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goldsteel
2014-12-05, 09:41 PM
Hey guys I want to run a campaign in Forgotten Realms. Is their any kind of lore I should know before I start it? Like anything about certain kingdoms or territories?

Madfellow
2014-12-05, 10:41 PM
Whichever kingdom or territory the campaign is set in, I'd say, as well as any that border it. Beyond that, I shouldn't think it necessary.

Mark Hall
2014-12-06, 12:23 AM
There's a ****load you CAN know. The Realms is a big place, with a lot of information about it. My suggestion is to pick a place and get to know it. Find a few favorite deities and use them for most things.

http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

This has a huge amount of information, but it's not incredibly well organized for learners. I would probably start with the Moonshae Isles... it's a pretty secluded area, with a limited pantheon and a straightforward set of conflicts (Ffolk v. Northmen)

http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Moonshae_Isles

Yora
2014-12-06, 08:00 AM
Best idea would probably to pick one region and then get a book or two that describe it in detail. The rest of the continent can be ignored for the time beeing then. For many regions there is so much detail that you can run a campaign there for years, without ever going to other places.

Mark Hall
2014-12-06, 08:40 AM
To add a bit more: Also consider timeline. It will likely be easier to grab the current stuff and set things then, but FR's game material is spread out over a couple centuries of time, which can impact what is true about the setting.

Rallicus
2014-12-06, 11:04 AM
FR is pretty bloated. As a DM I avoid it like the plague because I'm only somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to it.

In many other systems being somewhat knowledgeable might be fine; but when it comes to FR, if you have a lore-expert (of these there are many!), then it's gonna be difficult. He might squirm or mumble under his breath if something seems off from the canon. He might point out things that are inaccurate in your game... such as, "why is there a (homebrew city, size) in (location)? Why don't NPCs know of (important lore figure)? Wait, isn't (deity) (adjective)?"

Now if you're running for all new players, I'd suggest using the wiki and just rolling with it. You'll have a good time. But if you have a FR expert in the group, it might directly impact the amount of fun.

I also don't agree with the idea of having the adventure situated in one place. D&D PCs are called adventurers for a reason... they adventure. Having it stuck in Icewind Dale, Sword Coast, etc. for 50 sessions might cause the campaign to grow stale. Or it might be awesome -- but limiting their travel capabilities because you want to keep it in an area you know and understand is just poor DMing.

TLDR version: If your players are new and unfamiliar with the setting, just use the wiki and homebrew as you see fit. If you have a resident lore expert, it might be a good idea to pick a more vague, outdated setting (might I suggest Greyhawk, which I find infinitely better? ;_;) that few people know in detail or care about, or homebrew your own setting.

Mark Hall
2014-12-06, 12:16 PM
I also don't agree with the idea of having the adventure situated in one place. D&D PCs are called adventurers for a reason... they adventure. Having it stuck in Icewind Dale, Sword Coast, etc. for 50 sessions might cause the campaign to grow stale. Or it might be awesome -- but limiting their travel capabilities because you want to keep it in an area you know and understand is just poor DMing.


I'm not saying you should nail the players in place, but it's just good practice to start the game in a single area that you can manage, and give them a variety of things to do there. Get everyone used to the setting, whether it be as small as Phlan or as large as the North Moonsea. Something like the Moonshaes is, as mentioned, a good starting zone... isolated, with a relatively limited pantheon, but with the whole of the Sword Coast available if your players want to strike out on the Voyage of the Princess Ark.

I'll also add that I've never run into Rallicus's Realms expert who won't let you run the game in 20 years of running the Realms. Not saying they don't happen, but I've never run into one.

Solaris
2014-12-06, 02:21 PM
I'll also add that I've never run into Rallicus's Realms expert who won't let you run the game in 20 years of running the Realms. Not saying they don't happen, but I've never run into one.

And even if you do run into one, just fix him with a cold stare, say "Such interesting stories the bards are telling these days!" and move on. Just because it's 'official' canon doesn't mean it's your canon.

Tarlek Flamehai
2014-12-07, 09:35 AM
As DM my favorite splat book for FR is the Grand History of the Realms. Did you have a campaign arc in mind?

Mark Hall
2014-12-07, 12:28 PM
As DM my favorite splat book for FR is the Grand History of the Realms. Did you have a campaign arc in mind?

I found it poorly cross-referenced.

Palanan
2014-12-07, 04:36 PM
Originally Posted by Yora
For many regions there is so much detail that you can run a campaign there for years, without ever going to other places.

This is certainly true, although the reverse also applies. My last long campaign was set in the fuzzy space between several well-defined regions, and it went for years without going to other places.

:smalltongue:


Originally Posted by Mark Hall
My suggestion is to pick a place and get to know it.

…I would probably start with the Moonshae Isles... it's a pretty secluded area, with a limited pantheon and a straightforward set of conflicts….

This is solid advice, and the Moonshaes are a favorite of mine.

They were sadly neglected during the 3.5 run, and I don't know what's been done with them since, but there's a 2E sourcebook (http://www.amazon.com/Moonshae-Forgotten-Realms-Accessory-FR2/dp/0880384948/) which should give you plenty of starting ideas for a campaign.

Another of my favorite regions is the North, in particular the Silver Marches, which did get some love (http://www.amazon.com/Marches-Dungeons-Roleplaying-Forgotten-Accessory/dp/0786928352/) in 3E. There are a number of other sourcebooks which give background on selected areas, and it shouldn't be too hard to find a region that catches your interest.

Is there anything about your campaign which might be especially suited to one region or another? We can give you some suggestions depending on what you're looking for.

Frenth Alunril
2014-12-07, 08:54 PM
I set a refugee city in the most ridiculous location, just to keep the world mine, so, in the land of Vaasa, north east of Moortown, past the bottomless bog, at the base of Gort-blot and blood-stump mountains, on the peculiar red granite foothill called The Rock, sets the small mining fort called Servitor's Creach.

Stories and stories I have about this odd place, and I've run adventures there for 3 years. Only now have I returned with my party and I'm so exited about what is to come. I only have the loosest of plans, but I know my players are fully invested in the world. It's so much fun to be home!

I'm saying just make it yours. Know your gods, know some of the major things like the Avatar Crisis, the Tuigan Hoard, or whatever is pertinent. Know your organizations that matter, and neighboring races, Kingdoms, etc.

Other than that, just have fun!

Chambers
2014-12-08, 10:17 PM
My recommendation for a Forgotten Realms starting Region would be the Sword Coast & Silver Marches regions. It's got a lot of the class heroic fantasy things in it like orc hordes, abandoned and forgotten kingdoms of elves and dwarves, a savage wilderness, metropolitan cities, pirates, dragon cults, and so forth.

The Silver Marches (http://www.amazon.com/Marches-Dungeons-Roleplaying-Forgotten-Accessory/dp/0786928352) book covers that region very well. Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast (http://www.amazon.com/Volos-Guide-Advanced-Dungeons-Dragons/dp/1560769041/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418094893&sr=1-6&keywords=sword+coast+forgotten+realms&pebp=1418094900101) would be my go to guide for the Sword Coast.

Both areas were covered in the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights games, so that's another reason for starting with them. If you or your players are familiar with the games then you've already got a head start on 'lore' for the Realms.

TheFamilarRaven
2014-12-08, 11:22 PM
I would imagine the lore would differ depending on what edition of DnD you are playing in. 4th edition completely revamped the world with "the Spell-Plague" while I have not found too much difference between the ADnD and the 3.x versions of the world, other than a few gods dying.

Running an adventure path is probably going to be the fastest and simplest way to familiarize yourself with the setting. I can't help you choose one however, I only have experience playing parts of the Sunless citadel, which, while fun, doesn't exactly explore much of the realms IIRC.