Since I am fairly new to FR I was wondering what time span was covered in the different edition-spanning campaign settings for FR. Specifically, what was the default starting year of the AD&D 1st edition FR campaign setting and to what year has it advanced in 5E?

I have my players start with the LOST MINE OF PHANDELVER but there is no specific date mentioned. Only that the eruption of Mount Hotenow was about 30 years ago (p.30 under "Ruins of Thundertree").

I tried to read different timelines for the Realms but they left me confused for the most part. Thanks for any pointers!


2 Answers 2


If you are looking at the timeline from 1st to 5th edition, then it is a timespan of about 132 years.

1st edition was set in 1357 DR, while 5th edition (The Sundering) is placed at 1484 DR, and the Adventurers League play starts in 1489 DR.

This places it in line with the Phandelver adventure, since Hotenow erupted in 1451 DR.

Numbers taken from http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Forgotten_Realms which purports to take the dates from the various box sets and info releases from TSR/WotC.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Using a fan-maintained wiki as your source isn't a great idea. That wiki lists the eruption of Mount Hotenow as the wrong year. \$\endgroup\$
    – user10063
    Commented Mar 20 at 20:24

The 1e Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (1987) contains both Cyclopedia of the Realms, which opens with a letter dated at the end of the year:

The information presented herein is as known to myself, those about me in the lands north and west of the Sea of Fallen Stars, and those I have encountered in my travels. On my word as a sage nothing within these pages is false, but not all of it may prove to be true. All stories presented are as I have heard them and had them recorded, all information is checked as best as possible given the limited resources of an old man in a small town (even if that old man has the power to flatten mountains, mind you). As you adventure in this fantasy world, be warned that not all things are as they appear, and trust to your wits, your weapons, and your common sense in surviving and profiting from the Forgotten Realms.

Elminster's sigil

As recorded by Lhaeo, Scribe to the Sage, ELMINSTER OF SHADOWDALE, 30th and last day of Nightal, Year of the Prince, 1357 Dalereckoning

Names for the years are known as the Roll of Years, as they are drawn from predictions written down under that title by the famous Lost Sage, Augathra the Mad, with a few additions by the seer Alaundo (for further information on Alaundo see entry under Candlekeep). The Roll is a long one; here is the relevant portion of it.

YEAR OF THE PRINCE (1357 DR—year just ending).

In commemoration of that pact man and elf raised the Standing Stone which is now seen where the road from Mistledale reaches the road from Essembra to Hillsfar. It is from the raising of this Stone that Dalereckoning is taken.

ELMINSTER'S NOTES: The Standing Stone was erected 1357 years ago by mighty elvish mages to commemorate the pact between the Elvish Court and the newly-arriving Dalemen. The winding script at the base of the Stone states the terms of that pact: that while there are elves in the forest, the men of the dales may settle in those lands at their borders, but not to reduce the wood or invade elven territories.

And it contains DM's Sourcebook of the Realms:

Recent News and Rumors in the Realms

This section contains some of the gossip that came to the ears of the inhabitants of the Northern Realms in past two years; the Year of the Worm and the Year of the Prince.

Year of the Worm

Dale Reckoning 1356

Hammer (January)

• There is fierce fighting in the Sword Coast lands just south of Waterdeep. [...]

Year of the Prince

Dale Reckoning 1357


Nightal (December)

• The first heavy snowfall has swept the North, blanketing Cormyr and the Dales with up to a foot of snow. [...]

2e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993):

Dalereckoning (DR): Dalereckoning is taken from the year that humans were first permitted by the Elven Court to settle in the more open regions of the forests. The information within this text is accurate to the close of 1367 DR. In some texts, primarily those which do not have direct ties to Dales history, Dalereckoning is called Freemans Reckoning (FR).

The Roll of Years

The Year of the Shield (1367 DR, the year just ending)

3e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001):

The Roll of Years

Very few of Faerun's common folk bother with musty calendars and meaningless numbers. Instead, years are known by names. For example, 1372 DR—the current year—is called the Year of Wild Magic. People refer to births, deaths, weddings, and other events by the name of the year. Children learn the order of the years from bards' songs, artistic designs in the great temples, and the teachings of their elders.

4e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2008):

Ten Important Facts

The following points describe the biggest changes to the world of Toril since the previous edition of the FORGOTTEN REALMS Campaign Setting. If you are familiar with the setting, these will summarize the major events in the world since 1374 DR, the Year of Lightning Storms. If you are new to the setting, this information will give you the basic background that most inhabitants know.

  1. Roughly a hundred years have passed in the world since the previous edition of the campaign setting. The current year is 1479 DR, the Year of the Ageless One.

In 5e Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (2015), the current year is technically unstated but 1489 DR is described in a section named "A Brief History" which implies that it's in the past. That would mean 5e starts in 1490 at the earliest.

Early in 1487, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions abounded for months, as if the whole world was convulsing. Rumors spread of chasms caused by the Spellplague suddenly vanishing, and stories circulated of known destinations being farther away from one another, as if the world had quietly added miles of wilderness to the distance between them. Word began to spread of places and peoples not heard from since the Spellplague. It became apparent that some of the effects of that terrible time had been reversed.

By 1489, many of the wars that began during the Sundering had ground to a close. Other conflicts arose, and mighty threats still imperiled the world, but the deities ceased interfering with the world through their Chosen. The gods were no longer silent but quiet, and in many places new priesthoods arose to interpret the gods’ now subtle signs.

The world today seems a place filled with new lands and opportunities, where those who dare can leave their mark. Students of history and those elves and dwarves who recall the past that short-lived humans see as distant perceive a world much like it was over a century ago.

The early 5e adventure Princes of the Apocalypse (2015):

The people of the Forgotten Realms number the years by the Dalereckoning calendar, which is abbreviated "DR." Years are also given names, which are drawn from the writings of a great seer from long ago. The adventure is set in 1491 DR, the Year of the Scarlet Witch.

In the 5e adventure Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus (2019), the city of Elturel is taken away 'fifty years' after the Companion and its undead-destroying light appeared in the sky in 1444 DR, so it's set in 1494 DR.

Zariel never forgot her betrayers—those who ran from the battlefield. She kept a close eye on Elturel, waiting for the day when she could enact her revenge. That day came in 1444 DR, when Elturel was conquered by a vampire lord. A priest of Torm named Thavius Kreeg appealed to any power to help him save his holy city. In that instant, Zariel emerged from a pillar of fire and offered him a deal, which Thavius readily accepted.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .