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Dungeon Crawl Classics #38: Escape from the Forest of Lanterns $7.49
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #38: Escape from the Forest of Lanterns
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #38: Escape from the Forest of Lanterns
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/25/2018 07:59:32

Be careful what you read! You often find magic tomes that have an effect on those that read them, but here's a truly evil effect... being dumped into a bizarre adventure based on children's fairy stories. A bit trite even if you like them, pure torture if you don't.

The DM is provided with a synopsis of the adventure, a list of encounters, scaling information, and some plot hooks to get the party trapped... er, I mean, involved in the adventure. As the adventure involves a visit to a demiplane, you can run it from anywhere although there is a suggestion for a start-point if you are using the default world of Aereth. This demiplane consists of a massive dark forest and there's plenty of information to help you set the scene. It's not just the strange location, weird things happen to the party too - but there's full coverage on how to handle that as well. Turning them into children, perhaps... but SIX years of age sounds a bit young.

The adventure proper begins when the party examines what turns out to be an animated book of children's stories. It proves to be very chatty and friendly, and eventually asks if it may tell a story to the whole party when they are together - perhaps of an evening seated around a campfire or otherwise taking their ease. And so it tells the tale of The Warty Witch and the Forest of Lanterns, about two young children who got lost in said forest and defeated the Witch to escape. The book then suggests that it might be fun to see it all firsthand...

Needless to say, the Forest of Lanterns to which the party are transported (whether or not they think it might be 'fun') is darker and nastier than the storybook version. There are plenty of wandering monsters and set-piece encounters to keep the party 'entertained' and even those who will talk rather than fight are unfriendly.Indeed there's a nasty undercurrent through the entire adventure, with assorted creatures attempting to toy with the party, messing them about for their own amusement. Somewhere in the middle is the Witch's cottage (made out of gingerbread of course), which has two floors, a tower and a dungeon underneath.

The adventure should end with the defeat of the Witch and the discovery of a way to get home, but there are other options... even the dire one of continuing in similar vein with a series of such adventures - a couple are outlined and suggestions of other modules you could adapt are provided. Be sure your group actually like this sort of thing. It's well put together but the whole concept is one that they may find repellant. It's not for me... although I may be inspired by the magical book to create one that can transport a party to places I'd actually enjoy visiting!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #38: Escape from the Forest of Lanterns
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2007 00:00:00

First, I?ll assume that some of you have purchased and read one of the Dungeon Crawl Classics beforehand. This adventure is a bit of a departure in theme from most of these great products. Your PCs must deal with a ?Shrek-esque? story setting ? the Forest of Lanterns. It?s a good change of pace. Forewarn your players of this or you may lose some of the flavor.

The scenario is broken down in two parts. The first is the trip in and around the Forest of Lanterns. While I enjoyed this section the most, I found that it was mostly made of numerous encounters that just added to the flavor of the setting but did little to promote a purposeful, flowing story, so this may a plus for some and a minus for others. If you just want to bash trolls and treants, you should be happy. If not, prune some of the encounters; reading the entire adventure beforehand is a must.

The second part deals with the ?Hanzel & Gretel-esque? candy cottage. Inside are the central antagonist and her flunkies. This is a pretty standard dungeon crawl, and seemed to have less imagination invested in its creation. Have some various candies on hand for this part; gingerbread would be nice, too.

The maps and art were useful and standard for these products.

My group played this in two nights (about 8 hours all together). It is an adventure for 7-9 level PCs, but I think scaling the number of monsters encountered down makes it more enjoyable for a lower leveled group (say 5-7 levels). The central antagonist seemed a bit weak for the recommended levels. The writing was clear, and the story fun, although I did find the central antagonist?s and the PCs? motivation to be a bit understated. My PCs ended up talking to her and worked out a compromise (after they severely damaged her home and hench-monsters). Based on my perception of the theme, common violence seemed to be an inappropriate answer to some encounters. Unfortunately, some of the treasure would have been hard to liberate otherwise.

My recommendation is to watch the Skrek movies and then play. I had the scores for Skrek 1 & 2 playing to keep the desired mood flowing. Play up on those bedtime stories and ham it up. Encourage the players to do the same. Think outside the dungeon!

A final note: this is not a "silly, waste of time" adventure. It is a fun diversion from the typical scenario. If your group is strictly a hardcore "adventure path" sort, you might want to give this a pass.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #38: Escape from the Forest of Lanterns
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/29/2007 00:00:00

Dungeon Crawl Classics #38: Escape from the Forest of Lanterns is a 44 page d20 fantasy adventure and one of the many products in the very successful Dungeon Crawl Classics lines of adventures from Goodman Games. Each adventure in the series contains a self-contained adventure dungeon crawl, full of tricks, traps, monsters, and lots of dungeon. In this particular adventure the PCs find themselves transported to another dimension where they have to find a means of escape. If that's not bad enough, they get converted into children as well, and have to fight their way through a nightmare fairy-tale to escape from the Warty Witch. This adventure is suitable for characters of levels 7 to 9, and scaling information is provided for parties of a different composition.

This product comes as a single, fully-bookmarked pdf file that contains all the maps and adventure details for the adventure. The product follows the familiar layout of all the adventures in the Dungeon Crawl Classics line, although there are some new sections in these later product as a result of the release of DCC #35 - the campaign world of the Dungeon Crawl Classics line. The first being details of where the adventure can be located in the campaign world, and the second is a handy little summary at the back of the product of each of the DCC products and their respective levels. This makes it easy to select your next adventure once this one is completed.

The product writing, editing and layout are all of a high standard, as is the numerous art found in the product. The only niggle was the slightly poor maps - they looked a little unpolished around the edges, although the detail was reasonably clear. Monster stats and details were as usual good, and the product in fact includes a whole host of new and interesting monsters that can be used in other games outside of this one. Other useful features of the product include a list of all encounters and ELs, several good plot hooks and adventure summary and background. Overall a high standard of presentation and a good-looking product that covers all the bases and more.

The adventure is set in the Forest of Lanterns, a demi-plane location. The characters are transported there thanks to a magical tome, and have to find their way out of the demi-plane, and navigate its oft deadly environs. Not only that, they are turned into children in this fairy tale land, and have to contend with being younger and smaller for the course of the adventure. Naturally, full mechanical details are provided to achieve this.

The essence of the adventure is quite simple, really - escape the demi-plane - but the roleplaying opportunities and fun encounters should make this a wholly enjoyable adventure. There are a large number of interesting encounters, from fighting miniature trolls, to various fey, and a rather cute little thing called 'cuddly-wuddly'. This adventure should keep most gamers entertained, although its light-hearted and child-like elements might not be for the more serious gamer.

Roleplaying-wise this is a good adventure with a good mix of challenging encounters. There are a total of 27 encounter areas in the adventure, so it should make for a decent amount of time to get through the whole adventure. Encounters range from creatures to traps, with a eclectic mix of different creatures and traps used to keep the PCs on their toes. There is naturally a risk that the adventure can be over pretty quickly, but those should be rare instances where things just go the PCs' way. I think this is a solid and entertaining adventure, and certainly an entertaining campaign 'filler' to take a break from adventuring of a more serious nature.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Good adventure background with plenty of opportunity to flex brawn and brain. Some good roleplaying opportunity and a chance to have some fun playing children in a dangerous and deadly nightmare fairy tale. Very good presentation.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Maps were a little weak, although clear, and looked a little unpolished. Other than that, nothing much that was a detraction from the adventure and its contents.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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