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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
667 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2021 :  17:53:54  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another "behind the scenes" question if you don't mind:

When y'all were writing the supplements, adventures, etc., did you have access to something like an index of all of the Ed's unpublished Realms materials or did you have to dig through thousands of pages to try and locate all the information Ed or previous writers had already created for a specific area, organization, item, or person?

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6154 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2021 :  13:32:19  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Another "behind the scenes" question if you don't mind:

When y'all were writing the supplements, adventures, etc., did you have access to something like an index of all of the Ed's unpublished Realms materials or did you have to dig through thousands of pages to try and locate all the information Ed or previous writers had already created for a specific area, organization, item, or person?



I've long had a chuckle at the idea that some fans hold that TSR/WotC always had some Realms "bible" for designers to consult. There were style guides and general guidelines about FR "dos and don'ts" but nothing like that has ever existed - and still doesn't despite some implied statements to the contrary.

So it always came down to this: who is writing the product? FR products have seen many hits and misses over the years. Some works by X were heavily over-written by Y, especially in 2E and the swinging gulf in quality typified by 1E was an example of just how green most FR authors were in terms of understanding the setting and their ability to create out of whole cloth in a way that seemed "Realmsian". Some few writers were prepared to ask for help and grateful when it was given, a lot were not. Personally, I think you can pick the former from the latter in terms of quality.

So, to your question - and noting that I can only speak from my personal experience. I worked on two types of FR products: the ones by Steven Schend where he actively canvassed the fan base for information/lore/references to include in his work - which produced the gorgeous LOI and EotSS boxed sets, and to a lesser extent SoFS. The other type were the works of Eric Boyd where he and I worked pretty closely to gather the information. I'm a compulsive Realms List maker and lore collector so when, for example, Eric started work on Dragons of Faerūn he asked me for all the dragon lore I could find. My list of dragons - suitably enhanced - formed the backbone of the web enhancement. I did the same thing for DDGttU, CoS:W, SK, POF, et. al. and we did a bunch of work behind the scenes for LEoF and RoF. 3E was where I made my biggest contribution to the published Realms.

So basically, I would trawl through the products and provide a bunch of references for Eric to add to the stuff he already had or was looking to incorporate and then I'd field the incessant questions that still pop up daily from him: I need a wizard active in the North in the 600s DR; are there any artifacts/powerful magic relating to the Tashalar?; what lore do we have on standing militaries in the Realms?, etc. etc.

So we are clear, I was the research guy with the occasional good idea - Eric was the genius writing guy, weaving it all together. Ed always did his own thing and being the creator of the whole shebang never needed to ask us mere mortals for assistance. As it should be.

So yes, I had to dig through thousands of pages. Still do. Daily. It's fun.

-- George Krashos

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

USA
667 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2021 :  14:32:09  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Another "behind the scenes" question if you don't mind:

When y'all were writing the supplements, adventures, etc., did you have access to something like an index of all of the Ed's unpublished Realms materials or did you have to dig through thousands of pages to try and locate all the information Ed or previous writers had already created for a specific area, organization, item, or person?



I've long had a chuckle at the idea that some fans hold that TSR/WotC always had some Realms "bible" for designers to consult. There were style guides and general guidelines about FR "dos and don'ts" but nothing like that has ever existed - and still doesn't despite some implied statements to the contrary.

So it always came down to this: who is writing the product? FR products have seen many hits and misses over the years. Some works by X were heavily over-written by Y, especially in 2E and the swinging gulf in quality typified by 1E was an example of just how green most FR authors were in terms of understanding the setting and their ability to create out of whole cloth in a way that seemed "Realmsian". Some few writers were prepared to ask for help and grateful when it was given, a lot were not. Personally, I think you can pick the former from the latter in terms of quality.

So, to your question - and noting that I can only speak from my personal experience. I worked on two types of FR products: the ones by Steven Schend where he actively canvassed the fan base for information/lore/references to include in his work - which produced the gorgeous LOI and EotSS boxed sets, and to a lesser extent SoFS. The other type were the works of Eric Boyd where he and I worked pretty closely to gather the information. I'm a compulsive Realms List maker and lore collector so when, for example, Eric started work on Dragons of Faerūn he asked me for all the dragon lore I could find. My list of dragons - suitably enhanced - formed the backbone of the web enhancement. I did the same thing for DDGttU, CoS:W, SK, POF, et. al. and we did a bunch of work behind the scenes for LEoF and RoF. 3E was where I made my biggest contribution to the published Realms.

So basically, I would trawl through the products and provide a bunch of references for Eric to add to the stuff he already had or was looking to incorporate and then I'd field the incessant questions that still pop up daily from him: I need a wizard active in the North in the 600s DR; are there any artifacts/powerful magic relating to the Tashalar?; what lore do we have on standing militaries in the Realms?, etc. etc.

So we are clear, I was the research guy with the occasional good idea - Eric was the genius writing guy, weaving it all together. Ed always did his own thing and being the creator of the whole shebang never needed to ask us mere mortals for assistance. As it should be.

So yes, I had to dig through thousands of pages. Still do. Daily. It's fun.

-- George Krashos



Thank you. That has certainly given me a better perspective on how the Realms has grown into something loved by so many people. And, I completely understand about the digging. I find it fun, too.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2021 :  17:02:22  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think your greatest contributions are now in unpublished works.

Races of Faerun is one of my favourites. Which bits were yours (I'm guessing migration patterns)

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6154 Posts

Posted - 01 Apr 2021 :  02:05:40  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Eric and I re-did most of the human chapters - the racial histories of the Damarans and Illuskans stem from my historical work over the years.

-- George Krashos

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

USA
1804 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2021 :  16:04:40  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Eric and I re-did most of the human chapters - the racial histories of the Damarans and Illuskans stem from my historical work over the years.

-- George Krashos



I do regret the use of the word "Damaran." "Impilturan" would have been more accurate, although perhaps there could have been a good word for the region that didn't focus on a particular kingdom.

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Grievous
Acolyte

4 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2021 :  17:00:47  Show Profile Send Grievous a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos


I've come up with both a line of monarchs for Damara and a story for the origin of the name. Ed liked it. It also explains that godawful "FR" instead of "DR" dating system in FR9 Bloodstone Lands.

-- George Krashos



Hey George and all,

Just doing some research into Damara for a rejiggered old school Bloodstone campaign and was wondering if this list of monarchs for the kingdom ever managed to surface in some manner or is still locked up in a chest somewhere?
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
751 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2021 :  22:03:03  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Several of George's lists made it into Grand History of the Realms, including that for Impiltur, but not Damara.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6154 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2021 :  10:11:35  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is no official lineage of Damara. I have one, but most of it is ... ahem ... made up.

-- George Krashos

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

USA
1804 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2021 :  12:31:16  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

There is no official lineage of Damara. I have one, but most of it is ... ahem ... made up.

-- George Krashos



We know George. The rest of us do the hard work of traveling to the Realms and interviewing surly Realmsians, but you just make it all up. ;-)

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34710 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2021 :  16:41:48  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

There is no official lineage of Damara. I have one, but most of it is ... ahem ... made up.

-- George Krashos



We know George. The rest of us do the hard work of traveling to the Realms and interviewing surly Realmsians, but you just make it all up. ;-)




And suddenly I find myself wondering... Which has more dangerous natural inhabitants, the Realms -- or Australia? Both have very large spiders, one has dragons, the other has drop bears...


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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2021 :  17:41:00  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For a second there I had the horrifying thought that wotc had done an anchorome style adventure book and introduced drop bears as the latest kewl idea.


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