Love that expansion for this gap has taken off. Some thoughts.
No need for the card number for this expansion to equal the deep realms. This is because:
a) many, if not all, official expansions have different numbers of cards.
b) the only way this would be an official expansion, is if it is an official expansion. So making the card number = that of the deep realms to try to make it more official, won't actually do so. And need not. Its a fan expansion, so own it, do our own thing. make the total card number whatever number we want. Indeed, deliberately make it a different number as a symbol of this being the community's.
c) ultimately the aim is having fun so if having a different number of total cards would make it more fun, don't change it just to accord with deep realms number.
Make more than 6 forge items and before a game begins, randomly select 6 (or whatever number you want this to be) forge items to include in the game. This way, there is a greater sense of excitement surrounding what one might find at the forge. - No one knows what has been left there! - just as the game characters wouldn't.
Add a twist to 1 or 2 forge items. For example, for one forge item instead of making it return to the forge, stipulate that its use awakens X creature (presumably its creator). Place that creature on X location and return the forge item to it.
In any event, good job guys.
Hopefully FFG will sign off on this and/ or some other greatly desired rule changes/ additions to the game before they no longer can.