“The Claws of Madness” a new D&D 5e Adventure Review


The Claws of Madness is a new Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition standalone adventure that is coming out soon (November 25th) and is published by LoreSmyth.  It is geared towards 4 first level characters and provides a good place to start new players to D&D, running it as a mini campaign, or incorporating it to fit the needs of your current campaign.

I have had the privilege of speaking with the writer of this adventure (Chris van der Linden) and having early access to it.  I was thoroughly impressed not only by Chris’ enthusiasm for the game, but also by the sheer quality of the imagery and product overall.  Below will be my spoiler free review:

The adventure’s premise:  “For centuries, Aelmor Monastery near the port town of Sestone was a safe haven for scholars, monks, and pilgrims seeking enlightenment, its renowned library home to an enormous collection of ancient manuscripts, tomes, and peculiar writings. After suffering a devastating attack at the hands of a possessed monastery elder, Aelmor fell into ruin, its troubled past forgotten. When villagers start disappearing and turn up horribly mutated days later, fear takes a grip of Sestone. What sinister forces are at work? And to what end?” 


Initial Thoughts:

As soon as I saw the cover photo for this, I was intrigued by what the plot could be.  My mind already started racing toward a Lovecraftian premise and feel for a D&D adventure.  And it seemed that this impression held true the further I read on.  Not only does it have a Lovecraftian “Cthulhu Mythos” feel to it, but it also fits perfectly into the high fantasy world for players who love the regular adventuring that goes on in D&D.

  • Very well thought out story line from beginning to end.
  • Multiple plot hooks and non-linear storyline to help the Dungeon Master to not just railroad players.
  • Players will have a variety of different options throughout the adventure from social encounters, side quests, mysterious puzzle solving, dungeon crawling, and of course fights that require strategy.
  • Includes very nicely laid out Maps and specific details of each location encountered.
  • Fleshed out Non Player Characters with their own backgrounds and motivations to help the DM.
  • New monsters, magic items, and few awesome Mutation Tables in which players can be affected by.
  • Open ended story ending that allows for more expansion on what occured.  Yes LoreSmyth plans on creating a sequel adventure to this as well.
  • Great for someone new to Dungeon Mastering and not having to worry about coming up with all the super detailed things yourself.
  • The only Con I can see would be preferencial by being made for Levels 1 to 3 Max (Not a con of mine, but could be for those who like to run higher level character starts or already have a high level campaign)



Overall, I think that this module is a great addition to add to anyone’s collection, whether they want to use it for a new group of players or tying it into their current campaign.  And for the price for a latte from Starbucks, I would rather spend the money on multiple hours of the enterntainment that this could bring.  I have not had a chance to playtest through it yet, but plan to do so as soon as I can rally some people together.

How To Get It

Order the PDF or Softcover of this through Drive Thru RPG

To learn more about LoreSmyth, check out their main website: http://www.loresmyth.com/clawsofmadness/ or connect to their Facebook  or Twitter


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