D&D 4th Edition The Many Deaths of Manshoon




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    The Many Deaths of Manshoon

    Delve into the history of one of the first and worst (or best, depending on your perspective) villains of the Forgotten Realms setting: Manshoon of the Zhentarim, his many clones, and their varied demises.

    Read The Many Deaths of Manshoon on D&D Insider here!



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    I don't suppose there's any way to avoid linking us to insider articles that you need a subscription to read.

    DDI is all well and good but there's nothing compelling about the content to convince me to purchase another subscription.

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    Eh. A little overdone. I mean it's standard Forgotten Realms fare, but it's the sort of standard Forgotten Realms fare that makes people hate the realms. Unnecessary name drops (I'm almost surprised that Drizzt didn't slay one of the clones, with the way it was going), more irritating and difficult-to-pronounce names than I care to consider, at least one facepalm moment (of the "three that lived," two of them died... nice way to setup plot hooks for GMs, chaps, a group of clones where there's only one canonical one left), and nothing meaty to work with either. I mean what sort of Wizard is Manshoon? Did he favor illusion spells? Fire spells? Was he direct, sneaky? What was he like if I wanted to include him in a campaign? Paranoid? Even handed? Does he have any character quirks that I could use to let my players relate to him as more than 'evil NPC wizard number 22?'

    So, yeah, to be frank kinda awful. Nevermind it kept inducing flashback to the Clone Saga from Spiderman, which is not a good place to be.

    It's really sad because you have, in the same exact issue, the utterly excellent "The Haunted Battlement" in Eye on the Realms. I mean lets just consider the start: "Word is now spreading—after a fourth recent suicide, by someone who leapt from the battlement in terror—of a haunted wall-walk atop a fortress in Calimshan."

    It's certainly not high prose, but it's compelling enough to grab my interest. It's certainly better than anything written in that Manshoon piece.
    Last edited by GreyICE; Friday, 7th September, 2012 at 10:50 AM.

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    Zhents of all levels jumped the shark at the TOT. What they have done to the characters Manshoon and Fzoul reads like bad fan-fic.

    For that matter FR in total jumped the shark at the TOT.

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    An adventure I worked on for LFR recently has Manshoon in it... I was worried this article would require me to last-minute change details (compared to what I'd gotten from wiki) and hoped it might give me a bit more on the personality side, so I could point DMs to it. At first glance, I'm safe - which I guess means I agree that the article could have been a lot more adventurous.

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    Am I alone in thinking that the best dead villains should stay dead, even in FR? Unless they start undead, of course.
    "The Soul of D&D? It's rolling a natural 20 when you're down to 3 hit points and the cleric's on the floor and you're staring that sunnavabitch bugbear right in his bloodshot eye and holding the line just long enough to let the wizard unleash a fireball at the guards who are on their way, because they're all that stands between you, the Foozle and Glory." - WizarDru

  7. #7
    Last edited by Olgar Shiverstone; Saturday, 8th September, 2012 at 01:07 PM.
    "The Soul of D&D? It's rolling a natural 20 when you're down to 3 hit points and the cleric's on the floor and you're staring that sunnavabitch bugbear right in his bloodshot eye and holding the line just long enough to let the wizard unleash a fireball at the guards who are on their way, because they're all that stands between you, the Foozle and Glory." - WizarDru

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    Eh. A little overdone. I mean it's standard Forgotten Realms fare, but it's the sort of standard Forgotten Realms fare that makes people hate the realms. Unnecessary name drops (I'm almost surprised that Drizzt didn't slay one of the clones, with the way it was going), more irritating and difficult-to-pronounce names than I care to consider, at least one facepalm moment (of the "three that lived," two of them died... nice way to setup plot hooks for GMs, chaps, a group of clones where there's only one canonical one left), and nothing meaty to work with either. I mean what sort of Wizard is Manshoon? Did he favor illusion spells? Fire spells? Was he direct, sneaky? What was he like if I wanted to include him in a campaign? Paranoid? Even handed? Does he have any character quirks that I could use to let my players relate to him as more than 'evil NPC wizard number 22?'

    So, yeah, to be frank kinda awful. Nevermind it kept inducing flashback to the Clone Saga from Spiderman, which is not a good place to be.

    It's really sad because you have, in the same exact issue, the utterly excellent "The Haunted Battlement" in Eye on the Realms. I mean lets just consider the start: "Word is now spreadingŚafter a fourth recent suicide, by someone who leapt from the battlement in terrorŚof a haunted wall-walk atop a fortress in Calimshan."

    It's certainly not high prose, but it's compelling enough to grab my interest. It's certainly better than anything written in that Manshoon piece.
    Just because canon suggests there is only one clone of Manshoon remaining does not mean the PCs know that. Nor does it prevent a DM from having other clones that are not well known or a character masquerading as Manshoon (the guy wears a face cover after all; he could be anybody).
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