I would like to begin this week’s post with an obligatory “sorry-not-sorry” about the subjects of this and a few of the future posts in the Fantastic Worlds series. I’m going to be showing a little “fan boy ankle” and talk about some of the literature that has been produced in various Dungeons and Dragons campaign settings. Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, and my all time favorite, Spelljammer (just to name a few) are all fantastic worlds that occur thanks to D&D.
For this one, I’d like to talk about the Forgotten Realms. It seems that for a while now the Forgotten Realms have been Wizard of the Coast’s go-to campaign setting for anything D&D related. For the current edition of the game (5th) all of the campaigns have been written to take place in the Forgotten Realms by default, with some notes as to how you could place the story within another campaign setting somewhere throughout the book. Most of the D&D based games of the past few years (since games like Baldur’s Gate) have taken place in this setting as well.
But there are also volumes upon volumes of Forgotten Realms-based literature with some of the most famous characters that the company has ever created. The world is full of classics. Just look at Ed Greenwood’s El Minster! Where would fans of the Forgotten Realms and its literature be without this character in particular, and any of the other characters influential to the events of the Realms? And let us not forget R.A. Salvatore and anything written in the Drizzt series of books (love him, hate him, I don’t care. I thoroughly enjoyed the books!). Even though these two authors have written some of the more well-known and classic Forgotten Realms literature, Drizzt and El Minster only scratch the surface of what the setting has to offer.
I will say, that while I have collected many of the tomes based in the Forgotten Realms (I’ll admit, I have a problem), I have only read so much as Drizzt and El Minster. There have been some series that have come out more recently by other authors that bring new characters and stories into the mix. And if they’re anything close to what I got from the other two series of books, I can’t wait to read those as well.
You see, since there is so much that has gone on within the Forgotten Realms, and the creative teams and authors that work within that setting are so brilliant when it comes to creating stories and characters, the Forgotten Realms just feels real. It feels like a real, living, breathing world that you can visit whenever you want. With all of the books, games, and adventures that take place within them, you can pop in at any time and ask yourself, “What’s going on in the Realms today?” and then proceed to find out.
Chances are you have already had some form of contact with the Forgotten Realms; but if you haven’t; look out for them on the shelves of your local bookstore. Or better yet GO PLAY D&D! Seriously. It’ll be god for you. You might just find yourself exploring the Realms with some famous characters!
Next week (hopefully) we will look at some other famous, and less famous literature based off of D&D settings. Interested in books based on actual D&D games a group played? What about Dark Souls before there was Dark Souls (or Demon Souls)? What about SPACE MIND FLAYERS?! Stay tuned.
- The Book Keeper