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What sourcebooks should I get to make a fully-themed Forgotten Realms character in 3.5e?

Looking for setting information on:

Races
Classes
Regions
Feats
Religions
Prestige classes

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why are there 3 close votes for this question being off-topic? There aren't any more official D&D 3.5e books being published! This is totally answerable… and even complicated due to the 3.5 revision. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 24 '18 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I don’t have a class to play yet, wanted to see all of the options in front of me \$\endgroup\$ – FrancisJohn Feb 24 '18 at 16:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Actually, there's 1 vote for off-topic and 2 for too broad. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Feb 24 '18 at 22:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman I don't think the votes were 1 for off-topic and 2 for too broad when I originally made that comment, but it's possible I missaw the votes. However, it doesn't matter—it's not too broad, either. That is, armed with answers to this question, the asker can henceforth ask even narrower future questions about specific classes, races, regions, or whatever. Voting to reopen; users shouldn't get the impression they can't ask questions like these. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 25 '18 at 11:29
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Step 0 is to ask the DM what's allowed in the campaign. The Forgotten Realms is a vast setting, and usually anything you can imagine ends up there eventually somehow. Seriously, if you picked a D&D 3.X book at random, chances are there's something (and, more than likely, a lot of things) in there for the Realms or that the DM could put in the Realms and it wouldn't be out of place.

If the DM's following the broader reading of the primary source rule, likely the DM will rule that primary source for Forgotten Realms setting information is not the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting but the Player's Guide to Faerûn that updates much of the Campaign Setting in light of the 3.5 revision. That doesn't make the campaign setting obsolete—the background information is vast and, really, if nothing else, the book is beautiful.

If you want an overview for the Realms, you get…

  • Player's Guide to Faerûn for key information about your region,
  • Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting for basic information,
  • Faiths and Pantheons for information about your god,
  • Races of Faerûn for information about your race,
  • Champions of Ruin if you're a really despicable villain,
  • Champions of Valor if you're a really upstanding hero,
  • Power of Faerûn if you're high level,
  • Magic of Faerûn if you're a caster,
  • and Grand History of the Realms if you're a freakin' historian.

Then you can get a region-specific sourcebook or two, like…

  • City of Splendors: Waterdeep for… um… Waterdeep;
  • Mysteries of the Moonsea for the region surrounding the Moonsea—likely the most important being Zhentil Keep;
  • Shining South for Halruaa, Shaar, Luiren, and Dambrath;
  • Silver Marches for the Silver Marches are related areas;
  • Unapproachable East for Aglarond, Rashemen, and Thay;
  • Underdark for… the… Underdark.

(So you know, regional feats are extremely complicated mechanically by frequent revisions. It's best either ask the DM what region your PC must be from to take a particular regional feat or pick your PC's region and ask the DM what regional feats are available. Trying to make heads-or-tails of what and what's not a regional feat for your PC's region using only the books is a test requiring vast endurance and patience.)

As a player, you'll likely find unnecessary Anauroch: The Empire of the Shade, City of the Spider Queen, Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave, Dragons of Faerûn, Expedition to Undermountain, Into the Dragon's Lair, Lords of Darkness, Lost Empires of Faerûn, Monsters of Faerûn, Pool of Radiance: Attack on Myth Drannor, Serpent Kingdoms, Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land, Sons of Gruumsh, and Twilight Tomb. These are either adventures or monster books or unrelated to the workings of most PCs.

Other books also contain information specific to the Realms. For example, Complete Warrior, the Dungeon Master's Guide, Epic Level Handbook, Fiend Folio, Monster Manual III, Monster Manual IV, Monster Manual V, and Weapons of Legacy make mention the Realms to some degree or another.

Note that this list is really basic, and even some weird, ancillary books might have interesting material applicable to your PC. For example, you gotta dig deep to find the absurd magic weapon special ability smoking (Lords of Darkness 180) (+1 bonus; 0 lbs.).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for, thank you. \$\endgroup\$ – FrancisJohn Feb 24 '18 at 16:53
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Forgotten Realms Specific Books

  • Player's Guide to Faerun (Needed)
  • Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (Needed)
  • Magic of Faerun was nice but not neccessary

Other Books to add on

  • Tome of Battle
  • Book of Exalted Deeds (vow of poverty)
  • Complete Spell Compendium
  • Player's Handbook II
  • Unearthed Arcana (Flaws and Traits)

These I remember being really helpful.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Flippantly suggesting Icantatrix like it's no big deal is misleading to players who don't know what it is and what it does. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Feb 24 '18 at 22:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman I wanted to generate interest in the class because it was my favorite class. I didn't mean to offend. \$\endgroup\$ – Voromir Kadien Feb 24 '18 at 23:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why should be Vow of Poverty be related to the Forgotten Realms specifically? If anything, the Forgotten Realms are a high magic world and VoP is really only useful in games where the magic items are a real rarity (The bonuses VoP gives have the only advantage of being impossible to steal. The ability to use magic items that you give away for taking the feat is vastly superior to everything the Vow gives, including the extra feats.) \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Feb 25 '18 at 12:36

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