D&D General Ed Greenwood's $5K Contract To Sell The Forgotten Realms

D&D historian Ben Riggs has a copy of Ed Greenwood's original Forgotten Realms contract and spends a few words covering it, calling it "The best $5,000 D&D Spent". The setting was sold to TSR for $4,000 in 1987, with another $1,000 for comsulting services.

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Ed Greenwood, the creator of the Realms, said he never regretted the decision to sell the property to TSR, the first company to make D&D. The five grand he made was $4,000 for the Realms itself, and then $1,000 for services as a design consultant. (That’s $13,000 in 2022 dollars).

 
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D&D historian Ben Riggs has a copy of Ed Greenwood's original Forgotten Realms contract and spends a few words covering it, calling it "The best $5,000 D&D Spent". The setting was sold to TSR for $4,000 in 1987, with another $1,000 for comsulting services.

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Ed Greenwood, the creator of the Realms, said he never regretted the decision to sell the property to TSR, the first company to make D&D. The five grand he made was $4,000 for the Realms itself, and then $1,000 for services as a design consultant. (That’s $13,000 in 2022 dollars).


Ed is too nice, his setting has to to be worth $100s of millions of dollars by now, and he git screwed out of his novel deal, he should have sued WotC for millions.

If the D&D movie is a hit, the Forgotten Realms' value could go even higher into the Billions of Dollars of value like Star Wars and Marvel.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Ed is too nice, his setting has to to be worth $100s of millions of dollars by now, and he git screwed out of his novel deal, he should have sued WotC for millions.

If the D&D movie is a hit, the Forgotten Realms' value could go even higher into the Billions of Dollars of value like Star Wars and Marvel.
You have to remember that Ed's FR and the whole FR we have now (well, before the 5e over-focus on the Sword Coast) are two different beasts. It did not have the huge backlog of lore and adventures, many regions weren't even there.

Though I agree that 5k $ is kinda cheap, even with the conversion rate. But it was a deal with TSR, not WotC. And to be worth billions, the FR would need to be leveraged way more than they are now: cross-media production, 2-3 movies per year, merch, etc

As of now, we dont even have a boxed set setting for the FR :p
 

Von Ether

Legend
You have to remember that Ed's FR and the whole FR we have now (well, before the 5e over-focus on the Sword Coast) are two different beasts. It did not have the huge backlog of lore and adventures, many regions weren't even there.

Though I agree that 5k $ is kinda cheap, even with the conversion rate. But it was a deal with TSR, not WotC. And to be worth billions, the FR would need to be leveraged way more than they are now: cross-media production, 2-3 movies per year, merch, etc

As of now, we dont even have a boxed set setting for the FR :p
True that.

When was the last reference to FR's back door to Earth? I feel safe guessing it was before 4e at least and not surprised if it was 2e.
 



DarkCrisis

Legend
After reading up on how long Greenwood had been developing FR even before D&D got involved and then thinking about to all the great products that came out in 2E for it, reminded me of how much I love the setting and how great it is.

It's lost a lot since 4th ed when WotC completely obliterated it then just focused on the Sword Coast after leaving the rest of it as "Forgotten".

What WotC did to FR with 4th Ed and hearing about how it effected Greenwood and also Salvatore (who's the only one to kind of salvage what was lost) is just upsetting. And frankly Drizzt has gone is such a weird direction I can't say I even recognize the character anymore. For the 1st time in a long time, a new Drizzt book has released and Ive felt no rush to read it. Used to be one would drop and I'd read it in a day.
 

My pal had the 1e boxed set. We were intrigued because it seemed “less populated” than other settings!

Decades later you leave your keep and stumble over a 15th level wizard and and encampment of “good drow.”

Interesting OP! But I have to no lover count myself a fan of the realms for a growing number of reasons…

But indeed, what bargain for the company!
 

DarkCrisis

Legend
My pal had the 1e boxed set. We were intrigued because it seemed “less populated” than other settings!

Decades later you leave your keep and stumble over a 15th level wizard and and encampment of “good drow.”

Interesting OP! But I have to no lover count myself a fan of the realms for a growing number of reasons…

But indeed, what bargain for the company!
Hence why when I run FR it's set in the 1E/2E period. Going back and reading the old stuff, especially when D&D cared about lore, it's wonderful. 1E/2E was def the height of background lore.

Now-a-days you're lucky to get a few pages of lore before the rest of the book is the adventure.
 

Hatmatter

Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
That boxed set was one of my favorite rpg childhood memories, fired up the imagination every time I opened it.
It was the first campaign setting that I DMed in..using that box. The campaign lasted for years and we loved it. That was 33-34 years ago. Now I am going to see some of the locations in which those characters (two of my original players have since passed on) adventured on the screen in the theater in less than six months. Regardless of that film's quality (call me skeptical but optimistic), I am looking forward to that...something I never even daydreamed about.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Ed is too nice, his setting has to to be worth $100s of millions of dollars by now, and he git screwed out of his novel deal, he should have sued WotC for millions.

The court will not side with you for having made a business decision that you regret in retrospect.

These days, one hopes content creators are getting more canny, and insisting on contracts that are for larger sums, or are keyed into the longer-term profits the property generates.
 

What WotC did to FR with 4th Ed and hearing about how it effected Greenwood and also Salvatore (who's the only one to kind of salvage what was lost) is just upsetting. And frankly Drizzt has gone is such a weird direction I can't say I even recognize the character anymore. For the 1st time in a long time, a new Drizzt book has released and Ive felt no rush to read it. Used to be one would drop and I'd read it in a day.
I have no love for what happened to the Realms with 4E. But my biggest complaint about the Realms is the static state that it seems Ed has always tried to maintain. That his primary characters he wrote for one time period must exist throughout all of the period and can never die, well that has always left a very bad taste in my mouth. Why must Halaster and Durnan be alive in the current timeline? Why do the same wizards, gods etc must revert back to the ones from the 1300's DR? Things should change, that makes the setting alive, more real and more interesting. IMO.
 
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