D&D Banshee Fantasy Role Playing Game Review
D&D BANSHAE monster manual is a stand alone role playing game that includes a variety of characters and backgrounds. The player takes on the roll of whichever Banshee they choose and start their travels through the underland in order to find the lost Ghost Children of Banshee Village. This Banshee has been asleep for ten years and has not wakened even once since taking up residence in this village. If any of the players choose to be the Banshee themselves, they have the option of either protecting the children or looking for treasure to sell to the villagers.
The Banshee is the progeny of the powerful spirit, Olgoth. He is the father of the Banshee Village and its protector. Many years ago, before the clans awoke to fight against the Lich King, Olgoth tricked them into destroying the forests of the world, cutting them off from the rest of the world, trapping them within their magical realm called the Undercity. Now, only a select few elves remain, and those who are chosen to become banshees are possessed with the power to unleash dark magic, as well as the spirit of the Banshee, and are roaming the Undercity, looking for others like themselves.
The main threat in Banshee is her psychotic uncle Renault, who wishes to command her forces and banish her to the Undercity to serve him. However, he must first convince the Banshee’s father that it would be in his child’s best interest to remain and fight alongside their forces rather than turning against them. Furthermore, the evil Renault wants to use the blood & magic powers of his elven amulet to make himself immortal and gain eternal life. For this purpose, he must find an ancient artifact called the Helm of Time, which possesses the power to close time for anyone in sight.
As much of the action takes place in the Undercity, it is impossible for our main characters to traverse from one area to another, and it also would not be possible for them to travel back to the Land of the Dead. In the absence of this, however, our lead characters still manage to come across their enemies and friends, and learn about the terrible destiny that awaits the mortals they meet here. They learn that death is not the end, that it is just the start of a new life in the world of the undead, but that there are other paths to follow. This book continues with more action as our main characters travel to the land of Spore, where they encounter the lich lord Aboth himself, who is seeking to find a way to use the blood & magic to conquer the mortal world and gain immortal life.
Unfortunately, Renault and the elves find themselves in a sticky situation. elves are being attacked by both the vampires and the undead. But the two groups are not evenly matched, and neither can gain the upper hand. As the battle rages on, a devious little devil makes his presence felt among the elves. His presence, and the power he wields over his own followers, proves to be a turning point for everyone. The evil Renault pursues the elven princess Freya, and his aim is to kill her and seize her unborn child, naming him the new prince of elves, or banshees.
Our story line takes a rather disturbing turn once the Prince of banshees has found and captured Freya. The entire city of Qalorat is in shock, and does not know quite what to make of the new resident. The evil prince uses his wraith to force the elves to perform a ritual that will break the spell he is casting, allowing him to attack the humans of Qalorat and force them to join him in the search for Freya and the greater undead. However, the ritual is interrupted by the intervention of Renault, who uses his newfound powers to kill the prince and free Freya, while bantering the townsfolk in his quest to protect the innocent. What follows is a terrific fight between the prince of the wraith and the great wizard Thaerkel, who has become possessed by the demon lord himself. With the threat of the wraith and its army of the greater undead looming large over everyone, it is only a matter of time before the powerful prince has his vengeance.
Although the story line is disturbing and suspenseful, I enjoyed the characters more than the storyline. While there were moments when the overall tone of the book became dark and morbid, I felt the elven magic and relationships were more interesting than the power of the wraith lord himself. This was especially true of the relationships between the elves of Qalorat and those in the town of Berennod, which had long been the primary source of hope and light for the elves throughout the story.
While it is possible to become a wraith, and the characters in D&D Banshee can fall under this class, it is much easier to become a paralyzed spirit. Although this type of spirit can temporarily lose their ability to move and think, they will regrow the lost abilities once they regain conscious. The spirits that fall under the paralyzing touch are often weak, confused, or depressed. While this type of spirit is typically not all that strong willed, they still have great power in their possession. In most cases, the PCs will not know what to expect once the battle really begins, but after reading through the book I found myself actually enjoying fighting against a wraith while under its influence.
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