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Champions of Valor (3.5)

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Faerûn needs mighty heroes, now more than ever!

Malevolent forces conspire to ravage the lands and cities of Faerûn, and only the most valiant heroes can thwart their dark designs. If you are a player, this book helps you play heroic champions with the might and conviction to destroy the worst evils of the world. If you’re a Dungeon Master, this book contains everything you need to create worthy challenges and rewards for your valorous heroes as they struggle to save the Realms from the darkness that threatens it.

  • 29 new feats
  • 33 new spells
  • 4 adventure sites

For use with these Dungeons & Dragons core books: Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, Monster Manual, Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

*****

Product History

Champions of Valor (2005), by Thomas M. Reid and Sean K Reynolds, is a Forgotten Realms supplement that is eminently useful to non-FR players as well. This book is the flip side of Champions of Ruin, the guidebook for ramping up evil in your campaign; in Champions of Valor, heroes embrace goodness and gain power from it. It's primarily oriented at players, and delivers a wealth of new rules, options and organizations (including new feats, spells, locations, and prestige classes) for playing a hero who's Good with a capital 'G.'

The Valorous Hero. You know they aren't kidding around when the book contains a list of "50 Things for Valorous Characters To Do." Those 50 plot hooks alone can power months or years of gaming, but that list comes at the end of a chapter on how to roleplay a valorous hero. Racial and heroic archetypes, adapting other good races, alignment conflicts, playing an imperfect champion of good—I'm reminded somewhat of the old adage, "Lawful Good doesn't mean Lawful Stupid." You can play a valorous hero who gets along with non-good PCs and can function in a corrupt world, and this chapter helps you walk that line.

Options Aplenty. You're certainly not going to be disappointed if you're looking for immediately useful rules crunch: There's some 70 pages of new character options and prestige classes herein. Regional backgrounds tie a character's history and skills to a particular location, giving bonus equipment and favored deities. The new feats are also full of holy or valorous options, such as letting you suffer damage intended for an ally or briefly empower a weapon to become a holy sword.

The feat that lets the character sense the greatest evil within a mile may be slightly problematic for most DMs, but it's bound to lead to many adventures (and probably some dead paladins). Even more interesting is the related feat that allows paladins innately to know local laws. As always, I love the class substitution levels, which provide alternate character abilities without any balance issues.

New spells provide a variety of options, some showier than others—for example, create your own temporary celestial fortress, gain a magical halo, or summon servants of Good. Most of these spells are low- or mid-level, making them more useful for most players. New magic items have the fantastic background and flavor generally associated with FR items since the early days of the campaign setting. For those who remember 1e AD&D well, it's also nice to see glassteel make a comeback as an official substance.

The four prestige classes focus, as one might expect, on valorous heroes. The “knight of the flying hunt” rides a pegasus into battle against greed, corruption, and tyranny. The “knight of the Weave” draws strength from magic, eventually harnessing its power. The “Moonsea skysentinel” rides a dire hawk into battle against the Zhentarim; and finally, the “Triadic knight” battles infernal threats by drawing on the triumverate of Ilmater, Torm, and Tyr.

Combine and Conquer. Organizations such as the Harpers have always been essential to the Realms. The book presents new valorous organizations and, very cleverly, specifically calls out what makes an organization not valorous. Not all who claim purity actually achieve it. Each organization also lists foes, history, benefits of membership, and allies (if any.)

There are also new locations and lists of NPCs dedicated to the cause of Good. While DMs are most likely to use these as places of respite or quest locations for the heroes (or have them briefly conquered by evil as an adventure hook), they're fun to read and interesting in play.

Overall? This book has great art and is beautifully laid out, and the material is well written and useful in any game where virtuous champions appear, whether as PCs or NPCs. But of course this book is particularly worth having if you're playing such a champion.

About the Creators. Thomas M. Reid is a designer and author who's been brand manager for D&D and director of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game line. He wrote the Scions of Arrabar trilogy, the Forgotten Realms novel Insurrection and books such as Shining South.

Sean K Reynolds started as TSR's online coordinator in 1995, and has gone on to be a celebrated designer on dozens of superb products for TSR, Wizards of the Coast, and Paizo Publishing.

About the Product Historian

History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to kevin.kulp@gmail.com.

 
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Product Information
Copper seller
Pages
162
ISBN
0-7869-3697-5
Publisher Stock #
WTC 882927200
File Size:
15.65 MB
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Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
November 11, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on November 12, 2013.