THE WAKEWYRM’S FURY
Author: Christopher Pinch, Jordan Richer, et al.
Publisher: Deck of Many/Hitpoint Press
Page Count: 20
Available Formats: Print & PDF
PDF – Available on 22 August
Print – Free, during Free RPG Day 2020
Welcome to the seaside town of Saltar’s Point. Trouble is brewing in the nearby Tideswell Cave, and you and your fellow adventurers must investigate. Humblewood: The Wakewyrm’s Fury is a 2020 Free RPG Day (FRD) Dungeons & Dragons 5e adventure set in the Humblewood campaign setting from the folks that brought us The Deck of Many Reference Cards and Animated Spells for Dungeons & Dragons.
Humblewood: The Wakewyrm’s Fury is a one-shot scenario for 5th level characters in Deck of Many/Hitpoint Press’ new campaign setting, Humblewood, that is was released earlier this year. This 20 page, cover to cover, zine formatted adventure is beautifully produced in full color with semi-gloss paper. It includes everything you need to run the adventure—this includes pre-generated characters and… several Deck of Many Reference Cards that are absolutely beautiful!
The Humblewood setting is inhabited by two groups of animal-like humanoids, the birdfolk, and the humblefolk. You read that right. This scenario is set in a completely anthropomorphic setting, and it’s far different than anything else on the market.
The scenario is a straight forward “stop the bad guys” type of story, taking place in Saltar’s Port, a birdfolk city, located on the Talongrip Coast. Here, the heroes will find themselves enlisted, through one of three plot hooks, to either capture a notorious pirate poacher, investigate a nearby cave that is thought to be haunted, or to save a baby wakewyrm that local druids fear is in a dire position. Each of the hooks is aimed at one of the three pillars of play: Interaction, Combat, or Exploration. Without giving away too much of the plot, the poachers, led by a notorious pirate, have captured a baby wakewyrm and have plans for it one way or the other. Can the heroes locate their hideout and put a stop to their plans?
The Wakewyrm’s Fury is a short scenario that can be completed in just a few hours, depending on your group’s play style. As far as FRD scenarios go, this is by far one of the best-presented scenarios I have seen since the inception of FRD. Aside from its beautiful presentation, several GM-facing features will make it easier for less experienced GMs to jump right in. Throughout, the authors present references and page numbers to other locations within the scenario in bold red text for quick reference. Stat blocks on the included reference cards are in bold blue text, and magic items are presented in italics. Those convenient features, in addition to “read aloud” text boxes, yellow treasure boxes, and peach-colored info/puzzle boxes, make finding everything you need to seamlessly run the scenario a breeze.
The scenario, including a little background information on Humblewood, takes just 11-pages. The remaining pages include the four pre-generated characters, each spanning two pages, and the map on the back cover. The map’s location will require the GM to flip back and forth. As for the pre-gens, unfortunately, they are not perforated, and the text is small, which renders them useless. The publisher, thinking ahead, has released the pre-gens and the map in PDF format on their website. This corrects the issue of the small text. It should also be noted that this downloadable resource pack also contains the map, handouts, and print & play versions of the resource cards as well.
The included cards are tarot-sized reference cards that are both beautiful and practical in several ways. First, they serve as a visual representation of NPCs, creatures, or objects that the heroes may come in contact with. Second, in addition to being a visual cue, they serve to enhance the theater of the mind experience. Lastly, the back of each card has the complete stat block information a GM will need. The cards themselves, while beautifully illustrated, feel a little thin, but I suspect they’d hold well at the table even with moderate repeated use.
All-in-all, Humblewood: The Wakewyrm’s Fury is well designed and beautifully presented scenario. If you’re already familiar with the Humblewood setting or would like to check out this unique anthropomorphic setting, this is a fantastic entry point. Everything you need is here, except for the dice, in a fun, albeit short, scenario. To find a physical copy of Humblewood: The Wakewyrm’s Fury, you have two options. Check with your local game store to see if they have any left from FRD or look on the secondhand market. If you’re fine with a PDF, the Hitpoint Press will be making it available in PDF format on 22 August 2020 through their website.
I’ll be digging deeper into the more extensive Humblewood campaign in the near future. Follow the blog or follow me on Twitter to stay connected and get updates on future reviews and articles.
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