Category Archives: 50th Anniversary

Early on in my D&D days (the latter half of 1978, for those keeping score), I was introducing some of my female school friends (fellow high school students) to roleplaying in the Realms. One consistently, her best friend fairly often, and another friend occasionally—so, one to three PCs, one constantly active and the others less […]

In an earlier column, I mentioned that I called small, informal groups of merchants, mages, or shippers (both caravan masters and seacaptains) covertly working together “cabals.” (As opposed to overt, public groupings, which were guilds, orders, and costers, respectively.) That column was about “power groups”—farflung, numerous, and powerful organizations (now, in the 5th edition of […]

Thanks to a mysterious “Citadel of the Mists” map notation on some Realms maps that show The High Forest (for those unfamiliar, that’s a big wood that fills the heart of the northerly Sword Coast lands; if the Citadel is shown, you’ll find it near the forest’s upper or northern edge, east of center), many […]

Roleplaying games have a built-in potential difficulty: there are differences between what a character in a game knows about the setting around them (notably, specific details of spells, magic items, and monsters) and what the player portraying that character knows, often from perusing rulebooks, articles about gaming, or published adventures. I say “potential” because the […]

An apt subtitle for this column would be “How Their Thirst For Detail and Rounded Lives for their PCs gave us the detailed Forgotten Realms.” Because, you see, it did. As it happens, I love worldbuilding, and my players love feeling immersed in a setting rich and deep enough that they can with ease pretend […]

In the published Realms today, particularly if you participate in organized play at conventions or hobby shops, you will encounter “factions” such as the Harpers and the Zhentarim. The Harpers and the Zhents first appeared in my fledgling Realms tales back in the 1960s (yes, before anyone had thought of a game called Dungeons & […]

You might well think that, after so many game sourcebooks, boxed sets, novels, short stories, and adventures set in, or passing through, the City of Splendors, that pretty much every facet of life in the Deep has been covered. Far from it. You may hold the opinion that we entered exhaustive overkill territory years and […]

Lords Valiant And Dastardly: A Backcountry Minor Noble House Of Cormyr Here are some notes to myself from September of 1969: “Detail a small and simple family; their holdings, their interests, why they might hire adventures, how they might come into conflict with adventurers, their main feuds, who their allies are at court, how they’re […]

The theme of our annual “Candlekeep” GenCon get-together this year is Women Of the Realms, the talented writers, editors, and designers who have contributed so much to the setting and happen to be female, but that’s not what I’m burbling about right here and now. Rather, I’m talking about females in the Realms—the roles and […]