Led by RPG expert Ashley Warren, a group of Dungeons and Dragons designers have published the second volume of their ENnie Award-nominated Uncaged anthology. The first volume, released earlier this year, became a best-seller on DMs Guild, which is an online publishing platform for D&D writers and fans. It was also nominated for “Best Electronic Book” and was critically acclaimed.
Both anthologies focus on monsters, villains, and creatures that are traditionally identified as female and present them in a new light. Many sources are drawn from for these monsters, including urban legends and folklore. For example, Uncaged: Volume II presents Rusalka from Slavic folklore. She is an undead being that is created when a woman commits suicide due to an unhappy marriage or is murdered by drowning. In the traditional folklore, they are seen as malevolent creatures. But Uncaged redefines them as a spirit seeking revenge on her murderer, or even potentially as a friendly creature. This allows different avenues for Dungeons and Dragons players to explore rather than the traditional chaotic evil that undead usually are.
Volume II will also include banshees, sirens, succubi, hags, and dryads. Some of these are already in the core Dungeons and Dragons books, of course. Readers can delve into their greater detail with this anthology and explore different uses for these creatures. Female deities are also highlighted, to include Morrigan, Marzanna, and Ourania.
What makes this anthology so much fun is that while combat is, of course, a possibility, players can investigate and solve things in a different, more creative, manner. Playing detective work to solve deaths and uncover horrifying mysteries is an equally as fun route to go, plus it gives players a sense of investment with an NPC and that they have enacted some justice in the world.
Uncaged: Volume II can be bought digitally for $14.95. Or it can be purchased as a hardcover for $35.95.