Dolmenwood: Winter’s Daughter
Author: Gavin Norman
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
Page Count: 24
Available Formats: PDF & Print
PDF (DTRPG) – $7.50
Print (Exalted Funeral)- $15.00
The forest of Dolmenwood lies in a region of the mortal world where the veil is the thinnest between this world and that of the immortal realm of the Fairy. Centuries ago, before the arrival of mortals, the fairy lord known as the Cold Prince ruled all of Dolmenwood. The forest lay under an ever-present cloak of frost and snow—an icy wonderland nicely suited for its fairy denizens. All would not remain idyllic forever. Eventually, the humans who arrived in Dolmenwood brought war to the doorstep of the Cold Prince. During that war, a forbidden love would flourish between a mortal knight and a fairy princess. It would not last, or would it?
Winter’s Daughter is a short scenario for Old-School Essentials, written by Gavin Norman and published by Necrotic Gnome. The scenario is suitable for 1st to 3rd-level characters and can be easily played in one or perhaps two game sessions, depending on the players. The Dolmenwood is a weird fairy tale revolving around the forbidden love of a mortal knight and his fairy princess bride-to-be when the two races waged a deadly war for dominance of the Dolmenwood. Succumbing to his mortality, the knight’s remains were sealed in his burial tomb while his lover was whisked away back to the land of the fey. Centuries have elapsed since the war’s conclusion; now, the player characters find themselves at that tomb. What they do will depend on which of the three hooks the Referee uses to draw them in. Will they seek to correct the centuries-old situation? Will one claim an inheritance or simply loot the tomb?
Now in its second iteration, Winter’s Daughter is available in hardcover (A5) and digitally from DriveThruRPG. It is a well-regarded scenario within the Old-School Essentials line of official scenarios, and for good reasons:
- It is short and playable in a session or two, making it ideal for new players.
- It has a wonderfully crafted storyline with several onramps that let the players decide what and how far to probe before the scenario concludes. Three possible epilogues give the Referee options for future use and to further evolve that storyline.
- Each keyed area is written in the standard streamlined format seen in other Old-School Essentials books, which conveys important information concisely and utilizing bullet points. Like all official products, the layout and presentation make it a joy to read.
- There is loads of background and setting information at the beginning of the book, and the maps adorn the cover boards for easy referencing.
Winter’s Daughter is a well-written and fun scenario. I am confident it will hook new players or be a fantastic springboard for a new campaign. Although the setting is rather specific, you can easily drop the scenario into other settings. The Dolmenwood setting will be released by Necrotic Gnome sometime in 2023, but this book has ample setting information to run this scenario.
With little, if any, streamlining Winter’s Daughter would also make for a great convention scenario. It pulls you in and hooks you right from the start—perfect for convention games.
Another solid jewel in Necrotic Gnomes’ crown!
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