D&D General Any Realms-Heads Know About The Politics of The Sword Coast?

Bolares

Hero
Not wrong, but extremely complicated if stiking to canon. As I said earlier, if I was DM and a player had this concept, I'd change canon. I was trying to think within the parameters set in the OP, which makes for a steep climb.
I don't think @doctorbadwolf wants to "stick to canon" as much as they want to use canon as a jumping point to create a compelling story.

About the open lord... She is a centuries old elf. Even if she is good, she has to be disconnected to the plights of the young and poor of waterdeep. Disconnection from their people is a great way to fuel a rebellion, no matter the leader's alignment.
 

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Well, of course the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide says the Open Lord is good and chosen by the gods and there is no scarcity! We all know Wizards has been bought off by Silverhand...perhaps she's charmed Peter Adkison? (The official D&D cosmology includes multiple worlds and some individuals such as Tasha/Iggwilv have been to a few...perhaps the Lords of Waterdeep are spreading propaganda in our world!) Are they going to talk about the way vagabonds are taken off the streets and slaughtered for the dark rituals that fuel the Masked Lords' power? Are they going to talk about the slave trade that made the noble families' power and wealth? Are they going to talk about the way opponents to the Lords' power are frequently arrested and executed on trumped-up charges?

Wait? That's not in the official material? Well, of course it isn't! You think the venal, corrupt Lords of Waterdeep want you to know about all their crimes?

Maybe the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide isn't Lonely Planet...maybe it's Fox News. (You tell me your group leans left.) I'd say read a couple of those lefty treatises on how the official story favors the groups in power (or just read a few issues of Jacobin), and then deconstruct the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide.

Heck, you can draw from both ends of the spectrum. QAnon always struck me as a Call of Cthulhu plot that someone took seriously. It's your game. Nobody says Laeral Silverhand isn't drinking the blood of poor children to maintain her youth and making orcs and humans hate each other to maintain the position of the ruling class.
 

Indeed. If you want to stick to canon, Waterdeep is ruled by the good guys. If you don't want to stick to canon, Waterdeep can be ruled by the bad guys. But you can't both stick to canon and have Waterdeep ruled by bad guys, because canon says Waterdeep's rulers are good guys.

But the OP was asking about canon...
 
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Indeed. If you want to stick to canon, Waterdeep is ruled by the good guys. If you don't want to stick to canon, Waterdeep can be ruled by the bad guys. But you can't both stick to canon and have Waterdeep ruled by bad guys, because canon says Waterdeep's rulers are good guys.

But the OP was asking about canon...

Excellent point. I think the 2e Forgotten Realms Adventures book had 'Who Rules' and 'Who Really Rules' sections for each city if you want to feed your antinomian mind.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Indeed. If you want to stick to canon, Waterdeep is ruled by the good guys. If you don't want to stick to canon, Waterdeep can be ruled by the bad guys. But you can't both stick to canon and have Waterdeep ruled by bad guys, because canon says Waterdeep's rulers are good guys.

But the OP was asking about canon...

Waterdeep Dragon Heist does point out that a handful of Masked Lords are under the influence of Manshoon, or are targets of blackmail from Manshoon. So although the Masked Lords overall are "canon good" there is also a faction within them being influenced by a "definitely not good" wizard.
 

Sounds like the OP's group really wants to do 'Jacqueries or French Revolution in D&D' though. Aren't the Red Wizards of Thay an evil empire again as of 5e?
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Sounds like the OP's group really wants to do 'Jacqueries or French Revolution in D&D' though. Aren't the Red Wizards of Thay an evil empire again as of 5e?
Evil, yes, Empire, not really!

They are mostly fighting among themselves and are still unable to conquer Rashemen or Aglarond. There's no sign of the enclaves they had in the Neverwinter woods in 4e.

And it's pretty far from where the OP is having their campaign.
 

BTW, I don't know if I'd see Alexander Hamilton as a great example for your group--he was against slavery, but he proposed a president-for-life and supported the establishment of the central bank, as well as a strong national government supported by a strong national army and navy. You might consider Thomas Paine. ;)

I liked the musical too (and I'd hate to throw away my shot), but the Jefferson-Hamilton debate doesn't really map onto modern ideas of left-right.
 

aco175

Legend
I got a lot of mileage out of this book. It is a 2e book, but the evil organizations and intrigue among the Sword Coast is good. If you do not care about canon and 5e, this would help plan a great campaign.

1638650921820.png
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
BTW, I don't know if I'd see Alexander Hamilton as a great example for your group--he was against slavery, but he proposed a president-for-life and supported the establishment of the central bank, as well as a strong national government supported by a strong national army and navy. You might consider Thomas Paine. ;)

I liked the musical too (and I'd hate to throw away my shot), but the Jefferson-Hamilton debate doesn't really map onto modern ideas of left-right.
He supported a president (and senators) for life, with fairly easy terms of impeachment for a wide range of bad behavior. Otherwise, his proposed government was pretty much the same.

And the national bank and strong national government arent contradictory to modern leftism at all, IMO.

But ultimately he believed in a government that ruled at the discretion of the people being governed, which is the main point. It’s not like I’m playing the play character with the name swapped. She’s just got some similarities.
I got a lot of mileage out of this book. It is a 2e book, but the evil organizations and intrigue among the Sword Coast is good. If you do not care about canon and 5e, this would help plan a great campaign.

View attachment 147670
Nice! I’ll try to find a copy and check it out.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So here is where the DM and I landed.

The Emerald Enclave’s mission in Waterdeep is to try and steer the Lord’s Alliance away from rapid expansion of civilization, and maintain a balance between the cities and the wilderness. Partly for the normal Druidic reasons, but also because the wilderness around the Sword Coast is very dangerous, and would engender many lives if greatly disturbed.

Kid spent a few years with them from 11-13/14, and her view of that mission mixed with her experiences of being a poor refugee on the edges of Waterdhavian society, and many books she has read on civics and economics, to form a fairly radical view.

Kid: “Of course! We have to stop the cities from constantly expanding, which they only do because the greed of the elite. The root cause is the economic system that governs the Sword Coast, and like a rotting wood that endangers the whole forest, we gotta burn it down. The system of aristocracy will tumble down without that foundation, and we can replace it with a system by and for the people!”

EE: “That…isn’t what we said, but I like your spirit!”
 



aco175

Legend
Kid: “Of course! We have to stop the cities from constantly expanding, which they only do because the greed of the elite. The root cause is the economic system that governs the Sword Coast, and like a rotting wood that endangers the whole forest, we gotta burn it down. The system of aristocracy will tumble down without that foundation, and we can replace it with a system by and for the people!”
Sounds well educated for a kid. My 14yo would be all, "If we get rid of the forest then I will never get to see a unicorn."
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Kid spent a few years with them from 11-13/14, and her view of that mission mixed with her experiences of being a poor refugee on the edges of Waterdhavian society, and many books she has read on civics and economics, to form a fairly radical view.

Kid: “Of course! We have to stop the cities from constantly expanding, which they only do because the greed of the elite.
Sounds like she's being primed for disappointment, since even if they remake Waterdeep's political system from the ground up, things like birth rates and immigration will probably remain the driving factors behind the city's expansion.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Sounds like she's being primed for disappointment, since even if they remake Waterdeep's political system from the ground up, things like birth rates and immigration will probably remain the driving factors behind the city's expansion.
Yes, enthusiastic young revolutionaries are so often dissuaded by the iron bindings of demographic trends. :)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's from a British comedy sketch show.

But people who are absolutely certain they are right seldom are. Robespierre was a democratic revolutionary.
R.dd547130c90a1c62faddadc295c3a8ee
I’m aware of the origin of the meme. It’s a bad comparison.
Sounds well educated for a kid. My 14yo would be all, "If we get rid of the forest then I will never get to see a unicorn."
I was more well read and knowledgeable about philosophy, political theory, and economic systems, than most adults, at 14. And I’m not a genius.
By 14, you could be in charge of a trading charter.
Lol exactly.
Yes, enthusiastic young revolutionaries are so often dissuaded by the iron bindings of demographic trends. :)
Imagine pretending greed doesn’t accelerate expansion.
 

I’m aware of the origin of the meme. It’s a bad comparison.
I think you have misunderstood the cultural context. Small children play games in which there are "goodies" and "baddies". In England, for people growing up in the post-WWII environment (pretty much up to the 1980s) The "goodies" where the British and the "baddies" where the Germans. The only difference between the goodies and the baddies is the goodies always win and the baddies always loose. It has nothing to do with fascism, genocide and real evil - small children are too young to understand that.

If your PCs want to overthrow a stable government where the people are happy and prosperous, maybe they are the baddies - i.e. an evil party.
 

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