The Banquet of the Damned by Goblin Stone is a new mystery adventure for use with Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition written by Benoit de Bernary and recently released on the Dungeon Masters Guild website for purchase. I have had the pleasure of talking with Benoit and was given early access to check out and review this module. This will be a completely honest and SPOILER Free review. So on with it we go!
(UPDATE: This adventure is now separately scaled for 2nd and 4th Level characters due to the demand from players like you!)
Banquet of the Damned is a short adventure for 3 to 5 characters of levels 1 to 4. You can play the adventure any time the PCs travel through the village of Womford during the autumn. Womford is a small robust village that resides to the northwest of Waterdeep in the lore of the Forgotten Realms, but can also fit into your current campaign’s world however you see fit.
From the description: An ancient evil lurks in the shadows of Womford. While everybody is getting ready for the annual pie contest, a vile creature is carefully preparing its next move. It’s only a matter of time before it wrests control of the gluttonous swine of Womford. Will your characters stop it before it’s too late?
Straight from the awesome front cover art work (by Raluca Marinescu), I already knew that this was going to be a rather ghoulish and potentially gross tale. From what I gathered after reading through all of the material, I can see that this was not only a correct guess, but that it has almost a Grimm’s Fairy Tale feel to it as well, which was very refreshing. The module itself does well by providing a good balance of Role-playing moments, mystery solving, and some exciting combat.
- The adventurer is to solve a mystery rather than just clobbering everything like a bunch of murder hobos.
- Has an element of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale which a good DM could elaborate more on to really give it that theme.
- It is meant for Low Levels (1st to 3rd) so it’s a great introductory mission or One Shot to introduce new players to the game.
- I like the highly detailed maps and the quality descriptions of NPC’s and the surroundings.
- I really liked the back-story built into the town to fit into the Forgotten Realms lore.
- I liked a particularly Gross Spawn Monster that is in this. No spoilers here though.
- I really liked that the main antagonist has an interesting way of gaining power over people.
(Note: I believe all of these can easily be worked around)
- For some folks, I could see a Con being that it is a short adventure (lasting 4-6 hours as a potential One Shot)
- Again for some folks, I could see that since it is a low level adventure and the plot hook wants your adventurers to be in a town during a certain time of year might not fit everyone’s campaign ideal. (But you can easily scale it up to higher levels if need be and ignore the fact that it might not be autumn in your campaign. Evil is always at play.)
- It might be a little too easy to get to the bottom of things or learn exactly what you are dealing with if you have experienced players. A DM might need to put in a little extra time to scale things to add an extra bit of a surprise to the final encounter.
- There is a great monster encounter that is completely able to be skipped if the adventurers investigate things thoroughly in the beginning. (I like the element that if they fail to save the town that this encounter happens and spurns them towards saving the day, but I would just have that encounter somehow built in regardless)
I think Banquet of the Dead would be a great adventure for both new and experienced players that like the idea of solving a mystery and having to deal with consequences if they don’t solve it in time. I think that it is a quality product from the fantastic artwork, well written story elements, and providing enough to go off of to incorporate this into any game. Will it be for everyone? Of course not, but what is nowadays.
I would say that if you are one who likes the ideas from the old twisted Grimm tales and you think/know that your friends do too, that this would be a good adventure to run them through.
Ok, now where do you find it?
You can find it on the Dungeon Masters Guild website HERE:
- 20 pages of illustrated content (color)
- 4 to 6 hours of gameplay
- 4 new monsters never seen before, including the repulsive gulabus
- A full description of the village of Womford
You can also learn more about it and the other products that Benoit de Bernary has worked on at Goblin Stone.