Review of Dark Waters Rising (4 out of 5 stars)
The facts (based on print version):
36 total pages:
-2 pages cover and back sheet
-2 page of ads
-1 page OGL
-7 pages for pre-generated characters
-2 pages title slide/acknowledgements
-1 page contents and forward
-2 pages of using the adventure (stat blocks and encounters)
-6 pages adventure synopsis and setting details (lonely coast and village of Swallowfield)
-13 pages for the main adventure
Dark Waters Rising is an Pathfinder adventure for four 5th level characters which could easily be run in a single night. The adventure revolves around the collapse of village mill that reveals an ancient crypt, which is rapidly flooding. The players have to enter the crypt, free trapped villagers, and defeat the evil within before the river completely floods the entire complex. The adventure is fairly short with only 7 encounter areas. With the inability to retreat, rest, and restock, the seven areas should be very challenging for a party of four.
As I read through the adventure, it felt like it was designed for a convention, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The author has written for Living Greyhawk and also for the Pathfinder Society, so he's probably used to writing single evening adventures. Keeping the adventure short also keeps it focused, allowing good use of the creatures and the various NPCs. It hangs together logically and there's good advice for managing each encounter.
So why am I giving it four stars instead of five? Primarily it's due to the length of the adventure. Once you boil down all the additional information in the book, the adventure is only 13 pages long, which includes the map. From talking to the publisher, I know he likes to have everything you need in one place (background, npcs, etc). I can't fault him for that, but it feels like there could have been more adventure and less support material. Even if that material was new background material that helped expand the Lonely Coast, I would have been happy.
Bottom Line: a very good, very contained adventure that could easily be played in one session. Worth your purchase, especially if you use any of the other Raging Swan products.
[4 of 5 Stars!]