Next up on my list of 5th Edition D&D products is the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. This is a sourcebook that provides information on world of the Forgotten Realms, the official gameworld of 5E.
Old school fans might remember the original Forgotten Realms campaign setting boxed set from the days of 1E and expect this to be the modern equivalent. Sadly, this is nothing of the sort. Instead, what we have here is a relatively short book that glosses over many of the famous NPCs and locations found in the Sword Coast. The lore and color-text is certainly interesting, but it does not provide much of the deep info that most Dungeon Masters may be looking for when planning to run a full campaign in the realms.
One thing that the book does very well is provide some new mechanics for various races and classes. Much of this is specific to the Realms, but can be easily adapted to any homebrew campaign. There’s options for some realms-specific subraces, game mechanics, and character backgrounds. All of this is very well done. Sadly, I had hoped to see a bestiary or some new spells to add to the game. None of that is included here.
The information included in the book is certainly useful and welcome, but I really would have liked to see a more complete “campaign setting” instead of this small sourcebook. The book is priced at $40.00, which I feel is a little steep. I feel a $20 pricepoint would be more acceptable.
All in all, I feel this book would be best enjoyed by DMs who really enjoy the world of Forgotten Realms or are looking for some worldbuilding ideas. But the majority of players can probably skip this by.
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