and like the Realms.
(I don't quite love them yet)
I have always been a Greyhawk fan. Some of my very first games were looking for ancient Suel mysteries or exploring the dirty streets of the Free City of Greyhawk. While I ran my adventures in the Known World of Mystara, I played in Oerth and Greyhawk.
For years I even combined the two into one world, and that worked out pretty well.
I remember reading about the Realms in Dragon Mag and I was never impressed. The increased fetishization of the Drow and Drizzt worship turned me off as well. I can't tell you how much I despised "Lloth", it's LOLTH goddamn it. Any way. I saw the Realms as an upstart to Greyhawk and not even a good one to be honest. This oddly enough was right around the same time I played my first game of OD&D set in Greyhawk. To me Realms fans were snotty little kids with delusions of adequacy.
My opinions have softened since then.
This weekend before last I was at the Games Plus game auction. I was able to pick up the Forgotten Realms books for 1st and 2nd Ed. AD&D. I picked up the 3rd ed stuff a while back and had the 4e stuff from Half-Price books. All in all I was able to get all these books for under 50 bucks total.
The 1st Ed box is in fantastic shape, minus some shelf wear. The 3 and 4e books are in mint condition.
I have been using the Realms for the 4e game I am running and I have been enjoying it.
Sure, I am still using elements from the Points of Light campaign that 4e is built around, but all of it is in the new version of the Realms. There are lot of things that came together nicely for this for me really. In the 4e game I am running the kids are going to go after Orcus. Much the same way as the old H1-4 Bloodstone series a while back. That was set in the Realms, so it is kind of fitting really. Plus it would help me flesh out some of the 4e Orcus arc (HPE series). Not sure how I'll fit Hell into it all, but I might not have to worry about it.
I love the gonzo feeling of two worlds mystically crashing into each other. I like that the place has some history to it. Plus I really liked the 3e Realms book. This might irritate some long time Realms fans, but I think the Realms fits better with 3e and 4e. Greyhawk is better for 1st ed and the like. At least in my mind.
So maybe it's my age or something, but I feel I can finally sit back and appreciate what the Realms really are and not what I think or thought they were. I have the main books/sets (for the most part) for all four editions of the game. Honestly I think that is enough. People have done far more with less.
Here are my other thoughts in my introduction and use of the Realms.