Faerun – the Forgotten Realms the revisioning

Greetings, in this instalment I will be discussing my plans to revision Faerun, the first setting I bought and fell in love with. Opening the Grey Box for the first time was an awe-inspiring moment – it was when I knew I was hooked D&D and Fantasy for life. There is so much potential contained within those two books, I spent hours and hours pouring through those slim tomes and the maps contained within that box. It filled me with more wonder than even the Metzer Basic and Expert boxes did. I haven’t been filled with true wonder since then, except for when I discovered Warhammer Fantasy and 40k. I got close with the Known World Gazetteers, World of Greyhawk Box Set and a flickering of wonder by Eberron.

Outside GW’s Warhammer Universe, only Greyhawk and Faerun have pulled me back to them and inspired me as I develop my own settings. As you know Greyhawk is getting its own revision, so I will focus on Faerun moving forward in this post.

Unlike with Greyhawk, my revisions with Faerun are going to be light touches. That being said, it will not resemble what it became post the Grey Box set. The hinted at wonder slowly died as the regional supplements were released, especially after the wretched Time of Troubles reboot.

The wonder hinted at in the South – Chessenta, Unther and Mulhorand was crushed as TSR decided to make them stand ins for Sumer, Egypt and some wannabe Sword & Sorcery inspired land. The world lore was written in such a way as only hint at possibilities and the details though sparse, painted a picture full of magic and wonder.

Whereas Gary hobbled the sense of wonder with the weird names of some of the realms (Geoff!) and the pseudo-Islamic and other carry-overs from Greyhawks roots in the Great Kingdom and its war-gaming nomenclature, Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grub did a masterful job with The Forgotten Realms. Toss in the artwork of fantasy luminaries like Jeff Easley (though his black and white art in the box set is the only stuff I like of his) and Keith Parkinson… a truly masterful product.

Most of my revisioning of Faerun will be taking those sparse by evocative descriptions and build upon them and adding more of my own gonzo flavour to it. Most of my work will be set in the South (Chessenta, Unther and Morhorand; plus, the Shaar, Chult and surrounding region) and the “Southern Kingdoms” of Amn, Tethyr and Calimshan. Of the Forgotten Realms, those regions ALLWAYS drew me in most. I didn’t care for the Heartlands much or the North, the magical, grim and mysterious South interested me most.

One major change is to the Drow – not to be Woke, but they never made sense to me – at least as presented in adventures and art. One thing that you’ll notice in the Grey Box – there ISN’T a mention of Lloth…anywhere! I have no problem with them being black skinned with white hair and eyes. In my version of the Realms, Drow are mutants tainted by Chaos and the infernal Mythic Underworld.

Not only they do they have skin the colour of polished obsidian – that said there are a variety of obsidian colours – Greeb, Black, Smoky Grey and mottled. The Drow of my Realms with be split between the Black complexioned Aristocracy, Smoky Grey Warrior Caste, and Green Sorcerous Caste. There are no common Drow, only slaves taken from the surface often human derived mix breed folk, bred with enslaved surface Elves, Orcs and Goblins; so that they can be useful in the Underworld.  

Drow worship the Dark Deities of Faerun and various infernal beings. Another difference between my Drow and TSR/WotC Elves, is that they have various infernal physical attributes in addition to their obsidian complexion because of their dalliances and pacts with the infernal powers of Chaos.

Humans and other slave stock often serve as a source of magical experimentation for the Green Sorcerous Caste. This will give me opportunities to add new creatures and human derived bio-engineered folk for my dungeons.

Another change, is that Half-Elves have longer ears than described, plus Tyr will be Tiwaz, and be a God of the Sky, Justice and Oaths. I will likely add a few more deities inspired by proto-Germanic Language. I will also use fantasy fonts to expand the languages. Tolkien’s Sindarin and Quenya Language for Elves.

Beyond the above, I will be doing five things –

  • Fusing the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk. The Red Wizards of They are a Western offshoot of the Scarlet Brotherhood. The Rashemen are western Oeridians, that developed their own culture. The Luiren and Halruaa are south of the Shaar and part of the South, but culturally different than Chessenta, Unther and Mulhorand, as the Shaar creates a buffer between them.
  • Kara-Tur will be greatly revisioned away from its Pan-Asian inspirations. Kara-Tur will be located south of the Sea of Dust (which extends to the west and called Raurin). It incorporates the realms of Semphar and Durpar (east of Luiren); among other lands of my own devising.  
  • Chult, Lappaliiya, Tashalar, Thindol and Samarach will ALL be greatly different than described in 2e AD&D and 3.5 D&D. I will have fun devising the cultures of this region as well.
  • Adding pulpy elements to Faerun as I will be doing to Greyhawk. Though magic is wide (as Keith Barker likes to say of Eberron), magic items are uncommon and spells must be researched or found and learned – there is NO free spells for going up in levels.
  • Lastly, I will be using 1e AD&D and OSRIC to run campaigns, modified with a few house-rules that fit the vibe I want for the setting.

I covered the core goals of this project above, now I will work on realizing them. I may start a separate blog to discuss this project so it doesn’t clutter up this blog. I want to get back to posting about a variety of things other than just tabletop roleplaying projects on here, such as Light Novels, anime and manga. I will still cover my previous ttrpg setting project and the Gary Gygax 75 Challenge, I just want to diversify my content a bit more.

I will focus on the setting stuff I want to move forward on going forward and use my new blog to chronicle my joint Greyhawk/Forgotten Realms project.

Well I need to eat and run a quick errand while there is a break in the weather. That said, I will publish this and share it, before I do so. Please take care, stay safe and please be kind to each other. Fin.

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