The Alphastream Game Design Blog
My love for miniatures and terrain is well documented. When it comes to terrain, none beats the beauty and utility of Dwarven Forge. And with Dwarven Forge we get free adventures for 5E. Let’s put these to use!
Dwarven Forge runs awesome Kickstarters. The last three times they crowdfunded major terrain sets, they have also unlocked a stretch goal to create adventures. I have been very fortunate to be on the team authoring those adventures. These rank amongst my favorite projects, because that amazing terrain sparks creativity. Every little detail of the terrain begs to have some secret behind it that will impact play!
There are three adventures available. It’s worth noting that Dungeon of Doom and Caverns Deep can be linked together, and each contains scaling information, allowing you to run the adventures at any of the stated levels.
Dungeon of Doom: The feel of a classic trap-filled dungeon, with a modern design approach. 15 rooms, each a meaty encounter guaranteed to thrill. This adventure also has a version supporting Pathfinder. Supports characters of levels 1-10.
Caverns Deep: An underground hag’s lair where her secrets are slowly revealed as the party races against time before they succumb to her deadly spores. 15 caverns, ranging from raging Underdark rivers, to fungal-filled chambers, to epic areas with floating earthmotes over a sea of vile sludge! Supports characters of levels 5-10.
Wildlands: Several sets of short connected encounters in the deadly Dreadhollow Forest. Run one set or all of them. Two sets of five encounters are available, with more to come. Death Druids of Dreadhollow is for 3rd level characters, while Tales of Woe is for 5th level characters.
You can get these adventures from the Dwarven Forge web site, by choosing Galleries and then Modules.
Each of the adventures showcases different adventure design aspects. This was a deliberate goal as we designed the adventures. We wanted the whole adventure to feel like a great story. But, we also knew that someone might purchase just one room worth of terrain, and that encounter should provide an awesome experience.
Dungeon of Doom is a deathtrap dungeon, but each individual room represents a modern take on creating a thrilling experience. Encounters in all three adventures test the players not just in terms of combat, but in terms of how the players will think through what is taking place.
Interested in more? I plan on reviewing some of the rooms at a later date. Let me know whether you prefer I review these on the blog or as a stream… or both?
Each of the above adventures is a complete experience. Dungeon of Doom and Caverns Deep can provide around ten to fifteen 3-4 hour sessions worth of play! Wildlands is potentially shorter. You can probably run through one of the sets of five encounters in two sessions.
The adventures offer a rich story experience. The Dwarven Forge team is a creative one, full of exciting ideas. Players will learn a lot about the world and NPCs behind the adventures (which can easily fit into any homebrew or published world), and the story is rewarding as players uncover secrets over time.
You can also take part or all of these adventures and add them to your existing campaign. Here are some ideas using the official D&D campaigns:
Next time I will provide the specific example of how well the Dungeon of Doom fits into Tomb of Annihilation!