THIS IS MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS AND I WILL BE DOING THE FULL IN DEPTH REVIEW THIS CAMPAIGN DESERVES IN DUE COURSE
I have to say when I saw partial inspiration/ adaptation from an old, almost certainly sketchy adventure I was a bit concerned, but the opening letter from the author shows good faith & understanding.
This looks to be a fantastic sequel to Curse of Strahd, perfect as an addition to the collector’s edition recently announced, or any higher-level party or campaign fancying a dalliance in the Domains of Dread. With the abundance of hooks and its own Tarokka system for determining many important elements, the variety and possibilities of replaying are immense.
Phantasms of Sri Raji takes us to an old domain with a whole new coat of paint (literally in the gorgeous artwork of Mel Williams) with something truly remarkable new ideas with problematic aspects addressed head on and removed. The lore is rich and fascinating, presented with the various faction and players, some entirely new, in the ‘Don’t tell them your Naga Pike’ Osphlanders, a secret Yuan-Ti faction “inspired by the British Raj” who I long to play with posh English accents with extended esses.
There is just so much flavour and so many wonderful moments throughout, from an extremely litigious cult whose teachings are so vast and bizarre they much be regularly posted everywhere and egregiously contradict themselves, a bizarre bazaar possibly more strange and haunted than the Insane Clown Posse double album of the same name and a music shop with its own pocket. Dimension inside a pocket dimension, a Honey I Shrunk the Kids moment in an apiary (honey, get it?), a Beholder made of magic books, a. Bookholder, just an average Gorgon (Medusa) Lich and their pet dragon, a lucky 7 of 13 Lamia fight party, and a genuinely cool and badarse Rakshasa Maharajah (which is just lots of fun to say) Dark Lord who is putting Strahd to shame and doesn’t have the whole stalker things going on. I mean he and his tiger army are stalking you, but in a more bloodthirsty, less creepy way. Plus, his Warlock Sisters beat down their enemies with spectral tiger paws, which is awesome!
This is a breath of fresh air in the Domains of Dread and a truly exciting campaign So exciting that I was literally kept up until gone 5am this morning to get as much of it as possible in my eye holes!
Written by Dr. Jason Bowers
Illustrated by Mel Williams
Copyediting by Schuyler Vilar
Art Direction by Dr. Jason Bowers
Additional Art: Kate Gunther Bowers and DM’s Guild Creator Resources
Additional Copyediting: Joe Baldoni Karlik, Elizabeth Minton, and Ashley Peters
Playtesters: Chapell Brock, Steve Burham, Bryan Hahn, Jake Hunsaker, Joshua Housman, Joe Baldoni Karlik, Amanda Lee Morris, Nate Morton, Kelsey Purcell, Timothy Swanson, Brian Trovillion
Special Thanks: Schuyler Vilar
[5 of 5 Stars!]