I’m slowly reading the Forgotten Realms “Grey Box” Edition and I’m astonished by the small insights that this experience has given me. I discovered Forgotten Realms at the middle of the 2nd Edition (and my favorite products are usually from the end of this period), so reading this box is – in way – a fresh look on the Realms for me. Not only it gives me a sense of freedom about how to use Faerun in my games, but also rings true (instead of the horrible and poorly explained chaos of the 4th Edition version of the setting).
A good example of this “new old look” is the short but very interesting description of Mulhorand. Instead of just “Magic Egypt” (the usual incarnation of this region) we’re given the following:
AT A GLANCE: Mulhorand is one of the great and ancient nations of the South, of which little truth and much rumor is known. It is situated at the far end of the Sea of Fallen Stars, in the region known as the Sahuagin Sea.
ELMINSTER’S NOTES: Mulhorand is said to ruled by a dynasty of beautiful and undying kings and queens, who wield godlike powers. It is also home of the Statues That Walk, great juggernauts which dot the landscape and on occasion, for unknown purposes, animate and wreak havoc. Mulhorand is the oldest of the known nations of Faerun.
The “Grey Box” is full of material like this. Very engaging and perfect for exploration and sandbox campaigns.