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Races of Stone (Dungeons & Dragons d20 3.5 Fantasy Roleplaying Supplement) Hardcover – August 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786932783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786932788
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #703,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jesse Decker has written numerous articles in relation to the D&D game, and his most recent design credits include the D&D Arms and Equipment Guide™ and Unearthed Arcana™.

David Noonan works full-time in the Wizards of the Coast R&D department. His most recent credits include the D&D accessory Complete Warrior™, the Urban Arcana Campaign Setting™, and Unearthed Arcana™..

More About the Author

David Noonan's most recent credits include the D&D accessories Stronghold Builder's Guidebook and Hero Builder's Guidebook and the Urban Arcana Campaign Setting.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Brad Smith on August 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've always liked dwarves. There've been a great many d20 racial splatbooks, few of which I've liked, and the only one I own is for dwarves. Now, WotC has decided to do its own racial splatbooks, and the first effort, detailing dwarves, gnomes, and a brand-new race, the goliaths, is actually a very good product.

One of the striking differences between Races of Stone and, say, the Planar Handbook, is that the primary focus of this product is what's known as "fluff"; i.e., information that is not strictly related to rules, but that details things like history, mannerisms, behavior, etc. For example, dwarves make a great variety of their clothes from root fibers! This has no real game effect, but it's nice information to have. There are sections for each race in this book, with the goliath section being a tad longer, since they're new to Races of Stone.

Speaking of goliaths, they're a primitive nomadic mountain-dwelling race; they're almost like evolved apes. They're very competitive, and quite strong. Their society is detailed in a lot of detail, and there are rules aspects that are non-obvious; despite having a Dex penalty, for example, they have a great fondness for ranged weapons.

Also included are variant races...chaos and whisper gnomes, dream dwarves, stonechildren, and feral garguns (who're relatives of the goliaths that live in even more unpleasant circumstances).

However, there is a very nice proportion of game mechanics goodness to be found (this is known colloquially as "crunch"). There are many new feats that are appropriate for the given races, new equipment (like exotic armors!
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Edward Swing on September 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First - the obvious. This book covers dwarves, gnomes, and goliaths (a new race). It includes a number of race-specific feats, class options and equipment. Overall, this section is good, and gives a number of different new options. The prestige classes were mostly well-designed, and will make a welcome option.

The Goliaths of course need to be added into a campaign world, as will many of the new races and variants listed in the "Other Races" chapter. The author actually predicted this, and gives several suggestions at the beginning of the chapter (well done!).

The feats chapter gives a number of interesting feats. Of particular note are some of the feats which blend racial elements with psionic elements. For instance Invest Armor lets a psionic improve his armor's defense. Good ideas in here.

The weak point of this book is the chapters on dwarves and gnomes. The section on dwarves fails to give as much of a proper "dwarven feel" as the 2nd Edition Complete Dwarves Handbook did. After reading the CDH, I immediately wanted to play a dwarf. I didn't get the same feeling from this. The chapter mentioned dwarven clans, but failed to really define their function within society except as a subgroup for a character to belong to. Finally, the section on religion ignored most of the well-established dwarven gods, and created a mostly new batch (or renamed a few). Some can be incorporated easily into the existing pantheon (Valkauna makes a great wife for Clangeddin). But why the name changes? Mya is an absurd name for the wife of Moradin! Finally, any discussion on the various dwarven subraces and their relations was totally missing. Where were the deep dwarves?

The section on gnomes is similar to the dwarves. Lots of information, but sadly lacking.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dhampir on October 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a somewhat typical WOC title. It tries to flesh out something and bring something new to the table. It focuses on 2 main D&D races and introduces a 3rd. You get dwarves, gnomes and the new goliaths.

While not a huge fan of dwarves or gnomes, it was nice to see a newly fleshed out race. The sections are formulaic, as most WOC books are. There sections on life, habitat, more gods for an already crowded pantheon. But face it, everybody in a pantheistic universe, is going to have their own god of something. However a little gem appears in there, a dwarven language section. It's only a page long, column style, with one work and its equivolent. Could be more, but I've learned to take what I can get.

I did enjoy the section on the goliaths. I like them. It was a nice change from the established races, complete with the same sections as dwarves and gnomes. I just felt as it was new and not something we've read before it had a fresh perspective. It gives a goo frame work on how they work, live, play (include game mechanics for playing goatball) and move around as a good nomadic people do. The sample settlements helped me as I was able to have a nice village to stumble into for my game and a larger place down the way to send them to.

Unfortunately the monster's section was too sparse. A lot more could've gone in there as most places of stone, are usually mountains. Although I found the dire eagles a nice toy to pair with a hill giant attack.

There are sections on prestige classes as usual. I didn't find any to grab my interest, nothing I'd wanted to put a few levels of my regular classes off for. The magic items didn't interest me too much either I'm afraid. It happens.

Overall, it's a useful book. If you can, borrow and use it, it'll probably be better that way.
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