D&D General The Canadian Influence on the Forgotten Realms

This makes me finally understand why my players threat forest on the map as blocking terrain;
This may be a something from computer games as well. The forest as a kind of hedge maze, that you can only traverse on the paths, was common in computer games from Gold Box games through to the aforementioned Baldur's Gate. It could also draw on The Old Forest chapter of Lord of the Rings (not in the movie).

Not so much in more modern games - as I mentioned, I am playing Witcher 3, and that lets you ride through forests at full speed without getting knocked of your horse! Maybe that has something to do with the Witcher game creators being Polish, and used to less dense European forests?
 

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Dioltach

Legend
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.

This is what always annoys me about the idea that elves have proficiency with longswords and longbows. Even supposing that not all woods are as dense as Canadian forests, it just doesn't make sense for them to use those weapons.
 

gyor

Legend
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.

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.

What I meant was the basic Westminister System, which IMHO is the worst Parliamentary system in the world, only the US electoral system is worse as far as democracies go.
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
What I meant was the basic Westminister System, which IMHO is the worst Parliamentary system in the world, only the US electoral system is worse as far as democracies go.

Then clearly you know as little about the Westminster system as you do about the Forgotten Realms....
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
The area around Eveningstar and the Stonelands in Cormyr is based on parts of Canada. Ed refers to this over at Candlekeep when he is asked to describe the geography of that region (I may look this up later and link to it).

Edit: Here's a description of the Stonelands from Ed's notes as relayed by The Hooded One <here>:

Hi, all.
I'd just like to correct some mistaken impressions here, by adding to this discussion from Ed's notes:
The Stonelands are dominated by knife-edged stone ridges separated by "breakneck"-steep sided ravines. Lots of exposed rock, very rugged terrain, roads that can take carts or conventionally-mounted riders are unknown except along the very edges (Eveningstar's trails up to the plateau-top fields, for example), and almost impossible to create without lots of magic and large-scale labour. So it's foot-trails or nothing, very sparse settlement, and tough going to get anywhere fast unless you can fly. Good detailed local maps are rare to unknown, and even keeping to a given direction (unless it's "along the line of" all the roughly east-west ridges and ravines) difficult.
Water is NOT scarce anywhere in the Stonelands, and the eastern part of it, bordering "settled" Cormyr, is cloaked in trees. Water can be found in drinkable (sinkholes constantly replenished by rainwater runoff and spring-seepage, not stagnant) pools at the bottom of most ravines, and percolating throughout the rocks and dripping out everywhere as springs (high water table). This makes tunnel-mining without pumps nigh-impossible, but "following a vein" surface mining relatively easy and heavily practiced, on an individual prospector level (thanks to everpresent trolls, goblin hunting bands, owlbears, and other predators). Those veins of rich metal (mainly iron, copper, and nickel, all of them very pure) ore are abundant, and there are (much rarer) gem deposits here and there, too.
The abundant water, coupled with the lack of human settlement, makes the Stonelands teem with flora and fauna (the undergrowth makes ample food and shelter for critters, and there are a LOT of critters; which brings lots of foraging predators. Lizards and snakes are very populous, and so are "small furry scuttling and climbing things" like tree-cats (squirrels). Deer are scarce because of the rugged topography, but creatures that can cling or climb or are sure-footed on rocks are decidedly not.
So fur, lumber, herbs and plant-based medicines and distilled drinkables, metals, and edible "wild meats" are all abundant resources. There are several cascades that can run water-wheels and provide grinding power, too, even if the streams rapidly vanish beneath the surface and so appear on few maps. I repeat, drinking water is available everywhere. Don't let the name "Stonelands" mislead you. Any scribes familiar with the Canadian Shield country in the real-world, wherein surface rock predominates, will know that most of this terrain is cloaked with thick forests (which were far thicker before they were heavily logged). So strike "dry" and "desolate" from your mind.
love to all,
THO

However, Ed was/is widely read so there are a lot of influences on the world he created. And there are even more influences on the world that was published. Remember, many things Ed gets blamed for in FR had nothing to do with him and so are inspired by the non-Canadian backgrounds of TSR writers, some of whom proved to be bad choices for the Realms.

It's also worth noting that a lot of the real world influences on the published Realms (Moonshae Isles, Maztica etc...) had nothing to do with Ed's original work.
 

atanakar

Hero
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.

That is not what the Two Solitudes is about. You used the wrong term. Two Solitudes means that modern day English Canada and Quebec Francophones operate without much awareness of what the other side is doing, as equal partners. Only consulting with each other when it matters, like the COVID-19 virus. It's a platonic marriage.

What you described above is colonial conquest, which is not original to Canada.
 
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gyor

Legend
That is not what the Two Solitudes is about. You used the wrong term. Two Solitudes means that modern day English Canada and Quebec Francophones operate without much awareness of what the other side is doing, as equal partners. Only consulting with each other when it matters, like the COVID-19 virus. It's a platonic marriage.

What you described above is colonial conquest, which is not original to Canada.

Again the specifics resemble Canada which is where Ed Greenwood was born, raised, and still lives.

And what you discribed above is a prefect discription of the current relationship between the Yuirwood and the rest of the Aglarond.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
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.

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.

My point is that, sure Ed may have drawn from Canadian experiences, but he probably didn't do so intentionally. Which is why many of the comparisons made between Canada and FR should be treated as more coincidental than purposeful (and why other nations throughout history reflect these traits better).

And I'm not going to insinuate that the UK was the first real democracy, but it did have a Parliament far before Canada; not to mention the "Assembly of Turmish" looks like it actually has more in common with an Athenian Democracy than any modern parliament.

The reason I'm being such a stick in the dirt about this is I actually find it a disservice to Ed to say he was largely inspired by Canada when making FR. I think he pulled from many nations globally, and from across their histories, when making FR. I don't see one nation having more influence than another in it's development, and I think it diminishes his creation to say that there was.
 

gyor

Legend
My point is that, sure Ed may have drawn from Canadian experiences, but he probably didn't do so intentionally. Which is why many of the comparisons made between Canada and FR should be treated as more coincidental than purposeful (and why other nations throughout history reflect these traits better).

And I'm not going to insinuate that the UK was the first real democracy, but it did have a Parliament far before Canada; not to mention the "Assembly of Turmish" looks like it actually has more in common with an Athenian Democracy than any modern parliament.

The reason I'm being such a stick in the dirt about this is I actually find it a disservice to Ed to say he was largely inspired by Canada when making FR. I think he pulled from many nations globally, and from across their histories, when making FR. I don't see one nation having more influence than another in it's development, and I think it diminishes his creation to say that there was.

I never suggested he exclusively was influenced by Canada, in fact I made it clear in my first post that it wasn't the only influence, just an important influence. And being inspired by Canada is far from an insult to Ed Greenwood, and I doubt he would take it was one.

And Ed actually tried to keep being too influenced by historical places to a minimum on purpose btw, it was conscious choice. It's the influence of others like Jeff Grubb, Douglas Niles, and others that certain regions like Mulhorand are so heavily inspired by Ancient Egypt (although I have argued that in the past it's really more like Ptolemy Egypt IMHO) and other historical locations (Moonshae Isles=Celtic/Arthorian Legend, Zakhara/Al Qadim=Islamic Golden Age with touches of preIslamic Arabia, Unther=Mesopotiumia/Canaan, ect...).
 
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