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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2693 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2016 :  23:15:29  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

In Game of Thrones, no one lives.

In the Forgotten Realms, no-one ever dies.

VERY comic-bookish, IMO.

"Come, play in the Forgotten Realms! Where the only characters who don't matter are YOURS!"

Thats should be their new ad campaign.



After all the random "kill, kill, kill" of end 3e and 4e, I don't mind it a bit honestly.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 19 Nov 2016 01:23:33
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ZeshinX
Learned Scribe

Canada
204 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2016 :  14:32:41  Show Profile  Visit ZeshinX's Homepage Send ZeshinX a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well just got this. It's nifty, I'd say a solid 6/10. I would have preferred a more traditional monster manual. I won't buy another one like this.

"...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

Edited by - ZeshinX on 22 Nov 2016 14:34:56
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14027 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2016 :  18:38:12  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think - considering their current customer base - that a regular Monster Manual would have served better. Calling it 'Volos' and trying to appease the Grognards just agitated them more, and will annoy the gamers who were only looking for the stats.

Give up on the Grognards, WotC - you just can't make us happy. We thrive on angst.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 22 Nov 2016 18:38:27
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ZeshinX
Learned Scribe

Canada
204 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2016 :  19:03:12  Show Profile  Visit ZeshinX's Homepage Send ZeshinX a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I think - considering their current customer base - that a regular Monster Manual would have served better. Calling it 'Volos' and trying to appease the Grognards just agitated them more, and will annoy the gamers who were only looking for the stats.

Give up on the Grognards, WotC - you just can't make us happy. We thrive on angst.



I have no particular distaste for the ecology approach they do with the approx. first 2/3 of this. It's interesting, and certainly valuable to those who might need/want a little inspiration in their critters.

I was happy to give it a look and give WotC another chance to make something worth buying. It is, but only just (not at that insane suggested price though...hell no, get it on Amazon for about half that).

Ultimately, I found the ecology section would be best served as recurring web feature akin to Unearthed Arcana. I most certainly won't pay for another tome like this. A proper monster manual, certainly, but not this.

D&D is a game before it's a brand, WotC. Try again.

"...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

Edited by - ZeshinX on 22 Nov 2016 19:04:40
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Faraer
Great Reader

3296 Posts

Posted - 23 Nov 2016 :  01:26:15  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Two things I wonder about this book: Who is it by? Are its contents Realmslore? The impression I get is: only marginally.
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chibi_grazzt
Acolyte

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2016 :  05:48:46  Show Profile Send chibi_grazzt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

quote:
Originally posted by farinal

I found some previews from the book online! Enjoy!
http://imgur.com/a/z9SuU



Boy, it really annoys me to see recycled Illithiad art in there.


I have both, am I missing something because I don't see recycled art

My Realms Drow Campaign for D&D 5e:
https://doomofthedrow.obsidianportal.com
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5812 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2016 :  14:10:40  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I got mine at a reduced price on Amazon, still pretty high... but I find it really interesting that its got many things that I myself was looking to develop, so it saves me some time. I was thinking about creating some poisonous frog people like Grippli... they now have Grung (they're small, instead of medium, but whatever). I was looking for the girallon. Froghemoth. Firenewts (were they maybe in the elemental evil adventure path?). More dinosaurs. Choldrith/Chitines. I had found Wood Woads in DM's Guild, but I'm glad to see an official version. HMMMM, Vegepygmies... I forgot about them, but damned if I'm not glad to see them. I see T'lincalli. Neogi (no plans yet for them, but always liked them). MORE HAGS!! (even though I created my own version of the Bheur Hag for DM's Guild). Everything I listed above, I was planning on using 90% of it.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14027 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2016 :  16:32:15  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You're almost making me want to buy this, Sleyvas...

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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farinal
Learned Scribe

Turkey
213 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2016 :  07:28:17  Show Profile Send farinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My copy arrived this weekend. The book is gorgeous artwise. Quality is top. The lore is very nice and also the volo/elminster commentary is entertaining and immersive. The choice of monsters are good and all of them are really useful/interesting. The book really gets your DM juices flow. I love hags and I was planning to use a coven in my game so it is perfect for me they included detailed hags in the book.

The monsters by location tables are also quite useful. I think along with the monster manual this book is the best 5E product.

"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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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2016 :  14:13:11  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
'Tis a curious tome.

I'm happy with its content, overall, but it's a little lite on purely Realms-specific lore. It's largely generic, in fact... though this opinion only comes from the slight skimming I've given is book. Maybe there's deeper Realms content that I've yet to discover...

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Gyor
Master of Realmslore

1153 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2016 :  21:49:18  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by farinal

My copy arrived this weekend. The book is gorgeous artwise. Quality is top. The lore is very nice and also the volo/elminster commentary is entertaining and immersive. The choice of monsters are good and all of them are really useful/interesting. The book really gets your DM juices flow. I love hags and I was planning to use a coven in my game so it is perfect for me they included detailed hags in the book.

The monsters by location tables are also quite useful. I think along with the monster manual this book is the best 5E product.



Did you buy a different volo's guide to monsters then I did?

Because Elminister and Volo were reduced to posted notes with minor quips on them.

Seriously anything Forgotten Realms based was a completely after thought in the book.

This was the most misleading book title and marketing campaign since the Sundering series (which didn't really detail the Sundering much at all, it really should have been called something like the Shadovar War Series).

This book should just have been called Guide to Monsters, and not bother with the pretense of calling it a Volo's guide.

Honestly for generic D&D book its very good, but the marketing campaign is so misleading that I have no interest in spending anymore money on future D&D until they put out a FRCG with all the gods in it and a full detailed map of Faerun in it.
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Gyor
Master of Realmslore

1153 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2016 :  21:50:58  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the Lizardfolk art is recycled too from the MM.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5812 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2016 :  23:01:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by farinal

My copy arrived this weekend. The book is gorgeous artwise. Quality is top. The lore is very nice and also the volo/elminster commentary is entertaining and immersive. The choice of monsters are good and all of them are really useful/interesting. The book really gets your DM juices flow. I love hags and I was planning to use a coven in my game so it is perfect for me they included detailed hags in the book.

The monsters by location tables are also quite useful. I think along with the monster manual this book is the best 5E product.



Yeah, the one thing I wish they had gone into with hags was their reproductive capabilities and introducing OTHER methods of them reproducing. We have the obvious canon lore that hags in Rashemen can create hagspawn by mating with human males. So, not every child is created by consuming another woman's child. I also envision hags as procreating with giants / ogres / trolls, etc...

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14027 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2016 :  23:14:04  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my purely homebrew lore (and setting), I have it where the Hags ARE the female giants.

Hags can change size one category once per 24 hrs. thats how I expalin it. they prefer to stay human-sized most of the time because tis just easier for them to hide that way. Hags are also 'universal breeders' - they were originally designed (by 'the gods') to be able to breed with just about anything (because back in those days, just about everything walking around worked for 'the gods'). This would include ALL types of giantkin, as well as other mortals and outsiders. This is why we almost never see female giants.

Each crossbreed generates a different kind of Offspring - for example, human/Hag creates Ogres. Maybe Hags and something reptilian created the first trolls. Over time, these offshoots began to 'breed true' (which I suppose means the giants were yet-another 'Creator Race'). It all ties in nicely with the Grendel folklore as well.

And hags were originally all 'outsiders' (as was everyone else around in the beginning). Once 'death' came into the world(s), we began to see mortal variants of all the elder races appear (including the giants). Outsider hags are just the progenitors of today's modern 'earthly' hags. And through apotheosis, one can become the other.

And as I said, PURE homebrew, because it doesn't really work with FR canon, or even D&D in general.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Gyor
Master of Realmslore

1153 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2016 :  03:42:30  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by farinal

My copy arrived this weekend. The book is gorgeous artwise. Quality is top. The lore is very nice and also the volo/elminster commentary is entertaining and immersive. The choice of monsters are good and all of them are really useful/interesting. The book really gets your DM juices flow. I love hags and I was planning to use a coven in my game so it is perfect for me they included detailed hags in the book.

The monsters by location tables are also quite useful. I think along with the monster manual this book is the best 5E product.



Yeah, the one thing I wish they had gone into with hags was their reproductive capabilities and introducing OTHER methods of them reproducing. We have the obvious canon lore that hags in Rashemen can create hagspawn by mating with human males. So, not every child is created by consuming another woman's child. I also envision hags as procreating with giants / ogres / trolls, etc...



For the most part they ignored FR lore. So no mention of Hagspawn, no mention of the Sarrukh Creator race in the Yaun Ti section, Aasimar are tied to Mount Celestia (which in FR many and possibly most don't have a Mount Celestia connection) and now have Angellic Guides (okay that part is really cool), Tabaxi don't speak Tabaxi, Zehir isn't mentioned in the Yuan Ti Gods section, but Dendar is (since when does anyone, never mind the Yuan Ti worship Dendar the Night Serpent), the origin story for Yuan Ti has nothing to do with FR, the Tabaxi worship the Cat Lord from the original MM 2 which I guess is a new addition to FR (would have been a great way to reintroduce Sharess instead, but whatever), several Gods are mentioned that have never appeared in an FR product, and I don't know if this counts as adding them, or if its not intended for FR.


Like has Diancrastra the Giantess Goddess been added to the FR pantheon? I don't know, its not clear.

This book should never have been marketed as an FR book.

I do like alot of the mechanics and a fair amount of the lore still manages to be usefully, but as I said its not always completely clear what's intended to apply to FR and what isn't.

Plus are most of the PC race mechanics are great with a couple of exceptions (Kobolds and Orcs get stat penalties but are otherwise cool), and the Kenku gets zero combat abilities, seriously wtf? The Kenku's language mechanics make them problematic as spellcasters. They really screwed up with the Kenku, its like 75% ribbon abilities, the only good thing about them is you get two bonus skills and descent stats for a rogue or monk (your nearly useless as anything else).

Best to worst races with some class suggestions. The Aasimar are the coolest (All of them, there is no classes Aasimar don't rock), followed by the Yuan Ti Pureblood (Wizards, Paladins, Warlocks, Sorcerors, Rogues, and maybe Rangers if you pick a poisonious animal companion), Triton (Paladins, Sorcerors, Warlocks, Fighters), Lizardfolk (Paladins, Monks, Fighters, Clerics, Rangers, Barbarians), Bugbears (Fighters, Barbarians, Paladins, Rangers, Rogues, Monks), Tabaxi (I'd suggest Ranger, Rogue, Monk, Barbarian, Fighter, Sorceror or Warlock, Dex based Paladins), Kobolds (Rangers, Rogues, Monks, Fighters, Warlocks, Sorcerors), Firbolgs (Clerics, Druids, Rangers, Fighters, oddly Warlocks and Rogues), Goliaths (Fighters, Strength based Rangers, and Barbarians), Goblins (Rogues, Rangers, Fighters), Hobgoblins (Wizards, Monks, Arcane Trickster Rogues, Fighters), Orcs (Avenger Paladins, Fighters, Barbarians), Kenku (Rogues, Monks and Crafter NPCs, they useless for anything else as I don't even know if they can cast spells that require a verbal compenant).

The Monster lore section was cool, but mostly generic D&D based.

And the Beastiary is good, I specially like the Kraken Priest, Dinosaurs, various fey, Flinds, Devourer, Flail Snail, Froghemoth, Elder Brain, Mindwitness, Hags, Bodoks, Firenewts, Deep Rothe.




Edited by - Gyor on 29 Nov 2016 03:48:03
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2016 :  04:00:30  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It is definitely unfortunate that this book has very little FR lore in it. I had expected a bit more from a "Volo's Guide".

However, the core team has been pretty upfront with their intentions with the book. They've straight up said that the main reason for calling it a Volo's Guide was because they needed a title that screamed both D&D and monsters, that wasn't "Monster Manual 2", as apparently adding numbers onto titles scares away new players, who get intimidated and confused by which books they need. I don't think it was ever their intention for this to be an FR book, despite the title and selling us on the inclusion of Elminster and Volo. It's a core D&D monster book, and I think a fairly good one. It's unfortunate they decided to call it a "Volo's Guide", as that gets us FR fans excited, but we're definitely not their main market.

I'm still waiting for them to invest more in fleshing out the Realms, as I really do believe there's a lot of value to be had in creating fans through good lore. However, I temper my wishes with the knowledge that they've stated one of their primary design intentions with this edition of D&D as a whole is to avoid 'bloat'. That mostly refers to rules, hence less splat books, but I fear it also refers to lore-bloat, as this too is intimidating to newcomers to the hobby, and new wallets. So I'm keeping my hopes fairly low in that regard. Hopefully, one day, we'll at the least get a singular, detailed campaign guide...

In the meantime, this is a fun monster book that I can use in my Realms campaigns, even if it doesn't have juicy Realms-specific lore.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
792 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2016 :  12:51:15  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm to that point there are a lot of names that could have been used that aren't Monster Manual...like Monstrous Compendium or Fiend Folio, to name 2 prior used titles.
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moonbeast
Learned Scribe

USA
292 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2016 :  13:05:31  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yep. They could have just named it Fiend Folio, Banal Bestiary, etc.
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