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 The 5e Realms -- Thinking about a "soft-reboot"
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
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Posted - 27 Jun 2012 :  06:28:35  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I was going to post this in the "Reboot of the Realms for 5th Edition" scroll, but I think the ideas presented herein are worth exploring in an entirely new discussion.

So, in reply to the query originally posed in that discussion, I present the beginning thoughts of my own take on this. More will, hopefully, come. [SageTime, pending.]

...

I'm still not convinced a full reboot is needed.

Besides, I'm a little confused over just how some scribes are using the term "reboot" to justify their arguments for how the 5e Realms should be detailed.

A "reboot," at least in the traditional comic book sense, means returning to the core elements of a particular world/setting, and rehashing them in new and alternate ways. To the point where history, people, and places, have all evolved differently when compared to the evolution of the "mainstream" and/or original world/setting.

I just don't see that happening with the 5e Realms. As it would meaning taking everything Ed and Jeff published in the 'Old Grey Box,' and shaping it into something else entirely.

...

Rather, I'd advocate what's quickly becoming known as a "soft-reboot," kind of like what DC have done with their New 52 line of books.

Essentially, the 5e Realms would retain the intact history of the world/setting up to a certain point, say, either 1357 DR or 1370 DR [just for the sake of example], and instead be rehashed from that point on.

Wooly's example of restoring the setting back to "just the day after" what was revealed in Cloak & Dagger is an accurate example of this position of a "soft-reboot." It keeps the core of the setting dynamic intact, and pushes forward with an entirely new focus for the "future." But that's not a position I can fully support. Unless, this "soft-reboot" also managed to include some of the good stuff from the post-Spellplague detailing of the Realms.

Now, we all have different interpretations for just what we liked and didn't like in terms of the 4e Realms. But I'm sure we've all got elements we'd like to see maintained -- regardless. So if I were going to support the notion of a "rebooted" Realms, then Wooly's suggestions comes close, foundationally, to outlining what I'd first like to start thinking about. I'd also want to draw upon the stronger setting aspects of 4e, and rehash them in ways which, perhaps, more appropriately tied with the Realmslore that came before it. We mostly all agree that parts of the 4e Realms feel "forced" at times, or that they simply don't belong. So a "soft-reboot" would, again, seek to solve that by not washing away all of the setting's published history... but just seeking to rehash parts that don't quite fit properly into something more like what we'd expect for the Realms.

This is very similar to how DC's New 52 initiative has sought to incorporate many of the little oddities and unexplained stuff that have long plagued the DC Universe as a whole... since the days of Crisis of Infinite Earths. We're now fully on the road toward explanations and incorporations that seek to unify what's come before, with what currently is, and what will eventually be.

That's how I'd see a reboot for the 5e Realms. Keeping all the published history intact, but entertaining the option a soft-reboot which seeks to unify and incorporate -- rather than cast off or ignore -- what we don't like about "what will eventually be" [from the POV of those looking from the 3e Realms to the 4e Realms].

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Tarlyn
Learned Scribe

USA
311 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2012 :  12:01:29  Show Profile Send Tarlyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sage,

I am particular fond of Wooley's idea of rebooting to "just the day after" what was revealed in the Cloak and Dagger. I have a few questions about how your concept works.

-Are you saying move back to Wooley's idea and then follow the timeline from that point forward making basically the same events occur with different explanations? Or are you saying following the timeline from point X and being aware of changes that came before and keeping the "good ones", toying with the "medicore ones" and not necessarily using the "bad ones".

-Also, what are those things that would be lost by this move and need to be restored? I think that opinions will vary wildly. For instance, IMO The Shades were one of the best additions to the active setting in the last two decades. There are definitely a lot of things I did not like about them, but I view that power group as a net positive.

Tarlyn Embersun

Edited by - Tarlyn on 27 Jun 2012 12:02:20
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Apex
Learned Scribe

USA
229 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2012 :  15:26:46  Show Profile  Visit Apex's Homepage Send Apex a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Of course I am partial to my 1335 "reboot" idea, but of the two you listed above, I would much prefer 1357, as it tones down the overall power level of the NPC's more back to Ed's vision.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
33718 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2012 :  18:12:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tarlyn

Sage,

I am particular fond of Wooley's idea of rebooting to "just the day after" what was revealed in the Cloak and Dagger. I have a few questions about how your concept works.

-Are you saying move back to Wooley's idea and then follow the timeline from that point forward making basically the same events occur with different explanations? Or are you saying following the timeline from point X and being aware of changes that came before and keeping the "good ones", toying with the "medicore ones" and not necessarily using the "bad ones".

-Also, what are those things that would be lost by this move and need to be restored? I think that opinions will vary wildly. For instance, IMO The Shades were one of the best additions to the active setting in the last two decades. There are definitely a lot of things I did not like about them, but I view that power group as a net positive.



My idea is to redo everything after that point. While I liked the fact that Shade returned, for example, I was not pleased with the way it happened, and with subsequent events involving Shades. So some stuff would happen the same, some would happen differently, some wouldn't happen at all.

Some things I would skip -- for me, the War of the Spider Queen was pointless.

Some things would be tweaked only a little -- like not having Myth Drannor pacified and resettled in a mere 5 years time after the Crusade.

Some things I would do entirely different -- my idea for a Thayan civil war has been tossed out more than once.

And some of the dropped storylines would be continued -- particularly the Manshoon Wars.

I personally regard the release of Cloak & Dagger as the high point of the setting. While I won't necessarily say it was the single best Realms product we've ever had, I will say it was one of the best, and that nothing in 3E or 4E quite matched it for lore or potential.

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sfdragon
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2264 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2012 :  21:14:10  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can agree with that, I think it would ahve taken atleast 10 years after the crusade, but that doesnt say how many elven families at the time wanted to retake their anceint homes....


Its not always what is done, but how its done isnt it?

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


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7134 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2012 :  21:42:44  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
PC Fighter:
"What do you see?"

PC Wizard (peering into his crystal scrying orb):
"Some kind of alternate world, a twisted and tormented version of our own. Kinda like Faerūn but with fierce dragonmen and cambions walking the streets, shadows that kill, craters and dead gods and the undead armies of insane lich tyrants running amok."

PC Fighter:
"Depressing. I'd think I'd rather go to Ravenloft, at least the rules there don't keep changing."

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 27 Jun 2012 21:43:24
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
33718 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2012 :  22:21:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

I can agree with that, I think it would ahve taken atleast 10 years after the crusade, but that doesnt say how many elven families at the time wanted to retake their anceint homes....


I, personally, think it'd take longer than that, unless they had another 10,000 elves drop by to assist. I see it as an ongoing effort for decades.

Even though the fey'ri were there in strength, I look at the Ruins of Myth Drannor boxed set and think that they couldn't have had much beyond an armed camp -- there are lots of nastybads, centuries of twisted magic, unstable ruins and portals, and all of the surprises left by generations of nastybads, adventurers, and other power groups that have been active there. Way too much to have easily been cleaned out, unless huge numbers were involved.

quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

Its not always what is done, but how its done isnt it?



For the most part, yes.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 27 Jun 2012 22:22:35
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2012 :  23:47:39  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is precisely what I have been saying since 5e was announced. Don't throw the baby out with the bath-water. Use the lore to fix the lore.

A 'soft' reboot, which doesn't eradicate any previous lore... but also doesn't focus on it. We may be able to fix the problem merely by ignoring the problem.

For instance, reboot to the OGB or earlier, and start detailing every little thing like crazy. It would still be familiar, it would still feel like the original Realms, and all the stuff that came later - the things a lot of folks are complaining about - simply gets ignored. That doesn't invalidate it; it merely pushes it all off into a corner somewhere.

This would also work with the post Cloak & Dagger Realms, or the post Death-of-Mystra2 Realms (although that one would have to be handled delicately).

And it would also work in an 'open to all eras of play' variant. {smirk}

The only caveat with that last one is that for it to work, we'd have to have the lore about regions be era-specific within each source. The source-books themselves can be all over the timeline, but they should each be for a specific period, NOT area. Doing it by region would force people to pay for tons of material they do not need or want. Ergo, each sourcebook would exist within its own little continuity, and no-one has to worry about what has gone before, or what may yet happen.

Any other way they present the 'open to all eras' concept will be just like DL, where you feel shoe-horned to play the pre-ordained stories out.
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

PC Fighter:
"What do you see?"

PC Wizard (peering into his crystal scrying orb):
"Some kind of alternate world, a twisted and tormented version of our own. Kinda like Faerūn but with fierce dragonmen and cambions walking the streets, shadows that kill, craters and dead gods and the undead armies of insane lich tyrants running amok."

PC Fighter:
"Depressing. I'd think I'd rather go to Ravenloft, at least the rules there don't keep changing."
Does Spock have a Goatee in that weird universe?

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Jun 2012 23:54:04
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  03:03:28  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tarlyn

-Are you saying move back to Wooley's idea and then follow the timeline from that point forward making basically the same events occur with different explanations? Or are you saying following the timeline from point X and being aware of changes that came before and keeping the "good ones", toying with the "medicore ones" and not necessarily using the "bad ones".
Basically, more of the latter alternative.

We've mostly all griped over the fact that some of the more ingrained 4e changes appear "forced" or "poorly-fitted" -- and I speak only from, largely, the perspectives of older players who have/had been with the Realms since before the coming of the Spellplague. I'll happily grant that any new players who came into the setting at 4e, should feel just as welcomed in the 5e setting as well.

Which is why I'm advocating this concept of a "soft-reboot." I think a lot of folk, especially those of us who have been with the Realms for such a long time, sometimes unintentionally overlook the fact that new players exploring the setting for the first time [in 4e] have just as much right to see what they now love about their favourite world being included in a new edition, as do those players who came into the Realms in 3e, and, yes, even 2e.

I was fortunate enough to have been interested in the Realms since it's officially published beginnings. But, at the same time, each and every new edition of the FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign setting has brought with it both stuff I love, and stuff that I dislike. And I can certainly appreciate that this is the same for every fan who comes into the material from wherever else.

That's why I think the notion of a "soft-reboot" works best. It preserves, rather than deliberately casts out, the best of 4e and works hard to incorporate it more fittingly into the Realms firmament. Though, this does create some rather interesting problems in and of itself. Just how is it determined by Wizards', what elements of 4e should be preserved, which should be completely reworked, and which should be tweaked ever so slightly? The community as a whole will never entirely agree on what element should be assigned to any of those previous levels of working that I just mentioned.

It creates new problems, and new challenges, I know, but I maintain that this is probably the best approach [detailed by the fanbase so far], that works to encompass the wishes of the entire Realms worldwide community. Rebooting back to a specific date, like 1370 DR, and either casting out or ignoring everything that came next would just feel like a slap in the face to any and all who have come to love the 4e Realms. Why should they see everything they've come to love about the world, ignored in favour of those who were lucky enough to get involved during an earlier edition? The 4e supporters have just as much right to see what they hold dearly from the current edition, to be carried into the next. Just as we all do.
quote:
-Also, what are those things that would be lost by this move and need to be restored? I think that opinions will vary wildly. For instance, IMO The Shades were one of the best additions to the active setting in the last two decades. There are definitely a lot of things I did not like about them, but I view that power group as a net positive.
I covered this a little, in my above ramblings.

Ultimately, I don't think there is any truly accurate way to determine this, other than engaging in a mass-feedback initiative with the community, which, I suppose, would run in a way similar to what we're seeing with the D&D Next Playtest initiative now. Wizards' are proving more capable of actually listening to players/DM feedback, so this might be the first step toward working out just what we all want to see included, reshaped, and/or reworked, from the 4e Realms.

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Edited by - The Sage on 28 Jun 2012 03:19:00
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  03:08:46  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

This is precisely what I have been saying since 5e was announced. Don't throw the baby out with the bath-water. Use the lore to fix the lore.
I think it's worthy noting, though, that using past lore to fix current lore, shouldn't also negate the opportunity for introducing new lore.

Many of the new designer-folk brought into the 4e Realms design-process, have tried to cast their own takes on stuff... with varying degrees of success. Some articles have read so generically basic, that they could have been featured in any setting, while others have something of a Realms underlay, which just barely hits the mark of what we love about Realmslore.

I don't have any real problem with any of the above. Because it's new stuff like this that can be more effectively adapted and brought wholesale into the Realms proper... with work and with greater input from those long-established Lorelords who have experience in such matters.

After all, the published Realms has benefited greatly from the introduction of new lore shaped by folk who know and love the setting. But let's also remember that a number of those past great Lorelords, were also all beginners with the Realmslore at one time as well. Just like all these new designers brought in with the 4e DDI Realms articles. They all need their time to shine, and I think the 5e Realms initiative, should also focus on bringing them and their ideas, into a more cohesive whole.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage

Edited by - The Sage on 28 Jun 2012 03:15:53
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5913 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  05:16:56  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about they just re-do the 4E Campaign Book, but this time do it properly. Double the page count, change the font size to 11, fill in the 100 years of history and get Ed and his minions to Realmsify the thing to heck. 4E Realms failed not because of WHAT WotC did, but HOW they did it.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  06:00:40  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

How about they just re-do the 4E Campaign Book, but this time do it properly. Double the page count, change the font size to 11, fill in the 100 years of history and get Ed and his minions to Realmsify the thing to heck.
I could get behind something like this.

That and I worry a soft-reboot, however well intentioned, will suffer for the fact that the era it will cover has already been published in detail.

Given the price points for hardback D&D sourcebooks, I can't see the average gamer buying a new 1357 DR Waterdeep book (for example). Such a book is going to be quickly labeled a reprint, even if the lore is mostly new.

The only way around it that I can see is to tie the soft-reboot heavily into the new rules. Yet people say they're not keen on this either (myself included).

Not trying to discourage you, Sage. I admire your willingness to see that all fans of the Realms deserve something they can enjoy.

I just fear these are stumbling blocks that can't be overcome. Hopefully others wiser than me can see a way past them.

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

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 28 Jun 2012 06:33:59
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  06:57:16  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's why Sage, Wooly, and I (and others) are all saying do a soft reboot in an era NOT covered before, but still within the framework of 1e/2e/3e. This can be done by going to the 'Edwardian Age' (the decade before the OGB), the year after the Death of Mystra/Midnight (I'm purposely avoiding using the term 'Spellplague'), or the period of time immediately following Cloak & Dagger (pre-3e, or 2.5e).

New information, new locales detailed, new intrigues, new stories to be told, etc, etc... but still close enough in time to make nearly all other sources still viable.

I would also consider buying a properly presented 4e-era sourcebook - one done in the manner George suggested. That actually sounds intriguing.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Jun 2012 06:59:21
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Tarlyn
Learned Scribe

USA
311 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  12:08:22  Show Profile Send Tarlyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the soft reboot lore certainly won't be label a reprinted material by incoming players. Picking a time frame like directly after cloak and dagger has a lot of stuff that was never covered, so there is plenty of opportunity to create new lore. Also, the soft reboot can have changes from existing cannon from my understanding, so while most of the lore stays the same, some may turn out different.

quote:
How about they just re-do the 4E Campaign Book, but this time do it properly. Double the page count, change the font size to 11, fill in the 100 years of history and get Ed and his minions to Realmsify the thing to heck. 4E Realms failed not because of WHAT WotC did, but HOW they did it.


This has kind of been talked to death, but I am not really sure where you are going with this. Are you planning to stick to the original vision of 4e realms.

-largely PoL
-No interesting NPCs
-All major organizations either no longer exist or are at best regional powers
-No portal network
-every nation crippled
-tons of dead space in the setting(plague lands and beast lands)
-Weave and Mystra gone
-for that matter a lot of other iconic deities gone or Voltroned together(Helm, Talos, racial pantheons)
-The southern part of the continent is currently time sharing with nations from another world
-All the island kingdoms (Nimbral, Evermeet, Lantan ) are gone
-The whole Greek Gods vs Titans concept imported into the setting
-Everyone now fears magics and wizards

Even well written, most of the items are not very appealing. I mean I love Ravenloft and Darksun, but I liked when Realms was different from them. I prefer the unapologetic high magic setting of the past. If I want the post apocalyptic feel, I will run a Darksun game (and I think Darksun is a very cool setting).

Tarlyn Embersun
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5913 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  18:21:55  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tarlyn

This has kind of been talked to death, but I am not really sure where you are going with this. Are you planning to stick to the original vision of 4e realms.




No, I'd be planning to stick to the original vision of the Realms. What was that you might ask? Enough information to make the setting live and breathe coupled with enough lack of detail to let DMs do their thing. All of the things you list as (I assume) negatives of the 4E Realms could with some TLC be made into very attractive features of the Realms. Some of them like PoL would only apply to specific areas of the setting - which has always been the case. As for some of the others you list, I'm not sure you've got it right with such sweeping generalisations as "every nation crippled" and "no interesting NPCs". Give me a year to write and a Lotto win to support my family and I'm pretty sure that I could come up with a 4E campaign book that you'd like.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Derulbaskul
Senior Scribe

Singapore
402 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  18:37:05  Show Profile Send Derulbaskul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Even though I like the 4E Realms and use them (and I have been with the Realms since the Dragon articles and the Old Grey Box and an almost complete FR libray - so I'm no young MMORPGer with ADD) I would prefer to see a soft reboot to Ed's version of FR. Basically OGB plus. Maybe exactly what WotC is publishing later this year as Ed Greenwood's Forgotten Realms (sorry, I have forgotten the exact title).

And once it is published, don't update the timeline for another decade or so. Let all the non-adventure game products be set at the same time. Let the novels happen after the campaign setting's date and then decide later whether the events described in the novels took place when the next reboot happens.

That way you have a setting suitable for gamers who don't want to keep up with the lore or feel they have to read all the novels to do so but for the purists there is still a lot of stuff to track and debate.

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos
How about they just re-do the 4E Campaign Book, but this time do it properly. Double the page count, change the font size to 11, fill in the 100 years of history and get Ed and his minions to Realmsify the thing to heck. 4E Realms failed not because of WHAT WotC did, but HOW they did it.

-- George Krashos




The first thing they would have to do would be to start with a decent map (I find that much more offensive than the 4E overuse of white space).

I do not believe that there has ever been a crappier map released for a campaign setting in the past 30 years. It was a boring, undetailed, inaccurate abomination. I think one of the reasons that there is so much hate for the 4E Realms is because the map is essentially useless... and which uses a colour palette inspired by the contents of my baby son's nappies/diapers.

Whatever WotC decides to publish for the next edition of the Realms I just hope they get the map right first.

Cheers
D

NB: Please remember: A cannon is a big gun. Canon is what we discuss here.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  19:16:59  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just a point I need to make - everything west of Anauroch has ALWAYS been POL - its nothing new. Take a look at the OGB map of that area (a lot of the 'POL' parts were lost with 3e).

And if you take into account FR's 'soft' borders, nations-within-nations (mostly non-human), monsters living in ALL the wilderness regions (including mountains & forests in the middle of 'civilized' places), The Dales & The Stonelands (and Goblin Marches), Thesk and The Great Dale, just about everything south of the Inner Sea (except for the Lands of Intrigue), The Lake of Steam, Chult, The Endless Wastes, etc, etc... the entire setting is points of light. The shrinkage at the beginning of 3e didn't help us any, and its the reason why the 4e team decided they needed to nuke everything (when a simple map-fix would have recreated what FR had all along).

EDIT: Them (WotC) doing away with the portal network (a primary setting trope), while at the same time complaining some places were "too far away" is bizarre, IMHO. Ed's Gates are ingenious - your adventurers can be in the forest one day, on a glacier the next, in a steamy jungle the following day, and find them selves in a barren desert... or city... or Oriental palace. The setting was so BIG (compared to so many others) because IT CAN BE!!!

Whatever 'flavor' you and your players were in the mood for was just a 'doorway' away. Thats why FR didn't need to be 'boiled down' to a single flavor (or three) - you could have whatever you want, whenever you want. That was the beauty of it.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Jun 2012 19:23:44
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Apex
Learned Scribe

USA
229 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  19:44:50  Show Profile  Visit Apex's Homepage Send Apex a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think it would actually be pretty easy to reboot to either my suggested 1335 or the OGB. This also would let WoTC make money through the re-release of the original 1st edition product line without much cost.

As for the map. Simply re-release the old trail map. I guarantee that would be a huge seller.
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sfdragon
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2264 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  21:39:08  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
give us back the missing deities and ditch the this one was that deity, and list all of them, ditch the primordial/etc stuff have them all as deities, demons, devils,etc, and list them all like they were in the 3.x.



and yes get a decent map, the vomit scheme was horrid and more off scale than the previous edition. come to think of it, it must be at the same scale of 3.x's map.... or 2e's map...

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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Mapolq
Senior Scribe

Brazil
466 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2012 :  18:50:40  Show Profile Send Mapolq a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would be fully behind Wooly's idea of a soft reboot to Cloak and Dagger, however improbable I think that is. Then you can advance the setting focusing on things that were never detailed, and reuse events of the old continuity with discretion.

I also disagree with the idea that the developers should focus on leaving areas open for the DM. It's a technical impossibility to over-detail a setting, so they shouldn't worry about that. There will always be more room... otherwise one wouldn't be able to run an RPG campaign or write a novel set on Earth due to the massive amount of available information about our planet.

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My campaign thread: http://www.forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16447

Edited by - Mapolq on 29 Jun 2012 18:52:24
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 29 Jun 2012 :  19:16:33  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, this is off-topic and weird... (but inspired by the thread itself)

As I was just reading through the thread-names, I saw this one, and immediately this thought popped into my head: "The Realms needs Viagra in 5e!"


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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2012 :  01:45:42  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Okay, this is off-topic and weird... (but inspired by the thread itself)

As I was just reading through the thread-names, I saw this one, and immediately this thought popped into my head: "The Realms needs Viagra in 5e!"



I could make a joke here... about a similar suggestion regarding DC's New 52 take on Superman, but given the fact that we've younglings perusing these boards, I'll just move along.

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Dark Wizard
Senior Scribe

USA
830 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2012 :  08:00:33  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

How about they just re-do the 4E Campaign Book, but this time do it properly. Double the page count, change the font size to 11, fill in the 100 years of history and get Ed and his minions to Realmsify the thing to heck.


That's two steps in the wrong direction, and each in the opposite way. The 4e Realms were designed as a reduced lore entry point to inspired new fans and recapture the interest of gaming veterans who were turned away or never interested in the setting. This would be a step in the old misguided direction in the opinion of some.

Even as a fan of the previous edition materials, I am starting to wonder about the direct necessity to include so many details in an introductory book to the setting. More is not better if the starting point is a mess to begin with. I feel that in the gradual build up and luscious detailing of the setting combined with the destructive events implemented for gimmicks, the setting actually ended up less defined. Well developed, strong conflicts established previously were abandoned or wrapped up haphazardly while new conflicts meant to entice a new generation of heroes falls flat as shallow or pulling at tired plot threads (ideas sometimes retread for the third or fourth outing in the setting's published history).

quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Grenemyer
That and I worry a soft-reboot, however well intentioned, will suffer for the fact that the era it will cover has already been published in detail.

Given the price points for hardback D&D sourcebooks, I can't see the average gamer buying a new 1357 DR Waterdeep book (for example). Such a book is going to be quickly labeled a reprint, even if the lore is mostly new.

The only way around it that I can see is to tie the soft-reboot heavily into the new rules. Yet people say they're not keen on this either (myself included).



I think the problem with books on already covered areas is not so much about the idea of reprints, but how they are handled. We see reprints in RPGs all the time, from full rules sets to setting material.

Paizo first compiled their full setting in a softcover Gazetteer. Then they published a full hardcover Campaign setting. That was latter updated to Pathfinder rules in the massive Inner Sea World Guide. That's three setting overview book in less than five years, more than FR or Eberron. They've performed well enough to warrant each subsequent book. This is in addition to the regional or city supplements they put out and the setting information in their adventure paths.

Frog God Games is updating their massive dungeon Rappan Athuk (from the 3e days) to Pathfinder rules and Swords & Wizardry rules. It's setting one of the top records on Kickstarter for a print rpg. Those are just pre-orders essentially. The KS project funds a larger reprint order to get them distribution into stores. If a small company can cause such a ruckus within its niche, WotC should be capable of doing much more.

Success is contingent on right timing (demand), execution of product, and advertising. For a variety of reasons and over many examples, WotC happens to not be great at those and seems to be losing proficiency in those skills more and more.

Timing/Demand, in the 3e era, no books on core areas like Cormyr/Dalelands/Moonsea (until very late in the edition and as big, dubious adventures), or Baldur's Gate (setting of one of the most renown computer rpgs ever), or Lands of Intrigue/Tethyr/Amn/Calimshan (the sequel game).

In execution, FR 3e has been piss poor, especially rules-wise. The setting is derided for things like the Cheater of Mystra, the Incantrix, or Pun-Pun, awkward deity stats vs ridiculous NPC stats vs laughable elder evil stats. One thing that annoyed me the most were poor feats and prestige classes, some of them make no sense for PCs to take (and questionable for NPCs), mechanically or even for flavor. I had better luck adapting core or generic rules material.

FR's art direction and quality outside of the CS also varied greatly, often towards the lower end of what was available to the company.
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