I love heroic fantasy. There’s just something about the quintessential “hero’s journey,” set in worlds inhabited by various races, where good stands against evil on an epic and magical scale.
I also love shared-world anthologies. Not only are they a great way to find new authors, but they’re also an excellent avenue for gaining a broader understanding of the particular fantasy setting. When I stumbled across the Kickstarter campaign for Champions of Aetaltis, created by Marc Tassin, it didn’t take me long to realize the potential for the stories set in this new fantastical land, or all of the fascinating world-building possibilities.
Already having successfully funded phase one of the world of Aetaltis — a 44 page Pathfinder compatible RPG called The Temple of Modren — Tassin has gathered a group of 17 highly accomplished authors to tackle the Champions of Aetaltis anthology. With the likes of Mel Odom, Larry Correia, Elizabeth Vaughan, Ed Greenwood, and Bill Willingham involved, this is likely to be an amazing collection! Continue below for more info and to watch the Kickstarter video.
As a long time player of RPGs, I’ve borne witness to a lot of books and comics based on these games. Many are great additions to their franchise, while others are laughable and contribute nothing to the genre. IDW Publishing’s Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms is one of those that falls in between. With decent art and a mediocre story, it is entertaining but nothing remarkable when compared to others of its ilk.
The story starts off in Waterdeep, one of the dirtiest and most corrupt of all cities in the Realms. Two local thieves become involved in what appears to be a simple kidnapping but turns out to be more of a political scandal, though little is truly explained to justify the actions undertaken by the enemies of House Roaringhorn. Much magic and deceit follow closely on the heels of our two ruffians as they are forced into one calamity after another…even a rescue attempt. All in all, it’s a fun read, but definitely not memorable.
I remember the day the very first Forgotten Realms boxed reference set was released. It included not just game materials, but a really awesome map and a bit of background information to start your own campaigns. But never in a hundred years did I think I would ever see such an in depth look as Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster’s Forgotten Realms. It really is a masterpiece of Ed Greenwood‘s imagination.
Taken from Greenwood’s original notes from the late sixties, the Forgotten Realms were adapted in the seventies for game play with the original Dungeons & Dragons and finalized in the eighties for release with the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game books. By far the most popular and well known of all the official settings, the Realms are packed with well developed and powerful non-player characters (known as NPCs). This tome gives us a plethora of formerly unknown information, thereby not just amplifying our collective knowledge of Faerun but also expanding the possibilities in a campaign setting.