Friday, October 3, 2008

Where the Realms Went Wrong

I was having a talk with my friend the other night.
It was the first time that we've talked in too many years.
After catching up, our conversation turned to one of our favorite topics.


AD&D in particular.

Anyway, one of the points we discussed is how the Forgotten Realms was so brilliant in the early days and then after a few years, started circling the drain.

Pretty soon it got flushed down the commode of commercialism.

Personally, I think it started during the so called, "Time of Troubles."

If I had been in the IRA, I might have taken offense.

(I know, they refer to it simply as "The Troubles" but let's not split hairs.)

Here we have all the Gods of the Realms sent down to walk the world of men in avatar form and they become embroiled in all sorts of mischief, catastrophes and bloodshed.


Who the hell are we kidding?

In comic books, some of the more popular terms used to describe these events are "Alternate Reality, Crisis of Infinite Earths and Secret Wars."

In business I think they call it "Corporate Overhaul or even Hostile Takeover"

Anyway, I feel that Troy Denning's works were shit.

One of the heroes was named Midnight for Pete's sake! That's what an eight year old names her new pony!

But at the time, I was on a Forgotten Realms craze and I bought all the books and devoured them.

But then they just started flooding the market with mindless drivel! I mean FLOODED!

Is it just me or did anyone else see the problem here?

Look at the Oriental Adventures expansion of Kara-Tur.

Why couldn't they come up with their own Asian flavored hot sauce instead of loosely disguising the world in which we live in? Koryo (Korea), Wa (Okinawa).



I think my brother nailed it when he saw this stinky pile and said, "There are no Spaniards in the Realms!"

(It was really funny because of the way he said it.)

Then we got that Tuigan crap.

The Mongolian Horde invades!

EEK! Run away!


Now with the latest edition, there has been a "Spellplague" or whatever the hell they call it and all magic-using creatures were wiped out. I would have loved being in the room during that brainstorm! I think I would have said something like....

"Are you fucking retarded?"

Here's my advice for anybody that still loves and plays the OG of D&D.....ok maybe not the OG, but the most popular version.

Keep all the old stuff you can find. Keep developing your own world. And keep on playing!

But then again, I guess we can all fall back to the Greyhawk stuff. It was a pretty darn good world too!

Old gamers never die. They just roll away.....



HisGirthiness said...

Preach it mighty one!

JM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JM said...

OoOOps ... technical error ... lol!

Anyways ...

I think what you're doing with the 'Realms is ideal - very little beyond the contents of the Original Grey Box and the rest is your playground. In essence, the same could be said of most 'Campaign Settings' I've seen.

In Denning's defense, his work on the Dark Sun novels was okay, and Planescape - Pages of Pain was pretty good, I thought, but his 'Realms and many Star Wars novels left me cold. I also feel it wasn't so much his ideas for the 'Time of Troubles', as it was a corporate agenda to 'defoliate' Greenwood from fans perceived notion of - and perhaps Ed's too, to some degree - control and ownership of the setting.

"There are no SP'anairds in th Realms!"

I chuckle just thinking about him saying that.