Sunday, October 30, 2011
FOR4 - The Code of the Harpers, Cassandra's Teleporting Door
I am not going to bother doing an extensive review of the product. Not because it is not good but because it is already fairly well known for what it is. It is also so specific to the Forgotten Realms that it is not something that can be used as is for anything else. The history of the Harpers is so intertwined with the setting that a DM would have to recreate almost everything but the core idea to use it outside the setting.
The book does provide the DM the framework for what a group like the Harpers could do for a campaign. Since the Harpers were from Mr. Greenwood's setting I am sure they were not written as they exist in the book but started as a germ of an idea and grew. This is what the benefit of the book is to a DM not running a Realms setting. Since the book is about the Harpers as they exist in the Realms it does not lay out how to create a similar group. To do this though all one has to do is take something as simple as the chapter headings. Below are those heading:
The Code of the Harpers
The History of the Harpers
The Harpers Today
The Senior Harpers
Some Selected Harpers
The High Heralds
Harper Magic: Spells
Harper Magic: Magical Items
Foes of the Harpers
Joining the Harpers
Spectral Harpist (monster entry)
Throughout the book there are numerous items that can be taken and used outside the setting. There are actual code of the Harpers is one such item as are the spells and magic items. The haunts requires a little more work but there are some nice ideas to be had there. In addition the book as a whole is well done and reading it will provide a DM with ideas the entire time. One section that stood out for me was a section called "A Typical Harper's Year" which detailed the events of the Harper for a year showing all the actions major and minor of note they performed. It shows that some actions need not be heroic to be meaningful.
In the end I know that there will be some that will not want to have anything to do with this because of what it is based on and even perhaps the era it came from. As I said I have never played in the Realms myself but I will steal from it. This book provides enough material for the DM that it is worth having in the collection. If you are a Realms DM the book is even essential if you are going to run them properly.
From the back of the book:
From the storm-lashed rocks west of fabled Evermeet to the Plains of Purple Dust, all the folk of Faerun have heard of the Harpers.
Noble fools, some call them. Crazy misguided meddlers, others say. Still others disagree. "The one true hope of the Realms," said one princess. "A shining light in the darkness of our lives," agreed a sage, "pray that it never goes out."
Just who are these mysterious, wandering folk who wear silver harp pins and walk softly in the most dangerous shadows of the Realms?
This book reveals the secrets, rules, and magic of the Harpers, including: Harper Runes, Harper Magic, The long, colorful History of the Harpers, Their evil foes, Their special Allies, The fabled high Heralds, What Harpers Do, Harper Haunts: their strongholds, and the Harpers who (literally) haunt them! Joining the Harpers, and how to become a True Harper and a Master Harper...
...And more, from favorite Harper ballads to detailed Harper NPCs. This is a sourcebook you'll turn to again and again. It lays bare the warring power groups who work behind the scenes in Faerun; no FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign is complete without it!
Cassandra's Teleporting Door
Area of Effect: One Door
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: None
When this spell is cast the magic user causes the target door to become impassable for a specific number of attempted entries for those who do not know the proper phrase to permit entrance. Those attempting to use the door will find themselves somewhere else when the door is used.
The spell will cause those who use the door to enter the room it was cast from within to be teleported to another room when entered. The spell will cause the door to be randomly determined unless specific actions were taken during casting. The door the individual is teleported to must be within a 500' radius. This works in a sphere so movement up and down levels might be possible.
The spell will affect a number of entities entering the room equal to the level of the caster.The spell will have no effect on those leaving through the door. If the caster wishes they may specify the door that individuals will be teleported to. If this is done then all who enter it, other than the caster, will be teleported regardless of use of the phrase. The spell will remain in effect until such time that all of the instances of teleportation have been expended.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.
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