The reason our Forgotten Realms game is working is because we all got to the realms via the same portal, the original boxed set. Pete has vivid memories of first opening the boxed set with a buddy when he was a young teen. Aaron had the maps on his childhood bedroom ceiling.
In posting stuff about the Forgotten Realms online, it is wild to see how many different portals there are. There the novels, the old SSI video games, 1st edition supplements, 2nd edition supplements, 3rd edition supplements, Volo’s Guides, 4th edition books, Neverwinter Nights and on and on (did I miss any? if any come to mind that I missed, please post to comments).
It was really interesting to ask on twitter/facebook which iconic characters I should burn up and having people name vastly different people. There were NPC’s from old video games who I didn’t know at all and I am sure that folks on the Candlekeep forum could name dozens of names that would fly right over my head.
Luckily, we are all playing through that same portal and our iconic ideas are similar…Mirt the Moneylender, Khelben, Elminster, Azhoun IV, the Harpers, Peirgeiron the Paladinson, Obould with some cherry picks from the 3rd edition books like Old Snarl.
I’m not sure if this is a feature or a bug because we have no other portal-goers trying to integrate into the game. We’ve kept it nice and small and haven’t had to deal with anyone who has a vastly different idea about the Realms or *gasp* someone who doesn’t care for the setting at all.