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kirksmithicus
05-13-2011, 11:17 AM
Just wondering if anyone has picked this up yet? If so what do you think of it?

Q-man
05-13-2011, 01:09 PM
I have that on order. I'm a bit miffed that its $10 more than the other planes books (The Plane Above, The Plance Below, etc), since I had assumed this was along the same lines. I'm really hoping that its worth the extra cost, as I have been wanting to take my party to thee Shadowfell for quite a while.

Q-man
05-20-2011, 08:51 PM
I finally got the box set in. Haven't had a chance to read through the book yet, but I figured I'd mention what all comes in the box.

Theres two books, one is a campaign guide the other is a list of encounters. These encounters include both skill challenges as well as combat.

The box also comes with a fold out map. One side has a large map of Gloomwrought, which I'm not sure is very useful. Its a little too big to really use as a reference, and the scale won't work for mini's so its no good in combat. On the other side is a battlemap for combat in the city. I'm not terribly impressed, aside from the gloomy colors used you probably could have made it using the Dungeon Tiles Streets of Shadow set.

It has two sheets of monster pogs, which I suppose might be useful. I'm not excited about the pogs, so this is a bit of a waste for me. I'd rather use real minis, but I suppose if you're gaming on a budget then the pogs are useful.

Finally it comes with a deck of cards. I suppose these are meant to be random effects that you can apply to your players during the session. The player gets some mild penalties to various die rolls or checks, and can shake off the effect with a skill roll. Removing the effect gives them a slight bonus for a while, so its not entirely negative.

At a glance I'm not sure it was worth the extra $10 compared to the books on the other planes. The map is probably useful for many city encounters, the pogs I won't bother with, and the cards I'm not sure about. They seem like fun effects, but given the option I'd just take the guide book and maybe when I want a gimmick for a session I'd think about getting the cards.

Once I get some time to read the guide book I'll let you know how that is.

Q-man
06-01-2011, 07:07 PM
Ok I like the book, and I'm glad I bought it. I'm still not convinced it warrants a boxed set though, but thats mostly because the materials beyond the book aren't worth anything to me.

The book though, is really good. Like all the other books it has some general information about the realm, but the majority of it focuses on a few key places. Nearly half of the book focuses on the city of Gloomwrought. What its like, what factions are around, what the sections of the city is like, who the big players are; that sort of stuff. There's a lot of motives for each faction to take a stab at another one that you can easily see how you can use the politics of the city to spice up an adventure. There are a half a dozen locations outside of the city that are given and real detail, and each one is clearly described in a way that demonstrates how an adventuring group could spend quite a bit of time there. The bottom line is that if you can herd your players into the Shadowfell the book gives you quite a bit for them to do and explore.

Now, its not all good though. There are some aspects of it that I'm not a fan of, though like any rule book these sections are easy to ignore during your games. The dark vibe is a little over played; I get that its a shadowy unhappy place you don't need to remind me every few pages. Sometimes its a little played up, there are times when it seems like they are really trying to hit that goth/emo demographic with the stuff in this book.

One thing that caught my attention was that they included 'Shadowmist' as a way of getting to the Shadowfell. Its a strange mist that can surround you anywhere and transport you to the realm. They also claim the Shadowfell is the home of the Vistanni. They also say the Domains of Dread are in the Shadowfell as well. This is stuff that was apparently lifted straight out of Ravenloft. It makes me wonder what's become of the Ravenloft books that were supposed to be out late this year. I'm starting to think they've canceled them and are just going to tuck that setting and its adventures in here instead.

kirksmithicus
07-16-2011, 10:35 PM
Thanks for the review Q-man. I was interested in hearing about the Shadowfell box set, then my computer....had some issues, but now I'm finally back online at home.

I for one hope they come out with the Ravenloft books. In fact I would like to see a shift away from mechanical stuff like new classes, powers, etc and have them start putting out a lot more fluff. More Dark Sun material would be awesome too.

Otakar
12-03-2011, 05:34 PM
Good review. Thanks.

Otakar
12-21-2011, 08:08 PM
Again, thanks for the review. I don't know if I want to get it but it got me looking at the "Heroes of Shadow". I'm picking that one up. I really like those characters a lot. Everyone I ever game with wants to delve into the evil side. Heroes of Shadow lets the players get into dark designs and still act heroic as opposed to dastardly.

Q-man
12-22-2011, 11:53 AM
I haven't picked up any of the new character option books yet. Heroes of Shadow has been calling to me though, particularly with the way I twisted my campaign to make heavy use of the Shadowfell lore. With the DDI subscription you get all of the crunch for the new races, classes, and so forth so its hard to justify the purchase without some idea of how good the fluff in the book is.

Otakar
01-03-2012, 09:59 PM
Heros of Shadow is worth it. I have a subscription to DDI but it doesn't really work for me when creating characters. I like having the book handy. I pretty much keep DDI for Dungeon and Dragon mags.

---------- Post added at 10:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:57 PM ----------

I'll make the effort to finish reading "Heroes of Shadow" and then give a good review. It's the least I could do!