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Ozreth
2011-04-17, 03:30 PM
Simple question. Between AD&D (1 and 2), 3e, and 4e, which incarnation of the system do you think works best when playing in the Forgotten Realms?

Telasi
2011-04-17, 03:32 PM
AD&D 2e, in my opinion. I think FR has been on the decline since 2e came out.

olthar
2011-04-17, 03:33 PM
AD&D 2e, in my opinion. I think FR has been on the decline since 2e came out.

I'll second that.

bloodtide
2011-04-17, 03:34 PM
I'll go with 2E too.

Siosilvar
2011-04-17, 03:34 PM
It's a campaign setting. Pick a point in time and a game system and play.

...

That said, AD&D best fits the classic feel of the world, because Forgotten Realms quite literally started at about the same time as 1st edition.

Toofey
2011-04-17, 03:57 PM
I think 2nd ed is the best fit for the materials

Ozreth
2011-04-17, 04:21 PM
It's a campaign setting. Pick a point in time and a game system and play.


I'd say its much more than that. Each edition has it's own set of stats for NPCs, new and different ways for spells to work, different classes, different deities and belief systems, and of course considerably different fluff (with some editions have world altering events). And then of course there is the quality and quantity of materials to consider.

The Realms are certainly a different place if you play each edition with the Realms materials presented for the edition.

DeltaEmil
2011-04-17, 04:35 PM
AD&D and AD&D 2nd edition.

Definitely not 3.x, and 4th edition did force the Forgotten Realms to change to be still acceptable as THE kitchen sink bog-standard fantasy setting, with lots of people moaning and wailing how they don't like the changes (I personally don't care - however, some of the older-edition FR-fans do tend to get annoying when the 4th edition FR comes up in a discussion).

The setting was made with pre-3rd edition rules in mind, and NPCs and Mary Sues accomodated towards that power niveau. Not bloated goats with 60 character levels and a million spells and skills that don't serve anything anyway that were introduced with the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting-book for 3rd edition. I mean, just look at those obese monstrous stat blocks for the deities. Practically unreadable, useless if you really intended for your players to fight them, and printed in a small font that you were forced to squint, which however was necessary, else the books would have exploded even more. The 'epic' NPCs were equally bad and worthless.

navar100
2011-04-17, 05:10 PM
That it would be Faerun is irrelevant, for me. What matters to me is the system. I can enjoy very much playing in Faerun, but the particular system is key, not that the campaign is Faerun.

Ozreth
2011-04-17, 05:43 PM
yeah Elminsters stats, for example, are insane in 3e. I'd be interested to see his 2e stat block if anybody has it on hand.

elonin
2011-04-17, 06:09 PM
Sure you can use any rules set to play FR and it will work fine. On the other hand FR was the main focus and presumed setting for 2e while it is only an update or after thought for the other rules sets.

The problems with famous people and gods etc from FR in 3rd edition is the same that characters had transferring between systems.

Telasi
2011-04-17, 06:09 PM
From Heroes' Lorebook 2e:

Elminster of Shadowdale
Human male 29th-level mage; one of
the Chosen of Mystra
ARMOR CLASS: 6 (3 w/ring)
MOVE: 12
HIT POINTS: 96
THAC0: 12
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic good
STR 13, DEX 18, CON 14, INT 18, WIS 18, CHA 17
Spells (7/7/7/7/6/6/6/6/6): As one of the Chosen of Mystra,
Elminster knows and can cast virtually any spell (he is exempt
from the rule that mages of 18 Intelligence can know only
18 spells per spell level). He generally disdains conjuration and
summoning spells, but aside from that personal preference has a
knack for carrying precisely the magic he needs to deal with
whatever situation he may encounter. A typical assortment of
spells might include: 1st burning hands, charm person, color
spray, hypnotism, identify, magic missile, shield; 2nd— forget, hypnotic
pattern, levitate, magic mouth, mirror image, ray of enfeeblement,
web; 3rd blink, fly, hold undead, protection from normal
missiles, secret page, slow, suggestion; 4th charm monster, confusion,
massmorph, minor globe of invulnerability, polymorph self,
Rary's mnenomic enhancer, stoneskin; 5th avoidance, Bigby's interposing
hand, dismissal, hold monster, passwall, teleport; 6th
disintegrate, inscribe*, legend lore, mass suggestion, Tenser's transformation;
7th forcecage, limited wish, power word stun, prismatic
spray, spell turning, statue; 8th Bigby's clenched fist, maze,
mind blank, prismatic wall, Serten's spell immunity, symbol; 9th
Elminster's evasion*, foresight, imprisonment, meteor swarm, shape
change, worldwalk*. (See also Bonus Spells below.)
Weapons of Proficiency: dagger; dart; quarterstaff. (Although
he has used many other weapons in his life, his skills
with most of them have deteriorated through lack of practice.)
Nonweapon Proficiencies: In his hundreds of years of
life and possessing the photographic memory that he does,
Elminster can be considered to possess any proficiency common
in the campaign.
Equipment: In his tower in Shadowdale, Elminster has
such vast wealth that any mundane item he does not already
possess can simply be purchased.
Magical Items: Elminster's store of magical items is extensive.
He is known to commonly don a necklace of missiles,
a ring of protection +3, and a ring of regeneration. And he almost
never goes anywhere without taking along his personal
Elminster's eversmoking pipe*.

SurlySeraph
2011-04-17, 06:39 PM
Another for 2E. The 3E mechanics tend to be quite bad (both in terms of NPC stats and in terms of the balance between options for PCs), and the fluff got rather silly and bloated. The 4E mechanics and design philosophy are good at solving the "Why do the PCs matter when all the NPCs are so powerful?" issue, but I really dislike most of the fluff changes.

Ozreth
2011-04-17, 06:55 PM
From Heroes' Lorebook 2e:

Elminster of Shadowdale
Human male 29th-level mage; one of
the Chosen of Mystra
ARMOR CLASS: 6 (3 w/ring)
MOVE: 12
HIT POINTS: 96
THAC0: 12
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic good
STR 13, DEX 18, CON 14, INT 18, WIS 18, CHA 17
Spells (7/7/7/7/6/6/6/6/6): As one of the Chosen of Mystra,
Elminster knows and can cast virtually any spell (he is exempt
from the rule that mages of 18 Intelligence can know only
18 spells per spell level). He generally disdains conjuration and
summoning spells, but aside from that personal preference has a
knack for carrying precisely the magic he needs to deal with
whatever situation he may encounter. A typical assortment of
spells might include: 1st burning hands, charm person, color
spray, hypnotism, identify, magic missile, shield; 2nd— forget, hypnotic
pattern, levitate, magic mouth, mirror image, ray of enfeeblement,
web; 3rd blink, fly, hold undead, protection from normal
missiles, secret page, slow, suggestion; 4th charm monster, confusion,
massmorph, minor globe of invulnerability, polymorph self,
Rary's mnenomic enhancer, stoneskin; 5th avoidance, Bigby's interposing
hand, dismissal, hold monster, passwall, teleport; 6th
disintegrate, inscribe*, legend lore, mass suggestion, Tenser's transformation;
7th forcecage, limited wish, power word stun, prismatic
spray, spell turning, statue; 8th Bigby's clenched fist, maze,
mind blank, prismatic wall, Serten's spell immunity, symbol; 9th
Elminster's evasion*, foresight, imprisonment, meteor swarm, shape
change, worldwalk*. (See also Bonus Spells below.)
Weapons of Proficiency: dagger; dart; quarterstaff. (Although
he has used many other weapons in his life, his skills
with most of them have deteriorated through lack of practice.)
Nonweapon Proficiencies: In his hundreds of years of
life and possessing the photographic memory that he does,
Elminster can be considered to possess any proficiency common
in the campaign.
Equipment: In his tower in Shadowdale, Elminster has
such vast wealth that any mundane item he does not already
possess can simply be purchased.
Magical Items: Elminster's store of magical items is extensive.
He is known to commonly don a necklace of missiles,
a ring of protection +3, and a ring of regeneration. And he almost
never goes anywhere without taking along his personal
Elminster's eversmoking pipe*.

Hm, I guess thats really not that much better than the 3e version, just that most of his characteristics/spells/etc are summarized in a paragraph instead of a list like in 3e, which actually makes it a little more annoying to have to read through and paraphrase.

Still more simple though.

From the 3.0 FRCS:

ELMINSTER
Male human (Chosen of Mystra) Ftr1/Rog2/Clr3/Wiz20/ Acm5/Epic4: CR 39; Medium-size humanoid; HD ldl0+7 plus 2d6+14 plus 3d8+21 plus 14d4+98; hp 219; Init +10; Spd 30 ft.; AC 29 (touch 17, flat-footed 25); Atk +17/+12/+7 melee (ld8+6/19-20, +5 thundering longsword) or +15/+10/+5 ranged touch (by spell); SA Sneak attack +ld6, turn undead 6/day; SQ Archmage high arcana, Chosen immunities, Chosen spell-like abilities, detect magic, enhanced Constitution., enhanced Intelligence, epic-level benefits, evasion, silver fire; SR 21; AL CG; SV Fort +17, Ref +13, Will +17; Str 13, Dex 18, Con 24, Int 24, Wis 18, Cha 17. Height 6 ft. 2 in.

Skills and Feats: Alchemy +27, Balance +6, Climb +5, Concentration +34, Decipher Script +9, Diplomacy +6, Handle Animal +7, Heal +8, Hide +8, Intimidate +11, Intuit Direction +6, Jump +5", Knowledge
(arcana) +27, Knowledge (geography) +22, Knowledge (history) +17, Knowledge (Dale- lands local) +17, Knowledge (nature) +17, Knowledge (nobility) +17, Knowledge (the planes) +22, Knowledge (religion) +12, Listen +13, Move Silently +8, Open Lock +6, Perform (dance) +6, Ride +8, Scry +27, Search +9, Sense Motive +11, Spellcraft +29, Spot +14, Swim +5, Tumble +5; Blooded, Craft Staff, Craft
W ondrous Item, Expertise, Forge Ring, Heighten Spell, Improved Ini- tiative, Luck of Heroes, Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Spell Focus (Enchantment), Spell Focus (Evocation), Spell Penetration, Twin Spell.

Special Qualities: Archmage High Arcana: Arcane reach, mastery of counterspelling, mastery of elements, spell power +4 (total). Chosen Immuni- ties: Elminster is completely unaffect- ed by attacks that duplicate these effects: detect thoughts, disintegrate, Evard's black tentacles, feeble- mind, finger of death, fireball, magic missile, sunburst, temporal stasis. Chosen Spell-like Abilities (all 1/day): dispel magic, lesser ironguard, see invisibility, shapechange, Simbul's synostodweomer (converts prepared spells into 2 points of healing per spell level), spider climb, teleport without error, thunderlance, true seeing. Detect Magic (Su): Line of sight. Enhanced Constitution; The Chosen of Mystra template adds +10 to Elminster's Constitution. Enhanced Intelli- gence: Elminster used wish spells to increase his Intelligence. His Intelligence score has a +4 inherent bonus included in its value. Epic- Level Benefits: Bonus spell level x4 (included in the listing below), six effective levels of wizard and five of archmage (included in above total). Silver Fire (Su) See Chapter 2 for details.

Cleric Spells per Day: 4/4/3. Base DC = 14 + spell level, 16 + spell level for evocation and enchantment spells. Domains: Magic (use spell trigger or spell completion devices as a 26th-level wizard), Spell (+2 bonus on Concentration and Spellcraft checks). Caster level 3rd.

Wizard Spells per Day: 4/6/6/6/5/4/5/3/3/3/1/1/1/l. Base DC = 21 + spell level, 23 + spell level for evocation and enchantment spells. Caster level 25th.

Signature Possessions: Ring of protection +3, amulet of natural
armor +5, bracers of armor +7, ring of regeneration, mantle of spell resistance, +5 thundering longsword, Elminster's eversmoking pipe. As a very powerful wizard, Elminster has access to incredible resources and can acquire or make almost any nonartifact item he might need, given time.

edit: ok yea, the 2e version is way simpler :)

Mark Hall
2011-04-17, 08:29 PM
My current preference is Castles and Crusades, but of the AD&D options, I'd lean towards 2nd edition rules in the 1st edition world. My games tend to ignore the Time of Troubles and everything after.

Lemunde
2011-04-17, 09:52 PM
This is a total noob question but what setting do modern D&D games tend to take place in? I always assumed Forgotten Realms was the default for all editions.

Starwulf
2011-04-17, 10:07 PM
This is a total noob question but what setting do modern D&D games tend to take place in? I always assumed Forgotten Realms was the default for all editions.

I'll second that. I've always figured that any reference made to D&D automatically referred to a Forgotten Realms setting.

Siosilvar
2011-04-17, 10:12 PM
3.5's default is closer to Greyhawk than FR, and 4e's setting is "Points of Light", which, AFAIK, is a generic "here be monsters".

1e and 2e had no default setting, but Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk both hail from that time.

Given this, however, the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights series are both set in FR, and the only other D&D computer game that really gathered a following was Planescape: Torment. So most people nowadays are probably more familiar with FR than other settings. I know I got into D&D after playing Baldur's Gate.

hamlet
2011-04-18, 11:37 AM
This is a total noob question but what setting do modern D&D games tend to take place in? I always assumed Forgotten Realms was the default for all editions.

The "default" setting even for 3.5 was a generic Greyhawk, prettied up for the squares (the original Greyhawk was a little morally ambiguous and left the moral guardians feeling squidgy at times, so TSR prettied up the corners a little along with the general rules to get MAD off their backs). I'd say, though, that few ever really used Greyhawk itself and most games took place in either a home brew, Eberron, or FR setting. Or some strange Frankenstinian stitched monster version of all of them.

For the record, Greyhawk (and to a little extent in 2nd edition, Forgotten Realms) was the implied setting of D&D since, almost, the beginning.



As for the original question . . . Obejctively, I don't care. Whatever setting version, whatever system you like best, go for it. Subjectively, I think the original Greybox setting with select of the expansions (the FR series) and a little of the 2nd edition stuff thrown into the mix along with AD&D 2e rules (with 1e demons/devils) is really the right balance for me.

But then again, I have a love hate relationship with the Realms, sliding heavily towards hate on any given day.

Mark Hall
2011-04-18, 12:40 PM
1e didn't have a default setting, though the prevalence of Greyhawk-named spells, and Greyhawk-set adventures (Temple of Elemental Evil and the Giants series pop to mind) tends to put a lot of 1e games as being related to Greyhawk.

2e didn't have a default setting, but this is when FR became the driver of a lot of development; not quite a default setting, but definitely one that was going to be a touchstone for a lot of people.

3e's default setting was... Greyhawk-inspired, though I'd be hard-pressed to call it Greyhawk. Most of the deity names came from Greyhawk, but beyond that, I'd be hard-pressed to call it Greyhawk.

hamishspence
2011-04-18, 02:01 PM
Wasn't 0th ed's default setting Mystara?

hamlet
2011-04-18, 02:40 PM
Wasn't 0th ed's default setting Mystara?

Known World, actually. There is a difference.

It wasn't named "Mystara" until later on, and a lot of people are not happy with that later material.

CapnVan
2011-04-18, 04:10 PM
As you'll note from a few comments here, which include "Mary Sue" et al., many players have a fundamental misunderstanding of the Realms.

It's just a game setting. Many players, having read the novels, seen the fanfic, spent time debating who's stronger, etc. have forgotten that.

In other words, *any* system will work. The key is to remember that the iconic characters were never meant by the designers to be interacted with on anything like a regular basis, let alone in combat.

The Realms, just like any serious game setting, are vast — your players shouldn't be encountering the many possible versions of deus ex machina, unless it's on some incredibly rare instance.

I'll paraphrase Ed Greenwood's take on originally statting Elminster out: "He's meant to be able to whoop your players. Stat him out as needed."

Greenwood believed that it was important for his players to recognize that there's always someone stronger than them out there, and that would actually encourage better roleplaying and more thinking and cunning on the part of the players. Which is one of the things that detractors complain about in the Realms — there's always some badass in every community.

I think you'll find that Greenwood's intention was that those badasses were there not for the DM to use to punish the PCs, but as a last resort for a DM struggling with a party that's gotten very comfortable with its power.

Eldan
2011-04-18, 04:15 PM
Even leaving out the iconics, though, there's still many differences.

Look at item crafting. In AD&D, it's a lot more difficult than in 3.5, so magic items will be rarer. No infinite food dispensers for every village. Monster abilities are different, so their ecology changes accordingly. A 0-level AD&D NPC is different from a level 1 commoner or expert.

Lapak
2011-04-18, 04:21 PM
As you'll note from a few comments here, which include "Mary Sue" et al., many players have a fundamental misunderstanding of the Realms.I don't think it's a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Realms became; it's a misunderstanding of what they began as.

I think you'll find that Greenwood's intention was that those badasses were there not for the DM to use to punish the PCs, but as a last resort for a DM struggling with a party that's gotten very comfortable with its power.This is largely true. And the original grey-box campaign setting almost no stats for the major characters; it's not in front of me at the moment, but the only characters I remember even skeletal stats for were the folks running The Flaming Fist (and even that consisted of ability scores and half a dozen magical items to describe 20th level characters.) The Realms as originally envisioned were a pretty wide-open playing field with almost none of the Plot Characters floating around, and wide swaths of land that were only described in generalities, rather than being covered in detail with hundreds of years of history plus manpower breakdowns for major organizations and full stat blocks for every significant figure.

But what the Realms became over time, through supplements and modules and novels and Dragon and Dungeon, was exactly that: a setting so thoroughly described that it was difficult to run under different mechanical assumptions.

So for the Forgotten Realms as released in the AD&D era? Any system is fine. For the Forgotten Realms of 3.0 and later? It works best in the 3.x environment.

Kinsmarck
2011-04-18, 05:32 PM
I'll be the odd one out here, and say that I prefer the 3rd(3.5) Edition ruleset with 2nd Edition fluff and background when playing in the Realms. As has been said already, there's a stigma that seems to be attached to the Realms, and more specifically, to its powerful NPCs. To me, that's okay, but only for one simple, albeit crucial reason; there are reasons for these characters to be as mighty as they are, and few of them ever flaunt their abilities beyond necessity.

The Forgotten Realms was built with heroics in mind, and some, myself included, would say, mages in mind. It is for this reason that I don't mind how brokenly powerful 3e mages can get, as it's how they're depicted in just about every piece of published fiction set in the Realms universe. I like to remind myself that, especially in the case of campaigns being played in the Realms, the ruleset it more or less a module by which a story is told rather than just 'a game that must be fair to all.' The world's not fair, here or there, and plenty of fighters, in title and class, have been frustrated by their inability, despite years of discipline and training, to match up to a mage's destructive capability. To me, that's not a problem with the game, it's a problem to that character; I.E. it's characterization, and that's a good thing if it's handled properly.

I could go on, but I think I've made my point as concisely as I can. In short, I think the 3e system adequately reflects the potential capabilities of characters in the Realms, while the 2e background fluff is simply indispensible.

CapnVan
2011-04-18, 05:34 PM
I don't think it's a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Realms became; it's a misunderstanding of what they began as.

Or, at the least what they were perceived as. Fair point.


*snip* The Realms as originally envisioned were a pretty wide-open playing field with almost none of the Plot Characters floating around, and wide swaths of land that were only described in generalities, rather than being covered in detail with hundreds of years of history plus manpower breakdowns for major organizations and full stat blocks for every significant figure.

But what the Realms became over time, through supplements and modules and novels and Dragon and Dungeon, was exactly that: a setting so thoroughly described that it was difficult to run under different mechanical assumptions.

I'd still disagree with you on that aspect — I think if you walk into a reasonably stocked bookstore today, and head to the travel section, and read everything on the shelves, you'd still be able to find a great deal of worth in reading the travel sections of various periodicals.

And that's our real, supremely interconnected world.

The Realms is big enough that RHoD was written essentially as a drop in — and that's a serious territorial module.

All I'm saying is that for every Dale that's been well-described (and I'd argue that anyone can still drop in pretty much anything they want there, and it's intended that way), there are vast areas that were never detailed in any meaningful way.

For the best.

The Big Dice
2011-04-18, 05:38 PM
To me, the Realms is just a map and there's a book with thumbnails of placves that I can then flesh out as I see fit. Back in the day I didn't really play AD&D, or Overly And Pointlessly Complex D&D as I called it back then, so I was more of a Known World kind of guy. Though I was aware of the way the Time of Troubles modules were used as a vehicle to introduce and change over to 2nd ed AD&D. Which I thought was quite a cool gimmick.

What I find with the Realms is, it's a setting I'm not emotionally attached to, so the edition of D&D tends towards 3rd. Since that's the one I have a few books for. And I'm not afraid to break the setting, because I haven't invested huge amounts of energy, time and emotion into it like I have with Rokugan.

LansXero
2011-04-18, 06:45 PM
Another consideration is that even though a given DM may want to change or include details to the Realms, players have usually read the books or played the games or know who this and that is, and they want the DM to know and use all that detail for it to feal like a "Realms Game".

Alleran
2011-04-18, 10:02 PM
The Realms is big enough that RHoD was written essentially as a drop in — and that's a serious territorial module.
Emphasis on the size of the Realms also exists with Waterdeep. This is a single city. Yet it is large enough that you can fill an entire sourcebook with information on it, and still leave out reams and reams of paper filled with background information, including the surrounding area, most of the information on areas beneath the city, and trimming down the noble houses (and yes, Greenwood does have full write-ups of several pages in length for every single noble family of Waterdeep).

And there are at least scores of other cities like Waterdeep out there, if not hundreds. Sure, Waterdeep is perhaps a bit more detailed than others because it was one of the first places Greenwood designed. His original FR was a series of nebulous coastal cities (later the Sword Coast) that became the playground of an adventuring mercenary-come-merchant known as Mirt (his self-insert), who traveled from city to city making deals, having adventures, swindling people, and so on and so forth. Later Greenwood began to develop everything more thoroughly, moving outwards from the Sword Coast (I think Cormyr was one of his early ones, along with the Dales), but that's where he started.

Elminster didn't even show up for quite some time. At first, there were just legends of silver-haired female servants of the goddess of magic who wielded vast magical powers. Only later did he go into more detail on them. They're still supposed to be legends in the Realms, mind you. Rumour and all that is much more interesting than the real events/people. Anyway, Elminster came about after this, as an "unreliable narrator" for the Realms.

Yes, he's not supposed to be speaking the absolute truth. You should be taking everything he says with a grain of salt (in other words, individual DMs can modify things as they choose).

The Realms is a very big place.

nyarlathotep
2011-04-18, 10:25 PM
I always found Forgotten Realms work best with some major upset of the status quo. Not that the whole setting is bad it's just that it is static and campaigns in my experience thrive on large scale conflict.

Noneoyabizzness
2011-04-19, 09:17 AM
have a weakness for 2e, but at the same tiem think a lot of 3e made it make sense. why hasn't evil or good triumphed "because the known heroes are absurd level the known villians are absurd level and the les sknown stuuff can get that high

Mark Hall
2011-04-19, 11:10 AM
While I'm primarily a fan of C&C and AD&D for the Realms (as mentioned before), I will add a couple codicils:

1) The 3e FRCS is an excellent book. While I don't use all of it, especially not for my "home" campaign area (which is more likely to see extensive work and changes, just due to the nature of adventuring in the area), the book itself is excellent as an overview of the Realms. I use it as a primary quick-reference for things I don't know off the top of my head.

2) 4e, in many ways, reads like the novels are written. This especially struck me with Greenwood's "Swords" series. The wizards almost always have a spell they can use, but their big ones they can only toss about a couple times. The warriors frequently have something interesting they can do, and they can contribute in a way they cannot, meaningfully, in 3e.


I always found Forgotten Realms work best with some major upset of the status quo. Not that the whole setting is bad it's just that it is static and campaigns in my experience thrive on large scale conflict.

What I find works best is to make that upset of the status quo the major plotline. Zhentarim are taking over the Western Heartlands. A hobgoblin has showed up at the Dales Council, claiming to represent a new Dale, and wanting to be seated. The Cormanthor Drow are kidnapping Lythari to force them to transfer their "curse" to the drow, letting them have powers above ground.

The basic world has a lot of conflicts you can play with... it's just a question of which one catches fire when your campaign starts.

stainboy
2011-04-19, 09:17 PM
I actually like the 3e ruleset for Forgotten Realms, or at least I never felt like 3e was a bad fit and I needed to go back to AD&D. Maybe because I played more Neverwinter Nights than Baldur's Gate.

I definitely prefer the early 2e Realms timeline though. There's a daunting amount of canon to learn and one of my players read all the novels as a kid so I can't fake it. A lot of the canon is just too much of a big deal. Knowing that the gods have walked the earth in your characters' lifetimes make whatever you're doing look rinky-dink.

Random aside: One time I tried to use material from Damara/Vaasa and my players said I was ripping off Warcraft. This made me sad.

Ozreth
2011-04-19, 11:25 PM
A hobgoblin has showed up at the Dales Council, claiming to represent a new Dale, and wanting to be seated.

Awesome. : )

Mark Hall
2011-04-20, 11:02 AM
A hobgoblin has showed up at the Dales Council, claiming to represent a new Dale, and wanting to be seated.


Awesome. : )

That particular game had a LOT going on. The Elves were returning from Evermeet to take Cormanthor, the Cormanthor Drow were kidnapping some of the Lythari to try and turn all above-ground drow into Lythari, the a hobgoblin general had taken over the ruins of Ssessrendale after leaving the retaking of Arabel. In the midst of this, you had the Dalefolk, some archaeological shenanigans near the Sembian border, Sembia and the Zhents wrangling over trade routes...

The game fell apart because of scheduling, unfortunately.

Akal Saris
2011-04-20, 11:30 AM
As far as mechanics go, I feel like 2E was probably a happy medium, but it's how the story moves along that interests me more.

I like the 2E timeline best, immediately after the Time of Troubles, because the world is completely shaken up and there's a thousand things going on at once.

The 3E and 3.5 timelines are a little irritating to me, because the timeline moves forward about 3-5 years, but it feels like 80% of the major subplots from 2E are concluded without compelling new ones replacing them. It's the same feeling I get from each WoW expansion:
'hey! the timeline's moved forward one year, and in that span of time we defeated the servant of an elder god, killed an elder god re-arisen, killed a troll deity just for fun, destroyed blackrock spire, killed Deathwing's brother and sister and destroyed their fortresses, the deity of magic went totally insane, we finally purged the Scarlet Hand of those evil people, discovered a demon was controlling the Scarlet Hand and killed him, went into Stratholme and killed all the undead there, and repelled an invasion by a floating undead citadel! But now the Dark Portal has re-opened and its time for us to kill all the major evil NPCs of that world!'

4E's timeline I don't know too well, but I'm all too happy that most of the high powered characters are dead or have ascended to become deities. Much like the Time of Troubles for 2E, I feel like the Spellplague was a decent enough 'reset' button for newer players being introduced to FR. With that said, I'm still running 3.5/PF games that are set in the 2E timeline advanced along by the PCs rather than down 3.5's path.




Random aside: One time I tried to use material from Damara/Vaasa and my players said I was ripping off Warcraft. This made me sad.

One of my players has a weird Damara/Vaasa fixation, so I can't set anything there without him getting all know-it-all on me.