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Champions of Ruin (3.5)

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Explore the Darker Side of the Realms

Every corner of Faerûn harbors its own sinister element. When opportunities arise, malevolent groups and nefarious individuals emerge from the shadows to make their mark on the Realms. Within these pages, you will discover everything players and Dungeon Masters need to create the most evil organizations, treacherous villains, and morally ambiguous antiheroes to ever afflict the Forgotten Realms game setting.

  • 3 new races
  • Over 30 new spells
  • New feats and prestige classes


Product History

The Forgotten Realms can be an evil, twisted place, but it's also a land of heroes—so from the villains' perspective, there's always room for improvement. Champions of Ruin (2005) embraces this concept, focusing on the sinister elements within the Realms to give DMs tools for creating nefarious organizations, unforgivable villains, and dubiously aligned anti-heroes to bedevil the PCs.

Evil Is as Evil Does. Champions of Ruin opens with a discussion of the various “philosophies” of evil. What's the driving force behind your villain's actions, assuming they aren't the type to sit around waiting and then cackling madly while getting beaten up by paladins when they arrive?

This examination of motivation is followed by three evil races, the draegloth (drow half-demons), extaminaar (snake-blooded nobles), and krinth (demonic mortal slaves from the City of Shade.) Rules aplenty follow; new feats precede a plethora of delightfully despicable spells. Care to break the link between a cleric and her deity?  Want to control shadows, summon a bedeviling imp, or create a magical fiddle that saws against your enemy's skeleton? You're in luck. Some of these spells are useful for heroes as well, as not all are intrinsically evil; it's a good mix.

The “Magic Items” chapter follows this pattern too: Here you'll find gnashing armor that bites your foes, ravenous weapons that drink blood, and a gauntlet that literally strips the flesh from your foe. Stylish and effective.

Prestige classes in the book focus, as you might expect, on viciousness and violence. Characters can worship lycanthropes for feral rages as a “black blood cultist”; or become the elven go-to guy for unpleasant tasks as a “justice of weald and woe.” You can adopt undead powers at night as a “night mask deathbringer,” or become a mix of historian and grave robber as a “shade hunter.” The “Thayan gladiators” are unstoppable killing machines, and “vengeance knights” roam the lands to deliver harsh lessons in steel and blood.

Architects of Evil. For GMs who wish to embrace politics (eeeevil politics!) in their game, the chapter on organizations is particularly useful. Read and absorb these; filing off the serial numbers makes them useful in non-FR campaigns as well, and they're full of wonderful plot hooks and adventure ideas for drawing heroes into ongoing plots.

When Evil is Fun! When you're making your bad guys that much more reprehensible, you still want to make sure the game stays fun. Champions of Ruin addresses this concern, providing advice and guidelines for fine-tuning your game's tone and keeping it enjoyable for everyone. You'll want to pay attention to what the players want, and make sure you deliver it; the advice found here will help.

Easily usable or adaptable in non-Forgotten Realms games, this book makes a fine resource for creating villains worthy of the label. While more rules-focused than some books on evil campaigns, there's a lot here to steal even if you aren't running a 3e, 3.5e, or Pathfinder campaign.

About the Creators. Jeff Crook is a Dragonlance novelist with four novels and several short stories published for the setting.

Wil Upchurch has worked on myriad OGL games, as well as Mysteries of the Moonsea and the Monster Manual V for Wizards.

Eric L. Boyd's D&D works range from Demihuman Deities in 1998 to the 4e Forgotten Realms Player's Guide to Pathfinder, with plenty of stops-off in Greyhawk and the Realms along the way.

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

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Reviews (2)
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November 11th, 2022
Just brilliant. Had so much useful stuff in it. I only bought it for the stuff on evil nodes, but found great ideas on temples and their effects, side quests, character notes, etc etc. Definitely going to pillage this time and again. [...]
June 12th, 2008
I gave this book an average rating because it did not meet my requirements, nor did it meet the claims on the back cover (or the sales blurb on this site). Don't get me wrong. This is an excellent product. It is well put together, and the topics [...]
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Product Information
Electrum seller
Publisher Stock #
WTC 178720000
File Size:
9.76 MB
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File Last Updated:
November 04, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on November 05, 2013.