D&D 5E Why FR Is "Hated"

Eberron and Dark Sun, for all they might have going for them, are undeniably niche settings - as are Planescape, Spelljammer, Ravenloft, and some others. And niche settings have a big built-in strike against them: the potential market, and thus potential profit, for each is much smaller than for any generic setting.

I do have to disagree here when it comes to Planescape, since the Great Wheel is back for 5e and well described in the PHB and DMG. Other than the fluff (factions, planar cant, etc.), it's already pretty much baked into the game for this edition, and it would take fairly minimal updating to get even that missing fluff in. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a Planescape adventure path (given that we've been told to look for hints in the core books, likely a riff on the Great Modron March) and matching accessory book (although probably not a traditional Manual of the Planes given the format of 5e accessory books) in the next year or two...

Given that Dungeonology specifically pointed out Acererak, I'm wondering if we shouldn't be looking for hints there as well. Sigil and Greyhawk are both given some detail, so I'm beginning to thing that both of them will be featured in upcoming products...
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I do have to disagree here when it comes to Planescape, since the Great Wheel is back for 5e and well described in the PHB and DMG. Other than the fluff (factions, planar cant, etc.), it's already pretty much baked into the game for this edition, and it would take fairly minimal updating to get even that missing fluff in. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a Planescape adventure path (given that we've been told to look for hints in the core books, likely a riff on the Great Modron March) and matching accessory book (although probably not a traditional Manual of the Planes given the format of 5e accessory books) in the next year or two...
All good, but I still see Planescape as a niche setting rather than generic fantasy. :)
 

All good, but I still see Planescape as a niche setting rather than generic fantasy. :)

True, Planescape is niche. However, despite that, its basics are, as I mentioned, baked into the edition. Which manages to place it in the heretofore unheard-of position of being both niche and accessible! :D
 

Aldarc

Legend
Eberron and Dark Sun, for all they might have going for them, are undeniably niche settings - as are Planescape, Spelljammer, Ravenloft, and some others. And niche settings have a big built-in strike against them: the potential market, and thus potential profit, for each is much smaller than for any generic setting.
You may be overstating the niche-aspect of Eberron. It was originally designed as a kitchen-sink setting for 3.5e. "If it's in D&D, it has a place in Eberron" was one of the mantras and guiding design principles for the setting after all. It's niche-quality comes primarily from its magi-tech aesthetic and re-flavoring of the standard fantasy races (e.g. elves, dwarves, orcs, halflings, etc.) from their typical Tolkieneseque portrayals.

Some people's depictions of Eberron as the sort of high fantasy magic as Forgotten Realms does represent something of a mischaracterization. Eberron does not have the same sort of archmage wizards and high-level powerbrokers running around the world as the Realms. Eberron presumes a world in which people other than the setting's iconic NPCs have goals, ambitions, and achievements. They work. They collaborate. They innovate. They make use of what they have. The world is less inclined to be stuck in a technological or magical stasis for hundreds or thousands of years. The setting is less populated with high-powered NPCs, but, rather, with a lot of low-powered people who are using what little powers they have towards socio-economic ends, like normal people in any given human society would. Someone with just the Mending cantrip could make a living out of that, and they do in Eberron. The high fantasy magitech in this setting is not the product of a handful of godmode wizard NPCs, who are authorial self-inserts or past player characters of the setting, but are, instead, the product of "human" labor. That's one thing that makes Eberron great for me. The reality of human(oid) labor, innovation, and endeavor infuses the setting.
 
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Mercule

Adventurer
Sure. It's called "using your own imagination and stories" with a few index cards to mark monsters in the MM as you need and adjusting the monsters as needed to make them more interesting. Most are only going to appear for a single combat, so no reason to spend time working out an exact stat block.

....

Learn to cook. Seriously, coming up with your own stuff isn't hard and it takes less time than reading and adapting prepublished adventures from a setting you don't like.
What a smug, patronizing answer. I've been doing home brew for the vast majority of the 35ish years I've played RPGs. I almost never used modules/adventures until sometime in 3E. At this point in my life, I have minimal time, but a strong desire to game and willingness to GM. I don't mind the normal work of tweaking an adventure to "roll with" the PCs and some nominal adjustments.

For the most part, though, I just want to sit down and play. One of the big requirements is that I don't want to be constantly subjected to the Realms. I'm grateful for CoS, even if I have some issues with including hooks for the Five Factions. Can the Realms just take a day off, please?

Really, it's getting to the point that the only thing more annoying with D&D, right now, than being bludgeoned with the Realms is the smug ...erm... people saying something to the effect of "suck it up and learn to live with the Realms".
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I dont really mind the FR, but I'd like if WotC design team would just make a huge step forward in time and wipe most of the map, keeping only a few major settlement gathered in kingdoms/alliance/whatever with generic themes that new players and Dm can easily understand. Something like the setting for The 7th Sea RPG, with few major kingdoms based on real life empires, in a world covered with the ruins of ancients empires with few described settlements (2 or 3 per kingdom), letting all the place in the world for DMs to put their adventures. I think FR would benefit from getting unstuck in its time/historical stasis and move toward a more swashbuckling/high magic + exploration/dungeon delve setting. This would also allow the setting to offer ''culture bonus'' instead of ''racial bonus'', depending of where you character hails from.

The Waterdeep Commonwealth (the old Sword Coast), controled by his guilds and the 5 factions, based on late medieval/renaissance Netherland, Sweden, Danemark etc.

Delzoun, the Dwarf-Home covering most of the Spine of the World, Silver Marches etc with citadels. Classic dwarven empire.

Crown of Thetyr (the old land of intrigues), based on late medieval/renaissance Spain.

Cormyr (Cormyr + Daleland), based on late medieval/renaissance France.

The land of Scars (the middle of the map with the old empires and the sea of Fallen Stars) a huge wasteland doted with ruins and small, mostly unamed settlements. Once served as the battlefield of a worldwide conflict, now inhabited by undeads and monstruosities born from the war. Expert monster hunter roam these lands to protect civilization from these creatures.

The Great Magocracy of Thay (Thay, Unther and Mulrohand), land of undeath and magic. Based on late medieval/renaissance southern Russia, Georgia and Turkey.

Rashemen (Rashemen, Narfell, the Great Glacier), based on late medieval/renaissance Poland and Eastern Europe.

The Crown of Sails (Moonshea), based on late medieval/renaissance England, Scotland and Ireland.

Then use Al-Quadim and Kara-Tur as generic arabian nights/oriental adventure setting (I dont know enough about them to say more). Anyway, just an idea I had, you can ignore my ramblings now :p
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Er...please forgive what may sound like a dumb question, but how can a map with the scope of what's in PotA possibly provide any difficulties in conversion from anything to anything?
If you remember, there was some confusion/consternation over the correct scale of the map. I think I used the scale printed on the map, but maybe it was one of the "fixes". Regardless, it put like three days between each of the towns and two days between Red Larch and the first elemental outpost. I dropped it in Eberron, centered at Wyr and that scalle pretty much covered the entire Aundair/Eldeen Reaches border, which is huge. It wasn't necessarily a fault of putting it in the Realms so much as it being just stupidly huge.

There were a few odd things, like the barbarians didn't translate well so I ignored that whole side bit. I had to change all the references to dwarven construction to ancient goblin construction (which would have been no big deal, if I'd set it on the eastern side of the continent). The one that really caught me off guard was the weird bridge that sounded like it was practically the St. Louis Arch in bridge form. I think there were a few others, but they may not have had as much to do with putting it into Eberron as pulling it out of the Realms.

Overall, yeah, I guess it wasn't that hard to convert other than the scale, which could have been operator error. Once I'd set the scale to the players, though, I felt obliged to keep it. It was just a pain. I think part of the disappointment was that the appendix that promised setting conversion notes read like someone who wasn't actually familiar with any of the settings called out. I did very much appreciate the effort and would love to have seen that done for other adventures. Honestly, I think it would be great to see every adventure (that isn't hardwired into the Realms like Tyranny of Dragons) to have a web supplement that gave hooks for the Five Factions of Faerun (for AL play), some basic conversion notes and consistent use of specific factions from the other settings. I don't know exactly how much effort the PotA appendix took, but I wouldn't think more than a couple days. It would actually stop the majority of my complaining, especially if the conversion notes continued to improve.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
If you remember, there was some confusion/consternation over the correct scale of the map. I think I used the scale printed on the map, but maybe it was one of the "fixes". Regardless, it put like three days between each of the towns and two days between Red Larch and the first elemental outpost. I dropped it in Eberron, centered at Wyr and that scalle pretty much covered the entire Aundair/Eldeen Reaches border, which is huge. It wasn't necessarily a fault of putting it in the Realms so much as it being just stupidly huge.

There were a few odd things, like the barbarians didn't translate well so I ignored that whole side bit. I had to change all the references to dwarven construction to ancient goblin construction (which would have been no big deal, if I'd set it on the eastern side of the continent). The one that really caught me off guard was the weird bridge that sounded like it was practically the St. Louis Arch in bridge form. I think there were a few others, but they may not have had as much to do with putting it into Eberron as pulling it out of the Realms.

Overall, yeah, I guess it wasn't that hard to convert other than the scale, which could have been operator error. Once I'd set the scale to the players, though, I felt obliged to keep it. It was just a pain. I think part of the disappointment was that the appendix that promised setting conversion notes read like someone who wasn't actually familiar with any of the settings called out. I did very much appreciate the effort and would love to have seen that done for other adventures. Honestly, I think it would be great to see every adventure (that isn't hardwired into the Realms like Tyranny of Dragons) to have a web supplement that gave hooks for the Five Factions of Faerun (for AL play), some basic conversion notes and consistent use of specific factions from the other settings. I don't know exactly how much effort the PotA appendix took, but I wouldn't think more than a couple days. It would actually stop the majority of my complaining, especially if the conversion notes continued to improve.

I liked that appendix, too, and I was hoping that was going to be something they continued to do going forward. That one piece of art of the Air Cult on Athas was pretty great....it's one of the reasons I decided to bring Athas into my campaign, which has been really cool. My PCs are currently there seeking a lost artifact of sorts, and they're really out of their element, and it's making for a fun game.

I think a web supplement for those kinds of conversions would be something that they can accomplish without a significant drain on resources.
 

Davelozzi

Explorer
I dont really mind the FR, but I'd like if WotC design team would just make a huge step forward in time and wipe most of the map, keeping only a few major settlement gathered in kingdoms/alliance/whatever with generic themes that new players and Dm can easily understand...

Based on everything that I have heard about the 4e Realms and how well it went over, I would think this would be a gigantic mistake. This thread title aside, the Realms is the most popular campaign setting. Fans are cool with it evolving, but a major reset that totally changes what the Realms are is probably going to turn off way more people than it turns on. Even if it was an improvement, how many of the haters are really going to give it a chance?
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
What a smug, patronizing answer.

It's not intended to be. Sorry you couldn't take it in the spirit it was intended.

I don't mind the normal work of tweaking an adventure to "roll with" the PCs and some nominal adjustments.

But MechaPilot DOES mind - that's his whole complaint. So my answer doesn't apply to you, but does apply to him. Not sure why you decided to take my answer to his specific complaint as an attack on you when it wasn't directed at you or anything you said.

Really, it's getting to the point that the only thing more annoying with D&D, right now, than being bludgeoned with the Realms is the smug ...erm... people saying something to the effect of "suck it up and learn to live with the Realms".

Except that's exactly the opposite of what I've been saying. I'm saying "don't use the Realms, 5e makes it easier than ever to run your own campaign without using pre-published adventures".
 

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