Wednesday, October 12, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc

The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc

Another witch Queen tonight and this time she comes in Pathfinder 1e and D&D 5e versions.  So let's jump right in.

The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc

For Pathfinder 1st Edition and D&D 5th Edition.

This adventure series was Kickstarted back in 2020.  I am grabbing the versions found on DriveThruRPG. It looks like the PDFs were sent out as soon as the Kickstarter finished from what I can tell.

I will be reviewing both versions and pointing out where the differences lie.

PDF. 84 pages. Color covers and interior art. Levels 3 to 6.

Before I get into the adventure itself I do want to say something about Page 3 which covers the basics of how "Zan's Adventures" work and the layout.  I know there is no reason at all that people need to conform to a "book" layout, especially since many people will read this on some sort of device. The adventures do not follow a book layout per se, but they do add a few things. For starters, color is used more to denote different sorts of outcomes or text. This is great, unless you have some sort of Red-Green color blindness. Rare yes, but these are the things I look for.

But there are some very strong benefits here as well. For example, the NPCs, including the Witch Queen herself, are well-defined in easy-to-read blocks to aid the DM/GM while running the adventure.  Same with the locations. 

The areas are defined as our three main antagonists. It is possible that one or more are freed from their tombs to enact their evil plans. Well we have character sheets in the back for those. Also, there are other NPCs and a ton of monsters to interact with.  Now given that one of the encounters is not 1 but 2 Death Knights, I think this one should be scaled up a bit. When I run it I might use just one Death Knight with skeletal minions.

There is a whole section of possible outcomes and endings. The adventure is not quite a free-form sandbox, your locations are limited, but how the players investigate them are up to them.

The biggest differences in these two come from the NPC and Monster statblocks and how the various skill checks work. All in line with the rules of Pathfinder and D&D.

The end has maps you can print out. There is also an additional product, Map Pack for the Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc for VTTs and Roll20 in particular.  I also find these are good to print. For an extra $2.00 it is worth it to me.

There is an OGL at the end, but the author might want to swap out "DM" in their text for "GM" for OGL compliance.

All in all not a bad adventure. Pretty straight forward to be honest. There are some new monsters so that is fun. I would have liked to see some unique treasure if nothing else the Spellbook of Witch Queen Morfa.

Use in War of the Witch Queens

Evil witch queen coming back from the dead? I wonder how that could happen in my world?  Hmm...

Yes, this is a good candidate for a War of the Witch Queen adventure.It practically is begging me to use it. Since there is no POD version (yet) I can print this out and then do the 5e material on one side and the Pathfinder on the other. But that is also moot since I am going to convert the whole thing over to Old School Essentials anyway.

A note about that.  Whether by design or by happenstance (I am going with design) the game-specific material is usually confined to a single page. So doing a conversion is largely a matter of writing up (or copying) a stat block or converting a DC for a skill check into an ability check. THIS also makes the layout and design more useful to me. 

So yeah, I am rather pleased with this.

The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween

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