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Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (4e)
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Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (4e)

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Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue provides an in-depth exploration of the greatest drow city in the Dungeons & Dragons game and Forgotten Realms campaign setting.

It contains all of the information a Dungeon Master needs to run adventures or an entire campaign based in this treacherous city, including descriptions of city locations, drow houses, key organizations, and the precarious political landscape.

It also gives players the information they need to create characters who are members of drow houses or organizations within Menzoberranzan, as well as explains the benefits and rivalries that come with choosing a particular allegiance.

Product History

Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (2012), by Brian R. James and Eric Menge, is an edition-neutral campaign setting for D&D. It was published in August 2012.

Farewell to 4e. (Take One.) When Menzoberranzan was first announced in early 2012 as part of the Rise of the Underdark event, it was called a "Campaign Setting". That would have made it the fifth Campaign Setting for D&D 4e and the third setting for the Forgotten Realms, following on from Neverwinter Campaign Setting (2011) the previous year.

Unfortunately, Wizards had also announced the end of D&D 4e on January 9, 2012 when they told the The New York Times that they were working on a new version of the game. Following that, just three more 4e books appeared: Heroes of the Elemental Chaos (2012), Halls of Undermountain (2012), and Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook (2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue still featured the 4e trade dress, but it was instead published as an edition-neutral supplement, marking the end of the almost-four year reign of D&D 4e (2008-2012). The "Campaign Setting" probably became a "City of Intrigue" around the same time, to show how the new book was different from the 4e Campaign books that had preceded it.

Return to Menzoberranzan. Like, Neverwinter, the Underdark drow city of Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue was already a popular locale in the Forgotten Realms. It had first received serious attention in R.A. Salvatore's novel, Homeland (1990). It then was featured in a dense, boxed RPG set called Menzoberranzan (1992); afterward it became the heart of an SSI and DreamForge video game that was also called Menzoberranzan (1994).

The Resurrected Races. Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue wasn't just a setting book for the drow city in the Underdark; it also focused on the idea of players taking on the role of drow! The dark elf race had been a popular PC race since the publication of Unearthed Arcana (1985), a few years before the debut of Drizzt Do'Urden. The drow of the Realms received more detail in FOR2: The Drow of the Underdark (1991), then drow became available as an AD&D 2e PC race in PHBR8: The Complete Book of Elves (1992) and Player's Option: Skills & Powers (1995). Players of 3e looking for crunchy rules to play drow could find them in Underdark (2003) and Player's Guide to Faerûn (2004), while 4e players could reference Forgotten Realms Player's Guide (2008) and later Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms (2010).

Besides providing ideas for playing (and GMing) drow, Menzoberranzan also contains considerable information on the houses and factions of the city. This includes system-neutral mechanics that describe the Might of each faction — including Power, Favor, and Wealth.

The Product Tie-In. Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (2012) was part of a massive multimedia crossover called Rise of the Underdark, which had begun a few months previous with the final 4e roleplaying supplement, Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook (2012). Menzoberranzan was closely tied to two Rise of the Underdark releases: Encounters Season 10, "Council of Spiders" (2012) provided a drow PC adventure, while the Drow Treachery Fortune Cards (2012) offered new drow-centric Fortune Cards where players could cause troubles for each other.

Exploring the Realms. Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (2012) brings together geographical details of the Realms that were previously available two decades earlier in FOR2: The Drow of the Underdark (1991) and the original Menzoberranzan (1992). It also contains some information simultaneously being published in "Council of Spiders" (2012).

Alongside this reprinted material — covering the setting of Menzoberranzan, the houses of Menzoberranzan, and the drow of the Realms — Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue also advances the timeline of the city. This includes details on how the War of the Spider Queen (2002-2005) changed the city and totally new material on the Spellplague. The result turns the system-neutral Menzoberranzan supplement into an era-neutral supplement that allows players to run Menzoberranzan in any era, from its 2e origins to the 4e present-day.

Some of Menzoberranzan also moves beyond the city into the Underdark that surrounds it: the Northdark. This brings together a number of classic realms, including Mithral Hall from R.A. Salvatore's novels, the ruins of Hellgate Keep from Hellgate Keep (1998), and the Dungeon of Death from "Dungeon of Death" (2000).
Most of the locales in the Northdark are described in just a paragraph or two, but nonetheless the section links the UnderRealms together.

About the Creators. James and Menge were both relative newcomers to D&D writing. Menge had previously contributed to Demonomicon (2010) and Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale (2011) for 4e, while this was Menge's first major writing for the game.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Timothy B September 15, 2017 6:57 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This PDF is usually $7.99 on DM's Guild. The September Settings sale has actually increased the price to 33% off of the printed book's cover price, which is higher than the typical PDF price. Is there any way to get this corrected? Thank you.
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Pages
172
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File Last Updated:
December 21, 2015
This title was added to our catalog on December 22, 2015.