WG8: Fate of Istus (1989)

Ugh. WG8: Fate of Istus (1989) is another square bound softcover adventure book that is just such a waste of everyone’s time.

Basically, when 2E came out, it removed Monks, Assassins and half-orcs as playable characters. Class always seemed to be meant as a kind of mechanical abstraction of trade, but APPARENTLY, in Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk, certain people have classes and they work the way they are described in the Players Handbook. So a guild of Assassins or a monastery of Monks in those worlds aren’t just people who’ve dedicated themselves to a trade, they’re embodied classes and, with the new system, their existence needed to be reckoned with. This is incredibly stupid on its face, but the implication that experience points and levels being actual meaningful forces in these worlds hurts my head.

Anyway, Forgotten Realms had the Avatar trilogy to shepherd it through the change, Greyhawk had Fate of Istus, which is an anthology of short adventures centering on mystical tests, one for each class. Infuriatingly, it is strung along as both a loose campaign and probably the most detailed tour of the world to date. At the end of the campaign, assassins transform into thieves and monks get the option to magically travel to Kara-Tur (a truly astounding option) or to turn into either fighters or thieves.

I strongly dislike everything about this book except its bizarre Daniel Horne cover and the fact that the trade dress is bright, Halloween orange.

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