6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
OK, but not essential, 10 May 2003
Races of Faerun is a reasonable addition to the Forgotten Realms. The book is well produced, without too many of the typos which seemed to affect earlier 3E stuff from WoTC (although the ECL for lizardmen is unclear: +1 or +2, for example) and some nice artwork.
Some of the new races are good (avariel, tanarukk), either as possible PCs but mostly as potential NPCs/villains, and some of the racial feats (especially those for aasimar and tieflings) and racial prestige classes are fun. Some of the more distinctive aspects of the established races in this setting, such as the half-elves of Aglarond, were brought out nicely. Also, the different human sub-races are clearly described, which is useful for role-playing purposes, as is a lot of the back history of the various kingdoms and empires, which someone new to the setting (like me - I only took up the FR setting post-3E) will find interesting and useful.
And yet.... I have to say that some of the content seemed a bit superfluous. Did we really need details on the Urdinnir, since all they get is a passing mention in Monsters of Faerun? I personally was hardly gagging for that.
However, with any book like this, there will be some bits which please more than others, and these may be different for different people. Overall, the book is good, but I would say not essential for your enjoyment of D&D and FR. Probably a must-have if you are a Realms nut, but for the uncommitted it is a more marginal case. Also, it ain't cheap - why hardback, when the Silver Marches (which I like a lot and seems to have more longer term uses than Races, which is more of a reference work) is softback?