Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sword Coast Adventurers Guide

Because of 5E, I've played quite a bit Forgotten Realms lately. The reason I bring this up is I finally got a chance to borrow "SCAG" from my friend Dan  this week and looking through it, this book is a nice template for future regional setting guides. It has everything you need to know about the history, cities, races and factions of Faerun and the Sword Coast. Before I start gushing too much about FR, let me tell ya it has an appendix at the end on how to convert some of the character class material to other worlds, namely Greyhawk. Let me fill ya in should you be on the fence buying this.

Barbarian: It's mentioned how common they are throughout Oerik. They suggest the Path of the Battlerager be in those pit fighters trained by the Slave Lords. Tiger totems are obviously good for Tiger Nomads and the Elk totem they suggest is good for a Rover of the Barrens.

Cleric: Arcana Domain is perfect for clerics of Boccob. Agreed.

Fighter: It says Purple Dragon Knight is a good analog for Knights of the Watch given their defense from Baklunish incursions, which is true though an outdated cause compared to the Giant Troubles from the mountains. I'd argue the Knights of the Hart or Shielding have more need to be mentioned, but hey it's an A for effort.

Monk: It says monks are rare outside the Scarlet Brotherhood. That's what I've always felt new editions notwithstanding. Way of the Long Death is tabbed for SB types, while the Way of the Sun Soul is perfect for monks of Pelor or Baklunish monks dedicated to Al'Akbar.

Paladin: The Oath of the Crown it says is good for Knights of the Hart, again, I'd choose Shielding, but good mention anyhow. It then says paladins associated with the Great Kingdom would take this oath too. Yeah, the Great Kingdom from like 500 years ago.

Rogue: The City of Greyhawk is given good credit here. The Mastermind archetype is suggested for thieves guild characters who want to be like Nerof Gasgol. Big canon points! The Swashbuckler is given for nearly any city in the Flanaess but roving Rhennee are mentioned in particular. Okay I can see that.

Warlock: This class is considered rare in Greyhawk (especially given edition history). Even so, Iuz, Vecna and Tharizdun are specifically mentioned as suitable patrons for Warlocks. Shew!

Wizard: Everyone's favorite 2E kit, the Bladesinger is of course a good option for an elven character from Celene.

All in all a good read and the class options will flavor your game up beyond the PHB choices. As for SCAG overall as a sourcebook, I can only hope someday Wizards or some hardcore fan, makes a Flanaess Adventurers Guide in this fashion. You know who you are. Get on it.


Mystic Scholar said...

Thinking, thinking . . . nope! Can't come up with anyone currently "active." Most of the "active" ones that come to mind are 'active" elsewhere. :-(

Mike Bridges said...

Haha we will see...

Jason R said...

Comments I've saw reviewing this guide have pointed to a lacklustre product. I'm not an FR guy, so I'm taking the word of some of the FR fans; I can see their point: with the volume of FR supplements and fluff across multiple additions, this new book offers little. In terms of mining non-Greyhawk material to apply to Oerth, I still get the lion's share of stuff from Piazo. Golarion has enough national identities and characteristics that are well developed and can be applied to countries on Oerth quite nicely. WofC has not done enough to win me back over yet.

Mike Bridges said...

Amen on Golarion. That world of course has the benefit of being created by former GH fans. A lot of their early stuff made me wonder if it was left over Dungeon Magazine material. At least it's a fully realized world now.

As for SCAG, I have no doubt it's not enough for the completist FR fan, but as a template for Greyhawk, which is used to scant crunch and more fluff, I see this book as a good start for 5E development.