month, we asked the members of the Forgotten Realms design team,
"What do you think about the new Forgotten Realms book now
that it's finally out?" Their answers, although they varied in the
specifics, were pretty much the same: "It kicks butt!"
very, very pleased with it. When you see the whole package together --
the text, the maps, the art, the cover treatment -- it just blows you
away. I know I'm not exactly unbiased about this, but the new Forgotten
Realms Campaign Setting
book is just an order of magnitude beyond anything we've done for the
Forgotten Realms before. I can't wait to see how the audience receives
love it. The book is a goobfest of Forgotten Realms goodness.
first thing everyone will see it that it's a beautiful book. The
ancient parchment look of the graphic design is stunning.
book kicks ass. I think it could stop a bullet. Buy a copy or I'll kill
you, probably with something other than a bullet.
beautiful, it's packed chock full, and it's a thing of wonder. A lot of
people's hard work on the team in the past year and a lot of people's
hard work on the Forgotten Realms over many years culminates in
a great looking collection of crunchy rules and great lore for Forgotten
It's amazing. When you put it side-by-side with the revised edition Forgotten
Realms box, first you're just visually blown away. It's graphically
better than anything we've ever done -- not just for the Forgotten
Realms, but for any setting, any game. In my humble opinion, of course.
you start to look beyond the pretty pictures, and the content blows you
away. No, we couldn't fit every detail from 10 years' worth of Forgotten
Realms supplements into this one book, but boy, there's a lot of details
your favorite part (or favorite parts) of the book?
really tough, because I like a lot of different parts. The character creation
options in Chapter 1 (Characters) appeal to my rules-nut side, because
there are dozens and dozens of interesting new combinations to try out
with the Forgotten Realms demihuman subraces, regional feats, and
prestige classes. The immense amount of territory covered in Chapter 4
(Geography) is just as impressive in a different way. We've got interesting
new plot developments, descriptions of places never before described in
the Realms, and boatloads of adventure opportunities. I also like the
way Chapter 3 (Life in Faerûn) came together, too.
1: Characters. All sorts of cool rulesy goodness, including a new standard
for handling PC creatures that are more powerful than your standard PC
character information kicks butt. It offers oodles of new options that
are useful to any D&D players, and it offers you a chance to
create cool characters that are fully integrated with the setting.
called the book a goobfest. Here's what I mean: It's stuffed with great
crunchy bits that people will goob over. Full-color maps of geographic
regions sprinkled through the text. A trade map showing where dozens of
commodities are produced and how they get moved around Faerûn. Interesting
wrinkles on Faerûn's nonhuman races that make each of them more accessible
as PCs. Wonderful illustrations of all of Faerûn's nonhuman races. A new
cosmology diagram that shows you where the gods and goddesses live.
am really enamored of Chapter 8: Running the Realms. It's the one-chapter
DM's Guide for the Forgotten Realms, and is just as chock full
of inspirational goodness as the actual Dungeon Master's Guide.
I love Ed's list of Known Dungeons of Faerûn, and I love "Rule 2:
Make the PCs the Stars of Your Campaign" (which comes right after
"Rule 1: It's Your World").
of course, there's the monsters chapter . . .
like the extra-crunchy chapters best: Characters, Magic, Running the Realms,
Deities, and Monsters. Many folks might say I'm a little prejudiced, though,
because I worked most on those. The whole book is crunchy, though, and
the best combination of flavor and crunch is in the Geography chapter.
I had to pick a favorite, I guess I'd choose Chapter 4: Geography. Old
Forgotten Realms fans will love the facelift we've given to some
of the "same old" areas, changes that build on characters, plots,
and opportunities that were there before and take them to the next logical
step. New fans will be awed by the sheer scope of this incredible world
and the amount of things to do in Faerûn.
else do I like most? I love that people can play with characters from
all over Faerûn, and that the regional feats system helps distinguish
them from each other. I like the way the Life in Faerûn chapter got rewritten
by Skip, Rich, and Sean into something evocative and extremely useful.
I'm also psyched that cosmology, history, and write-ups of 30 of the major
deities fit into the book.
Wyatt wrote articles for Dragon Magazine and Dungeon
Magazine before joining the Wizards of the Coast staff in January
2000. Game design is career No. Five, after stints as a childcare worker,
ordained minister, technical writer, and web designer. He currently resides
in Washington state.
Go to the June Realmswatch
main page for more of information about the release of the new Forgotten
Realms Campaign Setting or the Forgotten
Realms main news page
for more articles and news about the Forgotten Realms game setting.