D&D 5E Why FR Is "Hated"


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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
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?

Oh, it would probably be trashed by everybody and be executed for high treason. If I were to play FR again, this is probably how I'd run it, but it would barely be a FR game in the eyes of true fans if I modify it to much. In the end I'm good with FR for what it is and isnt, and I'm good with people that hates it. I play Nentir Vale, which many people will find it a poor excuse of a setting, but I like it.

My only grippe with the setting is the fact that it looks like ''PHB: the setting'', like it absolutely had to include everything in the PHB, even if the base content of the game tends to change from edition to edition, which causes thing like dragonborns poping out of thin air. I like how Darksun and Dragonlance stand their ground and say ''divine magic from the PHB is out'' or other settings having class/race/mechanics restriction: in my eyes its what makes a setting distinct.
 

valarmorgulis

First Post
One of the things that bugs me about FR is the "power creep" that has taken place over the years. It kicked off in the jump from 1e to 2e, when suddenly many of the major NPCs jumped up 5-10 levels. Then, with the release of the Volos Guides to X, every city was suddenly populated with L15+ wizards. In 1e, Khelben was actually quite a bit higher level than Elminster.

Ed Greenwood does have a DMing style that was somewhat popular back in the day but is no longer in vogue, of taking pleasure in smacking down players that "get too big for their britches".
 

Davelozzi

Explorer
One of the things that bugs me about FR is the "power creep" that has taken place over the years.

That's been largely corrected in 5e. Most of the old batch of powerful wizards are either dead, MIA, or largely off camera in the SCAG, and the newer NPCs are generally not statted up so their levels are up to the DM.
 

MechaPilot

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

He's not the only one who took it that way. Maybe the tone you wished to convey somehow got lost in the wording of your response.


Sure. It's called "using your own imagination and stories. . ."

I have done that for years. I have been DM'ing since AD&D 2e, and I didn't start using published adventures until 5e. I started using them because trying to create my own adventures while working, helping to care for an elderly parent, and pursuing a Masters degree is exceedingly difficult to fit into my very limited free time.


. . . 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.

I learned that one long ago, but thanks for the tip. Also, that's part of the work of running an published adventure; it cuts down on reference time during play.



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.

Speaking only from my personal experience, that's not strictly true. Making minor adaptations to something that's already been made is always going to be easier than creating from whole cloth. The question is, do I have to make only minor adaptations? Or will the adaptions be so significant that I'm better off looking for another adventure.

This is part of the reason why I like published adventures that take place on islands. I can drop a relatively small island anywhere in the world without changing the overall world. I can even smite it when the PCs are done having their fun there; the fact that it's an island means it largely won't be missed by the rest of the game world.


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.

Actually, no. You're incorrect here. Allow me to quote [MENTION=5100]Mercule[/MENTION] for reference, and because his reply is quite pertinent to my situation as well:

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.

I don't mind doing some work to tweak an adventure. For example, because I don't allow +X magic items in my game, I'm always going to have to do some work to replace them with other treasure (or replacing the +X with a different benefit). I don't mind doing this, because it preserves the kind of game I want to run.

I also typically inflate the HPs of the enemies they fight (from average to maximum). I prefer more of the social side of things, but they love combat. So, I make sure they get to enjoy a good fight with either 1) tougher enemies or 2) more enemies. The game is as much for them as it is for me, so I don't mind doing that.

It's only when the other required changes go beyond, as [MENTION=5100]Mercule[/MENTION] put it, "nominal adjustments" that it starts to become onerous to adapt an adventure than to use a different one.


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".

IDK about "easier than ever." I don't feel 5e makes creating and running your own adventures any easier than 4e did. But, you're correct that it's certainly easier than 3e. And, it's definitely easier than 2e; because, like 4e, at least I have some good guidelines for building encounters to desired challenge levels (whether those be easy, normal, difficult, or lethal), and I'm not forced to relying on 2e-style random encounter tables that could often throw far too much at the party.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Sure. Let's assume it wouldn't be a financial bomb. But the question is: Will it make the company as much/more $ as the current plan?
Evidently WoTC doesn't think so....

I agree that they don't think so. Just like Activision doesn't seem to think improving Call of Duty would make them more money and keep releasing the same thing year after year.

But the play it safe strategy when it comes to creating movies and games and books is always a long term loser. If they never take a risk with doing something new it will only end in disaster. Right about now seems to be a good time to take that step.


Hmmm...not sure if you'd be in the majority here or not.

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.

The generic-ish settings other than FR are Greyhawk, Mystara/Hollow World, Nentir Vale...and possibly Birthright if done properly. And with these you have a strong point: they really should do an Adventurers' Guide for a couple of those (I'd say Mystara and Nentir Vale, just for kicks) and see how it goes.

Lan-"or they could surprise us all and come up with an entirely new generic setting, only this one would be baggage-free"-efan

Honestly, Eberron and Dark Sun were just the two names I thought of first. Replace them with any additional setting, just as long as it is something different.
 

Sadras

Legend
I'm looking forward to a multi-setting AP for 5e. It could be as simple as sourcing shards making up the Rod of Seven Parts scattered across several worlds, or more complex, such as saving the multiverse by seeking powerful allies from some of the more popular D&D settings.
Each chapter would include some information regarding each location, setting and dramatis personae, just enough to provide the distinct 'feel' of each world.

The 'encounter' locations would be easy to port into one world, for those that dislike the planar-travel while it would certainly satisfy those that desire to see their favoured setting finally showcased.

From Forgotten Realms to Greyhawk to Mystara to Nentir Valley to Eberron to Dragonlance to Dark Sun to Planescape. 8 Chapters all in all. I'm not including Ravenloft since that already as had its own AP.

I wonder for those on this thread complaining about the lore of FR being too much for them to sink their teeth into, will have the same issue with this - given that the magnitude of lore covering 8 settings by far exceeds FR's lore alone. Apparently they suffer from a need to design/name every single road, town and city, stat every single creature/person and have expert knowledge on the entire setting history published before they can run a game otherwise their crazed-fan players will descend upon them like demons for the abomination of their world.
 
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Mercule

Adventurer
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".
Actually, that's pretty much exactly "suck it up and learn to live with the Realms"? The topic was using published adventures. You're saying, pretty much explicitly, that if I don't like the Realms, I should just "run [my] own campaign without using pre-published adventures.

Let's see:
- Hoard of the Dragon Queen: Set in the Realms. Practically impossible to extract without reducing it to an outline and rebuilding. I tried.
- Rise of Tiamat: Set in the Realms. First chapter is pleading with the Lords of Waterdeep or their proxies. Follow-up to HotDQ. I made some assumptions about which I'm comfortable that it wouldn't be reasonable to convert. I actually did browse the first chapter in the store to see if I could replace it with stuff in Sharn. Not really.
- Princes of the Apocalypse: Set in the Realms. Not horrible to convert, aside from some mapping issues.
- Out of the Abyss: Set in the Realms. Not a fan of drow or the Underdark, but I like demons. After reading a few reviews, it sounded more hardwired to the Realms than I'd like.
- Curse of Strahd: Not set in the Realms. Oh, wait... It has a couple pages "advertising" the Realms. Bummer, but usable. So far, it's been enjoyable, too.
- Storm King's Thunder: Set in the Realms. From the reviews, a non-trivial amount of the book could be used as Realms source material. I was going to pick it up, but that stopped me.
- Tomb of Annihilation: Set in the Realms. Difficulty of conversion unknown. I heard that it could be used as a Chult source book, but that could be speculation.

So, looking at that list, I think ToA will show what the pattern is. If it's easy to convert and/or has a conversion appendix/web supplement, then they're alternating between hard-Realms and generic-with-Realms-as-glue. I retract the more inflammatory bits of what I've said but will remain annoyed about and object to every book having some tie to the Realms. If it's tightly-coupled to the Realms, then it pretty much shows that they're all-Realms, all the time and CoS was the oddity.

It's funny, but it's using the Volo, Yawning Portal, and stupid beholder thing that really add fuel to the fire. There is literally no book that's come out since the core rules that doesn't have some reminder of the Realms' primacy.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
Actually, no. You're incorrect here.

I don't think I am. My understanding was that it has been more work than you like to adjust FR modules for your purposes. That's your specific complaint, as far as I can tell.

You were saying that it takes more than "nominal" adjustments to use them, and that's the problem.

You also say it's too much work to come up with your own stuff.

You also seem opposed to looking for any other source of adventures to use, unless someone presents them to you so you don't have to do any work at all. (Since that is exactly what you told me to do.)

Or to use your restaurant analogy - you've been getting fast food because it's quick and convenient, but you don't seem to like it. Your options are keep eating the same pre-packaged Happy Meals that you complain about, cook your own food, or find a different fast food place that is more to your liking - but you won't go look for a different place, someone else has to go order the food and bring it to you and see if you like it.

IDK about "easier than ever." I don't feel 5e makes creating and running your own adventures any easier than 4e did. But, you're correct that it's certainly easier than 3e. And, it's definitely easier than 2e; because, like 4e, at least I have some good guidelines for building encounters to desired challenge levels (whether those be easy, normal, difficult, or lethal), and I'm not forced to relying on 2e-style random encounter tables that could often throw far too much at the party.

It's definitely easier for me. I didn't like 4e, so I didn't run a campaign in that edition. I also don't use random monster encounters. I also dislike "filler" encounters that don't advance the plot. I just decided what makes sense for them to run into, and do enough smaller encounters to be interesting, but my main focus on the big set piece encounters.

For me, coming up with my own stuff from scratch is faster and more satisfying than adapting a someone else's module to suit my needs. If that doesn't work for you, I'm somewhat sympathetic, but it doesn't sound like using FR modules is satisfying you either.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
Actually, that's pretty much exactly "suck it up and learn to live with the Realms"?

You think 'If you don't like the FR setting, don't use it and make up your own stuff" is the same as "suck it up and learn to live the Realms"?

You are not being rational, so I'm done with you. Good day.
 
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