The Zeitgeist campaign is a brave adventure in adventure writing.
With every entry, Zeitgeist tends to give the middle finger to traditional adventure design. Always on Time feels like the biggest screw you I have read so far. And it is a true feat in adventure writing.
Many editions of Dungeons and Dragons does the straight forward exploration and monster bashing better than any RPG. But things like mysteries, or espionage are difficult to pull off. After you have read hundreds of adventures, such as this reviewer, many start running into each other and become overtly predictable. Always on Times is very unpredictable. The 73-page PDF, with Enworld Publishing’s typical vivid and useful layout, is a spy mission for your PCs as they try to uncover the mysteries of a secret organization. This basic premise allows you to utilize this adventure in any situation where the PCs need to find out something secret. And this is an adventure you will want to figure out how to include in your campaign. Of course, if you are doing Zeitgeist this adventure is like the end of sweeps episode from a tv show.
Always on Times shuns combat glut adventures and instead provides of creative skill challenges and PC influencing Role playing encounters. When Combat happens it feels organic, as opposed to :: Robotic Voice:: only being included because the adventure needs to hit a certain amount of XP in order to be called an adventure.
Instead of who to defeat and what, Always on Time has the PCs fending off a creative group of train robbers, hiding their identity from dangerous men, tracking and finding mysterious meetings and escaping a dangerous, hostile content with few resources. If the PCs are fighting too much, it’s because they have horribly prepared, did a poor job role playing, or the dice hate them.
For the Players
This is an adventure, like most Zeitgeist adventures, built for players who like to roleplay and not roll dice endlessly. Plus, this is the first adventure where magic items start to play a bigger part. What player doesn’t like magic items.
For the Dungeon Master
It’s been said enough how easy Ryan, Nocks, the campaign manager, makes these adventures to run. Easy to follow layouts, tons of guides and crisp editing all make this adventure a breeze to use and plug in to any campaign. Always on Time is a true spy adventure. Its as close as you’ll get to Dungeons and Dragons in James Bond mode.
The Iron Word
Always on Time is a very different adventure. It does not hold any punches nor try to appease everyone. It is designed for players and dungeon masters who put roleplaying ahead of a meaningless series of fights. I highly suggest this to any group tired of the same old same old.