When I played 2nd Edition Ravenloft, it was known within that setting that Van Richten's Guides were something that actually existed within the campaign, not just something that we all bought from TSR. Similarly, Strahd's diaries were also within the setting - and Van Richten had read them.

However, I do not recall any published material from, Khelban Blackstaff, nor Elminster - and it is interesting that such wizards of such power would have no "published material" within the Forgotten Realms.

Am I wrong in this assumption? Are there in-game/in-setting published material for notable NPC's with the Forgotten Realms? Or is it something, I as a DM, would have to just 'make-up' along the way? I have players that often like to 'go to the town's library.' I like to stay as canon as I can before I have to fill in gaps.

I don't want a comprehensive list. I want to know if 1) there are; 2) a few examples of where to look. The answer of Yes and here are a few examples is more than sufficient. The most notable NPC is the best and most correct answer.


2 Answers 2


The primary known author within the Forgotten Realms is Volothamp Geddarm, who writes extensive travel guides. These are, of course, also out-of-universe sourcebooks.

There are other authors and other books within the setting, but none are even close to being as well known as Volo and his guides in-universe or out.


Yes, the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide published by WotC has several examples of this, such as on page 73:

The information below is excerpted from Far from the Misty Hills, a treatise on on far-flung places in the North, composed by one Aedyn Graymantle, a moon elf ranger who hails from Evereska.

Page 66 has the following:

The information below is drawn from Fifty Years at Sea, Volume the Third, by Gardorra Burr, a gnome sailor who has spent most of her two hundred years traversing the Sea of Swords.

Prefaced with a quote from Gardorra to a 'Waterdhavian bookseller':

[...]I've been doing this longer than most of my readers have been alive, and this is the third version of this book I'm offering. I write one of these every half-century, and if you think the purchase price isn't worth the heaps of coin you'll make by selling my work to your customers, you're a fool.

Which suggests to me that the book is published on at least a fairly large scale, and widely-read.

Each of the above introduces several pages of the Adventurer's Guide, giving descriptions of different places and parts of the Sword Coast.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I must have missed that Adventurer's Guide throughout my years. Nice answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 14:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's the most recently published 5th edition book, officially released on Nov. 3rd \$\endgroup\$
    – RichardJ
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 19:47

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