Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave is the first-ever Forgotten Realms hardcover super-adventure! Designed to take characters from 4th to 8th level, the adventure pits the heroes against the evil agents of Shar and Cyric as they plot to corrupt the worship of Mystra, goddess of magic. The adventure begins in Cormyr, but the characters must also travel to the Plane of Shadow to thwart the villains’ machinations.
This adventure can be run as a stand-alone adventure or as part one of an epic three-part series of hardcover adventures set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.
Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave (2007) is a 160-page hardcover Forgotten Realms adventure for 3.5e D&D. Written by five of Wizards' heavy hitters, the book is all adventure instead of a location sourcebook; while there's some background detail included on Cormyr, the focus is on investigation and butt-kicking as the heroes are asked to investigate a small-town temple of Mystra in Cormyr. From there, the adventure expands across the Vast Swamp and into another plane, using adventure sites that allow great variation in group tactics.
The adventure starts at 4th level, and advances heroes to 7th or 8th level by the time the adventure concludes.
This is the first of three mega-adventures in a series, with the second being Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land and the third and final Anauroch: The Empire of Shade.
Variety Aplenty. I admire an adventure that covers a lot of ground. This one transitions from temple politics and the investigations of a city (well, a big town, but you know what I mean) to the boot-sucking misery of a well-envisioned swamp. With sacrificial victims to save and possibly a tribe of lizardfolk to assist, the heroes will already have their hands full by the time they plane-hop in an attampt to stop evil priests from ripping apart the magical weave over that part of Cormyr.
That brings us nicely to the fact that this is definitely a Forgotten Realms adventure. By that, I mean that the overarching plot and the plans of the villains are predicated on features that exist only in the Forgotten Realms. Similarly, the module uses the minions of several evil FR gods to great effect. This is a strength of the adventure so long as you're playing in the Realms, but it makes adapting the module to a non-FR campaign somewhat more of a challenge.
Imaginative Encounters, Beautiful Art. Having said that, I'll note that the encounter and adventure design is masterfully done. No tedious railroad here; it's possible to approach encounters through diplomacy, stealth, treachery, frontal combat, and so on. The NPCs are generally interesting, and gaining information and assistance isn't just possible, but actually rewarded. While you could run this adventure as a hack-and-slash kill-fest, you'd be missing out.
Along with the good design, the production values are superb. The art and cartography are beautiful, with frequent illustrations and full-color maps.
Tactical Encounter Format. Love it or hate it, Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave embraces the new encounter format that separates tactical encounters from their order in the adventure. Encounters are streamlined and placed on a single page (or two) at the back of the book. While in hard cover this necessitates some page flipping to run an encounter, I definitely prefer it when the adventure is in PDF. I scribble on the page when I run monsters and track damage, so just printing out the relevant encounter page and then running the rest of the adventure from my tablet works superbly.
Overall, this is a long, splendid FR adventure that pays off. If you're playing in the Realms or want an example of varied and creative adventuring locales, this is a great adventure to pick up.
About the Creators. Rich Baker started at TSR in 1991 and left Wizards of the Coast in 2011. In those two decades he worked on material for lines such as Spelljammer, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and Planescape.
ENnie Award-winning designer Bruce R. Cordell's most recent novel in the Spinner of Lies series is Sword of the Gods.
David Noonan is now writing team manager for Enmasse Entertainment.
Matthew Sernett is an award-winning author and game designer who has worked in the game industry since 2000.
James Wyatt is a novelist and former minister who has worked at Wizards of the Coast since the year 2000, long after he began writing for Dungeon Magazine.
About the Product Historian
History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.