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King of the Trollhaunt Warrens: A 4e Adventure Review

Written by Janna - Published on January 3, 2009

Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.

Overview

‘King of the Trollhaunt Warrens’ is a 4th Edition D&D adventure from Richard Baker and Logan Bonner. The module is designed for a party of 5 PCs of 11th level. It starts out in the city of Moonstair, where a hero named Etheran stopped by to deal with the local troll terrorists. Little did he know, these trolls were being goaded by their chieftain, Skalmad, a power-crazed troll king fortified by the power of an ancient relic.

Etheran took his heroic companions to face off against Skalmad at his home in the Trollhaunt Warrens. That would prove to be the last time anyone saw Etheran again – in one piece, anyway. Three days later, a group of trolls rode up to Moonstair’s wall, where they hurled insults, challenges, and Etheran’s head. Now Etheran is dead, his magical heirloom sword is missing, and Moonstair is screwed.

That’s where the PCs come in.

Looting freely from published material, or not…

Now, I’ll be honest here: I’m not a big fan of adventure modules. I always end up re-writing most of them to suit my own campaigns. But I was pretty impressed with the number of plot hooks, encounters (25+), and maps that came with ‘King of the Trollhaunt Warrens’. For added imagery, the module also contains a blood-stained letter from the mayor of Moonstair that you can use as a prop. Additionally, there are full-color graphics for all of the encounter areas, as well as a double-sided map (with scaled battle grid overlay for easy miniature play) that features two of the most important encounter areas in the game.

The adventure is broken into three parts: the initial journey to the Trollhaunt Warrens, the return to Moonstair, and the grand finale that takes the party into the Feywild. Without giving away too many plot elements, I must applaud the solid storyline of this module. The big encounters are fun, tactical, and challenging for a level 11 party. The NPCs are fleshed out and easy to portray, thanks to detailed conversation guidelines. The adventure is sprinkled with side quests that push the main plotline. And the ruthless cunning of the troll king is nice to behold; I always like villains who use strategy rather than mindless violence.

Talking and crawling

And now, the bad news (for some): King of the Trollhaunt Warrens has its share of roleplay opportunities, centered mostly on the town of Moonstair. But once the action starts, it’s basically one long dungeon crawl with brief interludes of bluffing or diplomacy.

But rather than one cookie-cutter encounter after the other, Trollhaunt’s designers made good use of environmental hazards and terrain to keep things interesting. I would have expected more traps in the twisting passageways of the warrens, though.

Played through to its conclusion, King of the Trollhaunt Warrens is a satisfying adventure that lets the party defeat the big baddie, recover the treasure, destroy an evil relic, and even step out of their own plane to battle brand new monsters in the magical Feywild. And the adventure doesn’t have to end when the module does; at the end of the booklet, DMs will find suggestions for keeping the adventure alive through plot hooks and further quests.

Is King of the Trollhaunt Warrens for me?

My final conclusion? If you don’t like 4e because it’s too MMORPG for your tastes, you should pass on this module. But if you’re a 4th Edition fan, this just might be the best 4e module produced so far.

What do you think about ‘King of the Trollhaunt Warrens’?

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Written by Janna

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King of the Trollhaunt Warrens: A 4e Adventure Review, 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.

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