DMs Guild Review – Grimm Encounters

A dozen brief and twisted encounters drawn from classic fairy tale stories, such as Snow White and the Three Little Pigs.

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

Support my work via Patreon.

Designed by: JVC Parry & Jeff C. Stevens (+ Ken Carcas, Jean Lorber, Patrick E. Pullen, Phil Beckwith, Tony Petrecca)

dms guild reviewWhen I reviewed “Grimm Encounters II” I wondered where the more obvious fairy tale stories were. Turns out they were here in the first installment!

Within “Grimm Encounters” you’ll find a dozen fairy tale-inspired encounters (CR 1-7), including the much more recognizable tales of Hansel and Gretel, the Three Little Pigs, and the Pied Piper. The encounters are much shorter and simpler than the sequel, but still successfully apply classic grimdark fairly tale characters and themes to Dungeons & Dragons. Continue reading “DMs Guild Review – Grimm Encounters”

Tomb of Annihilation Session 11 Recap

Weretigers, Flying Monkeys, and Mad Mist, oh my! The party continues their travels up river, finally arriving in Camp Righteous.

Streamed, recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures. Join us live on Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern!

Support my channel via Patreon!

Previously on Tomb of Annihilation

Starring:
Mannix, level 3 Human Inquisitive Rogue
Khaless, level 3 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 3 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 3 Tortle Battle Master Fighter
Therin, level 3 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon

Travel along the River Soshenstar toward Camp Righteous continued. Where last week was mostly a series of standard combat encounters, this time I unleashed several encounters that weren’t directly hostile.

Well, except for the weretiger. Continue reading “Tomb of Annihilation Session 11 Recap”

Roll20 Review – Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage

Undermountain features an absolutely gigantic mega-dungeon and some of the best dungeon designs I’ve ever seen.

A press review copy of the module was provided. Read more Roll20 Reviews and watch the video reviews on my YouTube channel.

Support my video work via Patreon.

It wouldn’t be a proper Dungeons & Dragons adventure without at least one dungeon crawl. Different published adventures have leaned more heavily into the dungeon theme than others, but Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage definitely wins the Most Dungeon award I just made up.

Welcome to Undermountain, the 23-level mega-dungeon!

MAJOR SPOILERS – DM’s only!

Continue reading “Roll20 Review – Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage”

DMs Guild Review – The Malady Codex

A supplemental guide to diseases for D&D that’s nothing to sneeze at.

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

Support my work via Patreon.

Designed by: Jason Bakos & Themis Paraskevas

dms guild reviewDisease and pestilence are as much a part of D&D as anything else, yet few would dare create an entire supplemental guide exploring new and virulent maladies. “The Malady Codex” features nearly a dozen diseases designed by medical students based on many real-world diseases, effectively applied to a fantasy universe.

The diseases are organized by their origins as Magical, Divine, or Natural. Each disease is divided up into an easy-to-read series of notes, including the disease’s Cause, Symptoms, and Cures.

Each disease is also given a potential plot hook for how to include it in a campaign. Some of these are well thought out, with original NPCs involved in the disease’s origins, such as the dragon Oxitorus the Choleric or the mold-spreading beholder Biathocax. Others are disappointingly vague and generic.

I appreciated that almost all the diseases are based on real-world, well-known diseases, whether historical or modern, such as the Bubonic Plauge, Mad Cow Disease, Cholera, Leprosy, and even a whole category of interracial STDs. The real world links establish an easy touchstone for understanding these afflictions and how they could work within a D&D universe.

dms guild review

Not all diseases are a pandemic. Many are actually non-lethal – but still a literal pain. The variety presented here helps provide an assortment of options depending upon how severe you want the disease to be – and whether or not that’s a focus of your storyline or merely a by-product.

Necrophorum, for example, could be an easy excuse for a low-level party to help out a farmer, or a farming village dealing with diseased animals. The Mindflayer Network and Demonic Virulence would be effective in campaigns that feature Mindflayers and Demons respectively (or both –  hello Out of the Abyss!), while the Mad Mage Virus could add an interesting twist to an encounter with enemy spellcasters.

The appendices at the end offer a nice little bonus of disease-themed NPCs as well as a few statblocks and magical items. I wish this were a bigger section. The parasitic Medtroid-like Malady is very cool and thematic and I would loved to see more creatures, either disease-ridden or literal walking maladies themselves.

Pros:

  • 11 D&D-friendly diseases, organized by Origin, Symptoms, Cure, and potential Plot Hooks.
  • Many of the diseases are based on real-world counterparts, such as Tetanus, Cholera, and Leprosy.
  • Disease-healing abilities and spells are listed at the beginning.
  • An appendix with several NPCs, statblocks and magical items with a disease theme.

Cons:

  • Mad Mage Virus is a neat idea but a  bit overly complicated.
  • Some of the plot hooks are just a few generic notes rather than specific stories.

The Verdict: With nearly a dozen diseases inspired from real-world maladies, “The Malady Codex” provides a variety of interesting and terrible afflictions to add to your campaign.

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

Support my work via Patreon.

Tomb of Annihilation Session 10 Recap

We travel up the River Soshenstar toward Camp Righteous, dealing with crocodiles, waterfalls, and dinosaurs.

Streamed, recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures. Join us live on Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern!

Support my channel via Patreon!

Previously on Tomb of Annihilation

Starring:
Mannix, level 3 Human Inquisitive Rogue
Khaless, level 3 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 3 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 3 Tortle Battle Master Fighter
Therin, level 3 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon

Chult is a dangerous place, which in D&D terms means a healthy dose of random encounters while traveling in the jungle. Traveling via canoes down a river allows for faster travel, and I house ruled that the party can’t get lost on the river.

But the rivers aren’t entirely safe either, as the party has to deal with crocodiles, waterfalls, and dinosaurs.
Continue reading “Tomb of Annihilation Session 10 Recap”