Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms

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Ed Says: Warning to Players!
June Realmswatch
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The Good Guys Get Gooder
And the Bad Guys Get Gooder Too
By Mat Smith

Y’know, it’s been a month since I wrote the introduction to the first installment of the Realmswatch. I’ve sent the url to most of my friends and have just pulled the page up to re-read the whole article myself a few times. I remember, back when I wrote that, I was really amazed just to be here. And I have to say that feeling hasn’t changed at all. I probably spent far too much space last month rambling on about that, so I’ll try to keep it to a minimum this time. (But WOW -- I get to work on Dungeons & Dragons stuff!)

Ahem. Anyway, I’m going to track down my old DM from college later to tell him that our campaign world is getting even more cool. Here’s why:

November: Heroes and Villains

It’s not the clothes that make the man. It’s the rules system. And when you take a peek at the heroes and villains of the new Forgotten Realms, you’ll know what I mean. Multiclassing, feats, prestige classes, and more have made a huge impact on the game, and it’s one that resounds in the Realms. On both sides of the good guy/bad guy fence, the new rules system has really helped to shape the signature characters into the forms they’ve always taken in the novels and in the minds of their creators.

It’s interesting to see the famous and the infamous reincarnated to become even more themselves -- and stay within the core rules system. In the past, stats for heroes and villains of novels were cobbled together as well as possible, but invariably designers had to move outside the rules system to make them really come off in game terms the way they did in books. Now there are no special exceptions for NPCs -- novelists can build their many-faceted characters directly from game stats, using the core D&D rules.

Another thing that makes the new Forgotten Realms so appealing is the role that these new and improved good guys and bad guys will play in the campaign world. The villains are still up to no good (or very, very little good). They’ll be scheming and providing ample opportunity for someone to gather a group together to put a stop to their evil ways. The well-known heroes will also be out doing their thing, but they’re not the ones who’ll be coming to the rescue throughout the land. That’s what the PCs are for.

And that’s what the new Realms is all about -- making sure the player characters are the real heroes.

Sure, Drizzt is still running around, scimitars in hand, being stoic and all that. But, when it comes down to it, when the bad guys rear their ugly little heads (or whatever sort of heads they might have to rear), it’s up to the player characters to save the day.

And when you get a look at the villains the design team has crafted, you’ll know that the PCs have their work cut out for them.

About the Author

Mat Smith is a copywriter who just got here, but has been playing and waiting to get a job with the company that makes Dungeons & Dragons for well over 18 years. Now, he gets to spend most of his days thinking about new ways to tell everyone in the world to play D&D.

His 22nd-level, 1st-edition bard started kicking around the Forgotten Realms back in 1989 and is currently vacationing in the Murloch Vale of the Moonshae Islands.

His newest favorite hobby is emailing his friend Josh to make him jealous about this whole job at Wizards of the Coast thing.


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