The Saving Throw
Dungeons and Dragons ~ Sharn: City of Towers 09.07.2007
Saving Throw's review of Sharn: City of Towers

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Sharn: City of Towers
published by Wizards of the Coast reviewed by Martin Drury
192 pages, 2004, $29.95
Content 13
Organization 15
Consistency 15
Intelligibility 13
Review Scoring

   Of all the cities in Eberron, Sharn is perhaps the first to come to mind when most gamers think of the campaign setting, so it's only fitting that the city has its own source book. Sharn: City of Towers is divided into eight chapters, each covering an important aspect of the city.

Chapter one provides an visitor's guide to the city, explaining why people come to the city. There are numerous reasons to come to Sharn, ranging from Antiquities to Worship and each reason has its own section detailing how to draw people, a.k.a. characters, into the city. The chapter finishes up with brief sections on businesses, population, history and festivals.

Chapter two is all about life in the city of Sharn. This section gives a brief overview of the city architecture, before diving into the nine regions of the city, detailing each district found in each region, over 100 in all. Excellent maps and illustrations bring each district to life and makes integrating them into a campaign an easy process.

Chapter three covers the powers and politics of Sharn, describing the city government, the Dragonmarked houses, and the foreign powers that have a presence in Sharn. More importantly, it describes how these various groups work together and against each other and how this effects the player characters.

From a player perspective, chapter four, which covers law and order in the city could be the most important. This chapter offers tips on using the laws of Sharn, example crimes, fleeing the law and ultimately trials and punishment when criminals are convicted. The chapter finishes up with some sample law enforcers.

Chapter five is one of two short chapters of Sharn: City of Towers covering the powers behind the scenes. The first one, chapter three, dealt with political powers, while this chapter covers guilds and other organizations. From adventuring guilds to mercenary services and wizard circles to organized crime, if an organization is needed in a hurry, this chapter has plenty of samples to draw from.

Chapter six, Heroes and Magic, is another chapter that holds great import for player characters. This chapter details new Feats, equipment, Prestige Classes, Magic spells and items. Outside of Sharn, the only practical prestige class presented here is the Cannith Wand Adept. The other options are all best suited for campaigns that spend a large amount of time in and around Sharn.

Chapter seven covers the ever popular monsters. Seven new monsters are presented, along with schemers and other NPCs that players might encounter or have dealings, both and pleasant and nasty.

Chapter eight finishes up Sharn: City of Towers with tips and suggestions for running a campaign set in the city of Sharn. With guides for themes and flavor as well as adventure pace and treasure types, this chapter provides the Game Master with invaluable information for starting a campaign in Sharn, or for long side trips into the city, for a campaign that takes place mostly outside of Sharn.

Sharn: City of Towers might not be necessary to run an Eberron Campaign, but if the campaign is going to feature the city, it will prove more than helpful in fleshing out the city, to make it seem more alive.

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