To give some back story on my history with D&D -- I first heard about it through three friends I made in 7th grade. They were a pre-established group, which I joined when our school districts came together for the regional middle school in 7th grade. All three of them were familiar with the basics of the general game, but interestingly, each of them specialized in a campaign setting: one knew all about Greyhawk, one Ravenloft, and one Dragonlance (when I joined, I took up Spelljammer). For some strange reason, none of us "specialized" in Forgotten Realms despite its immense popularity. I then brought the game to my brother and neighbors, and we loved it so much. However, as these things often go, we got older and we drifted away from it. I've always remembered it fondly and thought about it from time to time, but never actually took it back up.
And so now, at long last, I want to jump right into Forgotten Realms and create a fun, layered, awesome experience for my nephew. So I have several questions for y'all in the know:
- I know D&D is currently on its 5th edition. Which edition of D&D should I work with here? The second one is the one I'm most knowledgeable about and comfortable with, but I know it's also pretty dated by now. Which edition do you think works best? Why do you like it?
- Which Forgotten Realms novels and books series should I read to get to know more about the world? I know reading them isn't exactly essential to the gaming process, but I like knowing my lore and I'm sure it'll help inform me as a DM. I've been told Drizzt's Dark Elf Trilogy (Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn) and Icewind Dale Trilogy (The Crystal Shard, Streams Of Silver, and The Halfling's Gem) are the best to go with to learn about him and the Drow, but what books should I read about Forgotten Realms/Faerun/Toril as a whole?
- Any recommendations you have for someone who wasn't the best DM when he was younger, but is now really really into world building and creating narratives and adventures?
Like I said, it'll be a few years before we really introduce him to this stuff, but I really want to use that time to become very knowledgeable and worldly (as it were, lol). That's a lot of time in which to soak up a lot of info. What say you? Throw everything you got at me!