Shadows & Light - any good?

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Big Mac
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Shadows & Light - any good?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:33 am

Does anyone have Shadows & Light?

I can not seem to find a review of the book that explains what it is. It seems a bit like a Warcraft version of D&D's Manual of the Planes. But is there any more to it?
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Re: Shadows & Light - any good?

Post by Ivellius » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:50 am

Eh...sort of. It's closer to an "epic handbook," I'd say. I'll admit I'm not that familiar with Manual of the Planes.

Chapter 1 is how to adapt the core and prestige classes (from the Warcraft RPG) to epic rules and includes a bunch of epic feats.

Chapter 2 details the "legends" of Warcraft history. The first section is statistics for mortal high-level / epic characters, with many that had already died in the games up until that point (Uther, Gul'dan, and Lothar, among others). The second section is much briefer and details the most powerful Burning Legion characters--only one of whom (Kil'jaeden) was still a threat post-WCIII.

Chapter 3 details the "powers" of Azeroth. It includes an "Eternal" template for these (semi)-divine beings and statistics for the Ancients, Dragon Aspects, Elemental Lords, and, surprisingly and being basically the only source describing them, the Titans, including Sargeras.

Chapter 4 gives the cosmology of Warcraft, but it is quite brief (only 5 pages). It mostly explains that Azeroth doesn't have a detailed cosmology like the basic Greyhawk setting of D&D.

Chapter 5 details the other "planes" of Warcraft, with brief sections on the Elemental Planes, the Emerald Dream, Outland, and the Twisting Nether. Included are templates for "Elemental Conglomerates" and Nightmare-corrupted creatures as well as monster statistics for fungal horrors, nether dragons, and two Legion creatures that seem to have been retconned away--the adamantine stalkers (metallic felhoud-like creatures) and the tothrezim (keepers of the infernals). There are, nicely enough, random encounter tables for the Emerald Dream, Outland, and the Nether.

A handful of new high-level spells and magical artifacts concludes the book. Overall, it's not something you'll use often except with extremely high-level characters--and the monster books are probably more useful still in those cases.

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Re: Shadows & Light - any good?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:03 am

Ivellius wrote:Eh...sort of. It's closer to an "epic handbook," I'd say. I'll admit I'm not that familiar with Manual of the Planes.
Aha! That explains why some people told me it was not as useful as other books. I would have preferred a more meaningful title (Warcraft: Epic Handbook perhaps). Thanks.

I like 3rd Edition D&D, but I do like the modular idea of BECMI, where power levels rise. So I've spoken before about breaking 3rd Edition down, so you have "Basic 3rd Edition" that does not have things like Prestige Classes, as well as Epic and maybe post-Epic stuff. With the World of Warcraft MMO having more and more levels to it, it would seem that Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game should be a good campaign setting to have meaningful high level plots.

I saw a copy of this fairly cheap, and I'm still waiting to find other Warcraft/WoW books at reasonable prices, so I decided to go for it. :)
Ivellius wrote:Chapter 1 is how to adapt the core and prestige classes (from the Warcraft RPG) to epic rules and includes a bunch of epic feats.
Is there anything in the WoW:RPG range that covers Epic Rules for the new core and PrCs that game introduces?
Ivellius wrote:Chapter 2 details the "legends" of Warcraft history. The first section is statistics for mortal high-level / epic characters, with many that had already died in the games up until that point (Uther, Gul'dan, and Lothar, among others). The second section is much briefer and details the most powerful Burning Legion characters--only one of whom (Kil'jaeden) was still a threat post-WCIII.
Seems like you might need to have a game set in the past (or a time travel plot) to use this stuff.
Ivellius wrote:Chapter 3 details the "powers" of Azeroth. It includes an "Eternal" template for these (semi)-divine beings and statistics for the Ancients, Dragon Aspects, Elemental Lords, and, surprisingly and being basically the only source describing them, the Titans, including Sargeras.
I don't think I've heard of the "powers" of Azeroth before. They sound a bit like the sorcerer-kings of Athas. Can any of them have clerics?
Ivellius wrote:Chapter 4 gives the cosmology of Warcraft, but it is quite brief (only 5 pages). It mostly explains that Azeroth doesn't have a detailed cosmology like the basic Greyhawk setting of D&D.
This is the bit that made me wonder if this was like Manual of the Planes. MotP is a cut-down version of Planescape - basically the Great Wheel Cosmology of Greyhawk. One thing about cosmology is that a lot of campaign settings mix in both other planes of existence and space. And in D&D, that is two different things (Planescape and Spelljammer).

If I use Warcraft, I will want to bolt it onto the D&D universe, so working out how the WoW cosmology can fit onto the Great Wheel is something that could be pretty useful to me. Being able to create a Spelljammer crystal sphere for WoW would be something that would be very very interesting to me. :twisted:

I wonder if someone could raid ideas from Manual of the Planes and Planescape to build up the Warcraft cosmology. :?
Ivellius wrote:Chapter 5 details the other "planes" of Warcraft, with brief sections on the Elemental Planes, the Emerald Dream, Outland, and the Twisting Nether. Included are templates for "Elemental Conglomerates" and Nightmare-corrupted creatures as well as monster statistics for fungal horrors, nether dragons, and two Legion creatures that seem to have been retconned away--the adamantine stalkers (metallic felhoud-like creatures) and the tothrezim (keepers of the infernals). There are, nicely enough, random encounter tables for the Emerald Dream, Outland, and the Nether.
Outland seems fairly important to the MMO now. I thought it was another planet, rather than another plane. :? I'll have to check on that.
Ivellius wrote:A handful of new high-level spells and magical artifacts concludes the book. Overall, it's not something you'll use often except with extremely high-level characters--and the monster books are probably more useful still in those cases.
What I tend to do with books like this is adjust my "buy in price" on a pro-rata level. So if I think that only 50 percent of the book is useful for me, I'll try to find it at half price.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: Shadows & Light - any good?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:16 pm

Big Mac wrote:I saw a copy of this fairly cheap, and I'm still waiting to find other Warcraft/WoW books at reasonable prices, so I decided to go for it. :)
It has arrived! :)

I wasn't expecting it to be a paperback. I thought all the Warcraft books were hardbacks.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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