Excerpts 02/02/2005

Lost Empires of Faerûn
By Travis Stout

The past has left its mark on the present of Faerûn, and now you can get a glimpse of what went before in Lost Empires of Faerûn, the latest sourcebook for the Forgotten Realms setting. Information for both players and Dungeon Masters includes prestige classes, feats, and spells commonly employed by characters who delve into the secrets of the past or keep alive the ancient traditions of realms now vanished into history. The bulk of the rest of the book delves into the Crown Wars, the Old Empires of Mulhorand and Unther, the empire of Netheril, the powerful states of Coramshan and Jhaamdath, the fabled realm of Myth Drannor, various artifacts and monsters of the past, and several other topics that Dungeon Masters can find useful when creating Forgotten Realms campaigns. Our sneak peek includes a look at ancient feats, a prestige class, ancient spells, some artifacts, plus several tidbits of past lore.

Ancient Feats

Those who study the lore of the vanished past often come across long-lost arcana, forgotten schools of combat, and boons granted by gods who are no longer worshiped in Faerûn. In addition, characters with a scholarly interest in the works and writings of fallen civilizations often wish to learn unusual tricks and techniques to make their studies easier.

Here is a small sample of feats from the book:

Arcane Manipulation

You are learned in the arcane ways of Netheril, where masters of magic once molded and shaped arcane energy to their own will.

Prerequisite: Wizard level 1st.

Benefit: When you prepare spells, you can break down up to three existing arcane spell slots to create a specified number of lower-level spell slots. (A 0-level spell counts as 1/2 level for this purpose, so a 1st-level spell slot could be broken into two 0-level spell slots.) The sum of the levels of all the new spell slots must equal the level of the original. The number of spell slots you can create in this manner is otherwise unlimited. Spell slots that you break down into multiple lower-level slots remain that way until the next time you prepare spells, at which time you can choose to restore your spell slots to normal or break them up again.

Normal: A character can always choose to use a higher-level spell slot to prepare a lower-level spell, but any "remainder" spell levels are lost.

Netherese Battle Curse

You can channel your own arcane energy into a powerful curse upon those who dare to face you in battle.

Prerequisites: Knowledge (history) 4 ranks, Power Attack, arcane caster level 1st.

Benefit: By giving up an arcane spell slot or prepared spell before making an attack roll, you can perform a battle curse as a melee attack. You gain a bonus on the attack roll equal to the level of the spell or spell slot so sacrificed. If your attack hits, the target must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + level of spell or slot expended + your Cha modifier) or take a -2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls for 1 minute. The effects of multiple battle curses don't stack, and any foe that successfully resists your battle curse cannot be affected by it again for 24 hours.

Any effect that dispels or removes a curse eliminates the battle curse. Your caster level equals your character level for this purpose.


You have studied the funereal architecture and lethal traps of a dozen long-dead cultures. Your familiarity with ancient tombs, vaults, and other such sites has instilled in you an uncanny knack for avoiding traps.

Prerequisites: Int 13, trap sense +2.

Benefit: The bonus for your trap sense ability increases by 4. In addition, you gain a +2 bonus on all Disable Device checks.

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