_The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide is coming to Roll20 on December 3rd! To make sure you’re ready for its arrival, we asked DM extraordinaire Dave (of Lost Mine of Phandelver fame) to write a little bit about what makes the book so special, and how it’ll make your D&D 5E campaigns on Roll20 so much better. Take it away, Dave! _
I know what you’re thinking: “What the heck is SCAG?”
Don’t worry, this isn’t a health PSA! Don’t click away! The rather medical-sounding acronym stands for the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, a Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition supplement book that’s heading over to the Roll20 Compendium!
No more treacherous paper pages, with their dangerous, sharp, lacerating edges and corners. No more trawling through, looking for the page that you swear had that one __thing __about the __thing __if you could just find it somewhere. You know how the Compendium works by now, I’m sure, and how much easier it makes all that messing around.
The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide is a really useful book, as it combines a few different bits of knowledge into one package. As the title suggests, first and foremost, it’s a sourcebook for this particular portion of the Forgotten Realms. It’s probably the least Forgotten of the Realms, as it has been featured in many of the official novels and games over the years. Many of the published adventures, such as the Lost Mine of Phandelver, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and parts of Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus take place along the Sword Coast, so it’s incredibly relevant in all sorts of situations!
It provides a lot of information and background for both players and Dungeon Masters to flesh out their understanding of the various territories, cities and factions at play in the area. It’s always really cool to work in the wider world when it comes to running the aforementioned modules or other campaigns within the setting as a way to immerse your players. One of my favorite things is to throw in a reference and have it picked up on, or conversely see a sly cameo from a famous adventurer.
This sourcebook lets you build characters and adventures in ways that are both prescriptive, in the sense that you immerse yourself in the setting by making specific choices, then also descriptive, in the sense that those same choices you make can be put into deeper context by your Dungeon Master. It’s particularly good at helping those of us who want to feel like settings nerds without needing to delve into all those disparate books and Wiki entries. As someone who has spent many, many hours reading the first six Drizzt books for the tiny snippets of references to a specific place that is mentioned in maybe thirty pages, I wish there had been a sourcebook for the Underdark!
That’s not all though! The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide contains exciting new content for characters in the form of class options and spells.
The cool thing about SCAG specifically is that some of the options are tied to the Sword Coast itself. For example, the Fighter archetype Purple Dragon Knight references a knightly order that exists within the setting and can offer players a real sense of being tied to the world.
Backgrounds help in this aspect as well. Making your character a Waterdhavian Noble might indicate that you, as a player, want to engage with the politics of the City of Splendors.
Some of the options are compelling even if you take them out of the Sword Coast context, too. Sun Soul monks are perfect for any player that enjoys that anime fantasy of shooting ki laserbeams, wherever your adventure may be. The Oath of the Crown for paladins is a neat “tanky” option that absolutely and definitely never leads to a deathmatch between two player characters when one is mind controlled by a cambion. I can’t imagine the class features being used in such a situation, even though the character wasn’t super interested in being dedicated to the crown in the first place.
Adding these unique character features to your Roll20 Compendium means that they’ll work with the Charactermancer, and that means they will be simple-to-use drop-down options when creating or leveling up their heroes. Likewise for adding the iconic spell Green-flame blade, which I gather is a reference to something or other.
Similarly, you can use the handouts feature to add relevant sections of lore or worldbuilding. Have you ever been in a situation as a player where you realize you don’t even know how many hours there are in a day in Faerun? Bam, handout with all those basics. Months have really weird names too, and SCAG has all those juicy settings overviews.
Enrich your adventures on the Sword Coast or the wider world of the Forgotten Realms with this Adventurer’s Guide, then break them down into delicious tiny integrated bites using Roll20. All that goodness is just a simple search box away!
_Follow Dave on Twitter, and look for the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide on the Roll20 Marketplace December 3rd! _