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FRS1 The Dalelands (2e)

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Between Cormyr and the Moonsea lie the beautiful forests and fields of the Dalelands, home to some of the most powerful characters and exciting adventures in the Heartlands. Proud and free, these scattered realms stand against the dark evil of Zhentil Keep and the savage raiders of the mountains and forests. Ancient magic lies buried in dangerous ruins within the vast Elven Woods, waiting for the hand bold enough to seize it.

The Dalelands are a place where adventurers are welcomed, and heroes rewarded with gold, honor, and power. Enemies, old and new, move against the Dales constantly, and the call goes out for brave and true heroes to defend the land!

The Dalelands are the oldest campaign setting of the Forgotten Realms, finally described in detail. New and exciting information about each of these independent lands I contained in this accessory. Of course, the dark and sinister enemies who plot against the Dales are described as well! Prepare to meet the challenges of the Dalelands!

Product History

FRS1: "The Dalelands" (1993), by L. Richard Baker III, is the first (and only) book in a series of Forgotten Realms Supplements. It was published in October 1993.

Origins: After the FR. Following the publication of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (1987), TSR supplemented the Realms setting primarily through the "FR" sourcebooks, the first of which was FR1: "Waterdeep and the North" (1987). These supplements extensively detailed the world of the Realms in a way otherwise unknown for AD&D's setting. The series continued without interruption in the AD&D 2e era (1989-2000), with the last "FR" supplement being FR16: "The Shining South" (1993) in April 1993. Then, just six months later, a seventeenth "FR" supplement appeared, but it was now labeled FRS1: "The Dalelands" (1993).

Why the change? The new "FRS" code certainly matched the sometimes incomprehensible three-letter module codes that were in use at TSR in the '90s, which also helped to distinguish between adventures and sourcebooks — except that the "S" was suffix used inconsistently for both sourcebooks and epic adventures. More importantly, the new "FRS" line allowed TSR to reboot the numbering of the Forgotten Realms supplements. For years TSR management had been afraid that higher numbered module codes resulted in lower sales, and the "FR" line's count of sixteen modules had only been matched by DL16: "World of Krynn" (1988). Now it was finally being brought back down to earth, also ending the only remaining module line that had survived the transition to AD&D 2e.

Ironically, TSR made the change from "FR" to "FRS" just a few months before they abruptly decided to phase out module codes entirely. As a result, "The Dalelands" was the only supplement to use that code. However, "Cormyr" (1994) and "The Moon Sea" (1995) could have been intended as FRS2 and FRS3, as they shared the same trade dress and the same geographic focus.

Exploring the Realms. The Dalelands were one of the best-known parts of the early Forgotten Realms — so much so that some fans bemoaned yet another book focused on the area. At the time, the Dales were probably the second most popular area within the Realms, after the Sword Coast, but in advance of Cormyr. With that said, they focus on the Dalelands (and nearby areas) had initially been through computer games, then through tabletop adventures such as FRC1: Ruins of Adventure (1988), FRC2: Curse of the Azure Bonds (1989), and FRE1: "Shadowdale" (1989), not through sourcebooks.

Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990) had been one of the few previous books to provide extensive information on this side of the world. Now, "The Dalelands" filled in all the rest with details of Archendale, Battledale, Daggerdale, Deepingdale, Featherdale, Harrowdale, The High Dale, Mistledale, Scardale, Shadowdale, Sessrendale, Tarkeldale, Tasseldale, and Teshendale.

A few years later, TSR would offer a second looks at the Dales with Volo's Guide to the Dalelands (1996).

Whoops! Maps of Archenbridge and Essembra went missing from this supplement, but can be found in Dragon #205 (May 1994).

About the Creators.> Baker wrote "The Dalelands" as one of his earlier works for TSR, during a year that he was mainly working on supplements for the Dark Sun line.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Product Information
Author(s)
Pages
64
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9392
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9.54 MB
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File Last Updated:
June 20, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on June 21, 2016.