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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
3054 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2006 :  15:54:11  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Races of Faerun put new meaning to the race we ourselves like to call ourselves Human, making each human sub-race more realms flavorful.

Karsite Arcanar (Most Holy Servant of Karsus)

Anauria - Survivor State of Netheril as penned by me:
http://www.dmsguild.com/m/product/172023
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30015 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2006 :  17:20:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

Races of Faerun put new meaning to the race we ourselves like to call ourselves Human, making each human sub-race more realms flavorful.



That was one of the things I loved about that book. Finally we were able to have Fighter Bob Smith from Shadowdale be different from Fighter Bahb Al'Smith from Calimport... And I also enjoyed the greater focus on the planetouched, particular the fey'ri and the various genasi.

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msatran
Learned Scribe

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2006 :  20:35:07  Show Profile  Visit msatran's Homepage Send msatran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bah'b ahl Smith! BWAHAHAHAHHAHAAAAAAAAAAA.

That's GREAT.
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 22 Jun 2006 :  01:54:26  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by msatran

I voted for Power of Faerun. This is clearly the most useful sourcebook out of all of them. It tells you how politics work, how to get your PC into it, and the different types of leaders that you can have or become. Overall, this is probably not just the single best REALMS sourcebook in years, this is probably the best D+D sourcebook in years. And I'll stand by that until they come out with a better one.



I only wish I saw in that book what you did.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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scererar
Master of Realmslore

USA
1615 Posts

Posted - 22 Jun 2006 :  03:46:17  Show Profile Send scererar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

Races of Faerun put new meaning to the race we ourselves like to call ourselves Human, making each human sub-race more realms flavorful.



That was one of the things I loved about that book. Finally we were able to have Fighter Bob Smith from Shadowdale be different from Fighter Bahb Al'Smith from Calimport... And I also enjoyed the greater focus on the planetouched, particular the fey'ri and the various genasi.



exactly why I chose RoF as well.

"Yap,yap, little dog!" - Riven - page 326 Shadowbred, by Paul Kemp

_________________________

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
- J. R. R. Tolkien
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msatran
Learned Scribe

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2006 :  16:52:39  Show Profile  Visit msatran's Homepage Send msatran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, Rin, I like books without a lot of excess statblockiness. I had to get over the 4 page CR 40 dragon. (That was a waste of paper, but its the shortest waste of paper in the books so far.)

But when you look at the stuff on becoming a leader, or types of leaders, it's useful not just for the Realms, but in any campaign, and unlike many of the other sourcebooks where there are adventures or statblocks that you could do that with, this provided general guidelines on what the characters needed to do. It was useful anywhere. It let the DM do all the work, and it provided a set of useful tools that the DM could use to get there, or that a player could use to try to get there.

I run an extremely "Interactive" world. There are about 15 groups of player characters and my world has run for 20 years. There are a total of seven or eight people with the Leadership feat since we converted to 3.5, and most of them are different types of leaders.

It's a constant enterprise with that many different PCs, and I am certain that if Ed had as many PC's as I did, he'd be twitching in his boots just like I do when it comes time to run a session for one of the higher level groups. You just never know when you'll run into another high level PC, and I'll have to dig out my cellphone and say "Hey, (Name of Player), YOU have been encountered. What do you want?"

So, that's my story. I don't run campaigns and put them on the shelf. I run campaigns and make the PC's a part of the world. It's been going on for 20 years now, this October. And I still have most of the same players I had in college.

(Come back, Norman Aragones, we miss you, whereever you are.)
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Eremite
Learned Scribe

Singapore
182 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2006 :  17:59:20  Show Profile  Visit Eremite's Homepage Send Eremite a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tough one to answer.

Lost Empires of Faerun provides enough material to fuel a thousand campaigns.

Power of Faerun is outstanding for the way it makes you stop and think of how to run D&D in a manner that cannot be duplicated by a computer game.

Races of Faerun is so helpful for creating characters with background.

Player's Guide to Faerun is boring by comparison but necessary.

Unapproachable East is probably my favourite regional book both because it's rather good and the area is largely free from novels!

I really want to vote for Mysteries of the Moonsea just to be different... but, actually, I don't want to be -that- different. ;)

My shorter answer is that I can't really vote!


Best
E
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2006 :  22:56:54  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

Races of Faerun put new meaning to the race we ourselves like to call ourselves Human, making each human sub-race more realms flavorful.



Each human sub-race?

The human sections were my least favorite part of RoF. I don't really want to get into why...I don't feel like starting a debate.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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msatran
Learned Scribe

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2006 :  05:23:19  Show Profile  Visit msatran's Homepage Send msatran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, Rin, speaking as "The Jewish Guy," I think I have a pretty good idea of why that might be your least favorite part, and quite frankly, it was mine, too.



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Wandering_mage
Senior Scribe

688 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2006 :  02:03:19  Show Profile  Visit Wandering_mage's Homepage Send Wandering_mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Magic of Faerun is defintely a must buy and own! I enjoyed it even more with Volo's Guide to all things magical (or whatever the title is). It has enriched the magic use in my camapigns.

Illum
The Wandering Mage
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Arnwyn
Seeker

35 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2006 :  15:03:30  Show Profile  Visit Arnwyn's Homepage Send Arnwyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Other: Faiths & Avatars (2e)

If I had to choose a 3e product, it would likely be either Races of Faerun, Shining South, Unapproachable East, or Serpent Kingdoms [just the geography chapter]. Namely: new information!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30015 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2006 :  18:19:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

Races of Faerun put new meaning to the race we ourselves like to call ourselves Human, making each human sub-race more realms flavorful.



Each human sub-race?

The human sections were my least favorite part of RoF. I don't really want to get into why...I don't feel like starting a debate.



Well... It is a proven fact that, perhaps thru limited genetic selection, certain regional/ethnic groups do have minor differences. For example, I've heard that many Japanese people lack an enzyme that readily breaks down alcohol. And the fact that certain skintones, hair colors, and eye colors are dominant in some areas backs up the idea of regional variations within a race.

So, without trying to negative in any way, I can see the idea of sub-races, and I don't have a problem with it.

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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2006 :  02:53:36  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What troubled me more was the way people of the different regional backgrounds were generalized (not just in terms of culture, but personality). I know it's fantasy, but still...

Like I said, though I really don't want to start an argument about it. I have no axe to grind, I'm just mentioning that that particular section of the book rubbed me the wrong way (and apparently I'm not the only one.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)

Edited by - Rinonalyrna Fathomlin on 27 Jun 2006 03:03:07
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GothicDan
Master of Realmslore

USA
1103 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2006 :  03:25:24  Show Profile  Visit GothicDan's Homepage  Send GothicDan an AOL message  Send GothicDan an ICQ Message  Click to see GothicDan's MSN Messenger address  Send GothicDan a Yahoo! Message Send GothicDan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I kind of like a balance between stereotyping and being so totally free/liberal about things that it is impossible to define anything about a given group. And culture IS a big part of personality - on a large scale, at least. Culture and personality are often times analogous. Being logical, for example, is often associated with both German culture and one's personality.

Planescape Fanatic

"Fiends and Undead are the peanut butter and jelly of evil." - Me
"That attitude should be stomped on, whenever and wherever it's encountered, because it makes people holding such views bad citizens, not just bad roleplayers (considering D&D was structured as a 'forced cooperation' game, and although successive editions are pointing it more and more towards a me-first, min-max game, the drift away from 'we all need each other to succeed' will at some point make it 'no longer' D&D)." - ED GREENWOOD

Edited by - GothicDan on 27 Jun 2006 03:26:29
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Darrin Drader
Forgotten Realms Designer

16 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2006 :  22:06:48  Show Profile  Visit Darrin Drader's Homepage Send Darrin Drader a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

Well, I have to say Serpent kingdoms, as most of the others to a great degree covers the same areas as 1ed and 2ed products. I don't use 3ed rules so all rules are useless to me personally, so Serpent kingdoms is the only 3ed book that makes it to my top 20 FR books of all time.



It always surprises me when people list Serpent Kingdoms as their favorite FR book. Don't get me wrong, I worked on it and I think it's a fine book, but even I consider the core books to be of more general utility. What is it about this book that people find so endearing?

* Yeah, this is a lot like some shameless fishing for compliments, but I am curious.

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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2006 :  22:51:42  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GothicDan

I kind of like a balance between stereotyping and being so totally free/liberal about things that it is impossible to define anything about a given group. And culture IS a big part of personality - on a large scale, at least. Culture and personality are often times analogous. Being logical, for example, is often associated with both German culture and one's personality.



But not all the Faerunian human "races" are of the same culture to begin with. So even if what you are saying is true, it doesn't totally destroy my point.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)

Edited by - Rinonalyrna Fathomlin on 27 Jun 2006 22:54:42
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Swordsage
Learned Scribe

137 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2006 :  01:14:14  Show Profile  Visit Swordsage's Homepage Send Swordsage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Darrin Drader
It always surprises me when people list Serpent Kingdoms as their favorite FR book. Don't get me wrong, I worked on it and I think it's a fine book, but even I consider the core books to be of more general utility. What is it about this book that people find so endearing?

* Yeah, this is a lot like some shameless fishing for compliments, but I am curious.



It gave us Sarrukh and a look at the Realms' pre-history, gave us details on the Nether Scrolls and provided lore and information on hitherto undetailed areas such as the Tashalar, Samarach, Thindol etc. It also tied in a few dangling threads such as the Terraseer, the status of the serpent deities and current unfolding plots in the Realms. All in all, a very solid book for realmslore and DMs, maybe not so good for pure players unless they are fans of the setting and completists.

The Swordsage
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GothicDan
Master of Realmslore

USA
1103 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2006 :  02:06:57  Show Profile  Visit GothicDan's Homepage  Send GothicDan an AOL message  Send GothicDan an ICQ Message  Click to see GothicDan's MSN Messenger address  Send GothicDan a Yahoo! Message Send GothicDan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
But not all the Faerunian human "races" are of the same culture to begin with. So even if what you are saying is true, it doesn't totally destroy my point.


You're right, it doesn't. :) Was just adding my own tought of knowledge/opinion to the situation, s'all.

Planescape Fanatic

"Fiends and Undead are the peanut butter and jelly of evil." - Me
"That attitude should be stomped on, whenever and wherever it's encountered, because it makes people holding such views bad citizens, not just bad roleplayers (considering D&D was structured as a 'forced cooperation' game, and although successive editions are pointing it more and more towards a me-first, min-max game, the drift away from 'we all need each other to succeed' will at some point make it 'no longer' D&D)." - ED GREENWOOD
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2006 :  04:30:31  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:

Originally posted by Darrin Drader
It always surprises me when people list Serpent Kingdoms as their favorite FR book. Don't get me wrong, I worked on it and I think it's a fine book, but even I consider the core books to be of more general utility. What is it about this book that people find so endearing?


Well, first of all I have a rather good collection of 1ed and 2ed books, and I don't use 3ed rules, so for me both the rules lightness and the fact that 80% of the information in this book is new plays an important part. The book is also an easier read for me with long sections of text, I don't like reading short paragraphs, so this is an important point to me personally. I am not looking for general utility, but for books that give me a "feel" of the material, more than gaming information.

I am a conservative Realms DM and prefer the older style of the realm; and this is the book that to me came closest to these and at the same time provided new information. I can see the appeal in many of the other books for those who use 3ed or that don't have the older material, but to me personally this book was perfect.

I could probably heave compliments at the book until people reading swore to never go near the book, so I will quit before it becomes sickening. And Darrin; Thanks, You helped one happy gamer here.

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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2006 :  04:45:53  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GothicDan

quote:
But not all the Faerunian human "races" are of the same culture to begin with. So even if what you are saying is true, it doesn't totally destroy my point.


You're right, it doesn't. :) Was just adding my own tought of knowledge/opinion to the situation, s'all.



Understood. I still liked most of the book, anyway.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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msatran
Learned Scribe

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2006 :  06:55:43  Show Profile  Visit msatran's Homepage Send msatran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's kind of funny, because I consider Serpent Kingdoms the worst one of all. It has great DM utility, but, the lack of a map overlay vs. the human kingdoms, the lack of information on secret rulers vs. open rulers in these areas...REALLY killed it organziationally. I still have to double and triple check where everything is. "Hang on, let me check Serpent Kingdoms. I have no bloody idea where you are..." While I don't normally deal with crunch, and I'm certain some of the PRCs were necessary, I can't imagine why the serpent hunter prc only gets smite serpent once. Was it created by Serpentfolk who had the plan of "heh...heh...heh...if we figure out a way to make people think they're hunting us, they'll be easier to kill...." And why have a smite ability at all if the BAB for the class is poor, unless you can use the smite with spellcasting attacks. Even so, I doubt the necessity of a class entitled "Naga Overlord." Unless you're running a campaign full of naga pcs, it doesn't make much sense to me.

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Swordsage
Learned Scribe

137 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2006 :  07:56:50  Show Profile  Visit Swordsage's Homepage Send Swordsage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Have you seen the maps for SK that were released on the WotC website?

The Swordsage
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2006 :  09:59:16  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, as I play 2ed or other systems the rules in Serpent kingdoms don't matter to me at all. As I have the old Forgotten Realms Atlas, and disagree with the shrinking of the map for this edition the lack of maps did not bother me either.

Many of the 3ed books become over organized for me, and even if that makes them easier to look up in, that hurts some of the reading joy for me personally. when it comes to rulers and borders I don't mind creating these myself.

It is a matter of taste as I said but to me personally this is definitely the high point of the newer Realmsbooks.
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 02 Jul 2006 :  22:12:01  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Swordsage

quote:
Originally posted by Darrin Drader
It always surprises me when people list Serpent Kingdoms as their favorite FR book. Don't get me wrong, I worked on it and I think it's a fine book, but even I consider the core books to be of more general utility. What is it about this book that people find so endearing?

* Yeah, this is a lot like some shameless fishing for compliments, but I am curious.



It gave us Sarrukh and a look at the Realms' pre-history, gave us details on the Nether Scrolls and provided lore and information on hitherto undetailed areas such as the Tashalar, Samarach, Thindol etc. It also tied in a few dangling threads such as the Terraseer, the status of the serpent deities and current unfolding plots in the Realms. All in all, a very solid book for realmslore and DMs, maybe not so good for pure players unless they are fans of the setting and completists.

The Swordsage




And it also detailed fantastically a number of ways to involve Yuan-ti in your campaigns... plus, it detailed their origins, variations, some vocabulary, habits of worship, etc.

"What am I doing today? Ask me tomorrow - I can be sure of giving you the right answer then."
-- Askarran of Selgaunt, Master Sage, speaking to a curious merchant, Year of the Helm
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2006 :  11:01:15  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
quote:
Originally posted by Swordsage

quote:
Originally posted by Darrin Drader
It always surprises me when people list Serpent Kingdoms as their favorite FR book. Don't get me wrong, I worked on it and I think it's a fine book, but even I consider the core books to be of more general utility. What is it about this book that people find so endearing?

* Yeah, this is a lot like some shameless fishing for compliments, but I am curious.



It gave us Sarrukh and a look at the Realms' pre-history, gave us details on the Nether Scrolls and provided lore and information on hitherto undetailed areas such as the Tashalar, Samarach, Thindol etc. It also tied in a few dangling threads such as the Terraseer, the status of the serpent deities and current unfolding plots in the Realms. All in all, a very solid book for realmslore and DMs, maybe not so good for pure players unless they are fans of the setting and completists.

The Swordsage


Technically, we had sarrukh in the original Lords of Darkness.

It should be noted however that Hsssthak of Isstossef wasn't originally described as a sarrukh. It wasn't until the release of Serpent Kingdoms, which later clarified that. He's mentioned in the "Mummies" adventure on pg. 34 and is more fully described on pages 80 and 81. His identifcation as a sarrukh occurs on pg. 96 of Serpent Kingdoms.

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