Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Forgotten Realms is a fictional setting created by author and game designer Ed Greenwood for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Most action in the Forgotten Realms takes place on the supercontinent of Faerūn, which is part of the world Toril.
Its fame has been boosted by dozens of novels (including the exploits of the famous drow hero Drizzt Do'Urden) and numerous computer role-playing games, including Pool of Radiance, Unlimited Adventures, Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale.
The Realms are home to diverse races and cultures, from arctic dwarves to Egyptian-like Mulhorand.
Main article: Faerûn Geography.
Technically, the Forgotten Realms is set on the planet Abeir-Toril. Various lands in this world are also home to other Dungeons & Dragons adventuring campaigns. Abeir-Toril includes the continents of Faerûn, Kara-Tur, Zakhara , Maztica, and other yet unspecified landmasses. However, most publications regarding the Forgotten Realms are specifically about Faerûn itself.
While Abeir-Toril is on the Material Plane in Dungeons & Dragons' planar mechanics, some action may also take place on other planes of existence. Visitors from other planes of existence are also a commonly used plot device in the Forgotten Realms.
The Forgotten Realms has a polytheistic pantheon. Deities are an integral part of the world. They interact with mortals, answer prayer, and have personal agendas. They are epic characters and classes. In the history of Forgotten Realms some mortals rose to godhood. They have many servants on the Material Plane, in the form of worshipers, clerics, paladins, proxies, and the Chosen.
Clerics and paladins, both Dungeons & Dragons core classes, are devout worshipers who pay tribute and receive power from particular deities. The Chosen are mortal worshipers who have received a portion of their deities' power, acting as mortal representatives of their deities. The most famous are the Chosen of Mystra: for example Elminster, the Sage of Shadowdale .
Above all other deities is Ao the Overgod. Ao does not sanction worshipers and distances himself from mortals. He is single-handedly responsible for the Time of Troubles, or Godswar, as seen in The Avatar Trilogy.
The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting has seen 3 complete revisions of the core setting over four Editions of Dungeons & Dragons rules:
- Forgotten Realms Boxed Set —called "The Old Gray Box", and including Cyclopedia of the Realms and DM's Sourcebook of the Realms, 4 poster maps and 2 hex grids—for 1st Edition AD&D (1987 —Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb)
- Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, 2nd edition —another boxed set, including A Grand Tour of the Realms, Running the Realms, Shadowdale, 4 poster maps, a Monster Compendium and 2 hex grids—for 2nd Edition AD&D and post-Time of Troubles (1993—Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb and Don Bingle ).
- Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting—a 320-page hardcover book with poster map—for Third Edition AD&D a.k.a 'D&D 3e' (2001—Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds , Skip Williams , and Rob Heinsoo ).
- List of Forgotten Realms computer games
- List of Forgotten Realms deities
- List of Forgotten Realms novels
- Forgotten Realms at Wizards of the Coast official website
- Candlekeep - Forgotten Realms Lore Fansite
- Forgotten Realms: The Library - Fansite about books, authors and artists
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