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Areader
Acolyte

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2023 :  19:17:20  Show Profile Send Areader a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
From Amazon's listings:

Dungeons & Dragons: The Fallbacks: Bound for Ruin Hardcover – March 5, 2024

"Meet the newest Dungeons & Dragons party in the first epic adventure of The Fallbacks.

To become renowned adventurers, this party needs to survive their first job.

Tessalynde is an ambitious young rogue who dreams of leading Faerûn’s foremost adventuring party. While the crew she’s gathered isn’t the stuff of legend yet, she’s confident her guidance can get them there.

The team: Anson, a fighter too stubborn to stay down, even when the odds are stacked against him. Cazrin, a self-taught wizard determined to test her theoretical mettle against the real world. Baldric, a cleric who refuses to tie himself to a single deity when he can trade favors with them all. Lark, a bard with as many secrets as songs. And, of course, Uggie, a monstrous pet otyugh who loves giving hugs and eating trash.

Their first job: recovering a mysterious spellbook from a lost temple for a hefty payout. Tess hopes this assignment can turn her group of fledgling freelancers into a true team. But when their client is killed, their coin and his murderer both vanish, leaving the party to take the fall.

Stuck with a sentient, bloodthirsty grimoire and pursued by mercenaries and the undead, this is hardly the mission Tess envisioned. Her crew must save the day, get the gold, and clear the party’s name—which they haven’t even agreed upon yet! With the threats against them mounting, a single mistake will see this party over before it even begins.

Can this band of mismatched misfits stay together in the face of danger? Or are they bound for ruin?"

The author is Jaleigh Johnson.

Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1261 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2023 :  20:58:11  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm really happy for another novel set in the Realms that isn't Drizzt & Co who I gave up with sometime around the 1000 orcs.

I wonder which area it will be set in. My sad expectation is it will be the Sword Coast/North, because we never get any other part of the Realms; but I live in hope for the Dales or Moonsea or Cormyr.
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sno4wy
Senior Scribe

USA
466 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2023 :  23:55:53  Show Profile Send sno4wy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is super intriguing, and I've really enjoyed at least one Jaleigh book. There are some that she's written that was a bit... ??? for me. In any case, interesting choice of author to tap, I'm kind of surprised they didn't go with Richard Lee Byers, Erin M Evans, or Paul S Kemp.
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3802 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2023 :  10:01:46  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe they had other projects, or their price is higher than WotC is willing to pay (which, last time I checked, was below market standard). IIRC, Kemp spoke about this some years ago (and this isn't to say that Jaleigh Johnson is worth less than other authors, of course).

Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things.
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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1261 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2023 :  10:48:17  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm definitely going to pick this up. I kind of like a more traditional/tropey party based adventure. No more RSE please.
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sno4wy
Senior Scribe

USA
466 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2023 :  18:51:52  Show Profile Send sno4wy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

Maybe they had other projects, or their price is higher than WotC is willing to pay (which, last time I checked, was below market standard). IIRC, Kemp spoke about this some years ago (and this isn't to say that Jaleigh Johnson is worth less than other authors, of course).



I knew about this with Kemp, and it made me really mad. It is all speculation, but I thought that they wouldn't do that anymore especially with the massive amount they're spending on Drizzt to continue shoving him down our throats.
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3802 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2023 :  09:50:31  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think Salvatore is on Wizards' paybook, they merely farmed the Drizzt IP to Harper Collins. As for why they decided to make this exception for him, it's likely due to the cult of Drizzt among readers, and perhaps even due to many of the WotC people being Salvatore fanboys. Remember when they actively tried to get readers to dislike Eilistraee and erased everything drow that wasn't Salvatore's (the overwhelming majority of it), just so that Drizzt could be "more special"? Remember a couple years ago, nwhen they chose to retcon away all drow and elven history, supposedly remove any Lolthite city that wasn't Menzo, and reduce the drow to a vision that Salvatore claimed "has always been his"? Yeah, I think it's safe to assume that there are people at Wizards that like Salvatore in the most toxic manner. While it isn't the design team that chooses how much authors should be paid, or whether IPs should be farmed or not, I think it would have been easy for them to convince the higher ups that farming Drizzt to Harper Collins was a profitable idea.

Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things.

Edited by - Irennan on 01 Nov 2023 10:03:59
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sno4wy
Senior Scribe

USA
466 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2023 :  21:02:11  Show Profile Send sno4wy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

I don't think Salvatore is on Wizards' paybook, they merely farmed the Drizzt IP to Harper Collins. As for why they decided to make this exception for him, it's likely due to the cult of Drizzt among readers, and perhaps even due to many of the WotC people being Salvatore fanboys. Remember when they actively tried to get readers to dislike Eilistraee and erased everything drow that wasn't Salvatore's (the overwhelming majority of it), just so that Drizzt could be "more special"? Remember a couple years ago, nwhen they chose to retcon away all drow and elven history, supposedly remove any Lolthite city that wasn't Menzo, and reduce the drow to a vision that Salvatore claimed "has always been his"? Yeah, I think it's safe to assume that there are people at Wizards that like Salvatore in the most toxic manner. While it isn't the design team that chooses how much authors should be paid, or whether IPs should be farmed or not, I think it would have been easy for them to convince the higher ups that farming Drizzt to Harper Collins was a profitable idea.



Oh yeah, I totally agree with all you've said, but even after farming out the IP to Harper Collins, WotC has still sunk a shitload of $$$ into Drizzt when they totally didn't need to. For instance, the ~35 pieces of new art for all of the e-book versions wouldn't have been cheap; even though some of them are pretty awful from a compositional and representative standpoint, they were done by an artist with substantial technical skill. Then there's all the new Drizzt merch, and apparently he's starring in a new digital game, the life-size Drizzt statues, Drizzt Halloween costumes, etc...
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4211 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2023 :  21:19:13  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well...I like Drizzt.

Yup, I said it.

Having said THAT, however, I don't like the massive changes often associated with him.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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sno4wy
Senior Scribe

USA
466 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2023 :  23:14:30  Show Profile Send sno4wy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think there's anything wrong with liking Drizzt. My problem is with how much money WotC is throwing at him while refusing to pay other authors even market standard.
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Giant Snake
Acolyte

37 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2023 :  23:38:56  Show Profile Send Giant Snake a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I will admit, the marketing worked on me. Drizzt was a recognizable name to me somehow even as I was brand new. It isn’t hard to figure out - he looked really cool and he is a heroic figure. It’s easy to follow as he explores The Realms.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36773 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2023 :  01:49:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This doesn't sound bad, but I cringe at the description of the characters -- especially a bard named Lark. And an otyugh named Uggie that loves giving hugs sounds like something out of a young adult novel.

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redking
Learned Scribe

131 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2023 :  14:49:38  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am surprised that WotC hasn't figured out that there is HUGE demand for arcane college style stories like Harry Potter. The Shadow Stone comes close, but the arcane college is just a backdrop, not really the main attraction.
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Giant Snake
Acolyte

37 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2023 :  17:29:55  Show Profile Send Giant Snake a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I figure it’s left that way so your own mages can have their story. I never got into the books but I actually like mages. I think the more disjointed nature of the realms mean that they could easily be a one off apprentice of someone more powerful. Not much different than a warrior disciple really.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7962 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2023 :  21:52:40  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not familiar with this author's works. But "Uggie, a monstrous pet otyugh who loves giving hugs and eating trash" is quite enough to keep me disinterested in this product. Unless, perhaps, I hear overwhelming praise about it from others.

This whole thing reads in a way which strikingly reminds me of page one from Rise of the Blade by Charles Moffat - an unofficial, probably illegal, and absolutely awful "Harpers" fanfic shamelessly self-promoted as a novel. (You'll see it appended to the end of the list of Harpers novels on wikis and sites, from time to time, before it gets culled off again. And you'll see reviews, discussions, and mentions of it churn around on the search engines, from time to time, before it gets culled off again.)

But perhaps this blurb was written by some marketing minion or dull managerial instead of by the actual author. Hope for the best, yes?

[/Ayrik]
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Shardnax
Acolyte

USA
24 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2023 :  19:15:17  Show Profile Send Shardnax a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The whole description sounds off putting and all over the place.
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

768 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2024 :  08:45:12  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really don't like this light-hearted & goofy theme that is indicative of the whole Critical Role genre. My favorite Realms novels were those that were dark and adult and dealt with serious subject matters. This novel seems like something safe and uninteresting. I mean the pet otyugh is just there for comic relief and it's quite lame.
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Athreeren
Learned Scribe

128 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2024 :  12:34:50  Show Profile Send Athreeren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Caolin

I really don't like this light-hearted & goofy theme that is indicative of the whole Critical Role genre. My favorite Realms novels were those that were dark and adult and dealt with serious subject matters. This novel seems like something safe and uninteresting. I mean the pet otyugh is just there for comic relief and it's quite lame.



Although the setting does lend itself to many epic stories on serious topics, is it actually possible to tell such stories through the game, when any attempt at a serious scene can be destroyed by uncooperative dice? The D20 can lead to such a wide variety of outcomes independently of the character's skills, and not necessarily the most interesting ones (compared to a system like the White Wolf one, where a competent character is highly unlikely to fail at something they're proficient at, unless the task is actually hard or they are facing opposition).

My experience of playing D&D is that if you do not expect to be playing some kind of buffoons, you are going to be disappointed with the resulting story. And since this world is meant to be played with this system, it make sense that the novels set in it would emulate the games you can have there.
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

768 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2024 :  05:57:25  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Athreeren

quote:
Originally posted by Caolin

I really don't like this light-hearted & goofy theme that is indicative of the whole Critical Role genre. My favorite Realms novels were those that were dark and adult and dealt with serious subject matters. This novel seems like something safe and uninteresting. I mean the pet otyugh is just there for comic relief and it's quite lame.



Although the setting does lend itself to many epic stories on serious topics, is it actually possible to tell such stories through the game, when any attempt at a serious scene can be destroyed by uncooperative dice? The D20 can lead to such a wide variety of outcomes independently of the character's skills, and not necessarily the most interesting ones (compared to a system like the White Wolf one, where a competent character is highly unlikely to fail at something they're proficient at, unless the task is actually hard or they are facing opposition).

My experience of playing D&D is that if you do not expect to be playing some kind of buffoons, you are going to be disappointed with the resulting story. And since this world is meant to be played with this system, it make sense that the novels set in it would emulate the games you can have there.



I don't read the novels to recreate the game table though. Matter of fact, I don't want the novels to recreate the game table at all. I want to read a story. Some comedy is OK now and then. But this isn't comedy. It's a reflection of game table antics.
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4211 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2024 :  08:52:50  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would say it is kinda hard to be critical of a thing...when it hasn't been read yet.

Just my two coppers.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

768 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2024 :  18:43:22  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

I would say it is kinda hard to be critical of a thing...when it hasn't been read yet.

Just my two coppers.



Well when deciding to spend money and/or time on a book, the only thing you have to go on is the product description. One has to assume that the published description is representative of the novel itself. So in that light, I'd say it's pretty easy to be critical at this point. If I don't like how the product is being described, chances are I'm not going to read it at all.
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4684 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2024 :  04:38:22  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AS to using descriptions to consider buying, this
"a cleric who refuses to tie himself to a single deity"
is very off putting. A world where most people have a favorite deity, it is jarring to see a cleric of many or really no deity,

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

768 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2024 :  07:13:49  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal

AS to using descriptions to consider buying, this
"a cleric who refuses to tie himself to a single deity"
is very off putting. A world where most people have a favorite deity, it is jarring to see a cleric of many or really no deity,



Yeah, how does said cleric acquire divine spells? Is he some sort of cleric gigolo? Going from god to god "Yeah baby, you know you're the only deity for me". You'd think gods would be less hard up.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7962 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2024 :  07:29:23  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd always thought clerics worship a pantheon. They might have some preference for a particular deity or deities, or they might not. A cleric in the Realms might worship the Faerûnian pantheon (or the Mulhorandi pantheon, or the Elven pantheon, or whatever other pantheon accepts the cleric's race, alignment, etc). The standard "Cleric" class, requirements, powers, spells, etc from the PHB.

While priests worship a single deity. Or perhaps, maybe, a few closely allied deities. Every deity of any station has priests dedicated to its service - priests with different requirements, powers, spells, etc that are specific (and often unique) to that deity. Druids are a type of priest, there are many other types of priests which are just as similar and just as different to clerics.

Or at least that's how things worked in 1E, 2E, 3E. If WotC changed it then I would blame WotC, I wouldn't blame the authors they outsource.

[/Ayrik]
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

768 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2024 :  23:37:32  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I'd always thought clerics worship a pantheon. They might have some preference for a particular deity or deities, or they might not. A cleric in the Realms might worship the Faerûnian pantheon (or the Mulhorandi pantheon, or the Elven pantheon, or whatever other pantheon accepts the cleric's race, alignment, etc). The standard "Cleric" class, requirements, powers, spells, etc from the PHB.

While priests worship a single deity. Or perhaps, maybe, a few closely allied deities. Every deity of any station has priests dedicated to its service - priests with different requirements, powers, spells, etc that are specific (and often unique) to that deity. Druids are a type of priest, there are many other types of priests which are just as similar and just as different to clerics.

Or at least that's how things worked in 1E, 2E, 3E. If WotC changed it then I would blame WotC, I wouldn't blame the authors they outsource.



As far as I can remember, a cleric (a priest is the same thing) always had to choose a deity and they could lose that deities favor and lose access to their spells. I don't have the receipts to prove it from past editions. But at least the current edition states this explicitly. But I'd bet good money that this has always been the case since 1E.

https://www.dndbeyond.com/classes/cleric

quote:

Creating a Cleric
As you create a cleric, the most important question to consider is which deity to serve and what principles you want your character to embody. The Gods of the Multiverse section includes lists of many of the gods of the multiverse. Check with your DM to learn which deities are in your campaign.

Once you’ve chosen a deity, consider your cleric’s relationship to that god. Did you enter this service willingly? Or did the god choose you, impelling you into service with no regard for your wishes? How do the temple priests of your faith regard you: as a champion or a troublemaker? What are your ultimate goals? Does your deity have a special task in mind for you? Or are you striving to prove yourself worthy of a great quest?

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