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Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Player's Guide- Roleplaying Game Supplement Hardcover – September 16, 2008
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I'm giving this book an additional star over the campaign setting because if you have this you're likely already DMing or playing in the FR campaign, and if so there is a lot of good information for you in here.
There's really only one new class here, the Swordmage. Think Jedi in a fantasy sword-and-sorcery setting. I actually like the class quite a bit, and if you have access to all the publications (or better yet, a paid D&D Insider account) you have a crazy amount of options at your disposal for this class. But...to be honest, if you have that then maybe you don't even need this book if all you want is access to the stats and powers to build your character(s) off of. The difference would be in this case that the book gives you more background information on the class where the DDI account gives you access to the character builder.
There's a bit of fluff in here which is especially good if you are into role playing, but not necessary otherwise. Things that add depth to your character if you appreciate data around general life in the world your character lives in.
Back to more usable data there is a good amount of new feats, backgrounds, and a couple "new" race entries (Drow and Genasi) that can add to your characters and NPCs.
Like any supplement, nothing here is 100% necessary to use, but it does add to what you can use in your game.
The paragon paths are interesting, but are more background based than adventuring based.
Could have done without the region descriptions as they are already in the FR campaign guide. This should have been replaced with more feats, rituals, and maybe some realm specific expanded powers for the core classes. Or something else to make playing the Forgotten Realms campaign setting feel more "unique".
All in all I am dissapointed in the lack of new races and classes, but I guess that is what the Players Handbook II is for....
I'd say about 80% of the book is background, religions.
The other 20% are 2 new races (gensai and shardminds) and the new class (swordmage) and spellscared (spell-mutants essentially) along with the feats which goes with those.
So a quick summary is that it has lots of background information, but I wish they had made a PHB4 with the races and classes and combined it with any other miscellaneous classes floating around which are complete.