First, I?ll assume that some of you have purchased and read one of the Dungeon Crawl Classics beforehand. This adventure is a bit of a departure in theme from most of these great products. Your PCs must deal with a ?Shrek-esque? story setting ? the Forest of Lanterns. It?s a good change of pace. Forewarn your players of this or you may lose some of the flavor.
The scenario is broken down in two parts. The first is the trip in and around the Forest of Lanterns. While I enjoyed this section the most, I found that it was mostly made of numerous encounters that just added to the flavor of the setting but did little to promote a purposeful, flowing story, so this may a plus for some and a minus for others. If you just want to bash trolls and treants, you should be happy. If not, prune some of the encounters; reading the entire adventure beforehand is a must.
The second part deals with the ?Hanzel & Gretel-esque? candy cottage. Inside are the central antagonist and her flunkies. This is a pretty standard dungeon crawl, and seemed to have less imagination invested in its creation. Have some various candies on hand for this part; gingerbread would be nice, too.
The maps and art were useful and standard for these products.
My group played this in two nights (about 8 hours all together). It is an adventure for 7-9 level PCs, but I think scaling the number of monsters encountered down makes it more enjoyable for a lower leveled group (say 5-7 levels). The central antagonist seemed a bit weak for the recommended levels. The writing was clear, and the story fun, although I did find the central antagonist?s and the PCs? motivation to be a bit understated. My PCs ended up talking to her and worked out a compromise (after they severely damaged her home and hench-monsters). Based on my perception of the theme, common violence seemed to be an inappropriate answer to some encounters. Unfortunately, some of the treasure would have been hard to liberate otherwise.
My recommendation is to watch the Skrek movies and then play. I had the scores for Skrek 1 & 2 playing to keep the desired mood flowing. Play up on those bedtime stories and ham it up. Encourage the players to do the same. Think outside the dungeon!
A final note: this is not a "silly, waste of time" adventure. It is a fun diversion from the typical scenario. If your group is strictly a hardcore "adventure path" sort, you might want to give this a pass.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>
[4 of 5 Stars!]