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I… kinda love FR?


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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I've never been into FR before 5e came out but now I love it. The fact that the PHB shows people from all over Toril… it's cool. I can come up with a "vanilla fantasy" world quickly. But FR is really… it's just really solid and good. It took me a long time to come around to ut. When I saw that FR was to 5e what Greyhawk was to early 3e, I was like "Yeah, yeah, but when are the real settings coming out? Dark Sun etc". But… I've come to really like it!

Sovereign Court

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Its more forgettable realms to me, but you certainly wont want for material if you love it.


The fact that Zakhara, Maztica, Chult, Kara-Tur and Faerûn are becoming more integrated has increased the settings appeal to me a lot. We're playing a Zakhara-based campaign.


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I've always liked it.

Like Golarion, I like the fact there's bits and pieces of things all over the place that you can include or ignore as you choose.

The settings I struggle with are the "overarching theme" style worlds where everything seems to be tailored to that one concept. I find campaigns I run in those settings often peter out unsatisfactorily, for some reason.


That's interesting because historically, those have been the settings that have appealed to me the most. Maybe that's changing.

Silver Crusade

Longtime FR fan here, I don't have a lot of interest in playing 5e but I've been poring over friends' copies of the books, mostly the adventures. What new stuff on Zakhara and Kara-Tur is there? I saw that the next adventure will be Chult-oriented which is awesome.


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I'm a bit like the OP
Until I started playing 5th ed, which is my fav d20 rpg now, never really knew a lot about FR.
I'm finding it pretty easy to use in the super mods I've run thus far. It seems to embrace it's a very high magic world, rather than pretending it isnt


CrusaderWolf wrote:
What new stuff on Zakhara and Kara-Tur is there?

They haven't made any new stuff there but they've made it part of FR on DM:s Guild. I'm stoked about the new adventure.


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I have a lot of books about FR, mostly 3.0 and 3.5 edition but also AD&D. The setting can be awesome but it can also turn pretty generic quickly.
One of the things that made me leave the setting behind has been the feeling the PCs ultimately mattered little as you had Elminster/the 7 sisters/ Drizzt to deal with most of the really dangerous things.
A setting is as good as the challanges it gives to its players, if the good guys are so much more powerful than the bad guys (looking at you Manshoon and Fzoul...) there's no challenge at all.


I never really paid attention to FR prior to 5e, and even then, our first few games were either set in Greyhawk or on Golarion. Then when Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide came out, I was very pleased to see that it offer lot's informations on the various location of the Sword Coast area, but was still vague enough for anybody to make the world their own. It reminded me of the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, which I liked very much and still use for my Greyhawk games.


I hate forgotten realms with a passion.

I hold the setting responsible for killing other settings I loved.

If not for the amazing writing of Paul s. Kemp and Richard Lee Byers, I would not have anything related to the world in my house.

3.x stuff is in my house only because there was no support for other campaign settings.


Freehold DM wrote:

I hate forgotten realms with a passion.

I hold the setting responsible for killing other settings I loved.

What is stopping you from using those settings?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

Longtime FR fan here as well. I still hold it over basically anything else. And as I'm thinking about gifting my oldest son with the german version of the 5E core rules, it's kinda cool that they use the setting as the main campaign for 5E.

Personally though, I would probably only use tidbits of the new material. Everything offical that came after 1374 DR is basically irrelevant for my own version of the Realms, as far as canon is concerned. If I see something I like, I might integrate it, but my own game will certainly never reach the year 1489 DR, as it develops continually and I pledged myself to never make any kind of timejump. ^^


ultimatepunch wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

I hate forgotten realms with a passion.

I hold the setting responsible for killing other settings I loved.

What is stopping you from using those settings?

the fact that there is no game without players and everyone wants to be drizzt/elminster 2.0.

Dark Archive

2097 wrote:
The fact that Zakhara, Maztica, Chult, Kara-Tur and Faerûn are becoming more integrated has increased the settings appeal to me a lot. We're playing a Zakhara-based campaign.

Zakhara and Kara-Tur are two of my favorite sub-settings, so there's definitely that going for it.

I was unaware that Chult, which was kind of an afterthought in some previous editions, had gotten a larger push, which sounds excellent.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

ultimatepunch wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

I hate forgotten realms with a passion.

I hold the setting responsible for killing other settings I loved.

What is stopping you from using those settings?

They stopped publishing new material for non-FR settings for the most part.

Grand Lodge

SmiloDan wrote:
They stopped publishing new material for non-FR settings for the most part.

So a setting stops being published, and all of the material for it spontaneously combusts?

If you love a setting, and enjoy running it, why stop playing it if it no longer has any support?

Most of the settings people talk about (e.g. Dark Sun, Ravenloft, etc.) have such a huge backlog of material, that it would take several life-times to play through it all, and that's if you ONLY use the published material and never come up with any of your own!

I know, I know... "But that stuff doesn't use the most current up-to-date rule-system!"

So yeah, YMMV and all of that.


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For me, it's nothing to do with mechanics, but the ongoing creation of new material keeps the world fresh and interesting. I don't prefer a "living" campaign setting because I don't have enough material in the old ones. I have more material than I could ever use.

When a new Golarion book comes out, for example, I'll often go back to the related areas in the ISWG and it will spark new ideas for adventures/campaigns.

The FR was the same for me; my version of the realms is the grey box, pre-Cyric and all that, yet the new stuff is rekindling my interest just by virtue of reminding me of what's there to play with.


I like FR a lot. My last 5e campaign was set in Golarion, which I really enjoyed, but I do admit some nostalgia for FR. The 3e FR campaign guide is one of the best setting books ever produced, and that coupled with a guide to all the old fallen empires of the setting (Lost Kingdoms?) kept me busy for a long time.

I hear the criticism about high-powered NPCs a lot and don't really get it. I don't think any were ever featured in any of my adventures except for the Lady of SilveryMoon, who was more of an enemy to the PCs than an ally (on account of them tending to dig up stuff best left undisturbed). I can't imagine feeling some obligation to have Drzzzzt or Elminster make an appearance, or why their existence would overshadow the PCs importance anymore than, say, Elrond and Galadriel overshadowed Frodo and Sam's importance to the great events of Middle Earth.

Dark Archive

Digitalelf wrote:

I know, I know... "But that stuff doesn't use the most current up-to-date rule-system!"

So yeah, YMMV and all of that.

That became an issue for me with the Time of Troubles in the Forgotten Realms. The newest shiny version of AD&D included the neat concept of Specialty Priests (very, very different sorts of clerics, depending on who you worshipped, so that a priest of the god of magic would be a cloth wearer with wizard weapons and lots of spells, while a priest of the god of war would be in full plate, with fighter like weapons and a much smaller list of spells).

And the group I was playing with included two worshippers of Lleira, a goddess who had been killed off-screen (because she was the goddess of illusionists, among other things, and they had been downgraded from a base class to one of eight different types of specialist wizard, so, like the god of assassins, who also had ceased to exist as a base class, it was felt that she had to go bye-bye), so we never got a specialty priest option for Lleira.

Yes, I could, and did, house-rule one, but as we had players in the group who also liked Dark Sun, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Spelljammer and Al-Qadim, the FR essentially lost our group with that change. Why row upstream when there were so many other options out there we were eager to play. We ended up switching to settings that weren't fighting us. And other game systems as well, like GURPS and Vampire. (And I just grinned ruefully at people years later complaining about the FR campaigns upended by the Spellplague, having already been there and done that.)

On the other hand, they still managed their metaplot better than White Wolf. :/


Set wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:

I know, I know... "But that stuff doesn't use the most current up-to-date rule-system!"

So yeah, YMMV and all of that.

That became an issue for me with the Time of Troubles in the Forgotten Realms. The newest shiny version of AD&D included the neat concept of Specialty Priests (very, very different sorts of clerics, depending on who you worshipped, so that a priest of the god of magic would be a cloth wearer with wizard weapons and lots of spells, while a priest of the god of war would be in full plate, with fighter like weapons and a much smaller list of spells).

And the group I was playing with included two worshippers of Lleira, a goddess who had been killed off-screen (because she was the goddess of illusionists, among other things, and they had been downgraded from a base class to one of eight different types of specialist wizard, so, like the god of assassins, who also had ceased to exist as a base class, it was felt that she had to go bye-bye), so we never got a specialty priest option for Lleira.

Yes, I could, and did, house-rule one, but as we had players in the group who also liked Dark Sun, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Spelljammer and Al-Qadim, the FR essentially lost our group with that change. Why row upstream when there were so many other options out there we were eager to play. We ended up switching to settings that weren't fighting us. And other game systems as well, like GURPS and Vampire. (And I just grinned ruefully at people years later complaining about the FR campaigns upended by the Spellplague, having already been there and done that.)

On the other hand, they still managed their metaplot better than White Wolf. :/

HEY!!! shakes fist


Digitalelf wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
They stopped publishing new material for non-FR settings for the most part.

So a setting stops being published, and all of the material for it spontaneously combusts?

If you love a setting, and enjoy running it, why stop playing it if it no longer has any support?

Most of the settings people talk about (e.g. Dark Sun, Ravenloft, etc.) have such a huge backlog of material, that it would take several life-times to play through it all, and that's if you ONLY use the published material and never come up with any of your own!

I know, I know... "But that stuff doesn't use the most current up-to-date rule-system!"

So yeah, YMMV and all of that.

Good luck getting new players- some of whom were born after the last updates to the setting- to find, much less sift through, ancient stuff and read your homebrew material that updates it for a current ruleset.

Not being a jerk, seriously good luck, that takes cult of personality level charisma and dedication.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I usually homebrew, but I understand a lot of DMs don't have time to make brand new adventures, especially if they play more than once a week. Some players don't like to re-hash old adventures; it seems too much like "What if Dirk the Daring went to the right? What if Dirk the Daring went to the left?"


SmiloDan wrote:
ultimatepunch wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

I hate forgotten realms with a passion.

I hold the setting responsible for killing other settings I loved.

What is stopping you from using those settings?
They stopped publishing new material for non-FR settings for the most part.

Of course, but that doesn't mean you have to stop playing the setting you enjoy. I still use Planescape, nineteen years after the product line came to an end.


Freehold DM wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
They stopped publishing new material for non-FR settings for the most part.

So a setting stops being published, and all of the material for it spontaneously combusts?

If you love a setting, and enjoy running it, why stop playing it if it no longer has any support?

Most of the settings people talk about (e.g. Dark Sun, Ravenloft, etc.) have such a huge backlog of material, that it would take several life-times to play through it all, and that's if you ONLY use the published material and never come up with any of your own!

I know, I know... "But that stuff doesn't use the most current up-to-date rule-system!"

So yeah, YMMV and all of that.

Good luck getting new players- some of whom were born after the last updates to the setting- to find, much less sift through, ancient stuff and read your homebrew material that updates it for a current ruleset.

Not being a jerk, seriously good luck, that takes cult of personality level charisma and dedication.

If you run a good game the players won't care which setting you use.

Grand Lodge

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Freehold DM wrote:

Good luck getting new players- some of whom were born after the last updates to the setting- to find, much less sift through, ancient stuff and read your homebrew material that updates it for a current ruleset.

Not being a jerk, seriously good luck, that takes cult of personality level charisma and dedication.

I don't think I have anywhere near that level of charisma. ;-)

But not only do I still use the old settings, but I actually went back to 2nd Edition AD&D (and have successfully introduced new players to this old edition as well).

I think a lot, or at least a good portion of it has to do with what "ultimatepunch" said above... Run a good game, the players wont care. I know this isn't necessarily true for everyone, but it has certainly rang true for me these past 34/35 years.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I miss Planescape.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Freehold DM wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
They stopped publishing new material for non-FR settings for the most part.

So a setting stops being published, and all of the material for it spontaneously combusts?

If you love a setting, and enjoy running it, why stop playing it if it no longer has any support?

Most of the settings people talk about (e.g. Dark Sun, Ravenloft, etc.) have such a huge backlog of material, that it would take several life-times to play through it all, and that's if you ONLY use the published material and never come up with any of your own!

I know, I know... "But that stuff doesn't use the most current up-to-date rule-system!"

So yeah, YMMV and all of that.

Good luck getting new players- some of whom were born after the last updates to the setting- to find, much less sift through, ancient stuff and read your homebrew material that updates it for a current ruleset.

Not being a jerk, seriously good luck, that takes cult of personality level charisma and dedication.

It can be quite intimidating to play in a setting with so much already established content and worldbuilding.

I think you could introduce players with a brief primer, first about what's special about the world, then about the area in which the campaign begins.
When players pitch you their character concepts, you can recommend places their characters might've originated from.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber
Petty Alchemy wrote:
It can be quite intimidating to play in a setting with so much already established content and worldbuilding.

Can be, but on the other hand, no one forces the GM to force all of that stuff onto his players at once.

Just handle that setting (for new players) like you would any homebrew, or like you would have probably handled Golarion when it was all new. The players don't need to know about Maztica, Tethyr and the Shining South when your campaign starts in the Silver Marches (or the Dalelands) anyways. You don't even need to talk about the world much, so your primer only needs to include the basics of what your campaign will be all about and what they need to know about their starting location.

And then, during the game, slowly build on that as the need comes up. And contrary to a homebrew, you don't even need to invent stuff if you don't want, just use what has already been written over the years.

Honestly, I can see why a GM might feel intimated if thinking that they need to absorb all the lore before start running a game. But the same goes for most of the other popular settings (including Golarion). And luckily, to get a game started you don't need to do that. And players? They basically need to know nothing at all. That comes with time.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

The aspects of the Realms I actually enjoy are done better by Golarion- while not all of the stuff I read/played in has aged well, only the Realms have been totally abandoned by me.

(Ravenloft 4 Lyfe! Vive Birthright! Up with Dark Sun! Glory to Planescape! Dragonlance is stupid but for some reason I don't care!)


Cole Deschain wrote:
The aspects of the Realms I actually enjoy are done better by Golarion-

Can you elaborate?


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Alexandros Satorum wrote:
Can you elaborate?

The multicultural milieu, the sense of being part of a wider universe, the ability to accommodate multiple genres of game within the same setting- the Realms, despite having Kara-Tur, Zhakara, Chult, Mulhorand, Unther, the Hordelands, etc. fleshed out over the years, it felt compartmentalized rather than part of a holistic world.

Dark Archive

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Cole Deschain wrote:
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
Can you elaborate?
The multicultural milieu, the sense of being part of a wider universe, the ability to accommodate multiple genres of game within the same setting- the Realms, despite having Kara-Tur, Zhakara, Chult, Mulhorand, Unther, the Hordelands, etc. fleshed out over the years, it felt compartmentalized rather than part of a holistic world.

A lot of that, as I understand it, comes from the central realms having been designed by Ed Greenwood as a sort of generic fantasy setting, representative of nowhere on Earth.

And then Kara-Tur, the Hordelands, Zakhara, Maztica, etc. were sort of strapped on, and followed a very different design aesthetic, being instead fantasy versions of real world Asia, the Middle East, etc.

Golarion, to a lesser extent, also follows this sort of half-this and half-the other aesthetic, with pure fantasy nations and cultures like Cheliax, sitting side by side with 'real world analogues' like Osirion and Qadira (and cultures like the Varisians and Ulfen, Mwangi and Tian).

Even Greyhawk had some of this, with the Persian-esque nations to the north and west, and the Mesoamerican people of Hepmonaland.

I do wonder sometimes what the Realms would have been like if it had been purely an Ed Greenwood design, and not had a half-dozen or more other nations and cultures from other designers sort of accreting on the edges of his maps, over time. Perhaps more like Eberron or Sharn or Tellene, entirely fantasy nations with no 'this is fake Egypt' or 'this is fake Japan' analogues.


Freehold DM wrote:

Good luck getting new players- some of whom were born after the last updates to the setting- to find, much less sift through, ancient stuff and read your homebrew material that updates it for a current ruleset.

Not being a jerk, seriously good luck, that takes cult of personality level charisma and dedication.

But that's what we have even in FR since we're running a Zakhara based campaign.

The Exchange

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Set wrote:

A lot of that, as I understand it, comes from the central realms having been designed by Ed Greenwood as a sort of generic fantasy setting, representative of nowhere on Earth.

And then Kara-Tur, the Hordelands, Zakhara, Maztica, etc. were sort of strapped on, and followed a very different design aesthetic, being instead fantasy versions of real world Asia, the Middle East, etc.

Possibly though I know enough players that direct the same sort of criticism against Golarion. But yeah, with the Realms, Maztica and Co. were basically self-containted settings that got attached to the Realms, though they were never planned to be part of it from their beginnings.

But I also do not think that Golarion handles this better than the Realms in any meaningful way. With both settings, you're better of if you choose a region for your campaign and then stay it in for it's duration. Most APs follow that rule for a reason, so that they don't have to handle the hard boundaries between at least some of the countries.

So it's mostly the same as with the Realms where I also wouldn't start a campaign in Tethyr only to have it end the Moonsea region, probably after having some intermezzo at the Moonshae Isles and the Icewind Dale.


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WormysQueue wrote:
So it's mostly the same as with the Realms where I also wouldn't start a campaign in Tethyr only to have it end the Moonsea region, probably after having some intermezzo at the Moonshae Isles and the Icewind Dale.

Ehhhhh.... Golarion doesn't invent new character class requirements for play in a given region (Maztica, Kara-Tur- the Hordelands were a stand-out for me because they were forced to basically pick which set of laws of physics they adhered to, and they left Kara-Tur out in the cold to gel better with the rules used in the western Realms. Yes, 3rd edition tried to address this, but the walls are still there. And then they nuked big chunks of Toril for 4th edition because apparently the design goal of 4th was to enrage every grognard they could find), and since it's designed more holistically, you get a lot less "and the Disneyland-with-Orcs version of Ancient Greece with its gods go HERE"- even in Osirion, the old Egyptian deities are not actually the current religious powerhouses of the region- about the only really bad compartmentalizations I've noted in Golarion revolve around the Mana Wastes and Numeria. Everybody else seems to talk with and interact across their various barriers.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber
Cole Deschain wrote:
Ehhhhh.... Golarion doesn't invent new character class requirements for play in a given region (Maztica, Kara-Tur- the Hordelands were a stand-out for me because they were forced to basically pick which set of laws of physics they adhered to,

That's part of what I meant when I talked about them as self-contained settings. :)

And I was one of those enraged (not-quite-)grognards. ^^

Still I think that in both settings it's not the best idea to run a campaign that goes around the world in 80 days. Like the Realms, Golarion is basically a number of different settings put together (I agree that it's designed with a more holistic approach), so to travel from Taldor to Irrisen makes as much sense as to travel from Tethyr to the Moonsea region. And if you look at the Realms without those setting additions, I'd say the countries talk and interact across their various barriers as well as the countries of Golarion.


WormysQueue wrote:
Set wrote:

A lot of that, as I understand it, comes from the central realms having been designed by Ed Greenwood as a sort of generic fantasy setting, representative of nowhere on Earth.

And then Kara-Tur, the Hordelands, Zakhara, Maztica, etc. were sort of strapped on, and followed a very different design aesthetic, being instead fantasy versions of real world Asia, the Middle East, etc.

Possibly though I know enough players that direct the same sort of criticism against Golarion. But yeah, with the Realms, Maztica and Co. were basically self-containted settings that got attached to the Realms, though they were never planned to be part of it from their beginnings.

But I also do not think that Golarion handles this better than the Realms in any meaningful way. With both settings, you're better of if you choose a region for your campaign and then stay it in for it's duration. Most APs follow that rule for a reason, so that they don't have to handle the hard boundaries between at least some of the countries.

So it's mostly the same as with the Realms where I also wouldn't start a campaign in Tethyr only to have it end the Moonsea region, probably after having some intermezzo at the Moonshae Isles and the Icewind Dale.

Interesting thought here.

I had a long standing campaign that took a tour around the Realms starting in Baldur's Gate, heading to the Dalelands, then Cormyr, then the Shadowdale, Tantras, and Waterdeep modules followed by some time in Waterdeep, a jaunt back to Cormyr, a stint in Ravenloft with a return to Westgate and then a visit to Zhentil Keep with a major plot visit to the Ruins of Myth Drannar, a propulsion backwards in time to the Fall of Netheril, then a shift forward to the Fall of Myth Drannar, then once more back to the present time and another visit to Tantras, an adventure in Thay, a visit to the Blooodstone Lands playing H1-H4 with the campaign taking a magical interlude trip to the Shining South and ending with a return to Bloodstone and of course the Outer Planes. I started the PCs at level 1 and they ended up at Level 37/38. Some player PCs made it some of the way and other players had multiple PCs. Ultimately, the players and I had a blast doing it.

The PCs met major name NPCs maybe seven times through all of those levels.

Perhaps it is because I had players who were not hardcore Realms fans but I never experienced any of the problems that people complain about when adventuring in the Realms.


Freehold DM wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
They stopped publishing new material for non-FR settings for the most part.

So a setting stops being published, and all of the material for it spontaneously combusts?

If you love a setting, and enjoy running it, why stop playing it if it no longer has any support?

Most of the settings people talk about (e.g. Dark Sun, Ravenloft, etc.) have such a huge backlog of material, that it would take several life-times to play through it all, and that's if you ONLY use the published material and never come up with any of your own!

I know, I know... "But that stuff doesn't use the most current up-to-date rule-system!"

So yeah, YMMV and all of that.

Good luck getting new players- some of whom were born after the last updates to the setting- to find, much less sift through, ancient stuff and read your homebrew material that updates it for a current ruleset.

Not being a jerk, seriously good luck, that takes cult of personality level charisma and dedication.

heh, I am Recruiting for an FR game here on the boards that begins in 1357 pre Time of Troubles. I've got pretty strong interest too ;-)

I bet it being an Evil Campaign set in Zhentil Keep is helping with that though.


Freehold DM wrote:
Set wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:

I know, I know... "But that stuff doesn't use the most current up-to-date rule-system!"

So yeah, YMMV and all of that.

That became an issue for me with the Time of Troubles in the Forgotten Realms. The newest shiny version of AD&D included the neat concept of Specialty Priests (very, very different sorts of clerics, depending on who you worshipped, so that a priest of the god of magic would be a cloth wearer with wizard weapons and lots of spells, while a priest of the god of war would be in full plate, with fighter like weapons and a much smaller list of spells).

And the group I was playing with included two worshippers of Lleira, a goddess who had been killed off-screen (because she was the goddess of illusionists, among other things, and they had been downgraded from a base class to one of eight different types of specialist wizard, so, like the god of assassins, who also had ceased to exist as a base class, it was felt that she had to go bye-bye), so we never got a specialty priest option for Lleira.

Yes, I could, and did, house-rule one, but as we had players in the group who also liked Dark Sun, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Spelljammer and Al-Qadim, the FR essentially lost our group with that change. Why row upstream when there were so many other options out there we were eager to play. We ended up switching to settings that weren't fighting us. And other game systems as well, like GURPS and Vampire. (And I just grinned ruefully at people years later complaining about the FR campaigns upended by the Spellplague, having already been there and done that.)

On the other hand, they still managed their metaplot better than White Wolf. :/

HEY!!! shakes fist

I started playing FR a number of years after the Time of Troubles release and I remember people not being happy with it even then.

Being annoyed about if not downright pissed about rules changes that change the playability of classes I can certainly understand.

I made the decision to stick with 3.5 when 4E was released as I preferred to have a closed rules system anyway. I have since then slowly incorporated Pathfinder ideas into my "homebrew" 3.5. Here on the boards though I run Pathfinder when I run "D&D" games.

---

Eh, the White Wolf Meta-Plot went through a few separate hands so I suppose that was bound to happen. I still liked the Gehenna book, too bad it came out AFTER I ran my Gehenna game and closed up my first long running Vampire chronicle.

Of course, now I run my new Vamp game on these boards without the Meta-Plot having already been there done that.


Rogar Valertis wrote:

I have a lot of books about FR, mostly 3.0 and 3.5 edition but also AD&D. The setting can be awesome but it can also turn pretty generic quickly.

One of the things that made me leave the setting behind has been the feeling the PCs ultimately mattered little as you had Elminster/the 7 sisters/ Drizzt to deal with most of the really dangerous things.
A setting is as good as the challanges it gives to its players, if the good guys are so much more powerful than the bad guys (looking at you Manshoon and Fzoul...) there's no challenge at all.

That is more of an FR Novel notion to me.

My players were scared s+@%less of Manshoon, especially Vampire Manshoon in Westgate though he ended up laying low and benefitting from them killing off Vampiric rivals when I ran my PCs through Westgate.

They challenged Fzoul but ended up just barely getting away from he and Zhentil Keep alive when they traveled there.

While Elminster and others were no doubt busy with threats, the PCs had PLENTY of their own threats to deal with and never considered calling those major NPCs for assistance. Hell even my current campaign where I run Waterdeep, they only ran into Blackstaff as a plot device to get my next set of plot lines set up.


Cole Deschain wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
So it's mostly the same as with the Realms where I also wouldn't start a campaign in Tethyr only to have it end the Moonsea region, probably after having some intermezzo at the Moonshae Isles and the Icewind Dale.
Ehhhhh.... Golarion doesn't invent new character class requirements for play in a given region (Maztica, Kara-Tur- the Hordelands were a stand-out for me because they were forced to basically pick which set of laws of physics they adhered to, and they left Kara-Tur out in the cold to gel better with the rules used in the western Realms. Yes, 3rd edition tried to address this, but the walls are still there. And then they nuked big chunks of Toril for 4th edition because apparently the design goal of 4th was to enrage every grognard they could find), and since it's designed more holistically, you get a lot less "and the Disneyland-with-Orcs version of Ancient Greece with its gods go HERE"- even in Osirion, the old Egyptian deities are not actually the current religious powerhouses of the region- about the only really bad compartmentalizations I've noted in Golarion revolve around the Mana Wastes and Numeria. Everybody else seems to talk with and interact across their various barriers.

hehehehehehehehehHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAA

reads more Paul s. Kemp, Richard Lee Byers


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The sad part is all the issues that players had or have FR were addressed with 4E FR. Wotc found out those who had issues with the setting liked and still like complaining about them. Yet at the same time DON"T want anything down with the stuff they complain about. It's a Catch-22. Too many high level npcs. We will get rid of some. "how dare you get rid of those high level npcs. " Too many redundant gods "how dare you get rid of those gods". Too much of the world is explored, too many cities. Not enough to explore. " How dare you get rid of all those cities". It's a Catch-22 imo. It's one of those setting players hate and have issues with they also don't want nothing changed

I admit I liked some elements of 4E FR dislike others. I would never work on any FR development team. Not unless I get a six figure salary because the fans don't know what they want imo. As for FR in general like Golarion I dislike and like certain elements of the campaign world.


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I, at least, like the high level NPcs**, the amount of gods, the cities and I find that there is quite a bit of the realms to explore.

**Although not with the 3.x rules because 20 level casters are already demigods and a CR 45 Elminster is a ridiculous thing.

Silver Crusade

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While I read a couple of 3rd edition gaming books I only experienced the Realms through Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2

F*#& you Wall of the Faithless, and the Gods in that setting, I'm glad Mask of the Betrayer lined up the nails for the coffin of that setting element.


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The Thing From Another World wrote:

The sad part is all the issues that players had or have FR were addressed with 4E FR. Wotc found out those who had issues with the setting liked and still like complaining about them. Yet at the same time DON"T want anything down with the stuff they complain about. It's a Catch-22. Too many high level npcs. We will get rid of some. "how dare you get rid of those high level npcs. " Too many redundant gods "how dare you get rid of those gods". Too much of the world is explored, too many cities. Not enough to explore. " How dare you get rid of all those cities". It's a Catch-22 imo. It's one of those setting players hate and have issues with they also don't want nothing changed

I admit I liked some elements of 4E FR dislike others. I would never work on any FR development team. Not unless I get a six figure salary because the fans don't know what they want imo. As for FR in general like Golarion I dislike and like certain elements of the campaign world.

I love what 4th ed did to it. I bathe in grognard tears every night.

Silver Crusade

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F$** Cyric.


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My problem with 4th edition forgotten realms isn't that they got rid of NPCs and gods. It's that they assumed we were all f#*&ing idiots and wouldn't want to know what happened to the NPCs and gods that died. "Who cares how Bruenor died, that was a hundred years ago!" "Malar? Oh he's gone, but we won't tell you where, or how, or why".

And don't get me started on the whole "but they were two worlds and now they're one b@&%*#+#".

And the maps!! My god, the maps were terrible!! I could draw the forgotten realms on a paper bag with finger paints and a pen and get the same s&!$ty maps.

So no, it was more than "omg! They killed Khelben!"


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Rysky wrote:
F&$! Cyric.

I liked Cyric, but maybe because I played his pregen in the Shadowdale adventure one summer. :-)


When I ran through the Shadowdale, Tantras, and Waterdeep Troligy, I had introduced Cyric and Kelemvor and Adon to the PCs some time BEFORE those Modules began so they had a real connection to those three NPCs when the story began.

The personal vendetta Cyric had against the PCs was a theme that I revisited a few times during the course of that campaign.

For that reason alone I think I liked Cyric, an interesting character really beginning as someone who was not that bad a person just made some bad choices to a complete nut. He went from three to two dimensional unfortunately as time went on.

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