D&D General The Canadian Influence on the Forgotten Realms

dave2008

Legend
No, it's better at being beer; and beer is the foundation upon which our games are built. :)
OK, so from my perspective: more horrible, thanks for the clarification ;)

PS - I have nothing against beer, I just find pretty much all alcoholic beverages disgusting.
 

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Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
I think you also see it with the Sea of Fallen Stars and its many, many, many inlets and the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay and the giant lakes of Canada in general).
 

Possibly. I was inclined to think of the Sea of Fallen Stars as a Mediterranean analogue, but it's on roughly the same latitude of "Cool Temperate" regions like Baldur's Gate.

Which countries grow grapes in the FR?

I've been playing the Witcher 3 Blood and Wine expansion whilst shut in: Toussaint is unashamedly southern France.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Canadian Forest:
2916344739_917dbbe51e_b.jpg


English Forest:
English%2BForest.jpg

This makes me finally understand why my players threat forest on the map as blocking terrain; the canadian forest seems way more dense than what the adventures assuming pseudo-european location usually describe. We live in Québec, and this is something I noticed: the idea of having a large fight in a forest dense as the canadian forests seems far-fetched, there's no way I could swing a 2-handed weapon or easily find a clear shot with a longbow in the forests I have nearby.

Same thing with winter: adventuring in the deep winter is just not a possibility in the mind of my players, unless there's a ''end of the word'' incentive.
 

cmad1977

Hero
This makes me finally understand why my players threat forest on the map as blocking terrain; the canadian forest seems way more dense than what the adventures assuming pseudo-european location usually describe. We live in Québec, and this is something I noticed: the idea of having a large fight in a forest dense as the canadian forests seems far-fetched, there's no way I could swing a 2-handed weapon or easily find a clear shot with a longbow in the forests I have nearby.

Same thing with winter: adventuring in the deep winter is just not a possibility in the mind of my players, unless there's a ''end of the word'' incentive.

YeH. My experience is similar. Forests in California don’t seem to have the same obfuscating density of western Canadian forests. It’s still a forest and plenty thick for a city boy like me but it’s not... BC type stuff.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
The original creator of the Forgotten Realms is Ed Greenwood who is a Canadian Librarian and Author and for those who knew what to look for the Forgotten Realms is infused with Canadianess. This makes it distinct in a way from all the American created settings. Which is not to say that FR doesn't have some American influences, it does, or that the Canadian influence strong in every part of FR, but it's a very Canadian setting at heart.

You see it in the environmental descriptions and the way heart urban centres are weaved together with vast and I mean vast regions of nature and rural farming regions, the fact that most of the races and cultures of FR are in fact immigrates to the world.

You see it in the fact that around the great cities of the Swordcoast you Native American like Tribes of Uthgardt.

You see it in the Parliamentary Democracy of Turmish.

You see it in the farm communities of the Dales.

You see it in the Law and Good government ideals of Cormyr.

You see it in the two solitudes of Aglarond and its history.

You see the era of Hudson's Bay (a corporation that ruled most of what would become Canada before Canada bought the land from them) in Merchant Ruled nations like Sembia and Amn.

You see it in the multiculturalism of the setting, the greater comfort with diverse forms of sexuality in the setting, and so on.

Ed Greenwood was the biggest Canadian influence on FR, but he is not the only one, Bioware which made the BG games was also Canadian and there possibly others.

Thoughts?

So I'm Canadian too, and I have never once thought of FR as Canadian. Sure there are commonalities, but these are likely more accidental than anything purposeful.

The urban vs rural sprawl is a pretty common thing in Medieval Europe, which FR seems to be inspired by more than modern Canada.

The tribes of Ulthgardt have much in common with Native Americans as well as those in Canada (I find it interesting in your OP you used that term instead of the Canadian term Indigenous Peoples).

Parliamentary Democracies are not unique to Canada, and of course originated in England.

Farming isn't unique to Canada, not sure why I need to even point this out.

Aglarond isn't the two solitudes, it's one culture ruling a different one. That's not really what the solitudes was, and is a pretty common thing in many regions throughout history.

The merchant nations have more in common with the British East India trading company than they do with the Hudson's Bay one, if you look at the exoticism of those merchant nations.

Multiculturalism is not unique to Canada (the US, UK, Australia, France), and regions of Canada like Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta are not really that diverse, especially outside of the urban centers.

My larger point here isn't that you're exactly wrong; if you look hard enough and squint you can find similarities between aspects of FR and Canada. However, if we actually look back and try to devise Ed Greenwood's actual creation of FR, do I think we was pulling from Canadian influences? IMO, I really doubt it. More likely he pulled from several different societies from across history, like most good world-creators.
 

gyor

Legend
So I'm Canadian too, and I have never once thought of FR as Canadian. Sure there are commonalities, but these are likely more accidental than anything purposeful.

The urban vs rural sprawl is a pretty common thing in Medieval Europe, which FR seems to be inspired by more than modern Canada.

The tribes of Ulthgardt have much in common with Native Americans as well as those in Canada (I find it interesting in your OP you used that term instead of the Canadian term Indigenous Peoples).

Parliamentary Democracies are not unique to Canada, and of course originated in England.

Farming isn't unique to Canada, not sure why I need to even point this out.

Aglarond isn't the two solitudes, it's one culture ruling a different one. That's not really what the solitudes was, and is a pretty common thing in many regions throughout history.

The merchant nations have more in common with the British East India trading company than they do with the Hudson's Bay one, if you look at the exoticism of those merchant nations.

Multiculturalism is not unique to Canada (the US, UK, Australia, France), and regions of Canada like Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta are not really that diverse, especially outside of the urban centers.

My larger point here isn't that you're exactly wrong; if you look hard enough and squint you can find similarities between aspects of FR and Canada. However, if we actually look back and try to devise Ed Greenwood's actual creation of FR, do I think we was pulling from Canadian influences? IMO, I really doubt it. More likely he pulled from several different societies from across history, like most good world-creators.

1. Ed Greenwood would have been far more familiar with Canadian History and Geography when he started creating the Forgotten Realms as a child, it would have been apart of his education system and the region he lived in and explored.

2. I actually normally use First Nations or FN for short when discussing the issue among follow Canadians, but this time I choose a term I thought more folks would be familiar with.

3. I'm aware of where Canada got it's Parliament, but Ed Greenwood didn't grow up in England, he grow up in Canada which is the Parliament he would have been most familiar with.

4. The farming comment was a minor one.

5. Anglo Culture (the British) ruled over and dominated Francophone Cultural from the beginning. It was really only with the quiet revolution that really started to change. I mean yes Lower Canada (Quebec) willingly joined with Upper Canada to form Canada, but both were still ruled ultimately from Britian until much later. And while the Elves and Half Elves were originally conqueored they've evolved over time into more of a partnership with bouts of Yuirwood Seperatist movements, including one in 5e FR. Also there was a FN population of humans in the Yuirwood which some of the Elves mated with to produce half an elves. If you think about the FN human tribe of the Yuirwood as like Canada's FNs, the Elves as Francophones, the none Yuirwood humans as Anglophones and the Half Elves as Metis then it's hard not to see the Canadian connection. It's also a bilingual. And even the later immigration by an abused minority (Tieflings and others) from Thay is a reminder of the Underground Railway to Canada from the American South.

6. Amn is somewhat exotic, but not too exotic and Sembia isn't exotic at all. Ed Greenwood didn't grow up in the West Indies, he grew up in Canada, and as a child when he first started creating FR, he would have been recieving an education on Canadian history primarily including the Hudson's Bay Company.

7. Actually none of those nations to my knowledge support Multiculturalism as state policy and law like Canada does and in fact both the US and France out right reject the idea of Multiculturalism. The US is instead a "Toss Salad" and France expects immigrants to straight up assimulate. The UK just broke off from the EU in large part as a rejection of Multiculturalism. I'm not as certain about New Zealand or Australia. Merely accepting immigrates from other parts of the first world is not enough to make a nation multicultural, it's s much bigger and broader policy then that.
 

So I'm Canadian too, and I have never once thought of FR as Canadian. Sure there are commonalities, but these are likely more accidental than anything purposeful.

It can be hard to see from the inside. I wasn't aware of just how English the Shire was until I had more contact with other cultures. And I don't think anyone is suggesting Greenwood set out to make a Canadian campaign setting, just that he drew on his own experiences, which happened to be Canadian.
Parliamentary Democracies are not unique to Canada, and of course originated in England.
Don't believe the propaganda. The UK was a long way behind other countries, including the USA and Canada, in granting a vote to anyone who wasn't a minority wealthy land-owner.
 

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