Winter's Daughter — Revised Initial Encounter

Winter's Daughter — Revised Initial Encounter

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:

  1. The interior art and layout are now in colour. (The original version of the adventure had a purely black & white interior.)
  2. The cover now features the Dolmenwood logo.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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Thanks for the clarification, very interesting and those are some proper reasons. This isn’t critisism, just opinion, but I prefer the original area 2. Not a problem though, since I can just switch the two in a split second!


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