Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Journals
 General Forgotten Realms Chat
 Looking for sources: 4e Realms changes, WHY?
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2

thenightgaunt
Acolyte

USA
41 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2023 :  00:39:14  Show Profile Send thenightgaunt a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
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?

Edited by - thenightgaunt on 02 Nov 2023 00:56:16

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36779 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2023 :  01:43:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There used to be some explanations on the WotC website, but those are no longer around.

I've found much of the reasoning they gave to be questionable, at best.

One of the things they claimed was that there were too many gods, so they culled and/or merged pantheons -- and then dropped in a couple of new deities. There were too many, but apparently not enough...

Another claim was that there was simply no place left on the map where a story hadn't been told. Not only is this patently false, but it also assumes that there's only one story that can ever be told in any given location, and then nothing else will ever happen there, again. And then they proved this latter point was false by giving us a bunch of novels set in Waterdeep.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7966 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2023 :  01:54:14  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
None of the named devs works at WotC anymore. Indeed, they all left the company shortly after 4E was discontinued, which is rather telling.

[/Ayrik]
Go to Top of Page

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6351 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2023 :  08:56:12  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You don't need the official word from wotc to deduce the intent. Given the behaviour of most companies these past few decades it would likely be a meaningless HR sanitised statement at best and an outright lie intended to try and boost support or sales at worst.

They wanted to keep the brand, they know the big money is in brands and they had one that they thought could go big time.

They didn't want to keep the clutter. They wanted to do their own thing and didn't want something as confining as continuity to limit their creativity.

Alt the time, grimdark was popular so they wanted to jump on that bandwagon and had cool ideas for points of light surrounded by evil to be destroyed.

They wanted to make lots of money. They ultimately cared about nothing else but money, this of course showed in the final product.

They were of course wrong and victim to their own echo chamber. They got rid of all the dissenting voices (designers and authors of the past, and the voices of reason), then pursued lots of market research to support their own bias.

The result was of course disaster. Never underestimate the stupidity of big business and how self destructive greed is.

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Marc
Senior Scribe

657 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2023 :  17:55:53  Show Profile Send Marc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I remember they killed Helm cause someone at WotC forums requested it and one of the designers said why not

.
Go to Top of Page

Marc
Senior Scribe

657 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2023 :  20:06:41  Show Profile Send Marc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In latest Planescape book they intentionally left out real world pantheons (tough missed some gods like Tyr and Maat), maybe they want to copyright everything similar to what GW did with Age of Sigmar

.
Go to Top of Page

Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2442 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2023 :  20:51:23  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ahh, sh*t, here we go again...

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36779 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2023 :  17:21:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Marc

In latest Planescape book they intentionally left out real world pantheons (tough missed some gods like Tyr and Maat), maybe they want to copyright everything similar to what GW did with Age of Sigmar



Or maybe they were looking at limited pagecount and decided to not include deities a lot of D&D players won't use...

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1265 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2023 :  18:33:59  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I recall hearing tell of the Chosen being like the Superfriends/Justice League/Avengers/whathaveyou and why would you need adventurers if Elminster and Crew will always be ready to rescue the world? They wanted to reset from a place where the world was safe and cozy and well policed by Harpers/Chosen/good guys - to a place where adventurers were needed to come forth from the "points of light" in the darkness. Wikipedia gives the source as : Shannon Appelcline (2014). Designers & Dragons: The '90s. Evil Hat Productions. ISBN 978-1-61317-084-7.

And also let's skip time forward 100 years because screw you fans, that's why :)




Go to Top of Page

Seethyr
Master of Realmslore

USA
1151 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2023 :  23:39:42  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I remember being so upset about what 4e did and I was excited when 5e gave it a bit of a “back to the roots” feel despite the 100 year time jump.

However now I’m not sure if I find “lack of lore” more than “bad lore” even more frustrating. I will hold out hope that stories will be told again. Even Marvel comics had their down decades. Here’s to holding out hope.

Follow the Maztica (Aztec/Maya) and Anchorome (Indigenous North America) Campaigns on DMsGuild!

The Maztica Campaign
The Anchorome Campaign
Go to Top of Page

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6642 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2023 :  00:35:36  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My first Gen Con was in 07. I remember Rich Baker telling us about the intended changes in the context of getting some free air between the editions. What he didn't tell us was that the new 4E game mechanics were going to drive some of the campaign setting changes (i.e. magic use), that there would be wholesale changes to the map just coz, and most importantly, that the time gap would be left pretty much blank and undetailed. Add in some personal designer bias (Cordell's love of the Far Realm), the novel department running roughshod because they had "great ideas" (take a wrecking ball to Thay) and it went south in a hurry. 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

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
Go to Top of Page

AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
747 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2023 :  06:25:10  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.


AJA
YAFRP
Go to Top of Page

Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1265 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2023 :  09:11:52  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.
Go to Top of Page

Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4425 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2023 :  13:46:26  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I feel a lot of the changes the designers took with 4e were direct criticisms from the way a lot of 3e/3.5 Forgotten Realms material, and the novels at the time, were done.

Looking at one such criticism: The Chosen of Mystra. Lets face it, they did act - in part- much like the Justice League/Avengers of the Realms. Look none other than the novel series Return of the Archwizards and you'll see quite a few Chosen in the mix of this setting-changing prescient. This sort of leads into another issue, is that the Realms (prior to 4e) were RIFE with Realm-shattering events, which almost deemed their presence a necessity. Now I don't necessarily blame any authors for writing stories about their characters, I just feel that it wasn't always necessary to showcase them in such grandiose displays of power and importance.

So if 3e/3.5 just stuck to the main core group of power NPCs (The Chosen, Drizzt, Szass Tam, a few other powerful people) I don't think this would've been as big of a perceived problem. But in almost every splat book we have just tons of NPCs doing mundane things with ridiculous levels and classes. Which is kind of silly when there are NPC classes BUILD INTO THE SYSTEM. So if we have a bunch of people who need stats, why not use them? Nope, doesn't happen. Almost every temple dedicated to any deity has a "high" cleric with 6-8 levels of Cleric, usually a few in some Prestige Class. Guess Adepts just don't exist. And what about any common guard/sergeant/watchman. Levels in Warrior? Haha, nope - they're ALL Fighters 5+ levels. Just going through Melvaunt (from Mysteries of the Moonsea) its like every shope-keeper is a Rogue 9, a Bard/Harper 10, or some teen-level mage.

So from a lore-deep, book reading player who knows a lot about any particular area I can see a perspective of "Why is my low-level character going off gallivanting to do this mission when X, Y, and Z NPCs are quite easily available and more than capable of completing said task with greater ease?" As a DM, I DON'T need to know the level and class of every Killian, Ulblyn, and Jered that crops up as NPCs in towns that I come across.

The reason given for the time-jump was that the history of the Realms really got so deep that making content was starting to become difficult with cross-checking all available resources in order to make official stuff (not to mention people wanting to do their own campaign). I feel this was a reason to get rid of the internal Canon-Police they had in-house and that the difference in time would allow them more leeway into making new "lore", but unfortunately this was a bad call and they never went into the details between 1385 DR and 1479 DR aside from some history on Cormyr and a few odds and ends pieces together via Dragon/Dungeon magazine.

Now, personally, I don't get it since I'm a believer that the minute you make a Realms campaign, Canon is pointless. I never liked Canon adherence to begin with, but for many - sticking to everything established - is something people love. A huge jump that kills off a significant number of people not magically inclined (or equipped with magical items) to prolong life were simply left in the dust, which is definitely not a great idea. But lets face it, a blank slate where you can have the DM "fill in the missing century" has the potential to make that campaign more tailored to that groups game AND leave the company free to work on other projects. Had there have been something here as a root-base or just tid-bits of info to help fuel immersion and imagination, it would've been better received.

As for the Game/System changes and killing off Mystra: I really believe this is just a stupid excuse overall. Read the Realms novels and you'll plainly see that most don't adhere strictly to restrictive concepts such as "Vancian" magic and spell slots. Wizards casts spells learned from their Spellbook. Clerics and Paladins call down divine power from Gods (in the Realms, specifically), none of this changed with 4th Edition. They didn't "need" to kill Mystra to have an in-setting reason for magic to use the Daily/Encounter/At-will concept.
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36779 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2023 :  22:38:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had serious issues with the lack of explanations for some of the things changed when 3E came out, and I believe that lack of adherence to prior canon was simply a preview of what was to come.

I'm a bit of an oddball, though, in that the timejump didn't bother me as much as it's bothered many others. I can see their complaints, certainly, and I don't disagree -- especially about the fact it was a blank space. This has never bothered me as much, though, because I've read other series where there were timejumps. Usually shorter than a century, but not always. BattleTech, for example, skipped a generation between the Fourth Succession War and the Clan Invasion. The Riftwar books by Feist, if you read the entire series, span something like two or three centuries, if not longer.

For me, the issues with the 4E Realms were the sometimes inexplicable or contradictory changes, the lack of adherence to prior continuity, and the simple fact that I didn't recognize the setting, afterward -- to me, it felt closer to some post-apocalyptic thing than a continuation of what had come before.

I've long felt that if they had simply written it up as an entirely new setting, instead of trying to pass it off as a new version of an existing one, that it would have been much more well-received.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36779 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2023 :  23:06:35  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan


Now, personally, I don't get it since I'm a believer that the minute you make a Realms campaign, Canon is pointless. I never liked Canon adherence to begin with, but for many - sticking to everything established - is something people love.



I was, for a long time, someone determined to stick to canon.

I was happy to play in those grey areas undefined by canon, though, like with my livegolems. Nothing says that the Raumathari tried to make intelligent constructs during their war with Narfell -- but nothing says they didn't. Since they did make heavy use of constructs, trying to improve things by making some intelligent ones makes sense. It builds on existing canon and isn't ruled out by anything, so I don't see it as violating canon.

Or to use a simpler example, if Elminster's underwear preferences are never specified in canon, it doesn't violate anything to say he prefers boxers, or briefs, or some weird Mulhorandi undergarment from 700 years before. Heck, he could be a big fan of Underoos from the 1980's, for all we know.

I've never agreed with the argument that table canon renders published canon irrelevant, though. Sure, I may decide that Elminster is really a female fire genasi, for my home campaign -- but that doesn't change anything else in the setting that isn't directly dependent on the character's race and gender, and even some of the things that are dependent on it can be tweaked without issue. No matter what someone does at their own table, published canon still gives them a jumping off point, ideas to mine, and if the setting is supported, new things to incorporate.

So while I've previously tried to stick with the published canon, I was also flexible on it, to a degree.

The Spellplague changed that, though. Because of the Spellplague and everything that flows from it, I've decided that if I ever run a Realms campaign, it's going to start right after Cloak & Dagger and before the 3E FRCS. Anything from the FRCS or later is flexible -- like I'd have more impact from the Rage of Dragons, and I'd change some things with the Elven Crusade. Lolth would either not go silent, or she'd suffer unexpected setbacks from it. And so on.

I'm not happy with this, though, and my reason is something Ed once commented on: as long as it was his setting and only his setting, the Realms could never surprise him. It was only after it was sold to TSR and became a shared playground that he could be surprised by it. I choose published settings because I DON'T want to make up everything myself, and because I know that other people will have ideas way more awesome than anything I can come up with.

I also feel that trying to stay within the parameters of existing canon can make a better story/idea. My livegolems were simply re-skinned soulmechs from the Dragonstar setting -- but trying to use them as alternative warforged and give them a background that fit into the Realms meant I came up with something a lot better than "some mage built a new body for a dead person to drive." And then wanting to do something with Dretchroyaster and his lair gave me the idea for the elfbane golems.

This is why I want a solid published canon, even if I choose to make my own version of it: no matter how closely I choose to stick to it, it gives me ideas and something to build on.

I also feel that the current design team doesn't understand the value of giving DMs that foundation to build on.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 05 Nov 2023 23:09:29
Go to Top of Page

Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7966 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2023 :  20:38:50  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

... the timejump didn't bother me as much as it's bothered many others. I can see their complaints, certainly, and I don't disagree -- especially about the fact it was a blank space. This has never bothered me as much, though, because I've read other series where there were timejumps ...

I wasn't bothered with the thing itself, but with the inconsistencies and handwaving they built into it.

A century would hardly matter to characters like Elminster, Drizzy, and Szassy. Elves, dwarves, liches, Chosens, and other favourites simply don't age much.

But a century is quite noticeable (even fatal) to most humans. Of course there's longevity magics and such but it's simply not reasonable to tacitly pretend everybody who's still alive after one hundred years has been cheating age and death successfully. It's also simply not reasonable to assume that almost every blacksmith or innkeeper or minor lordling NPC from one hundred years back is still occupying the same spot, the same job, the same position, the same function after so much time.

[/Ayrik]
Go to Top of Page

Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2442 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2023 :  20:06:54  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That was the trick, though. They wanted to clean the slate, and that mean getting rid of certain NPCs. Those that couldn't die of old age were dealt with with the Spellplague himself. Yeah, Elminster is alive, but he was depowered after the Spellplague. Drizzt was untouchable, and Szass Tam was upgraded to final boss (Lv. 31, making him among the most powerful monsters of 4e). The other characters died by the Spellplague.

The thing was 5e returning those minor NPCs with handwavium. They were not used in 4e, so if are annoyed by it, go blame 5e for it. 4e gets enough hate as it is to be blamed by 5e stuff as well.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 07 Nov 2023 20:30:27
Go to Top of Page

PattPlays
Senior Scribe

469 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2023 :  03:21:15  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by thenightgaunt
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?



One thing I have learned is that 4e wrote a lot of novels. The east of Faerun, canonically reshuffled from the abaerian situation, has vast narratives with big picture changes. I've read none of them, but they are the sources of wikis and such for various events from the early 15th century DR. There are silly story concepts with time-displaced pregnancies and outright divine warfare in the 'new' nations. Netheril wages half a dozen wars in the dalelands. Freaking nickelodian green psychic slime 'things' of untold scale and insane aboleths are trying to take over the world.
Shar also has an enormous prophecy that involves her being set to conquer Faerun only to be out-plotted by her Son. Also, a ton of people go to hell. Azuth goes to hell, and that divine spark ends up in a freaking dragon turtle.

What I find sad is that all these 4e stories did such hard work cleaning the world up after the spellplague. Mystra's foes weave their own magical networks multiple times and then those efforts get reincorporated into the slowly- gradually reforming goddess. All to the greater end of bringing the spellplague to an official end.
The Shade Princes have narratives dating back to 3e as well as into deep realmslore's past. All they really end up creating is one scene with weave and shadow weave spellcasters dueling in one specific spot to set free the Phaerimm. Why? So we can get the desert back for 5e and do practically nothing with it. The phaerimm aren't here to take over the world, they're there to spend two nothing years converting returned netheril into a desert. Some adventuring party travels inside a great southern mountain range to awaken Grumbar- just to close the 4th edition holes and chasms up for 5e.
It feels like a lot of effort from older WOTC that props up 5e realms and nobody knows or cares. 4th edition's characters did the impossible: they fixed 4th edition, but the response to the grand meta 360 of it all was "why did anyone bother"

Questing GM's Greenwood Grotto thread has late 4th edition canon in it- and that reality of insane stuff like Xiphu existing for DECADES in the OPEN? Or Shar's Maelstorm? Entropy???


:The world's greatest OOTA fan/critic: :"Powder kegs within powder kegs!": :Meta-Dimensional Cheese: :Why is the Wand of Orcus just back?: :We still don't know the nature of Souls and the Positive Energy Plane: :PC on profile, Aldritch Elpyptrat Maxinfield: :Helljumpers, Bungie.net: :Rock Hard Gladiator, RIP Fluidanim, Long Live Pluto: :IRC lives:


https://thisisstorytelling.wordpress.com

T_P_T

Edited by - PattPlays on 08 Nov 2023 03:31:57
Go to Top of Page

Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3736 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2023 :  00:23:51  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Rich Baker must be stopped!

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
Go to Top of Page

Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2442 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2023 :  01:38:10  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Too late, mate. Too late.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
Go to Top of Page

deserk
Learned Scribe

Norway
237 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2023 :  18:48:28  Show Profile Send deserk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

Edited by - deserk on 09 Nov 2023 18:51:24
Go to Top of Page

DoveArrow
Seeker

97 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2023 :  19:59:57  Show Profile Send DoveArrow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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
Go to Top of Page

Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2442 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2023 :  00:37:27  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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 Faerūn, 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.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 10 Nov 2023 00:42:42
Go to Top of Page

Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2442 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2023 :  00:59:11  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
Go to Top of Page

Athreeren
Learned Scribe

129 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2023 :  07:36:32  Show Profile Send Athreeren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.
Go to Top of Page

thenightgaunt
Acolyte

USA
41 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2023 :  14:42:15  Show Profile Send thenightgaunt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.
Go to Top of Page

thenightgaunt
Acolyte

USA
41 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2023 :  15:06:07  Show Profile Send thenightgaunt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

Edited by - thenightgaunt on 10 Nov 2023 15:50:34
Go to Top of Page

Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2442 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2023 :  21:05:26  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
Go to Top of Page

thenightgaunt
Acolyte

USA
41 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2023 :  01:15:52  Show Profile Send thenightgaunt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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).
Go to Top of Page

Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2442 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2023 :  05:33:33  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Seems you already encountered the topic in the other forum ;)

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2024 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000