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deserk
Learned Scribe

Norway
195 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2021 :  19:19:43  Show Profile Send deserk a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
https://www.dmsguild.com/product/370425/Rashemen--Campaign-Guide?filters=0_0_0_0_45356_0_0_0

I just noticed this came out recently on DMs Guild. Looks mightily impressive and of definite interest to any Realms fan. It seems like Ed Greenwood has been involved with it, as well as many other designers.

Edited by - deserk on 25 Sep 2021 19:24:04

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35427 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2021 :  22:56:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm curious to know how much involvement Ed had with this.

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6280 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  02:59:02  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe ask him on Twitter.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10743 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  03:55:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He apparently wrote a foreword on it that you can read before buying. That might be the extent, but who knows.

I'm not normally one to spend almost $20 on something on DM's Guild, especially by noone I know (unless they're here and use a different name than what I'm seeing in the names listed mind you), but I may actually break down and look at this. I had done some of the rules for hagspawn, wychlaran, durthan, and vremyonni for 5e back when 5e first came out in my red book of spell strategy, and they're redoing it with newer rulesets to work from (like artificers for vremyonni). It might be interesting to read their take. Thanks Deserk.

If anyone here was involved, or you recognize the names of the writers as having done something official, let me know who they are (lord knows there have been so many designers over the years that I never knew all their names).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10743 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  12:45:27  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, just to note, seems like they may have also written another guide in the area and they may have a lot of interest in the area. This one's for the Great Dale

https://www.dmsguild.com/product/288755/The-Great-Dale-Campaign-Guide

That being said, one thing catches my eye and concerns me in that they say they include rules for "Rauthmari Battlemages".... and should be Raumathari... I know I make typos at times too though. Maybe if someone here knows them they can see this and fix it. I wouldn't like to call them out on their product page itself, as it might hurt their sales, and lord knows I don't want to discourage sales on something that might be a perfectly fine product over a simple misspelling.

BTW, just downloaded the Rashemen product after 5 tries (dmsguild was being a pain, guess the site was doing something). Gonna dig into it. If I really like what I see I'll make notes. If nothing jumps at me, expect to hear nothing more.

Oh, and one quick question for anyone reading. I'm curious ever since seeing the unapproachable east take on races. I get the hagspawn and spirit folk and can see people playing those races and a lot of the other races, but has ANYONE ever actually played a Taer? I cannot honestly say I've ever heard of anyone interested in it, nor do I see there being a large number of them.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 26 Sep 2021 13:51:14
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
3230 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  13:49:02  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Looks interesting.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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deserk
Learned Scribe

Norway
195 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  19:37:21  Show Profile Send deserk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
Oh, and one quick question for anyone reading. I'm curious ever since seeing the unapproachable east take on races. I get the hagspawn and spirit folk and can see people playing those races and a lot of the other races, but has ANYONE ever actually played a Taer? I cannot honestly say I've ever heard of anyone interested in it, nor do I see there being a large number of them.


I think Taer could be potentially interesting if they actually had some semblance of a culture and other qualities to distinguish them from yetis, and some significance in a particular region. But they pretty much seem to be evil, dim-witted club-wielding yetis. So yeah, it is curious why they were picked out as a race for the Unapproachable East.

Personally spirit folk is the race that I like the least. They practically sound like elves, except they are not, and they look virtually indistinguishable from humans. I kinda feel, what's the point of them? Why not just have proper elves instead?

The volodni is the one race from the Unapproachable East that I actually think is a unique and interesting addition to the region.

Edited by - deserk on 26 Sep 2021 19:40:37
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10743 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  23:33:06  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by deserk

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
Oh, and one quick question for anyone reading. I'm curious ever since seeing the unapproachable east take on races. I get the hagspawn and spirit folk and can see people playing those races and a lot of the other races, but has ANYONE ever actually played a Taer? I cannot honestly say I've ever heard of anyone interested in it, nor do I see there being a large number of them.


I think Taer could be potentially interesting if they actually had some semblance of a culture and other qualities to distinguish them from yetis, and some significance in a particular region. But they pretty much seem to be evil, dim-witted club-wielding yetis. So yeah, it is curious why they were picked out as a race for the Unapproachable East.

Personally spirit folk is the race that I like the least. They practically sound like elves, except they are not, and they look virtually indistinguishable from humans. I kinda feel, what's the point of them? Why not just have proper elves instead?

The volodni is the one race from the Unapproachable East that I actually think is a unique and interesting addition to the region.



On the spirit folk, I agree, I haven't ever played one, but I do see the point of them... basically not making every race that's "in tune with nature" being an elf. Plus, it creates a connection to Kara-Tur. That being said though, yep, not really necessary... and hagspawn are somewhat similar to half-orcs, except I feel more sorry for them, as hags would make horrible mothers, and their fathers likely don't know they exist. Hagspawn at least could have a pretty good storyline made for them.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10743 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2021 :  23:57:47  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, still reading, but some things come to mind.

They talk about "other races" and they mention orcs. They talk about the ones in Thesk. They then say there are some gray orcs in the high country that are more ascetic. No mention of orcs in Thay... which granted, Thay HAS changed since the spellplague, but I'd still expect to find orcs there, and even some unsual breeds of them (the neo-orogs). Minor thing, but it felt like they were trying to give orcs a soft touch that doesn't match exactly how they'd be seen. Most Rashemi probably wouldn't like orcs because of their interactions with Thay.

The vremyonni piece... at first I was like "yeah, this works", but the more I think on it.... I think if I ever ran a 5e campaign there I'd probably offer their vremyonni version (which is a subclass of artificer) as an option, but I'd ALSO offer my own version which I have in the red book of spell strategy (which is an alternative arcane tradition for wizards besides the standard schools of magic). I say this because the traditional vremyonni were wizards who did the spell research, magic item making, etc... for the witches. They were the engineers and the witches were the wielders. So, there should be vremyonni that have similar abilities to witches.

dinner, be back later.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6280 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2021 :  11:16:31  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What's the history section like?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10743 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2021 :  12:47:09  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

What's the history section like?

-- George Krashos



Haven't gotten that far yet. The first 73 pages seem to be crunch of rules, then 36 pages of "history" in various forms, then some stuff on magic items for about 20 pages or so, then a section on NPC's with some girth to each, then monster entries. The book is 175 pages long though. As I admittedly skim it (and damn it, I had 12 big PDF's open and its screaming on memory again, will reboot after the forums) I do see a lot of new entries that don't ring a bell. I will give them some props too for recognizing from other products some interactions that could happen (i.e. there's duergar beneath NE Rashemen according to 3.5 Underdark, etc...). I see a table of "the Arkhans of Raumathar" trying to lay out the history of that culture. They also try to update the history of the last hundred years and that's one of their stated goals in the beginning.

So, for those who know me, I'm not big on dropping more than $5 on a DM's Guild product (call me cheap, but too many things people put up are pretty useless to me). If I didn't absolutely love Rashemen, I probably would not be interested at the $20 price.... but since I had $14 sitting there doing nothing from things sold, I figured what the hell and bought it. It has a decent amount of crunch and at least seems to make an attempt to explore the region, and I see enough to believe that they love the region too. It may not in the end be where I would bring things, but I might include multiple options like I was talking about (i.e. like the witches, not all vremyonni are the same and some might be wizards, some sorcerers, some artificers, some eldritch knights, some even warlocks to fey powers).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 28 Sep 2021 12:50:56
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deserk
Learned Scribe

Norway
195 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2021 :  14:57:24  Show Profile Send deserk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I liked it. The format of the book is kind of vaguely reminiscent of 2nd edition books. The art is fairly good; there are a few quite good coloured illustrations, but it's mostly black and white illustrations, which also helps give it that "2nd edition"-y feel. There's a good chunk of lore in it on Rashemen. And I don't mind paying a bit for a good product, especially one where Ed or other FR designers had some involvement, because I want to see more of that. And definitely more campaign books about areas that rarely get attention in Faerun. I hope the guys that made this, make more!

I liked the bit on grey orcs. Kind of give off the vibe of the Orsimer of Elder Scrolls, in the sense they live a kind of nomadic existence in the far the corners of the world, and mostly keep to themselves, rather than being ultra-aggressive raiders as is typical of D&D orcs. I would expect that they are not disliked to the same extent as the orcs of Thay, as I suspect the Thayan orcs are probably mountain orcs that have been imported as slaves. I would imagine they would be easier to control and to use as slave soldiers. And of course many Thayan orcs are blood orcs as well.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10743 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2021 :  23:24:36  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Still going through the crunch of the book, admittedly quickly. Looking at the Raumathari Battlemage option for sorcerers, it gives an ability to add a charisma bonus to AC, but ONLY if you aren't wearing armor. This kind of goes against the fact that one of the draws of a sorcerer is that you can wear armor. Historically, the Raumathari Battlemages weren't necessarily "armorless", and they are depicted as using heavy weapons. If the worry were about giving them too much of a bonus, they could have just given a set bonus, possibly based on level, or they could have given an option that "they can use their Charisma bonus instead of their dexterity bonus".

Also, the author needs to open his document and do a search and replace on the world Raumanth and replace it with Raumath. I only say
that because its about the sixth time I've seen it spelled Raumanthar or something similar and I'm only on page 35 now.

Also, while I realize Szass Tam is powerful, I don't see him as a Warlock Patron. Larloch I might be able to buy because he's so nebulous, but not Tam.

This is more on the flavor than the mechanics, but they have a sorcerer option called the reborn that goes into them channeling their past selves. That doesn't really fit Rashemen to me, as I've never really felt a reincarnation them in their culture. Mechanically, the same concept though could be achieved with them "bonding" with a spirit/telthor to gain knowledge or abilities that it had.

I will say I think the wychlaran CLASS is interesting.... I want to read it slower, but it might be fun. EDIT: Hmm, the class gets a very broad selection of spells, but much fewer spell slots overall. It does however get a "bonded" spell slot for casting a spell affecting multiple people that you have created a bond with (i.e. some members of your party), so you can use several specific spells across (the big ones are cure wounds and healing word). Also, while in Rashemen, they have place magic, which is traditional... so they're in effect something like a wizard/priest with sorcerer ability to use any spell they know while in their homeland... and they know a lot of spells. However, again, their NUMBER of spell slots is small (half that of other casters roughly). They also get some class ability to dispel magic and counter spell a few times per short rest that goes up as they level, so that helps make up some for the lack of spell slots if going toe to toe against other spellcasters. They also get an ability that I don't agree with (the ability to take over other people's constructs that they've defeated). I could see this for vremyonni, but not the witches, and given that Szass Tam historically specifically brought an army of gem golems to invade them, it doesn't fit. It only works if you "defeat a construct but don't destroy it"... which in game terms means what exactly? I don't see this as an ability that will come into play a whole lot, and it doesn't fit them historically, so I would recommend its removal. It might be better if they replaced it with something resembling the ability of the witches to form "circles"/"covens" which worked together in battle to enhance their magic (in 5e, this might simply be the central caster being able to add levels to a spell without increasing the slot used... which for most spells wouldn't be a big deal). Maybe something where they can form a temporary bond between short rests so long as any 3 witches work together, and then any spell cast by a member of this temporary coven casts any spell they cast as if it were using a slot 3 levels higher, and cantrips cast by them are cast as if they were 5 levels higher (so a cantrip that would normally do say 2d8 damage might do 3d8). Maybe forming this temporary coven can only last like ten minutes or something, and maybe forming the coven takes a round.

At one point you do see a choice of going either hathran or durthan in the class (this is called a praxis) and interestingly this also gives you different bonded spells. For the hathran this means more protection spells for you and your bondmates. There's not much difference to the Durthan, except the spells given and abilities tend to be more combative. Both build on the ability to mess with constructs, which again doesn't fit the original witches. It would be better if they were doing something with telthors if they wanted them to have minions, and in my view it would be better if the hathrans were working with the living (i.e. getting a cohort of some sort) and the durthans were using telthors as a minion.

While I am being a little critical of this class, I'm trying to present improvements. Overall, I really like this concept, but it needs some slight tweaking in my book (something I appreciate when people tell me similar) to still give it a feel that fits with the classic wychlaran.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 29 Sep 2021 14:13:42
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