a Big World -- a Really
I have to
tell you, June will not get here quick enough for me -- I'm so ready to
play in the new Forgotten Realms setting, it's going to seriously
impact my health.
few weeks ago, I emailed Michele
ask her to send me the latest version of the Geography section of the
new Forgotten Realms book so I could read through it to know what
I'm talking about this month. She shot it over to me, I dragged the attachment
to my desktop, hit "Print," and wandered off to get some coffee.
When I got back, the Print Monitor told me it was "Spooling Page
98 of 172." Obviously
something was wrong.
the print job and opened the file to see if it was corrupt. But what I
saw was a 172-page file full of amazing details about the Forgotten
Realms setting. That's right. One Hundred and Seventy-Two Pages. OK,
that's single-sided pages, so you halve that, and you've got what? 86
pages? 86 pages of text. No illustrations. No border treatment. Nothing
but page after page of two-column Forgotten Realms geographical
goodness. That's huge. And it's just one section of the Forgotten
Realms Campaign Setting
I'm told is going to be 320 pages bigger than the new Player's
over 40 pages. And it's all new.
Forgotten Realms Nations and States
section starts out with this: "Seeing every kingdom, every city-state,
every mountain range and forest and ruined castle of Faerûn would be the
journey of a dozen human lifetimes." And, once you skim through the
pages, you'll understand just how true that is. Just reading about
the places takes even the most avid reader a healthy chunk of time.
enough, as I try to describe what this aspect of the new Forgotten
Realms Campaign Setting is like, I find myself facing the same
problem someone touring through the Realms would have: There's so much
here, I hardly know where to start.
a good place is what I did when I first flipped through. I looked at the
places most familiar to me and my campaigns just to see what's new, what's
changed, and what's still familiar.
answer to all of the above is: a lot.
had characters that've tromped through quite a bit of Faerûn (though not
even close to half of it). And the places I have explored presented
in the book are just as chock full of things to do and see as the places
I've not. It's amazing.
are changes and shifts, both large and small throughout the landscape
of the Forgotten Realms setting. Some of the things that have happened
to places my characters used to call home are quite surprising -- like
what happened to the town we usually bought supplies in. Others are developments
that have been percolating for some time and have just now bubbled up
into fruition -- like what's going on with one of those evil organizations
we dealt with. (I know details would be more helpful than that, but alas,
this is but a peek at what is to come.) The game designers have just done
a truly remarkable job once again at continuing the process of evolving
the Forgotten Realms setting as a living game world.
to those 86 pages' worth of detail. When you get a look at the sample
what I mean when I say that there's a horde of information to pore over.
Every region is described in detail, ranging from capital city(ies) and
import/exports to history and current lifestyles to plots, rumors, and
other adventure hook stuff. From Chult to the Anauroch, there's a lot
going on in Faerûn. And regardless of where you adventures lead you, you're
going to be pleasantly surprised.
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.
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
newest favorite hobby is emailing his friend Josh to make him jealous
about this whole job at Wizards of the Coast thing.