Elminster’s Forgotten Realms (D&D) – Sean’s Pick, 120215

Quite a few recent Picks have been pretty Savage, so today I am bringing my friend Ed Greenwood‘s efforts to the fore with this rather interesting D&D-related product… that’s not specifically D&D. I mean, it is, but it isn’t. Just… read and see what I mean.

The Forgotten Realms is the most successful and widely known Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting ever created, and it owes its existence to creator Ed Greenwood.

This 160-page book describes the campaign setting as it lives and breathes in the imagination of its creator. Through the alter ego of Elminster, Archmage of Shadowdale, Ed Greenwood presents the Realms as a setting where companies of crazed adventurers are born and have rich lives, and where they get to call the shots. In this book, Ed presents a world where friendships are forged, endless intrigues unfold, and heroes wage war against the monstrous inhabitants of famous dungeons and untamed wildernesses.

Product History [Excerpts]

Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster’s Forgotten Realms (2012) is an edition-neutral sourcebook for the Forgotten Realms. It was published in October 2012.

Farewell to 4e. (Take Two.) Two months before the release of Elminster’s Forgotten Realms, Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (2012),
appeared as an edition-neutral sourcebook, marking the end of the D&D 4e era (2008-2012). This was a trend that Wizards had also following during the transition between D&D 3e and 4e (2007-2008); it was intended to keep supplements relevant even past the lifespan of a game edition.

Now, Elminster’s Forgotten Realms put the final nail in 4e’s coffin: not only was it another edition-neutral book, but it was also the first book to do away with the D&D 4e trade dress. Its cover and interior instaed mixed elegant blacks with constrained parchments — a big change from the brighter colors and plainer whites used during the D&D 4e era.


Origins. Wizards had a simple concept for Elminster’s Forgotten Realms: get Realms creator Ed Greenwood back in the game. They wrote:

“We basically went to Ed and said hey, why don’t you take all your campaign notes, all the information you’ve been putting together for your FR campaign and let’s compile it into a book. Show us the Realms as you’ve developed it in your campaign setting and let’s get that to everybody. It’s our celebration of the Forgotten Realms and pulling back the curtain to show you what the designer of the campaign setting has done.”

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