Somewhere, deep in the caverns and over the snowy mountains, danger, challenge, adventure, and reward await and it can all be added to your games of Dungeons and Dragons with one simple product. Epic Encounters is a brand new release from Steamforged Games, the creators of Resident Evil the Board Game, Godtear, and still one of our favorite tabletop games Dark Souls the Card Game. Epic Encounters allows Dungeon Masters to easily add a whole depth of content, with game maps, miniatures, and a load of narrative content to back them up for their games. There are currently 4 Epic Encounters available, and in this article, we'll have a look at each.
This article will be spoiler-free, so we won't go into too much detail about what's included narratively and mechanically in each product. Instead, we'll focus on how the products work, and what's contained in them. The images will include pictures of the miniatures and maps, so if you are worried about spoilers if you're a player, then pass on this link to your Dungeon Master and wait for your next game night. If you're looking to pick up the sets because you just want the miniatures, then we showcase and detail them all below.
Each Epic Encounters set includes:
- Miniatures or a Huge Boss Miniature
- A double-sided squared encounter mat
- Encounter book with background and encounter details, along with 5E D&D stats for the included miniatures
There are 2 types of Epic Encounters, Warband, and Boss boxes. Warband boxes include a whole host of minions for your player's character to battle and the Boss boxes are stand-alone challenges, or lead directly on from one of the Warband boxes, with a huge epic enemy to battle.
Shrine of the Kobold Queen
The Shrine of the Kobold Queen Epic Encounters warband set takes place across 2 maps. The first is the Kobold Camp and then it heads deep into the Caverns. The encounter book gives a brief introduction to kobolds, then some adventure hooks to get the players in. All the locations on each side of the map are then described, along with any mechanical effects and the book ends with the stats, abilities, and actions for each of the miniatures included.
Shrine of the Kobold Queen includes 20 miniatures. These range from the lowly Fire Brand Kobolds, through Champions, Priests, and Assassins, mounted Fire Snake riding Kobolds to the Queen herself, and to really spoil your day, there is also a Magma Belcher Basilisk with its handlers.
Lair of the Red Dragon
The Lair of the Red Dragon Epic Encounters boss set is the follow-on to Shrine of the Kobold Queen, but is also completely stand-alone if you just want to pitch your players against the might of a dragon. The encounter book starts with some details of dragons, and then some adventure hooks for why the adventure party are there. It then goes on to detail the elements of the 2 sides of the map. Both have the same terrain elements, but can either be used as 2 separate caverns on adventures, or one big cavern that the players progress through. The book details some encounter aspects and how to use the terrain to add realistic detail to the encounters. It then includes some fantastic detail on how the dragon reacts to the different party approaches, and a flow diagram for its different types of attacks. Minions can come and help the dragon, and these can come from the Shrine set, or the included tokens and stats for Kobolds in this set can be used. The book ends with stats and actions for 3 difficulty levels of Dragons, and of course, the rewards that we all came for.
The Dragon miniature is huge, and has a real presence on the tabletop, sitting atop its pile of gold. Even unpainted, it has an aura of danger and impending momentum that could power forward with its huge wings.
Hall of the Orc King
The Hall of the Orc King Epic Encounters warband set follows the same template as the Kobold Queen. 2 maps that are filled with incredible detail are presented for the heroes to explore. The encounter book begins with some details of the Grimfang Orcs and their icy kingdom, followed by some rumors that you can filter to the players. It then has some adventure hooks and weather details for the winter tundra in which the adventure takes place. The first map is an outside area, which is detailed, along with some encounters that could take place there. The second is the Hall of the Orc King, and there are several locations and areas of interest to explore.
Hall of the Orc King includes 20 miniatures. These range from the standard hardy and aggressive Grimfang Orcs, through Gladiators, Shaman's, Grog Masters, Cooks, and even polar bear mounted Orc warriors. The King himself cuts an imposing figure, even against the huge Slaughter Kin Orogs.
Caverns of the Frost Giant
The Caverns of the Frost Giant Epic Encounters Boss set is the follow-up to Hall of the Orc King but is also completely stand-alone if you just want to challenge your players against a giant. The encounter book starts with details of some aspects that you can add to your adventure, rumors about giants to make this encounter unique, along with some adventure hooks and details of the giant's lair. It then goes into detail about the 2-sided map. Both sides have the same terrain elements, but can either be used as 2 separate caverns on adventures, or one big cavern that the players progress through. It also lists some encounter aspects to really add some depth of narrative to the setting. As with the Red Dragon, it includes some fantastic detail on how the giant reacts to the different party approaches to dealing with it. The giant has a handy flow diagram for its different attacks and abilities, along with several traps that tokens are also included for. Minions can be summoned by the giant, and tokens are provided to represent the Grimfang Orcs that protect it if you don't have the Hall of the Orc King warband set. It ends with stats for the Grimfang Orcs, 3 difficulty levels for the Giant, and the treasure that the heroes can acquire if successful.
The Giant miniature is very imposing, standing huge over all other miniatures. Even unpainted, it looks great against the backdrop of the included maps.
All of the stats in Epic Encounters are detailed for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, but each Epic Encounters can be used for any roleplaying system that you want, simply by converting the stats of the enemies or making up your own and just using the narrative details of each encounter. It also details 3 levels of challenge, depending on the level of your heroes.
All 4 of the currently released Epic Encounters are great plug-in and play products. Giving a huge amount of detail for which to expand the adventures. Just for the miniatures alone, they're fantastic products, but the maps and included encounter books make these very worthwhile products and provide some awesome nights of gaming.
All the copies of Epic Encounters used to produce this preview were provided by Steamforged Games.