The Stone of the Daoine Sidhe is a 44 page pdf adventure for the 3.5e OGL system. This adventure takes place in the fairly generic region of Midland, and takes the PCs on a gaelic/celtic themed journey through the world of Fey and their magic. Stone of the Daoine Sidhe is an adventure suitable for characters of levels 6 to 8. This adventure is designated as HF1, and incorporates elements of wilderness and dungeon exploring, although the later is where most of the action in the adventure takes place.
This pdf comes as a single pdf file that includes a cover page, credits page, table of contents, a set of partially incomplete bookmarks, and the adventure itself which includes plenty of maps and a useful selection of new monsters and NPC write-ups. The presentation is very old-school, and those familiar with gaming two decades ago will recognise the style, design and the layout from that time. Magical items, for example, are written in bold text, and the general design of the product is fairly loose and has the characters covering lots of ground. Writing, editing and layout is good, and apart from a few mechanical errors in some of the stat blocks, the new statistics are good as well. The product utilizes good art from Andy 'ATOM' Taylor and Jim Nunn, but also contains an extensive selection of stock art. Overall, the presentation is fairly good if you like old school style, but even so it's well designed and presented.
The Stone of the Daoine Sidhe takes place in the lands of Midland, a generic location that can be easily adapted to your preferred campaign setting. The adventure is based on a legend found in Surrey in England, and sees the characters get involved in the affairs of the Fey, crossing between the Seelie and Unseelie lands to prevent catastrophe and restore the Stone of the Daoine Sidhe. The adventure takes place in several locations across the region of Midland, and characters will venture through many towns there, although the main portion of the adventure takes place in the Lands of the Fey, where the characters need to enter the shadow worlds between the Seelie and Unseelie worlds to complete their quest. Here they will explore a vast dungeon, meet all sort of new and horrifying creatures, and eventually reach their goal.
The adventure is very much a gaelic/celtic themed adventure, and the author, Andy Champagne, has done a splendid job of creating an interesting Fey World and background story that should appeal to many. The details behind the Fey are extensive, and the pdf provides more than enough information to create a very flavorful adventure, even including Fairie vocabulary and notes for Fairie music! I was impressed by the creativity that had gone into crafting the background details for this adventure, and if one can make full use of the plethora of tools available in this product, the players and the DM will have a fun, interesting and vividly flavorful gaming experience.
The adventure is divided into three parts, each part seeing the PCs systematically achieve parts of the eventual goal, and uncover the mystery behind what it plaguing Midland. The first part is largely roleplaying orientated and sees the characters explore Midland and uncover the nature of its afflictions. The second part has them exploring the Fairie Lands, where they need to do a arduous rescue mission before they can complete their quest in the third part of the adventure. The product provides plenty of details to guide the characters through these parts, although there is very little hand-holding here or guidance, so DMs will need to do some work in getting and keeping the characters going in the right direction. In general, despite the detail of the adventure, there is a still a lot of DM work to do to make the adventure run smoothly without just rail-roading the PCs into the right direction.
As mentioned earlier, the main part of the adventure is a dungeon-crawl in the Unseelie Lands. This is quite an extensive dungeon, that's fairly well crafted. There are a host of interesting locations and encounters, and characters should have fun as they explore the more unsavory aspects of the Fey. In general the encounters appear fairly easy for characters of this adventure's level, but it's difficult to ascertain the full impact of that without playtesting the adventure. One thing that stood out quite quickly though, was that the magical treasure provided is far too good for the character level of the adventure, and most DMs will want to tone that down. The dungeon crawl is fun, though, even more so if the flavor elements of the Fey are kept in the forefront of the DMs mind.
The ending of the adventure sees the characters restore the Stone of the Daoine Sidhe, but despite the satisfaction of the success, the adventure as written has a rather odd ending that has a permanent and perhaps unpleasant effect on one of the party's PCs. Many DMs will choose to ignore or modify this, as it effectively permanently removes a character from the game. While it could work, it would again require quite a bit of work from the DM and I'd have preferred to not see such a 'fixed' ending with no way of avoiding the outcome.
Stone of the Daoine Sidhe is an adventure with many different elements, but juggling all these will require quite a bit of DM work and might be difficult to pull off. This is unlikely to be an adventure for novice DMs, or those that don't prefer the often open style of old school adventures. The background details are very well crafted, although the adventure will likely require more DM 'leading' than I would've liked to see. The adventure provides good opportunity for roleplaying and combat in an unusual and flavorful setting. Good adventure, very flavorful and detailed background, good structure and design although it will require a bit of DM work to make it run well and as intended.
[4 of 5 Stars!]