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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7188 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2011 :  23:43:26  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
THO offered some interesting comments in Questions for Ed Greenwood (2011) [Page 1], including:
quote:
The Hooded One

[Pundits] make the basic mistake of applying THEIR ... viewpoints to an invented fantasy setting ... Such posters then sit in judgement [and cherry-pick], as all gamers tend to, in a manner that would be considered rude at best ...
Thinking about her commentary made me realize that certain authors, in particular those who write D&D/FR fanfic, seem to endure a lot more unjustified (and yes, sometimes simply rude) criticism than authors of other genres would have to tolerate. Why is this the case?

Sure, there are some FR novels I don't like. Often by the same authors who've written FR novels I do like. But what is it I personally don't like in some FR novels?

  • Sometimes the characters behave in a manner that I find objectionable. Perhaps in a way that violates my moral/ethical sensibilities. Or perhaps in some way which I feel is inconsistent, illogical, or explained unsatisfactorily; sometimes the decisions and actions of a character just strike me as "out of character", random, inexplicable, or completely dumb.

  • Sometimes content and elements are introduced into the setting which I feel, for whatever reason, just aren't appropriate and somehow "don't belong". The Realms setting is one that is constantly changing, and like anything else, not everyone (including me) is going to agree that every change is acceptable or an improvement.

  • More extreme than above, sometimes novels introduce very disruptive (RSE) changes to the setting; in a way, some part of the established setting is forever lost or destroyed. Or a character I like is removed or altered. Sometimes I find these changes unpalatable, other times I mislike the particular method which implements them.

  • Sometimes the writing itself is just poorly handled or outright bad. Or, if not bad, then at least not as good as I'd expect the author could (and should) have produced. Some authors have greater skill at telling tales (and fortunately, most of the FR crew can be counted among these) - though sometimes the story itself is just told badly, is predictable, poorly structured, or (in the case of FR books) contrived to merely announce or detail newly synthesized D&D game elements.

  • Sometimes there's nothing wrong with the book at all. It could be a masterpiece. I just don't happen to like it.


  • More about the first point: I think it's unfair to judge the morality and ethics (and even personal preferences) of an author through his depiction of characters. Antagonists tend to be villainously amoral while protoganists tend to be unrealistically pure paragons; skilled authors move past the melodrama and into the drama, where archetypical definitions become blurry and characters may evolve through several "shades of grey" (or even switch) roles. True enough, an author might write in disturbing detail about sadistic, inhuman, or darkly perverted, repulsive and disturbing things - and much might be revealed about the author's own capacities through this writing - but the author is not the predatory sexual offender or demented psychopath he has constructed and portrayed for a story. We all know that. But (as THO pointed out) people seem to automatically assume a recurring character is some kind of Mary-Sue window into the author's imago. Drizzt is not a Mary-Sue (or at least, not RAS's Mary-Sue, more of an iconic "Canon-Sue" that has been fabricated by popular demand); I say this because RAS has written many books which do not contain any Drizzt (or photocopied Drizzt-like variations) at all. Likewise, Ed has portrayed numerous characters who are not Mary-Sues; the notable exception (in my mind) would be early Elminster, who is not at all the same character as recent Elminster. Every experienced storyteller (including DMs) can conjure up tons of fictional characters, the vast majority of these are not Mary-Sues.

    I'll point out these faults apply to all fiction and are by no means limited to FR titles. They are also subjective, as the standards by which I judge novels will be different from yours, or even those of the authors themselves. Ed is just one author who has written some books I consider quite fantastic, some books which I feel are not as good, and even a few I find objectionable. And of course, many of us (including myself) need to temper our criticism with a reminder that we've never published a book ourselves.

    I'll ask my fellow scribes to not bash particular authors or books, nor argue about RSEs and D&D editions and such in this scroll. We all have our opinions, and no doubt even authors may sometimes view some of their own work as substandard or offensive, and their opinions might differ from our own.

    [/Ayrik]

    Edited by - Ayrik on 02 Jan 2011 07:02:16

    althen artren
    Senior Scribe

    USA
    779 Posts

    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  00:38:28  Show Profile Send althen artren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    i think some of it is a God complex.

    "look at what I created and be awed, all ye who enter here."

    Other just want to play D&D in their head and get paid for it.

    The rest, I don't know. I personally think they're insane. Hard to
    get in, not great profits, lots rejection. who'd want it?
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    sfdragon
    Great Reader

    2268 Posts

    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  04:15:53  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    people like to hear themselves gripe.....


    why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


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    Arielis
    Acolyte

    Canada
    13 Posts

    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  05:24:49  Show Profile  Visit Arielis's Homepage Send Arielis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    I think any time you take some very seriously, you'll have a harder time looking at the big picture and accepting new things that you preferred didn't happen.

    I'm not sure that there are more people who are criticizing FR novels compared with other popular genres. I think it could have more to do with the type of personalities that are usually reading these novels and into this kind of community. I'd imagine the personalities that are attracted to this are more often much more attuned to details and therefore perhaps more critical and analyzing of what's being written. Just a theory.

    Actually this thread shed some light on what people consider when reading FR novels. Analyzing Ed Greenwood's sexual preferences was not something I expected. Hilarious though. That's a worthy thread!

    'If you can't be good, be lucky!'
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    Ayrik
    Great Reader

    Canada
    7188 Posts

    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  05:47:16  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    People have long analyzed and questioned (harangued) about the topic of Ed's sexual preferences. And Ed (well, his lady herald) has answered the same questions many times. And many times the answers have been challenged because they didn't fit people's preconceived expectations (which is, in a way, basically the same thing as telling Ed he's an idiot or a liar).

    I was as surprised as you, Arielis, when I first began to read about such stuff. This line of questioning seems rude to me (and selectively ignoring "wrong" answers seems even ruder); it's just not the sort of topic you generally ask strangers. Unless you plan to seduce them, or hope to be seduced by them, or you're a doctor, or whatever. Like Ed's sex life is anybody's business? Not to belittle Ed, but honestly, I truly don't care (and really don't want to know) about his sex life. All that matters to me is what he writes.

    This illustrates
    1) Ed is apparently sexier than I thought. [Edit: Not that I've ever thought about Ed sexually.]
    2) All people (including me) have preconceptions when they read stuff, and will form opinions based on what they've read instead of what was actually written.
    3) Many people lack more than a veneer of civility and politeness. Maybe it's an internet thing, or maybe Ed's "conversationally" open informality encourages disrespect. I dunno.
    4) Most people seriously fixate on going nuts about every scrap of celebrity trivia they can get. I understand celebrities are celebrated, that's their purpose. It's incomprehensible to me, I can't personally grok the phenomenon or care at all about celebrities in any way (aside from the usual manly leering at unattainable hawt celeb chicks, of course). To be fair, I realize that "normal" people are equally confounded when I excitedly übernerd out on worshipping new microcode, part specifications, and circuit schematics. I might be in the minority, but I'm not perfect.

    [/Ayrik]

    Edited by - Ayrik on 02 Jan 2011 06:10:20
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    Alystra Illianniis
    Great Reader

    USA
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    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  06:10:31  Show Profile Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    I don't think it's just FR novels at all. It seems to me like the entire fantasy genre is subject to more criticism than almost any other. (Except perhaps romance/erotic, which also gets its share of flak!) For one thing, fantasy novels are almost pure escapist storytelling in its most real form. There is often little, if any, correlation to "real life" situations or environments. This does not mean it is not worthwhile or valid. The critics tend to be over-analytical of characters and story-elements they find disturbing or too "controversial" for their liking. I have read many tales that were either thought-provoking, or just downright twisted, but I have NEVER put the actions or thoughts of a character onto their creator. (For one thing, that would be extremely hypocritical of me, as I have written some rather perverted or sadistic characters, myself!)

    Anyone who does this, really just has a problem distinguishing the thoughts/actions of the character from the views and morals of the author, but that's probably a subject for a whole new thread. I've read books that are not as good as what I know the author is capable of, but sometimes the story just does not go in the direction the writer originally envision, and I can relate to that, because I've had it happen to me all too often. Sometimes a writer tries to force it back in line, and perhaps that's where the story goes wrong. In general, I try to take each story on its own merits, and look for the good points, although I admit there are some I've read that had very few of those.

    I think it boils down to expectations. When we read a novel by a favorite author, we expect it to be as good as others by that person, or to have similar ideas or moral views as others. But that is often not the case, as an author's own ideas and views might have changed between tales, and sometimes the writing reflects this. As Arik mentioned, Elminster in recent books is much different that in the first ones, and that may well be a sign of Ed's own changes in outlook. People change, and quite often, their writing reflects this. I can look at things I wrote when I was much younger, and see a vast difference to the tales I pen now! (If you want to see what I mean, take a look at the link to my stories in my siggie- there's an old TMNT fan-fic I started posting in there that I wrote when I was in 7th grade. Compare it to the other stories in that forum, and you can see a big difference....)

    The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

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    Ayrik
    Great Reader

    Canada
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    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  07:43:04  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Elminster is a Mary-Sue who's grown in outlook and complexity as a reflection of his creator?

    I'll admit that's an interesting perspective I hadn't considered. My opinion was more along the lines of Elminster started off as a Mary-Sue (admit it) but was "demoted" into just another character when his creator outgrew the need for such a dependancy; since then, they've been moving in two different directions. I see Elminster as still being interesting and even indispensable but not quite as vital, central, and "important" to Ed as he used to be. More Elminster is great, but more Elminster takes away from everybody else around him. Of course, this might be an example of me projecting my own bias and expectations onto the evolution of the character.

    [/Ayrik]

    Edited by - Ayrik on 02 Jan 2011 13:43:17
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    Brimstone
    Great Reader

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    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  10:24:44  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Ed didn't want to write about Elminster. TSR and WotC wanted Ed to write about Elminster. Ed wanted to focus on other characters, and leave Elminster in the background as he should be. That wont stop me from reading about Elminster...

    "These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
    to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
    thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
    words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
    then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
    will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
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    Thauramarth
    Senior Scribe

    United Kingdom
    680 Posts

    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  13:57:41  Show Profile Send Thauramarth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    In general, I'd say that shared universe settings stories / novels / games / work(be it FR, Star Wars, Marvel Universe, and so on) tend to draw more vocal criticism (and, to be fair, more vocal defenders) than most other genres.

    In my own little universe, I like to call it the "fan singer" syndrome - I once read an interview with a singer that I was (and still am) a fan off, a guy who's been around since the 1970s and has quite an impressive catalogue. At one concert, I did note that the man was using lyrics sheets during his songs, and he elaborated on this during an interview (others noticed, too). Guy said, something along these lines: I really don't remember every detail of every song I have ever done, especially since what has been published is only a fragment of everything I've ever done. So that's why I keep a lyrics sheet. And then (and here's where it becomes relevant again): "And if that fails, I look towards the first rows near the stage - all of those people know my lyrics by heart anyway."

    Same thing applies to shared fictional settings - it is actually quite possible to KNOW everything ever published about a given setting. Fantasy / Sci-Fi fans (which is what most shared settings cover) tend to be, well, the ones who put the "fan" in "fanatic". Someone writes a story for "real earth", and makes a mistake (or takes a liberty) with events that took place in Polynesia on 3 January 1428, few people will notice, and even fewer will care enough to raise a fuss about it. Incidentally, sci-fi / fantasy fans also tend to be more communications-savvy (with the internet acting as an exponential force multiplier), so their criticism (probably more vocal to begin with) is communicated more vocally.

    We've all seen it before, here on Candlekeep (I'm paraphrasing and exaggerating (a little bit) for emphasis): "Author X is blatantly contradicting footnote 3265 on page 56, 2nd column, of the limited edition sourcebook on the mating habits of the Anasian Anaconda - ohmygod - this is part of the evil Corporation's plot to completely destroy the setting."

    In any organisation (big or small), there are always going to be mishaps of the sort. The problem for sci-fi / fantasy settings is that a) that kind of mishaps tend to be released to the greater public (most screw-ups in corporate settings tend not to leave the organisation), and b) it is a very knowledgeable, very vocal greater public, which c) to a large extent defines its place in the pecking order by the degree to which they master the lore and knowledge of the setting.

    (I will admit to being guilty of such behaviour myself, by the way, although as I get older, I tend to see the two biggest problems in the world - apathy and ignorance - more and more as opportunities. In other words, I don't know and I don't care . Either that or early signs of Alzheimer's.

    Club Secretary of the Dragons on the Hill RPG Club of London, UK: http://dragonsonthehill.co.uk/.
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    Ayrik
    Great Reader

    Canada
    7188 Posts

    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  14:49:02  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Thauramarth

    Author X is blatantly contradicting footnote 3265 on page 56, 2nd column, of the limited edition sourcebook on the mating habits of the Anasian Anaconda - ohmygod - this is part of the evil Corporation's plot to completely destroy the setting.
    You don't have to mince words, Thauramarth. Really.

    We all know that's a reference to RAS's short story*, Drizzt Goes To Chult (originally titled Drizzt Does Deepingdale) (his fourteenth short story, not officially published but reconstructed from chapters posted on his fansite), and we all know it wasn't actually an Anasian Anaconda (which, technically, is actually just a regional variant from the Brown Uberconda family commonly found in the vicinity of Calaunt and Tantras, if this was an Anasian it could possibly be a specimen that strayed off path during its nine-year migratory pattern to the Halruaa) - it was instead a *flawed* illusion of the similar-looking but far more deadly Rashemi Rattleconda (or, more accurately, an expert illusion cast by a city mage unfamiliar with the Rattleconda's peculiar inability to use its camouflage patterning when in contact with Greentlgrym moss (an illusion-damping moss seasonally native to southeastern coastal Chult; rendered inactive when exposed to moonlight or detection or trueseeing spells), which was the case here (although the debate still rages about whether Drizzt would've exposed the illusion (and thus avoided being bitten in the groin) by using his faeriefire or other methods)).

    * Although the transcribed copy has an error in page numbering, starting at page 27, so page "56" is actually page 55.

    This error was obviously planned and is all Wizards's fault - just another part of their evil Nazi conspiracy to destroy and liquidate the Realms. Geez, you call yourself a fan, get your facts right.

    [/Ayrik]

    Edited by - Ayrik on 02 Jan 2011 15:19:03
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    Blueblade
    Senior Scribe

    USA
    804 Posts

    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  19:16:41  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Yes, Elminster as depicted in published Realms stuff has changed over the years, and a little of it has no doubt been due to Ed's outlook/views changing, and more of it due to him changing a character as time passes because events cause the character to change...but MOST of it has been due to editing.
    I've heard this flat-out admitted by TSR staffers at GenCon seminars, more than once.
    Ed originally used Elminster only as an 'Old Storyteller' type, an "unreliable narrator" telling us about wine in the Realms, Zhents in the Realms, monster ecologies, the history of towns and guilds and other wizards in the Realms, and so on.
    That's agreed-upon by Ed, many TSR staffers and other designers who worked on the Realms. So among those who know what they're talking about, it's undisputed fact.
    It was TSR who asked Ed to write about Elminster (we have this publicly said by TSR staffers, not just Ed) as a fictional character and "good guy wizard" (in SPELLFIRE and later), and them again (Brian Thomsen, head of TSR's book publishing at the time) who asked Ed to write about Elminster and make him a "signature character" (so we got ELMINSTER: THE MAKING OF A MAGE and its sequels, and more recently Ed's current six-book contract to write Elminster books [just as Salvatore is contractually asked/required to write Drizzt books]).
    We also have it from some of these same TSR staffers talking at GenCon seminars that they edited out the sides of Elminster that didn't fit the hero mold, and continually told Ed to shorten and simplify books with dozens of subplots by a process of 'cut this out and those characters ALL out, and just have Elminster save things HERE, so we can hit this wordcount and wrap it all up' (I'm paraphrasing here, but paraphrasing what a TSR editor actually said, with nods from Ed and TSR higher-ups and fellow designers and editors on the panel, so none of them disagreed with the truth: that this happened, often).
    So there's where the Mary Sue Elminster came from: editors chopping out some facets of the more rounded bits of Elminster that Ed was writing all along.
    The books are works for hire, remember? The publisher has the right to change the text completely, and we know from many writers that sometimes (not usually, but many times over the twenty-some years of Realms novels) the writer doesn't even see the final edits before a book gets published.
    So Arik, ED doesn't have to "admit" anything about the early Mary Sue Elminster, because it's not his doing.
    (Me, I suspect he'd dearly love the chance to completely rewrite his earlier books - - and this suspicion is based on things he and THO have said, more than once, about his wanting to do just that).
    It was the TSR approach of "good versus evil fantasy novels for 12-year-olds" with its code of ethics and let's keep our heroes very shining clear, that gave us the all-powerful Elminster. After all, he was gruff and rude, so they had to make him VERY heroic, and very powerful so he could clearly and dramatically "do good" right in front of our eyes. Without having the thews of Conan or for that matter the deadly twin scimitars of Drizzt Do'Urden.
    BB

    Edited by - Blueblade on 02 Jan 2011 19:19:15
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    Therise
    Master of Realmslore

    1265 Posts

    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  20:01:59  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    If someone pestered Ed Greenwood about his real-life sexual preferences, based on what his fantasy characters were doing... that says more about the person asking than it ever does about the author. And it's immensely inappropriate. Good grief.

    Honestly, I think the biggest problem with the Realms is that no one single person is at the head of the flagship, steering its course. Designers come and go, even whole design teams have changed. Too many cooks spoiling the soup, as there have been multiple agendas over the years (starting with TSR's goody goodness) from so many different designer committees that it's effectively bouncing around. When there's no captain, the course of a shared world "ship" will tend to go all over the place.


    4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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    Alystra Illianniis
    Great Reader

    USA
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    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  20:15:03  Show Profile Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    This too is all very true, but I've noticed that Ed's been given much more lee-way over the years, as have RAS and others who are regular Realms writers. It would seem that the Elminster we see today is much more what Ed might have originally wanted him to be. And that's probably a good thing. after all, it makes him more interesting and HUMAN. The same could also be said of the recent changes in direction for Drizzt and some of the other "iconic" Realms characters. (The ones who are left, at least.)

    The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

    "Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

    "You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

    Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

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    Mr_Miscellany
    Senior Scribe

    545 Posts

    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  21:57:59  Show Profile Send Mr_Miscellany a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Therise

    Designers come and go, even whole design teams have changed. Too many cooks spoiling the soup, as there have been multiple agendas over the years (starting with TSR's goody goodness) from so many different designer committees that it's effectively bouncing around. When there's no captain, the course of a shared world "ship" will tend to go all over the place.
    Good point. Two factors that set the course for that ship (or rather, conspire to send it on sometimes conflicting courses) are D&D game rules edition changes and the drive to sell books (novels and sourcebooks).
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    Thauramarth
    Senior Scribe

    United Kingdom
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    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  22:09:46  Show Profile Send Thauramarth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Arik

    * Although the transcribed copy has an error in page numbering, starting at page 27, so page "56" is actually page 55.

    This error was obviously planned and is all Wizards's fault - just another part of their evil Nazi conspiracy to destroy and liquidate the Realms. Geez, you call yourself a fan, get your facts right.



    My dear fellow, it's quite obvious that you're referring to the 1st release print run version, whereas any true fan worth his or her salt (like yours truly) simply swears by the numbered Beta-version !

    Club Secretary of the Dragons on the Hill RPG Club of London, UK: http://dragonsonthehill.co.uk/.
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    Wooly Rupert
    Master of Mischief
    Moderator

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    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  23:31:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    There used to be a designated "traffic cop" for the setting, who kept the continuity fairly straight. They've not had that particular position for a long time.

    Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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    Therise
    Master of Realmslore

    1265 Posts

    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  23:38:58  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Mr_Miscellany

    quote:
    Originally posted by Therise

    Designers come and go, even whole design teams have changed. Too many cooks spoiling the soup, as there have been multiple agendas over the years (starting with TSR's goody goodness) from so many different designer committees that it's effectively bouncing around. When there's no captain, the course of a shared world "ship" will tend to go all over the place.
    Good point. Two factors that set the course for that ship (or rather, conspire to send it on sometimes conflicting courses) are D&D game rules edition changes and the drive to sell books (novels and sourcebooks).


    Oh Misc, you reminded me. Another awful thing affecting the Realms are wretched forum trolls that hang around just to start fires, flipping their opinions toward whatever will cause the most strife.


    4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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    The Sage
    Procrastinator Most High
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    Posted - 02 Jan 2011 :  23:57:16  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    That's uncalled for, Therise. We can do without that kind of commentary.

    Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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    Therise
    Master of Realmslore

    1265 Posts

    Posted - 03 Jan 2011 :  00:06:07  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by The Sage

    That's uncalled for, Therise. We can do without that kind of commentary.


    I'm speaking generally, of course. Misc reminded me that forum trolls generally tend to come out on the cusp of edition changes, often just to cause strife. I've seen them during the changeover to 2E, more with the change to 3E, and also with the change to 4E. Some are even so proud of it, they brag about it in their sigs or on other forums.


    4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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    The Sage
    Procrastinator Most High
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    31701 Posts

    Posted - 03 Jan 2011 :  00:08:03  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Therise

    quote:
    Originally posted by The Sage

    That's uncalled for, Therise. We can do without that kind of commentary.


    I'm speaking generally, of course. Misc reminded me that forum trolls generally tend to come out on the cusp of edition changes, often just to cause strife. I've seen them during the changeover to 2E, more with the change to 3E, and also with the change to 4E. Some are even so proud of it, they brag about it in their sigs or on other forums.
    Yes. Well, be that as it may, it's completely outside the context of the topic for this scroll. Please leave such comments aside, as they can easily be misconstrued, and will likely cause further problems as a result.

    Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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    Mr_Miscellany
    Senior Scribe

    545 Posts

    Posted - 03 Jan 2011 :  02:46:47  Show Profile Send Mr_Miscellany a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

    There used to be a designated "traffic cop" for the setting, who kept the continuity fairly straight. They've not had that particular position for a long time.
    For about nine years, as far as I can tell.

    At the start this role was filled by Jeff Grubb, right?

    Fast forward to 2001: Rich Baker held the post of Forgotten Realms Creative Director through the printing of the FRCS (see credits for same), but I'm not sure for how long he held that position. I'm also not sure how much influence Rich had on the novels side.

    Jump ahead to 2007 and the credits for the Grand History of the Realms list several managers—Editing, Design, Development—but no Creative Director.

    I wonder how it's call "kept together" in-house at WotC nowadays?

    Edited by - Mr_Miscellany on 03 Jan 2011 02:47:37
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    Alystra Illianniis
    Great Reader

    USA
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    Posted - 03 Jan 2011 :  03:28:58  Show Profile Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    I think the inference there is that it's not, MrM. (That's IMHO, of course, but seems likely...)

    The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

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    Dennis
    Great Reader

    9933 Posts

    Posted - 03 Jan 2011 :  04:06:43  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Why do Realms authors put up with it?

    Because like Hollywood stars, they have little choice.

    (More to come after I take my lunch.)

    Every beginning has an end.
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    Brimstone
    Great Reader

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    Posted - 03 Jan 2011 :  04:07:56  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    It should be Ed. That way you have no 'hidden agendas'.

    "These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
    to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
    thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
    words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
    then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
    will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
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    Alystra Illianniis
    Great Reader

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    Posted - 03 Jan 2011 :  04:10:42  Show Profile Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    I would second THAT idea!! Brilliant.

    The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

    "Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

    "You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

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    Erik Scott de Bie
    Forgotten Realms Author

    USA
    4597 Posts

    Posted - 03 Jan 2011 :  04:33:04  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Well, speaking for myself and only for myself (as I always do), to address the OP, I "put up with it" because I love writing the stories I'm writing.

    Also there's money, but that's a minor consideration--there's no way I'd try to write for the FR if it was just about the money. There are much more effective/lucrative paths to professional writing.

    I write in the Realms and let the flak roll off me because I love doing it. Maybe I'm just a geek, but hey, it's good to be a geek.

    Cheers

    Erik Scott de Bie

    'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

    Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"
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