Reviews of 'Races of Faerûn'
Reviews of 'Races of Faerûn'
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For those that have ever been curious about the various races available in a Forgotten Realms campaign, then Races of Faerûn is certainly a tome that belongs in your library. Races of Faerûn takes the races presented in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting and expands upon each in great detail—each major race has its own chapter, with several pages for each sub-race compared to a paragraph or two in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. In addition, Races of Faerûn expands on the collection of races presented in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting and details some of the lesser-known or rare races, such as those that are planetouched.
In addition to providing new races and additional background material on the races briefly detailed in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, the Races of Faerûn also includes a number of new magic weapons, feats, and prestige classes that will server to expand the adventuring possibilities for characters playing these new races.
One of the most interesting new races presented in Races of Faerûn is the avariel sub-race of elves. The avariel are the long-forgotten winged elves of Faerûn, who have remained largely hidden in their aeries and separate from the rest of the world. The drow are also described in great detail. An interesting addition to Races of Faerûn is the inclusion of a chapter on half elves, as well as the addition of two new half-elven sub-races: the half-aquatic elf and the half-drow.
In addition to the new elven sub-races, there are several interesting entries for humans as well, specifically when dealing with the various regions of Faerûn. For those that recall the bazaars described in the second book of Chris Pierson's Kingpriest trilogy, the Calishite template may be a perfect addition to a Dragonlance campaign. In addition, there are several planetouched races that may also be of interest to players and DMs in a Dragonlance campaign, such as the Fey'ri, or fey which are also present in the Dragonlance world. A few other minor races are also detailed, including the serpentine Yuan-ti, the goblinoids, centaur and the lycanthropes.
For this reviewer, one of the greatest (pleasant) surprises in Races of Faerûn was the inclusion of the Bladesinger prestige class, updated for the D&D 3rd Edition rules. Qualifying for the prestige class, however, remains as difficult as it was to qualify for the kit that was presented using the AD&D rules—an elf or half-elf desiring to learn the secrets of the bladesong will need to select his feats and skills carefully in order to be able to qualify for the prestige class at 10th level. The other prestige class of particular interest for DMs and players in a Dragonlance campaign would be the spellsinger, a bardic prestige class also designed for those with a small amount of elven blood. The spellsinger is typically an enchanter/bard, and uses his or her magic to enthrall their audience, allowing them to further enhance the capabilities that the bard class provides them.
While not a necessary part of a DMs library, especially when used in a Dragonlance campaign, Races of Faerûn is nevertheless a strong addition to the library of any DM or player adventuring in the Forgotten Realms. Still, there are a few gems in the sourcebook that can be easily adapted cross settings and that would work well in any Dungeons & Dragons campaign, which makes Races of Faerûn definitely worth a closer look.
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