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Grand History of the Realms (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/03/2023 03:42:40

I think at this point the immensity of accomplishment this book represents goes without saying. It's monumental. It's unfortunate that the online updates done by Brian James to bridge the gaps from 1385-1479 are not available anywhere, as an appendix or something, since Wizards tends to scrub the D&D website every time an edition changes.

I bought this in the POD, so I will speak to that: Get the PDF and POD. The POD is great to crack open at the table, read at your leisure, have on the shelf. Obviously, it's not as beautiful as the original hardcover. This is a soft cover produced from scans. The text looks a little blurry in spots, the art reproduces a bit dark. But it's all readable, nothing is too murky or unclear. And the original hardcover is gonna run you like $100-300 these days unless you get lucky. That said, get it with the PDF because being able to CTRL+F for a person's name or a place is invaluable.

It only goes up to 1385, so you're not gonna find an easy overview of the 4e and 5e Realms, but if you want the deep lore, this is the definitive book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Grand History of the Realms (3.5)
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Murder in Thay
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/30/2023 04:05:38

What impressed me the most about this adventure is how detailed it is and how high the production value is. I think a lot of people don't understand that encounters like the Mission to Thay in Rise of Tiamat were designed with the intention that DMs would expand them on their own. What it takes to do that is an experienced, creative DM, and also one who has a good grounding in the lore of the Forgotten Realms. This is very different from the hardcovers of today, which assume that a DM has never seen a pair of dice before. Murder in Thay does the work for you, giving you personalities for the other Thayans at your party's meeting with Eseldra Yeth, a layout for Nethwatch Keep, and then a murder for your PCs to investigate that could have interesting consequences for the Thayan alliance they may be trying to bring about. Everything about the existing Rise of Tiamat encounter is still here, but it's been expanded into something considerably more interesting. Also, SPOILERS, but the death of Eseldra Yeth here happens to set up quite nicely that she's not the tharchion of Lapendrar in Ed Greenwood's recent Thay: Land of the Red Wizards supplement, which is set later down the timeline. All in all, this is a well written, well designed, well produced, excellent little expansion for Tyranny of Dragons. And I mean, the price is a steal for what you're getting, quite frankly, wow!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Murder in Thay
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Rise of Vecna
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 19:30:54

What praise can I lavish on this adventure that hasn't already been said? It's an incredibly detailed, intelligent, exciting adventure that weaves all the threads of the 5E Realms together in a nightmare world barreling towards the ascension of D&D's ultimate evil - an evil hitherto unfamiliar to the denizens of the Realms! Your players will find themselves arrayed against implacable odds in this truly challenging epic!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rise of Vecna
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Academy of Adventure
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 18:53:42

What I like about this introductory "training scenario" "holodeck" adventure is that it's got a brilliant little twist at the end that ties it into the "Doomed Forgotten Realms" setting, or you can just not include the twist and use it at face value as a kind of level 1 getting-to-know-your-character adventuring academy set-up. Very cool, either way.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Academy of Adventure
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Doomed Forgotten Realms: Sword Coast Gazetteer
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 18:42:15

I think by now it's no secret this is one of the best 5E Forgotten Realms products made. It's an incredible "What If?" gazetteer that really examines the ways all the various WotC hardcovers could domino effect and connects them in a way that WotC rarely does because they don't want you to feel like you have to play the adventures in any sort of order. But here everything interacts and ties in and builds on itself. A really great use of established lore and imagination to create something totally new and unique. Even if you don't use the product - buy it and read it. Your own Forgotten Realms game, even if not as apocalyptic, could benefit from the lesson of seeing how to weave the established elements together to make them feel like a world.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doomed Forgotten Realms: Sword Coast Gazetteer
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Xanathar's Enemies and Allies
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 18:35:16

A great release from the Guild Adepts program, I've used this a bunch since I bought it. My only regret is that I would legitimately love a release like this for the PHB subclasses too, what I especially like is the way it gives each subclass and statblock a place within the world of the Forgotten Realms, sometimes drawing on little forgotten bits of obscure lore. It helps me to ground them and decide when to use them. If you want a bunch of NPC statblocks to drop into your game, this is a great resource.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Xanathar's Enemies and Allies
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Lost Tales of Myth Drannor
Publisher: D&D Adventurers League
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 18:04:58

A collection of mini-adventures set in and around Hillsfar and Myth Drannor, if you're a fan of the early seasons of DDAL or the Heartlands of Faerûn, this is for you! With rules for wild magic in Myth Drannor's ruins following the titanic events of The Herald, updates on the state of the high elven community in the forest of Cormanthor, and a statblock for a baelnorn, this is the book for long times Realms fans. The POD copy is very nice to have as well. The production isn't up to the standards of a professional WotC hardcover, but it's still a handsome book filled with lots of fun.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lost Tales of Myth Drannor
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Rashemen - Campaign Guide
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 17:59:57

A wonderful campaign guide to a little-explored part of the Forgotten Realms that has a special and unique flavour. If you're a fan of traditional Slavic folktales, Rashemen is for you. If you wanna know more about the land where Minsc came from, Rashemen is for you. If you want to be a scheming artificer, powerful witch, or raging berserker battling against the evil Red Wizards of Thay, Rashemen is for you. Gorgeous book with fun character options, a nice gazetteer and some flavourful new enemies. Definitely worth getting in hardcover for your shelf.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rashemen - Campaign Guide
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Infernal Machine Rebuild (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 17:51:44

This fun little adventure is a sequel to Lost Laboratory of Kwalish and isn't actually tied in with Descent Into Avernus despite the title! What it is is a fun time travel adventure taking you to the construction of the Tomb of Horrors! A fun tie-in with multiple bits of D&D lore, and along with LLoK, one of the few original official 5E adventures that's default set in Greyhawk! (Still with advice for adapting to the Realms of course)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Infernal Machine Rebuild (5e)
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The Border Kingdoms: A Forgotten Realms Campaign Supplement
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 17:39:02

This supplement is very good if you intend on running a campaign in the Border Kingdoms, a kind of "anything goes" sub-region in the Forgotten Realms. Lots of great setting information for beginning your game in the sandbox of a land where everything is shifting constantly as adventurers establish petty kingdoms in a realm of political chaos. Most of the book is flavour text, though there are some cool backgrounds for Border Kingdoms characters that could be adapted to other areas of Faerûn. But really this is best used in conjunction with the Gamehole Con Border Kingdoms adventures for DDAL, and as you can see the book is fully DDAL legal. Or at least, it was when it was published. If that sounds like your jam - or if you just need to have every Ed Greenwood Forgotten Realms book on your shelf - buy this and get it in hardcover with the good colour!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Border Kingdoms: A Forgotten Realms Campaign Supplement
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Mordenkainen’s Fiendish Folio, Volume 1: Monsters Malevolent and Benign
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 17:36:10

If you're a fan of the weirder monsters from the 1E Fiend Folio, if you want some new monsters from the days when monster design still followed the same design philosophy as the rest of the game instead of being arbitrary, this is a fun collection of the weird and bizarre to add to your dungeons. Lots of fun.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mordenkainen’s Fiendish Folio, Volume 1: Monsters Malevolent and Benign
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Thay Land Of The Red Wizards
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 17:34:56

This is a fantastic regional sourcebook about the land of Thay, updating it to the fifth edition 1490s timeframe. It ties in with the Dreams of the Red Wizards DDAL campaign but is also just a spectacular resource for running games set in Thay, making it a genuine adventuring location. The book details Thay as one of the last slave-owning nations in Faerûn, and describes how even in Thay young people are beginning to turn against the practice (after all, we have all these undead to do our bidding). Thayan customs, fashion, culture, even cuisine is detailed! There are three recipes in this book! Learn how the Red Wizards are organized, who all the zulkirs are, and learn of the anti-zulkirs in Mulmaster who want to overthrow Szass Tam. Enjoy a gazetteer taking you through all the varied provinces and learn that even if Thay is a nation of evil, it's still just as varied as any other place. It all gives you a sense of Thay as being a surveillance police state, like fantasy East Germany or something, especially with the details on the Probity Corps, who are basically the thought police of Thay. Enjoy a purposefully mechanically unbalanced and broken subclass because BAH! Szass Tam cares not for your puny concepts of "game balance!" The section on Circle magic is super cool and gives DMs a great mechanic for all those "stop the evil wizards before they complete the summoning ritual" style scenes. The backgrounds for Thayan characters are fantastic, I particularly like the one that basically makes you the Faerûnian Weapon X. The monsters are a lot of fun, most of them basically failed Cronenbergian experiments, and they give lots of good inspiration for building similar monsters along the same lines. Who knew Thay had so many goats?! The included adventure is a wonderfully fun story of intrigue. The Forgotten Realms is a land of factions, plots within plots, and this adventure shows that quite well. Get the book, get it in hardcover with good colour, it's a worthy addition to your shelf. And it's Ed Greenwood, for cryin' out loud!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Thay Land Of The Red Wizards
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Confrontation at Candlekeep (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 16:39:26

A great read if you're doing a little research on the recent backstory of Candlekeep before diving into any of its 5E appearances. A tie-in with the Sundering event and the novel The Herald, and also just a great read if you're curious about how to design multi-table adventures. I'm glad that convention exclusives like this are kept here on the DMs Guild for people to access, even if it's just for historical value.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Confrontation at Candlekeep (5e)
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Lost Laboratory of Kwalish (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 16:36:28

This is a fantastic little adventure that has a lot of cool stuff for your players to find, plus the biggest table of rumours I've ever seen. Fun new spells and magic items, a great story that ties into a lot of cool D&D lore, it's just really solid. Plus! You can get a nice POD copy!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lost Laboratory of Kwalish (5e)
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Encounters in the Far North
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2023 16:10:06

The amount of work that went into this is just fantastic and obviously the production values are great. The Guild Adepts program really was a great thing while it lasted. Tons of great encounters for if you're running games north of Luskan, or most any arctic environment really.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Encounters in the Far North
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