"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cloak & Dagger - AD&D 2e

On of my favorite Tolkien quotes is "All that is gold does not glitter". I mention this only because Cloak & Dagger could be perceived as a sourcebook dealing with the entities that are evil or nefarious in nature and though this is true in some cases it is not true in all the groups described within.

The book was released in 2000 for AD&D 2e and it deals with groups that operate in the shadows. The setting as the cover suggests is the Forgotten Realms and if that is the setting you are using then the book requires no work. The content is such that the groups could be used in almost any setting with a little tweaking. I will even put for that this is better perhaps because the Forgotten Realms setting has to be the most fleshed out and detailed setting that the most players will know about. I am certain that on a daily basis some poor fledgling DM gets corrected on some Forgotten Realms detail by a well studied player.

The book lays out a fairly exhaustive number of various groups that would work in the shadows. There are then a number of individual groups that are described under each of those. The deal with the "dark and dangerous" groups such as assassins and thieves. There are also a number of secret societies that are laid out as well as mercantile groups. The book also includes what I treat as the true dark and dangerous in my campaigns the power brokers and spies.

In the end a DM would be hard pressed to not find some group to be the underlying reason why events are happening in their campaign and to be puppet masters controlling the strings of the unsuspecting characters.

From the Back of the Book:

More than just powerful wizards, divine temples, and wise kings comprise the Realms. For every beacon of light there exists a shadow, and shadows conceal much. Those who work in secret wield much power in Faerûn: Groups as diverse as the Harpers and the Zhentarim all live and work in the shadows of the Realms.

Here, for the first time, is detailed information on these groups' areas of influence, leaders, chains of command, methods, agents, and their recent activities and plots. Read about:

The schism that tears apart the Harpers
The bizarre details of the "Manshoon Wars"
The rise of Fzoul Chembryl, grand tyrant of Xvim the Baneson
This book also gives information on the Night Masks, the Knights of the Shield, the Iron Throne, the Shadow Thieves, and many more secret societies. Finally, Westgate - the nexus of many power groups' interests on the Sea of Fallen Stars - is detailed as never before.

Learn what goes on in the shadows of the Realms; learn the secrets they don't want you to know!

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