Ed Greenwood

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Dare you step into his magical realm?

Ed Greenwood is a Canadian fantasy writer and librarian. He's most famous for creating the Forgotten Realms setting for D&D, which as of 5e is the default campaign world. He apparently sold the setting to TSR for a token fee in the 80s- which has got to sting now that toy-and-game goliath Hasbro are rinsing it for all it's worth, and other authors are churning out books in the setting that are way more popular than his own.

But he still got the last laugh, as the contract Hasbro has with him is heavily stacked in his favor:

  • Wizards MUST publish a minimum of one full-length novel written by him each year.
  • Wizards MUST publish a minimum of one full-length sourcebook on FR by him (or with significant contributions by him) each year.
  • Wizards MUST at least consult him about changes they make (though they don't have to listen to him, merely take his advice into account), which in practice means nothing in the setting changes without him personally approving of it.
  • Wizards MUST treat everything he reveals about the Realms in writing to fans as canon. He has a thread on the Candlekeep.com website where unpublished stuff by him can see the light of day, and it's all automatically canon regardless of how stupid or fucked up it is. Auto-canonicity doesn't apply to things he just mentions at a convention to a fan or the like, however, it must be something that already exists in his notes. (This isn't actually a problem for Ed, as he apparently has a basement full of unpublished notes - one author remarked in a novel that when she asked him for a brief set of notes on the War Wizards of Cormyr, he obliged by cutting down the stuff he had on them... to FORTY-NINE A4 PAGES.)
  • If he submits something for publishing to Wizards, he can't subsequently reveal it to fans anyway, because a Non-Disclosure Agreement is put in place. However, they can't just NDA everything - they have to ask him to submit his notes on something first.
  • If Hasbro tries to go back on any of the above, Ed gets full control of all Forgotten Realms material.

He's written a shit-tonne of books, often involving his self-insert not-Gandalf called Elminster.