Author Topic: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?  (Read 24366 times)

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Arturick

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #60 on: August 24, 2011, 12:26:07 AM »
P.S.:  am I wrong in thinking that there are more good NPCs in the Realms than evil ones?  That was always my problem w/ the JLA v. Legion of Doom type model w/ regards to that setting.

I would say you are wrong.  There are around 10 Chosen of Mystra (I think), which includes Elminster the Egregious.  Elf archmages exist, but are rarely focused on.

Conversely, you've got the...

Tanthuls of Shade (family of epic level Shadow Mages)
Manshoon
Vampire Manshoon
Fzoul Chembryl
Semmemon
The eight Tharchions of Thay (led by Szazz Tam the Lich)
The Nentyarch (epic evil Druid)
Several Epic level Outsiders (dude who tempted the drow to evil, dude under Thay)
Wugreth the Epic Level Lich in the Dire Wood
Larloch the Epic Level Lich of Warlock’s Tomb
The Phaerimm (aberrations who naturally advance to epic wizardry just by aging)
Illithid Elder Brains (one of which is undead and possessed by the mind of an epic level wizard from back in the day)
The Sarrukh (Epic level snake-man Transmuters)

And, of course, whatever a DM wants to throw in there.

Arturick

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #61 on: August 24, 2011, 12:53:58 AM »
Hell, even TSR and WotC acknowledged this all the time -- when they crossed worlds the mighty archmages of other places (namely Dragonlance) were just outclassed by the massive awesomeness that is the Forgotten Realms wizards. 

Dragonlance is a World A that sorta pretends to be a World B.

“Back in the day, the priest king fought the gods and the gods crapped on the planet.  PC classes were banned, except for Fighter.  Some of the Fighters called themselves Rangers, but they were really just Fighter/Experts.”

The lore for Dragonlance specifically states that, in the whole damn world, no wizard ACADEMY ever gained the collective strength to fend off a determined peasant revolt.  Hence the wizards all hid off in towers surrounded by Symbol of Fear in the middle of the wilderness and prayed that feudal army equivalents did not come to kill them, because it was considered some pretty sexy magic if someone cast a Fireball.

Then… dragons!

So, the one wizard who actually applies himself (Raistlin, a 15 point-buy human who dumped everything into INT) becomes a GOD, and nobody else in the setting aspires to be anything more than a Gold Dragon’s hood ornament (seriously… why would the good dragons not just use the mortals as smiths and quad-wield the Dragonlances themselves) who still violently craps his pants if he sees a Death Knight.  (Lord Soth got banished to Ravenloft for being a non-dragon who broke the power curve.)  Oh, and with all the crap that FR takes for meddlesome deities, the heroes in Dragonlance wouldn’t stand a chance if not for constant intercession by an Avatar of Paladine and Takhisis was directly in charge of the Dragon Armies.

Not to mention, Dragons had to be radically changed from core D&D rules to stop being ultra-genius loner agnostics and start being mentally retarded, religious fanatic, co-dependant girlfriends of socially dysfunctional mortals.  If you’ve ever played any of the dragon-riding quests in World of Warcraft and wondered why the dragons couldn’t just do this stuff without your input, just tell yourself that they’re Dragonlance dragons.

Prime32

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #62 on: August 24, 2011, 01:31:20 AM »
Eberron has powerful NPCs, but there are reasons they don't get directly involved.
  • Characters like Oalian and Jaela Daran cannot leave their bases of operations (Oalian is a tree, and Jaela drops from lv18 to lv3 outside Flamekeep).
  • Epic threats like the rakshasa rajahs and the daelkyr are imprisoned, but can be set free when the plot calls for it.
  • The dragons only care about interpreting the Prophecy, and apart from the youngest and weakest they mostly keep to themselves.
  • If villains like the Lords of Dust or Vol drew too much attention to themselves then the dragons would stop minding their own business and try to kill them.
  • The quori are very cautious of magic they don't understand, and don't want to risk a war when they could subvert a civilisation over the course of centuries.
  • The Lord of Blades doesn't want to act until he has amassed more forces. Or he might have non-agressive goals or not even exist.
  • Eberron politics are insanely complex, and the high-level leaders have to devote most of their time to it.
  • Due to the high availability and variety of magic in Eberron, it is very easy for a high-level character to be killed by low-level ones. If you try invading a city by yourself then the government will drop a magical nuke on your head.
  • M.A.D. If one faction acts too rashly, the Last War will stop being the last and everyone dies. In FR you can kill the local archmage and then taking over the country is easy. In Eberron that doesn't work since anyone can use the tech.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 02:48:51 AM by Prime32 »
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

Arturick

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #63 on: August 24, 2011, 01:42:50 AM »
Quote
•If villains like the Lords of Dust or Vol drew too much attention to themselves then the dragons would stop minding their own business and try to kill them.

So, if you're playing Eberron, you're only fighting the challenges that the Dragons consider to be beneath their notice.

I also seem to recall that the Lords of Dust are functionally indestructable, so I guess high-level Eberron campaigns end with a lot of "Next time, Gadget!  Next tiiiiiiiiiiiime!!!!"

weenog

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #64 on: August 24, 2011, 01:47:21 AM »
So, if you're playing Eberron, you're only fighting the challenges that the Dragons consider to be beneath their notice.

More like all the giants that tangibly exist are sleeping, and waking them is a potential end of the world and your ass scenario where nobody wins.

Maybe Tharizdun cultists, but he's not really a big player in Eberron AFAIK.
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ImperatorK

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #65 on: August 24, 2011, 02:15:27 AM »
Quote
The Nentyarch (epic evil Druid)
The Rotting Man. Nentyarch is the good guy.

Quote
Characters like Oalian and Jaela Daran cannot leave their bases of operations (Oalian is a tree, and Jaela drops from lv15 to lv3 outside Flamekeep).
Jaela is 18 level in Flamekeep.

Minor nitpicks.
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[spoiler]
Quote from: Lateral
Or you could just be a cleric of an ideal. Like, physics and say that the domain choices reflect potential and kinetic energy.

 Plus, where other clerics say "For Pelor," "For Nerull," or "For Crom?" You get to say, "FOR SCIENCE!" *fanfare*

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Use Iron Heart Surge on the sun. That'll teach him to use fluff as RAW.

Damn you! You totally ruined my build that was all about getting epic far shot early and throwing my enemies into the sun!
[/spoiler]

Prime32

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #66 on: August 24, 2011, 02:51:12 AM »
So, if you're playing Eberron, you're only fighting the challenges that the Dragons consider to be beneath their notice.
Nah, most dragons just don't particularly care if a million humans die, as long as it doesn't affect them. They want to kill Vol not because they think she's dangerous but because they find the idea of a half-dragon elf disgusting. They want to kill the Lords of Dust because they keep screwing with the Prophecy (and to a lesser extent because the coautls gave their lives to seal the guys the Lords of Dust are trying to free, and they were friends with the coautls).
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 03:04:02 AM by Prime32 »
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

skydragonknight

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #67 on: August 24, 2011, 03:51:58 AM »
...you should run an Eberron game, Prime.
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Arturick

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #68 on: August 24, 2011, 03:54:32 AM »
So, if you're playing Eberron, you're only fighting the challenges that the Dragons consider to be beneath their notice.
Nah, most dragons just don't particularly care if a million humans die, as long as it doesn't affect them. They want to kill Vol not because they think she's dangerous but because they find the idea of a half-dragon elf disgusting. They want to kill the Lords of Dust because they keep screwing with the Prophecy (and to a lesser extent because the coautls gave their lives to seal the guys the Lords of Dust are trying to free, and they were friends with the coautls).

My overall point was that the biggest condemnation of FR seems to stem from the players feeling like little fish in a big pond, and I think you get that same effect from ANY setting that has any real depth.

veekie

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #69 on: August 24, 2011, 05:10:34 AM »
So, if you're playing Eberron, you're only fighting the challenges that the Dragons consider to be beneath their notice.
Nah, most dragons just don't particularly care if a million humans die, as long as it doesn't affect them. They want to kill Vol not because they think she's dangerous but because they find the idea of a half-dragon elf disgusting. They want to kill the Lords of Dust because they keep screwing with the Prophecy (and to a lesser extent because the coautls gave their lives to seal the guys the Lords of Dust are trying to free, and they were friends with the coautls).

My overall point was that the biggest condemnation of FR seems to stem from the players feeling like little fish in a big pond, and I think you get that same effect from ANY setting that has any real depth.
The problem is FR doesn't HAVE real depth. Theres no balance of power anywhere except for ACTIVE NPCs, with levels and unique capabilities the players can't match. Your players won't be level 30 Chosen of Mystra(because the template is not available for players, generally), they won't have those 9th level spells that are unique to said NPCs, or artifacts that are one of a kind of the power those NPCs have. They won't have a flying city with a majority population of level 20 wizards.

Yet at the same time the NPCs are wasted. They don't do anything but maintain the status quo and put it back into place. Because, as might be obvious, removing any or all the archwizards causes the power structure to fold like a house of cards.
This is why in OTHER settings, powerful NPCs are distant, immobile or otherwise sealed. Its a big deal when an ancient power becomes active again, as lesser beings must either join forces, or find a rival of it to rouse. In FR, when you disturb yet another sealed evil, you just shrug and watch it join the status quo(see Shade) eventually. Its not something a player of a plausible level(spanning from levels 6-15) can significantly affect.
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[/spoiler]

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weenog

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #70 on: August 24, 2011, 05:11:05 AM »
So, if you're playing Eberron, you're only fighting the challenges that the Dragons consider to be beneath their notice.
Nah, most dragons just don't particularly care if a million humans die, as long as it doesn't affect them. They want to kill Vol not because they think she's dangerous but because they find the idea of a half-dragon elf disgusting. They want to kill the Lords of Dust because they keep screwing with the Prophecy (and to a lesser extent because the coautls gave their lives to seal the guys the Lords of Dust are trying to free, and they were friends with the coautls).

My overall point was that the biggest condemnation of FR seems to stem from the players feeling like little fish in a big pond, and I think you get that same effect from ANY setting that has any real depth.

You think wrong.  And if a mod turned up and banned you on general principles for thinking at all, maybe this forum would be a little more like FR.  Clear enough for you?
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veekie

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #71 on: August 24, 2011, 05:34:35 AM »
^^
Now now, that crosses the line.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

weenog

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #72 on: August 24, 2011, 05:36:54 AM »
Maybe that was a little more intimidating than I meant it to be.  First thing that came to mind for an example of a close-to-home experience of people with more power than you'll ever have coming in and stomping all over everything you try to do, with zero option to resist or appeal.  Got a better example?  All I know for sure about the individual is it's a forum poster.
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Rejakor

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #73 on: August 24, 2011, 06:11:06 AM »
In any World B setting, powerful wizards are going to have their fingers in almost everything.  Why?  Because they can.  Who's going to stop them?  Is an Aristocrat 3 going to stop a Lich from teleporting into his bedroom, Dominating him, and becoming the defacto ruler?  Nope.

Now, while I'm sure many a table full of people who couldn't char-op out of a paper bag are thrilled at the idea that the party wizard (who took a few levels of monk, an LA +2 race, and some non-full caster progression PrCs) will be, at the end of the campaign, the most powerful being in the world.

Personally, I don't like the idea that the Desert of Dust, the Forest of Trees, the Cavern of Darkness, the Tundra of Iciness, and, finally, the Outer Plane of Otherness are all about to crap out challenges of appropriate level, not seen since the days of yore, in exactly the right order, starting exactly on the date that four guys living in the only Named Kingdom are all finally old enough to drink at the Tavern of Quest Starting.

If the Dragon wants a young maiden every year to show his virility and control over the region, the towns and holdfasts and villages in the area give him one.  Until the hero comes and slays the dragon.

The undead hordes destroyed the proud cities of Tamriel, and only the Barrier Mountains/Flooded Weyr Valley/Elven Skyships proved immune to their undead tenacity.  Now, the men of the countryside serve a three year tour in the Border Forces/Dwarven Auxiliaries/Skyguard to keep the undead at bay and keep the Mountain Forts/Damguard Towers/Skyguard Navy manned and repaired so that what happened to Tamriel will never happen here.  Until the hero comes and shuts off the portal to the plane of negative energy the lich Valkeith was using to gain his revenge on humanity.

The Black Cabal has ruled the city of Porktown since time immemorial.  Citizens disappear in the night and strange terrors destroy the countryside.  So it has been, as the city slowly turns to smuggling and the slave trade, until one day the hero arrived and restored our pride and tore down the Cabal.



There's nothing wrong with high level or powerful NPCs existing in a world.  However, there is a very clear difference between 'there is this immortal guy who lives in a mountain and is very powerful, but he lives only to lament the death of his tribe, his people, in the great Anstyrian war' and 'there are all these guys and they save the world all the time and they're immune to anything ever and they're really cool and all these nations only exist because they specifically keep them going and these guys will specifically always be cooler than you and better than you and save the world if it's in danger'.

So, any story about saving the world necessarily means that unless it's a story about Elminster saving the world while the PCs feed his cat, you have to make up a reason why Elminster can't save the world.  And that gets really tiresome and after a while really unrealistic.  There's like 5 Cormyrian Archmages whose only reason for living is 'protect Cormyr'... so unless you're more powerful than a DnD Archmage, which your character isn't or it's epic, which is broken and boring to play in for a lot of people, especially mindless retarded FR epic with all those npcs with 'this npc is just protected against X for no reason' so you can't even have a good old contingency battle or something, they just win... you're not going to be able to threaten Cormyr as a GM without somehow negating those archmages, or having the PCs be 'in the right place at the right time' to kick a wrench into enemy plans... which is hard and annoying to plan and pull off.  Much harder than if Cormyr was like.. a real country.  You know, without stupid archmages propping it up for no reason and yet keeping it as a medieval horror show (for... nostalgic reasons, I guess?) instead of using their power to turn it into a utopia.

There's just so many inconsistencies in the world design and so many NPCs designed specifically to overshadow your players and 'always be better'.  And the worst part is that in some groups you get some butthurt fanboys who get really really angry if you don't let the npcs overshadow the players and don't make note that elminster is immune to 'every spell ever because'... or because you tried to get Cormyr to have some reason to exist as a nation instead of 'a wizard did it'.  So you have to work around WITHOUT changing anything in the setting and while buttkissing Ed Greenwood's fap material and making sure it's all the same always forever so any realms fanboys don't have a tiff and destroy your gaming group with huge amounts of butthurt and bullshit.  And that's assuming you have a GM who is more interested in telling a story than kissing elminster's ass cause they think he's 'so cool' and basically giving a huge middle finger to your players by making them play flunky to a bunch of mary sue npcs he likes from a bunch of books he read as a kid where he had a huge boner for the idea of being an invincible wizard who never even looks like losing.

Vaerenth

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #74 on: August 24, 2011, 07:30:00 AM »
In any World B setting, powerful wizards are going to have their fingers in almost everything.  Why?  Because they can.  Who's going to stop them?  Is an Aristocrat 3 going to stop a Lich from teleporting into his bedroom, Dominating him, and becoming the defacto ruler?  Nope.

Now, while I'm sure many a table full of people who couldn't char-op out of a paper bag are thrilled at the idea that the party wizard (who took a few levels of monk, an LA +2 race, and some non-full caster progression PrCs) will be, at the end of the campaign, the most powerful being in the world.

Personally, I don't like the idea that the Desert of Dust, the Forest of Trees, the Cavern of Darkness, the Tundra of Iciness, and, finally, the Outer Plane of Otherness are all about to crap out challenges of appropriate level, not seen since the days of yore, in exactly the right order, starting exactly on the date that four guys living in the only Named Kingdom are all finally old enough to drink at the Tavern of Quest Starting.

If the Dragon wants a young maiden every year to show his virility and control over the region, the towns and holdfasts and villages in the area give him one.  Until the hero comes and slays the dragon.

The undead hordes destroyed the proud cities of Tamriel, and only the Barrier Mountains/Flooded Weyr Valley/Elven Skyships proved immune to their undead tenacity.  Now, the men of the countryside serve a three year tour in the Border Forces/Dwarven Auxiliaries/Skyguard to keep the undead at bay and keep the Mountain Forts/Damguard Towers/Skyguard Navy manned and repaired so that what happened to Tamriel will never happen here.  Until the hero comes and shuts off the portal to the plane of negative energy the lich Valkeith was using to gain his revenge on humanity.

The Black Cabal has ruled the city of Porktown since time immemorial.  Citizens disappear in the night and strange terrors destroy the countryside.  So it has been, as the city slowly turns to smuggling and the slave trade, until one day the hero arrived and restored our pride and tore down the Cabal.



There's nothing wrong with high level or powerful NPCs existing in a world.  However, there is a very clear difference between 'there is this immortal guy who lives in a mountain and is very powerful, but he lives only to lament the death of his tribe, his people, in the great Anstyrian war' and 'there are all these guys and they save the world all the time and they're immune to anything ever and they're really cool and all these nations only exist because they specifically keep them going and these guys will specifically always be cooler than you and better than you and save the world if it's in danger'.

So, any story about saving the world necessarily means that unless it's a story about Elminster saving the world while the PCs feed his cat, you have to make up a reason why Elminster can't save the world.  And that gets really tiresome and after a while really unrealistic.  There's like 5 Cormyrian Archmages whose only reason for living is 'protect Cormyr'... so unless you're more powerful than a DnD Archmage, which your character isn't or it's epic, which is broken and boring to play in for a lot of people, especially mindless retarded FR epic with all those npcs with 'this npc is just protected against X for no reason' so you can't even have a good old contingency battle or something, they just win... you're not going to be able to threaten Cormyr as a GM without somehow negating those archmages, or having the PCs be 'in the right place at the right time' to kick a wrench into enemy plans... which is hard and annoying to plan and pull off.  Much harder than if Cormyr was like.. a real country.  You know, without stupid archmages propping it up for no reason and yet keeping it as a medieval horror show (for... nostalgic reasons, I guess?) instead of using their power to turn it into a utopia.

There's just so many inconsistencies in the world design and so many NPCs designed specifically to overshadow your players and 'always be better'.  And the worst part is that in some groups you get some butthurt fanboys who get really really angry if you don't let the npcs overshadow the players and don't make note that elminster is immune to 'every spell ever because'... or because you tried to get Cormyr to have some reason to exist as a nation instead of 'a wizard did it'.  So you have to work around WITHOUT changing anything in the setting and while buttkissing Ed Greenwood's fap material and making sure it's all the same always forever so any realms fanboys don't have a tiff and destroy your gaming group with huge amounts of butthurt and bullshit.  And that's assuming you have a GM who is more interested in telling a story than kissing elminster's ass cause they think he's 'so cool' and basically giving a huge middle finger to your players by making them play flunky to a bunch of mary sue npcs he likes from a bunch of books he read as a kid where he had a huge boner for the idea of being an invincible wizard who never even looks like losing.

Woah, dude this is just a discussion on the internet, not a reason to get angry.
4e tried to fix this problem by toning it all down by a lot and eliminating the wild card spells that were too powerful or dynamic. The issue is no one likes to go from Phenomenal Cosmic Power to itty bitty living space. Which is exactly what 4e tried to force on people.

glassgnawer

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #75 on: August 24, 2011, 09:10:04 AM »
I just realised, playing a (homebrewish) FR campaign where all those powerful NPCs suddenly disappear one day would make a nice apocalyptic scenario ;)

But, seriously. While it is certinaly possible (albeit hard, by fluff at least) to make a good, well thought hight-level FR adventure that doesn't end with 'and then Elminister appears and saves everyone/kick your sorry asses', we are to compare pure, canon fluff here, as this is the major point of difference between the settings (with lenient DM you can convert crunch between systems, with minor reflavouring). And sadly, FR lore is (IMO!) the most immature/disruptive of the lot. FR fluff got too big, it's autors tried too hard, and allowed too much meddling from other sources (like R.A. Salvatore novels), changing the setting from generic, albeit nice high/heroic fantasy to something that borders on unintentional parody at times.

That said, FR still has a lot of charm, and most people that 'hate' it despise it on the same basis they 'hate' elves - when they were younger they thought that both were epitome of cool, and can't really get over it now ;). Truth is, it is really hard to write a good high/heroic fantasy setting without making it seem immature, over-the-top or shameless ripoff. 
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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #76 on: August 24, 2011, 10:00:01 AM »
I find the arguments against FR presented here sooooo ridiculously stupid that I even don't know if I should laugh or cry.
I mean, okay, maybe some of them are partially true, but seriously? You complain that canon NPCs are too intrusive? Does anyone force you or your DM to include them in your games? ??? I don't get it. Just because they're there doesn't mean you HAVE to use them. The setting is big enough, not to mention that there are plenty of excuses for Elminster to not coddle 1st level PCs. Like, I don't know, HE'S GOT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO? :rollseyes He's got countless powerful enemies that he has to keep in check. Gods even. That's why all the potential lower level adventurers even have a job. Even all those "Mary Sues" in FR can't deal with EVERYTHING.
And if you or your DM is using FR NPCs in a way that is to intrusive then... he's just a freaking retard!
Maybe it's the FR fanboi in me speaking right now, but I can't help it, I'm just pissed off. If the argument would be "FR isn't my cup of tea. Too fairytale-ish for my taste" I wouldn't have an issue because it's kinda true, but whining about too much lore (which NPCs are part of) that you don't even have to use (or buy) is just silly. It's like saying "I don't like D&D because it has too many options and handbooks". :rollseyes

(No offense to anyone.)

The problem isn't that DMs abuse the NPC interference, the problems is that their very presence provides for an almost irreconcilable magnitude dilemma. Either the DM doesn't use these NPCs every time the world is being threatened, thus stretching suspension of disbelief past the breaking point, or the DM only provides scenarios so petty that the NPCs wouldn't be getting involved anyways, thereby making all the PC's actions feel minor and pointless.
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ImperatorK

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #77 on: August 24, 2011, 10:29:21 AM »
Oh. So it's only one threat to the world per week, huh? This Monday it's invading devils! Which uber-epic FR NPC will be first to save the day?
Seriously. The evil that's happening in your game isn't the only threat to Toril. There are dozens, if not hundreds of dangers that are lurking in the shadows. Like for example the Empire of Shade? They didn't conquer the world only thanks to the Justice TeamChosen of Mystra & Co. If your players want to take on the Princes and Telamont (sp?) and Elminster steals their thunder then I can understand, but an even more likely course of action that I could imagine is that he would encourage the PCs to defeat them (assuming your players are actually powerful enough to take Shade), because it would be one less enemy to worry about. If anything he would support them somehow at the most (free items and promised reward afterwards?).
Oh, and here's something I remembered writing this post. you know why Elminster doesn't solve every problem that arises in the Realms (excluding the obvious)? Because he's old and tired of it. He encourages young and talented adventurers to do the job for him. I don't remember where I read this, but it's canon. Maybe it's even in the FRCS... I know that as a Chosen he's not really aging, but he's still old and it's not that far-fetched (IMO) that he's just tired mentally.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 10:34:49 AM by ImperatorK »
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veekie

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #78 on: August 24, 2011, 12:38:57 PM »
^^
Problem 1. The PCs can't beat Telamont, he, along with other villains of significance are several orders of magnitude above the highest levels PCs would WANT to play, with custom toys to boot. Which is why hes being checked by the Chosen, no number of lesser adventurers thrown at him would provide more than a distraction.

So yes, you have a nuclear checkmate.  The Chosen are busy suppressing the important villains, the PCs are taking on the sideshows, or else setting up a nutshot by one of the big guns.

That said, Salvatore isn't so bad(aside for the sin of inspiring Drizzt fanboys to make their legions of Dual Wielding Good Drow Rangers), powerful NPCs do not generally swoop in, while emo-boy there is a melee class using a sub par fighting style that doesn't work as written in the books(high mobility running fights with TWF at any rate, hes using BOTH spring attacks and TWF, along with using his SLAs apparently as a swift action).

He uses the strengths of the setting(high detail background scenery), and his own strengths(compelling close combat fight scenes), while entirely avoiding world spanning adventures(the setting's bane). Drizzt's conflicts are personal, whether internal(him being emo, his love life) or external(orcs want to kill him, so does Artemis Entreri, so do giants, so do drow). He battles massively under-CRed foes, and understandably goes through them like a hot knife through butter.
The weaknesses of the setting are mitigated, most spellcasters he personally knows are barely capable of crapping out a fireball, and Alustriel made a cameo appearance once(only to get shot down by a great deal of perfectly normal arrows(silly girl, use some goddamned protection spells)).

In short, hes like any good DM, straight out avoiding the setting's pitfalls and working to his own strengths.
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Unbeliever

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Re: Why do people think that Forgotten Realms is stupid/inferior/etc?
« Reply #79 on: August 24, 2011, 01:59:39 PM »
I don't think Rejakor's post was angry at all.  And, he summarized one of the big issues w/ the setting, namely that these NPCs are tied to the world in such a way as to try and maintain the status quo, which is not the most interesting thing for a game setting. 

Also, +1 Veekie.

This debate has come down to the following, and read over the last two pages if you don't believe me: 
  • Anti-Realms Camp:  you have all of these NPCs who get in the way of plots and make the players feel insignificant.  It feels like "NPC Theatre" since they are so much more powerful than you would ever want to play a game, and have such a pervasive influence.
  • Pro-Realms Camp:  but, these NPCs can be busy, having their own adventures, or somehow otherwise removed from the plot at hand, so you can still play in the Realms.

Pro-Realms folks, I put it to you:  how in god's name is this not an admission that this is weakness, flaw, and problem w/ the setting?  At the point where you're admitting that you have to remove them from the plot in some way, aren't you admitting that it would probably be a stronger setting if they, I don't know, didn't exist in the first place?