The Book of the Righteous is a complete cosmology. This book describes everything someone would need to run these gods, churches, and religions a role playing game. The cosmology described is a new one featuring new gods, myths, churches, and legends. It is without peer in the area it covers. Deities and Demigods, The Divine and the Defeated, Gods, and other books that have been published dealing with divinity pale in comparison. The Book of the Righteous covers everything except stating out the gods.
The Book of the Righteous is 320 pages and it costs $39.95 American dollars. It is one of the larger books yet published as well as one of the more expensive. The book is packed with ideas and useful information. The text is easily readable and well spaced. This is one of the best-organized books I?ve seen. The table of contents and the index together makes referencing this book very easy. Throughout the chapters are headings for the different sections aiding one who is scanning a section for a particular topic. The art is all black and white and it aids in getting across the purpose of the chapters. Most of the pictures have captions to explain exactly what it is. As a whole this book has an amazing production value.
The book starts with an introductory chapter. While brief, it tells you exactly what you are to find in this book as well as some great advice on gods and clerics. Reading this chapter should tell you if this book is right for you.
Chapter two goes into the mythology and the cosmology of the gods. It gives myths for the creation of the world, the gods, and all the races. It is very complete. The next five chapters cover the individual gods and their churches in great detail. It starts with the god and his/her name and myths that concern him/her. It goes on with associations of the god and alignments. It details the representatives of the god, the god?s purpose, and the servants. Next it goes into the church and the church?s structure. It tells of the doctrine and gives some examples for common prayers. There are also holy days, Saints, the god?s view of the church, and the proffered weapons. It talks about holy orders, clerics, Holy Warrior Class (See below), and prestige classes. There are eighteen different churches are fully detailed. Each can easily become the central point in a campaign or be used in less active ways.
The book also has a chapter all about Evil. It lists four churches in the same amount of detail as the good churches. It also gives evil sects of the other described churches. These can easily be used by the players or can be used as a nemesis organization.
Chapter Nine: Campaigning is my favorite chapter in this book. This chapter gives specific advice on how to use all the previous information and fit it seamlessly into any world. It has an easy reference table showing how the different churches get along. It gives some ideas on where to place different holy areas. It then gives some good adventure hooks as well as campaign ideas.
The Next Chapter is about integrating this book and using its ideas into a world with gods already set up. It is relatively easy to extract many of the great ideas from this book and apply to different, yet similar gods of other pantheons.
The last chapter is Additional Rules. In here one will find a new core class, the Holy Warrior. This class is an alternate version of the Paladin. Its abilities reflect that of its god. There is one class that is highly versatile. Depending on what domains your god has determines your abilities. The chapter list some new feats that are very religion and cleric oriented. One of these feats, Domain Specialization, might be a little strong. This feat allows the spells of one Domain the cleric has access to to be cast spontaneously. There are some domains that this might be too powerful when combined with. There is a new skill, Famous, that allows a fame mechanic to be used. Then there are some new domains, new clerical spells, magical items, and creatures. All of which have a religious feel to them.
Lastly, are some appendixes that really bring another level of depth to this book. The first is a series of writing as written be a sage about the history of the gods. It is a great prop that can easily be used with the players allowing them to have information from a well-known source. The second appendix is a glossary of names and races for easy access. The third appendix can be photocopied and used as quick reference sheets.
Overall, this is a very well done book covering areas that have been untouched by many other products. This book can easily be used as a full cosmology filled with very interesting myths and gods. It can also be used to help broaden existing pantheons and adding more depth and detail to them.
VALUE: Very Satisfied