The writer R. A. Salvatore, in his dedication within the covers
of the second book in the Legacy trilogy, 'Starless Night' writes ...
For over a quarter century, Ed Greenwood's original scenario for his home based Dungeons & Dragons™ game has blossomed into a vast and fertile world familiar to many, with well-loved places and characters appearing in countless books and games. Elminster the Old Mage, the Dwarves of Mithril Hall, Icewind Dale and the Barbarian tribes, ... the Silver Elves of Moonwood, the city of Waterdeep ... there will be few of this generation that have not heard something of the forgotten realms ... the largest of the game playing realms of T.S.R.
My first introduction to this world was the PC game Pool of Radiance (1988) which I bought as part of a trilogy of games including Curse of the Azure Bonds (1989) and Secret of the Silver Blades (1990). These were re-released in 1994 although the first of the series had been released six years earlier. All three are based on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules and the Forgotten realms background, although the storylines were created especially for the games.
As with most games of the period, the game software was contained entirely on a 3˝" floppy disk. With an accompanying booklet which contained game play instructions and background information, the storyline is advanced by references throughout the game to numbered paragraphs. Despite the relatively primitive graphics of the time, these games were well received and the storyline and plot development were no worse than many of the cinematographic high-budget games that were released much later.
Several other titles followed, including Pools of Darkness, Savage Frontier and Hillsfar, then the Eye of The Beholder trilogy. The last of these is a good example of the improvement that was beginning to be seen in the graphics and the game engine. From this point on there was the beginning of a slump in RPG releases, with the exception of Descent to Undermountain, which was not to be relieved until the extremely successful marketing and release of Baldur's Gate in 1999, its 'add-on' Tales of The Sword Coast, the less convoluted Icewind Dale and then Shadows of Amn, Baldur's Gate II in 2000.
It looks as though 2000 and 2001 are going to be rich in RPG's - with especial emphasis on MMRPG's. Of especial significance is the much anticipated release of Never Winter Nights ... which will allow numerous world recreations with A.D. & D 3rd edition rules, and the flexibility to run numerous multiplayer games.
Save money buy preowned games at EBgames!