Monday, June 28, 2010
A lot of old school players really get down on forgotten realms. During the heyday of my gaming this was my favorite world to game in. One of my favorite things about the game also runs completely counter to the Sandbox approach of gaming - it is the Aurora's Whole Realms catalogs and the Volo's Guides.
I used these products ravenously. I found that I almost never used published adventures during the times that I was running forgotten realms. Either (1.) these published adventures involved characters that were in TSR books that were coming out at the time or (2) in order for me to involve my players I had to pull some nasty tricks out of my hat. The only published adventures I used were Undermountain (a delicious megadungeon that I added 10+ levels to), Myth Drannor ( a boxed set of an ruined city megadungeon with broad strokes but almost no detail, and the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar (probably my favorite Forgotten Realms adventure module - I think I will write a blog post all about this module sometime).
However, I used these accessories like crazy:
1. Aurora's Whole Realms
2. Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast.
3. Volo's Guide to the North
4. Volo's guide to the Dalelands.
These books had wonderful items for my players to purchase, wonderful foods for them to have their characters eat, and lots of different inns and taverns to play around in. I didn't have to waste any time coming up with a tavern for the players to sleep at in each town they visited - Ed Greenwood did it all. I didn't have to worry about the price of a red and grey dress for one of my female players (she could pick one out on page 81 of Aurora's).
Anyway, I love settings where the author fills in crazy amounts of non-dungeon related detail. I can use that and then focus my energies on filling dungeons or creating the intrigues of the kings court or creating city adventures for a group of scaly rogues... in other words - the fun stuff.