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5E The case for (and against) a new Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting book

Mercurius

Legend
For:
  • Setting books have proven to be lucrative in the 5E era.
  • It is a way to tie together all/most of the story arcs that have been published so far, especially for the "5E newbies."
  • Continuing on from the last point, it facilitates "adventuring beyond the story arcs" for those newish players who want to build their own adventures.
  • Because its well past time to publish a real setting book for the default world of 5E D&D. For better or worse, it has been the primary D&D setting for the last three decades and deserves a new book in the New Golden Age of D&D.
  • Because it wouldn't be hard to do, given all of the available material.
  • Because the people want it.

Against:
  • The 3E FRCS is considered by many to be the best campaign book ever published, so they'd have to find a way to at least equal its quality, which might be hard to do.
  • Unlike other new (and successful) setting books, there are mountains of Realms books available, so the market might be smaller than one might think. Maybe.
  • It would require making some hard choices about the world in the 1490s that haven't been necessary with the vague hand-wavyness of "It is kind of back to 3E era, but with a few differences."
  • Could be seen as anachronistic and too 80s-90s for the contemporary fan-base.
  • The success of 5E may partially be because it is so focused on distinct story arcs, and a setting book implies an approach adventuring beyond the confines of published stories and/or sandboxing that might not fit the current ethos.
  • "Enough of the Realms, already!"
 

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Xenonnonex

Adventurer
The 3E FRCS is considered by many to be the best campaign book ever published
Considered by which many? The 3e FRCS certainly is a great book. It is however utterly laughable and ridiculous to claim it is considered by many to be the best campaign book ever published. Especially since many consider the 2e FRCS to be better than it and the 3e FRCS merely reproduces whole portions of previous text.
 



Considered by which many? The 3e FRCS certainly is a great book. It is however utterly laughable and ridiculous to claim it is considered by many to be the best campaign book ever published. Especially since many consider the 2e FRCS to be better than it and the 3e FRCS merely reproduces whole portions of previous text.
Now, Darkening of MIrkwood for The One Ring, on the other hand, is a serious contender for that title.
 



Boxed set is the way to go. FR is too big to contain in one book. Plus, the nostalgia and the novelty factors could lead to better sales. I think it's time 5E got its first campaign setting boxed set.

This would also help differentiate it from the SCAG.
It would have to be a series of boxed sets to do the subject justice.

Heck, I'd like to see a boxed set of just the Moonshae Isles.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Considered by which many? The 3e FRCS certainly is a great book. It is however utterly laughable and ridiculous to claim it is considered by many to be the best campaign book ever published. Especially since many consider the 2e FRCS to be better than it and the 3e FRCS merely reproduces whole portions of previous text.
Considered by the many people who I have seen say something to that effect over the last 20 years. You can quibble all you want with semantics and exactitude, but that's all beside the point: it is a very highly regarded setting book that a lot of people hold in high esteem.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Boxed set is the way to go. FR is too big to contain in one book. Plus, the nostalgia and the novelty factors could lead to better sales. I think it's time 5E got its first campaign setting boxed set.

This would also help differentiate it from the SCAG.
I love boxed sets and agree, but it seems WotC likes their hardcovers. A boxed set would also work nicely with a commemorative edition of Greyhawk, combining city and world, for the 1974 50th anniversary of D&D.
 

Mercurius

Legend
As long as it comes after a Greyhawk book I'm fine. But, Greyhawk first please.
Hard to imagine that happening. I'd happily buy a Greyhawk book or, better yet, boxed set (see above post), but let's face it: it is well-loved by the 40+ crowd who grew up with D&D in the 80s, but anachronistic or unknown to younger folks. I'm just not sure if it has the wide appeal to warrant bringing back. This isn't a knock on Greyhawk, but it is very much a product of the 70s-80s Gygaxian D&D, which might not resonate with the new breed of players.

That said, if they ever do do Greyhawk, another thought--to expand upon the anniversary book--is to publish it as a hardcover and a limited edition deluxe box set, like so:

  • Greyhawk setting hardcover - pretty much what you might expect from such a product. $50.
  • Deluxe box set that takes the above and puts it into two books (World and City), and adds to it with bits and pieces--including a cloth map, "Gygax Dice," classic personages of Greyhawk cards (e.g. Mordenkainen, Gord, etc)--and a third book detailing Castle Greyhawk. $100-125.
 

Mistwell

Legend
it is well-loved by the 40+ crowd who grew up with D&D in the 80s, but anachronistic or unknown to younger folks.
This entire edition is based on the concept of returning to old school.

The entire organization of the core books was a return to old school.

An entire best selling adventure book is based on reprinting old school adventures.

Half the non-reprinted adventures are inspired by the most famous of old school adventures themselves.

Please. 80s stuff is the theme of this edition in many ways, and has huge appeal with the younger crowd right now. You think the younger crowd is looking for more re-treads of the early to mid 2000s instead? I don't.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
Considered by the many people who I have seen say something to that effect over the last 20 years. You can quibble all you want with semantics and exactitude, but that's all beside the point: it is a very highly regarded setting book that a lot of people hold in high esteem.
Anecdotal evidence does not really hold a lot of weight. You should know this.
Also it is a world of difference between "considered the best campaign book ever published" and "a highly regarded setting book". The latter I agree with. The former is completely hyperbolic.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Anecdotal evidence does not really hold a lot of weight. You should know this.
Also it is a world of difference between "considered the best campaign book ever published" and "a highly regarded setting book". The latter I agree with. The former is completely hyperbolic.
You're ridiculous and I'm not sure why you're so hung up on this point. You're countering my anecdotal evidence with your anecdotal evidence. I trust my memory more than I trust your nerdrage.
 

Demetrios1453

Adventurer
The 3e FRCS is in some ways a distant prototype for the current 5e setting books. It's very similar in many ways, although it had a very minimal bestiary compared to the current books (which is likely due to the near-simultaneous publication of Monsters of Faerun, which basically functioned as the bestiary for the FRCS). It even had a couple of mini-adventures! Obviously, a 5e setting using the current format wouldn't be all that far different than the 3e version's style. And honestly, I would buy a 5e FRCS in the style of Ravnica or Eberron in a heartbeat.

The existence of SCAG and some of the adventures might cause some other issues though. For example, for all the flack SCAG gets, the deities and races parts were actually quite good, and that info would need to be repeated in any 5e FRCS - but that might cause some complaints of double dipping. And while Ravnica and Eberron both have a "city of adventure" section, 5e adventures have already done the same with in-depth Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate descriptions, so, it's either repeat that info (see above for possible complaints), choose another city (but which one would have as much clout as those two? Neverwinter, maybe?), or skip that section altogether (which, actually, might be ok as Wildemount has done so, and it would free up precious pages for other stuff).
 

Mercurius

Legend
This entire edition is based on the concept of returning to old school.

The entire organization of the core books was a return to old school.

An entire best selling adventure book is based on reprinting old school adventures.

Half the non-reprinted adventures are inspired by the most famous of old school adventures themselves.

Please. 80s stuff is the theme of this edition in many ways, and has huge appeal with the younger crowd right now. You think the younger crowd is looking for more re-treads of the early to mid 2000s instead? I don't.
Not necessarily. I'm just not sure how well Gygaxiana would resonate with the contemporary crowd. Some "kids" might like Greyhawk, but others might be off-put by the kingdom of Geoff and hex-maps. It may even be that WotC feels similarly about the Forgotten Realms, and feels like Magic settings, OGL era settings, and Mercer's world are more relatable.

I'm not knocking Gygax or Greyhawk. I like Greyhawk well enough, and even have a special place in my heart for it, even if it isn't my favorite setting (Of the early settings, pre-2E, Krynn was probably my favorite). Heck, a lot of my artistic and musical tastes are from bygone eras (e.g. I love 70s funk and fusion jazz). I just think we shouldn't project 40-50-something nostalgia onto modern sensibilities.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
You're ridiculous and I'm not sure why you're so hung up on this point. You're countering my anecdotal evidence with your anecdotal evidence. I trust my memory more than I trust your nerdrage.
You made an unreasonable and ridiculous statement. I disagreed to an extent.
Yet you use emotive language and forbid questioning your statement. I am not sure why you are so intent in expressing nerdrage at a reasonable disagreement to your hyperbole.
 

Mercurius

Legend
The 3e FRCS is in some ways a distant prototype for the current 5e setting books. It's very similar in many ways, although it had a very minimal bestiary compared to the current books (which is likely due to the near-simultaneous publication of Monsters of Faerun, which basically functioned as the bestiary for the FRCS). It even had a couple of mini-adventures! Obviously, a 5e setting using the current format wouldn't be all that far different than the 3e version's style. And honestly, I would buy a 5e FRCS in the style of Ravnica or Eberron in a heartbeat.

The existence of SCAG and some of the adventures might cause some other issues though. For example, for all the flack SCAG gets, the deities and races parts were actually quite good, and that info would need to be repeated in any 5e FRCS - but that might cause some complaints of double dipping. And while Ravnica and Eberron both have a "city of adventure" section, 5e adventures have already done the same with in-depth Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate descriptions, so, it's either repeat that info (see above for possible complaints), choose another city (but which one would have as much clout as those two? Neverwinter, maybe?), or skip that section altogether (which, actually, might be ok as Wildemount has done so, and it would free up precious pages for other stuff).
Yes, good points. As much as I'd like to see 5E FRCS--whether hardcover or box set--the publishing of SCAG might have been WotC's declaration that they're not going to publish a fuller treatment. Or not.

But I've often heard people speculate about what lies beyond the Sword Coast and how the world has changed since the semi-retconning, so there seems to be a need for clarification. For example, we have this one person's speculation:
 


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