D&D 5E [Let's Read] The Adventurer's Guide to the Bible

Distracted DM

Distracted DM
Hey this popped up on "Similar Threads" and so far it's been a fascinating read. Thanks for writing this whole thing up.
I was curious when I saw the book title if this was going to fall under "preaching through ttrpg" or "here's how awful the events in the Bible really are if you actually read it," but it looks like a lot of (required) liberties are taken to make it actually work as a 5e campaign setting and adventure using the Bible and history as a base.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Libertad

Hero
I do recall some people being skeptical upon first hearing about it for the reasons you outlined about preaching/demonization. One YouTuber I watched initially thought that the whole thing was a joke.

I'm hoping that my review helped such people get a more comprehensive understanding of the book, and glad to see it's still getting views and interest.
 

They deliberately played fast and loose with the history there (and in other places too), presumably because ‘Cleopatra’ is a name people know.

There’s a lot of Easter eggs like this in the book, stuff that mildly-history-nerdy people will recognise, or scenarios familiar from bible stories. You can meet Germanicus (the avenger of Varus), for instance, and change history by preventing him from being poisoned. And you can walk into scenarios like the prodigal son, too - which is a bit weird when you think about it, PCs encountering a scenario at the same time that in-game Jesus is telling allegorical parables about it.
Yeah, while actually better historically than I expected, I was still grinding my teeth at some of the descriptions. Ctesiphon was the capital of Parthia at this point (and had been for over a century), not Ecbatana. Sheba is far too north - they really should have used the Nabataeans, especially since Petra is mentioned (I can only assume that they were going for the name value, but they could easily have just extended the map south). And no member of the House of Herod ruled Damascus. Mesopotamia's geography is weird (Why are Babylon and the Tower of Babel in two different places? They're the same city, just with the Greek name and the Hebrew name. And southern Mesopotamia was famous for not being forested), but with Eden there as well, they're obviously giving the area a Biblical geography for the region than a strict historical one. The Biblical focus for this area, and the other regions, do make sense for this product, though, so I can't really object to it being done this way.

And, yes, Parthia definitely did not have as many deep-water ports compared to Rome. I can think of only one, Charax Spasinu, where the Tigris-Euphrates flows into the sea. The Parthians were anything but a seafaring people, being steppe nomads who conquered modern Iran from the north, so giving them that faction benefit is definitely weird.
 


@Demetrios1453 did you acquire the book?
Was it worth it despite these historical inaccuracies?
Thinking of getting it this December, and from your post, and being a fellow stickler for history, I understand I may have to mini-audit when I plan, which to be fair is not very different when I run a game in the fantasy settings.
I do the research.
 

babi_gog

Explorer
It's certainly an interesting premise! I wonder how it wound up doing, given the age of the thread.
The book seems to have done well, and a second book from Red Panda has been done based around the Book of Revelation, which is a lvl 11-20 setting (where this one is 1-10). It's called "Azrael's Guide to the Apocalypse"

@Demetrios1453 did you acquire the book?
Was it worth it despite these historical inaccuracies?
Thinking of getting it this December, and from your post, and being a fellow stickler for history, I understand I may have to mini-audit when I plan, which to be fair is not very different when I run a game in the fantasy settings.
I do the research.
I'd look at it personally not as historical inaccuracies and more as a mythic history (in this case based on the Bible), similar to other games (such as Ars Magica) that use real world but with a spin. Also the appendix had a good list of sources for many things (are they from the Bible, other writings, other historic records, made up etc). I'd say this is a game based around the theme of the Bible and it's narratives, which sits within a historic context, but has put game play and story ahead of exeat history.
 


Libertad

Hero
I am just curious. How exactly does this setting handle Divine magic-users, like Clerics or something? How are the different domains handled?

I already covered several of these bits in the review, but since it's quite the number of posts I can answer it here. Basically divine magic, or magic that would be granted by a deity or greater power comes from the Abrahamic deity. Azrael's Guide to the Apocalypse made it so that warlocks can make pacts with angels. There are of course wicked mages who gain powers from demons in both adventures, but as they're in the NPC side of things they don't really map to the PC classes.

The book doesn't say which domains are particularly associated with God, like you would with certain deities in Greyhawk/Forgotten Realms. But since God in Christian theology is omnipotent I can't see why He can't as easily grant things like Tempest as He can Life or Light.
 
Last edited:

Yeah, it leaves most of the domain decisions up to the DM, there’s nothing prescribed. Although it does explicitly state that the adventure and world setting are built on the assumption that the abrahamic god is the only god. Some 5e domains like Death and maybe Trickery seem like a stretch, but most of the regular d&d seem manageable.

The Prophecy domain included is tailored for the setting, your classic Old Testament type who can get guidance on their mission directly from god, but is wildly overpowered and I don’t recommend it without modification.
 


Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top