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Suzerain
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2017 :  14:32:52  Show Profile  Visit Suzerain's Homepage Send Suzerain a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Swordsage

The Spellplague was indeed forced on the authors, but so was the Sundering. It's just that with the latter Realms-Shaking Event (TM) they decided to do a novel series to go with it. I can understand Salvatore's happiness with that as it gave him an opportunity to bring his stable of characters into the next edition of the Forgotten Realms. He didn't talk about the Sundering much, but that's not what his intention was with that novel. I enjoyed the novel btw.



Ah, but you see, Fifth Edition was inevitable, and the writers knew it. After the Spellplague and Fourth Edition were planned, R.A. Salvatore and Ed Greenwood planned how they would fix it ahead of time. Here's the interview. Really neat story about how they got back in the driver's seat at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLf1hBUr9M4 (go to about 11:44). I've taken the liberty of transcribing:

quote:
Fourth Edition, it was a shock. And they said "We're advancing the world a hundred years." And half of my main characters were human and I'm sitting here thinking, well, 140 year-old humans don't fight very well. How am I going to do this? And that was a fight, I actually wrote a long letter to Wizards to a couple of the editors up there, the senior editors, and said, "Please don't do this. There are other ways to accomplish what you want." But it's their world. If they want to do that to their sandbox, my choice is I can either keep working and playing in their sandbox or I can go and play in somebody else's sandbox or I can go make one of my own. This time, the biggest thing was, I was sitting at Gen-Con a couple of years ago, and I knew this was coming, because Fifth Edition was coming, and I knew, you know, I knew what they needed to do. And James Wyatt, after I did my seminar, James Wyatt was like "I don't know what we're going to do, we need, you know, so many people, it's gone off the rails in so many ways, and we need to do X, Y and Z," and I started laughing. I said, I know how you're going to do it, and here's how you're going to do it. And I explained it to him, some things I had done. When Ed Greenwood and I walked out of that meeting back in 2006 when we were told about the reboot for Fourth Edition, Ed looked at me, I thought he was going to start crying. I mean, these were his Realms that had been taken away from him, essentially, by this big change. And he said to me, "What are we going to do?" And I said, "We're going to be smarter than them. We're going to think long-term." And I had already started planning, Ed had already started planning, well, all right, when they realize that these are not the Realms that everybody loves, and they need to do something, we started planning back in 2006 how we were going to fix it for them. That was how we looked at it. We were going to fix Ed's Realms. And so I sat there in the room after the seminar at Gen-Con a couple of years ago, and I said, "Ok, James, here's what I'm going to do, and here's, I think, the way other authors should do theirs." And he just looked at me, after about 20 minutes of me explaining it to him in detail and he said, "How did you come up with that?" I said, "It took me a few years, but there it is."... Fourth Edition, people would complain about this or that and I would just hold up my hands and say, "It's got nothing to do with me, you know, you're talking to the wrong person." Fifth Edition, not the game so much, but the things that go on in the Forgotten Realms, if people want to complain to me about what happens, I will take full responsibility, happily, because I was part of it, and I'm very proud.


And:

quote:
This time they did it right. Last time, they kind of gave us, here's what's changing in the world, you're going to love it. And we didn't and we had no say. This time they brought us in and said, this is what we're doing to the game, how would that affect the world? And we're the ones that got to determine that.


So, they knew eventually Spellplague would fly off the rails, and they came up with their own strategy to counter it in the novels when Wizards realized they had made a mistake. Sadly, we may never get to see how the "fix" was going to play out in Realms lore. Maybe there's still a window but it looks like it's over. That said, I think what Salvatore, Greenwood, et. al. did to restore the Realms was heroic.

Edited by - Suzerain on 21 Nov 2017 16:31:55
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Suzerain
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2017 :  16:19:59  Show Profile  Visit Suzerain's Homepage Send Suzerain a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan
If you recall, back in 2012 WotC organized some PR stuff to promote the Sundering to FR fans and show their good will. There was that gathering of "the loremasters", which then went nowhere, to discuss the Sundering. Or the hints about Ed being given a much more prominent role when it comes to the fate of the Realms. However, just take a look at the current state of the FR (as a setting, not in-universe), and you'll see that they didn't uphold what they tried to to show.



Now that strikes me as a legitimate criticism. Clearly, something changed after the Sundering where Wizards decided not to follow through on the commitment that the Sundering entailed. I don't hold the authors accountable, however. They clearly believed they were restoring the Realms and that going forward things would work more smoothly. Perhaps somebody broke their word. Or maybe the company just ran out of money. Who knows?

I do think the fans deserve an explanation.

If the company does not want to do Realms lore any more, then perhaps they should get an outside company to do it via license. It might mean that the game and the novels part ways in terms of continuity, but that wouldn't be the most horrible thing. Comic books find room for several continuities, reboots, etc. The movie continuities deviate from the books. The Walking Dead's television script deviates from the books.

That said, it seems the authors are committed to their new worlds they are building. That's happy news and sad at the same time. There's only so much time, and what we do with it is precious. As for the Realms, we obviously want more as fans. If there is more eventually perhaps it will mean a new generation of writers comes in and takes over. It will never be the same, of course. Ideally, whatever parting of ways that's occurred could somehow be resolved. It's hard to speculate without knowing more about why the novels were cancelled, and it's hard to imagine that anyone else could ever be at the helm than those who established it.
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