26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Turning the Dial to 11,
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This review is from: Neverwinter Campaign Setting: A 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons Supplement (4th Edition D&D) (Hardcover)
One of the problems with a lot of the previous 4E supplements was that they were more focused on rules (crunch) rather than roleplaying. It is obvious WotC took that criticism to heart and turned the dial up to 11 with this setting for the roleplaying side of things. I've always been a fan of the Forgotten Realms setting, and this book feels like a comfortable blast from the past. It goes into great detail on fleshing out a city in turmoil.
The character themes takes a page from Pathfinder's factions. They essentially give each character an agenda outside of their role with the party. These can give a creative GM some interesting hooks and is a welcome addition. I can give or take the Bladesinger, but more options are always welcome. The Gazetteer section is very well done, bringing a lot of interesting detail and adventure hooks to the Neverwinter region.
The Factions and Foes are the meat of the book for GMs, and it is the only area where I find fault. There are five primary factions and numerous secondary factions, all vying for control of Neverwinter or the region. I guess the thinking was "if one is good, ten are better", but I think they achieved overkill in this case. A DM is going to have to decide on the one or two factions they want to deal with, or the campaign would become overwhelming. If you incorporate all them, it will almost seem that everyone the party meets is going to have a hidden agenda. Excess paranoia can jade the party and ruin the fun.
So kudos to WotC on creating a great roleplaying supplement, but it still needs to be taken in moderation unless you and your party enjoy juggling so many competing agendas.