Question about 5e Forgotten Realms

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
It's almost like WotC came to the conclusion that continuous concern about Forgotten Realms "canon" is a waste of time and energy and they just want to tell people to go ahead and use the 30 years of documentation they already have to create whatever type of FR game they want and to stop worrying about trying to run a cutting-edge "current" game.

They got tired of trying to invent three paragraphs of new Turmish history for every edition and just want to you use whatever Turmish stuff you have lying around for your upcoming Turmish campaign.
What I want isn't new canon at all--I want the Eberron treatment where the official version of the game stays put on a particular date so you can use all the material how you want.

Of course that ship has long ago sailed, but they could have done it with 5e instead of this awkward mess. As it is, it's a chore using 5e material because they make it externally look a lot like the pre-4e era I use, but in reality it isn't and they interweave all sorts of later stuff into it. This means I have to know (look up) even more stuff about what was and wasn't true in the old FR so I can figure out how to use the new books without screwing up compatibility with my library of previous work that fits together much better with itself.
They say that the current version is effectively timeline neutral, but you have a new Waterdeep map with different areas, different movers and shakers in the world, parts of Faerun that have been replaced since the 1e-3e era, etc.

If I we're going to fix it I'd declare a few different points in the timeline as fixed starting dates. New products would have to be able to be set in any of those dates, based on preference. They would have to include information for what varies by starting point, such as NPCs and political conditions. The best bet is not to set anything around the regions that have massively changed. They could even have the current mess as the default starting point. They might need an appendix for how to set it at each starting point, abs would likely need sidebars throughout. Better yet, pick whichever starting point fits better for each adventure and make the adaption material go from there.

Things like, "If you are playing in starting point A or B, the dragonborn Darcus Dracarian is replaced with the human Damian Drakefield. His dragonborn honor guard is instead composed if humans and half-elves." Or, "If you are playing in starting point D, the Open Lord if Waterdeep is __, instead of __. Rather than encourage the PCs to X, they will insist they do Y, but will offer a 3,000 gp reward if they do. They won't help or hinder the party if they choose to ignore them."

Or for something more appendix worthy, "If you are playing in starting point A, Blingdenstone isn't recovering from a previous fall, it's been a thriving community for centuries, and the effects of the demon lords' invasion are a subtle cancer that has begun to infect it. Make the following changes."

"If you are playing in starting point B, Blingdenstone only recently fell. When the party arrives, they find a group of svirfneblin attempting to retake it from oozes and wererats. The following scenario describes how this might play out, and what Blingdenstone might look like based on the results."

That sort of thing. A new campaign setting, if produced, should probably take a different approach than previous ones, by having its goal be laying out the various starting points. Describe what makes each unique and why you might want to play there. Explain which overall things vary, such as deities, regions, organizations, racial dynamics, magical access, etc. Present each starting point as a mini-setting in other words. Heck, do this (imagine a bunch if subsections it multiple chapters in these divisions).

1. Introduction to the Forgotten Realms
2. The Realms as it always is
3. Era 1: The Classic Setting
4. Era 2: Wake of the Time of Troubles
5. Era 3: Legacy of the Spellplague
6. Era 4: The Second Sundering
7. Customizing content for a different setting
7.1 Approaches to adaptation
7.2 Comparison if differences
7.3 Reference tables
8. Appendix A: Published products by era and region

Etc. Some of what I stuck at 8 would just be interwoven throughout. In the section on a particular era, when describing the Sword Coast, or Calimshan or whatever, along with describing what it is like at the time (focusing on the distinctive ekements that weren't already covered in section 2) you would say which products to get for a more in-depth source on the era appropriate material on that particular region or concept.

Section 7 would compare and contrast themes and details (in detailed discussions, as well as table summaries), so you can read a brief timeline of the afterlife, as well as look at a table that lists which gods are active/available in each era.

This is just what I can think of laying in bed messing around on my phone before getting up for the day. The concept is totally doable, and makes the FR more user friendly for fans of all eras.
 

dave2008

Legend
As for the multiverse, it's actually gone one step further and been reset to the 2e status quo.
Does the 5e FR not adopt the base cosmology in the 5e DMG? It is very similar to the great wheel, but with some 4e tweaks.

This is the 5e standard (is FR not using this):
Planes-5e.jpg
 

gyor

Legend
It's almost like WotC came to the conclusion that continuous concern about Forgotten Realms "canon" is a waste of time and energy and they just want to tell people to go ahead and use the 30 years of documentation they already have to create whatever type of FR game they want and to stop worrying about trying to run a cutting-edge "current" game.

They got tired of trying to invent three paragraphs of new Turmish history for every edition and just want to you use whatever Turmish stuff you have lying around for your upcoming Turmish campaign.
I wish we had the ability to down vote posts like this.
 

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
Does the 5e FR not adopt the base cosmology in the 5e DMG? It is very similar to the great wheel, but with some 4e tweaks.

This is the 5e standard (is FR not using this):
It most closely resembles the 2e multiverse, but there are exceptions.
-It includes the 4e Feywild, Shadowfell, and Elemental Chaos
-It includes the Border Elemental Planes and moves some traditional sites from the deeper Elemental Planes into the Border regions. (I don't consider it a big deal to assume those sites sort of sit on line between the Border and deeper parts of the plane, especially since the art has always shown the City of Brass as something you can see from far away, even though the official rules of the Elemental Plane of Fire would cause your vision to obscured by smoke within a few dozen feet.)
-It leaves out the para-elemental and quasi-elemental planes (they haven't been seen at all since 2e--why the hate?) Certain regions of the Border Elemental Planes have similar names, but they aren't the same thing, and in some places the names wouldn't correspond to the traditional adjacent planes location. That said, it doesn't say that there aren't any para or quasi-elemental planes. It emphasizes the Border regions and says the deeper regions exist, but doesn't give many details about them.
-It moves the Positive and Negative Planes out of the Inner Planes to their own place on the wheel (possibly why they didn't do the quasi-elemental planes). Also, depending on how you interpret the two diagrams, it may be creating a proximity between the Negative and the Lower Planes and the Positive and the Upper Planes.
-It doesn't explicitly connect Demiplanes with the Ethereal Plane.
-It doesn't allow you to move back and forth between the Border Ethereal and Deep Ethereal Plane, for some unknown reason (it used to be an action to do so, and I still run it that way).
-Bafflingly, it doesn't treat the Outlands as an Outer Plane at all, but as its own thing.

By contrast with 3e's Great Wheel (which was close, but a bit different), it removes the Astral Plane as the universal highway, and returns the Deep Ethereal Plane as a plane between the Material (and now its shadows) and the Inner (now just Elemental) Planes.

Also, contrary to popular belief (and I think one of the designers may even have tweeted wrong on this), Ravenloft is its own demiplane again--or at least the domains within it are demiplanes (it's not much of a stretch to interpret them as nested demi-demi-planes inside of Ravenloft). It is "easy to reach" them through the Shadowfell, but they are not specifically placed within the Shadowfell. This leaves it open to interpret them as existing within the Ethereal Plane, the Shadowfell, or neither.
 

dave2008

Legend
It most closely resembles the 2e multiverse, but there are exceptions.
-It includes the 4e Feywild, Shadowfell, and Elemental Chaos
-It includes the Border Elemental Planes and moves some traditional sites from the deeper Elemental Planes into the Border regions. (I don't consider it a big deal to assume those sites sort of sit on line between the Border and deeper parts of the plane, especially since the art has always shown the City of Brass as something you can see from far away, even though the official rules of the Elemental Plane of Fire would cause your vision to obscured by smoke within a few dozen feet.)
-It leaves out the para-elemental and quasi-elemental planes (they haven't been seen at all since 2e--why the hate?) Certain regions of the Border Elemental Planes have similar names, but they aren't the same thing, and in some places the names wouldn't correspond to the traditional adjacent planes location. That said, it doesn't say that there aren't any para or quasi-elemental planes. It emphasizes the Border regions and says the deeper regions exist, but doesn't give many details about them.
-It moves the Positive and Negative Planes out of the Inner Planes to their own place on the wheel (possibly why they didn't do the quasi-elemental planes). Also, depending on how you interpret the two diagrams, it may be creating a proximity between the Negative and the Lower Planes and the Positive and the Upper Planes.
-It doesn't explicitly connect Demiplanes with the Ethereal Plane.
-It doesn't allow you to move back and forth between the Border Ethereal and Deep Ethereal Plane, for some unknown reason (it used to be an action to do so, and I still run it that way).
-Bafflingly, it doesn't treat the Outlands as an Outer Plane at all, but as its own thing.

By contrast with 3e's Great Wheel (which was close, but a bit different), it removes the Astral Plane as the universal highway, and returns the Deep Ethereal Plane as a plane between the Material (and now its shadows) and the Inner (now just Elemental) Planes.

Also, contrary to popular belief (and I think one of the designers may even have tweeted wrong on this), Ravenloft is its own demiplane again--or at least the domains within it are demiplanes (it's not much of a stretch to interpret them as nested demi-demi-planes inside of Ravenloft). It is "easy to reach" them through the Shadowfell, but they are not specifically placed within the Shadowfell. This leaves it open to interpret them as existing within the Ethereal Plane, the Shadowfell, or neither.
Yes, that correlates to the image I posted, so 5e FR is the same as core 5e in terms of Cosmology?
 

Demetrios1453

Adventurer
It most closely resembles the 2e multiverse, but there are exceptions.
-It includes the 4e Feywild, Shadowfell, and Elemental Chaos
-It includes the Border Elemental Planes and moves some traditional sites from the deeper Elemental Planes into the Border regions. (I don't consider it a big deal to assume those sites sort of sit on line between the Border and deeper parts of the plane, especially since the art has always shown the City of Brass as something you can see from far away, even though the official rules of the Elemental Plane of Fire would cause your vision to obscured by smoke within a few dozen feet.)
-It leaves out the para-elemental and quasi-elemental planes (they haven't been seen at all since 2e--why the hate?) Certain regions of the Border Elemental Planes have similar names, but they aren't the same thing, and in some places the names wouldn't correspond to the traditional adjacent planes location. That said, it doesn't say that there aren't any para or quasi-elemental planes. It emphasizes the Border regions and says the deeper regions exist, but doesn't give many details about them.
-It moves the Positive and Negative Planes out of the Inner Planes to their own place on the wheel (possibly why they didn't do the quasi-elemental planes). Also, depending on how you interpret the two diagrams, it may be creating a proximity between the Negative and the Lower Planes and the Positive and the Upper Planes.
-It doesn't explicitly connect Demiplanes with the Ethereal Plane.
-It doesn't allow you to move back and forth between the Border Ethereal and Deep Ethereal Plane, for some unknown reason (it used to be an action to do so, and I still run it that way).
-Bafflingly, it doesn't treat the Outlands as an Outer Plane at all, but as its own thing.

By contrast with 3e's Great Wheel (which was close, but a bit different), it removes the Astral Plane as the universal highway, and returns the Deep Ethereal Plane as a plane between the Material (and now its shadows) and the Inner (now just Elemental) Planes.

Also, contrary to popular belief (and I think one of the designers may even have tweeted wrong on this), Ravenloft is its own demiplane again--or at least the domains within it are demiplanes (it's not much of a stretch to interpret them as nested demi-demi-planes inside of Ravenloft). It is "easy to reach" them through the Shadowfell, but they are not specifically placed within the Shadowfell. This leaves it open to interpret them as existing within the Ethereal Plane, the Shadowfell, or neither.
Ah, but the Forgotten Realms didn't use the standard planar set-up in 3e, but used its own World Tree multiverse in that edition. That's why I said in my previous post that the setting was reset to (more or less, accounting for 5e changes), its 2e multiverse set-up in 5e.
 
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Coroc

Hero
@Sword of Spirit and @DEFCON 1

If 5e FR had been a freeze in time, where do you place it?

In the end of the other material so it includes all stuff before?
Well they did that except they did not freeze it :p

Or in greybox area? Would be superneat, but then everything after would be useless, and no dragonborn for you then :p

Eberron otoh has been designed from scratch to have a status quo. It has less cataclysmic effects and big threats are less whole world effecting than in FR. (This reflects in the more distant deity concept of eberron also.


But, I want to know, I really really want to know that thing:

Apart from official CRPG Products (Neverwinter, DDO, Baldurs gate) who can truly say this:

"I play in FR since 30+ years and I use all the official stuff in its given order either as an adventure arc or at least as given lore up to a certain point in time"

All the discussions about this topic are implying that at least 75% of the FR DMs act this way.

I used official stuff nearly unmodified, either because it was of very good quality, ready to go, or I did have no time to prepare. Many people argue they do not have time to prepare, therefore they want to use stuff as written. I mean, I do not have much time sometimes, but most of the official stuff needs polishing, either to suit my style, or to avoid paradox.

And in the end only a percentage of your players will note, if something is to far astray from the official lore, and even if they note it, most of them would not care.
 

dave2008

Legend
@Sword of Spirit and @DEFCON 1

If 5e FR had been a freeze in time, where do you place it?
I'm out of my depth here as I don't use published settings. However, i personally like the Eberron approach and if I had the power at WotC to control these things I would do this:
  1. Clarify there is no cannon.
  2. Treat the novels as separate and their own thing. Not tied the events of the RPG
  3. Treat Living Realms (if there is such a thing) as its own thing. Not tied to the events of the RPG
  4. Set the RPG back to the beginning (is that the grey box?), updated to the current edition's system, say everything that came after "officially" was simply one version of the future events, not "the" version. Your version is "the" version. Now: go make your own!
 
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Coroc

Hero
I'm out of my depth here as I don't use published settings. However, i personally like the Eberron approach and if I had the power at WotC to control these things I would do this:
  1. Clarify there is no cannon.
  2. Treat the novels as separate and their own thing. Not tied the events of the RPG
  3. Treat Living Realms (if there is such a thing) as its own thing. Not tied to the events of the RPG
  4. Set the RPG back to the beginning (is that the grey box?), say everything that came after "officially" was simply one version of the future events, not the version. Your version is "the" version. Now: go make your own!
Very good idea, but requires a pro DM, and will turn newbies of their best franchised brand don't you think?

Would be like a car dealer trying to sell you a twenty year old car without all those electronic gimmicks (you do not need) but with the option to build them in as desired.
Sure some (like me) would love that, and some would say perfectly I can configure my car with what I think is essential but 95% or so of the people would choose the modern car with all the useless gonzos.
 

dave2008

Legend
Very good idea, but requires a pro DM, and will turn newbies of their best franchised brand don't you think?
I don't know that it makes a difference, but I meant a return to the original lore, but updated to the current edition (mechanics and such, possibly with suggestions on how to integrate races that didn't exist in the original, but would make sense for this edition). I've corrected my previous post to reflect this.

For that reason I don't think it would need a pro DM or turn off newbies.
Would be like a car dealer trying to sell you a twenty year old car without all those electronic gimmicks (you do not need) but with the option to build them in as desired.
Sure some (like me) would love that, and some would say perfectly I can configure my car with what I think is essential but 95% or so of the people would choose the modern car with all the useless gonzos.
As noted above, that is not an accurate analogy for what I was trying to suggest. A new car with retro style would be accurate.
 
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DEFCON 1

Legend
"I play in FR since 30+ years and I use all the official stuff in its given order either as an adventure arc or at least as given lore up to a certain point in time"
If I had to guess, I imagine that most of the people who want the canon laid out in its entirety are probably more history buffs than people who want to make sure to play the game "in order". It's easier to read and comprehend the entire history of Faerun when its all in one place, rather than bits and pieces spread out over multitudes of books (many of which are adventures). That's why some people have spent a looooooooooong time putting together the timeline of the Forgotten Realms wiki, pulling and placing people and events from across all the media involving Faerun into one year-by-year website package.

And I get it. I really do. Faerun is no longer just a playground to set D&D in... it's now a world with a complete history. And when parts of that history have giants empty spots because nobody has wanted to write down what has happened in Turmish over the last 150 years... it feels broken to them.

But oh well. Before anything else... the Realms is first and foremost a place to play D&D, and thus the custodians have decided to put the players of D&D ahead of the historians of Faerun for once. Maybe eventually down the line the historians will get their wish and a new regime will show up in WotC and go back and fill in all the blanks. But until then... the historians will just have to make up their own history rather than rely on some other writer to do it for them.
 

Coroc

Hero
If I had to guess, I imagine that most of the people who want the canon laid out in its entirety are probably more history buffs than people who want to make sure to play the game "in order". It's easier to read and comprehend the entire history of Faerun when its all in one place, rather than bits and pieces spread out over multitudes of books (many of which are adventures). That's why some people have spent a looooooooooong time putting together the timeline of the Forgotten Realms wiki, pulling and placing people and events from across all the media involving Faerun into one year-by-year website package.

And I get it. I really do. Faerun is no longer just a playground to set D&D in... it's now a world with a complete history. And when parts of that history have giants empty spots because nobody has wanted to write down what has happened in Turmish over the last 150 years... it feels broken to them.

But oh well. Before anything else... the Realms is first and foremost a place to play D&D, and thus the custodians have decided to put the players of D&D ahead of the historians of Faerun for once. Maybe eventually down the line the historians will get their wish and a new regime will show up in WotC and go back and fill in all the blanks. But until then... the historians will just have to make up their own history rather than rely on some other writer to do it for them.
So if you want maximum versatility in your own ideas but inserted into official FR you have almost no choice but to place it into one of the few undocumented or lesser documented part of the realms.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
So if you want maximum versatility in your own ideas but inserted into official FR you have almost no choice but to place it into one of the few undocumented or lesser documented part of the realms.
I mean, Turmish is RIGHT THERE! Turmish is waiting for us! Someone needs to jump on the Turmish train like NOW and let us know what's been happening! ;)
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I don't know, do people really want all the details filled in? I just want the darn details that get filled in to stay put so I can work with them and not have to follow a constantly evolving timeline.
This.

I created my ''years 0'' Forgotten Realms with this idea in mind.
Chose your favorite era, decide which element you wanna keep then hit the brakes!

I put my year 0 right after the Times of Trouble. I love the Spellplague so I made it caused by the death of Mystra. Year 0 is the year after Midnight, Cyric and Kelemvor ascended as gods and Cyric went on trial for creating the Cyrynishad and was imprisoned. The gods can no longer interfere with mortals, prayers are answered by celestial instead of gods, the land is twisted by the remnant of the Spellplague (ala Eberron Mournland), entire population were annihilated, cities are ruined, old heroes are dead etc.

Since the gods are now distant (or dead, who knows? Maybe Ao took them behind the house and put a divine bullet through their thick divine skulls), is a perfect time for threat such as Demon Lords, Dragon Cults, Giants, Scheming Demi-Lich, Evil Elemental Princes etc to try to make their mark upon the world :p
 

Eltab

Adventurer
When I decided to locate my AP-a-writing in the Unapproachable East, the first backstory research I did was to write a timeline of events in the East, using the FRCGs, Grand History of the Realms, and other 3e hardcovers. I pinned down a half-dozen or so plot hooks, story locations, and side treks. Then I could sketch out the intended plot to interact with some of them, and use descriptions of others as local color.

The use of lore is intended to make this feel like a Forgotten Realms campaign, not a 'generic D&D world' campaign. (The research also has been the most fun part so far; I must have IRL proficiency in History. 😍 )
 

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