I will admit I was never into the Forgotten Realms. The setting just didn't appeal to me at all in the beginning. That dislike turned into actual hate when it began to displace my beloved Greyhawk setting. The popularity of Drizzt Do'Urden didn't help matters. This persisted for many, many years.
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.
I began to change my attitude when I wanted to fill some gaps in my own game world. Turns out that the Realms had some of the things I wanted. Three of those products I'll go into detail in a bit.
The big one came with the 3.0 Forgotten Realms Campaign guide. Honestly I thought it was a damn near perfect 3.0 book.
When 4th edition came along I had changed my mind about the Realms and decided to set my 4e games in that world for a change of pace.
I went back and got the rest of the campaign setting books and boxed set.
- Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (1st Edition)
- Forgotten Realms Adventures (2nd Edition)
- Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (3rd Edition)
- Forgotten Realms Player's Guide (4th Edition)
- Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (4th Edition)
The Adventures and Settings
FRC2 Curse of the Azure Bonds was the first Realms adventure I ever paid any attention too. It was interesting to me for a few reasons. First it prominently featured a female protagonist; something we didn't see a lot of back then in the Pre-Xena days. It also was a "Crossover" adventure in a couple senses of the word. First, and what interested me, was that was usable for either 1st or 2nd Edition AD&D. I liked this idea quite a bit to be honest. It was also an adventure module, novel and computer game. So there were many ways to experience it. On the down side it always read as a bit rail-roady to me. No surprise since it started out as a novel. Also one of the main NPCs of the novel was a Lizard Man, a race you could not even play in 1st or 2nd ed AD&D.
FR9 The Bloodstone Lands covers the eponymous lands of Bloodstone. I will talk more about Bloodstone on "H" day. But this is a good set of background materials.
FR2 Moonshae, I have a love/hate relationship with the product. I like the celtic influences, HATE some of the weird ass spellings of things. "Ffolk", really?? Still. If I ever do the Realms, then I Will use this.
Spellbound. Ok I will admit this is one of my favorites. Not just favorite Realms product, but favorite country setting. Two magic using countries, one of wizards and the other of "witches". Lots to love her.
Castle Spulzeer and The Forgotten Terror. A great set of crossover adventures for the Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft.
I might do more with the Realms some day. But until then I have enough here to keep me busy.