Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/06/20/tabletop-review-castles-crusades-to-the-damenheit-bridge/
To the Damenheit Bridge is a two-fold experiment by Troll Lord Games. First, it’s the beginning of a set of ninety-nine cent weekly adventures (at least according to the product description) and second, it’s a crossover to be used with Fat Dragon Games’ Gargoyle Bridge, a print and play miniature location. Now you don’t NEED the Gargoyle Bridge to play this adventure or vice versa, but the two are meant to complement each other. If you prefer to use a different bridge or even to game without miniatures, the adventure will stay play out nicely.
To the Damenheit Bridge is a pretty versatile adventure. It can be played as a quick one shot encounter between adventures or as the start of the weekly mini adventures Troll Lord is putting out. It is designed for three to five mid-level characters and any good DM can scale things to the level of the players.
I should point out that two of the six pages aren’t content. The first page is a full color cover with some snazzy art (see above) and the second page is all legal mumbo jumbo and a plug for the game. So you get four pages of content at roughly a quarter per page. Not bad, but we’ve definitely seen better, although Castles and Crusades PDFs to tend to be on the pricey end compared to other OSRIC/D&D knock-offs.
There isn’t too much to the adventure honestly. It’s meant to only be a one night one-shot, but players should be able to get through this thing in under three hours, and that’s if the DM is padding the hell out of this. You have a few possible random encounters, a magical trap and two battles, one with a 4 HD creature and then one immediately after with an 8 HD creature. If that doesn’t sound like a challenge for mid-level characters, you’re right. Players should be able to finish off each of these battles in three rounds or less. The only real challenge is that the harder monster has a 3D8 Hit Point attack, but that still shouldn’t phase too many mid-level characters unless they are all mages.
The adventure doesn’t provide the DM with the impetus for why you are in the nearest town to the Damnenheit Bridge, nor why the players are going to WIllowbrook (the town they are trying to reach) from there. You’re just where players are staring and where they are going and it’s up to the DM to come up with reasons why. This makes To the Damenheit Bridge more of a story hook than an adventure and I was a little disappointed by this revelation. The good news is that the adventure does provide a ton of filler on the town on Elne and the nearby regions. The adventure even provides you a map of the area, but if you look at it, you’re not actually going from Point A to Point B in a straight line and taking the Damenheit Bridge is actually out of your way. That’s…weird.
All in all, for less than a buck, you’re getting a somewhat mediocre experience. The adventure has a few gaffes, such as saying “too short” when they mean “too low” in describing why the bridge sometimes floods and there’s not a lot of substance for an actual adventure here. What you’re paying for is mostly filler about the region around Elne and little else. Right now I’m going to be kind and give this a thumb’s in the middle as To the Damenheit Bridge is meant to be the first is a set of weekly adventures. Perhaps it will flow better when all the pieces have been released and then either collected or played/read consecutively. Right now it’s not got substance; it’s just the piece is lacking in the area where it truly needs it and has too much filler in areas few DMs or players will care about.