Forgotten Realms - Your opinions wanted
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:26 am 
 

Okay guys, I'm selling off the other componets of my collection in order to concentrate on the "Realms" (1st and 2nd edition only).  What I would like to know is why do I not see more threads on the "Realms"?  Is there a lack of interest?  Are the "Realms" looked down on for some reason?  or is it just that the "Realms" are a little too "new" for the Acaeum members to be interested in.

I would like to hear your opinions on anything about the "Forgotten Realms".


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:40 am 
 

I don't know much about them - more of a Greyhawk fan as that was what I grew up playing.  Are they any good?


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:52 am 
 

Most of the folks here seem to be 1st Edition and OD&D fans and therefore prefer Greyhawk.  The Realms seem to be more identified with second edition, and therefore probably don't hold as much interest for people here.  There are probably other reasons such as some identify the Realms with the beginning of munchkinism with Drizzt and Elminister, and these and other iconic characters in the Realms having too great an influence on the campaign and the player characters.  
For the record, I prefer Greyhawk being an old-timer (in addition to my own world), though there are aspects of the Realms and its associated products that I like as well.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:57 am 
 

This is what I want to hear.

Pleasse define "munchkinism".

Please keep it coming, guys.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:15 am 
 

I think Vermilion Fire pretty much mailed the older gamer consensus on FR.

Munchkins are power players, Monty Haulers, players with little to no interest in rolE playing, etc. And a lot of them do seem to be heavy into FR and other later incarnations, et al.

That said, I like quite a bit of the FR stuff but almost all of it is from the early pubs.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:20 am 
 

They named it Forgotten for a reason. Personally I was a bit put-off by the abundance of magic in the Realms campaign, so I only used items that had been "cleansed".

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:34 am 
 

Deadlord39,

Could not agree with you more on the magic.  I too "cleanse" the adventures I run in the Realms.  Course I have always done this.  My players are always excited when they find a magic item, because I hold them to be rare objects.  

The proliferation of magic items detracts from the level at which a player must actively role play.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:47 am 
 

Prufrock wrote:Okay guys, I'm selling off the other componets of my collection in order to concentrate on the "Realms" (1st and 2nd edition only).  What I would like to know is why do I not see more threads on the "Realms"?  Is there a lack of interest?  Are the "Realms" looked down on for some reason?  or is it just that the "Realms" are a little too "new" for the Acaeum members to be interested in.


I think all of the reasons you list apply here at the Acaeum in particular, Martin:  the FR is looked down up on since many old timers/collectors are OD&D and 1st edition AD&D fans, and therefore tend toward Greyhawk, Blackmoor, the Wilderlands, etc. as their preferred settings.  In addition, given that the Acaeum primarily covers 1st edition and older items (for the most part), most of the folks here talking about games are most interested in games from those eras; we're a self-selecting old-school audience, so to speak.  Since FR is strongly associated with 2e in many gamers' minds, I'm not surprised that there's little discussion of it here.  

Now, if you were posting over at Candlekeep, you'd likely be getting the reverse reaction:  folks there would be less interested in the non-FR items that you're planning to sell off.  

I wrote a letter to Dungeon in the most recent (or previous?) issue in which I praised a trio of Eric Boyd's FR adventures recently published there, so I can definitely appreciate elements of the 'Realms.  FWIW, I liked it better when we saw glimpses of it in Dragon articles from Greenwood, before it became the D&D cash cow for TSR (and was elevated above Greyhawk in product support :twisted: ).


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:58 am 
 

Thanks Grodog,

I detest 2nd edition, however, the storylines that can be run in the realms seem to me to be deeper and better supported than those of other campaigns.  I hope to my players will become members of the "Harpers" and that will lead to even more "adventures".  The realms gives me more than dungeons to "test" the players with.  And requires more indepth role playing by my players and a higher level of creativity by me (DM).


I guess I'm caught between the two.  Like most Acaeum members, I grew up with 1st edition.  However, the storylines that can be supported in the "Realms" represent a coming of age for TSR writers.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:27 pm 
 

I played/DMed a few campaigns in the Realms.  Though being old school D&D players, pretty much everything becomes Greyhawk with funny maps.  :oops:

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:32 pm 
 

Thanks for all the replies:

What I have learned:  I will be collecting Greyhawk in the very near future.

THanks Guys.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:05 pm 
 

Myself, I appreciate Forgotten Realms over everything else. Actually, it is the reason why I started collecting in the first place. Now I'm missing only a bunch of items from my FR collection.

People here tend to stick around 1st Edition. Just check the thread about the favorite modules. Most people chose the U series, someone the A series, other people the L series... Very few went out of D&D or 1st Edition AD&D. For what regards me, my favorite of all times is For Duty and Deity, where you have to rescue the goddess Waukeen from the grasp of Graz'zt.

All in all, I believe that Greyhawk and the D&D modules tend to be more tied to the old-style roleplaying style, where you have one-shot adventures, rarely tied among them, where you use to go about dungeons, and the like. I love the political intrigues of the Realms,the fact that there is a power struggle between obscure powers (espionage societies, mercantile powers, thieves' guilds) almost anywhere in the setting, the fact that you can find about any setting (from the Precolombian cultures, to Medieval Europe, to Egyptian culture, to Greek and Roman settings, to realms of magical flying cities, unto an underground city of ixitzachitl reachable only via subterranean seas). I like to create campaigns lasting several years, composed of short, interconnected adventures, spanning many places in the Realms (and beyond).

One of the problems with Forgotten Realms is also one of its strengths: everything (well, a great lot) has been documented. That is, if you want to stick to the setting you have a bit less freedom, plus you have to read a LOT to really master the setting. I like this richness of detail, which is badly missing in other worlds (Greyhawk in the first place).

The campaign expansions for Forgotten Realms are usually great products. Kara-Tur, The Horde, The North, Maztica, Spellbound, Lands of Intrigue, and Empires of the Shining Sea boxed sets are worth every cent of their cover price. On the other hand, it's curious to see how products of much lower quality,but detailing places that are better known, fetch huge prices, like City of Splendors, Ruins of Myth Drannor and Menzoberranzan. Most of the accessories are great, too. I especially like The Shining South, Secrets of the Magister, the excellent Volo's Guides (albeit Elminster seems very critical about Volo's books) and, best of all, the three books about gods, Faiths & Avatars, Powers & Pantheons and Demihuman Deities (likely the best accessories ever made for AD&D).

All in all, I think Forgotten Realms is a wonderful setting. Remember, munchkinism does not depend on the setting. Munchkins are born wherever there is a DM allowing them to be born. A good DM will quickly discourage munchkin behavior.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:53 pm 
 

I quite like FR myself. The "novels" were truly terrible of course and characters like Drizzt and Elminster do little to persuade older, more mature players that isn't a world suitable only for "munchkins". Dig below and there's alot of good material which in some cases hasn't been presented to appeal to a more mature audience.

Our group has played there for a year and we're mature players (well age-wise at any rate - I'm the baby at 35!) and in the space of six months adventuring we're being hunted by Drow, the Red Wizards and the Zhents. It's amzaing how a party as disorganised as ours has managed to irritate so many powerful enemies in so short a space of time...:D

  

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:08 pm 
 

Drizzt D'Invincible was the beta for 3e characters. A dual saber-wielding good Dark Elf who walks around in the daylight. Didn't he have two CougarRetards as pets?

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:05 pm 
 

FWIW the Forgotten Realms is my absolute favourite setting. I love the depth of it, the sheer volume of information available beggars belief - I'm(quite) sure that I would be right in saying that it is the best supported fantasy world in existence (prepares to dodge rocks!). I love the high magic feel and the diversity available in the world itself. I even love quite a few of the novels.

FR is actually the only thing that I am actively collecting at the moment - An attainable goal at least as long as I don't worry too much about RPGA living City items etc.

Also (and again feel free to throw rocks!) I think that WOTC are doing the realms proud at the moment - though I don't play, the quality, content and production value of the recently released items are very high (Though the prices of the hardbacks are high to match).

Please feel free to disagree.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:30 pm 
 

I know that TSR put a hell of lot more emphasis and work into FR than Greyhawk.

That being said, I am a Greyhawk guy. There is also a first edition/second edition split there, as verm points out. Most of us die hard 1st guys stick with what we know.

FR seems to be hit and miss, but that is most likely due to the fact there is so much of it. That stupd drow character was definately a plague on FR, but I like some of the other things - Waterdeep modules and accessories aren't bad.

About the only other campaign setting I like is the Dark Sun first run stuff minus the psionics.

One of my favorite products to this day is the Greyhawk Campaign Folio. I spent hours using those maps to create outdoor adventures and linking modules.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:42 pm 
 

Prufrock wrote:I hope to my players will become members of the "Harpers" and that will lead to even more "adventures".  The realms gives me more than dungeons to "test" the players with.  And requires more indepth role playing by my players and a higher level of creativity by me (DM).


I thnk you hit on the key there, which is that with great players and DMs you can make any game work, whether its the high points of the FRs (Waterdeep and the exploration of ancient mysteries, IMO) or the lowest points of Greyhawk (Puppets anyone?):  the right players can turn around anything to the good!


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:44 pm 
 

Prufrock wrote:Thanks for all the replies:

What I have learned:  I will be collecting Greyhawk in the very near future.


No, no, no Martin.  You misheard everyone.  They were all saying "Go with FR, it's cooler, and sell all of your GH to grodog on the cheap" :D :D :D


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