"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back to the roots of the Forgotten Realms

I am really looking forward to following Sir Larkin's Gray Box project. While I own the Gray Box, I have never used the Forgotten Realms for a campaign and have never read very much of the setting books. About the only books from the Forgotten Realms that I have used have been the various deity related books to steal specialty priest descriptions for other settings.

Even though I was a quick adopter of 2nd edition I continued to have all of my campaigns set in Greyhawk. The longest running campaign I had prior to my current 2nd edition Rise of the Runelords campaign was a 2nd edition Greyhawk campaign centered on the Temple of Elemental Evil. Until my now expired Northern Marches campaign, I had also never really done a homebrew setting. My current campaign is set Paizo's Golarion setting.

After reading Grognardia's retrospective on the Forgotten Realms and the interview with Ed Greenwood, I developed an interest in reading the grey box and went out and replaced the one I owned many years ago and also began reading Greenwood's articles about the setting from my Dragon Magazine CD.

I have been enjoying converting Golarion to 2nd edition but have, more than once, considered running my next campaign in the Forgotten Realms. The main reason I balked at using the setting in the past and still continues today is the vast amount of "canon". I am really interested in the approach that Sir Larkin is taking in his project by focusing strictly on the grey box material. If I were to use the Forgotten Realms for a campaign, I would try to do exactly the same things and the canon-lawyers would just have to gnash their teeth.


  1. You establish the canon for your campaign. If it's only Grey box, it's only grey box. No different than a homebrew campaign. If you don't have a problem with your players familiarizing themselves with the campaign materials, just tell them what comprises the campaign canon. Anything else is legend, stories and lies. If their characters believe them, they'll find out the hard way.

  2. I recommend the interview of Ed Greenwood on the Open Design podcast.

  3. The Gray Box is not terribly canon-stuffed. That creeps in a lot more with the regional supplements and then the other supplements that followed in a torrent during 2nd edition. The only "extra" you might consider is the FR Adventures hardback which has maps and notes on some of the cities of the Realms besides Waterdeep - it came in very handy back then when the party went a travellin.

    One good thing is that individual parts of the Realms are not too heavily detailed in any of the boxed sets really, so it's easy to pick an area and start detailing it for your own campaign without angering any Canon Gods.

  4. I couldn't agree more. See my post regarding canon here