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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  11:30:58  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think a reboot will be a terrible idea. its just not realistic and will alienate new users, who have no interest or knowledge of the
" good old days" of 1e or 2e or whatever. There nothing wrong with 4e , its made the setting more realistic. People today are not interested in shining knights and noble paladins, morally ambiguous characters are more popular. Look at Games of Thrones or even Erevis Cale.
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Venger
Learned Scribe

USA
266 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  11:45:32  Show Profile Send Venger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
That's no less arbitrary than post-timejump 1470DR. Why invalidate all the lore for 1470DR and beyond? Why not reset all the way back to 1356DR, y'know, to accommodate everyone who rejected the ToT and rules-based-lore inflicted on the Realms with AD&D 2E?


Because A) The 2E changes were far more widely accepted, and B) Doing so would invalidate dozens of books, whereas retconning the 4E Realms would invalidate a grand total of four game books, one of which is an adventure?

quote:
It's been said many times before, in fact by some of the Realms designers/authors (in this scroll and in several others, if you search), that the retcon will not be retconned away. Expect the Spellplague and *all existing lore* to remain reasonably intact. You may not like it, you may not like it all, you might even reject it entirely, too bad ... but it is the most "realistic" expectation.



In which case the most realistic expectation for me is that I'll continue to ignore their Realms and all related products they publish as I have for the entire duration of 4E.

"Beware what you say when you speak of magic, wizard, or you shall see who has the greater power."
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2693 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  11:50:20  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

quote:
Originally posted by Venger

I agree with you, though, that supporting multiple eras is unrealistic. Which is why they should retcon it away and move forward from the 1370's with a new timeline.

That's no less arbitrary than post-timejump 1470DR. Why invalidate all the lore for 1470DR and beyond? Why not reset all the way back to 1356DR, y'know, to accommodate everyone who rejected the ToT and rules-based-lore inflicted on the Realms with AD&D 2E?

It's been said many times before, in fact by some of the Realms designers/authors (in this scroll and in several others, if you search), that the retcon will not be retconned away. Expect the Spellplague and *all existing lore* to remain reasonably intact. You may not like it, you may not like it all, you might even reject it entirely, too bad ... but it is the most "realistic" expectation.



Yes, they've already made their choice. No retcon or reboot. But if they really want to get some of the old people back, they'll have to get some of the old elements back, i.e. : restore some of what was lost.

@ Venger.
quote:
Well, like I said, how many of those people are there, really? If there were that many people than WotC wouldn't be trying to entice older fans with this whole "support multiple eras" idea. If there were so many of those fans than they'd be pushing forward full steam ahead with the Spellplague Realms and to hell with the rest. That they're trying to get back older fans tells me that their hopes of getting more fans by blowing up the Realms blew up in their faces and now they're trying to fix their mistake, but they're unwilling to retcon away the 4E Realms. Well, I say they should retcon the 4E Realms. It's like a bandaid. Best to just rip it off clean rather than peeling it off slowly, and trying to undo Every. Last. Change... which was inflicted by the changeover is just downright nuts because there were so many. How can you possibly undo so much while having it all make narrative sense? And in many cases undoing the damage is downright impossible, at least not without another event on the level of the Spellplague. In short, trying to undo the damage inflicted on the Spellplague through narrative is a monumental task, one which in the end will only create this colossal twisted continuity snarl right in the middle of the Forgotten Realms timeline. Not to mention that no amount of narrative will undo the 100 year time jump, which obliterated countless story threads.

I agree with you, though, that supporting multiple eras is unrealistic. Which is why they should retcon it away and move forward from the 1370's with a new timeline.


Although I'd like to see most of the changes undone, as you said, it'd be ridiculous. However, while some of the changes were just disappointing (I don't like current Thay, it's just nowhere as appealing as the Zulkirate was), others (like those ones I mentioned in my previous post) were really a punch in the face of old fans, not only because they removed flavorful, characterizing elements that they enjoyed, but because of the cheap, brutal and -in some cases- ridiculous way they did so. Considering that they won't retcon anything, correcting these errors is what they have to do and it's not going to be ridiculous.

As for the fans, yes they *may* be few (we don't actually know), but why deprive them of what they like when a compromise could be possible? You may say that such a thing was possible before, and that's true (and it would have been the best route to take, presenting lore in different more accessible way, reducing in power the so hated good guys and not eliminating them, keeping the deities but relegating them to appropriate sourcebooks/articles and stuff like that which would have made the Realmslore not intimidating at all for the ''fresh blood'' that the setting apparently needed), but just because it didn't happen, it doesn't mean they have to repeat the same mistake now.

When they started killing off things for NO reason (in setting, that is), I felt like they were telling the fans who enjoyed them: ''We don't want you anymore, so we're destroying what you like of this setting to make it palatable to the ones who dislike it. Go take a hike'' and for this reason I decided to not buy ANYTHING (not only FR related products) from WotC, because I deemed them not trustworthy and not respectable. If they repeated the same error now, paradoxically, I'd just keep not buying anything from them and ''boycotting'' them, even tho I like the Old Realms, because they'd show me that I was right about them not being a respectable company.

From a more practical PoV, now they're in the same situation they were before: trash loyal customers for an uncertain number of ''new'' buyers, or try to appeal to both? They chose the latter, now it's time to see if they'll be able to respect their promises.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 20 Jun 2012 13:27:53
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Tarlyn
Learned Scribe

USA
304 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  11:54:21  Show Profile Send Tarlyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik
You may not like it, you may not like it all, you might even reject it entirely, too bad ... but it is the most "realistic" expectation.

While it does seem a forgone conclusion that the current timeline is going to be continued, people might as well vent their frustrations. It is better to have someone campaigning to change the realms than another person giving up on it.


quote:
Originally posted by Wooley Rupert
And for those who insist this would be damaging to the setting and/or cause alienation to some fans, it's pretty hard to argue that this hasn't already happened.

I think the flame throwers of Therise and Matt James did a fair job of showing of the grand divide between fans. In my opinion, the debate should be framed around what move can keep / attract the most people. Unfortunately, do to the aggressiveness in which the 4e realms design team pursued creating the gap, I don't think that you can create one compromise setting that includes the flavor and feel of both pre-4e and 4e realms. No matter what decision is made, someone is likely to not get what they want.

Tarlyn Embersun
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2693 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  12:10:07  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thauranil

I think a reboot will be a terrible idea. its just not realistic and will alienate new users, who have no interest or knowledge of the
" good old days" of 1e or 2e or whatever. There nothing wrong with 4e , its made the setting more realistic. People today are not interested in shining knights and noble paladins, morally ambiguous characters are more popular. Look at Games of Thrones or even Erevis Cale.



It's fantasy. High fantasy. Realistic is a word out of place there. Besides, overwhelming evil is not realistic, PoL influence bleeding over the FR is not appropriate for such a setting.

I like the ''shades of gray'' approach to characters (and I deem it necessary to make an interesting villain, and not just an idiotic -sorry it is- ''for powah'' trivial and boring foe, with no motivation at all), but there have to be some people/deity/monster/whatever who serve as inspiring shining beacons.

Good and evil need to be balanced, if there's some evil it should have good counterparts. A setting where people who can only hope to passively resist to evil factions/deities/overlords... (especially when they are the ''evulz'' I talked about before, which is most of the cases) and never bring the fight to them is boring to me. If I wanted this, I'd go play Warhammer (which is actually a cool setting, just not where I'd RP in) or something, not the FR.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 20 Jun 2012 12:14:43
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Venger
Learned Scribe

USA
266 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  12:30:14  Show Profile Send Venger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
From a more practical PoV, now they're in the same situation they were before: trash loyal customers for an uncertain number of ''new'' buyers, or try to appeal to both?


Well, I wouldn't call the number uncertain. The number's pretty certain, as they should know how many people purchased 3E Forgotten Realms material versus how many people purchased 4E Forgotten Realms material. If they published a campaign setting book which was a reasonable continuation of the 3E Realms than they could reasonably assume that the numbers of people who'd purchase it would be comparable to the number of people who purchased the 3E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

quote:
Although I'd like to see most of the changes undone, as you said, it'd be ridiculous. ... Considering that they won't retcon anything, correcting these errors is what they have to do and it's not going to be ridiculous.


I'm not sure what you're getting at here, since you say it'll be ridiculous and then say it won't be ridiculous. There's no way "correcting" those errors won't be ridiculous, though, because there're just so many errors that cleaning them all up, or even a portion of them, will just be a massive continuity snarl of epic proportions.

First off, the gods. Exactly how many gods are going to need to be resurrected? What kind of story can be devised to justify that many gods from so many disparate pantheons coming back to life? Will Mystra, Helm, Azuth, Vhaeraun, Eilistraee, etc be brought back separately, or will they be brought back in the same story?

Then how do you handle the gods who were merged? Do they stay merged, or do we discover that Gruumsh really isn't Talos, Selune really isn't Sehanine, Sune really isn't Hanali Celanil, Lathander really isn't Amaunator, and so on?

How do you bring Lantan back without a RSE? That country can't just spring back up out of the waves as if nothing happened. Even if the water's recede and gnomes and humans start moving back in, it'll take time for it to be repopulated and all their secrets to be rediscovered (And another huge time jump is certainly the last thing we need). How do you bring back Halruaa and Luiren without RSE events, too, seeing as how they're both drowned (For the record, I've used Luiren in my campaigns)?

How do you bring back Zhentil Keep (Which was one of my favorite things about the Realms and one of the things which defined the Realms for me) when it's been gone a hundred years? At least when it was first reduced to ruins its rebuilding made sense as a portion of the city and its people still survived and were fighting to reclaim the rest of the city, which they eventually did. But here that continuity is gone as the people are all gone and have been dead for a century. All that's there now are squatters, pirates, and bandits. Hardly the foundations for a new Zhentil Keep, as they'll just be Zhentil Keep in name and not in reality (Incidentally, I found that extremely frustrating. I liked having the Shades return, but NOT at the expense of Zhentil Keep. More variety in villains is always great, as well as villains who're opposed to each other. Having the Shades just arbitrarily annihilate Zhentil Keep, though, just flat out sucked).

And what kind of sense does it make to have a nation centered on the worship of Torm out in the west (who by rights should be worshipping Amaunator, given that second sun business) instead of the new nation which now has Tantras as its capital city?

And I don't even know where to start with Mulhorand, Unther, Tymanther, and Akanul...

And that's just a start. I could go on, but after four years, I haven't given the Spellplague Realms any thought and have forgotten a ton of the issues I had with it. I can probably remember some of the more nitty gritty details, though, should I start rooting around again, though I'd rather not. I was pretty happy forgetting the details of the Spellplague Realms and I would like to continue forgetting.

quote:
There nothing wrong with 4e , its made the setting more realistic. People today are not interested in shining knights and noble paladins, morally ambiguous characters are more popular. Look at Games of Thrones or even Erevis Cale.


Comparing the Spellplague Realms to Game of Thrones is an insult to Game of Thrones.

"Beware what you say when you speak of magic, wizard, or you shall see who has the greater power."

Edited by - Venger on 20 Jun 2012 12:47:09
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Venger
Learned Scribe

USA
266 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  12:34:42  Show Profile Send Venger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
If I wanted this, I'd go play Warhammer (which is actually a cool setting, just not where I'd RP in) or something, not the FR.


Agreed. And you know what? Settings like those do appeal to me. I love the setting for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, I also adore the Midnight setting from Fantasy Flight. Forgotten Realms, however, is not those settings nor should it be, and it's foolish to demand that every single setting conform to a certain theme. What's the point of having multiple settings if they're all the same thing? If that's the sort of thing that appeals to you then by all means, go play in campaign settings that're tailor made to that and were built on those assumptions. But stop trying to force a square peg into a round hole by taking the Forgotten Realms and making it conform to the flavor of the month, because that's the best way to ensure that the setting will die for good.

"Beware what you say when you speak of magic, wizard, or you shall see who has the greater power."
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Venger
Learned Scribe

USA
266 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  12:43:40  Show Profile Send Venger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
While it does seem a forgone conclusion that the current timeline is going to be continued, people might as well vent their frustrations. It is better to have someone campaigning to change the realms than another person giving up on it.


Yep. If you prefer I continue to not spend money on the Forgotten Realms, then I'll go ahead and not spend any more money on it. But if someone's going to ask what your preferences are, such as in this thread, then yes, I'm going to say what my preferences are. And my preference is for the Spellplague Realms to be expunged from canon completely.

quote:
I think the flame throwers of Therise and Matt James did a fair job of showing of the grand divide between fans. In my opinion, the debate should be framed around what move can keep / attract the most people. Unfortunately, do to the aggressiveness in which the 4e realms design team pursued creating the gap, I don't think that you can create one compromise setting that includes the flavor and feel of both pre-4e and 4e realms. No matter what decision is made, someone is likely to not get what they want.


I agree with you. Anybody who thinks that there's a perfect compromise which will make everybody happy is only kidding themselves. Either A) Any changes they make in the 5E Realms won't go far enough to get back the old fans, or B) They may go too far and alienate the 4E fans. So the only question, then, is which fanbase can WotC live without? My theory is that the 4E Realms fans, the ones who're absolutely diehard about the Spellplague Realms and nothing else, aren't enough to hang their hat on. If they were then WotC wouldn't need to bother with this multi-era support strategy going into 5E. In which case I say they should be the ones getting the short end of the stick, especially since they have the least to lose. Four years, four books? That's hardly an investment worth getting into a twist over, at least in comparison to 20 years and over a hundred books. If the 3E style Realms isn't to your taste then go play Eberron, or go check out Midnight and Warhammer Fantasy. I want my old Forgotten Realms back.

"Beware what you say when you speak of magic, wizard, or you shall see who has the greater power."
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2693 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  13:00:29  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Venger

quote:
Although I'd like to see most of the changes undone, as you said, it'd be ridiculous. ... Considering that they won't retcon anything, correcting these errors is what they have to do and it's not going to be ridiculous.


I'm not sure what you're getting at here, since you say it'll be ridiculous and then say it won't be ridiculous. There's no way "correcting" those errors won't be ridiculous, though, because there're just so many errors that cleaning them all up, or even a portion of them, will just be a massive continuity snarl of epic proportions.

First off, the gods. Exactly how many gods are going to need to be resurrected? What kind of story can be devised to justify that many gods from so many disparate pantheons? Will Mystra, Helm, Azuth, Vhaeraun, Eilistraee, etc be brought back separately, or will they be brought back in the same story?

Then how do you handle the gods who were merged? Do they stay merged, or do we discover that Gruumsh really isn't Talos, Selune really isn't Sehanine, Sune really isn't Hanali Celanil, Lathander really isn't Amaunator, and so on?

How do you bring Lantan back without a RSE? That country can't just spring back up out of the waves as if nothing happened. Even if the water's recede and gnomes and humans start moving back in, it'll take time for it to be repopulated and all their secrets to be rediscovered (And another huge time jump is certainly the last thing we need). How do you bring back Halruaa and Luiren without RSE events, too, seeing as how they're both drowned (For the record, I've used Luiren in my campaigns)?

How do you bring back Zhentil Keep (Which was one of my favorite things about the Realms and one of the things which defined the Realms for me) when it's been gone a hundred years? At least when it was first reduced to ruins its rebuilding made sense as a portion of the city and its people still survived and were fighting to reclaim the rest of the city, which they eventually did. But here that continuity is gone as the people are all gone and have been dead for a century. All that's there now are squatters, pirates, and bandits. Hardly the foundations for a new Zhentil Keep, as they'll just be Zhentil Keep in name and not in reality (Incidentally, I found that extremely frustrating. I liked having the Shades return, but NOT at the expense of Zhentil Keep. More variety in villains is always great, as well as villains who're opposed to each other. Having the Shades just arbitrarily annihilate Zhentil Keep, though, just flat out sucked).

And what kind of sense does it make to have a nation centered on the worship of Torm out in the west (who by rights should be worshipping Amaunator, given that second sun business) instead of the new nation which now has Tantras as its capital city?

And I don't even know where to start with Mulhorand, Unther, Tymanther, and Akanul...

And that's just a start. I could go on, but after four years, I haven't given the Spellplague Realms any thought and have forgotten a ton of the issues I had with it. I can probably remember some of the more nitty gritty details, though, should I start rooting around again, though I'd rather not. I was pretty happy forgetting the details of the Spellplague Realms and I would like to continue forgetting.




What I meant is what I wrote between the two phrases you quoted. Some changes are ''doomed'' to stand. You're totally right about them: a reversal would have to rely on overly complex artifices to be ''reasonable''. Others can be reasonably undone and should be got rid of. Some of the deities you mentioned, for example, are already in the works: Mystra and Helm in novels, Eilistraee and Vhaeraun (probably) in a sourcebook coming out shortly, with different stories for each of them.

The exploded lands: well, look at the One Realms(...) thread: people are trying to propose non ridiculous events that would bring back some of them there. So it may be possible. Or their destruction could even be retconned away. I wouldn't mind this particular fact, tbh (even tho they said No retcons). None worked on destroying things, so nothing would be lost this way. Same as the merged deities.

I dislike what happened to the Realms too and I agree with you that some (many) things are obviously impossible to reconcile without a retcon. I'm giving my opinion about what WotC could do to appeal as many people as they can, considering that they've already made their choice.

However (again, keeping in mind that WotC has already chosen the route to take), I think that restoring some of the characterizing old elements (what is reasonably possible) and getting rid of the grimness that appears to envelop the Realms after the Plague could make them a decent place (IMO, at least) to read about, or even to play in again.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 20 Jun 2012 13:33:41
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  15:09:05  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

quote:
Originally posted by Thauranil

I think a reboot will be a terrible idea. its just not realistic and will alienate new users, who have no interest or knowledge of the
" good old days" of 1e or 2e or whatever. There nothing wrong with 4e , its made the setting more realistic. People today are not interested in shining knights and noble paladins, morally ambiguous characters are more popular. Look at Games of Thrones or even Erevis Cale.



It's fantasy. High fantasy. Realistic is a word out of place there. Besides, overwhelming evil is not realistic, PoL influence bleeding over the FR is not appropriate for such a setting.

I like the ''shades of gray'' approach to characters (and I deem it necessary to make an interesting villain, and not just an idiotic -sorry it is- ''for powah'' trivial and boring foe, with no motivation at all), but there have to be some people/deity/monster/whatever who serve as inspiring shining beacons.

Good and evil need to be balanced, if there's some evil it should have good counterparts. A setting where people who can only hope to passively resist to evil factions/deities/overlords... (especially when they are the ''evulz'' I talked about before, which is most of the cases) and never bring the fight to them is boring to me. If I wanted this, I'd go play Warhammer (which is actually a cool setting, just not where I'd RP in) or something, not the FR.


Well whether the power of evil is overwhelming is debatable as most evil factions are busy trying to destroy each other, but even if that is so then it only helps to make your stories more epic, a candle in the darkness kind of thing. I am not saying the realms need to turn into a warhammer clone only pointing out possibilities, also the setting may be in a fantasy land but the people in it are Humans or elfs or whatever and thus sentient beings capable of both good and evil and this needs to be acknowledged .Otherwise they are simply caricatures , empty virtuous or evil statues fighting each other.
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2693 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  15:17:18  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thauranil

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

quote:
Originally posted by Thauranil

I think a reboot will be a terrible idea. its just not realistic and will alienate new users, who have no interest or knowledge of the
" good old days" of 1e or 2e or whatever. There nothing wrong with 4e , its made the setting more realistic. People today are not interested in shining knights and noble paladins, morally ambiguous characters are more popular. Look at Games of Thrones or even Erevis Cale.



It's fantasy. High fantasy. Realistic is a word out of place there. Besides, overwhelming evil is not realistic, PoL influence bleeding over the FR is not appropriate for such a setting.

I like the ''shades of gray'' approach to characters (and I deem it necessary to make an interesting villain, and not just an idiotic -sorry it is- ''for powah'' trivial and boring foe, with no motivation at all), but there have to be some people/deity/monster/whatever who serve as inspiring shining beacons.

Good and evil need to be balanced, if there's some evil it should have good counterparts. A setting where people who can only hope to passively resist to evil factions/deities/overlords... (especially when they are the ''evulz'' I talked about before, which is most of the cases) and never bring the fight to them is boring to me. If I wanted this, I'd go play Warhammer (which is actually a cool setting, just not where I'd RP in) or something, not the FR.


Well whether the power of evil is overwhelming is debatable as most evil factions are busy trying to destroy each other, but even if that is so then it only helps to make your stories more epic, a candle in the darkness kind of thing.



It is not more epic because, ''realistically'', for example, the Shades (given their immense OP power) would crush your group with a snap of their fingers if you bothered them. You're going to ignore this fact (just like people could ignore powerful good NPCs, btw) in order to play, but you can't when you're going to read about the Realms. Candle in the darkness thingy is the PoL theme, not the FR's one.

quote:
I am not saying the realms need to turn into a warhammer clone only pointing out possibilities, also the setting may be in a fantasy land but the people in it are Humans or elfs or whatever and thus sentient beings capable of both good and evil and this needs to be acknowledged .Otherwise they are simply caricatures , empty virtuous or evil statues fighting each other


No, as I said, shades of gray are fine on most characters (and especially on villains, given that ''for powah'' is often the best motivation for their actions). But some shining beacons, people/deities/monsters/whatever who can actively oppose evil, fight for a valuable goal and not just look at their own interests (which is not empty virtue at all) don't hurt the setting and are even needed in a high fantasy one. Again, balance is needed.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 20 Jun 2012 15:24:03
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  15:20:07  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote


quote:
There nothing wrong with 4e , its made the setting more realistic. People today are not interested in shining knights and noble paladins, morally ambiguous characters are more popular. Look at Games of Thrones or even Erevis Cale.


Comparing the Spellplague Realms to Game of Thrones is an insult to Game of Thrones.
[/quote]
This is your personal point of view but as someone who loves goth Game of thrones and the realms i could not disagree with you more. Like it or not there have been many plus points to 4e as well and while i agree that many mistakes were made in 4e, sweeping it all underneath the carpet is not the way forward. FR cannot remain stuck in the past , it has to adapt or die same as anything else.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6261 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  15:39:22  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
People today are not interested in shining knights and noble paladins, morally ambiguous characters are more popular. Look at Games of Thrones or even Erevis Cale.
quote:
Comparing the Spellplague Realms to Game of Thrones is an insult to Game of Thrones.
quote:
This is your personal point of view but as someone who loves goth Game of thrones and the realms i could not disagree with you more. Like it or not there have been many plus points to 4e as well and while i agree that many mistakes were made in 4e, sweeping it all underneath the carpet is not the way forward.
An interesting bit of debate. People are attracted to flawed, dark, ambiguous, "broken" characters - the pure and unambiguous hero is no longer believable or interesting.

Yet people cannot accept the same for the setting around the hero? A magical kingdom full of Disney castles and fairies seems as dull to me as the shining paladins who inhabit it. The Realms has been burned, scarred, given a dose of poison - and it hasn't died, it has the opportunity to come back stronger and "grittier" than before.

[/Ayrik]
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  15:52:36  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well said , that was exactly my point. We cannot cling to the past but must move with the times, personally i much prefer the new grittier realms. Its more exciting and real.
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1265 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  16:18:23  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Realms 4E is not Game of Thrones by any stretch of the imagination. Game of Thrones is actually good, for one thing. Realms 4E is not gritty and dark, it's just a damaged post-apocalyptic setting that bears little to no resemblance to its former self. Filling Realms 4E with NPCs that are ALL morally gray and villains that are ALL one-note "puuuure eeeevil" (see: devil worshipers, abolethic ya-ya, etc) does not make the setting gritty. It's an uncomplicated, poorly crafted, wannabe land of Cthulhu mixed with dark fatalism.

It's a setting meant to support ridiculously overpowered novel characters like Cordell's "Damascus". This is a character that "the gods fear" and "seek to control" because he is the most overt Mary Sue that I have ever seen in fiction. He's a special Deva with extra powers that reincarnates if he's ever killed. He has multiple artifacts, he never loses, he attacks entire room-fulls of drow, driders, and monsters all by himself and comes out no worse for wear. If things look bad... *boom* suddenly he has just the right new magic power to defeat it. And people complained about Elminster and the Seven Sisters...

Additionally, earlier Realms were never, ever akin to a magical Disney land of good fairies and shining paladins. That comparison is equally as ridiculous.

Only a reboot can fix this mess.

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

Edited by - Therise on 20 Jun 2012 16:25:22
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2693 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  16:27:11  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

quote:
People today are not interested in shining knights and noble paladins, morally ambiguous characters are more popular. Look at Games of Thrones or even Erevis Cale.
quote:
Comparing the Spellplague Realms to Game of Thrones is an insult to Game of Thrones.
quote:
This is your personal point of view but as someone who loves goth Game of thrones and the realms i could not disagree with you more. Like it or not there have been many plus points to 4e as well and while i agree that many mistakes were made in 4e, sweeping it all underneath the carpet is not the way forward.
An interesting bit of debate. People are attracted to flawed, dark, ambiguous, "broken" characters - the pure and unambiguous hero is no longer believable or interesting.

Yet people cannot accept the same for the setting around the hero? A magical kingdom full of Disney castles and fairies seems as dull to me as the shining paladins who inhabit it. The Realms has been burned, scarred, given a dose of poison - and it hasn't died, it has the opportunity to come back stronger and "grittier" than before.



''Broken'' characters and classic heroes can be equally interesting, provided that the former doesn't get the habit of recurring to shady methods just because it's cool and badass rather than necessary, and that the latter doesn't go ''lawful stupid'', but keeps an interesting personality and strong, neat leading principles. What needs to be ambiguous in order to be interesting are the villains. What makes a foe interesting is his/her motivation and the mere dominate/destroy the world flat out sucks in this role.

Same goes for gritty worlds. In a setting, some places can be shining, open minded centers of cultural growth, advanced enough to be capable of resisting threats, but that could use help from the PCs and where intrigue could easily be found; others can be fallen realms, where people are hopeless, bigot and fearful and where the evil guys can easily set foot and deceive the lowly common folks. Again, balance and variety are the keys and making each evil faction more powerful than the previous and capable of stomping who tries to oppose them is for sure not the way to go. My impression is that the Realms are now in this category.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 20 Jun 2012 16:39:37
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The Hidden Lord
Learned Scribe

148 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  16:39:06  Show Profile Send The Hidden Lord a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise



It's a setting meant to support ridiculously overpowered novel characters like Cordell's "Damascus". This is a character that "the gods fear" and "seek to control" because he is the most overt Mary Sue that I have ever seen in fiction. He's a special Deva with extra powers that reincarnates if he's ever killed. He has multiple artifacts, he never loses, he attacks entire room-fulls of drow, driders, and monsters all by himself and comes out no worse for wear. If things look bad... *boom* suddenly he has just the right new magic power to defeat it. And people complained about Elminster and the Seven Sisters...




You must be unfamiliar with Elminster in Hell, by Greenwood. The portrayal of Elminster and The Simbul therein makes Damascus look like a veritable henchmen laden with the lewt of his employers.
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  16:43:10  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Venger

I'm sure there're some 4E Realms fan they'd anger, too, but how many could there possibly be? If there were that many then one imagines that we would've seen more 4E Realms books published, but aside from the original offering all they published was Neverwinter. If there were very many than WotC should be breathlessly excited about all the campaign settings books they're going to be publishing for the Spellplague Realms with the advent of 5E, but they're not doing that.
Itís my understanding that going into 4E WotC never intended to publish any more hardcover rulebooks for the Realms beyond the first two rulebooks. Likewise with any other campaign world they own.

The only regular avenue for setting support was supposed to be 1) Living Forgotten Realms and 2) Dragon/Dungeon magazine.

Since then leadership has changed at WotC and people have moved on/joined up. LFR has fallen by the wayside. I think itís because of those events that we have the Neverwinter Book and the upcoming Menzoberanzan[sp?] book.

Otherwise we may not have seen anything else hardcover sourcebook-wise from WotC.

For novels, WotC seems to not be slowing down when it comes to novel releases set in the Realms. I think that's a good indicator of popularity on the non-gaming side for the Realms.

quote:
Originally posted by Venger

So again I ask, how many Spellplague Realms fans could there be? How many actual diehard fans could there possibly be, at least in comparison to the 1E-3E Realms fans who were infuriated by the 4E Realms changes and would gladly come back if WotC were to excise the Spellplague from the history of the Realms?
I see your logic, but I wonder if you arenít drawing a false divide.

There is a lot of talk on the internet about the ďdivisionĒ between fans of the Realms. The more I think about it, the more I think this is much ado about nothing; more a product of the internetís amazing ability to make issues seem bigger than they are (that is, continued repetition of some meme isnít any indicator of the truth of that meme) and magnify the voices of people who are unhappy about something and more likely to post online.

As I mentioned before, there are people out there who simply like the Realms for the sake of the Realms. Theyíve got plenty of experience ignoring the parts they donít like and focusing on the parts they do.

I think the majority of people who ignore the post-Spellplague Realms fall into this latter category. They donít hate the post-Spellplague Realms, they just ignore it and use the (massive) collection of Realms books they already own to play their D&D games, and maybe pick up a new Realms novel or two on the side.

In terms of a reboot, these are the people WotC should go after and not the ones who actively hate the post-Spellplague Realms.

With Ed Greenwood at the wheel, I think weíll see the Realms deliberately set on a path that keeps the Spellplague in the rearview mirror where it belongs as the timeline moves forward. That ought to attract back older fans.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 20 Jun 2012 16:45:31
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1265 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  16:45:24  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Those of you that are arguing -for- keeping the 4E Realms entrenched in the history of the Realms... have you actually read any of the new novels? The abolethic sovereignty series, or the new neverwinter novel, or others like Brimstone Angels?

I'm not arguing against gritty, or the idea that more complex motivations would be better. I enjoy Game of Thrones immensely, and my pre-4E, old vision of the Realms had just as intrigue, deception, backstabbing, and complicated/interwoven plots. My home games were quite gritty at times, all based on 1E with a dash of 2E thrown in. My Zhentarim were truly "magnificent bastards" and my Red Wizards were a morally corrupt, twisted set.

TSR never showed the darker aspects of Greenwood's Realms, and WotC didn't either. But instead of opening up the Realms and showing its truly gritty underbelly, we got served with an entirely new setting. I think it's important for people to read the books from this new setting before they rise up in defense of the thing, so they have a clear picture of what they're actually supporting.


4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1265 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  16:52:03  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Hidden Lord

quote:
Originally posted by Therise



It's a setting meant to support ridiculously overpowered novel characters like Cordell's "Damascus". This is a character that "the gods fear" and "seek to control" because he is the most overt Mary Sue that I have ever seen in fiction. He's a special Deva with extra powers that reincarnates if he's ever killed. He has multiple artifacts, he never loses, he attacks entire room-fulls of drow, driders, and monsters all by himself and comes out no worse for wear. If things look bad... *boom* suddenly he has just the right new magic power to defeat it. And people complained about Elminster and the Seven Sisters...




You must be unfamiliar with Elminster in Hell, by Greenwood. The portrayal of Elminster and The Simbul therein makes Damascus look like a veritable henchmen laden with the lewt of his employers.


I think you misunderstand my point. I'm familiar with the old novels. But 4E was supposed to be all about removing the Mary Sues. Because you can't have real grittiness when your main characters are all Mary Sues.

Was the Simbul overpowered? Elminster? Yes, and yes. The old setting did have its share of problems. But this new setting just turned everything post-apocalypse, removed all the NPCs that weren't overpowered, and yet managed to retain or create entirely new Mary Sues like Damascus.

4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  17:08:58  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise

Those of you that are arguing -for- keeping the 4E Realms entrenched in the history of the Realms... have you actually read any of the new novels? The abolethic sovereignty series, or the new neverwinter novel, or others like Brimstone Angels?

I'm not arguing against gritty, or the idea that more complex motivations would be better. I enjoy Game of Thrones immensely, and my pre-4E, old vision of the Realms had just as intrigue, deception, backstabbing, and complicated/interwoven plots. My home games were quite gritty at times, all based on 1E with a dash of 2E thrown in. My Zhentarim were truly "magnificent bastards" and my Red Wizards were a morally corrupt, twisted set.

TSR never showed the darker aspects of Greenwood's Realms, and WotC didn't either. But instead of opening up the Realms and showing its truly gritty underbelly, we got served with an entirely new setting. I think it's important for people to read the books from this new setting before they rise up in defense of the thing, so they have a clear picture of what they're actually supporting.




Yes i have though admittedly not all of them were great some were true gems like the brotherhood of the griffon series or the Twilight war saga, the case as with the older books. Lets keep an open mind here, just because the setting has changed doesn't mean that its not FR anymore. Thats like saying a person who has been disfigured in an accident is not the same person anymore. Even the authors remain more or less the same and the writing quality had not decreased.
In fact the 4e books are much more popular with ordinary people than earlier ones. I know this from personal experience , being a rare fan of fantasy in a country not familiar with it. Friends and family members who would refuse to read Elminister in Hell will gladly read Unholy because these are the type of novels that people today can relate to.
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  17:21:28  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise

Those of you that are arguing -for- keeping the 4E Realms entrenched in the history of the Realms... have you actually read any of the new novels? The abolethic sovereignty series, or the new neverwinter novel, or others like Brimstone Angels?
Off the top of my head: Iíve read Bury Elminster Deep, Elminster Must Die, Neverwinter (book 1) and Waterdeep. I havenít read any of the Abolethic Sovereignty trilogy, but then again I never read the Threat From the Sea trilogy or any of several other pre-Plague series set in the Realms.

The Aboleth stuff doesnít appeal to me, so I ignored it for my 4E D&D Realms game (and I donít write about it for my own fanwork set in the post-Spellplague Realms).

Likewise I never used the Threat from the Sea stuff in my earlier Realms games.

This doesnít mean that other people didnít find either of those trilogies useful for their Realms games or didnít find them entertaining reads. Rather, it reinforces the point that not everything is for everyone and thatís OK.

Of course, one doesn't need to have read everything in order to support the Realms or have an era of preference.

RE: grit and darkness: I think the newer material is perfectly suited to show the ďgritty unberbellyĒ of the Realmsóand from what Iíve read, it does. Drizztís slide into emotional turmoil due to loss of loved ones, Elminster reduced to a by-the-skin-of-his-teeth hustler trying to do good with no power, Cormyr struggling under the weight of too many fractious and rebellious nobles while a relatively weak king rules, Waterdeep experiencing growing pains while its nobles deteriorate and sell off their titles just to surviveÖto me thatís all pretty grim and a nice way of showing how things change in the Realms as time advances.

Iím not sure if the novels I havenít read depict the Realms as post-apocalyptic, but the ones I have read donít do that, just as the FRCS doesnít depict the Realms as post-apocalyptic either.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 20 Jun 2012 17:22:51
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1265 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  17:22:25  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thauranil

quote:
Originally posted by Therise

Those of you that are arguing -for- keeping the 4E Realms entrenched in the history of the Realms... have you actually read any of the new novels? The abolethic sovereignty series, or the new neverwinter novel, or others like Brimstone Angels?

I'm not arguing against gritty, or the idea that more complex motivations would be better. I enjoy Game of Thrones immensely, and my pre-4E, old vision of the Realms had just as intrigue, deception, backstabbing, and complicated/interwoven plots. My home games were quite gritty at times, all based on 1E with a dash of 2E thrown in. My Zhentarim were truly "magnificent bastards" and my Red Wizards were a morally corrupt, twisted set.

TSR never showed the darker aspects of Greenwood's Realms, and WotC didn't either. But instead of opening up the Realms and showing its truly gritty underbelly, we got served with an entirely new setting. I think it's important for people to read the books from this new setting before they rise up in defense of the thing, so they have a clear picture of what they're actually supporting.




Yes i have though admittedly not all of them were great some were true gems like the brotherhood of the griffon series or the Twilight war saga, the case as with the older books. Lets keep an open mind here, just because the setting has changed doesn't mean that its not FR anymore. Thats like saying a person who has been disfigured in an accident is not the same person anymore. Even the authors remain more or less the same and the writing quality had not decreased.
In fact the 4e books are much more popular with ordinary people than earlier ones. I know this from personal experience , being a rare fan of fantasy in a country not familiar with it. Friends and family members who would refuse to read Elminister in Hell will gladly read Unholy because these are the type of novels that people today can relate to.


Clearly we have divergent tastes in some respects, and that's fine. I did not care for the Unholy series or the Brotherhood of the Griffin series AT ALL. I did like all of Kemp's novels, though.

To me, 4E Realms is not the Realms and never will be. It is too radically different IMO and does not have near the level of quality of 1E and 2E Realms. For those of us that believe this on a deep level, you're not going to change our minds. I know I'm not likely to get a reboot, the chances are almost negligible. But at the same time, I'm putting my opinion out there so that WotC knows that I'm not going to buy anything that keeps the 4E Realms around - even as history. I will not support something that I detest.

4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  17:33:44  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Each to his own. I am not saying I love 4e unconditionally but i do appreciate most of its aspects.
You don't and that's your choice.
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Venger
Learned Scribe

USA
266 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2012 :  20:07:00  Show Profile Send Venger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
To me, 4E Realms is not the Realms and never will be. It is too radically different IMO and does not have near the level of quality of 1E and 2E Realms. For those of us that believe this on a deep level, you're not going to change our minds. I know I'm not likely to get a reboot, the chances are almost negligible. But at the same time, I'm putting my opinion out there so that WotC knows that I'm not going to buy anything that keeps the 4E Realms around - even as history. I will not support something that I detest.


Agreed.

"Beware what you say when you speak of magic, wizard, or you shall see who has the greater power."
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