This article originally appeared in d20 Weekly
Book of Challenges
Published by Wizards of the Coast
Written by Daniel Kaufman, Gwendolyn F. M. Kestrel, Mike Selinker, and Skip Williams
128 b&w pages; $21.95
The Book of Challenges from Wizards of the Coast is a 128 page softcover book of short challenging encounters, puzzles, and traps for Dungeons & Dragons. Most of the book is taken up with 54 separate encounters covering encounter levels from one to 20 (and one set at EL 22). Interspersed among the encounters are applicable rules discussions and generic discussions of the types of challenges presented. There is also a short introduction with advice for making monsters more tactically effective, setting up puzzles and traps, using general utility spells, scaling down encounters, and the problems of assigning xp rewards. Wizards of the Coast has put up one preview encounter with a logic puzzle on its website, and provides two web enhancements dealing with useful equipment and scrolls used for gaining information in a dungeon, plus a bonus encounter for when a lone scout goes ethereal.
In the book there are multiple encounters for every EL from two to 15. In addition, every encounter has suggestions for scaling the EL up or down to provide different levels of challenge. Encounters range from bare-bones ambushes (some of which can be placed as-is in random dungeons, others which require a DM to do some work to incorporate them) to entire mini-adventures with plot hooks, NPCs, and motivations.
The encounters challenge . . .
This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.
Article publication date: August 21, 2002
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