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The second major campaign setting for AD&D, Ed Greenwood's Forgotten Realms.

Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting by Ed Greenwood
Anauroch Promo Map
City System
Forgotten Realms Atlas by Karen Wynn Fonstad
Kara Tur: The Eastern Realms Campaign Setting

The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting is a boxed set composed of background material, characters, topography, etc on the world of Faerun.  It is supported by several series of modules (FR, FRA, FRC, FREFRM, FROA, FRQ, FRS) as well as the hardcover Forgotten Realms Adventures manual, which updated the 1st Edition boxed set to 2nd Edition AD&D conventions (as well as adding additional supplemental material).  Estimates are that the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting sold a total of 175,000 copies. Some copies of the First printing of this boxed set came with a form that could be filled out to receive the Forgotten Realms newsletter, Secrets of the Sages.  Follow the link to a separate Newsletters page.

In the same vein, a promotional map of Anauroch was released around this time.  It was given out by dealers with purchases of early Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting boxed sets, and was also an insert in Dragon Magazine #124.  As such, while it's a curiosity, it is easily obtainable and has no intrinsic worth to collectors.  The scan below shows the upper quarter of the map; the full map is roughly 16" x 20" (thanks to T.S. McDuffie, Alec Stuart, and Chris Yoder for help with this info).

The City System is a boxed set composed of a 32-page City System booklet, 10 full-color (adjoining) maps for the city of Waterdeep, a full-color poster map of Waterdeep, and a three-dimensional map of Castle Waterdeep.  Yet another map of Waterdeep can be found in TM4 City of Waterdeep, which also maps the cities of Shadowdale and Tantras.

The Forgotten Realms Atlas is a softcover manual detailing maps, locations, cutaway diagrams, backgrounds and more.  A very well-done, and popular, product.

Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms Campaign Setting is a boxed set in the Oriental Adventures style.  Contains two 96-page books ("Volume I" and "Volume II"), covering different geographic regions, four large color maps, and two plastic hex-graph overlays.  Another large map of the region is depicted in the TM5 Kara-Tur Trail Map.

Other campaign settings for 1st Edition AD&D include the World of Greyhawk and DragonLance campaigns.


Printing Information  Logos

Only the City System and Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting have any discernable printings.  (A big thanks to Adrian Newman for most of this info and the scans).

City System

  • First:  Does not have any price on the back of the set box.  A noticeably lighter shade of orange than the Second print, below.
     
  • Second:  Has the price ($15.00) on the back of the box.  A darker shade of orange than the First print, above.
Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Foreign
  • First (1987):  Angled TSR logo.  96-page DM's Sourcebook, 96-page Cyclopedia, 4 fold-out maps of the Realms, 2 hex-grid transparencies, and a request form for the newsletter mentioned above (though some copies apparently did not include this form).  Thanks to Mark Pettit for help with this info.
     
  • Second (1991?):  Identical to First print, but now has the Gold Angled TSR logo on the box cover, and possibly on the rulebooks as well.  Thanks to John Justice for this info.
     
  • Third (1993):  New box cover artwork.  128-page "Grand Tour of the Realms" book, 64-page "Running the Realms" book, 96-page "Shadowdale" book, 8 Monstrous Compendium pages, 6 cardstock sheets of runes/sigils/glyphs, 4 fold-out maps of the Realms (completely different from the First/Second print versions), 2 hex-grid transparencies (identical to First/Second print except for stock numbers), and a fold-out poster.  Back of box has a 12-digit UPC code.
     
  • Fourth:  Identical to Third, except box cover is slightly lighter, and the UPC code on the back is 18 digits.
     
  • Fifth (1996):  New box cover artwork.  Contents are identical to Third/Fourth prints, except the three main books (Grand Tour, Running the Realms, Shadowdale) have a gray border around the artwork, and feature the new TSR Dragon logo.  (Note that a copy has been spotted that actually has Third/Fourth print books, i.e. no gray border).  No poster is included with this print.  Thanks to Bjarke Thorsen for help with this info.
Forgotten Realms Atlas Foreign

Thanks to Michael Deaton for the scan of the Forgotten Realms Atlas and to T.S. McDuffie for the scan of the Anauroch Promo Map.
 
Forgotten Realms (1st) Forgotten Realms (3rd) Forgotten Realms (5th) Anauroch Promo Map
       
 
City System
 
FR Atlas
 
Kara-Tur
 
 


Auction Commentary

On the value of the Kara-Tur boxed set, contributor Ken Wellens writes:

"Long before e-Bay, before The Hit Pointe, Dragon's Trove, Titan Games, and their ilk, there was Zocchi's.

"Zocchi's was the only significant national dealer in used and out-of-print RPG's (mostly TSR) in the late 1980's.  Old-time readers of Dragon Magazine might remember their whole-page ads, which contained lists of prices for old D&D and 1st Ed. AD&D titles.  In a pre-internet age, the existence of such a list in Dragon Magazine, the definitive source of news for all things TSR, made Zocchi's list the definitive price guide for TSR collecting.

"Zocchi's also maintained a significant presence at GenCon each year, and the list was widely distributed there as well.  It was not uncommon for patrons of the GenCon used games auction to visit Zocchi's booth each year and review the list prior to going to the auction.  Thusly, selling prices at the auction often reflected those on the list.

"One year in the early 1990's (I forget which specifically, but I would place it around '91 or '92) Zocchi's list suddenly priced shrinkwrapped Kara-Tur boxed sets at $100.  ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS?!?  Such a price was unheard of -- only Deities & Demigods (with Cthulhu) or Dragon Magazine #1 was in that league in those days.  But... it was such on Zocchi's list.  And so it was that year in the GenCon auction.

"As the various collectors and other bidders returned to their homes all over the world, the mania of the "valuable" Kara-Tur boxed set returned with them.  Game stores everywhere were stripped of their remaining copies, and the myth of this "rare" collectible was born.  This legend carried through to the later online dealers and eventually e-Bay, and these days it is now etched into the collective stone that this boxed set is among the rarest of the rare.

"Only the Zocchi employee who set the prices will ever know how this got started.  Perhaps he found the item difficult to obtain in his area.  Perhaps he intentionally wanted to experiment with market manipulation.  Perhaps he was privy to some 'inside information' from TSR that was misinterpreted.  Whatever the reason, the increase in aftermarket dealers in this hobby guarantees that such an event is unlikely to ever happen again."  (Thanks to Ken Wellens for this info).

Notably, the value of the Kara-Tur Campaign has fallen recently, perhaps due to increasing awareness by the public.

The values of the other Forgotten Realms items are fairly average.


Current eBay Auctions