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


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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
#094 The Abduction by J Robert King (Double Diamond 1)
Read 3/10/20 to 4/10/20


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Yeah, I know it's not really a book, but I'm not going to be contacting Norris McWhirter and the Guinness Book of Records when I've finished this slog so, forgive me, or else just let it slide.

It's not even a novella.

So, Paladin McPaladinson (or similar) is marrying Eidolon (or similar), he's the Open Lord of Waterdeep and she's a bit of mystery- maybe a red herring, maybe not. PMcP has been married before but she's dead now... so, he's on edge. Therein lies the mystery, I suspect- when we get to the end.

It's the wedding of the century with security provided by Blackstaff and a bunch of other high level mooks (including a guy with bangs who is eight feet tall, and big with it- bangs?).

Then there's Noph, and he's being groomed for the top spot (methinks) the hero in waiting.

It's silly- there are Doppelgangers, Malaugrym, and a slew of co-conspirators, and when the ceremony gets going (for the second or third time of asking) a bunch of ancient bad magic people/warriors show up and grab (off camera) Lady Eidolon. The wedding is not quite Game of Thrones but there's a fair amount of blood that gets shed.

There's a remarkable amount of filler here, for what is surely only exposition (as needed) and the inciting incident- the abduction.

That's it really, there's a plan- it involves paladins, but more of that in the next one.

Not bad, a bit daft, but y'know... set up.

Read.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
This is another instance where it's hard to talk about individual books as opposed to the entire series. Given, however, that I don't recall too much about each book in particular, it's easier for me to be unconcerned with that, though I suspect I'll have something to add with regards to particular volumes should something in these reviews happen to grab me. I'll try not to get deeper into specifics in the meantime, though.

As it is, I picked up the Double Diamond Triangle books long after they'd all been released, mostly for the sake of personal amusement. That was largely because, by that point, they had become widely regarded as something of a train wreck; that's somewhat hyperbolic, but still summarizes what I recall of the gaming community's take on them. For one thing, if I recall correctly, they're among the only books expressly held to be non-canon with regard to the continuity of the Forgotten Realms.

I vaguely recall a chart (most likely in an old Dragon magazine) suggesting that, despite their numbering, you didn't need to read all of these books to follow what happened. You were still supposed to start with book one and end with book nine, but there was some mention of how the branching paths created by different books following different groups sent to retrieve the missing bride meant that you could skip certain books and still follow a complete plot-line. Whether that's true or not I can't recall, and I find it amusing now that "you can skip a whole bunch of what happens and not get lost" was billed as a feature and not a bug, but I wonder if I'd feel differently if the books had been better.

Although I still confess to not understanding why it was called "Double Diamond Triangle" in the first place. :unsure:
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
#095 The Paladins by James M Ward & David Wise (Double Diamond 2)
Read 5/10/20 to 6/10/20


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Book 2- the Paladin gang, lead by Miltiades (who I really like, he's lived- and died- and lived again) are on the case- there's a portal to the Utter East down in Undermountain, alas one of the holy squad is unteleportable, and so after some chaffing the good guys have to do it the hard way. To Skullport and then into the maze that is Undermountain. Aleena (Paladinson) the princess is watching over the mob, Noph (see above) is also along for the ride.

The bad guys are represented by a Balor and his two (previously three, one failed the job interview) Vrock chums, the Vrock's are a bit of comic relief, actually there are a few jokes in here, some of which even work- which makes a change, nothing to laugh out loud at, but- y'know, they're having a laugh with it.

Skullport seems like the place to go, a den on iniquity and home from home for all of the foul fiends that you (Mr/Mrs GM) need, the Paladin's of Tyr are also a semi-laugh riot.

"Now don't you go smiting the undead, you hear me?"
"Never!"
"Why the very suggestion!"
"How dare..."

Cue mishaps with Zombies, again- it's alright, it made me smirk- bloody Paladins, always the same.

Noph it turns out has street smarts, however everyone that stands next to him gets to wear a red shirt.

We get to the portal, defeat the Vrocks who have made themselves an army of summoned fiends using a handily placed multiplying magical mirror, and... well, onwards...

Read.

Stay safe and well.

Cheers goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
#096 The Mercenaries by Ed Greenwood (Double Diamond 3)
Read 6/10/20 to 7/10/20


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Book 3 and the story of a fat man (who isn't fat) called Belmer and his crew to be, the seven surviving members of the crew of the Kissing Shark. There's a fight and some other action in a sea port tavern, and then to the high seas for adventure.

Belmer is too cool for school and clearly a high level everything, the seven crew members likewise get some of their personalities out there- they're a scurvy bunch of wastrels but y'know- mercenaries, and ultimately likeable- save one of 'em.

Bad things happen to the ship and crew, someone is after them, but Belmer and the crew are up to the job.

The reader, like the crew, want to know who (or what) Belmer is- but he's mostly not telling.

Oh, and this is all set in the Utter East, and on the Great Sea.

One of the mercenaries- Kurthe, is a little more troubled than his companions- and crazy angry with it.

Belmer versus Kurthe, it's a one-sided affair, and when the ex-slave is dead Belmer finally (perhaps) secures the loyalty/services of the remaining six pirates.

That's it.

Well written and semi-gripping in places, the real oddity is this is Ed Greenwood and very likeable, although that could be because it contains exactly 0% Elminster.

Oh, last bit- Belmer's task is to find and kill Lady Eidolan (see Book 1).

I'm enjoying these action adventure pamphlets, however that may just be because they're so very short and easy to read. Genuinely, this one was a delight.

Read.
 

Wasteland Knight

Adventurer
#096 The Mercenaries by Ed Greenwood (Double Diamond 3)
Read 6/10/20 to 7/10/20


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Belmer is too cool for school and clearly a high level everything...

Well written and semi-gripping in places, the real oddity is this is Ed Greenwood and very likeable, although that could be because it contains exactly 0% Elminster.

I'm enjoying these action adventure pamphlets, however that may just be because they're so very short and easy to read. Genuinely, this one was a delight.

Read.

Lol, I'm loving your reviews. However, you say "although that could be because it contains exactly 0% Elminster" , but then "Belmer is too cool for school and clearly a high level everything..." so maybe Belmer = Elminster :D
 


Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
#097 Errand of Mercy by Roger E Moore (Double Diamond 4)
Read 7/10/20 to 8/10/20


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Book 4- and I don't get how these can be read in any order, I mean possibly they could but it wouldn't be very effective- you need to have read one to get the clues and/or the red herrings- and the plot/story/start of it all. In book 2 the paladin went through the portal, in book 4- this one, well here they are- through the portal. It'd make much less sense the other way around, maybe a flashback, but I digress.

Another good 'un, we're in the Utter East with the paladins although the big draw here is Garkim, the mind-reading assassin (possibly) and the emperor (nice Wizard of Oz effects/story).

The paladins are... well, they're paladins- right all of the time, big-shouty-stompy, and more of that kind of thing.

The Utter East end of the portal is delightful, you should read it- this is the place that should be on the receiving end of a gate from Undermountain.

The rest of it is... well, some other story- Bloodforges and the balance of power in the Utter East, their problems with the Fallen Temple (of Tyr, same as the paladins) and of course the missing Lady Eidolon (again, see book 1).

It's a lot of set up for such a thin tome, nice from a DMs perspective- oh, that's how we got here; the road to now. But, it's hardly a rip-roaring read. Which probably means that the next one will get some action, whether it will be this story- or back to Belmer (not Elminster) and the pirates, well... I'll see.

You kinda want a few of the paladins to die, or at least I did- beyond the shouty-stompy et al they're not that memorable, Miltiades rocks but I heart him since back when he was a skeleton. Noph's not got much to say and do here, save the odd berk moment, so... nice, but it just passes.

Read.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Goonalan
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Book 4- and I don't get how these can be read in any order, I mean possibly they could but it wouldn't be very effective- you need to have read one to get the clues and/or the red herrings- and the plot/story/start of it all. In book 2 the paladin went through the portal, in book 4- this one, well here they are- through the portal. It'd make much less sense the other way around, maybe a flashback, but I digress.

In hindsight, I don't think it was so much "any order" as it was "these books follow X group, and these books follow Y group, and you won't lose anything if you skip the ones focusing on a group you aren't interested in." Or something like that. It was a long time ago.
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
#098 An Opportunity for Profit by David Gross (Double Diamond 5)
Read 9/10/20 to 10/10/20


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Book 5- Belmer and the Sharkers (is that what they were called- or am I remembering this wrong) make their way through the jungle and are attacked by a fiend (an Osyluth, or something similar). That's it... but, of course, it isn't- we learn (although I figured it out slightly earlier- the Drizzt reference) that Belmer is Artemis E, the bad egg's bad egg. Oh, and right at the end when the pirate crew, or what's left of 'em, get to the capital (Eidrinpar) they bump into the paladins. Cliff-hanger...

But that's really not all, the fight with the Osyluth-type fiend is an all action, blood red, atrocity/minute, hell-ride; or else it's just very good and nicely written. Whatever it is its the fiend's fiend.

But that's it really, a bit of bickering- Belmer letting the cat out of the bag- some people die in nasty ways, aaaaaaaaaaaaannnd... we're through the jungle, congrats- next bit please.

In many ways the most rewarding instalment so far, in other ways- nothing much plot happens (maybe), one of the least rewarding (so far). But y'know- nice writing, we're in the middle overs- the hard yards. Exciting followed by a bit more info- rinse and repeat.

So, there you go.

Read.

Stay safe and well.

goonalan.
 

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