Forging The Realms: Foundation Stones

I love to see stuff like this that helps, not just DMs, but the players to see how story development works. In the process of telling a story with detail not only are we immersing the players but we make the NPCs and situations they are in more significant to the story and makes story telling from a DMs stand point easier as well. Great stuff.

Indeed indeed. It was always the little things that made the Forgotten Realms in games, comics and novels. Then there was a holocaust that wiped it out. Really what is the point? The Forgotten Realms is dead by design. The Spellplague killed it why not put it to pasture and go with a new setting that isn’t ‘overexposed’ as the Forgotten Realms was falsely labeled. Is wotc really trying to sell us a corpse?

This article is interesting.
Not all DMs have the time to keep this level of details when they also have to take notes about their vancian spellcaster and other critical ressources, and it tend to slow the adventure on the DM's side.
A DM I known recorded sessions on a tape and made the full work described in the article at home, but he was an exception.
Most DMs I know take notes about the players' ressources at the end of the session and only work on the evolution details of the campaign after a good night's sleep, working from memory. Notes during the sessions are rare on our DMs part.


Indeed indeed. It was always the little things that made the Forgotten Realms in games, comics and novels. Then there was a holocaust that wiped it out. Really what is the point? The Forgotten Realms is dead by design. The Spellplague killed it why not put it to pasture and go with a new setting that isn’t ‘overexposed’ as the Forgotten Realms was falsely labeled. Is wotc really trying to sell us a corpse?

The classic FR is based on a "holocaust", a bad story with avatars in them and zero degree of societal advancement in a setting where weakened gods have shown their true faces.
The avatar nonsense was a way to introduce the 2nd edition rules, and it was not very subtle (how the assassin class vanished was laughable).
When the first FR novels were translated for us (the avatar nonsense), the reactions weren't good for everyone. One third of the players I known at the time liked them at various degrees (they didn't read anything else), and the rest didn't care or were rejecting them at various degrees.

I'm not sure that a new D&D edition without a cataclysm in FR is a true edition of D&D, lol. 

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

Indeed indeed. It was always the little things that made the Forgotten Realms in games, comics and novels. Then there was a holocaust that wiped it out. Really what is the point? The Forgotten Realms is dead by design. The Spellplague killed it why not put it to pasture and go with a new setting that isn’t ‘overexposed’ as the Forgotten Realms was falsely labeled. Is wotc really trying to sell us a corpse?


Yes, they are.

I just feel sad for the Realms.  I don't know anyone (aside from anonymous internet posters) who liked the Spellplagued Realms.  It really killed the core spirit of the Realms, and honestly there's no going back unless they do a total reset.  Honestly, though, the Realms started getting really bad with the very poorly executed "Time of Troubles" metaplot.  It's a shame that such a terribad 2E story (which most people tried to ignore or gloss over) has now been elevated to top prominence and featured lore for 5E Realms.

They really need to re-think their plans.  No one that I know (again, except for anonymous internet posters) has any interest in buying into a post-cataclysm Realms, and they're just advancing the Spellplague timeline for 5E.  Not good at all.  The Realms is at its best without a metaplot.

Every single one of these articles just makes me shake my head sadly - for what could've been, but never was.

The classic FR is based on a "holocaust", a bad story with avatars in them and zero degree of societal advancement in a setting where weakened gods have shown their true faces.
The avatar nonsense was a way to introduce the 2nd edition rules, and it was not very subtle (how the assassin class vanished was laughable).
When the first FR novels were translated for us (the avatar nonsense), the reactions weren't good for everyone. One third of the players I known at the time liked them at various degrees (they didn't read anything else), and the rest didn't care or were rejecting them at various degrees.

I'm not sure that a new D&D edition without a cataclysm in FR is a true edition of D&D, lol. 




The avatar trilogy was a blip compared to the spellplague. The avatar trilogy reflavored the world. It offed a few gods and a major character or two. The spellplague killed every major character with an exception list. On a simple level the difference is like me saying ten people die and everyone dies but ten people. The spellplague ended nations, islands, factions and cities. All of the plot lines that I followed in the novels, games and comics were gone. All of the characters that I followed were dead or their plot was dead. So therefore the world is dead. I actually liked many of the changes. Change was not an issue. I dont miss Maztica, or the Old Empires. There were too many real world rips. Some god consolidation was ok.

It would be wise to simply do away with the FR's. It is history. The world had flavor, but it was for the most part a generic sandbox. The major personality was in its characters and nations presented by quality authors who made DMs think. Even beyond that it was in the little things. Reflavor a few nations, kill ten major characters- big deal. Kill as much as the spellplague killed and you have nothing but the same generic Tolkeinish sandbox that could have been had in Pathfinder or in the imaginations of a DM.

The classic FR is based on a "holocaust", a bad story with avatars in them and zero degree of societal advancement in a setting where weakened gods have shown their true faces.
The avatar nonsense was a way to introduce the 2nd edition rules, and it was not very subtle (how the assassin class vanished was laughable).
When the first FR novels were translated for us (the avatar nonsense), the reactions weren't good for everyone. One third of the players I known at the time liked them at various degrees (they didn't read anything else), and the rest didn't care or were rejecting them at various degrees.

I'm not sure that a new D&D edition without a cataclysm in FR is a true edition of D&D, lol. 




The avatar trilogy was a blip compared to the spellplague. The avatar trilogy reflavored the world. It offed a few gods and a major character or two. The spellplague killed every major character with an exception list. On a simple level the difference is like me saying ten people die and everyone dies but ten people. The spellplague ended nations, islands, factions and cities. All of the plot lines that I followed in the novels, games and comics were gone. All of the characters that I followed were dead or their plot was dead. So therefore the world is dead. I actually liked many of the changes. Change was not an issue. I dont miss Maztica, or the Old Empires. There were too many real world rips. Some god consolidation was ok.

It would be wise to simply do away with the FR's. It is history. The world had flavor, but it was for the most part a generic sandbox. The major personality was in its characters and nations presented by quality authors who made DMs think. Even beyond that it was in the little things. Reflavor a few nations, kill ten major characters- big deal. Kill as much as the spellplague killed and you have nothing but the same generic Tolkeinish sandbox that could have been had in Pathfinder or in the imaginations of a DM.


We are in the matter of opinion.
For me, spellplague was ambitious and well-thought from a gaming perspective, as I have very low consideration for the kind of stories developped for the FR in novels.
The preplague flavor is totally nonsensical for me, even offensive on the religious development side, as intelligent mortal races are considered as some kind of children without self-esteem.

Even big classics, like huge underground organized cities with powerful matriarchal ruling being inhabited by lawless people just makes me laugh, and they are still present post spellplague.
Spellplague wasn't enough for me.
I think the fantasy patchwork of the Forgotten Realms could be far more consistent, even with interventionist gods and magic supermen with pointy hats.
FR miss the classic pantheist heroes or demigods who challenge gods and win. The Cyric episode was bland, and again the protagonist had a babysitter, even if this time it wasn't an old wizard or a god but an intelligent weapon. Deus ex-machina (bad story) : this weapon was able to kill an avatar, even with the crappy backstab damage bonus from 2nd edition.

For me the avatar trilogy wasn't a blip, it was a big BOOM of bad foundations for a new setting.
The reverse of Dragonlance that had a very nice trilogy to start with, but later failed to give an interesting perspective of development for the setting.

Maybe I would be more concerned by the preservation of the suffocating FR cosmology if the divine and high-level NPCs chess games made sense. But it's not believable to have this level of poorly planned decisions from gods and wizards with 18+ intelligence.

So where I totally agree with you is that the FR material could be made very interesting with a reboot, including more coherent cosmology and social dynamics among mortal free willed races.

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

We are in the matter of opinion.
For me, spellplague was ambitious and well-thought from a gaming perspective, as I have very low consideration for the kind of stories developped for the FR in novels.



 

How many have you read? There were many types of stories. Most were on a relatively small scale. Even the ones that were on a larger scale had little intervention from the gods and when the gods did get involved they ran the risk of dying themselves. The mark of the Forgotten Realms novel wasn’t its type it was its quality and character.





The preplague flavor is totally nonsensical for me, even offensive on the religious development side, as intelligent mortal races are considered as some kind of children without self-esteem.




 

Depends on the god. A common and direct example of the personality of the gods was given to Adon by Mystra at an insane asylum when she told him to look at the gods. She pointed at a mad woman who was plucking at her hair and face and compared her to Sune. Intervening and controlling gods make for difficult literature thus the authors did well to portray them as forces of nature. It was the lesser gods who had more involvement and more vulnerability.




FR miss the classic pantheist heroes or demigods who challenge gods and win. The Cyric episode was bland, and again the protagonist had a babysitter, even if this time it wasn't an old wizard or a god but an intelligent weapon. Deus ex-machina (bad story) : this weapon was able to kill an avatar, even with the crappy backstab damage bonus from 2nd edition.



It wasnt just Cyric. Cavatina, and Finder Wyvernspur both slayed gods.


For me the avatar trilogy wasn't a blip, it was a big BOOM of bad foundations for a new setting.
The reverse of Dragonlance that had a very nice trilogy to start with, but later failed to give an interesting perspective of development for the setting.

Maybe I would be more concerned by the preservation of the suffocating FR cosmology if the divine and high-level NPCs chess games made sense. But it's not believable to have this level of poorly planned decisions from gods and wizards with 18+ intelligence.

So where I totally agree with you is that the FR material could be made very interesting with a reboot, including more coherent cosmology and social dynamics among mortal free willed races.





The Avatar trilogy was not a foundation. Gods were kicked out. Gods died. It was as it was called a time of trouble but it resolved itself in a short period. I don’t know of this chess game you speak of between gods and wizards of 18+int. Gods have limited influence. The main reason AO punished them was to assert that they only have power in their domain. The gods lack knowledge outside of their domain which is why the tablets of fate were stolen under false pretense.


The size of the pantheon never concerned me, it was the generic justification for it. They were not suffocating. It was probably more spiritual than I give it credit for. Even Selune who’s avatar lived with morals before the Avatar trilogy while she did assist them she didnt watch over them or save their lives. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to it just wasn’t worth the risk of discovery. Mortals live and die. The War of the Spider Queen featured the most direct intervention from a god in any novel that I read post avatar trilogy. It really boiled down to a symbolic moulting phase that had little rhyme or reason from a mortal's point of view. Lolth is a god and god’s work in mysterious ways leaving the plot to revolve around mortals and smaller things most of which are now dead via the spellplague.

The classic FR is based on a "holocaust", a bad story with avatars in them and zero degree of societal advancement in a setting where weakened gods have shown their true faces.



Gods that are impotent and zero degree of societal advancement?

Sounds like a true story.

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I really think they should roll it back to the original 1E Realms.
The good ole days, before every common bartender was a 9th level fighter.
When FR first debuted in 1E, it was great. I still have that grey box with the booklets and maps in it. If they continue down the road of "Nuke the Realms" each edition, I won't be purchasing any new FR material (just like I didn't buy any FR material in 3E or 4E). I'll still be using the original 1E Realms.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft


I don't know anyone (aside from anonymous internet posters) who liked the Spellplagued Realms.



Hello, my name's Mark Diffendal (no longer anonymous) and I, along with most in my group, were pretty happy with the changes the Spellplague brought. No more worries about adventuring at mid- to high-levels in areas "governed" by God-like NPCs would step in. No more having to look through dozens upon dozens of Deities, of which many have nearly the same domains/portfolios. New and interesting Original landscapes and nations to delve into (ie. no more Mexico, Egypt). A land that doesn't have comical bad-guy organizations (the Zhents were akin to saturday morning cartoon bad-guys ala Cobra) and Good doesn't always come up the victor with every single skirmish.

Of course, these are all just my opinions. I've gamed almost exclusively in the Realms as far as published settings go and have been doing so since the tail end of AD&D. I've gone with the Realms despite many of the aformentioned problems I faced and still made it work. At times, it wasn't pretty and at times, I've had to re-write whole areas. Why? Because the GOOD aspect of the Realms far exceeded the BAD elements I encountered. When the Spellplague hit and I read the changes, I had to wonder if the Designers somehow kidnapped me in the night, sucked out my ideas and likes/dislikes and then implemented them straight into the new campaign. It was actually sorta weird. I like the option of not being beholden to 25+ years of lore/history of the setting yet going back to that information if I need to. I like that writers didn't have to consult countless hours of research to write a Realms novel and worry about elitist fan-boys nitpicking out every inconsistency because they [the writer] didn't research some obscure Dragon articles dated 15 years ago.    

I can only hope that WotC has the foresight to create a supplement similiar to the recent Menzoberranzan book that focuses on Akanûl, Returned Abeir, and Tymanther because word is they're leaving (again   ). That way, I can have a more focused product that is consistant with the Realms now and use that information in years and editions to come or ever have to implement Mexico and Egypt back into my Realms games. If they make such a supplement, I wouldn't care what they did to the setting as far as the landscape goes. 


They really need to re-think their plans.  No one that I know (again, except for anonymous internet posters) has any interest in buying into a post-cataclysm Realms, and they're just advancing the Spellplague timeline for 5E.  Not good at all.  The Realms is at its best without a metaplot.

Every single one of these articles just makes me shake my head sadly - for what could've been, but never was.




At this point, my liking the post-Sundering Realms hinges on me liking D&D:Next rules and what changes the Sundering brings. I'm cool with them bringing back Mystra, Helm, Mask, Velsharoon, Azuth, and a few others (Eilistraee never died in my campaign and Tyr should stay dead IMO). I'm cool with them bringing back Egypt and Mexico so long as a sourcebook comes out detailing the elements they just brought in. I'm cool with them advancing the timeline post 1479 DR because thats where a few of my Realms games takes place already. I'm cool with them allowing authors to write in any time period they wish. What would really kill my interest 100% is if they write-out or delete the Spellplague entirely. No just because it's basically saying I'm playing wrong but it also destorys what little credibility the Realms has maintained over it's existance in terms of continuity.
I kind of liked the spellplague.  I had read a bunch of Forgotten Realms books when I was younger but never actually played D&D before.  I was running my first campaign in 4e, and read the Forgotten Realms rule-book.  It seemed cool!  I didn't have to actually know anything about the setting, and neither did my players.  But when you did know some ancient history, I could build in some fun hooks or bits and pieces for those players, without everybody else feeling left out.

Also, it allowed me to have the spell-plauge happen while the players were trapped in the Pyramid of Shadows, and then have their epic final fight of Heroic on an Earthshard in the clouds trying to defend their dilapidated brewery from an avenging angel.

Totally get people that are discouraged that everything they knew was wiped clean, but for people with only a passing familiarity it was a clean slate, with cool things like floating rocks to fight on and decimated cities to try and rebuild.
I'll continue voting with my wallet in regards to a Realms that has the Spellplague in it.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 Fear is the Mind Killer  

We are in the matter of opinion.
For me, spellplague was ambitious and well-thought from a gaming perspective, as I have very low consideration for the kind of stories developped for the FR in novels.


erdana, sans-serif; font-size:9pt">
How many have you read? There were many types of stories. Most were on a relatively small scale. Even the ones that were on a larger scale had little intervention from the gods and when the gods did get involved they ran the risk of dying themselves. The mark of the Forgotten Realms novel wasn’t its type it was its quality and character.

The preplague flavor is totally nonsensical for me, even offensive on the religious development side, as intelligent mortal races are considered as some kind of children without self-esteem.


erdana, sans-serif; font-size:9pt">
Depends on the god. A common and direct example of the personality of the gods was given to Adon by Mystra at an insane asylum when she told him to look at the gods. She pointed at a mad woman who was plucking at her hair and face and compared her to Sune. Intervening and controlling gods make for difficult literature thus the authors did well to portray them as forces of nature. It was the lesser gods who had more involvement and more vulnerability.


FR miss the classic pantheist heroes or demigods who challenge gods and win. The Cyric episode was bland, and again the protagonist had a babysitter, even if this time it wasn't an old wizard or a god but an intelligent weapon. Deus ex-machina (bad story) : this weapon was able to kill an avatar, even with the crappy backstab damage bonus from 2nd edition.



It wasnt just Cyric. Cavatina, and Finder Wyvernspur both slayed gods.


For me the avatar trilogy wasn't a blip, it was a big BOOM of bad foundations for a new setting.
The reverse of Dragonlance that had a very nice trilogy to start with, but later failed to give an interesting perspective of development for the setting.

Maybe I would be more concerned by the preservation of the suffocating FR cosmology if the divine and high-level NPCs chess games made sense. But it's not believable to have this level of poorly planned decisions from gods and wizards with 18+ intelligence.

So where I totally agree with you is that the FR material could be made very interesting with a reboot, including more coherent cosmology and social dynamics among mortal free willed races.



The Avatar trilogy was not a foundation. Gods were kicked out. Gods died. It was as it was called a time of trouble but it resolved itself in a short period. I don’t know of this chess game you speak of between gods and wizards of 18+int. Gods have limited influence. The main reason AO punished them was to assert that they only have power in their domain. The gods lack knowledge outside of their domain which is why the tablets of fate were stolen under false pretense.

The size of the pantheon never concerned me, it was the generic justification for it. They were not suffocating. It was probably more spiritual than I give it credit for. Even Selune who’s avatar lived with morals before the Avatar trilogy while she did assist them she didnt watch over them or save their lives. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to it just wasn’t worth the risk of discovery. Mortals live and die. The War of the Spider Queen featured the most direct intervention from a god in any novel that I read post avatar trilogy. It really boiled down to a symbolic moulting phase that had little rhyme or reason from a mortal's point of view. Lolth is a god and god’s work in mysterious ways leaving the plot to revolve around mortals and smaller things most of which are now dead via the spellplague.


I didn't read all the novels, and some were a real pain to read. The last I read was about a spontaneous cleric, a bland story that made me stop trying. When I talk about FR, I refer more to what I read in game books after this.

Gods interventions are not small and pose a lot of questions.
Mystra is a good example. For people who doesn't know about mystras and their Weaves, there's a good summary on Wikipedia.

Ao choices are visibly shortsighted. For an overdeity, he is not very competent, as is the overoverdeity supervising him.
What was the interest of involving mortals in the gods punishment ? The mortal societies didn't evolve at all.
What was the interest in this punishment for the divine system ? The system has been weakened, and Ao little game shortly led to the spellplague. Cyric is a bad choice, as he is very ambitious and is soon a problem for everyone, and there's no alliance between constructive gods to kill him. But evil gods can make an alliance to kill the current Mystra.
So there are rules, but nobody seems to follow the same rules.

And mortals in the realms seem to be okay whith all these, Mystra possessing a mortal to give birth to her tools, or the Weave bringing far more negative than positive.
The wall of the faithless alone would revolt a lot of mortals against the FR divine system (the mere idea of it revolts me).

FR writers should stop tinkering comics-style with the pantheon and focus on the mortals.
All this nonsense to go back to the old statu-quo on the divine side is lost energy, and the source of almost all critics of the realms.

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

I didn't read all the novels, and some were a real pain to read. The last I read was about a spontaneous cleric, a bland story that made me stop trying. When I talk about FR, I refer more to what I read in game books after this.

Gods interventions are not small and pose a lot of questions.
Mystra is a good example. For people who doesn't know about mystras and their Weaves, there's a good summary on Wikipedia.

Ao choices are visibly shortsighted. For an overdeity, he is not very competent, as is the overoverdeity supervising him.
What was the interest of involving mortals in the gods punishment ? The mortal societies didn't evolve at all.
What was the interest in this punishment for the divine system ? The system has been weakened, and Ao little game shortly led to the spellplague. Cyric is a bad choice, as he is very ambitious and is soon a problem for everyone, and there's no alliance between constructive gods to kill him. But evil gods can make an alliance to kill the current Mystra.
So there are rules, but nobody seems to follow the same rules.

And mortals in the realms seem to be okay whith all these, Mystra possessing a mortal to give birth to her tools, or the Weave bringing far more negative than positive.
The wall of the faithless alone would revolt a lot of mortals against the FR divine system (the mere idea of it revolts me).

FR writers should stop tinkering comics-style with the pantheon and focus on the mortals.
All this nonsense to go back to the old statu-quo on the divine side is lost energy, and the source of almost all critics of the realms.




Based on your reasoning I would think you’d hate the spellplague worse than I. How does killing almost all of the adventures change the focus to mortals? The authors actually did a fine job of focusing on mortals. I have read over 60 FR novels. Its just a fraction but still more than enough to know the overall theme.


I’ll list most of them.


Prince of Lies
Crucible
These were both about gods yet Prince of Lies portrayed them as neurotic entities with the exception of the new gods. Out of all of the novels I read Prince of Lies had the greatest focus on gods. Crucible was all about Cyric yet the focus was on Malik and his story. It was first person from Malik’s point of view. Both novels were very good reads. Crucible was exceptionally unique being 1st person from the pov of someone like Malik. The little things stood out in these two novels. What I remember the most was the Cycricist hiding in Zhentil Keep and how they accepted Malik after his Nightmare ate their last milk goat.


 


I read three of the The Cities novels


City of Ravens
Temple Hill
The City of Splendors
The City of Ravens was one of the few novels that imo stands with classic literature. Its still the funniest character drama I have ever read. Temple Hill had the best action sequences I have ever read. The gods had zero influence in any of them nor did powerful NPCs. If anything the gods seemed absent. Temple Hill was in part about a warrior who lost his hand and after much effort could not find a priest to help him. A gnome created a hand for him. All three novels had interesting characters who are all likely dead thanks to the spellplague. Splendors was my favorite Greenwood and Cunningham work.


The Corymyr Saga  
Three novels with many interesting characters some powerful NPCs. Ended with the death of Azoun IV. Many prayers yet the gods did not see fit to resurrect him. His grandson Azoun the IV was just a baby in the novels. His rule and his aunt Alusair who was one of my favorite characters were both lost as they lived and died during the lost years in the spellplague.


The Dark Elf Trilogy
Again not much divine involvement in Drizzt’s life. I can remember on occasion where he prayed to Mielikke. As a explanation for his ability to defy Lolth and her lack of interventions there were rumors that he somehow gained her favor. That notion was a combination of faith, fear and respect.


Elminster Making of a mage
Mystra had a prominent role. She had her hand in his life from his childhood even when he hated magic.


The Empires Trilogy
It was about a war yet again the three novels were defined by mortals and little things. The thing I remember most was Zhentil Keep sending an army of Orcs to join Azoun, and Koja the low level Lama that advised Yamun Khan. It did seem as if Yamun Khan gained the favor of Talos though it was only suggested after he felt a divine calling after a thunder storm.


Ghostwalker
An old western style story of half undead vengeance.


The Harpers
Only read the first two. Parched Sea and Elfshadow were all about med level mortals. Interesting read. I don’t see how anyone can read these novels and think that high level NPCs controlled the Realms. The Harpers were the closest thing to a Faerun Justice League and they had as much influence as the police in the typical ghetto.


The Haunted Lands
Read three of the four. Was really enjoying Thay until the series was hijacked by the spellplague. There probably would not have been any divine involvement had it not been for the spellplague


The Hunters Blade
Read the first two novels. More adventurers of the Drizzt and the heroes of IWD. Decent reads. Gods didn’t get involved


IWD Trilogy
Read all three. Same as hunters Blades


The Lady Penitent
Read the first two. A followup from War of the Spider Queen All about high level Drow and their pantheon. Gods got involved. Gods got killed by a mortal and another god.


The Last Mythal series
Read the first three. Elves take back Myth Dranor.


Legacy
Read all four. High Priestess goes to war against Mithrail Hall and Drizzt. Has support from Lloth gets beat.


The Moonshae Trilogy
Read all three. A regions god is killed by a great evil that corrupts the land. Mortals save the day


Paths of Darkness
Read all four. Some of Salvator’s best work about the heroes of IWD, Artemis and Jarlaxle. Gods have zero involvement


Maiden of Pain
About the Priest of Loviatar. This was about a Priestess yet very little if any involvement from the gods beyond divine casting.


Yellow Silk
Fun story about low level adventures. Interesting characters. All dead now.  


Sellswords
Read all three Salvator’s best work. Jarlaxle, Artemis and other high level NPCs go at it.


 


Sembia
Read 5 of 6. About a family of adventure/aristocrats. Good read great characters no gods. All the mortals are dead.


War of the Spider Queen
Read all six. Lolth disappears. Its really some off eccentric test. Mortals are the stars. The charm is in the culture. The little things make the series.


Evermeet
Not my favorite Cunningham work still interesting. Good read for a DM. Gods weren’t involved.



The gods had a marginal role in the novels. This was also true in the comic and most of the video games.
I understand your point of view, when I say focus on mortals, you think individuals.
By focus on mortals, I'm being global, just like with gods.

There's no credible mortals reactions against this destructive system.

There's a patchwork of interesting NPCs and concepts everywhere in FR, but the global aspect makes more sense with a spellplague that divides things. If there's a design error, I would say that the error is the time jump, not the spellplague idea.

In a high magic world with teleport spells, divination, and a lot of other means of communication, the FR fragmentation is totally artificial.
Logic would be that mortals recognize the harmful influence of the divine system patronized by Ao, even more after the careless avatar mess.

Some victims would organize something, sometimes individually, sometimes as an organization, to protect the mortals from this system, or to create an alternative, like a "god free Weave". Some people would sacrifice all they have up to their souls to end something like the ignoble faithless wall.

And even if populations keep capitalize on faith, Mystra is the more mortal/civilization friendly divinity around, powerful and offering the Weave. Why continue to worship other restrictive or destructive deities when a godess like Mystra can entirely support an advanced civilization ?
If FR pantheon was organized like a classic Pantheon, Mystra would be the Queen of all Gods and would never be truly menaced by Cyric or Shar, as she would handle them just like Zeus handled Poseidon and Hades, by letting them be also kings of something that would keep them occupied.

The spellplague resulting in a post apocalyptic situation was good to justify a lack of global advancement, and opened a lot of new story options.

I honestly don't understand on a gaming level why people like so much playing with in a setting overwhelmed by constant novel references, even more on the DM side, but from the reactions I read about the spellplague, the jump forward in time seems to be the true problem, not the spellplague itself.

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

(snip)  I, along with most in my group, were pretty happy with the changes the Spellplague brought. (snip)  I've had to re-write whole areas. (snip) I like the option of not being beholden to 25+ years of lore/history of the setting yet going back to that information if I need to.


No offense, but it sounds like you didn't like much of the original Realms - and that you massively re-wrote entire areas (and even core themes) that you disliked.  You were basically playing a highly modified Realms which was more more home-brew than published Realms.

And that's fine, we all do home-brew to some extent.  But if you were re-writing entire areas and changing things that much (even some core thematic elements), then were you really tied to the original vision of the Realms?  I don't think so.  Based on what you've said, you did not in fact like or even play in the Realms proper, or even in a variant with most of the core intact. 

(snip) I'm cool with them bringing back Egypt and Mexico (snip)

If your impression was that the Realms had Egypt and Mexico in it, that speaks volumes to me - I don't think you really understand how very different Mulhorand and Maztica were, and why they were not simple "parallels" to those real-world cultures.  Yes, they very definitely had similar thematic imagery to Egypt and Mexico, but that is only a surface understanding.  It would be like saying "Cormyr is France" or that "Amn is Spain" and writing them off as just being that.

(snip) What would really kill my interest 100% is if they write-out or delete the Spellplague entirely. No just because it's basically saying I'm playing wrong but it also destorys what little credibility the Realms has maintained over it's existance in terms of continuity.


Getting rid of the Spellplague/TimeJump, entirely, is the base minimum that would bring me back.  I have no interest in saving the continuity of the 1400s period because I dislike all of it.

I would not say that you were "playing wrong" but I would say that you didn't play in the Realms - not even a core Realms.  You played in a home-brew setting that was only partially inspired by the Realms.  So when the Spellplague/TimeJumped alternate universe came along and replaced the original Realms, it appealed to you precisely because it matched more with your home-brew rather than the core of the earlier Realms.

I understand your point of view, when I say focus on mortals, you think individuals.
By focus on mortals, I'm being global, just like with gods.

There's no credible mortals reactions against this destructive system.




Lol You lost me there. The destructive system was the spellplague. If Heroes had the unity and knowledge to prevent something they would have prevented the spellplague. The reality is the heroes didn’t have the power or unity to prevent it just as they didn’t have the power to challenge the gods any more than Cavatina did when she tried to kill Lolth or the hero from Mask of the Betrayer did when he or she tried to destroy the Wall of the Faithless. Another key thing mortals lacked that the novels did a better job than the campaign books of explaining was perspective.


 A tribesman of the southeastern jungles might have known of a few gods. For 100 miles in every direction that is all they knew. A commoner in Calimshan could have walked through or attended service at 20 temples without witnessing divine magic. In their world the gods aren’t the problem. A powerful diviner in Thay foresaw the killing of a magical queen. She may have done something about it if she wasn’t later assassinated in a civil war.  






In a high magic world with teleport spells, divination, and a lot of other means of communication, the FR fragmentation is totally artificial.
Logic would be that mortals recognize the harmful influence of the divine system patronized by Ao, even more after the careless avatar mess.




In a world of millions there were less than 200 notable casters 70 of them lived in Thay and Halruaa. The high magic was top heavy. For 99.99% of the people the fragmentation was real. The average person would have been afraid of a portal.





Some victims would organize something, sometimes individually, sometimes as an organization, to protect the mortals from this system, or to create an alternative, like a "god free Weave". Some people would sacrifice all they have up to their souls to end something like the ignoble faithless wall.

And even if populations keep capitalize on faith, Mystra is the more mortal/civilization friendly divinity around, powerful and offering the Weave. Why continue to worship other restrictive or destructive deities when a godess like Mystra can entirely support an advanced civilization ?
If FR pantheon was organized like a classic Pantheon, Mystra would be the Queen of all Gods and would never be truly menaced by Cyric or Shar, as she would handle them just like Zeus handled Poseidon and Hades, by letting them be also kings of something that would keep them occupied.

The spellplague resulting in a post apocalyptic situation was good to justify a lack of global advancement, and opened a lot of new story options.

I honestly don't understand on a gaming level why people like so much playing with in a setting overwhelmed by constant novel references, even more on the DM side, but from the reactions I read about the spellplague, the jump forward in time seems to be the true problem, not the spellplague itself.




The gods are neurotic but they are smart about one thing.  They know how to recruit. Eternal salvation is an easy sell when the alternative is the Wall of the Faithless. They know how to reach people. Most of the evil gods were capable of entrenching themselves in the culture well enough to attract followers who were not evil. The novel Maidan of Pain was an example of this.  The Priestesses in the novel were not bad people but they grew up in sadomasochist cults practicing sadomasochist rituals led by someone who could perform miracles. One Loviatar cult might have been anti Illmater another might have worshiped both gods. Compare that to our own world where people have all the tools to organize and fail to challenge obvious injustices. Im sure you know what Stalin said about religon. Its even more true in the Forgotten Realms.


 


Just speaking for myself, player’s from groups  I played with and having gauged the reaction at Candlekeep.com there are a bunch of reason why someone might want to play in a world that has media. The main and most obvious reason is that it makes the world more popular or likable. It’s the same reason why you might play the Marvel RPG. IMO it’s a hell of a system in its own right. Props to Jeff Grub but obviously he wasn’t the sell. Then you have a lot of folks who like myself in most of the last decade did more reading than playing so all the spellplague did was kill every plot with an inconsistent narrative thus killing the world. FR without its location and people was an open gaming world with far less lore than the Elder Scrolls. 

The  Spellplague was uncannily incompetent from a business perspective. While wotc was fighting with Atari over the video game license Bethesda was selling 10 million copies of Skyrim. The Forgotten Realms is somewhat similar to the Elder Scrolls cept it had warriors with books written about them and more of a videogame backing before Morrowind crossed over to consoles leading to the success of Oblivion and Skyrim. The marketable charm of the setting was its heroes.

I really think they should roll it back to the original 1E Realms.
The good ole days, before every common bartender was a 9th level fighter.
When FR first debuted in 1E, it was great. I still have that grey box with the booklets and maps in it. If they continue down the road of "Nuke the Realms" each edition, I won't be purchasing any new FR material (just like I didn't buy any FR material in 3E or 4E). I'll still be using the original 1E Realms.




Yes, I have ignored The Time of Troubles/Spellplague, Faction War, The Grand Conjunction, Prism Pentad, Wars, and Age of Mortals/War of Souls.

That's another thing I dig about Al-Qadim, not meddling meta-plots/busybody writers changing the setting.