Than You Can
Shake a Star-Tipped Stick At
By Mat Smith
April. April is kinda like June, but two months early. Which means the
book isn't here yet. And the annoying part is that the closer we get to
the new Forgotten Realms
hitting the shelves, the longer it seems to take to get here.
bit is this: It's going to be well worth the wait.
I don't know for certain as if I've already gotten a copy -- or
even seen the complete and final files with pictures and maps and everything
in place. But the bits I have seen are just far too good.
I've not made it clear before now, but this 320-page cavalcade of Forgotten
Realms-ian goodness is going to knock your socks off. Just like in
the cartoons. I'm not joking, either -- I have to tie my shoes really
tight every time I get to see something new.
you're a fan of spellcasting types, you're in for a real treat. (And if
you're not a fan of spellcasting types, get ready to become one.)
The Magic of Faerûn
chapter of the new campaign setting book starts out by introducing the
concept of the Weave (which serves as a kind of interface between the
will of a spellcaster and the stuff of raw magical energy, for those of
you keeping score at home). It then moves on to describe seven different
types of special magic. (And that's not counting just regular everyday
magic, by the way.) Check it out: wild magic, dead magic, spellfire, the
shadow weave, elven high magic, rune magic, and circle magic. There are
also the magic portals that instantly teleport users to some predetermined
place elsewhere in the Realms or beyond.
come page after page after page of cleric domains and spells. Spells you've
known and loved (and missed since the new rules came out). And many new
spells. Cool new spells. Cool new spells you'll want to scribble into
your favorite mystical tome as quickly as you can.
thing about magic in the Forgotten Realms setting is that it's
world of Toril is literally a magical place" says the first sentence
of the chapter. And it's so true. This is a world where entire cities
can be built using magic. There's a huge desert in the North that shouldn't
be there but it is ('cause of a smattering of magic). There are
magic creatures, magic plants, magic water -- you name it, and there's
probably a magical version of it somewhere in the Forgotten Realms
really interesting thing about this phenomenal preponderance of magic
is that it all makes sense. The game designers have put lots and lots
of thought into each little twinkling bit of magic you stumble across.
Virtually everything magical exists for one reason or another. Someone
or something, by accident or on purpose, is responsible for the magic
really cool. Magic is something that could be the cure-all explanation
for anything quirky or odd, with no more thought than just a quick "Well,
it's magic" accompanied by a "What, d'you wanna better reason
than that?" kind of look. But it's not.
is indeed everywhere in the Forgotten Realms setting. But it's
all there because it was lovingly and thoughtfully crafted and placed
there by the fine folks whose names go on those first couple of pages
in the book.
these last devastatingly long two months drag slowly onward, you'll be
seeing more and more of what's going on with magic in the new book.
is a copywriter who's been here for just over six months now, but has
been playing Dungeons & Dragons and waiting to get a job with
the company that makes it for well over 18 years. Now, he gets to spend
most of his days thinking about new ways to tell everyone in the world
to play D&D, which is still the coolest thing ever.
1st-edition bard started kicking around the Forgotten Realms back
in 1989 and is currently vacationing in the Murloch Vale of the Moonshae
month, he's too tired to think of anything clever to add to this section.
But that doesn't really matter, because he's still getting to work on
D&D every day as a part of this whole job at Wizards of the