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Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms: A Dungeons & Dragons Supplement Hardcover – October 16, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Dungeons & Dragons
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; 4th ed edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786960345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786960347
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just received my copy today and being a long time fan and DM of the Forgotten Realms this is a great book for anyone devoted to playing in the Realms. You are not going to find any classes or stats in here. What you will find is day to day Faerun, what people eat, what they drink, how they speak and what they believe.

The book is well organized, the table of contents can lead you to what aspect of Realms life you want to focus on. Once there, the pages are packed full of details that will send your imagination into overdrive. For example, the section on wines could have been a boring restaurant wine list, instead not only does it tell you about wine it paints the picture of of what the adventures might see when they pass through a city gate. Or the section on tea which makes you question every traveling tea merchant you see.

Something else to note that was not listed in any description, it is a book full of new artwork with excellent descriptive text below it AND images of original hand drawn art/typed manuscripts that Ed had made countless years back. A real treasure trove.

This is a must have for any Forgotten Realms DM or hardcore player. A pass if you are looking for prestige classes and stat blocks.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let's face it, if you're a fan of the Forgotten Realms, you know there has been a lot of material released for the setting.

None of it has been like this.

We've had books detailing areas of the Realms. We've had histories of nations, lists of rulers, and broad overviews of towns within those nations. We've had maps of castles and dungeons. We've learned the secrets of innkeepers. We've learned about the plants and critters found in a region, and the magic used in that area.

That's not this book.

We've had books detailing power groups of the Realms. We know about avatars. We've read about trading companies, churches, power-hungry mages, knightly orders, xenophobic elves, noble houses, and adventuring bands.

That's not this book.

We've had books detailing the magic of the Realms. We've learned about magical tomes, powerful spells, wondrous items, and the magic used by a noteworthy group of female siblings. We know about mage sigils, flying ships, gemstones that can be turned into ioun stones, and of a magical hangover cure.

That's not this book.

What we've never really had is a book about *living* in the Realms. We've never had a book that listed Realms-specific common words. We've never had a book that discusses how temples earn money. We've never had a book that discusses elven cuisine. We've never had a book that discussed the flow of trade and those who facilitate this flow. We've never had a book that discussed hygiene in the Realms.

In other words, we've never had a book that shows us the Realms from the perspective of the common 0-level NPC.
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Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for statistics here, you're going to be disappointed. This is not the charts-and-tables compendium that many DM's will be looking for. It's the other kind of exhaustive resource. It's more like an encyclopedia. It covers everything from social ritual, to geography, to politics, to economics. You'll learn about the material culture -- clothing, building, handiworks -- of each region.

This will be extremely useful if you are designing new campaigns in the area. One group that may run into trouble is DM's who have already imagined their own details -- now all that has been "superseded" by "canonical" info. Also, you may find snarky players pulling the book out to show you why you are DMing wrong. In either case, as DM you are free to decide that your (hopefully consistent) rules and details ARE canonical.

Highly recommended as the ultimate resource for Forgotten Realms data. Just don't be disappointed when you find out that your favorite region isn't how you imagined it.

A few other (non-D&D) compendiums may be of interest. Parlett's THE Book of Word Games contains an excellent "Alphabestiary" section of verbal play found in real life. Then there's Borge's The Book of Imaginary Beings and Calvino's Invisible Cities -- compendiums of imaginary creatures and of imaginary cities, respectively. All are highly recommended.
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By Killraven on October 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is Ed rambling on about many subjects as relates to the Realms. It is pure fluff, full of lore and minor details of day-to-day life in the Realms. More importantly, it is edition neutral. As someone who absolutely loathes 4e, I am pleased to say that this book mentions atrocious nonsense such as the spell-plague only a few times.

If all you are interested in is new "daily powers" or "epic destinies" or "prestige classes" or even silly/wasteful npc write-ups, then you will be dreadfully disappointed.

However, if you are a fan of RealmsLore, and you enjoy reading Ed's ramblings, then this book is a buy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Definitive Realms Lore tome. This book was everywhere at Gen Con. I decided to pick it up after WoTC announced that it will be a while before the 5e development team produces another Forgotten Realms campaign book. I decided this book will become invaluable at the game table in describing probably one of modern fantasy's most memorable worlds. The production values are excellent: the cover is a soft, leathery hardcover with incredibly colorful artwork throughout the book. The one drawback is no maps. A map would have added a touch of completion to this tome. Nevertheless, I have maps from previous campaign guides which I can still use. This book will not give you stat blocks, it will not give you spells or lists of weapon stats. In fact, this book is descriptive and narrative text to completely immerse you into the world of the Forgotten Realms. A resourceful Dungeon Master will find here a treasure trove of things to use for story ideas, as well as assist the intrepid DM in describing this world to his players. Mr. Greenwood, father of the Forgotten Realms, has really delivered the kind of product we would like to see more or. Stats come and go with new editions of D&D, but this stuff in this book will transcend 5e and beyond. In other words, this book will not become outdated when 6e comes out.
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