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Dawn of the Serpent
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/21/2017 10:06:16

This adventure provides a neat interlude sometime the party is travelling through wild-enough terrain that a night in the open will be involved, as it opens with them spotting what looks like a welcoming camp fire ahead one chilly evening...

Of course, they won't get the rest, warmth and companionship they might have been expecting. The DM's Background points out the main hazards of travelling: inclement weather, roving bandits and occasional monsters - and this adventure includes all three. The adventure is set in the Gloamwood Forest, which has of late gained a bit of a reputation for being dangerous, although the road that goes through the forest is quite well-travelled and relatively safe. This forest can be placed anywhere in your campaign world where a largish forest with a road through it is appropriate. It's best run in winter, but if you prefer to run it in another season, that's fine.

Various rumours may be heard before the party actually reaches this stage in their journey (particularly if you like foreshadowing), and then it's straight on with the action. Investigating the camp fire leads eventually to a lair that needs cleaning out. It's all quite straightforward in a way, but there are traps and monsters to defeat on the way to solving the adventure... and some neat ideas for what might happen afterwards.

As a way to enliven a journey, this makes for an interesting challenge - especially if you have carefully prepared your party to expect a covivial night around a campfire on a cold night. The various elements of the story combine well together to make an entertaining interlude with potential consequences that might haunt the party for some time to come.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dawn of the Serpent
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Gottheit
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/20/2017 07:43:04

Travelling through a dark and misty night, the party is looking forward to finding a place to stop for the night... but when the town of Gottheit comes into view, the settlement appears deserted and derelict. Or is it?

Designed to accompany Alderac Entertainment Group's Undead sourcebook, the adventure seeks to answer the question, what happened to the people of Gottheit? The DM's Background explains why a peaceful (if somewhat over-religious) community has turned into the dismal wreck the party arrives at, and prepares you to run the adventure. It has an interesting structure, in that although it appears to the players that it's a location-based adventure as they wander the town, it is actually event-based, with a series of events that occure in a set sequence with it not mattering just where the party is when each event occurs!

A town plan and location descriptions are provided, then the encounters are presented in the sequence in which they should take place, leading the party inevitably to the climax in the temple in the centre of town. It's recommended that, despite the party being free to wander as they please, they should not visit the temple until the end but no clear advice on how to manage that is provided.

It's a fine creepy adventure that maintains suspense well, although I think the recommened character level (9th-11th) is a bit too high... slightly lower level characters should find it appropriately scary and a bit more of a challenge.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gottheit
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Princes, Thieves & Goblins
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/14/2017 06:57:45

The Player's Background paints a picture of a small but prosperous kingdom that was happy up until the previous year, when a succession of goblin raids caused havoc... but worse was to come. The King summons the party to a meeting at his country retreat, and requests their help - his baby son has been kidnapped! Evidence points to the goblins and the King will throw his resources behind the party...

All this has been dealt with, through a mix of narrative and role-play (although you can role-play the lot if you prefer) before we even get to the DM's Information. This explains some quite epic confusion on the part of the goblins and lays out what is going on and why quite clearly. Assuming the party agree to accept the task, they soon are on their way. The journey to the goblins' lair is glossed over, you may prefer to make it more interesting.

The lair itself is clearly mapped and detailed, with room descriptions along with notes on who might be around, all necessary game mechanical information and their likely intentions. From here on in, it's a fairly straightforward delve, with traps and monsters to deal with. Although it's supposed to be the goblins' lair, it's a bit difficult to envision them actually living there given the set-up. At the end of the dungeon, there is an opportunity to negotiate a solution should the party choose to take this option. The adventure rounds off with a new type of goblin and a magical item which plays quite a major role - more as an object than because of its powers, interestingly.

In a way, this adventure promises more than it delivers. The set-up is intriguing, but the dungeon itself quite pedestrian. The way in which a negotiated outcome is possible is excellent, but resolving it is left very much to the DM's discretion... and there is nothing concerning any consequences or follow-up adventures. With some work, this could prove a good adventure, as is it's a bit unsatisfying.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Princes, Thieves & Goblins
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The Ice Caves of Azinth
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/13/2017 11:31:49

Just what any group of up-and-coming adventurers trying to make a name for themselves would like: a summons to a consultation about a 'matter of some urgency', from a local monarch, no less. Amid rumours of impending war between Azinth (the summoning monarch's kingdom) and an aggressive bunch to the south, the party travels to this small but prosperous kingdom which is backed by a massive mountain range to the north. That's where the problem is: for the past five years solid it has been snowing on those mountains and all the passes are frozen solid, cutting Azinth off from its allies to the north. Now a stranger has arranged a meeting in a deserted inn, claiming to know how to deal with the situation, and the king wishes the party to attend to the matter...

So runs the Player Introduction, and the DM Background opens with a note that the DM should change names as necessary to put events in an appropriate corner of the campaign world. There's a lot more detail about what's going on in and around Azinth (or whatever you rename the place), and explains the real nature of the problem the party is tasked to solve.

And then we're off, with a chilly journey up into the mountains - don't worry, it's only going to get colder - and plenty of action to keep the party on their toes. At least fighting ought to keep them warm! Eventually they meet their contact who explains what they need to do and leads them onward to where they need to be. Eventually they reach the 'ice caves' which are mapped out and described, and shall we say, darn chilly! And, of course, filled with those who wish intruders ill... and even as they obtain their objective, a massive brawl breaks out.

It's an excellent if chilly adventure with an exciting climax, in a setting that could prove fruitful for further adventures. Successful parties will be rewarded well, there's even a medal from a grateful king (plus cash for those of more mercenary inclinations) and other rewards to be had. There's a new monster and a new magic item as well, indeed the party even has a chance of keeping the magic item. A good adventure to add to your collection.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Ice Caves of Azinth
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Servants of the Blood Moon
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2017 13:08:33

Fancy creating a new legend about heroes protecting an ancient elven forest? Things have gone terribly wrong in the forest of Myereth, where the ancient rowan trees are dying since an evil sorcerer slew a unicorn and the elven defenders of their sylvan realm. This is explained on the back cover of the pamphlet, that doubles as the Player Introduction. Inside, the DM Background explains a bit more about what has been going on in a forest that was legendary for being a safe haven of good and peace, somewhere evil cannot go and the trees weep healing tears... some think the whole place is a myth, but elves know better and some may even have been taken there as children. Now refugees are turning up with dreadful tales of death and destruction, even the immortal unicorn that protected the forest. These refugees need someone to restore their homeland...

Assuming the party respond to the call, they'll hear quite a few rumours on their way there. Some of them are even true. On the fringes of the forest, there is a large refugee camp full of displaced (and distraught) elves, led by a prince. He's glad of their help, claiming that he'd do something himself but feels he needs to stay with the refugees and take care of them. However he can explain a bit more of what has been going on - the forest and unicorn were placed there to imprison a demon which is now loose again and growing in strength. The party must then venture into the forest with little idea of how to deal with the demon.

Braving the forest, the party will come to the elven city of Myr where there are some buildings to explore, chiefly a library and a palace. Both are described and mapped, although there is no plan of the city as a whole. The sacred grove, where the rowan tress are and where the unicorn was slain, lies behind the palace, however. A couple of epic brawls later the party - if victorious - can triumph in their quest with a bit of divine aid.

If you want a quick high-level quest this is quite good, but if I was going to use it in a campaign I'd use this as an outline for a more comprehensive adventure. It all seems a bit prefunctory given the subject matter... but as an outline to build an adventure on, it's very good.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Servants of the Blood Moon
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Garadon Manor
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/06/2017 09:55:25

Billed as a sequel to Out of Body, Out of Mind, this adventure returns to the realm of Tirna'cel with the party having been summoned to the headquarters of the Paladins of Garadon. Although it states that it's not necessary to have played Out of Body, Out of Mind it is advisable to have done so, as reference is made to that adventure - the party is assumed to have undertaken it - and although there's enough material to be able to give your players the necessary background, it works better if they have that knowledge for themselves - as the adventure begins with them being asked to explain what they did!

The DM Background explains what has been going on with these Paladins and sets the scene nicely for what is to follow. The party needs to make its way to the Manor, deep in swampland, and find it quite luxurious even if most of the Paladins are out. Several options are provided for coping with a party that hasn't played Out of Body, Out of Mind, at least one of which is quite tempting as a concept on its own! However it's handled, the interview doesn't go too well and a brawl breaks out. Survivors can then explore the Manor and try to find out what is going on there.

The Manor has two floors plus a basement and sub-basement. All are mapped and supplied with brief but clear descriptions - you may wish to elaborate but the bare bones of what you need are there. The sub-basement is underwater, and poses the most dangerous part of the adventure. A new monster and a magic weapon are to be found here, and both are fully-detailed.

This is an excellent example of a sequel adventure, and ought to prove entertaining for characters who have played the first adventure (or who haven't - it's handled well enough for you to be able to cope with that eventuality). It is quite challenging in places, but capable of successful completion, and provides a good air of continuity. Actions do have consequences, even in a series of one-off adventures!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Garadon Manor
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Dead Man's Cove
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/01/2017 10:27:41

One Baldrick Mornstar, a merchant, has got fed up with his ships being raided by pirates so he has hatched a cunning plan: to raid the pirates in their base! Naturally he is in search for some brave adventurers to take on the challenge. Will your party step up?

The DM Background explains what Mornstar has done so far in his vendetta against the pirates, then the adventure itself opens with a job offer, a generous one at that. Then it's down to the party to head out on an arduous overland trek to the location of the pirate lair, for which Mornstar has apparently managed to acquire a map. This trip will take a couple of weeks, and whilst it is suggested that this ought not to be event-free, you are left to supply appropriate encounters if you want any. A copy of the plan to the pirate lair is provided, but this is the DM's map, you will have to put something together based upon it for a player handout.

The pirate lair is quite a nice set-up and is explained well, with plenty of options for the pirates' reactions depending on what the party decides to do. An added twist is that a pirate ship is due to arrive, so the party will have to figure out how they deal with that as well. There's a new maritime monster and a new magio item.

This is a neat little one-session adventure which can be slotted in whenever the party is somewhere that sea-borne trade is carried out. The pirate lair is well-constructed and gives the impression that life is going on there no matter who might come around, a nice touch that makes it come to life. The matter of the arriving ship is handled less well, although again there are several options open depending on what the party decides to do about it. There are no suggestions for follow-up adventures, although it ought not to be too hard to come up with some. It makes for an unusual take on a pirate theme, and makes for an enjoyable caper!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dead Man's Cove
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Bring Him Back Alive!
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/17/2017 08:30:28

Typical, isn't it? The party has just had a really good dinner in a peaceful inn when someone staggers in needing their help and right now. The Player Background sets the scene, with a comfortable 'gastropub' inn in an unnamed settlement (so it's easy to slot it in to an appropriate place in your campaign world) and a badly-beaten fellow pleading for the party to rescue his son from whoever's got him.

The DM Background explains what led up to this situation, and then its straight in to the adventure as the party gets an opportunity to begin their investigations (assuming they accept the challenge... if they don't, find some new adventurers!). This should take them out of towm to some ruins beside the road where there's plenty of unfriendly wildlife to deal with before they even get near the villains of the piece. There's a basic plan of their lair under the ruins, descriptions of what is to be found and an interesting opportunity to talk the situation through rather than resolve it with combat.

Oddly, it's not until the end that we find out that there's a dangerous untamed wilderness between the inn and the ruins, and are provided with an encounter table - this really ought to have been provided earlier in the adventure. It pays to read through the entire thing before you play it! A new monster and a quite intriguing new magic item complete this offering.

This makes for a nice adventure which is both financially and emotionally rewarding for the party. The alternative ways of dealing with the situation give the players different options. There isn't much in the way of follow-up adventures, although the grateful father could be a useful patron in the future. You might want to reuse the inn as well, especially if the party is into good food! A nice little interlude.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bring Him Back Alive!
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Kurishan's Garden
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/16/2017 12:36:19

A city is having supply problems, and asks the party to find out why deliveries from the village of Darbin have failed to arrive for a couple of months - Darbin hitherto having been the city's main source of produce. The citizens are getting hungry and the price of food is soaring. With the Player Introduction on the back cover of the adventure, a more detailed DM Introduction explains what the problem is... but it will be up to the party to discover a way to deal with it.

The adventure text begins with the characters arriving in the village of Darbin. This makes it easy for you to drop the adventure in to an existing campaign, using a suitable city and either building up to the adventure with the growing dearth of food in the city, or just reading the Player Introduction to them if you are eager to get on with the scenario. There's plenty of potential to turn this into a horror story, as the villagers do not seem to be... quite themselves. There is a map of the village, with associated notes on what is to be found there, and one of Kurishan's Garden itself... Kurishan being a botanically-inclined wizard who retired to the village.

This adventure focusses on rather creepy investigation and combat - most everyone the party meets will engage in combat at first sight, although there may be some opportunities to interact in other ways. A new plant monster and a variant magic item are introduced during the course of the adventure, and are written up in full at the end. The adventure will end when the party kills off the main antagonist (or dies trying), there are no notes for follow-up adventures although to be fair apart from helping the villagers rebuild I cannot think of anything much! It's quite unusual and played right could be quite spooky, an interesting evening's entertainment to drop in to your campaign at an appropriate moment.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Kurishan's Garden
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The Crypt of St Bethesda
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/15/2017 13:15:29

This is an adventure to drop on your party when they think they are safe relaxing and drinking the profits of their latest exploits in a city somewhere in your campaign world (it needs only be large enough to have reasonably powerful law enforcement!). The Player Introduction, printed on the cover of the module, sets the scene: after a good evening carousing, the party is making their way home taking a short cut through or near a cemetary. Probably a bit tipsy they fall over a corpse... just as a patrol comes upon them and promptly accuses them of murder!

The DM Introduction continues setting the scene and explains what is really going on. There is also advice on what to do if the party does not immediately leap into action to investigate with the hope of clearing their names. Basically whatever they do, their only options are to get killed on the spot, to rot in gaol until executed or to investigate a slime trail from the body leading somewhere in the bowels of a nearby abandoned cathedral. Assuming that they are true adventurers and choose the latter option, the adventure text begins as they enter the cathedral cellars.

Put it this way, worshippers may have abandoned the cathedral but there is plenty of wildlife down here, and most of it is hostile. A nice clear plan is provided along with concise notes about what is down there, including read-aloud text and appropriate monster stat blocks. Most of the encounters will result in combat, but there are a few limited opportunities to talk rather than fight. A new monster and a new magic item are presented during the adventure, and have complete write-ups at the end should you wish to use them elsewhere.

The scenario ends with a few suggestions for further adventure which could prove interesting, but as it is this should provide an entertaining session just when the party thought that they were not going to be doing any adventuring... rather neat, really!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Crypt of St Bethesda
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Out of Body, Out of Mind
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/13/2017 08:24:26

Cunningly, the background information is divided into two parts - the knowledge characters would have is printed on the back of the booklet, and there's more 'DM only' information inside. Indeed it's suggested that you read the text on the back to the players before you start the game! It all concerns a now-peaceful realm with a turbulent history full of warlords and battling mages, the pacification being the work of a member of the nobility who turned on everyone else, beat them into submission then imposed peace on the land some 600 years ago. It was thought that his impressive exploits were due at least in part to his magic items, which were buried with him... only it seems that someone or something is now attempting to retrieve them, no mean feat as the tomb is placed over a lava pit! Oh, and is guarded by an order of paladins for good measure.

The DM Background explains what was really going on and the lengths the paladins have taken to secure the site. It's not quite clear who is trying to break in, though. Anyway, the party is asked by the current ruler of the realm to go investigate and deal with anyone trying to steal the items. Getting to the location is left up to you, the scenario starts with the party faced with their first task: getting in to a tomb that is suspended over a lava pit by massive chains. Unless they can fly, they'll have to climb across. From then on in, it's a prowl through an extremely well-trapped tomb with the potential of unleashing a dreadful evil upon the world... although there is a friendly ghost to help. Apart from him, everything else they encounter is only interested in combat.

There is a new magic item (quite tasty) and a new and quite nasty monster which is at the heart of the problem. The map is clear, and all the traps are explained clearly however the ways to survive or even disarm them depend mostly on die-rolling rather than figuring them out. This is an adventure you could drop into any remote part of your world that has a suitable volcano, just change any names as necessary. Some suggestions for further adventures are included, or of course it could be run as a one-off if preferred. It is quite deadly given the traps and the fact that nothing there (apart from that ghost) want to do anything other than fight. The layout is good, and the traps ingenious, however, and if the party realises what is in there and manages to prevent its release to the world there's a good feeling of satisfaction to be had. Best take your bard along, the party will want - and indeed deserve - to have their exploits sung about!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Out of Body, Out of Mind
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Jerimond's Orb
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/11/2017 07:49:09

This is a neat little scenario to drop in and use as a side adventure for a beginning party seeking to grow a reputation of being good fellows to go to when you have problems. A once-prosperous village is having difficulties, and it's up to them to find out what's amiss and sort it.

There's very little background for the DM, indeed there isn't really any for the party either - first they know about it all is getting attacked by a hitherto-unknown monster (a new one, introduced in this adventure). It apparently comes on them whilst they are camping at night, this is not clearly explained. From then on, they need to go to a nearby village where they will need to interact with the locals to find out what is going on. Apart from the initial monster attack (and a potentially-puzzling aftermath), the first part of the adventure is pure role-play although there are plenty of opportunities for combat later on... even if all with the same monster! (As in, several of them appearing rather than just one specimen.)

The village is well-described and set up in such a way that it's easy both to locate it wherever you want in your campaign world and expand and reuse it later on. There are various locations to visit and it is clearly laid out which clues to the mystery can be found where. There's also a nearby tower, which used to belong to one Jerimond, a mage who befriended the village during his later years before he died, which they can visit. There are no plans for either village or tower, however, and you will likely feel the need to sketch something out. As well as a new monster, the pivotal magic item (Jerimond's orb, of course) is described at the end.

With a nice balance of investigation and combat this should provide an enjoyable evening's play, although this is not quite a pick-up-and-run scenario: you will find that studying who knows/thinks/is doing what will repay the effort and as mentioned above you may wish to draw or find suitable plans for the village and tower. The scope for making it fit into both your world and your ongoing campaign is excellent though. There's also potential to run it as a quite scary adventure with unknown monsters plauging terrified villagers...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Jerimond's Orb
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Against the Barrow King
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/10/2017 07:14:05

This neat adventure is just the sort of thing for a party of low-level adventurers to enjoy as they build their reputations as people to turn to in times of trouble. The people of a remote settlement called Glenn Hollow fear they have upset the 'Barrow King', a supernatural being they believe lives in ancient burial mounds not too far from the settlement - and they hail a bunch of adventurers as a welcome source of aid.

The work opens with a DM Background which lays out what is actually going on and a brief Adventure Summary which boils down to 'Go and fix the problem'. Notes for finding a suitable location for Glenn Hollow in your own campaign world are provided, and then it's on with the adventure itself.

It's assumed that the party is on the road one autumnal evening when they arrive at Glenn Hollow. Just why they are in that area is left to you to determine. The village elder lays out the problem and asks for help, and it's off to find the burial mounds next morning. There's very little description of Glenn Hollow, so if the party wants to hang around and talk to folk you will need to invent something. The area of the burial mounds isn't mapped either, although there is a good map of the Barrow King's tomb and what lies beyond... the associated descriptions are clear, and brief details of the denizens and how they'll fight are provided. Everyone that the party encounters wants to fight to the death, there is no scope for any kind of interactive save a dialogue of steel and spell.

There is a new creature, a construct called a chirurgeon, and a new magic item - a greataxe called Fiend infused with chaos - introduced here, and there's a little bit of mundane treasure to be found if the party has time to go rummaging, but the real reward is the virtuous glow of having got rid of something quite evil, and of having rescued some villagers too. A few notes are provided on directions further adventures might take.

Overall this is a simple but neat 'delve' adventure which shouldn't take more than a single session, best used as a sidetrek in your campaign or a standalone adventure when the group is in the mood for some hack and slay adventuring.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Against the Barrow King
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The Illusionist's Daughter
by Raymond H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2016 13:11:38

A fun simple to run module that leaves a lot of room for roleplay. The location is well fleshed out with enough details to draw from on the fly but not so much as to make it hard to customize. Not a combat heavy module in any way but with good challenge at the end.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Illusionist's Daughter
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Stargate SG-1: Roleplaying Game
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2016 06:23:48

DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY !

I am 100% very unhappy. This is a terrible scanned copy of the paper book. There is artifacts on every page, the text is blurred and it is not OCR. This low quality is not what I expect from DriveThru RPG.



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[1 of 5 Stars!]
Stargate SG-1: Roleplaying Game
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