[RPG] What to do in the Shadowfell?


I have a drow assassin character who has recently been brought to the Shadowfell by the Raven Queen for a short quest involving taking out an upstart Dark One toying with necromancy. It will be a session-or-two solo adventure, and I've had some trouble fleshing it out, especially trying to figure out what might be interesting to have him see/encounter along the way.

He is only level 3, so the Shadowfell should come off as eminently dangerous, hopefully without killing him.

For the duration of this little quest he has an intelligent raven companion character that I built, so he can take a little bit more than if he was just on his own and has a bit of a guide.

Anyone have any ideas on what might be good to put along the path to this Dark One's hideout?

For some reason I have a hard time visualizing the Shadowfell, and would even appreciate any stories of what you've done there unrelated to this.

Best Answer

Tone In my reading the Shadowfell isn't evil nearly as much as it is dark and a tad corrupt. As such I'd draw upon imagery from writers like Poe or Yeats for my flavor. Perhaps the English graveyard poets. The Shadowfell is the goth part of the new D&D cosmology.

Inhabitants The inhabitants of the Shadowfell don't have to be non-human or humanoid. Frankenstein's castle belongs here (as does Dracula's but that's calling up Ravenloft, which works but you don't need to ask here about that). With that in mind, I'd suggest watching some horror films such as The Curse of Frankenstein by Hammer films or the Roger Corman Edgar Allan Poe movies for possible plots. Insane mages, summoners, or even rune priests doing dark researches that must be stopped fit (and provide an excellent setting for the upstart dark one toying in necromancy...after all, isn't Frankenstein's work close).

But beyond your main enemy think of a world peopled by such beings. Everything has a sinister side unmentioned. The old witch trading in tears for information or the tree which moves to shade you as the sun does until you fall asleep and it tries to eat you are at home here. Norman Bates and his inn are here as well.

Landscape The tree brings me to the landscape. Dark swamps where the land floats and can willfully drop you in front of a crocodile belongs here. Read some old school blogs and sites on the dungeon as mythical underworld, especially Philotomy's take on it for ideas which you can bring above ground. I think the idea of Shadowfell as mythical underworld works very well.

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