D&D Phandelver and Below - The Shattered Obelisk Preview
The allure of the unknown, the scent of magic, and the rustle of maps lead us once again to the realms of Dungeons & Dragons. Now - a week before release - Imaginary Adventures are pumped to release our preview of the much-anticipated “D&D Phandelver and Below - The Shattered Obelisk”
An Epic Re-imagining
For many, the tales of Phandelver were the start of their D&D journey. Its simplicity, combined with the potential for vast adventures, made it a favourite among veterans and novices alike. Now, with “Phandelver and Below”, the saga delves deeper, promising to take adventurers into uncharted territories beneath the very soil of Phandelver.
Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk revitalizes the iconic Lost Mine of Phandelver mini-campaign from the 2014 D&D Starter Set. While the original adventure guided players through levels 1 to 5, this refreshed 2023 rendition propels characters from Level 1 all the way to 12 when fully explored. Crucially, Phandelver and Below isn't merely a sequel; it's a modern reinterpretation of the classic campaign, complemented by entirely new content never seen before.
How is it different from The Lost Mines of Pheldelver?
The 2014's Lost Mine of Phandelver stands as an iconic DnD 5e campaign. Packaged within the Starter Set, its primary aim was to guide novice players and Dungeon Masters through the foundational mechanics of a Dungeons & Dragons quest. Spanning 64 pages, this softcover booklet, bundled with the box set, is segmented into four chapters, guiding characters from Levels 1 to 5.
The 2023 edition of Phandelver and Below enriches the original content, boasting an impressive 220 pages. While it retains the essence of the initial four chapters—with subtle refinements—it introduces a fresh prologue, an additional four chapters, and a plethora of new appendices. This revamped campaign promises an expansive journey, propelling players from Levels 1 through 12.
Beyond the blend of new and classic adventure elements, Phandelver and Below also offers:
- A new bestiary with two-dozen new creatures that showcase psionic magic, body horror and more.
- A new magic appendix that includes consumable metamagic items, Netherese amulets and duergar magic
- A double-sided poster map with the Phandalin region on one side and the town of Phandalin plus key encounters in the adventure on the other
- New tables for encounters, adventure hooks and character backgrounds
- New interior and cover artwork
What adventure awaits in the book?
I'll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, just in case any players are reading 😊
The narrative unfolds in Phandalin, a quaint town nestled in the Sword Coast of the Forgotten Realms universe. The adventure is segmented into distinct chapters. It's worth mentioning that the primary four chapters originate from the classic Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign and remain mostly untouched in Phandelver and Below.
Here'a a quick summary of the chapters to wet your whistle:
- Chapter 1: A Dangerous Journey
- Chapter 2: Trouble in Phandalin
- Chapter 3: The Spider’s Web
- Chapter 4: Wave Echo Cave
- Chapter 5: Paths of Peril
- Chapter 6: The Shattered Obelisk
- Chapter 7: Rifts in Reality
- Chapter 8: Beyond a Lightless Star
What even is a Black Obelisk, and what are they being shattered?
The Black Obelisks first graced the D&D scene in the 'Out of the Abyss' campaign, subsequently featuring in four D&D fifth edition adventures from 2015 to 2020. The 2020 odyssey, 'Rime of the Frostmaiden', unveiled the obelisks' power to warp time and reality, linking them mysteriously to a faction called The Weavers.
The craft of creating these obelisks was wickedly usurped by the malevolent lich, Vecna, and later exploited by the ancient Netheril Empire. Interestingly, a potential climax in 'Rime of the Frostmaiden' sees players ensnared by the obelisk’s enchantment, transporting them back in time—a narrative thread that intriguingly didn't see further development.
When is it coming out?
Set your calendars! 'Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk' is set for an official release on September 19th, 2023.
It will be available in both standard and alternate covers, which you can preorder right here.
Make sure to grab The Phandalin Post: Courtesy of D&D Beyond, Wizards of the Coast offers a complimentary, printable player handout - the newest edition of the Phandalin Post. This periodical delves into the latest happenings in Phandalin. It's commendable to witness WotC enriching their offerings with such meticulous details.
Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk stands as a magnum opus in the realm of DnD 5e adventures. For those yet to traverse the iconic Lost Mine of Phandelver, it's recognized as a pinnacle campaign across all DnD editions. Now, there's an opportunity to experience it in a refreshed and enhanced avatar. The added content brilliantly elevates the stakes, weaving in heightened drama, chilling horror, and thrilling escapades, all complemented by stellar set designs, distinct antagonists, and balanced opportunities for roleplaying, combat, and exploration.
To put it succinctly, Wizards of the Coast have refined and amplified one of their most esteemed campaigns to unparalleled excellence. You really don't want to miss out!