Great sourcebook for when you need extra mature options for the villains your players are going to face. While the appendix does give you options for...moreGreat sourcebook for when you need extra mature options for the villains your players are going to face. While the appendix does give you options for playing such villains, I think the options were designed with NPCs in mind.
It packs in lots of options, some of the interesting ones include two new subraces, lots of evil spells, your typical assortment of feats, and new magical items; all themed with evil and horror. There's also background, stat blocks, and plot hooks for the demon lords of Abyss and the diabolic rulers of the Nine Hells.
Some of the poorer bits include the small section on new monsters. I think it's minor and uninteresting enough that they shouldn't have bothered, and used that space for fleshing out the other sections.
The prestige classes were pretty poor I think. The majority of them were meant to be themed to their respective demon lord or devil prince, but I didn't find them coherent or thematically interesting.
What I would have liked to see more was more evil ideas and hooks. For example, the options on drug use and torture was useful, but would have been better if ideas on how to use them were also present.
Overall though it's a great resource for options you could throw in sparingly into your campaigns, even if you don't want to deal with the subjective morality questions raised in the book.(less)
A large anthology of four novellas set in four different worlds that shares a common theme - dragons.
The first is in the Forgotten Realms and deals wi...moreA large anthology of four novellas set in four different worlds that shares a common theme - dragons.
The first is in the Forgotten Realms and deals with the infamous duo of Artemis Entreri and Jarlaxle. I've already read this in another anthology and while I enjoyed it then, it was recent enough that I didn't reread it. It provides great backstory on how these two got entangled in Damara.
The second was not enjoyable at all. Weis and Hickman put Tas on the forefront of a comedic adventure... again. There's only so much kinder antics one can take in a lifetime I suppose. There's little here that hasn't been similarly done before, which made it rather boring.
The third is by Baker, set in the city of Sharn, in Eberron. This was an interesting read, and features rather engaging and likeable protagonists. And I got a little surprise by the plot, which was... well, a pleasant surprise.
The final novella is set in Dominaria, but the exact location is unknown (or at least, not to me). This one was rather enjoyable as well and features one of the more interesting antagonists in the myriad worlds of Magic: the Gathering. (less)
Great stuff for those looking for a lot flavour and information on the Realms. It offers ideas and background feats to flesh out a character's back st...moreGreat stuff for those looking for a lot flavour and information on the Realms. It offers ideas and background feats to flesh out a character's back story.
Other extra stuff, the typical stuff, include more of the Realms' pantheons, its cosmology, prestige classes (a couple more suited to NPCs), feats, spells, and magic items.
There are also sections that provide upgraded stat blocks of monsters from other older publications, as well as rules and options for the adaptation of material from books from the Psionic's Handbook, Book of Exalted Deeds, and Book of Vile Deeds.
All in all, a book full of flavour, history, and hooks into the Realms.(less)
The Forgotten Realms has always been my favourite of all TSR/WotC settings. One of the reasons is probably because of the wealth of history and lore b...moreThe Forgotten Realms has always been my favourite of all TSR/WotC settings. One of the reasons is probably because of the wealth of history and lore built for the world. I know people who don't like that so much of the world is filled in and known, but that's what draws me to the setting - it's like a living world.
This FR setting's book is for D&D 3rd Edition. There's a separate Player's Guide that updates it to 3.5 Edition.
A wealth of lore and information on Faerun lies within these pages - from the northern ends of Icewind Dale and the Great Glacier to the southern end of Chult and Halruaa. From the western ends of the Trackless Sea and Evermeet, to the lands of the Tuigan horde. It focuses primarily on the Faerunian continent, although it does mentions a bit of Kara-tur, Maztica, and Zakhara.
Lots of detailed information on the current political climes, plot hooks, and recent happenings. Stat blocks of famous characters are strewn across the book, including Drizzt, Artemis Entreri, the Seven Sisters, the other Chosen of Mystra, etc. You'll also find several lore-based prestige classes and sections on deities (although not all of them, just the major/more popular ones).
If you'r ea lore buff, just browsing through this book is an entertaining read in itself, never mind whether you're even going to make use of half this stuff in any game.(less)
How much you like this book depends very heavily on how much you like reading lore, history, and flavour stuff.
Races of Faerûn is like an extension of...moreHow much you like this book depends very heavily on how much you like reading lore, history, and flavour stuff.
Races of Faerûn is like an extension of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (Forgotten Realms) (FRCS) in that it builds upon the history of the Realms, with a specific focus on the standard races (and their subraces). Additional races like the aasimar, tiefling, genasi, shade, and the wemic are also mechanically detailed here, but with relatively little lore compared to the standard races. I found a few bits a little annoying in that if lore or a stat block is already detailed in the FRCS, it is skipped here, telling you to refer to that source instead.
Throw in a couple of race-specific feats, mundane and magic items, a few race-flavoured prestige classes, and a couple of spells, and the sourcebook is done. Not that these were particularly interesting.
I'd recommend for lore buffs and FR history buffs, but mechanics-wise, it's a little light. (less)