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Thursday, January 6, 2011

From the Vault: Forgotten Realms Cloak and Dagger

Prior to the arrival of 3e, in the middle of 2000, Wizards of the Coast released one of it's last AD&D 2nd edition supplements to the Forgotten Realms.  It was a sourcebook for DM's called Cloak and Dagger.  Now, most people will tell you, myself included, that in the peak of 2nd edition, TSR, and subsequently Wizards of the Coast, released a plethora of splatbooks and awful sourcebooks for a variety of their campaign settings.  The market was saturated and bloated, and knowing this, it was often difficult to differentiate the good from the bad.

I recall approaching Cloak and Dagger with natural skepticism at the time.  After seeing so many awful products hit the shelves, my patience to sort through them all was thin.  Still, the description of the book intrigued me so I picked it up.  I'm glad I did, as it has served as the single most valuable Forgotten Realms tool for me outside of the primary box set over the years.

Cloak and Dagger gives insight into the many secret organizations in the Realms, some of which had not been explored in great detail prior to the book's release.  It lists the various secret groups within the Realms, their goals and motivations, areas of operation, tactics and methods, and their histories.  It also has detailed descriptions of the organziations' leaders as well as their motives and goals.

What impressed me the most about the supplement was the sheer volume of information within its pages.  Truly there is enough to keep a DM busy for years.  It should be noted that this supplement works best for those DMs and players who like to add a little intrigue and espionage into their games.  For the typical dungeon crawling DM and  game group, this tome will be of little use to you.

So, if you're looking to add a little spice to your DnD game in the form of some political intrigue and shadowy cabals, I highly recommend picking up Cloak and Dagger.  Copies can be found on Amazon for as little as $13-$15.  Whether you run the Realms or not, you'll find the information within to be one of the last great 2nd edition resources.