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Book of Exalted Deeds (Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 Supplement) Hardcover – 1 Oct 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (1 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786931361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786931361
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 1.6 x 28.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 645,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Oliver Ovenden on 11 Nov 2003
Format: Hardcover
After I bought the Book of Vile Darkness I really wanted the good equivalent to give me things to combat all those archfiends and this book does not disappoint. There are many celestial paragons and ideas of how to include them in your campaign but more important to me is always new stuff for the characters. With plenty of prestige characters and some interesting rules (check out the vow of poverty) it definitely provides enough to take your characters down some interesting paths. I do have one gripe about the prestige classes though in that the alignment restrictions are quite limiting and I would expect the paragons of virtue that sponsor the classes would not require characters to be exactly the same alignment. There is a new template called the saint which is very powerful but does require you to be perfectly good through out your entire character career which if you follow the guidelines set out in Exalted Deeds for being good is quite difficult. I would have liked more information on what the celestial lands are like but I understand they are printed elsewhere so that is fair enough. There are plenty of new spells which do include some quite powerful ones if you are dealing with evil characters. Some of the most powerful spells do require some quite hefty sacrifices such as casting Armageddon costs you entire level and could be replaced with planar summoning so I’m not sure how much it will be used (apart from the fact you can say I cast Armageddon!). New feats are included understandably aimed towards combating evil. In conclusion this is a good book if you want to play a good character rather than one that says he is good and acts no differently from neutral characters. One last thing evil dragons beware the Vassal of Bahmut is coming for you.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr Ghostface VINE VOICE on 11 Mar 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK... the original purpose of D&D was to crawl through dungeons while killing wandering and other monsters and finding nifty pieces of equipment. The game has come a long way since then, with hundreds of core books and supplements through different editions adding layer after layer of complexity to the D&D fantasy world.

Demons and devils were defined; evil was given its own spells, magic items and races. The good guys, for their part, had morally limited and easily stereotyped paladins and the occasionally pure-hearted cleric. That was it. There was no real reason for a fighter, rogue or wizard to be any more good than their alignment description read. The Book of Exalted Deeds changes all that.

Good has been given power, real power, and is now just as capable as evil of showering benefits on its devotees, though at no less cost to those devotees.

This book opens with a discussion of the motives of good; which acts are good, which are not, and the exceptions to the rules. It's never a problem for me, but this section would be quite handy for those DMs and players who have trouble figuring just what a character's alignment means in practise.

Also included is the idea of being "exalted". This isn't getting on a moral high-horse or anything of the sort, it's simply the idea that just as some villains can be despicable beyond human comprehension, so can heroes be righteous to the same degree.

Next we get to the meat and drink of the book: the new stuff. The magic items are adequate, not much more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 36 reviews
65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
The good guys get a leg up in glorious style 7 Nov 2003
By J. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The purpose of D & D, at the start, was to crawl through dungeons while killing monsters and finding nifty pieces of equipment. The game's come a long way since then, with hundreds of core book and supplements adding layer after layer of moral complexity to the fantasy world.
Demons and devils were defined. Evil was given its own spells, magic items and races. The good guys, for there part, had morally limited and easily stereotyped paladins and the occasionally pure-hearted cleric. That was it. There was no real reason for a fighter, rogue or wizard to be any more good than their alignment description read.
The Book of Exalted Deeds changes all that. Good has been given power, real power, and is now just as capable as evil of showering benefits on its devotees - though at no less cost to those devotees.
This book opens with a discussion of the motives of good. What acts are good, which are not, and the exceptions to the rules. It's never a problem for me, but this section would be quite handy for those DMs and players who have trouble figuring just what a character's alignment means and practice.
Also included is the idea of being "exalted." This isn't being on a moral high-horse or anything of the sort, it's simply the idea that just as some villains can be despicable beyond human comprehension, so can heroes be righteous.
Next we get to the meat and drink of the book: the new stuff. The magic items are adequate, not much more. There's only so many new adjectives you can add onto the beginning of item names, and only so many powers you can give, but at the very least this book includes special enhancements that directly counter enhancements from the dreaded Book of Vile Darkness.
The same goes for feats and spells, really, although some completely new concepts are also entertained.
The book really comes into its own with the prestige classes, monsters and descriptions of greater creatures of good. In these sections, you're given some specific statistics, but you're also given a really good guideline for just how you can create your own special and sacred servants of the eladrin, the angels and the guardinals. Various otherworldly and mortal servants of the three great bastions of good are described, including a lot of the eladrin that were missing from previous supplements. The tulani and the firre were particularly appreciated.
The greater creatures of good, the angels, the high eladrin, the greatest of the guardinals, are described in detail, with thorough descriptions. Given their tremendous power, I'm a little surprised that they weren't generated via Deities and Demigods, but that's a minor quibble.
What I liked best about this book is that, as opposed to the majority of WotC's other products, this book appears to be cleanly edited, neatly presented and well-organized. I'm not an organization freak in my waking life, but when it comes to reference supplements, I really appreciate having everything laid out in plain, simple order, particularly when it's information that's useful.
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Glorious! 20 Oct 2003
By "lawfulgood" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Plato once said that we should never trust anyone who advocates that we should avoid anything but evil and pursue anything but goodness. And Plato was right.
This book is fantastic and definitely worth buying for several reasons:
1. It is a worthwhile counterpart to the Book of Vile Darkness. For a game which prides itself on being fair and balanced in all things, it would naturally be blatantly unbalanced in favor of evil if there were not such counterpart.
2. The new feats and prestige classes are definitely worthy of those of us who prefer to play with good-aligned parties and characters. I'll expand on that below.
3. There are those idealistic, old-fashioned fools like me still in existence who believe that for a game like D&D, which is based on Lord of the Rings, it is not only more appropriate but also more fun to play with a view to some sort of noble goal to destroy evil. Such naive souls like myself have always believed that it is far more fun and exciting to kill the dragon and save the damsel than the other way around.
I'm not terribly big on prestige classes. However, the ones described in this book are terrific - very balanced and eminently playable. Although I haven't actually played a campaign with this text (yet), I can see how it would be supremely fun to do. The prestige classes are very powerful: Vassal of Bahamut (a de facto dragon-slaying class), the Sword of Righteousness (a prestige class for those who, like me, don't want to deviate from their regular character class for many levels but would like some bonus feats), and, my personal favorite, the Fist of Raziel for Paladins who wish to eschew their undead turning and special mount privileges for bonuses to their smiting ability. Ever hear of a lawful good assassin? There's now a special order of ex-rogues and assassins who have converted and have now formed a lawful good society of spies and stealthy killers of evil. Harpers, eat your heart out. There are more, of course; this is only a sample. But for those of us who live to play good-aligned Paladins and Clerics, this book is a ray of hope in an often evil-glorifying game.
But don't think for a moment that only Paladins and Clerics can benefit from this text. On the contrary, there are classes designed specifically for good-aligned Druids, Fighters, Rangers, Sorcerers and Bards. There is a prestige class only for Elves & Half-Elves. There's even a class only for female characters. But the main requirement for any of these classes is that the character be of good alignment. Not non-evil. Good.
If I have any complaint at all it's that there isn't much in the book for Barbarians and Wizards. But even so, Barbarians may wish to join one of the nature-oriented prestige classes designed primarily for Rangers or Druids. And Wizards will enjoy the new spells and metamagic feats available to them. So there truly is something for everyone.
I myself have played Paladins for years. And I'm in love with the 3.5E Paladin. But throughout many of the campaigns I've played and players I've encountered, I've often seen Paladins, good-aligned Clerics, and even the concept of goodness and law scoffed at and ridiculed. The overall feeling of many gamers is that Paladins are nothing but arrogant do-gooders whose very moral alignment is opposed to having any fun, obtaining any amount of treasure, or getting any experience points. (And that's odd since no one seems to be going around calling Obi-Wan Kenobi or Aragorn from LotR arrogant do-gooders or whimps.) Such players prefer to power-game a chaotic neutral dual-classed half-orc barbarian-fighter or something which will enhance their freedom and advancement. And that may very well work. But, again, this game was based on LotR, and I prefer to see it in those terms. And I play it in those terms. I don't think that rescuing a red dragon and slashing the throat of the damsel as enhancing the advancement of my character, no matter how much money or experience points are involved.
So for those of us who prefer to capture the original vision of the game, this book goes a very long way. Lawful good is now something to be revered - and even feared. Law and goodness are vindicated in this tome. Paladins, and the many Paladin orders listed in this book, are not whimps - they're superlative hunters and destroyers - every bit as powerful and fun as any Fighter or Barbarian, and far more so if battling evil-aligned creatures. Clerics are not just healers - they can be other-worldly mystics who are immune to virtually everything or who are fearsome warriors like their Paladin counterparts. This is almost redemptive in a game which has become, sadly, dominated by the "evil is freedom" mentality of many of the game-makers and players over the past 20+ years.
So, yes, law and goodness are now not just in keeping with the original idea of the game, but are also fun and extremely powerful. And all of us who love playing Paladins, Clerics or any other good-aligned character but who felt inferior and who were the brunt of many a joke over the past several years, will now be the ones who are accepted and sought after. And this is a welcome change for a game whose original purpose is to do good and avoid evil.
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
A Book for True Heroes 24 Oct 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Without making fun of religion or making it trivial, this book actually makes it possible to play someone with real virtue in a D20 game. I've had a pacifist cleric order in my game for some time, but no one would ever consider playing one - with the details in this book, they actually become balanced. The new creatures included are much appreciated by my current group, as most of them are noted as being able to be summoned by various existing spells - which makes my existing characters more versatile, even without the prestige classes.
I would have liked to have seen a sample adventure, to help make some of the ideas presented more real and more easy to work into a D20 game, but that's a nice to have.
I would also have liked to have seen more interaction with the Epic book. I considered this a fairly major flaw, in that most of the ideas and scope presented would work well with epic characters. It may be difficult to figure out the progressions for the characters here, and some of the feats cry out for epic versions. Hopefully, Hasbro will address this with web enhancements later.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Long Awaited, somewhat dissapointed 25 Feb 2004
By Aaron S. Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Over all I liked this book, I'd been waiting for it since I bought the Book of Vile Darkness when it first came out. I had very little problem thinking of truly vile villains for my campaigns and the Book of Vile Darkness simply served to give me some new ideas and such for my villains.
The problem I had was giving my players good aligned help, spells, items, and prestige classes. There is really very little in the way of what the Book of Exalted Deeds has to offer in products designed for DMs. So as soon as it became available I bought it. The book really came through.
My two biggest complaints are the gender bias in the prestige class section, and the practical uselessness of the feats in most campaigns.
There are two prestige classes in this book that require your character to be female to join. There are, however, no prestige classes in any book I own or have ever read that require a person to be male, much less two. While I am male myself, I was not the only one who read it who was surprised. One of the girls that plays with my group flipped through it twice and asked, "Where are the guy prestige classes?". Although a great number of the illustrations depicted men, there was no male gender requirement anywhere. All the WoTC products I own are fairly gender neutral, but I have to say this book was a pretty far cry from that. They could have so easily made a companion class to those particular classes and solved the problem.
As far as feats go, don't buy this book for them. Unless you design a campaign around the book and it's counterpart, they're pretty much useless to practical minded players. One of my players did take the vow of poverty which is pretty cool and encourages better roleplaying.
Like the Book of Vile Darkness there are precious few really useful magic items, so that's not a good reason to buy this book either.
The biggest advantage this book has, and the reason I gave it four stars is the monsters portion of the book. This book has singlehandedly managed to fill the huge gaping void in what good characters can summon. With the critters in this book your good aligned spellcasters no longer have to be limited to summoning "celestial" animals until they get Summon Monster III or IV. The Celestials in this book are incredibly well written. The NPC's are even better. Those two points make the rather large price tag worth it.
The only thing it really misses, is a good counterpart to the imp and quasit for familiars.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
So, you're on a mission from Heaven? Step right this way... 19 Jun 2004
By Brad Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Finally, we have something to stick in the Demon Princes' craw.
The Book of Exalted Deeds (commonly acronymed BoED) is the counterpart to the Book of Vile Darkness. Named after a nifty artifact in the game, this greatly-welcomed tome brings you the ability to play, well, "goody little two-shoes!"
The book is set up rather like Book of Vile Darkness, with sections I'll title Discussion, Stuff, Feats, Prestige Classes, Magic Stuff, Big Huge Celestials, and (Mostly) Friendly Monsters.
The Discussion section talks about how being Good (not good) works, and how it can expand your enjoyment of the game. This includes ethics and examples of heroic types. Stuff includes relics, Ravages and Afflictions (Evil-targeted poisons and diseases), and some alternate rules, including the explanations for the Vow of Poverty, Vow of Nonviolence, and Words of Creation feats.
Speaking of feats, there are quite a few here, some generally useful and then one or two per class. There really need to be more, for reasons I'll get to in a second. This has some quite nifty things, like Sacred Strike (sneak attacks rise from xd6 to xd8 versus evil creatures) and Sanctify Martial Strike (gives extra damage against evil creatures, and allows your weapon to breach n/good damage reduction). These are often necessary to the Prestige Classes, many of which are built on one or two of these feats as prerequisites. I rather liked the Slayer of Domiel (a LG assassin-type...no, really), the Initiate of Pistis Sophia (Exalted monk), and the Fist of Raziel (uber-smiting paladin-cleric).
The Magic Stuff includes quite a few new spells and domains, though some are revised (like Glory). This book introduces the Sanctified spell, which has somewhat greater effects for its slot, but at the cost of some sacrifice from the character (usually ability damage or XP). There are nifty new magic items, which can be a tad problematic; one, the Retributive Amulet, reduces damage by half and returns that half to the attacker as damage, which, at 56,000 gp, is a bit cheap for the effect. However, these are generally nice items.
(Re-)Introduced here are the Higher Celestials, the Good counterparts to the Archdevils and Demon Princes. You probably won't ever see them, and they don't accept worshippers, but they do have small followings (sort of like saints in the Church). Also included are quite a few new and revised celestials, most of whom appeared last in the Planescape setting, like the Hollyphant!
On the whole, I enjoyed the heck out of this. There are a few things that could make it better, like more Exalted feats; only having one or two per class means that you will, eventually, run out if you take the Vow of Poverty feat (which grants bonus Exalted feats every other level). Feat chains built for each class would be very nice, indeed; some higher-level ones would be most welcome, especially if they supported multiclassing in their requirements.
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