Thursday, February 23, 2017

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Enjoy the Forgotten Realms

This is an update of sorts to a post I made all the way back in 2012, which itself was an update to a post I made in 2010.

Since then my 4e game died and I moved on to 5e and sticking with more of a Greyhawk-based world.  During all this time I have also been picking up Forgotten Realms books from various places; half-price books, the local library sale for novels, and of course +Games Plus auctions.  I have built up a small, but I think nice collection.

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 was never a fan of the Realms.  I considered it to be a pretender to Greyhawk and not a very worthy one at that.  To me, Realms fans were snotty little kids with delusions of adequacy.

My opinions have softened since then. I picked up the 3.0 Realms Guide when it came out and I liked it.  I felt it was a good book and all it really was missing was monsters.   I enjoyed the 4th edition books and thought for a while that the Realms would be my 4e world.

I bought the recent Sword Coast Adventure's Guide for 5e. I rather like it.

I have also been reading some of the Forgotten Realms novels.  They are not great literature by any stretch, but they are fun bits of gamer fiction and they give me some insight to the world.

So what's my plan then?  I don't think I am going to run any games yet in the Forgotten Realms.  I don't know the world well enough to do that.  So there are no plans to move my "Second Campaign" or "War of the Witch Queens" over to the Realms.  I am planning to move some ideas and characters certainly from the Realms to my War of the Witch Queens games.

There is a thought lurking in the back of my head about taking the Sword Coast and trying to find some place for it in my current Mystoerth world.  THAT has appeal to me.  I know that the World of the Forgotten Realms is different, with it's own history, but I would not be taking all of it. I would not need too. Just the bits that fit.

Anyone else merge the Realms with other worlds? How did that work out?

Also, there is something I have wanted to explore more; the Mystra and Mystara connection.  "Mystara" is the name of the game world I have been using since Basic.  "Mystra" is the name of the Goddess of Magic in the Forgotten Realms world.  Is there a connection? Should there be one? I don't know.  Maybe this is something the characters could discover and me along with them!

Chances are good I am going to go through these books I have and post about them here.  I'll go in publication order.  If I run into something from "This Old Dragon" I'll add those as well. I know already there is an adventure called "Into the Forgotten Realms" that I will check out.


Cyric said...

You should get "The North" boxed set from the 2nd edition era. An the two Volo's Guides for the region - The North and Savvage Coast. Great readings, hundreds of adventure seeds and everything you need for a campaign in the northern FR.

Zudrak (Michael G.) said...


1986-1990s: TSR took what was supposed to be set in Greyhawk and put them in FR instead.

2016-2017: WotC is taking what WAS set in Greyhawk and putting it in FR.

I have Night Below, Kara Tur, and other 2e material that I plan on setting in GH. As Bono (could have) said, "This is material Faerun stole from Oerth. We're stealing it back."

[I hope readers understand that my strong feelings on this only affect my game. What anyone else does at their table is at their table. Neither affects the other except when we discuss what we're doing. No #BadWrongFun implied.]

Timothy S. Brannan said...

+Michael Gross, I totally get that.
And the 1986-1990s was the height of my FR hate.

By the way "Helter Skelter" is one of my all-time favorite Beatles songs and U2 did a kick ass version of it.

Personally, I like hearing about what other do at their table especially if it is something I'd never do myself.

Zudrak (Michael G.) said...

I am glad my comment was regarded as not just complaining for the sake of it (nor as trolling). I prefer to discuss/debate than just rage, "(Name of thing) sucks!"

Agreed on both counts of "Helter Skelter."

As to your last sentence: That's where my wheelhouse is now. I've learned to appreciate what I won't use and ignore what I wouldn't consider without having to comment on everything with which I disagree. It's like the 80s -- all in my head (mostly). :D *continues playing Journey's 'Raised on Radio' album*

Happy gaming (& writing), Tim!