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 Looking for sources: 4e Realms changes, WHY?

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
thenightgaunt Posted - 02 Nov 2023 : 00:39:14
If this has been answered elsewhere, I'm sorry to retread old ground. It may be that I just don't know how to phrase this question for a search.
That said...

I remember hearing all the rumors about why WotC took an axe to the Realms for 4e. And I've listened to the interview with R.A. Salvatore where he talks about the time he and Ed were told what was going to happen to their world, and about how they planned up a way to fix it, and about how a few years later Wyatt confessed to Salvatore at a convention that they'd screwed it all up and needed to fix it and they didn't know what to do.

But I've never read any official sources or interviews that explained the mindset that the the 4e FR "Brain Trust" (lol. His words not mine.) as Bruce R. Cordell called the team of himself, Phil Athans, and Richard Baker had when they decided to try to kill the Realms for the launch of 4e.

When I came across the old "Wizards Presents Worlds and Monsters" and "Wizards Presents Races and Classes" it gave me a better insight into what they were thinking as they made 4e. Though mostly it just ticked me off and lowered my opinion of quite a few designers and writers. But those books really didn't explain anything about WHY the did what they did to the Realms.

Can anyone share any good sources for information about what happened and why the hell they decided that the 100 year jump and Spellplague were "good" ideas?

UPDATE: I just had someone point me in the direction of the interview in Dragon 366 (thank you). That's a great resource. Though is that all we have?
30   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Azar Posted - 08 Dec 2023 : 22:41:09
quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

I'm no fan of both Bakers.


Who is the other Baker? I can only think of Tom Baker who played the Fourth Doctor in Doctor Who.



Color me rosy . It turns out I only reserve that level of annoyance for Rich Baker (now, that's rich). The other Baker never mucked around with The Realms...while grasping an official quill or otherwise.
Zeromaru X Posted - 08 Dec 2023 : 20:38:12
I guess he is talking about Keith Baker, the creator of Eberron.
Delnyn Posted - 08 Dec 2023 : 11:58:07
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

I'm no fan of both Bakers.


Who is the other Baker? I can only think of Tom Baker who played the Fourth Doctor in Doctor Who.
Azar Posted - 08 Dec 2023 : 02:24:09
I'm no fan of both Bakers.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Dec 2023 : 01:50:47
quote:
Originally posted by Derulbaskul

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

Rich Baker must be stopped!


Rich was one of the few designers who grokked both 4E and FR, and who could write a novel that didn't suck. His removal was a huge loss for WotC, particularly considering one or two of those who retained their positions.



Considering he was also one of those who didn't care about continuity, I can't agree.
Derulbaskul Posted - 07 Dec 2023 : 11:55:40
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos (snip) I honestly think that if they had provided a detailed history and timeline of what went down after the Spellplague and why, that the 4E setting would have been much better received and far more popular. Such was not to be.

-- George Krashos


And a decent map. I mean, I run 4E Realms still but that map is a vile, steaming smear of raw excrement.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

Rich Baker must be stopped!


Rich was one of the few designers who grokked both 4E and FR, and who could write a novel that didn't suck. His removal was a huge loss for WotC, particularly considering one or two of those who retained their positions.



Zeromaru X Posted - 24 Nov 2023 : 18:36:38
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

There were some spears broken about it, and obviously more elsewhere.
But why? See, even in 1999 such a question would be understandable. In 2023 it's ludicrous.



Well, the why is understandable. People don't like change and uncertainty, and they get really mad when change happens (something that is inevitable, like getting mad because the sun shines or something like that...).

But yeah, being still mad for something that happened like 25 years ago is ludicrous. Especially when most of these changes were undone like 5 years after they happened. They already won, yet still they want to feel offended...

TBeholder Posted - 24 Nov 2023 : 14:00:21
There were some spears broken about it, and obviously more elsewhere.
But why? See, even in 1999 such a question would be understandable. In 2023 it's ludicrous.
At least, in Mark Twain's time people were not asking Shakespeare changes, WHY? after seeing The King's Cameleopard.
Thundarr the Barbarian changes, WHY?
He-Man and The Masters of the Universe changes, WHY?
Battlestar Galactica changes, WHY?
Ghostbusters changes, WHY?
4e Realms changes, WHY?
Star Wars changes, WHY?
Fire Emblem Fates changes, WHY?
Reboot happens. Here we have seen stories of old TSR editors trying to be co-authors, so it's more surprising this did not happen sooner.
What's actually noteworthy? The ways in which this case is anomalous:
1. The developers managed to burn everything they could to the ground.
Obviously, it was deliberate. I cannot blame them, as it looks like the company aimed to make "FR in name only" anyway and began to put the likes of Mr. Mearls in charge. If they did not, it would (almost certainly) be turned into Soy Wars grade stupid mess. IMHO timeskip into Bear Lore and dissociative hallucinations is a cleaner demise than that.
2. Greenwood. Who played a stereotypical Nice Canadian, went along with everything, legitimized it and wasted his time on trying to make this shoe soup somewhat palatable.
3. For some reason the dead horse was forced to march along anyway.
Which is remarkable, considering even too-big-to-fall Disney had to drop the franchise they turned into a zombie.

quote:
Originally posted by thenightgaunt

From what came out thanks to Salvatore years later, my opinion on the Perkins piece is that he's basically just towing the company line there. If not lying, twisting the truth. His comment "oh we're including Ed at all levels. Doesn't mean Ed was actually making these decisions to gut the realms." He's good at that.

Indeed. We cannot really know what's up from the interested parties. If you insist on an explanation, it will probably insult your intelligence.
For an earlier case: remember the grand mythos of Lorraine Williams as the scapegoat for every stupid thing done in TSR? Maybe she did or ordered all the stupid things, who knows? But why she was able to? Someone sold her controlling shares. Others did not flee the failing company in droves, to join or perhaps start something more healthy. Encouraged, developed, implemented stupid policies. Nothing to see here, folks. Have yet another "Space Flea jumped at us from nowhere" theory. Clearly she just beamed there via extraterrestrial technology, and everyone was intimidated into serving their new overlord without question... or even malicious compliance.

quote:
Like when Crawford a few years ago declared that any book, novel, game from before 2014 was no longer canon (despite that cutting off all the D&DNext material and half the novels that setup 5e)

Which makes the case more similar to Star Wars despite going off the rails in flames.
quote:
Originally posted by thenightgaunt

(What with all the firings and people leaving that happened when Hasbro declared 4e a "failure" because it didn't make $50 mill a year). Which explains so much.
. . .
www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/tabletop/13729-An-Interview-With-Jeremy-Crawford-Co-Designer-and-Editor-of-Dung" target="_blank">https://web.archive.org/web/20190621015213/www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/tabletop/13729-An-Interview-With-Jeremy-Crawford-Co-Designer-and-Editor-of-Dung

When the Disney "Star Wars" toys sales were dropping fast and deep, Hasbro did not deem it a great big failure somehow, and made excuses instead.
https://web.archive.org/web/20190928143858/disneystarwarsisdumb.wordpress.com/2018/10/18/hasbro-refers-to-layoffs-as-meaningful-organizational-changes/
(follow the white rabbit links for more of this)

Let's see...
quote:
Originally said by Jeremy Crawford
he's often spitballing big picture ideas which is how he and I have worked together for the past seven years. Mike will often come up with a great, zany idea and then he'll come to me.
Compare: BOFH: Guys? Guys? We need blockchain... can you install blockchain?
sleyvas Posted - 21 Nov 2023 : 22:08:12
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

Thank you George - great insight and a personal bit of thanks regarding taking the wrecking ball to Thay comment. I think Thay was such an amazing unqiue FR place with the Zulkirs and schools of magic and how they were so into trading and sort of a necessary evil trading partner for the world - and loved how the schools kept eachother in check and had to team up to keep Szass down. Also loved the dynamics of the magic of Aglarond and Rasheman as hostile borders to Thay.
I think the FR would have been 1000% better after 3rd Edition if Thay had risen up against Szass and he relocated to Damara as a new Lich King (instead of Witch King) and made that his undead paradise to assault the Sword Coast etc - rather than "taking a wrecking ball" to Thay in order to promote Szass Tam and the undead big bad evil guy threat. Which was such a trope by this point it bordered on cliche anyway.




Agreed with the whole demolishing of Thay. While I enjoyed the novel series about what happened (to a degree), I didn't like the results. I don't mind the idea of Tam causing a civil war. I don't like that he won. I do like that alternate idea of him going elsewhere and making some kind of new realm.... but I don't like the idea of him duplicating the witch king of Vaasa. Having him go out into the endless wastes and founding some new realm using the dead from some battlefield or other... maybe seeking the lost power of Imaskar or Raumathar... and becoming a thorn in the side of Thay and Mulhorand both... that works for me.

I was such a fan of Thay prior to this... and it shows in some ways because of my interest in having my United Tharchs of Toril thing happen (I mean, I know it won't because its not THEIR idea, but...). But after they did what they did, I have no interest in Thay being just "back to what it was" without some significant turmoil happening.
Diffan Posted - 17 Nov 2023 : 14:42:03
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

D&D has suffered bad press blaming it for murder-suicide, insanities, religious extremism, terrorism, and other mentally unstable stuff for decades. Long before even 2E was conceived, let alone 4E.

So I don't feel that those subjects have any particular relevance exclusive to 4E.

And I don't feel that "journalism" repeating those scandalous old ideas in new contexts is really providing useful, unbiased, factual information of any kind. Sensationalism and controversy might make for attractive bold headlines but it's not really fact or news.

Anyone bringing that stuff up again and again as filler is conducting rather poor interviews or journalism, in my opinion.



To count these elements out as simply "filler", I feel, is being a bit disingenuous. I dont think these were the only reasons for 4E being discontinued, WotC REALLY had a bunch of blunders to blame on themselves. For starters, the OGL/GSL mess that apparently still irks them today. Completely gutting 3rd party-publishers freedom over their own material certainly doesn't Incentivize people to use and create content with your product.

Then there was them pulling Paizo from the stewardship of Dragon / Dungeon Magazine, which pissed people off (and rightly so) to the point that there were threads about 4e boycotts before the game even launched. Had WotC worked with them at the time under the previous OGL instead of distancing themselves from competition- I think they would've probably made content for both Pathfinder 1e and 4e stuff.

WotC also alienated a lot of people when it came to that weird video with the person with the french accent that practically bashed every edition before 4E. While I felt that it was very tongue-in-cheek, I could understand people's frustration with that. Especially when the things you say 4e is going to do l, but never comes to fruition.

Lastly, yes the rules of the game played a part too. As a fan, I can acknowledge that the system is flawed (they all are to degrees) and that changing aspects of the game certainly gave people a reason not to like it. The AEDU structure, the exclusion of certain "base" options not presented in the core 3 books (druids, bards, Gnomes, barbarians, etc), and mechanics like self healing irked people.

However, I maintain the position that it was a the gross combination of all of these things (the "filler" and WotC own ineptitude) that led to only a 6 year run of the system, not just one of two aspects.
Ayrik Posted - 16 Nov 2023 : 21:09:59
D&D has suffered bad press blaming it for murder-suicide, insanities, religious extremism, terrorism, and other mentally unstable stuff for decades. Long before even 2E was conceived, let alone 4E.

So I don't feel that those subjects have any particular relevance exclusive to 4E.

And I don't feel that "journalism" repeating those scandalous old ideas in new contexts is really providing useful, unbiased, factual information of any kind. Sensationalism and controversy might make for attractive bold headlines but it's not really fact or news.

Anyone bringing that stuff up again and again as filler is conducting rather poor interviews or journalism, in my opinion.
Diffan Posted - 15 Nov 2023 : 23:33:19
quote:
Originally posted by DoveArrow


I actually like the a la carte aspect of it better. If I want it, I can buy it. If I'm poor, it's not like it all goes away. What I bought previously is still there.

Y'know... until the next edition comes along.



Oh, it's a great way to dish out content! I myself have grabbed a few things here and there and my group still uses a single person contact for all the unlocked stuff he had. But he still had to purchase it via the site, so it wasn't freely put out. I really wish this idea was around during 4e (and the level of sophisticated tech for VTTs), I think it would've really thrived.

As for the next edition, yeah I think I'm gonna pass on that one. From what I've seen, I just don't see much of a reason to change over?
DoveArrow Posted - 15 Nov 2023 : 23:02:43
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

So, one thing I disagree with about the article was that it says the murder-suicide wasn't the big issue. We know that this is the reason why the DM toolset, mapping, and online/virtual tabletop never got released- the guy who killed his estranged wife, then himself had all of his works under protection and firewalls that no one could access, rendering months of work forever inaccessible. That was a HUGE blow to the type of game they intended to be released as was their "promise".

As for the DDI content, yeah I've been saying this was a significant reason why sales were so bad to begin with. My group would chip in and buy a DDI account (well, mine to be exact) and then they could make as many characters as they wanted to with ALL content from every source-book and Dragon article made. Imagine going to D&D:Beyond and paying $10 to access every monster, item, class, subclass, feat, spell, and race to be used as much and as often as you wanted!! You now have to pay piece-meal for things OR whole supplements for their online use. Need the Cavalier subclass, that's $1.99. You want that magic shield? $1.99. Those 3 feats, 2 spells, and 1 monster? That'll be $10.99 + tax.

IF ONLY we had seen this level of diligence back then, it would've pushed more book sales (digital is nearly completely cost free from the company and all profit).

I will admit that I was initially bummed about magic missile being a to-hit spell (later changed to auto-hit), but made sense from a standpoint of monster roles. It had the problem of making odd scenarios where a 1st level mage uses auto-hit MM to kill a level 18 Demon minion with 1 hp. Of course, I'd never throw that at 1st level characters but the optics arent good.



I actually like the a la carte aspect of it better. If I want it, I can buy it. If I'm poor, it's not like it all goes away. What I bought previously is still there.

Y'know... until the next edition comes along.
Diffan Posted - 12 Nov 2023 : 18:14:48
So, one thing I disagree with about the article was that it says the murder-suicide wasn't the big issue. We know that this is the reason why the DM toolset, mapping, and online/virtual tabletop never got released- the guy who killed his estranged wife, then himself had all of his works under protection and firewalls that no one could access, rendering months of work forever inaccessible. That was a HUGE blow to the type of game they intended to be released as was their "promise".

As for the DDI content, yeah I've been saying this was a significant reason why sales were so bad to begin with. My group would chip in and buy a DDI account (well, mine to be exact) and then they could make as many characters as they wanted to with ALL content from every source-book and Dragon article made. Imagine going to D&D:Beyond and paying $10 to access every monster, item, class, subclass, feat, spell, and race to be used as much and as often as you wanted!! You now have to pay piece-meal for things OR whole supplements for their online use. Need the Cavalier subclass, that's $1.99. You want that magic shield? $1.99. Those 3 feats, 2 spells, and 1 monster? That'll be $10.99 + tax.

IF ONLY we had seen this level of diligence back then, it would've pushed more book sales (digital is nearly completely cost free from the company and all profit).

I will admit that I was initially bummed about magic missile being a to-hit spell (later changed to auto-hit), but made sense from a standpoint of monster roles. It had the problem of making odd scenarios where a 1st level mage uses auto-hit MM to kill a level 18 Demon minion with 1 hp. Of course, I'd never throw that at 1st level characters but the optics arent good.
AJA Posted - 12 Nov 2023 : 06:16:58
quote:
Originally posted by thenightgaunt
I would love to read the thing you mentioned by Ben Riggs (I googled it and now need to add Slaying the Dragon to my "to read" list. Thanks!). Do you remember where he mentioned that? So much gets lost online when sites go down so if it's gone I understand.


Slaying the Dragon is certainly an interesting read, if only for the unique interviews Riggs gets with the people who were actually there at the time (inherent biases and all). But, Good Lord, his prose is so purple that even Gary Gygax would roll his multisyllabic eyes and say, dude.

For the second part, there is discussion on Ben's 4E GenCon seminar in an ENWorld Thread, here:
Ben Riggs' "What the Heck Happened with 4th Edition?" seminar at Gen Con 2023
https://www.enworld.org/threads/ben-riggs-what-the-heck-happened-with-4th-edition-seminar-at-gen-con-2023.699181/

Not sure if it's the same as Zero is referencing, but it does touch on the internal politics at WOTC at the time.

Wooly Rupert Posted - 12 Nov 2023 : 03:13:08
quote:
Originally posted by thenightgaunt

(https://web.archive.org/web/20190621015213/https://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/tabletop/13729-An-Interview-With-Jeremy-Crawford-Co-Designer-and-Editor-of-Dung).





Heh, "Editor of Dung"

I boldfaced that because it amuses me and I wanted to draw attention to it.
thenightgaunt Posted - 11 Nov 2023 : 14:54:25
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Seems you already encountered the topic in the other forum ;)



Oh yes. Though it's definitely been great getting a broader examination of the topic. Your mention of Ben Riggs was what led me over there. I do hope he's actually writing a new book on modern D&D history. I loved reading Shannon Appelcline's Designers & Dragons but was sad that he had to stop at '09 (his posts after are neat though but don't have the same level of detail as the book) but then he did write it in '13.

Each forum seems to be providing a different mindset it's answers to the question and different records as well. :)
DoveArrow Posted - 11 Nov 2023 : 06:25:18
quote:
Originally posted by Athreeren


I do not understand that point. The most detailed maps of Faer#251;n include some settlements of a few hundreds of inhabitants, that are days away from anything else. So in those detailed regions, we can assume there is nothing more out there but farmstead and forgotten ruins. This is a much lower density than real world middle ages, which can only mean the world is too dangerous to explore further and found new towns. It was already a points of light setting.



I'm just trying to answer the question objectively.
Zeromaru X Posted - 11 Nov 2023 : 05:33:33
Seems you already encountered the topic in the other forum ;)
thenightgaunt Posted - 11 Nov 2023 : 01:15:52
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

...

The thing is that they were also using the FR setting simultaneously, with a big focus on it, to booth. The guy who wrote "Slaying the Dragon" did an investigation about 4e, and says that the D&D division at WotC is divided into different groups, all vying for publishing their ideas. At the time of 4e's creation, there was a war between these groups that led to many of 4e's early mistakes (the example he provided was the earlier monsters math, that was changed just before printing the Monster Manual on a whim of one of the editors, and that's why the early 4e combats took so long...). - people on the net say we should take what he says with salt, but his research makes sense when compared to other info we have of the time.




I saw the Dragon 372 interview. It did help piece together a bunch of what I'd read in other spots.

I would love to read the thing you mentioned by Ben Riggs (I googled it and now need to add Slaying the Dragon to my "to read" list. Thanks!). Do you remember where he mentioned that? So much gets lost online when sites go down so if it's gone I understand.

I was looking into 5e's origins and design decisions and ended up finding that article from The Escapist back in 2015 that got deleted. It's a interviews with Jeremy Crawford and Mike Mearls where they offhand explaining that Mearls did the face work with executives and Crawford basically did all the design work and was doing the job of 3 people (What with all the firings and people leaving that happened when Hasbro declared 4e a "failure" because it didn't make $50 mill a year). Which explains so much. But I had to go to the wayback machine to read the darn thing (https://web.archive.org/web/20190621015213/https://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/tabletop/13729-An-Interview-With-Jeremy-Crawford-Co-Designer-and-Editor-of-Dung).
Zeromaru X Posted - 10 Nov 2023 : 21:05:26
Well, they did used the Points of Light setting as the default setting for 4e (the implied Nentir Vale setting, that is a very good setting btw). That's right there in first DMG, and further clarified in the Rules Compendium. There were even novels set in that world, the Abyssal Plague trilogy being specially good.

The thing is that they were also using the FR setting simultaneously, with a big focus on it, to booth. The guy who wrote "Slaying the Dragon" did an investigation about 4e, and says that the D&D division at WotC is divided into different groups, all vying for publishing their ideas. At the time of 4e's creation, there was a war between these groups that led to many of 4e's early mistakes (the example he provided was the earlier monsters math, that was changed just before printing the Monster Manual on a whim of one of the editors, and that's why the early 4e combats took so long...). - people on the net say we should take what he says with salt, but his research makes sense when compared to other info we have of the time.

My point is, one of these groups wanted FR to be the default setting, while other wanted a new setting to be the default (this is stated in the preview book, Worlds and Monsters; the reason they gave was about the art depicting holy symbols, that mean they should had a recurring pantheon of gods, what in turn mean they needed a default lore for these gods). Perhaps both teams somehow reached and agreement and both settings got published.
And while the core team handled the Nentir Vale with care, and that's why it's a setting with dedicated fans who love it to this days (even if 5e like to pretend it doesn't exist), the FR team wanted to do their stuff instead of using previous lore (something that still happens in 5e...), and that led to the post-Spellplague Realms.

Fun fact: per an interview in Dragon 372, the World Axis cosmology was created specifically for the Forgotten Realms, as a why of fixing stuff the FR Team didn't like it of the World Tree cosmology. Only after they showed it to James "I hate unnecessary symmetry" Wyatt it was decided it should replace the Great Wheel as the default setting of 4e.
thenightgaunt Posted - 10 Nov 2023 : 15:06:07
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X
Ahh, sh*t, here we go again...

Shine on you crazy diamond

Chris Perkins on the press circuit, complete with "no room to tell stories" and "too many powerful NPCs":
GRZ - Forgotten Realms 4E D&D Interview Part I
https://youtu.be/a_OVG18__dQ?si=RaBgo9oDrvY0kj6K

GRZ - Forgotten Realms 4E D&D Interview Part II
https://youtu.be/jXlzewwShU0?si=NoLcbPDO1LI_YdFH


Bruce Cordell, if anyone's interested (or had no idea what he looked like, like me)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QESS2dEkTw

Heck, Salvatore and Ed (and a bunch of other early 4E-era interviews, besides). Go wild:
https://www.youtube.com/@GamerZer0/videos

It's all puffable press-pieces but it's still a look into the 4E era, regardless of where you stand on following the damn train the changes made.





Thank you for sharing the links. They're very helpful.

From what came out thanks to Salvatore years later, my opinion on the Perkins piece is that he's basically just towing the company line there. If not lying, twisting the truth. His comment "oh we're including Ed at all levels. Doesn't mean Ed was actually making these decisions to gut the realms." He's good at that. Like when Crawford a few years ago declared that any book, novel, game from before 2014 was no longer canon (despite that cutting off all the D&DNext material and half the novels that setup 5e), Perkins was happy to tow the line when asked with his "yep yep. that's what the boss says and that's the way it is!" And then he still went on to cram every campaign he's been the lead on with as many older edition lore references as he could. I'm still amazed that he got away with cutting the entire 2nd act out of Storm King's Thunder (ruining the adventure IMO) and replacing it with the closes thing we've ever gotten to an actual good 5e Sword Coast sourcebook.

Ditto on Ed's interview. He's not the kind of guy to burn bridges, so he's rolling with it. This is all after or during the same GenCon when the 4e FR guide came out I think. That tells me that this was all forced on Ed and the others months before.

And Greenwood and Salvatore were quick to basically erase the entire era and reset the setting back to the pre-spellplague status-quo the second they were given the reins.


quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X
My reaction was about the rain of hate 4e is getting in these kind of topics.



4e is complicated. As a system it's fine. It's a decent tactical combat game and they put some good elements into it. But a lot of it's design choices (and the public's reaction to them) showed that the designers had a bit of disconnect between what they thought the public wanted and what the public actually wanted.

I think that 4e would have been fine even with it's shift in focus from roleplay to combat in the books, if they hadn't also decided to gut the lore and settings.

Points of Light would have been a fine setting on it's own. But then they got this idea to kill the outer planes entirely and replace them with something new, and this idea to basically kill the Forgotten Realms so they could play with it's corpse while going "look, it's Neverwinter! Even though it's nothing like the original Neverwinter, we're still calling it Neverwinter so it's still Neverwinter!!!" Yes I'm being a bit melodramatic there, but that is kinda what they did. They wanted an all new setting but decided that it couldn't sell one it's own. So to boost sales they decided to glue the Forgotten Realms name and brand recognition onto it.

They should have just made Points of Light it's own setting, declared it the default setting, and left FR alone. PoL did have potential as it's own setting, but they didn't trust it.

Oh and they poisoned the well with the GSL and it's poison pill, which was a really bad first impression for the edition.

But I DO think there's some good in 4e. Matt Colville's made some great points about it in his videos and helped sway me in that direction in recent years.

But personally, I don't think that can be said for any of the changes they made to the Forgotten Realms in 4e.
thenightgaunt Posted - 10 Nov 2023 : 14:42:15
quote:
Originally posted by DoveArrow

It started with the Points of Light design philosophy for 4E. They wanted there to be towns and cities that served as 'points of light' for the players with a vast, dangerous wilderness in between. The idea at the time was that there were too many points of light and not enough wilderness for the players in Forgotten Realms, so they decided to make it more wild and threatening.

Here's a link to the original article about the design intent. You might look around. I think there's one on Forgotten Realms specifically.

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/drdd/20070829a" target="_blank">https://web.archive.org/web/20100905011528/http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/drdd/20070829a



Oh. That's really handy. Thank you for the link.
Athreeren Posted - 10 Nov 2023 : 07:36:32
quote:
Originally posted by DoveArrow

It started with the Points of Light design philosophy for 4E.



I do not understand that point. The most detailed maps of Faer#251;n include some settlements of a few hundreds of inhabitants, that are days away from anything else. So in those detailed regions, we can assume there is nothing more out there but farmstead and forgotten ruins. This is a much lower density than real world middle ages, which can only mean the world is too dangerous to explore further and found new towns. It was already a points of light setting.
Zeromaru X Posted - 10 Nov 2023 : 00:59:11
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X
Ahh, sh*t, here we go again...

Shine on you crazy diamond

Chris Perkins on the press circuit, complete with "no room to tell stories" and "too many powerful NPCs":
GRZ - Forgotten Realms 4E D&D Interview Part I
https://youtu.be/a_OVG18__dQ?si=RaBgo9oDrvY0kj6K

GRZ - Forgotten Realms 4E D&D Interview Part II
https://youtu.be/jXlzewwShU0?si=NoLcbPDO1LI_YdFH


Bruce Cordell, if anyone's interested (or had no idea what he looked like, like me)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QESS2dEkTw

Heck, Salvatore and Ed (and a bunch of other early 4E-era interviews, besides). Go wild:
https://www.youtube.com/@GamerZer0/videos

It's all puffable press-pieces but it's still a look into the 4E era, regardless of where you stand on following the damn train the changes made.





Thanks for sharing. I'm always happy to learn about the behind-the-scenes of the D6D editions.

My reaction was about the rain of hate 4e is getting in these kind of topics.
Zeromaru X Posted - 10 Nov 2023 : 00:37:27
Nope. That's just a myth perpetuated by 4e haters. The changes of the Realms started (by the writers own admission), because they felt the big lore about FR was a bloat for new DMs and players, and some authors felt there were novels set in every nook and cranny on Faerûn, and no more places to write new novels (something I feel it's dumb, but that's the reason they gave). So, they felt that "resetting everything" was the fix for that. It would also fix the problem of the Big Name NPCs that was all the rage in the forums back in the day ("why to play in the Realms if Elminster and Drizzt Do'Urden can solve everything?"). That's why they decided to do a time jump of 100 years into the future. Then someone said "we need an explanation for the new magic system of 4e", and that is when the Spellplague got into the question.

The Spellplague also helped them to "fix" some things they didn't like about the setting, such as the "problematic places" such as Maztica and the other real world expies. "I don't like the World Tree...", then they created the World Axis cosmology (that was later adopted by the team in charge of the core lore as a replacement for the Great Wheel), etc.

The post-Spellplague world just happened to be perfect for the Points of Light philosophy, and that's why it was applied to the Realms, but it was never the intended plan for the 4e Realms from the beginning.
DoveArrow Posted - 09 Nov 2023 : 19:59:57
It started with the Points of Light design philosophy for 4E. They wanted there to be towns and cities that served as 'points of light' for the players with a vast, dangerous wilderness in between. The idea at the time was that there were too many points of light and not enough wilderness for the players in Forgotten Realms, so they decided to make it more wild and threatening.

Here's a link to the original article about the design intent. You might look around. I think there's one on Forgotten Realms specifically.

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/drdd/20070829a" target="_blank">https://web.archive.org/web/20100905011528/http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/drdd/20070829a
deserk Posted - 09 Nov 2023 : 18:48:28
Even though I have been pretty vocally against 4e since the beginning, there are some developments I've appreciated (like the work done on Moonshae, Vaasa, Chessenta). I still think though the 4e era was a deadly blow for the Forgotten Realms franchise that it has never really fully recovered from.

Though I actually think now, the current era may be the worst phase as years go by (decades even) where there is no substantial development of the world of FR, and where they keep repeatedly doing these tired and uninspired products about Waterdeep, Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale. So I actually preferred the 4e era to an extent, because there were articles and books that had -some- involvement and input from Ed and other classic designers, and there were new concepts introduced. But today it's just Chris Perkins, Mike Mearls, and other corporate jackals who don't really have any respect at all for the setting, let alone have any care for Ed's vision for the Realms.
Zeromaru X Posted - 09 Nov 2023 : 01:38:10
Too late, mate. Too late.
Lord Karsus Posted - 09 Nov 2023 : 00:23:51
-Rich Baker must be stopped!

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