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Haunting of Owlbear Lodge - Adventure $6.95 $6.26
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Isaiah K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2020 13:10:32

A great one-shot adventure primarily composed of a light-horror exploration/dungeon-crawl through the titular lodge. The document is laid out cleanly and clearly, with excellent illustrations that add production value to the more visual aspects of the adventure. Printing off a copy of the DM's map for the players also made for effortlessly clear communication: they could refer to the next room they wanted to explore by the number that refers to said room in the DM's document.

The adventure itself is straightforward, lending itself to organic PC interactions, while the looming threat of disease taking over the players providing a mild ticking clock. There's a lot of fun to be had by playing up the taxidermied nature of the undead creatures that stomp and slither around the lodge. There's also a lot of "aha!" moments for the players: every room has environmental clues that tell a little story. There aren't a lot of roleplay opportunities with NPCs, though a DM could emphasize the pre-adventure prep and during-adventure rescues to mitigate this.

I can't speak to the level scaling: I ran the adventure for a group of 4, 5th level characters, with nearly every monster modified (as is my wont). The PCs thought of tying silk around their faces to make masks and prevent breathing in the diseased spores (ADV on the CON saves against disease), which also means I can't speak to how balanced the progression of the disease is. I ended up modifying the disease so that it imparts temporary madnesses and longer-term madnesses (from the DMG) rather than levels of exhaustion before the final zombie transformation (which, if it had happened, I would've simply changed the PC's race to "Undead", and let that serve as a seed for the story of the next adventure).

I don't have anything negative to say about this adventure: it offers a solid frame from which you can modify or add on in order to make adventure more to your tastes. Looking for a more satisfying conclusion, I added a subplot wherein the owner (Tabor) had returned to the lodge earlier that day, with the adventure ending in a standoff between him and the druid responsible for the haunting (Juniper), during which the PCs can try to intervene.

Easy to run, fun to play. Recommended.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Haunting of Owlbear Lodge - Adventure
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