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Rise of the Drow - A hardback campaign


First review here, so hopefully it's an okay one. I haven't played through the entire campaign yet, so most of this are my impressions from thumbing through the Rise of the Drow.

The first statement I want to make is if you like the hardback campaigns of Shackled City and Rise of the Runelords, you want to take a good LONG HARD look at Rise of the Drow.

It didn't hit me until after I got Rise of the Drow that there are some similarities between the title of it, and that of Rise of the Runelords. What's more striking, is that on the shelf, side by side, they look of the same design and make, as well as about the same length.

The cover of Rise of the Drow seems to be a little bit more loose than the one I have on Rise of the Runelords and the Shackled City, but otherwise seems to be of the same design considerations.

Rise of the Drow has an interesting story (no spoilers here, or I'll try not to put any, though there are some obvious ones simply from reading the title), which is probably on par with Shackled City, and has some interesting ideas which can be incorporated into any campaign.

The artwork and design is pretty good, as is the layout. Most of the art reminds me less of Paizo's current offerings (and hence less like the Rise of the Runelords Hardcover) and more like Shackled City (so more like the original Rise of the Runelords paperback AP...though even there, I'd put it even earlier with the original AP's like Shackled City).

It would fall more in line with what I see in my Shackled City campaign book than in the Rise of the Runelords book. This would also apply more in how I'd see the adventure design and how it flows (just reading, not playing through it yet).

The appendixes are also nice, and there is plenty of setting information which probably could be dropped into most campaigns (so specific in nature, but generic enough that it could be used in most campaign settings). It also has 100 monsters in an appendix, though this is misleading as some of those are specific types of enemies rather than the generic monsters you can drop into any other adventure you wish (though there a multitude of those as well).

The stats are for both PF and 3.5 from what I could see, so you could run it in either format.

Overall, it's a very impressive book, on par with the other two hardback campaign/AP types I have (Shackled City and Rise of the Runelords). It is NOT like Rappan Athuk (which I also have for PF), but more in the style of a Paizo type writing, rather than the old style (which I'd say Rappan Athuk is more like).

IF you have and have enjoyed Shackled City or Rise of the Runelord Anniversary edition, I'd say take a good long look at Rise of the Drow as another hardback campaign you may want to add to your shelf.