Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Review: Evils of Illmire

We recently ended our latest Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition game and it was my turn to run something. I really wanted to run a Hex Crawl and had an acquaintance tell me how much they enjoyed running Hot Spring Islands as a busy Dungeon Master.

I asked for some recommendations and ended up reading The Dark of Hot Springs Island, Slumbering Ursine Dunes, and the Evils of Illmire

While Hot Springs Island was pretty darn cool its nested tables' use at the table worried me. This is no slight to the module just how unorganized I can be. 

Slumbering Ursine Dunes is phenomenal and was the in the lead at first. It is a Point Crawl, which means it focuse more on locations than an entire hex and I think that is better suited for how my mind works and how much I improvise at the table. It is really gonzo, which I love, but it felt small compared to Evils of Illmire.

For $5 the Evils of Illmire presents 19 Hexes to explore and 12 Dungeons to explore and they are laid out well, easy to print out and perfect for a busy DM running a weekly game. Also, I really enjoy the style of illustration used within the module and it really adds to the atmosphere of the product. Further, the organization really works for my brain and style as a DM. You get digital files of important in-game props and dungeons and though the module is designed for Old School Essentials, DnD B/X, or Labyrinth Lord it includes conversion files for Dnd 5E, Dungeon World, and Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells. 

In my opinion, Illmire is closer to a Point Crawl than a Hex Crawl but its probably best described as a hybrid approach.

This is the Player's Map of the Region.

There are lots of neat extras that you are provided with such as character sheets, pregen characters with optional illustrations, and a GM Screen Insert for you to print off with lots of useful info about Illmire the town. There is an excellent Player's Guide to help fill out why a character would come to Illmire and how their journey to the region went. 

Again, Hot Spring Island and Slumbering Ursine Dunes are very worthwile products but Spellsword Studios is on my radar now and if you are looking to add to a game or start a new game I urge you to pick Evils of Illmire up. I can't recommend it enough and it is a steal at $5.


Old Scouser Roleplaying said...

I recently finished a 15 month campaign of The Evils of Illmire and it was brilliant, you've med a great choice. There are session reports from myself and my players here: https://oldscouserroleplaying.com/the-evils-of-illmire/

Cross Planes said...

@Old Scouser Roleplaying: Thanks for the link, I've had to start a journal for all of the cool ideas I've had from exploring the setting. This module is a gem!

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