Interest Check: Forgotten Realms (1370s DR; Pathfinder 1e)


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Following a hiatus away from both these boards and gaming in general for quite some time (work and parenthood took on an all-encompassing nature), the evolving world created by Covid has given me time for a great deal of spring cleaning. Spring cleaning which lead me to rediscovering three old, dusty crates filled with gaming books buried in a guest room closet. In flipping through my old books and campaign notes, I found a lot of my 2nd and 3rd edition Forgotten Realms material (I was mostly a player during 2nd, and a DM during 3rd), and it has me feeling nostalgic. So I pose the question, are there board members who would be interested in a Forgotten Realms game, set in decade of 1367-1376 DR, after the Time of Troubles and before the Spellplague?

It has been quite a few years since I ventured into the Realms, having focused in the past decade mostly in Golarion and a couple homebrew settings. During that time I played almost exclusively with the Pathfinder (1e) system, and so would use that, but the Forgotten Realms would obviously be the setting. If you are interested, also feel free to include if there are any regions or aspects of the Realms that you are especially peak your interest.

I started in FR long ago in AD&D. I have a lot of nostalgia for the Realms though I haven't really played there in 20+ years. We did most of our adventuring around Cormyr but I could probably play anywhere. Those were the good old days. I hate how they keep changing things in FR. Apparently there was a Goblin War that killed the king. That was after our time there. One of the players was married to his daughter and we kept the forest to the east clear.

Absolutely interested. Anything you want to run, I am in.

Consider me totally interested! Would love to roam around the Realms! So many good memories from FR in my early years in gaming. As for regions, Cormyr has always had my interest, and you can't go wrong with the Dale Lands.


I would be interested. I am not as experienced as some in the FR series lore, but I've played in it a little bit.

That would be my favorite time period of Faerun. The changes after the Spellplague didn't please me. I'd be interested. I cut my teeth on 3.5 era FR. I liked the region from Mask of the Betrayer. I wanna say Rashemen?

Got a soft spot for the realms, sound interesting!

Were you thinking of a first-level campaign or a little higher?

At minimum interest, depends what you're up too.

Storyline Cormyr, the Dalelands, Rashemen, all great options. A few ideas I am considering to start this morning.
- Defenders of the Dalelands stand against the machinations of the Zhentarim and other threats of the Moonsea.
- Agents of the Crown work to uncover a plot against the kingdom of Cormyr.
- Sellswords caught up in the infinite intrigue of the City of Splendors, Waterdeep (there would have to be at least one jaunt into Undermountain)
- Heroes race to uncover Netherese ruins before agents of the City of Shade reach them first
- the Faithful must stand against the rising might of the Church of Bane as it's tyranny sweeps across Faerun
- the Sword Coast North is beset by the endless hordes of King Obould Many-Arrow
- the nations on the Sea of Fallen Stars suffer incursions from the Red Wizards of Thay
- the Church of Mystra seeks brave souls to discover why more cases of wild and dead magic are appearing throughout the land
- the Western Heartlands fall victim to a plague of both disease and the living dead

Player Knowledge while some experience with the Forgotten Realms will be helpful, it will by no means be a requirement to apply.

Level While there is an old school part of me that very much likes to start a game at 1st level, the first few levels end up serving as a prologue to major story arcs. It will depend on the storyline, but I will probably go with 4th-6th level to start. It allows characters to be a bit accomplished, and helps justify actually having something of a character history (the 1st level fighter who has already saved a kingdom comes to mind). Plus, I feel characters mechanically start to come alive in that range.

I'd be interested. BIG fan of Waterdeep.

I also prefer starting at 1st level, but it's not a deal-breaker by any means.

I'd be interested. . . I have both some FR things I've been wanting to play (Harpers for instance), and some PF1 characters that need games to get them in (Unicorn Blood Sorcerer, preferably VMC Cleric to summon unicorns with Sacred Summons/Summon Good Monster).

My first character was an Evoker follower of Mystra who ended up nobility in Cormyr and spent time in the dalelands. I see at least three ideas listed there I think I would enjoy alot. Not that I wouldn't enjoy some of the others. Starting slightly higher sounds good as well.

I would be interested in a 4-6 level campaign as well.

Lots of those ideas sound cool, Zhents, Waterdeeep, Red Wizards, Cormyr...

I love the idea of a harper campaign too.

Welcome back to the land of games!

I'm interested! The Forgotten Realms inspire incredible nostalgia in me, to the point where I've set several Pathfinder games there (though I usually set my games pre-ToT).

All of which is to say, I'd be interested to play, though I've had my fill of diseases and zombies for a while, haha. All the others sound great, though!

I like starting at level one to break in a character, but starting at a higher level could be a nice change of pace!

I usually love starting games at first level, but fourth level sounds fun too...having pseudo-established heroes make sense when npc-types are looking for help.

I think the only setup I'd rather not play would also be the one with zombies and disease.

Magic word there - Undermountain... Ah megadungeons... they make no real sense, but that's what mad mages are for...

I've been a fan of FR from the starting grey box (1991?) up until the Time of Troubles. From there the RSEs destroyed the setting IMHO.

I'd prefer the Sword Coast personally anywhere from Baldur's Gate to Icewind Dale. The Dalelands work too, as does the Western Heartlands as my last choice.
I love Waterdeep but can't stand Undermountain because of it's video-gamey, overmagicked, leveling up the further you go down (complete with Mos Eisley)... IMHO, Goodman Game's Castle Whiterock was probably the best Megadungeon/Mini-setting ever made. Hard pass for me on Undermountain.

Level 1 preferred here too, but level 4 is cool as long as we aren't going over 20 point buy (not into superhero characters), I'm a 15 point buy guy myself, but 20 point buy works as well.

It seems you have a lot of interest (not surprising). Have you thought on character creation and rules you may be looking toward for the game? For example. A lot of people also ask about feat taxes and whether we are using them (kinda interesting tbh). How many traits and if drawbacks are allowed. These are helpful things to keep in mind if and when you make a recruitment thread.

Are you going to run your own homebrew amalgamation of the world or are you going to run adventure paths converted to PF1?

Storyline I am not sure how the Harpers did not make it onto the first list of ideas, they are absolutely an option! And they could definitely fit into several of the above offered concepts.

Level I hold a special place in my heart for the early levels of play, and starting a character from the first swing of his sword. But for diving into storylines, having a bit of experience allows entry into a different portfolio of options.

Character Creation It goes without saying that I have been considering character creation options. Harkening back to my old school routes I have always been partial to rolled stats. I do realize that many people prefer Point Buy. What has always troubled me about the PF system (and its D&D predecessor) is that it greatly favors certain race-class build combinations while leaving other options heavily challenged. I am still mulling around options in my head, but candidly will say I see the Forgotten Realms as a High Fantasy setting, and will likely go with an option that builds accordingly.

As for the myriad other possibilities (race, class, background skills, traits, feats, starting wealth), I will be keeping it to Paizo published material, and will cover all the rest of the details in the eventual Recruitment thread.

Sounds good to me. I hope to see it up for recruitment sometime soon.

Rolled stats are fun. I'm a fan of rolling stats with an option to use build points if the total of rolled stat bonuses isn't at least reasonable. I usually go with a minimum of +4 overall.

I'd be intrigued for sure.

How about a game where the characters are trying to stop a prophesied, (and generally player-detested) Spellplague, thus possibly changing the future or Faerun?

I'm * mostly * kidding...

Instead of stopping the Wormwood Prophecies, stop the Greenwood Prophecies? XD

I'd play the 9 Hells out of that!

I'd... like a chance to avoid the diceroller making it impossible to play without having 3 scores under 9, though (unless the rest of the party rolls the same). The diceroller is Not My Friend. And sucking at doing things when the rest of the party is good at them (especially in a High Fantasy setting) isn't really fun, either.

Haha stop the Greenwood Prophecies, if pretty much everything after the time of troubles didn't happen that'd be sweet!

Still interested, nothing posed by OP is verboten. Looking forward to the recruitment thread!

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I think it's safe to say there is sufficient interest to move to a Recruitment Thread at this point. I am going to work to get my storyline together from all my material, and will be posting a full recruitment thread in the next few days.

In the mean time, feel free to throw out ideas of what you might like to see in this game, and any questions you may preemptively have.

Hooray!!! :D

I do have a few questions for the recruitment thread: Will you be using background skills? Or Hero Points?

And which races and classes are included/excluded for player characters? I'm assuming that you're going with a "classic" Realms feel for this? Likely no gunslingers and the like?

Other q's for the recruitment thread:

1) Occult classes? (I like them, but no classically realms-ian)
2) Automatic Bonus Progression? (Not a fan, but some people like it)
3) Prestige Class re-flavorings allowed?
4) Traits? (How many, what types, drawbacks, reflavoring allowed)

Thinking about it, if we're starting at 4th-ish or something level, maybe something where a Dragon might show up as a threat eventually? Or at least the option to pursue one? Not right away, obviously, but....

If we're talking about wish lists, that is. Not like it's a deal-breaker for me or anything. :)

Some sort of Harper campaign with appropriate classes would be cool. Would be fun to try a more stealthy / sneaky party.

I am also okay with a harper campaign, but also could play in a harper-related campaign. Maybe more dealing with harpers than being them. I'm open to most ideas.

Alright, I am still working out some of the final character creation details, but here are the basics to get the creative concepts going. Please hold off on posting any character proposals until the Recruitment thread.

Ability Scores to be determined
Level 4th
Race Core races, plus planetouched (aasimar, tiefling, ifrit, oread, sylph, undine)
Class Core, base, and hybrid classes published by Paizo. Barbarian, monk, and rogue can be classic or unchained; summoner must be unchained. Gunslinger is tentatively allowed (within the limits of availability within Faerun). No Occult classes.
Traits 2 traits, a third if you also select a drawback. Traits may be reskinned.
Skills Background skills are in effect.
Feats “Elephant in the Room” feat tax rules in effect.
Starting Gear to be determined

I have received a few DMs and wanted to touch on two topics:

Alignment I assumed it was evident from the proposed storylines, but I want to clarify that I am looking to run a heroic game in the impending recruitment. I do agree that you don't have to be "Good" to be a hero, and flawed characters can be a great storytelling opportunity. But I feel such characters require trust between the player in question, the GM, and the rest of the group, something that the anonymity of the internet makes challenging to develop. As such, Evil alignments will not be available for PCs. I will likewise be very cautious about CN characters.

Gestalt these can be fun characters, but with a party of 5 or 6 it can lead to redundancy, so I am going to say no. I am toying with an idea for a perk or two at character creation. We shall see...

I appreciate the interest, it has definitely stoked the fires of my creativity. I am hoping to have the recruitment thread up in the next few daus

I'm really glad to hear about the alignment restriction. I've been in too many parties where half of us wanted to be heroes, and half wanted to roleplay getting away with varying levels of atrocities. I think it's important to have the same expectations for the kind of game you're playing. If you don't know who you're playing with, knowing who considers what to be out of bounds is difficult. Alignment is a good gauge of how a person intends to play their character, in my opinion, though obviously it isn't always 100% effective and can be loopholed to some extent by unpleasant players.

Basically, if I get chosen for the game, I'll be happy to play with heroes!

Eeeee, checking compulsively for the recruitment thread! :D

Ditto. Both on the compulsive checking and the thoughts on evil characters in games. They do have their place, certainly, but as stated, it's a trust-thing so as not to derail a campaign with pointless player to player drama.

So, any hints as to the type of setting/theme you've decided on, W82? ;)

After tossing around multiple individual ideas, the pieces started calling into place to tie several into a cohesive storyline. As to what ties them together? That will remain a mystery.

The game will bring together aspects of classic dungeon crawl, subterfuge and intrigue, and urban adventure. I will be looking for a well rounded party, but would recommend some skill at stealth, deception, and/or investigation for most PCs.

Intriguing... :D

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Just a heads up, not game related but rather website related: If you are trying to sign into your account, and Paizo fails to log you in, their recent update caused an issue with their cookies on your computer. Going to your browser settings, clear your cookies for Paizo, Then try to log in again, and all should be fine.

One method of rolling stats I've seen that weeds out the bad blood it can cause (particularly where in Recruitments like this, a particularly bad stat roll means the player just withdraws their interest to participate) is to allow any player to use the stat array rolled by any other player.

After all, if a stat array is balanced to allow for one guy, it should be balanced for everyone, yes?

How do you feel about Skinwalkers?

GM out of curiosity will you favor longer or shorter adventuring days?

@Storm Dragon while not a part of the core playable races of Faerun, lycanthropes are a common monstrous component. As such, Skinwalkers could be a conceivable option in the setting. That said, as you are requesting to deviated from the previously listed races, be sure to write a noteworthy background that ties into the mythology of the Realms and justifies it as a player character.

@Silas Hawkwinter an interesting question - definitely a mechanical abstraction, which causes me to pause with concern. It sounds like you are looking at potential builds, where some are optimized for going Nova in one or two encounters per day, while others have more sustainability. I encourage you to create a character for the concept, rather than it's raw potential statistical output. But to answer your question, I favor neither - some days may see only one or even no encounters, while others will be extended scenes in rapid succession.

The opposite in fact :) I'm currently playing a couple of campaigns which mostly short days (kingmaker & giantslayer) and I'd prefer something different. FWIW I'm bored of high damage builds and have something rather different in mind.

Perfect! I ran kingmaker some years ago, and we quickly threw out the "hexploration" structure for exactly the same reason! In the end, I used the fluff of the AP, but mostly wrote new material as the format was so one-dimensional for my party.

* grins * I'm really liking all the responses I'm reading here, which makes me more and more excited at the prospect of this game all the time.

I, like Kameloo and Plastic Dragon (and others I'm sure), am looking forward to this. I hope it works out well. I am also checking often to see updates and changes.

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