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Elder Evils (Dungeons & Dragons Rulebooks) Hardcover – December 18, 2007
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About the Author
ROBERT J. SCHWALB is a staff designer and developer for Green Ronin Publishing. His design credits for Wizards include the Player's Handbook(TM) II, Tome of Magic(TM), and Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells(TM) supplements. Robert lives in Tennessee with his patient wife and pride of cats.
Top customer reviews
The focus of this book is "End of the world" evils, like Cthulhu and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Chapter one is a basic guide to "So you want to end the world" and Chapters 2 - 10 are different "Elder Evils" you can unleash.
The book provides plenty of new ideas and opportunities, but what is missing is from the book is the basic rules for incorporating these ideas. There are very few new feats, most here are reprinted from the Book of Vile Darkness, and there are no new spells, prestige classes and only two magic items. It is like a cake without any icing.
The art is good, not recycled, but the book is a fixer-uper. You are going to have to do much of the work to actually use these Elder Evils. Each Elder Evil chapter does include stats for the Aspect of that Elder Evil, some example minions and a short adventure to try and stop it. The adventure is presented in the newer spit format, with the text on one set of pages and the encounter on a different set of pages. Personally I find this very anoying and difficult to use, I prefer everything together in one place.
Overall, it is a good read and has lots of good ideas, but since the writers leave adapting most of those ideas to the DM, I only gve it 3 stars.
This is not that sourcebook.
This misleadingly titled tome describes some *other* Elder Evils. The villainous characters described in its chapters range from inspired (Atropus) to downright silly (the, ahem, Hulks). All that said, it is a useable book to crib for campaign ideas. Its just not what those whose appetites were whetted by "Lords of Madness" have been waiting for. Buy it used, and buyer beware.
Chapter one provides an introduction to Elder Evils. The arrival or awakening of these being is usually foreshadowed by signs of its presence. These can be things like drastic changes in weather, outbreaks of disease or infestation, the dead returning to life, and so on...Cults soon spring up devoted to the Elder Evil. Dozens of new feats are included that can be acquired by the servants of an Elder Evil.
The next nine chapters spotlight a different Elder Evil being. Each chapter provides a background on the being, its goals and motivations, the signs of its arrival, tips on running the being in a campaign. The Elder Evil have several powerful minions which serve them and would be the likely actual foes of the PCs. These servants are also included in each chapter with full statistics and abilities included. Finally, each chapter comes with a mini-campaign that is fully developed and comes complete with maps and locations.
The Lovecraft influences are again very obvious as you read about each of these ultra-powerful foes. Father Lymic, for example, seems to be a bit of an amalgam between Cthulhu and Azathoth. He sleeps, dormant, in an icy prison, locked in a glacier, yet his alien thoughts are still lethal to mortals.
Leviathan is a great sea creature which owes its influence to both biblical writings as well as the Norse Mythology of Jörmungandr, the Midgard Serpent which is large enough to completely encircle the world. Ragnorra, Mother of Monsters is almost certainly based on the Babylonian myth of Tiamat who gave birth to all manner of dragons and serpents.
As you can see, there's not a great deal of originality to Elder Evils. These are creatures that seem mainly built on existing myths and legends. But how does it all come together in D&D land? Well, that's a tough question. Even with very high-level characters I can't see where a good DM would have to resort to the use of these mega-powered threats in order to provide a challenge. On the other hand, the mini-campaigns are actually very good and I can see taking these, and adapting them for use without incorporating an apocalyptic-style of campaign. This is another WOC product that falls into the category of being well designed but is it necessary?