D&D 5E Why FR Is "Hated"

Davelozzi

Explorer
The topic is why FR is "hated". The topic wasn't why 'no one should like FR'.

My response wasn't meant to be a stand-alone attempt to answer the question posed in the subject line 17 pages back, it was made in response to much of the subsequent conversation in the thread, and particularly to the comment that I quoted from (and others like it).
 

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Davelozzi

Explorer
Why FR Is "Hated"

That's good to know. I'm sure you can understand feeling a bit gun shy after ToD. Maybe I'll pick up SKT. I'm definitely going to grab TftYP.

From where I sit Storm King's Thunder contains plenty of material that could be easily ported, particularly the six individual giant lairs, most of which would be as easy to use individually as any of the three presented in Against the Giants.

However, if you're looking to port the adventure path as a whole, it's likely to be a lot of work for you. A hug chunk of the book is basically a gazetteer of the North, and it covers a much wider area thereof than Princes of the Apocalypse does, so if you found the latter not to be worth your while to convert, the same would likely apply to STK.
 
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Shasarak

Banned
Banned
The reason why you like the Forgotten Realms is because you own a lot of Forgotten Realms and therefore you must like it.

Is that not backwards? Should it not be the reason you have so much FR material is because you like the FR?

I mean previously of course. Now the reason you have so much FR material is that there is nothing else.
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
I'm curious how you figure that leaving out a few things is actually not as easy as building an entire new setting from scratch. I run the Realms by excluding or placing into the background most of those, and there's virtually no work at all to do so.

On the flip side, drawing a local map and coming up with a few names is virtually no work at all. You can even steal such from another setting and add on to it piecemeal with homebrew or whatever other setting's piece fits your mood at the time.

Ultimately, the difference between starting in Waterdeep that Elminster and the Undermountain have been removed from and starting in Elscanor that you've cribbed heavily from City of Splendors: Waterdeep to build isn't that much different. The difference may or may not matter to your players.
 

Shasarak

Banned
Banned
But, again, that's MY POINT. I could run a WotL campaign with the modules and one book. That's it. That's all it would take to run a pretty much full on canon DL campaign of that period. A pretty minor investment to get all the canon available.

If I wanted to have that level of canon in a Forgotten Realms game, I'd need dozens, if not a couple of hundred supplements. Monster books, various country guides, class splats (TWO full gods books alone in 2e), dozens of Dragon magazine articles, on and on and on.

Do I absolutely need these? Maybe not. But, the fact that they are there means that I am NOT INTERESTED in starting. That mountain of material means that I have zero interest in running an FR game. None. Zero. Nada. It is a barrier to my entry into the setting.

Since that barrier doesn't exist for a lot of other settings, I would much rather run those settings. I have no problems running published settings. I ran Scarred Lands for years in 3e. I am running a Primeval Thule game right now. Published settings isn't the problem. FOR ME the problem is any time I pick up a Forgotten Realms supplement, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that that supplement will reference several, if not dozens of other sources. Sorry, not interested.

Why dont you pick up one of those new fangled adventure paths then you can run a FR game using just one book like you want?
 

QuietBrowser

First Post
Now, personally, I don't hate the Forgotten Realms. I first cut my D&D teeth on Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights, I have a fondness for the setting. But, I can understand why people complain about its prominence and even bash it. Beyond any personal arguments that've been brought up before this point - overabundance of canonical heroes, mostly - there's one big issue.

The Forgotten Realms is tired.

Faerun has been released in every single edition of D&D. There are more Forgotten Realms splatbooks in total than there are for almost any other two settings combined, saving Dragonlance, which was the only one with equivalent popularity in its time. And almost every single one of those splatbooks can be found or is already in a player's possession. There's not information overload, but it's just overdone in terms of things to use.

In the three years 5e has been printing, we've had Hoard of the Dragon Queen (set in Faerun), the Rise of Tiamat (set in Faerun), Princes of the Apocalypse (set in Faerun), Out of the Abyss (set in Faerun), Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (a campaign sourcebook dedicated to Faerun), Curse of Strahd (set in the Demiplane of Dread), Storm King's Thunder (set in Faerun), Volo's Guide to Monsters (heavily Faerun flavored), and Tales From the Yawning Portal (setting neutral). And ahead of us we have Tomb of Annihilation (set in Faerun) and Xanathar's Guide to Everything (heavily Faerun flavored).

For comparison, within the three years of its initial printing, 4e gave us campaign & player's guides for Forgotten Realms, Eberron and Dark Sun, 6 planar sourcebooks (Manual of Planes, Astral Sea, Elemental Chaos, Shadowfell, Heroes of Shadow, Demonomicon), a Dark Sun adventure, an Eberron adventure, a Forgotten Realms adventure, twelve Nentir Vale adventures, an Underdark sourcebook, two Draconomicons, an Undead sourcebook, two gear sourcebooks, a mini-adventures sourcebooks, two new Player's Handbooks, and class expansions for every class released up to that point! Not counting the stuff in Dragon & Dungeon Magazine - I know some Ravenloft purists will sneer down their noses at it, but at least we got new domains of dread instead of yet another remake of the original Ravenloft adventure module!

It's not that Faerun is a bad setting, because, really, it's not. The Forgotten Realms is the most popular and iconic established D&D setting for a reason, and it's a definitive example of the D&D style of high fantasy.

But, come on, seriously, give us a break! We're sick of it! Steak isn't a bad thing, but eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week, for three years is a little too much!

That's why people are bashing the Forgotten Realms: because it's overplayed at this point. We want something new. We want a Sigil Adventurer's Guide, or a Manual of the Planes at least, for more cosmological gameplay options! We want a Khorvaire Player's Guide, so we can go back to Eberron instead of the Sword Coast! We want a Starfarer's Manual, to bring Spelljammer back to life!

We're tired of the same old dungeoning crawling stories. They're the staple of D&D, but they're well and truly played out at this point. Until Faerun gets a rest, people aren't going to stop kicking it in the ribs.
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
Is that not backwards? Should it not be the reason you have so much FR material is because you like the FR?

That may be true as well, but what I stated is a well-documented psychological phenomenon; people who have sunk a large chunk of money into something have a hard time admitting its drawbacks.
 

Shasarak

Banned
Banned
That may be true as well, but what I stated is a well-documented psychological phenomenon; people who have sunk a large chunk of money into something have a hard time admitting its drawbacks.

Sure and on the other hand you have to have a reason to sink that money into something to start with.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
What I don't get, is who exactly is holding a gun to anyone's head and forcing them to use the Forgotten Realms setting (or any other setting)? If you don't like it, don't use it. Don't use any of it. Problem solved.

I seriously don't understand the angst about this, it is literally just a game.

Part of the problem is making the adventures so ingrained into FR. Yes, they have minuscule sections about adapting the adventure to other settings. But, all the maps are FR maps; all the NPCs are FR races, have FR names, and are tied to FR organizations; some monsters are FR-specific ones; and everything there is bound to FR history such that the LMoP and PotA actually include sections dedicated to FR history.

Every adventure set in FR feels like "Ugh. This again." because I have to sit down and figure out how much of the adventure can be adapted without requiring significant effort. And, frankly, if it requires enough effort I'm better off buying an adventure from someone else and saving myself some trouble in adapting it.

And yes, adventure adaptation is often going to be a headache for me because I typically run a homebrew setting. But, some things are far easier to adapt than others. This is why I'm so willing to snatch up the new Tomb of Annihilation, Chult is an island. I can throw it into the open seas of my world without significantly altering the world at large (I can even destroy the island when the adventure is concluded if its continued existence would clash with the themes and general feel of my setting).
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
I never really liked the Planescape tweaks to the cosmology (or maybe it was just the slang), but I'd love to see them shift from the Realms as the anchor to Planescape, just because it emphasizes that it's a big table. Maybe have the adventures set in the Realms, but use Planescape factions along side Realms factions. Dunno. It's a half-baked thought.

That's kind of my view on things...Planescape kind of encompasses all the other settings. And although I like the Sigil Factions, they needed to be reined in a bit. I think that was one of the first instmaces where I kind of ignored a setting "requirement"; I hated that a PC was expected to beling to a Faction. So we disregarded that.

Which is a reason why I'm a bit confused by people who complain about the Five Factions of the FR; they're so easy to ignore.

That's good to know. I'm sure you can understand feeling a bit gun shy after ToD. Maybe I'll pick up SKT. I'm definitely going to grab TftYP. I just haven't done so, yet.

My understanding of SKT is that it does have some Faerun info, but that the adventure itself is very easy to port to a homebrew or alternate setting.


I think part of the issue is that Wizards has been saying "We won't stay in the Realms forever," pretty much since the beginning of 5E. It really seems like they're doubling down on the Realms, though, rather than opening things up.

Maybe. I look at it more that Curse of Strahd was a first step, and Yawning Portal was a second. Moving to another region of Faerun for the new adventure is also good. Hopefully, the next step will be a bit bigger. We'll see.
 

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