I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy of CrumblingKeep's holiday one-shot adventure for D&D5e this week, and I thought I'd take a moment to write a little review of it from a DM standpoint - as I haven't yet managed to get my friends together for a virtual game. If I manage to over the Christmas holidays, I'll do a followup of my experience running this as well!
The adventure is 'Tenarlian - The Dying of the Light', and it's a fantastic little holiday survival-horror themed adventure where light is your only real ally and the darkness of winter is pressing in on all sides.
The adventure module is built to be played by a total of 6 people (one Dungeon Master, and five players). Included in the adventure are five pre-generated Dwarven characters - the Frostdelver clan, which is fantastic as it means you can skip the long process of creating characters for a one-shot. I'm a sucker for anything that helps provide me a more streamlined experience, as I often use one-shots to onboard new players to D&D. You can, of course, choose to ignore this and create your own characters for playing the module and I suspect it would take very little DM tweaking to make those fit.
The characters provided are a well-balanced group, and I should note that it includes by-default two gender-neutral characters, two females, and one male, which is a nice touch as non-binary characters are often underrepresented in a lot of the adventures I read.
The ultimate goal of the adventure is to escape your home valley and survive the holiday night of Tenarlian. At its core, this is a hex crawl with a focus on resource management. Both time and darkness are against you, and the writers have done a fantastic job of providing even a novice DM all the tools they would need to impress the module's dangers upon their players.
The entire adventure is really well written. The challenges are well thought out and the enemy npcs your characters will meet are both awesome and terrifying. I should also point out the art in this module. I haven't shown any here beyond the small screenshot of the cover page, but the art they got for this adventure is absolutely fantastic and definitely helps the DM get a sense of the grim-dark tone for this holiday one-shot.
I am, personally, very excited to play this and I'm hoping to find a few players to jump into Roll20 with over the next two weeks to give it an actual play-through while I'm on vacation. If a tense flight from darkness sounds like something you want to put your friends and family through this holiday season, you can snag this adventure on sale right now for a paltry $4.50 USD, which is well worth it, and provides the adventure, maps for use at-table or online (both DM and Player copies), and of course the 5 pre-gen characters - including files for MacOSX and Windows.
You can also buy last year's Tenarlian adventure from their website if you'd rather run a "heavy metal Christmas adventure" set in an old manor!
Oh, and one more thing! CrumblingKeep produces a lot of free content as well as their paid content, which you can find on the CrumblingKeep Twitter, and on their website - so if you're not already following one or both of those places, you should be!