D&D General Forgotten Realms fans, what do you like most about the setting?

R_J_K75

Legend
No need to feel sorry, I play often with new players and most of them are not even interested in reading the lore of SCAG. Lore deep-dives are not for everyone, I can speak of experience, because I hate it myself. The lore of FR especially is more hindering and intimidating IMO. In terms of lore and playability I prefer Eberron by a large margin.
I can see both sides of this argument, I dont think argument is even the right word, but for lack of another, theres definitely a dichotomy. On one hand the lore of FR is what makes the setting, but most times its one big info dump on the players and they could give two shits less about it. Should've saved my breath, might need that one someday.
 

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TheSword

Legend
I hear that often, but for me its ironically the other way around. Settings with deep and big lore like FR are more overwhelming and are actually slowing down my prep process. Especially if they have a meta plot ongoing. I always fear when a player in a FR adventure wants to know more about something related to FR history. "ok, roll a history check for me" - "NAT 20!!" - "Oh no...."

Thats why I prefer Eberron from a lore perspective, it has no metaplot, the default starting year is always the same since 3.5 and while it has also has complexity, everything is designed open-ended. The Eberron setting asks questions and leaves a lot of mysteries open, that makes it way more adaptable.

I had one large FR campaign where I often had the procedure of:

1) I need some fact of the world so either I flip thousands of pages or frantically google it.
2) If that happens not in prep, but mid-game its not really viable, so I make something up in the moment that sounds reasonable
3) ...
4) Not Profit (I realize what I made up now contradicts something else, so I have to change that other thing to something new, this now contradicts 10 other things etc.)

Luckily my players didn't even read the sword coasts adventurers guide and didn't realized most of my blunder. But it definitely stressed me out and doubled my prep time. I run only prewritten modules in FR now, but these I actually enjoy quite often, because they give me most of the stuff I need to run the game.
If I may be so bold. The problem was trying to maintain accuracy/cannon with the wider world rather than just maintaining internal consistency with your version.

I’m pretty confident that even if my players were familiar with history of Dagger Dale that if I chose to change things around, I can and that’s just the way things go. In other words it doesn’t matter if they read SCAG or not and it definitely wasn’t a blunder.

I think a good approach is to see lore from previous released products like rumours. They’ve got half way round the realms before the truth has got its pants on. If I decide that the Zhentarim invasion of Shadowdale happens just after the Zhentarim occupation of Daggerdale and not 15 years later - then there have been rumours of zhent interest in Shadowdale. If I decide Myth Drannor doesn’t fall to the Fey’ri then the rumours are just exaggerating what was otherwise a minor sighting.

It’s all just inspiration.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I hear that often, but for me its ironically the other way around. Settings with deep and big lore like FR are more overwhelming and are actually slowing down my prep process. Especially if they have a meta plot ongoing. I always fear when a player in a FR adventure wants to know more about something related to FR history. "ok, roll a history check for me" - "NAT 20!!" - "Oh no...."

Thats why I prefer Eberron from a lore perspective, it has no metaplot, the default starting year is always the same since 3.5 and while it has also has complexity, everything is designed open-ended. The Eberron setting asks questions and leaves a lot of mysteries open, that makes it way more adaptable.

I had one large FR campaign where I often had the procedure of:

1) I need some fact of the world so either I flip thousands of pages or frantically google it.
2) If that happens not in prep, but mid-game its not really viable, so I make something up in the moment that sounds reasonable
3) ...
4) Not Profit (I realize what I made up now contradicts something else, so I have to change that other thing to something new, this now contradicts 10 other things etc.)

Luckily my players didn't even read the sword coasts adventurers guide and didn't realized most of my blunder. But it definitely stressed me out and doubled my prep time. I run only prewritten modules in FR now, but these I actually enjoy quite often, because they give me most of the stuff I need to run the game.
making it up as you go as needed ia what Ed Greenwood has been telling people to do aince the Grey Box. All the details are a toolbox for your own work, not Scripture.

As you note, your own players don't know.or care about the canon. If I played with someone who knew FR canon and was a stickler...I'd not use the FR. However, most people aren't that.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
making it up as you go as needed ia what Ed Greenwood has been telling people to do aince the Grey Box. All the details are a toolbox for your own work, not Scripture.

As you note, your own players don't know.or care about the canon. If I played with someone who knew FR canon and was a stickler...I'd not use the FR. However, most people aren't that.
I've heard stories of people not wanting to play in FR because of players who may have read the novels trying to bring them into the game. Never seen it myself, but I'd be quite happy to tell them to more or less forget the novels as a new campaign means new or altered events.
 

Retros_x

Explorer
If I may be so bold. The problem was trying to maintain accuracy/cannon with the wider world rather than just maintaining internal consistency with your version.

making it up as you go as needed ia what Ed Greenwood has been telling people to do aince the Grey Box. All the details are a toolbox for your own work, not Scripture.
As both of your comments aim at the same direction: I know that I make the setting my own and my version is important and "canon" at the table. I thought my example made it clear that the FR became pretty fast a version of my own. The problem is that my readjustments/improvisations/own internal consistency caused a lot of breaking points with the existing lore where I had to reevalute again.

So, no the problem was not that I tried to maintain accuracy with the wider world, the opposite was the case. But my own version caused me to break my line of thoughts 100x times, because it contradicted the official versions so I had to re-align everything that was stated in an adventure or in a description of a city, faction etc.

For example, early on, a player investigated a bit further into the Zhentarim. I didn't know too much about them besides some basics and so I quickly improvised some stuff about what I thought made sense. So my game was different from official lore in that regards. But now, everytime when I read something about the Zhentarim in an official city description for a city my players travelled to for example or in an adventure, everytime I read somethign about them I had to pause a moment and think about how to keep my version of the Zhentarim consistent.

The same happens in Eberron too of course, but in much lower frequency, because the setting is written open-ended. My Eberron is also quite different than the official one, but I stumble much less upon that fact when using official resources, because these resources were written with that expectation in mind.

I hope I could explain my problem a bit better this time.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
As both of your comments aim at the same direction: I know that I make the setting my own and my version is important and "canon" at the table. I thought my example made it clear that the FR became pretty fast a version of my own. The problem is that my readjustments/improvisations/own internal consistency caused a lot of breaking points with the existing lore where I had to reevalute again.

So, no the problem was not that I tried to maintain accuracy with the wider world, the opposite was the case. But my own version caused me to break my line of thoughts 100x times, because it contradicted the official versions so I had to re-align everything that was stated in an adventure or in a description of a city, faction etc.

For example, early on, a player investigated a bit further into the Zhentarim. I didn't know too much about them besides some basics and so I quickly improvised some stuff about what I thought made sense. So my game was different from official lore in that regards. But now, everytime when I read something about the Zhentarim in an official city description for a city my players travelled to for example or in an adventure, everytime I read somethign about them I had to pause a moment and think about how to keep my version of the Zhentarim consistent.

The same happens in Eberron too of course, but in much lower frequency, because the setting is written open-ended. My Eberron is also quite different than the official one, but I stumble much less upon that fact when using official resources, because these resources were written with that expectation in mind.

I hope I could explain my problem a bit better this time.
I can see where thar could be stressful.
 

TheSword

Legend
As both of your comments aim at the same direction: I know that I make the setting my own and my version is important and "canon" at the table. I thought my example made it clear that the FR became pretty fast a version of my own. The problem is that my readjustments/improvisations/own internal consistency caused a lot of breaking points with the existing lore where I had to reevalute again.

So, no the problem was not that I tried to maintain accuracy with the wider world, the opposite was the case. But my own version caused me to break my line of thoughts 100x times, because it contradicted the official versions so I had to re-align everything that was stated in an adventure or in a description of a city, faction etc.

For example, early on, a player investigated a bit further into the Zhentarim. I didn't know too much about them besides some basics and so I quickly improvised some stuff about what I thought made sense. So my game was different from official lore in that regards. But now, everytime when I read something about the Zhentarim in an official city description for a city my players travelled to for example or in an adventure, everytime I read somethign about them I had to pause a moment and think about how to keep my version of the Zhentarim consistent.

The same happens in Eberron too of course, but in much lower frequency, because the setting is written open-ended. My Eberron is also quite different than the official one, but I stumble much less upon that fact when using official resources, because these resources were written with that expectation in mind.

I hope I could explain my problem a bit better this time.
One of the things I like about the organizations in the Realms is that they are rarely monolithic cookie cutters.

There are lots of different flavors of Zhentarim… Manshoon’s, Davil Starsongs, Fzoul Chembryl’s, Semmemon’s, Etc etc etc. You just had your own brand. Call them rogue, or make them the current dominant force.

It sounds like you found the lore pressure. I say you can’t blame the lore for that. Just ignore what doesn’t fit your particular approach. If in hindsight you prefer a different way forward then change what you did. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Detail vs lack of detail. You can’t have it both ways.
 

DarkCrisis

Reeks of Jedi
You can play in FR and not worry about the deep
Lore. Your players don’t have to find Elminster or Drizzt or whomever. Just because iconic characters etc exist in a setting doesn’t mean they are going to be in the adventure.

My FR games are still firmly set in 2E Faerun and while I’ve used lore for color I’ve never had it be an issue.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
One of the things I like about the organizations in the Realms is that they are rarely monolithic cookie cutters.
Been reading the OG Grey Box and FR Adventures, amd Greenwood really sells the Zhentarim and Red Wizards as being pathological in their internal divisions...very classic "Evil can't win because it is self-destructive." The local baddies are actually a lot more apparently dangerous, like the Wizard in charge of Hillsfar.
 

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