Is it just me, or is this forum dead?

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I remember a time when there were 3 Forgotten Realms forums and they all saw regular traffic. Now it's a small miracle to see a post made on this forum once every other day. It's been a while since I posted here regularly, but wow, it's a hell of a change.
4E Killed the Realms...

HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

6 forums as far as I remember, before Gleemax, and before they banned novel discussion.
"4e killed the Realms, Lord KArus in all his glory has left for other realms all will fall in his departure," so sayeth the wise aluando
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
I suspect the Edition Wars in general helped quite a bit, but also the lack of much to talk about given the relative dearth of lore and such.

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

- Oscar Wilde

no really there is nothing to talk about.

4e screwed up with the realms, it screw up with alot of things( though it did do alot of thigs right too, but hey people remember the bad more than the good things) and one of these things was 3 books, one campaing book, one character guide and one adventure book along with ddi articles.
 for the msot part there was not alot of subscribers here to talk about it and all. 

failed: took away too much, the fact that they took away our toys was the fail here and violates rule 1 section 3 article 12 of the tyco code, never take away always add.
failed: they shoehorned the phb races into the realms, not that it was bad per say, the shifters and goliaths fit into the realms well enough, ti was however tht it shifted in the eladrin and the phb halflings making hte moon, sun and star elves a separate category from the wood and wild elves. I know players griped about tooo many elven races and all, but those were few oppinions, this wasnt bad per say but nor was ti good, and as for the halflings, this was bad only because it was the only reason why lurien was flooded.

Failed: they remoeved several of the more popular characters becuase they lisened to a few of the gripers who were saying oh there are too many high powerd characters and why can Lord Elminster take care of this with his armies. bad DMs, best way to deal with E is tht he and storm are not iin Shadowdale, they are off somewhere else doing Mystra knows what, same with any of the chosen, or you can say that  Elminster Sage of Shadow DAle did take care of it, he manipulated you into doing it.

that said some of the more powerful npcs in the game are not likely to aid in anything until it directly affects them or their home cities and then in the city's defence.


pass: they got rid of LAntan, mulohaund and unther and that other place which I forget its name at the moment, never liked them  save the one I cant remember, but others wee the opposite they found the one I liked boring and too much of western mytholgy or something, each ther eown and all.

pass: chult waht they did to chult and its next door countries was passable, though had they made it a swamp area ruled by the lizardmen and scalry kind it would have been better than a chain of islands next to chult.
pass: they left the most popular areas in the realms mostly intact( ie myth drannor, cormyr, waterdeep, baldur's gate)
pass: they made places like NEverwinter into cities from past lore, so now you can consdier Neverwinter the the 4e version of the 2e/3e version  of Phlan .

pass: they altered the landscape in areas making other cities ruins ripe with monsters to fight. 



I could go on, this my take on it, not the community's take on it and it may not even be accurate.


but as I said there is nothing to talk about until 5e returns the realms with a semi reset button. 
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
This is also the Limbo Time before the Sundering, which can only lend to speculations of your imagination.  Current campaigns may be easily filled in with all past material at this point.  It is also Limbo Time with 5e which as stated before put all past material in play even if it only last until the Blue Foggy Flames have cleared or been absorbed. Wink
 
I guess we will see what happens (before) after or during The Year of the Awakened Sleepers 1484...


Undecided Limbo Time Undecided


SealedMoney MouthSealed
I can't wait for the 5E Realms to get here just so we have a good reason to complain to the mods if griping about the 4E Realms continues to rear its ugly head.

While this forum is ostensibly edition neutral, there's not one damn thing being said about the 4E Realms (see sfdragon's list above) that hasn't been said already a thousand times before.

I'm excited to see what happens with the Realms. If the recent artwork samples are any indication, WotC is on the right track.

Now it's a small miracle to see a post made on this forum once every other day.

Chatter in all of the D&D forums has decreased dramatically during the current product lull limbo. But this forum still sees more chatter than many others (even if most of it is whining about 4e Realms ; )
Funny. I was actually just thinking about this the other day.

I was a long-time lurker before joining, and the FR forums were some of the most active on the site (at least, they certainly seemed that way to me). There was always a buzz about something or other, and large discussions were commonplace.

Of course, by the time I bothered to create an account, the "beginning of the end" for that golden age was about to take off. It didn't even feel like things were slowing down, as much as they just came to an abrupt stop. Discussion dried up, a lot of the more prominent posters left in one fell swoop, and the place just sat here to gather dust.

I don't really feel hopeful that the dawn of 5E will breathe life back into this place, but you never know.
My Sig
Reality is but the sum total of all illusions. Proud Hand of Karsus, now and forever Mess with one Hand, mess with 'em all I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
"just do what LM the lord of magical might does, and you'll be fine" - sfdragon, 10/12/09
Board Snippets
147048523 wrote:
"I don't like X, they should remove it." "I like X, they should keep it." "They should replace X with Y." "Anybody that likes X is dumb. Y is better." "Why don't they include both X and Y." "Yeah, everybody can be happy then!" "But I don't like X, they should remove it." "X really needs to be replaced with Y." "But they can include both X and Y." "But I don't like X, they need to remove it." "Remove X, I don't like it." Repeat. Obstinance?
56790678 wrote:
Until you've had an in-law tell you your choice of game was stupid, and just Warcraft on paper, and dumbed down for dumber players who can't handle a real RPG, you haven't lived. You haven't lived.
56902498 wrote:
Lady and gentlemen.... I present to you the Edition War without Contrition, the War of the Web, the Mighty Match-up! We're using standard edition war rules. No posts of substance. Do not read the other person's posts with comprehension. Make frequent comparison to video games, MMOs, and CCGs. Use the words "fallacy" and "straw man", incorrectly and often. Passive aggressiveness gets you extra points and asking misleading and inflammatory questions is mandatory. If you're getting tired, just declare victory and leave the thread. Wait for the buzzer... and.... One, two, three, four, I declare Edition War Five, six, seven eight, I use the web to Go!
57062508 wrote:
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.
56760448 wrote:
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.
90571711 wrote:
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.
57333888 wrote:
112760109 wrote:
56902838 wrote:
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.
Given the laziness and morbid obsesity amongst D&Ders, being able to convince someone to get on their feet, do some heavy exercise, and use their words to make them be healthier must seem magical.
158710691 wrote:
D&D definitely improves mental health; Just as long as you stay away from these forums ;)
I hope it does


Im interested in looking at the 5e frcs.....


already sold my 4e one 
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
I hope it does


Im interested in looking at the 5e frcs.....


already sold my 4e one 

Lucky. I've been trying to sell mine for the longest time now. At this point I don't think I could give it away.
Everybody went to candlekeep. Candlekeep is very active.

I have no problems with the 4E Realms in and of itself. Lack of products and lore killed the setting (And the Spellplague). Looking forward to the 5E Realms. Doubt I will mess with 5E, but I will check out the 5E Realms...

HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

Everybody went to candlekeep. Candlekeep is very active.

I remember I created a CK account years ago, and posted all of three or four times. Candlekeep's layout is an eyesore - probably why I never really got into it. That, and when I first started browsing those forums, the "productive discussion" topics had given way to a flood of "4E is the devil and here's why" topics. It seemed... all too familiar. I imagine things are quite different now, obviously.

I have no problems with the 4E Realms in and of itself. Lack of products and lore killed the setting (And the Spellplague). Looking forward to the 5E Realms. Doubt I will mess with 5E, but I will check out the 5E Realms...

And these are pretty much my feelings, too. I definitely want to see what they have lined up for the Realms, but they have yet to sell me on 5E itself.

My Sig
Reality is but the sum total of all illusions. Proud Hand of Karsus, now and forever Mess with one Hand, mess with 'em all I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
"just do what LM the lord of magical might does, and you'll be fine" - sfdragon, 10/12/09
Board Snippets
147048523 wrote:
"I don't like X, they should remove it." "I like X, they should keep it." "They should replace X with Y." "Anybody that likes X is dumb. Y is better." "Why don't they include both X and Y." "Yeah, everybody can be happy then!" "But I don't like X, they should remove it." "X really needs to be replaced with Y." "But they can include both X and Y." "But I don't like X, they need to remove it." "Remove X, I don't like it." Repeat. Obstinance?
56790678 wrote:
Until you've had an in-law tell you your choice of game was stupid, and just Warcraft on paper, and dumbed down for dumber players who can't handle a real RPG, you haven't lived. You haven't lived.
56902498 wrote:
Lady and gentlemen.... I present to you the Edition War without Contrition, the War of the Web, the Mighty Match-up! We're using standard edition war rules. No posts of substance. Do not read the other person's posts with comprehension. Make frequent comparison to video games, MMOs, and CCGs. Use the words "fallacy" and "straw man", incorrectly and often. Passive aggressiveness gets you extra points and asking misleading and inflammatory questions is mandatory. If you're getting tired, just declare victory and leave the thread. Wait for the buzzer... and.... One, two, three, four, I declare Edition War Five, six, seven eight, I use the web to Go!
57062508 wrote:
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.
56760448 wrote:
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.
90571711 wrote:
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.
57333888 wrote:
112760109 wrote:
56902838 wrote:
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.
Given the laziness and morbid obsesity amongst D&Ders, being able to convince someone to get on their feet, do some heavy exercise, and use their words to make them be healthier must seem magical.
158710691 wrote:
D&D definitely improves mental health; Just as long as you stay away from these forums ;)
My 4E FR campaign is rocking along nicely and my players and I are really enjoying it. 4E is my preferred ruleset (for the record, I've been playing for 32 years and have never played an MMO) and I have grown to really love the 4E version of the Realms.

The funny thing is that I hated both 4E and the new version - or perversion as I probably called it in 2008 - of FR when they were both first released until I read a few actual play discussions on ENWorld and then saw Szass Tam's stat block and realised that this game was going to actually work in play.

Now, I type those two paragraphs without in anyway wanting to argue the points. I don't care. You like X. I like Y. He likes Z. That's life.

But the problem with these forums is that too many people - not so much now, obviously - simply want to go to war over how crappy 4E is and/or how crappy the 4E version of FR is. Look at sfdragon's post above: clearly he's still angry after 5 or so years, angry enough to type out about 300 or so words.

So I'm more than happy to chip in a positive way but people aren't here with positive experiences in the main.

As much as I like 4E and FR4E, it's clear WotC got it wrong - definitely in terms of FR4E; maybe 4E itself did OK but we will never know - but I also wouldn't be surprised if they get the next iteration "wrong" also. You can't please all the people all of the time.

Personally, I'm sticking with what I've got. I'm 44. I'm semi-retired but I have a young family now and I am living in a Third World country. I'm not in the market for the next version of D&D or the next version of the Realms.

But I'm still enjoying what I've got.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Everybody went to candlekeep. Candlekeep is very active.


It is more active than ever!

From the Gen Con 2013 catalog:
Confrontation at Candlekeep
Duration: 2 hours
Candlekeep is under siege, and it needs adventurers to help protect it! Heed the call to defend the legendary monastery and stand against the tide of evil. This adventure offers an interactive experience using the playtest rules, and participants receive the exclusive D&D Gen Con dice set. Optional pre-generated characters are available, and no prior D&D experience is necessary. D&D Next playtest restrictions will apply.

(I know, you meant the Candlekeep web site, but I couldn't resist)

I have no problems with the 4E Realms in and of itself. Lack of products and lore killed the setting (And the Spellplague). Looking forward to the 5E Realms. Doubt I will mess with 5E, but I will check out the 5E Realms...


The D&D Next approach already seems to be very different, and along the lines of what 4E Neverwinter did. 4E Neverwinter was a fantastic product, and we see the experience continued with two D&D Encounters seasons and an MMO.

Candlekeep is a one-time event, but Murder in Baldur's gate has seen enough info to tell us that it is an Encounters season, a gameday/Gen Con event, a setting and adventure product (perhaps similar to Neverwinter, perhaps bigger), and it is part of the Sundering saga introducing everyone to the changes coming to the Realms. The various Gen Con FR events can be seen here.

I'm primarily a Dark Sun and Greyhawk fan, but I'm very jealous of the treatment FR seems to be getting with D&D Next!

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

Hopefully that jealousy will prove justified.  As to Next, I seriously doubt that I'll get into it... after M&M 3e, I'm not sure I could go back to playing a formal, level-based system.  No, I take that back, I am sure I can't go back.  As to FR Next... we'll see.  I am hopeful that it'll be a setting that has some appeal to it though.

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

- Oscar Wilde

actually I got over my anger with it about a year afte it came out. I will never though think what they did with the realms wasa  great idea.

the list that of what was said was a bout what everyone said at the time and before and after its release. I sold the camapign book becuase it was taking up space and I no longer wanted it. kept the character guide and the essentials. 

but as you pretty much said differetn strokes for different folks...... 


 
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
Wow its like a Realms forums reunion or something!
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
Don't you have an abalone to go and crack?  

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

- Oscar Wilde

I still find time for the Realms!!

 
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
I have no problems with the 4E Realms in and of itself. Lack of products and lore killed the setting

The setting has actually been surprisingly active:
1) D&D Encounters has been having FR related adventures almost every week at game stores.
2) Bi-weekly FR related Lair assaults have also frequently been occurring in game stores
3) LFR continues to crank out FR adventures
4) Several FR related video games have been released recently
5) Ed Greenwood continues to write weekly FR articles for WotC
6) WotC has been releasing lots of FR novels
7) Almost all of WotC's new material is FR related (check out their releases from 3/12 to 12/13)
etc.

Indeed, with hundreds of LFR adventures, FR seems to have received more material in 4e than ever before
LFR adventures are hardly equivalent to setting material. And I very much doubt everything you've listed equates to the dozens of books, hardcover books, and boxed sets released for the Realms in prior editions.
I'm a huge fan of Dark Sun, and I love the AD&D setting books. At the same time, it isn't surprising that those sold poorly. It would have made practically no sense for Wizards to just print Dark Sun setting material.

I'm completely in disbelief of the amount of FR setting material we have. While we can of course always dig deeper, there are tons of books, boxed sets, and novels covering the Realms. Books are often reprinted across several editions (and sometimes exist in a very similar form in 1E, 2E, and 3E). I know the hardcore want more (I want more Dark Sun setting material, sure), but it isn't easy to sell it and pay for the cost of printing and writing.

That said, I think the Murder in Baldur's Gate information we've seen is a possible avenue of approach. It seems to build on the Neverwinter concept and include much more to make it very appealing for any kind of fan (though still primarily DMs).

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

To address that activity on a personal basis-

1) I don't play anything at game stores, D&D or otherwise, largely because the chairs used tend to murder my back, and the lack of ability to smoke in them.  Not to mention that I don't much care for my LGS in the first place.

2) See above, but toss in that my gaming group tends to participate in very little combat oriented gaming from the word go.  And really, there's not much lore you can stick into either 1 or 2 that would merit much discussion, well, around here anyway.

3) For that to be applicable, you'd kinda have to belong to RPGA, and while I appreciate what they do, it's just not my cup of tea.  And while those do generate more lore than the previous two things you mentioned, for some reason a lot of folk around here never seem to bring it.  I seem to recall a lot of sentiments vaguely hinting at (my impression at least) it not being 'real' lore, though I don't recall that ever being said outright.  After having gone through the various Raven's Bluff books... well, I'm somewhat inclined to agree with the sentiment.  Don't get me wrong, they were well written and maintained an internal coherency, it just felt like the city was a little alien compared to what we knew about the rest of the world for whatever reason.

4) Seriously? Given how much most games have gotten wrong, lore-wise, since the BG series, that's not saying a whole hell of a lot.  Don't even get me started on the NWN series... you could sail a pirate fleet through the holes in lore that game has, much less what has come after.  Mask of the Betrayer was the only one of them that was worth much, lore wise, though they all were pretty fun to play.

5) Sure, but if you've been paying attention, the discussion threads don't seem to attract much interest for whatever reason, though I couldn't say why, despite Plaguescarred's valiant efforts.  Maybe they're discussed over on Candlekeep, couldn't say, that place hurts my eyes so I don't go, but they aren't around here, not much anyway.

6) Speaking solely for myself, I know I'm in the minority here on this, I don't read many of the novels, for this or any other setting, except for the occassional EG novel, and never have, so... besides that, those that remember the old fiascos concerning novels seem to avoid discussing them anyway.  Edition wars are bad enough, no need to make things even worse I guess.

7) That mattering would require an active interest in 4e, which a lot of the folk around this board don't seem to have.  I know I certainly don't have one, in either the ruleset which I find utterly inadequate to my particular needs, or the setting, which just isn't to my tastes in its current incarnation.  Yet I still find myself coming to these boards... force of habit, hoping beyond hope, subconscious masochism... call it what you will, but I do.


And as GreenKnight pointed out, in terms of Lore, I doubt it amounts to much more than a couple of the old 3e sourcebooks, which were fairly lore-light compared to the 2e versions.  Now don't take this post as an attack, it certainly isn't, I'm simply presenting my perspective to compare to yours.  No idea if others share that opinion with me, beyond vague generalities based on personal observation, but there it is.

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

- Oscar Wilde

And as GreenKnight pointed out, in terms of Lore, I doubt it amounts to much more than a couple of the old 3e sourcebooks, which were fairly lore-light compared to the 2e versions.


I get a pretty good picture of what you don't like. ;) (I truly am just kidding here)

Seriously, what would you like to see? I'm especially asking that with the context that 2E setting books seemed to fare very poorly saleswise. They were expensive to write and had very limited appeal.

At a GameStorm convention early in 4E, Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet and Andy Collins were sharing how they didn't think the company could go deep into a particular setting. They said that if an undead book was published, it wouldn't be one for FR and one for Greyhawk, but rather one that would be of interest to all DMs and at times speak to individual setting differences. We saw that in 4E, though we did see a few concentrated Realms books (Neverwinter, Ed's book, etc.).

I think the reality is that a book on (insert a part of the FR setting here) isn't going to sell well. It never did sell well. With that in mind, what is it you want Wizards to create? What would keep you happy as a lore-hungry customer?

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

3) For that to be applicable, you'd kinda have to belong to RPGA

Actually no. Since over a year (maybe even two) ago everybody can just go to the website and download any adventure. No membership required, no reporting required, no checks at all

Really?  Didn't know that Mirtek, thanks for the info.  Not that I'd actually use them, but they might be interesting to read over.

@Alphastream1 - Well, honestly what I'd like to see is the whole 2e catalogue being available as .pdfs, rather than whole new sourcebooks just rehashing the same old thing.  I know that a selected few are available, but most of those I already have, at least last I looked.

As to setting specific books on undead and the like, I wouldn't want to see that at all, as I agree it's just a stupid idea from the start.  It was one of the better things about 3e, though I couldn't speak to 4e, as I've never invested in it.

5e though... what I want out of it?  Well, what I actually want is something I know I won't ever get out of it, that being a non-level based, largely classless system that one could mix and match as they see fit, sort of like Storyteller or M&M's 3e, where you just have a character concept and build up from there.  But, that's never going to happen, especially with the focus of late on stuff like Encounters and Lairs, which really don't lend themselves to that sort of system, and that rely on characters being relatively balanced against each other.  So realistically, I don't expect to invest in 5e as a system, but more as a source of inspiration.  Ideally, under those circumstances, I'd want something that was slanted towards fluff, rather than crunch, at least where settings were concerned.  Yeah, leave crunch to core, leave fluff to settings would sum up my hopes I guess.  Doubt I'll get it, but it would be nice.

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

- Oscar Wilde

Stigger, go to livingforgottenrealms.com and download everything you like. There's some good stuff there... and some crap too. ;)

Otherwise, I'm in agreement with both mvincent and alphastream1; there's a tonne of FR material for 4E even if it is not as lore-heavy as 2E was. However, 2E lost tonnes of money. TSR was essentially a charity for FR fans.



Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom

The claim was made that "FR seems to have received more material in 4e than ever before", which is obviously wrong. Whatever you may think of TSR's business practices, the fact remains that no such thing is true as TSR produced an incredible amount of material for 2E. And even if we just talk 3E, there's no way anything produced during 4E can outweigh the 4,542 pages or so of Forgotten Realms lore published during that time, and I'm not counting Living City adventures in that. That's in contrast to the 768 pages of lore in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, Forgotten Realms Player's Guide, Scepter Tower of Spellgard, and Neverwinter Campaign Setting (I have the feeling I'm missing a book, but for the life of me I can't remember what it might be). And those 768 pages are generous given how big the font is in the 4E books in comparison to that of the 3E supplements and how much empty white space you'll find (One of the first things I noticed about the 3E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting was just how dense it was). 
 
And personally I think it's pretty silly to count LFR adventures. How many of them offer any actual meaningful bits of FR lore versus a sourcebook? How much of that lore constitutes anything more than a handful of sentences? How much of it is something which will be recognized as canon later on, or ignored by designers who never read any of the LFR adventures or, if they did, they forgot all about what was in them? And how many of those adventures are so generic that you can copy/paste names and locations from some other campaign setting into the text and change absolutely nothing? It's silly to point to LFR adventures and say "Look, the 4E Realms has received a ton of lore because of them." Whatever small tidbits of lore they may have here and there, that doesn't compare to what's found in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Magic of Faerun, Lords of Darkness, Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerun, Faiths & Pantheons, Silver Marches, City of the Spider Queen, Races of Faerun, Unapproachable East, Underdark, Player's Guide to Faerun, Serpent Kingdoms, Shining South, Lost Empires of Faerun, Champions of Ruin, City of Splendors: Waterdeep, Champions of Valor, Sons of Gruumsh, Power of Faerun, Mysteries of the Moonsea, Dragons of Faerun, The Twilight Tomb, Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land, Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave, Expedition to Undermountain, Anauroch: The Empire of Shade, Grand History of the Realms, Into the Dragon's Lair, and whatever else I might be missing.

4E offered a lot of material but less lore.

Living City was larger than LFR but covers several editions. Living City was often focused on one geographical area, while LFR covered the breadth of the setting. I never wrote for LC, but with LFR I did a lot of research into various areas. I was often surprised how little there was at a specific level, so I did add some (not a lot, I'm mindful of setting canon) as part of my writings.

Still, I think it is easy to overestimate the lore in products, especially 3E sourcebooks. I've read over many of them as I worked on writing assignments and been surprised by how little is actually said. Novels are the same way. There are at least 4 novels that cover Candlekeep, but they added virtually no lore to what was already stated (and what was in sourcebooks was surprisingly brief too).

But, I get it. What you are really saying is that you want to crack open a book and be filled with wonder about places, people, history, etc. within the setting. The challenge for all gaming companies is to avoid the situation where only a tiny number of your customers actually want a product. When you stamp "FR" on the cover, you've turned away everyone that doesn't prioritize (or like) FR. When you further make it an FR Underdark book, you've narrowed things down to the DMs that want to run an Underdark campaign (and arguably, those that don't look at the 3+ FR Underdark books on their shelf and scream "Enough already!").

It will be interesting to see what Next will attempt as a strategy. Murder in Baldur's Gate looks like a good start to me.

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Folks seem to be overlooking the Eye on the Realms articles. 43 of them (counting this month) and they're jam packed with informaiton.

3) For that to be applicable, you'd kinda have to belong to RPGA

Actually no. Since over a year (maybe even two) ago everybody can just go to the website and download any adventure. No membership required, no reporting required, no checks at all

The problem with adventures is that they're not all that fun to read if you're into the Realms for the living story.

Has the RPGA (or whatever it's calling itself nowadays) or anyone else ever set down a summary of events regarding these adventures? Something a little more magazine article-like or bookish, and a lot less adventure?

Some sort of interface for those not interested in the RPGA that details what's going on in the Realms would be nice. That's where the disconnect is at, methinks.


On the subject of LFR, I really wish they'd done what Living Greyhawk did and made it so everyone in a specific region was adventuring in a particular region in the Realms. LFR sort of had that, as the Southeast US for instance was Aglarond, so technically I was in Aglarond, but it was pretty meaningless as you could play wherever you liked and didn't actually have to adventure in the region that corresponded to the area you lived in. For instance, I'm in Florida, so whenever I played a LG game I was in the Principality of Ulek, unless I left the state and played somewhere else, in which case I was now in the geographic region on the Living Greyhawk map that corresponded to the place I'd travelled to (I.E. If I visited my friend who moved to LA a few years back and played there my character would now be in Nyrond, while if I visited my cousin in New York and played there my character would now be adventuring in Keoland). If there's an RPGA campaign for 5E I hope that they take a page from Living Greyhawk and tie regions to corresponding areas in the setting and anyone in that region plays in that particular part of the setting. I don't know about anyone else, but it really did a lot to encourage RPGA play down here as everyone was invested in the Principality of Ulek. We'd probably have a ton of diehard Aglarondan patriots down here if LFR had been handled the same... well, that's also assuming that 4E wasn't as thoroughly unpopular down here as it is, too. That certainly also did a good job of putting a crimp in the RPGA spirit here.
On the subject of LFR, I really wish they'd done what Living Greyhawk did and made it so everyone in a specific region was adventuring in a particular region in the Realms. LFR sort of had that, as the Southeast US for instance was Aglarond, so technically I was in Aglarond, but it was pretty meaningless as you could play wherever you liked and didn't actually have to adventure in the region that corresponded to the area you lived in. For instance, I'm in Florida, so whenever I played a LG game I was in the Principality of Ulek, unless I left the state and played somewhere else, in which case I was now in the geographic region on the Living Greyhawk map that corresponded to the place I'd travelled to (I.E. If I visited my friend who moved to LA a few years back and played there my character would now be in Nyrond, while if I visited my cousin in New York and played there my character would now be adventuring in Keoland). If there's an RPGA campaign for 5E I hope that they take a page from Living Greyhawk and tie regions to corresponding areas in the setting and anyone in that region plays in that particular part of the setting. I don't know about anyone else, but it really did a lot to encourage RPGA play down here as everyone was invested in the Principality of Ulek. We'd probably have a ton of diehard Aglarondan patriots down here if LFR had been handled the same... well, that's also assuming that 4E wasn't as thoroughly unpopular down here as it is, too. That certainly also did a good job of putting a crimp in the RPGA spirit here.

I agree. When I started LG I knew nothing about our particular region, but since I was "stuck there for good or ill" I perceived everthing going on around there in a completly different light than I do LFR events. So what if we fail to save Cormyr? We can just move to the other side of the continent and pretend we had nothing to do with Cormyr's downfall. ;)


I really hope we'll see living campaigns in Next, but I fear all we'll get will be Lair Assault mayflies (where your'e character is a throw-away made for a single round and that's it) or Encounters nine days wonder (where your character lives for a couple of adventures but at the end is still supposed to be thrown away once the next season starts)
Actually Misc, that was covered in point 5 up there in mvincent's post.  Just sayin'...   

And I do agree that 3e was much lighter in lore than 2e was, and in terms of the Realms, it was very crunchy in comparison to comparable books in 2e.  That 3e did away with the unreliable narrator approach was also something that bothered me, since that removed a lot of wriggle room for DMs.  My biggest issue with the omniscient 3rd person used in 3e is that a lot of players developed this notion that this was the way it was in the Realms, and that if a DM changed things, they were getting it wrong somehow.  To me, that was 3e's greatest vice, no matter how much the system improved upon 2e's mechanics.  It was a very dry, terse description that offered little in the way of potential story hooks that was to be found in virtually every paragraph in 2e method (an exaggeration to be sure, but 2e allowed a lot of reading between the lines by comparison).  

Honestly, with the benefit of hindsight, 3e was setting the Realms up for 4e, that there was some overwhelming darkness looming on the horizon, but despite all the signs leading to the obvious conclusion that we got, it never occurred that WotC would actually plunge the world into such a dark place.  A darker place than I care to adventure in at least, so 4e lost my interest.  Hopefully Next/5e will make it a bit more palatable to me.

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

- Oscar Wilde

Actually Misc, that was covered in point 5 up there in mvincent's post.  Just sayin'...  

Hrm...I looked but couldn't find what I was looking for.

And I do agree that 3e was much lighter in lore than 2e was, and in terms of the Realms, it was very crunchy in comparison to comparable books in 2e. 

Depends on the 2E book.

If we're talking 2E Volo's Guides, there was no comparable book in 3E. Too bad, that. 

If we're talking 2E's Faiths & Avatars or Powers & Pantheons, well those two books were the poster children for the majority of the 3E Realms hardbacks: packed with rules and dry information presented by an omniscient narrator.

And if you go by what the fly-in-and-out trolls believe, 3E was just a bunch of 2E reprinted anyway. Not that I do, mind. Those trolls are wrong because 3E expanded on much of what 2E introduced, by advancing the timeline and giving us updated information (sometimes by the same writers).

The advantage 2E has over 3E is that it came first. Thus it got to put the "this is new" stamp on a lot of things Realmsian. I think the attitude of "this is what's in the Realms, period" actually came about in 2E, not 3E, and 3E missed a chance to dial that back by keeping an unreliable narrator around.

In my opinion, 3E carried that omniscient view forward, it didn't introduce it.

This is one more reason why I like 4E's Eye on the Realms articles, because they bring back the unreliable narrator (narrators, actually). Those articles are like slices right out of a Volo's Guide.
1e Realms is where its at. 

I loved that aged parchment look.  
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
See, not that's funny, I absolutely adored Faiths & Avatars, Powers & Pantheons, and Demihuman Deities, and didn't find them dry in the sleightest.  There were so many hooks and mysteries in the writing of those books compared to their 3e counterpart, that brevity and condensing forced out of 3e iterations, and I still find new things in those books to be honest.  I do get why that happened mind you, and agree that it made sense for WotC to do.  I just think they could have taken a bit more care to leave things a bit more vague and open to interpretation for DMs to personalize in their language.

To be fair though, there was quite a bit of lifting from 2e into 3e, but I don't really see that as a problem, since there are only so many ways to say things about the more obscure bits of Realmslore, that it made sense to do so.  As I hinted above, my issue wasn't really with what was said, so much as it was with how it was said.  Thinking about it though, 2e did introduce that omniscient narrator at the tail end of its run, and 3e did carry it forward as you said, but I suspect that was largely WotCs doing once it took over things.

I couldn't speak to the articles though, they aren't something I've ever read, since I've never subscribed to DDI.  My loss perhaps, but given my lack of interest in 4e in general, and the 4e Realms in particular... hopefully 5e will change that and I can go back to giving money to WotC for a product I actually like, even if I doubt the ruleset will appeal much.  But I can look past the crunch if the fluff is good enough. 

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

- Oscar Wilde

I'm back! Well, no, I'm just popping in.

I was pretty active on these forums for a few years, some of you may remember me. I left after 4th edition and the Spellplague, but what really drove me off was the new forum. It was nothing like what I was used to, the controls were weird, and I just could not be inspired to post. Given that most everyone else left and post rates dropped to a crawl, there wasn't much to post about either.

I tried Candlekeep for a while, but the forum set up there was even worse, and I just couldn't get into the community.

So I concentrated on work and study and my own games and play-by-post community at Role-Play onLine. Later I got into Wikia editing, and for over a year I've worked at the Forgotten Realms Wiki (speaking of which...).

I popped in here every few months or so, skimmed a little, but it seemed like nothing had changed. Really, all the same threads were up.

BadCatMan
So, on topic, theyre not dead, theyre just slow. But yeah, with the low lore of 4e there just isnt much to talk about.

And hey Catman, yeah I remeber you howz it goin? I personally dont mind onesite all in all, I like it better than gleemax, thats for sure, haha. 
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
LFR adventures are hardly equivalent to setting material.

That might depend on one's definition, but it's still 'material'.

And I very much doubt everything you've listed equates to the dozens of books, hardcover books, and boxed sets released for the Realms in prior editions.

I actually meant 'greater than any other edition' (rather than all editions combined). But just the LFR adventures alone equate to over 70k of pages. Together with everything else, 4e has been the most prolific edition for FR.