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


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Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
What FR has is how a lot play at contemporary D&D tables gravitates: it has heroic high fantasy. (But then again, so does Dragonlance, which arguably has it more so.) FR has a series of metaplots that are closely related to book tie-ins. (But then again, so does Dragonlance.)
Like I said, this isn't a critique of the Realms at all. I think it's a great setting and it has many great features. It's just not, I think, easily saleable the way some other settings are. So WotC makes it the default setting for their big adventure paths. It works. If the new AP is indeed Icewind Dale, that would fit a model where the whole Sword Coast gets coverage via first the SCAG and then APs set up and down the coast.

There's an interesting idea in Comics theory about impressionist images of the human face and reader identification with the character in question. The idea is that more abstract images require effort from the reader to decode, and this, in many cases results greater identification with that character. Essentially, the work required to fill in the empty spaces creates a sense of identification. This isn't a controversial idea particularly, but I do think it speaks to the place of the FR in the current 5E environment. Many people have been saying that FR is a kitchen sink setting, and that's quite true. That makes it a wonderful setting to brew you own campaign in, but it also makes the Realms harder to market. By providing focused APs, and leaving significant blank (abstract) spaces on the map around them, I think WotC is framing those blank spaces as a places to play and explore, as places for individual games to put their own stamp on the game world. That seems a great use of what might be the Realms' best feature without the need to try and market another setting book. Anyway, it's a theory.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
See, I never said that, did I? I said it's useful to not always assume the worst with this kind of statement.
You say this. Then you assume the worst from my statement. And attack me. Good for you. Do not as you do. Only as you say. Yes.

Previously in this thread, for example, you said something to the effect that I didn't understand the needs of newer players because I said I thought ToA had a useful amount of information in it to run a campaign. I'm not trying to reopen that can of worms, and it's 100% fine that we might disagree about it, but if we want to talk about insulting, it's pretty insulting to be told that you don't understand something when the truth is that we just disagree.
The point is to not assume. The point is to not assert an opinion for others. People have their own voice. Presuming to assert opinions on behalf of others is not on.
Good to disagree. What are opinions otherwise.

See? We agree. Neat. I think Wizards has charted a very canny course with the Realms material. The tricky part, IMO, is to figure out how to release more information to suit the needs of people who want to get more in depth into a particular region, which I gather is your main issue with ToA. My suspicion is that WotC has decided to let the 3PP community fill this particular gap. I took a browse thru DirveThru yesterday, and there is a ton on material available on Chult, for example. I think WotC sees that and it forms part of their strategy.

Anyway, we might disagree about specifics sometimes, but I do appreciate how much you love the Realms.
Works for Wizards. Works for 3pp. Works for us it seems. Win. Win. Win.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
You say this. Then you assume the worst from my statement. And attack me. Good for you. Do not as you do. Only as you say. Yes.
:rolleyes: There's no attack there.
The point is to not assume. The point is to not assert an opinion for others. People have their own voice. Presuming to assert opinions on behalf of others is not on.
Good to disagree. What are opinions otherwise.
Did you miss the bit where I specifically wasn't assuming, despite appearances? That was there on purpose. Your posts sometimes come across the way they do, I can't fix that. It happens to everyone. People can also make generalizations, it's the only way to talk about groups of people, and they aren't always trying to speak for everyone or put their personal opinion in anyone's mouth. The brevity of forum posts doesn't always lend itself to complete explication and a full disclosure of caveats and the like.

Works for Wizards. Works for 3pp. Works for us it seems. Win. Win. Win.
And we're still winning. Just curious, since we've been talking about Chult, have you checked out any of the 3PP stuff there? I haven't plumbed those depths yet.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
:rolleyes: There's no attack there.
You've come across as confrontational, dismissive, and insulting to anyone who's disagreed with you
This was not an attack? You urge to not assume the worst from statements. You had assumed the worst from my previous statement. Good. Just great.

Did you miss the bit where I specifically wasn't assuming, despite appearances? That was there on purpose. Your posts sometimes come across the way they do, I can't fix that. It happens to everyone. People can also make generalizations, it's the only way to talk about groups of people, and they aren't always trying to speak for everyone or put their personal opinion in anyone's mouth. The brevity of forum posts doesn't always lend itself to complete explication and a full disclosure of caveats and the like.
It needs to be repeated. People in this thread have constantly talked for others. It is not right.

And we're still winning. Just curious, since we've been talking about Chult, have you checked out any of the 3PP stuff there? I haven't plumbed those depths yet.
I urge you to have a look at the 2e Chult book.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
This was not an attack? You urge to not assume the worst from statements. You had assumed the worst from my previous statement. Good. Just great.
No, it was a statement of fact about how some of your posts have appeared. I very carefully didn't ascribe those motivations to you personally. Anyway, I'm just suggesting that the accusations of ignorance aren't going to get you a lot of interaction with what might otherwise be a valid point. I'm still not sure you're picking up what I'm putting down here, but I've given it the old college try.

I urge you to have a look at the 2e Chult book.
I think I have it kicking around somewhere. Hopefully its not in storage.
 

the Jester

Legend
yes agree, but it was not always that way for FR
I mean... literally the first ever FR product, the Grey Box from 1e, had most of that stuff, and made no bones about it. I don't have it any more, so I can't provide quotes, but I remember the section on gods being all, "Hey, here's the standard gods, but you know, you could be a cleric of literally anyone and it's fine". I remember the techno-gnomes, the Egypt pastiche, etc, etc. From its first release, FR has always been that way. Yeah, they added Maztica and the Horde later, but almost everything you could imagine was thrown against the wall at the very beginning.
 

Coroc

Hero
I mean... literally the first ever FR product, the Grey Box from 1e, had most of that stuff, and made no bones about it. I don't have it any more, so I can't provide quotes, but I remember the section on gods being all, "Hey, here's the standard gods, but you know, you could be a cleric of literally anyone and it's fine". I remember the techno-gnomes, the Egypt pastiche, etc, etc. From its first release, FR has always been that way. Yeah, they added Maztica and the Horde later, but almost everything you could imagine was thrown against the wall at the very beginning.
yes you are right, but the stuff was declared as being optional. Grey box would be the base i would use for a FR campaign, but of course not out of the book but redacted.
Like blue box of GHK. You just cannot play this old stuff like printed, no matter what system you convert it to or even in original 1e or 2e.
You would end up with TPK within the first hour of your session with high probability.
 

the Jester

Legend
yes you are right, but the stuff was declared as being optional.
...which does not mean it wasn't there. You said, referring to FR's kitchen sink approach:

it was not always that way for FR
I'm saying that yes, it was. Quite intentionally.

Like blue box of GHK. You just cannot play this old stuff like printed, no matter what system you convert it to or even in original 1e or 2e.
You would end up with TPK within the first hour of your session with high probability.
I am not familiar with a blue box Greyhawk product, unless you mean the City of Greyhawk set? So I can't speak to the specifics of a tpk or whatnot, but I have and do run old edition stuff as is, swapping only mechanical elements for current edition stuff, like swapping 1e kobold stats for 5e kobold stats, and converting material that doesn't exist in 5e yet, sometimes on the fly. I have run adventures from Basic (the Lost City), 1e (S3), 3e (adventures from Dungeon Magazine), and 4e (currently running Keep on the Shadowfell) without modifying them, and have not ended up with a single TPK from doing so. Nor do I fudge dice (hardly ever). I'm not quite sure why you make this assertion.
 

Coroc

Hero
...which does not mean it wasn't there. You said, referring to FR's kitchen sink approach:



I'm saying that yes, it was. Quite intentionally.



I am not familiar with a blue box Greyhawk product, unless you mean the City of Greyhawk set? So I can't speak to the specifics of a tpk or whatnot, but I have and do run old edition stuff as is, swapping only mechanical elements for current edition stuff, like swapping 1e kobold stats for 5e kobold stats, and converting material that doesn't exist in 5e yet, sometimes on the fly. I have run adventures from Basic (the Lost City), 1e (S3), 3e (adventures from Dungeon Magazine), and 4e (currently running Keep on the Shadowfell) without modifying them, and have not ended up with a single TPK from doing so. Nor do I fudge dice (hardly ever). I'm not quite sure why you make this assertion.
well e.g. 20000 orcs to be fought in groups of 100s if conflict breaks out e.g. (greyhawk howl from the north trilogy for level 8 to 10 PCs). Even with 1e 2e assumptions of fighters sweep hitting multiple enemies if the enemies are lvl 1 or below that is simply undoable.
That one is one of the obvious examples but there aremany more.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
No, it was a statement of fact about how some of your posts have appeared. I very carefully didn't ascribe those motivations to you personally. Anyway, I'm just suggesting that the accusations of ignorance aren't going to get you a lot of interaction with what might otherwise be a valid point. I'm still not sure you're picking up what I'm putting down here, but I've given it the old college try.
Okay. Great. Make up whatever to justify your attacks. Good for you.

I think I have it kicking around somewhere. Hopefully its not in storage.
DMsGuild.
DMsGuild for similar products for 5e.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Okay. Great. Make up whatever to justify your attacks. Good for you.
It's unfortunate that you feel you've been attacked. That isn't the case though. Anyway, I'll just give your posts a pass for the most part.

As for the DMs Guild, I could go that route, but I really don't want to pay again for a book I'm positive I already have. I'm just not sure if I have it with me or if it's in storage (1000s of km away, sadly). My seafaring Chult-y pirate-y campaign is probably a ways off, so I have time to look for it. I don't think I ever did more than page through it, so it'll be a voyage of discovery.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
It's unfortunate that you feel you've been attacked. That isn't the case though. Anyway, I'll just give your posts a pass for the most part.
Note I have only criticized claims. Note I have only criticized opinions posted as facts. I have not attacked the poster. Up to you whether you want to try something similar.

As for the DMs Guild, I could go that route, but I really don't want to pay again for a book I'm positive I already have. I'm just not sure if I have it with me or if it's in storage (1000s of km away, sadly). My seafaring Chult-y pirate-y campaign is probably a ways off, so I have time to look for it. I don't think I ever did more than page through it, so it'll be a voyage of discovery.
Regardless. Good 3pp Supps for Chult are on there. Can sort by rating.
 

the Jester

Legend
well e.g. 20000 orcs to be fought in groups of 100s if conflict breaks out e.g. (greyhawk howl from the north trilogy for level 8 to 10 PCs). Even with 1e 2e assumptions of fighters sweep hitting multiple enemies if the enemies are lvl 1 or below that is simply undoable.
That one is one of the obvious examples but there aremany more.
Ah, you are probably overlooking the fact that 1e fighters, along with quite a few other classes, would have followers by then. My 1e DMG is at my girlfriend's house, but I'm pretty sure your average group of followers (for fighters) would number around several score, making this less overwhelming than it looks at first glance.
 

Coroc

Hero
Ah, you are probably overlooking the fact that 1e fighters, along with quite a few other classes, would have followers by then. My 1e DMG is at my girlfriend's house, but I'm pretty sure your average group of followers (for fighters) would number around several score, making this less overwhelming than it looks at first glance.
not in this case. The suggested pregens were all fighterish types with barbarian background. Even if they had, the orcish stronghold would have seen this as an invasion, and reacted full force.
i give you another example:
ravenloft thoughts of darkness hope i gpt this one right, the mind flayer domain.
Lvl 15 no followers and so deadly with the suggested enemy roster, that i cannot imagine any way to play this by the book.
analyse this yourself if you can, you will come to the same conclusion.
 

the Jester

Legend
not in this case. The suggested pregens were all fighterish types with barbarian background.
What do you mean, barbarian background? How does that stop a fighter from having followers? I mean, 1e barbarians could even summon a horde.

Even if they had, the orcish stronghold would have seen this as an invasion, and reacted full force.
It's not that hard to conceal 100 warriors, but again, not having the book you're talking about, maybe it addresses this. Or are you throwing up objections that aren't in there?

i give you another example:
ravenloft thoughts of darkness hope i gpt this one right, the mind flayer domain.
Lvl 15 no followers and so deadly with the suggested enemy roster, that i cannot imagine any way to play this by the book.
analyse this yourself if you can, you will come to the same conclusion.
Well, I don't have it, but having actually played a ton of 1e, there were often scenarios that you had to think your way through rather than just hacking and slashing. Perhaps both of these cases are some of those?

Even if they aren't, though, I've seen high level pcs wipe out hundreds of orcs in combat in 1e. I mean, one fireball alone will often do most of the work.
 

Coroc

Hero
What do you mean, barbarian background? How does that stop a fighter from having followers? I mean, 1e barbarians could even summon a horde.



It's not that hard to conceal 100 warriors, but again, not having the book you're talking about, maybe it addresses this. Or are you throwing up objections that aren't in there?



Well, I don't have it, but having actually played a ton of 1e, there were often scenarios that you had to think your way through rather than just hacking and slashing. Perhaps both of these cases are some of those?

Even if they aren't, though, I've seen high level pcs wipe out hundreds of orcs in combat in 1e. I mean, one fireball alone will often do most of the work.
the ravenloft example is 2e and i think the other one also.

in both examples even if you play out warriors having followers in both scenarios they have not.

in 2e you could get followers beginning at 9th for warriors, the suggested level for the orc scenario was 8-10

in ravenloft you are drawn into a Domain alone, not with your army.

the ravenloft example had oponents like 6x lvl 15 drow fighter mages each with +5 armor and weaponry and 18/** str.

so picking up your fireball example, if the pcs do not win initiative which is highly unlikely, they are subject to 6 delayed blast fireballs, or maybe some power word stuns instead to spice it up a bit.

that is instakill for all characters below 50 hp

do not forget that drow in 2e had 50+2..%/lvl magic resistance, so no shenanigans even if the party casters win initiative.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Another take. After reading much of this thread, and from various other conversations, I was starting to think that the chances of an FR campaign book were less likely than when I wrote the original post. But one important fact has come to my attention that has changed my view: the continued sales success of The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, which is currently #16 in all Gaming books on Amazon, or the 9th best D&D hardcovers. Ahead of it are the core books, the splats, and the two recent settings; behind it is everything else, including a bunch of books published more recently. Meaning, it continues to sell fairly well, without the dive that most other books experience after initial sales.

That said, and where the new take comes in, what this makes me wonder is whether they'll eschew a full Faerun setting guide and instead continue with the regional "adventurer's guide" format. Sword Coast came out in November of 2015, after WotC had published four adventure books centered in the North. This makes me think that if and when WotC moves beyond the North for their story arcs, we might see another adventurer's guide book for whatever region they choose.

So I would speculate that we'll get a better sense of what their FR setting book plans are, depending upon the next two or three FR story arcs.

1. They're all set in the North. No setting book.
2. They're all set in another region of the Realms (e.g. Dalelands-Moonsea), then we'll see an adventurer's guide for that region.
3. They're set in a variety of relatively disparate regions that aren't the North, then we might see a full Faerun guide.

Assuming the next story arc is truly set in Icewind Dale, that puts my "2-3" back another story arc season. I think the key is two adventure books in a row--at least--implies a possible region guide. Two disparate areas implies a full campaign guide.

Now if there are two story arcs this fall, one in Icewind Dale and one elsewhere in the Realms, then the next story arc set in the Realms might tell us which of the three directions they're going in.

Maybe.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Another take. After reading much of this thread, and from various other conversations, I was starting to think that the chances of an FR campaign book were less likely than when I wrote the original post. But one important fact has come to my attention that has changed my view: the continued sales success of The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, which is currently #16 in all Gaming books on Amazon, or the 9th best D&D hardcovers. Ahead of it are the core books, the splats, and the two recent settings; behind it is everything else, including a bunch of books published more recently. Meaning, it continues to sell fairly well, without the dive that most other books experience after initial sales.

That said, and where the new take comes in, what this makes me wonder is whether they'll eschew a full Faerun setting guide and instead continue with the regional "adventurer's guide" format. Sword Coast came out in November of 2015, after WotC had published four adventure books centered in the North. This makes me think that if and when WotC moves beyond the North for their story arcs, we might see another adventurer's guide book for whatever region they choose.

So I would speculate that we'll get a better sense of what their FR setting book plans are, depending upon the next two or three FR story arcs.

1. They're all set in the North. No setting book.
2. They're all set in another region of the Realms (e.g. Dalelands-Moonsea), then we'll see an adventurer's guide for that region.
3. They're set in a variety of relatively disparate regions that aren't the North, then we might see a full Faerun guide.

Assuming the next story arc is truly set in Icewind Dale, that puts my "2-3" back another story arc season. I think the key is two adventure books in a row--at least--implies a possible region guide. Two disparate areas implies a full campaign guide.

Now if there are two story arcs this fall, one in Icewind Dale and one elsewhere in the Realms, then the next story arc set in the Realms might tell us which of the three directions they're going in.

Maybe.
Well, just for the SCAG defined region, there are four places I'd expect to be featured as the focus of a full Adventure:

1. Icewind Dale, probably very soon, but eventually at any rate
2. Neverwinter, somewhat complicated by the continued run of the MMO
3. The Moonshaes, and maybe the other Islands of the North
4. Lantan, which has been slowly seeded in hooks across many books for yeeeeeeears now

Past those 4, I think they would move out of the Sword Coast. Maybe Coromyr, the Dalelands, or Amn.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Well, just for the SCAG defined region, there are four places I'd expect to be featured as the focus of a full Adventure:

1. Icewind Dale, probably very soon, but eventually at any rate
2. Neverwinter, somewhat complicated by the continued run of the MMO
3. The Moonshaes, and maybe the other Islands of the North
4. Lantan, which has been slowly seeded in hooks across many books for yeeeeeeears now

Past those 4, I think they would move out of the Sword Coast. Maybe Coromyr, the Dalelands, or Amn.
That makes sense, at least as one of several likely strategies. My personal hope is that they go to the Old Empires (Mulhorand, Unther, etc) and the desert regions south and east, like Raurin (Desert of Desolation), all the way to Zakhara. Probably not going to happen.
 

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