Warning – May contain dice-rolling, fun, and SATAN. At least according to my church.
We all create little libraries of random facts in our Dungeonmaster’s notes over the years. By the time you’re forty-one, like me, you might start turning them into novels. Which, given I’m an author, I have. However, these are some fun tidbits I’ve accumulated and thought I’d share. Some are ridiculous, others serious, and others ridicu-serious or dramedic. I hope they bring a smile to your face and the more you know about Dungeons and Dragons, specifically the Forgotten Realms, the more you’ll probably enjoy these.
2. The Dungeons and Dragons cartoon protagonists are real in the Realms. Some deranged gnomish archwizard transported a bunch of teenagers to Toril in order to torment them. Decades later, they’re all hardcore killers and want to kill him.
3. Psionicists and Sorcerers instinctively dislike each other for stealing each other’s bit.
4. The fact good and evil are literal things in the world mean that evil and good don’t actually mean positive or negative things to many races. Realms alienists have divided the brain into Good (Superego), Id (Evil), and Neutral (Ego) terms.
5. Gruumsh plays the game of golf and it is a popular orcish sport.
6. By the time of the Sundering, the “time of the adventurer” is largely over and most of the ruins, tombs, and easily slaughtered humanoid tribes are played out. This reflects the changes in gaming styles between editions.
7. Historians take a very dim view of adventurers who went into humanoid territory to kill things for treasure. Changing morality and all that.
8. Nuances exist even in alignment planes. Acheron is LAWFUL evil and a place for repressive and callous gods. The Nine Hells are lawful EVIL where the cruelty is the point. Mount Celestia is for orderly good people and Arcadia is stiflingly conformist Ned Flanders land.
9. A class exists in my game called “Heretical Priest” where they claim to be a representative of a god but actually get their powers from Asmodeus while spouting the exact opposite of their deities’ dogma. It’s just the Devil’s way of screwing with people.
10. See 9#, Asmodeus does this with evil gods too and has Lawful Good priests of Bane and priests who believe Lolth is just a misunderstood CG nice girl.
11. Elves fetishize humans every bit as much as the reverse. All the muscles and curves.
12. Goliaths are just orcs, half-orcs, and ogre descendants with better hygiene.
13. Drizzt Do’Urden copiers are in fact a thing in-universe. Many surface drow tried to ape his look to avoid being murdered. Drizzt notably HATED this.
14. A lot of Realms deities are actually elf gods and vice versa: Corellon = Lathander, Sehanine = Selune, Hanali = Sune, Mask = Vhaeraun. This is because gods love worshipers and know their followers are racist.
15. Tieflings really are the product of demonic/human couplings. No one wants to admit just how many voluntary ones have happened throughout history or how quick to get busy with the forces of evil people are.
16. Elminster and the Chosen of Mystra among other forces of good are almost never available to do anything due to near constant distractions. Whenever there’s a threat to the Realms like Tiamat coming to Toril or Auril covering the place in eternal winter, they’re often trapped in Barovia or visiting an alternate Toril stop their evil alternate universe counterparts.
17. See 16#, in fact there are about 3-4 equally powerful forces of evil for every champion of good and about 20-1 lesser but still potent evil doers. While their stats don’t reflect it, Manshoon, Fzoul, and Szass Tam among other archbaddies could kill the good guys in a straight fight. Which is why neither side ever has them.
19. See 18#, the forces of good are more interested in keeping evil at each other’s throats and being subtler than trying to beat it outright. Whether this is a good idea or not is anyone’s guess but they’re often afraid of evil power vacuums.
20. The Wall of the Faithless finally came down during the Spellplague. All of the souls in it, even those thought destroyed, have been released. Some have begun a lawsuit against Myrkul, Kelemvor, Jergal, and other deities. Obviously, it’s being conducted from Sigil with the help of the Athar as well as Fraternity of Order. They’re not stupid. No one is sure how they would enforce any judgement, though.
21. Faithless souls now go to their alignment plane or may stay in the Fugue Plane, which has some nice places even if it’s distressingly neutral.
22. There are copies of the Hand and Eye of Vecna among other Oerthian artifacts on Faerun. It is widely speculated this is just Vecna and other deities being an ass.
23. [Dragonlance] Kender actually know exactly what they’re doing, and the childish kleptomaniac thing is a popular scam.
24. Gnomish lack of safety standards and questionable steam technology is actually not that funny as well as the result of Victorian Era-esque capitalism.
26. [Ravenloft] Strahd has been killed literally hundreds of times by adventurers. It’s part of his curse and really as much a cure for his boredom as searching for Tatiana.
27. A lot of settings are magically post-apocalyptic with their walled cities, hordes of monsters, and shattered ruins of greater cities. A lot of people don’t realize this because they’re used to thinking of it as normal.
28. There really are just 666 layers of the Abyss but since every layer is infinite and chaotic, it’s kind of a moot point.
29. Drow skin tones come in purple, slate gray, and midnight black. Similarly, surface elves have solid gold, green, marble, and various browns.
30. Yes, there’s plenty of non-evil drow just like Feanor and company illustrate how even the nicest elves can go off the deep end.
31. Good, Evil, and Neutral actually come off in a spectrum even beyond Law and Chaos. If your paladin pings someone as evil, beware if they’re not just a self-centered jerkass whose behavior can be corrected with a stern talking to versus a guy who eats kidneys.
32. Kobolds are quite terrifying as if you leave them unchecked, your town will rapidly become the one from Gremlins.
33. Kobolds are not remotely related to dragons, but no one is willing to point out the Napoleon syndrome at work here.
34. Tiamat literally does not notice Kobold worship and pays it less attention than human cultists.
36. There are worlds where hit points actually aren’t an abstraction and some people can just tank being shot in the face. This is as terrifying to other people as it sounds.
37. Fzoul and Manshoon are lovers (Fzoul bi, Manshoon gay). Alusiar and Caladnei were consorts (with open relationships to several others–mostly adventurers). Same sex relationships are just accepted as normal in the Realms.
38. The protagonist from Baldur’s Gate became a good-aligned minor deity while Abdel Adrian is just another Bhaalspawn who survived.
39. Halastar Blackcloak has monitoring spells set up all around Undermountain and literally spends most of his time munching on popcorn while viewing adventurers get killed in his obstacle courses. All the treasure lying around are “prizes” for the winners/survivors.
40. Being a Lich is a particularly crappy existence as “transcending all mortal flesh” turns out to be not so much fun. Many Liches possess mortals or hang around Outer Planes to get back their old sensations.
41. Talos is the most avuncular pleasant Chaotic Evil god you’re likely to meet. He loves exploding things, heavy metal, and expects nothing from his followers but making big booms. He’s basically Mr. Torg from Borderlands (or Macho Man Randy Savage for an older reference).
42. Incredibly impractical sexy armor exists all across the Realms. They come in male loin cloths like Conan, Chainmail decolatage for women, and other fashionable choices for both sexes. Magic makes them work.
43. Mirt the Moneylender runs the equivalent of the World of Warcraft bank. Trading magical items, storing massive amounts of coin, and selling adventuring equipment is his primary stock and trade. He’s also the only one you can trust with it all.
44. Torm is basically Luke Skywalker. Unlike Disney Luke, he got over his enormous reboot-induced funk, though.
45. The Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity isn’t a cursed item but a medical device. You can certainly figure out who and what it was made for as well as why it was designed not to be removed.
47. Cure Disease provides immunity to whatever nonmagical disease it is used against after being cast. Which increases its utility considerably.
48. Yes, Paladine is Bahamut and Takhasis is Tiamat. We always knew it to be true.
49. Velsharoon the God of Undeath and Necromancy is incredibly pathetic as a deity with not even Thayans worshiping him. Myrkul is considering stealing his portfolios but isn’t sure if it would be worth it.
50. See #49, Velsharoon is considering wholesale plagiarizing Vecna’s religion and impersonating him. The problem is that due to the way the Outer Planes work, it could very well end with Vecna absorbing him and becoming a Faerun god.
51. [Ravenloft] The Dark Powers of Ravenloft aren’t nearly as awesome as they seem and are really just petty dicks. Their secret origin? It’s a pantheon of gods exiled from other pantheons for being petty dicks.
52. Archdemons and Archdevils are not gods in any shape or form and can be slain on their home plane. The exceptions being Asmodeus and Lolth who are gods-gods. They can grant spells, though.
53. Much like Mutants and Masterminds, I grant some beings a Challenge Rating of X. Like meeting a god on their home plane, it has the stats of “You lose.” You can, however trick them or defeat them with plot Macguffins. The Ultimate Nullifier, Rod of Seven Parts, or what not.
54. Mongrelmen are the result of wizards patching together a bunch of dead bodies with a shoddier cheaper version of making a golem (Create Monstrous Assistant is a 5th Level Spell). Almost all of them are named Igor or Boris some other common name as well as inherently servile to spell-casters or mad scientists.
55. Princess Glaysa of the Nine Hells often shows up to party with adventurers, dump them in horribly threatening situations, and then peace out after the high of sex as well as drugs wears off. Disturbingly, she may be the eternally rebellious teenage avatar of Asmodeus.
56. Asmdoeus will occasionally ask for a hero’s marriage instead of their soul. This is an incredibly stupid thing to take, and no true Chaotic Good hero would do it.
57. Bane is so painfully Sauron that it hurts with all the spikes, black armor, orc minions, and so on that it hurts.
58. Cyric was never able to be taken seriously as a god until he started dressing up in clown makeup. Now there’s just something about him that terrifies people.
59. There’s speculation that Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul never came back. That it’s actually Xvim (Bane), Velsharoon (Myrkul), and Cyric (Bhaal) impersonating them. But if you impersonate a god too well, they become real due to the way belief works in the Outer Planes, so what does it matter?
60. Lolth squandered being a Greater Goddess and is back to being a Lesser Goddess because she got bored and wrecked everything. She doesn’t have plans, she has whims.
61. Each of Tiamat’s heads is a genius and scheming against the others. Except the White Dragon head, who is easily distracted by shiny things and just wishes they could make friends. If you’re a dragon cultist, pray to the White Dragon head. Just don’t expect much in return.
63. Lawful Stupid Paladins are very rare because of the Wisdom requirement but when they do screw up, they tend to screw up EPICALLY. It doesn’t help when Asmodeus does the Heretical Priest thing with them too.
64. A multiverse of alternate Torils, Oerths, Krynns, and so on exists in addition to the Prime Material Plane. Thus all games are canon.
65. Vecna’s rampage was organized by, you guessed it, Asmodeus. Alternatively, it could be Orcus but they’re the two sides with brains.
66. Asmodeus is responsible for the D&D Satanic Panic on our world.
67. Gra’azt is either Asmodeus’ wayward son or another avatar.
68. Orcus isn’t a god, he’s an UNDEAD god. He’s responsible for the destruction of the Knights Templar on alternate Earths, is quite the party animal, and many a goat sex joke.
69. The side of good, despite being outnumbered, is STILL prone to infighting as the Order of the Gauntlet considers the Harpers to be a terrorist organization and works to eliminate it.
70. The Lords Alliance also considers the Harpers to be a terrorist organization but uses it whenever it is convenient.
71. Tyr is significantly less humble, kind, compassionate, and forgiving than Torm. Tyr tends to favor Helm over Torm and thinks the world would run a lot smoother if not so much that he conquered it but everyone was converted to worshiping Lawful gods under him. Other deities have to remind him he’s NOT the king of the gods or Ao’s favored son.
72. Bahamut bears a suspicious similarity to certain alternate Earths’ idea of God in many respects and is the god who lives at the top of Mount Celestia. He, Torm, and Ilmater have been suspiciously known to hang out.
73. Archdevas exist just like Archdemons, but you almost never hear of them because they’re not trying to make waves.
74. Io is just the dragons’ name for Ao (and vice versa) as they’re a race with a better understanding of celestial alignments.
75. Helm and Tyr are survivors of a now-defunct pantheon from displaced humans in Icewind Dale. I can’t imagine what they were like.
76. Realms coinage is debased and a gold piece is actually about 10% pure gold. Ditto all the other coinage except coppers and everyone hates coppers.
77. Your typical Realmsian doesn’t worship a single patron god but the entire pantheon. You pray to Talos for rain and Chauntea for good crops with no contradiction.
78. Durnan of the Yawning Portal tavern is Sean Connery. They look and sound identical.
79. In my games, if you pass the 20th level, you automatically ascend to demigod status. Mind you, that doesn’t make you invincible as many have found. You become the smallest fish in a larger pond.
81. Xanathar the Beholder has the personality of Jabba the Hutt, including his bizarre court as well as monster musicians. There’s absolutely a pit trap over a basilisk lair in his headquarters.
82. Despite how the books have portrayed them, Manshoon and Fzoul are deadly enemies and genius schemers equal to Lex Luthor and Doctor Doom. Yes, they’ve failed a lot but they’re still hanging around too.
83. For all the elves claims of back to nature tree-hugging, their cities are incredibly intricately designed biospheres and magically engineered lifeforms. They can sit around all day and do nothing because the trees provide baked bread and clean water at will.
84. See #83, this is also why elves react so negatively to humans because it’s not chopping down random trees that ticks them off but the fact they’ve chopped down power lines and sewer systems.
85. Dwarves love dogs. This is an underdocumented feature of their race.
86. Elves primarily love cats. Much is explained.
87. There’s a not entirely unbelievable argument by certain elves and dwarves that humans, in fact, are just orcs that became “civilized” due to their lack of a racial creator god. Either that or were some magically altered or hybrid race. People who argue other gods made their races from humans get a thorough beating in an alleyway after class, though.
88. The Zhentarim are the best people to have as merchants in your area due to the fact they’re as happy to supply weapons, magic, and party supplies to “good” parties as “evil” parties. It’s an awkward situation that many Harper-funded revolutions and underdefended towns deal with.
89. There are many stories of humans being abducted by strange creatures, experimented on, and returned to their homes. These are absolutely true and done by Spelljamming Illithids. We’re not sure why they also take cattle and leave intricate pretty circles in crops.
90. Psionics are related to ancient Illithid experimentations on humanity and touching the Far Realms.
91. Clerics generally don’t charge for their spells unless it’s dirty-dirty adventurers. It’s just they usually devote their spells to the caring of their parishioners. After all, every Raise Dead they waste on you is one less for a child who died prematurely.
92. Adventuring is usually a euphemism in the realm and generally means some combination of mercenary, assassin, exterminator, legbreaker, grave robber, and (oddly enough) archaeologist.
93. See #92. Most adventurers ARE some combination of such and generally have a “day job” in-between looking for the next big score. It is a thoroughly disreputable profession.
94. It says something about life in the Realms that Shar promises oblivion to her followers and still has a consistent number of worshipers.
95. Ghaundaur, Tharizdun, and Jubilex are all the same entities. The archdemon is actually an avatar of the former two to give you a sense of how powerful it is.
96. See #95, Jubilex’s pet parrot from Castle Greyhawk is, in fact, canon.
97. Dragons routinely crossbreed and produce members of their various colors and types. These include temporary matings between Chromatic and Metallic dragons. The salvation of the race is at stake, though.
98. See #97, shockingly, as a result, all dragons take adventurers destroying eggs personally.
99. Chultian Elves REALLY hate if you call them Jungle Elves or confuse them with Drow.
100. Bards are generally considered less like annoying minstrels and more like professional spies and assassins. You’re more likely to get James Bond from them than Jaskier/Dandelion.
101. The huge number of monsters just wandering around Faerun are primarily due to wizards of Netheril having some weird hobbies and menageries. Plenty of them are immortal constructs while others are descended from breeding pairs. How do you think they got the owlbear and displacer beast? Very popular pets circa -3876 DR.
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