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Amarune's Almanac: Forests of the Realms $9.95
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Amarune\'s Almanac: Forests of the Realms
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Amarune's Almanac: Forests of the Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Steven P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/19/2020 16:11:41

This series is a blast. The writing has excellent character to it that provides you with a ground-level view of life in the Forgotten Realms. In every volume you'll find something to help you expand your game - beasts, magic, plants, all excellently fantasy-flavored. On top of that, an excellent design & layout makes everything very accessible and easy to navigate!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amarune's Almanac: Forests of the Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Barnaby S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/02/2020 00:03:52

Useable for what I am working on. Was hoping it would be more about geography and would therefore include several more forests from across the Realms. Revisiting it, there is a lot that I can do with it.

I especially like the narrative and how the content is pitched at a fan of the Realms. Good characterization which in itself adds something.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Amarune's Almanac: Forests of the Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/10/2019 09:42:46

This book - breath, breath, it'll be okay - fuck it, THIS BOOK IS FRAKKING AMAZING! For most people that know me, they know that I love anything that has to do with woodlands, forests, and exploring the wilderness - and Amarune's Almanac: Forest of the Realms hits home in the heart. My grandfather is a lumberjack and had his own sawmill for 30 years and my dad is a forester: both have taught me to love, respect, and honor the woods - to treat it as its own being. This is another allstar project with Steve at the head of this massive timber trireme tour-de-forest, and it is absolutely stunning. It feels alive and breaths with so much gusto and life, and you can feel Amarune's heart and soul in this as she writes to you from within the High Forest, the Lurkwood, or the Jungles of Chult. While this book offers so much mechanically, it made me feel like a little kid out in the woods walking around with my Spiderwick Chronicles sprite guidebook trying to find all the sprites and properly identify them. It brought me back to a simpler time in my life, and for that, I am immensely thankful. And it is also why I am pleased to give Amarune's Almanac: Forests of the Realms the Comics, Clerics, & Controllers Golden d20 Badge. Thank you, Steve and company, for taking me back in time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amarune's Almanac: Forests of the Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/07/2019 12:32:59

This is one of those lore books that 3rd edition pumped out for the Forgotten realms every few months that explored a different part of the world. However this is more generalized on biomes, particularly forests for this first entry. Inside is a ton of lore presented in a journal narrative by a wife and husband duo (more the wife), of whom both have established lore already and are not some OC's by the author. First, after the foreword and introductions (The foreword by FR creator himself, Ed Greenwood), we come to subclasses, for the Druid and Ranger. Druid receives the Circle of the Grove subclass, and frankly I hope at least the Druid gets a subclass in each book, because they would be served as better versions of the circle of the land subclasses, this making a more flavorful Circle of the Forest than the actual PHB subclass does. A mix of moon and land powers from the PHB to start, including creating his own small forest, the grove druid gets a heavy tree and plant theme with the rest of his powers, going so far as to animate a treant. Ranger gets the Sylvan Sentinel subclass, a heavily fey-based subclass, of which I'm surprised one hasn't been made for the ranger already. They get their bonus spells, of which is a good selection for the most part (especially faerie fire and misty step), can speak sylvan and have advantage on checks against non-evil sylvan, and their 3rd starting subclass ability, Gossamer Strikes, grants them an extra attack should they make a MELEE attack with advantage during their attack action, which if you read that carefully, is a somewhat finnicky and sometimes tricky trigger to pull off, this is where faerie fire, or more reliable perhaps, Zephyr Strike, comes into play. The ability also has mulitple triggers to reset and be regained as it's only usable once normally. Glimmering Misdirection is a reaction disadvantage for foes on attack rolls, Shimmerdance is a once per turn 1d6 added to your attack roll (before hit or miss is confirmed, like bardic inspiration), and Gift of the Faerie, like Red Bull, GIVES YOU WINGS! As someone looking into making a Ranger after the variant features UA came out a few weeks ago since the writing of this, this makes for a very well themed fey ranger. The druid is neat and the ranger is fantastic (though gossamer strikes still seems finicky with it's requirements).

Next is spells, all of which of course has some forest-y theme, only a few are given, I like woodland step (cast to move without provoking AOOs and make an attack in transit), and sticks to snakes (and vice versa), I call it the moses and ramses spell. I mostly focused on the 1-4th level spells, of which are the majority, since most campaigns don't go past maybe 9-10th level. These are flavorful and I would't mind most of these at my table, though Druidic Practice's version of the Ceremony spell requires the CASTER to make a insight check to essentially change someone else's alignment (or am I reading that wrong?), which doesn't seem right. And one spell gives you basically radar of the ENTIRE FOREST, which while flavorful, seems horribly strong to me, though it is actually like radar, a group of things can come up as one big ping, you get no descriptions, just "there is a thing here, you don't know what it is, but it's here".

Next is descriptions of a few forests, like Yuirwood, the Jungles of chult, etc. These are mostly purely lore but at least told in the narrative of someone who had made a journal of their travels through them. Honestly not much to say here, if you're heavily into lore and storytelling, you'll like this, I'm personally neutral about it.

Next is plants and fungus, SO MUCH OF IT! What there is, where to find it, and how to find it. You're given a new downtime activity to find and gather these new plants and herbs, of which quite a number are presented, nearly all of which can provide some minor mechanical benefit (some have slightly stronger benefits), I won't get into detail about them as there was just so much to read here, but it does show off bloodroot, a drug for vampires that is super addictive and puts them into a bloodsucking rampage, that's something one could work into a vampire campaign for sure.

Next is creatures of the forest, the majority of which are beasts, which your druid will be happy to know. Elven hounds (Cooshee) are shown off, giant forest roly-polys, the celestial white stag, and a few others round out the rest, obviously a tool for GMs or your local druid.

After that comes items, there are a small number presented, all except one are wonderous items (non-weapon/armor), which is a little disappointing, though one of them does create chakrams for you, which are 1d6 thrown finesse weapons that get better depending on circumstances. There is a legendary shield in the pages so be sure to gander at that. I did like these for the most part, like the Flute of Turlang and Razorleaf emerald, which can cast gust of wind that actually does damage if you do it in a forest.

This is actually a great pickup, particularly because 90% of all D&D campaigns and adventures take place or at least go through forests for the most part. A few small things bug me that I mentioned in this review that keep me from giving this five stars. I would give 4.5 stars but it wouldn't let me give a half, but consider this basically a 4.5 out of 5, a superb supplement for your arboreal adventures. Here's to hoping the next entries are just as good, if not better!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Amarune's Almanac: Forests of the Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/04/2019 07:16:06

[Video Review: https://youtu.be/srOO7vMamlQ] Amarune’s Almanac Forests of the Realms brings the forests of Faerun to life! From leather-bound cover-to-cover, this journal is the most genuine guide I have seen from living resident of the D&D multiverse. Like the snippets we get from Mordenkainen, the Xanathar, and Volo, there’s some commentary from Amarune’s “editor,” but most of the book is written from her perspective, making the lore within feel tangible and true. And Ed Greenwood, creator of the Forgotten Realms, agrees in his introductory forward!

There are character archetypes for the druid and ranger, optional rules for spellcasting and foraging, 11 original arboreal spells, journal entries covering 5 major faerun forests, and lore for 20 plants, 10 creatures, and 10 thematic magic items all packed into 50 pages. The new ranger archetype, Sylvan Sentinel, is a personal favorite. They gain proficiency in Sylvan to speak with forest creatures and good-aligned fey, they are swift attackers, difficult to strike, and at level 15, sylvan sentinels can manifest a set of silken spectral wings! This volume also introduces Environmental spell components for Druid and Ranger spells that draw power from the caster’s surroundings, and each of Amarune’s 5 journal entries is an exciting short story bursting with sparks of Dungeon Master inspiration!

I appreciate the time and detail put into the descriptions of the 20 trees, flowers, and fungi in this supplement. Most supplements and adventures -- even those from Wizards of the Coast -- never mention native flora, but now I know that shadowtops are extremely common trees across Faerun, particularly in humid regions. The high flat feathery crowns of these giants leave the forest floor in perpetual shadow. Shadow-wood fibers are used to reinforce rope coils, chefs love the near-smokeless wood for the almost tangy aftertaste it adds to meat, and arcanists prize it as a potent yet affordable material for wands and staves -- said to increase the strength of druidic magic. Acknowledging plant life adds a new dimension and level of immersion to the Forgotten Realms!

For its immersive storytelling, beautiful and professional layout, and diverse yet thematic contents, I highly recommend Amarune’s Almanac Volume 1 Forests of the Realms. Check out my video review linked above for a look inside!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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