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Faiths and Pantheons (3e)

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RELIGION IN THE REALMS

Whether cleric or commoner, wizard or warrior, nearly everyone in Faerûn pays homage to at least one patron deity. Some of those divine powers inspire respect, while others elicit fear. Good or evil, all of them coexist within these pages. Complete information for key gods, along with the powers and abilities granted to their most dedicated followers, and descriptions of supporting deities combine to provide this look at all the gods of the FORGOTTEN REALMS® Campaign Setting.

To use this accessory, a Dungeon Master also needs the FORGOTTEN REALMS Campaign Setting, the Player’s Handbook, the DUNGEON MASTER’s Guide, and the Monster Manual.

  • Over 115 gods
  • 20 specialty priest prestige classes
  • Maps of four temples

Product History

Faiths and Pantheons (2002), by Eric L. Boyd and Erik Mona, is a book of deities for the 3e Forgotten Realms. It was published in May 2002.

Origins: Deities & Campaigns. Faiths and Pantheons is essentially an abridgement of three dense Forgotten Realms deity books produced during the AD&D 2e (1989-2000) era: Faiths & Avatars (1996), Powers & Pantheons (1997), and Demihuman Deities (1998). Though it's 223 pages long, that wasn't enough to hold all of the information found in the originals — particularly not with its use of a more readable font size!

However, Faiths and Pantheons isn't just a distillation of previous Realmslore. It's also an update: the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001) had included some minor changes to the setting to make it fit better with the D&D 3e (2000) ethos, while chronological updates were required for the Realms' newest events. Thus, tidbits of new Realmslore are also found throughout the book.

About the Book. In 2002, the 3e Forgotten Realms line was a year old. Books like Magic of Faerûn (2001) and Lords of Darkness (2001) showed that most of its books would be softcovers, but Faiths and Pantheons is a handsome hardcover that matches the original Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting book.

By 2002, Wizards also knew that the Forgotten Realms line was doing quite well, based on the good sales of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting book. This helped the Faiths and Pantheons designers to convince the "business guys" to expand the size of the book when they created too much content for the planned page count. (Some material was still cut, and would return as web enhancements, but the entire, extensive list of deities was included as originally intended.)

Expanding D&D. To a certain extent, Faiths and Pantheons does what you'd expect: it uses the new rules from the 3e Deities and Demigods (2002) to present the portfolios of the many gods of the Realms — and to stat up the avatars of the major deities. This new edition of D&D also demanded changes to some of the Realms' gods. Because 3e provided "a renewed focus on adventuring and actually playing D&D as opposed to sitting around a table and talking", deities such as the peace-loving Lliira and some members of the halfling pantheon were revamped because they weren't useful "in the dungeon or on the battlefield".

Faiths and Pantheons also includes twenty prestige classes related to the gods of the Realms. To a large extent, they were replacements for the specialty priests and priest kits that were popular during AD&D 2e. However, the 2e priests had always had balance problems — usually ending up too powerful. The prestige classes provided better balance because they could include arbitrary, high-level requirements and they were built using D&D 3e's rigorously balanced game system.

Exploring the Realms. Faiths and Pantheons contains a massive list of 115 Realms gods — though the new material is much more limited, since these were largely known gods. Slight updates made some deities more interesting and made others more suitable for 3e play. There is one notable addition to the list of gods: monstrous deities. Faith and Pantheons contains information on the orc pantheon and very brief stats on other monstrous gods, who had previously been relegated to non-Realms books like DMGR4: Monster Mythology (1992) and On Hallowed Ground (1996).

Finally, Faiths and Pantheons also contains brand-new descriptions of three temples: the Abbey of the Sword in Cormanthor, the Darkhouse of Saerloon near Sembia, and the Wyvernstones of Hullack in the Hullack Forest.

NPCs of Note. Orcus is briefly noted as one of the fiends who is worshiped in the Realms. This was one of the first signs that he had survived into the 3e era.

Future History. Wizards released two web enhancements that included material cut from Faiths and Pantheons: a list of "Deity Do's and Don'ts" and a full description of a temple to Oghma, the god of knowledge.

A few years later, Wizards produced a complete list of clerical prestige classes for D&D, which helped to identify the (few) classes from Faiths and Pantheons that were updated for D&D 3.5e. It was found in Power of Faerûn (2006).

About the Creators. Boyd started writing for the Forgotten Realms in the late '90s, and was the author of the three classic 2e Forgotten Realms deity books. This was his first book since the advent of 3e, but he'd work on one or two Realms books a year from here on out. Mona was a relative newcomer at Wizards, having come from the Greyhawk fan community. This was his first (and only) Forgotten Realms book.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Reviews (3)
Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Ross C March 26, 2017 10:24 pm UTC
PURCHASER
In March 2017 most of the book is still just poorly scanned images. p1-10 are good, and so are p152-223, but the chapters on the actual deities are poor scans that can't be searched, which is unfortunate.
Customer avatar
Stirling N May 25, 2017 9:31 pm UTC
So they're selling what amounts to a pirated scanlation of the book? Even the pirates would OCR. This is ridiculous.
Customer avatar
April 16, 2016 2:40 am UTC
PURCHASER
Just FYI, I've sent a note to Dungeon Masters Guild through the "Contact us" form asking them to check the quality of the Faiths and Pantheons download. As other reviewers have pointed out, only half of this book is actually a real pdf. The rest is just scanned images. The front and back covers are also extremely poor quality. It almost seems like maybe a work in progress version was made available instead of the real thing. I can plan to post here again if DMs Guild gets back to me.
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Pages
226
ISBN
0-7869-2759-3
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47.1 MB
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This title was added to our catalog on March 29, 2016.