Use These Free Dwarven Forge Adventures in Your Next campaign
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!
Free Adventures? Where?
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.
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?
A Complete Experience
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.
Extend Your Home Campaign or Published Adventure
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:
Lost Mine of Phandelver / Dragons of Icespire Peak
Caverns Deep has many encounters that can extend any of the cave complexes found in the adventure. You can also run this as a sequel, where the hag threatens Phandelver.
A set of Wildlands encounters works well as a mission from a faction representative of the mayor.
Legends of the Dungeon of Doom can be excellent for a party desiring a more challenging sequel.
Rise of Tiamat / Hoard of the Dragon Queen / Tyranny of Dragons
The Dungeon of Doom works well as a place where one of the dragon masks is hidden. Claim it, but try not to wake the sleeping demigoddess Sysuul!
Wildlands encounters can be used as random encounters. One or more parts of a set can be tied to a Cult of the Dragon ritual involving the dragon bones and sites of power detailed in the Dwarven Forge adventures.
Princes of the Apocalypse
Selected rooms from the Dungeon of Doom can be added to the different prince lairs. The Acid Bath, Gorgon Tiers, Lava Bridge, and Khri Colony work especially well for the earth and fire areas. Eldritch Pools works great for the water area, while The Gauntlet and Arcane Alcove can tie into air themes. Deadly Corners ties in all four elements and can make for a fun outpost earlier in the adventure.
Several Caverns Deep encounters can be dropped directly into the adventure. The entirety could be a great sequel, with the hag threatening Red Larch and even Waterdeep.
You can tie the Wildlands encounter sets to different princes. For example, the villain in Tales of Woe could be manipulating the ancient elven sites to harness the power of earth, corrupting each site.
Out of the Abyss
Both Caverns and Doom can be added to the Underdark as a sidetrek, their magic explained as being influenced by the coming demon lords.
Curse of Strahd / Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft
Either Dungeon or Caverns can be an excellent centerpiece for a Domain of Dread. Dungeon could be placed under the Amber Temple or another location, or otherwise be hidden in the mountains near Mount Ghakis.
Wildlands encounters can easily be dropped into Barovia or another Domain.
Storm King’s Thunder
Several of the larger encounters can support giant-sized foes, such as the Lava Bridge encounter in Dungeon of Doom. Wildlands encounters are often open, allowing you to add giant threats, or use them as-is for wandering encounters as they travel between areas.
The Dwarven Forge adventures also work well in place of some of the more mundane missions and travel experiences in Chapter 3, providing greater challenge and story. The foes can be known to possess knowledge of the giants, and victory can result in clues leading to Storm King’s Chapter 4 and the Eye of the All-Father.
Tomb of Annihilation
Describing the forests and swamps as a jungle can lead to Wildlands working well as random encounters. The mountain encounters work well for mountainous sections of Chult.
Caverns Deep works well as a new threat to the east of Port Nyanzaru.
The Dungeon of Doom is a fantastic way to extend the Fane of the Night Serpent in Omu. Stay tuned for a follow-up article where I detail how I did this in my home campaign!
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist / Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Parts or all of Dungeon will fit right into Undermountain.
Caverns can work well as a sequel, with the hag threatening Waterdeep. Excursions from the city can also lead to Wildlands, helping to shake up your city campaign with a few forest, swamp, or mountain excursions.
Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus
Dungeon could easily be a challenge in Avernus, containing important lore or an artifact they must reclaim. The more powerful magic items there, including the sword and shield of Andronicus, could fit this role.
Mad Maggie or another devil might teleport the heroes to the Caverns as punishment, or to test them. The caverns could also hold an important treasure they must reclaim. Perhaps the soul in the gem is one they need to unlock forgotten memories and secrets.
Acquisitions Incorporated: The Orrery of the Wanderer
Dungeon can be placed as a funhouse in Lottie’s Palace.
Portions of any of the Dwarven Forge adventures could be used as Dran Enterprises portal sites, or locations visited in Episode 6 when seeking the Ritual Site.
Ghosts of Saltmarsh
Wildlands and Caverns (especially the areas related to the pirates) can extend the Saltmarsh series.
A book can lead to any of the adventures. You could even have a series of books, with each chapter leading to portions of the adventures, and the heroes must find each of the books to complete the adventures.
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden
The Dungeon of Doom or Caverns could hold the key allowing Auril’s ritual. It could be either under her palace or found at the end of the adventure.
The Wild Beyond the Witchlight
Caverns Deep and Wildlands could easily be added in part or in whole to Pregmere. The forest/swamp/mountains encounters from Wildlands work well with Hither/Thither/Yon.
A field trip into the Wildlands can work well.
The hag in Caverns could be an ex-student or professor, threatening a fungal plague upon the school!
Dungeon can be a challenge that was once devised for students but proved too deadly. When the PCs find out about it, can they truly turn down exploring it? Especially if Sysuul is about to emerge anyway and destroy campus?
Next Time – DoD in ToA!
Next time I will provide the specific example of how well the Dungeon of Doom fits into Tomb of Annihilation!
Dwarven Forge products are top-notch. I backed one of the Kickstarters some time ago, and it was worth every penny. Their terrain is durable and detailed, and I find that the set pieces help players envision the dungeon in a way a regular battleboard does not.
Thanks for the link to the adventures!
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