3rd Edition Forgotten Realms HB
3rd Edition Forgotten Realms HB Capsule Review by notwolf on 02/05/01
Style: 5 (Excellent!)
Substance: 5 (Excellent!)
Get thee hence! ...and read about it here first!
Product: 3rd Edition Forgotten Realms HB
Author: Greenwood, Reynolds, Williams, Heinsoo
Line: 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons
Page count: 320
Year published: 2001
Comp copy?: no
Capsule Review by notwolf on 02/05/01
Genre tags: Fantasy
Is it worth forty bucks?
Yes. Oh yes.
This ppy contains everything tha the old box had in it, plus piles of Greenwood stuff from Dragon Magazines past, plus the "FR" series of Gazettes, and more! Every page is packed, yet concise, and there's just enough fluff to balance the rules. It seems like with each book, TSR tweaks the format just a bit more, and this book is darn near the pinnacle.
Right from the start, it's Elminster ( as you might expect) in all of his glory, finally as Ed meantr him to be. He is used as the example fro reading the NPC stats that pepper the book ( one notable per region, with a kikkin' color pic!). The races are laid out much lke the PHB style, buyt again, just a bit improved... and while i was thrilled to see the Genasi and Tiefling, i was disappointed to see the total absence of Saurials in the book. Anywhere.
The Prestige classes are celar and concise, leaving little room for the need of any FAQ later, except by the most skilled munchkin. Feats? you've been hearing a/b 'em for a while, and here they are: Regional feats and 'regular' feats galore. It's been said that the feat system is the backbone to character diversity and creation, and this book reinforces that thot a hundredfold. And spells, and magic, and Towns and flavour... and an awesom e history section in the back that is a scurent as the return of Bane and the destruction of Tilverton.
A long, long way from that mysterious Drow body that washed up on that Sembian shore all those years ago. Remember that? When the Drow were all but a myth?
My copy did not have a big map in it, but the maps within were more han helpful, some for the first time delineating political borders and boundaries of influences.
The sections include: Characters, with races, regions feats, classes and prestige classes ( and even a brief touch on the 'Epic"-level classes above 20th level), and how do deal with those pesky power-races; Magic, explaining 'how/why it works', secret lore, spells and domains (oh, the Domains! Whoo-hoo! I was soo pleased to see tha someone else had thot that a Druid of Malar made perfect sense), and info, finally, on those portals we've been hearing about al this time; Life In Faerun ( coinage, trade, relations, seasons); Geography (of the whole honkin' planet - including Kara-Tur, Maztica, and Zakhara, and sweet Selune and her tears) and regional flavours, with illustrated famous and soon-to-be-famous NPCs for each one. It even discusses the next closest planets, albiet briefly); Dieties, of course, and their cosmology; History;Organizations (including the Harpers, Fire Knives, and like that..); and two more chapters designed to infuse you and your players with the flavour of the Realms, it's Magics and Monsters and day-to-day life as well. There are even two adventures and notes on conversion from Greyhawk.
It's like TSR said "Here's yer new D&D, and it's all starting in Greyhawk" and everyone said "Hey, that's nice. Where are my Realms?"
Do I like this book? Yes. Yes I do.
Greyhawk may be the default setting for D&D, but I look for this book to dominate the settings scene, with the Scarred Lands closely on it's heels.