Now that I’m finally caught up on all of the official (and even the semi-official) D&D releases, I can finally jump back into the wonderful world of third-party supplements. To date, the only third-party D&D releases I’ve really discussed have been a handful of monster books by Kobold Press and the two Tal’dorei campaign settings. But there’s so much more out there that deserves attention. Today, I’m going to discuss the very first third-party book that I purchased for Fifth Edition D&D; The Book of the Righteous.
Right up front, I’ll admit that The Book of the Righteous is a very niche product. The book is essentially nothing more than a tome detailing a pantheon of deities that can be dropped-in to an existing game world. Perhaps you are a Dungeon Master who is working on a custom campaign setting, but you are having trouble creating a religion for your world – this book has you covered! Sandwiched between the covers of this book are not only a list of deities, but also a detailed mythology, history, and even related character backgrounds, spells, and various magic items.
The book starts with a detailed creation story that describes the origins of the gods and their interests in the game world. From there, we are given details for each unique deity; their goals, ideology, how they get along with other gods, how they are worshipped, etc. This book provides great detail for Dungeon Masters and players who really want to know everything there is to know about these fictional religions. And when I say detail, I mean it. It’s quite obvious to me that this book was a labor of love for the author. There’s really no stone left unturned here. In fact, it’s almost too much information.
I suppose that such a level of polish should be expected. The contents of this book are not exactly new. The Book of the Righteous originally started as a third-party release for the 3rd Edition D&D. So by the time the contents were converted to the 5E, nearly twenty years had gone by. Still, despite the attention to detail, there are aspects about the book that I personally don’t find appealing. The creation story for example; while I can appreciate the creativity and the uniqueness of it. It just seems a bit out of place for a fantasy world (at least the type of fantasy world that I would want to create). But it seems that the author prepared for this as well. The end of the book includes and entire chapter that provides tools and tips for Dungeon Masters who want to create their own pantheon of deities. With this in mind, The Book of the Righteous makes it quite easy to pick out aspects that a DM might find appealing, while also excluding or changing the parts that they dislike.
This really makes the product an invaluable resource for the worldbuilding DM. If you want to save some time, you can simple cut and paste everything this book has to offer into your custom campaign… and boom – you’re done. If you want to use it as a template to craft your own creation, it’s perfect for that too. With all of this mind, I have no problem recommending this book to nearly any DM who has interest in creating their own campaign setting. Even if you decide not to use the contents included in The Book of the Righteous, it provides a great example to follow. On top of that, the book is masterfully crafted with absolutely stunning artwork.