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I reviewed the Hael Core Book a few weeks back in a previous post. Storyweaver released a couple of adventures around the same time the core book came out and just today uploaded their soundtrack to the Hael universe to RPGNow. It’s awesome that this setting just came out and there is already so much great support material.
Night of the Long Fangs and Burning Bridges (16 and 17 pages respectively) are both presented with Storyweaver’s “Game in a Can” label on their covers. They are both unique sandbox style location based adventures that share a common design structure. The framework is actually very reminiscent of modern console and computer RPG’s (in a good way!). You are given a location that is well mapped out and each page in the books presents a different area of interest in that location. Along with flavor text you get information on NPC’s, stat blocks, story hooks and rumors. Each NPC has their own seemingly independent plot hooks that tie into one grand overarching tale. With this structure it’s just a matter of letting the players explore the area and interact with the populace. I like the way these books are presented very much and they do an amazing job of offering interesting stories without railroading you into clunky plot dependencies that break progress if missed. You can’t beat the value either since Night of the Long Fangs is a very reasonable $3.95 and Burning Bridges is free!
As I said above, it’s fantastic that there’s already excellent support material for Hael. I wasn’t familiar with the old D20 incarnation of the setting so I don’t know if these books are new material or revised and re-released stuff but really it’s irrelevant. I hope to see more of the “Game in a Can” releases soon and I’m really liking the music too. It seems like Storyweaver has great priorities as far as support for their products is concerned.