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Azar
Senior Scribe

764 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2021 :  15:43:58  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hi there.

Aside from the excellent trio of deity books (Faiths & Avatars, Demihuman Deities and Powers and Pantheons), what are some other 2e-era Forgotten Realms offerings that are worth obtaining?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.

TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1048 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2021 :  16:04:25  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cloak and Dagger is right up there for me. If you are running a 2e table, the Wizard Spell Compendiums and Priest Spell Compendiums are VERY helpful.

Edit: Oh, if you do grab Cloak and Dagger, be sure to get Polyhedron #142. Eric wrote a companion piece about the Men of the Basilisk.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents

Edited by - TheIriaeban on 03 Oct 2021 16:09:44
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Hawkfeather
Seeker

Brazil
64 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2021 :  16:05:10  Show Profile Send Hawkfeather a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Forgotten Realms Adventures
Cloak & Dagger
Empires of the Shining Sea
Lands of Intrigue
Volo's Guide to All Things Magical
Any of the other Volo's Guide
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deserk
Learned Scribe

Norway
221 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2021 :  16:28:33  Show Profile Send deserk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Spellbound is quite good too. I hadn't checked out it until recently, since I thought it was a book just about spells (Unapproachable East would have been a better title, like the 3E book). But it details quite extensively Thay, Rasheman and Aglarond.
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Kelcimer
Learned Scribe

USA
128 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2021 :  18:03:25  Show Profile Send Kelcimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The City of Ravens Bluff. If you are going to Ravens Bluff, it is invaluable. But even if you don't go to Ravens Bluff I think it is still worth picking up.

For example, it details 36 different noble houses. Seeing how the book makes each noble house different, I think, really helps when working on fleshing out other noble houses in other cities.
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TKU
Learned Scribe

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2021 :  22:25:47  Show Profile Send TKU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I personally liked Shining South quite a bit. Halruaa and it's neighbors always seemed like a place that would be interesting to see further developed. A good region to utilize for everything from the Yuan ti, Drow, Netherese, etc. Historically important region, too.
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HighOne
Learned Scribe

172 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2021 :  23:29:56  Show Profile Send HighOne a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elminster's Ecologies
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35998 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2021 :  23:54:55  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cloak & Dagger, of course -- I consider this one of the best Realms supplements for any edition

Volo's Guide to All Things Magical -- I love the idea of everyday items having an affinity for a particular flavor of magic, and this book covers that quite well. I also liked the magical item creation section, and would likely use it, as a DM. You'd have whatever the current method is, per the rules, for a regular version of the item, but following the techniques in this book would make it a more powerful version.

Plus, new magic in this book, and artifacts -- lots of potential, here!

The other Volo's Guides were awesome for giving an on-the-ground look at the Realms; this kind of thing is found too rarely in RPGs in general.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6427 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2021 :  00:38:51  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My favourite for untapped Realmslore has always been Prayers From the Faithful.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11169 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2021 :  13:09:58  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you're looking for mostly edition non-specific lore

The North Boxed set
Spellbound
Empires of the Shining Sea
Lands of Intrigue
FR9 Bloodstone Lands
FR10 Old Empires
FR11 Dwarves Deep
Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark

Then, just because its a good read if you like Mystra and her chosen, or if you like spell concepts, Seven Sisters

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1968 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2021 :  13:25:55  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My vote is for Lands of Intrigue and Empires of the Shining Sea. Truly an amazing amount of Realmslore. Really showed how to detail a region right.

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2367 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2021 :  13:31:19  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

My vote is for Lands of Intrigue and Empires of the Shining Sea. Truly an amazing amount of Realmslore. Really showed how to detail a region right.


Those were good, but I was not a big fan of the absence of stats. These were very similar to the Volo's guides in that regard. Lots of lore, little rpg rules.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2367 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2021 :  13:33:38  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

My favourite for untapped Realmslore has always been Prayers From the Faithful.

-- George Krashos



I was a big fan of that one, but had a problem with "spellsbooks" of prayers for those who have their spells granted by their god.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2367 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2021 :  13:45:28  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd have to cheat and vote for the whole FOR series.

Draconomicon
Drow of the Underdark
Pirates of the Fallen Stars
Code of the Harpers
Elves of Evermeet
Seven Sisters
Giantcraft
Pages from the Mages
Wizard and Rogues
Warriors and Priests
Cult of the Dragon
Demihumans of the Realms
Secrets of the Magister
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11169 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2021 :  15:37:48  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

My vote is for Lands of Intrigue and Empires of the Shining Sea. Truly an amazing amount of Realmslore. Really showed how to detail a region right.



I must add that I have only gotten to peruse these years after their publication, because at the time of their release.... I was young and money poor and working a job overnights (like 6 PM to 6 AM.... did for like a year before the realized I was a better troubleshooter than the day staff and I was moved). Also, at the TIME of their release, there was no amazon... so it came down to what I would find at my local bookstore, and if I didn't go TO my bookstore, I missed their releases as they were likely bought by others.

I know the Maztica stuff that was released way back when goes over like a fart in an elevator, but I appreciate that Lands of Intrigue tried to hint to what was going on in those places. Though very little was ever done with it in canon lore, the idea of New Waterdeep and Fort Flame sparked a lot in me. Some today might call it colonialism, but I consider it a great way to allow for some players to explore a new continent and do something new that you don't see in Faerun. It's like I've often said with rulesets... a lot of stuff gets released in one edition, and it sparks an idea, but there needs to be some fixes.... and it often gets improved upon in the next edition (my classic examples is the spellcasting in seven sisters getting improved in 3.5e to control power creep, and the warlock class that came about in 3.5e being improved in 5e).

It's odd, but in some ways, some of these 2e lore treasures that I missed out on remind me of the firefly tv series. It was amazing stuff (at least for the time in the case of firefly), released at a time when I just was overwhelmed with products, had little time to look them over, and only later have I been able to really come to appreciate them.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 04 Oct 2021 16:03:08
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11169 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2021 :  16:08:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, by the way, in terms of 2e lore books for the realms that are worth looking at.... TECHNICALLY Al-Qadim is forgotten realms, and I HIGHLY recommend a lot of the boxed sets from that series. A lot of them are written as adventures, but they're chock full of lore ideas, and they're also easily relatively easily adaptable. That being said, if you can't find the old works, I know some guy also rereleased a 5e interpretation of Al-Qadim on DM's Guild that he simply updates the system but pretty much keeps all the same events and locations. I did NOT buy it because I have the 2e source material, so I don't know how much he has, but a lot of people liked it... so there are multiple paths to the material. One is obviously "more canon", but considering the state of things....

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1968 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2021 :  17:33:34  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

My vote is for Lands of Intrigue and Empires of the Shining Sea. Truly an amazing amount of Realmslore. Really showed how to detail a region right.


Those were good, but I was not a big fan of the absence of stats. These were very similar to the Volo's guides in that regard. Lots of lore, little rpg rules.



Showing my bias. The stats don't hold up across editions. The Realmslore does. I think products that focus on Realmslore are much more likely to stand the test of time.

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35998 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2021 :  19:06:54  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

My vote is for Lands of Intrigue and Empires of the Shining Sea. Truly an amazing amount of Realmslore. Really showed how to detail a region right.


Those were good, but I was not a big fan of the absence of stats. These were very similar to the Volo's guides in that regard. Lots of lore, little rpg rules.



That's a huge plus for me, actually. I prefer as minimal a stat block as possible -- let me build the NPC I need, if I need them, and give me more lore to work with.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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HighOne
Learned Scribe

172 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2021 :  19:16:40  Show Profile Send HighOne a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

My vote is for Lands of Intrigue and Empires of the Shining Sea. Truly an amazing amount of Realmslore. Really showed how to detail a region right.


Those were good, but I was not a big fan of the absence of stats. These were very similar to the Volo's guides in that regard. Lots of lore, little rpg rules.



Showing my bias. The stats don't hold up across editions. The Realmslore does. I think products that focus on Realmslore are much more likely to stand the test of time.

Agreed. There are whole sections of books I never use because they don't apply to the edition I'm playing. Crunch has a limited shelf life; lore is forever.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2367 Posts

Posted - 05 Oct 2021 :  16:33:21  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

My vote is for Lands of Intrigue and Empires of the Shining Sea. Truly an amazing amount of Realmslore. Really showed how to detail a region right.


Those were good, but I was not a big fan of the absence of stats. These were very similar to the Volo's guides in that regard. Lots of lore, little rpg rules.


Showing my bias. The stats don't hold up across editions. The Realmslore does. I think products that focus on Realmslore are much more likely to stand the test of time.


I agree with that take somewhat... I can't tell you how bad I am at converting stats... most of my projects stall in that effort.

However, taking Lands of Intrigue as an example, sometimes the minimal stats are provided, as below:

Revered Father Darrom Vallson, Painbearer of Ilmater (LN hm P12 - Ilmater); Tomas Trosbann, Great Sword of Torm (LG hm Pal14); and Hammer Lord Gharek Minorson, Holy Justice of Tyr (LG hm P11 - Tyr). Each man is among the senior clergies of the temples of Barakmordin...

However, the vast majority of names have no such break down. I would have loved if it was a minimum standard applied to all named characters.

I also am a BIG fan of new spells and magics that i can put into a campaign. The "these are the magic items that the royal family has and you can't" thing got on my nerves :P.
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1829 Posts

Posted - 05 Oct 2021 :  23:06:11  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Code of the Harpers & Cult of the Dragon. I only wish they'd actually done a similar book for the Zhentarim (not that they weren't covered elsewhere, it just would have been nice to combine source material into a single tome).

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2367 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2021 :  14:27:04  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach

Code of the Harpers & Cult of the Dragon. I only wish they'd actually done a similar book for the Zhentarim (not that they weren't covered elsewhere, it just would have been nice to combine source material into a single tome).



I've been working on this forever... It grows and grows. Somewhere around 3-400 pages so far.
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1829 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2021 :  16:26:24  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Any plans on publishing it? Or is it pre-5e?

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2367 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2021 :  20:23:28  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach

Any plans on publishing it? Or is it pre-5e?


Publishing, no. Sharing, sure. If I ever get it finished enough.

Its 5E timeline-wise (lots of clones / resurrected folks to undo previous deaths & events though), 2E rules-wise. Formatted to be like the FOR series.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11169 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2021 :  21:11:11  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach

Any plans on publishing it? Or is it pre-5e?


Publishing, no. Sharing, sure. If I ever get it finished enough.

Its 5E timeline-wise (lots of clones / resurrected folks to undo previous deaths & events though), 2E rules-wise. Formatted to be like the FOR series.



Honestly, lots of clones and resurrected folks makes absolute sense in my mind for a world with so many high level people. To my mind, that's WHY the realms has so many high level people... not that each generation gets tons of people power leveling, but rather those that reach high levels keep coming back even if killed.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2367 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2021 :  23:14:33  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I basically got to the point where every death-by-edition and even a couple death-by-novels just became something to reverse.

One of my least favorite paragraphs ever printed in a FR product was when Vangerdahast is explaining that they can't resurrect a King because the whole world would end, to try to give his death later in that book some staying power.
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1829 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2021 :  01:11:56  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The link has expired but thanks anyway. Let us know if/when you get it completed.

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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Azar
Senior Scribe

764 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2021 :  05:12:34  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you - all of you - for the recommendations. I decided to order Cloak & Dagger, The City of Ravens Bluff and Monster Mythology for the time being. Cloak & Dagger should help to address a noticeable dearth of skulduggery in my campaign. The City of Ravens Bluff is nice to keep on hand both as a fleshed out pit-stop for PCs in the region and as a resource to mine when creating cities of my own. Monster Mythology isn't a Realms specific product, but it is a complementary book for those three books I mentioned in my initial post.

It's a real shame that corporate politics not to mention the economic reality of the 1990s prevented many (all?) of these Forgotten Realms books from receiving hardback releases; they would have better stood the test of time had they been more durable to begin with. You can't always find a paperback product in "Brand New"/"New"/"Like New" condition and when you DO, you usually have to slay a dragon or two in order to afford the cost. Also, the box sets are often beaten up to the point where you feel like wincing.

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Those were good, but I was not a big fan of the absence of stats. These were very similar to the Volo's guides in that regard. Lots of lore, little rpg rules.


quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

That's a huge plus for me, actually. I prefer as minimal a stat block as possible -- let me build the NPC I need, if I need them, and give me more lore to work with.


For myself, the 2e stats are desired, having semi-recently switched to the "old school". They're not always exactly what I want/need, but, with enough raw material before me, I have a reasonable idea of how the character should turn out.

---

P.S. Is Four from Cormyr a quality set of adventures?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3711 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2021 :  16:34:58  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-In terms of Forgotten Realms books, Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue was pretty fun.

-Non-Forgotten Realms books, basically all of the Planescape stuff, especially On Hallowed Ground, and monster guides (I Tyrant, The Illithiad, Draconomicon)

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35998 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2021 :  18:08:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-In terms of Forgotten Realms books, Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue was pretty fun.




That is a good one.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-Non-Forgotten Realms books, basically all of the Planescape stuff, especially On Hallowed Ground, and monster guides (I Tyrant, The Illithiad, Draconomicon)



The Draconomicon -- the 2E one -- was a Forgotten Realms book. It was the first of the FOR series.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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Azar
Senior Scribe

764 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2021 :  22:59:13  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-Non-Forgotten Realms books, basically all of the Planescape stuff, especially On Hallowed Ground, and monster guides (I Tyrant, The Illithiad, Draconomicon)



I have the three Planescape Monstrous Compendiums and the four main box sets (still sealed, no less). Let me tell you...acquiring those last four products was a year-long endeavor.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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