Monday, March 21, 2011

[Gray Box Project] Ground Rules

Before I get in to my first posts on reading the Gray Box, I should lay out some ground rules for the project.
  • As mentioned in my inaugural post, I am limiting myself to Forgotten Realms canon strictly as presented in the 1987 Gray Box. I might consider taking a look at Realms-related articles written by Ed Greenwood and published in Dragon Magazine prior to the Gray Box's release - haven't made up my mind on that one yet. Won't be going near any of the novels, for sure.
  • Although I will not be bringing in any Realms-specific publications, I do plan on making use of generic or third-party publications to help flesh things out or provide inspiration. For example, I could definitely see using 0one's excellent Great City map for my Waterdeep or their Under the Mountain maps for my, well, Undermountain. Or turning to my copy of the 2e-era Complete Priest's Handbook to flesh out some of the religions. My emphasis will remain on bringing in raw materials, though - I don't want to pick up any 200-page city sourcebooks or pantheon books, as that somewhat defeats the purpose of this project.
  • Also as stated in the previous post, nothing in the setting is sacred. I will be focused on the implicit as well as the explicit, and will happily pick up a barely hinted-at thread or theme and run with it. I furthermore reserve to right, having completed my close reading of the Gray Box, to take a big ol' magic marker and start making sweeping changes to the map and the contents of the books. Not saying that's what I'm planning on, but you never know. What is certain is that, in the end, my version of the Realms will reflect my peculiar biases and those of the players I've gamed with regularly over the years. As it should!
  • For those of you who don't know, my go-to iteration of D&D is Castles & Crusades (particularly in light of the long-awaited release of the Castle Keepers Guide) and any NPCs, monsters, or other game-specific stats I develop and post in conjunction with this project will be written for C&C (which is, of course, both backwards and forwards convertible up to and including 3.x).

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