DMs Guild Review – The Princess Project

An anthology of mini-adventures inspired by popular princess stories.

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A review copy of “The Princess Project” 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: Ashton DuncanCarlos CiscoCatherine EvansSharene GilchristNoah GrandEmily HarmonPeter HarrisBrittney HayJessica MarcrumHarry Whitelaw

The Princess Project is an anthology of nine mini-adventures based around classic and familiar princess tales and myths, including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Frozen, and The Odyssey, along with thematic new spells and magic items.

Fairy Tales are an ample resource for designing D&D adventures, and Fairy Tales with a Twist has become a whole genre of its own. Only a few of the adventures in The Princess Project resemble the classic Disney princess films I grew up with, with most taking advantage of the wacky and weird that D&D can bring.

These stories are not full tales but mini-adventures, each running fewer than 10 pages, including the fantastic cover art for each story. We’re given a wide range of levels and tiers of place, from Tier 1 all the way up to an infernal wedding for level 20 PCs. 

The Tier 1 adventures are the weakest. “Fowl Suitors” and “Tying the Knot” focus almost entirely on socializing and role-playing. Fowl Suitors doesn’t really do enough with the “princess transformed into a swan” story – at least make her an owlbear or something! While “Tying the Knot” is little more than running around to merchants in town performing odd jobs via skill checks, like moving boxes or finding missing kittens.

The other adventures are far more interesting, ranging from decent to fantastic. One of my favorites is “The Color of Bravery,” which involves helping a princess flumph defend her kingdom from invading illithids, including convincing all the different flumph councilors, one of whom is controlled by an intellect devourer, and another is a deva in disguise! The path to the flumph city is full of scripted encounters that can affect the council vote, creating a wonderful balance of exploration, socializing, and combat.

Other memorable adventures include “Heir to Chaos,” an obvious but still-fun riff on Frozen. The PCs guide a young wild mage through a dungeon trial, building her confidence to control her powers – or failing and causing her to seal her powers and abandon her throne.

“The Silver Princess” is partially based on Shrek (I think), only instead of the princess being a secret troll, she’s actually the dragon. The smart design comes from the competing heroes that set out to rescue her, and who run afoul of the heroes in interesting ways.

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Some of the adventures feature good ideas but are noticeably constrained by their word count, biting off a bit more than they can chew. “The Regent of Ithaca” looks to be a fun twist on The Odyssey, as the PCs are hired by Penelope to slow down Odysseus (she’s doing just fun ruling Ithaca thank you very much), but there’s not a whole lot there to do. “Love’s Bind” promises an intriguing set-up with level 20 PCs trying to stop a wedding in hell, but it’s wrapped up far too quickly and easily.

I do appreciate that many of the climaxes in these adventures involve big social role-playing scenes, as opposed to the typical boss fights found in many D&D adventures. On the flip side, it’s challenging to create a compelling social finale in the span of a few pages.

The mini-adventures’ average quality is very high, and the organization and editing is top-notch. Despite the short length, each adventure is divided into chapters or acts, with adventure backgrounds and overview. Most include a detailed list of characters with traits, bonds, flaws, etc – very helpful when dealing with relatively large casts.

The anthology also includes a detailed appendix with several pages of new magic items, spells, trinkets, and wild magic table, directly inspired from princess stories. Here lie the more obvious Disney inspirations with spells like Ice Castle, Legendary Curse, Midnight Ride, and Friends on the Other Side, while magic items include the Scrying Mirror, Spindle Dagger, and Diadem of Snow.

The one element egregiously missing from the adventures are maps. Some, like “Tying the Knot,” don’t require any maps, but many of them could benefit greatly, especially “Heir to Chaos,” which seemingly refers to a map that doesn’t exist.

Pros:

  • Each mini-adventure is well-organized, with background, overview, adventure hooks, and multiple chapters.
  • Large variety of challenges and levels, from Tier 1 to Tier 4!
  • Most adventures have detailed character notes, with traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws.
  • “The Silver Princess,” “Heir to Chaos,” and “The Color of Bravery” are standout adventures that offer fun twists on classic tales.
  • Lengthy appendix with new magic items, spells, and a d100 table of trinkets inspired from princess tales.
  • Incredible artwork.

Cons:

  • Some adventures are extremely linear and/or adhere too strictly to their source material.
  • No maps.

The Verdict: Featuring a welcome variety of stories and playstyles, The Princess Project proves that there is still plenty of value to be mined from classic tales and myths.

A review copy of “The Princess Project” 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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