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Hasken's Manor (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/07/2016 10:28:14

This adventure concerns goings-on in a tiny port by the name of Haskenport, founded on a shallow inlet by a paladin who fancied retiring to the area. He built himself a manor house and a dock, then a chance discovery of some particularly tasty mushrooms led to a small gourmet trade that built up the settlement a bit. Some ten years ago the paladin passed away, leaving his lands and manor to the local church - but they have struggled with the upkeep and it's not in very good condition. Worse, it appears some hobgoblins have taken up residence there...


There's a bit of background which reveals all that's going on in and around the manor, and a few hooks to get the party involved - although the thought of clearing monsters out of a manor house ought to be sufficient for any bunch of adventurers worth their salt. We get quite a bit of detail about Haskenport, sufficient to make it come alive not just for the purposes of this adventure but as a location within your campaign world, although there is no plan of the settlement although there are several detailed ones of the manor house.


The adventure itself consists of two encounters and the exploration of the manor house itself. It's all nicely put together and provides opportunities to talk as well as to fight. As written, psionics are involved: but if you don't care for them there are notes about how to provide non-psionic alternatives and still maintain the flavour of the adventure.


It's a nice straightforward adventure that actually has quite a bit to it once you get to grips with it, with a few suggestions for follow-up activities that could even see the party settling down in the manor if you want them to have a base - at 7th-level they might be looking to establish somewhere to settle down.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hasken's Manor (3.5)
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V20 Ghouls & Revenants
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/06/2016 08:05:57

The Introduction begins by running through some basic definitions. A ghoul is a servant to a vampire, who has given said loyal servant some of his blood - thus giving the ghoul increased life and strength, access to Disciplines and all in a being who can still go out in the daytime (possibly the most useful thing!). Revenants are members of a family who has been magically altered and bred to naturally produce vitae for themselves. Opinions in vampire society differ about the creation of ghouls, from outright condemnation to fears that they threaten the Masquerade, but they are just so darn useful that many vampires make use of them even if they don't really want to admit to it. Above all they are loyal: perhaps through fear or addiction, but often out of self-interest - they like the powers they can attain or even hope one day to become vampires themselves - and many develop a blood bond with their masters.


This book sets out to spotlight ghouls and revenants, although they have already appeared in earlier books, and contain rules for creating player character ghouls and revenants as well as NPC sidekicks for vampire characters. Pre-generated ones are supplied (use them if you're in a rush or want an NPC one), and there's a wealth of detail about how to use them in your game and even how to centre your game around ghouls rather than vampires... it's an intriguing thought, perhaps a party of ghouls vying for their NPC master's attention or collaborating to keep him safe. There's also a lot of deep background about how various grouping of vampires view ghouls and revenants, and on the history of revenants and their families.


Chapter 1: Blood is Life details what it's like to be a ghoul. There is plenty of deep background for those who wish to delve into the history and philosophy of this state - and plenty of ideas spring out as you read for how you can use ghouls in your game, or build an entire chronicle around them. Roles for ghouls include servant, concierge, protector or bodyguard and even driver, or a trusted one may even be a confidante, someone to whom the vampire can unburden themselves. This chapter also covers the recruitment of ghouls and their day-to-day life and relationship with 'their' vampire.


Chapter 2: Ghouldom, Blood Bonds and Systems blurs in character detail with game mechanical information as it looks at how the ghoul's relationship with the vampire who created him grows and develops. It also discusses what happens to the ghoul physically as his new condition takes hold. There is also information on the inherent dangers involved...


Next, Chapter 3: Clan Ghouls and Organisations surveys how ghouls and revenants are viewed by other members of the undead community. Of course, the 'party line' and how individual vampires actually behave are often vastly different, something worth playing up. This background material may come in useful when selecting the sect and clan of the vampire to whom a player-character ghoul is bound, or building intrigue once your game is up and running. And, of course, ghouls form their own organisations too, and you can find out about them here.


Then, Chapter 4: Revenants and their Families goes into detail about these strange mutated bloodlines, how they operate and what they are like. It seems they've been around a long time, if the histories are to be believed. Sample families are provided, ready to weave into your own chronicles. Once your appetite is whetted by all this material, Chapter 5: Character Creation provides you with the tools to dive in and begin to create your own ghouls and revenants ready for play. It's similar to the standed Vampire system with its own specific quirks and choices.


Moving on to Storyteller territory, Chapter 6: Storytelling is jam-packed with ideas for ghoul-based games, replete with plot devices and storytelling seeds and covering everything from getting started to creating the right mood and managing a whole bunch of ghouls and revenants. And of course, you can use ghouls as antagonists in a more traditional vampire-centred game. There's plenty on the different types of chroncile you might run, bursting with ideas that just about make you want to grab some dice and go in search of some players... and the book then winds up with appendices covering a Gallery of Ghouls, ready-made for you to use, and a selection of Animal Ghouls and Monstrous Creations.


This work forms a useful expansion to the Vampire world and can be used in so many different ways, from running a game based around ghouls and revenants rather than their vampire masters to embuing your vampires' servitors with a wealth of rich detail. Definitely worth adding to your library!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Ghouls & Revenants
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Bad Moon Waning (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/05/2016 10:09:07

Set in and around the settlement of Deepwood, this adventure can be placed in any remote wooded area of your campaign world. The background notes reveal the underlying secret of the settlement, but even outsiders are aware that not all is well in the town: the town's priestess being ripped to shreds by a werewolf who turns out to be an upstanding member of the community will give that impression. And yet, it's not a werewolf problem...


The adventure is very freeform, with encounters and investigations around the town that can happen pretty much in response to party actions. The really interesting thing about it is the deep moral questions that it poses, questions that the townsfolk themselves must face, never mind the party. This one ought to get them thinking.


To aid in running it, there's a map and detailed notes on Deepwood and the people who live there, along with plenty of hints and tips to help you play an array of NPCs. This is an adventure that includes a lot of interactions, and needs the party to have their wits about them and their eyes open. Careful preparation is key, but it should prove a memorable interlude.


Depending on what the party finds out, various ways are suggested to get them to the climax in a nearby valley - a nice way of completing the adventure without having to lead them by the nose! Even neater, a brawl is going to take place irrespective of what the party does - or even if it gets there in time - as rivals are spoiling for a fight. There are a few suggestions for handling the aftermath and follow-up adventures, but overall this is a well-crafted and thoughtful adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bad Moon Waning (3.5)
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The Eye of the Sun (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/04/2016 07:46:34

This adventure has its origins in the dim and distant past, when lizardfolk were a dominant civilisation especially in jungle areas. The extensive backstory tells how they built a temple in a remote mountainous area to their deity, and how, over time, they became proud and fell away from the gods, angering them... and their empire fell. Spin forwards to the present day, and the settlement of Tooj-Reh is puzzled by strange lights from the nearby jungles. Perhaps the party will be able to find out what's going on?


Various hooks are supplied to get the party into the right area, and once they reach Tooj-Reh - possibly having to dodge a forest fire on the way - they have an opportunity to gather information about what appears to be going on in the area and get asked to investigate (if their curiousity has not already been piqued enough!).


The structure of the adventure is quite free-form, there's one encounter whilst the party is in Tooj-Reh (and if that doesn't get them interested, nothing will), one in the jungle on the way to the long-lost and abandoned (or is it?) temple, plus the exploration of the temple itself. The temple is based on one featured in the Map-a-Week series on the Wizards of the Coast website, which is still available at the time of writing if you follow the link in the PDF - worth doing as the map provided here is labelled and you might want a blank version to show your players.


Of course, travelling through a jungle is an adventure in itself, and there's a sidebar on the jungle environment to help you. The temple too is well-described and there's plenty scope for further adventure once the immediate threat has been dealt with - although the assumption is that the party will fight and destroy rather than attempt to find a peaceful solution.


This adventure has the heady excitement of Indiana Jones-style exploration of ancient sites, battling against primitives and assuming the general superiority of current civilisation over that of the past... with scope for more thoughtful characters to try and figure out past civilisations and their secrets.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Eye of the Sun (3.5)
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Fallen Angel (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/03/2016 08:18:53

This adventure is set in Elton, an isolated hamlet that can easily be placed in a remote, hilly area of your campaign world. A few weeks ago, a strange light appeared in the night sky over Elton and the hooks provided to get the party involved touch on this - perhaps someone wants it investigating, perhaps the party paladin (if you have one) is dreaming dreams about an innocent child in danger, or maybe someone has heard rumours about a strange young man suddenly appearing...


There's a comprehensive adventure background to explain just what's going on, and then we launch into the adventure itself, beginning with the party's arrival at Elton - which has apparently just suffered a raid! They'll soon be able to find out about the raiders and what they took, and hopefully will be willing to pitch in and see about righting some wrongs.


Information gathered, the rest of the adventure revolves around an assault on the raiders' lair. You will have to decide where it is and get the party there, but a plan of the subterranean lair itself is provided. There's a delightfully complex and detailed Bad Guy and his horde to defeat, along with evidence of dark experimentation... the party will be in for a fight, these guys have no intention of stopping for a chat. Oh, and there's a rather sweet young fellow to rescue and the party may find out who, or rather what, he is as well.


It's a neat little adventure, with possibilities for follow-up adventures, and just the sort of thing a relatively low-level party of adventures ought to relish!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fallen Angel (3.0)
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Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/02/2016 09:07:49

In Chronicles of Darkness we tell stories about fears and monsters that have been told since time immemorable, so here are tools to aid in telling your stories in any era you please. Some of the characters in our stories have lived through many generations, perhaps you would like to tell of their origins or earlier life. This isn't a history book, but it does convey something of the essence of each era covered - from the ancient Near East to more recent times, history to younger players but years that some of us older gamers lived through.


Each era discussed is honed specifically towards one or more of the Chronicles of Darkness game lines. There are sixteen eras in all, quite specific in place as well as in time, matched to the most appropriate game line(s). There are notes about choices, and about being clear within your group what sort of game you want. Most players like to think that character actions matter, so it is best to avoid situations where nothing can be done. In delving into real history, there may be events that touched one of your players or their ancestors... for example, I avoid 1912 as one of my players lost a great-uncle on the Titanic, and since 9/11 my group has decided that they never want to play out a plane hijack scenario. There are also notes about era-specific skills - a character in the 1600s will not know how to use a computer but he's far more likely to be able to ride a horse or wield a sword than a present-day one, unless those are recreational activities for him.


The first era is set some 5,000 years before the birth of Christ (or BCE - before the current era - if you prefer). Aimed at Mage and Werewolf games in particular, the notes here present a mix of fact and fiction about an untamed world in which Mages are the Wise, leaders amongst men... and Werewolves are apex preditors who may be accepted or banished by communities of men. It's a heady mix that provides resources such as daily life, attitudes, what people did and liked and believed... the stuff you need to make this particular setting come to life, grounded in realism but not swamped by it. Find out what weapons were available (complete with game stats, of course, for when they are used), discover the threats of disease, starvation and wild animals that have to be faced, learn which spells are known, and which will work. There are notes on character creation, providing the skills and abilities necessary to live in this time. Detailed material covers the specific abilites Mages and Werewolves will have, how they live and more. Several story seeds are provided to get you started, and there are notes about further resources you could access for inspirations.


And that's just the first of sixteen eras presented! The rest take similar form, as appropriate for the era and the game lines featured. Each era is distinctive and appealing -it's going to be a struggle to decide which one to try out first! They are: To the Strongest, 330-320 BCE, the latter stages of Alexander the Great (Mage); Three Kingdoms of Darkness, 220-280 AD, early China (Changeling and Geist); The Wolf and the Raven, 700-1100 AD, the Vikings (Werewolf and Geist); After the Fall, 1453-1458, Constantinople (Demon); Beneath the Skin, 1486-1502, the Aztec Empire (Skinchangers and Demon); Requiem for Regina, 1593, Elizabethen London (Vampire and Changeling); Fallen Blossoms, 1640-1666, Japan (Hunter); Lily, Sabre and Thorn, 1600s-early 1700s, the swashbuckling times of the Sun King in France (Changeling); Doubting Souls, 1690-1695), Colonial America (Hunter); A Grimm Dark Era, 1812-1820, the Brothers Grimm in Europe (Changeling); The Ruins of Empire, 1893-1924, the age of European empires is fading but mummies have suddenly become collectables (Mummy); A Handful of Dust, 1933-1940, the American Great Depression (Promethean); God's Own Country, 1950s in New Zealand (Geist); Into the Cold, 1961, Berlin at the height of the Cold War (Demon); and finally The Bowery Dogs, 1969-1979, New York City (Werewolf). You may question the featured game line - Elizabethan London would suit Mage, for example - but using the material herein and a good working knowledge of your chosen game line it ought not to be too difficult to flip things around to accommodate your choices.


Overall, it's an epic work which will inspire and support chronicle after chronicle. Perhaps I shall dig out old material that took a group of Vampires from neonates in the time of Christ right up to the present day - after all, given luck a vampire can live that long! - and see how this material can be used to effect. Even if your chosen period of history is not represented, this should give you a starting point, suggestions of what you ought to consider as you create your own stories. Get it. You won't regret it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras
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The Temple of Redcliff (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/30/2016 07:12:52

Set in any convenient area of your campaign world where there is mountainous terrain and an extinct volcano, this adventure begins when the party arrives in the settlement of Redciff which is all a-buzz because the mayor has vanished, after behaving a bit oddly for the last few days.


The background for the DM explains what is going on, and a couple of rather weak hooks are provided to get the party to Redcliff in the first place. You may prefer to come up with something of your own, or just locate Redcliff on the way to somewhere that the party does want to go and run this as a side-adventure when they pass through. Once there, however, there is plenty of background to help you bring Redcliff to life, nestled as it is just below the caldera of an extinct volcano. There's people to talk to and information to be gathered in the settlement.


An abandoned temple dedicated to Heironeous is up there in the caldera, rumoured to be haunted and generally avoided by the locals... and this, of course, is the location for the adventure itself. The plan provided is based on one of the Map-of-the-Week series from the Wizards of the Coast website (the original is still available at the time of writing via the link in the PDF), and there's a detailed description interspersed with more of the backstory. Interesting though it is, it is unlikely that the party will discover much of it as the main Bad Guy is not interested in talking, apparently he will fight to the death (or run away if he can), not being even interested in surrendering never mind any negotiation.


It makes for a neat interlude but given the near-impossibility of actually finding out what was going on, scope for further adventures is limited. Of course, the original plot behind it all may well still be bubbling along and erupt later if you so choose...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Temple of Redcliff (3.0)
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Environmental Impact (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/29/2016 10:49:53

This adventure is a botanist's nightmare (or delight, depending on your point of view) as an ecoterrorist druid defends his patch of woodland against all comers. Havung started off as a botanist, I like adventures that make use of fantasy plants as well as fantasy animals...


Location-wise, all you need is an undeveloped forest area with a nearby human village, the frontier settler sort of place - so you can put it anywhere suitable within your campaign world. The DM's background explains exactly what's been going on - and going wrong - and there's a brief adventure synopsis before we get a few hooks to get the party involved. Most involve providing the party for a reason to visit the village in question, a place called Sumpter; but if your party boasts a druid amongst its number, he might be having disturbing feelings about a looming inbalance in the area, and want to do something about it.


The adventure opens the morning after they arrive in Sumpter, with a nasty encounter in the street outside where they are staying. The locals will be happy to supply them with what information they have, they are quite desperate for help. Rations are running low and the forest around the village is full of marauding plants and other monsters. You can see why a bunch of adventurers turning up is a welcome sight for them... and the remainder of the adventure involves exploring the forest and dealing with anything untoward that they encounter.


An area map is provided along with copious notes about what the plant monsters will try to do. They're running out of resources as well and becoming increasingly desperate... Various options for dealing with the situation are discussed, along with ideas for further adventure. It's basically a forest 'weedkilling' scenario, but if your group likes that sort of thing you could play up the horror angle of walking through a forest and not knowing which plant is about to pounce! A neat angle on the druidic love for nature.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Environmental Impact (3.0)
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Shoals of Intrigue (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/28/2016 10:32:03

Time to get wet! This adventure involves intrigue in a coastal town, but the investigation leads the party underwater - so you will have to make sure that they have access to spells or equipment to survive when submerged.


The backstory for the DM explains what has been going on in Flundspoor, Blakemire, and neighboring port cities - places where there is a thriving market for spies as the cities vie with one another for the best trade deals and other advantages. Sometimes, rarely, their competition dissolves into open warfare... and there are those who seek advantage from their squabbles. The general background as recounted here is common knowledge to locals, but there are some specifics that will, perhaps, become known as the adventure unfolds.


A wide array of hooks are provided to get the party involved, partly depending on where they happen to be. If they are in Blakemire, they might get hired by the local lordling: one of his spies is missing and he'd like him back. But there are other routes to get them into the adventure, some - as befitting a plot that involves spies - being quite devious.


Should they be able to do so, there's a fair bit of information to be gathered and they are going to need a ship - fortunately various routes are laid out whereby they can find themselves afloat. Once at sea, they will eventually come across a wreck - and that's where the adventure proper begins. Being a wreck, it has of course sunk and this is where the need to be able to get underwater comes in. The adventure assumes that the party has what it needs, so you'll need to make sure that provision has been made in some manner.


This wreck is near a chain of uninhabited volcanic islands and - in true James Bond style - the villain of the piece has made a lair in an inactive volcano. A basic map of the interior is supplied (based on one from the Map-a-Week series on the Wizards of the Coast website, the original is still available at the time of writing), but you'll need to come up with your own group of islands.


It's a delightfully original adventure, with opportunites to fight and to talk. In particular, if your party likes intrigue, the entire setting and background provides scope for a whole series of adventures based around the port cities and their fondness for espionage... and if they don't polish off the villian he's likely to have more plans for the area... and maybe for them, too. Or he might seek to hire them. The scope is massive, and I can feel ideas beginning to spawn even as I write.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shoals of Intrigue (3.0)
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Into the Frozen Waste (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/26/2016 07:50:55

A trip into the frozen trackless wildernesses of the north are not to everyone's taste, but for those willing to brave the cold and other dangers, the rewards can be rich!


The DM's background explains what is going on, and says that - as is often the case in this series - the adventure maps are modified versions of ones originally published in the Map-a-Week feature on the Wizards of the Coast website. They are reproduced here, as although links to the originals are provided, they're not there any more.


Several hooks are provided to get the party involved. A druid called Agarathar, who likes exploring and mapping, is putting together a trading expedition and would welcome the company. Or maybe they've heard rumours about a sorcerer who lives on the roof of the world but who is helpful to those who seek him out. There are various ways of getting them into the right place. The adventure itself consists of five encounters and the exploration of the sorcerer's base, but everything starts in the small but prosperous port of Bethra, the last civilised outpost before the frozen wastes. The encounters provide plenty of excitement for the journey - by boat and then overland - to the sorcerer's home: it's nice to have the journey form an integral part of the adventure, particular as many adventures in this series have jumped straight from a town to the 'adventure site' without worrying how the party gets there. It's not just the environment that will present problems, either...


The sorcerer's home is built inside an iceberg and is a pretty chilly place. The welcome the party gets could be described as a bit chilly as well. The scenario ends with a few notes on further adventures (chiefly, getting back to warmer climes!). Overall it is nicely put together, and there's a real feel of character actions making a difference. The encounters are structured in such a way that the party should feel that they have considerable freedom of action, even though they are actually moving through a set sequence of events.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Frozen Waste (3.0)
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The Treasure of the Black Veils (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/24/2016 07:19:31

Fancy a spot of treasure hunting? Most parties of adventurers find the lure of treasure hard to resist, and here is an opportunity to go after the loot of a long-dead bandit.


The opening section tells the story of the bandits and their fate. It's all the sort of 'common knowledge' stuff that the party ought to be able to pick up quite easily if they don't already know the story. There are notes on the ruins of the abbey that once was their lair, and what's there now, these the DM will want to keep to himself. It's said, however, that the place is haunted by the bandit leader, who was slain when the band was attacked by the local lordling's army - and this provides one of the hooks, not that you'll probably need much of an enticement...


The logical starting point is a small town on the edge of the fenland where the ruined abbey is situated. There's the usual stat block for it, and notes on what the party can find out there - a few more rumours, a chat with a helpful druid, as well as the full story of the rise and fall of the Black Veil Bandits. Oh, and apparently someone turned up recently saying that they'd found the treasure but needed a cart to haul it out... only they were never seen again.


There is a map of the ruins (you'll need to come up with your own fens and any encounters that happen on the way to the abbey) with detailed descriptions of each location therein and the encounters that will take place there. There are assorted monsters and an interesting Big Bad to defeat - none are interested in conversation - but if the party can find the loot it is well worth the having! Note that it is extremely well-hidden, you may need to guide the party a little in figuring out what they have to do.


A neat straightforward treasure hunt, an excellent side-adventure and a way to raise some party funds...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Treasure of the Black Veils (3.0)
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Test of the Demonweb (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/22/2016 07:01:31

More Drow fun for your party as they encounter some who wish to experiment with novel fighting techniques agaist surface-dwellers...


The background for the DM introduces Arda Pharn, a drow cleric with an experimental turn of mind, and explains what she's up to. The adventure can be a side-trek, with this being the party's sole encounter with her, or you may devise a whole plot arc around her. She's not after killing her test subjects - it does make data collection a bit difficult after all!


Several hooks are provided to get the party involved, and there is some information to be gathered (much of it misleading) mostly based around an adventuring group that has recently disappeared whilst out exploring. This adventure begins when they arrive at Arda's 'laboratory' complex, you will have to organise getting there and any adventures along the way.


This complex uses uses a modified version of the Queen's Dungeon map from the Map-a-Week feature on the Wizards of the Coast website, which is provided here (the original can still be downloaded from the link in the PDF at the time of writing). It makes for a good delve, especially for parties who enjoy the challenge of traps, puzzles, and a goodly array of monsters to fight.


Arda herself does not make an appearance, she's watching magically from afar. However, at least one creature encountered has some inkling of what is going on and may hint at it to the party if they stop to chat. Parties who cope with the challenges and escape will be likely to attract Arda's attention in the future if you fancy some follow-up adventures. If you want to know more about her, there's an article on the Wizards of the Coast website in the D&D 3.X archives (at the moment, anyway), Google her name to find it. If they don't do so well, Arda has an ongoing need for experimental subjects and, shall we say, the party will be hoping that you write an escape scenario real soon! A neat adventure presenting believeable Drow opposition, with the potential for continuing adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Test of the Demonweb (3.0)
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Tiger's Palace (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/20/2016 07:55:15

This adventure is best used either as a regular episode in an ongoing general adventuring game or as the climactic moment in a plotline that pits the party against Bhishana Bhaga - in which case, read this and understand her long before the party reaches the suggested level for this adventure (9th-10th) and weave her into earlier adventures of your own devising.


If this is the party's first encounter with Bhishana Bhaga, several hooks are provided to catch their attention - one delightful one has the party invited to 'have a go' by Bhaga herself, a sort of penetration testing. Notes are also provided about where to put the adventure in your campaign world - somewhere mountainous where gnomes mine if used 'as is', or you can vary it somewhat as to anywhere there is a mine with people (irrespective of race) mining it. She's likely to charm even evil miners, however.


The adventure itself is a straightforward delve. The mine itself is based on a modified version of the Old Mines map from the February 2002 Map-a-Week selection on the Wizards of the Coast website. At the time of writing, the link in the PDF still works if you want to see the original, but the modified version is printed here.


The notes on encounters in the mine are comprehensive, with a couple of good fights and some devious traps to overcome. There is also loads of information on what Bhaga will do, how she prepares herself and her likely responses to party actions. Negotiations are unlikely, come ready for a fight. Notes on wrapping up the adventure finish this module off, with the reminder that if they are successful the party's reputation is going to be increased substantially - something that will attract not only job offers but the attention of evil creatures as well!


A nicely put together if straightforward delve, with everything where it is for a reason.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tiger's Palace (3.0)
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Start at the End (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/18/2016 12:17:01

It appears to be a straightforward task, just the thing for some up-and-coming adventurers like the party. A rural village is being pestered by a young dragon that has taken up residence in nearby hills, and the locals would like him killed or driven off.


The background notes for the DM reveal what is really going on, and a map of the place the upstart dragon has chosen for his lair is provided (just as well, although it was in the Map-a-Week series on the Wizards of the Coast website, the link provided no longer works!). As a side-trek adventure it can be placed in any suitable spot in your campaign world, or you may wish to create a longer story arc in which the dragon, who is called Kyracolides, features... that's up to you.


Three hooks are provided to get the party into the right area - only one actually mentions a dragon, so if you don't want to give them any warning use one of the others. There's a brief note about the village (little more than its game stats), and one or two snippets of information, but then it's on to the lair itself with plenty of detail to support the 'dungeon delve' that is the meat of this adventure.


Shall we just say that Kyracolides doesn't live on his own? Someone left quite a few traps down there as well... and as for the Big Bad at the end... that should prove an interesting surprise for the party. There are suggestions for continuing the adventure, and that's it.


This is an adventure full of surprises and should provide quite a challenge for a party of the intended level (7th), but it's a challenge that will be enjoyed by anyone who likes a classic delve.



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Start at the End (3.0)
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The Sea Witch (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/18/2016 07:55:31

Time to deal with a pirate... a notorious one (of course) called Black Molly whose crew of ogres and other neferious degenerates has a reputation for cruelty and who has now captured a pivotal lighthouse serving a populated and heavily-travelled coastline with the aim of extorting a large payment to keep the light lit so preventing seafarers from crashing onto the rocks!


Likely to make a good side-trek adventure (unless you have a particularly nautical twist to your campaign) three hooks are provided, any one of which ought to get the party involved. Further developments, if you require them, can be drawn from what Black Molly is really up to and investigations of underwater caverns and wrecks... provided the party doesn't object to getting wet.


An area map and plan of the lighthouse are both provided (originally published in the Map-a-Week series on the Wizards of the Coast website), and there's a detailed description of the lighthouse and what is to be found there. This of course includes members of Black Molly's crew and the pirate captain herself. It appears that the crew's sole reaction to intruders will be to fight them, and while no other option is explicitly given for Black Molly, given the detail provided on an item she is looking for coupled with the total absence of any clues for the party to find about it, you may wish to have her attempt to enter into conversation so you can at least have the party share a potentially interesting tale, particularly if you plan to develop the adventure further.


With a nicely-developed lighthouse, potential for further adventure and, well, PIRATES, what is there not to like?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sea Witch (3.0)
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