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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30211 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2015 :  01:31:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really liked the book; it does a pretty good job of capturing the feeling of the OGB, thinks I. However, it does lack a few things that I think would have made it better...

While the book does do a good job covering the land and settlements, it woefully lacks hooks for adventure. No current clack, only a few organizations mentioned (and then, mostly in the Classes section), no NPCs... And no magic (other than some cantrips).

Magic should have been there to add to the wonder of the setting, and to set it apart from generic D&D. I'm not talking about generic +1 sword #4, I'm talking about things like jump daggers and roguestones and spells like Khelben's Warding Whip -- things that showcase the magical nature of the Realms and that don't fall into the easily identifiable slots of core stuff.

And there should have been organizations and NPCs to give PCs people and critters to interact with and/or oppose. It's the characters that bring a setting to life, and you need them to get the PCs going in the directions you need. Having a good section on NPCs and groups would give DMs a lot to work with; if you have that, the Current Clack is just the icing on the cake. Having both would be great, but you need the NPCs and power groups at a minimum.

I think they did a good job with this book. It's not ideal, but it impressed me a lot more than any of the 4E stuff I read (NOT trying to engage in an edition debate; simply comparing to recent material).

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30211 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2015 :  03:15:10  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, I liked that there were bits here and there from older material -- the section on dwarven names comes from Dwarves Deep, and the description of the Knights of the Unicorn comes from Powers & Pantheons.

And despite not making the list of deities, there were several references to Lurue -- as a goddess -- scattered throughout the book.

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deserk
Learned Scribe

Norway
96 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2015 :  15:21:51  Show Profile Send deserk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ok, I managed to get my hands on this book, and boy I got to say, what a nice surprise this is. I really like how they updated the world, brought a few new things in and obviously restored a lot of things as well.

Some lingering questions though still leave me wondering
- Dambrath:
In the excerpt of it's basically no different than 4E Dambrath, a wild land where Arkaiun barbarians roam. There's no mention of the Crinti being around yet at page 116 on the subject of Half-Elves, it is said that Half-Drow are most numerous in Dambrath. Meaning they can't be extinct as previously thought. I seem to recall back in the WotC forum days that there was a FR designer who said they were destroyed. Really glad that clearly can't be the case, as they were a cool concept. Ideally I'd really hope for some pirate harbours, holds or rivaling city-states on bay of Dolphins (the shoreline of Dambrath), with some of them perhaps ruled by half-drow who claim to be descended from the original Crinti. Some of them could be interested in restoring the old ways of the prominence of the Loviatan clergy, while some could be much less religiously invested and more focused on pirate activities in the Great Sea, from Halruaa, to the Utter East and Zakhara. This would be so much cooler than if it was just simply wild land of barbarians, little different than the Shaar. A good region needs a diversity of themes.
- Luiren:
Though it did sink, it seems that some of the halflings survived on islands, so there is a possibility of the country being restored.
- Chondath, Ssespech:
Though it seems like the Vilhon Reach is restored, this book mentions nothing of Chondath or Ssespech. I really hope they return, as they were quite interesting Machiavellian-like states, filled with intrigue and conflict. And also, Chondath has an important role in FR's history, being the forefathers of many nations today as it held many colonies across the Sea of Fallen Stars, and was as well the heart of the psionic empire of Jhaamdath.
- Chult:
I have to say it's a bit disappointing this land is still a big wilderness of now just undead Chultans. In my own campaigns I envisioned it as a land composed of tribal-like people dwelling in jungles, exhaustively co-inhabiting Chult with vast communities of fierce goblinoids and lizard folk, as mentioned in the books, but -also- had marvelously ancient cities with Sarrukh-Yuan-ti inspired architecture, ziggurats, Dinosaur Knights riding lizards, wearing bronze-like armour and weapons. What's especially disappointing is that this is the loss of a culture of African-like people, which doesn't exactly improve this campaign setting's capacity to appeal to other people than White Europeans.

Some new cool things I liked:
- High Imaskar & Mulhorand:
Though the Mulhorandi have come back and beat the Imaskari out of their homeland, it's great to read they weren't simply destroyed, but forced into retreat and exile into the Plains of the Purple Dust. Meaning we can play around with both concepts.
- Valkur:
It's cool that he's been kind of elevated as the main god of the Northlanders. It makes a lot of sense really, since he exemplifies all the virtues the Northlanders value. It's also cool in the sense that maybe it would inspire many of them to engage in long sea voyages and adventures to distant new shores and worlds, especially considering the massive geographic changes that has happened in the rest of the world since the Sundering.

Edited by - deserk on 08 Dec 2015 20:22:03
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farinal
Learned Scribe

Turkey
213 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2015 :  18:52:23  Show Profile Send farinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well this book was really not good. I didn't have much expectations anyway but really? Page numbers are very few. Almost no useful information, no crunch at all, just some really really short summaries on some famous cities and that's it.

"Show some respect!" the draegloth thundered. "You adress High Priestess Quenthel Baenre, Mistress of Arach-Tinilith, Mistress of the Academy, Mistress of Tier Breche, First Sister of House Baenre of Menzoberranzan... you insolent dog!"
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Caladan Brood
Senior Scribe

Norway
410 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2015 :  19:47:26  Show Profile  Visit Caladan Brood's Homepage Send Caladan Brood a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Finally got my copy, flipped through it quickly and put it on the shelf for later perusal. It didn't strike me as a very inviting tome; I guess the words will have to convince me this was a worthwhile purchase. It certainly was expensive enough for a glorified pamphlet!
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5812 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2015 :  04:14:04  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Valkur thing, yeah, I was surprised by his writeup with the Northlanders. It made me look at him more like Thor, enough that I realized his symbology is a shield with a cloud with 3 thunderbolts coming from it. Not saying he IS Thor, just saying I can see where he's fulfilling that role.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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The_Silversword
Seeker

USA
32 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2015 :  01:09:02  Show Profile  Send The_Silversword an AOL message Send The_Silversword a Private Message  Reply with Quote
interesting, I didnt realize Realms common (and Im assuming Chondathan) uses the Thorass alphabet, things like Manshoon's stylized 'M' sigil led me to assume that they used something more similar to a Latin alphabet. Has Thorass always been the Common script and I just missed it?

I survived the Great OTTer Purge of 2013 and all I got was this stupid sig.
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Delwa
Master of Realmslore

USA
1225 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2015 :  01:12:03  Show Profile  Visit Delwa's Homepage Send Delwa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The_Silversword

interesting, I didnt realize Realms common (and Im assuming Chondathan) uses the Thorass alphabet, things like Manshoon's stylized 'M' sigil led me to assume that they used something more similar to a Latin alphabet. Has Thorass always been the Common script and I just missed it?


I've always assumed that to be the case, but I can't give you a source where I got that impression from. I believe I've read it in the 2e Campaign Setting Boxed Set. It might be in the 3e FRCS, but I don't have a page number.

- Delwa Aunglor of Tangled Trees
I am off to slay yon refrigerator and spoil it's horde. Go for the cheese, Boo!

"The Realms change; seldom at the speed desired of those who strive, but far too quickly for those who resist." - The Simbul, taken from the Forgotten Realms Campaign Conspectus

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The_Silversword
Seeker

USA
32 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2015 :  01:24:31  Show Profile  Send The_Silversword an AOL message Send The_Silversword a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delwa

quote:
Originally posted by The_Silversword

interesting, I didnt realize Realms common (and Im assuming Chondathan) uses the Thorass alphabet, things like Manshoon's stylized 'M' sigil led me to assume that they used something more similar to a Latin alphabet. Has Thorass always been the Common script and I just missed it?


I've always assumed that to be the case, but I can't give you a source where I got that impression from. I believe I've read it in the 2e Campaign Setting Boxed Set. It might be in the 3e FRCS, but I don't have a page number.

It makes sense the Thorass script would still be used, Latin is pretty much a dead language but it's alphabet is still widely used by many languages, I just never noticed it as plainly presented in the Sword Coast Adventuer's Guide.

I survived the Great OTTer Purge of 2013 and all I got was this stupid sig.
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froglegg
Learned Scribe

307 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2015 :  16:43:59  Show Profile Send froglegg a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I picked it up about a week ago and I am liking what I am seeing and reading.

I am also thinking about how well 5th edition would work with The Old Grey Box.

The Realms is truly a great place to use as a campaign world.




John

Long live Alias and Dragonbait! Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb the Realms need you more then ever!

On my word as a sage nothing within these pages is false, but not all of it may prove to be true. - Elminster of Shadowdale

The Old Grey Box gets better with age!
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The Emerald Sage
Seeker

38 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2016 :  14:53:31  Show Profile  Visit The Emerald Sage's Homepage Send The Emerald Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

Hopefully a full campaign guide will be released eventually detailing that kind of stuff, but this is much appreciated in the meantime!


I don't think it will happen. The stated goal from Wizards was to focus on playable material and they've made good on this - three major campaigns since the launch of 5th ed. is impressive. The S.C.A.G. fits this bill, a reference book marketed to players but finally containing enough lore to cater for DMs creating original adventures.

Any further background material on the realms will likely be released in the same form, e.g. the Heartlands Adventurer's Guide or the Empires of the Sands Adventurer's Guide (now that would be something!).
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froglegg
Learned Scribe

307 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2016 :  22:34:46  Show Profile Send froglegg a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Emerald Sage

quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

Hopefully a full campaign guide will be released eventually detailing that kind of stuff, but this is much appreciated in the meantime!


I don't think it will happen. The stated goal from Wizards was to focus on playable material and they've made good on this - three major campaigns since the launch of 5th ed. is impressive. The S.C.A.G. fits this bill, a reference book marketed to players but finally containing enough lore to cater for DMs creating original adventures.

Any further background material on the realms will likely be released in the same form, e.g. the Heartlands Adventurer's Guide or the Empires of the Sands Adventurer's Guide (now that would be something!).


Whats S.C.A.G?




John

Long live Alias and Dragonbait! Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb the Realms need you more then ever!

On my word as a sage nothing within these pages is false, but not all of it may prove to be true. - Elminster of Shadowdale

The Old Grey Box gets better with age!
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Rymac
Learned Scribe

USA
283 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2016 :  22:42:47  Show Profile  Visit Rymac's Homepage Send Rymac a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by froglegg

Whats S.C.A.G?



S = Sword
C = Coast
A = Adventurer's
G = Guide

It's shorthand, just like OGB is for Old Grey Box, which itself was shorthand for the 1987 Forgotten Realms Campaign setting box.

- Ryan

Edited by - Rymac on 02 Jan 2016 22:46:40
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Gyor
Master of Realmslore

1153 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2016 :  23:23:20  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Chult isn't the only african inspired region, Turmish, Samarach, and to a lesser extent Mulhorand (Egypt is in Africa).

And I think the tribes survive, its only the main city that is still Undead infested.
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froglegg
Learned Scribe

307 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2016 :  21:46:10  Show Profile Send froglegg a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rymac

quote:
Originally posted by froglegg

Whats S.C.A.G?



S = Sword
C = Coast
A = Adventurer's
G = Guide

It's shorthand, just like OGB is for Old Grey Box, which itself was shorthand for the 1987 Forgotten Realms Campaign setting box.


Thank you sir.




John

Long live Alias and Dragonbait! Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb the Realms need you more then ever!

On my word as a sage nothing within these pages is false, but not all of it may prove to be true. - Elminster of Shadowdale

The Old Grey Box gets better with age!
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ZeshinX
Learned Scribe

Canada
204 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2016 :  17:50:31  Show Profile  Visit ZeshinX's Homepage Send ZeshinX a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I find it immensely disappointing, to be honest. I regret buying it. It's just pathetic. This should have been a proper setting guide for the Realms (a la FRCS). Really, since much of this is just rehashed text from older, better products (though missing the parts that actually made those older products exciting), it should have been done setting wide.

Well if anything, it makes it damn easy not to spend any more money on 5e, so I guess I can thank them for that.

"...because despite the best advice of those who know what they are talking about, other people insist on doing the most massively stupid things."
-Galen, technomage
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farinal
Learned Scribe

Turkey
213 Posts

Posted - 28 May 2016 :  00:07:13  Show Profile Send farinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
At least they could have put one extra addition to each class but some classes don't even get anything mechanics wise new.

"Show some respect!" the draegloth thundered. "You adress High Priestess Quenthel Baenre, Mistress of Arach-Tinilith, Mistress of the Academy, Mistress of Tier Breche, First Sister of House Baenre of Menzoberranzan... you insolent dog!"
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Kiaransalyn
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
762 Posts

Posted - 13 Aug 2016 :  08:55:47  Show Profile Send Kiaransalyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I bought the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (SCAG) recently, after much hemming and hawwing. I think, based on initial readings, I'll award 6.5/10. There are some things I like about it very much, the return of many deities is welcome, just seeing Kiaransalee listed as a drow goddess once again was delightful.

I liked the expanded options for classes, and the details on the races. I feel the domain choices for clerics is small, so it's nice to see the SCAG addressing that. A limited range of domains means deities can feel limited too, so it seems clear to me that more domains will come along (or we invent them).

Downsides to the SCAG (so far) are the detail on the Realms themselves. I just haven't been gripped enough to read the relevant sections. I wonder if this is because so much of it feels familiar. Perhaps that's a failing of the book, much of what is here works well for a newcomer to the Realms but isn't giving much that is new to those of us with longer acquaintance.

Death is Life
Love is Hate
Revenge is Forgiveness


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Jimmy: Yeah. But don't hold it against me.
Ken: I'll try not to... Just try not to say anything too loud or crass.
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Delwa
Master of Realmslore

USA
1225 Posts

Posted - 13 Aug 2016 :  17:39:14  Show Profile  Visit Delwa's Homepage Send Delwa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kiaransalyn

I bought the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (SCAG) recently, after much hemming and hawwing. I think, based on initial readings, I'll award 6.5/10. There are some things I like about it very much, the return of many deities is welcome, just seeing Kiaransalee listed as a drow goddess once again was delightful.

I liked the expanded options for classes, and the details on the races. I feel the domain choices for clerics is small, so it's nice to see the SCAG addressing that. A limited range of domains means deities can feel limited too, so it seems clear to me that more domains will come along (or we invent them).

Downsides to the SCAG (so far) are the detail on the Realms themselves. I just haven't been gripped enough to read the relevant sections. I wonder if this is because so much of it feels familiar. Perhaps that's a failing of the book, much of what is here works well for a newcomer to the Realms but isn't giving much that is new to those of us with longer acquaintance.


I hear you on that. I think a lot of the dearth of new info is related to the fact that 5e is an almost-reset. Everything is familiar because it went back to familiar settings, just with a few name changes as far as who's in power. From my wallet's perspective, that's great because I can plug in all my old material and tweak a few things. From a perspective of wanting new, cool lore, it's not that exciting. There were some tidbits I hadn't read or know before, but that's mostly because I haven't read every old sourcebook cover to cover.
Like you said, for a newcomer, or someone who has only ever read the novels, the book would be a great resource for lore. But for people who've been consuming lore since the old grey box, it's all familiar. Kind of like going back to your home town. A few faces have changed. The old man that lived across the street when you were a kid is dead, but mostly the same all around. It's nice to visit, but you're still not sure if you want to move back and settle down.

- Delwa Aunglor of Tangled Trees
I am off to slay yon refrigerator and spoil it's horde. Go for the cheese, Boo!

"The Realms change; seldom at the speed desired of those who strive, but far too quickly for those who resist." - The Simbul, taken from the Forgotten Realms Campaign Conspectus

My Forging the Realms Archives (Google Drive pdfs)
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