Blimey. What a chapter.
For those of you that don’t know, Wizards of the Coast have released an adventure called Storm King’s Thunder: A Great Upheaval on the DMsGuild for free
I’m not too sure whether this is the first chapter of Storm King’s Thunder (the newest story-line) or whether it’s a stand alone introduction, but what I do know is that it’s awesome.
I’m going to try really hard not spoil anything by the way!
What really pleased me about this little adventure is the way classic fantasy tropes have been reworked and used inventively. Obviously it starts in a small village, obviously there are goblins but it’s not so simple as that. As is common with WotC products, everything has a backstory. It makes things believable and creates an actual story, not just a dungeon crawl.
As usual, humour is injected at just the right times. This is something I have always admired about WotC’s products, as it’s not easy to do. The writers appear to be able to create effortlessly amusing characters and situations but not only this, they fit perfectly with the story. They are not just comic foils, they are genuine characters who have lives and personalities and bonds. Sometimes it’s not characters either, just small things make you chuckle throughout.
What I find most inspiring about SKT:AGU is the real sense of believability (is this a word?). Because everything has a backstory it makes the characters and locations seem very real. Even if some of the backstories are summarised in a few sentences you still get a real feel for how everything links together. Hopefully I will be able to replicate this in my own writing, as currently I think my adventures are, at times, rather 2d.
Also winged cats.