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Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (Dungeons & Dragons Supplement) [Hardcover]

Rpg Team
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
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Book Description

28 Aug 2012 Dungeons & Dragons Supplement
This product provides an in-depth exploration of Menzoberranzan, the greatest drow city in the Dungeons & Dragons game and Forgotten Realms campaign setting. It contains all of the information a Dungeon Master needs to run adventures or an entire campaign based in the treacherous city, including descriptions of city locations, drow houses, key organizations, and the precarious political landscape.

It gives players the information they need to create characters who are members of drow houses or organizations within Menzoberranzan, as well as explains the benefits and rivalries that come with choosing a particular allegiance.

Includes a full-color, fold-out poster map of Menzoberranzan, the fabled drow city.

Frequently Bought Together

Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (Dungeons & Dragons Supplement) + Halls of Undermountain: A 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Supplement + Neverwinter Campaign Setting: A 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Supplement (4th Edition D&d)
Price For All Three: 61.61

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (28 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786960361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786960361
  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 22 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for 'Drow: The Backstabbing' style game 26 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover
Firstly the bad; there are a few minor flaws in terms of influence (if you're a male born drow to a weak house and are of the wrong class technichally you'd be killed on sight!). It is obviously drow orientated. If you're not interested in drow culture then it would be a little silly to get this book.

Onto the good; this book provides a thorough and highly detailed insight into drow culture, particularly in the title city. The main interest to me was the guidance to run a low-combat political-intregue style game, where each player is a drow, possibly of a lesser house and are trying to sneak, steal murder and scrounge their way up the social drow ladder. It does portray the drow as sort of 'mafia-esque' which is an interesting take on them, and in a way makes a lot of sense.

Additionally there are guides for making your own grow house, details about all of the major houses in Menzoberranzan as well as positions of prestige in drow culture (house weapon master, house priestess etc). There are themes for these included which mean that your characters class need not be their actual 'job' (eg you could be an Invoker of Lolth but socially be a priestess of Lolth, or be a Ranger but still be the house weapons master)

These little things are quite interesting for any game where drow are present either as antagonists or as player races. If you want to know more about drow this is the book for you!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Guide 4 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I don't play Dungeons and Dragons or any Tabletop RPG, but being a fan of the Drizzt Do'urden novels, I decide to give this a read.
This book gives a lot of information about the the city of Menzoberranzan and Drow culture, so this recommended to anyone a fan of the Drizzt Do'urden novels.

Note:Its does have some spoilers about the novels.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting perspective on the drow world 28 Aug 2012
By Jordan Moreira - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a great fan of Drizzt Do'Urden and the drow world in general, I've read most of R. A. Salvatore's Books and other Forgotten Realms novels. When I first heard about this book I was a bit skeptical, but curious, so I pre-ordered it anyway.

What I found was a very interesting source of information about the dark elves I could actually use on a campaign heavily based on the conflict between drow and surface dwellers. Also there's plenty of information and ideas on running a campaign entirely based on drow player characters, which is, by the way, the book's main purpose.

It seems they put everything there, most of the important drow houses are present, with details on their military, religious and monetary power. There are descriptions of several important locations in the city, such as the Tier Branche academy, the Bazar and many other remarkable places. There's an entire chapter about how to roleplay a drow character. I found it very useful for DM's and players alike.

It was a surprise to me that the book isn't really attached to the Forth Edition of D&D, so you can actually use this book with any edition of Dungeons & Dragons (and potentially other systems). This is probably what I liked most about the book, because I'm getting a little tired of the 4e, and very eager to see the next iteration of D&D released.

What I didn't like about the book was the page count of 128. I think they could have put a little more effort on filling the book with even more information. It would be nice if they added more detailed descriptions of the most prominent characters, perhaps with maps of the drow houses, more historical details, you get the idea.

Overall it's a great book, even if you don't like D&D 4e. It has nice illustrations, lots of useful information... could have more pages, but definitively recommended to all RPG players interested in a rich experience playing a campaign based on drow elves.

This was my first review ever, and I hope I helped you make your decision about the product.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Ssussun pholor dos!" 1 Sep 2012
By Michael J. Tresca - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've been harsh on Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) in the past for their 4th Edition supplements because none of them have really stacked up to Heroes of the Feywild. The books that followed usually lacked Feywild's perfect blend of "crunch" (rules) and "fluff" (narrative). With 5th Edition pending in 2014, it's perhaps not surprising that Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue is entirely fluff. If 5th Edition will truly be "edition-agnostic," it makes sense to produce supplements that can appeal to players of all editions.

The first chapter covers a Campaign of Intrigue, offering different settings of drow history for Dungeon Masters to set their campaign in. This is all drow, all the time: Menzoberranzan is specifically focused on playing drow in the Underdark. Take your pick from when the drow first founded their beloved cities to 2nd Edition's Time of Troubles, 3rd Edition's War of the Spider Queen, and 4th Edition's Spellplague.

The second chapter details The Way of Lolth, which ranges from how the drow worship Lolth to their matriarchal society. I have difficulty imagining how such a culture of evil can last centuries. Corruption eventually causes uprisings, which in turn become corrupt and collapse, only to be replaced by a new government. But Menzoberranzan does its level best to convince us on page 22:

"Drow are cold parents, instilling self-reliance and independence in their offspring to make them strong enough to survive a bloody adolescence. Ill treatment reinforces the race's natural inclination toward evil...Chaos is a predominant trait of the drow, a fault that has cost them potential conquests time and again throughout history...Yet there is a framework of order underlying the chaos, otherwise the drow would have been reduced to extinction long ago."

The third chapter covers Drow Factions. I was disappointed to discover that the matriarchal society is not true in all cases with House Xorlarrin - a concession, I suppose, that not all male players will want to play subservient characters. There's also House Do'Urden, which allows players to non-Lolth worshipping drow. In other words, if you want to a play a drow who isn't evil, doesn't worship Lolth, or doesn't obey the matriarchy, you can. I would argue this makes playing a drow less interesting in a campaign about drow, but I suppose it was a necessity so that the setting can appeal to a wide range of playing styles.

Chapter four details the City of Spiders, ranging from life in the streets to the Clawrift, which my 5th Edition character Tobias Hyrthstone recently investigated. There's also a full color map in the back of the book covering Menzoberranzan and the Underdark around it. The fifth chapter covers The Northdark, which includes a keyed map of the ruined illithid city of Phalinksal. A Neothelid is detailed too, but there are no stats listed here at all; this is one of the few places where the stats seem like they were removed from the book.

The last chapter is all about being a drow. This chapter is WOTC's attempt to make an evil adventuring party suitable for campaign purposes, which players have been doing for decades. It's a refreshing reversal of the "only good player characters" rule that has been WOTC's standard for years. As page 118 explains:

"Just because the adventuring group is comprised of evil characters doesn't mean that the character should constantly come to blows. Evil characters with similar goals or common foes can work together without conflict. Like most creatures, they achieve their goals faster by working together than by plotting at cross purposes."

It's a bit like playing Paranoia, but with less clones.

Most gamers either love drow or hate them. Menzoberranzan isn't going to change your mind. But if you like the idea of playing a drow campaign, this book does an excellent job of presenting the drow in all their glory, from their original appearance in Gygax's adventures to the works of R.A. Salvatore.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DM's Campaign and Player's Source Book All-In-One 22 Mar 2013
By PghDrake - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
For a small book (less than 130 pages, when most "bonus material" source books are ~160) there is a lot of great information contained in this publication. To be clear this book can be used as both a source book for DM content to create a campaign in the underdark as well as for players who want to play Drow or characters in the underdark.

You can couple this with "Underdark: A 4th Edition D&D Suppliment" to get a lot of varied looks from different angles under ground if you'd like to. You don't HAVE to have either of these books, of course. The benefits of these bonus books are that they aren't required and can add a lot of fluff information and inspiration to your game.

This book focuses mostly on Menzoberranzan, the fabled home of Drizzt Do'Urden from RA Salvatore's books. It's not intended for use only with D&D 4e either, as it is written to have its content usable in various editions. It will be great with 5e (or, D&D Next) as well. This is a pretty big bonus in my opinion, even though I'm currently running 2 separate 4e campaigns. It reminds me a lot of the way that another source book was written that I love - "Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms: A Dungeons & Dragons Supplement". Neither book is filled with stats and monsters or character classes but instead are intended to enhance your games from an atmospheric point of view, filled with the "why's" more than the "how's".

There is good information around Drow society from parenting to adventuring. It gives you ideas on how such an evil society can exist for so long and even flourish within itself. There are details of areas around Menzoberranzan that you can use to help create encounters and hooks from. There's a full color large map of Menzoberranzan included as well. I'm very happy to have this on my shelf, and although I may not pull it down constantly because neither of my campaigns are currently in the underdark - the time will come soon when this one isn't put back up on the shelf for months.

Recommended if you would like to add the subject matter to your games.

-D
3.0 out of 5 stars YMMV 1 Nov 2013
By Leamon E Crafton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can see how people can give this a 1 or a 5 star. It basically is this: You'll love it if you like the drow, Menzoberranzan, and the underdark and don't care about edition because there are no stats or really anything to link it to 4ed. If you loved 4ed, were sorry to see it go away so soon and want to squeeze every last 4ed book for info, you'll be disappointed. I would not be surprised to learn that any crunch that was supposed to be here was ripped out and put into "Into the Unknown, dungeon survival handbook" Because that book seems to be a mismatch of crunch from generic dungeons that goes into underdark campaigns and mixes around GM and Player info.
5.0 out of 5 stars very good 24 Nov 2012
By Mehmet Sava Koparan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
very nice artwork and illustrations, it's a perfect supplement for who enjoys drow campaigns. don't hesitate to purchase. thank you.
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