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AC4 The Book of Marvelous Magic (Basic/1e) $4.99 $3.99
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jason M. I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2007 00:00:00

Well, this book really should have been called: The Book of Marvellous Magic Items. I was looking for such a book and almost went past it until I read the description of the product.

Overall I really liked the product, which delivered exactly on the promise from the product description. A myriad of functional news to introduce into play. So I'm happy with the purchase.

The book is a dictionary format from A-Z with some 500 new item variations fully described (e.g. various types of armbands). Every item from the Basic, Expert and Companion boxed sets are also listed, but without an actual description (it assumes you have those books to reference). Plus there are good random tables that encompass all items.

While the dictionary format is functional, I actually would have preferred it indexed by the random tables -- which are based on item category. More like the core books. Makes it harder to browse related items (like music/movie stores that do not categorize their items by type).

What's weird is that as a dictionary, it includes descriptions of the mundane items. For example, "Tent: A tent is a portable shelter made of canvas or animal skins. In portable form, a tent appears to be a roll of fabric, and may be mistaken for a rug. The tent may be unfolded and erected for use by supporting it with poles and ropes. Etc". No issue with the description, but was that really necessary? In other words, a lot of the product is filled up with dictionary definitions of the items instead of just a listing of its magical properties.

It does include an AD&D conversion section at the back, but it states that "Since the AD&D game is more complex than the D&D game, it is very difficult to modify properly". Uh, no. You should have no problem using these items in the AD&D setting as is (which I'm doing).

Speaking of AD&D, I had also downloaded the AD&D product "Book of Artifacts". That product is largely useless in ordinary game play, with its items unsuitable for players. However, in this product all the items are useable in play (although some have a humorous bent). It greatly expands the random tables that are staples with D&D or AD&D, adding nice variation and cool items.

Item types and examples:

Amusements (e.g. Kite) Animal (e.g. Horseshoes of flying) Apparel (e.g. Gauntlets) Cloth (e.g. Blanket of Protection) Containers (e.g. Kettle of Fish) Foodstuffs (e.g Eggs) Furniture (e.g. Doors) Household items (e.g. Spoons) Jewellery (e.g. Medallions) Musical Instruments etc<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The PDF scan was acceptable. All pages are legible and it printed out well. Only the last page (the back cover) is crooked.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Although it delivers on its goal, it would still have been nice if it had magical weapons or armour. That would have made it a truly complete product.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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AC4 The Book of Marvelous Magic (Basic/1e)
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