Rebirth From Catherine Evans
To this day, the greatest game that I have ever played is 2013’s masterpiece, The Last of Us. Zombie games and movies have definitely hit a bit of a slump lately, but occasionally something can rise up and bring a great spin on the zombie genre, such as said game. When you think of zombies in Dungeons and Dragons, do you think of a legitimate threat? The correct answer is no, because the creators removed one of the parts that make zombies so threatening: one scratch, one bite, and you become one of them. But bring that back, and suddenly any combat scenario at your typical session table turns into a tense game where like second grade cooties, you have to keep your distance as best you can, otherwise see your character sheet ripped apart by a ruthless DM. (DMs reading this: ripping PCs sheets is rule #4. Never forget.) Making an encounter with moving parts, having PCs need to move quickly to avoid becoming killed before the adventure properly starts is a great way to ensure engagement with the players. As well, it falls onto them to remain vigilant and understand the stakes set, especially when they realize they could be sitting on Ground Zero of the next apocalypse to hit the world they live in. When I started reading this adventure, I was surprised at the missed opportunity with Zuggtmoy, Underdark queen of fungus, even if Drow and an Umber Hulk appear, knowing they are Underdark MVPs.. A celestial has been bonded to by a mind altering fungal parasite, and the Fungal Queen is not involved? Perhaps DMs would very much like to take this idea if they want to push the adventure further and turn it into the next big threat this world faces instead of a one off adventure. There’s nothing more threatening than changing the entire game and have everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in this world try to kill you. For DMs wanting to shake things up with their world and reshuffle the board, Rebirth is an excellent way to change the rules and start a new kind of adventure. Your players may have been used to facing generic threats of goblins or bandits looting nearby villagers in the early levels. How much can they adapt to the world when everything becomes infected by a parasite, and there is no hope to save the world from this threat? You might even be surprised how your players might change with the world. This is set up as a one shot campaign but I would like to see the author try making a whole new kind of series of quests based around this concept. Especially one that I can see drawing inspiration from my favourite video game of all time. Rebirth gets a 8 out of 10 stars.
You can find this adventure here for 1.95!