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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3394 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2017 :  16:06:42  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well im only going by what THO said in his thread but Ed and other authors have to write what WoTC want in the novel. If they want more god then Ed has to write more god. His novels were also heavily editted, often without his knowledge.

As for his home game, i dont believe he would ever start a scene by saying 'oh that deer over there is actually mielikki'. Instead it was more of am odd interaction with an obviously magical creature that when the players quizzed Ed about later and asked 'was that a god', he would smile and respond with a 'wouldnt you like to know' or something quizzical.


Eds vision wasnt a playground filled with gods and their daily ablutions. It was about the local smith who was in the pay of a local zhent agent (but didnt know it) and who had an addiction to a strange drug that made him highly suggestible. It was about the festhalls run by a pair of yuan ti abominations. It was about an abandoned hold that was once home to a former lord who was buried inside the walls and returned as a ghost, and a local bandit who exploited this legend without knowing it was real and became possessed by him.


At no point was it about what Shar wanted for breakfast that day and who she was secretly controlling and making do bad things while Malar marauded the countryside looking for victims because he was bored.

One type of setting is interesting and engaging because it is almost realistic in its complexity and secrets. While the other type is a dull parody filled with yawn inducing revelations and events or secrets that make people angry more often than excited. Its cheap storytelling and it shows.

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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
741 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2017 :  17:24:11  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Admittedly I've only finished 3/6 of the Sundering novels to date, but I really don't think there's too much overpowered Chosen business going around. RAS's gang is just RAS's gang, powerful but believable; Kemp's players have good reasons to bit a bit OP at times, and the Herald is just classic Ed. Still reading the other 3.

Personally, I probably would have preferred a grander explanation with an explanatory series of novels like the Avatar trilogy was. However, they went with a "ground-view" approach, and I respect that. I've enjoyed the three novels of the Sundering I've read so far, and I gain a slightly clearer picture with each one. I think it was a better approach than an "Avatar"-style approach, considering the post-Sundering world is supposed to be less god-focused.

PS, the whole point of the Sundering was to leave us with a less god-focused, more mortal-focused world. I feel like almost all of us in this thread want that. The Sundering wasn't perfect, but it got us there. We can't undo the time-jump now (in canon), so it's a choice to live in the past or embrace the future - sounds loaded, but I truly believe both are viable and valid options. Viva la Realms, 1374 or 1491! /stopsdrinkingandgoestobed

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North

Edited by - KanzenAU on 15 Apr 2017 17:31:25
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3394 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2017 :  18:20:30  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well for a less god focused world an awful lot of their updates seem to be god related.

If i were a nation and announced i would change foreign policy to have less wars on other nations but the first action after that announcement is to invade another country. As a voter i would consider myself lied to.

Same with 5e. Its all empty platitudes. The drizzt novels are still all god focused. The elminster novels are still god focused (not the authors fault im sure). The web updates are god focused. The RSEs are still god focused.

What has changed apart from there is a lot less of the people focused lore now and a lot less of any kind of lore.


I realise i said rant over but it would appear not.

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Cyrinishad
Learned Scribe

245 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2017 :  18:23:09  Show Profile Send Cyrinishad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that a confirmation that Amaunator and Lathander are separate deities and that Lathander is clearly a liar even to his so-called "Chosen" and that Amaunator=Pelor is actually great! It validates the premises I've been operating in my home campaigns... I am starting to think that Lathander, Tyr, and Sune may have been "infected" by Cyric when they imprisoned him. I'm also thinking that the divine heresies that have arisen are ways for Cyric to siphon divine power from "infected" faiths.

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. -Socrates

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2687 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2017 :  18:29:56  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Eds vision wasnt a playground filled with gods and their daily ablutions. It was about the local smith who was in the pay of a local zhent agent (but didnt know it) and who had an addiction to a strange drug that made him highly suggestible. It was about the festhalls run by a pair of yuan ti abominations. It was about an abandoned hold that was once home to a former lord who was buried inside the walls and returned as a ghost, and a local bandit who exploited this legend without knowing it was real and became possessed by him.


At no point was it about what Shar wanted for breakfast that day and who she was secretly controlling and making do bad things while Malar marauded the countryside looking for victims because he was bored.

One type of setting is interesting and engaging because it is almost realistic in its complexity and secrets. While the other type is a dull parody filled with yawn inducing revelations and events or secrets that make people angry more often than excited. Its cheap storytelling and it shows.



Sure, I agree with you there. However the fact that deities can at times manifest or interact with people in a more direct and spectacular way can add flavor instead of taking it away. It's part of the cool (from an in-world PoV) events that make people go "wow" in a fantasy world. In the 2e deity books there are some deities who have manifestations in which they appear in a not so subtle form to celebrate with their followers (or things like that), alongside the (many more) subtle manifestations.

Things start to get cheap when gods play a heavy role in shaping most of the main events in the world, or when they start acting like drama queens or super powerful humans. At that point, their charm and mystery gets taken away.

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 15 Apr 2017 18:31:34
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3394 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2017 :  18:43:12  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Manifestations im fine with. They are flavour. Is that rosy glow around an item a manifestation of lathander or is it just in your head or a property of the item.

When that stag distracted you in the forest and stopped you for a moment as a thrown axe embedded into the tree in front of you where your head would have been if not for the stag. Was it a nature deity or tymora or just a stag.

Both of the above are fine. But if the god then appears in your head and says 'it was me, worship me and slaughter all evil in my name' then thats just cheap.

Lately (17 years plus) its all been just cheap and im getting sick and tired of it. I want a mature setting written by a grown up. Not one borrowed from a teenagers diary.

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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2687 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2017 :  19:01:12  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal
Both of the above are fine. But if the god then appears in your head and says 'it was me, worship me and slaughter all evil in my name' then thats just cheap.



Yes, that's cheap. However, even more direct manifestations can be fine. Like Shar appearing in her Dark Dancer form to join her followers' dark revelings during "The Kiss of the Lady", or Eilistraee sometimes personally joining her followers' dances, or appearing to wanderers from time to time (those are canon). Stuff like that doesn't cheapen a deity, nor it makes stories trivial.

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 15 Apr 2017 19:02:54
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Zeromaru X
Senior Scribe

Colombia
556 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2017 :  20:14:27  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

The topic of the gods being more distant post-Sundering was also discussed, with gods being more likely to communicate with signs and omens (the altar glows and you hear the sound of twin axes scraping together) than talking directly to their clerics.


And so, Forgotten Realms lost its one unique thing. How to recognize the Realms from another setting? There were gods meddling in mortal affairs even in the dishes (as they say in my country).

Now FR is just another Eberron or Nentir Vale. With the fact that those settings have logical explanations of why the gods cannot act in the world with freedom (in Eberron you don't know if they exist; in Nentir Vale there is the Primal Ban).

quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

The only other potentially post-Sundering books that come to mind are in the Brimstone Angels series, which I haven't finished yet.


Brimstone Angels end in 1487, so the gods are still active in those novels.


quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Now, we know in a meta-gaming fashion the reason for them becoming 'more active' (less subtle, actually) was TSR buying the Realms and having the ToT right away, which set a VERY bad precedent. Since then, gods have become more like Manshoons - you can't walk ten feet without tripping over one. Errr... I mean ruins. (LOL)



Or +6 magic weapons. Or that its what my old DM used to say.

quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

(...) Drizzt being a Chosen of Lolth.


You know? I used to joke with this some time ago...

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2687 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2017 :  20:25:39  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X
And so, Forgotten Realms lost its one unique thing. How to recognize the Realms from another setting? There were gods meddling in mortal affairs even in the dishes (as they say in my country).

Now FR is just another Eberron or Nentir Vale. With the fact that those settings have logical explanations of why the gods cannot act in the world with freedom (in Eberron you don't know if they exist; in Nentir Vale there is the Primal Ban).



Gods have not become passive, they are still very much active, and some can still be quite direct even as of the 1490s (and we see that. For example, Mystra directly told Laeral to become open lord of Waterdeep, and Eilistraee has been seen dancing with, and talking to, mortals). They have just stopped being oppressively meddling, and if they want to influence the world, they now must act through followers, since they no longer seem to have the option of intervening themselves or directly fighting each other (like it happened in the ToT or towards the end of 3e). Their battles are now fought through proxies, which is hoenstly a better approach for a game setting.

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

419 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2017 :  06:36:55  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
FR should play to its strengths: it's a high-magic high-fantasy world where gods meddle, heroes adventure and villains scheme. Unfortunately, it's caught in its own stagnancy: it's the same medieval world despite the fact that it could advance so much more. The gunpowder debate is one such problem, since apparently a gun shooting fireballs is a problem or something. The lack of magic-infused technology ala Eberron, or funky magitech in the case of Golarion, is kind of disappointing.

FR should be unashamed of what it is; there's no reason to grimderp the setting or hit it with the reset button every ten minutes. It's high magic and fantasy, but it's just not very good at realizing it.

It really doesn't help that the authors evidently can't let go of the fireball-wizard stereotype.
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3394 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2017 :  09:45:40  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Help us Ed Greenwood, you're our only hope.


Ps. If you could give us back the realms as it was originally before TSR and WoTC despoiled it that would be great.

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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
418 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2017 :  11:41:37  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Help us Ed Greenwood, you're our only hope.


Ps. If you could give us back the realms as it was originally before TSR and WoTC despoiled it that would be great.



Do you really need more material to play your games in Forgotten Realms? For me it is like editions are different brands of the same product. I like the product but it doesn't mean I have to like all it's brands. Somebody is anchored in 4ed during Sundering, other is enjoying pre ToT time and all have lots of materials to work and be inspired with (newer editions are less abundant with lore but they can take it from older editions). For my game I have been delving into oficial materials for years and there is still much to learn and understand for me. Do I care that WotC are now focusing on different brand? No because I am happy with my choice and I am also happy with that my Realms are different than Ed's. From the moment Ed signed off FR to TSR they are not his and there have been many changes to fit the corporation's goals. I thing he sees that and decided to create his own new setting and let this old grow on its own (mosty). Possibly after he tried to save the setting with 5ed but obviously lost that battle.

For Amaunator and Lathander - it only supports my view. I have never thought of them as one being but part of down cycle.
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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
497 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2017 :  13:51:36  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Pelor is Neutral Good and Amaunator is Lawful Neutral. They're sun gods, but Amaunator is a bureaucratic power, while Pelor is a deity of healing and strength. They're literally nothing alike.



Both Pelor and Amaunator are connected to sun and time, and they had originally identical symbols (ie Amaunator's original symbol was a sun with a face, just like Pelor's.)
And to be fair, Pelor is theorized to have darker side, since early 2000s. The example that made the theory famous, if not started it:
quote:
On the evil of Pelor

Pelor is commonly thought to be the near embodiment of Neutral Good. As a sun god, he is thought to be the enemy of the undead and the author of life through his gifts. He is also a god of Strength, for he advocates that the weak must be protected by those capable.

However, recent revelations have given rise to a sect of thought (some label it an outright heresy) that Pelor may not be what he claims to be. A passage in the Book of Exalted Deeds states that Pelor refused to send his paladin a sunfly swarm to destroy a vampire that had murdered his family, while the paladin was out doing Pelor’s work. In the same section, a CG god named Kord visited a plague upon his worshipper who was defeated on the battlefield. Speculations abound as to why Pelor refused his faithful paladin and range from defending the god (Pelor couldn’t allow himself to stoop to the mortal’s level of hate) to accusing the god (Pelor wanted to see his paladin suffer). No concrete answer could be found, but for those who thought it was a poor choice on Pelor’s part, it led to a path of horrific discovery after discovery.

Further investigation revealed (in the Epic Level Handbook) that the Lord High Priest of Pelor denounced her deity and the faith. It also said that the secret texts of a prominent religion, recently discovered, call into question the church’s real goal, its actual origin and the agenda of its god.

From there we turn to the Player's Handbook.

Jozan, the archetypical cleric of the Burning Hate is shown using symbol of pain, a 5th level cleric spell with the evil descriptor (PH 291). The SRD and PHB have two things to say about this:

First, a cleric can’t cast spells of an alignment opposed to his own or his deity’s (if he has one). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaos, evil, good, and law descriptors in their spell descriptions.

Second, a cleric’s alignment must be within one step of his deity’s (that is, it may be one step away on either the lawful-chaotic axis or the good-evil axis, but not both). A cleric may not be neutral unless his deity’s alignment is also neutral.

This means that Jozan can not be good-aligned, since he can casts evil spells. Nor Pelor can be , because he can grant evil aligned spells, that can only come from a non-good deity. So, Pelor can not be good-aligned.

Also, Jozan has been seen stepping on the face of his allies to rise higher, rather than store his shield and mace (PH 68). That is not the act of a good-aligned being and shows quite a level of paranoia and mistrust against his allies.

Moving on from there to the Complete Scoundrel, we find the path of the malconvoker introduced. This path requires a non-evil alignment and deals in the summoning of demons. A quote from the iconic malconvoker: “Take him my slaves! Drag his soul back to your dark masters!” - Argyll Te’Shea, servant of Pelor and malconvoker. The summoning of demons has always been one of the most vile acts. Page 8 of the Book of Vile Darkness states that Consorting with Fiends is evil. The statement “Allowing a fiend to exist, let alone summoning one or helping one, is clearly evil”. More minor sections deal with ‘casting evil spells’ and ‘damning or harming souls’, both of which are clearly present within the Pelor-sponsored malconvoker. One could very well suspect this path to be nothing more than a thinly disguised trap for the unwary and their souls.

Also introduced into the Complete Scoundrel is the grey guard, which some may note “hey, that’s just a slightly lighter version of the blackguard!” Indeed. Another step into the Lower Planes, this one is aimed at paladins rather than wizards and clerics. While I have not been able to tie the grey guard directly to Pelor as of yet, it seems that the taint caused by his masquerade is growing to touch even the sincere good aligned gods.

Looking at the relics that Pelor sponsors shows another side of this dark story. The dawnstar, if sundered or broken, deals massive damage to all other creatures (aside from the wielder) within a 30 foot radius. Clearly, this power was inserted with no thought given to the cost for the wielder’s allies. The original dawnstars were given to 4 solars who rescued one of Pelor’s paladins from Baator (known as Perdition in some texts). A question arises then: what exactly was the paladin doing in Hell? If he had died and gone to Hell, that suggests some oddity concerning his faith and alignment. If he ended in Hell due to his own dealings with the devils (which are endorsed by the Church of Pelor, don’t forget), then it seems that Pelor was flouting the Pact Primeval, an ancient law enacted before Pelor’s time. It seems that there are only a few possible answers. One, Pelor is truly of Hell, and his worshipper ended there because of his faith. Two, the paladin ended up in Hell of his own actions and Pelor gave no thought to the stability of the cosmos in order to bring him back. (Probably out of fear for what information torture would bring to the paladin’s tongue.) Three, Pelor sponsors LE paladins, known as paladins of tyranny (in a complete twisting of the term paladin) because he is a vile god of evil.

The Inquisitor Bracers are another magic item sponsored by Pelor. These bracers justify the use of force on innocent people in order to sort them out from undead. You can’t use the power of the bracers with a touch attack (to see if the positive energy perhaps burns the undead). You must swing your weapon with all force at the target, and hope that the positive energy undoes any mistake you might make. What a sick idea. A paladin on a different world once had a similar idea for dealing with undead. His name was Prince Arthas. Of Warcraft III fame.

Pelor’s final relic is a sun shard, which is fairly simple, it fires searing light at two targets. This isn’t damning in and of itself, but consider that while other good gods (Elonna and Yondalla for example) offered relics that aided mortals, Pelor’s are all intended to destroy. This is of course, not a huge point against Pelor, but when added onto the mountain of evidence, seems to be just one more confirmation.

One adventuring group, headed by a tough talking thug named Dyson, followed the path against Pelor when they discovered something amiss within his church. Connections were drawn between Pelor and Baal. That story can be told by Dyson himself or his dungeon master Feanor. It should be noted however, that they began following this path of discovery prior to the release of the Book of Exalted Deeds. They were the first to see the truth and were shunned for it at the time. Those of us who have had our eyes opened to the light of the Burning Hate owe them a debt of gratitude.

Another adventuring group, this one composed of angels, were betrayed by their god into the hands of Lixer, a Prince of Hell. They were broken, one by one. One was twisted into a demon, one lost faith in the path of the Celestial Compact, one was blasted from existence and the last was petrified and stands still in the Court of a Lord of Hell. The god was not named, but he was a god of the sun. Again, this story predates the release of the Book of Exalted Deeds.

One final member of Dicefreaks has added information. Alratan was the first Freak to bring up evil uses for positive energy and good uses for negative energy. While his study does not accuse Pelor of anything (or indeed, deal with Pelor at all), it does point to an alternate path of positive energy, with which Pelor is definitely associated. (Positive energy, not the alternate path.) This is important because many dubious (and some slack-jawed) people have pointed towards Pelor’s association with the sun and positive energy as proof of his inherent goodness.

It must be noted that nothing is proven. Pelor still sits in Elysium. No good-aligned gods have moved against him, nor have they chilled alliances with the Sun God. It may be this is a smear campaign engineered by fiends, or simply the overactive imaginations of mortals. However, the above presented are facts, not fiction. Draw your own conclusions, but think twice before you choose the True Believer feat in Pelor’s name. Below are my own conclusions drawn from the evidence.


Pelor is a Neutral (lawful tendencies) Evil god of Sun and Strength.
Pelor is a god of skin cancer, sun burns, thirst, and burning agony.
Pelor hates undead as they cannot properly suffer in the same way as mortals.
Pelor’s divine realm is on Elysium.
Pelor has deceived the good gods and mortals for so long that he has grown complacent in his position. The recent revelations are not purposeful, they are accidents caused by the god being sloppy.
Pelor has many connections with Hell through both Bel and Belial and previously through Zariel.
Pelor may have engineered the Great Fall of Eblis, Triel, and the others.
It is unknown if the devils, yugoloths, or demons are aware that Pelor is evil. Presumably they are ignorant.


The above is intended to make clear the position of those people who claim Pelor is evil. It is not intended as a slur on those who seek to worship Pelor as a benign deity nor as concrete proof of his evil. The investigation into his misconduct is currently ongoing and no final judgement should be passed at this juncture.



This continues in 4th edition, were Pelor jad pieces of the Living Gate, hidden in the deepest parts of his palace.

Many also noted that the symbol of Zarus, is also very similar to Pelor's (and Amaunator's old symbol). Pelor was stated to be the among most popular god among humanity, arguably the clost to a patron deity of humanity, Zarus outright
quote:
is
the patron deity of humanity. The oly thing is, Zarus is Lawful Evil.

To be clear, I don't claim Pelor is Evil, just that he, Amaunator and Zarus, might be different manifestations of the same Power.

(Also hi, I dissapeared for a long while)
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3394 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2017 :  14:26:42  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Welcome back.

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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

419 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2017 :  15:33:25  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

Many also noted that the symbol of Zarus, is also very similar to Pelor's (and Amaunator's old symbol). Pelor was stated to be the among most popular god among humanity, arguably the clost to a patron deity of humanity, Zarus outright
quote:
is
the patron deity of humanity. The oly thing is, Zarus is Lawful Evil.

To be clear, I don't claim Pelor is Evil, just that he, Amaunator and Zarus, might be different manifestations of the same Power.

(Also hi, I dissapeared for a long while)



Zarus is what happens when someone forgets that there actually is a god of human supremacy: Wastri.

As for Amaunator, he already has a Greyhawk counterpart: Pholtus. Both are sun gods, both are bureaucrats, both think that their interpretation of the law trumps the rest.

The problem is that the devs didn't embrace the diversity of the Oerdian pantheon, so Pelor (and Nerull) were shoehorned into every role. When's the last time someone mentioned Incabulos? Or Istus? Pholtus? Pyremius?
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13836 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2017 :  18:42:01  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I find the fact that we - a community that used to be die-hard grognrard 'FR fanbois' - have now taken to discussing all these other settings, in a greater D&D/FR context, right down to which gods may be 'ours', etc, very amusing. The fanboi in me is turning over in his grave (he got very ill around 2007, and passed on sometime around 2013, or so), but the meta-gaming, multi-setting D&D gamer is rejoicing. Sorry guys, but I have always loved the "One setting to rule them all" philosophy, and for a very long time I had considered it only a pipe dream (I suppose Planescape filled that role, but it was too... weird.. to ever go mainstream, IMO).

I suppose, though, if The Forgotten Realms are 'connected to everything else' (which has always been the most basic premise of the setting - its built into the name!), that does mean we become the 'playground of the gods'. Basically, FR is the equivalent of the 'Middle-East' in the modern geo-political climate; everyone who is anyone (in the D&Dverse) wants a piece of the pie. Its connectivity makes it high-priority strategic position on a planer scale.

quote:
Originally posted by Cyrinishad

I think that a confirmation that Amaunator and Lathander are separate deities and that Lathander is clearly a liar even to his so-called "Chosen" and that Amaunator=Pelor is actually great! It validates the premises I've been operating in my home campaigns... I am starting to think that Lathander, Tyr, and Sune may have been "infected" by Cyric when they imprisoned him. I'm also thinking that the divine heresies that have arisen are ways for Cyric to siphon divine power from "infected" faiths.
Methinks with that name, though dost have 'an agenda'. LOL

One problem with all that (aside from the Harley Quinn-esque nature of the scenario) - Lathander would have been 'going bad' at least at around the time of the Dawn Cataclysm (probably soon after the fall of Netheril), when Aumantor's church was on the rapid decline. By the time Cyric even appeared on the horizon, Aumantor was already as good as 'dead' (or so we thought).

I prefer to hold that no power is truly 'good', in that they all feel that things would be best served if "they were in charge". In fact, nothing corrupts more than 'ultimate power' (and gods have that in spades). Now, if Lathander rationalized that Aumantor/Pelor was being a tyrant on some levels, well, there's his excuse to do bad things. Some of the most awful things in history were done in the name of 'good' (gods & religion).

In fact, I reinterpret 'alignment' as something more along the lines of asocial behavior, or perhaps a 'lack of empathy' is a better way of putting it. All gods do what they want, to who they want, and sometimes in the most brutal fashions - the ones we label 'evil' are the ones that don't feel bad about it. But what if most of them did feel bad at one time? Living for millennia and seeing and doing terrible things makes a person jaded - they've simply grown ambivalent to such things. If what I suspect is true - that all 'deities' are just ascended mortals - than I would imagine it would be VERY hard for a person to remain true to their original intentions/outlook, having to play 'god politics' using mortals as pawns for so long. After awhile, having millions of your followers die in in pointless wars just doesn't move you anymore.

And I am sure the Orcs think Gruumsh is 'good', and Corellon is 'bad' - its all a matter of cultural perspective as well.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 17 Apr 2017 01:16:24
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13836 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2017 :  19:17:03  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

And so, Forgotten Realms lost its one unique thing. How to recognize the Realms from another setting? There were gods meddling in mortal affairs even in the dishes (as they say in my country).

Now FR is just another Eberron or Nentir Vale. With the fact that those settings have logical explanations of why the gods cannot act in the world with freedom (in Eberron you don't know if they exist; in Nentir Vale there is the Primal Ban).
There are MANY things that make FR unique among the worlds, but they've been down-playing most of them for quite awhile now (the massive number of portals/gates to just about everywhere, the Moonwells/Pools of Power, The Weave {although I think its not as setting-unique as we once thought, now with all this cross-setting stuff going on}, etc). FR doesn't have 'Earth-like cultures' in the same way every other settings do - it has them because of its interaction with Earth, and hundreds of other worlds/planes. This is also why we have so many gods vying for control - a god can only be in a Crystal Sphere if it has some sort of 'power base' there, which means in most cases, only indigenous deities are present. But because so many people have entered The Realms from all over (not just Earth, but thats a major one), many, MANY gods have gotten a 'toe-hold' over the years, and that's probably why (from an in-game viewpoint) we have these constant deific squabbles. Unlike most settings where things remain static (on a cosmological scale) for tens of thousands of years, FR can change on a dime - new gods are popping up all the time (because of planer migrations, but also because of Spelljamming to some small degree), and we also have 'dead gods' getting rediscovered. And by that i mean, as soon as someone starts thinking about a (dead) god, it starts to 'reawaken', and reaches out and tries to re-establish itself (and sometimes, as in Moander's case, it does this in a never-ending cycle of stupidity).

Also, I feel like (D&D) Earth itself 'got infected' - the planer migrations can work both ways. One of the major things I think is that the Finnish pantheon actually STARTED in FR (northern Taan region), and those legends traveled to Earth. Another is the Celestial Bureaucracy - I think the 'Asian' gods originated in their own crystal sphere, and some sort of apocalypse happened, and the mortals there were lead through Gates to other worlds - Toril AND Earth included (and brought that pantheon with them... which is why its EVERYWHERE). This is actually FR canon - the Shou came 'from elsewhere', lead by a Celestial Dragon (and immediately became pert of the Imaskari empire). People just assume that 'elsewhere' is Earth, but the same things could have been happening to Earth as happened to Toril (and I once had a theory that Toril is just Earth in another time... its main continent looks like Pangea. However, I believe Oerth is also supposed to be Earth, in the far future (IIRC), so now I just go with the 'all distorted reflections of the First (shattered) World'. So every world is just a different reflection of the same one, and some are more distorted than others (like Athas).

So what I guess I am trying to say is that for whatever reason, FR appears to be one of the more important pieces of that First World, and has become a 'hotbed' of cosmological intrigue because of that. I've seen some hints of that in the lore - that FR might be more important than other worlds (and something MAJOR happened way back in the past - it may just be the battleground of that first god war). It has a power that is greater than others - something was 'scattered' here. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I've been trying for years. According to Ed, I'm "dancing around the truth but just not quite getting it". Its frustrating, but its also fun.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 16 Apr 2017 19:21:30
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Ari
Seeker

40 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2017 :  19:21:07  Show Profile Send Ari a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That reasoning is entirely too convenient. The whole point of having gods and inhuman, supernatural forces at work is to have there be things besides politicking for the characters to deal with. If the only difference between a god and a mortal is power, then there,s no reason to not just have super-powerful mortals. I recall the incessant meddling and blatant one-upmanship of gods and their Chosen being a very sore point on here.

That and I question how, say, Eldath can be tossed in the same bin as Bhaal. Or Sune with Tiamat. Or Ilmater with Loviatar. There is a massive inconsistency in the ways gods and such are written and made to work in the imagined universe, making it even worse isn't much of an answer.

One big problem that can't ever be fixed, similarly, is how the gods are the gods everywhere. They have their strongholds and places where they're shunned, but even Hoar/Assuran turns his face from the guilty the same in every land. Regional differences in what aspect of that god are asked for by the faithful, what they're called, who they ally with in the local pantheon(in reality or just churches finding common cause) would add a lot to making the Realms less of a bizarre quasi-monoculture. It makes sense with the "monstrous" races, like the all-but monotheist goblinoids who believe a divine madman with an axe killed almost all their other gods, but when people get complex societies going they always find ways to stand apart. Even just by not having constant communication eith other parts of the world.

What I'm saying is, it should be an ascendance and rebirth of the church of Amaunator using the chaos of the world to draw people into a faith that promises order, predictability, some measure of control over their lives. They do some sign (feeding a famine-stricken part of the world, get an unwilling lady to protect her people from an invasion of monsters, stop a mystically-dangerous eclipse) and people believe it's Amaunator at work. Is it? Who in all the Hells knows? Maybe Lathander IS a framp and has been tricking their followers all this time. Or maybe there's something else going on. I know which sounds more useful for making plots out of.

Some of the gods are ascended mortals, and those are the ones that should be treated like larger-than-life people. Treating them all as the same kind of petty tyrant, powerful but easy to fool, just makes it damned boring. This is how we got the dime-a-dozen Chosen and MARVEL-esque events.
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
2885 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2017 :  00:35:48  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I find the fact that we - a community that used to be die-hard grognrard 'FR fanbois' - have now taken to discussing all these other settings, in a greater D&D/FR context, right down to which gods may be 'ours', etc, very amusing. The fanboi in my is turning over in his grave (he got very ill around 2007, and passed on sometime around 2013, or so), but the meta-gaming, multi-setting D&D gamer is rejoicing.

-Hey, things were "cut off" from each other for a shorter time (3e, 4e?) than they were connected (1, 2e, 5e?). How those connections worked and obviously rules related to those connections have changed, but there's probably more written stuff out there assuming that everything is connected than there is assuming everything else doesn't exist.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerűn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerűn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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Zeromaru X
Senior Scribe

Colombia
556 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2017 :  02:27:32  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

And so, Forgotten Realms lost its one unique thing. How to recognize the Realms from another setting? There were gods meddling in mortal affairs even in the dishes (as they say in my country).

Now FR is just another Eberron or Nentir Vale. With the fact that those settings have logical explanations of why the gods cannot act in the world with freedom (in Eberron you don't know if they exist; in Nentir Vale there is the Primal Ban).
There are MANY things that make FR unique among the worlds, but they've been down-playing most of them for quite awhile now (the massive number of portals/gates to just about everywhere, the Moonwells/Pools of Power, The Weave {although I think its not as setting-unique as we once thought, now with all this cross-setting stuff going on}, etc). FR doesn't have 'Earth-like cultures' in the same way every other settings do - it has them because of its interaction with Earth, and hundreds of other worlds/planes.


I'm going to be sincere, and maybe that is going to gain me a lot of bashing, but so be it. At first, when I started to play D&D, I cannot tell the Realms from Greyhawk. They were so much alike to your generic fantasy world of choice. My old DM had to talk with me one night about what make the Realms THE Realms, and I can say I didn't understand it all (because the Realms still intrigues me to this point). And, from what I understand, the only thing that makes then different is their background, the most interesting being the background of the Realms, because it was an evolving story.

The Realms has alot of history, and was always evolving that history. And the world had the logical changes because of it. You could get stuck and play in the "Eternal 1370s" (like many did in the 4e era), but the Realms didn't stopped to evolve because of you. There was the Spellplague, like it or not, and a century of changes.

And I also liked the fact that gods were more like the greek gods, meddling in human affairs and that. The gods became useful tools for the DM, not just the cleric's pool of healing spells.

And I feel that with 5e, both of those main appeals to the Realms are disappearing. Dunno, I can be wrong its just my personal opinion, after all.

I don't mind what they did with Lathander, really. It was more logical that Lathander and Amaunathor were one and the same, because it has happened in real life religions (the celtic goddess Merva and the roman Minerva), but I knew that, for nostalgia reasons and to maintain a few sales, the guys of WotC would not allow it.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 17 Apr 2017 02:28:06
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2687 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2017 :  03:11:12  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X
logical changes because of it.



More power to you if you liked those changes, but a lot of them were not logical or organic. They were imposed from on high, authors had to write novels to blow stuff up following WotC's plot, even if that wasn't fitting or didn't feel natural for those events/characters. Deus ex machinas were also massively used to bring in those changes.

Some things made no sense from a logical PoV (why is it logical that when two worlds collide, the results are oh-so-convenient swaps of landmasses instead of huge world-ending cataclysms, like it should be?), events started to escalate ever more (the metaplot is now a mess), some retcons started to appear (like the Weave being a limitation to magic, instead of the thing that prevents raw magic from detonating in a huge burst and then dissipating, like it was before--and like it is again now). Furthermore, big events like the reclamation of Myth Drannor had their aftermath handwaved and never explored, in order to fast forward to the end results that WotC wanted.

That's far from logical and organic changes, as I see it. WotC's goal admittedly was to sever the "new Realms" from the "old Realms", because they didn't like the amount of lore, and because they clearly didn't like the old Realms and a lot of its iconic stuff. Their choices reflected that.

Abaout Lathander, it wasn't more logical that he and Amaunator were the same. It had a logic, but it wasn't *more* logical. It's one of those many changes (at times even flat out retcons--like for most of the "X was actually always Y" cases) to the pantheon that WotC did because they either didn't like a deity, or wanted to lower their number.

I'm with you with gods being proactive, but that doesn't mean that they have to be oppressively meddling, or be cheapened and lose their mystery. At that point, they are no longer tools but even an impairment, because--for example--people are going to ask "if gods like to be so involved, why doens't X deity help us here". As always, too much of a thing hurts.

Besides, why would playing out the unique aspects of the Realms, like those that Markustay listed, make it less different from Oerth?

quote:
for nostalgia reasons and to maintain a few sales, the guys of WotC would not allow it.


WotC looking for more sales is the reason why 4e is a thing and why they blew up the Realms for the many who liked it in first place. Sales will always drive WotC's choices.

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 17 Apr 2017 03:17:09
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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
418 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2017 :  12:08:43  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am taking the meddling of the gods from perspective of RW management. Why doesn't a corporation president run around and meddle into every clerk's work beyond "general orders from above"? Because they have their own business they have to attend and if they spend too much time dealing with small tasks they will get behind on their main goals. There are many gods in FR that would like to thwart plans or even take place of other gods (rivalry is even between good gods) so they are limited in that they have to sit in their chair and guard it. Only in very important moments can they risk going down themselves and deal with the situation directly.
The same goes for gods - they task their churches with important work and have their divine servants oversee special tasks that needs to be done.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30084 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2017 :  13:20:29  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

I am taking the meddling of the gods from perspective of RW management. Why doesn't a corporation president run around and meddle into every clerk's work beyond "general orders from above"? Because they have their own business they have to attend and if they spend too much time dealing with small tasks they will get behind on their main goals. There are many gods in FR that would like to thwart plans or even take place of other gods (rivalry is even between good gods) so they are limited in that they have to sit in their chair and guard it. Only in very important moments can they risk going down themselves and deal with the situation directly.
The same goes for gods - they task their churches with important work and have their divine servants oversee special tasks that needs to be done.



Two things:

1) Gods don't need to be physically present to do something. If a presence is needed, beyond a manifestation or a ranking divine servant, they can simply send an avatar. But even that is something that doesn't happen oft.

2) The example of gods being corporate presidents is not the best one -- because a corporate president isn't directly beholden to their employees. A corporation loses employees, they just hire more, and keep right on going without a change. In fact, a lot of times, corporations will willingly get rid of a good chunk of their employees. A deity has to serve their worshipers, and if they lose a bunch of followers, that directly impacts their power.

Yes, a deity will delegate stuff, but even without directly appearing or openly speaking to their followers, they still have ways to make their desires known and get their people to act on them. Sending a manifestation of some sort or affecting a cleric's spellcasting pushes people in the desired direction without the deity issuing a direct "Thou shalt not!"

Deities in the Realms have a lot of indirect options for making their will known. Unfortunately, some of the novels have created the false impression that only direct options are used or even possible, and that's a damn shame.

The idea that deities have to directly show up to influence things makes me cringe, because it's a major misconception, and because even some of the novels that have influenced that view have also shown deities acting thru indirect means -- but the latter is always ignored in favor of the former.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 17 Apr 2017 13:25:11
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Cyrinishad
Learned Scribe

245 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2017 :  15:50:01  Show Profile Send Cyrinishad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

A deity has to serve their worshipers, and if they lose a bunch of followers, that directly impacts their power.

Yes, a deity will delegate stuff, but even without directly appearing or openly speaking to their followers, they still have ways to make their desires known and get their people to act on them. Sending a manifestation of some sort or affecting a cleric's spellcasting pushes people in the desired direction without the deity issuing a direct "Thou shalt not!"

Deities in the Realms have a lot of indirect options for making their will known. Unfortunately, some of the novels have created the false impression that only direct options are used or even possible, and that's a damn shame.

The idea that deities have to directly show up to influence things makes me cringe, because it's a major misconception, and because even some of the novels that have influenced that view have also shown deities acting thru indirect means -- but the latter is always ignored in favor of the former.



I like to think that Cyric hears where you're coming from Wooly, and that is why he won't resort to the same ham-handed tactics or direct influence that the other so-called "gods" use to confuse & frighten mortal worshippers... The gods that imprisoned him are the evil liars! They always have been! Cyric tried to protect the Realms from the sinister meddlesome machinations of Mystra! She even confessed to the Arcane Genocide she orchestrated with the spell-plague to Elminster after Cyric was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit!

Clearly, Cyric knows that the follies of his youth & ascension have caused the mortals to feel that even if he told them the Truth they would believe it was Lie... Which is why true heroes like Cyric are selfless, and vow to fight the evils of divinity with the weapons of Truth, Freedom, and Love... Don't be Corrupted by Lathander's Lies! Don't be Oppressed by Tyr's Injustice! Don't be Seduced by Sune's Vanity!

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. -Socrates

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13836 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2017 :  17:00:37  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, thats the beauty of FR - we can all read the same things, and walk away with completely different perspectives on what happened. We can even run completely different games based on canon events, just by re-interpreting the lore (not re-writing it, but rather, just spinning it in such a way that it works to do what we want).

Believe what you want about Cyric, but he seems to me to be your typical 'spoiled brat' - if he doesn't get his own way, and everyone doesn't listen to him, he pitches a fit and starts breaking things. That's the only way I see him. That's the only way I'll ever see him... no matter what WotC or anyone else writes about him. He should be the God of Hatred, because he inspires it perfectly.

As always, IMO, of course.

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

I'm going to be sincere, and maybe that is going to gain me a lot of bashing, but so be it. At first, when I started to play D&D, I cannot tell the Realms from Greyhawk. <snip>

And to be perfectly honest - and many 'old timers' here can attest to the fact I've said this numerous times - I had to be dragged 'kicking & screaming' to The Forgotten Realms from my much beloved Greyhawk.

And Greyhawk DOES have tons of history - its just not 'in your face' like it is in The Realms (because it STAYS 'history', unlike the Realms, where just about EVERYTHING gets 'brought back' every five minutes). Drow? We had 'em first - they were created THERE (from a meta-gaming perspective; I still think ALL true Drow were created as a result of the Crown Wars in FR). RSE's? GH had a GSE before FR did (The Greyhawk Wars), and guess what? IT ACTUALLY AFFECTED THE SETTING!!! Imagine that - actual changes coming about after major events (unlike FR, where entire cities get leveled and its 'business as usual' the very next day). Back in the day most D&D spells had names attached to them, and two of those people DIED at the end of the Greyhawk Wars (a third betrayed the rest). That was some major stuff for setting fans, and the D&Dverse itself.

I really hate when people dis on GH, because that setting doesn't seem as 'interesting' as FR or others, but thats because it never 'jumped the shark' - everything proceeds at a realistic pace, and changes are profound and long-term, when they do happen.

And as for 'gods' not being very physically active - there was one literally 'chained in a basement' for decades. The gods are there, and sometimes they even 'walk among mortals', but its extremely rare, and it always has consequences. Not liking that paradigm, to me, is like asking "why doesn't every country just launch nukes at each other?" Because that what gods are - walking Nukes. There HAS TO BE rules involving them. People have to fear them showing up. Even in Greek Mythology the people feared the gods more than they respected them; they 'appeased' them, not loved them.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 17 Apr 2017 17:29:45
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