in favour of catering to the delicate sensibilities of the few who have problems with the ascetics of anything other than what they are familiar with.
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Just a quick note on the MMORPG as an insult comparison... MMORPGs, raking in money by the dumptruck full. Many options, tons of fans across many audiences, massive resources allocated to development. TTRPGs, dying product. Squeaking out an existence that relys on low cost. Fans fit primarily into a few small demographics. R&D budgets small, often rushed to market and patched after deployment. You're not really making much of an argument when you compare something to a MMORPG and assume people think that means bad. Lets face it, they make the money, have the audience and the budget. We here on this board are fans of TTRPGs but lets not try to pretend none of us play MMORPGs.
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Adding options at the system level is good. Adding options at the table level is hard. Removing options at the system level is bad. Removing options at the table level is easy. This is not complicated.
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Something like Tactical Shift is more magical than martial healing.
Telling someone to move over a few feet is magical now? :| I weep for this generation.
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ANy FR that conatins any elements of the Spellplagued will not be purchased by myself anyway. A 1500 DR reboot would have to be spectacular to even remotely interest me. Its still a 100+ year timeline jump which kills off all the old characters with a few exceptions like Drizzt/Elminster.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I like the classic Realms (1987-2008).

That's an odd definition of "classic".  Before the Spellplague, people were arguing about all the other Realms-Shattering-Events that had plagued the Realms on a near-constant basis.  In fact, it makes it seem like this thread is a very very thinly veiled attack on 4e Realms.  For shame.
Sorry to burst your hopes Zardnar but they (being designers, authors, etc) have already said the Spellplague event will be apart of FR history going into D&D:N though the Sundering might help put some things back in the Realms, namely a few gods and FR-Mexico and FR-Egypt. They also mention something about novels being written in any time frame.

Safe to say, I doubt ill buy much FR 5e stuff cuz' I actually like most of the 4E changes they made. It held enough FR feel while being fresh and, well more interesting than the heap of messes it was dealing with (mary-sue "Chosen", All-powerful Mystra, 301+ deities that all did stuff very similar to one another, redundancy with naming every single NPC in existance, and a somewhat unnerving feeling one might get when they stray from Canon). All I really want is for them to put out a detailed book about Returned Abeir so that I can retain that information rather than the mexico/egypt BS they're than likely to bring back.
I'd rather design the setting to be something like Ed Greenwood's Realms book from a couple months ago.  Make it vague and ambiguous enough, but supply enough good content to utilize in your campaigns.  As for Spellplague and Abeir (and any other retcons brought by 4th ed), I'd personally make greater details available in a seperate sourcebook.  The same goes for Time of Troubles and Return of the Shades.  Plus, a Beyond Faerun book to cover Maztica, Kara-Tur, Al Qadim, etc...  That way it's more so pick and choose and the basis won't be offensive to the fans as a whole.  A bit too clean and PC, but hey...  As long as there's supplements available ASAP, everyone's happy.  Personally, I'd love smiting spellplague realms into oblivion.  I'm 100% bitter over its reason for creation, giving into people who continuously complained that the setting wasn't for them/wasn't Eberron/in general, "complaining about games you don't play."  Oh well...  what's done is done.  The Realms is dead to me as a continuing property, but I might get 5E realms to convert the previous lore and homebrew/headcanon from many years of play over.

I'm hoping this is the case.  No invalidation, no retcons, and it promotes the module/options philosophy that 5E promotes.  If that fails, I suppose a one-shot dedicated to brutally destroying Abeir and/or nuking the current Realms into nothingness can be arranged...

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I like the classic Realms (1987-2008).

That's an odd definition of "classic".  Before the Spellplague, people were arguing about all the other Realms-Shattering-Events that had plagued the Realms on a near-constant basis.  In fact, it makes it seem like this thread is a very very thinly veiled attack on 4e Realms.  For shame.

I do agree that before the Spellplague people complained about The Time of Troubles, and the complaints aren't anything new.  I too "was there", and heard the complaints first hand

At the same time, I would love to see a return to the Pre-Spellplague era.  Those other events didn't change the geography of Toril nearly as much, causing them to invalidate less of people's home campaigns.  Besides, anyone who's studied mega-tsunamis knows that replacing one continent with another is an extinction level event regardless of the number of gods or hand waving that says otherwise.  Abeir changed the Realms from a fantasy locale to a grotesque parody of any form of available logic.  I'd like to see a little less Benny Hill in my favorite campaign setting.
I like the classic Realms (1987-2008).

That's an odd definition of "classic".  Before the Spellplague, people were arguing about all the other Realms-Shattering-Events that had plagued the Realms on a near-constant basis.  In fact, it makes it seem like this thread is a very very thinly veiled attack on 4e Realms.  For shame.



I played through the upset caused by the Time of Troubles.

I remember how annoyed many were over the Return of the Shades.

The response to the Spellplague actually seemed muted in comparison, given that it eliminated many longstanding problems (especially the racist depictions of non-european cultures) which were looked on poorly here in multicultural New Zealand.

The best thing I've heard about the Realms is that they will be picking up from 4th but also supporting earlier points in the timeline, which seems to me to be the only way to be inclusive.

The OP really doesn't seem to be intrested in embracing the inclusive spirit of Next, which is unfortunate. 
I'd rather design the setting to be something like Ed Greenwood's Realms book from a couple months ago.  Make it vague and ambiguous enough, but supply enough good content to utilize in your campaigns.  As for Spellplague and Abeir (and any other retcons brought by 4th ed), I'd personally make greater details available in a seperate sourcebook.  The same goes for Time of Troubles and Return of the Shades.  Plus, a Beyond Faerun book to cover Maztica, Kara-Tur, Al Qadim, etc...  That way it's more so pick and choose and the basis won't be offensive to the fans as a whole.  A bit too clean and PC, but hey...  As long as there's supplements available ASAP, everyone's happy.



This I can get behind. I'm fairly certain that the Sundering will be removing many elements of the Forgotten Realms I've come to enjoy and love over the past 4 1/2 years and will continue to do so regardless of what's "official". I think my biggest problem is that they had the possibility to be something MORE than just a spot.....over there......away from Faerûn.....that had some.....stuff.......different than some other stuff. Which is what Returned Abeir ended up being. It was 4E's Maztica all over again but without a crappy trilogy of books. If they're going to bother detailing a continent with races, plots, cities, and maps then DO something with it! Alas, it'll return to Mexico and be forgotten again because no one cares* about Mexico-esque Realms junk.  

      Personally, I'd love smiting spellplague realms into oblivion.  I'm 100% bitter over its reason for creation, giving into people who continuously complained that the setting wasn't for them/wasn't Eberron/in general, "complaining about games you don't play." 



I've seen this a lot from people who don't like what an edition change will mean for the Realms but I never believe it. Those "complaints" were often well articulated and posted a LOT of Realmslore along with them. To me, that says a LOT, espically from those vocal people who apparently weren't that invested in the Realms to begin with. Now, one might gander over to RPG.net and get the "geneal" opinion of the Realms, but then that would be stepping out of one's comfort zone and listening to well.....harsh (and often valid) criticism. But most people don't, they flee to the strong holds of the Old Guard (like Candlekeep or Dragonsfoot) where their opinions are validated and reaffirmed 10x over. Suffice to say that even though I played in AD&D Realms and 3E Realms there were MANY things I felt were not very "Realms-ian" or didn't fit the setting well or just downright were bad plot or NPCs or Gods. This doesn't mean, however, that I'm not a fan or that the Realms aren't for me. Quite the opposite really. I actually enjoy far MORE of the Realms than I hate and what I hate, I remove with abandon and replace with splendor. Simple as that. 

In the case of 4E though, the designers shoved MORE into what I already liked and left the crud that I despised out. It was, literally, a Win-Win for me. Which is why I say that I'd probably not subscribe to the 5E Realms, frankly because they're pandering to yet other complaining voices that don't share the same vision of the Realms as I do and haven't for the past 5+ years.



*I say "No one cares" because if a great many customers did, there would be a BIGGER outcry for books in that area. To my knowledge, there wasn't and thus, Maztica (and to a lesser extent, Mulhorandi) were left in the dust because they generally garnered little passion from the fans.       
what needs to be done for the realms in 5e??

thats simple, one should look at the big picture on what made the realms the realms and it  was all of it, from the many deities, the various cultures, the land masses, the plot hooks, the npcs( yes the high level ones too).

4e realms took alot out aand shoehorned alot in


they should make  Realms be the Realms again and not something it isnt.



you dont like it leave it but dont go messing it up for those who do..... see the long list of gripes complaints of the 4e changes and all it did.....           
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The Forgotten Realms was boring and generic; it needed to be burnt to the ground and rebuilt from the ground up to be even remotely interesting. The Spellplague was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Oh gods please don't go edition nuking the Realms again. sigh
I don't know what the actual plans are for 5e Realms. If there is any truth to the whole 1500 DR/Sundering talk, please link quotes/articles/posts that support this. It sounds like people are making stuff up.
I have no idea of a good way to transition the Realms into the new edition but the whole new edition = Realms shaking catclysm is not the right way to go.
I am one of the DMs whose campaigns were hurt by the Spellplague and god killing that happened. And I don't want to see it again. Hell, lets avoid shoehorning in any/everything into Faerun again as well. 

they should make  Realms be the Realms again and not something it isnt.



The Forgotten Realms was boring and generic; it needed to be burnt to the ground and rebuilt from the ground up to be even remotely interesting. The Spellplague was exactly what the doctor ordered.


The Spellplague was crap. It didn't make sense and nothing good came from it.
I read the books that went with it. It was poorly designed and didn't bring anything of value to a well loved setting. 
The Forgotten Realms was boring and generic; it needed to be burnt to the ground and rebuilt from the ground up to be even remotely interesting. The Spellplague was exactly what the doctor ordered.


The Spellplague was crap. It didn't make sense and nothing good came from it.
I read the books that went with it. It was poorly designed and didn't bring anything of value to a well loved setting. 


In your opinion.

In my opinion about the spell plague books, I thoroughly enjoyed some and some where bad, same as the novels from other editions. If they didn't need to reboot Realms before, i don't really see any reason they need to do it this time.

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what needs to be done for the realms in 5e??

thats simple, one should look at the big picture on what made the realms the realms and it  was all of it, from the many deities, the various cultures, the land masses, the plot hooks, the npcs( yes the high level ones too).



Yea, I'm just going to have to disagree with this. Nothing really more needs said though, I have my way and others have their way. Both ways are the Realms, even when people stamp their feet and ball their fists in spite of all the books saying so. At the end of the day, it still says Forgotten Realms on the cover.   


they should make  Realms be the Realms again and not something it isnt.



Which is completely and utterly subjective to the individual/group that delves into the Realms.  When will people stop thinking that there's a "Right" way to play in the Forgotten Realms??


you dont like it leave it but dont go messing it up for those who do..... see the long list of gripes complaints of the 4e changes and all it did.....           



So telling me that the sand box isn't big enough and to find another one is a good solution? Right. Averting to the ol' Wrongbadfun routine. Classy!

Oh gods please don't go edition nuking the Realms again. sigh
I don't know what the actual plans are for 5e Realms. If there is any truth to the whole 1500 DR/Sundering talk, please link quotes/articles/posts that support this. It sounds like people are making stuff up.
I have no idea of a good way to transition the Realms into the new edition but the whole new edition = Realms shaking catclysm is not the right way to go.
I am one of the DMs whose campaigns were hurt by the Spellplague and god killing that happened. And I don't want to see it again. Hell, lets avoid shoehorning in any/everything into Faerun again as well. 

they should make  Realms be the Realms again and not something it isnt.






Was addressed (apparently) in the Keynotes at GenCon seen Here: www.wizards.com/dnd/gencon.aspx#dnd/genc...

The Sundering Info: erikscottdebie.com/2012/08/21/candlekeep...  and some here as well forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=...



Given the reaction that the 4e Realms received, I'm rather afraid that the setting is going to be DOA unless they retcon the Spellplague and go back to the 3.5 era timeline and proceed from there. They're trying to be all-inclusive with 5e, and trying to recapture many elements of the setting that its 4e incarnation did its best to dismiss, but I think they might misunderstand just how much it alienated the setting's fanbase, and how much of a dealbreaker it might be to leave any aspect of it enshrined as setting canon.

We'll see I suppose, but they might not be willing to do what's needed to make it a viable property anymore if people have moved on after the past few years. Which is sad, because it used to be one of my favorite settings. Hopefully it will be once again.
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you ever hear of the phrase love it or leave it....


yeah the sandbox is big enough for both, but messing it up in the first place with every edition change never really helped anything and neither did the last time.....




moving on    
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Given the reaction that the 4e Realms received, I'm rather afraid that the setting is going to be DOA unless they retcon the Spellplague and go back to the 3.5 era timeline and proceed from there. They're trying to be all-inclusive with 5e, and trying to recapture many elements of the setting that its 4e incarnation did its best to dismiss, but I think they might misunderstand just how much it alienated the setting's fanbase, and how much of a dealbreaker it might be to leave any aspect of it enshrined as setting canon.

We'll see I suppose, but they might not be willing to do what's needed to make it a viable property anymore if people have moved on after the past few years. Which is sad, because it used to be one of my favorite settings. Hopefully it will be once again.




they're going to continue with the current canon while also putting out stuff for past eras. everyone's happy (except for the people who refuse to be.)

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they're going to continue with the current canon while also putting out stuff for past eras. everyone's happy (except for the people who refuse to be.)



Yeeup, pretty much this. Which is about hopefully a decent compromise as far as how fans reaction goes. I doubt I'll use anything pre-Spellplague or Pre-Return of Shade as I know those two eras the best, so I can only hope we get more information that is either Era-centric or general and can be used in any era.
The Forgotten Realms was boring and generic; it needed to be burnt to the ground and rebuilt from the ground up to be even remotely interesting. The Spellplague was exactly what the doctor ordered.


The Spellplague was crap. It didn't make sense and nothing good came from it.
I read the books that went with it. It was poorly designed and didn't bring anything of value to a well loved setting. 

I have to agree with faer4 in part. Forgotten realms was getting WAY too bloated and trying to keep up with the endless lore was quite a feat. A reboot was needed to have any chance or pulling in new people in by giving them a starting point they could reach. And to be honest, it was kind of annoying to have a god level NPC around every corner and yet I'm to believe that I'm needed?

Though with the HUGE amount of pre-Spellplague fluff around, I don't see why anyone that likes it would ever need more of it. 

when was the last time anyone seen khelben the older do something outside og waterdeep that he could con some lower group of adventurers into doing.....
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
when was the last time anyone seen khelben the older do something outside og waterdeep that he could con some lower group of adventurers into doing.....



Khelban? No, can't say that I have. Laeral, Storm, Elminster, Alustriel, the Simbul? Yes, all of them play prominent parts in events that largely effect Faerûn. What gets me is that to adventure in areas where these NPCs live, they have to be removed. Take, for example, Shadowdale: Scouring of the Land and the adventure that ensues there. Do you think that Elminster would've just stood by and watched as HIS town get overrun by Zhents? No, they had to BLOW. UP. HIS. TOWER to make a convient excuse to why he wasn't there. And here's nother thing, sure NPCs of their heights of power don't meddle in low-level adventures but they sure as heck would if the adventure got more serious in terms of level and scope. A group of level 15 PCs IS going to attract attention when they start causing havoc and destruction in areas like Silverymoon or Waterdeep or Shadowdale.

So it's either include these NPCs in mid- to high-level adventure (because not doing so completely eliminates any sense of "realism" and verisimilitude) or just don't campaign at mid- to high-levels in those areas. That, to me, is boring.
I think it would be neat if the Realms advanced even further to be like Urban Arcana. Imagine a more modern day Realms. (IIRC, there was a Dragon article on Grayhawk 2000...)

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Reading through this thread amuses me. The people that like 4E realms are mostly of the, "I want the stuff I like kept, but support for the other eras is fine" while those who don't like the 4E realms are 'mostly' screaming "burn it with fire! Retcon, retcon, retcon!" I think anyone who hasn't figured out what is happening to the realms for DnDN should go take a look at the panel WotC put on youtube, searching PAAX 2012 The Sundering, would probably get you there real quick. Then we have have a discussion on whether pandering to 'old-school' fans at the loss of the 4E crowd is a good idea for THE GAME as opposed to what people just want to see for theor own sake.

But for the record, I keep up with FR for the lore and to steal things for my worlds. Never run or played a game in the realms and likely never will.
But for the record, I keep up with FR for the lore and to steal things for my worlds. Never run or played a game in the realms and likely never will.



That's pretty cool. I did, well sorta the opposite, by including elements that I thought fit the Forgotten Realms better than the stuff they had in. When 4E hit, there wer some pretty big changes and it gave me the opportunity (without refuting that horrible Canon word) to place a lot of homebrew elements within the setting. For example, the Island nation of Lantan is supposed to be wiped out by a giant tidal wave. In MY Realms, it was actually pre-warned by (heh, funny enough) The Simbul about the flood and so they sent all their technological know-how to prevent such a thing from occuring. What ended up happening was they created a "bubble" of magic around their Island and when the waves came crashing, the island remained clam and collected.

Almost a century later, Lantan has been embarking on mapping and exploring the ocean and has become a sort of Forgotten Realms - Atlantis. I draw ideas and technology from such games like Bio-Shock and the Gungans from Star Wars. Suffice to say, it's MUCH better, IMO, than just wiping off their island from the face of Toril or replacing it with something bothersome.
Out of curiosity, to those that don't like the 4th edition FR, is it the spellplague/realm shaking event that you don't like or is it the destruction of the old lore with barely anything new to replace it with?

The reason I'm asking is because it isn't the first time that the FR was significantly changed. The Time of Troubles was pretty bad too but people don't seem to be as pationate about that change than they are about the spellplague. And even at a smaller scale, I'm sure that some people don't like the way things evolved. The truce between Oubould and Bruenor in the Silver Marches, what happens in Luskan, the revival of Myth Drannor and the near destruction of the Fey'ri. All of these smaller events changed the Realms.
 
I personally like the 4th edition FR but I don't play in it. The material is useless, there isn't enough to run a campaign. Eberron was more suited for my lazy world builder needs. Eberron isn't my favorite, far from it, but at least I don't have make up 99% of the content.

And to those that actually like the 4th edition FR, don't be a hypocrite. There was a significant loss of FR lore in 4th edition and the 2 supplements, 3 novel series and the few dozen D&D Insider articles aren't even close to providing as much information as in the former editions. And no, you cannot use your old books. Just as your good old Volo guides were outdated in 3rd edition, your Silver Marches, Shinning South or Waterdeep 3rd edition supplements are nearly useless in a post spellplague world. Too much has changed, updating those supplements is almost as much work as starting from scratch.
when was the last time anyone seen khelben the older do something outside og waterdeep that he could con some lower group of adventurers into doing.....



Khelban? No, can't say that I have. Laeral, Storm, Elminster, Alustriel, the Simbul? Yes, all of them play prominent parts in events that largely effect Faerûn. What gets me is that to adventure in areas where these NPCs live, they have to be removed. Take, for example, Shadowdale: Scouring of the Land and the adventure that ensues there. Do you think that Elminster would've just stood by and watched as HIS town get overrun by Zhents? No, they had to BLOW. UP. HIS. TOWER to make a convient excuse to why he wasn't there. And here's nother thing, sure NPCs of their heights of power don't meddle in low-level adventures but they sure as heck would if the adventure got more serious in terms of level and scope. A group of level 15 PCs IS going to attract attention when they start causing havoc and destruction in areas like Silverymoon or Waterdeep or Shadowdale.

So it's either include these NPCs in mid- to high-level adventure (because not doing so completely eliminates any sense of "realism" and verisimilitude) or just don't campaign at mid- to high-levels in those areas. That, to me, is boring.


Here's the thing, the named NPCs who meddle in the affairs of the Realms are BUSY doing so. Even when dealing with mid to high level adventures, the named NPCs are still likely taking on even more impossible tasks, leaving the adventure for the PCs (see book 2 of the Shadow of the Avartar series for a prime example).

The named NPCs are tools to be used (or not used) by the DM. If the players are big fans of the NPCs, then they can be working with them to solve problems (NPCs taking care of their stuff "off screen"). If the players don't want to feel overshadowed, then the NPC isn't present (it's not like they leave an answering service letting people know what they're doing). PCs stupid enough to pester the named NPCs to solve their problems deserve whatever the DM feels like serving up.

If your group has divided issues on the named NPCs of the Realms, then the group better come to a compromise or choose another setting to run.
So it's either include these NPCs in mid- to high-level adventure (because not doing so completely eliminates any sense of "realism" and verisimilitude) or just don't campaign at mid- to high-levels in those areas. That, to me, is boring.



I don't see how this is different in any other setting? If the scope of the adventure is world changing, the higher powers of the world will participate either directly or indirectly.

As a side note, this is where bound accuracy really gets useful. Elminster can still be slaughtered by a group of 50 level 1 zhentarim archers. So in D&D Next, they wouldn't have to blow up his tower, he would be hiding like everybody else.


And to those that actually like the 4th edition FR, don't be a hypocrite. There was a significant loss of FR lore in 4th edition and the 2 supplements, 3 novel series and the few dozen D&D Insider articles aren't even close to providing as much information as in the former editions.



Yep, that's a shame. Really, I wish we got more to be honest. That's why I want more splat books NOW about Returned Abeir, about some of the organizations that are prominent within the post-Spellplague, and about a slew of other stuff that we just didn't get. It's not like we didn't want any  lore at all, we DO! I'd LOVE to see the amount of time and investment put into post-Spellplague as they did for AD&D and 3E. That would be awesome. But we won't and there's little use now arguing about it. I don't see how that makes me a hypocrite?  

    And no, you cannot use your old books. Just as your good old Volo guides were outdated in 3rd edition, your Silver Marches, Shinning South or Waterdeep 3rd edition supplements are nearly useless in a post spellplague world. Too much has changed, updating those supplements is almost as much work as starting from scratch.



Sorry but this is a very specific time where you should speak only for yourself. I DO use my older material (OMG, scary I know) and quite often for lore and info about stuff that DOESN'T CHANGE like whole human sub-races or cultures or how a city is detailed (like Waterdeep). I've used the FRCS, Races to Faerûn, Waterdeep: City of Splendors, Faiths and Pantheons, plus a CRAP load of inforation on the Boarder Kingdoms, PLUS Champions of Ruin and Valor for campaign ideas AND how specific organizations work. So please, spare me the dramatics about what I can and cannot use or what's relevant to my games. You, frankly, aren't justified to saying such things.  


If your group has divided issues on the named NPCs of the Realms, then the group better come to a compromise or choose another setting to run.



Thanks for telling me I'm not playing correctly. Care to share more elitist ideals?

So it's either include these NPCs in mid- to high-level adventure (because not doing so completely eliminates any sense of "realism" and verisimilitude) or just don't campaign at mid- to high-levels in those areas. That, to me, is boring.



I don't see how this is different in any other setting? If the scope of the adventure is world changing, the higher powers of the world will participate either directly or indirectly.

As a side note, this is where bound accuracy really gets useful. Elminster can still be slaughtered by a group of 50 level 1 zhentarim archers. So in D&D Next, they wouldn't have to blow up his tower, he would be hiding like everybody else.



Hopefully Bounded Accuray will help with this (though I suppose it won't), but why I have a problem with is that these people are near god-hood and, like elecgraystone posted above, it removes an element of heroism when people know that there's an super-EPIC spellcaster that could just fly down, melt the enemies down in 15 seconds, and completely negate this threat  that the PCs are working their tail off against. It's disheartening from a campaign setting standpoint. One reason why I wish they never gave NPCs stats or as detailed stats as they were in AD&D and 3E.
Out of curiosity, to those that don't like the 4th edition FR, is it the spellplague/realm shaking event that you don't like or is it the destruction of the old lore with barely anything new to replace it with?

The reason I'm asking is because it isn't the first time that the FR was significantly changed. The Time of Troubles was pretty bad too but people don't seem to be as pationate about that change than they are about the spellplague. And even at a smaller scale, I'm sure that some people don't like the way things evolved. The truce between Oubould and Bruenor in the Silver Marches, what happens in Luskan, the revival of Myth Drannor and the near destruction of the Fey'ri. All of these smaller events changed the Realms.
 
I personally like the 4th edition FR but I don't play in it. The material is useless, there isn't enough to run a campaign. Eberron was more suited for my lazy world builder needs. Eberron isn't my favorite, far from it, but at least I don't have make up 99% of the content.

And to those that actually like the 4th edition FR, don't be a hypocrite. There was a significant loss of FR lore in 4th edition and the 2 supplements, 3 novel series and the few dozen D&D Insider articles aren't even close to providing as much information as in the former editions. And no, you cannot use your old books. Just as your good old Volo guides were outdated in 3rd edition, your Silver Marches, Shinning South or Waterdeep 3rd edition supplements are nearly useless in a post spellplague world. Too much has changed, updating those supplements is almost as much work as starting from scratch.



 Realms shaking events are nothing new but they were poorly done IMHO and the time line jump killed off alot of characters I did like and the ones I didn't like survived (Drizzt and Elminster). If you don't like Middle Earth for example you don't trash the setting you just don't play it. I'm not being inclusive as any hint of the spellplague is completely incompatable with what I expect from the Realms. Retcon to 1375 is preferred, a reboot to 1357 pre time of troubles would be acceptable, any hint of a time line jump, the spell plague or anything 4th ed Realms related is more or less completely unacceptable. Of course I am only 1 voice but I have spent thousands on FR material and I will not buy any post 1375 FR material that incorporates any elements of the spell plague whatsoever.

 I'm not opposed to change at all in the Realms, time of torubles wasn't a great metaplot. Killing of Drizzt, Elminster or even characters I like I am fine with. Doing it all at once and doing it poorly and jumping the timeline bleah. It seems clear they lost more customers than they gained with the 4th ed changes to the Realms as it did not seem to be well recieved and it seemed to kill off tie in FR products as well.

 THey done reaosnably good conversions of Darksun and Eberron for example even though 4th ed wasn't really my thing. If you don;t like FR don't play it. I don't complain about Ravenloft, and Dragonlance which I do not really like. 4th ed PoL was decent enough and I liked part of it, turn that into a campaign setting and if I had a fluff heavy 4th ed FRCS I may have bought that even if I did not like 4th ed in general. It really does mystify me why they unleashed the Spellplague on the Realms. If you are goig to make massive changes to a gmae world at least do it well.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I have been collecting FR for decades and have most FR products even those 4e FR products i hate as the plague but i did not want to create holes in the collection. Nevertheless, i decided half a year ago or maybe it was a year ago to stop buying FR products. Nothing there happened after 3.5 will ever happen in any of my campaigns and I do not want to play in any campaigns taking place in 4e FR or 5e FR since i can not get myself to read in any of the 4e FR products
I understand that WOTC is a business and that they have to make products they believe they can sell. I am fine with them doing that but I am not going to support them with my money since they are not making the kind of products i want to read.
Out of curiosity, to those that don't like the 4th edition FR, is it the spellplague/realm shaking event that you don't like or is it the destruction of the old lore with barely anything new to replace it with?



It was the later for me.  A hundred years passed by with the Spellplague shaking the land and what do we get to show for it? Not much.

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The realms have just been overused and abused over the years. Its not friendly too new players, with too much backstory. Take a group that is 50/50 new players and old realms veterans and you have a problem. Plus too many people have different views of the realms. One group I played with a few years back had changed so much of the realms that it caused  some trouble just because I didnt know what had happened in the timeline. I feel a new setting like POL that is very generic and moldable is a better option. The only reson I bought the 4th ed. setting was for the races and classes. I dont see myself buying FR product this time around and will feel a little cheated if they put stuff in just too try to force people too buy it.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

 Relams has never been core though. To me thats what campaign settings are for. Some like DS, others like Eberron, others prefer FR, others like homebrew. You don;t like a setting that fine play one you do like.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Yeah but for some reason they are trying too make realms core. I dont see why considering how they scared most realms players away in 4th.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

 Yup I've always been happy with Relams being just a setting even if it was the largest (most popular) one. Never really wanted it core. I also don't care what people do with it in there home games. Have it hit from orbital bombardment for all I care.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Well I hate the spellplague and the timejump with a fierce passion since they destoyed a lot of lore I am fond of and reduced the complexity of the setting and changed it from a more grayscale world to a black and white world

I like high lore high complexity grayscale worlds that is, 4e FR is a total turnoff for me and no 5E FR there keeps the spellplague and timejump will get any of my money since i do not want to read the 4e FR books and i would have to do that if I was to understand the way 5e FR is. Combine that with 5e FR obviously going to have lower complexity than 3E were you can benefit from the entire collection of 1e, 2e, 3e and 3.5e and it would be like having to spend money in order to accept cholera in order to get plague.

No thanks, it is fine, that WOTC believes they can sell products making 5e FR in the way they do but they will not get my money,

I don't see how that makes me a hypocrite?

  

This isn't the first thread on the topic .


Sorry but this is a very specific time where you should speak only for yourself. I DO use my older material (OMG, scary I know) and quite often for lore and info about stuff that DOESN'T CHANGE like whole human sub-races or cultures or how a city is detailed (like Waterdeep). I've used the FRCS, Races to Faerûn, Waterdeep: City of Splendors, Faiths and Pantheons, plus a CRAP load of inforation on the Boarder Kingdoms, PLUS Champions of Ruin and Valor for campaign ideas AND how specific organizations work. So please, spare me the dramatics about what I can and cannot use or what's relevant to my games. You, frankly, aren't justified to saying such things.

   

I don't have much to work with in the current FR books. I need details, little crunchy details like the name of the owner of the Horny Stag Inn. The Grey Vale and Loudwater are the kinds of things I was hoping for in upcoming 4th edition FR supplements and the kind I never got. It's also the kind of details in your Shinning South or Silvery March supplements that have been lost.

What creates the dynamics for a good adventure is a combination of the macroscopic details and microscopic details, and both are equally important. I'll give an example. In your X supplement, you learn that the town of Y is currently politically unstable. When I read these kinds of things, I think, 'oh, this is the kind of situation that would draw the attention of the church of Bane'. And before you know it, there's a small group of Banites conspiring to instaure a more authoritarian mayor in that town. Now the PCs are going to spent some time adventuring in that town. You need information like the major inns and taverns, the major NPCs, etc... You don't really need them, but it makes the world feel so much more alive when you have this kind of information and you're not struggling as a DM to remember what you made up.

But these are the details that have changed in 100 years. Your NPCs have died. The major taverns have changed. The industries, dominating merchant guilds, political figures, etc... All of these have changed. When you're playing with new players, you can use the old names. When you've been playing with the same group of friends for the last 10 years, not really.

Books like Races of Faerun, Champions of Ruins, or Lords of Darkness give you the big picture. Books like Shinning South or Silver Marches give you the microscopic details. Saying that none of the books are useable was of course a hyperbol. You still have the big picture. But that's the easy part. The hard part, the one that takes crap load of time is the one that is constantly changing. Making them up from scratch just takes too much time.


Hopefully Bounded Accuray will help with this (though I suppose it won't), but why I have a problem with is that these people are near god-hood and, like elecgraystone posted above, it removes an element of heroism when people know that there's an super-EPIC spellcaster that could just fly down, melt the enemies down in 15 seconds, and completely negate this threat  that the PCs are working their tail off against. It's disheartening from a campaign setting standpoint. One reason why I wish they never gave NPCs stats or as detailed stats as they were in AD&D and 3E.



I agree with you. But isn't it the same when a group of 1st level adventurers go clear a goblin infested cave? The 8th level wizard in the neighbouring town could have cleaned it up by himself. It's exactly the same at a different scope. There's always someone more powerful than the PCs that could have done the job better and faster.
 Similar opinion Gustaveran. Your FR collection is alot bigger than mine.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Realms shaking events are nothing new but they were poorly done IMHO and the time line jump killed off alot of characters I did like and the ones I didn't like survived (Drizzt and Elminster). If you don't like Middle Earth for example you don't trash the setting you just don't play it. I'm not being inclusive as any hint of the spellplague is completely incompatable with what I expect from the Realms. Retcon to 1375 is preferred, a reboot to 1357 pre time of troubles would be acceptable, any hint of a time line jump, the spell plague or anything 4th ed Realms related is more or less completely unacceptable. Of course I am only 1 voice but I have spent thousands on FR material and I will not buy any post 1375 FR material that incorporates any elements of the spell plague whatsoever.



I understand that you're upset with the way it has been done. I'm upset too. I'm not upset that the Realms is a more gloomy and dangerous than ever before. I'm upset because I want to know the end of the ongoing stories and I'll never get them!

That's the underlying question. Once you're done being mad because you won't know the end of the story, is the new Realm that bad? Is the spellplague such a bad thing? Don't you like the realms better with this feeling that danger is everywhere and there won't be anyone to save you if you screw up? Is the Order of the Blue Flame a bad villain?

If you are goig to make massive changes to a gmae world at least do it well.



I agree, small incremental changes are better.
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