Kickstarter Preview – Amazing Encounters & Places, Vol. 1

Over 60 encounters in eight different settings, for D&D 5E.

This review has been sponsored by the publisher. Find more reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

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

Designed by: CZRPG (Christian Zeuch)

I have reviewed several of Christian Zeuch’s encounter books over the last year, including Encounters in Ravenloft and Encounters in Icewind Dale, and have been consistently impressed with the level of detail, color maps, and overall quality.

Amazing Encounters & Places, Vol. 1 is another such 5e adventure supplement. Unshackled by any predesigned campaigns, it’s aiming to provide dozens of original encounters and events across a variety of regional settings.

Find Amazing Encounters & Places, Vol. 1 on Kickstarter

What’s included:

  • 8 locations with varying regions, including forest, swamp, mountains, and floating islands.
  • Each location features its own story and linked encounters.
  • 56 encounters (7 per location)
  • 64 unique, full color maps (multiple variations bring the number to 300+)
  • 40+ monster statblocks, including over 20 new creatures.
  • 12+ new magic items.

One of the eight locations, The Sky Isles, is available in its entirety as a free download from the Kickstater page. It’s a generous sample; at nearly 50 pages it rivals many of the encounter books that Zeuch previously released.

The Sky Isles are a unique mountain range of floating islands, or earthmotes. They’re home to a group of secluded monks, forced to flee their original monastery after a devastating attack by a cat-like demon, a bakeneko.

As the demon burned down their lives, the monks trained with fire, dedicating themselves to the Way of the Phoenix. They ride winged leopards, hunt mountain goats, and generally leave peaceful, but disciplined lives.

The demon wouldn’t leave well enough alone, however. It manipulated the monks into believing that only by summoning a great Golden Phoenix could they defeat their hated rival once and for all.

That is an impressive amount of lore and history for an encounter book! DMs could (and probably should) run the individual encounters as a linked story, as the party explores the Sky Isles, reaches the village of Neverdark, and learns about the Phoenix Monks and their history.

skywalk

Neverdark, the monk village, is technically an encounter, but “encounter” is perhaps a misnomer. The village is detailed in over half a dozen pages, with several locations, NPCs, and events, including friendly spars with Phoenix Monks and a welcoming feast. I’m not sure if all the locations will include a friendly hub village, but it’s a great way to tie an area together.

Things could get dark with the elder trying to manipulate events so the heroes have to endure the Test of Truth, and avoid becoming sacrificial pawns in The Fiery Incantation.

Or the party could watch as the master monk willingly sacrifices themselves to summon the Golden Phoenix, and watch in horror as they learn of the demon’s ultimate plan: the corruption of the phoenix, transforming it into a demonic boss battle!

As with Zeuch’s previous encounter books, the organization and layout is sublime. Most encounters are two or three pages, and begin with a helpful overview and background that summarizes the action, and ties it into the possible ongoing storyline.

All encounters feature level scaling for every skill check, saving throw, and combat encounter, from level 1 – 20! This could mean changing the enemies that players encounter, or using different statblock versions of unique monsters, such as the final battle with the phoenix and bakeneko.

And there’s the maps. One of my favorite features of Zeuch’s encounter books are the high quality, full color maps tailored to each encounter. In the Sky Isles, maps include floating blocks, islands connected with ropes and bridges, and fiery temples. Not only that, but each map also features multiple weather and night variations, bringing the total map count to over 400!

Kickstarter pledge levels include just the PDF (about $20, converted from pounds to USD), to PDF + Hardcover (~$50), and PDF + digital maps (~$50). There’s even a pledge level that provides all 64 unique maps as physical prints, though it will run you about $250.

The Kickstarter campaign ends November 23rd. Delivery is scheduled for March and April of next year.

Pros:

  • Eight exotic locations, from the Restless Bog swamp to the Sky Isles mountains.
  • Every encounter scales from Tier 1 to 4, with multiple tables, statblocks, and DC levels.
  • Attractive layout and design, and excellent organization.
  • Dozens of full color, detailed battle maps, with hundreds of variation altogether.

Cons:

  • None!

The Verdict: Based on the Sky Isles preview, Amazing Encounters & Places includes more than just drop-in battles; it features compelling stories and events, and user-friendly world-building in a variety of interesting settings.

This review has been sponsored by the publisher Find more 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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