Review: The Witch of Underwillow

Merric Blackman is a well-known name in the adventure-writing community. Some of his most celebrated titles include Adventurers League modules spanning several tiers, including one produced with Baldman Games. But it’s one of his self-produced adventures, The Witch of Underwillow, that really caught our attention.

A perfect starting adventure

The Witch of Underwillow is a short (8 page) adventure for 1st- to 3rd-level characters. The premise is elegantly simple and yet masterfully executed, a truly difficult thing to achieve. Tried and true tropes allow the spotlight to drift away from the intricate machinations of non-player characters and instead allow even new players room to explore their own character motivations in responding to the hook. As far as ways to introduce people to the game go, The Witch of Underwillow is a perfect starting adventure.

Easy to run

This adventure centres around three different locales, all of which can be (and are) handled using theatre of the mind. There are no maps, nor is there any need of them as the encounters, while carefully planned to be just challenging enough, are also fairly straightforward and do not require visual aids to interpret—yet another reason why this adventure is perfect for new players.

A solid foundation

While the adventure is written such that it can be run as a one-shot, it also offers suggestions for subsequent quest hooks that can provide a solid foundation for a short campaign that might springboard into a larger story. New Dungeon Masters would especially benefit from the prompts contained in the module to help devise subsequent adventures that can be woven together into a cohesive story.

Great investment

We are big believers in paying a fair amount for entertainment. If you can spend $10 on a single movie ticket that will entertain you for two hours (plus popcorn, soda, etc.), then $1.50 USD for something that will entertain you and four to six of your friends is an absolute steal. The fact that this adventure also gives you great hooks that you can use for more than just two hours of entertainment is even better!

Get it now!

The Witch of Underwillow is available now on Dungeon Masters Guild. Click the image below to buy it!

(Bonus points to Mr. Blackman for using Claude Monet’s Weeping Willow as the cover image. Such a beautiful painting.)

Did you run this adventure? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!

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