The Saving Throw
d20 - Bow & Blade - A Guidebook to Wood Elves 02.08.2008
Saving Throw's review of Bow & Blade - A Guidebook to Wood Elves.

Submission Guidelines | Back to d20 | Back to archive

Bow & Blade - A Guidebook to Wood Elves
published by Green Ronin reviewed by Martin Drury
104 pages, 2003, $19.95
Content 12
Organization 16
Consistency 13
Intelligibility 12
Review Scoring

   Of all the fantasy races present in tabletop role-playing, Elves are perhaps the favorite of the most players. Numerous books are written with this thought in mind, and Green Ronin's Bow & Blade - A Guidebook to Wood Elves is no different. However, some odd choices in feats and prestige classes to include may leave fans of Elves scratching their heads.

This book offers numerous new options for the player wanting to add some new flavor to his elf character, or the Game Master wanting to inject some new life into a race that is prone to falling into a stereotypical role. Opening with ideas for modifying and customizing the Wood Elf race, it also includes five new sub-races: the elemental Elves (Fire, Metal, Water and Wind) and the Feral Elves. It even includes the option of converting Wood Elves to a type of elemental Elf. The only drawback to these new races is the level adjustment attached to each one (+2 for the Feral Elves and +3 for the elemental Elves). Sub-races with a lower or non-existent level adjustment would go a long way to making Elven characters that stick out from the typical expectation of elves easier, without greatly unbalancing the game.

Over forty new feats are introduced in Bow & Blade including two new types of feats: the Blood Magic and Soulbond feats. Surprisingly, and perhaps for the best, a large number of these feats are not Elf race specific; but fans of Elves will probably be disappointed. Some of the feats are duplicates of ones found in other sourcebooks, but the variety is bound to provide something for everyone.

Joining these feats are seven new martial and magical arts styles along with seven new prestige classes. Like the feats, the magical and martial arts styles are open to most races. However, they have strict skill, feat, or spell level requirements. Strangely, in a book dedicated to wood elves, none of the prestige classes require the character to be of the elven races. Most also introduce a new concept; that of multiple entry and progression paths, based on what entry prerequisites were met.

As one would expect, Bow & Blade provides several new creatures, although only a few are truly memorable. Also, new spells, equipment and magical items are detailed, and these are more likely than most of the other content to make it into multiple adventures. Perhaps the single best content provided by the book is the list of NPCs, with stats for levels one through twenty.

Despite the overall quality, it is bewildering to note the relative lack of Elven-specific material in a book written as a guide especially for Elves. The material provided is enough to interest many gamers, but a fan of Elves might be better served by looking elsewhere.

Submission Guidelines | Back to d20 | Back to archive
© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy