Domains of Dread: The Endless RoadFrom Dungeon Magazine #174
Author: Ari Marmell
Illustrators: Wayne England
Summary of content:
Article detailing the Shadowfell Domain of The Endless Road, its darklord, Eli van Hassen, and his curse: The Headless Horseman. This is an reinvention of The Winding Road, a 2nd edition domain in which The Headless Horseman was the darklord.
The further evolution of the Headless Horseman, and one that I wholeheartedly approve of. In one fell swoop, it moves the Headless Horseman from the status of one shot combat device into something that DMs can actually get their teeth into. It does so by exploiting the full story that the Horseman comes from, adding a detailed background beyond a vague, "someone cut his head off." Now the Horseman is removed as the darklord, and in fairness I can understand why, as he is ill-suited for anything non-combat, and with his new background, he is now the angry wronged spirit, a victim of the manipulations of the true darklord Eli van Hassen (a small nod to the Van Tassels and the Hessian of the original story).
The domain is now a reflection of Eli van Hassenís desire for power, and the Dark Powers' way of granting it with one hand, while taking it away with the other. His hunger for a large population to rule is thwarted by the sheer nature of the realm, while giving him almost complete authority of those who he grants sanctuary in his manor. In addition, the realm (provided you continue to use it as a pocket domain) provides a novel and effective interlude to move PCs from one domain to another without them realising it until its too late (one less mist encounter that everyone hates or tries to avoid).
The article also has several examples of features to throw at the PCs while they travel the road, and skilled DMs can literally make each visit to the domain unique and entertaining.
5 blood drops out of 5
I really liked this domain. It is easily the best of the domains I have looked at so far in my reviews and adds so much to a very under-used pocket domain, improving it so well that it's hard to find any faults at all.
Kudos go to Ari for another brilliant addition to Ravenloft.
Please send your Reviews of art, books, movies, music, television shows, and video games to firstname.lastname@example.org