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Book of Exalted Deeds
This entry is in the SuccuWiki for the sake of completeness with the D&D Universe.
The Book of Exalted Deeds (ISBN 0786931361) is an optional sourcebook for the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition role-playing game, providing supplementary game material for campaigns involving characters of good alignment] It was authored by James Wyatt, Darrin Drader and Christopher Perkins, and published by Wizards of the Coast in October 2003. Within the game, it is also the name of a powerful magical artifact.
The Book of Exalted Deeds contains rules for good occurrences, acts, and characters in the game, and thus is only useful for campaigns including good forces.
It is one of two manuals for the game to carry a "For Mature Audiences Only" warning label on the cover (the other is Book of Vile Darkness, devoted to evil).
- The Nature of Good: This defines how good is seen in the Dungeons and Dragons setting, as well as how good-aligned characters of different alignments act in relation to the world around them.
- Variant Rules: This simply adds additional rules for a campaign featuring good-aligned characters that allows such characters to become exalted characters.
- Exalted Equipment: This talks about the weapons (sometimes special) used by exalted characters.
- Feats: This chapter includes several new feats, the vast majority of which are exalted feats, meant specifically for good-aligned characters and usable only by such.
- Prestige Classes: This chapter introduces prestige classes appropriate for an exalted campaign.
- Magic: This chapter provides spells almost exclusively for good characters, as well as magical items, weapon and armor enhancements, and artifacts appropriate to such a campaign.
- Celestial Paragons: This chapter discusses (and provides NPC stat blocks for) celestial paragons, rulers of the Upper planes so overwhelmingly powerful that they are revered as a god would, even on the Material Plane. It also discusses the Upper Planes to an extent.
- Monsters: This chapter contains good-aligned monsters, featuring the Deathless type, as well as templates to create customized monsters.
The Book of Exalted Deeds appears to make reference to gnostic myth in the figure of Pistis Sophia. She is one of the Celestial Hebdomad, a body of seven mighty archons that administer the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia for an unknown and unknowable entity that (maybe) resides in the Seventh Heaven. Her followers are commonly ascetics and focused on self-improvement, through physical perfection and harmony, not gnosis. Mortal souls which go to Celestia also attain purity and grace in a physical journey that resembles gnosis, learning about the nature of Law and Good experientially as they ascend the mountain towards the "illuminated" (another descriptor of any possessor of secret knowledge) heaven of Chronias, at the top of the mountain.
The book of exalted deeds artifact
The artifact is mentioned in the Dungeon Master's Guide, version 3.5, listed as a magic item. The magic item is described as a book only useful to good characters.
It is also listed in the original Dungeon Master's Guide as a miscellaneous magic item. Reading it increases the experience point total and wisdom score for cleric player characters of good alignment, but will harm or kill a neutral or evil character.
James Wyatt, Christopher Perkins, Darren Drader. Book of Exalted Deeds (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)