This is the first of a series of reviews and giveaways of my FreeRPGDay haul! So leave a comment below if you want a shot at getting this copy of Dungeons & Dragons 4e Domain of Dread: Histaven. Note that if you live outside the United States, I must request that you pay for shipping. More details here!
I'm going to say right up front that I really like these 14 free pages. I haven't even read my new Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond yet, which Domain of Dread: Histaven is supplementary to, but this little booklet is exactly what a 4e module should look like.
There are no balanced encounters here. There are no tactical maps. There are stat-blocks, there is a chilling, deep story that must be solved by roleplaying and not combat, with numerous facets that can be discovered in multiple ways, and just enough sideways treks, distractions, and red herrings to keep your players curious and asking questions.
It's very similar to the "Vor Rukoth" adventure setting in that regard, but more elegant in its focus and simplicity. Erik Scott de Bie has done a fine job writing this. It is well thought out and perfectly delivered.
I was totally expecting some worthless 3-combat delve with a shadowfell twist to it. Domain of Dread: Histaven is just the opposite. This little module exemplifies everything the Shadowfell should be about; and I haven't even read Gloomwrought and Beyond yet!