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Dungeon Crawl Classics #17.5: War of the Witch Queen
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/13/2022 08:56:57

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-dungeon-crawl.html

Dungeon Crawl Classics #17.5: War of the Witch Queen

PDF. 28 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art.

This is the precursor to the larger Saga of the Witch Queen. I grabbed it to have a complete collection and to see if there were any differences between this and the newer version. I would still love to get my hands on a printed copy.

This adventure is designed for D&D 3.5/d20 OGC. This means converting it to Pathfinder is really a non-issue. More to the point we can convert Kyleth from an 8th-level Sorcer to an 8th-level witch.

The main differences here between this adventure and the counterpart Saga adventure, War of the Witch Queen is that this is for D&D 3.5e and Saga is for AD&D 1e. They are the same adventures with very minor tweaks.

Both send the PCs on a quest to stop and kill Kyleth the self-styled Witch Queen. It is a straightforward dungeon crawl. This is not a weakness, but rather its strength.

The obvious question is do you need this one if you have Saga of the Witch Queen? I say yes since the systems are different (but can be converted).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #17.5: War of the Witch Queen
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Dungeon Crawl Classics: Saga of the Witch Queen
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/13/2022 08:56:02

UPDATED 10/13/2022

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-dungeon-crawl.html

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Saga of the Witch Queen

PDF from DriveThruRPG. 84 pages. Monochrome cover and black & white interior art.

This is a meaty module. 84 pages, covers, maps, and OGL still leave a lot of pages for content.

First off, if you are not familiar with Dungeon Crawl Classics modules they are meant to emulate a certain feel of early 80s play. They went on to create the game Dungeon Crawl Classics, but the adventures are still largely OSR compatible. Actually, I didn't see a single thing in this adventure that screamed ts should be used for one system or the other, though on the cover they claim "1e." That is good enough.

This adventure is actually 3 adventures in one. Legacy of the Savage Kings, The Lost Passage of the Drow, and War of the Witch Queen (which I will discuss later). Each one is a different part of the Witch Queen's plan.

Reading through this adventure is one part excitement for the new and one part excitement for the nostalgia. For the new, I wanted to learn more about Kyleth (the eponymous Witch Queen and not to be confused with Keyleth) and the tome Ars Maleficus. The nostalgia comes from many little easter eggs throughout the pages that call back to adventures of the TSR days. I am convinced the Mad Hermit here is the same as the one in the Keep on the Borderland for example. There are also hints of influences from Vault of the Drow, Ravenloft, and even the rest of the GDQ series. In fact, the second adventure, "The Lost Passage of the Drow" could be slotted into the D series and no one would be the wiser. Replace Baba Yazoth with the proper Baba Yaga and have one of the many adventures she features in as a side trek.

There are a number of named characters that would work well as witches, Maeve, Baba Yazoth, and of course Kyleth herself. While using the title of "Witch Queen" Kyleth is only an 8th-level Magic-user. Make her a 9th or 10th-level witch and then you have something really scary.

Does it work with The Witch? Yes, absolutely. There is a number of great items and story points in this adventure for any witch character. In fact, I would say that any good witch would want to see Kyleth taken out on general principle. Plus there are a number of encounters and NPCs that would benefit from the rules in the Witch. Night Hags get more spell-casting powers for example and the medusa can also have some levels of the witch class.

Of course, there is the issue of Kyleth being one of The Thirteen. The Thirteen most evil wizards, witches, and necromancers in the world. She was the newest member, who are the other 12, and what are their plans? Is anyone up for an adventure against the Legion of Doom? I might have to come back to this idea. I can see witches, vivamancers, blood mages, evil wizards, and necromancers as part of this evil cabal. Each provides something different.

About the physical book. The book is 80 pages and printed on very heavy paper. It is softcover, but the binding looks good. With the heavy paper and glossy cover, I expect this to hold up to wear and tear. The cover is bound on, so no taking it off to use as a GM screen with maps. I am glad I have this as a PDF too to print out the maps and the handouts. I am really, really happy with this module.

UPDATE: Of course, I took this idea and ran with it making Kyleth one of the many Witch Queens that is gathering at the Tredecim. Kyleth was my first choice as the murderess of the Witch Queen, but I quickly dropped that idea. If Kyleth had kill the High Queen then her ambitions would be greater. No Kyleth is an opportunist. She sees the tide turning and decides now is her time to strike.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics: Saga of the Witch Queen
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The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc - 5E
Publisher: Zan's Adventures
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/12/2022 08:59:26

Originally posted here (with my campiagn ideas): https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-witch-queen-of.html

The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc

For Pathfinder 1st Edition and D&D 5th Edition.

This adventure series was Kickstarted back in 2020. I am grabbing the versions found on DriveThruRPG. It looks like the PDFs were sent out as soon as the Kickstarter finished from what I can tell.

I will be reviewing both versions and pointing out where the differences lie.

PDF. 84 pages. Color covers and interior art. Levels 3 to 6.

Before I get into the adventure itself I do want to say something about Page 3 which covers the basics of how "Zan's Adventures" work and the layout. I know there is no reason at all that people need to conform to a "book" layout, especially since many people will read this on some sort of device. The adventures do not follow a book layout per se, but they do add a few things. For starters, color is used more to denote different sorts of outcomes or text. This is great, unless you have some sort of Red-Green color blindness. Rare yes, but these are the things I look for.

But there are some very strong benefits here as well. For example, the NPCs, including the Witch Queen herself, are well-defined in easy-to-read blocks to aid the DM/GM while running the adventure. Same with the locations.

The areas are defined as our three main antagonists. It is possible that one or more are freed from their tombs to enact their evil plans. Well we have character sheets in the back for those. Also, there are other NPCs and a ton of monsters to interact with. Now given that one of the encounters is not 1 but 2 Death Knights, I think this one should be scaled up a bit. When I run it I might use just one Death Knight with skeletal minions.

There is a whole section of possible outcomes and endings. The adventure is not quite a free-form sandbox, your locations are limited, but how the players investigate them are up to them.

The biggest differences in these two come from the NPC and Monster statblocks and how the various skill checks work. All in line with the rules of Pathfinder and D&D.

The end has maps you can print out. There is also an additional product, Map Pack for the Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc for VTTs and Roll20 in particular. I also find these are good to print. For an extra $2.00 it is worth it to me.

There is an OGL at the end, but the author might want to swap out "DM" in their text for "GM" for OGL compliance.

All in all not a bad adventure. Pretty straight forward to be honest. There are some new monsters so that is fun. I would have liked to see some unique treasure if nothing else the Spellbook of Witch Queen Morfa.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc - 5E
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The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc - Pathfinder
Publisher: Zan's Adventures
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/12/2022 08:59:22

Originally posted here (with my campiagn ideas): https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-witch-queen-of.html

The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc

For Pathfinder 1st Edition and D&D 5th Edition.

This adventure series was Kickstarted back in 2020. I am grabbing the versions found on DriveThruRPG. It looks like the PDFs were sent out as soon as the Kickstarter finished from what I can tell.

I will be reviewing both versions and pointing out where the differences lie.

PDF. 84 pages. Color covers and interior art. Levels 3 to 6.

Before I get into the adventure itself I do want to say something about Page 3 which covers the basics of how "Zan's Adventures" work and the layout. I know there is no reason at all that people need to conform to a "book" layout, especially since many people will read this on some sort of device. The adventures do not follow a book layout per se, but they do add a few things. For starters, color is used more to denote different sorts of outcomes or text. This is great, unless you have some sort of Red-Green color blindness. Rare yes, but these are the things I look for.

But there are some very strong benefits here as well. For example, the NPCs, including the Witch Queen herself, are well-defined in easy-to-read blocks to aid the DM/GM while running the adventure. Same with the locations.

The areas are defined as our three main antagonists. It is possible that one or more are freed from their tombs to enact their evil plans. Well we have character sheets in the back for those. Also, there are other NPCs and a ton of monsters to interact with. Now given that one of the encounters is not 1 but 2 Death Knights, I think this one should be scaled up a bit. When I run it I might use just one Death Knight with skeletal minions.

There is a whole section of possible outcomes and endings. The adventure is not quite a free-form sandbox, your locations are limited, but how the players investigate them are up to them.

The biggest differences in these two come from the NPC and Monster statblocks and how the various skill checks work. All in line with the rules of Pathfinder and D&D.

The end has maps you can print out. There is also an additional product, Map Pack for the Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc for VTTs and Roll20 in particular. I also find these are good to print. For an extra $2.00 it is worth it to me.

There is an OGL at the end, but the author might want to swap out "DM" in their text for "GM" for OGL compliance.

All in all not a bad adventure. Pretty straight forward to be honest. There are some new monsters so that is fun. I would have liked to see some unique treasure if nothing else the Spellbook of Witch Queen Morfa.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc - Pathfinder
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Curse of the Web Witch- A Swords & Wizardry Mini-Dungeon
Publisher: Creation's Edge Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/11/2022 08:51:33

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-curse-of-web.html

Curse of the Web Witch

PDF. 10 (14 with maps) pages. Color cover. Black & White interior art. For 4-6 adventurers of levels 2nd to 4th.

Another mini-adventure that could be run in the afternoon. A cursed artifact from a forgotten god has transformed a priestess into a horrible monster, a web witch!

The PCs have to track her down (not too hard) and destroy the artifact.

This one has a few new monsters including the Web Witch. All in all quite a fun little romp.

The web witch here is fun and I like the stats, but I think I would rather use the web witches I made a few years before this one.

Again, like the Return of the Warlock this one can be easily adapted to any world. In fact, it is recommended you do so.

About Dungeons of Dazegoneby

Both of these adventures are part of their "Dungeons of Dazegoneby" line of adventures. Here is what the author Matt Kline has to say about that:

I can remember a time in my distant past when I could head to the local mall walk into one of the two bookstores they had at the time, plunk down around five dollars, and walk out with a brand new Dungeons & Dragons module. Our Dungeons of Dazegoneby line is a tribute to old-school gaming, paying homage to a time filled with graph paper maps, wandering monster tables, hand-drawn character sheets, and lazy afternoons filled with adventure and wonder. We hope you enjoy playing these products as much as we enjoyed making them.

Damn. I could have written that myself! So yeah I get what they are doing here and I am happy they are doing it. The maps from Dyson Logos really help.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Curse of the Web Witch- A Swords & Wizardry Mini-Dungeon
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Return of the Warlock- A Swords & Wizardry Mini-Dungeon
Publisher: Creation's Edge Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/11/2022 08:51:28

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-curse-of-web.html

Return of the Warlock

PDF. 10 (14 with maps) pages. Color cover. Black & White interior art. For 4-6 adventurers of levels 2nd to 4th.

A skull taken as a trophy has the trapped spirit of our warlock here, one Kalis Magefire. He has escaped and has taken hostages demanding to fight the heroes that killed him. Too bad those heroes have been dead for years.

The adventure sounds simple enough. The warlock's spirit has taken control over the hall built dedicated to the heroes that defeated him. He know wants to fight those heroes. Failing that you all will do.

Sneak in, defeat the warlock, save the hostages.

The strength in this adventure will be how easy it can be adapted to nearly any setting or set-up.

I would recommend that the "heroes" used here be from your own campaign. If you (like most of my fellow graybeards) are now playing with a different group the name drops might not have the same resonance, but it will still be fun.

About Dungeons of Dazegoneby

Both of these adventures are part of their "Dungeons of Dazegoneby" line of adventures. Here is what the author Matt Kline has to say about that:

I can remember a time in my distant past when I could head to the local mall walk into one of the two bookstores they had at the time, plunk down around five dollars, and walk out with a brand new Dungeons & Dragons module. Our Dungeons of Dazegoneby line is a tribute to old-school gaming, paying homage to a time filled with graph paper maps, wandering monster tables, hand-drawn character sheets, and lazy afternoons filled with adventure and wonder. We hope you enjoy playing these products as much as we enjoyed making them.

Damn. I could have written that myself! So yeah I get what they are doing here and I am happy they are doing it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Warlock- A Swords & Wizardry Mini-Dungeon
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Appendix N Adventures #4: "The Witch of Wydfield"
Publisher: Brave Halfling Publishing
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/10/2022 08:37:57

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-witch-of-wydfield.html

A while back I downloaded the adventure The Witch of Wydfield by Brave Halfling Publishing. It is a fun adventure and is designed for 0-level characters for Dungeon Crawl Classics. I used it as a "Session 0" with new B/X characters for the War of the Witch Queens. I'd love to put up a review of the adventure itself, but it is no longer available from DriveThruRPG. It is however still available if you download the Map Bundle.

The Witch of Wydfield (Adventure)

PDF. 10 pages, color cover, black & white interior.

By John Adams & Colin Chapman. Art by Steve Zieser & Mark Allen.

This is a Level 0 Adventure for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, something they call "the funnel" it is a great idea but I used it for B/X, handing out copies of the Moldvay Basic red book to all the players.

The adventure is pretty strait forward. It is a classic Hammer Horror-style Witch Hunt. Honestly, put on Rush's Witch Hunt or The Necromancer and you have the vibe perfectly.

There is one location, the witch's cabin. The monsters are her minions. We ran it all on cold winter's afternoon and evening. Kill the witch, save the girl, and collect the treasure.

The adventure is gritty DCC RPG which is a great start for me and this campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Appendix N Adventures #4: "The Witch of Wydfield"
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Maps for The Witch of Wydfield
Publisher: Lord Zsezse Works
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/10/2022 08:36:18

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-witch-of-wydfield.html

The Witch of Wydfield (Map)

My family loves terrain, minis, and maps. So the map for this was a big incentive for them to play. I spent a Christmas afternoon printing out the maps and gluing them to cardboard. I did the outside on one side (with flaps for secret areas) and the witch's lair on the other. Worked so fantastic that I really want to use it for something else now.

We augmented it all with some terrain my youngest 3D printed and some trees and other materials we bought from Michael's craft store.

Note: If you buy the Map and Adventure bundle you do not need to buy the map alone. But the Map and Adventure bundle is the only way to get the adventure now.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maps for The Witch of Wydfield
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Witch of Wydfield Map+Adventure [BUNDLE]
Publisher: Lord Zsezse Works
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/10/2022 08:36:15

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-witch-of-wydfield.html

A while back I downloaded the adventure The Witch of Wydfield by Brave Halfling Publishing. It is a fun adventure and is designed for 0-level characters for Dungeon Crawl Classics. I used it as a "Session 0" with new B/X characters for the War of the Witch Queens. I'd love to put up a review of the adventure itself, but it is no longer available from DriveThruRPG. It is however still available if you download the Map Bundle.

The Witch of Wydfield (Adventure)

PDF. 10 pages, color cover, black & white interior.

By John Adams & Colin Chapman. Art by Steve Zieser & Mark Allen.

This is a Level 0 Adventure for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, something they call "the funnel" it is a great idea but I used it for B/X, handing out copies of the Moldvay Basic red book to all the players.

The adventure is pretty strait forward. It is a classic Hammer Horror-style Witch Hunt. Honestly, put on Rush's Witch Hunt or The Necromancer and you have the vibe perfectly.

There is one location, the witch's cabin. The monsters are her minions. We ran it all on cold winter's afternoon and evening. Kill the witch, save the girl, and collect the treasure.

The adventure is gritty DCC RPG which is a great start for me and this campaign.

The Witch of Wydfield (Map)

My family loves terrain, minis, and maps. So the map for this was a big incentive for them to play. I spent a Christmas afternoon printing out the maps and gluing them to cardboard. I did the outside on one side (with flaps for secret areas) and the witch's lair on the other. Worked so fantastic that I really want to use it for something else now.

We augmented it all with some terrain my youngest 3D printed and some trees and other materials we bought from Michael's craft store.

Note: If you buy the Map and Adventure bundle you do not need to buy the map alone. But the Map and Adventure bundle is the only way to get the adventure now.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Witch of Wydfield Map+Adventure [BUNDLE]
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DL15 Mists of Krynn (1e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/09/2022 00:45:29

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-dl15-mists-of.html

DL15 Mists of Krynn

PDF. 128 pages. Color covers and maps. Black & white interior.

This book contains 12 mini-adventures (pages 2 to 100), nine discussions on various creatures and races unique to Krynn with adventure hooks or lairs, and eight NPCs. I printed the monster section out and stuck it into my Dragonlance Monstrous Compendium binder.

I am going to be upfront here and say this is not a review of the entire book, but rather just of the mini adventure The Tanglewood Keep, and I'll briefly touch on one of the NPCs, Ladonna.

The Tanglewood Keep

This adventure is a basic MacGuffin hunt, but it has some nice features about it. First off it was written by a friend of the Other Side Vince Garcia. I have featured his Quest of the Ancients RPG many times here. Secondly, while the adventure is simple, that is its greatest strength. It is not really about the quest to find a stone, it is about getting the PCs from their home world (Greyhawk or now the Realms) to Krynn via the magic mirror in the adventure.

The characters are introduced to kender, tinker gnomes, and draconians in short order. They get the full Dragonlance introduction before the mud on their boots from their home world is even dry.

I ran this one for my family at home and at Gen Con 2021 and in no short order they all wanted to kill poor Twil Topknot! It was a fun adventure and I am glad I got to do it.

The book itself does have an "Adventure Path" feel about it with adventures to take the characters from the 1st to 15th level. Tanglewood Keep is for adventurers of 1st to 3rd level. If you want to play in Krynn and don't want to do the War of the Lance, or do what I did and have it as a "background noise," then this is a good choice.

This adventure also introduces us to the magic-user coughwitchcough Stevie. I'll get to her later.

Stevie aka Sarana

In the adventure, we meet Stevie. She is a 12th-level white-robed Grey Elf wizard. Given the adventure is for characters levels 1 to 3 there is no way the PCs are going to mess with her. Her description is pretty much Krynn's Stevie Nicks. I mean she is better qualified to go get her rock than the characters are. So is Twill for that matter. But none of that is important really. What is important is the fact she is here.

Stevie also has a not-too-coincidental resemblance to another Garcia character, this time it is Sarana from his Quest of the Ancients.

For my run of this, I combined Stevie (grey-elf) and Sarana (human) into one character, Sarana (half-elf). Seriously if I had pulled out a witch-like character named Stevie in front of my family they never would have taken her seriously. They know who I am. Much like the PCs, Sarana is trapped here from her own world. Unlike the PCs she has decided to remain.

Ladonna

I admire the layout of this book. Everything is rather modular with the monster/race bits fitting on a front and back page (reading the PDF) and the NPCs fitting one per page. It makes printing this out rather convenient.

Ladonna is another entry from Vince. She is a 17th-level black robe (aka evil) wizardess. But you would be forgiven if you read her entry and didn't think she was a witch. I mention her here since, well she is witchy and from Vince Carcia.

Honestly. If I never get to the other adventures these NPCs, the little adventure, and the monster pages has all made this a great choice for me.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DL15 Mists of Krynn (1e)
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Winter of the Witch
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/07/2022 00:13:18

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-winter-of-witch.html

Winter of the Witch (5e)

PDF. 32 pages. No art.

This conversion is from Michael "solomani" Mifsud making use of the WotC fan license to convert older products. This is a conversion of the Monsters (and just the monsters) from the Winter of the Witch adventure from Dungeon 162.

Monster stats are limited to one per page to make printing easy with the notable exceptions of our white dragon Kurikveaeri and Koliada herself. His stats don't match mine save where we both drew from the original, but he has a some good ideas here to be sure.

The product doesn't not try to convert the whole adventure. It also doesn't claim to try to convert it all either, this is just the monsters. For just under $2 that's not bad, but I would have liked some more. Still this is a lot of work and plenty to get me going.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Winter of the Witch
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for your review! I did convert the whole thing for my personal campaign, but since this is a 4e product with a lot of maps, I decided it was safer just to convert the monsters in terms of copyrights.
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Dungeon #162 (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/07/2022 00:11:37

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-winter-of-witch.html

This is just a review of the one adventure, Winter of the Witch.

PDF. 111 pages, color covers and interior art.

I am not reviewing the entire issue of Dungeon here, though I will briefly talk about the other contents. Robert J. Schwalb has two adventures here. A Scales of War Adventure Path adventure and “Depths of Madness” from the Madness trilogy. Schwalb does great work and I am sure these are both top-notch.

Winter of the Witch is by Stephen Radney-MacFarland with illustrations by Dave Allsop, Eric Deschamps, Izzy, William O'Connor, Wayne Reynolds, Amelia Stoner, Sam Wood, and cartography by Jason A. Engle, and Sean Macdonald.

This adventure calls the characters back to Winterhaven to the Keep on the Shadowfell. The plot is similar to what we would later see with the Night King and Winterfell in Game of Thrones. (But this was published in 2009.) Koliada is marching south with her army of Undead and winter follows after her. This could easily be tied in with the HPE series of adventures from 4e if you could find a way to slot them in. All the right elements are here it is a matter of working it out. OR it would make for a great epic-level adventure for some other D&DF 4 campaign. It is set for levels 21-30.

Personally, the adventure is fine, but the true star here is Koliada the Winter Witch. She is so much fun that I have used her in BECMI D&D and made my own D&D 5 stats for her. I also thought she might make a great Dark Lord if part of Pathfinder's Irrisen got sucked into Ravenloft as Ikkesen. She is a standout character and one I love to keep coming back to. The fantastic Wayne Reynolds art doesn't hurt either.

The adventure is a tight 34 pages.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon #162 (4e)
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FIGHTING FANTASY - Caverns of the Snow Witch
Publisher: Greywood Publishing
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/05/2022 00:25:10

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-fighting-fantasy.html

FIGHTING FANTASY - Caverns of the Snow Witch

PDF and Print. 45 pages. Color covers, black & white interiors.

This adventure has a solid pedigree. It is based on Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy books from 1984. This adventure is for the d20 system / D&D 3.0 system published in 2003. So nearly 20 apart, here I am nearly 20 years after that reviewing it.

This adventure covers the same plot and situations from the Fighting Fantasy "choose your own adventure" book.

The adventure is designed for one character or a small group of adventures. Reading through it does follow the same plot lines as the Fighting Fantasy book.

This adventure also features the Luck saves from the original book. It has some changes to the d20 ruleset. There are a few new monsters (including a Yeti!), some new spells, campaign notes, and some new NPCs.

There are a lot of location-based adventures, essentially a collection of encounters the PCs jump from one to the next. The advantage here is that it is easy to convert from d20 to what I am planning to use it with, Old-School Adventures.

The Snow Witch in this adventure is a sorcerer/vampire which works great for d20/3.0. For my adventures, I would make her a proper witch.

The adventure is fine, but I think I might be viewing it through what my "Nostalgia Goggles." Am I reading a good adventure or am I reading something because it was enjoyable to me in the 1980s?

I guess in the end it doesn't matter, as long as I am having fun with it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FIGHTING FANTASY - Caverns of the Snow Witch
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A Witch's Desire - Adventure for Old-School Essentials
Publisher: Earl of Fife Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/04/2022 10:27:19

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-witchs-desire.html

Honestly, I could not pass this one up. It is a low-level adventure featuring a witch, it is quick and it is for Old-School Essentials. So yeah, I had to grab it. But how does it play? Let's look into it.

A Witch's Desire - Adventure for Old-School Essentials

PDF and PoD. 27 pages. Color covers and interior art.

The designed levels for this are 1 to 3, but I find that it works well as an "interlude" adventure, that is as the characters are moving from one major adventure to the other. Not to say that this can't be a major adventure, it can. But for me, I wanted to feel more like the characters "wandered into a dream" sort of deal.

To start with, and what helps fuel this notion of an interlude, are some rules for travel. While the PCs are moving from their last adventure to this one using these rules helps give this one it's own feel. Yes they can be used elsewhere and adapted. Adding to this is the section after the travel and before the adventure proper, and that is the influence the witch has on the lands near her. I have been using something similar for my War of the Witch Queens based on the old superstition of Hex Signs, but the rules here are more explicit in their application.

The adventure is a "straightforward" mission to get some water for the Witch of the Wilds they meet at the start of the adventure. I say "straightforward" because obviously, it isn't. They are plenty of hazards along the way and foes to fight. The adventure is scaleable so that is also quite good.

There are no stats for the witch herself, nor should there be. The PCs should not be fighting her.

This adventure is set in the Forever Winter setting. Honestly a name like screams to be used. Also, there is mention of the Ice Queen and her rivalry with the Witch of the Wilds. The Ice Queen is not mentioned much here save for a sidebar, but the potential is great. So great in fact that I have an idea of how to work the Ice Queen (also a witch in my world naturally) into my War of the Witch Queens. I'll discuss her tomorrow. It is likely that their A Wintry Death adventures could be used in conjunction with this one, but I am pretty pleased with it as is to be honest.

While the art is wonderful for this it does make you think the Witch of the Wild could be something of an evil-ish character, certainly otherworldly. While reading through this I kept asking myself, what if this witch was good and just really needed the character's help?

Suddenly all I could think of was Ginny Di's character Morelia the Wood Witch. She would need the water for her potions obviously. Changes the whole tenor of the adventure. Not that I have any problems coming up with witches. It would also change the nature of the relationship between the Witch of the Wilds and the Ice Queen. They are still rivals, but now it is different.

Note: I just noticed that Morelia's familiar Crimini is a cat with white fur and gold eyes. Much like the art for the Witch of the Wilds. Maybe Morelia polymorphs Crimini to act as the scary Witch of the Wild? She then hides in the background so that the PCs she is hiring don't know she really is about as dangerous as a bunny. A lot like Balok in the classic Trek episode "The Corbomite Maneuver." Instead of tranya she offers them tea of course. Yeah, I like this idea.

In either case, the Witch of this adventure would need to be a potential ally for the characters in my game. I can't actually see Morelia getting mad with them anyway. And I really want to use Morelia. I just don't think I can pull off the voice Ginny Di uses for her!

In any case a fun adventure with a lot of ideas for use in my home campaign. The PDF version comes with separate maps. The PDF also features layers so you can turn on the background image for readability. That's worth an extra star in my book to be honest.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Witch's Desire - Adventure for Old-School Essentials
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Creator Reply:
I'm glad this inspired you Tim! Thanks for the review.
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Fiend Folio (3e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/03/2022 11:36:19

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/monstrous-mondays-fiend-folio-3e.html

Fiend Folio (3e)

PDF and Hardcover. 226 pages. Color covers and interior art.

This is the third "Fiend Folio" we have gotten for xD&D over the last 20+ years. Like the first one for 1st Ed AD&D, this one is a hardcover book. Like the second one for 2nd AD&D, this one expands the list of monsters.

This Fiend Folio lives up to its title a little bit more by giving us a lot more fiends. There are demons and devils here as well as the demodands (originally from the AD&D Monster Manual II). Here they get the alignment of "often Neutral Evil." There are plenty of new demons and devils here too.

There are some Fiend Folio "repeats" here, or my updates is the better term.Just eyeballing it there is the Blood Hawk, Caryatid Column, Dark Creeper and Stalker, Death Dog, Disenchanter, Flame/Fire Snake, Fossergrim, Huecuva (now a template), Iron Cobra, Kelpie, Necrophidius, Skulk, Slaad, Yellow Musk Creeper, and Zombie.

No flumphs though.

There are also plenty of new monsters too, like the Bacchae and Feytouched which are fun. All in all 167 monsters for D&D 3.0 (3.5 is still a couple of months off). We are a point in the 3.x development cycle where the monsters still run from one to the next, like the original Fiend Folio.

This book also includes some Prestige Classes, some Grafts and Symbionts,

There was a free "Web Enhancement" back when this was new called Fiendish Fun which extended some of the ideas in the Fiend Folio. It is still out there thanks to Archive.org.

This is one of the books I consider central for a D&D 3.x horror campaign. The rest, well that is what the rest of this month is for.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiend Folio (3e)
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