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The Waking of Willowby HallClick to magnify
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The Waking of Willowby Hall


Physical copies are available on the Swordfish Islands webstore.

"I've run The Waking of Willowby Hall more times than any other adventure. Every time it has been one of the best gaming experiences of my life. It's a masterpiece of modern TTRPG design." - Mike Mearls, Co-Lead Designer of Dungeons & Dragons 5e

"Absolutely excellent . . . a masterclass in usable design. The scenario provided within is dynamic and inventive, and the aesthetics of the product are absolutely dynamite and point towards, I think, a new sort of poetics for the old-school space moving forward." - Ava, Bones of Contention

"There is A LOT to do in this adventure. Buttons to push . . . things to interact with, flee from, and leverage to your own ends.  Great f****** adventure." - Bryce Lynch,

The Waking of Willowby Hall is a dense, highly interactive RPG adventure set in a ruined manor beset by a rampaging giant, roving bands of restless dead, and a very angry goose.

  • Suitable for PCs of approximately 3rd level.
  • Features a highly interactive environment that rewards clever play.
  • Perfect for one-shots or for dropping into an existing campaign.
  • Contains "One Page Dungeon" maps that allow the DM to run much of the adventure at a glance.
  • Uses bullet points and control-panel layout for maximum ease of use.
  • Statted for Knave, but easily usable with any old-school fantasy RPG.
  • Writing, layout, and cartography by two-time ENnie Award winner Ben Milton, author of Maze Rats, Knave, and Jim Henson's Labyrinth: The Adventure Game.
  • Lavishly illustrated by Sam Mameli

Download includes:

  • Two versions of the adventure, one with two-page spreads and one without.
  • The full wraparound cover image
  • Blank, unkeyed maps for use with virtual tabletops

The manor of Willowby Hall is under siege by a giant, enraged at the theft of his magical goose. The band of thieves has taken shelter within the manor's crumbling walls, cowering with their ill-gotten poultry as the building shakes itself apart. But something else is stirring. The giant's rampage is slowly awakening a Death Knight from its black slumber, and once it rises it will call on the bones of the manor's old residents to drive out the intruders.

Will the party loot the manor of its ancient relics, or succumb to the blades of its skeletal guardians? Who will make off with the goose and its golden eggs? Will anyone survive the giant's onslaught? The only way to find to play.

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Reviews (8)
Discussions (15)
Customer avatar
Cora M December 26, 2023 1:54 am UTC
Page 3, the map on the 2nd floor. Description of The Gallery should say

WHEN RESTLESS: Flames portrayed in the paintings give *off* light and heat.
Customer avatar
Navish B July 30, 2022 1:54 pm UTC
Does the pdf include both OSE and 5e versions or just one of the two?
Customer avatar
Michael B September 29, 2022 9:26 pm UTC
It only includes stats for Knave. It does not include stats for 5e or OSE.
Customer avatar
Adam B May 26, 2022 2:36 pm UTC
Amazing adventure, have run it three times with wildly different things happening each time. This is up there as one of the greatest modules of all time imo.
Customer avatar
Dustin D December 15, 2021 2:10 am UTC
Backed this on Kickstarter and so happy with the final product. I highly recommend this one-shot. I ran this for my group and had so much fun that I ran it at Kantcon and enjoyed the fun, excitement and joyful fear it bestowed upon friends and strangers. Both plays were so organic and unique that it was not boring for me and kept me as the DM busy in the best way. Absolutely worth the cost of the booklet. Really Hoping Mr. Milton does more like this in the future. Definitely 5 out of 5 stars.
Customer avatar
December 05, 2021 7:06 pm UTC
Hi, my name is Piotr Korys from Poland, I would love to publish your adventure in our country. Can we talk somehow via!
Customer avatar
Jeffrey G September 24, 2021 5:26 pm UTC
I want to second the recommendation by the reviewer for putting a version of the map out without the secret doors shown- I used Paint to cover them up, but had I not seen that reviewer's comments, I might not have noticed until it was too late and those surprises would have been spoiled for my players, as I plan on having a printout of the map right on the table for them to aid with navigation.
Customer avatar
Jonathan S September 24, 2021 4:46 pm UTC
I saw this was the deal of the day and have to say that this is an AMAZING module. This was the first session I ever ran (I used Knave) and it was a ton of fun. It is so easy to use on the fly and there is a good balance of story, combat, and exploration. It took us 3 sessions. It is lighter in theme, but you could make it more serious if you want.

Honestly an excellent adventure with fantastic design and layout!
Customer avatar
Alexander B September 01, 2021 7:40 pm UTC
Это великолепное приключение! И в нем столько всего для исследования, а времени так мало, что вы сыграете его больше одного раза и всегда - по-разному. Рекомендую к покупке!

This is a great adventure! And there is so much to explore and so little time that you will play it more than once and always differently. I recommend!
Customer avatar
Grognard O June 13, 2021 8:50 am UTC
Where can you get the printed version in the uk?
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Dave T April 11, 2021 4:20 pm UTC
I did a review of this zine and scenario. TLDW: It's 100% worth buying.
Customer avatar
Jonathan S March 23, 2021 3:41 am UTC
Will this receive a PoD?
Customer avatar
Benjamin M April 01, 2021 2:33 am UTC
The print version can be found on the Swordfish Islands webstore
Customer avatar
Julien C March 22, 2021 11:22 pm UTC
I just finished running this adventure (I had it through kickstarter so I can't leave a review on drivethrurpg, but it would be a glowing five star), it took two sessions and I ran it using Dungeon World for the first time (it's a system which I was eager to try and upon reading felt it would work well).

This was so much fun!

First of all, never before have I run a dungeon scenario so easy to read and navigate, the effort made for readability and to avoid page flipping is simply fantastic. Beyond the exploration of the manor, the adventure was dynamic and the players were always forced to think quickly.

The end was a but chaotic, because all characters except one died in the manor, it ended with the druid flying away with the goose while abandonning the other group of adventurers to fend off against the death knight and his minions... I do believe I will run this adventure again with another group, or maybe do as suggested and drop it into a future campaign.
...See more
Customer avatar
Michael N March 09, 2021 7:54 pm UTC
Excellent work, looking forward to running this as soon as this weekend.
Customer avatar
Benjamin M March 09, 2021 10:44 pm UTC
Let me know how it goes! Reviews are highly appreciated.
Customer avatar
Raymond W March 13, 2021 7:54 pm UTC
You got a glowing review from Bryce. You should definitely post/quote that.
Customer avatar
Jonathan N March 09, 2021 7:26 pm UTC
Incredibly charming and well-constructed. The escalating encounter levels and ticking clock at the centre of the adventure give it a sense of pacing and tension a lot of other OSR adventures tend to lack, but it remains highly open-ended. This looks like an immense amount of fun.
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File Last Updated:
January 23, 2024
This title was added to our catalog on February 27, 2021.