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Why's Forgotten Realms more popular than Greyhawk?


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#1
romeo_longsword

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From what I have experienced FR seems to be more popular than GH, but if I remember correctly, sombody told me that GH was created before FR, whats the deal between the two and why is FR more popular? I mean, whats the difference (in short)?

#2
saijin

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Greyhawk came out originally around 1985. Forgotten Realms was released about 5 to 10 years after that.

The original Grayhawk set up all the political and societal guidelines for the world.

Currently, Avid players of the PnP game can participate in campaign call Living Greyhawk. Living Greyhawk is a monitored world. Individual groups are sent different modules to play out and the results are sent back to the central monitors that record the results and adjust the world history appropriately.


Forgotten Realms was released in the early 90's (I think :ph34r: ) and again provided a gaming world with some detail on politics etc. FR has been used as the setting of many computer games as well as the setting for many novels. I think the books have made FR much more popular since players can identify more closely with the world since they can read all the novels that are based on that world.

#3
FSkornia

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An interesting thing to note is that the Gazetteer which was released at the same time as the 3ed Core books sets the D&D on Oerth and more specifically the Flaeness, home to the Free City of Greyhawk. Perhaps an attempt by WotC to bring the game back to an earlier setting?

-Frank Skornia

#4
Phosphor

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The "official" D&D setting has always been Greyhawk, but FR books are what keep getting churned out, hence the popularity of the campaign setting - there's just so much material.

#5
DraconisRex

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Okay. Making a long story short:

Greyhawk was the original campaign by Gary Gygax and started in the late 1960s, early 1970s depending on how you deal with the fantasy supplement for 'Chainmail.' As an RPG, it was definately moving along by the early 1970s.

Eventually, Gygax was ousted from TSR during a management purge in the 1980s. There was much fighting over Greyhawk as an intellectual property. Gygax kept his interests in the intellectual property of AD&D & Greyhawk.


TSR started Forgotten Realms to have a universe without Gygax. They added 2nd Edition to cut Gygax out of AD&D royalties.


Greyhawk went downhill hill because of neglect. Forgotten Realms increased because that's where the promotional efforts went.

#6
romeo_longsword

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Can you say, which is a "better" world in terms of its intellectual degree?

For example, I say FR is great as a pletform to be a computer game because its allow a lot of freedom and magic flying everywhere. Which, in a personal view, its actually a negative thing because I desire a "realistic" fantasy world.

I hope you could get my meaning here, would you say, GH is "better" by my sort of standard?

I know this is hard to say as you can spent hours saying why is that piece of art is better than others, but I hope sombody could guess where I am comming from and give me some ideas or introudction.

Ta.

#7
Volourn

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Fr is more popular because for most people it's better. FR is often accused of being 'generic fantasy' but if that's true; Gh is the epitome of 'generric fantasy'.

The *only* reasonw hy Gh is the defacto world for 3E/3.5E is quite simply over the eyars its source materials do not even come close to touching FR source material does. It's cheaper for them to make Gh defacto and sell actual FR books because they're more likely to sell.

GH is ok, imo; but Fr offers everything it does and more.

#8
Judge Hades

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I prefer d20 Modern over FR and GH. :luck:

#9
Percival

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Can you say, which is a "better" world in terms of its intellectual degree?

For example, I say FR is great as a pletform to be a computer game because its allow a lot of freedom and magic flying everywhere. Which, in a personal view, its actually a negative thing because I desire a "realistic" fantasy world.

I hope you could get my meaning here, would you say, GH is "better" by my sort of standard?

I know this is hard to say as you can spent hours saying why is that piece of art is better than others, but I hope sombody could guess where I am comming from and give me some ideas or introudction.

Ta.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You really shouldnt judge FR by the computer games. In a 'proper' FR setting, there's very few magical items around, certanly not +5 swords in every 3rd barrel and drow hiding in every corner.

Or did you mean that in your view, it's negative because the world has magic? In that case, you're out of luck with mainstream D&D worlds, they're all magical worlds with deities and such.

Comparing FR to any number of other D&D worlds really comes down to personal preference, although I find it rather funny how for example, the greyhawk and dragonlance crowd tries to insult FR, saying how munckhinish it is, with 'overpowered characters and magical items', when in fact, most of the D&D settings is filled with the same munckhin elements. The setting is what you make of it.

#10
romeo_longsword

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Can you say, which is a "better" world in terms of its intellectual degree?

For example, I say FR is great as a pletform to be a computer game because its allow a lot of freedom and magic flying everywhere. Which, in a personal view, its actually a negative thing because I desire a "realistic" fantasy world.

I hope you could get my meaning here, would you say, GH is "better" by my sort of standard?

I know this is hard to say as you can spent hours saying why is that piece of art is better than others, but I hope sombody could guess where I am comming from and give me some ideas or introudction.

Ta.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You really shouldnt judge FR by the computer games. In a 'proper' FR setting, there's very few magical items around, certanly not +5 swords in every 3rd barrel and drow hiding in every corner.

Or did you mean that in your view, it's negative because the world has magic? In that case, you're out of luck with mainstream D&D worlds, they're all magical worlds with deities and such.

Comparing FR to any number of other D&D worlds really comes down to personal preference, although I find it rather funny how for example, the greyhawk and dragonlance crowd tries to insult FR, saying how munckhinish it is, with 'overpowered characters and magical items', when in fact, most of the D&D settings is filled with the same munckhin elements. The setting is what you make of it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Although it is what we as the players make of it, in terms of how "good" the world is, but there must be some sort of truth in the impression that, FR is just too many powerful items and things come too easily.

Basically, I have this impression that GH is lower in magical items while FR is like , "free magic give away" style.

#11
Percival

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Although it is what we as the players make of it, in terms of how "good" the world is, but there must be some sort of truth in the impression that, FR is just too many powerful items and things come too easily.

Basically, I have this impression that GH is lower in magical items while FR is like , "free magic give away" style.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Wrong. Since you probably didnt read the post above yours, let me say it again. FR is just as magically rich as the next D&D universe. Just because NWN deals out magical items like candy doesnt mean it should be that way.

According to FRCS, there's two kinds of magical items - the adventuring magical items and what they call gimmicks (commonplace items that are designed to amuse or entertain or even have some minor usefulness - eg. a broom that sweeps by itself) and even those items are in the possession of nobles or wealthy merchants, certanly not findable in the beggars nest.

Adventuring magic in FRCS however says "Real magic - wands and rings, magic arms, and wondrous devices--is relagated to the wealthy, the powerful and those adventurers who stumble across such items in the course of their journeys and battles."

If you want to argue that FR is filled with overpowering munckhinish chars, well, there's the circle of eight in greyhawk, a bunch of munckhins if I ever saw one. Same thing in Dragonlance.

Basically, it comes down to personal preferences, you should try out the different D&D universes and see how you like them.

You can also try the new Eberron setting, which I hear has some interesting new things that make it different to the previous D&D universes.

#12
Weiser_Cain

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I like high magic worlds, what's the point of there being magic if there's no advantage to using it instead of picking up a sword?

#13
romeo_longsword

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I like high magic worlds, what's the point of there being magic if there's no advantage to using it instead of picking up a sword?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


From a role-playing point of view, itís not really realistic to have "high magic". Secondly, "picking up a sword" does not mean its "no magic", as swords can be magical as well.

From a gaming point of view, whatís the point for adventuring if you are loaded with magical items that allow you no challenge? May be Diablo would be a more enjoyable setting for you?

#14
Volourn

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"Basically, I have this impression that GH is lower in magical items while FR is like , "free magic give away" style."

This is simply wrong. All one has to do is try out an old Gh module to see how high magic it really is. It's really no better or worse

#15
Foil

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As a poster above noted, maybe we are just influenced by what the video games have pumped out and added to make the game challenging for level 20+ characters (which are attained relatively quickly in these games).

Since I never played PnP Forg Realms I won't comment except to say that the other worlds (GH and DL) seem to have more emphasis on outposts and smaller towns with less magic and magical races (not that they aren't there, only you won't encounter them while going out to get your morning paper). Most of the potent magic belongs to few and certain spells like raise dead are much more rare. There also seems to be more strain between the races (elves being mistrusted and all that). And much of FR seems to centre on Drow which seems to be wearing a little thin.

Part of the Peril with forgotten Realms is that the same theme just seems to get repeated over and over in these video games. Not an inherant problem with the world, just the developers not stretching past the usual. I think the developers would do good to develop games centred on other worlds other than FR. After BG, they might have thought of going somewhere else with NWN.

However, I'm not the one putting up the dollars to market these things and it looks like by sales they are doing something right.

#16
Weiser_Cain

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I like high magic worlds, what's the point of there being magic if there's no advantage to using it instead of picking up a sword?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


From a role-playing point of view, itís not really realistic to have "high magic". Secondly, "picking up a sword" does not mean its "no magic", as swords can be magical as well.

From a gaming point of view, whatís the point for adventuring if you are loaded with magical items that allow you no challenge? May be Diablo would be a more enjoyable setting for you?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

First we're talking about fantasy so nothing is realistic really. Why would High magic be anti roleplaying? Getting powerfull item is only bad if no one else has any.
When I said pick up a sword I meant what's the point of specializing in magic if melee combat is so much superior? Magic is hard, thus the greater potential power to offset always having to worry about a random low level fighter getting close to your level twenty-five wizard and making mince meat out of him in one round.

#17
torvahl

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I must say I like GreyHawk. When I first started playing dnd my friend used it as a base for many adventures. Keep in mind neither of us knew exactly what we where doing back then. This was when first edition first came out he had teh books and i didn't. So everything seemed like magic to me as we went through though back then he was pretty heavy handed . He would follow what ever the rule said and I made so many mistakes simply because I didn't know what all I could do as my character . Needless to say I lost every charcter I ever played for several years. So I learned not to become to attached to them.

Anyway my first clue as to how the world and particularly the city of Greyhawk was amazing alive. Was through the Gourd the Rogue books. Granted later on it got kind of silly but by then I think Gygax was just trying to thumb his nose at Tsr by showing them he could destroy that which he created even if it was just in a novel. What I liked was the beginning about the beggers union and the thieves guild. I also like how it showed the character developing from a homless street kid to one of the master thieves of the city and even the region just surviving by the skin of his teeth. It also showed how much courage and determination he had. He trained hard in all his rogue skills and every city he went to when he had money he went and hired the best swordsman in the city to train him.

I really feel that Greyhawk could have been just as dominant and have as much or more material than Forgotten Realms had Gygax not had to be constantly fighting for control of the company and eventually ousted. I did find a few things about modules he wrote quite funny if my memory serves. It seemed to me that after getting by many of his tougher challenges monsters , traps etc you would then find items that would have been useful in defeating them. And finally at least some of his charcters still have the last laugh cause their names are immortilized on the spells.

Really thought the power of being gamemaster allows you to change anything in any world you set before your players so they don't have to be high magic or low magic just because the setting says it is. If you don't like the notable characters in that world . You think they are to chessy just make some of your own and give them a history and reason for being and let the players discover it iin their travels and exploration.

Torvahl

#18
Shadow Drifter

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To be honest i havent PnPed at all but from what friends who have told me, it comes down to taste. I think i wast born a little too late for the PnP style of play to greatly influence me and Australian society as a whole doesnt really play the PnP games (in my city there is 100 000 people in it - no one plays PnP as far as i can tell). That said I have NEVER played pen and paper since there is no one to play against, or even learn from. LOL i havent even seen the DnD rule books or anything for sale.

TO be honest i think a d20 modern game would be cool. Honestly i love forgotten realms games, i really do, but even the last neverwinter got to the point of "been there done that" ya know. I really enjoyed fallout tactics (which prove me if i am wrong, had nothing to do with Wizards of the Coast).

#19
Dethangels Shadow

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To be honest i havent PnPed at all but from what friends who have told me, it comes down to taste. I think i wast born a little too late for the PnP style of play to greatly influence me and Australian society as a whole doesnt really play the PnP games (in my city there is 100 000 people in it - no one plays PnP as far as i can tell). That said I have NEVER played pen and paper since there is no one to play against, or even learn from. LOL i havent even seen the DnD rule books or anything for sale.

I find it hard to believe a city with 100,000 people wouldn't have anyone playing PnP.

If your local bookstores don't carry them, check your local comic book and/or scifi/fantasy stores (the ones that carry anime, Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Stargate, etc. paraphenallia), as most of them carry gaming supplies. It's also the place where us PnP geeks tend to run into one another. :huh:

#20
Zekal

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I know for a fact, that there is a group of about 30+ people in my small country area of australia that play PnP...

However... in the city, there are probably less then 5 shops that have any sort of D&D products, so it isn't that popular out here. I know that most people don't even know what D&D is over here. So if I ever tell someone at school that I play D&D they don't know what it is and go "Why do I care?" :blink:




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