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keftiu
Senior Scribe

376 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2020 :  22:23:20  Show Profile Send keftiu a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Not interested in this becoming Yet Another 4e Hate Thread, just want to get that out of the way, though you're absolutely welcome to say Akanul or Tymanther if you're not a fan.

Title question says it all. In a world this big and developed, there's bound to be content you personally don't like, possibly enough to get rid of.

For me? Cannot stand Mulhorand and Unther. Their worship of real-world pantheons is incredibly tacky to me, and it's made even more jarring by Chessenta hitting similar notes (cool city-states! a vaguely Bronze Age set of cultural inspirations!) being right next door while still feeling like part of a fantasy world. I'm not quite sure what to replace them with, so I mostly settle for being content that 4e swept them away, though I think I saw something about Ed having his own wildly different take on the region?

4e fangirl. Here to queer up the Realms.

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Feb 2020 :  22:35:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There aren't any areas I actively dislike... For me, it's events that are the issue, not locales.

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Diffan
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3936 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2020 :  22:58:56  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always been vocal of my distaste for Realms-Mexico and Realms-Egypt. I don't like the Egyptian vibe at all, will never use it, and will likely never play in a game where it's the concept of the campaign. I too dislike the use of real-world pantheons (I guess in some extent Tyr is an issue too but I feel he's removed enough from Earth's Norse mythology to be his own thing) and don't forsee using them in my games much.

As for Mexic...Maztica, I felt the whole Conquistador-Helm push for imperial-colonization of the "New World" was really unnecessary. It's bad enough knowing the real-world implications and direct results of such an endeavor but to basically be Christopher Columbus 2.0? nah, no thanks and good riddance. I much prefer Laerakond/Returned-Abeir with new and exciting content that felt right at home on Toril from my perspective. Again, I was never going to do a Maztica game or include any of that area into my Realms games but yea I'd sign up to ship over to Returned-Abeir in a heartbeat.

With the Sundering, we get these places back and it's just not something I'm ever going to reincorporate into my Realms games. That and the utter destruction of Sakkors or Thultanthar, the floating City of Shade mostly isn't going to happen either. I'm not sure if I'll read The Hearald since it's the beginning of the end for parts that I really enjoyed, but til then, we'll see.

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."

Edited by - Diffan on 09 Feb 2020 23:01:20
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Baltas
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Poland
717 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2020 :  23:24:23  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Going off-topic, with Mulhorand, withing Ed's game, it was apparently more Stygia-like.

It's also might interest you originally Mulhorandi and Untheri Gods, were ascended mortals from Toril - specifically Imaskari artificers who defeated their gods, and claimed their divinity for their own, while decimating their former empire in the apocalyptic struggle. From Old Empires, page 3:
quote:
HISTORY OF THE OLD EMPIRES
Toward the end of the previous age,
tribes of humans were pushed out of
the Great Kingdoms of the southeast,
which were covered in desert. Legends
speak of a great war in which powerful
humans fought against the gods to
wrest away their power. The humans
won and became god-kings, but the war
destroyed their kingdoms. These godkings,
Re and Enlil, led the shattered
remnants of their peoples into Mulhorand
and Unther. The two god-kings
and their spouses became the leaders of
the royal houses of these two nations.


That the war what destroyed the Imaskari Empire (then called The great kingdom of Raurin) is confirmed in the time-line at the back of the book:
quote:
-2488 DR The great kingdom of
Raurin destroyed. Exiles
flee into the west, eventually
settling on the shores of
the Alamber Sea.


The Horde Campaign setting further eleborated on that, naming Mulhorand an successor of the Imaskari Empire:
quote:
The earliest of all known records describes the
great empire of Imaskar. Ruled by powerful wizards,
this empire was centered in what is now the
Raurin Desert. It's borders were vast, reaching
from Khazari to present-day Thay and across the
Shalhoond into the steppe. What caused its fall is
unclear, but from its ashes rose Mulhorand, Solon,
and Ra-Khati.


quote:
Mulhorand
With the collapse of Imaskar, a splinter group of dissidents
migrated to the west. Highly religious, they
had for years suffered persecution under the Imaskari.
Now freed, they quickly laid claim to their land
and created Mulhorand.

Edited by - Baltas on 09 Feb 2020 23:25:13
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Arivia
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Canada
2965 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2020 :  23:26:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I largely agree with Diffan. The shoehorned real-world equivalents that got stuck onto the Realms by TSR are my least favourite places, and I think less of them the farther they are away from the Heartlands. Each one has to be taken individually, as they've all had varying levels of integration with the rest of the Realms. Mulhorand and Unther are fine, because those received a lot of work to make them fit, and I'm fine with the Realms having explicit real world connections (it's in the name after all!) The Moonshaes I'm not super hot on, but I think you could make a damn fine 4e game out of them. Shou works a bit better with the migration and cultural integration you started seeing in 3e and 4e with expatriates and so on. Chult works okay, I've read some pretty good articles from PoC gamers that make the argument it was workable before Tomb of Annihilation screwed with it.

But I really really don't like the adventures or events that do reenact real-world colonialism, like Diffan stated. Maztica is shameful. The Horde is similarly bad. I wish those had never been added to the Realms (but the Endless Wastes itself is cool!) I don't remove the parts I dislike, but I do downplay them; about the most I ever talk about Maztica is how it affects trade on Faerun. Laerakond was a clear upgrade (a whole new continent written by Ed? Yes please!) and I really enjoyed using the Tarmalune trade delegation when I ran the 4e Neverwinter Campaign Setting. For Mulhorand one thing I might look at is Scott Bennie's unofficial update for 3e, where he did a lot of work to make it fit better. (Oh! Why do we have the Inuit in the far north? Really? We really have to have that?!) I prefer to focus on what I do like, and facilitate lots and lots of that, instead of fretting over what I dislike.

It should be noted that not all of the real-world equivalents are bad. The North's Illuskans as not-Vikings was a creation of Jennell Jaquays, and she nailed it. That fits superbly well, and I can't imagine the Realms without it.

(postscript: I really haven't done much reading about Kara-Tur itself or Al-Qadim. I'd be interested in what the relevant marginalized people think about them, but I'm not aware of any great resources.)
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keftiu
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376 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2020 :  23:36:19  Show Profile Send keftiu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

I've always been vocal of my distaste for Realms-Mexico and Realms-Egypt. I don't like the Egyptian vibe at all, will never use it, and will likely never play in a game where it's the concept of the campaign. I too dislike the use of real-world pantheons (I guess in some extent Tyr is an issue too but I feel he's removed enough from Earth's Norse mythology to be his own thing) and don't forsee using them in my games much.

As for Mexic...Maztica, I felt the whole Conquistador-Helm push for imperial-colonization of the "New World" was really unnecessary. It's bad enough knowing the real-world implications and direct results of such an endeavor but to basically be Christopher Columbus 2.0? nah, no thanks and good riddance. I much prefer Laerakond/Returned-Abeir with new and exciting content that felt right at home on Toril from my perspective. Again, I was never going to do a Maztica game or include any of that area into my Realms games but yea I'd sign up to ship over to Returned-Abeir in a heartbeat.

With the Sundering, we get these places back and it's just not something I'm ever going to reincorporate into my Realms games. That and the utter destruction of Sakkors or Thultanthar, the floating City of Shade mostly isn't going to happen either. I'm not sure if I'll read The Hearald since it's the beginning of the end for parts that I really enjoyed, but til then, we'll see.



Maztica frustrates the hell out of me. It's so, so lazy, and the need to replicate real-world colonialism played completely straight is just tanks any interest I would ever have in it - something 5e Chult, despite all its other many missteps, managed to get right.

Pathfinder's setting has real problems, but they recently detailed a fantasy Mesoamerican region (the nation of Xopatl, on the Americas-equivalent continent of Arcadia) at the hands of a latinx author, and it's amazing how much more fresh and interesting it plays out instead of literally just doing a simple copy and paste from history.

4e fangirl. Here to queer up the Realms.
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Dalor Darden
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USA
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Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  00:42:41  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I replaced Mulhorand with a Set worshipping slaver nation more like Howard’s Stygia of Hyboria as well as replacing Unther with a land much like Shem from the same world. I left Chessenta pretty much as is because I thought it was a lot like Corinthia from Hyboria.

I have Greyhawk where sits Kara Tur, The horde lands are a good divider for the two.

There is no Maztica in my realms. Instead there is the continents of Cerilia and Aduria from Birthright.

I also have Krynn in my realms sitting in the Southern Hemisphere obviously...

Then I also have my own world of Aerk.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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keftiu
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376 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  01:22:33  Show Profile Send keftiu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Found that Ed take on Mulhorand and Unther I mentioned above: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1132112465947504641?s=20

In brief: Mulhorand is a land frequently wracked by civil war, built on the ruins of a much older fallen empire. Unther has seceded to get away from this constant fighting, and then of course is drawn into a war of independence over it, with the self-declared "god-kings" of both being backed in secret by Shar. Both nations are struggling with rapid drought and desertification. No mention of real-world deities, and the kings lack any true divinity. Neat!

And you could probably still keep the "former slaves of the Imaskari" angle, if you wanted to avoid breaking too many things.

4e fangirl. Here to queer up the Realms.

Edited by - keftiu on 10 Feb 2020 01:23:56
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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
717 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  01:42:57  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very interesting...I wondered for years what was Ed's take on Mulhorand and Unther, and it's very interesting. I must search if there is more about for example what would be in Kara-Tur's place in Ed's Realms.

I also wonder keftiu what do you think about the original published Realms take on the Mulhorand and Unther, which I detailed in my above comment?
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keftiu
Senior Scribe

376 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  01:49:15  Show Profile Send keftiu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

Very interesting...I wondered for years what was Ed's take on Mulhorand and Unther, and it's very interesting. I must search if there is more about for example what would be in Kara-Tur's place in Ed's Realms.

I also wonder keftiu what do you think about the original published Realms take on the Mulhorand and Unther, which I detailed in my above comment?



Feels like your early take, Ed's, and canon could come to a nice consensus here: a revolt from a religious underclass (perhaps an enslaved ethnic group) overthrows the magical Imaskari Empire, and the new nation of Mulhorand is built on the ruins, frequently warring with itself until Unther breaks away and becomes the focus of their ire.

You keep the broad shape of history, you keep the anti-arcane sentiment across the region, and you cut the goofy Earth stuff. I like it.

Only downside being that we now have two distinct "here a human empire of mages stood until it fell and now the land is desertified" that Anauroch/Netheril has.

4e fangirl. Here to queer up the Realms.
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Seethyr
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USA
801 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  01:57:15  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Frankly at this point I’d only cut the portions that have been done and redone 10000 times as we go through each edition. I wouldn’t cut it permanently, Id just say “let’s leave it be for a bit and explore somewhere else for a minute.” Because Maztica, the Horde and Zakhara had some portions done poorly the first time around, in 1990-1993 no less, doesn’t make the region a wash, it makes them an opportunity.

Follow the Maztica (Aztec/Maya) and Anchorome (Indigenous North America) Campaigns on DMsGuild!

The Maztica Campaign
The Anchorome Campaign
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keftiu
Senior Scribe

376 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  02:07:41  Show Profile Send keftiu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

Frankly at this point I’d only cut the portions that have been done and redone 10000 times as we go through each edition. I wouldn’t cut it permanently, Id just say “let’s leave it be for a bit and explore somewhere else for a minute.” Because Maztica, the Horde and Zakhara had some portions done poorly the first time around, in 1990-1993 no less, doesn’t make the region a wash, it makes them an opportunity.



Certainly, but if I'm using a prewritten world, I'd prefer to focus on regions that I don't need to throw out and rewrite from scratch to make them appeal to me. If a diverse team of writers took it upon themselves to do this regions more authentically and more interestingly? I'd buy that book day one.

(See again my praise for Pathfinder's recent Mesoamerican material, with nary a conquistador or human sacrifice to be found.)

4e fangirl. Here to queer up the Realms.
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Seethyr
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USA
801 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  02:12:16  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

Frankly at this point I’d only cut the portions that have been done and redone 10000 times as we go through each edition. I wouldn’t cut it permanently, Id just say “let’s leave it be for a bit and explore somewhere else for a minute.” Because Maztica, the Horde and Zakhara had some portions done poorly the first time around, in 1990-1993 no less, doesn’t make the region a wash, it makes them an opportunity.



Certainly, but if I'm using a prewritten world, I'd prefer to focus on regions that I don't need to throw out and rewrite from scratch to make them appeal to me. If a diverse team of writers took it upon themselves to do this regions more authentically and more interestingly? I'd buy that book day one.

(See again my praise for Pathfinder's recent Mesoamerican material, with nary a conquistador or human sacrifice to be found.)



The comments on those particular regions boiling them down to a singular event however, shows that there was an overeager willingness to dismiss them without giving them any second look. And a lot is lost because of it. Replace Maztica with Laerakond? Why? Why not fit both in like Markustay once tried to do. Unless of course we prefer additional endless track of empty seas.

I mean, the primary complaint has always been “it followed the real world too closely historically”. Well, ok, that covers 10 years.

Doug Niles did a remarkable job with introducing two new forms of magic (pluma and hishna), new classes (jaguar knights being a particular favorite) and even gods that aren’t pure good or evil, just necessary. It was tinged with 1990s sensibilities of course and the power level was way, way too weak. Tweaking that issue was perhaps the easiest thing I’ve ever had to do to alter a game.

Follow the Maztica (Aztec/Maya) and Anchorome (Indigenous North America) Campaigns on DMsGuild!

The Maztica Campaign
The Anchorome Campaign

Edited by - Seethyr on 10 Feb 2020 02:17:25
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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33624 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  02:16:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

Frankly at this point I’d only cut the portions that have been done and redone 10000 times as we go through each edition. I wouldn’t cut it permanently, Id just say “let’s leave it be for a bit and explore somewhere else for a minute.” Because Maztica, the Horde and Zakhara had some portions done poorly the first time around, in 1990-1993 no less, doesn’t make the region a wash, it makes them an opportunity.



Certainly, but if I'm using a prewritten world, I'd prefer to focus on regions that I don't need to throw out and rewrite from scratch to make them appeal to me. If a diverse team of writers took it upon themselves to do this regions more authentically and more interestingly? I'd buy that book day one.




If a region of a prewritten world doesn't appeal to me, I simply ignore it and focus on the regions that do appeal to me. There's plenty to do in just the Heartlands area; I don't need to rewrite Maztica when it's never going to be relevant to my campaign.

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Seethyr
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USA
801 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  02:19:35  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Honestly, I think the whole “what region would you cut” concept is baitingly similar to a question like “which edition would you cut?” which we all know leads to wonderful discussions on Candlekeep.

Follow the Maztica (Aztec/Maya) and Anchorome (Indigenous North America) Campaigns on DMsGuild!

The Maztica Campaign
The Anchorome Campaign

Edited by - Seethyr on 10 Feb 2020 02:20:14
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1622 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  02:33:06  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arivia

For Mulhorand one thing I might look at is Scott Bennie's unofficial update for 3e, where he did a lot of work to make it fit better. (Oh! Why do we have the Inuit in the far north? Really? We really have to have that?!) I prefer to focus on what I do like, and facilitate lots and lots of that, instead of fretting over what I dislike.



I'm really interested in that 3e fan-update to Mulhorand. If you can point me out to it, I would really appreciate it.

On topic. I guess is no secret here that I'm part of that group of fans who don't like the real-world copy-pastes. However, like Arivia, I like the connection to Earth-based cultures. What I don't like is that they are carbon-copies of their historical counterparts. IMHO, those cultures should evolve into their own thing when they got stranded in the Realms. That's why I don't have a problem with Mulhorand returning, for instance, beyond that I would use a less "Hollywood-esque Egypt" version.

My problem with Maztica is not because of that, however. The place itself has a lot of potential, I don't doubt it, but its reenactment of the Spaniard Conquista is just... problematic. See, there is a place not too far from my home (two hours by car), named "El Salto del Cobarde" (The Coward's Fall, guess would be a good translation). According to historians, nearly all of the Guane people jumped to their deaths from there, choosing death over being enslaved by the Spaniards, who named the place after the event, adding insult to injury. Those who could not get in time for the mass suicide were captured and enslaved, and their culture got erased. We don't even know which kind of gods they worshipped, or what they ate, or what mean the strange glyphs they left in the stones near my home. We only know that they decided to die free rather than to be enslaved (and that I'm a descendant of the survivors, according to my grandparents on my mother's father side).

So, reading a campaign setting that encourages you to reenact the Spaniard Conquista is... not fun (let's leave it at that). And D&D is about fun. So, yeah, list me up on that group who prefers a "Player's Guide to Laerakond" over a Returned Maztica, please.

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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Arivia
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Canada
2965 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  03:23:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

quote:
Originally posted by Arivia

For Mulhorand one thing I might look at is Scott Bennie's unofficial update for 3e, where he did a lot of work to make it fit better. (Oh! Why do we have the Inuit in the far north? Really? We really have to have that?!) I prefer to focus on what I do like, and facilitate lots and lots of that, instead of fretting over what I dislike.



I'm really interested in that 3e fan-update to Mulhorand. If you can point me out to it, I would really appreciate it.

On topic. I guess is no secret here that I'm part of that group of fans who don't like the real-world copy-pastes. However, like Arivia, I like the connection to Earth-based cultures. What I don't like is that they are carbon-copies of their historical counterparts. IMHO, those cultures should evolve into their own thing when they got stranded in the Realms. That's why I don't have a problem with Mulhorand returning, for instance, beyond that I would use a less "Hollywood-esque Egypt" version.



Completely agreed.

Here's a link to the Old Empires update: http://kingstears.tripod.com/downloads/OldEmpiresMay2003withbackground.pdf So if you're not aware, this is an update and some other ideas done by the original designer of the Old Empires back when; these are his ideas to expand upon that part of the Realms years later. They're not canon (and I believe a fair chunk of it is contradicted by LEoF and the other lore heavy sources in late 3e), but it is fascinating reading for an alternative vision of what they can be, and inspiration for making the area your own.
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keftiu
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376 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  03:46:31  Show Profile Send keftiu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have an odd objection the Mulhorand as-is (and as presented in that doc): in addition to thinking the "we're from Earth and follow Earth pantheons!" thing is tacky and immersion-breaking, I personally pray to Hathor/Het-Heru and a few other gods. Not that they're "mine" in any sense, but it makes them feel goofy in fiction.

4e fangirl. Here to queer up the Realms.
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Ayrik
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Canada
7101 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  04:19:29  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
D&D Thay is most disagreeable to me. AD&D Thay did everything it was meant to do quite rightly.

Not a specific edition bash. Just coincidence that all the worst changes flowed across edition boundaries.

[/Ayrik]
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keftiu
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376 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  04:33:54  Show Profile Send keftiu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

D&D Thay is most disagreeable to me. AD&D Thay did everything it was meant to do quite rightly.

Not a specific edition bash. Just coincidence that all the worst changes flowed across edition boundaries.



What's the difference?

I wasn't around for older editions, and my fondness for 4e Thay is an unpopular opinion, I know.

4e fangirl. Here to queer up the Realms.
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Diffan
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USA
3936 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  07:29:29  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

D&D Thay is most disagreeable to me. AD&D Thay did everything it was meant to do quite rightly.

Not a specific edition bash. Just coincidence that all the worst changes flowed across edition boundaries.



What's the difference?

I wasn't around for older editions, and my fondness for 4e Thay is an unpopular opinion, I know.



Before 4e, Thay was a Mageocracy ruled by the Zulkirs of magic schools and each sort of kept the others in-line and balanced. Szass Tam was just one important aspect of Thay, not the end-all, be-all. There was also a strong following of Kossuth in Thay that wasn't necessarily evil either.

In addition to being strong in magical arts the country did a lot of slave trading, had gladiatorial games, and was constantly at war with it's neighbors Aglarond and Rasheman (which hasn't changed with 4e, but only amplified)

Edit: wanted to also say that while I like the hyper-focus on Szass being a hugh evil issue I wasn't that happy it turned Thay into a one-dimensional zombie land

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."

Edited by - Diffan on 10 Feb 2020 07:32:11
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keftiu
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376 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  07:44:52  Show Profile Send keftiu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan
Before 4e, Thay was a Mageocracy ruled by the Zulkirs of magic schools and each sort of kept the others in-line and balanced. Szass Tam was just one important aspect of Thay, not the end-all, be-all. There was also a strong following of Kossuth in Thay that wasn't necessarily evil either.

In addition to being strong in magical arts the country did a lot of slave trading, had gladiatorial games, and was constantly at war with it's neighbors Aglarond and Rasheman (which hasn't changed with 4e, but only amplified)

Edit: wanted to also say that while I like the hyper-focus on Szass being a hugh evil issue I wasn't that happy it turned Thay into a one-dimensional zombie land



Sure, I'm aware of the broad strokes - a magocracy with an element of Mulan supremacy, slaving, aggression with neighbors, the mercantile enclaves - but I'm curious what version of Thay Ayrik enjoys and what was changed or lost.

4e fangirl. Here to queer up the Realms.
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5089 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  12:44:41  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Personally I think it's fine to steal from real world, but effort then has to be put in to make the derived culture feel realmsian. Seethyr has done this with maztica and I like to think I did the same with mulhorand and unther. You just need to comb through the books and every legend, every cultural reference needs to be given an in world (toril not earth) reason for its existence.

Mulhorand and unther get dismissed very quickly as being too derivative but that's only because they didn't receive the Steven schend treatment that calimshan got.

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LordofBones
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Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  13:37:45  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I generally ignore the events of the Unclean book series. Szass Tam becoming an undead god-king never sat right with me; he was vastly more interesting as a patriotic lich instead of yet another lunatic with delusions of grandeur.
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Grumpy Hamatula
Seeker

22 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  15:29:53  Show Profile Send Grumpy Hamatula a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't so much cut regions as do my level best to do right by them, even if TSR or WOTC's treatment of them in the past has been regrettable or has not aged well. Maztica comes to mind, as do Zakhara, Chult, and everything from the Hordelands eastward. My long-standing group and I have had long conversations about why some of the canon presentations can be problematic (the Helmites in Maztica, for instance), and we talk about ways that we can do our best to avoid turning these parts of our Realms into further problems.

For example, although I require at least some researched backstory for every character played at the table, PCs from parts of the Realms based heavily on real-world cultures sometimes require additional research and DM discussion. I don't ban these characters, and I don't browbeat the players, but I do ask that my players treat the real cultures the Realms cultures are based on with due respect rather than relying on Hollywood images or stereotypes. It's surely not a perfect solution, but I feel it's better to make that attempt than not, especially given the past and present diversity at my tables.

Regarding real-world pantheons, I can understand the unease with making use of them, especially if one follows those pantheons or has players or group members who do. As I have several polytheistic folks at my tables who follow pantheons that are at times represented in the Realms, we've talked about it, and we've felt out how we treat it at our table. For instance, we've talked at length about the Mulhorandi pantheon, which, although more or less Egyptian-flavored, is not altogether historically accurate to the Egyptian pantheon of our world. The treatment of the god Set comes to mind off the top of my head. In my Realms, he tends to be less an evil cartoon villain sort of god and much more a nuanced god of deserts, necessary (and betimes unpleasant) change, storms, the unknown, and the like.

Usually, at my table, gods with Earth equivalents tend to be treated more like the Earth gods by which they are inspired if that is what the players prefer. If someone at the table worships those gods, I defer to them on matters related to the nuances of working with their gods. Differences in Realmslore, where they turn up, tend to be explained along the lines of "Well, on our Prime, those gods have somewhat different agendas and interactions than they do on Toril." So far that has worked for my crew, but as always, YMMV.
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1622 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2020 :  16:30:37  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Personally I think it's fine to steal from real world, but effort then has to be put in to make the derived culture feel realmsian. Seethyr has done this with maztica and I like to think I did the same with mulhorand and unther. You just need to comb through the books and every legend, every cultural reference needs to be given an in world (toril not earth) reason for its existence.



I've read your stuff on the Old Empires, and is pretty good. It feels like yeah, they are based on Earth-derived cultures, but they aren't carbon-copies, they have become something on their own.

As for Seethyr's Maztica, his work is pretty good as well. His 5e conversion is more approacheable than the official campaign setting, and it was reading that conversion that I saw the potential Maztica has to offer (before that, I had always dismissed Maztica as an "Spanish Conquista mock off"). Now its up to me to get pass the unpleasant baggage the official book has (that we know WotC is going to bring back as soon as they make a 5e Maztica adventure...)

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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