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Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/18/2020 15:49:30

The Blizzard of Axe and Sword from Dark Peaks (@TalesPeaks)

CW: Slavery – Svirfneblin by Duregar (although this entire area can be avoided), Animal Carcasses, Bones, Tusks, Butchery, Manhandled/ Distressed Animals (Mammoth & Yeti), Alcohol (Drunken Frost Giant)

Presented beautifully and ridiculously well thought out, this is a seriously super saga of epic proportions is perfect as its own adventure, as part of Storm King’s Thunder or as an appetiser and/ or accompaniment to the upcoming Icewind Dale action! From the quaint, tranquil village of Lamastop beset by a Frost Giant raiding party, The Blizzard of Axe and Sword blazes a trail through the land of the ice and snow, across beautiful bleak snowy mesas or through the decidedly unabandoned mine that has become a monument to some Duregar’s control and cruelty. Will you spark a Svirfneblin revolution? Will you manage to find a silent path of silver and shadows to Jarl Torrfin the Bleak or take on war mammoths head on and battle Bugbear mercenaries, take the fight to the red snow, battle atop boats and make ill-advised, but inevitable ramming action on sleds? Can you traverse the frozen lake making friends and enemies in the most unlikely of places? Do you have the will to ascend Drangasjoll’s icy arse-end, refusing to let everything the great glacier and the Axe and Sword Clan can throw at to you? And can you bring vengeance to the Stone Throne of the Jarl raider?


The introduction begins so warm and welcoming, luring us into this brilliant, biting cold and frostbitten tale in which the “cold of the environment will fight you, creating challenges to be overcome through guile and creativity rather than violence...this adventure is not for the faint-hearted!” Too true and the thought and creativity on display throughout, particularly with the brilliant additional situational rules. These will definitely inspire, delight and will perhaps have players fondly and/ or frustratingly reminiscing about some classic video games. Great advice on working this adventure into your own game or existing campaigns with a veritable smorgasbord of helpful hooks to peg you party on. A wealth of information on the particular level of environmental hazards, predominantly drawn from Mathers, The Whitefaire Adventurer’s Guide, as well as background and advice on running Frost Giants. (though everything you need to run the environmental and other elements are included in this adventure. They are just expanded upon in the WAG) []

Part 1: The Attack upon Lamastop

The small frontier town where the heroes begin this adventure, is brought to vivid life in its description...just in time for Frost Giants to come along and smash it up in a dynamic sequence that really shows the disparity between the towns guards, even with the PCs, and the mighty Frost Giant raiding party. This includes variable rules for conditions, damage control and rebuilding from with the consequences of the giants’ raid. This quaint, frail town so ruthlessly raised by the Frost Giants is packed with flavour and soul, which serves to set the heroes off on a mission of vengeance, but also to ensure Lamastop’s safety by returning their much-needed supplies to get them through the winter. Freeing the surrounding areas from the oppressive violence of Jarl Torrfin the Bleak’s Axe and Sword Clan...and freeing the Jarl from his hoard are both bonuses.
There is even has a hidden quest surrounding a ghost and a shattered blade, which gave me glorious Elder Scrolls vibes, with a very cool, stylish magic sword!

Part 2: Utnar’s Saddle

The party trek through the historic, snowing mountains to track down the Frost Giants, battling the elements and encountering a variety foes and situations with a great random encounter table. Plus, the chance to see a baby mammoth! Just don’t upset the family! This travelling section contains a choice whether to go through the abandoned mine for a “more traditional dungeon crawl” (covered in parts 4 and 5 CW: Slavery) or head over the mountain and face the battles in their path. Throughout this area there are a number of richly evocative elements and locations, which incorporate the various corresponding or clashing elemental aspects of magic. There are many fun, frigid and frightening places to go and people to see, including a frozen crystal forest watched over by a Frost Giant and their pet worgs, a cave that’s home to a wyvern and their eggs, a bridge complete with ice trolls, the abandoned mine, a dangerous mesa complete with a hungry peryton family, a trapped tower filled with bugbear mercenaries and their ogre muscle working for and able to call mammoth-riding giants should the party put a foot wrong or fail to pay well enough, a perilous peryton-pestered path across the frigid, if not rigid ice bridge over a chasm, and a hefty magical hammer which brings the terrible thunder and lightning of Talos on a crit...if it can be wrested from the from the mighty mounted mammoth pachyderm patrols.

Part 3: Sarenchill Lake

The glittering glacial ice field is current home the Axe and Sword Clan, haunted ruins, Frost Giants wrestling a large Jurassic fishy-lizards and ice mephits, lots and lots of ice mephits! This section comes with all manner of rules for everything from determining the thickness of ice (careful with the pyrotechnics!), control and combat involving animal sleds, even ramming rules! Although, “Ramming with a sled is not a remotely advisable move...However, it has been known” so somebody’s bound to try it. The haunted ruins are most definitely haunted by poor, sad, chilly ghosties who just want to help, but surprise, sneaky Ice Hag coven and their pet dragon wyrmling, Ronald! A dangerous prospect, but vanquishing the hags is worth it for the look on the Boo Crew’s* little translucent faces and freedom...and the extremely helpful magic items, including a new fantastic, flavourful single charge stones with the best and most ridiculous spells contained within.

*My name for the ghosties, not the creator’s.

There are wonderful images and concepts like discovering a merfolk potential ally, Pelagia, in a derelict wharf’s indoor fishing room with side quest to clear out a frozen shipwreck Sahuagin are using as a base of operations in return for aid in the battle to come. The ship itself, the Bien Dara, plays out like a short horror moment with the smell of dead fish and the partially frozen hanging bodies, before the two-part fight begins (an initial encounter which falls back to or is taken out before the boss encounter). I appreciate this is just a side trek in an already huge and immensely ambitious adventure path, but the little horror flavour was great and I could have done with a bigger boat and a little more chance for tension and terror. But to be honest, at this point I’m just loving all these elements at the banquet and getting greedy. This chapter draws to a close with another clash with Frost Giants, this time led by one in a positively bling corselet of gold. If the Sahuagin have been taken out Pelagia and her spears await a thinning of the ice to join the fray. Now the glacial mountains must be traversed!

Part 4: The Ironhunter Mine

CW: Slavery – Svirfneblin by Duregar

Before we go up and onward, we’ve seen the path across the ice, but this chapter takes us back to the end of Part 1, following the “more traditional dungeon crawl” through the Ironhunter Mine in two parts. My 90° to the left self can’t help buy point out the mine’s history involved the vicious owner being overthrown by a socialist uprising (yay!), which was going lovely until they accidentally dug into the Underdark...after which it was abandoned with false tales of the veins running dry and ghost stories of “grey dwarves” keeping everyone away. So, in turn the Ironhunter Mine became a new Duregar stronghold when they moved in. The Duregar enslavement of the Svirfneblin portrayed in this part doesn’t sit particularly well with my lefty SJW self, which I’ll discuss later. But at the same time, I do love an uprising and revolution, especially one led by such a wonderful young woman as Lenii. My ambivalence for the awesome ability to call in her epic squad of Deep Battle Gnomes, with the serious questions raised over their agency, and the revolution only being a means to the party’s ends of getting through the mine and Duregar. The Duregar have truly made this their domain, and rules are provided with alarms using rounds of speech to assign alert or unalerted statuses for each room as appropriate, as well as locking doors, patrols, and a special squad of Duregar Stone Guard to arrive in a set amount of in game time. This comprehensive system will really put the heroes up against it and they’ll need to get their Solid Snake or Sam Fischer on as they work their way through this extremely unabandoned mine. They may even face the dreaded Duregar siege machine, the Fire Cart, which can spit flames in a 6’ x 60’ line comparable to a long Fireball! I thoroughly recommend having a playlist of Metal Gear Solid Caution music to play once the alarms are set off!

Part 5: The Grey Dwarf Hold

This hold, originally built by lost Mountain Dwarves, the hole below to the Underdark and the access above ground sits in a vast underground lake, and comes with a whole rich history of the outpost and the defence, incursions and collaborations in its storied history. Currently, it is held by Duregar in cahoots with the Axe and Sword Frost Giant Clan. Owing no allegiance to anyone, Kuo-Toa also roam around the subterranean waterway, in ambush parties adding to the dangers of Duregar, Frost Giants and tower-mounted ballista. Despite these dangers, the water must be travelled, the hold stormed, and the Svirfneblin and the party parting ways, as the former return to their homes in the Underdark and the latter rise to take on the Great Glacier. This should be easy, right? This section contains rules for various boats, their relevant speeds for the brawn of those doing the arm work, as well as the inevitable rules for boaty fighting. Sadly, these rules omit the ‘this is dumb, but players are gonna do it’ clause and rules for boat ramming, though I’m sure the sled rules could be worked out quite easily. Row me closer so I can hit them with my oar! There’s also a random encounters table of various underground fauna to come ruin a rest in this dangerous place, as well as possibly my absolute favourite thing about this amazing adventure, a coven of Grell, residing in Grell’s Dell, led by Olr-nug-ga’ga, who parlay and can become allies! Beaky brain buddies! Lay siege to the holdfast, take on legions of Duregar and their allies to finally help Lenii and her people get home, and vengeance all that closer...albeit with a little climb coming up...

Part 6: The Climb of Drangasjoll

This is one colossal mass of rocky ice, standing as tall as the mountains and stretching off in all dimensions in impressive and terrifying ways. There are two options here: the long and treacherous trek round the proverbial houses, emulating the Fellowship mooching their way across the Caradhras, or the sketchy scariness of channelling your inner-Wildling and simply scaling the vertical glacial Cliff face. The way up requires specific equipment (which is a good idea to impress on the players and have provision for in Lamastop), and provides rules for ice climbing from the Whitefaire Adventurer’s Guide, which consists of tethered pair climbing with crampons and ice-axe, for the ultimate Game of Thrones experience. This can become all the more realised as one character slipping badly enough could send them both off a cliff... The 280’ ascent is undertaken in blinding snow and high winds, and broken down into three separate ledges with varying routes (akin to skiing or snowboarding runs, just downty-up instead of top to bottom) with their own dangers and (very relative) safety. If the climbing to the top of a ridiculously tall glacier wasn’t enough, there are various monsters whose homes the PCs swing by, which leads to one handed fighting with will-o’-wisps, getting jumped by the ubiquitous ice mephit, swarmed by a nest of cockatrices and a young Remorhaz burrowing its way to at them. Imagine ice climbing and then one of those large toothy-spiky-leggy fellows comes bursting out the ice at you?! This is before the added Peril of loose ice, nobbly icicles and yellow snow! All this comes together to create a seriously dynamic sequence of climbs that O’Donnell, Stallone and even Cruise would find this Vertical Limit Cliffhanger a Mission Impossible! The ‘one simply walks to Drangasjoll’ route is still a tricky, treacherous meandering path up the mountainous glacier. The party will face slippery slopes, giants throwing the evil kind of snowballs, rolling mean boulders, and screaming squalls. They must fight their way through, a pair of teenage Frost Giants impressed the party made it so far who the PCs can actually have an interaction and roleplay with that doesn’t necessarily end in violence long as someone speaks Giant (along with the climbing gear this would be good to give the players a heads up when choosing languages) and they can be bargained with, before finally the facing the Swiss cheese Crevice of the Remorhaz, whose unstable terrain and big drops are as dangerous as the eponymous toothy-spiky-leggy fellows. Whichever way they traverse through or over the mines, straight up or lugubriously round the Great glacier they come, the heroes finally make it to Part 7: The Lair of Torrfin the Bleak! But before we get into that there is a part of me that never wants anything to go to waste (although, nothing is ever wasted in TTRPGs because it can be used again somewhere else), which really wants to run all of this. You could easily have the mine either before, in between or after the first parts and combine the ascents in any order to really make your players feel every inch of those 280’. On the other hand, each separate area has enough flavour and goings on to stand on their own and can be used in a pinch or to use as a base for building on. Don’t end up using the mine? Well that’s a whole location, factions and storyline for another time!

Part 7: The Lair of Torrfin the Bleak

CW: Animal Carcasses, Bones, Tusks, Meat, Butcher, Slaughter PIT, Offal, Distressed/ Manhandled Animals. (Mammoth & Yeti), Alcohol (Drunken Frost Giant}

Finally, we’ve all made it to all the way to Jarl, and his monolithic, rickety ice-manner-come-giant-igloo of a hall! This raid leader has nothing but contempt for those weaker than he and his cohort. Unfortunately, this bitter warrior-king is as cold, hard and unyielding as the great glacier itself. It is unlikely that he could be sweet talked or intimidated and this brutal battle against the elements, Drangasjoll, those who plundered Lamastop and their minions was always likely to end with red snow. But first the party must reach the Jarl’s hold. A random table of some fearsome foes, unique opportunities and the possibility of a crevice opening, as if Drangasjoll wants swallow these. trespassers, before they even step into the jarldom proper. When they do, they are presented with the Bone Yard. Carcasses, bones and ivory litter the floor and have been built into ramshackle fences Getting into the hall is a predicament all of its own that’s bound to make the party feel small, but treasures and the very supplies Lamastop desperately need to survive the winter lay on the other side of the Giant) over-sized bizarre door... So too is the mighty Jarl, his right hand frosty folx, pet Manticore, and his impressive and bizarre hoard of valuables, mead and masonry (despite the floor being in decidedly poor condition), described so dastardly. The throne room is full of raucous laughter, the prowling of Tscira, the Manticore, a ‘water feature’, which consists of a perilously cracking chasm to a mighty drop and a miasma of mephit mayhem just waiting to be unleashed of the ice breaks Walken screams in The Dead Zone. This brings us to the climax, Jarl Torrfin the Bleak, his two lieutenants and his pet Manticore ready to go at it for all the marbles. The warlord is no ordinary Frost Giant, weighing in at CR10 with an array of legendary actions and a magical axe, Freezing Bite, as well as his allies, the dangers of the chasm and the maddening must of mercurial mephits, this will be one hell of a showdown! I think it’s important TO mention I genuinely thought Freezing Bite was actually a bite attack the Jarl had... Victory grants a varied trove of treasures, including an awesome and alarmingly creepy Flail of Remembrance, which comes with the curse of an imp following the bearer, whispering the final thoughts of all who have been slain by this horrifyingly cool item! Most importantly the supplies Lamastop so desperately need to survive the coming wintertide, returning as heroes!
The full statblocks with backstory, traits and gorgeous artwork are supplied for the four unique NPCs, including Jarl Torrfin, as well as statblocks for the unique Ice Troll and Baby Mammoth. I found the tone and style of the writing to thoroughly enjoyable and engaging with a decent balance between information for the DM to parse in their own way and short, sweet and effective textboxes. The lore and world-building throughout is rich, deep and heady. I was instantly hooked and keen to learn more about this unique setting that is so fantastically I had to keep double checking these locations definitely weren’t on a wiki somewhere. Being written in this way means this fits in absolutely anywhere in any setting with a wee bit of a nip in the air, be it the northern stretches of the Sword Coast where this adventure works spectacularly with either Storm King’s Thunder, the upcoming Icewind Dale campaign or anywhere. Regardless of campaign or world this adventure is a small campaign in its own right and stands proudly towering over many adventures, official or otherwise, for quality and heart. The Blizzard of Axe and Sword is presented in a completely beautiful and professional manner, from the frankly shockingly gorgeous “Bob Greyvenstein [cover illustrating] the terrible Frost Giant Chieftain, Jarl Torrfin the Bleak, launching an attack upon his enemies in the depth of a blizzard” to the stylish use of various stock art, while maintaining a clear vision and design. This includes stylish and delightfully stylised maps and wonderful NPC illustration with their statblocks at the back. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a beautiful merfolk before! Something I would like to discuss is the Liver Eaters a mercenary group found in The Tower of Fallen Time in Part 2, who are a gang of traditionally bestial bugbears. So, bestial bugbears are...well a bugbear for me (which in this context is actually offensive, so I apologise with the flimsy excuse of wanting to mirror the phrase). I prefer my sapient ‘races’, monstrous or otherwise, to have a little more dignity and what I’m calling ‘humanoidisation’ than pooping where they guard. This also goes for the inclusion of Duregar having Svirfneblin slaves in the Ironhunter Mine in Part 4. Yes, the evilness of Duregar and the enslavement of Svirfneblin by the ‘more powerful races’ in the Underdark is canon, but there’s no way I’m going to be including it in my games. Thankfully these elements can either be avoided entirely or easily reworked if you are inclined. This is all part of an ongoing conversation about ‘race’, ancestry, whether certain creatures are merely monsters or a people in their own right, and what subjects are appropriate for you and all the potential people you may encounter at the table. I mention these things I am trying to be more mindful of them, especially the elements of the lore and adventures as written that I personally feel are problematic and want to avoid. Let me be clear: I am stating my personal feelings and reaction to parts of the game lore and them being used in the adventure, and in the wider world of D&D and TTRPG. This is NOT a condemnation of this adventure or its creators, and I’m not casting aspersions at anyone. The themes and topics you play at your own table and put in your own games is entirely up to you. However, we do need to be cognizant of the problematic nature of the lore and presentation of ‘race’ at the heart this game, as well as the topics and themes that are, understandably, going to be difficult, triggering or simply take the fun out of what is supposed to be fun. This is a bloody sensational adventure and I would be gutted if a small element of it spoiled that awesomeness for anyone. It is interesting to have something like this to critique in the otherwise absolute outpouring of love for the quality of this adventure, and will be something I try to more cognizant of and continue to discuss in future reviews. Something at the heart of this adventure seems to have a true understanding of the hidden wonders, juxtapositions, and bizarre/ incongruous imagery that so many of the best roleplaying video games have. As I previously mentioned the hidden quest in the first chapter had me thinking about the Elder Scrolls games, particularly Fargoth’s Hiding Place from Morrowind at first, though Skyrim’s The Whispering Door might be more of a match. The seemingly strange discovery of the merfolk, Pelagia, and the optional quest of defeating the Sahuagin on the frozen wreck of the Bien Dara in return for the merfolk lending their aid later on has the feel of something from the less recent Final Fantasy games or even Kingdom Hearts with the slightly warped congruence of discovering a merfolk in an indoors fishing hole and tying this to an optional quest with further endgame reward for completion. This goes from the creepy wharf to the somewhat absurd/ adjacent to expectation (some elements, like aquatic folk being underwater. Yet adjacent, in a fishing hole in the house and there being a ‘fish-person’), and then to a deeper horror for just a moment and then once the bad folx are vanquished Pelagia pops up again and the ten merfolk spears are unlocked for the boss battle. While we’re on Final Fantasy, a great deal of the outside exploration in the middle chapters made me recall the Great Glacier from Final Fantasy VII with the obvious glacier and weather, but also the exploration and optional side quests. While in the mine with the Duregar and alarm system I couldn’t help but think about Metal Gear Solid. RPG and TTRPG are so similar, yet so different, (with Tactical Espionage Action being extremely dependant on party’s Rogues, Rangers and/ or those in heavy armour [sorry]) there are elements that are somewhat unique to each other, even if it’s just a vibe. The Blizzard of Axe and Snow brings these feelings into the adventure in a wonderful way, blending them with D&D. I think this is an awesome way to play about with tone and aspects associated with other media in other games.
In the end The Blizzard of Axe and Snow does what many of the best adventures do, which is to marry various attitudes and approaches; something old (the traditional dungeon crawl), the new (a video game mind-set and a fast flow), something borrowed (the overall quality draws heavily and in ways surpasses that of the official hardback campaign design, as well as the thoroughly entertaining and engaging voice of the text, in and out of text boxes), and something blue (Frost Giants, glaciers, tonnes of ice). There is truly something spectacular I’m noticing in a certain product like this and the upcoming Dragon Relics by JVCParry (@JVCParry) that tell a compelling and entertaining story well and provide a high quality, modern version of the ‘classic’ Dungeons & Dragons experience. There’s a place for the emerging, challenging and provocative work taking us down paths unknown, but there also a place for these new classics, and I. Am. Here. For. It! I can’t wait to see more from Dark Peaks and this team!


Head Writer: Kieran Mathers (@TalesPeaks) Development: Gemma Dass, Tom Hallam and Nadhirah Nadz, Owain James (proofreading). Artists: Art used under the Community Content Agreement, Kieran Mathers, Dean Stockton, Adela Quiles, Dan Comerci, Shutterstock, Graphic Design and layout: Tetracube ( for stat blocks, The Homebrewery, ( for layout and text. Playtesters: Gemma Dass, Claudia Emmanual, Kris Gottier, Tom Hallam and Nadhirah Nadz

My affiliate link for The Blizzard of Axe and Sword: My affiliate link for The Blizzard of Axe and Sword in Whitefaire Bundle [BUNDLE]:

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Elite Monsters
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2020 20:44:46

Elite Monster from E.R.F. Jordan (@erfjordan), Robyn Nix (@Remedeezy), and Jackson Lewis (@HoneyBadger3495)

Tired of your party steam-rolling over your encounters? Sick of just throwing dragons and demons against your high-level players? Well then, Elite Monsters is just the book for you!

Inside this 40 page supplement are over twenty monsters of Challenge Rating 20 and up, along with a handful of adventure hooks and 10 BRAND NEW Archfey for the discerning Dungeon Master.

This is a supplement full of creatures who are more than capable in a scrap, as well as the tools to craft particularly fun, flavourful encounters taking the frivolity out fights and bringing back the fear of foes. These babies bite back!

The first section jumps in with some no-nonsense ne’er-do-wells and nemeses, opening with the CR 20 animated legion, a swarm of animated armour (armi?) who not only throw their weight around, but have their own gravitational pull! Followed by the legendary CR 25 demisphinx who eschew the boundaries of morality and life to plumb the arcane mysteries, necro-angelus is the Shadowfell’s CR 30 apex predator able to fool the desperate dwellers of the dreary plane with its holy appearance, before wholly a-spear-rending them, the CR trio of alternate element phoenix (phoenixes?) [pheni!], each with their unique aspects and abilities, Qurok the Demonweb, Lolth’s gargantuan guard-demon-spider, and the peskiest plant perpetrator, the sapping tendril King, which pretty much done what they day in the tin.

Next up we have “The Big Bads”, which are more mighty monsters that come supplied with their own adventure hooks, all the “better [to] integrate them into your campaigns.”

Agur, the Fallen Empyrean, was beacon of Hype and positive vibes, much like Wonder Woman, but the furiously frustrating failings and foibles of folx flipped on the fury and selfishness. The hooks have the party taking down and/ or humbling the rogue angel in a variety of contexts.

Brainstealer Dragon is the CR 26 aberration sensation you’ve always dreamed of (and woke up screaming)! The art is so adorable and I would gladly risk my brain to pet the good dragon.

The Daelkyr Soldier are merely the CR 20 rank and file minions of the terrifying, unknowable beings dwelling in the bowels of Eberron, infecting the world with their aberrant aberrations and alien machinations. Jordan wrote about there is glorious detail in Madness of Xoriat. (

Lupin Talron is the CR 20 sire of Werebeasts and I’d love to share more insight on him, but I am in dire need of a cold shower after seeing the art for this bad boy! This Werebear most definitely has daddy issues!

Strigoi are the unholy CR 20 offspring of a vampire and werewolf who do not want to read your Underworld slash fic. So much more dangerous and even more terrifying to behold than either of its parents, Strigoi are going to ruin your, whether or not you encounter them in divorce court.

Warstorm, Last Hope for Peace is a CR 30 gargantuan warforged built for fighting kaiju! House Cannith are cancelling the Apocalypse!

The final section contains an array of ten Archfey & Sovereigns:

Seamus Horxit, the Blade Forged in Darkness is the oh so bamfy CR 22 favoured assassin of the Queen of Air and Darkness.

The Crow King, once named the Hanged Man, is a high-ranking CR 25 duke and right hand being of the Erlking. Their Gallows Bow is a mighty, terrifying weapons., which will make you stop, grope and roll. (Please make your own Hanged Man Crow King joke about hoarseness because I can’t seem to puzzle mine out...croaking?)

The Erlking, Lord of the Hunt, is the CR 30 leader of the Wild Hunt and those fey who finds themselves outside the Seelie and Unseelie courts. “He is the death that makes your life seem good; he is the wolf creeping on the outskirts of the campsite; he is the snake in the grass, the fleeing deer.”

Lurue, Unicorn Queen, is the CR 24 Archfey of wonder and talking Beasts with one of the coolest weapons of all time!” It is said that her rapier, Celestial Horn, is whittled from the horn of the eldest unicorn, who long ago shed their point in search of peace and tranquillity. Just seeing the horn is enough to provoke a profound sense of calm.”

Maiden of the Moon is the CR 23 Archfey of pretty night-time and kicking evil lycanthrope but! She can ensnare and imprison her enemies in halos of moonlight. Please no-one tell her what some vampires and werewolves are getting up to behind closed doors!

Whether an estranged eladrin or doplledaddy, The Many Faced Man is CR 24 and one of the most sneaky and bizarre figures in the living hallucinatory terrain that is the Feywild.

The Prince of Frost, once known as the Sun Prince, is a CR 23 Archfey who is without a shadow of a doubt both cold as ice and willing to sacrifice.

Queen Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness, is the CR 30 Yaas kween of the Shakespearean Unseelie Court, only much bigger than an agate stone, leaving character’s feebleminds a’blown.

Queen Titania, the CR30 Queen of Witches, blends folklore and Midsummer’s Night to beguile senses and scold with her queen’s smite.

This is a seriously awesome array of creatures and characters that truly provide a challenge for high level characters, as well as coming with enough flavour to inspire. Any one of these could be the overarching foe or foil for adventures, arcs and campaigns, and these takes on the VIF (Very Important Fey) are fun and flavoursome, as they are fierce and frightening!

Authors: E.R.F. Jordan (@erfjordan), Robyn Nix (@Remedeezy), and Jackson Lewis (@HoneyBadger3495) Editor: Ryan Langr (@RealmwarpM) Layout: Lydia Van Hoy (@LydiaVanHoy1) My affiliate link for Elite Monsters: My Recent Reviews Monster Hunts Theros from Vall Syrene (@Valldoesdnd): The Owlbear by Jackson Lewis (@HoneyBadger3495): Adaptable NPCs of the Guild from Trevor Armstrong (@ThGrimPress):

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elite Monsters
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Monster Hunts: Theros
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2020 13:07:33

Monster Hunts Theros from Vall Syrene (@Valldoesdnd)

> Inside this 35-page supplement you will find: > 16 Monster Hunts spanning APL 1 – 18, complete with varied NPCs and easy to insert locations. > A simple, robust system for harvesting monster parts, relying on teamwork and cooperation to get the job done! > 12 harvesting tables, separated across various adventuring tiers > Over 40 magical items, crafted using harvested monster parts

Why y’all gagging so? Vall brings it to you every Hunt! Theros is burning with 16 new Hunts covering all the tiers of play, robust crafting and item creation, introduced on previous Hunts and expanded in Tier 1 Monster Hunts, with over 40 magical items to be obtained.

Odyssey! You hunt everything!

The brilliant and oh so easy to run Hunt system is back! Perfect for setting a tone on or setting, off the cuff moments, one shots, tavern posers and/or the beginnings of wider adventures! Filled with fabulous tidbits and lore to ground your game in the Greco-Roman plane.

Help a town in the grip of a satyr’s ongoing revelry through the magic of party games, use your hippocampus to sneak into a hippo camp to acquire a hippocamp, brave intoxicating fungi and a nest of double-ended snakeybois to rescue the a metal birdie, grapple with a golden flying construct stag on the edge of a cliff in order nick its horns for some noble’s private collection (because you know, Eat the), drag the returned body and spirit kicking and screaming back together in defiance of the god of death at your own peril, attempt to set pack of cerberi on a city, take down a demon sewing discord in the business sector, protect a bakery from extreme weather and a pair of chimera (chimeri?) that just happen to contain a smorgasbord parts to harvest, get involved in some godly cosplay to sing put a demon to beddy-byes, deal with a necromantic singer and their adoring fans, save a wizard’s apprentice from a magical labyrinth and the underworld cerberi within with the help of a magic acorn, crack a fascinating case in the art world with as many options, approaches and endings as the perp has hands, take down a dishonourable warrior who just so happens to have the God of Slaughter on speed dial, wrangle a flying bull and ashen rider causing mayhem in town, save a settlement from the conjured incarnation world destroyer hydra of hydra, and defy the God of the Dead a final time, but this time for love! Retrieve the skull of a guardian of the gate to the realm of the dead and see husband and wife reunited...for a time!

This epic collection has a bit of everything and is beautifully presented! You can never go wrong with one of Syrene’s Hunts!


Hunt Authors: Ayla Finnegan, Darren Kenny, Jimmy Meritt, Vall Syrene Stat Blocks: Vall Syrene Magical Items: Darren Kenny , Vall Syrene Editor: Jesse McNamee Artists Border & Background Page Art by Nimgyu (edited by Vall Syrene) InDesign Template by Nathanaël Roux

My affiliate link for Monster Hunts Theros:

Syrene’s work I have previously reviewed: Tier 1 Monster Hunts: Monster Hunts Avernus:

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Hunts: Theros
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The Owlbear
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/12/2020 16:17:07

The Owlbear by Jackson Lewis (@HoneyBadger3495)

The glory of the glorious Owlbear has finally been recognised!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am and have always been an ardent member of #TeamOwlbear! I love beholder as much as the next person, but I'm elated we ground them beneath our glorious beaks once and for all. (Yes, this is an unnecessarily pointed subtweet (subreview?) of Anthony 'I should respect the mighty, majestic owlbear' Joyce™) Hoot growl. Hoot growl! HOOT GROWL!

Ever wanted to play as an Owlbear? Well, now you can with the Owlbear class. A full 20 level class with 3 archetypes, you can now experience the pure bliss as playing as one of Dnd's most popular monsters!

This is really everything I've ever wanted, and it opens with some truly spectacular and evocative flavour text full of action, as well as a great understanding of and working with the ridiculousness of the ridiculously awesome owlbear.

No matter what area of life you walk, there’s bound to be an owlbear right there beside you. These balls of fluff and feathers are almost as famous as they are feared.

Right let’s GROWL right intHOOT it! - This isn’t every ability and element, but a hopefully decent overview

Creating an Owlbear

When creating an owlbear, one must first decide what kind of curse was hurled onto their adventurer to transform them into such a unique form.

Not only is this a fun prompt for character building, but also a blossoming seed for polymorphed and/ or cursed owlbears running around in your campaigns.

The Owlbear come with the only essentials:

(a) An owl pellet or (b) a small handful of berries (a) A thyrsos or (b) a medium sized, slightly pointed rock. Probably a pack, or some half eaten rations, HOOT HOOT

Soul of the Wild

Eschewing proficiencies, the ability to wield weapons and cast spells - HOOT NEEDS THEM?! - the owlbear has a greater understanding and ability to converse with your hooting and growling siblings.

Natural Weapons

Bring those talons and beak to (Owl)bear! At higher levels you can imbue you rending protrusions with magic and greater power.


Unleash variety of abilities with points similar to the monk’s Ki.

Wild Call

HOOOT UP FRIENDSES! “issue a thundering call that reaches deep into the primordial dream, summoning a beastly denizen to aid you in battle”. These little beastie biddies scale with level progression.

Blessing of Many

This is the Owlbear’s own Second Wind, which they can use on their pals.

Owlbear Heritage

More on the specifics in a moment, but for now:

Also starting at 3rd level, the heritage of your woebegotten form fully manifests. Choose from the following heritages: Iron-pelts, Green-beaks, and BlackPaws

Hoot, Hoot, Growl

You truly wield fear as a deadly weapon! Fear the mighty Owlbear! You hear me Joyce?!*

Owlbear Heritages


“The Iron-pelts were bred for one thing and one thing only: war”


Shrug off mundane weapons and exert your mighty will against your vanquished.

Hardened Hide

Suffer not slings and arrows.

Battle Sense

Command the battlefield and don’t let any foe get away.

Might of the Bear and Grace of the Owl

You are such a mighty Owlbear that you can share your tenacity with your allies.


Hailing from the Feywild, owlbears of the Green-Beak Heritage are naturally attuned to the ebbs and flows of the natural world. Once serving as bodyguards to the powerful Archfey of the wilderness, the Green-Beaks boast a high brow pedigree.

These fierce fey-touched folx fling spells along with their claws and can even bolster their reserves with their ferocity.

Protection of Root and Branch

What’s tougher and scarier than an Owlbear? AN OWLBEAR WRAPPED IN NATURE’S BARBED WIRE!!

Strength of the Pack

Honestly, I’m a little confused about the wording on this one, but you can definitely conjure woodland critters, including Lesser Owlbears?!


Silent and deadly, the Black-Paws are the result of the stealthy, predatory instincts of the owlbear being emphasized over many generations of breeding. Those who have the Black-Paw heritage rely on their wit, speed, and intuition to brutally and effectively take down their foes.


Nose like an Owl


The Terror of the Hunt

Truly put the fear of god into your enemies – hint the god in question? OWLBEAR!!!

I was never around for the old, old days in which 'races' (or as we are thankfully moving forward with more open terms like ancestry) were classes, as with ye olde Elfe, but the way Lewis works the aspects of the 'Owlbear creature' into a class allows for so much more depth and exploration. This is something Lewis and the rest of the team on Cursed Classes: Even Cursier explore to glorious and ridiculous ends here: //

The glory of the glorious Owlbear has finally been recognised! Now Everyone has to play Owlbears, I’m sorry I don’t make the rules – OWLBEARS DO!!! HOOT GROWL HOOT GROWL HOOT GROWL!!!


Writing: Jackson Lewis (@HoneyBadger3495)

Editing: Isaac May (@icykindadicey)

Layout: Jane Hermiston (@jane_hermiston)

Art: Featuring work with permission of WOTC, J. Hermiston, Dave Allsop

*Anthony Joyce is a truly wonderful human being, so we should give him a pass on his blasphemy, but please do tell him how awesome Owlbears are on twitter (@Thrawn589) and check out his awesome creations too:

**Note: One element of the flavour contained the word 'uppity'. I informed Lewis of the racist connotations of the word and they were incredibly receptive and unaware of this. They assured me they will be working with layout to amend this in the future. We can't always know everything, but we can be open and receptive, and I truly appreciate Lewis for being so.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Owlbear
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Adaptable NPCs II
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2020 17:45:18

Truly an incredible tome full of every kind of NPC, BBEG & BFF from the lowliest vagabond and deserter, through warriors, mages, heroes, Demons and Devils of every stripe, flavour, setting and magnitude, all the way to an Archfiend, Deity, their minions, messengers, champions and dark lords; every one of them filled with enough flavour to grow an encounter, adventure, arc and/ or campaign. On top of this cavalcade of 110 cool characters 12 Pathways to Adventure are included that provide you with ready to go adventures, as well as the formula for creating infinite stories with vivid characters!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adaptable NPCs II
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Adaptable NPCs of the Guild
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2020 17:36:23

Adaptable NPCs of the Guild from Grim Press (@TheGrim Press)

Tomasz Chistowski's art has been brought to life by over 20 amazing authors from the DMs Guild, providing unique non-player characters to populate the world of Faerun!

Contained within this book are 60 unique non-player characters that and serve any number of roles in your player's adventures. Much like the others in its namesake, the ultimate goal of this supplement is to present a repertoire of quest givers and companions that can accompany players on their adventures; being diverse enough to add immersion without introducing unwanted complexity.

Additionally, an engaging Pathway to Adventure called Hero's Quest has been included, written by the talented J.A. Valeur. This quest, designed for four to six characters of 2nd level, uses many of the Adaptable NPCs in this book and can be played upon detailed maps (both DM & Player versions) created specifically for this adventure! Also, the Hero's Quest is full scalable for higher level play and includes custom question hooks to drop this adventure into popular WotC campaigns such as Lost Mine of Phandelver, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, Storm King's Thunder, and Baldur's Gate: Decent into Avernus.

Since my discovery of this series with the release of Adaptable NPCs II I have been completely spellbound and this latest entry has somehow defied logic and physics by improving on perfection! I have said before that each of the NPCs contained within any of these books could inspire a side trek, adventure or an entire campaign, and while this holds true, the sheer beauty and detail in this latest instalment is quite frankly absurd. Is it possible to be angry with a thing for being too wonderful?

It’s wonderful to see so many wonderful creators coming together to make the true apotheosis of NPC supplements. We have hit peak NPCs and I’m honestly terrified to think where we go from here. The only thing I can think of is if the NPCs actually come along to the sessions and interact with the players, they already leap off the page... Grim Press must be stopped!!!

Tomasz Chistowski's and Bob Greyvenstein art is insultingly gorgeous and tremendously inspiring with such style and character. Honestly, this could just be an art book and be worth more than the price of admission! But the NPCs themselves are what you come for and they turn up with absolute hordes of flavour and utility.

I love the addition of the options and variants that can tailor the NPCs to your exact needs (which I’m pretty sure mean they are lying about the 60 they demurely claim!). You have an Armsmaster with a neat little system laid out for training in the various fighting styles with time and cost, an Aspiring Mercenary with six heritage options which bring their own innate spellcasting, and a Bulwark Tinker with a plethora of available services, from a system for short term arms, armour, siege-engine tune up and more, with bulk pricing available if you were worried about that!

All manner of settings, flavours and difficulties are catered for, from the sweet baby Dauntless Adventurer and their two older siblings, through the chonky Half-Dragon Revenant and sneaky SHadow Mage, all the way up to the terrifying and so desperately sad Haunted and the hench, undead good-time pal, the Baelnorn Lich!

There are goodies, baddies and everything in between! Need a cranky Bee Keeper with swarms of spies and the ability to summon swarms of wasps? They’ve got you covered. What about a little goblin Teeth Collector? Sure! A Warlock bounty hunter in seven delicious flavours? The Witchtaker is ready!

There’s also a blooming awesome adventure available to cater for levels 2-7 with many options to make it right for your game. This is a chance to get your fill of the classic dungeon tomb raiding in style, but with the framing moving away from the questionable and best looting of other cultures to claiming the magical arms kept in the eponymous Hero’s Tomb for when the need should occur! Adventurers face classic trials and tribulations, puzzles, traps, combats and more crafted with care, with the various levelling options, tips, a chance to see some of the fine figures from this supplement’s pages in action, as well as ways to integrate the adventure into a whole bunch of official campaigns. Plus, four fancy new items to play with!


Project Oversight: Grim Press

Designers: Anthony Alipio, Trevor Armstrong, R.P. Davis, Jeffrey Fischer, Aaron Gentry, E.R.F. Jordan, Darren Kenny, J.B. Little, Steve Pankotai, John Parker, Cody Rakai, Devon Rule, Rachel Savicki, Walter Srebalus, Sven Truckenbrodt, Wyatt Trull, J.A. Valeur, Lydia Van Hoy, Matthew Whitby

Editors: Trevor Armstrong, Aaron Gentry

Artists: Tomasz Chistowski, Bob Greyvenstein

Cartography: Eventyr Games, Tehox Maps

Layout: Trevor Armstrong

My affiliate link for Adaptable NPCs of the Guild:

I also thoroughly recommend picking up the Adaptable NPCs of the Guild (Limited Time) [BUNDLE] to get all the goodies:

You can also find my Grim Press reviews:

Adaptable NPCs II:

Dungeon Delve #1.01

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adaptable NPCs of the Guild
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Druid Circle: Circle of the Unseely
Publisher: Underground Oracle Publishing
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/10/2020 16:56:36

Circle of the Unseely by The Underground Oracle (@UOPublishing)

“Their willingness to give themselves fully to forces of darkness, natural or otherwise, have left them twisted and lost. They are the antithesis of what we as druids strive for. They are abominations.” —AarriannaKahn, High Druid

These Druids might not make a lot of friends with their peers, giving themselves entirely to members of the Gloaming Courts of the Feywild with dreams of true ascendancy without care for the morals or nature of fey from which they draw their power.

Circle Spells

The spells granted by the Unseely are unsurprisingly as mercurial and selfish as their source, bestowing upon their druids a slice of the eldritch and arcane with which they can cloak themselves from prying eyes, curse their enemies and bewitch the senses. Without getting onto specifics, this is one of the most perfectly appropriate expanded spells I’ve seen on a subclass.

Unseely Ichor

The very essence of Unseely nature exudes from your pores, coming in three flavours that can be used to sear enemies with acid, reduce damage or trap foes against you like flies in your Web. Few things are more creepy cool and show your Unseely side than tactical goo. Noone expects tactical goo!

Shadow Dance

This ability causes the shadows of any number of enemies within range to turn on them, fighting at the whim of the druid for a number of rounds or until the shadow can be wrangled. Imagine if Peter Pan was even more Unseely...

Courtly Seeming

With this ability you can actually assume the guide of a lord of the fey to enthral and terrify at your own whim. Makes you a lot of fun at parties.

Embrace the Gloam

At this point you are one with the Unseely and they are one with you! Laugh in the face of the scary and suggestive. Shrug at mundane arms and bamf between shadows at to your hearts content. You are the shadow fey now; Unseely and everything else is unseemly.

There are good, great and super-duper subclasses, but some manage to be all of the above, while tapping so perfectly into the concept they are bringing to life. This is the apotheosis is an Unseely pitch, which would make a gloriously fun and flavourful player character, as well as acting as a bloody brilliant foil for your PCs, being the perfect link and inspiration for Unseely NPCs and adventures.

I’m in love with the flavour, use of existing spell and new abilities, combined with that Underground Oracle style and the gorgeous Anderson Maia art! This is what happens when the lore, mechanics, writing, art and vision come together to truly make something awesome!

Don’t forget to check out the Unseely Fey [BUNDLE] for more Underground Oracle Unseely Fey goodness!

Credits Written By ~ Jess Pendley (@JessPendley) Designed By ~ Jess Pendley & Keith Pendley (@UO_Keith) Art By ~ Anderson Maia ( Editing By ~ Jess Pendley

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Druid Circle: Circle of the Unseely
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Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for your incredibly thorough reviews, Sebs. A creator could not ask for more. :)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/10/2020 04:05:02

Psychomancer: A New Wizard Subclass by DM Conclave (@Alex_Tiliakos)

"Delvers in the art of psychomancy deal in matters of the soul and are able to twist, recreate, use, or even abuse the energy of living beings that possess a soul to their liking. They are able to manipulate the mysterious energies that comprise the core of other creatures’ entire being, including their own, and they can decide whether to use it for good or evil. Through long-forgotten practices and highly complex rituals, hidden carefully in the sands of time, they are able to utilize those energies of the psyche to even restore a living soul back to its owner, or use it to fuel their unfathomable magic and create chaos and eternal suffering."

This truly is a novel, well thought out and expertly applied new school of magic with all manner of flavourful, fun and freaking funky cool abilities, which are beautifully grounded in its own lore and backstory. It truly is rare to see something so fascinating, and so brilliantly realised.

I'm seriously in love with all of this and wish more archetypes were presented with such care and creativeness. I need to make a Psychomancer right now!

The Psychomancer is presented with an entire rich history, complete with dates and deep grounding within Forgotten Realms lore, is provided beginning with a "Netherese archwizard named Faranda Shadowspeak, on the flying enclave of Maunator, also known as Sunrest, was openly in favor of not limiting magical studies [of the psyche/ soul]" who met a rather cataclysmic end, but before her teachings had been shared.

Psychomancy studies the soul that animates living and manipulating it to wondrous and terrible ends, making them much sought after by the fiends of the Hells and Abyss.

Unsurprisingly, the practice is forbidden and these wizards are rare, taking to a life of adventure to discover hidden lore, obtain rare components and fund their wild experiments

Psychomancy Savant

Due to the rarity of psychomancy spells they actually cost more in time and gold to copy into your Spellbook, but this feature does come with an awesome narrative bonus to searching out and discovering new psychomancy spells and lore. Together these definitely give the new spells narrative weight (as well as the wait).

Soul Sense

This rather neat feature allows the Psychomancer to open their senses to the souls around them, granting limited blindsight and the ability to become attuned to the spirits of their allies, being able to locate them without any mundane senses.


This is a glorious and truly horrifying ability, that conjures a cloud of darkness around the Psychomancer, described as "filled with distorted faces that whisper, moan or laugh, a sight which fills your enemies with dread" which is all sorts of creepy cool! This also bolsters the wizard and gives them the ability to use an action to scare an enemy with this cloak of horrors!

Soul Projection

This allows the full Doctor Strange astral projection or "soul-treading" as the Psychomancers call it. Their spirits fly with great speed upon the ethers plane, seeing the world around them in "shades and outlines", though concentration can allow details to be made out. As would be expected, while the soul is away the body hits the hay and is very vulnerable. I can see this being used for some. Very cool and spooky recon.

Soul Reaper

This ominous ability truly shows the dark side of the Psychomancer, as they can rend the very soul from a weak or weakened enemy, instantly killing them and nourishing the wizard. If that wasn't horrific enough, "creatures killed by this ability are never allowed to cross over to the afterlife, except in the case of divine intervention." I think the Psychomancers may be baddies, but it's hard to argue that this isn't a wicked cool thing an anti-hero or straight up villain would do. Makes sense why these studies were/ are so very illegal and carried severe punishment.

Soul Thread

Choosing the Psychomancy school unlocks a shared knowledge that stretches put across planes and settings without explanation. One element of this is the ability to imbue length of silk with at first their own and later the souls of their vanquished foes. Beginning as a focus, the tether shows the state of the wizard's soul and can be charged with souls to imbue their spells with greater potency or cast a specific spell depending on the alignment of the harvested souls.

This is a fascinating aspect of the Psychomancer and comes steeped in lore with a table denoting the relevant ritual components, as the specificity of the rituals needed. This is an extremely powerful item that has its rarities unlocked at various levels, so it is always relevant, and the difficulty, specificity and cost of the various rituals balance this beautifully. This truly is an original and inspired item that will be do much fun to play with, as well as showing the true colours of the wielder's soul!

Psychomancy Spells

Included here are two Cantrips, five 1st level, four 2nd level, three 3rd level, three 4th level, three 5th level, two 6th level, two 7th level, two 8th level and one 9th level spell/s, as well as an optional percentage chance of learning a new psychomancy spell upon gaining a new level. This makes even more out of the difficulty of learning these spells, as well as the inherent dormant knowledge emerging in the Psychomancer's consciousness.

The spell's range from the Psychic Slap cantrip able to do a small amount of damage and causes the target to become frightened for a round on a hit with no save, which certainly seems quite powerful, to the 9th level Eternal, which allows the Psychomancer to transfer their soul into a recently slain body through a complex, involved and expensive ritual process, potentially allowing for eternal life without the distastefulness of becoming a Lich! This is freaking awesome and has such narrative potential! Imagine a cabal of eternal psychomancers from a previous age, staying alive and plotting in the shadows, behind their Soulcloaks. Perfect for one of those bizarre murder mysteries with similar patterns over the years, with long lived elves being the wrong suspects...

Among the variety of other spells there are those for the collecting of souls for is with the Soul Thread, a way to hurl your blood and fury at your enemies as a Psychic Harpoon, way to psychically link with someone as long as they are willing and on the same plane, beseech an angel to soothe another's psyche, use your soul to puppet a corpse, force a body swap that knocks out the pour souls shunted into your body, incapacitate a foe with the terrifying whispers of tormented souls, and an exhausting new option to try to bring back a recently passed soul, among many others.

The use of Nathaniel Roux (@freeners)'s gorgeous template and the spectacular use of predominantly stock art just go to show how professional and pretty it's possible to produce products with a little care and vision, which should seriously inspire folx, especially with many people talking about the prohibitive need for huge art budgets. This is seriously a triumph of using available resources, either free or reasonably priced and ready to be used to look high quality and damn fine.

This truly is a novel, well thought out and expertly applied new school of magic with all manner of flavourful, fun and freaking funky cool abilities, which are beautifully grounded in its own lore and backstory. It truly is rare to see something so fascinating, and so brilliantly realised.

I'm seriously in love with all of this and wish more archetypes were presented with such care and creativeness. I need to make a Psychomancer character right now!

Credits • Template by Nathanaël Roux (@freeners) • Design by DM Conclave (@Alex_Tiliakos) • Story design by DM Quicksilver (@DQwiksilver) • Layout by DM Satyr • Editing by DM Alphaea & DM Quicksilver

Artist Credits • DM's Guild Creator Resources • Additional Graphics Pack - Sigils and Page Decorators by Barkalot Designs • Wraiths by Daniel Comerci – • Pixabay

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Big Book of Cats
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/05/2020 20:56:57

Big Book of Cats: A Catpendium of Epic Purrportions by Jessica Marcrum (@Miss_Jess03)

“The Big Book of Cats started as a bonus supplement for the Circle of Catnip Druid subclass and quickly became its own beast. As cats are wont to do, it expanded its territory and suddenly my little add-on collection of cat forms for wild shape was another project altogether. I hope this collection helps you learn more about big cats as well as open your eyes to new mythological kitties from around the world.”

This is 48 pages of 40 new ferociously fabulous fabled felines from folklore, far flung furrballs, implausible purries and a few furry friends to keep the pride together in this jam-packed cat’s pyjamas book of cats!

The first chapter takes you around the world in 15 cats, from bearcats, bobcats and cheetahs, through flat-head cats, lynxes and ocelots (who the book omits to mention think they are people) to pallas cats, sand cats and servals, teaching science and cat facts among the statblock kibble...

Hang on a minute! This book begins with a hoodwinking! “While not technically a cat nor a bear...” THAT’S IT THE REVIEW IS OFF TAKE BACK THESE STARS “the bearcat is a cat by name if not by nature or anatomy and therefore welcome in the Big Book of Cats.” Okay Marcrum, you’ve got me there. There better not be any tomcatfoolery later on. I’ve got my eye on you.

The second chapter takes the kitties and blows them up! As in biggerer not blowed upperrer (if Marcrum can make stuff up, so can I). These five giant cats are checks notes medium to huge and none of them are actually giants...but I suppose they would make good pets for giants.

You’re hanging by a whisker here Marcrum! The rest of these cats better be common house or garden sensible cats...

The third chapter is all magical and monstrous cats featuring an unbelievably gorgeous cactus cat, a terrifying an adorable to behold Katkren and terrifying and ridiculously Tabaxbee illustrated by Tallulah Cunningham (@FabricMagpie), a truly transcendent caticorn, jolly chilly Jólakotturinn and a vivacious void cat illustrated by Xan Larson (@PaleWhiteRabbit), as well as the fabulous fey cath palug, soul eating cat sidhe and the wonderful tiger wearing a bear t-shirt that is the Kalidah or catbear illustrated by David Markiwsky (@DavidMarkiwsky), to name a few!

The fourth chapter brings many of the previously published purrers from the humble cat to the regal rakshasa by the way or tressyms and weretigers and the rest, to bring the pride of felines and the feline pride to your fingertips in one meowticulously put together supplement.

This truly is a thing of beauty, which will certainly amuse, bemuse your players, teach you a thing or two about cats of our reality, folklore and the realms and planes beyond.


Credits Writing and Design: Jessica Marcrum (@Miss_Jess03)

Editing: Cat Evans (@perpetualgloom)

Cover Art and Layout: David Markiwsky (@DavidMarkiwsky)

Art: David Markiwsky (@DavidMarkiwsky), Tallulah Cunningham (@FabricMagpie), Xan Larson (@PaleWhiteRabbit)

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Big Book of Cats
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Aetherium Sage: A Wizard Subclass
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/02/2020 08:41:21

Aetherium Sage: A Wizard Subclass by J M di Girolamo (@earthsembers)

Taking inspiration from Aes Sedai from River Jordan’s Wheel of Time, the video game Control from Remedy Entertainment and Doctor Strange from Marvel Comics, the Aetherium Sage “sits in the Venn diagram between the Divination, the Chornurgy Wizard and the Evocation Wizard...designed for those who want to alter and shift reality, especially on the battlefield.”

The School of The Aether is less a traditional ‘school’, rather ambitious lone scholars who wants to push the limits of their abilities to see into and shape reality. I can see these wizards quite easily following the path of Neo from the Matrix or young Anakin Skywalker.

Class Features

At 2nd level Aether Savant grants the half time and cost of copying spells seen in various other arcane traditions, but what is interesting is the Defensive Shard. This grants the ability to defect an attack against the Aetherium Sage or their ally by warping reality and space-time into a “crystal-like shard” that gives the attack disadvantage with a second and third daily use at higher levels. This is some glorious bullet-time magic says no good times, which not only looks cool but can be very handy in a pinch, especially as this ability would allow it to be used against surprise attacks and trap attacks as written. I could see the stipulation of this ability only working for attacks from sources the Aetherium Sage can see, though as is it does reflect just how wibbley-wobbley realith-shmeality these wizards are.

At 6th level you gain the ability to Warp Reality, giving you a chance to cast spells without consuming a spell slot. The chance is very small, but becomes incrementally higher as levels progress. There aren’t any restrictions on the number of times this ability is used at present. This is a quiet, unassuming ability which can seem puzzling over or underpowered, depending on your perspective. But this one of those abilities that will create some clutch moments and I can definitely see those moments when everyone crowds around the dice tray and erupts with joy when the Aetherium Sage is down to their last slot and in the thick of it. You gotta love evergreen abilities.

At 10th level you become an Aetherium Weaver adding intelligence mod to the damage of aether spells. I’ll get to the spells in a moment, but I do enjoy the various subclasses that allow the additional use of ability mods in specific situations (as Swashbuckler does with adding Charisma mod to Initiative, etc.), and why should Warlocks get all the fun with ability mods with Agonising Blast? Aetherigonising Blast really doesn’t have the same ring to it as Aetherium Weaver.

Also at 10th level you get access to a cool ability pairing in Tear Reality, allowing you to “use your knowledge of the shape of the weave tear a hole in space” that you can bamf through once a day, as well as the another once a day ability to divine your opponent’s actions to lay it up for your allies to kick a bullseye. It’s always nice to have a free get out of jail card for when things get rough (or just for logistical ease) and a guiding hand will always be welcomed by the others in your party.

At 14th level you can Detect Weaves, essentially giving you a very short range True Seeing, as well as the ability to not be seen at all yourself. These are some more funky tools to play with.

The supplement also contains five flavourful Story Prompts for DMs and, six ambitions and six flaws to help round out your Aetherium Sage, and bring them into your games either side of the screen

Finally, there are six new spells for the Aetherium Sage, including blasting your foes with hardener chunks of reality, unleashing random elemental effects, including a mini-hurricane, unleashed white hot aether fire from your hands, peak behind the skeins of fate, reach into the weave to deny your foes or ensure your allies’ success, and indulge in devastating unmaking with terrifying results.

This is a seriously fun jack of all trades Swiss army wizard MacGyver who can get in and out of trouble, and deliver some unique whizzbang while they’re at it. The Aetherium Sage is a brilliant mix of existing and new ideas; something old, something new, something borrowed and something blown through the weave and obliterated in aether fire!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Aetherium Sage: A Wizard Subclass
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Tier 1 Monster Hunts
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/30/2020 17:34:23

Tier 1 Monster Hunts by Vall Syrene (@Valldoesdnd) and Ayla Finnegan (@Aylathewriter)

I absolutely love Syrene’s work with their Hunt series ever since I came across Monster Hunts: Avernus (See my full review here:, and this instalment only improves on the already fantastic recipe and flavour for fantastic, fun side treks, one shots and adventures with more than enough sizzle to inspire all manner of awesomeness!

I thoroughly recommend the whole series as a wonderful toolbox of easy to use and run hunts, which can bring something new, inspired or simply different to break up or add to whatever you have going on in your games, as well as being a great place to begin a game or even a last minute side quest because you’re down a player, which happened to me tonight. I had 20 minutes before the session started and I had one of my three players out when we were about to get into some pertinent stuff, so I went straight to this read through the encounter and stages of the hunt, took a quick look at the creature and I was ready to go! We had one of the most fun sessions of our campaign with a miniature ancient black dragon I had terrorising the Ashen Woods (in the Shadowfell, it is that easy to just drop these hunts anywhere!). There was a great interaction with a scared witness with all manner of wild details to build suspense, a quick bit of tracking and then an epic and wholly original encounter. Threats and weapons flew, but in the end their was so much character to the diminutive drake that they made a strange and wondrous truce, so now they have a new, bizarre character in their world. (Playing through Chris Valentine’s (@cryptwright) spectacular Lost In Shadow:, which I’ve been gagging to run and review. It’s brilliant! But that’s for another day).

Syrene knows exactly what to do to make bloody good content that is so simple and effective to implement, but makes the world of difference to DMs and players alike, and clearly Finnegen does too! I truly wish Syrene and Finnegen could have seen the looks on my player’s faces tonight. That and the fun we had compelled me to sit and write this as soon as the session ended. Thank you both for all the fun.

You just have to get into this, as I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s in here and how they innovatively approach encounter building and packing in as much awesome in such accessible, digestible chunks!

Credits Authors Ayla Finnegan Vall Syrene Artists Interior Creature Art by Bob Greyvenstein Border Art by Sqeezi Games Publisher’s Choice Quality Stock ©Art Rick Hershey/Fat Goblin Games InDesign Template by Nathanaël Roux On the cover: A terrified, toothy beholder stares out towards an unseen threat in this painting by Rick Hershey.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tier 1 Monster Hunts
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Legendlore Manuscript Preview
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2020 12:29:01

Legendlore Manuscript Preview from Onyx Path Publishing (@TheOnyxPath) & Steffie De Vaan (@100thingsilove)

First of all this is "not a complete PDF, this a preview of the draft text from the upcoming Legendlore RPG!" This is a draft of book to be created through Legendlore Kickstarter

It's also worthy to note: "Legendlore was originally a comic called The Realm, first published by Arrow Comics in 1986 and since procured by Caliber Comics, about four people who fall through a Crossing into the Realm. The Realm is home to fantasy creatures from elves to dragons, and the characters discover they too have ‘fantasy powers’ – the jock becomes a Fighter, while the bookish one becomes a Wizard, and so on. They go on adventures and some of them eventually find their way back to Earth"

The Legendlore book itself will be something far more modern with anyone having the opportunity to be any version of who they really are or would want to be.

You, Yourself Legendlore sees you Cross from Earth into the Realm to become a changed version of yourself. A songwriter might find themself a bard, a scientist a wizard, or an activist a fighter. You may find your body changing to better match your true self, even adopting a new fantasy appearance if you so choose. Your identity and memories remain wholly your own though, and you’ll find no gods or predetermined alignments forcing your actions. Crossing also imbues you with a Legend, which each player designs for themself, that propels you to greatness and a full embrace of your chosen destiny. A Diverse World The Legendlore Roleplaying Game presents a diverse and inclusive world based on the Legendlore comics. You’ll find people, including all non-humans, of all colors, genders, and sexualities in East Azoth. You are always welcome in the Realm.

• 18 backgrounds to play as yourself in Legendlore, such as activist or scientist • Legend mechanics to represent your destiny, plus 5 sample Legends • Seven player races, including pixies and orcs • Two new classes, the alchemist and gunslinger, and 15 sub-classes • A starting adventure with five pregenerated characters

Chapter 1: Welcome to East Azoth

Detailed history of East Azoth, reciting the many wars and relations between the different folk. After generations of ongoing wars the land finally sees peace, only for Lord Darkoth to rise in an attempt to claim the land. Will your heroes vanquish this deadly foe?

Chapter 2: Crossing

"The Realm touches many other planes, including Earth, and where it does, Crossings might appear. These are pathways, naturally occurring or coaxed through magic, where people may move between Earth and the Realm. Not every Crossing goes two ways, and people from Earth might find themselves inadvertently Crossed into the Realm and then stuck there until they painstakingly find a Crossing back home."

Such an awesome and (graphic) novel idea!

The concept of Crossings and Realms is incredibly rich for storytelling as elements from any setting, folklore, mythology or real world can be brought in within and in addition to the provided setting and adventure. This means we'll all have the perfect reason to hop about and bring in this we love and finally get to play with the settings and adventures we weren't sure we could fit in, as well as new ones that pique our interests.

The broad range of possible Crossings, from portals to relics, items of sentimental value and portkeys, and the myriad conditions around their use are an incredibly rich source of inspiration for adventures and campaigns with all manner of things to be found or done with one of more Realm/s or to finally be able to make possible to enter one. Possibly needing to collect a set of ancient Ioun Stones scattered to various Realms in order to rescue a prince or face a sorcerer obsessed with ressurecting a lost love who has created an army of dangerous undead in their experimenting.

Players pass into the Realm with everything they had on them when they entered the Crossing with a mechanic to see if the unlikely event of technology surviving the trip. This is such a cool concept!

The Many Possibilities of You

"Crossing brings out the You in you. That is to say, the fantasy version of you (or rather, the parts of yourself you wish to share at the table) as a Legendlore character."

Something I truly love about TTRPGs is the way it allows us to discover new things about ourselves and explore new identities to find our own. I know it definitely helped me be more open and to understand my sexuality and gender better. Every character I've played is a reflection or aspect of myself, and I truly love that this aspect is so baked into Legendlore as the character you play is yourself! But in a new chosen or true reflection of yourself. Not only does this, allow us to play with and explore identities more, but I think this will genuinely help some, especially new players who struggle with being in character.

"Crossing also effects physical changes in your character to match You best. A girl assigned male at birth might find her body changed or remaining the same, depending on the player’s view of herself. If a player has glasses, and their sense of self includes said glasses, the character retains them after Crossing — if not, they now have 20/20 vision. The same goes for hearing aids and other devices. Crossing ensures that contacts, wheelchairs, joint braces, pacemakers, and any other medical aids that might require power sources or precise and tiny electronics now run on a mysterious ancient magic so long as their bearer remains in the Realm. If someone has a chronic illness but wishes to live a life without such constant pain, their self after the Crossing simply does not have it. However, it is also possible for that same person to want to keep their chronic illness, feeling that their life has been shaped and formed alongside and inseparable from their condition. It is likewise possible for a person who experiences nonverbal episodes, such as via autism spectrum or trauma, to be verbal if they wish it, just as it is entirely possible for these people to be nonverbal in the Realm as well. Every Crossing accepts all without judgment, and changes each to their most inner self."

I couldn't shorten this quote because I have never read any rules/ world explanation thay has brought me such joy and emotion. I had to stop myself quoting the whole next section, "One you, many stories", which takes this concept of being the true and/ or whatever version of yourself you feel comfortable sharing at the table even further, introducing "You" and "Other You". This truly takes this concept even further, essentially stating you could always play any version of you both from your imagination or at any point in your life. This understanding of sensitivity to true self with full inclusivity is truly beautiful, and so very important.

I have so much more to say about how awesome this is and how you should go support the Kickstarter, but sadly my mental and physical conditions are severely limiting my ability to read, write and think. Suffice to say, I bloody love this and backed it instantly!

Legendlore RPG Setting for 5th Edition Fantasy Roleplaying, via @Kickstarter

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendlore Manuscript Preview
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The Great Trial
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/11/2020 19:33:05

The Great Trial by Christian Zeuch (@czeuch)

An epic one-shot dungeon inspired by the most devious and infamous dungeons and their creators.

I find it inconceivable that this amount of awesome can be obtained for less than $6! This is nearly 40 pages of epic adventuring with one humongous dungeon that is one whole classic dungeon level, a labyrinth level with puzzles and a unique minotaur, AND a whole tropical demi-plane filled with more thought, flavour, encounters and events than many adventures!

This is truly an epic undertaking and a seriously awesome adventure, which is impressively both a love letter to old skool dungeons and their creators both in and out of game. This will be a great trial for adventurers new and old, but it is crafted with the care and understanding of 5e that we know and love, while harking back to the crucible of heroes that great dungeons of the past have been. I think this will test and titillate players of any and all generations, which is a phenomenal achievement.

Aenor Gleenwith is an Elven Wizard, Artificer, Engineer and huge dungeon nerd with posters of Acererak and Halaster up in their bedroom. He feels a compulsion to create a dungeon to surpass their masterpieces, workshopping the ultimate dungeon by kidnapping all manner of adventurers and reviving debriefing them on the other side.

Characters begin separated with novel advice of beginning the adventure with them individually over play by post messaging.


A variety of catfishing bounties are suggested, along with a traditional hired in a tavern, only for the poster to be Aenor in disguise who turns an individual into a slug, puts them to sleep, freezes or simply batters the individual or group with multiple high level spells until they are easily transported to the dungeon. It’s also suggested the party could wake up in the dungeon with no memory, which only adds to the tension and confusion.

Detailed information is provided regarding placing this adventure in the Forgotten Realms, as well as advice on locating the dungeon anywhere.

It’s interesting to note Zeuch makes a point of stating: “Since this is a tough challenge, Aenor won’t mind players taking rests inside.” Though food and water could become a problem depending on the time frame and how closely track this in your games.

The dungeon is comprised of three levels: The Entry Level: Many challenges, but ultimately about acquiring the items necessary to move to the next level. The Labyrinth Level: Classic exploration and boss battle at its heart, though the minotaur is a bespoke creature. The “Halaster” Level: Inspired by the creator of the Undermountain, this is a dangerous jungle pocket dimension.

Chapter 1: The Entry Level

The characters begin in randomly assigned positions with a nice variety of puzzles to begin the testing, which also doubles up as a great list of quick puzzles to refer back to if you ever need.

Reunited or meeting for the first time the group comes together and the difficulty gets ratcheted up. “Many of these traps are designed to trick adventurers into making mistakes and could be considered unfair. Aenor understands that; his purpose is to give a sense of despair to the group.” These are truly evil and brilliant, as are the accompanying illustrations of the traps. After facing the cruelty of the traps, it’s time to rumble with a lot of interesting creatures primarily taken from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes! “The corridors are defended by weak creatures that are meant to give players a sense of power, but it’s only a ruse to lower their guard as the main rooms will contain hard fights that will wear them down physically and mentally.” There are just so many uniquely inspired and evil traps, as well classic and media inspired rooms and puzzles, including a maternal Aboleth whose ‘egg’ the party must snatch and another big boss to face once the level is defeated. You know, like seconds or dessert. Showing that Zeuch is equally malevolent as Aenor they suggest the use of alternative lingering damage rules from the DMG, which they also include links to their own extended version, as well as this little nugget. “This is just a reminder; All traps can cause lingering damage if you like to be mean with your players.” (Admittedly, things will be restored in the eventual completion of the dungeon, but it’s hard to feel sorry for the poor adventures!)

Chapter 2: The Labyrinth Level

Before the heroes can get out of the labyrinth, they have to get in. This requires solving a number of puzzles and taking on a couple of monsters to locate the items needed to unlock the way ahead. These feature some really thoughtful and brain-tickling conundrums, as well as a classic treasure fake out.

The labyrinth’s maze is presented alongside the introduction of Skill Challenges from 4e, which don’t appear on 5e, as a means for solving complex problems. The walls in this labyrinth move and change once a certain amount has been passed making doubling back is very difficult, which I definitely think qualifies this as complex puzzle. The Skill Challenge allows for various skills to be used with separate success and failure tables to randomly generate results and the party’s traversal or their lack thereof and/ or facing one of six original and nasty (and one literally wrapped in “soft wool”) traps or random encounters of undead punching bags.

At the centre is a mighty Minotal, a construct with preternatural speed and ability, which becomes all the more deadly when played in line with the well laid out strategy and flanking thwarting reaction. This robobullman (robull?) can be made more manageable by smashing stuff and interrupting magic in two side chambers, if the heroes are able to find their way to them.

Finally, free of the maze and into darkness where they will have to use the power of teamwork to get out and avoid the mechadragon who is not a team player.

If they can make it through, they’ve earned a long rest, a level up and facing the final dungeon level with a reminder that now is the time to be vigilant about the party’s water rations, because mwahahaha...

Chapter 3: The “Halaster” Level

A jungle demi-plane full of dinosaurs is just what the doctor ordered to shake things up a bit, as well as being a love letter to Halaster and their monument to misery, the Undermountain. Did I mention there’s a dino-gang consisting of an Indomitable Rex, T-Rex and Spinosaurus and if they don’t get you the dehydration will?! Oh, and there’s an “alien” area where even the plants try to kill you and everything is bigger, scarier and has more teeth!

A fantastic-looking map shows the whole demi-plane laid out as a hex crawl.

This is a real survival challenge with the water not being safe to drink unless boiled or magically purified and each character needing to drink a gallon of water a day to avoid rolling dreaded Constitution Saves with penalties for those overdressed for the jungle.

Each area is described with all its features and unique elements, as well as the odds of rolling a random encounter of three different tables split across the areas.

A large tribe of lizardfolk live on an island and could potentially be allies or enemies if the party can communicate with them, and perhaps they can even aid one another.

A full list of the dinosaurs and where to find their entries in their appropriate book, along with a link to Keith Ammann’s fantastic article about dinosaur tactics are provided for ease of reference and prep.

On top of the random encounters there are a host of awesome optional special events including a brutal raptor attack on a family of gorillas, a wall of giant insect swarms, a helpful and/ or annoying imp, a stampede, duelling T-Rexes (T-Rexi?), giant sharks and colossal whales and lizardfolk hunters who will cook a nice meal for their friends (if the party are friendly that is).

The questline to allow the PCs to escape revolves around the ruins that are spread out across the tropical demi-plane, each with their own challenges from a trial of athletic and acrobatics to a series of nasty traps so bold they have no need to hide, and a face off against a giant undead ape which will try and rip their faces off.

Triumphant and battered the heroes face their tormentor who has gold, prizes, the Wished return of any characters who died or suffered disfigurement and teleportation to wherever they might want to go!

Despite the fact he’ll do all he can to avoid a fight and teleport away if it gets too rough, Aenon’s unique statblock is included (because there’s going to be some adventurers who understandably want revenge on their captor), along with I-Rex: Indomitable Rex, Iron Wyvern, Minotal and Swarm of Giant Flying Insects.

I find it inconceivable that this amount of awesome can be obtained for less than $6! This is nearly 40 pages of epic adventuring with one humongous dungeon that is one whole classic dungeon level, and a labyrinth level with puzzles and a unique minotaur, as well as a whole tropical demi-plane filled with more thought, flavour, encounters and events than many adventures!

This is truly an epic undertaking and a seriously awesome adventure, which is impressively both a love letter to old skool dungeons and their creators both in and out of game. This will be a great trial for adventurers new and old, but it is crafted with the care and understanding of 5e that we know and love, while harking back to the crucible of heroes that great dungeons of the past have been. I think this will test and titillate players of any and all generations, which is a phenomenal achievement.

I am unbelievably excited to see what Zeuch does next!


Author: Christian Zeuch (@czeuch1 on Twitter) Cover Illustration: roman3d from Adobe Stock license Aenor (elf p5): Zairos Artwork commission BW Traps: Bruno (b.wolf art on Instagram) Editor: Max (@Rexr400 on Twitter)

Special Thanks

The Homebrewery for this amazing layout generator tool! for the inspiration on traps! (@PathsPeculiar on Twitter)

To Vitor Mühlstedt Lopes, César Cremasco Piva, Nicolas Piazza Konrad, Ricardo Nanaco for the feedback provided

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Great Trial
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Masks of Theros
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/03/2020 08:51:14

Masks of Theros from Steffie de Vaan (@100ThingsILove) & Cat Evans (@PerpetualGloom)

Whether this is your first time on Theros or you are well versed in the Greco-Roman mythology-inspired plane, you are in for the ride of your life! Defy the gods, battle monsters and heroes of legend and forge your own destiny with the fate of the entire plane at stake!

This is an epic adventure path told in five chapters, representing each colour of Mana in Magic: The Gathering with the themes and concepts of each colour evident and intrinsic within their adventure. Played as a connected campaign it takes players from level 1-11, while the adventures are presented so they can be played separately, maximising the playability!

This really has a bit of everything, as well as experiences, writing and approaches you won’t find anywhere else. All presented in an accessible and understandable manner, which will allow anyone to pick this up and tell a fantastic and unique tale with the story and tools on these pages. This is truly one of the most well put together and realised adventure paths I’ve ever seen. If you’re planning to play on Theros you need this!

When the god of the dead lost his lovers in the war with the archon, he poured his emotions and memories into masks of their likeness. Such is the power contained within them that they could possibly raise a mortal to godhood. Their being in the wrong hands is unthinkable, so Erebos scattered the fragments of one across Theros, in places no mere mortal could hope to reach. However, a former fanatic of Xenagos, slain god of revels, a Planeswalker who managed to ascend, is searching for the lost pieces. The fates foretell of adventurers rising to the challenge, facing five ordeals and proving themselves Fabled Heroes, though even Klothys, goddess of fate, knows not of their destiny.

The story sees the adventurers embroiled in an epic quest to reassemble the scattered pieces of the Elpis Mask, the only Artifact powerful enough to stop its partner, the Ainoe Mask, which falls into the wrong hands in the great polis of Meletis where the hero’s coming and part to play was foretold. To find the scattered fragments of the mournful Elpis Mask, they set out across the ocean to find an Oracle and face the trials of Thassa, goddess of the sea, in a city of the back of a legendary Kraken. Next the heroes must triumph in Mogis, god of slaughter’s, great bloody game on the battle-scarred plains of Phoberos in the middle of warring minotaur families, only to fall at the bloody hands of the god of wrath and pain in a fit of rage. Kruphix and Klothys, the interconnected god and goddess of the horizon and fate, spirit the adventurer’s souls away to Nyx, the surreal realm of dreams and the night sky where the gods reside as constellations, to exert their influence and attempt to fold the heroes into their own celestial machinations. Following this Journey into Nyx, the heroes are cast into the underworld—In Theros death is not always so final or peaceful. Here they may join forces or confront a perfidious former agent of Xenagos, as they traverse the land or the dead and face Kunoros, the monstrous, three-headed hound of Athreos, the god of passage into the afterlife. After braving these ordeals, the mighty heroes must face Heliod, god of the sun’s, champion in the temple where the last piece of the wondrous, devastating mask is hidden. Can the heroes triumph over death itself and return whole? Bones have been cast and entrails read, but it appears their fate is truly in their own hands.

Erebos’ Grief by Cat Evans (Levels 1-3 White)

This adventure is written wonderfully and, besides from being a phenomenal entry point for those of any experience with Theros and a lot of fun, it’s put together in a brilliant manner in which multiple hooks and events provide options and ways to keep the story on track organically, as the adventurers have a task to complete with more than one differently motivated questgiver. Plus, if all else fails Calisto, the phenomenally awesome, confident, bad arse, evil Wonder Woman, Warlady, who wins bestest ever first NPC introduced in an adventure path ever, simply assaults the town and gets it going!

The suggestions for setting scenes and provision of NPC knowledge, responses to likely questions, motivation, mannerisms, and quote are inspired and, along with the whole format and approach to the provision of information and details, are sublime.

A clever, point-based investigation with clues and conclusions allows all PCs a chance to be useful, along with exploration of the city and setting up coming really caught my attention, reminding me, through doing the complete opposite great work of showing, rather than the telling (and simply clicking) of Assassin’s Creed: Origins investigation scenes.

The adventure revolves around the discovery of a much older hidden temple beneath the city with many different paths to the information, entry and through the temple, including my favourite option of fighting 100 poisonous snakes!

Ultimately, this is an introductory adventure that should be studied as an example of not only being a fun adventure, introductory or otherwise, with its overarching fixed plot and yet so much potential for variety throughout without being overwhelming to prepare and run, as well as being an exceptional starter to a campaign/ adventure path.

Also, I think this line is peak Evans: “If you want to immerse the heroes in the consequences of their failure, consider running short vignettes...” I love me some vignettes!

Thassa’s Intercession by Christian Eichhorn (Levels 3-5 Blue)

The heroes set sail with “Cursed Captain” Argon, an undead (Returned) with a cool ship with “drab, black sails”, Eternal Seeker, to find an Oracle on the back of a Kraken, facing one of the coolest dangers ever described in a motley trio of monsters, a chimera , one winged siren and a giant octopus! Just get a load of this:

“The chimera has the heads of an eel, a shark, and a narwhal. Its body is scaly, like that of a fish. Instead of fire, its breath attack deals lighting damage and originates from the eel head.”

On the Fabled kraken, crustaceans create a chitinous brick road in a welcome far more friendly than the one the Gunslinger faced on the beach with the lobstrosities, which came to mind and I never miss an opportunity to share the word lobstrosities!

A meeting with the Oracle leads to a breathtaking trial in a puzzle-filled temple, figuratively and literally due to the awesome antics being underwater with a timed water breathing element. This trial temple makes fantastic use of lair actions with an impressive list, ranging from enchanting creatures and rooms, cursing PCs and summoning creatures for the DM to play with. But the chief dish of the meal is a living mural puzzle with a painted hero the adventurers can interact with. Essentially, it’s a looping choose your own adventure with puzzle elements and dangers both in the painting and the temple itself. I cannot get enough of this awesomeness!

In a final crescendo to this symphony, the heroes face a fearsome Brine Giant alongside the oracle and their stalwart Returned captain.

Mogis’ Game by Beatriz T. Dias (Levels 5-7 Red)

The quest for the mask fragments brings the party to Phoberos, the Plain of Strife for Mogis’ grand game of Blood with five minotaur families who have been fighting for months to gain a Boon from the god of slaughter.

This sandbox adventure features a renown system for making friends and enemies with the five families, each presented with diverse character, aspects and interests. Fight, form alliances and/ or betray with tables of suggested actions and random events that come together to create a dynamic holiday of hooves, horns, flowers and lots of carnage, especially when the big guy himself shows up...

Kruphix’s Revelation by Oliver Clegg (Levels 7-9 Green)

Whisked away to dreamland by the gods of possibility and destiny things get weird, which is most certainly Clegg’s wheelhouse. The bizarre, celestial realm of Nyx, its inhabitants and the impossibility of describing gods of everything that could be and will be are truly encapsulated and rendered beautifully. The indescribable is written in a manner that is perfectly apt and out of this world and/ or plane!

There is a fabulous warping of the rules governing movement, the size and type of Nyxborn creatures and a sole, god-given token for respite, reflecting the ephemeral land of dreams, nightmares and the night sky, as well as solid advice regarding using this as a standalone adventure. The possible difficulties inherent in running an adventure in a dreamscape individual characters could awaken from are addressed and stellar advice provided.

A magnificent merging of visions and wholly unique set of trap and monster encounters see the adventurers facing sparks of creation, smothering grief, and the perilous tangling of destiny by the Nyxweaver Spiders, as well as a terrifying portents of war in battle against a Nyxborn Hydra whose multiple heads “scream of disasters” and a gargantuan elemental in the fiery form of fate’s foe!

Caught between the horizon and a divined place, the heroes must act as arbiters of the will of one or other of the divided gods of possibility and omens. Only united can they earn favour and proceed, though Clegg and the gods account for PCs’ Shenanigans, which could result in Ill-fortune until the Gods are appeased, with such amusing and unfortunate results as “hurling a sword into the face of a sidekick or setting their own shoes on fire.”

Heliod’s Wraith by Steffie de Vaan (Level 9-11 Black)

In a dark reflection of Meletis they party face the object of the spiritual debate and the choice whether to engage the evil, yet epic Warlady and her minotaur guards, or attempt to traverse the underworld maze with awesome, atmospheric and gloomy random encounters mirroring the events and folx from the journey so far, together.

I feel the need to highlight the fact that, despite requiring a blood tithe, the Vampire husbands who guard the temple understand consent (so you should too).

Inside the temple the heroes face the god of death’s three-headed pupper with the need to sneak, make a really tough deal or throw down, before exploring more creepy cool random encounters leading to Eftalia, Heliod’s champion who stands between the party and the final piece.

There are many different ways for things to finally shake out in the underworld with bargains, betrayals and brawls all on the table with serious stakes and narrative weight, before hopefully making it back to the land of the living. Due to the moving parts and parties invested in the masks, there are many endings with vastly different ramifications for the future of the party and plane, including many seeds for further adventures, being faced with the needs of the many versus the needs of the few... and the ultimate end of all life on the plane.

Also included is a very prescient piece of evergreen advice: “Don’t spring the destruction of the world on [the players] unawares.”

Appendix I: The Masks of Theros

The Elpis Mask is broken down into its five fragments and the stages of its unlocked powers by level for each coloured fragment. Each fragment being a legendary wondrous item in their own right. The stages relate to the increasingly awesome abilities the fragments convey to those attuned to them. These are epic and really give the feeling of wielding mythic items with each unlocked stage making a real difference on this odyssey.

The coloured fragments, as with the relative adventures, show a true understanding of the Magic: The Gathering colour pie and the themes of each colour. Although, from my old days of playing, I would have thought it would be blue who got all the counterspells, though I do understand the way they went with the boosts to Intelligence and other control elements of blue, as well as the amusing nod to blue tokens with the ability to summon homunculi.

The unbreakable Ainoe Mask is an Artifact with phenomenal cosmic power, which can paralyse, using the most tragic memory of the person laying the lightest touch on its luminescent stone facade. In Calisto’s hands it’s truly terrifying!

It’s so refreshing to see the eponymous and story-pivotal magic items live up to their narrative reputation!

Appendix II: Antagonists

Seven unique creatures are included with this adventure from the mighty Brine Giant, Nyxborn Hydra, Daybreak Chimera and Kunoros, the three-headed hound of the god of death, in the monsters department showing off an impressive taste of the fauna of the plane, and Calisto, Scourge of Theros, the BBEW (Big Bad Evil Warlady), Dakun, the FFLFMF (Ferocious Family Leader of the Fellhide Minotaur Family), and Eftalia, Champion of Heliod, the BBLNLL (Big Bad Lawful Neutral Leonin Lady) as the powerful cast of unique NPCs.

The additional features added to existing statblocks for Meletis’ Reverent Army Soldiers and Officers are an awesome thematic addition.

Appendix: III: Meletis

I cannot believe this, but they only bloody included the best part of the information of a whole city, I mean Polis! This is a setting, homebase and an incredibly handy primer for anyone running adventures in Meletis or Theros generally. This includes the political and background information, local expressions, ten NPCs with everything needed for DMs to run them that paint a vivid picture of the diverse polis, as well the City Layout with details of eight areas and districts serving to bring the polis to life!

Appendix IV: Maps

Eichhorn’s cartography is stylish and functional with three battlemaps, Argon’s ship, Eternal Seeker, Thassa’s Temple and the Trials Temple.

Gist’s cover and internal art are stunning and evocative, complimenting the adventures and Evans’ professional, thematic and stylish layout.

This is a seriously awesome collection of adventures that tell a truly mythic tale. This is the kind of adventure path that leaves me instantly desperate to take part on both sides of the screen, and will inspire countless legendary campaigns!

Whether this is your first time on Theros or you are well versed in the Greco-Roman mythology-inspired plane, you are in for the ride of your life! Defy the gods, battle monsters and heroes of legend and forge your own destiny with the fate of the entire plane at stake!

This really has a bit of everything, as well as experiences, writing and approaches you won’t find anywhere else. All presented in an accessible and understandable manner, which will allow anyone to pick this up and tell a fantastic and unique tale with the story and tools on these pages. This is truly one of the most well put together and realised adventure paths I’ve ever seen. If you’re planning to play on Theros you need this!


Development: Steffie de Vaan & Cat Evans Writing: Cat Evans, Christian Eichhorn, Beatriz Dias, Oliver Clegg, Steffie de Vaan Cover & Original Interior Art: Liz Gist Additional Art: Adobe Stock, Envato Elements, Colleen O’Dell from Pixabay, Clker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay, Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay, Mohamed Hassan on Pixabay, Gordon Johnson on Pixabay, Pandanna Imagen on Pixabay, Emmie Norfolk on Pixabay, Mana symbols provided by Layout: Cat Evans Cartography: Christian Eichhorn

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks of Theros
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Mythological Magic Items
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/03/2020 08:30:43

Mythological Magic Items from Arcanist Press (@Arcanist Press)

“The magical creations herein hail from classical antiquity. Whether they be in the hands of friend or foe, they are certain to infuse your game with a certain mythological flavour straight from the epic poems of old! In addition to 30 magic items, there is also a bonus creature from the gates of hell.”

This collection of 30 Greco-Roman mythology inspired magic items are perfect for using in any Theros game, as well as any other with gods and legendary heroes. Taking inspiration directly from the rich mythology and folklore that blur the lines of reality and fiction, these items would also work well with any setting using our own world as inspiration.

These are such a wide range of magical arms, armour and or items, as well as an absolute who’s who of antiquity from Archimedes to Zeus and Hades to Icarus. The way in which the mythology of the gods, philosophers and heroes are converted and distilled into magic items is seriously impressive, as well as being a great crash course in these fascinating stories still inspiring creations thousands of years later!

I really like the tidbits of lore included with many of the items, especially with some of the items showing dispute and hearsay of the deeds, wielders and creators of these divine weapons, which is a great touch exemplified by the Aegis of Zeus having been “wielded by the legendary Zeus, or perhaps Athena, depending on which tales you hear.” This captures the immutable nature of mythology, after being told by and handed down through so many storytellers, and shows just how easy it would be to change the names or rework the lore for these items to fit any setting or game. The Ring of Gyges, for instance is faithful to the mythological tales of an actual king of Lydia, which is mechanically the One Ring from Tolkien’s works.

Pandora’s Box is an item that has always fascinated me and there are so many different ways to interpret and represent it. Marshall’s interpretation of the gift and a curse element, represented by being poisoned, while gaining bonuses to healing and death saves is inspired.

Also included, is a statblock for world’s most famous three-head pupper and guardian of the gates of Hades, Cerberus. Who better to guard these mythological magic Items? Clocking in at CR 3, comparable to their hellhound cousins, this might not be the most terrifying presentation, compared to more modern representations of the pooch of the underworld, but being as they just a large, terrifying hound described as having between one and a hundred heads, possibly with snakes involved (though that’s more their father, Typhon’s whole deal), which Heracles (the original Greek Hercules) defeated and even marched through the streets of Greece in some tellings.

Impressive cover art by Bien Flores and Basith Ibrahim.

Lovely thematic mosaic background and great use of classical and stock art that capture and convey the Hellenic vibe.

This is an awesome treasure trove of magical items woven from the tapestry of mythology and the many inspiring gods, mortals and everything in between that will lend a mystique and some fun, flavourful items to your games.


Author: Eugene Marshall Layout: Amy Bliss Marshall Cover: Figure Inks by Bien Flores, Figure Colors by Basith Ibrahim, Background Image by Yusef Dundar Interior Art: art made available under the Community Content Agreement for the DMs Guild by Wizards of the Coast and from Edouard Dognin, Mateus Campos, Mike Gorrell, & Milada Vigerova

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythological Magic Items
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