Ed Greenwood


Ed Greenwood : biography

1959 –

Ed Greenwood has stated that the Forgotten Realms, as run by him in his own games, is much more "dark" and edgy than it is in officially sanctioned, published works.

Early life and the Forgotten Realms

Ed Greenwood grew up in the upscale Toronto suburb of Don Mills. He began writing stories about the Forgotten Realms as a child, starting around 1967; they were his "dream space for swords and sorcery stories". Greenwood came up with the "Forgotten Realms" name from the notion of a "multiverse" of parallel worlds; our Earth is one such world, and the Realms another. In Greenwood’s original conception, the fantastic legends of our world derive from a fantasy world that we’ve now lost the way to. Greenwood discovered the Dungeons & Dragons game in 1975, and really got into role-playing with the first AD&D game releases in 1978. The setting became the home of Greenwood’s own personal campaign.Grubb, Jeff; Greenwood, Ed. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990) Greenwood began a Realms campaign in the city of Waterdeep, then started another group known as the Knights of Myth Drannor in Shadowdale. Greenwood felt that his players’ thirst for detail made the Realms what it is: "They want it to seem real, and work on ‘honest jobs’ and personal activities, until the whole thing grows into far more than a casual campaign. Roleplaying always governs over rules, and the adventures seem to develop themselves."

Beginning with the periodical’s 30th issue in 1979, Greenwood published a series of short articles that detailed the setting in The Dragon magazine, the first of which was about a monster known as the curst.Winter, Steve; Greenwood, Ed; Grubb, Jeff. 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons, pages 74-87. (Wizards of the Coast, 2004). Greenwood wrote voluminous entries to Dragon magazine, using the Realms as a setting for his descriptions of magic items, monsters, and spells. In 1986, the American game publishing company TSR began looking for a new campaign setting for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game, and assigned Jeff Grubb to find out more about the setting used by Greenwood as portrayed in his articles in Dragon. According to Greenwood, Grubb asked him "Do you just make this stuff up as you go, or do you really have a huge campaign world?"; he answered "yes" to both questions. TSR felt that the Forgotten Realms would be a more open-ended setting than the epic Dragonlance setting, and chose the Realms as a ready-made campaign setting upon deciding to publish AD&D 2nd Edition. Greenwood agreed to work on the project, and began working to get the Forgotten Realms officially published. Greenwood sent TSR a few dozen cardboard boxes stuffed with pencil notes and maps, and sold all rights to the Realms for a token fee.