The second adventure published by Goodman Games in their Fifth Edition Fantasy line is The Fey Sister’s Fate, a short, 22-page adventure for 4-6 level 1 characters. In it, the adventurers need to stop the advance forces of an evil overlord and help protect a small village and the local hamadryad.
It’s worth noting that, as in Glitterdoom, a fair amount of effort has been put into creating the background and events of the story. In this adventure especially, it isn’t just a dungeon crawl. The Fey Sister’s Fate wants to tell a story. Of course, being an adventure that will probably be run in a single session, it’s a fairly linear story.
Along the way there are quite a few editing glitches (“pealing” instead of “peeling”) and the writing style for the descriptive text is a little too florid for my taste. Stat-blocks are included in the text, but their size occasionally makes reading the adventure a bit tricky; when you reach a section that is basically two pages of monster stat-blocks with the encounter described on yet another page, the utility is somewhat diminished.
The challenge ratings for the monsters seem more accurate than those in Glitterdoom, although there are a few oddities. I noticed one reskinned monster from the Basic D&D rules: the giant mosquito uses the stirge’s stats, although for some reason it has a Passive Perception of 11 despite a -1 Wisdom modifier. Several of the monsters have quite extensive stat-blocks, with numerous special abilities and modifiers.
The encounters generally seem appropriate for a first level party, although there is one encounter that is almost certainly going to cause a TPK if the party makes a frontal assault. I’m finding it still hard to judge how dangerous combats are in low-level 5E play; they certainly can be very swingy. It does seem likely that the party may need to retreat and rest up at least once in this adventure.
The adventure consists of a couple of early role-playing encounters as the party discovers exactly what the threat is to the village, a short overland journey through a forest, followed by the main portion of the adventure in a frogfolk camp where the party must rescue prisoners and defeat the frogfolk. It’s a classic adventure structure, and it is aided greatly by the good quality of the design. The river is hardly flowing, which has caused trouble for the folk the characters meet on their journey upstream, and they discover the reason for this at the camp. Things make sense in this adventure and the adventure uses touches of magic and wonder well.
As a DM, I’d be wary of the difficulty of the encounters when running it, but all-in-all I’m quite impressed by this adventure.
The artwork in the adventure is of good quality. I really like the cover, although I’m not entirely sure how appropriate it is to the adventure – it doesn’t really reflect anything that might occur during play! The maps of the encounter areas are more of a problem, with the scale grid very hard to discern. The most amusing notation is on the wilderness map, where the scale is given as “one square=~500 ft. (map not to scale)”!
A few details and explanations, such as the identity of the mysterious warlord, are left vague so that the DM can come up with his or her own explanations for events; the better to fit it into their own campaign world.
There are a few new magic items, spells and a new background given at the end of the adventure. The spells are unusual in that they don’t list a class that can take them (they are used by a shaman during the adventure). The magic items seem appropriate and flavourful. The background, “Born Leader”, gives me a few problems, as it isn’t really a background as such: it doesn’t describe what you’ve done, but is rather a description of what you are. It also gives you advantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks, which is entirely the wrong type of bonus that a background should give; I would not allow this background in my games.
As a 22-page, one-session adventure for US$10, (pdf $7), I’m not entirely sure of the price point for this product, but I do think it’s a pretty good adventure.