Stuffed Crocodile

Mazes, Martians, Mead

Day 3: In which I slowly learn that buying Forgotten Realms is like pissing away money

Day 3: First dungeon you explored as a PC or ran as a DM.
Hmm… my memories here are a bit foggy. I think it was either the first dungeon from the Starter Set or the one from the Forgotten Realms campaign setting box. The first one was nice, the latter taught me that FR is horrible.

No, come to think of it, it was the one from the FR set actually. (from the book on Shadowdale in the boxed set: “Beneath the Twisted Tower”)

The Forgotten Realms seemed to be a good idea at the time. Most of the material that was translated at all was set there, if it wasn’t generic, and the boxed set was one of the first products then-current AD&D publisher Amigo translated into German.

Of course once I actually read the whole thing I noticed what a strangely incoherent place the Realms really were. In my youthful ignorance I thought it might play better than it actually looked on paper, but soon after I noticed that no, sometimes you can’t polish a turd.

I don’t even know anymore what exactly made me think that way, there were so many things wrong with it in many subtle ways. Political systems didn’t fit together, cultures were in weird places in relation to each other, sometimes expies for Earth-cultures were doubled or tripled (how many Egyptian cultures are there actually on Faerun?), and everything was full of overpowered showstealing munchkin NPCs.
I ran the guys through the dungeon in Shadowdale and killed off one of them. Hilarious antics followed.

Well. I don’t know. The problem was that the Realms never clicked with me.
I did buy a few more products afterwards, but never really used them. I suffered from a bit of scarcity-induced gamblers’ fallacy: I already spent so much money on stuff, lets try to buy some more to get something out of it! And the fact that the only things I could get for AD&D were Forgotten Realms things didn’t help.
It never got better though. The Harpers sourcebook showed me that there are even more showstealing NPCs around, the Cult of the Dragon was bland like cottage cheese, only the Guide to the Underdark gave me some ideas for some fancy monster lairs. I think that one was the only one I ever used, and then it was for a campaign set in Mystara.
FR kept on being bland and untinteresting and pointless. Oh, but the computer games were a bit of fun. I played Baldurs Gate and a few of the SSI games.

Hmm… I guess that was not what people want to hear. On the other hand I killed my first PC in that scenario, but that is a story for another day.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Advertisements

2 responses to “Day 3: In which I slowly learn that buying Forgotten Realms is like pissing away money

  1. Kayla January 1, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I have to say that the Forgotten Realms setting really seems to suffer from “too-many-cooks” syndrome. There have been too many people adding their own personal characters or stories without really bothering to collaborate on how these things all coexist together. That being said, I do think there are some really cool things that FR has to offer. The Underdark has a lot of neat things and the Drow are the most interesting race, in my opinion. I also like the lore around the major cities on the Sword Coast like Waterdeep, Icewindale, and of course, Neverwinter. Cormyr is really cool too.
    I think the best thing to do with Forgotten Realms is to cherry pick it. Take what you like, leave what you don’t, and fill in the rest with Greyhawk or some other setting, or your own setting.

    Like

  2. Argamae October 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    I have trouble understanding that you dislike FR and then mention Mystara which you seem to prefer. Well, almost all the things you dislike about FR you find in Mystara just the same. Except the many powerful NPCs maybe. Myself, I love both settings. And coming from Greyhawk I know what “patchwork” REALLY is like.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: