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5E Why FR Is "Hated"

Mercule

Adventurer
Well that's why we write down the important changes & tell the new players about them. We've even been known to print off a copy of what they'll need to know.

But you know what? Even if we were using a completely homebrewed setting we'd have to make a similar effort anyways for this hypothetical noob....
Most groups I've known don't actually maintain exhaustive notes on stuff. They have some, but not on everything. The point is that there's pretty good odds something is going to get overlooked with as much canon as the Realms have. No amount of glib smugness is going to change that.

At least with a homebrew setting, you don't have to combat assumptions from novels or source books you don't even know exist. The theoretic noob was just a somewhat contrived example that I expected any reasonable person to be able to see as such and understand that there are a myriad of potential complications.

So your argument against using/altering the FR setting is what?
In a nutshell, the setting is a steaming pile of feces -- and that's it's best quality. To make it something else, you'd have to alter it to the point that be unrecognizable because the stench so thoroughly permeates it. That's just my opinion, though. You're more than welcome to your own.

Actually, that's not fair. I don't really hate the Realms. If there was a reasonable space within the D&D sphere where I could go to not have it thrust in front of me, I'd be more than happy to live and let live. Really, it's probably more a matter of a certain set of the fans that I have a problem with. There is a section on the Realms in an adventure for a completely different setting (CoS). This is a problem. Yet, there are those who will try to excuse it. It is an adventure for a different setting. Hooks for the Realms have no more place in it, regardless of excuse, than a section on how to get Eberron characters into a Realms-specific adventure would have there. AL be damned. There is absolutely no reason for a Ravenloft adventure to have hooks for the Realms, at least the Realms only. There is no reason for every book that's been published since the core three to either be an adventure tied to the Realms or a source book about the Realms or a source book that's named for a Realms personage/place. It's gotten old. It's gotten tired.

You want to know why people hate the Realms? It's because you cannot freaking escape it, no matter how much you try. The Realms are the Borg. They take everything over and turn it into themselves. There is no variety, only assimilation.

I just want to play the game I love. I don't want to have to continually convert stuff from a setting I'm indifferent to, at best. I don't want to have to wonder whether an adventure is easy to adapt or hard. I don't want to have to figure out whether a monster book is just using a name from the vast D&D IP or if it's a Realms source book. If it's specific to the Realms, put a bloody Realms logo on it. Then, make sure you're putting out at least as much stuff that doesn't have that logo on it as does have it. When Realms products go back to the 38% of the market they serve, I'll stop hating it.
 
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Mercule

Adventurer
So what is it? Does Divine Power come from your belief or does it come from following the rules of the Church? What if something else appeared and started to give its followers bonus stuff that "normal" Clerics did not get from their church - suddenly this new religion starts to look pretty tempting. And what are the old Gods going to do about it? Nothing because they are too distant.
It's another skill that can be learned, just like arcane magic. The magic, itself, involves invoking the names, iconography, etc. of divine forces, but it also includes force of will. There's no proof that it isn't "just another kind of magic", no different than arcane. There's also no proof that it is, either. The names of the gods might be just other magic words that happen to open up a link to another plane and fuel the magic. Because divine casters are so rare, and the skills so closely guarded there really aren't any known divine casters who aren't also tied to a church. Maybe divine casting only requires a mote of extraplanar energy and the gods aren't gods at all, but practically unintelligent spirits; the ability of demons and fallen angels to grant spells to their cults would seem a strong argument for that. Or... maybe the gods are really gods and they grant spells to those they deem fit and those angels and demons are just riding the wave of Khyber (or even Eberron or Siberys).

If the players want answers, and the DM is willing, go ahead and answer. Pretty sure Keith never will.

Ok, so what dire consequence would result in taking out fantasy Hitler, I mean King Kaius? I mean other then freeing a population from a terrible undead tyrant? What would the Church of the Silver Flame think about leaving him in charge if they were aware of what he was? And what would it do to their "belief" if the hierarchy ruled that evil had to be suffered to live in the name of peace?
Assuming you're awesome enough to actually do it, does a worse evil step in? Do others know you just took out one of the five major monarchs? If so, what's to keep them from getting all paranoid and having you assassinated. If you're tight with one of the other rulers, what if everyone assumes you killed Kaius as an operative of that ruler and deciding to take them out before a pattern emerged? Congratulations, you've just sparked WW2 and no one knows who dropped the bomb from the first one or what sort of bomb it was. What could go wrong? Alternatively, maybe The Twelve decide they like things without the possibility of more nuclear wastes, so they end you as a threat. Heck, maybe the Chamber decides that it's time to stop these younger races before they blow up a whole continent and/or ruin the Prophecy.

House Kundarak still needs high level casters to create its stuff no mater how much handwavium the DM uses. They just conveniently disappear off screen leaving wards and items stamped with "Elmunster". Personally I just dont buy it.
Nope. You're asking the wrong question, entirely. It's not caster level. It's maturity of the dragonmarks.

The Dragonmarks have very particular abilities. While the houses periodically learn to tap into new ones, it's a slow process -- not unlike industrial achievements. Also, dragonmarks don't just grow on trees. They're in limited supply. Sure, Cannith can create life, but they need a forge that can only be used by one of the 10 or so people who bear the Siberys Mark of Creation. Those 10 people don't necessarily have access to any other noteworthy abilities, either. So, just because they can do this ridiculously powerful thing, on par with a 7th level spell (or so), their next coolest trick might be to turn out +1 swords. By the way, it's also illegal for Cannith to operate those forges, so... politics and more adventure hooks.

On top of that, the very, very best toys aren't actually stuff the Houses created, though they're loath to admit it. Strangely, you can go to Xen'drik and find 7,000 year old components that fit warforged perfectly -- stuff that exceeds Cannith's ability to manufacture. What are the odds that the forges aren't all original research and that a good chunk of the work came from something the house found, maybe even a working prototype? In that case, the Mark of Making didn't actually let them create the magic, the Siberys mark is just a skeleton key that let's them use things they don't even understand. Since the biggest forge was in Cyre, for all we know, Cannith decided they wanted self-replicating warforged and the forge jammed and blew up. I don't see that as being the best answer to the Mourning, but it's certainly on list of possibilities.

I used Cannith and warforged because I find them somewhat more interesting than building vaults, but the questions and train of thought still illustrate the point well.
 

Shasarak

Villager
If the players want answers, and the DM is willing, go ahead and answer. Pretty sure Keith never will.
I know Keith seems pretty busy with his new stuff like Phoenix Dawn Command, so perhaps never is too soon to say depending when WotC gets off its FR bender.

Assuming you're awesome enough to actually do it, does a worse evil step in? Do others know you just took out one of the five major monarchs? If so, what's to keep them from getting all paranoid and having you assassinated. If you're tight with one of the other rulers, what if everyone assumes you killed Kaius as an operative of that ruler and deciding to take them out before a pattern emerged? Congratulations, you've just sparked WW2 and no one knows who dropped the bomb from the first one or what sort of bomb it was. What could go wrong? Alternatively, maybe The Twelve decide they like things without the possibility of more nuclear wastes, so they end you as a threat. Heck, maybe the Chamber decides that it's time to stop these younger races before they blow up a whole continent and/or ruin the Prophecy.
Sounds like some good Xp for the taking there. Personally I dont buy the better the devil you know argument and the Dragons are not going to do anything anyway.

Nope. You're asking the wrong question, entirely. It's not caster level. It's maturity of the dragonmarks.
And maturity is based on ..... level.

The Dragonmarks have very particular abilities. While the houses periodically learn to tap into new ones, it's a slow process -- not unlike industrial achievements. Also, dragonmarks don't just grow on trees. They're in limited supply. Sure, Cannith can create life, but they need a forge that can only be used by one of the 10 or so people who bear the Siberys Mark of Creation. Those 10 people don't necessarily have access to any other noteworthy abilities, either. So, just because they can do this ridiculously powerful thing, on par with a 7th level spell (or so), their next coolest trick might be to turn out +1 swords. By the way, it's also illegal for Cannith to operate those forges, so... politics and more adventure hooks.

On top of that, the very, very best toys aren't actually stuff the Houses created, though they're loath to admit it. Strangely, you can go to Xen'drik and find 7,000 year old components that fit warforged perfectly -- stuff that exceeds Cannith's ability to manufacture. What are the odds that the forges aren't all original research and that a good chunk of the work came from something the house found, maybe even a working prototype? In that case, the Mark of Making didn't actually let them create the magic, the Siberys mark is just a skeleton key that let's them use things they don't even understand. Since the biggest forge was in Cyre, for all we know, Cannith decided they wanted self-replicating warforged and the forge jammed and blew up. I don't see that as being the best answer to the Mourning, but it's certainly on list of possibilities.

I used Cannith and warforged because I find them somewhat more interesting than building vaults, but the questions and train of thought still illustrate the point well.
Since when does Cannith worry about what is illegal or not? Seriously, creating the Mournland as well as an intelligent slave race yeah not seeing a House too worried by right or wrong.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I mean, if I ran the Realms, it'd be pretty harsh:
- Five Factiions? Never heard of them. Hate world-spanning organizations. Especially something like the Harpers because good is stupid.
There's always a use for world-spanning organizations, particularly if they operate in the shadows (be it for good, evil, or whatever), in that the existence of such can a) provide you as DM with material to mine for storylines if you need to and b) explain events that might otherwise be unexplainable.

- Lords of Waterdeep? Yeah, as if the rulers of a major city could keep their identities unknown. The city's ruled by a council of guilds. There's some moving in the shadows, but no Illuminati.
- Avatars? Gods walking the world? Stupid. Never happened. Continuity issues? Who cares? Still stupid.
I quite like the idea of the rulers of somewhere important being hidden, and thus unknown quantities. Adds to the mystery. And there's precedent in real-world myth for at least some gods walking the world now and then...Odin, for one.

- Drow? Yeah, I guess they exist, but hardly anyone ever sees them. There definitely have never been any even marginally famous good-aligned drow. No, you can't play one.
Sure, you can play one...just be ready to roll up your next PC real fast, as chances are high you'll die as soon as you meet the party if not before.

- Underdark? Doesn't exist. Drow and other critters like that eek out an existence in isolated caverns and have a very hard time interacting with one another.
Think twice on this one. The underdark, or at least the concept of such, long predates FR. Even back in A2 there's dark elves, and a passage leading down to who knows where; and don't they show up in the G-series as well? I think if you summarily do away with the underdark entirely you're cutting yourself off from a whole lot of good adventure and story possibilities, and what's the point of that? :)

Lan-"I sometimes think of the underdark as just one great big massive megadungeon"-efan
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
What if something else appeared and started to give its followers bonus stuff that "normal" Clerics did not get from their church - suddenly this new religion starts to look pretty tempting. And what are the old Gods going to do about it? Nothing because they are too distant.
But the Church of the Sovereign Host is not too distant, and it would be the responsibility of the Church and its entire retinue of clergy (e.g. clerics, paladins, fighters, etc.). The destruction of the Sovereign Host's religion would not be entirely new; it happened on Riedra under the "beneficent" tyranny of the Inspired. But again, it' not necessarily the responsibility of the gods to do anything. If it were their responsibility, then the better campaign would probably be playing the gods and not mortal player characters.

Ok, so what dire consequence would result in taking out fantasy Hitler, I mean King Kaius? I mean other then freeing a population from a terrible undead tyrant? What would the Church of the Silver Flame think about leaving him in charge if they were aware of what he was? And what would it do to their "belief" if the hierarchy ruled that evil had to be suffered to live in the name of peace?
It would probably be best to leave out the real world analogies. That said, it's little wonder you don't get Eberron. You're blindly running in, guns-blazing, treating the world as if you're in the heroic epic fantasy of Forgotten Realms with zero political consequences. "We murdered the 'Bad Guy' so the day is simply saved ipso facto! Church of the Silver Flame, we demand praise, gold star stickers, and pats on the head for a job well done!" The Church of the Silver Flame is opposed to Karrnath and its use of undead, but that also speaks more to (1) how the Church of the Silver Flame has become synonymous with Thrane, and (2) nationalistic grudges from the Last War. That said, only the upper most echelons of Karrnath know that King Kaius III is actually King Kaius I or even a vampire. As far as most people know, King Kaius III was a pro-peace king who initiated talks for the Treaty of Thronehold, and the people of Karrnath regard him in high esteem. You may think that you are liberating the people of Latveria by killing Dr. Doom, but they won't share your naive, idealistic optimism.

House Kundarak still needs high level casters to create its stuff no mater how much handwavium the DM uses. They just conveniently disappear off screen leaving wards and items stamped with "Elmunster". Personally I just dont buy it.
Do they? What level did House Cannith's artificers have to be to create the warforged? What level does any House have to be to create their more remarkable works?

I know Keith seems pretty busy with his new stuff like Phoenix Dawn Command, so perhaps never is too soon to say depending when WotC gets off its FR bender.
He still answers questions and writes articles about Eberron, including the setting in 5e. You are free to ask him your questions. He's really a nice guy about it as long as you're respectful.

Sounds like some good Xp for the taking there. Personally I dont buy the better the devil you know argument and the Dragons are not going to do anything anyway.
Meta-Power-Gamers for the Win? Seriously, I don't know why you treat Eberron's political landscape as if it were a hack 'n' slash dungeon crawl.

Since when does Cannith worry about what is illegal or not? Seriously, creating the Mournland as well as an intelligent slave race yeah not seeing a House too worried by right or wrong.
Entirely unconfirmed and unknown what caused the Mournland.
 

transtemporal

Villager
Quality wise Golarion is the closest both in quality and feel and is kind of an FR/Mystara hybrid.
Golarion is better written, has more internal consistency and isn't plagued a munchkin writer who desperately wants to write himself as a character in his own setting.

Don't get me wrong. I've DMed or played in a few FR campaigns and they've been fun but we've also largely ignored or altered canon to suit our needs.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Golarion is better written, has more internal consistency and isn't plagued a munchkin writer who desperately wants to write himself as a character in his own setting.

Don't get me wrong. I've DMed or played in a few FR campaigns and they've been fun but we've also largely ignored or altered canon to suit our needs.
I don't generally read the Greenwood novels.

Probably not disagreeing with the Golarion thing, Inner Sea World Guide is very very good. 3.0 FRCS might beat it in terms of production values but its close.
 

Derren

Villager
So your argument against using/altering the FR setting is what?
So not only do you need to unteach new players all the stuff which didnt happen in your setting you also need to make stuff up for all the changes you did. And if you care about internal consistency this can quickly spiral out of control as one change neccesitates 3 other changed and so on.
And if you are really lucky the next adventure path is about the Lords of Waterdeep and the underdark and you have to explain to every player why this didn't happen in your realms.
So why use the FR at all? Whats the advantage when you do not use it as written?
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Never had m uch of a problem with players knowing more about FR than me and I always make it clear its my FR. Drizzt might be dead, I used Elminster once due to a crap adventure having him in it.

A few crap DM's out there I suppose.
 
No, but there is always the complication of new players to the group who don't know what canon you've changed or ignored, even if your group is well versed in it. Sure, you can overcome it, but it ranging from annoying to painful, depending on how much you've tweaked.

I mean, if I ran the Realms, it'd be pretty harsh:
- Five Factiions? Never heard of them. Hate world-spanning organizations. Especially something like the Harpers because good is stupid.
- Lords of Waterdeep? Yeah, as if the rulers of a major city could keep their identities unknown. The city's ruled by a council of guilds. There's some moving in the shadows, but no Illuminati.
- Avatars? Gods walking the world? Stupid. Never happened. Continuity issues? Who cares? Still stupid.
- Drow? Yeah, I guess they exist, but hardly anyone ever sees them. There definitely have never been any even marginally famous good-aligned drow. No, you can't play one. I'd rather you showed up in a Jar Jar Binks costume and talked in character for four hours.
- Underdark? Doesn't exist. Drow and other critters like that eek out an existence in isolated caverns and have a very hard time interacting with one another.
- Undercity? Pretty hard without an Underdark.
- Elminster? Yeah. He used to talk with Mordenkainen and Dalmar. He was in transit when contact was lost with those worlds. As far as we can tell, he will be feeling the pain of being atomized for the rest of eternity. No, even Ao can't save him.
- Khelban? Yeah, he can stay. I just like the name. He won't be relevant to, well, anything. Ever.
- Wall of Souls? Sure. Might as well have a reason for you to fill in that blank on your character sheet because I know you ain't gonna, otherwise.
Fair enough. In my group I am the most read/versed in Realms lore. My players accept whatever changes I have made probably without realizing a change has been made.
 
So not only do you need to unteach new players all the stuff which didnt happen in your setting you also need to make stuff up for all the changes you did. And if you care about internal consistency this can quickly spiral out of control as one change neccesitates 3 other changed and so on.
And if you are really lucky the next adventure path is about the Lords of Waterdeep and the underdark and you have to explain to every player why this didn't happen in your realms.
So why use the FR at all? Whats the advantage when you do not use it as written?


Because using 95% of a setting when you're pressed for time is easier than using 0%? Or, conversely, making up 5% of a world is easier than making up 100%?

And if your players are arguing with you about changing setting canon, then you need to get players who are better at understanding the role of a DM. I personally have never had the problem since my players don't have the encyclopedic knowledge and resources that I have of the setting, and are actually intrigued with whatever changes I make rather than being needlessly argumentative...
 
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Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Why is the Realms hated? For the same reason every other setting is hated. A few people out there hate them and are good at complaining. People like to complain, so they do. People who are happy rarely say so, so it appears as if the complainers are more prevalent than they are.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
I know Keith seems pretty busy with his new stuff like Phoenix Dawn Command, so perhaps never is too soon to say depending when WotC gets off its FR bender.
He's actually doing a monthly podcast called Manifest Zone and has outright said that he'd be open to working on Eberron if WotC asked him to or it was opened up on DMs Guild. He's also said that he strongly opposes advancing the timeline and that he was the major advocate for leaving questions open.

There's a reason why I think Keith would be one of the few people who could do justice to an update to Greyhawk: He has a pretty strong attitude on equipping DMs for play, then getting out of the way, which is part of what the "Gygaxian prose" was about (inserting idea seeds without fully detailing them).

Sounds like some good Xp for the taking there. Personally I dont buy the better the devil you know argument and the Dragons are not going to do anything anyway.
Doesn't matter what you believe. It matters what's politically viable. Why doesn't the US just turn ISIS into a pane of glass? We're the ultra-high level characters and could easily do it. It would be a political disaster, even though we're certainly capable of doing so.

And maturity is based on ..... level.
No. Maturity is based on the size of the mark you have. For PCs, that's tied to level because of balance, feat chains, and similar mechanics. For NPCs, there's absolutely no reason why a 1st level Commoner (in 3.5 parlance) couldn't have a Greater Mark. Eberron has always been pretty explicit that a lot of the balance factors for PCs are because they're PCs and that NPCs may have different rules. Even pre-play PCs have different rules such that it was totally appropriate to have a 20 year veteran of the Last War start as a 1st level Fighter because he only just had whatever epiphany leads one to be an adventuring type.

Since when does Cannith worry about what is illegal or not? Seriously, creating the Mournland as well as an intelligent slave race yeah not seeing a House too worried by right or wrong.
Well, they're worried about what's illegal because they don't want the consequences of being caught, if nothing else. It works to keep many real-world folks in line. In addition to the national laws, there are also agreements among The Twelve and to serious of a breach would invite action.

Besides, many of the most important advances require more than one Mark to build -- the airships require Cannith, Lyrandar, and Sivis (not sure why, but it sticks in my mind), IIRC, even though it takes the Mark of Storm to actually control one. Sure, Lyrandar would suffer from Cannith being too far in the doghouse, but not as bad as Cannith would if all the Houses embargoed them. Eventually, cooler heads would prevail in Cannith and the head would be replaced (this, of course, ignores the fact that there is already a three-way schism in Cannith that severely limits their power).

There is also no proof that Cannith caused the Mourning. In fact, Cannith lost more than any other House because they were headquartered in Cyre and kept their coolest toys there. If they did it on purpose, they were idiots. If they did it accidentally, they were also idiots, but of a different kind. The fact that the Mournland perfectly fits the area of Cyre's control (not their traditional borders or the land they claimed) is very suspicious and would seem to imply it was intentional. It's actually just as likely that some Khyber cult or the Dreaming Dark was able to strike a blow using some obscure ritual that only worked with the planes in the right alignment. Or, maybe Cyre discovered the war had awakened one of the greater demon lords and they (someone with the means) sacrificed the nation to save the rest of the world, like the Coatls of old, but with much less pretty results.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Think twice on this one. The underdark, or at least the concept of such, long predates FR. Even back in A2 there's dark elves, and a passage leading down to who knows where; and don't they show up in the G-series as well? I think if you summarily do away with the underdark entirely you're cutting yourself off from a whole lot of good adventure and story possibilities, and what's the point of that?
Yeah. I hear you. Funny thing is, I don't have any real problem with Khyber, in Eberron, which is pretty much the same, exact thing, just with better decor. ;) I think there's just something about the way the Realms are presented that turns me off. It's like everything is done with exclamation points and all caps, especially the stuff that's been done before.

Forgotten Realms: We have DROW!!!!
Greyhawk: Yeah. I had drow before you hit puberty.
FR: But we have DROW!!!! <reverb>drow...drow...drow</reverb>
GH: Um....
FR: And, they worship LOLTH!!!! She's an icky, evil SPIDER GODDESS!!!
GH: Who was introduced in an adventure set over here.
FR: The DROW live underground in, um... THE UNDERDARK!!!!
GH: Which is?
FR: It's a whole world underground. And it's DARK. That's why it's called the UNDERDARK!!!!
FR: There's also a big DROW CITY in the UNDERDARK.
GH: Oh, kinda like the one in the original adventures?
FR: Nope. This on is filled with DROW!!! And, it's in the UNDERDARK!!! We call it MENZOBERRAN!!!
GH: Ooookay, then.
FR Fan: Oh, look, they have DROW and an UNDERDARK. Plus, there LOLTH. The Realms are so cool.
GH: WT actual F?
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Fair enough. In my group I am the most read/versed in Realms lore. My players accept whatever changes I have made probably without realizing a change has been made.
Yeah. That makes total sense, then. If you're invested in the Realms or your players are largely indifferent and you're just using it to power your games, I can't see any issues.

I'm coming from a place of not really being invested in a specific setting and just wanting something I can use as a backdrop for stuff. There's enough info out there for a player who actually does care to quickly overwhelm me and potentially cause misunderstanding and/or conflict. I'm much better served going with something that adds just enough info, while remaining vanilla (Greyhawk) or a setting that catches my eye enough to actually dig in (Eberron). Even with Greyhawk being my "I just want something low maintenance that fades into the background" setting, I've overwhelmed DMs by actually bringing things into my characters that relate to things like "Well, I'm the son of a wealthy Baklunish merchant. My father hails from the Caliphate of Ekbir, but I've only been there a couple times. Mostly, I just hang out in Greyhawk and play dilettante."

I think you got what I was saying, but when it's so easy to take even Greyhawk to a place where no one else at the table cares, the Realms are exponentially more hazardous.
 

JCraigmile

Villager
Online FR seems to be the most hated campaign setting and it seemed to come as s shock that it was selected as the default 5E setting.

By now we know it is the most popular D&D setting and has been since the late 80's. When WotC purchased TSR one of the 1st things they did was kill the campaign settings with the exception of FR. Put simply it was more popular than the others put togather.

So why does FR get such a negative reaction online and the disconnect with that and fans IRL? They blew the setting up with the Spellplague and they quietly dumped that with 5E. Indirectly that seems to have killed off the novel line with even the hit and miss Drizzt novels becoming more miss. These are my following thoughts.

1. Its like a popular song- overplayed. Think of some 20+ year old songs that people love/hate. For example Smells Like Teen Spirit, Under the Bridge, Evenflow, Sweet Child of Mine. Great songs imho but overplayed. FR is like that.

2. Niche things are kewl. Trend setters and try hards like niche things the mainstream doesn't so things like Planescape and Darksun might be more appealing. Slagging off FR is edgy and "badass" I suppose.

3. More people are familiar with FR. The downside of this is more people will dislike FR. Compare this with Birthright for example. Virtually no one played it and the haters probably never tried it. Birthright offended no one and is almost forgotten about.

4. Drizzt. Drizzt used to be kewl. Nowdays not so much and the recent Drizzt novels are a bit rubbish even if you liked the earlier ones.

5. Negative gets more attention online. If you like FR odds are you won't start to many threads about it. "Drizzt sucks lolz" will get more attention online than "Drizzt rockz". One statement is a bit emo the other one is "kewl".

So why does FR persist if so many people hate it? I would argue that more people like it than hate it or at least gamers will buy it. This has been true since the late 80's IMHO. Attitudes also seem to be changing with age as the 3.0 FRCS for example seems to get positive attention now.

FR also benefits from the other generic settings lacking something. Greyhawk for example has hard to pronounce silly names, Dragonlance is to metaplot heavy, Mystara was Basic D&D and to many real life comparisons, Nentir Valley never caught on. Quality wise Golarion is the closest both in quality and feel and is kind of an FR/Mystara hybrid. Of course its not a TSR/WotC production.
Because FR (Elminster specifically) is Ed Greenwood's ego incarnate. As a gamer for over 30 years, my biggest beef with FR has been the ridiculously over-inflated egos it, WotC, and T$R have created. Gygax had Greyhawk. Hickman and Weis had Dragonlance. Greenwood and Salvatore have FR.

Most players want to believe their characters are going to rise through the ranks and be renowned or special in some way. What has always killed FR for me as a setting, is that no matter how awesome your character is- you'll never be as amazing as the fancy shmancy named characters. In fact, with a little bad luck, your character will likely at some point end up playing second fiddle to one of these ego puffing FR demi-gawds who have already been there, done that. That is what I see when I look at FR as opposed to my own setting- why play in a world that has already been over done to death? Why play in a world where the mighty Spellhintster or Frizzt the Frow, or any other popular namesake have already done everything twice over?
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
I'm not a fan, because it seems amateurish and old. World building is an art form and we've seen many excellent recent examples in books, movies and gaming. FR does not hold a candle to any of them IMHO. It's a cold mess of ecologies and silly place names.

5E should have rebooted the whole thing IMHO. Rules and campaign setting. Heck their M:tG worldbuilding shows they have the staff. Wallowing in nostalgia is not healthy.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
So not only do you need to unteach new players all the stuff which didnt happen in your setting you also need to make stuff up for all the changes you did.
Works for our group. Here's a printout of the pertinent changes you need to know.
If the new player could learn all 30 years worth of the company produced FR crap, they should have no problem assimilating a few more pages that'll actually be important to the game they're joining. If they can't? Then they won't last in our group very long.


So why use the FR at all? Whats the advantage when you do not use it as written?
I do believe I very briefly explained this a few pages back. You probably missed it, so here goes a 2nd time.

Once upon a time I bought this new boxed set called "Forgotten Realms". The original Grey Box, when it was new. It was pretty good. And it had this map.... I'm still using that map (and the stuff in those original books) here in 2017.

As for not running it as written? Well, I can't. Nor am I worried about it. Because:
1) Over the years we've run adventures that've altered the FR at our table in ways quite different to what TSR/WoTC have eventually written. They're late to my party, not the other way around....
2) I haven't read a FR novel in 25 years. And I'm not going to. But even if I did? The novels =/= script for the games I run.
3) The 4e changes & changes back don't apply to my game.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Explorer
Ok, so what in Eberron specifically stops me from playing it as a game of murder hobos? What stops me from going in and killing a LE Vampire just because he is supposed to be some kind of peacenik?
Absolutely nothing; if you're at the power level that could do so. Why would their be anything stopping you and more than anything stopping you from assassinating the King of Cormyr for example?
. . . And then your DM asks "OK. Now what do you do?"

So what is it? Does Divine Power come from your belief or does it come from following the rules of the Church? What if something else appeared and started to give its followers bonus stuff that "normal" Clerics did not get from their church - suddenly this new religion starts to look pretty tempting. And what are the old Gods going to do about it? Nothing because they are too distant.
Divine power comes from belief. The vast majority of members of a church don't have access to spells. Many Clerics aren't necessarily part of an official church. Even more so for Paladins.
If something else appeared and started granting normal people spells for following it, cough*Warlocks*cough, then that religion is going to tempt a lot of people. Sounds like a pretty worldshaking event. Maybe a group of adventurous people would start looking into that . . .

I do, however think that you might not have got the mindset of most clerics correct. They don't follow that deity because it gives them power. They follow that deity because they believe in the tenets of that deity. Some are given power by the deity (or their own belief that the deity would grant that power.)

Ok, so what dire consequence would result in taking out fantasy Hitler, I mean King Kaius? I mean other then freeing a population from a terrible undead tyrant? What would the Church of the Silver Flame think about leaving him in charge if they were aware of what he was? And what would it do to their "belief" if the hierarchy ruled that evil had to be suffered to live in the name of peace?
The terrible undead tyrant that is one of the major proponents of peace? Who was responsible for the outlawing of the necromantic previous state religion? Who keeps the warring nobles from attacking each other's peoples and oversaw the destruction of many of the undead in the nation?
I think that opinions would be divided within the Church of the Silver Flame, but many would decide that ensuring that Kaius remains in power is the best way to fulfil its prime goal: to protect against supernatural evil.
Frankly, Kaius is more like Fantasy Lenin. :p

House Kundarak still needs high level casters to create its stuff no mater how much handwavium the DM uses. They just conveniently disappear off screen leaving wards and items stamped with "Elmunster". Personally I just dont buy it.
For the kind of money and considerations the ruler of a nation can grant, time, materials and expertise can compensate for level. Its one of the purposes of Eldritch Devices.
If you want to declare for a game that you are in that the DM is limited only to things explicitly spelled out in the PHB, go for it.

Since when does Cannith worry about what is illegal or not? Seriously, creating the Mournland as well as an intelligent slave race yeah not seeing a House too worried by right or wrong.
You can speculate that House Cannith created the Mourning, but that is all it is: speculation.
Until your DM answers it for their particular campaign.
There were no laws about creating warforged when they (mostly accidentally) managed to create a free-willed artificial race. Making their creation illegal was one of the major parts of the treaty that ended the war. (Along with officially granting them status as free beings.)
 

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