||Dungeon Crawl Classics #38: Escape from the Forest of Lanterns is a 44 page d20 fantasy adventure and one of the many products in the very successful Dungeon Crawl Classics lines of adventures from Goodman Games. Each adventure in the series contains a self-contained adventure dungeon crawl, full of tricks, traps, monsters, and lots of dungeon. In this particular adventure the PCs find themselves transported to another dimension where they have to find a means of escape. If that's not bad enough, they get converted into children as well, and have to fight their way through a nightmare fairy-tale to escape from the Warty Witch. This adventure is suitable for characters of levels 7 to 9, and scaling information is provided for parties of a different composition.
This product comes as a single, fully-bookmarked pdf file that contains all the maps and adventure details for the adventure. The product follows the familiar layout of all the adventures in the Dungeon Crawl Classics line, although there are some new sections in these later product as a result of the release of DCC #35 - the campaign world of the Dungeon Crawl Classics line. The first being details of where the adventure can be located in the campaign world, and the second is a handy little summary at the back of the product of each of the DCC products and their respective levels. This makes it easy to select your next adventure once this one is completed.
The product writing, editing and layout are all of a high standard, as is the numerous art found in the product. The only niggle was the slightly poor maps - they looked a little unpolished around the edges, although the detail was reasonably clear. Monster stats and details were as usual good, and the product in fact includes a whole host of new and interesting monsters that can be used in other games outside of this one. Other useful features of the product include a list of all encounters and ELs, several good plot hooks and adventure summary and background. Overall a high standard of presentation and a good-looking product that covers all the bases and more.
The adventure is set in the Forest of Lanterns, a demi-plane location. The characters are transported there thanks to a magical tome, and have to find their way out of the demi-plane, and navigate its oft deadly environs. Not only that, they are turned into children in this fairy tale land, and have to contend with being younger and smaller for the course of the adventure. Naturally, full mechanical details are provided to achieve this.
The essence of the adventure is quite simple, really - escape the demi-plane - but the roleplaying opportunities and fun encounters should make this a wholly enjoyable adventure. There are a large number of interesting encounters, from fighting miniature trolls, to various fey, and a rather cute little thing called 'cuddly-wuddly'. This adventure should keep most gamers entertained, although its light-hearted and child-like elements might not be for the more serious gamer.
Roleplaying-wise this is a good adventure with a good mix of challenging encounters. There are a total of 27 encounter areas in the adventure, so it should make for a decent amount of time to get through the whole adventure. Encounters range from creatures to traps, with a eclectic mix of different creatures and traps used to keep the PCs on their toes. There is naturally a risk that the adventure can be over pretty quickly, but those should be rare instances where things just go the PCs' way. I think this is a solid and entertaining adventure, and certainly an entertaining campaign 'filler' to take a break from adventuring of a more serious nature.
LIKED: Good adventure background with plenty of opportunity to flex brawn and brain. Some good roleplaying opportunity and a chance to have some fun playing children in a dangerous and deadly nightmare fairy tale. Very good presentation.
DISLIKED: Maps were a little weak, although clear, and looked a little unpolished. Other than that, nothing much that was a detraction from the adventure and its contents.
QUALITY: Very Good
[4 of 5 Stars!]