D&D 5E Ed Greenwood to write 5E's Forgotten Realms

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First Post
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.


You literally cannot catch up to Elminster without vast amounts of DM fiat.

May as well try to catch up to Ao.
Exactly--Ao exists, Elminster exists, none of that affects the PCs. What's the difference? You don't have players trying to "catch up to" the gods, do you?

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.


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.
I mentioned it above, but I think the Neverwinter setting book was a 10x better "introduction" to the post-Spellplague Realms than the FRPG and FRCG were. The setting didn't make a whit of sense to me until that.

Even that, I prefer the gray-box bare-bones roll-your-own Realms. But I didn't dislike the 4e Realms nearly as much.



First Post
I have never let Canon control how I ran the Forgotten Realms. At the start of a new FR campaign I tell my players that this is "loosely based on the Forgotten Realms" to nip the whole "but according to Novel X this happens!" in the bud.

I don't get the High Level NPC hate. Grey Hawk has the Circle of Eight, all uber-level Mages, but I have never seen anybody bash Mordenkainen's little clique. Don't like The Chosen of Mystra or Drizzt? Don't use them in your campaign! The only time any of my games has shown that Drizzt even exists was a very brief cameo appearance. I have used Elminster to hire the PCs (whole mysterious old man with a quest thing), but he doesn't show up to save the PCs or anything like that. The uber-NPCs are just background, and usually distant background.

Catching up to Elminster? Who cares. Your campaign should be about your player's PCs, If Elminster is stealing the show that is your failure, not Ed Greenwood's for including Elminster in the campaign setting in the first place.

No, I meant I am fine with any point up from 1E to the end of 3E for a relaunch. Even the ToT, for all the hamfisted "new rules, new world" changes it brought, was not as bad as the 4E debacle.

Oh, fair enough. I think I would prefer an official reboot. However I have enough older materials to run during Netheril (the real Netheril, not the 4e version :p), The Fall of Netheril, the height of Cormanthor, Fall of Myth Drannor, The Grey Box (1e), Post Time of Trials (2e), The Return of Bane (3e)... and if I wanted to even the Spellplague (4e).

I would love to see a Forgotten Realms where Ed is at the helm, especially if they reboot the setting and roll it back to a prior edition before 3rd edition. In fact, that would be a deal breaker if they didn't, as I did not support the changes they made to the setting post 3rd edition.

Holy crap! Its Talath!!

edit: for that matter, if I happen to run a Star Wars campaign the setting is only loosely based on that universe. The Skywalkers may exist, but they are not the focus of my storylines. I enjoy Lucas' broad picture, but some of the little fiddly stuff I'd rather ignore (The heroes from the movies, especially the Skywalkers, The Rule of Two, etc).
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Alternate Prime Material Planes. Multiverse.

D&D has gotten away from this - or at least its fan have. There could be versions of the Forgotten Realms in which the Time of Troubles never happened; neither did the spellplague.

It's not a retcon or a roll back. It's just another Forgotten Realms. You don't have to make them compatible, what happened in one doesn't have to happen in another.

Just like when everyone runs it at home.


First Post
The problem high-level NPCs pose to me is that if the players know or think they are more powerful than their characters, they often try to solve a problem by informing the NPCs ("Hellgate about to open? X needs to be informed, so he can close it! No, we can't risk trying to do it ourselves, the whole country is at stake!"). It can be gotten around by downplaying the NPCs, and it helps if the players don't read the novels. Cutting down on teleportation also helps a lot.

The problem with house ruling large parts of the Realms is that you don't need to buy a book if you write it yourself anyway. There is just 1 thing I'd even consider using from the 4E version, and that I already knew from a preview before I bought the book. The whole rest is of no interest or use to me at all.

The 4E realms also lack just about every detail. Most regions are just laid out so bare-bones, they offer no help at all in DMing anything there. 2E material is flat out superiour in adding all the small touches that make a setting come alive. 3E is already a bit too broad-stroked, but tolerable still. 4E? It offers no detail, no color at all, and therefore no help.

A setting book should offer more than a few adventure ideas and some rough outlines of entire countries.


I don't get the High Level NPC hate.

For me it started with the adventure in the 2E FR boxed set where Elminster shows up to heal the party.

FR reinforces the notion that you aren't heroes, you're JANITORS. Elminster is the hero. He's so capable that he has time to play nurse maid to you in his spare time. He's Superman without kryptonite and you're just a beat cop aspiring to be a C-lister.

There are ways to do this right. Eberron, Dark Sun, and Planescape have fantastic examples of powerful NPCs that add flavor and something to aspire to without making you look redundant.

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