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T O P I C    R E V I E W
John Daker Posted - 31 Aug 2018 : 14:38:44
Recently a friend of mine has become a budding FR junkie. She turned to me for advice, so I thought I'd pass her question along to the experts here.

She wants to purchase 10 FR products and would like to know the most essential ones to get, in terms of lore.

She already has all the 5e hardcovers, including SCAG, and she also already has Grand History of the Realms, Elminster's Forgotten Realms, and Realmspace. Despite loving the idea of Spelljammer, the only book she disliked was Realmspace, due to (what she considered to be) poor execution.

Having come to the game and the setting in the 5e era, she has no problem with the Spellplague; it's all just part of the world's history to her. She even really likes the idea of the 5e-era setting as a kind of "post-post-apocalyptic" world where, in her words, "things were weird and bad for a long time but the world was recently restored (via the Second Sundering) to a relatively normal state."

Luckily for her, money is no object. So, apart from the above tomes, which 10 purchases should she make? She is only interested in the world/setting of FR, not stats or mechanics (except insofar as they illuminate that world). Could be regional guides, box sets, adventures -- anything except novels -- from any edition.
12   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
ZeshinX Posted - 11 Sep 2018 : 16:05:45
All excellent recommendations. Might I also suggest some Al-Qadim, Kara-Tur and Maztica if she's keen to see more of the world of the Forgotten Realms and not just Faerun. Of course, if it's just Faerun she's interested in, ignore me.
Lord Karsus Posted - 10 Sep 2018 : 18:04:05
For me, the ten best in no particular order:


Faiths and Avatars
Powers and Pantheons
Demihuman Deities
Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog
Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark
Volo's Guide to All Things Magical
Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
Races of Faerūn
Lost Empires of Faerun
The Grand History of the Realms
Misereor Posted - 10 Sep 2018 : 12:36:14
If she likes the 1st or 2nd edition FRCG boxed set, I would recommend checking out Forgotten Realms Adventures as it's the near perfect companion book for these.
George Krashos Posted - 07 Sep 2018 : 01:31:06
If I might make a suggestion, you might want to also squeeze in Demihuman Deities.

-- George Krashos
John Daker Posted - 06 Sep 2018 : 14:30:35
Thanks for the input, everyone! I've settled on recommending this list to her:

1) FRCS 3e
2) FRCG 4e (I know, I know, but she does want to incorporate the "recent history" for 5e)
3) Faiths and Avatars
4) Powers and Pantheons
5) Lost Empires of Faerun
6) Races of Faerun
7) Lords of Darkness 3e
8) Volo's Guide to the Dalelands (because, like Ed Greenwood, I think the VGs provide the best Realms flavor)
9) Empires of the Shining Sea (so she can see what an excellent regional guide really looks like)
10) Secrets of the Magister (so she can Ed's spellcrafting and lorecrafting working in conjunction with each other)

Thanks again to everyone who chimed in. When she's read all these, she'll be hooked for life, I'm sure of it!
Dewaint Posted - 01 Sep 2018 : 10:36:44
goal of the suggested selection was to provide an overview on the main driving forces (IMHO) of the realms, how they evolved during the various (A)DnD editions:

god's devoted followers, organisations, and of course Arcane knowledge


omitted on purpose Waterdeep and Undermountain as new 5e books covering both are imminent ;)

as the other members already stated, there are more detailed regional sources you can dive in, Unapproachable East (3.5e) and The Horde Box Set(2e) being some of my favoureds.
sleyvas Posted - 01 Sep 2018 : 00:34:10
Oh, and if she's just wanting setting info.... have her search up Ed's articles on Nimbral (I want to say there are 10 parts). They're still up on the web and they're really good reads. Being as there's very little information on Nimbral, this makes for a good read.
sleyvas Posted - 01 Sep 2018 : 00:29:55
Well, IF she's planning to run her stuff in the 5e era, then the list I would give her wouldn't necessarily be the list I myself would love. Also, a lot of earlier edition stuff that we all might have enjoyed might confuse the bejeezus out of her, but we might have loved it for the mechanics, etc... I want to think about this from THAT perspective. So, with that in mind, I would recommend the below 14 (I just can't limit it to 10). I'll also a list a lot of others, and why, because they may be interested in them because they're interested in a certain topic, etc...



1) 4th edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (not my cup of tea, but its the closest thing to a setting update for 5e in general)
2) 4th edition Forgotten Realms Player's Guide (see above note)
3) 3rd edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
4) 2nd ed Faiths and Avatars
5) 2nd ed Powers and Pantheons
6) 2nd ed Demihuman Deities
7) 2nd ed Monster Mythology
8) TSR 1159 Lands of Intrigue
9) 2nd edition Spellbound (though Thay has changed heavily, Thesk, Rashemen, and Aglarond haven't)
10) TSR 1077 Al-Qadim - Land of Fate
11) 2nd edition Bloodstone Lands (though Damara and Impiltur have changed heavily, I feel its important to know where they came from)
12) 2nd edition Empires of the Shining Sea
13) 2nd edition Old Empires (though the area has changed heavily, I still feel its important to know where it came FROM since some of it may be returning)
14) TSR 9410 Cormyr

I would almost say things like City of Splendors, 2nd edition The North Guide to the Savage Frontier, etc... but she probably has a ton of material on the North from the stuff that's been released for 5e (especially the SCAG and the recent giants books)

Some good reads from 2e/3e that can be gleaned for ideas Champions of Ruin, Champions of Valor, Serpent Kingdoms, Cult of the Dragon, Dragons of Faerun, Player's Guide to the Forgotten Realms, Pages from the Mages, Prayers from the Faithful

Now, things I would not recommend because they're so changed in 5e, but I'd recommend just because they're good and KIND OF setting neutral (i.e. they general have good ideas and aren't a bunch of crunch rules) 3rd edition Unapproachable East, 2nd and 3rd edition shining south, 2nd edition FR Campaign Setting, Cloak and Dagger (but only after she's read a LOT of the 2nd edition stuff), Seven Sisters,


Now other things I'd recommend because they might be useful if she expanded into those areas: 2nd ed Monster Mythology, Menzoberranzan, 2nd edition Drizzt's Guide to the underdark, 3rd edition underdark, 2nd edition Sea of Fallen Stars, 2nd edition Horde Boxed Set, Kara-Tur Campaign Setting, Giantcraft, Maztica Campaign Setting


Seravin Posted - 31 Aug 2018 : 22:38:34
Okay...my list:

Forgotten Realms Adventures harcover (the best book)
Old Grey Box
Campaign Setting 3rd Edition
Volo's Guide to: Cormyr; the Dalelands, Waterdeep, the Sword Coast,
Waterdeep and the North box set
Cloak and Dagger
the Moonsea (2nd edition)
Hall of Heroes (2nd edition)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 31 Aug 2018 : 17:26:43
quote:
Originally posted by Dewaint

I would suggest the following 10 books:

1. Faiths and Avatars
2. Powers and Pantheons
3. Demihuman Deities
4. Faiths and Pantheons --> Those 4 presenting gods their priests & locations
-------------------------------------------------------------------
5. Lords of Darkness (3rd edition)
6. Cloak & Dagger --> (notso)secret organisations and their plottings
-------------------------------------------------------------------
7. Lost Empires of Faerūn
8. Races of Faerūn
9. Secrets of the Magister
10. Volo's Guide to All Things Magical

Assuming current history being reflected by 5e resources to a good extend, there are still many more worth mentioning (like the Volo's guides), but guess those are a good starting point to get the picture of how the Realms are what they are :)

have fun!




This list is a good one, though I'd replace Faiths & Pantheons with either the 1E Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (commonly referred to as the OGB, or Old Grey Box) or the 2E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Both boxed sets are wonderful resources with a broad overview of the entire setting.

The 3E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting is a hardcover book that offers similar coverage, and while I don't like it as much as the earlier boxed sets, it's still a worthy resource and may be better for someone coming from a 5E ruleset.

And a heck of a lot of this stuff is available as legal pdfs from DriveThruRPG.com and its sister site RPGNow.com. If you're looking for the actual print books, NobleKnight.com is an oft-recommended resource, though when I had to rebuild my Realms collection, I went with eBay, myself.
Gary Dallison Posted - 31 Aug 2018 : 15:20:31
I'd scrub faiths and pantheon as it's mostly a rehash of all the other god books and if you aren't into demi humans then scrub demihuman deities as well.

Empires of the shining sea is possibly the best regional sourcebooks there is. However as a region the Calimshan and tethyr region is not often used.

Cormyr and the dalelands are the most well worn of the region's but their region books are only okay.

The city of splendour boxed set (2e) gives an excellent in depth look at waterdeep and you could adventure just in that city until you are old and grey
Dewaint Posted - 31 Aug 2018 : 15:03:17
I would suggest the following 10 books:

1. Faiths and Avatars
2. Powers and Pantheons
3. Demihuman Deities
4. Faiths and Pantheons --> Those 4 presenting gods their priests & locations
-------------------------------------------------------------------
5. Lords of Darkness (3rd edition)
6. Cloak & Dagger --> (notso)secret organisations and their plottings
-------------------------------------------------------------------
7. Lost Empires of Faerūn
8. Races of Faerūn
9. Secrets of the Magister
10. Volo's Guide to All Things Magical

Assuming current history being reflected by 5e resources to a good extend, there are still many more worth mentioning (like the Volo's guides), but guess those are a good starting point to get the picture of how the Realms are what they are :)

have fun!

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