When the module Operation Hydra (from here on referenced as OH) first came out I immediately purchased it, read it, and promptly laid it down for future use. My group has been playing Terror Network since this past January (2010) and have been having a blast! Until this last session I had created all of the scenarios, NPCs, villains, locations, etc. However, I felt that we had reached a good point in our ongoing campaign to begin another investigation and one where the stakes of success and failure ran rather high.
I was at a bit of a loss of where to go when I pulled out my copy of OH and re-read it. I realized that this would be a perfect scenario to challenge my players and for them to utilize their skills that they had learned/honed/perfected since we started playing Terror Network (note: two of my three players had never role-played before this campaign.)
The product itself is laid out in four distinct sections: 1. Being the background and history of the story about to unfold 2. Was a list and description of all of the locations as well as all of the NPCs and valuable bits of information that could be found there and 3. In depth descriptions of the NPCs; their motivations, beliefs, information possessed, and when and if they would share it with my players. 4. the module concludes with (not too surprising) how the story could end. I was thrilled by the fact that there could be varying degrees of success and failures.
One of the pages that I found most helpful was page 38 where there is a chart of the terrorists and their position within their cell and their specialties. This helped me to understand the inner workings of the story and when and where the terrorists would play a part in our adventure.
However, this brings me to my only complaint about OH: the lack of a chart for the locations. Understandably there is a certain element of a sandbox nature that I appreciate and really enjoyed, however, being able to actually see a possible flow chart of the story from one location to another would have been extremely helpful in putting all of the places in order and connectedness, and by extension, the NPCs as well.
So, how did OH fare? Well, it produced a rather unusual result with a great journey getting there. My group, ended up the module by stopping 70% of the terrorists' plots, which will do wonders next time we meet to play the follow up module Operation Hydra Den.
I don't want to give anything away about the story in the hope that you will find this review both inspiring and useful. I would highly recommend the module Operation Hydra for anyone who plays Terror Network, Crime Network (think how awesome this module would be if the F.B.I. came to your Mafia family asking for help in stopping a terrorist attack!) or any other role-playing game in a contemporary setting. And for only a few bucks you should be more than pleased.