An impressive Dungeons & Dragons anthology contains 25 adventures, all of which subvert popular tropes around female monsters.
Earlier today, Ashley Warren and a group of dozens of creators released the first volume of Uncaged, a new anthology series focused on female monsters from Dungeons & Dragons. The 238 page volume contains 25 different adventures that challenges players to approach established female mythological monsters from different viewpoints.
In the opening pages of the anthology, Warren explained that she was inspired by a modern Medusa sculpture by Luciano Garbati, which depicts the famed snake-haired monster carrying a sword and the decapitated head of Perseus. What started off as a desire to present the Medusa myth from the monster's perspective instead of the hero's turned into a four volume anthology series starring dozens of D&D creators, artists, and cartographers.
The first volume of Uncaged contains a variety of encounters and short adventures with interesting characters that often subvert popular tropes about female monsters. There's the hag motivated not out of malice, but rather revenge for her murdered sisters or the dryad who is seemingly destroying her own forest and threatening a nearby village...but sparing nearby wildlife. Some adventures are inspired by cultural myths and folklore like The Little Mermaid, Madame White Snake, or La Llorona. Many of the stories carry deeper meaning - adventures about generational divides, cultural sexism, and overcoming prejudices and traditional views both within the world of D&D and around the gaming table. And, while many of these adventures are intended as one-shots, many of the adventures reward exploration and social interactions and don't necessarily end with a combat encounter.
For the size, scope, and relatively quick turnaround time (we wrote about Uncaged seeking contributors back in August), Uncaged is an impressively organized book with professional quality layouts and editing. And with a digital price of $14.95, players and DMs who pick up the book are getting a ton of material for their money. Whether you enjoy a good monster story or are looking for some quick adventures for your D&D party, Uncaged is a fantastic anthology and is one of the best publications we've seen released on the DMs Guild in quite some time.