If you have the PDF version of the Winter's Daughter adventure from DriveThruRPG, you might have noticed an update a while back with couple of changes:
- The interior art and layout are now in colour. (The original version of the adventure had a purely black & white interior.)
- The cover now features the Dolmenwood logo.
- Encounter area 2 has been altered.
Points 1 and 2 are simple enough, but people often ask about point 3 so I thought it would be worth writing a quick blog post about that change.
Encounter Area 2 — Original Version
Originally, the adventure had PCs arriving at a stone circle outside a burial mound (where the main "dungeon" part of the adventure is located) and finding a human sacrifice in progress.
Encounter Area 2 — Revised Version
In the revised version of the adventure, the stone circle is empty, save for a weird, twitching stag skeleton and some creepy iron owls clanking in the trees.
Why the Revision?
As you can see, this is a fairly major change to this introductory part of the adventure! We wouldn't normally make such a big change, but there were a couple of very good reasons for the change, based on feedback from many people who ran the adventure:
- The original area 2 (the Drune sacrifice) opens the adventure with a grisly and frightening scene. This is tonally completely at odds with the rest of the adventure, which is mysterious, wondrous, and whimsical. The revision of area 2 eliminates this tonal clash.
- The original area 2 (the Drune sacrifice) presents a strong moral dilemma that many PCs respond to by attacking the Drune in an attempt to rescue the sacrificial victim. (The twist, though, is that she's a willing sacrifice who doesn't want to be rescued.) The Drunes are powerful adversaries, making this a potentially deadly encounter for 1st level PCs! The revision of area 2 eliminates this potential TPK before PCs even get into the dungeon proper. This is especially important as Winter's Daughter is intended as an introductory adventure. A highly likely TPK in the first encounter is unsuitable for an intro adventure.
All in all, this revision greatly improves the adventure.