The Princess Project is a new addition to the DMs Guild of third-party created content for Dungeons & Dragons.
The 88-page download from a host of authors led by Ashton Duncan and artists contains nine adventures in a theme.
What’s the theme? The Princess Project takes well know fairy tale and mythological princesses and re-invents their story.
Tropes aren’t a bad thing inherently. All a trope is is a recurrent theme or motif, however, if that theme feels dated and yet the trope persists then that suggests its probably a good time to reboot stories that use it. That’s what The Princess Project does. It’s not just fairy tale princesses that get a lick of 21st-century paint, but pre-written D&D adventures too.
The adventures are about four hours long, some perhaps likely to run a little shy of that, and present themselves as familiar encounters. For example, there’s making sure weddings happen, so kingdoms don’t go to war, setting off to rescue a princess from a dragon, or stopping mind flayers from invading a Flumph kingdom. Okay, I don’t encounter Flumphs very often so perhaps not all that familiar.
And, yes, there are twists. That’s the point of the Princess Project. While the DMs Guild page mentions “dethroning the patriarchy”, I honestly do not think there’s any suggestion that these adventures are political diatribes with d20 attached.
The format for all 9 is consistent; there’s an overview (as some are multi-part), a background, the character level suggestion, and plot hooks to get you started.
We’re given NPCs names, races and where necessary some of their stats too. We’re told their pronouns. Often, but not always, we get NPC summaries that include Personality Trait, Ideal, Bond and Flaw. These help to very quickly give DMs a steer as to how that NPCs will react.
For example, the Flaw “I believe the best of everybody” suggests that this NPC would be easy to trick or betray while the Bond “I have to see the world and bring back the best of it to my home” lets me know why this NPC is out and about in the first place.
No adventure is overlong (there’s nine across 88-pages, after all) and there’s a mix of more linear to player-driven sandbox.
You don’t get any lair maps or grids with The Princess Project. In this day and age of VTTs, I find it hard to argue pre-written adventures PDF downloads have to have hex crawl illustrations in them. Such map designs have got to be a VTT compatible file, something that’s easy to print out and cost comparable to a standalone lair download, or the addition isn’t that helpful. Ah, possibly a controversial subject to explore later.
The art is good but conservatively used and generally to introduce an adventure. That helps with value for money if adventure ideas are all that you’re after but having easy access to illustrations of NPCs ahead of the game is something a DM will want to consider. A site like Artbreeder might be very useful.
In addition, there are 19 magic items, ten spells, a table of trinkets and a new wild magic table to be found inside.
As it’s Play It Forward this week and next, buying The Princess Project now means 100% of your money goes to the authors and artists who made this $14.95 product for you. Onebookshelf and Wizards of the Coast are surrendering their usual cut of the cash.
I’ve not playtested any of these adventures (blame you-know-what-19), but they all easily pass muster with me. I’d readily play or run any one of them, though my usual tendency towards tier 1 and 2 and the expense of tier 3 and 4 persists.
You can download The Princess Project at DMs Guild.
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