D&D General How to reboot the Forgotten Realms (+)

Which in turn invites a place like Zakhara, which…yeah, it’s extremely weird to imagine a setting that is just fantasy pseudo-Europe, somehow envisioned as largely untouched by the peoples of other regions.

I wouldn’t fully flesh out Zakhara in the starting product, but Calimsham is great.
I love Zakhara, and Al-Qadim is one of my favourite settings, but I wouldn’t put it in FR at all. There was next to no lore crossover between the two settings, the tone and themes were utterly different, and others have said, Calimsham covers a lot of the same cultural ground (you can of course argue as to how well…)

Let Zakhara be it’s own setting. It was a mistake putting it in FR in the first place.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I love Zakhara, and Al-Qadim is one of my favourite settings, but I wouldn’t put it in FR at all. There was next to no lore crossover between the two settings, the tone and themes were utterly different, and others have said, Calimsham covers a lot of the same cultural ground (you can of course argue as to how well…)

Let Zakhara be it’s own setting. It was a mistake putting it in FR in the first place.
Eh it’s all in the multiverse anyway, but I’m down with giving Zakhara to a diverse team of SWANA, SE Asian, and other creatives with someone experienced advising and experienced editors, etc, and just fully developing that into a world. I wonder is Saladin Ahmed would be down, I think he has played D&D, and he has definitely done really excellent worldbuilding using themes and tropes of the Islamic world and history.

And then give Calimshan a caliphate on another continent that its rulers nominally answer to, or used to answer to.

Calimshan is only odd for some folks because it isn’t presented as having a realistic history as to why it has such a different culture from its neighbors.

The other way to go, would be to more strongly use SWANA influence for the southern reaches of Faerun, but I strongly prefer to have Faerun be influenced and affected by the cultures, trade resources, etc, or foreign continents and their people.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Eh it’s all in the multiverse anyway, but I’m down with giving Zakhara to a diverse team of SWANA, SE Asian, and other creatives with someone experienced advising and experienced editors, etc, and just fully developing that into a world. I wonder is Saladin Ahmed would be down, I think he has played D&D, and he has definitely done really excellent worldbuilding using themes and tropes of the Islamic world and history.

And then give Calimshan a caliphate on another continent that its rulers nominally answer to, or used to answer to.

Calimshan is only odd for some folks because it isn’t presented as having a realistic history as to why it has such a different culture from its neighbors.

The other way to go, would be to more strongly use SWANA influence for the southern reaches of Faerun, but I strongly prefer to have Faerun be influenced and affected by the cultures, trade resources, etc, or foreign continents and their people.
Calimshan is weird because genies are weird. A race of extraplanar beings of considerable magic power that traditionally apart from one another in different Elemental planes, yet all have this "Persian-esque" culture for reasons unknown. In D&D, it seems that such cultures only exist because Genies.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Calimshan is weird because genies are weird. A race of extraplanar beings of considerable magic power that traditionally apart from one another in different Elemental planes, yet all have this "Persian-esque" culture for reasons unknown. In D&D, it seems that such cultures only exist because Genies.
Well, you have the city of brass, which is home to all manner of genies, but yeah, in my own world jinn/djinn/genies are not actually a whole different kind of being from Fey, or several other type of critter, and there are European Fey that have nature and powers that would normally make them a djinn, but the term is used to distinguish otherworldly people of a certain cultural group.

But anyway, you’ve hit on a problem with D&D rep of SWANA cultures. There is no reason they should be in a given world “because genies”. That’s just such a wild trope.

Like…they can literally just be from a neighboring foreign region. 🤷‍♂️
 

Treat Forgotten Realms the way K in Men in Black treats our world. Things are insane and weird, and that's just the way it is, and most people just get through their lives while heroes are stopping alien invasions or evil gods or whatever.

Make it a comedy setting.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Well as Ed Greenwood envisioned it, the Realms has tons of portals to different world (including our own), which is why it's a hodgepodge of different peoples and cultures. As I recall, they were invaded by Orcs, for example, twice, and both groups came from different worlds!
 


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