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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  07:35:42  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Poll Question:
Should some of the fans of the Forgotten Realms come together, organize a group (the precise details yet undetermined), to produce unofficial "canon" material for other fans of the setting?

I thought about bringing this up in the "Some good news, amidst all this bleakness" thread, but then I decided that it would be better on its own as a poll question.

It is unanimously clear to everyone that the Forgotten Realms is no longer moving forward. The novels have either stalled or stopped, there is not going to be a campaign guide for 5th Edition, and as a whole, the setting appears to be on ice. It does not appear that this is going to change in the near future or long-term future. The future looks bleak, and it is likely that the setting will die a slow death. (Some may even argue that it is already dead, or at least on life support.)

With this hanging over us, I think there comes a time when we have to make a choice. If WotC is not going to take actions to preserve the Realms, then it inevitably falls to the fans to sustain the setting. Thus, the poll question above.

We have obviously discussed this in the past. Candlekeep as a website is pretty clear on where it stands on the matter, so to be clear, I want to stipulate two things.

1. No material will be passed off as official Realmslore. It will be made very clear that this is not WotC produced material.

2. There will be no attempt to make a profit from the endeavor. It is simply work done for fans, by other fans, for the pure enjoyment of the setting. It is then published freely online for anyone who wants to use it.

3. The reason to form and organize a group rather than simply have people just post their stuff on the forums is two-fold. First, by organizing the group it highlights the material and lessens the chance that it will go unnoticed here among the other discussions. Second, is quality control. There needs to be a vetting process to ensure what makes it through is worth browsing, using, and enjoying. The exact methods and means would be something that is open for discussion.

Choices:

No. The community should not organize to create fan material.
Yes. The community should organize to create fan material.
I support fan created material, but not in an organized way.
I am undecided.
Other.

(Anonymous Vote)

Edited by - Aldrick on 29 Jun 2017 07:37:44

Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6428 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  08:35:38  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not here to vote. Just to comment that WotC has defined many licenses for third-party and fan-based stuff in "their" Realms and D&D game.

Technically, they really just have the latest-and-greatest (5E) license. Although the 3E-era d20/SRD licenses were open-ended and never "expired" (or got revoked) so my understanding is that fan-made material following the strictures of these older licenses are still perfectly legal (as in, cannot be legally challenged). Wizbro has been exceptionally aggressive and territorial about protecting the D&D and Realms IP/brand/franchise before, and - regardless who's in charge now or what they may claim - WotC has a consistently long and inglorious history of knee-jerk responses which bring down the hammer hard and fast. It might pay to remember that the managers/executives who make strategic product decisions which result in heavy-handed destruction of the setting are the same folks who make strategic legal decisions, lol.

More fan-published material cannot be a bad thing. Anyone who doesn't like it doesn't have to read it or use it. But methinks that Bad Things will happen if it ever becomes more popular than officially-published material.

[/Ayrik]
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3418 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  08:39:50  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick


It is unanimously clear to everyone that the Forgotten Realms is no longer moving forward


Huh, "Unanimously"? How about no? Actually the Forgotten Realms is currently the ONLY supported setting that D&D has going right now. Every supplement thus far and in the near future has been Realms-based. Every. Single. One. I'm not really sure how more plain it could be?

Also isn't this the basis for the Candlekeep Compendium? Why hasn't that continued?

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3545 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  08:48:32  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Absolutely yes. What WoTC produces is generic and lacklustre at best.

Some here are already working on lore for the community (George Krashos mostly and Eric and Ed when they were less busy, i even had a try a while back). Hopefully others will join in. An organised single vision project seems impossible but Candlekeep is the perfect place to use as a treasure trove of realmslore outside of the monstrous DMs Guild.


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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
744 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  08:58:10  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I tried to rouse some support for a Candlekeep commitment a while back but it came to naught. The community seems pretty split by editions and time-period. Hopefully you have more luck, because I still think people here could create some great stuff if they came together.

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

Norway
147 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  10:21:57  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik


Technically, they really just have the latest-and-greatest (5E) license. Although the 3E-era d20/SRD licenses were open-ended and never "expired" (or got revoked) so my understanding is that fan-made material following the strictures of these older licenses are still perfectly legal (as in, cannot be legally challenged).

The 5e license states anyone is free to use the older ones. They are still valid.

But 4e's license stated you had to give up using the 3e license, and I see the 5e have "d20" as an product identity.

There is some legalese here: we might be free to make 3e stuff by giving up 4e. The 5e license also states Forgotten Realms is not covered, and d20. I'm interpreting it as Wizards want us to use Dungeon Masters Guild as publishing method for any for free non-profit works in the realms, for any period. The OGL seems to only cover non-realms.
I think candlekeep's only problem is any works here would be cantered on a product identity, the editions isn't the issue: the product identity of the Forgotten Realms is.
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Zeromaru X
Senior Scribe

Colombia
785 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  11:00:35  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

I tried to rouse some support for a Candlekeep commitment a while back but it came to naught. The community seems pretty split by editions and time-period. Hopefully you have more luck, because I still think people here could create some great stuff if they came together.



I was searching that post, in fact. I have a few things I want to share. I do not want to move on from 4e, but the timeline can advance even if I do not change editions.

I feel I was rude back them (I was just pissed off by the last podcasts--- I'm still pissed off by the last podcasts, but at least I came to terms with that now...).

As for the OP, I like the idea. In fact, I have a few ideas with the Old Empires, and I like to join efforts with Sleyvas, who have good ideas for the region as well. And with anyone who want to help, really.

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 29 Jun 2017 11:01:28
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BARDOBARBAROS
Senior Scribe

Greece
569 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  12:24:32  Show Profile  Visit BARDOBARBAROS's Homepage Send BARDOBARBAROS a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes. The community should organize to create fan material

BARDOBARBAROS DOES NOT KILL.
HE DECAPITATES!!!


"The city changes, but the fools within it remain always the same" (Edwin Odesseiron- Baldur's gate 2)
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14387 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  15:16:42  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I voted 'Yes', but with the caveat, "Ain't never gonna happen".

We've tried similar before, and the problem is agreeing on which way certain things should go. Hell, we can't even get a new Candlekeep Compendium out the door, even though - with the DM's Guild - its obviously okay to create whatever we want.

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

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Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
147 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  16:50:09  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I vote "yes", as long It's legally possible.
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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  17:19:37  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If we want Forgotten Realms material with actual substance in it, then yes, the community will have to create it.

Brian R. James - Freelance Game Designer

Follow me on Twitter @brianrjames, and please be sure to check out the RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game

Edited by - Brian R. James on 29 Jun 2017 17:20:13
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Adhriva
Learned Scribe

USA
139 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  19:36:34  Show Profile  Visit Adhriva's Homepage  Send Adhriva an AOL message  Send Adhriva a Yahoo! Message Send Adhriva a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would lend my help and support to whatever the community organizes.
The real question of legality, as a few people have brought up, is more complicated. Sourcebooks and adventures are something that can be legally done through the DMsG, other material (such as narrative works) is somewhere between a grey area to not "officially" doable.

Professional illustrator and comic book artist.
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2907 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  21:14:52  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes. I have been saying for awhile now that Candlekeep should start the Compendiums back up and run with it. I would rather have "Unofficial" Realmslore written by many of the Scribes here at the Keep anyway if you want my honest opinion.

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

USA
6094 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  21:22:00  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's the point of DMs Guild guys... One of the things I'm TRYING to do is find DMs Guild material that I want to keep and develop around it. One of the biggest things I've seen is what's been developed for Maztica and Lopango, and while I think some of the Lopango stuff is a bit silly (jungle orc sorcerers being a major enemy.... sorcerers depend on charisma), I will give the guy props for his ideas, and thus I'm trying to work around his work (and yes, I've never even talked to him nor do I know how to contact him).

This is also why I started a couple thread around here to promote certain people's work if we found it to have good realmslore. That's about the only way we're going to start herding the problem in the right direction.... by sharing information.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  22:16:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Honestly, given the availability of the DM's Guild and the difficulty getting a Compendium organized, I would suggest that the former is now the better option.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  23:10:18  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I voted 'Yes', but with the caveat, "Ain't never gonna happen".

We've tried similar before, and the problem is agreeing on which way certain things should go. Hell, we can't even get a new Candlekeep Compendium out the door, even though - with the DM's Guild - its obviously okay to create whatever we want.



Yes, that is the core of the problem. I have some ideas to put forward on how to solve some of the problems that past efforts have faced. However, I did not want to introduce any of those suggestions yet. I think it is important that there is first a consensus on the path forward.

Right now, it does appear, based on the poll, that there is a consensus forming. If that consensus remains, the next step is then to openly discuss the manner in which we will move down the path. If we can develop a consensus there, then the next step after that would be to hammer out the details and then put the plan into action.

We obviously are not going to get to an agreement that everyone likes, but what is important is that we conclude with something the majority can support. Hopefully, even if we conclude with something some people do not fully support they will decide to participate.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4920 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2017 :  07:48:44  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Group stuff is tough. Really tough in an open-ended creative scenario. I've worked on FR stuff over the years with many creatives. The good part was when you "clicked" with someone and it went seamlessly. The bad part was when you didn't. I love seeing what people come up with. In all honesty I can't say that I like what other people come up with every time, but I love the fact that they have made the effort and added something to the FR firmament. Of course, I recognise that my FR stuff isn't to everyone's liking also. Horses for courses. In my time poor state where I don't have the ablity to invest in the dozen skeleton ideas I have languishing on my hard drive, I know that I can't substantially contribute to this initiative, but I do applaud the intent and recognise that there are many talented and driven individuals out there who can do great things. I look forward to seeing what people come up with.

-- George Krashos

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

Edited by - George Krashos on 30 Jun 2017 14:09:55
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BadCatMan
Learned Scribe

Australia
281 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2017 :  11:20:13  Show Profile Send BadCatMan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I voted "no", I seem to be the onlk one. This is what the fandom does anyway. Coming up with new material is part-and-parcel of being a DM creating a campaign or a player creating a character. The holes and truncations in a campaign setting should be accepted as much as the filled-in detailed bits.

But everyone has their own ideas going in different directions. No two fans ever fully agree on an interpretation or homebrew proposal. Fans certainly don't like things with an official canon stamp. ;) Worse, fans never get anything done. :p I was in Kara-Tur Redux; we had a lot of ideas and interesting discussion, but got nowhere with it.

Something like this requires a lot of leadership, organisation, and structure, with editorial overview, directions, and deadlines, in which case you might as well as be Wizards of the Coast.

BadCatMan, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc.
Scientific technical editor
Head DM of the Realms of Adventure play-by-post community
Administrator of the Forgotten Realms Wiki and Candlekeep Wiki
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Gyor
Master of Realmslore

1177 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2017 :  11:51:39  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick


It is unanimously clear to everyone that the Forgotten Realms is no longer moving forward


Huh, "Unanimously"? How about no? Actually the Forgotten Realms is currently the ONLY supported setting that D&D has going right now. Every supplement thus far and in the near future has been Realms-based. Every. Single. One. I'm not really sure how more plain it could be?

Also isn't this the basis for the Candlekeep Compendium? Why hasn't that continued?



Volo's guide to monster was barely realms related in practice, so if you mean rubber stamped as realms with the odd mention, then yeah, they all have been, although it, feels with curse of strand FR ate Ravenloft.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14387 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2017 :  14:05:54  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BadCatMan

I voted "no", I seem to be the onlk one. This is what the fandom does anyway. Coming up with new material is part-and-parcel of being a DM creating a campaign or a player creating a character. The holes and truncations in a campaign setting should be accepted as much as the filled-in detailed bits.

But everyone has their own ideas going in different directions. No two fans ever fully agree on an interpretation or homebrew proposal. Fans certainly don't like things with an official canon stamp. ;) Worse, fans never get anything done. :p I was in Kara-Tur Redux; we had a lot of ideas and interesting discussion, but got nowhere with it.

Something like this requires a lot of leadership, organisation, and structure, with editorial overview, directions, and deadlines, in which case you might as well as be Wizards of the Coast.
On the one hand, I would love to blame the onset of 4e, and the WotC forums turning into a battleground, for all of that. And it may just be responsible for 80-90% of it.

But in the end, I just didn't have what it takes to put all of those ideas together into a cohesive whole, and then actually create a readable book out of it.

Cheers to the editors - the unsung heroes who make the crap the rest of us come up with look good.

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

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Thrasymachus
Learned Scribe

194 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2017 :  03:33:34  Show Profile Send Thrasymachus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Honestly, given the availability of the DM's Guild and the difficulty getting a Compendium organized, I would suggest that the former is now the better option.


+1
I am going to underline that the DM's Guild has the blessing of WotC. Once non-lawyers start using phrases like "my understanding of... "law", or "copyright", or "infringement" in justifying endeavors outside of what is clearly okay'd by WoTC; you're rolling dice unnecessarily. Dice that have no 20's, but lot's of 1's.

Is there a reason not to go the route of the DM's Guild?

@Ayrik - Anything can be legally challenged. I'll grant that odds of success and failure can be pliable, but legal fees are not.


Former Forgotten Realms brand manager Jim Butler: "Everything that bears the Forgotten Realms logo is considered canon".

Edited by - Thrasymachus on 01 Jul 2017 03:35:39
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
744 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2017 :  03:40:44  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus

Is there a reason not to go the route of the DM's Guild?

I believe the only reason would be that content would have to be for 5th edition or be edition-free, which might turn off some people here who still play older editions.

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

194 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2017 :  03:52:22  Show Profile Send Thrasymachus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus

Is there a reason not to go the route of the DM's Guild?

I believe the only reason would be that content would have to be for 5th edition or be edition-free, which might turn off some people here who still play older editions.


That settles it for me. There are only 5 people playing first edition, and I am 2 of them.
*votes no*


Former Forgotten Realms brand manager Jim Butler: "Everything that bears the Forgotten Realms logo is considered canon".
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2017 :  04:00:47  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus

Is there a reason not to go the route of the DM's Guild?

I believe the only reason would be that content would have to be for 5th edition or be edition-free, which might turn off some people here who still play older editions.



There is also the issue of organization. How people organize, use, and distribute information is constrained by the platform, as well as how participation is solicited.

The DM's Guild is good for one person or small group projects. That is not what I am suggesting here, and it is not what I have in mind. As discussed by Markustay, George Krashos, and others things like this have been attempted in the past and most ended in failure. There needs to be a different way of doing things that are both more open and less reliant on certain key individuals. It also needs to break things down into smaller chunks which make things more achieveable.

Of course, once things work their way through the process they could then be organized in such a way as to be suitable for the DM's Guild. However, as you point out KanzenAU, they would have to use 5th Edition D&D rules.
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Varl
Learned Scribe

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2017 :  04:43:17  Show Profile Send Varl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All this talk about DM's Guild made me go look, and I placed 6 more monster volumes in my wishlist for later purchase. Whether articles are placed there or here, and regardless whether they're priced or free, I support anyone's efforts to make the Realms a better place. So yes, I guess.

"We're not out of here in 10 minutes, we won't need no rockets to fly through space." -Parker, Alien.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6094 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2017 :  10:17:44  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Group stuff is tough. Really tough in an open-ended creative scenario. I've worked on FR stuff over the years with many creatives. The good part was when you "clicked" with someone and it went seamlessly. The bad part was when you didn't. I love seeing what people come up with. In all honesty I can't say that I like what other people come up with every time, but I love the fact that they have made the effort and added something to the FR firmament. Of course, I recognise that my FR stuff isn't to everyone's liking also. Horses for courses. In my time poor state where I don't have the ablity to invest in the dozen skeleton ideas I have languishing on my hard drive, I know that I can't substantially contribute to this initiative, but I do applaud the intent and recognise that there are many talented and driven individuals out there who can do great things. I look forward to seeing what people come up with.

-- George Krashos




Well said. I know I come up with things that make people cringe, and then occasionally I have something really good (its usually something around magic). I know the idea I have for Katashaka being a mostly non-human, and totally non-elven/dwarven/Halfling/gnome/half-orc/dragonborn ....... but instead being filled with bestial humanoids (some of which I'm making up).... isn't going to the cup of tea for many. However, it fits my viewpoint that humanoid races shouldn't control the whole world. I can say the same thing for everyone here that I truly respect.... they all occasionally come up with some ideas that make me want to throttle them, and sometimes like a dog with a bone they won't let go (and yes, I am saying that I sometimes act the same way).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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