The ENnie Award-nominated Uncaged anthology has returned with a second volume. Earlier this year, a group of Dungeons & Dragons designers led by Ashley Warren published the first volume of Uncaged, an anthology with short encounters featuring re-imagined versions of monsters traditionally identified as female. The goal of Uncaged was to subvert some of the traditional myths around these mythological creatures and present them in a brand new light. The first volume received widespread acclaim and quickly became a best-seller on the DMs Guild, an online publishing platform that allows writers to use official D&D IP. The book even received an ENnie Award nomination for "Best Electronic Book."
Now, Uncaged returns for a second volume, featuring 24 more adventures focused on female mythological creatures. As with Volume I, Uncaged: Volume II draws inspiration from many different sources and includes monsters not typically seen in D&D. For instance, several of the adventures in Uncaged: Volume II deal with the Rusalka, an undead creature from Slavic folklore created when a woman either commits suicide due to an unhappy marriage or is murdered by drowning. While rusalka are seen as malevolent spirits in traditional folklore, adventures in Uncaged reinterpret them as either friendly creatures or as a spirit seeking revenge on her murderer.
Other creatures in this volume include banshees, sirens, succubi, hags and dryads, along with female deities like the Morrigan, Marzanna, and Ourania. Many of the adventures involve solving untimely deaths or uncovering disturbing mysteries, while others show less dangerous sides to the monsters at the heart of their story. While many of the adventures can devolve into combat encounters, I appreciated that most of the stories in this volume of Uncaged involve investigation and exploration instead of simple "kill this thing" quests.0comments
Uncaged: Volume II is a fantastic publication and features some of the best short D&D adventures we've read this year. The book also features some gorgeous artwork that really bring to life the melancholy, danger, and tragedy of the monsters featured in the anthology.
A digital version of Uncaged: Volume II is available for $14.95. A hardcover print-on-demand edition is also available for $35.95.