Greenwood of the Fey Sovereign (Review)

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Mat Mobile
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 1:46 pm
FLGS: L'abyss

Greenwood of the Fey Sovereign (Review)

Post by Mat Mobile » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:54 pm

*** Spoiler alert. ***

Here's a little review of the Greenwood of the Fey Sovereign adventure by Studio 9. I said review but I don't really want to criticize a very original and fun adventure that somebody has put a lot of time and love into. But I do want to give new Judges (such as me) a heads up on difficulties they might encounter.

I ran this adventure with my group of 5 players as a funnel with 4 characters each. It took us two sessions of about 3.5 hours.

I'll admit, as I ran this adventure, I learned a lot about RPGs and funnels! :oops: Some of these encounters are difficult. It's not the typical hack and slash 0 level funnel. There are encounters that require a lot more Role-play. That's not a bad thing, but I don't think it's the best representation of a funnel (compared to, for example, Sailors on the Starless Sea). Let's go through some examples:

Part 1: The Start - Press Gang of the Earl

You're forcing the players to enlist in the army... it's almost like making them prisoners. And you know what happens when you make players prisoner? They always fight back! In this case, it's very annoying because if they don't join the army, there's no adventure.

You might want to add an Introduction about the Elf King's army attacking the village to give them an incentive to go and fight. Also, you might want to have the Earl pay the players to join his army.

Also, Pertrub is a great character and the handout really helps. My players loved to hate him! The only thing is, if you're not the best judge with improvisation it can be daunting. I suggest writing a few phrases that Pertrub might use to insult the players. There's already inspiration in the adventure but since you'll be doing a lot of role-playing with this character, you might want to prepare a few more.

Area 1-3 - Tiny Music Man

This encounter is difficult because the adversary is invisible to the players. Make sure you set the mood properly and maybe have the players catch/see him and have the brownie teleport a few seconds later. If not, you will be simply crossing equipment off the player character's sheet and players will find it completely unfair. They have to understand that they've been a victim of a pick-pocket!

The best part of this encounter is that it leads to, as predicted, the end of Pertrub and makes for a fun role-playing opportunity. Just make sure Pertrub never saw the brownie and accuses the players instead.

Part 2: On their own - The Tree Tower of Isp

Area 2-1 - Guest Chamber of the Shadow Elf

This was another difficult encounter because the trigger is invisible. To be more precise, the elf is hidden and he secretly possesses the first character to find him. It also requires that the group split up in a precise fashion which is, especially with a funnel of at least 12 characters, very unlikely.

To run this encounter, it would be preferable that the Judge prepare a small piece of paper noted "You have been possessed by making contact with a creature [add description of your choice] hiding under the table. You must pretend everything is fine and ask to go last up the stairs. Once you are up the stairs you will close and lock the trap door in the ceiling."

Also, if nobody peers under the table, have the shadow elf come out as they go up the stairs and possess the last adventurer (or even last 1d4 adventurers).

--- End of the first session after the players entered Area 2-4 ---

At this point, I was feeling that this adventure wasn't deadly enough for a funnel adventure. I don't even remember if any characters had died at this point. So I prepared during the week with the following results...

Area 2-5 - The Fey Assassin's Gambit

This encounter was fun. I even brought a big knife (not too sharp! :lol: ) as a prop to enhance the role-playing part of it. It was fun but Mythcoat died quickly so we barely had time to discover his personality. Oh well...

Area 2-6 - Chamber of the Four Corners

At this point, I needed more action. As the characters were figuring out how to enter the room, I had 12 elf scouts emerge from the forest. I had them sneakily approach the tree and eventually start shooting at them. Here are my notes:

Scouts emerge from the forest when characters arrive at the door. They start climbing the tree in 6 rounds. They become easier to spot every round (sorry, the tables didn't come out right):

Round: 1 2 3 4 5 6
DC to spot (INT): 30 25 20 15 10 5

Twelve (12) elf scouts have started running up the tree. They take 10 rounds to reach the characters (based on speed to make it up the tree). The objective of this encounter is to add tension as the players attempt to open the door.

Round: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Arrows shot: 1d3 1d3 1d4 1d4 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d10
Modifier to hit characters: -3 -2 -2 -2 -2 -1 -1 -1 - -
Distance to characters in feet(for reference): 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10

After the 10 rounds, the characters will usually either be in combat or will have locked themselves inside the chamber. Adventurers and elves can fight 3 wide. Here are the stats for the Elf Scouts with a space to note their HPs:

Elf Scouts (12): Init +2, Atk Short Bow +3 missile (1d6) or Obsidian Longsword +3 melee (1d8); AC 12; HD 2d6; hp 9; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP sneak +4; SV Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +0; AL C.

Adding the tension of the elves added a lot to this adventure. I like my players tense! :twisted:

Also, the 4 doors was a little time consuming in text format when this was a time sensitive part of the adventure so I prepared a table with the list of doors and outcome (traps vs. exit).

Part 3: The Pursuit - Vengeance of King Leaprilox

This encounter was perfect. I ran it as is and it went great!


This was a really fun adventure in a very interesting setting. For once we were running up trees instead of a dungeon.

But again, I don't think it works well for a funnel. Simply put, it's not deadly enough!

On the other hand, it's a very interesting 1st level adventure. It can also start up a great campaign fighting against the Elf King. A Judge could easily create more trees with a few encounters as the characters walk up the ladders/platforms.

The encounters with the Shadow Elf and Brownie require a good understanding of player psychology or else they can fall flat.

As you can see from my comments, I was a little disappointed by this adventure because I wasn't happy with the outcome of a few encounters and my expectations for a funnel. It was also the first funnel my player group was playing and I felt it wasn't representative for them. But after writing this, I feel that it's better suited for a 1st level adventure. I will definitely use it again to start a campaign where the characters are hired by the Earl to fight for his land.

Hopefully this review helps you prepare and run the adventure. :D

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