D&D 3E/3.5 Behind the Scenes of the making of the 3rd Ed Forgotten Realms from Sean K. Reynolds. Update part 2.

darjr

I crit!
Sean K. Reynolds has begun a series of blog posts about the 3rd edition Forgotten Reams Campaign Setting and I'm hooked.

I love the idea that they didn't want a Realms Shaking Event to justify changes but instead tried a subtle retcon style, it's interesting that WotC would return to that style after.

...changing the rules didnt mean the setting was changing, it was our understanding of the rules that changed our understanding of the setting. For example, with 3E adding the sorcerer class, that didnt mean that the Realms all of a sudden had sorcerers–the realms has always had sorcerers... nothing like “several main gods have died or changed identities” or “this country no longer exists” or “hello a new continent has joined the chat.”


I wonder if the retconning wasn't well received? I know the actual book as a huge success and I love it myself.

FRCS.jpg

I love the little blurbs about the creators involved. Did Skip Williams really work on every edition of D&D? Wow!


And now part 2!

 
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Staffan

Legend
I wonder if the retconning wasn't well received? I know the actual book as a huge success and I love it myself.
My memory of it is that it was appreciated at the time. But I think the 4e changes were too big to handle that way, plus apparently the novel department wanted a fresh slate since they killed off all the interesting conflicts in the setting (eyeing Tethyr sideways here).
 


Staffan

Legend
One of the more ridiculous things about the 3e changes to FR was how the return of Bane was leaked.

So, back in the 1e to 2e transition, Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul were killed off and replaced with the ascended mortal Cyric. In late 2e, via various shenanigans, some of Bane's portfolio was transferred to Bane's offspring, Iyachtu Xvim. So that was the pre-3e status quo.

Before the release of the FRCS, Wizards wanted to keep the Living City RPGA campaign going in 3e, so they released a document detailing a bunch of mechanical stuff from the upcoming book: races, deities, domains, and stuff like that. Unfortunately I don't still have the original document, but it had a number of cleric domains that offered the 1st level spell "Xvim". This was, of course, the result of someone wanting to keep Bane's return a secret, so they search/replaced Bane with Xvim, and in the process caught the spell bane.
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
Even with a fair bit of 3E crunch scattered throughout, still a good resource for 5E, particularly for those of us who don't mind remixing eras as desired.
 

Staffan

Legend
A great 3e book and one of the best FR ones...and/though I say that as someone who is not a huge FR fan.
I'm actually not a huge fan of the 3e FRCS. I recognize that it is very good at what it does, and the production values are outstanding. However, I think it is far too crunchy – particularly regarding the NPC stats scattered throughout. I sort of get the feeling that they wanted to use the book to show off the flexibility of 3e compared to older editions.
 




cbwjm

Legend
I did actually enjoy reading through the Forgotten Realms Adventures book for 2e and reading about all the changes, particularly about King Azoun no longer being a cavalier and how he seemed to be a little miffed about that. I'm glad they didn't do any big changes in the transition to 3e, however. You don't need a massive campaign world change to accommodate every edition change.
 



When 3e came out, I'll admit to thinking "why do we need a sorcerer class." It's still not one I'd ever play, but at the time I just sort of didn't focus on them in the Realms. If a PC wanted to be a sorcerer, fine, but otherwise I didn't really feature them as NPCs.

I wonder if the retconning wasn't well received? I know the actual book as a huge success and I love it myself.

From Pt. 2:

"we eventually realized that people who wanted to play a drow PC wouldnt want to play a weakened drow, and putting weak-drow PC stats in the game just meant that eventually we would publish strong-drow PC stats and people would start using that for their PCs. We kicked around some other ideas for powerful-species PCs [6], but eventually we went with the idea of level adjustments"

Now level adjustment PC races were something I actively hated. If a player wanted to, that was their business, but I always advised against it. You'd get to be more powerful at first level, but would eventually fall behind.

Anyway, the 3e FR Campaign Guide was a landmark setting book. Positively crammed with information. I still reference it when coming up with adventures set in the Realms.
 


When 3e came out, I'll admit to thinking "why do we need a sorcerer class." It's still not one I'd ever play,
Same here, I can't stand them or Warlocks and would love to see them removed from the core PHB. Just my personal preference. I understand they wanted to expand the game and give players more options, but those classes always seemed more of unnecessary add-ons to me. I much have preferred the Warlord as a core class than either of those two.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I remember reading somewhere that the 3e sorcerer was meant to be an "easy wizard" for new players or for players that didn't want to pick spells every day. Just get a small spell list and head out.
 

I remember reading somewhere that the 3e sorcerer was meant to be an "easy wizard" for new players or for players that didn't want to pick spells every day. Just get a small spell list and head out.
When the sorcerer was introduced, Skip Williams, one of the designers, hated the idea of the class. And he purposefully tried to make it as unappealing as possible. Of course this is all hearsay, so take it as you will.
 

It's a dense book, filled with lots of hooks and ideas. I could see it being fun and inspiring even if you're not planning on running an FR campaign.

I’m not a Realms fan, though I do like it. Still this book has sat on my night stand for a good long while.

If a players wants to play either, I'm fine with that as long as they get the rules right. Although, I actually want to give a warlock a shot one of these days, unlike the sorcerer.

Same here, I can't stand them or Warlocks and would love to see them removed from the core PHB. Just my personal preference. I understand they wanted to expand the game and give players more options, but those classes always seemed more of unnecessary add-ons to me. I much have preferred the Warlord as a core class than either of those two.
 

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