Book of Exalted Deeds
The Book of Exalted Deeds is a term from Dungeons & Dragons that can refer to either of two things; an in-game magical item, or a Splatbook for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition. It is the good counterpart of the Book of Vile Darkness
The Magical Item
It works the same way as its evil counterpart. A book that grants power and knowledge to its reader but only if they are of good alignment and will harm the reader if they are evil.
Released for 3.5 edition Dungeons & Dragons. Like the Book of Vile Darkness it has a warning that it is meant for a mature audience because it deals with the topics of ethics and morality in a serious manner. Also like the Book of Vile Darkness it isn't completely successful at this and also has several major balance issues.
Chapter 1 of the book discusses the nature of good and gives advice on how to roleplay good aligned characters. It also lists archetypes of good characters and gives a sample of character of each of those archetypes. Rather hilariously, the sample redeemed villain character is a good Illithid
Chapter 2 is about variant rules that can be used by good characters. One seriously imbalanced rule is Voluntary Poverty, which restricts the player from owning magic items or keeping any wealth they don't need in exchange for bonuses which aren't anywhere near enough to make up for it. The chapter also lists a few obscure gods of good: Ayailla, Chaav, Estanna, Lastai, Phieran, Valarian.
Chapter 3 includes a variety of weapons for good characters to use. One hilarious thing it includes are Ravages and Afflictions, which are supposed to be less evil alternatives to using poisons, but some of the descriptions of what they do actually sound worse that just using poison, for example Raging Desire causes insatiable sexual desire while preventing any possible fulfillment of that desire.
Chapter 4 is a long list of feats for good characters.
Chapter 5 contains 22 new prestige classes.
- Anointed Knight
- Apostle of Peace
- Beloved of Valarian
- Celestial Mystic
- Champion of Gwynharwyf
- Defender of Sealtiel
- Emissary of Barachiel
- Exalted Arcanist
- Fist of Raziel
- Initiate of Pistis Sophia
- Lion of Talisid
- Prophet of Erathaol
- Risen Martyr
- Sentinel of Bharrai
- Slayer of Domiel
- Stalker of Kharash
- Sword of Righteousness
- Troubadour of Stars
- Vassal of Bahamut
Chapter 6 contains magic spells and items. Introduced here is the concept of Sanctified Spells. These spells can be prepared by any prepared spellcaster capable of casting [good] spells (spontaneous spellcasters are, as typical for a 3.0 publication, screwed for no real reason) and have good effects in exchange for some kind of penalty when the spell expires. Most of the time this is just easily healed ability damage, though the highest level ones have special penalties. Since Sanctified spells can be used by any prepared caster of good alignment, they are often mentioned as an option for obscure, poorly supported, casting classes like Adept, Healer or Wu Jen. Outside of this niche, the most notable is Luminous Armor and its Greater counterpart, which are basically just improved and highly visible versions of Mage Armor which are actually Abjuration spells (and thus eligible for use with the Abjurant Champion Prestige Class).
Chapter 7 is about Celestial Paragons, extremely powerful good aligned outsiders that could be called Archangels including the Celestial Hebdomad, 7 archons that each are each the protector of a different layer of Celestia, Talisid and the Five Companions, an adventuring party made up of one of each kind of Guardinal except for Musteval, and the Court of Stars that rules over the Eladrin.
Chapter 8 list a variety of good monsters. It introduces the Deathless, a creature type that is similar to undead but with many of their traits reversed, as they are powered by positive energy instead of negative.
- Aleax (Template): A construct created by a good aligned god sent to punish a mortal that has done something to upset them. It looks like a clone of the intended victim with glowing eyes. If it successfully kills its target their soul is sent to the god that sent the Aleax who will then offer them a chance to redeem theirself.
- Owl Archon:
- Sword Archon:
- Throne Archon:
- Warden Archon:
- Asura: A chaotic good celestial resembling an angel with flaming wings
- Bariaur: A celestial resembling a centaur but with the features of a ram or goat instead of a horse.
- Crypt Warden: A skeletal deathless that protects the tombs of saints and heroes.
- Hollyphant: A powerful celestial that normally looks like a tiny elephant with wings, but make it mad, and it will turn into a bat winged humanoid mastodon.
- Leskylor: A magical beast resembling a blue furred tiger with wings, which sometimes also has three heads.
- Moon dog: A celestial dog that acts like a good counterpart of the yeth hound.
- Quesar: A construct resembling a shining humanoid created by angels
- Rhek: Lawful good humanoids with rhinoceros like features.
- Sacred Watcher (Template): A ghostly deathless that returns from the dead to continue protecting somebody.
- Saint (Template): A mortal who has become like a celestial through living a life dedicated to good.
- Sanctified Creature (Template): A creature that has been transformed into a good version of itself by the effect of the spell Sanctify the Wicked. It loses many of its abilities in exchange for new good ones.
- Divine Wrath Swarm: A swarm of animals sent by a god to punish mortals.
- Apocalypse Frog Swarm: A swarm of frogs sent as a warning to evildoers that a far worse punishment will be coming soon.
- Bronze Locust Swarm: Fine constructs resembling locusts that spit divine fire and have jaws made of adamantine.
- Deathraven Swarm: A swarm of silver-eyed ravens that can instantly kill anything they wound and are sent to kill only the most evil of people. For some added horror, they also have a rule for pecking their victim's eyes out.
- Sunfly Swarm: Shining dragonflies from the planes of good.