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Thursday, 7th June, 2012, 08:29 PM #111
The strength of the Forgotten Realms was that there was plenty of variety in the world for what you might want to play and that you had a strong background material to help place the setting. The ruins have descriptions, even minor, of what or who held them which helps both novice and expert DMs.
If I had any say in the matter, I'd like to see a reboot back to 3rd edition with a few slight changes:
1) Manshoon Wars never happened... that plotline really fizzled out fast and the resolution of having the vampiric Manshoon prevail was meh.
2) No Red Wizard enclaves.
3) Remove most of the events described in Dragons of Faerun that led to the draconic resurgence.
4) Varying degrees of alterations to the Shades.
3rd edition came out with some great books: Grand History of the Realms, Champions of Valor, Champions of Ruin, Power of Faerun, Magic of Faerun, Serpent Kingdoms, Races of Faerun, and Lost Empires of Faerun stand out the most in my mind along with the Player's Guide to Faerun. A lot of the other books were more updates to previous editions.
Having read the 4th edition campaign settign and player's guide, I struggle to find anything interesting or noteworthy that could be used other than how they paired down some of the pantheons by converting some deities into Exarchs. Even so, that's just a matter of taste and not necessarily something where you can objectively call an improvement.
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Thursday, 7th June, 2012, 08:29 PM #112
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
I like the Realms; I've enjoyed a fair number of the novels and play a lot of Living Forgotten Realms nowadays. Those adventures tend to completely ignore the Big Name NPCs but still let the PCs affect the world, which is nice. Meanwhile the new season of Encounters featured Elminster personally speaking in the mind of my PC... a first-level kobold rogue. Like, really? He tells you to go get a MacGuffin then won't answer any questions. It feels super forced and awkward.
But my favorite game set in the Realms is neither of those. In it we've spent almost a year of real life time trekking from Murann to Athkatla, which we all constantly mispronounce as Athkatal. We saved Athkatla from being secretly controlled by the Shadow Thieves, who had infiltrated the leadership of the Church of Waukeen. We're currently questing to help our fighter create a legendary weapon that can slay a certain lich, and we picked up the claw of a Spellscarred Roc in the Cloud Peaks. After that we talked about swinging by Candlekeep just to check it out on our way north to Baldur's Gate but decided instead to pass between the Werewoods and the Snakewood to Scornubel, where one of our PCs is from. Oh, and I randomly tossed a die onto a big poster map of the Realms that our friend printed at work to see where my character is from, and it landed on Dambrath, which has a cool history of once being ruled by drow, but afterthe Spellplague was freed by a uprising of other races.
If Drizzt or Elminster or anybody else ever appears in our game I will probably poop my pants right there in Don's living room. We use the Realms as a fully-realized, deep-historied setting for our own games, about our PCs and what they want to achieve. The Realms has a heavy sense of place, of almost-reality, that serves as an inspiring backdrop to our stories, none of which have anything to do with going to Elminster for help solving our personal issues.
That said, reverse the Spellplague please.
Thursday, 7th June, 2012, 08:29 PM #113
Magsman (Lvl 14)
You know that the gods are out there doing divine things, and you know that Elminster is out there doing wizardy things. He's part of the mythology.
Thursday, 7th June, 2012, 08:29 PM #114
Defender (Lvl 8)
Thursday, 7th June, 2012, 08:29 PM #115
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Thursday, 7th June, 2012, 09:39 PM #116
Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)
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My apologies, everyone. I promoted this to a news item and attempted to change the date of the the posts to ensure it would appear near the top of the news (unfortunately it took a few days before anybody pointed the thread out to me!). Unfortunately, I screwed it up and all the posts are now showing in the wrong order.
They should be OK from now on. Sorry about that. Hopefully you can continue the conversation OK.
Thursday, 7th June, 2012, 10:24 PM #117
Magsman (Lvl 14)
I'm remarkably eloquent in my OP.
Anyway, how would people feel if, rather than a rollback or a "saga edition," the 5e Realms is a full reboot based on Ed's original vision? Does the upcoming "Elminster's Forgotten Realms" already fill that gap? Do you want to be able to play in the eras we've seen before, or would you prefer a reboot?
Thursday, 7th June, 2012, 11:37 PM #118
Novice (Lvl 1)
I fail to see what all the hub-bub is about. I mean it is just a setting; its not the best, certainly not the worst (personally I dislike Eberron more). Don't like it? Don't play in it. Otherwise use what you want and ignore the rest.
Personally my group uses FR because we've all read something about it, played Baldur's Gate, etc. so its a fairly 'common ground'. But as a DM I just ignore all the books, mainly because I haven't read most of them, and if I don't particularly like something I ignore that too or change it to suit my needs.
Thursday, 7th June, 2012, 11:57 PM #119
Defender (Lvl 8)
But, by all means, continue stretching you analogies. Maybe you'll eventually make people forget what you actually quoted so that you can freely attack the made-up fantasy strawman you're beating the crap out of in your imagination.
Friday, 8th June, 2012, 01:29 AM #120
Scout (Lvl 6)
Really, I think WotC is going to have to pick an audience and play to them. Everybody has their own favorite part of the Realms or vision of what the setting should be. Trying to please everybody is more likely to please nobody.