Darkhold: Secrets of the Zhentarim by Justice Arman, M.T. Black, Anthony Joyce and many others.
Format : PDF
Acquired 18 August 2020 ; paid $11.95 [20% off via M.T. Black newsletter]
Product released/last updated 18 August 2020
Number of pages : 112
Read date 25-27 August 2020
Number of stars 5
This is an excellent supplement full of lore, player and DM advice, new subclasses and a new feat, new magic items and spells, and a plethora of stat blocks for low-, mid-, and high-level Zhentarim and monsters.
The introduction gives an overview of what's in the book's seven chapters, Zhentarim naming conventions and faction overview, along with five things to know about them.
Ch. 1 covers character options with an expansion of the Criminal Contact feature from the Criminal background, new subclasses (Cleric: Strife Domain ; Rogue: Spellthief ; Sorcerer: Beguiler), and the new Skymage feat.
Ch. 2 provides a history of the Zhentarim, which includes good coverage of Manshoon and his many faces; hierarchy; missions and downtime; perks; the chain of command, including overviews of all the leaders; mercenaries for hire; and a system for using Thieves' Cant at your table.
Ch. 3 covers the Sunset Vale region and provides information on all of the region's named villages and towns, etc. Each area has info on population, government, defense, commerce, religion, and factions, as appropriate. Also included for each are adventure ideas.
Ch. 4 provides information on all aspects and locations of Darkhold and its immediate surrounding area.
Ch.5 goes over playing evil characters and playing in and running evil campaigns, with good info on safety tools and on how to keep the group cohesive.
Ch. 6 has new magic items of all rarities and 15 new spells.
Ch. 7 provides more description and stat blocks for all of the Zhentarim leaders including Legendary and Mythic features for several of them. Other residents of Darkhold and surrounds, both NPC and monster, also have descriptions and stat blocks. Finally, there is a page of Zhentarim techniques on how to specialize Zhentarim NPCs in the areas of infiltration, thievery, and enforcement.
This is an excellent supplement with plenty of lore, good character options and advice, useful DM advice, new magic items and spells, and plenty of fully fleshed NPCs of all levels, and monsters.
Highly recommended! An excellent value.
Preview : Full preview available.
Attribution : Content and art attributed, along with bibliographies of D&D books and articles and Dungeon Masters Guild Community Content used for material and inspiration.
TOC : Present and hotlinked.
Formatting : Excellent.
Art : Applicable, well used and a good amount.
Style : Follows WotC D&D House style; consistently.
Editing : Excellent all around. Proofreading much better than most. I only found 6 small issues in 112 pages, all of which have been provided to one of the lead designers.
Number and type of files included : One PDF and a folder with 3 maps: one labeled and one unlabeled map of Darkhold and one regional map of the Sunset Vale.
Value : Excellent