DMs Guild Review – Warriors of Sehanine

A black dragon has driven out a clan of werewolf wood elves in this mini-adventure for levels 3-5.

dms guild

A review copy of “Warriors of Sehanine” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Florian Emmerich (Poison Potion Press), JVC Parry, Ashley Warren

While we get plenty of dungeons in D&D, there’s not nearly as many dragons. A PC can easily go their entire adventuring career without even seeing a dragon. In Warriors of Sehanine, a mini-adventure for levels 3-5, the players are tasked with liberating a recently attacked wood elf stronghold from a black dragon. Did I mention the wood elves are all werewolves?

The adventure begins with a dramatic plot hook. While the players are in Baldur’s Gate, or traveling through the woods (or anywhere you want to place the adventure), they encounter a trio of badly injured wood elves. Having recently fought off a group of invading orcs, an attacking black dragon caught them off guard when it swooped in and blasted through their stronghold, killing most of their people. Damn, life in the woods is tough!

The elves either escaped or died, save for a pair of children. The leader of the elves, who call themselves the Warriors of Sehanine, pleads with the party to return to their home, find her children, and bring them back.

I love that opening, and coupled with the knowledge that the dragon is injured from the fighting instills a big sense of urgency to the players. Unfortunately that pacing is completely interrupted when we enter the Wood of Sharp Teeth in chapter 2, finding a full-on hex crawl, complete with hex-grid map of the woods.

dms guild review

My feelings on hex crawls are a bit complicated, especially coming from our Tomb of Annihilation campaign.. The travel rules presented here are clearly drawn from ToA, including the possibility of getting lost, and encounters are rolled every day with an 80% chance for an encounter, almost all of which involve combat with various wildlife.

Random battles can be used to great effect in certain areas, but during travel they become mostly meaningless if our heroes are long resting constantly (I house rule’d Short Rests Only in ToA), and vastly slow the game down, which is especially bad when the heroes are on a time crunch!

I would prefer to simply run the few interesting scripted events that are included here, such as convincing the remaining orcs not to throw in the with dragon, with the option to include one or two random battles if we need a bit more combat. Hex crawls aren’t inherently bad, but I wouldn’t run one here.

Once our heroes arrive in Ravenglade Keep, they’ll find a mostly empty dungeon, unless the orcs and kobolds from the random encounters arrived. A battle between dragons and werewolves would’ve been amazing, but by the time our party gets there, there’s nothing but a dragon and its weird will-o’-wisp companion, which the PCs never really have an opportunity to learn about.

Even the kids they’re supposed to rescue are found almost straight away in a chapel outside the keep, and the dragon fight is fairly straightforward, with a slightly reduced Young Black Dragon trying to grapple and drop PCs off the pinnacle.

The map is also a bit confusing in its design, with several floating rooms  whose connections are only understand from reading different sections of the text. However, it is supremely awesome that we get full color, fully detailed battlemaps, including DM and player versions both gridded and non-gridded.

dms guild review

The interesting story beats come from the optional encounters and side objectives. One of the surviving elves will shadow (or simply accompany) the players back to the keep. But he’s trying to keep his experiments on the kids’ recently slain father a secret, as he’s been transformed into an insane hybrid wolf monster. Sorry kids!

There’s also a neat encounter with a trio of green hags in the woods, which is oddly relegated as an optional variant in the appendix section. Don’t hide some of your best content in the appendix!

Hags are almost always excellent D&D encounters as they provide delicious social opportunities along with obvious combat skills, and it’s no different here. The variant is that one of the werewolf kids has been captured by the hags, and the modular design of the woods allows the DM to run it before or after the Glade dungeon, or both.

The artwork and maps are very well done, and I love the idea of rescuing werewolf kids from a recent dragon attack, but the action gets bogged down by the hex crawl, and the final dungeon design comes off as a bit more straightforward and boring than I would have liked.

Pros:

  • Excellent artwork, layout, and presentation.
  • Multiple full-color battlemaps with DM and player versions as well as grid and non-gridded.
  • The Witches Three Appendix richly expands upon the green hag encounter in the woods.

Cons:

  • The bulk of the second chapter is a mini-hex crawl of random encounters.
  • Ravenglade Keep is a bit empty, and parts of it are confusingly laid out.

The Verdict: The dragon-hunting, werewolf-kid rescuing mini-adventure starts off promising, but gets bogged down with a hex crawl in the woods.

A review copy of “Warriors of Sehanine” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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