quinta-feira, 22 de março de 2012

[Dale Wizards] Interview w/ Ed Greenwood - Part 1

PORTUGUÊS: Para ler a primeira parte desta entrevista em português, clique aqui. EM BREVE
ENGLISH: This is the first part of our interview with Ed Greenwood. To read other Dale Wizards interviews, click here.

Dale Wizards (DW): It is with great pleasure that we begin interviewing one of the most extraordinary people of this fantasy world. Hello Ed! Probably, you already know that you are one of the greatest idols of all the time for all RPG players. How do you feel about all of this? Do you get too much fan harassment?

Ed Greenwood (EG): Hi! Well, I've been happily designing games, writing novels, and adding  endless details to the Realms for well over forty years now . . . and during that time, a status of "Elder Gaming God" has snuck up on me from behind. It still surprises me, somewhat, though there's always someone around to complain how bad I am at this or that. I think of myself as a regular,  friendly guy who was in the right place at the right time, and loves gaming too much to turn to work that pays better. I don't feel harassed by fans, but I DO feel that there's never enough time in a day to deal with all the demands of my various jobs, life, and being a good friend to all the many, many friends I've made around the world through the Realms and gaming and fantasy/sf writing.

DW: Once, I have read that you started to develop the Forgotten Realms campaign setting as a child... Tell us why, would an eight years old boy begin to develop a such magical scenario?

(EG): Well, I was six, actually. :}
It was like this: my mother died back when I was six, leaving me lonely. I was already a precocious, early reader, so I just dove into my father's den full of books and read EVERYTHING. Books were shelved by size, so I came across all sorts of stuff, and I'd often bring something I really liked to my Dad and ask if there was more. Most of my father's books were old, so he'd often reply, "Well, son, if you want a sequel, you'll have to write it yourself, because the author of what you're holding has been dead for years and years." So I did.

I wrote terrible pastiches, but learned from the writing styles I was copying. Eventually, inspired by Fritz Leiber's stories of Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser, I decided to write stories that were episodes in the life of a fat, wheezing old swindler of a merchant, Mirt the Moneylender, who was part Shakespeare's Falstaff, part Poul Anderson's Nicholas van Rijn, and part Guy Gilpatrick's Glencannon-too old to run fast or fight well, so he has to rely on his wits, and often flee a city a step ahead of murderous rival merchants or the authorities. From time to time he hooks up with his old friend Durnan, a smart retired Conan type . . . and the two of them fled from city to city (Luskan, Neverwinter, Waterdeep, Baldur's Gate, Athkatla) along the Sword Coast.

After a year of this (with the D&D® game still several years in the future) I figured out the Sword Coast was the western coastline of a huge continent in a world known as "the Forgotten Realms" to us in the real world, because we'd once traveled back and forth to it a lot (the reason for all our old folk tales of dragons and wyverns and spell-hurling wizards), but had now "forgotten" the ways to get there. So I did all this to entertain myself, as a kid. Building a cool fantasy world is a great way to entertain yourself. Trust me. :}

DW: How different are the Realms, from when it began to be published on the late seventies by Dungeon Magazine and at present with the pre D&D Next? If we read those first articles, can we still consider it as canon?

(EG): By the agreement I struck with TSR, Inc. when they first started publishing the Realms as a campaign setting, everything I write about the Realms is official or "canon," until it's superceded by a later published TSR (now Wizards of the Coast) product. So, yes, it's all canon. Some of it is just out of date, the way a thirty-year old textbook about Brazil would be out of date.

The Realms is designed to seem real, so it has a history unfolding in front of us, and "history" is just a catalogue of events that change the world in ways large and small. So it's different, but still the same world . .  and you can use any part of it, at any point on the timelines, for playing your games.

Rules changes are never supposed to change Realmslore, but please always remember that all we know about the Realms comes from an unreliable narrator (usually Elminster), who might lie to us (gasp!) or leave things out they doesn't want us to know, or slant/spin things to accord with their viewpoint and preferences. So sometimes later sourcebooks that SEEM to contradict what was printed earlier are actually revealing more, or getting the truth about the Realms right where earlier sources were incomplete or simplified or wrong.

Just wait and see what gets published over the next few years. It will make everyone view some of what they "thought they knew" about the Realms a bit differently.
And of course, the history won't stop unfolding there; it just keeps going . 
. . and going . . . and going. :}

- Ed Greenwood

Tell me... Is it possible to not love Ed Greenwood?
Soon, the second part of it.

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