DMs Guild Review – The Executioner’s Daughter

A solo adventure that’s all about the story.

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A review copy of “The Executioner’s Daughter” was provided by the publisher.

Designed by: Ashley Warren

DMs Guild ReviewI have heard of solo adventures – adventures designed for only a single player and a DM, but never actually sat down and flipped through one. I don’t have a basis of comparison but “The Executioner’s Daughter,” isn’t a standard adventure, but more of an interactive story. It’s a fairly linear one-shot with some great writing that puts the PC in a more secondary support role to the true titular star.

The adventure takes place in Soldra, a city ruled by a monarchy and religious devotion to Bahamut, the god of good dragons. The story hinges on a classic mythology trope: the young woman being sacrificed by the village to stave off an ancient evil.

The adventure is extremely story-heavy, to the point that the author admits it’s more a work of interactive fiction that a standard role-playing module. Much of the content is designed to be read by the DM.

The writing is extremely evocative and does a great job setting the mood and details of the characters and events surrounding the Hunger Games-like tribute scenario (there’s even an “I volunteer as tribute” scene!) as well as the following journey and twist boss-battle ending.

The player character (recommended level 3) is able to make decisions after each story beat, not unlike a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, as well as several opportunities for skill checks to learn more about the world and the characters. I like that even a failure roll is given a few lines of descriptive text. In fact the PC can choose to completely shun the titular daughter, Domenica,  once she volunteers to be the sacrifice in place of the princess.

Doing so changes the rest of the story significantly, though the final battle and outcome is largely the same: Domenica shockingly transforms into a CR 1 Obsidian Dragon, serving as a final boss battle.

dms guild review

Turns out all the sacrifices actually transform the women into dragons themselves! I’m a bit confused as to why this valley of dragons hasn’t ever wrecked havoc on Soldra, however (if you didn’t escort Domenica, she definitely attacks the city).

“The Executioner’s Daughter” is short but elegant. It’s one of the more entertaining reads I’ve seen on the DMs Guild because it’s written almost exactly like a short story instead of a module. I was intrigued by the story and setting, thought it comes as a bit of a sacrifice that the PC is more of a willing participant than the central hero or star.

A solo adventure is already a very niche product, and creating such a story-heavy adventure creates an even narrower one. But if you’re looking for a fun story-telling solo one-shot with a bit of decision making and light combat, “The Executioner’s Daughter” fills that niche very nicely.

Pros: 

  • Well-written and a fun read – even if you never run the adventure!
  • Organized like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, turning to different sections depending on the player’s decisions.
  • Despite the linearity, the PC is given several good options and outcomes to help shape the story.

Cons:

  • Lacks an official magical stat block for the Executioner’s Sword, which is an otherwise cool magic item rewarded to PCs at the end.
  • No maps, although there’s not a lot of combat. You could feasibly complete the adventure without fighting at all.

The Verdict: Focusing almost exclusively on story, “The Executioner’s Daughter provides a short but satisfying solo adventure, and also doubles as a nice short story.

A review copy of “The Executioner’s Daughter” was provided by the publisher.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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