By the late 1990’s, TSR was in trouble. Despite having a firm basis in pen’n’paper RPGs, they fell behind Games Workshop and Wizards of the Coast in terms in volume sold. Despite not being in the same market as WotC at the time (they were focused on Magic the Gathering), and only tangentially competing with GW (whose Warhammer Fantasy RPG was available, but secondary to their miniatures), they made a push in the mid nineties to seize overall gaming supremacy, which backfired badly in 1996. Facing insolvency, TSR was forced to sell itself to WotC to remain in business.
Recently, with the release of both The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide and Volo’s Guide to Monsters, the D&D fanbase has become agitated once again. “What do you allow in your games?” and “I ban this because that.” Discussions have become rampant as the world of Toril, home of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting begins to open up once again after the disastrous 4e effort. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about the accidental world that was created in the waning days of 3.5e D&D, a world without a name, but with immense potential, that quietly disappeared in the thunder and crash that was 4e’s release.