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Enhancing Forgotten Realms


I’d really love to hear what other GMs are adding to Forgotten Realms or how you are chaning certain regions maybe how you remove clunky stuff from the game world. I tend to use as much as I can from the 3E FRCS and some 2E material as well. I’ll start:

I follow most of SCAG history but I have decided

The Heartlands:

- The Netheril Empire while vanished, still has a foothold in Sembia as part of a secret organization. This organization is bent on trying to control Sembia from within to regain the former glory of the Netherese. They are called the Obsidian Order. The Order is lead by a surviving shadovar, maybe Hardhune. The Order is engaged in spying, illegal trading and human experimentation. They are planning to create a new breed of shades (who are in game term shadow sorcerers with the background of ‘being created in an alchemist’s vat’)
- The Harpers are closely watching developments in Sembia as well as the Red Wizards and the Zhentarim
- The post-war feeling is still strong in Sembia helping the organization. Many Merchant Princes did not want to return the conquered Dales of Daleland and are plotting to regain them. There is a certain agreement that since their goals overlap, there is no need to fight each other.
- Ordulin the former capital is destroyed but the planar rift closed a while ago. Now many sembians want to rebuild the city to its former glory and a lot of workers and former soldiers travel here to work in the rebuilding effort. The merchant prince of Selgaunt the current capital is not happy about this and might be sabotaging some of the effort.

- The Dalelands are finally tired of being conquered by Sembia all the time and some Dales have started to get closer. There is much resistance to form a military alliance especially since many Dalesfolk have not forgotten the reign of Aencar the Mantled King.

- The elves are severly weakened from having Myth Drannor destroyed again. The forest is plagued by all kinds of monsters including demons and devils. Queen Ilsevele Miritar watches the events in the Dalelands with curiosity. She would not be against making a new alliance with the Dalesfolk to ensure her borders and forests remain the same.
- It is a dire situation in Cormanthor indeed. Elves do not like to talk about this but their forces are spread so thin, any outside attack would cause serious damage to them. They are desperately looking for old and new friends.

- Constant warfare has weakened the beacon of valiant humanity and the once great armies and wizards of Cormyr are of past. The Queen of Cormyr realized her country is losing her status as a superpower and with all the political maneuver to the eastern border, the region is quickly becoming a mass of regional powers.
- Cormyr is trying to regain some advantage by sending an expeditionary force to Anauroch to explore ruins in former Netherese areas.
- The army of Cormyr and many religious and magical organisations lost their greatest warriors and are looking outside the country to replenish their ranks

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I'm still focusing on the small region around Phandalin. I have updated the world another year for the last campaign and changed some of the town to show growth. I'm adding a new bad guy with the cult of Auril and a conflict with the church of Chauntea. I have not touched the larger area of the North and really anything outside of greater Phandalin. I'm on my 3rd campaign and have not left other than a few trip to Waterdeep.


Praise Beebo, the god of War!
Honestly, if I were to run a game set in the Forgotten Realms, it would probably focus on Maztica, emphasizing the fact that until recently, the place was adrift on another world, and is now home to three distinct groups of humanoids: Abeirans, Mazticans, and Amnians.

Human Kingdoms: Far Payit, Pezelac, Nexal, Kolan, Lopango
Hill Dwarves (live in the desert southwest of Pezelac)
Sea Elves (live in the Sea of Azul and the Bay of Qotal)
Halflings (live in the jungles of Lopango)
Tabaxi (live in the jungles south of New Amn)

Human Kingdom: New Amn
High/Wood Elves (possibly originating from Nimbrul)

Dragonborn (live in clans scattered throughout the continent)
Mountain Dwarves (settled in the mountains near Nexal, and the volcanoes of Lopango)

Major factions would include the Jaguar Knights (~Harper equivalent?), Eagle Knights (~Order of the Gauntlet equivalent?), and two or three others currently unknown.

Major Enemies would include the Sons of Amn (homebrew Amnian supremacist organization), Aarakocra from Anchorome, Dragons originally from Abeir, Thri-Kreen, Yuan-Ti, Giant Bat-riding Duergar from the Underdark, etc.


I dialed down the magic knob by two or three notches, and brought back a more feudal feel, with a bigger emphasis on the population outside the cities' walls.

I simplified most "canon" events without taking them out completely (i.e., the time of trouble is mostly about the failed attempt of Bane, Myrkul and Bhaal to steel the Tablets of Fate, and of their demise partly due to the mortal Cyric who used to opportunity to ascend to goodhood, but does not involve Ao or the whole pantheon).

More stress on intra and inter-cultural conflicts (canon or invented), like Illuskan-Tethyrian civil war in The North (shameless Skyrim knockoff), skirmishes between the different tribes of wood elves, centaurs and korred of the High Forest, the games and machinations within the Lord's Alliance, the growing tensions between the treant Turlang and the druids, the dissensions between the Harpers and Blackstaff Tower, etc. Evil usually ends-up thwarting itself in typical campaigns, but it this one, the forces of good fight too.


I enhance Forgotten Realms by calling it Mystara. And setting it in Mystara. And having it be Mystara.

Or playing in Al-Qadim, which is a really fun FR setting with a small enough amount of material it won't break the bank.

Or rewinding FR to, say, the way it was with the gray box and attendant Gazetteers. Again, not so much material it becomes too expensive or hard to grasp.

Greg K

I am not using FR. However, if I did, I would return to the lore of the 1e grey boxed set, the FR series of supplements for 1e and early 2e (maybe, bringing in some of the FOR series) and then ignore everything else.


I am not using FR. However, if I did, I would return to the lore of the 1e grey boxed set, the FR series of supplements for 1e and early 2e (maybe, bringing in some of the FOR series) and then ignore everything else.
Pretty much what I am planning on doing. 5E or Swords and Wizardry using the OGB with FR 1-6.


I really liked the 3.5e FRCS, which is actually The Book of 10,000 Plot Hooks wearing a disguise.

For 5e, the old Vilhon Reach and Spellplagued area adjacent, could become an empty frontier which Cormyrians (and others displaced by the Sundering) are moving into, to begin a new life.

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