I’m no D&D historian, but I think it’s fair to say that few, possibly none, have contributed more to the game’s lore than Ed Greenwood.
The Canadian writer started writing novels set in his nascent Forgotten Realms as early as 1967 (aged 18 at the time), before developing the setting as the homebase for his private Dungeons & Dragons games. In 1979 he began publishing details about his world in Dragon magazine, and the setting proved so popular with gamers that, in 1986, TSR asked to buy the rights to make the Forgotten Realms their primary setting. Thirty five years later and it’s still D&D’s most used and explored world, and the setting for nearly all of 5th edition’s adventure books, such as Storm King’s Thunder, Tomb of Annihilation, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, Candlekeep Mysteries and Rime of the Frost Maiden.
Whether you’ve directly played in a Forgotten Realms’ adventure or not, if you’ve played D&D you’ve played a game very much shaped by Ed’s lore and ideas.
Anyway, apart from his undeniable status as one of D&D most influential figures, it also turns out he’s – what us Brits call – ‘a bloody good bloke’.
I know from my own experience that it’s hard to find time to read and support others’ work, and I myself wish I could do more of this. From the other side, I’ve found it a huge uphill struggle to get influencers to engage with my own products…. most simply ignore you, and while a decent number are keen to help, very few find time to in the end (note: I’m not attributing blame here. Time is a very limited resource for virtually everyone working in the RPG space!). This problem seems to gets worse everyday, as more and more creators spew forth a seemingly endless barrage of new monsters, spells, character options, settings and adventures into the world, leaving your own work as impactful as a snowflake in a blizzard (no matter that you spent months fashioning the most perfectly-formed snowflake you could!).
When it comes to finding time to support others, however, it seems that Ed Greenwood is no ordinary man. Just a few hours after sending him a copy of my latest adventure, Candlekeep Murders, he was able to tweet me a congratulations, with a detailed summary of all his favourite bits! Not only that, but he kindly gave me permission to publish his positive feedback on the adventure’s product description on the DMs Guild…. AND he took to Twitter as well to recommend my work.
Duncan sent me a copy of this and I REALLY enjoyed it (and it really "feels Realms"). A full-on murder mystery set in Candlekeep! Highly recommended!https://t.co/0HuTvBZ0on
— Ed Greenwood (@TheEdVerse) December 28, 2021
Wow, Mr. Greenwood is definitely on my Deadwinter present list for next year!
In fact, this was not the first time I’d interacted with Ed and realised that he’s a truly helpful guy. He’s consistently generous with his time to anyone seeking Forgotten Realms lore, and much of his Twitter feed is filled with his answers to questions on the minutiae of life in his storied world. His detailed replies in the past have helped me plan my adventures using canon #Realmslore, which is always nice… esp. if you intend to publish.
So there you go. This post is a little tribute and thank you to Ed, and a recommendation that you follow him on Twitter. He’s not only the utmost authority on Forgotten Realms but he also works on several other fantasy worlds and projects likely to interest anyone with a love of RPGs.
And, if you do happen to trust his judgement, then please do check out Candlekeep Murders: The Deadwinter Prophecy. If Candlekeep’s creator liked it after all, then perhaps there’s a decent chance you will too…