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Uncaged | Volume II $14.95
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2020 08:23:48

Volume 2 offers 25 short adventures for Tiers 1-3 by a massive and diverse team of writers and artists. Much like the first volume I have to start off by saying that the book itself is physically gorgeous. The cover art by Samantha Darcy of a Rusalka is incredibly striking and powerful and once you start flipping through the book you will find it is crammed full of art in a variety of styles. I've always felt the use of art in gaming products is immensely important to help the DM get a feel for the atmosphere of the adventure or setting and much of the art in Uncaged really drew me in and ultimately determined the order I read the adventures in. If I had one criticism of the visual elements of Uncaged Volume 2 it would be that some DMs might find the lack of cartography a bit surprising. Most of the scenarios presented in Uncaged Volume 2 are very narrative and role-play driven so they do not really rely on maps to steer exploration or combat. Where maps are needed they are provided but the ratio of maps to page count might surprise some DMs.

At it's core though the true value of an adventure or series of adventures for an RPG is the quality of their writing. This is another area where the team behind Uncaged truly excelled. I really enjoyed Volume 1 so I had high expectations for Volume 2 and those expectations were more than met. By working from existing mythology and storytelling tropes Uncaged feels familiar as you start reading but then the authors bend and twist and give you something unexpected to layer on top of the familiar. With a list of 25 adventures my original intent had been to call out the adventure I liked the most and the one I liked the least but I genuinely can't come up with one I don't like so I'll just have to focus on the one I liked the most and will probably run first. Love's Sorrow is written by Tera Hooper and illustrated by Gwendy Bee. Love's Sorrow is a great combination of horror and mystery that as I touched on earlier may initially feel very familiar to both players and dungeon masters but as they begin to unravel the mystery they will find a few twists and a lot of depth for a story that takes a mere 7 pages to tell. How the adventure plays out will be entirely determined by player choices and the author has thought to lay out multiple outcomes so that success or failure is more on a sliding scale than a traditional got-it/didn't-get-it dynamic that exists in mystery adventures.

Overall I think Uncaged Volume 2 (and Volume 1 for that matter) are must buys for any Dungeon Master. There are high quality adventures across almost every level of play that can either be played as one-offs or dropped into an existing game as side quests. Personally I love having a ton of short adventures ready to go on hand as it means if a scheduled game ever becomes unplayable due to a player or players dropping out you can run something else on short notice with those who can attend and possibly some other players dropping in as well.

I would definitely say buy Uncaged Volume 2 and I highly recommend investing in the print-on-demand version as the art and visual elements make it more than worth a space on your bookshelf.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Uncaged | Volume II
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