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Caolin
Senior Scribe

743 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2020 :  18:53:48  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gyor

The current Dragon+ Digital Magazine has a question where you can tell WotC that you want more novels again. I would encourage you to do so and spread the, world.



Is a subscription required? Do you have a link?
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astolfo
Acolyte

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2020 :  16:04:07  Show Profile Send astolfo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow, been out of the loop for awhile. This is so sad.
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KraziJoe
Acolyte

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2020 :  15:27:30  Show Profile Send KraziJoe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think Hasbro is missing the boat on this one. I started reading the Realms back in the 80's when I was a teen. Here I am pushing 50 with a ton more money than I had back then and would love to buy more, and yet, I cannot. I am sure there are a bunch more old farts that want to buy the books. Are there Millions? No, but if you market it correctly you can sell to us old farts, who would probably buy it regardless of the marketing, and you can bring in the new folks. And don't forget us old farts are becoming grand parents now and we love to pass on our likes to them just to annoy their parents. Missed opportunity and short sightedness on Hasbro's part.
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Asjo
Acolyte

Denmark
1 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2020 :  20:22:43  Show Profile Send Asjo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I was younger, not as many fantasy set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe had come out. I read what I could find in the library. I read the Dragon Lance series and no more than a few books with the Forgotten Realms setting. I read comic books based on the Drizzt universe, and I remember it intrigued me, particular since I'm very fascinated with strong and dominant women.

Many years later, I did borrow a few more books to read at the library. However, it was only once I started to get into audiobooks a few years ago that I really got into the Forgotten Realms universe. First, I listened through everything from R.A. Salvatore, only remembering later that I actually knew some of the stories already, having read a book or two. And now I've been going through everything I can find related to Forgotten Realms. I listen to some audiobooks on my laptop as I go to sleep, and others on my MP3 player as I take the bus and other transport. Sometimes I bring my laptop into my living room and put on the audiobooks, if I'm cleaning my apartment, making dinner or doing other stuff where I'm not staring at a screen.

Just now, I realized that I only had around 20 series left to listen to before the well had run dry. Given how quickly you go through the audiobooks, I realized that I would have to take a closer look at what new stuff had come out. When I realized that the books had stopped, I looked into it, and ended up here.

It feels terrible how something as meaningless as commercial interest threatens the continuation of the Forgotten Realms setting. Forgotten Realms, the world that many people have built and brought to life, feels like the main vein of the fantasy genre. Granted, there are other fantasy world, but fantasy mainly has its offset in Dungeons & Dragons, and Forgotten Realms has served to enrich this genre of fantasy, giving it not only purpose, but an actual body and history. The shared effort to keep a continual world, where everything was interconnected, gives us a shared way of exploring the different themes that Dungeons & Dragons offers. Even with great upheaval and seemingly arbitrary changes to this universe, like The Sundering, my interesting didn't wane. I want to see the drow female gain power in world above, I want see orc hordes driven away, see the Zhentarim reduced, I want to see nations expanding or fighting rebellion. When history is recorded and put into a great context, it always feels like it has meaning.

So, that's what I fear we're losing. A universe so vast, with a base in lore and shared histories so rich that almost any aspect can be explored to great length. I realize that some of the books I've read have been written out of the Forgotten Realm history, which feels terrible, but I also appreciate the fact that WotC have worked to maintain the integrity of this universe, even when it has come at a great cost to creative freedom. While others might try to fill the hole left by their current refusal to feed the universe they've birthed, I don't we're likely to experience the same cohesion in the story that we try to share. We've built something, and so many have been willing to contribute, but in the end, the entire basis for the Forgotten Realms universe and for people maintaining the wiki, discussing the lore and discovering new aspects, is that the universe was alive. If the stories stop, I think many of us will consider it dead. I will no doubt continue the listen to the remaining audiobooks within Forgotten Realms, but it certainly won't be with the same luster.

Edited by - Asjo on 12 Oct 2020 23:29:13
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mastermustard
Seeker

USA
67 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2020 :  09:29:31  Show Profile Send mastermustard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Asjo

When I was younger, not as many fantasy set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe had come out. I read what I could find in the library. I read the Dragon Lance series and no more than a few books with the Forgotten Realms setting. I read comic books based on the Drizzt universe, and I remember it intrigued me, particular since I'm very fascinated with strong and dominant women.

Many years later, I did borrow a few more books to read at the library. However, it was only once I started to get into audiobooks a few years ago that I really got into the Forgotten Realms universe. First, I listened through everything from R.A. Salvatore, only remembering later that I actually knew some of the stories already, having read a book or two. And now I've been going through everything I can find related to Forgotten Realms. I listen to some audiobooks on my laptop as I go to sleep, and others on my MP3 player as I take the bus and other transport. Sometimes I bring my laptop into my living room and put on the audiobooks, if I'm cleaning my apartment, making dinner or doing other stuff where I'm not staring at a screen.

Just now, I realized that I only had around 20 series left to listen to before the well had run dry. Given how quickly you go through the audiobooks, I realized that I would have to take a closer look at what new stuff had come out. When I realized that the books had stopped, I looked into it, and ended up here.

It feels terrible how something as meaningless as commercial interest threatens the continuation of the Forgotten Realms setting. Forgotten Realms, the world that many people have built and brought to life, feels like the main vein of the fantasy genre. Granted, there are other fantasy world, but fantasy mainly has its offset in Dungeons & Dragons, and Forgotten Realms has served to enrich this genre of fantasy, giving it not only purpose, but an actual body and history. The shared effort to keep a continual world, where everything was interconnected, gives us a shared way of exploring the different themes that Dungeons & Dragons offers. Even with great upheaval and seemingly arbitrary changes to this universe, like The Sundering, my interesting didn't wane. I want to see the drow female gain power in world above, I want see orc hordes driven away, see the Zhentarim reduced, I want to see nations expanding or fighting rebellion. When history is recorded and put into a great context, it always feels like it has meaning.

So, that's what I fear we're losing. A universe so vast, with a base in lore and shared histories so rich that almost any aspect can be explored to great length. I realize that some of the books I've read have been written out of the Forgotten Realm history, which feels terrible, but I also appreciate the fact that WotC have worked to maintain the integrity of this universe, even when it has come at a great cost to creative freedom. While others might try to fill the hole left by their current refusal to feed the universe they've birthed, I don't we're likely to experience the same cohesion in the story that we try to share. We've built something, and so many have been willing to contribute, but in the end, the entire basis for the Forgotten Realms universe and for people maintaining the wiki, discussing the lore and discovering new aspects, is that the universe was alive. If the stories stop, I think many of us will consider it dead. I will no doubt continue the listen to the remaining audiobooks within Forgotten Realms, but it certainly won't be with the same luster.


I agree with all of this. I can feel your passion and love for the Realms. It was a lot more than just a fantasy setting for many of us who grew up reading and playing and living it. It definitely felt real, and alive, like the novels were historical texts depicting actual events transpiring in a far away time and place, with characters whose destinies and fates you felt intimately connected with.

And yes, the Realms now feels dead to me. To preserve my composure I've recorded it in my headcanon that Szass Tam succeeded in creating his dread rings and annihilated Toril towards the end of 4e. Everything written since then has been the dreams of a mad lich.
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1750 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2020 :  23:42:36  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Acolyte Drumheller,

I would imagine that there is a strategic marketing reason (think product development, not advertisement here) behind this decision. The amount of lore that goes into the novels, accessories, is of course enormous. The cross-section of people that a command of that material with the skill set to translate that into a novel makes that a pretty niche group of people. As that lorebase develops over time, that could lead to those authors to command more pay, etc. Companies, unless the amount of money they are making is preposterous, don't like to get pigeonholed into that situation. Now, admittedly, I have no idea what their margins were for those novels, but to develop that product line in a way where you can tell investors it is solid for an investment takes a lot of work, and I wonder if they just didn't feel comfortable doing it for that lack of control.

Best regards,






Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1750 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2020 :  09:21:44  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Acolyte Drumheller,

As a consequence of recent news, it very well may be related to allegations included within court filings submitted by Margaret Weis LLC and Tracy Hickman in their suit against WotC: https://www.scribd.com/document/480694976/Weis-and-Hickman-v-WoTC

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1808 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2020 :  14:33:06  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The decision to kill the Forgotten Realms novel line predates the Hickman/Weis lawsuit by more than a decade, so I don't think that can have anything to do with the initial decision. It may have something to do with quelling any enthusiasm anybody at the company had for revisiting the decision.
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Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
394 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2020 :  15:07:45  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All legal squabbles aside, did WoTC say anything offical to the effect of: "We are the the game business, not the novel business." ? If that is the case, then either independent business must take over the market niche, or people like we do. Not that the latter two groups are mutually exclusive.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34143 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2020 :  15:38:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

All legal squabbles aside, did WoTC say anything offical to the effect of: "We are the the game business, not the novel business." ? If that is the case, then either independent business must take over the market niche, or people like we do. Not that the latter two groups are mutually exclusive.



I don't believe it was ever officially stated, it was more the way their leadership ran things.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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John Daker
Acolyte

USA
44 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2020 :  18:33:45  Show Profile Send John Daker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

The decision to kill the Forgotten Realms novel line predates the Hickman/Weis lawsuit by more than a decade, so I don't think that can have anything to do with the initial decision. It may have something to do with quelling any enthusiasm anybody at the company had for revisiting the decision.



Wow, really? That long ago? I believe you—but that's interesting. I thought the decision must have been made around 2014 or so. From 2011–2016 there were more than forty Realms novels published. I guess maybe they decided in 2010 to wind down the line over the following six years?

(While I've got your attention—and if I may be permitted to briefly cross the fandom streams—I quite liked The Blood of Baalshandor.)
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1750 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  00:01:10  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mr. Byers,

quote:
The decision to kill the Forgotten Realms novel line predates the Hickman/Weis lawsuit by more than a decade, so I don't think that can have anything to do with the initial decision. It may have something to do with quelling any enthusiasm anybody at the company had for revisiting the decision.


Well, there you have it, from an author of the Realms! I didn't realize it was that long ago. I stopped paying a much attention after 4e came out, so I didn't know. Thanks for making that clear though!

EDIT: **Adding a question**

Mr. Byers, do you know what led to that initial decision killing the novel line?

Best regards,



Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring

Edited by - cpthero2 on 22 Nov 2020 00:05:21
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1750 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  00:03:50  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Senior Scribe Delnyn,

quote:
All legal squabbles aside, did WoTC say anything offical to the effect of: "We are the the game business, not the novel business." ? If that is the case, then either independent business must take over the market niche, or people like we do. Not that the latter two groups are mutually exclusive.


I'd love this, but I can't see WotC letting anyone get their hands on those IP's for purposes of getting novels out.

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
394 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  02:41:48  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am not sure where to find the "Intellectual" in IP.

quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

Senior Scribe Delnyn,

quote:
All legal squabbles aside, did WoTC say anything offical to the effect of: "We are the the game business, not the novel business." ? If that is the case, then either independent business must take over the market niche, or people like we do. Not that the latter two groups are mutually exclusive.


I'd love this, but I can't see WotC letting anyone get their hands on those IP's for purposes of getting novels out.

Best regards,





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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1750 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  06:50:41  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Senior Scribe Delnyn,

You make a valid point good sir. Perhaps it may be referred to as: "ATTMRESP." Actions Taken That Makes Realms Enthusiasts Sad Property.

I think it makes more sense, personally. haha

Best regards,





Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1808 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  16:24:46  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Okay, so I have a crappy sense of time. I went back and checked, and damned if THE REAVER (my final Realms novel) didn't come out in 2014. Less than a decade ago even if it feels like a long time ago to me. I stick by my fundamental point, though, that the decision to end the Realms novel line predates the Hickman/Weis lawsuit by years.

There had been verbal discussions of the books I meant to write after THE REAVER, but WotC never offered me a contract, and after some months had gone by I figured out that things had changed and they had no intention of ever doing those books.

During that period, new Realms books were being published, but I believe that was because they had already been contracted for. I don't think anybody was getting any new contracts.

As to why the decision to kill the line was made, I don't know. You have to understand, I was not a company employee privy to such discussions. I was just a freelancer hired for certain projects. I can speculate that the novels weren't making enough money to make it seem worth the trouble of putting them out, at least in the eyes of some executive at Hasbro, WotC's parent company, or maybe that guy simply thought, "Hey, we're a game company, not a book company, so to hell with this." Again, let me stress that this is purely speculation on my part.

John Daker, I'm glad you liked BLOOD OF BAALSHANDOR. Thanks for taking the time tot ell me so.
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1750 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  21:12:42  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mr. Byers,

quote:
As to why the decision to kill the line was made, I don't know. You have to understand, I was not a company employee privy to such discussions. I was just a freelancer hired for certain projects. I can speculate that the novels weren't making enough money to make it seem worth the trouble of putting them out, at least in the eyes of some executive at Hasbro, WotC's parent company, or maybe that guy simply thought, "Hey, we're a game company, not a book company, so to hell with this." Again, let me stress that this is purely speculation on my part.


If you're so interested, this article I am linking to is from a former VP of WotC, Ryan Dancey. It seems to articulate well what the reasons were from a business perspective, as opposed to Bruce Cordell's explanation in Dungeon #366 in his interview. If you read it, I'd be interested to hear your opinion on it.

https://www.enworld.org/threads/wotc-ddi-4e-and-hasbro-some-history.661470/

Best regards,






Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1808 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  21:57:05  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It may sound like heresy, but if I'm being honest, I'm not really that interested anymore. I liked writing Forgotten Realms fiction, but I moved on and have written many other things since I had the plug pulled on me. It's kind of ancient history to me now.

I did read the article, though. Unless I missed something, it doesn't address the cancelation of the novel line unless, perhaps, by implication. You asked my opinion of it, but since, as I explained, I was never a company insider, I don't have the background that would let me form an informed, intelligent opinion.

I will say that if 4th edition and the changes it brought to the Realms were the problem, it's ironic because THE REAVER and the other five books in that series were written specifically to undo changes that 4e had brought to the Realms that many fans disliked. So from that perspective, it's too bad readers never got to see what we novelists would have done with the restored Realms.

Edited by - Richard Lee Byers on 22 Nov 2020 21:59:22
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1750 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  22:40:42  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mr. Byers,

No, not at all. I have no idea what it is like to be an author, so I have no way to speak to it or the experience.

quote:
I did read the article, though. Unless I missed something, it doesn't address the cancelation of the novel line unless, perhaps, by implication.


I believed it to be by implication there, and Bruce Cordell came out and admitted it was partially to do with closing the lore gap between new and old users. Effectively to eliminate that barrier to enter.

quote:
You asked my opinion of it, but since, as I explained, I was never a company insider, I don't have the background that would let me form an informed, intelligent opinion.


Fair enough.

quote:
I will say that if 4th edition and the changes it brought to the Realms were the problem, it's ironic because THE REAVER and the other five books in that series were written specifically to undo changes that 4e had brought to the Realms that many fans disliked. So from that perspective, it's too bad readers never got to see what we novelists would have done with the restored Realms.


Yeah, I feel like it was the impossible task. By the way, in no way is that meant as a critique on your writing of course. Fan rage can be impossible to quell it seems at times (the Realms, and look at the Star Wars rage too). I think the books just came after too much damage, namely Bruce Cordell confirming what was alleged, but until that interview, not 100% confirmed. I feel it was like Grand Coulee breaking, and trying to erect something to stop it when the water was already pouring down range.

On a completely separate note: wow, I had no idea you were a fencer! That looks brutally difficult to learn, but must keep you in shape for sure!

Best regards,



Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1808 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  23:33:23  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have to admit that for a number of reasons, I haven't fenced in a while. It is great fun, though, and I miss it. Like other forms of exercise, it's good for you too, although, also like other forms of sport, it can create its own sort of problems if you do it for long enough. After a couple decades, it was rough on my knees, and there's also the issue that it develops the body asymmetrically. These days I go to the gym (or did before COVID-19), and while that's not nearly as much fun, it's probably even better for me health- and fitness-wise.

Fencing isn't the easiest sport to learn. There's probably not a single posture or action in fencing that is something the body would naturally do otherwise. But if you're interested, it's worth trying, and you don't have to get good (I don't know that I ever got better than mediocre, and that only with epee, not foil or sabre) to have fun.
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1750 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  23:53:12  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mr. Byers,

quote:
I have to admit that for a number of reasons, I haven't fenced in a while. It is great fun, though, and I miss it. Like other forms of exercise, it's good for you too, although, also like other forms of sport, it can create its own sort of problems if you do it for long enough. After a couple decades, it was rough on my knees, and there's also the issue that it develops the body asymmetrically. These days I go to the gym (or did before COVID-19), and while that's not nearly as much fun, it's probably even better for me health- and fitness-wise.


I can only imagine in the sport of fencing. I boxed in our Army and I get the assymetric movements. It doesn't seem to go easier on a person as they age, that is for sure.

quote:
Fencing isn't the easiest sport to learn. There's probably not a single posture or action in fencing that is something the body would naturally do otherwise. But if you're interested, it's worth trying, and you don't have to get good (I don't know that I ever got better than mediocre, and that only with epee, not foil or sabre) to have fun.


It looks like it is extremely difficult, from observing motions of the body, etc. Lateral movement in boxing is very important so you can move with the motion of your punches to maximize power on delivery. It seems like it is much more technical in subtle movements. Though, that is just from observation, and not experience.

Best regards,






Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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