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

As much as I liked Azure Bonds, it felt a lot like a retread of the computer game, but with a different protagonist (even though, technically, it's a prequel novel--I played the game before I read the book). I don't have strong feelings about the second book, but man, did I love Song of the Saurials. I think I would rather have had saurials added as a core race to D&D than Dragonborn. Plus, thanks to Reaper Bones IV, I actually have quite selection of dino-folk minis (both fantasy and sci-fi).

In my head-canon, I have come to believe that Abeir was actually where the Sauriel were from. And when Abeir merged with Toril in 4e, the Dragonborn and a few of the Sauriel ended up on Toril.

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Rotten DM
Azure Bonds the pc game made me give up on RPG pc games for a few decades. If you killed the huge shambling mound from a distance, the game cheated. After you killed it, every three steps it would spawn vegypymies until you died. Now if you send a pc up and hit it twice in melee it would not do this.


I haven't counted them all, but are you guys including the Gamebooks in that count?

I didn't in my count of the FR novels I own (as gamebooks are not technically novels), but that adds quite a number to the total.

However, for lore reasons (if one is reading FR for that) there are some gems among the gamebooks that should not be missed.

(edit - Admittedly, more of them [at least those I have] seem to deal with Greyhawk, but there are those like Knight of the Living Dead that have a wealth of information in them).
No game books, only novels.

There's a few that can be counted in different ways, the main suspects IMHO are:

-> some people count those, while I do not count them (they are just collection former individual novels in a single big novel and I already counted the individual novels)

Double Diamond Triangle Saga
-> 9 "booklets" that could be counted as 1 novel, 9 individual novels or not counted at all (I count them as 9 novels, since each one has an individual title as opposed to the next example below)

Cold Steel and Secrets
-> released in 4 separate parts, but even taken together they are only app. half as long as the usual FR novel. People either count it as 4 novels or as 1 novel (I count it as one as it's parts do not have individual titles, being called part I - IV, and each only has around 30 pages)

Stone of Tymora Trilogy
-> WotC's ill fated attempt to launch a yound adult line of FR novels. Either count as 3 novels or do not count at all. They were the only novels that did not bear the FR logo on the spine, however characters and events appeared and were referenced in later Drizzt novels. (I count them as 3 novels)

The new Drizzt books that were recently released despite the FR novel line having been ended. These are either 2 more FR novels or do not count. Like the Stone of Tymora novels they do not bear the FR logo on their spine. (I counted them them)

So my 289 exclude any ominbuses and include the Double Diamond as 9 novels, Cold Steel and Secrets as 1 novel, the Stone of Tymora books as 3 novels and the two new Drizzt novels.
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#010 Ironhelm by Douglas Niles (Maztica Trilogy Book 1)
Read 23/9/19 to 27/9/19

Forgotten Realms Ironhelm (Maztica 1) a 30.jpg

Well, for some reason I went in to this one prepared not to like it, and yet... it's the conquistador's versus the Maya/Aztec/Inca empire, with a bit of a Pocahontas side-salad thrown in for good measure, and... it just works. The foreign invaders are suitably heroic, and at the same time blood (actually gold) thirsty bastards come to forcibly take what they want from the poor unfortunate savages. The poor savages are of course in part blood-thirsty maniacs worshipping the depraved god- Zaltec, with queues of sacrificial victims snaking around their stone pyramids (it's heart-ripping out time). There's a lot of history here, of course, but there are also plenty of other shiny bits which push the story in to the FR mythos.

The living link to the will of Zaltec are the ancient ones- and they're... well, I didn't work it out until late in the day, I figured they were something very nasty but I had illithids racing around my mind, wrong- they're SPOILERS- the Drow.

Then there's a Couatl, and D&D-wise I've had to play a fair few Couatl (as a DM) and now I know how to do it better. There are warriors that turn in to panthers, and eagles; there's feather/plume magic, and in the middle there's Erix and Hal. The pair are our eyes and ears (and emotional guides) to this strange new world, and all of the terrible bloody violence in it. If only the two could somehow come together (in the end) to symbolise that hope exists- that the two sides could get rid of their more savage elements and learn to live together... if only.



I don't know how to do a signature for my posts here, or even if I can- I used to be able to. I'm not very IT-orientated.

So, this is a shameless plug for my story hour, we're playing D&D 5e and have gone through quite a few of the core modules, so far I have posted action from Lost Mines of Phandelver (complete), Hoard of the Dragon Queen (complete) and now we're on to The Rise of Tiamat.

If you are so inclined, check it out.

Some of it is semi-funny, and it's written from my perspective (the glorious DM) so there's a bit of story, a fat chunk of action (round by round- some of it) and a bit about the surly (and otherwise) players thrown in for good measure.

Cheers goonalan

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#011 Viperhand by Douglas Niles (Maztica Trilogy Book 2)
Read 27/9/19 to 30/9/19

Forgotten Realms Viperhand (Maztica 2) a 30.jpg

Book 2- the middle one, and it suffers a little because of it- it's not the rip-roaring start of the trilogy, likewise it's not the climactic conclusion, it is the middle bit, and it wanders.

Hal and Erix are on the run from the chaos brought about in the war for gold, people, hearts, souls and the gods of Maztica. The story is great, of course, but it just seems to be going places rather than arriving. The ancient ones (Drow) are still after Erix, Cordell and his mercenary company are finding things are not quite going to plan, and the giggling maniacs (on both sides) are at it big time- ripping out hearts and riding down children with their cavalry (actually, that night have been in the first book). Zaltec and his mob are really not nice at all, you get the feeling that 'civil'-isation is on hold until these bad boys are run out of town.

The best bit- the birth of the Driders.


Update- I don't think I did this one justice, I've had a think about it and there was a lot more cool stuff in here than I first remembered (I'm reading a lot of these books quickly, as you can see). There's a fantastic attempted break-out from the central city of Maztica (name escapes me). With Cordell (the mercenary commander) having taken hostage (sorta) the native's leader. The mercenary company's residence encircled by Zaltec fanatics, the good guys (not) have to fight their way through the streets, with all those captured by the Zaltecs- including the portly priest of Helm, being frogmarched to the temple for emergency open-heart surgery.

Meantime Hal, Erix, the Couatl and others are up the mountain paying their respect (not) to the ancient ones (Drow).

Then the mountain explodes.

Go plume magic.

Then... then the birth of the Orcs, Ogres, Trolls and... the Driders.

That's a bit better.

Cheers Goonalan
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#012 Feathered Dragon by Douglas Niles (Maztica Trilogy Book 3)
Read 1/10/19 to 4/10/19

Forgotten Realms Feathered Dragon (Maztica 3) a 30.jpg

Book 3- the finale, and so the people of Maztica, and the remnants of the foreign invaders (Cordell and his mercenary company) are looking for the lost land, or else a place to stay- the volcano has destroyed the capital city, and worse still left in the ruins are the ex-Zaltec worshippers transformed in to Orcs, Ogres and Trolls. Leader of this wretched pack is Zaltec's former high priest, now in the form (I seem to remember) of a twenty foot tall Troll.

Later Zaltec shows up, or at least animates a massive pillar of stone (eighty feet tall, my memory could be playing tricks on me here), soon after all the Zaltec bad guys are chasing across the continent to get to Erix.

So, the promised land to the promised people- and Erix and Hal (and others) in the middle trying to find a way to bring the Feathered Dragon (God) back in to the world.

The good guys also gather a bunch of desert Dwarves to their cause, after all where there are Drow there should also always be Dwarves.

Also in the mix are the Driders, lead by the mercenary company's (Cordell's lover- the Drow SPOILER Wizard) traitor, it seems Lolth (Lloth) also has a part to play in this story. This gang are also gunning for Erix and our heroes.

And... my, there are a lot of pieces on the board- a second mercenary company has made its way to Maztica, a rival of Cordell- out to steal the gold (and get rid of Cordell and his men).

Like the other novels in this series there's plenty of action, and the central romance is much (much) less annoying than the mooning Moonshae pair. There's some nice D&D style magic from the Wizard, and the Drow- I always like to see how the various authors handle magic and spell-casting.

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Are you reading these or just skimming through them?

Reading them!

I wouldn't even know how to skim a book, nor would I want to... I just read- lots of books., sometimes very quickly. See my previous (non-book review) posts- reading was pretty much my job, and for a decade or more I was very good at it.

Cheers goonalan

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