Library Lore is worth the price just for the NPCs alone. There are dozens on NPCs in this book, from challenge rating 1 all the way up to 30, and it even includes some dragons as NPCs. Some of the NPCs are generic guards, commoners, and such that are meant as background characters. But most of them come with not only full stats but also detailed histories. There is a nice index that sorts them all by name, race, and level so that if you need an NPC for an X level encounter quickly you can just find it no problem.
But the purpose of this booklet is to make libraries exciting. I think a lot of DMs handwave it when PCs say they are going to gather information or research something, and don?t much think about where they are going to get the information in the first place. This product does a nice job of giving you a reason to actually go to the library and explore it. Some of the libraries, like the Corner Store, are more like a fantasy version of Borders. They serve as an information gathering place for the locals to read books, gossip, drink coffee, or whatever. Gadget Hall is less a library than a gnomish workshop, with not only collections of books but rentable work benches to run experiments and such. Many of the libraries double as something else. Grom?s Library is actually a giant underground proving ground for rogues, as an example. The Halls of Steel are built above a dwarven mine. Which kind of makes sense, since I don?t think a fantasy world would often have a dedicated library system.
Oddly, I guess I was expecting a librarian NPC class or something, but the product doesn?t offer any new classes, and only a handful of new feats. The bulk of the product is to provide locations, NPCs, and ideas. In that, it does a good job. Each library has a listing of seed ideas, and the NPC histories include are sure to inspire ideas of their own. The mini-quests are interesting, though some feel slightly contrived. Many of them are suppose to tie in to a multi-library quest that leads to the discovery of a library on the astral plane. It?s difficult to pick up the clues at first, though thankfully the writer included an appendix that actually spells out where the clues are and how they all connect.
I really liked the art in this. It?s sort of a fantasy cartoonish feel that works with the concept. Layout was nice and easy to read.
<b>LIKED</b>: Plenty of NPCs and ideas. Very nice artwork.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: multi-library quest a bit hard to follow.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>
[4 of 5 Stars!]