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Faiths of the Forgotten Realms $14.95
Average Rating:4.9 / 5
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Faiths of the Forgotten Realms
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Faiths of the Forgotten Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by James S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/13/2018 07:59:23

As a big fan of the old Faiths and Avatars, Powers and Pantheons et al books, i have been waiting for something similar for 5th Edition. If your looking for (a lot) more options for your clerics, paladins, druids (and in some cases rangers) or your just a geek for FR lore (like me) this book is must have. Despite the rather gloomy cover the presentation throughout is nothing short of the highest quality, pretty much full colour throughout, nice thick paper with a faux parchment look and the binding on my copy is very sturdy. The writing (both fluff and crunch) is excellent, there are so many options, most which come across as flavourful rather than overly powerful (even the artifacts). My only personnel gripe is the lack of Garagos or Shaundakul (though i know the author states they are only using the gods from the Sword Coast Book). Still this is a well deserved 5 stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Faiths of the Forgotten Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Joshua T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/31/2018 15:25:21

Great product! Highly reccomended if you want the the faiths of the your Forgetten realms campaign to have a individual feel.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Faiths of the Forgotten Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Matthew P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/17/2018 21:15:54

Faiths and Avatars from Eric L Boyd to this day remains my favorite FR product because of two reasons.

The sheer amount of detail and secondly because intrinsically I love the concept of a Pantheon of Deities and their alignment to certain portfolios.

Faiths of the Forgotten Realms while not as exhaustive as that and related products, does a very good job of detailing the core Faerunian Pantheon which is itself one of the biggest numbers of any published setting. Of course this is a double edged sword. A large number means any product detailing them is also going to have a significant page counnt. Faiths of the Forgotten Realms however also needs to dedicate some of its hefty page count to 'crunch' or the mechanical aspect... a thing that I was not really truly interested in.

What this means is that in the initial section where the God is discussed we get mostly a paragraph and a half initially dedicated to talking about the gods. Each God's followers get a background table which is an incredibly useful source for background information. Information on holy days and centres of faith (ie temples) in the Realms is also provided. There is some information here which is useful but I would of like to have seen more. Straight up practical stuff like 'The Clerics and Paladins of the Faith wear colour x and colour Y, and the priests are given titles such as T.

All of this minute information goes towards making a fully rounded story and character. Still the information we get provided is still very useful.

In the second section comes the mechanics of the book (or essentially from here on), each faith listed in the previous sections gets something. Whether that be a new domain, A new Warlock path, a subclass for Paladins. On top of this new spells. It would take al ong time to go through and use them all to get a good idea of how well they worked or dont work, but some look very interesting. I think many campaigns would benefit from this section more than mine.

At this point I should also say these are were the 'current' holy Symbols are depicted. If you are unaware, more than a few gods DO change their holy symbol from time to time, reflecting often a change in the Gods outlook or a change in the 'mortal' faith. Its a good resource to have when you are trying to explain what your holy symbol actually looks like (although it would of been nice also to have it spelled out in words too.. trying to describe Asmodeus symbol might be a bit hard)

Chapter 3 or Holy Texts is probably my favorite chapter. It goes into some detail on the Holy Texts of most of the Gods found in this product. This is GREAT!. Obviously its not going to come up much in game but a Cleric that goes around proletysing their faith might get to scream out ' And now a reading from the Black Book of Beshaba!'. There is a lot of good information here and it is clear to read.

I should also point out that not every God seems to have a holy text listed.

Chapter 4 is a collection of Magical items , thematically tied to the Gods in this product going all the way up to Holy Artifacts that could be the focus of a campaign. Some look very Interesting

My Final Thoughts:

This book is nearly everything I want for a FR Product. It's an incredibly difficult book to write in my opinion because of how aligned to FR it is. FR is a dynamic setting (one of very few FR settings that are) and as such religous events happen and , Temples and cities are destroyed, new Gods appear then go and come back. 5e pressed a reset back to 3e in many ways, but time has still passed. Finding current information of where each gods temples are has to be an issue because its just not information that has been released by Wizards yet.

I would of prefferred the God Information from Chapter 1 and 2 to be put together. I do not see any reason to split the lore from the mechanics. You are simply making the user look up two different page numbers. It would have the secondary effect of making each God section appear larger.

One final point:

One of my greatest loves of Faiths and Avatars was actually SEEING what a Priest of a God looked like. TSR decided to get art done of the 'dress' of each priest and they were beautiful pictures. While very hard for a book like this to do, perhaps one day this might be possible.

All in all a Great buy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hi, Mathew. Thanks for taking the time to review the product. I'm glad you liked most of what the title has to offer. We have been discussing the feedback we've received and are looking into making adjustments to the layout and organization for future title releases in this product line. I hope you continue to find the book useful at your tables.
Faiths of the Forgotten Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Anders B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/08/2018 02:20:39

Review edit: Fantasy Grounds module now available. Making a simplified conversion of the pdf (i.e. no fany reference manual stuff: just punching in the class options, neatly formatted with deity background information incorporated with each class entry etc) is so far taking me roughly 30 minutes per deity entry (the formatting, the linking, the spells, you know the drill). It's probably going to be quicker for some. And possibly slower for others. For me, I can absolutely see how that extr $10 is worth it. Heck, I am even consiering buying the FG module on top of things because adult life dictates I can only prep so much per day.

The Presentation

As a VTT GM my biggest concern was "Where am I going to find the time to prep all that material so my players can use it in Fantasy Grounds?"

Not to worry though. While there is no Fantasy Grounds version, GM:s of that platform get the second best: the text is copy-paste friendly. And GM:s of that platform will know what this means (1) for module-prepping 100+ class options, 176 spells and some items on top.

And as if this wasn't enough we also get a properly bookmarked PDF which helps everybody nagivate the 200 pages total. And those who want to print get an index at the end.

So, we have here a PDF where we can access the data were are looking for quickly. As in "this-is-part-of-the-whole-digital-idea" quickly. Bascially, 3 out of 5 stars right there for any product of this level of ambition.

And that's not even taking the contents itself into consideriation: you could be selling me The Complete Guide to Everything Bacon, and you would still not get a full score if your PDF wasn't bookmarked and searchable.

Oh. Almost forgot: top-shelf layout. This is very much a commercial product, and it establishes itselfs as such with flying colours. Yeah, the front page is about as exciting as a brick - but you can probably tell from the page samples that it is not representative for the book as a whole.

So what's in it, then?

Well, I wanted what this book set out to give me: concise "here's how" for the classes that are associated with a substantial portion of the Forgotten Realms deities.

And, lo, it delivered on its promises. And it did a great job at it, too.

The not-stat information is not going too in-depth but is providing just enough to nail the core concepts of the characteristics of the followers of a particular deity. There is enough for GM:s to pick up and run astray with, and just enough for players to bother other players with in session without being too bothersome: after all, outside of the all-clergy campaign, flavour is fun and fact-packed just..isn't.

While the Paladin tenets and Cleric prohibitions have no mechanical impact on other classes, as examples of the extremes they absolutely help set the tone for followers of other class persuasions.

Oh, and about those spells: I find myself looking at up to 6 spells on a single page.

By the time of this review, I have just pushed through another supplement, which had 100 spells, wherein the wording (and, in no small part, the complexity) of the spells meant that half a page+ per spell was not uncommon. At one point, that other supplement even took a one-paragraph spell and turned it into a one-page spell because the - presumably - implied secondary, tertiary, and quaternary effects of the spell had to be properly documented. Obviously...

Faiths of Forgotten Realms leaves it up to the players (GM included, of course) to be creative and explore the potential of spells themselves. The domain spells packages are allround thematically spot-on.

Is the contents balanced and sound? Well. Probably not 100% solid in 100% of the cases. But I'm OK with that, because this is one of those books where you are just not going to eat all the cookies in the jar at the same time anyway - if you ever eat them all.

(1) Autobahn. It means autobahn.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hi, Anders! Thanks for the review! We actually have a Fantasy Grounds version in the works. One of my friends uses FG extensively, and I have some experience with it. I think I know what you mean by copy paste friendly. The program may be able to parse the text with the standardized language we used for the mechanics if I am correct. For the spells and archetypes, we reviewed official products and made it a goal to provide as much usable content per page as should be expected. We all worked hard to deliver the overall best value we could to purchasers. This review provided a great deal of satisfaction for all the effort we put into this. Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy the book!
Faiths of the Forgotten Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2018 03:59:31

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive supplement clocks in at 200 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, leaving us with a massive 196 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons. I had access to the pre-release version to get this done so soon, but the review itself is based on the commercially-available version.

Now, first things first: Since this is a massive book with a ridiculous amount of content inside, I cannot provide my step-by-step analysis for every single piece of crunch, as that would bloat the review beyond any actual usefulness. As such, I am going to paint with somewhat broad strokes.

All right, got that? Great! We begin with a brief explanation of the Faerûnian calendar of Harptos, noting months and common names used as well as earth equivalents. General holidays like equinoxes, solstices or Greengrass are noted – Realms lore-enthusiasts should enjoy this brief recap. This, in a way, is a great indicator of the approach of the book.

A genuine enthusiasm for the Forgotten Realms completely suffuses this book: We begin with something I consider absolutely fun – the first chapter, deeper faith, provides a metric ton of faiths, ranging from Akadi to Bane, Bhaal and Cyric, the old version of Corellon Larenthian, up to Waukeen and e.g. Valkur. Public events and holy days are noted and every single deity gets 4 suggested background story events for PCs to integrate into their game. This chapter, over 20 pages long, thus, adds imho much-needed depth regarding a vast pantheon.

After this, we dive into the beating heart of this supplement: Archetypes of the faith. The colossal next chapter covers more than 160 pages and includes a METRIC TON of diverse class options to be employed by the respective characters believing in the deities. This, in short, translates to a cleric domain and a paladin oath provided for the respective followers of the deity. These are not simply soulless mechanics, mind, you, but feature edicts and prohibitions, adding narrative components to these options. There are a couple of options for other classes here as well, with e.g Talos offering access to the Circle of Storms for his druids, while Kossuth offers the Firewalker ranger archetype. As a whole, though, only clerics and paladins will get their true due here – rangers and druids or non-divine characters are pretty much left in the cold. This can be a bug or a feature, depending on your perspective – but personally, I’d have enjoyed rogue options for worshipers of Bhaal or Cyric, Gondian mage-tinkers…you get the idea. Much like the Midgard Heroes’ Handbook, this thus further cements clerics and palas as some of the best-supported 5e-classes, though here, e.g. a Deneir wizard-option, for example, would have made A LOT of sense. Neither do we get a Spellfire warlock for Mystra…oh well..

It should be noted that this book makes use of the Elemental Evil Player’s Guide and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything in its references and rules-components. The rules language employed by these, on a formal level, is remarkably good and precise. I mean it. Almost all, though not all, deities featured herein get their own array of sample spells, further adding a huge amount of mechanical content to this massive tome. Impressive here: The formatting is pretty damn meticulous and gets italicizations, bolding of material, etc. consistently right. Similarly, balancing of the components, for the most part, is impressive in its precision. The damage values and types correspond in meaningful ways with the established values – so yeah, execution-wise, this is pretty impressive as well.

That being said, I know that quite a few of my readers gravitate to dynamic character options and, this is where one could complain on a high level: The designs employed here, generally, play it very safe. If you’re expecting for example complexity à la maneuver dice-systems or the feeling of radically distinct playing experiences provided by e.g. the best of the Deep magic-pdfs by Kobold Press, then you won’t find that here. We get well-executed and flavorful domains and oaths in the traditional sense, set apart mostly be the lore and tenets provided and the abilities granted. In essence, the respective engines don’t change radically from deity to deity. Shar, for example, does not get a unique form of spellcasting of the like. This, once more, is not a detriment per se, but it is something important: Some folks out there will love the decision to focus on simpler designs, and some will be disappointed. Personally, I’m, no surprise there, in the latter category, but I do absolutely appreciate the impressive craftsmanship displayed here.

Now, the book does contain more than a metric ton of options for divine characters: We get information of the holy scriptures of the deities, and these brief entries ooze the wonder I expected to see: To give you an example: “Not a conventional book, the Glarathra is a large bronze flower with eight petals surrounding a spiral-shaped inner section of leaves bound together. It is a widely recognized symbol of the faith. When immersed in holy water and ‘planted’ in any depth of earth within a circle of seeds, the flower fully opens. This reveals the actual text, which is finely etched on the inner leaves.” Come on, how cool is that? Yes, this section makes perfect use of the vast canon of lore the Realms have established over the years, showing a deep understanding of what makes the respective themes work.

This also can be said of the magic items presented, which include the claws of Malar or the ring of Myrkul. The chapter also introduces the “overwhelming” artifact property, which represents artifacts that are simply not made to be wielded by mortals – loved that. In case you were wondering: The actual Claw of Malar, as opposed to the ritualistic hunting weaponry, is btw. also included here. Each artifact comes with properties and curse, and from Cyrinshad to Dawnstone, I found myself fondly reminiscing about campaigns of yore and books devoured. Oh, and usability is also retained – the book comes with a multi-page index.

It should also be noted that, as per the writing of this review, the book has a (VERY brief) errata file. Now, my practice as a reviewer is to never take these into account, since I’ve seen publishers point to obscure forum posts or FAQs one too many times to justify a lack of product-updates; only improvements actually implemented in the book count for the purpose of my review. That being said, I did a bit of research, and this book IS, at least so far, supported rather well – previous glitches brought to the attention of the authors have been swiftly implemented, which makes me hopeful that the very few glitches noted will similarly be implemented. Kudos for supporting the book and not simply calling it quits after release!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are extremely impressive for a rules-book of this size in both formal and rules-language criteria. The tome adheres to a 2-column full-color layout that is rather professional, and I noticed some of my favorite, old D&D- and stock-artworks herein. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, with detailed nested bookmarks that make using the file a pleasure; similarly, the index and ability to cut-copy-paste text from the book help rendering this really consumer-friendly. Kudos!

Alex Clippinger, Scott Bean and Micah Watt, in the partnership between Dragon Rock Games and Pyromaniac Press, have created a massive and truly impressive tome. From Talona’s poison smite spell to Sune’s chivalrous paladins, this book is chock-full with Realms-lore and rules that make this a must-own tome for fans of Ed Greenwood’s legendary setting. If you’re playing in the Forgotten Realms, then you will want this book, simple as that. It offers an amazing bang-for-buck-ratio and tugs at the heart’s strings of anyone who ever played for an extended period of time in the Forgotten Realms. In a way, this could be considered to be a kind of homecoming for paladins and clerics; and while I bemoan the lack of support for all classes (hey, you can be a believer sans being a cleric/pala, right?), considering the size of this tome, the complaint feels petty.

The one thing that I honestly felt was lacking from this book, is the courage to tweak the design of the respective class options to make the worshipers of deities feel more distinct. For example, having Undine’s power alternate like ebb and flow, forcing alternating between channel options or effects; have Shar/Mystra, for example, sport some unique casting tricks – you get the idea. The experience of the systems the class options provide, are rather conservative and don’t provide a truly creative or distinct tweak on the system, where e.g. Deneir etc. would have very well warranted such an inclusion. This book, design-wise, plays it safe – but it does so remarkably well.

When all’s said and done, this means that I consider this to be an excellent tome, albeit a very focused and conservative one – my final verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform. I’m excited to see more come out of this obviously fruitful collaboration.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this detailed review. It should give people considering a purchase a good idea of the book's contents and how they could fit into their games.
Faiths of the Forgotten Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Brad R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/22/2018 03:40:47

https://youtu.be/4BmLAa-D_mk Should you buy this, well that depends are you a DM looking to add depth to your religions in your world? Are you a player looking to improve your role playing potential and are playing one of the many divine oriented classes,maybe you are playing a particularly pious individual and would like something to draw on for inspiration. If any of the answers to those questions is yes what are you waiting for pick up this book now!

Faiths of the Forgotten Realms is expertly crafted and laid out. Check out my full review in the link provided.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks, Brad, for taking the time to review our product. I hope it provides some fun times at your gaming table.
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