Excerpts 03/08/2006

Power of Faerûn Excerpt
By Ed Greenwood and Eric L. Boyd

Power of Faerûn is a comprehensive guidebook to playing high-level heroes and running high-level campaigns in the Forgotten Realms. This supplement introduces new options to players and Dungeon Masters as well as guidelines for starting a temple, running a guild, leading an army, serving the crown, and participating in political intrigues. The excerpts below include information on earning titles, leading armies, adding dragons to your adventures, and using the merchant prince prestige class in your game. You can get more information from recent previews for this book, as well, so be sure to check there for cover copy and dragon statistics, too!

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Order in the Court
The Temporal Leader
What Do Rulers and Stewards Do?
Stewards and Titles
Playing the Political Game
The Power Behind the Throne
Making and Changing Laws
Making Deals
Truce and Armistice: Keeping the Peace
Winning Favors
Earning Titles
Achieving Nobility
Ruling a Domain
Sentencing the Guilty
Political Rivals
Advisors and Ambassadors
Religious Leaders
Rampaging Adventures
Spies and Assassins
Court Strongholds
Example: The Court of the High Tower
Chapter Two: Win the Battlefield
The Burdens of Command
What Do Military Leaders Do?
How to Use the Leadership Feat
Playing the Military Game
Running Hordes
Earning Rank
Leading Armies
Giving Commands to Subordinates
Mobilizing Troops
Holding Territory
Obligations and Duties
Opposing Armies
Internal Strife
Powerful Monsters
Insidious Threats
The Throne
Military Rivals
Military Strongholds
The Flaming Tower and the Temple in the Sky
High Horn
Example: The Sothillisian Empire
Sothillis, Murkul of Murannheim
Chapter Three: Keep the Faith
The Spiritual Leader
What Do Religious Leaders Do?
Faithful Heretics and the Church
How to Use the Leadership Feat
Playing the Religious Game
Communing with the Gods
Manifestations and Visions
Miracle Workers
Relic Holders
Earning Rank
Bishops and Archbishops
Speakers and Hierophants
Guiding the Flock
Giving Edicts
Spreading the Faith
Obligations and Duties
Church vs. State
Rival Faiths and Cults
Interfaith Conflict
Fractious Sects within the Church
Military Threats
Insidious Threats
Religious Strongholds
Spires of the Morning
The House of Firehair
Example: Ascension of Amaunator
Sunlord Daelegoth Orndeir
Chapter Four: Play the Market
The Business Leader
What Do Business Leaders Do?
How to Use the Leadership Feat
Playing the Economic Game
Controlling Vital Trade Arteries
Forming a Trade Consortium
Personnel: Filling Positions
Merchant Prince
Controlling a Market
Running a Guild
Running an Oligarchy
Running a Monopoly
Obligations and Duties
Rival Trade Consortiums
Costers and Priakos of the Heartlands
Brigands and Pirates
Division of Natural Resources
Overcoming Natural Disasters
Insidious Threats
Economic Strongholds
Ulbrinter Villa
Example: Sundered Throne
Dabron Sashenstar
Chapter Five: Tame the Frontier
The Frontier Leader
What Do Frontier Leaders Do?
How to Use the Leadership Feat
Playing the Frontier Game
Carving out a Domain
Taming the Frontier
Medicine in Faerûn
Attracting Subjects
Frontier Justice
Earning Titles
Lords, Mayors, and Wardens
Vassal State vsFiefdom
Ruling a Fiefdom
Running a Frontier Domain
Holding Territory
Expanding the Domain
Obligations and Duties
Local Law vsRegional Law
Bandits and Brigands
Monstrous Threats
Insidious Threats
Frontier Strongholds
Wolfwatch Manor
Stormhawk Keep
Example: Barony of Starshadow
Baron Erthaer Javilarhhsson
Chapter Six: King of the Road
Long Arms of the Law
What Marshals Do
Heralds: Quieter and More Mysterious
What the Heralds Do
Nobility and the Heralds
Disputing with the Heralds
Paying the Heralds
Legitimacy and the Heralds
The High Heralds
The Heralds Pursuivant
The Tabards
Local Heralds
Types of Heralds
The Daily Life of a Local Herald
Court Herald
Playing the Wandering Game
A Sampling of Heralds
Upholding the Law
Ruling the Roads
Rangers of the North
Chapter Seven: High-Level Challenges
Deity Adventure Seeds
Great Dragons
Great Dragon Adventure Seeds
Rival Adventurers
Rivals Adventure Seeds
Invading Armies and Hordes
Invaders Adventure Seeds
Chapter Eight: The Border Kingdoms
The Border Kingdoms Today
Adaerglast, The Land of Mages
The Barony of Blacksaddle
The Duskwood
The Grand Duchy of Shantal
The Land of Two Princes
The Neth Stand
Qurth Forest
The Realm of the Mount
The Realm of the Ready Sword
Chapter Nine: How to Rule
Leadership Checks
Attracting Cohorts and Followers
Losing Cohorts and Followers
Rulership as Its Own Reward


"By all the Watching Gods, this is too much! " The armored fist of the Lord of Storm Tower crashed down on the council table. No, into the council table.

The Steward of Storm Vale neither flinched nor changed expression, though the Throne Lord's gleaming gauntlet left a deep depression in the polished duskwood. Such marring was nothing compared to what had already been done to the once-prosperous vale all around them. In another two summers we'll be just one more unknown backwater of Tethyr, he thought. I wonder where Lord Aviatharr's bones will be then.

"Steward!" Aviatharr roared, as if Braegrel was at the far end of the Tower rather than seated right across the table, "where's that sneering high-nose of a herald? Bring him here at once -- and those fool priests, too!"

The steward assumed his best expression of politely puzzled interest. "Which particular 'fool priests,' my lord?"

"All of -- the high priests, you idiot!" Aviatharr spat, slamming his other fist down. It held his usual heavy goblet, but was bare -- and as Braegrel rose and bowed with precise correctness, he took some satisfaction in watching that goblet ring off the floor, and the Throne Lord wince and wring his numbed hand.

Three familiar faces were waiting in the gloomy passage outside. The steward never slowed, but muttered as he brushed past, "Strike soon, or Storm Vale will be part of the Golden Marches before summer's done."

The Master of the Hunt arched a knowing eyebrow, but the Master of the Dungeons and the Sword of the Gates kept their faces as still as stone. The Sword casually turned aside his cloak to reveal a long dagger gleaming ready in his hand.

Ah. It seemed that summer might end this very day in Stormsword Castle, and thus it was time for a certain Steward -- seen as the Throne Lord's friend, confidant, and eager instrument, despite a far different truth -- to disappear from the Vale forever. Before someone decided stewards might have ambitions best served with the blade of a handy dagger.

Braegrel whirled, but the Sword of the Gates hadn't moved a boot. The wry smile on the guardcaptain's face told Braegrel he knew exactly what had been going through the steward's mind. The Master of the Hunt was striding into the council chamber, saying something Braegrel was too far away to hear.

The steward hurried to the swiftest stair down, hurrying now -- and froze.

There were voices below, where there should have been only silence. The door at the foot of this stair was kept locked, and . . .

"The duke has been apprised of Her Majesty's will in this matter and stands in full agreement, My Lords Most Holy. The ducal forces await your signal."

The steward drew back. He knew those unhurried, cultured tones: Rhaurabbyn, the envoy of Tethyr. Which meant . . .

"The Lord Herald here has perused our agreement. You confirm the royal seal, gallant Summerthorn?"

"Lord Speaker, I do. The bond between you is clear. I accompany you now to bear stern witness to Throne Lord Aviatharr's response."

"Good, good," two voices murmured -- the very high priests Braegrel had been sent to fetch.

Ascending toward him swiftly: the herald, the envoy, and the two holy lords. Braegrel ducked back out into the passage, hastening toward a certain tapestry.

A bright, soundless flash of magic burst from the council chamber, and a body -- or rather, various pieces of what had been a body -- bounced and thudded out the council chamber doorway. Braegrel winced and ducked behind the tapestry.

It took but a moment to open the secret door and step through. Whatever magic Aviatharr had used to slay the three courtiers, his doom was sealed. The priests had made a pact with Tethyr -- and neither the Duke of the Golden Marches nor those priests needed the snarling tirades of a throneless ex-lord. Or his servile steward.

The coins, the clothes, the ring of spells -- all had been prepared long ago. He must move quickly, and spend an unpleasant night fleeing this life, but at least Braegrel still had a neck to call his own.

He dressed hastily, thrusting his robes into the stone-weighted sack that would soon greet the moat. The heavy purse jingled, but . . . no, that sound was coming from someone else!

He clawed for his dagger. "Who's there?"

"Steward, d'you think you're the only one who prepared for this day?" Aviatharr's rough whisper was right by his ear. "If I unhood my lantern, will you put away that silly knife and help me with this wig?"

What You Need to Play

To use this supplement, you need the Dungeons & DragonsPlayer's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual, plus the Forgotten RealmsCampaign Setting.

Finally, several other D&D and Forgotten Realms supplements are referenced herein. In many cases, this reference is in the form of a superscript abbreviation of the book's title, which is tacked onto the end of the name of a spell, prestige class, or some other game element. The books and their abbreviations are as follows: Book of Exalted Deeds (BE), Book of Vile Darkness (BV), Champions of Ruin (CR), City of Splendors: Waterdeep (CS), Champions of Valor (CV), Complete Adventurer (CA), Complete Arcane (CAr), Complete Divine (CD), Complete Warrior (CW), Dungeon Master's Guide II (DM2), Draconomicon (Dra), Epic Level Handbook (EL), Faiths and Pantheons (FP), Heroes of Battle (HB), Lords of Darkness (LD), Lost Empires of Faerûn (LE), Libris Mortis (LM), Magic of Faerûn (Mag), Miniatures Handbook (MH), Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn (Mon), Manual of the Planes (MP), Player's Guide to Faerûn (PG), Planar Handbook (Pla), Races of Faerûn (Rac), Races of the Wild (RW), Shining South (SS), Unapproachable East (Una), and Underdark (Und).

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