DMs Guild Review – Weeping Walls

Explore a manor haunted by a vengeful ghost in this 4th level dungeon crawl.

A review copy of “Weeping Walls” 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: Leonardo Andrade

For most of my life I wasn’t big into the horror genre, but in recent years I’ve grown to admire its creative storytelling – even if I still can’t muster the courage to play a horror video game. But horror is an excellent genre to explore with D&D, and Weeping Walls effectively checks all the right horror boxes to recreate a modern ghost story in under 20 pages.

The adventure includes the following content warnings: domestic violence, suicide, and body horror.

Weeping Walls is designed for 4th level PCs, which feels a bit high for the relatively simple enemies inside the manor. Multiple adventure hooks are provided to motivate the party into exploring the old Uhdan estate, where a recent suicide has revealed that the last of the Uhdans finally succumbed to the curse that still lingers there.

Years ago a woman carrying a baby showed up at the manor, claiming to have the bastard child of the family patriarch, Ehrun. The family turned her away repeatedly, until the baby died, and the woman bribed herself into the manor only to kill herself and the body of her baby into the well in the basement, transforming herself into a spirit of vengeance. No, not Ghost Rider. Think Kayako from Ju-on/The Grudge.

Why on earth these people have a well in the basement, I have no idea, but it’s prime breeding ground for a grudge ghost to infect the entire manor as everyone turns aggressive, evil, and nasty towards each other – including an odd gag where the guards are apparently sexually aggressive toward the kitchen staff, and they in turn poison the guards in a grossly specific way.

The family all ends up killing each other or themselves, except for the son who manages to escape (see the recent suicide above). Years later, an adventuring party shows up only to be killed by the various denizens of the manor – including the Weeper herself.

The story and atmosphere is clearly modeled after Japanese ghost stories, like The Grudge and The Ring. I also recognized influences from Mama (a solid modern ghost story) and the now cult-classic video game demo PT.

weeping walls 2nd floor

When the players arrive at the manor, they find bodies everywhere as ghostly shadow scenes play out the rage-filled murders. Shadowy-cutscenes are an effective story-telling tool for horror in D&D, and much more impactful than finding diaries lying around.

While the PCs explore the manor they should be constantly harassed by the Weeper, which uses a unique CR 6 statblock that’s similar to a Ghost or Banshee, with Horrifying Visage, Incorporeal Movement, innate spellcasting, and the very suitably creepy Spider Climb as she walks on walls and ceilings with unnaturally bent limbs. The adventure provides several helpful suggestions for using her to mess with the players, from simply moving furniture around and weeping, to jump-scaring them with Horrifying Visage or Paralyzing with Hold Person.

When the party stumbles on a room with bodies and a shadow-scene, they usually have to fight Grudge Specters as the lingering spirits of the family remain angry and cursed. There’s a missed opportunity to represent different kinds of ghosts, however, especially as the family all died in different ways, from stabbing to broken necks. The Grudge Specters are boring CR 1 ghosts, and also represent the ghosts of the poor adventuring party. This is supposed be a level 4 adventure – don’t be afraid to dive a little deeper into more interesting foes!

The scene with the adventuring party’s demise happens entirely within a single room on the second floor, and it’s an awesome, creepy moment. But the party never really learns how they’re supposed to break the curse. The answer is to remove all the bodies from the area – all four adventurers, the Weeper and her baby, and the three family members – and give them a proper burial.

The only social encounter is through a very memorable and awesomely gross flesh-monster. Ibrahim, the family priest (family priest??), was transformed into a mass of flesh that encompasses his entire room. He uses the statblock of a modified Nothic that can look into the party’s memories in his quest to trade for their most pleasant memories.

The party could possibly learn what’s going on with the manor if they’re willing to bargain, though I imagine most would just hurl fireballs into that fleshy, bloody room (ineffectively, as the flesh-room regenerates just as quickly). It’s a neat idea for a social NPC, but shouldn’t be a required font of information.

Although the adventure features only a single piece of art, it does include full color, detailed battle maps designed in Dungeondraft. Player-friendly maps are included in a separate zip file, covering the guardhouse, basement, and two floors of the manor. The adventure also includes a custom madness table and new magic items (pilfered from the previous adventurers), packing a lot of welcome content into a relatively short adventure (or long dungeon crawl).

Weeping Walls isn’t my favorite horror module, but it’s definitely up there – especially if you love evil ghost stories and haunted houses.

Pros:

  • Multiple adventure hooks to draw the party to the manor.
  • The immortal, fleshy Nothic-room is an excellent and creepy NPC.
  • Tips for utilizing the Weeper to harass and scare the PCs throughout the manor.
  • Custom Madness table, Magic items, and monsters.
  • Full color, detailed battle maps.

Cons:

  • Lacks a prologue and narrative explanation for what the PCs need to do to stop the curse.
  • Not enough monster variety (all the ghosts use the same Grudge Spectre statblock).
  • Only a single piece of art (though it’s quite good).

The Verdict: Effectively inspired by Japanese Horror and modern ghost stories, Weeping Walls drops players into a creepy manor haunted by a vengeful ghost.

A review copy of “Weeping Walls” 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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