For the past several months, I have been considering setting my next D&D campaign in the Old Empires region of the Forgotten Realms setting. It’s a fascinating region, loosely inspired by the ancient Eastern Mediterranean/Levantine Sea region of Earth, resplendent with crumbling pyramids and ziggurats, volcanic islands, nations ruled by physical gods, ugly wars, and endless storytelling possibilities.

However, running a 5th edition campaign in this setting takes more work on the part of a Dungeon Master than running a campaign set in a more popular region of the Realms such as the Sword Coast or the Heartlands, since the region has undergone great changes throughout the previous editions of the game, and very little has been published about where the Old Empires stand by the time of 5th edition. Thus, to update the region for the present day so it can stand alongside the rest of the 5e Realms, a DM will likely wish to put in a good deal of work on multiple fronts, including:

  • collating previously published information about the setting and filling in the gaps for adventures set in the present day of the 5e Forgotten Realms
  • examining the setting from a sensitivity standpoint, and revising aspects of the 30ish-year old setting that may reflect harmful ethnic, racial, cultural, and gender prejudices
  • creating an up-to-date map that reflects the topographical changes the region has  gone through over the course of the last several editions, which is what I am showing off today Continue reading “A Map of the Old Empires for the 5e Forgotten Realms”