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LLA002: The Inn of Lost Heroes $4.95 $1.49
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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LLA002: The Inn of Lost Heroes
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LLA002: The Inn of Lost Heroes
Publisher: Small Niche Games
by Dennis B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/17/2016 15:24:09

Overall this is a decently structured story and sufficiently succinct for a competent group of players to execute in one to two sessions. Keeping the story contained to a single location/structure is a wonderful concept that more writers should do. This allows DM's to incorporate a story such as this into their campaigns with little to no effort.

Overall the story flows well enough, though I believe the ending is in dire need of a rewrite, and would not recommend executing this story without changing the ending. In short, one of possible outcomes results in the players having an all-out battle to the death between one another until a final victor is found, only to have the party all magically aliveat the end with the "it was just a dream" ending.

In fact, one of the NPCs says this almost verbatim. Literally, the most hated cliché in all of literature is, "...and it was all just a dream". And here it is, in all its horrid glory.

Overall, I feel the book would have been better served if it had been structured more akin to a traditional play, starting with the dramatis personae, then moving to the setting description, then dividing the story into 3 separate acts. As I read through it, I found myself flipping back and forth trying to find out who the characters were initially, then trying to keep moving with the story, then trying to follow the progression.

The random encounter tables are good, and throwing a few fights into the mix is enough of a challenge to keep the players on their toes. A musical transition between the "phases" of the inn is a nice note, ala Silent Hill.

The chambers feel a bit punitive in nature, as each are effectively designed to cater to a specific class (cleric, fighter, wizard, thief), leaving, for the most part, the rest of the party to sit around and twiddle their thumbs. And, of course, if that the party does not have such a member, then the DM needs to partially or completely redesign the entire encounter, which is another headache. Additionally, if the party member dies in that encounter, there will be no one else to complete the task, effectively resulting in a TPK, unless the DM fudges the encounter on the next go-around.

In conclusion, I'd say this is a decent buy for the money, but not something most people could/would/should play as-is. Any DM that picks this up should plan on rewriting the ending, adjusting the challenge chambers to match the party compositions, and probably tailor the NPC cast (it's probably bigger than what is necessary).

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review. Customer feedback always helps make the next product better!
LLA002: The Inn of Lost Heroes
Publisher: Small Niche Games
by James S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/02/2011 19:08:11

The follow-up to the well received Blood Moon Rising, The Inn of Lost Heroes places the party in a well realized location of horror and madness. As shown in his previous release, our author knows how to bring a "stage" to life with well thought out details and happenings and like his previous module, Mr. Spahn has created an adventure here, that's fun to read and one in which DM's will find much to appreciate. I do have some issues with the execution, as we will see.

The format is double columned and I only noticed one typo. The maps are serviceable and while there's a scale bar, I alway prefer graph-paper squares or hexes, which aren't given. No big deal, as the maps are of fairly small areas and we're not talking about a dungeon here. There are a few B&W illustrations, which are workmanlike but pleasant. I like the dog, in particular.

The adventure takes place at the Inn, which was once the kind of warm, pleasant refuge from cold, dank dungeons, which any adventurer would welcome. Cheery surroundings, good food and drink, other adventurers and the proprietor, an ex-adventurer himself and his family. When the party first encounters the Inn, this is indeed what they find. Of course, the Inn is actually a haunted location and all this warmth and light is going to twist into a nightmare in short order, as the Inn in the Living World changes into the Inn in the Ash World and finally, the Inn in the Burning World.

Once this happens, the characters will be trapped within the Inn, along with some NPC adventurers, doomed souls and the very angry spirit of Evelyn Mortigan, who formerly owned and ran the Inn with her family. The PC's must find a way to escape the ghost-world they're trapped in and if successful, they'll have a chance to free the souls of dead adventurers, trapped within the Inn.

The characters' task hinges upon the failed designs of a cleric, who is now trapped within the nightmarish Inn himself. They must find and restore the parts to a magical medallion, that will allow them to escape and has the potential to set things to rights, once and for all. The cleric flat-out tells the party what they're looking for and why.

In both this and his previous module, the author takes strict steps to maintain the integrity of the sandbox and insure player agency. But giving them the wherewithal to work out what their choices are is also important and always preferable to having an NPC repeatedly show up and give them their formula for success. As a plot device, it feels a bit clumsy and I would prefer other methods of providing the characters the clues they need. But, there's a second bit of clerical exposition, which would be harder, but still possible to replace, given the nature of what the characters are going to be asked to perform.

The Inn and its inhabitants, the weird goings on, supernatural encounters and elements of horror are mostly well designed and come together nicely. The author gives the DM a lot of material to work with, with random encounters, keyed encounters and situation based ones. Like Blood Moon Rising, you're given a nice, varied, palette of material, with which to work. All in all, the author's approach gives the DM not only plenty of options, but elbow room and a DM who's into this kind of adventure will have a lot of fun. Also like Blood Moon Rising, the depth of the material means repeated readings will be required by the DM, as well as some note-taking. A plus, in my book.

Accomplishing their first objective will be a little tricky for the players, as individual party members may have to undergo some fairly stiff penalties in order to progress, though there are ways to avoid those.

If successful, they can choose to simply escape but may instead, try and put all those tortured souls to rest. Again, the helpful cleric tells them what they must do, which feels even more awkward this time, because this whole last bit feels so artificial.

It's revealed that ghostly Evelyn seeks a consort and the players must fight each other to the death, so one of them can prove their worth and get close enough to Evelyn to use the Medallion to defeat her once and for all. If the characters balk at this, our helpful cleric makes some intimations, meant to reassure the party that everything will work out for the best. Of course, if the characters go through with it, any PC's killed by their fellows find that once the dream is over, they are indeed allright.

As the author mentions, this gives the party a chance to have a battle-royal, without consequences and might indeed be a lot of fun. But the first thing needed here, is some foreshadowing. The whole "ghost seeking a mate" thing, tacked on suddenly at the end, rings rather false. Part of this is probably because there was no foundation laid for the reader of the module to expect this. When combined with the battle-royal idea and the cleric coming on stage to tell the party what to do, the whole set-up of this part feels more than a little contrived. Some excellent horror could be brought into play, by foreshadowing Evelyn's ghostly desires.

If you like the idea of a far-out, ghostly adventure, then I would recommend The Inn of Lost Heroes, but with the caveat that I would feel it necessary to make some changes. There's a lot of really good material here, which I would like to and probably will use, but I would want to smooth out those rough spots.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
LLA002: The Inn of Lost Heroes
Publisher: Small Niche Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/29/2010 17:28:34

The Good: Very creepy vibe, unlike anything I recall seeing for an old school-ish D&D type adventure, at least since Ravenloft. In fact, makes a great "Weekend in Hell" ala Ravenloft.

The Bad: Incredibly easy to get just completely derailed, moreso than most adventures.

For a full review, please visit my blog at: http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2010/10/tommys-take-on-inn-of-lost-heroes.html

[5 of 5 Stars!]
LLA002: The Inn of Lost Heroes
Publisher: Small Niche Games
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/14/2010 14:38:39

The Inn of Lost Heroes is one of the best adventures for Labyrinth Lord I've read in a while. It features all the classic elements of a great adventure - loads of atmosphere, plenty of action, roleplaying galore, the unexplained and unknown, and a perfect balance between all the aforementioned elements. In this adventure the heroes become involved in the dark, horror and unexplained events surrounding a well-known inn. As they get drawn deeper into the inn's twisted world, where rules are meant to be broken, they must look for a sliver of light that will release them from their nightmare. The Inn of Lost Heroes is suitable for 3 to 6 characters of levels 3 to 5, of which it is recommended that one of each class be present in the party. The presentation of this product is very good, although the maps are fairly average, and I wished the organisation had been a little bit better. There's an awful lot of referring to different sections backwards and forwards across the product, and things could've been improved by simply breaking various sections down a lot better. As is, it's sometimes hard to tell if you're in a new section or still busy with the old one. Artwork is fairly sparse, though good when present. I though the cover was fairly decent, and reminiscent of old-school adventure gaming.

I really enjoyed this adventure product. From the moment I started reading it I was hooked. This product oozes flavor and atmosphere, and will make a great horror or dark adventure for any GMs party and characters. On top of that it's ingenious in its handling of the various elements of the background and the plot, as well as the fabulous location that's presented in the product. The author and team create a really vivid and alive inn with some impressive flavor. I really appreciated the roleplaying opportunities involved in this adventure, although in places I thought it could be quite frantic for GMs to run as a result of the sheer number of NPCs. It might have been better, particularly in latter parts of the adventure, to keep some of the NPC numbers down, but even so their large numbers are handled very well mechanically. Novice GMs might struggle to effectively portray chaotic and frantic scenes with so many NPCs. Even reading it made it difficult to discern all the actions.

The adventure is full of action and activity, and can be quite breathless by the end of the adventure. There's a lot happening, and the adventure provides for more action than any GM really needs to include. I thought the concept and plot were very good, and the execution even better. I wasn't really a big fan of the parts of the adventure that were aimed at solo characters, but even so the reasoning behind this was clear and the outcome of these encounters will just add to the atmosphere and horror of what the characters are living through. Plenty of details are provided on all the NPCs (and GMs will really have to be on their toes when running this adventure), and each NPC has a clear purpose in the adventure. I thought some of the NPCs were very well handled, and the conclusion of the adventure, if run all the way to its natural end, is very satisfying, and indeed emotional. I can't recommend this adventure enough. It's a fantastic blend of breathless action, horror-flavored atmosphere and innovative opportunity. Great product.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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