D&D 4th Edition Lets try this again- 4E FR Campaign Guide




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  1. #1
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    Lets try this again- 4E FR Campaign Guide

    My last thread got closed and I told PC I'd make sure I worded my posts in the future with less "sarcasm" (though it's totally against my nature )

    I'm looking for info on the new 4E Realms campaign Guide. I"M NOT LOOKING FOR A DEBATE ON THE MERITS OF THE CURRENT EDITION OF THE REALMS- IF YOU WANT TO DO THAT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE START YOUR OWN THREAD.


    I've read a couple of decent reviews but I still have some questions.

    The kind of info I'm looking for is:

    1) Just how useful the FRCG is for a DM starting a FR game (is it enough info, too little, whats glossed over, what is talked about too much, that kind of thing- I realize this will be opinion, please discuss without delving into 3E/4E is better).

    2) What are the Major changes that have happened to Faerun over the 100 years that have lapsed. I've heard some Gods died, and magic is totally different- who and how? what about the organizations like the Harpers, Zhentarim, and Red Wizards? How (if at all) have they changed? Is Cyric still around, or is Bane back to being top-dog?

    3) Is the Player's Guide much of a neccessity as far as flavor/fluff text goes (i.e. are there details on regions/peoples/happenings that are not present in the campaign guide? or is it mostly crunch?

    4) I was told that the 4E Realms is pretty much devoid of the canonical NPC's (Elminster, Khelben, etc) - Not even mentioned in the book? is that the case?

    5) Poster map-is one included?

    Of course I'm not looking for someone to type out alll the nitty gritty details but rather a general overview of the differences between 3E Faerun and 4E Faerun (and again, I'm not looking for anyone to DEBATE the differences-just looking for what makes new different from old)


    EDIT- wanted to say I'm fam with 1E, 2E, and up to the first 3.0 FR products- I'm not familiar with any changes via Novels or such during the 3.x era

    TIA!
    Last edited by JeffB; Saturday, 4th July, 2009 at 02:44 PM.

 

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    1) Just how useful the FRCG is for a DM starting a FR game

    It will be useful since the world has changed. The Spellplagues have happened and the world moves on.

    3) Is the Player's Guide much of a neccessity as far as flavor/fluff text goes (i.e. are there details on regions/peoples/happenings that are not present in the campaign guide? or is it mostly crunch?

    More crunch, but what it does do is present the players with info that they would need. Having a player read this book would be fine but havign a player read the campaign guide might not be.

    4) I was told that the 4E Realms is pretty much devoid of the canonical NPC's (Elminster, Khelben, etc) - Not even mentioned in the book? is that the case?

    Not mentioned at all that I saw.

    5) Poster map-is one included?

    Yes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crothian View Post
    1) Just how useful the FRCG is for a DM starting a FR game

    It will be useful since the world has changed. The Spellplagues have happened and the world moves on.
    Thanks for the help- as far as question 1- I was more interested in the actual utility of the book disregarding the fact that the "world has changed".

    Are all the regions detailed?

    Are some only mentioned briefly or not at all?

    Is the text littered with plot hooks/adventure seeds, or matter of fact info like "X is ruled by Y, its a land of agriculture and juts up against the Z mountains which are infested with Goblinoids"

    I'd go take a look-see at the local bookstore, however they don't have one in stock at this time.

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    THere are lot of regions detailed, I didn't go through and make a check list to see if all of them were. I found plenty of plot hooks in there. It is an overview and not a lot of detail. It is just under 300 pages and the Realms are a big place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crothian View Post
    THere are lot of regions detailed, I didn't go through and make a check list to see if all of them were. I found plenty of plot hooks in there. It is an overview and not a lot of detail. It is just under 300 pages and the Realms are a big place.
    Cool. I appreciate your help. That sounds about what I'm looking for as far as "detail" goes.

    Would you say that like in past books/boxed sets that The Dalelands/Cormyr is the focus and gets a bit more attention than most areas?

  • #6
    Yup, Cormyr and the Dalelands look to get a bit more love than other areas - I think I've also seen some DDI stuff for Cormyr
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    Cyric has been imprisoned by the other gods, due to his part in murdering Mystra and thus causing the Spellplague that devastared Toril.

    This has been a big source of inspiration in my actual campaign.

    There are no iconic NPC's. The world has moved on. The world is awaiting new heroes.

    If I recall correctly each region has 2 or 3 plot hooks.

    There is also a section that gives a description of the different organisations which pose a threat. This includes the Church of Bane and the Zhentarim. Each organisation details some henchmen or NPC leaders.

    The focus is actually on Loudwater, a frontier town which is inland from the Sword Coast. The only adventure released is in the same area. But Cormyr and the Dalelands get more pages than the other regions.
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    ° Ignore Derulbaskul
    I'm glad to see this thread resurrected as I didn't think you had crossed the line the first time.

    Disclosure: I hated the FRCG when I first read it... and now I happily use it.

    1) Just how useful the FRCG is for a DM starting a FR game (is it enough info, too little, whats glossed over, what is talked about too much, that kind of thing- I realize this will be opinion, please discuss without delving into 3E/4E is better).
    If you want a simpler version of FR in which to run 4E D&D then I think it's a great book. It lacks A LOT of information but, at the same time, the regional write-ups do contain enough to make each region interesting with lots of room for the DM to add more.

    In short, A LOT is glossed over and there are no surpluses of information anywhere.

    2) What are the Major changes that have happened to Faerun over the 100 years that have lapsed. I've heard some Gods died, and magic is totally different- who and how? what about the organizations like the Harpers, Zhentarim, and Red Wizards? How (if at all) have they changed? Is Cyric still around, or is Bane back to being top-dog?
    Wow, a lot has changed. Cyric is in prison but he owns the Zhentarim. Bane is kicking around but has a weird symbol that's not as cool as the 3E version. The Red Wizards are very different.

    Hmmm, perhaps it is best if you read the three Countdown to the Forgotten Realms articles on the WotC website?

    3) Is the Player's Guide much of a necessity as far as flavor/fluff text goes (i.e. are there details on regions/peoples/happenings that are not present in the campaign guide? or is it mostly crunch?
    The Player's Guide is what sold me on the setting (that plus I really wanted to run 4E and not have to do conversion work until I was more au fait with the system). It is actually a guide for players which is, well, logical but not how most guides for players play out. I love the way a lot of the regions are written up with information for the players that the players can actually read without setting secrets being divulged. Great stuff- a genuine introduction to the world with some nice crunch bits.

    4) I was told that the 4E Realms is pretty much devoid of the canonical NPCs (Elminster, Khelben, etc) - Not even mentioned in the book? is that the case?
    Elminster gets a mention but basically all those NPCs of earlier editions are not around. Szass Tam is a major villain as the undead ruler of Thay. Khelben got absorbed into a high magic ritual in a 3.5E-era novel so he wasn't going to make a return anyway.

    5) Poster map-is one included?
    Yes, and it would be kind of me if I simply said, "it sucks". Really, it does suck. I know the idea is to have points of light... but the map is really sparse and not that attractive. The 1E maps were better... as were 2E and 3E. I just hope we see more Realmslore articles so we can get more of the great Mike Schley (sp?) maps.

    Seriously, I think a decent map (and, yes, it is a poster map) with just a bit more detail would have eliminated a lot of the nerdrage that poured out when the FRCG was released. I also wish the small regional maps had a bit more detail.

    Anyway, the DDI article on Cormyr is worth getting for the map alone (although you can also find legal copies of the map all over the 'net: try here and Cartographer's Guild).
    Regards
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    The changes to the setting are pretty massive:

    Large portions of the world are simply no longer there. Excised. Deleted. Choose your verb. The old kingdom nation of Mulhorand is gone, literally ripped out of the world and no longer part of the planet. Unther was likewise removed, and transplanted in its place is an entire kingdom of dragonborn, presumably to bring that 4e race into the Realms where they hadn't existed previously. Thay is decimated and a big, undead wasteland.

    Further south, the nation of Halruaa was obliterated by the Spellplague and it and its civilization no longer exist for all intents and purposes.

    A lot of the map was ravaged in order to make FR fit the PoL dynamic. And due to the huge time-jump between the end of 3e and the start of the 4e Realms, unless a character was immortal or perhaps a very long-lived elf, they're going to be dead, so a lot of plot hooks and developing metaplot is rather abruptly gone.

    The biggest impact on PCs however is that because of the timejump and the slew of changes, there's no easy way to transition PCs from a 3e FR campaign into a 4e one. Most PCs would die during the time interval, and the world is so different, they might not recognize it, and anything they'd worked for, protected, built up, etc likely isn't around anymore.

    The 4e Realms IMHO can work if you're starting a fresh campaign with little or no connection to prior material (some was retconned, some was never touched on in 4e, much was made moot due to other changes and the timejump). The 4e Realms are effectively a new campaign setting compared to the 1e/2e/3e Realms.

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    Disclaimer: I do not own the FRCG. But I would recommend looking at the excerpts on the product page for the book, which gives the two-page writeups for some of the regions, along with stat blocks for one of the threats in the setting and some excerpts from the included starter adventure. The region writeups in particular should give you an idea of the level of detail.

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