Rich Baker não é um capeta (ou um demônio)

O agora mais legal e bacana do que nunca James Wyatt postou em seu blog uma longa explicação do porque Forgotten Realms não vai ter seu avanço na timeline (de uns 100 anos eu acho) cancelado assim como seu irmão mais novo, e mais genial, Eberron teve ontem, e repudiando os ataques e ofensas ao Rich Baker – responsabilizado pelos fanáticos do cenário que não é tão legal como Eberron como principal causador da mudança.

As I said yesterday, I was very pleased to be the one who got to make the announcement about our change in plans for Eberron. I’m disappointed, though, that it has resulted in my being lauded as a hero while Rich Baker is being raked over the coals on the FR boards and mailing lists.

Rich spends more time on FR stuff than I do, and I spend more time on Eberron stuff than he does. But he and I are part of the same team, and we’re on the same page with the decisions that are being made.

To start with, his post about demons and devils: That’s not entirely his doing. The idea of distinguishing demons from devils is something that goes back to the very first stages of Fourth Edition design. Rich is part of the story team I lead, and I was a part of, and supportive of, every decision about demons and devils he made.

Similarly, he’s not the sole architect of the changes to the Forgotten Realms. Over two years ago, Rich, Bruce Cordell, and Phil Athans from our book department sat down together and hashed out the plan that’s beginning now to bear fruit. At GenCon 2005, the authors who are writing the novels that describe these changes (including Ed Greenwood) came to a top-secret meeting to discuss them. And in the end, it was a plan that was formulated and executed by our whole department, all the way up to Bill Slavicsek, and in consultation with the D&D Brand team.

The fact (unfortunate though it may be) is that Eberron and the Forgotten Realms are two different beasts.

Eberron is still a relatively new setting, and from the start it has taken a very PC-centered approach to events in the world. There aren’t a ton of high-level NPCs running around, doing the things that PCs should be doing. There haven’t been world-shattering events that altered the world and demanded timeline advancement. Its novel line has told stories within the context of the setting without dramatically altering the setting. And its lore consists of a campaign setting book and maybe a dozen sourcebooks.

The Forgotten Realms is steeped in tradition. The setting is nearly as old as D&D is, and its lore consists of thousands of pages of printed material. We recently had the great pleasure of publishing a Grand History of the Realms that was compiled by a devoted fan, turning his hard work into a beautiful product that serves as an excellent compendium of much of that lore. That history includes the Time of Troubles, which served to explain the transition from First Edition AD&D rules to Second Edition. Realms-shaking events have been a staple of the FR novel line, and we’ve worked hard in the past to make sure that events in novels and events in game product stay in sync with each other. (Judging by the fact that I still hear stories about City of the Spider Queen every time I go to GenCon, I have to figure that a lot of those efforts have been very successful.)

In the Forgotten Realms, we have to account for the fact that fans will get up in arms when the game changes how infravision (now darkvision) works, because it makes certain passages in the first Drizzt novels nonsensical. We have to consider how our changes to the cosmology will affect the story told in the War of the Spider Queen books.

And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. We love FR—really, we do. And we’re making the changes we’re making because we love it.

FR fans, we do hear you, too.

Just last week, my team (me, Rich, Bruce, Chris Sims, and Chris Perkins, who’s my boss) had a long conversation about the changes we’re making to the Forgotten Realms. We asked ourselves some hard questions about the direction we’re taking, based on the questions you folks are raising. We discussed the directions that Rich and Bruce are exploring in the novels they’re writing now, and talked about making sure that the new FR still feels like the FR we all know and love.

So we’re not ignoring you. We just have to respond to you in a different way than we responded to the Eberron fans.

Partly that’s because, quite frankly, we haven’t started work on the new Eberron campaign setting. We’ve had meetings with Keith to talk about new directions, and he and I have both explored some new directions in our novels, but Eberron has a fundamentally different approach to its novel lines. He and I can tell our stories and let you tell your stories, and nobody has to worry about whether they’re the same stories. We can change our tentative plans for the new Eberron book a lot more easily than we can change our FR plans.

For the Forgotten Realms, the decision has been made. It wasn’t made in a vacuum, it wasn’t made without any input from outside these walls, and it wasn’t made lightly. We expected that there would be some outcry, especially during this period between when the word got out and when you get to see the new setting. But we’re still confident that this was the right decision, and pretty excited for you to see what we’re doing.

Why? Because our goal from the start has been to create the best Forgotten Realms campaign guide we could—the best setting for your game. It’s a setting that new players can approach with wonder, enjoying what’s there without worrying about what used to be. And it’s a setting that you established fans can approach with a renewed sense of wonder, recognizing the Realms that you love so much in its newest incarnation. We think you folks will enjoy the story of the transitions, the fantastic events that have changed the face of the world—but not its heart.

Hmm ok James, a gente entendeu que vocês são legais, mas não deixa de ser irônico – lembram que os fãs de FR comemoraram o lançamento do cenário como o primeiro da nova edição? Pois é, bacana demais, quero ver continuarem comemorando agora que o livro básico já esta parcialmente escrito e eles não vão voltar atrás na brilhante idéia de avançar a timeline em 100 anos e trucidar metade dos deuses. Eu prefiro que o Eberron saia em 2009 como eu gosto dele hoje, do que em 2008 patrocinado pelo Dr. Emmett L. Brown e seu DeLorean movido a plutônio.

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