Tethtoril's Bookshelf

Villains' Lorebook

TSR Code:

9552 9552.jpg (28851 bytes)
TSR Series Code: None
Product Type: Accessory
ISBN Number: 0-7869-1236-7
Author: Dale Donovan
Cover Artist: Todd Lockwood
Release Date: July 1998
Format: One perfect-bound book (160 pages).
The villains of the Forgotten Realms novels and products are detailed in this accessory. Game statistics, full character history, details and illustration are provided for each.  Sixteen full color plates depict some of the characters in different scenes.

By: Gabriel Gabbardo Date: 26-May-2000
Rating: GoodGood
Villain's Lorebook starts with a good premise: bringing the most famous villains of the FR setting to your campaign. Unfortunately, it really does fall short on it's promises.

The good:

- The cover is nice. Especially Zrie, the lich. He looks really menacing.
- The interior art. The portraits all look fine, and the 16-pages of fantasy art are awesome.
- The description of the secret societies. Although this probably is nothing compared to what Cloak&Dagger will be, the secret societies are detailed quite nicely. However, we still don't know who controls the Iron Throne. And, a very minor downfall is that the Knights of Shield entry does not make one mention to Gargauth.
- Jander Sunstar's stats. Enough said!

The bad:

- The villains. This sound really ironic, but let me clarify. We have too many, just too many, powerful wizards who prefer to act through envoys than by themselves. These same wizards have a very narrow, "I'm evil for being evil" kind of attitude. The only exception- and might I add, it is a so-so exception- is Manshoon. We also have a class on sheer twinkiness when we see Artemis and Jarlaxle's stats. They could take on avatars, and still have a small chance of winning. They should have none.
- Deirdre. Although the concept is cool, it falls short, unfortunately. Ok, so Chauntea is allied with Silvanus, Mielikki and what the hell. Does that mean these so called "alies" would simply turn their backs on her?
- The shadevari. I mean, just look at F&A (or P&P, I don't remember), where they are mentioned as beings who have existed since (or maybe even before) time and space. They are very weak, compared to what they should have been.
- The other creatures. All in all, they are all very bizarre. C'mon, this compendium looks like a circus show.

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