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D&D General I'm reading the Forgotten Realms Novels- #202 The Howling Delve by Jaleigh Johnson (Dungeons 2)

Part of the problem is I am so connected to the D&D world that when I'm reading these books I'm thinking of them in game terms. Wrong thing to do, I know-

Not necessarily!

Back in the 2e-4e days it TSR/WotC occasionally would publish (usually in Dragon Magazine) stat blocks for characters in the novels. And of course there are the Heroes Lorebook, Villains Lorebook, etc. sourcebooks that do the same.

And Elaine Cunningham has said that when Jeff Grubb was overseeing things in the late '80s through mid-'90s, it was routine to check the events of the novels against what a PC or NPC with that class, level, items etc. would be capable of! Writers could, essentially, fudge the rolls for characters, but they couldn't have characters accomplish things they wouldn't be capable of in a game session.
 

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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Not necessarily!

Back in the 2e-4e days it TSR/WotC occasionally would publish (usually in Dragon Magazine) stat blocks for characters in the novels. And of course there are the Heroes Lorebook, Villains Lorebook, etc. sourcebooks that do the same.

And Elaine Cunningham has said that when Jeff Grubb was overseeing things in the late '80s through mid-'90s, it was routine to check the events of the novels against what a PC or NPC with that class, level, items etc. would be capable of! Writers could, essentially, fudge the rolls for characters, but they couldn't have characters accomplish things they wouldn't be capable of in a game session.

Oh yeah! I remember the stat blocks in Dragon, and both of the supplements (although never owned either). I subscribed to Dragon for maybe a decade, and Dungeon from the start to the end.

As to playing out some of the fights- I'd like to see the stats for Moander versus Alias and the crowd from Books 1 & 3 of the Finder's Stone Trilogy. Apologies, still sore that Moander took a beating (twice), I really liked that guy.

Although now I start to think about the fight at the end of Book 1- Azure Bonds- the PCs must have been very high level.

Thanks for sharing, I feel slightly validated.

Cheers goonalan
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
#019 Prophet of Moonshae by Douglas Niles (Druidhome Trilogy Book 1)
Read 21/10/19 to 24/10/19


Forgotten Realms Prophet of Moonshae (Druidhome 1) a 30.jpg

So, the test begins- this is a bit of a stinker, don't get me wrong there's some nice action here and there but... meh. The Moonshae isles are beset by storms (Talos the Destroyer is out to get 'em) and so the kingdoms need gold to keep the Ffolk fed- King Kendrick is reliant on Earl Blackstone's gold mines, and to keep digging Blackstone needs to destroy a Moonwell. Got that- we move on, (very) swiftly mind you- Kendrick gets on a boat bound for the Sword Coast, Queen Robyn (Super-Druid) gets visited by the Nameless Priest (aka Malawar (Malware?) = Sinioth), the Priest of Talos slips Robyn some super-strength cocoa (or similar) and the Queen slumbers (more-or-less) for the rest of the novel.

So, Princess Alicia (beautiful, strong and fierce- every leading male in the story falls for her) is sent to deal with Earl Blackstone, along for the ride is Tavish (the Bard from the previous trilogy) and Keane her tutor (and as it turns out a very high level Wizard, and in love with Alicia- told you). The Moonwell is a mess, as is the land surrounding- Earl Blackstone is a bore (at best) and a pantomime villain at worst. Oh, and the Earl keeps getting visit by a spectral Doomsayer the Prophet (from the title), the last time the fellow rocked up one of his sons took his own life.

Princess Alicia decides that the Moonwell is for keeping, so the Nameless Priest (Sinioth) meets with Blackstone and sends an Iron Golem out to get the Princess. Keane casts Rock to Mud (and then back again- foolish) and sinks the monster, the Golem briefly escapes but soon after is properly sunk- and the Moonwell comes alive, the earthmother goddess is coming back.

Congrats, you made it this far- great, we're about 25 pages in... not really but you get my drift, there are tons more characters to get going on-

Deidre- Princess Alicia's moody goth (initially) sister who later sleeps with the Nameless Priest (who begins the evening looking like Justin Bieber and ends it looking like Montgomery Burns). Deidre, after reading a few books (from the library?) and fingers-crossed pledging herself to Talos becomes a high level Sorcerer (in maybe a tenday or so).

There's also Blackstone's two sons- Gwyeth (son and heir) and Hanrald (outsider hero- in love with Alicia natch). Gwyeth has inherited his father's pantomime villain traits- later he dies, no-one mourns him- oddly not even his dad who makes it clear earlier that Gwyeth is his great hope. Hanrald charges about a bit on a horse, being brave.

Blackstone also states earlier in the piece that his kingdom (being on the border) will suffer if the Northmen and Fflok go to war, then he and the Nameless Priest do all they can to get the two kingdoms to go to war. There's a lot of saying (or thinking) one thing briefly and then doing the exact opposite.

There's also Gotha, a badass Dracolich- not nice but in the end he's nullified in seconds by the good guys- mostly Newt, so not that badass after all. There are a bunch of Northmen, led by Prince Brandon (in love with Alicia), Yak the Firbolg is back (with friends- they don't last long), Newt the faerie dragon gives the good guys a hoard of artefacts to play with (and holds the Dracolich off while the artefacts power up). Oh, and the artefacts are so overpowered you figure that any of the main PCs could be replaced by a couple of farmers armed with spades, and the good guys would still stand a chance against the forces of Talos.

The threat throughout is less than- the writing's nice but pretty much the good guys have most stuff under control, or else some twist of fate always thwarts the bad folk- man, if the Nameless Priest could just catch-a-break. Also why are the bad guys just mostly idiots, the Nameless Priest takes years to make his Iron Golem, Keane sinks it under thirty seconds. The Nameless Priest choses idiots to do his bidding- Blackstone (and family) and then spends all his time converting Deidre (the goth princess) to the dark side only to have her smack him in the chops and disrupt his big showdown at the Moonwell.

So, don't read this one- I've done it for you, go and do something much more interesting instead- maybe, cut your toe-nails, or do the ironing.

Oh and the dogs are back- Canthus' brood maybe.

Oh and the Sahuagin are back too.

Oh and at the end King Kendrick's ship has gone missing/sunk- last page, here comes the sequel.

Read!

Only two more in the trilogy to go. Yay!
 
Last edited:

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
#019 Prophet of Moonshae by Douglas Niles (Druidhome Trilogy Book 1)
Read 21/10/19 to 24/10/19


View attachment 115167

So, the test begins- this is a bit of a stinker, don't get me wrong there's some nice action here and there but... meh. The Moonshae isles are beset by storms (Talos the Destroyer is out to get 'em) and so the kingdoms need gold to keep the Ffolk fed- King Kendrick is reliant on Earl Blackstone's gold mines, and to keep digging Blackstone needs to destroy a Moonwell. Got that- we move on, (very) swiftly mind you- Kendrick gets on a boat bound for the Sword Coast, Queen Robyn (Super-Druid) gets visited by the Nameless Priest (aka Malawar (Malware?) = Sinioth), the Priest of Talos slips Robyn some super-strength cocoa (or similar) and the Queen slumbers (more-or-less) for the rest of the novel.

So, Princess Alicia (beautiful, strong and fierce- every leading male in the story falls for her) is sent to deal with Earl Blackstone, along for the ride is Tavish (the Bard from the previous trilogy) and Keane her tutor (and as it turns out a very high level Wizard, and in love with Alicia- told you). The Moonwell is a mess, as is the land surrounding- Earl Blackstone is a bore (at best) and a pantomime villain at worst. Oh, and the Earl keeps getting visit by a spectral Doomsayer the Prophet (from the title), the last time the fellow rocked up one of his sons took his own life.

Princess Alicia decides that the Moonwell is for keeping, so the Nameless Priest (Sinioth) meets with Blackstone and sends an Iron Golem out to get the Princess. Keane casts Rock to Mud (and then back again- foolish) and sinks the monster, the Golem briefly escapes but soon after is properly sunk- and the Moonwell comes alive, the earthmother goddess is coming back.

Congrats, you made it this far- great, we're about 25 pages in... not really but you get my drift, there are tons more characters to get going on-

Deidre- Princess Alicia's moody goth (initially) sister who later sleeps with the Nameless Priest (who begins the evening looking like Justin Bieber and ends it looking like Montgomery Burns). Deidre, after reading a few books (from the library?) and fingers-crossed pledging herself to Talos becomes a high level Sorcerer (in maybe a tenday or so).

There's also Blackstone's two sons- Gwyeth (son and heir) and Hanrald (outsider hero- in love with Alicia natch). Gwyeth has inherited his father's pantomime villain traits- later he dies, no-one mourns him- oddly not even his dad who makes it clear earlier that Gwyeth is his great hope. Hanrald charges about a bit on a horse, being brave.

Blackstone also states earlier in the piece that his kingdom (being on the border) will suffer if the Northmen and Fflok go to war, then he and the Nameless Priest do all they can to get the two kingdoms to go to war. There's a lot of saying (or thinking) one thing briefly and then doing the exact opposite.

There's also Gotha, a badass Dracolich- not nice but in the end he's nullified in seconds by the good guys- mostly Newt, so not that badass after all. There are a bunch of Northmen, led by Prince Brandon (in love with Alicia), Yak the Firbolg is back (with friends- they don't last long), Newt the faerie dragon gives the good guys a hoard of artefacts to play with (and holds the Dracolich off while the artefacts power up). Oh, and the artefacts are so overpowered you figure that any of the main PCs could be replaced by a couple of farmers armed with spades, and the good guys would still stand a chance against the forces of Talos.

The threat throughout is less than- the writing's nice but pretty much the good guys have most stuff under control, or else some twist of fate always thwarts the bad folk- man, if the Nameless Priest could just catch-a-break. Also why are the bad guys just mostly idiots, the Nameless Priest takes years to make his Iron Golem, Keane sinks it under thirty seconds. The Nameless Priest choses idiots to do his bidding- Blackstone (and family) and then spends all his time converting Deidre (the goth princess) to the dark side only to have her smack him in the chops and disrupt his big showdown at the Moonwell.

So, don't read this one- I've done it for you, go and do something much more interesting instead- maybe, cut your toe-nails, or do the ironing.

Oh and the dogs are back- Canthus' brood maybe.

Oh and the Sahuagin are back too.

Oh and at the end King Kendrick's ship has gone missing/sunk- last page, here comes the sequel.

Read!

Only two more in the trilogy to go. Yay!

I have great love for the Moonshae's, but yeah. These books aren't that great ;)
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
#020 The Coral Kingdom by Douglas Niles (Druidhome Trilogy Book 2)
Read 25/10/19 to 27/10/19


Forgotten Realms The Coral Kingdom (Druidhome 2) a 30.jpg

Book 2- and it's a lot better than the first one, I raced through it- although I was stuck on a train for three hours so that accounted for over half of the novel getting read. Don't get me wrong, it's not a great novel but it stays the course. It helps that there's pretty much one journey style quest that runs throughout, and we're along for the ride. The King (Tristan) has been captured, and is imprisoned beneath the sea in the entitled Coral Kingdom, home to the aquatic nasty bastards the Sahuagin. So, (Princess) Alicia, her three puppy dog lovers/followers- (Earl) Hanrald, (Prince) Brandon & (Teacher/Wizard) Keane in tow- along with the usual crew (Robyn, Pawldo etc.) head out to adventure.

Talos the Destroyer has hired in some help from Malar the Beastlord- who unleashes the Ityak-Ortheel (known as the Elf-Eater to his friends) a massive Otyugh-style monster that true to its name- eats Elves (if there was a film it would be played by Ray Winstone), it knocks them down and then hoovers 'em up with its mouth/proboscis (good eating). The fight to ward off this beast takes up fifty plus pages of the text, the thing is damn near unkillable.

The Nameless Priest is also back although he's now known as Coss-Axell-Sinioth (CAS), which I presume is an anagram for something (or possibly just the author reminding the reader of his previous incarnations). CAS now takes the form of a giant squid, which is possibly a promotion. There's also a Sahuagin King/Baron, and a Scrag of similar rank, and obviously a horde of other underling nasties. In the background King Tristan's moody daughter Deidre watches the action through her scrying mirror, the reader is often left wondering which side of the fight she's going to jump in on- although when CAS starts showing up more you know Deidre's going to nail him at some point.

And on it goes- as I said at the start it fair rips along, and we get to go and see Evermeet, the mortal kingdom of the Elves, which is great- exactly as you expected it to be, but great nevertheless. That's it really- King Tristan escapes the clutches of the Sahuagin/Scrags, and the forces of good win the day. There's a nice bit when the Elves magic up the longboat so that it now functions as a submarine (for a bit), a great undersea battle, and eventually a nasty incident with Deidre and the magical scrying mirror- but that's for next time.

Read!
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Hi there,

I've just updated the proposed list/order for reading these books- found here. If you get the chance can you go back and have a look, see if I've messed up anywhere.

Do I have to read the Dragonlance novel Fistandantilus Reborn to get the full effect of the Lost Gods series? Because if I don't have to... well, I'm not going to- it's a Dragonlance novel, not my bag at all.

Also check out the Harpers list, is the order okay- with the unpublished but available on the web Rise of the Blade by Charles Alexander Moffatt in there, anyone know different?

Cheers goonalan
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Do I have to read the Dragonlance novel Fistandantilus Reborn to get the full effect of the Lost Gods series? Because if I don't have to... well, I'm not going to- it's a Dragonlance novel, not my bag at all.

If I remember right, Fistandantilus Reborn, though "Lost Gods #2" is set entirely on Krynn. All it does is get one Kender character into the path of book #3's Main character for that story.

I'll have to check the Harpers list, but it's probably right :)
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Also a follow up question, the Elminster series-

1) Elminster: The Making of a Mage
2) Elminster in Myth Drannor
3) The Temptation of Elminster
4) Elminster in Hell
5) Elminster's Daughter

The other two-
The Annotated Elminster, &
Elminster Ascending
are just anthologies (sorta) of 1-5 with a few extra notes, is that correct?

Apologies, just trying to do the job properly.

And very much appreciating the help.

Cheers goonalan
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Also a follow up question, the Elminster series-

1) Elminster: The Making of a Mage
2) Elminster in Myth Drannor
3) The Temptation of Elminster
4) Elminster in Hell
5) Elminster's Daughter

The other two-
The Annotated Elminster, &
Elminster Ascending
are just anthologies (sorta) of 1-5 with a few extra notes, is that correct?

Apologies, just trying to do the job properly.

And very much appreciating the help.

Cheers goonalan

Annotated Elminster and Elminster Ascending are just the first three books collected into an omnibus. Annotated is... well, annotated. You can skip both those if you're already reading the 5 separately
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Excellent, and the follow up (sorry, I've started looking closely at my list/spreadsheet) is the Sage of Shadowdale series separate or still part of the same run- are they all the Elminster series or should I (can I) do them in two parts.

I've got the first five novels (listed above), or at least four of them, with the missing one on the way- so, I'm primed to add them to the running order.

Apologies again and thanks for your patience.

Cheers goonalan
 

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