Should you’ve performed Dungeon & Dragons in any respect since 2014, you’ve got on the very least learn the phrases Misplaced Mine of Phandelver earlier than. It is the 64-page journey e book included with practically each D&D starter set for nearly a decade, designed to offer a comparatively easy set of quests for ranges 1-5 that may be performed by nearly any age. It is properly balanced, replayable at practically each talent stage, and really straightforward to spin into a bigger journey you’ve got constructed by yourself. Even the now globally common D&D podcast The Journey Zone began with this intro e book, although for those who’ve listened it shortly and hilariously goes off the rails and into one thing even better.
In its continued marketing campaign of modernizing basic adventures and worlds this yr, writer Wizards of the Coast has launched an up to date 200-page model of this basic story. Phandelver and Under: The Shattered Obelisk takes that newbie journey and spins it out right into a a lot bigger story, one which maintains all the issues that made the unique nice, with a darker and significantly tougher journey for gamers trying to play by means of to stage 10.
Anybody who has performed The Misplaced Mine of Phandelver can be extraordinarily accustomed to the primary half of this e book. It isn’t precisely the identical — Wizards of the Coast has made a variety of small adjustments to characters in an effort to line up with trendy gameplay kinds and character creation. There’s additionally a ton of recent artwork and maps, which do an unbelievable job making this a part of the story really feel an ideal deal extra full. And like the unique, these first 4 chapters may be performed by nearly anybody at any age with grownup supervision.
When you cross the brink into Chapter 5, the tone of the journey takes a flip. It would not occur . This very a lot looks like the identical story, however it’s clear the problem has grown to match the newly highly effective adventurers. Gamers are confronted with new, extra difficult puzzles and fewer guardrails on the subject of what will get explored and potential penalties for dashing from goal to goal. When you attain Chapter 6, nonetheless, I am lots much less inclined to name the story universally age-appropriate. The excellent news is you actually can cease the story at Chapter 4 and never really feel like youthful audiences have missed out on something. The higher information is older audiences are in for a spectacular experience because the story continues.
An vital factor to know concerning the again half of this journey is the survival of the gamers and a cheerful ending is just not a assure. Every chapter does an ideal job of giving the DM recommended factors for gamers to return to city for relaxation and resupply, however even when the social gathering takes all of these options, it is attainable to fail. There are potential subsequent steps if the gamers need to proceed, however the way in which this story accounts for failure is a welcomed departure from the “customary” D&D endgame expertise.
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There’s a lot to love about The Shattered Obelisk as a complete. It continues the good work Wizards of the Coast has been doing in modernizing D&D classics, whereas setting the stage for a narrative that may entertain, problem and presumably even horrify gamers of any talent stage. The D&D group have taken what’s now a basic journey e book that many noticed as their first journey, and turned it into one thing each DM ought to have on their shelf, if solely as inspiration for creating tales with pleasurable and lasting challenges.