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on 7 June 2011
Firstly, this box isn't really "About the Shadowfell concentrating on the city of Gloomwrought" it's really "Gloomwrought and a little bit about the surrounding area".
If you're going to use this box to its fullest you'll at least want the Manual of the Planes: A 4th Edition D&d Supplement (D&d Rules Expansion) (Dungeons & Dragons) too.
There's not a lot of stuff in here about the basics of the Shadowfell, I think the information in the MotP is probably enough to get you going.
What you do have in here is a really good run down of the city itself. This is what Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site (4th Edition D&d) (Dungeons & Dragons Supplement) should have been - a thorough investigation and stat'ing of the local groups and their politics and a detailed-enough run through the main city highlights.

The box holds the following:
128-page (but softback) "Campaing Guide"
32-page book of encounters
One double-sided full-colour map (one side being for miniatures, the other being a map of the city)
Two sheets of tokens (where's the bin?)
A set of "Despair" cards
Plus, at extra cost to you: A large cardboard spacer used specifically so that the box would have to be made bigger than was necessary. Someone please tell the yanks that unnecessary packaging like this went out in the 1970s.

I like the idea of separating the encounters from the campaign book. There is a large spread of encounters from levels 7 to 23rd, Its not an "super adventure" or even an "adventure" its just quick encounters you can throw into a normally planned campaign. Most of the encounters use either the poster-map or are designed to use dungeon tiles! Well done WotC, finally!

The highlight, unfortunately, are the Despair cards. *So much fun*! Basically each card holds a penalty the player must suffer until they throw the despair off after an extended rest and a skill-check. The player actually gets a bonus from that point onwards, so they balance out. But my players have been leaving through the deck looking worried :) I say Unfortunately because they are really just one minor part of the whole package. The politics and conflicts described in the Campaign Guide can be slotted into many a different world and most don't really need the Shadowfell.

Then, monster tokens. /me shakes his head and files them under "b" for "bin". Its a miniatures game, it works *so well* with figures on a battlegrid, you get a real sense of "being there", but flat tokens? Dull, Dull Dull. - I GET IT NOW! The tokens are there to represent the way the Shadowfell affects your emotions, turning bright and bouncy people into dull, flat two-dimensional characters. It's possible I'm mistaken.

So: Good background, nice mappage, great dispair deck, useful encounters, and a set of miniature beer-mats.
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on 17 June 2011
This is worth it for the campaign guide. It's very well written and has loads of information that sparks the imagination and gives ideas for adventures. It's clear the authors put a lot of love into the details.

The encounter book is good, with lots of combat encounters and skill challenges. A full adventure might have been nice but I can see why it has been done this way, so the DM can craft his or her own adventure with the encounters presented.

Tokens are useful but they do have the names of the creatures on the back which makes it hard to re-purpose them for other creatures.

Can't comment on the deck since I don't use them.

As a previous reviewer has mentioned, Manual of the Planes: A 4th Edition D&d Supplement (D&d Rules Expansion) (Dungeons & Dragons) also has a brief section on the Shadowfell.

Overall- A very inspiring product.
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on 19 July 2013
This is an interesting product. Not only does it detail an interesting and mysterious shadowfell based city (Gloomwrought) but it also provides some more general shadowfell information such as various interesting sites and locations for adventuring.

The box contains the main booklet, an encounters booklet, a despair deck and a few sheets of tokens. I just added the tokens to my box o' tokens (which I rarely use). The despair deck is great - it adds that element of depression which is prevalent throughout the shadowfell but hard to implement in game. The deck solves that - it provides a minor penalty which if overcome gives a minor bonus. Simple, but an effective mechanic.

The encounters booklet has various 'shadowy' style encounters which can be chopped and changed as usual or else used for the key encounters for the Gloomwrought adventure site.

Unlike say keep on the shadowfell this is NOT an adventure/quest, it is more like a setting or an arc that can be dropped into a game.

The only negatives are that it is is the default setting and thus needs a bit of modifying for use in Forgotten Realms or Ebberon. Overall though if you're going to be doing anything shadow-fell related this is a worthwhile buy.
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on 16 June 2011
I liked this supplements content alot its actually inspired me to move my party to the shadowfell for a few weeks. However the format of this boxset sucks I wish it had been released as a hard back suplement in a single book format like they did many of the other background books. The soft cover of the two books just feels cheep in comparison to its hard back cousins. the content is awesome and really jumped out at me with lots of new ideas and possibilitys, however I can't help feel I'm left with a inferiour cheep product and a couple sheets of card tokens(which I like but don't make up for the soft cover). The nice thing about the hard backs is they last forever and are resiliant to the trials of DM'img, the soft backs not so much i forsee pages dropping out by the end of the first few months.
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on 15 June 2011
4th edition d&d.most of it has been great.some not so much.this is up there with the best of it.not only does it give you a campaign setting,but it tells you what the players FEEL when they adventure into the shadowrealm.as far as i know,this is unheard of in 4th ed.to make the players feel scared,or clumsy,or delusional,or a multitude of emotions,this is not just a hack+slash like most of 4th ed.

like most people who are considering buying this product,i was intrigued by how different the shadowfell is from the normal world.this book does a fantastic job of telling you how exactly.

contents:
THE MAIN BOOK.just fantastic.so rich in depth and detail.i love it.details the shadowfell,the city of gloomwrought,and those you can encounter therein.
THE ENCOUNTERS BOOK.a selection of encounters,from 7th lvl+.they all look fun to play.
THE COUNTERS.well made counters,representing the players and monsters.nuff said.
THE INSANITY DECK.this is a 30 cark deck,that is used to give rules applications,to the player's new emotions,or phobias,caused by thier encounters in the shadowrealm.they work very well,and are a great addition the the game.

all in all,i would say to any good d&d fan,BUY IT!
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on 27 March 2015
I LOVE the new monster entries and their tokens, the "setting"s story and characters are pretty cool, and more cards and maps are always a yes.
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