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Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (4e)

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Welcome to Christmas in July! In celebration, this digital title has been marked down by up to 40%! For more of Santa's savings, visit our Christmas in July sale page.

Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue provides an in-depth exploration of the greatest drow city in the Dungeons & Dragons game and Forgotten Realms campaign setting.

It contains all of the information a Dungeon Master needs to run adventures or an entire campaign based in this treacherous city, including descriptions of city locations, drow houses, key organizations, and the precarious political landscape.

It also gives players the information they need to create characters who are members of drow houses or organizations within Menzoberranzan, as well as explains the benefits and rivalries that come with choosing a particular allegiance.

Product History

Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (2012), by Brian R. James and Eric Menge, is an edition-neutral campaign setting for D&D. It was published in August 2012.

Farewell to 4e. (Take One.) When Menzoberranzan was first announced in early 2012 as part of the Rise of the Underdark event, it was called a "Campaign Setting". That would have made it the fifth Campaign Setting for D&D 4e and the third setting for the Forgotten Realms, following on from Neverwinter Campaign Setting (2011) the previous year.

Unfortunately, Wizards had also announced the end of D&D 4e on January 9, 2012 when they told the The New York Times that they were working on a new version of the game. Following that, just three more 4e books appeared: Heroes of the Elemental Chaos (2012), Halls of Undermountain (2012), and Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook (2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue still featured the 4e trade dress, but it was instead published as an edition-neutral supplement, marking the end of the almost-four year reign of D&D 4e (2008-2012). The "Campaign Setting" probably became a "City of Intrigue" around the same time, to show how the new book was different from the 4e Campaign books that had preceded it.

Return to Menzoberranzan. Like, Neverwinter, the Underdark drow city of Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue was already a popular locale in the Forgotten Realms. It had first received serious attention in R.A. Salvatore's novel, Homeland (1990). It then was featured in a dense, boxed RPG set called Menzoberranzan (1992); afterward it became the heart of an SSI and DreamForge video game that was also called Menzoberranzan (1994).

The Resurrected Races. Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue wasn't just a setting book for the drow city in the Underdark; it also focused on the idea of players taking on the role of drow! The dark elf race had been a popular PC race since the publication of Unearthed Arcana (1985), a few years before the debut of Drizzt Do'Urden. The drow of the Realms received more detail in FOR2: The Drow of the Underdark (1991), then drow became available as an AD&D 2e PC race in PHBR8: The Complete Book of Elves (1992) and Player's Option: Skills & Powers (1995). Players of 3e looking for crunchy rules to play drow could find them in Underdark (2003) and Player's Guide to Faerûn (2004), while 4e players could reference Forgotten Realms Player's Guide (2008) and later Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms (2010).

Besides providing ideas for playing (and GMing) drow, Menzoberranzan also contains considerable information on the houses and factions of the city. This includes system-neutral mechanics that describe the Might of each faction — including Power, Favor, and Wealth.

The Product Tie-In. Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (2012) was part of a massive multimedia crossover called Rise of the Underdark, which had begun a few months previous with the final 4e roleplaying supplement, Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook (2012). Menzoberranzan was closely tied to two Rise of the Underdark releases: Encounters Season 10, "Council of Spiders" (2012) provided a drow PC adventure, while the Drow Treachery Fortune Cards (2012) offered new drow-centric Fortune Cards where players could cause troubles for each other.

Exploring the Realms. Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (2012) brings together geographical details of the Realms that were previously available two decades earlier in FOR2: The Drow of the Underdark (1991) and the original Menzoberranzan (1992). It also contains some information simultaneously being published in "Council of Spiders" (2012).

Alongside this reprinted material — covering the setting of Menzoberranzan, the houses of Menzoberranzan, and the drow of the Realms — Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue also advances the timeline of the city. This includes details on how the War of the Spider Queen (2002-2005) changed the city and totally new material on the Spellplague. The result turns the system-neutral Menzoberranzan supplement into an era-neutral supplement that allows players to run Menzoberranzan in any era, from its 2e origins to the 4e present-day.

Some of Menzoberranzan also moves beyond the city into the Underdark that surrounds it: the Northdark. This brings together a number of classic realms, including Mithral Hall from R.A. Salvatore's novels, the ruins of Hellgate Keep from Hellgate Keep (1998), and the Dungeon of Death from "Dungeon of Death" (2000).
Most of the locales in the Northdark are described in just a paragraph or two, but nonetheless the section links the UnderRealms together.

About the Creators. James and Menge were both relative newcomers to D&D writing. Menge had previously contributed to Demonomicon (2010) and Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale (2011) for 4e, while this was Menge's first major writing for the game.

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

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (1)
Discussions (10)
Customer avatar
Thomas M February 24, 2024 1:25 am UTC
Is there a reason why there is no "just the PDF" option? I'm not collecting books any more, but I can still read PDFs with my over 50 eyes.
Customer avatar
Maung Thaw H September 02, 2022 2:11 am UTC
Isn't that the one where the editor told the writer that Eilistraee is a meme?
Customer avatar
Olivia P May 28, 2022 5:47 pm UTC
Great book! Just purchased this, and it will be really useful for the drow lore in Out of the Abyss.
One complaint though; the jpg maps of Menzoberranzan are HORRIBLY distorted when zoomed up close.

The pdf version seems to be of a good resolution, but I would really appreciate a fix for this, where the images are as good as the pdf version. Maybe a WEBP format that doesn't have the massive JPG compression distortion. That way I can use it in my VTT without it looking like poop :)
Customer avatar
Raymond P March 15, 2022 6:50 pm UTC
This says multiple file formats, pdf is a file format what else is included?
Customer avatar
Donald H January 01, 2021 7:16 am UTC
I guess I'll bump the question again. Does this include the big map?
Customer avatar
Kamil B June 11, 2020 9:51 am UTC
Yea. I want to know thing about map too: Is it there? Size, quality?
Customer avatar
Ian C K June 02, 2019 7:51 pm UTC
does the print on demand include the big map? I've been unable to find the map of the city that came with the original anywhere.
Customer avatar
Christopher H February 02, 2021 3:00 pm UTC
You can buy the map via the artist's website:
Customer avatar
Matt B May 24, 2019 7:22 pm UTC
Great POD copy.
Customer avatar
Can U October 13, 2020 11:55 pm UTC
does it have the title on spine?
Customer avatar
Matt B October 17, 2020 2:43 am UTC
Yes it does.
Customer avatar
Vera S January 12, 2019 6:02 pm UTC
The listed price for the Softcover Color Book is 14.99, as far as I'm aware I wasn't charged on shipping, but my total amounted to $27.21 being charged, even if the reciept says $14.99, is there a way to look into this?
Customer avatar
Vera S January 13, 2019 1:12 pm UTC
Nevermind, the issue was solved.
Customer avatar
Kamil B June 11, 2020 9:52 am UTC
Can you say something about quality of softcover and map?
Customer avatar
Vera S October 09, 2022 4:42 pm UTC
It is very good quality, and the maps are detailed and clear, I am very satisfied with this purchase
Customer avatar
Timothy B September 15, 2017 6:57 pm UTC
This PDF is usually $7.99 on DM's Guild. The September Settings sale has actually increased the price to 33% off of the printed book's cover price, which is higher than the typical PDF price. Is there any way to get this corrected? Thank you.
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File Last Updated:
December 21, 2015
This title was added to our catalog on December 22, 2015.