I like an adventure that encompasses more than hearing a rumor at a tavern and going into a dungeon. Adventure Havens: Library Lore, adds another location element to your Dungeons and Dragons games by providing 12 stocked libraries ready for implementation into your games.
Though not the most well designed book, the writeups of the various libraries are distinct and detailed enough to break the rutt of the Tavern to Dungeon highway.
Adventure Havens: Library Lore, a follow up by publisher Bards and Sages to their equally as informational Tavern Tales, is 50 pages of solid writing. Each Library entry begins with basic stats for the library including owner, floors and number of books. From there, they go into the history and regulars in the library. The writers do a nice job of introducing a feint adventure hook into every few paragraphs. Towards the end of the description, each entry contains one or more adventure seeds that can be used to sprout off adventures. Some seeds area bit more detailed than others, whereas the Gadget Hall had an unexciting seed about Halfling rumormongers, the Grom?s Library had the pretty cool trials in Quest for the perfect Thief.
Hampering the reading of Library Lore, the books layout is most unimpressive. Though it appears to be a similar layout to Tavern Tales, it seems that the entries are more bunched together and hard to distinguish from one another. The book is well-bookmarked with the entry and its elements all just a click a way. If not for this, it would be difficult to maneuver around the book.
Also, enlight of the adventure hook elements of the libraries, descriptions and people, there does not appear to be a ton of stuff to aid in the main purpose of the library, finding and retrieving books. It feels like the libraries are there to generate new stories instead of help move old stories. I would have liked to see a listing of more books, perhaps some new methods to aid current adventures.
For the DM
The North Legal South Library is a different kind of building for a fantasy genre. It houses legality for several regions and could easily fit into a dozen different campaigns. There are several research methods provided as well. This is one of the most well balanced entries. Those looking for a good adventure hook will also enjoy the Astral Fortress, which contains a series of arcing adventure plots. The descriptions are written as such that you can easily place your own items and flavor inside.
The Iron Word
Design snafus aside, Library Lore provides a dozen sound libraries that will bring a unique flavor to a game dulled by the same old thing. Several of the libraries are designed finely enough that they would be worth integrating into a current plot line as well.
<b>LIKED</b>: - Each library is written and described as so to be unique from the others. YOu get 12 different flavors
- some of the entries reallys and out, and are worth putting in multiple adventures asdifferent versions
- I enjoy the direction of the Adventure havens lines, there are some nice seeds in them<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: - the layout was hard to read
- I wanted more research methods and book information
- Too much cartoony artwork came off as cheesy. I don't mind the cartoon stuff in moderation, but some different artwork would have brought out the unique flavor of each entry. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>
[3 of 5 Stars!]