Hipsters & Dragons

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Ed Greenwood Is A Legend!

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.

Early Dragon magazines featured regular contributions from Ed…

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.

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…

Time to play detective in the Forgotten Realm’s most famous library….

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4 Comments

  1. Keith

    My first intro to D&D besides books was when I was 6th grade? in about 1977. As I was(and am) a nerd and we were 10 miles from the nearest town, most of my spare time(when not working with everyone else to keep the family fed) was lost in the fantasy of D&D. When I finished US Navy boot camp in Great Lakes, IL my mother drove us up to Lake Geneva, WI to see the D&D home base to meet some of the peeps and maybe buy some stuff directly from them. But, I was young and at the time did not know that most businesses of this type didn’t do ‘storefront’ stuff and that just about everyone worked elsewhere(home). I was so disappointed as I had hoped to meet Gygax, Greenwood, and anyone else who had helped me through my early years by introducing me to a world of imagination that I may have never experienced without him and the others. Based on the 40+ years that I have been a D&D nerd, anything and I mean ANYTHING Greenwood says good job on, I will eventually purchase. Can’t promise today or tomorrow but it will happen. But, just so you know, I was planning on buying Candlekeep Murders anyway, just because of our interactions on here, his recommendation just cements it as a guarantee. It is always good to hear that someone who you idolized(maybe not the correct term) from afar is actually a good person also. Happy New year to you and yours

    • duncan

      Hi Keith, thanks for sharing that story! Yes, it’s great when your heroes turn out to be good guys (and rather soul destroying when the reverse happens!). Thanks for all the support, and here’s to a great 2022! 🥂

  2. Justin

    Congrats, that is a cool scoop!

    But since when did you Brits start saying ‘bloke’??? That’s Aussie slang 🙂

    • duncan

      ha, you might be right… on the other hand we all watched a lot of Neighbours and Home & Away in the 80s and 90s. ‘Good bloke’ feels very English to me, but probably popularised by our Aussie love-in from those days.

      Ps. best Aussie 90s series was definitely Heartbreak High 😎

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