The default setting for BEHOLD! is the Forgotten Realms, to varying degrees of implicitness and explicitness. There’s a few reasons for that, and a few implications.
First of all, by virtue of the DMs Guild agreement, I can use the Forgotten Realms. It’s quite a staggering amount of intellectual property to open up to the community, and I’m grateful to WotC for their generosity.
The flipside is that, by that same agreement, I must use the Forgotten Realms, if I use any setting at all. Sure, I could stick to a very generic and unnamed default setting, but that’s unsatisfying at the best of times. I can’t just publish my own bespoke setting, is the point; at least not on the DMs Guild.
There are several advantages to using the Forgotten Realms. I get a very deep history, with all the characters, events, and subplots I might ever want. I get a whole world laid out in all its various physical and social dimensions. And there’s already thousands of people who are familiar with the general shape of it.
But it’s not all pure goodness. All that predefined history can become a crushing burden if you’re not careful. There’s some staggeringly-powerful NPCs running around the setting and that rubs some people the wrong way. And all those pre-existing maps of the world are not actually available for community use, so there’s still some cartographic work to be done.
On the balance, there’s more good reasons to use the Forgotten Realms in BEHOLD! than there are reasons to avoid it. I haven’t regretted the decision; not yet.
What do you think of the Forgotten Realms?
BEHOLD! is now available on DMs Guild. http://www.dmsguild.com/product/218200/