Greenwood at Gen Con Indy 2012
|Born||July 21, 1959|
|Occupation||Writer, game designer|
|Genre||Role-playing games, fantasy|
Ed Greenwood (born July 21, 1959) is a Canadian fantasy writer and the original creator of the Forgotten Realms game world. He began writing articles about the Forgotten Realms for Dragon magazine beginning in 1979, and subsequently sold the rights to the setting to TSR, the creators of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, in 1986. He has written many Forgotten Realms novels, as well as numerous articles and D&D game supplement books.
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 in the mid 1960s; they were his "dream space for swords and sorcery stories". Greenwood conceived of the Forgotten Realms as one world in a "multiverse" of parallel worlds which includes the Earth. He imagined such worlds as being the source of humanity's myths and legends.
Greenwood discovered the Dungeons & Dragons game in 1975 and soon became a regular player. He used the Realms as a setting for his campaigns, which centered around the fictional locales of Waterdeep and Shadowdale, locations that would figure prominently in his later writing. According to Greenwood, his players' thirst for detail pushed him to further develop the Forgotten Realms setting: "They want[ed] it to seem real, and work on 'honest jobs' and personal activities, until the whole thing [grew] into far more than a casual campaign."
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.:19 He wrote voluminous entries to Dragon magazine, using the Realms as a setting for his descriptions of magic items, monsters, and spells.
Partnership with TSR
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 in his articles for Dragon magazine.:19 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 for AD&D 2nd Edition.
Greenwood agreed to work on the project, and began to prepare his Forgotten Realms material for official publication. He sent TSR a few dozen cardboard boxes stuffed with pencil notes and maps, and sold all rights to the Realms for a token fee. The following year, Greenwood used this material as a basis for writing the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set along with coauthor Jeff Grubb.
The campaign setting was a major success, and Greenwood continued to be involved with all subsequent incarnations of the Forgotten Realms in D&D. He retained the rights to his fictional universe and went on to write numerous Forgotten Realms novels. Many of these center around the wizard Elminster, whom Greenwood has frequently portrayed at conventions and gaming events.
Greenwood feels his work on the Realms that he likes best are "those products that impart some of the richness and color of the Realms, such as the novel I wrote with Jeff Grubb, Cormyr; the Volo's Guides; Seven Sisters; The Code of the Harpers; City of Splendors; and stuff that lots of gamers have found useful, such as Drow of the Underdark and Ruins of Undermountain." He found that it has been easy to keep his enthusiasm for the Realms over the years, as so many people care about it, ask him questions about the world's lore ("Realmslore"), and share with him what they have done. He has stated that the Forgotten Realms, as run by him in his own games, is more "dark" and edgy than it is in officially sanctioned, published works.
Greenwood has also been contributing editor and creative editor of Dragon magazine.
Personal life and other activities
Greenwood has published over two hundred articles in Dragon Magazine and Polyhedron Newszine, is a lifetime charter member of the Role Playing Game Association (RPGA) network, and has been Gen Con Game Fair guest of honor many times. Greenwood has written over thirty-five novels for TSR, and written, co-written, or contributed to over two hundred books and game products from other publishers. Greenwood has also contributed to The Book of All Flesh (2001), an anthology based on All Flesh Must Be Eaten,:341 and written short stories based on the Silver Age Sentinels role-playing game.:337 Greenwood's Castlemourn setting was published by Margaret Weis Productions.:353 He is co-creator (with fantasy novelist Lynn Abbey) of the Mornmist fantasy setting.
He has also contributed to most Forgotten Realms gaming accessories, and authored many more—including the detailed Volo's Guide series—and continues to DM his own campaign. He writes regular Realmslore columns for the Wizards of the Coast website.
In addition to all these activities, Greenwood works as a library clerk (and sometimes as a librarian) and has edited over a dozen small press magazines. When not appearing at conventions, he lives in an old farmhouse in the countryside of Ontario.
As of 1998, Greenwood lived in applegrowing country on Lake Ontario, still working full-time at the North York Community Library, as he had since 1974, and continued to run his original Waterdeep campaign with the same core group he started with, albeit meeting only sporadically. He has stated that it is important for people who do freelance writing for roleplaying games to be active as both players and as dungeon masters.
Awards and honors
Greenwood is an award-winning gamer (best player, 1984 Gen Con AD&D Open tournament) and game designer (several Gamer's Choice Awards and Origins Awards). He was inducted into the Gamer's Choice Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Academy of Adventure Gaming's Hall of Fame in 2003.
- Shandril's Saga
- The Elminster Series
- The Shadow of the Avatar Trilogy
- The Cormyr Saga
- The Harpers
- Crown of Fire (1994);
- Stormlight (1996)
- Double Diamond Triangle Saga
- "The Burning Chalice" - The Halls of Stormweather: A Novel In Seven Parts (2000)
- The Knights of Myth Drannor Trilogy
- The Sage of Shadowdale series
- The Sundering
- The Herald (2013)
- Other titles
- "One Comes Unheralded, to Zirta" - originally written in 1967, published in Best of the Realms 2 (2005);
- "Elminster at the Mage Fair" - Realms of Valor (1993);
- "So High A Price" - Realms of Infamy (1994);
- "The Eye of the Dragon" - Realms of Magic (1995);
- "A Slow Day In Skullport" - Realms of the Underdark (1996);
- "The Whispering Crown" - Realms of the Arcane (1997);
- "The Place Where Guards Snore at their Posts" - Realms of the Deep (2000);
- "When Shadows Come Seeking A Throne" - Realms of Shadow (2002)
- "Lord of the Darkways" - Untold Adventures (2011)
Non-Forgotten Realms novels
- Band of Four Series
- Falconfar Series
- Novel of Niflheim Series
- Pathfinder Tales Series
- The Iron Assassin (Tor Books 2015)
- Hellmaw Series
- Stormtalons Series
- Folklore: The Affliction Series
Other fiction anthology contributions
- "The Sword of Dreams" - Tales From Tethedril (1998)
- "The Witch of the Dawn" - Be Afraid! (2000)
- "The Shadow of a Sword" - The Doom of Camelot (2000)
- "One Last, Little Revenge" - The Book of All Flesh (2001)
- "Writhe, Damn You" - Northern Horror (2002)
- "No Stars to Steer By" - Oceans of Space (2002)
- "All One Under the Stars" - The Bakka Anthology (2002)
- "O Silent Knight of Cards" - Be Very Afraid! (2002)
- "The Secret in the Cellar" - The Book of Final Flesh (2003)
- "The Man In The Wall" - Path of the Just (2003)
- "The Fallen Star" - Children of the Rune (2004)
- "Stormsong" - Summoned by Destiny I: Realms of Wonder (2004)
- "The Mad Mohj of Onteth" - The Dragons' Return (2005)
- "Wrathclaw's Wyrmtide" - We Three Dragons (2005)
- "Beowulf and the Wraith" - The Further Adventures of Beowulf: Champion of Middle Earth (2006)
- "It Came From the Swamp" - Astounding Hero Tales (2006)
- "King Harrowhelm" - Heroes in Training (2007)
- "Secrets" - Dragons of Krynn (2007)
- "Father Maims Best" - Catopolis (2008)
- "What Dreams May Go" - Lilith Unbound (2008)
- "How Fear Came To Ornath" - Worlds of Their Own (2008)
- "A Perfect Night to Watch Detroit Burn" - Grants Pass (2009)
- "Rescuing the Elf Princess Again" - Gamer Fantastic (2009)
- "Edge of Moonglow" - Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales (2011)
- "Biting a Dead Man's Hand" - First Contact: Digital Science Fiction Anthology 1 (2011)
- "My Silent Slayer" - Heir Apparent: Digital Science Fiction Anthology 4 (2011)
- "Daggers in her Garters" - Beauty Has Her Way (Dark Quest Books) (2011)
- "Best Served Flash-Frozen" - Foreshadows: The Ghosts of Zero (2012)
- "Midnight Knight" - The New Hero (2012)
- "A Girl and Her Scaly Bits" - The Awakened (2013)
- "Fae Blades for the Dread Duke" - By Faerie Light (2013)
- "Kheltae’s Bright Scheme" - Tournament of Death (2014)
- "The Sword of the Lord" - Arcane Synthesis (2014)
- "Ghosts Galore" - Cadaver Bone (2014)
- "The Dragon" - Gods, Memes, and Monsters (2015)
- "The Magpie" - Gods, Memes, and Monsters (2015)
- "The Haunting of the Lordly Lion" - The Bard's Tale: Stories and Recipes From The Black Dragon Inn (2015)
- "Many Tentacles, Reaching" - The Awakened II (2016)
- "My Doom May Come Soon" - Champions of Aetaltis (2016)
- "Wolves Run By Night" - The Awakened Modern (2017)
- "Under the Queen's Throne" - Art of War (2018)
- "Three Aces for the Dancer" - Rocket Age Anthology 1: Tales of the Solar System (2018)
- "Words to Die For" - Sisterhood of the Blade (2018)
- Creatures from Fairy-Tale and Myth (2019)
- When the Hero Comes Home (edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy) – Dragon Moon Press (2011)
- When the Villain Comes Home (edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy) – Dragon Moon Press (2012)
- Women In Practical Armor (edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy) – Evil Girlfriend Media (2017)
- J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Vol. II: The Two Towers
- Haunted Halls of Eveningstar
- Mages of Mystralia
Ed Greenwood has appeared in the following podcasts, newspaper and magazine articles, websites, and podcasts.
- Open Design #004: Dwarves of the Ironcrags. Ed provides the voice for the introduction to this show.
- RPG Countdown: 29 July 2009 episode (Kobold Quarterly 010)
- DiceCast Episode 10 (by Polymancer Studios)
- MythWits: Episode 313
- Worldcasting: Episode 12 (by Worldbuilding Magazine)
- "To Believe the Magic Is Real: A Conversation with Ed Greenwood". Clarkesworld Magazine, December 2008.
- Interview with Ed Greenwood, Cryptych Issue 1/IV, February 1994 ISBN 1-883773-03-2
- Varney, Allen (February 1998). "ProFiles: Ed Greenwood". Dragon. Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast (#244): 112.
- Winter, Steve; Greenwood, Ed; Grubb, Jeff. 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons, pages 74-87. (Wizards of the Coast, 2004).
- Grubb, Jeff; Greenwood, Ed. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- Buker, Derek M. (2002). The science fiction and fantasy readers' advisory: the librarian's guide to cyborgs, aliens, and sorcerers. ALA readers' advisory series. ALA Editions. pp. 127–128. ISBN 0-8389-0831-4.
- Interview on the DiceCast podcast
- Greenwood, Ed (2007). "Thurn and Taxis". In Lowder, James (ed.). Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 312–314. ISBN 978-1-932442-96-0.
- "Ed Greenwood". Archived from the original on June 25, 2009.
- Ewalt, David M. (August 20, 2012). "What's Next With Dungeons And Dragons?". Forbes. Forbes publishing. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- "Open Design 004: Dwarves of the Ironcrags". Archived from the original on 2009-08-31. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- "RPG Countdown (29 July 2009)". Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- S3E13 Enter the EdVerse, retrieved 2019-11-22
- On the Realms with Ed Greenwood, retrieved 2020-02-19
- To Believe the Magic Is Real: A Conversation with Ed Greenwood Clarkesworld Magazine, December 2008
- "Ed Greenwood: 10 min interview on Sounds Like Canada". CBC Radio One. 2007-08-28. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-08.