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Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Player's Guide- Roleplaying Game Supplement Hardcover – September 16, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786949295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786949298
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you read the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide called 'Paradigm Shift,' I gave it high marks because I thought they were going to organize it as such:
Campaign Guide - DM guide to Forgotten Realms that includes: Deities & geographical information.
Players Guide - Races & Classes, new spells and abilities, regional bonuses.

I felt that the Campaign Setting (ver. 3.0) had lots of races, deities, geographical info, etc. and went into more depth, but didn't cover so many regions. Therefore, I was totally happy that they were going to reorganize the books and fill it with more information over the span of two books. But a reorganization wasn't actually what happened. So here are the pro's and con's:

Pro's: I like the rituals section, it was big and had many cool rituals. I think the regional info is helpful (but misplaced) for making new characters. The drow and genesi are cool. The stuff they put in was cool and overall I do enjoy the book, despite my laundry list of complaints below.

Con's: There were only two new races. Drow and genesi. Where are the other races of Forgotten Realms? For example they could have added duergar, svirfneblin, etc. So it's not like they needed to go out on a limb to invent new races.
Also(if you think about it), there was only 1 new class; the swordmage. The swordmage wasn't bad, but it didn't wow me either. Adding a class called a Dark Pact warlock is not a new class. It's a rip-off... it's just another warlock. Whether the dark pact specialty is cool or not is irrelevant.. I was hoping for new classes. Then there is the spellscarred 'class.
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Format: Hardcover
I must preface this with a bias warning. I want my "campaign setting" books to be detailed. I'm one who desire more information rather than less. I prefer my books to detail locales. I also like having things statted out and concrete, so that I know that when I speak of an NPC or location, both the players and I know that we're on the same page. Realize that if you are one who appreciate minimality for the purposes of artistic freedom, or who disagrees with me on any of these points, you probably would find your opinion of the book to be quite different. Now, onto the review.

Introduction
I find myself disliking the introduction. It draws upon the history of the Realms, yet a great degree of it's history seems to have recently changed. The 10 important facts about the FR seem contrived. Three deal with the spellplague, two deal with countries that were already threats and explains why they're threats now, and one handwaives why there's no longer about 10 species of elves. All-in-all, not really what I might consider important facts.

Chapter 1: Races
This chapter contains four sections: A two page section on the Drow, a three page section on Genasi, a seven page look at Other Common Races (the races which appear in the Players Handbook), and a Supporting Cast section (involving Gnomes, Goblins, Orks and other races you might meet in game). I find this section lacking in depth. In the PGtF (3.5), we met Faerunian flavored races from the PHB. Gold dwarves, Sun Elves, and Ghostfoot Halflings, for example. I feel that omitting these makes the Realms substancially smaller. No longer is there as much diversity as there was before.
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Format: Hardcover
So 4e has created controversy. We can all agree on that. It's whether we like it or not that will determine how well we like the new Forgotten Realms material. If you are really into the 4e stuff then this is a pretty good supplement, and so is the Campaign guide. If on the other hand you were a die-hard Forgotten Realms fan that isn't really into 4e's premise then you might be dissapointed. So keep in mind those two determinants are framing my review.

If you love 4e: The player's Guide is a great 4e supplement. New races or 4e updates for old races. New classes and options. New powers etc. All very cool for those thirsty for new material. If you are familiar with FR and loved it or were indifferent, but are dedicated to 4e then the new setting is cool. It is a catacysmic setting based on the Spell-Plague. The Spell Plague was a magical disaster that descended upon the Realms drastically altering its races and their civilizations. The basic structure of the Realms is there, but the world has been altered to fit the 4e points of light amid a land of evil wildness premise. Lots to play with here and take the Realms into totally new areas.

If you're not too fond of 4e or were looking for a "faithful" FR supplement: you're out of luck. Both FR supplements are strictly 4e. They continue the present trend. They also have drastically changed the FR landscape, and setting. It has been custom tailored to fit the 4e concept. You won't find much at all about FR history or the past richness of its setting. It has been stripped bare and left as an FR shell filled with 4e concepts. Now having said that it does what it does well--it's just not really FR anymore; unless you are prepared to give it all up to move on to something completely different.
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