Forgotten Realms Archetypes: Savagery & Shadow is a certified DM's Guild Masterpiece by the Going Last Tabletop Gaming Podcast!
This incredible book by Jeremy Forbing is a guide to the wilderness pushing against the boundaries of Faerûn. Inside, Forbing brings to life an incredibly deep understanding of these wild peoples and societies, from accursed Lycanthropes and Shifters to the nefarious Shades. Plus, of course, the mountain of feats, abilities, and archetypes that we have come to expect from a Jeremy Forbing special! This book has flavor, description, and plenty of crunch for every D&D campaign.
The majority of this guide is given over to the study of Lycanthropy. It starts wide, looking at all the parts of the world where the Weretouched can be found, and adds a new background for anyone who wishes to play a character who touches upon this culture. Weretouched Kinfolk has region specific information about the Lycanthropes around the world and grants the ability to reach out to the Kinfolk Network for knowledge and safety. Later in their campaign, players may take a feat to gain the benefits of polymorphing into their Weretouched form and learn even more about life as one of the Werebeasts! Sections like "Roleplaying a Werebadger" show the depth of Forbing's interest and appreciation for the Lycanthropes of the Forgotten Realms.
This book also describes Shifters and the Lythari Elves, two races that allow players to play around with Lycanthropy without being cursed. Both races feature the opportunity to change into a second form. The primary ability of the Lythari is to become wolves for up to an hour at a time, many times a day, which is such a great fantasy trope done in such a solid way. On the other hand, Shifters provide short term benefits, gaining a more bestial aspect and new abilities during important moments. I've loved Shifters for many years, and this is an excellent translation into the 5e rules.
Finally, the title wouldn't say "Archetypes" if it didn't include a few! The last chapter features a new archetype for most base classes, each with a focus coming from one of the races in the book. Barbarians, Clerics, Druids, Rangers, and Sorcerers can each benefit from a bit of bestial rage; Warlocks and Wizards can harness the shadows; and Bards, Fighters, and Monks get... okay, they don't really fit the themes presented earlier, but they do have solid new options for play! Sadly, the Rogues have been left out in the cold, and my Shade thief will have to wait a little longer for the archetype of my dreams.
In all, Forbing has created a book which gives a pile of fantastic options to players who want to build a character living on the wild edge of society, and in particular, those who want to play around with the great curse of Lycanthropy. Each of the feats and archetypes presented have a wide range of useful features that provide great additions to any wilderness campaign!
You can hear more of my thoughts about Forgotten Realms Archetypes: Savagery & Shadow on Episode 199 of Going Last!
[5 of 5 Stars!]