D&D 5E Why FR Is "Hated"

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Depending on what era Dragonlance you're talking about. In pre-3e, no character (other than Raistlin) was higher than 18th and that was strictly enforced in the rules. I don't know what happened in 3e era DL, so, I cannot comment. But, note, the other two heads of the wizard's order were lower level than Par-Salian and virtually no NPC other than a very, very few were in double digit levels.

DL is a VERY low power setting.

Greyhawk, at least prior to 3e, was also limited to about 10th level or so for the vast majority of NPC's. Most kings and whatnot were in that range. There were only a very small handful of NPC's in the higher double digit levels.

I mean, even the Council of 8 wizards were only around 20th level. Modenkainen and that bunch. You don't get epic level characters in Greyhawk for the most part.

I think Dalamar was 17th. I'd forgotten that in DL the pinnacle was 18th, though. Been ages since I've played it. It sort of means that Par Salian and the others overshadowed the heroes of the lance from 1st to 15th or so level, though.
 

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JeffB

Legend
One thing I still don't get is WOTC deciding that the primary mode of relating updated Realms material will be in adventures.

Well for people who actually care about WOTC providing setting details, it is more incentive to buy into their minimal product output.

DM doesn't like the APs, but wants "realmslore"? Too bad, you have no options from us like the previous 30-35 years. Buy our new AP.

DM wants adventure material but doesn't like/want/need "realmslore"? Too bad, you have no options from us like the last 30-35 years. Buy our new AP.



Feast or famine.

Enjoy your Ketchup ;D
 

MackMcMacky

First Post
Because, after giving you various reasons which you reject, various posters keep offering you the off-ramp ("Well, sorry, but if none of this suits you, then don't use it.") and you insist on staying on the circle freeway for another go around. Since we're not going to change the reasons we're giving you, you're not going to stop rejecting them; so if you're getting dizzy from going around in circles, take the exit offered you! :)
But your reasons aren't compelling to people who are actually answering the OP so why bring them up? I could use any setting and ignore some of the material. Anecdotal statements about never encountering the FRealms trivia master who wants to talk it up during the game don't matter to someone who has met the annoying FRealms trivia master. Feel free to go start a Why You Should Love Forgotten Realms thread. I won't post there telling you why you shouldn't.
 

Davelozzi

Explorer
Why FR Is "Hated"

I'll try to get back to you on this. As you can imagine, I haven't bothered looking at those modules for many years. What I remember was Elminster came up quite a bit in the modules I purchased and was used more heavy-handedly than I would have ever used my world's "Gandalf".

He had a really ridiculous appearance in "Beneath the Twisted Tower", an otherwise decent introductory adventure that came with the 2e campaign set. If I remember correctly, he was walking a dog in the caves below the tower and telling it to "heel", and each time he did, a wand he was holding would go off, inadvertently healing the PCs as he passed by. I kid you not.
 
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MackMcMacky

First Post
Paizo is a company manned by many former WotC staff, selling a product to many former D&D players; and yet neither group has stopped to think "hey, D&D supported multiple settings, but Pathfinder can't?"

The problem is that WotC finally learned the lesson of TSR that Paizo has known for a while; multiple settings dilute the brand and split the player base. It creates books people instinctively don't buy (during 3.5 I bought any book that has Eberron in the title while ignoring the ones that said Realms, despite the fact I could easily use Realms stuff in Eberron). It creates turf wars where purists insist that deathtrap Dungeons and elemental cults only belong to one world. In short, unless you have a fanbase so large you can afford them to be picky, one generic setting is the best way to go.

Paizo knows this. WotC figured it out, and picked the most generic and still most well known setting to Golarionize.

Yeah, it sucks a bit, esp as an Eberron fan. But I know why they chose to do it. And I accept Faerun as a decent all-in setting. It lets me tell stories of Shakespearean Giants, liches in the jungle, demons running amok underground, etc.
I don't see it that way. Golarion comes across as an intentional attempt to create a setting that functions abstractly much like the Forgotten Realms with a few tweaks.

As far as multiple settings, gamers, last I heard, are in shorter supply than they were back then. I think there are too many variables for you to draw the conclusions you do. Monocausal explanations are very seldom correct.
 

MackMcMacky

First Post
Well for people who actually care about WOTC providing setting details, it is more incentive to buy into their minimal product output.

DM doesn't like the APs, but wants "realmslore"? Too bad, you have no options from us like the previous 30-35 years. Buy our new AP.

DM wants adventure material but doesn't like/want/need "realmslore"? Too bad, you have no options from us like the last 30-35 years. Buy our new AP.



Feast or famine.

Enjoy your Ketchup ;D
It is their loss as far as I am concerned. I bought one of their adventure books. Not because it was compelling but because my son had indicated he wanted to run 5E and I wanted him to have an idea how to structure an adventure. Wasn't very impressed with the format they use for adventures.

Otherwise, as long as they are fixated on Forgotten Realms tie-ins it is going to be very hard to sell adventures to me. I play with five other guys in their forties. All of us have far more purchasing power than we did in our twenties but we have very little to buy that interests us. We're not particularly excited by the whole "path" concept and none of us (except maybe one guy) have any love for FRealms.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Upon reflecting, there is likely another reason that Paizo only feels obligated to publish materials on Golarion: all the other setting materials for 3.X (e.g., adventures or even other 3pp settings) still exist. You can even run Forgotten Realms with Pathfinder, as it requires minimal tweaking since Pathfinder is essentially D&D 3.75E. You can also choose to run other 3.X D&D settings with Pathfinder with little problem - Greyhawk, Eberron, Dragonlance, Ravenloft, etc. - because you can find setting books already published to help you there. Paizo doesn't have control over D&D's IPs, so they can't publish additional materials for these settings; WotC does and can, but largely doesn't.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
As was mentioned, it IS a thread about why FR is hated. I keep trying to get someone to sell the setting to me but, the only responses I get are either, "Well, ignore the setting material" or "don't use the setting". Neither of which is a ringing endorsement of the setting.
If that's what you would like, I think you'd have better luck with a "sell me on the Forgotten Realms" thread. I very nearly didn't check this thread myself because I thought it was just a place for people who already hate or dislike the Realms to vent. Probably a lot of people who like the setting either assumed the same thing, or at least didn't feel motivated to read it for the purpose of telling people their reasons for hating the Realms were wrong.

Also, if your problem (or one of them) with a setting is that there's too much material, what other possible responses could there possibly be than either "don't use it" or "don't use it all"? I can think of ways to suggest learning the material a little at a time, but that wouldn't make the total amount of material smaller.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
As was mentioned, it IS a thread about why FR is hated. I keep trying to get someone to sell the setting to me but, the only responses I get are either, "Well, ignore the setting material" or "don't use the setting". Neither of which is a ringing endorsement of the setting.

But that's because what many see as a benefit, you see as an obstacle....and it doesn't seem likely that you'll alter your view, or that others will alter theirs.

But I will say that I can understand your hesitation about the perceived need to know as much about the setting as needed. People make complaints along those lines about all manner of entertainment. I think the recent increase in long form storytelling in television and films has really reinforced this whole "you need to watch it all" attitude that we tend to have. People don't start a show on season 3.....they go back and watch the first and second season first. And that's because it's readily available. The same has long been a complaint for comic books from Marvel and DC; the comics have existed for decades, so people were intimidated by feeling they need to know it all in order to jump in.

However, that is merely a perception. When I was a little kid, and got into comics, the fictional worlds had already existed for decades. There were tons of stories, many of which woudl be referenced in the current issues at the time, and I was not familiar with those older stories. And there was no internet to research stuff....so I was on my own. And somehow, as a child, I managed. It really isn't that hard. Most good stories, even those based on prior material, will give you everything you need. My 3 year old daughter loves The Force Awakens, for example, without knowing any of the backstory or other movies. Everything you need to follow the story is in that movie. Much like the original Star Wars; it referenced things that had happened prior, and yet we did not need to fully understand those references in order to follow the story.

So, the appeal of the Forgotten Realms....and really, just about any setting....is the existing material that you can draw inspiration from. As I said earlier in the thread, this can be as minimal as using a map and some location names, or as involved as running a game that heavily involves setting NPCs and tropes.

Let me give you an example from my game that may help. My group started our 5E game with the starter set....I ran them through the Lost Mines of Phandelver. At the time, we were treating this as a trial run to see if everyone liked the system and to let them try a few different character types (we used a pool of PCs and I would let them swap out at times to try a different class or build). We left the adventure in the Realms because there was no reason to change it. We needed nothing more than the Starter Set to play this game. Now, that doesn't say a whole lot because Phandelver can be dropped into any campaign setting with little adaptation needed.

But it turned out that everyone really liked the game, and they really liked the group of characters...so rather than start over, we decided to continue. The campaign then became about what they were going to do with the mine they had reclaimed; the NPC Gundren Rockseeker made them partners in his endeavor. So they decided they wanted to establish trade with other areas in order to sell the precious metals from the mine. So that's when I looked at the FR map to see where specifically Phandalin was located, and then decide what areas woudl make for good trade routes.

So their first step was to establish trade with Neverwinter and waterdeep....both nearby and pretty straightforward. Not a lot of research needed to establish this. I gave them some contacts in each city and we established during some downtime style play that they had trade, and it gave them a basic monthly income of X.

Looking at the map, I thought that trade to the central area of the continent would make for very high profits. So that would be what's called the Heartlands.....the Kingdom of Cormyr, the Dalelands, and the elven nation of Cormanthor. Now, I know only the very basics of these nations. I know they've been the subject of many novels and game products. But I really don't need to know any of that for my purposes at this point. So I invented some NPC contacts for the PCs. They met them and worked out a deal....so now they have to establish a trade route to that area.

So we looked at the map and I let the players come up with a few different routes, and then decided what would be the benefits and drawbacks of each one. I made most of these up. The biggest exception to that was that I decided the Kingdom of Shade still existed in the Aunoroch Desert, and that they would potentially interfere with any trade near that area, or try to claim some kind of tax.

Now....Cormyr, Cormanthor, and Shade all have tons of NPCs and story hooks that already exist. I am only vaguely aware of any of them....but none of them truly matter at this point to my campaign. I don't need to know all the crazy succession stories of the nobility in Cormyr....it's convoluted and unnecessary, so I ignore it. I just use what I like and what I need....I needed an area far away from the PCs' home that woudl serve as a good place to try and establish trade. the Heartlands serve that purpose. I then looked at the route, and found some threats in that area.....Shade being the big one. I don't need to know anything about the crazy backstory of Shade....all I need to know is that it's an arcane society dwelling in a floating city-state that has recently arrived in the world. That concept is cool as hell to me, so I decided to use it; but I only need the basics.

So to me, this is the appeal. There are many options for the FR where you can pick up on a hook or an organization or a location and run with it. You don't need to know everything about it. The basics can form enough for a really cool campaign. Then, if your players really take interest in a certain element....my players really took to the Shades as villains...then you can research that a bit more and add to what you're using.

So I find the amount of source material that exists as a positive. But I also like to take existing elements and make them work with mine. I find it a creative exercise rather than making things whole cloth on my own. I freely steal from settings, and disregard anything I don't like.

But like I said, I don't even think this is unique to the FR; this applies to any pre-published setting. I think it's more a matter of degree. FR does have a lot of material to draw from. For many, that just means more possibilities, more options, more stories....for others, it's more to sift through.
 

JeffB

Legend
It is their loss as far as I am concerned. I bought one of their adventure books. Not because it was compelling but because my son had indicated he wanted to run 5E and I wanted him to have an idea how to structure an adventure. Wasn't very impressed with the format they use for adventures.

Otherwise, as long as they are fixated on Forgotten Realms tie-ins it is going to be very hard to sell adventures to me. I play with five other guys in their forties. All of us have far more purchasing power than we did in our twenties but we have very little to buy that interests us. We're not particularly excited by the whole "path" concept and none of us (except maybe one guy) have any love for FRealms.

I don't disagree. Other than more expendable income now. My kids, wife and home take care of that! ;)

I really like 5e as a system. Its not my fave, but I like it as an overall "sound" package. I would run it more if there was anything being put out for it that made me excited to do so! I would like to support WOTC. But WOTC has offered almost nothing to get me excited about 5e , and frankly, nobody else in 3rd party-dom is stepping up to the plate either. I was hopeful with the announcement of the 5e SRD that the companies I used to rely on in 3.x and 4e eras would go nuts and so would some other new ones. I supported some 5e KS projects and got some unremarkable, unenthusiastic , uninspiring books and/or conversions of previous 3.x/PF materials I used to own . Really disappointing. DMs Guild I also got excited for and it is filled mostly with things I don't need (subclasses, races, backgrounds, classes) or the adventures are as poor as I can write myself! Though M.T. Black has a few fun offerings worth the $. But overall DMsG is as bad as d20 print products of the 3.0 era.

The really creative exciting products are coming out of the Indie/OSR writers and that is where I spend my money. And so I just run older D&D with my house rules or another system entirely 90% of the time. Its extra work converting to 5e and I don't bother anymore (though I did at first).

Edit- That said, I do use the Realms. But it's a highly personalized version of the original TSR boxed set. As it was meant to be used way back when. I have found the setting as a whole/as published pretty unpalatable post 1989 or so.
 
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