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LLA005: The Stealer of Children $1.49 $1.12
Publisher: Small Niche Games
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/02/2013 13:43:07

The Stealer of Children is a Labyrinth Lord adventure for 1st level characters. The product is neatly presented, with good art and maps, and the writing is clear with excellent attention to detail. This adventure takes place in the small town of Leandras Row and its environs, a setting that can easily be placed in any area of a homebrew campaign setting. This is largely a freeform adventure, with characters making their own decisions, so may not be suitable for groups that need a lot of nudging to get them to head in the right direction.

In this adventure the players arrive in Leandras Row, where they are immediately confronted by a challenge that sets the scene for the remainder of the adventure. Something mysterious is afoot in the town, and it's up to the PCs to discover what's afoot. While investigating, they get to engage with numerous well-crafted and interesting NPCs and factions, and that is one of this adventure's strengths. The NPCs are detailed, the town is detailed, and there's lots of opportunity for good and interesting roleplaying. The characters will have to work to solve the mystery. Of course, while investigating matters take a turn for the worse as the Stealer of Children strikes again, and with missing kids on the menu, things start to get serious. The PCs need to delve into an ancient past to discover the truth of matters, and offer some chance of redemption for a family spurned. Then, they'll need to find a solution to finding the Stealer of Children and destroying a creature that mere 1st level mortals should not be able to harm.

I've always enjoyed Small Niche Games' adventures for Labyrinth Lord, and this one is no exception. It's a lovely and detailed freeform adventure, where the characters aren't forced to take certain paths on how to approach the mystery and the adventure. The story is interesting and has a good back-story, and it should be a good romp for the characters in solving it. This is very much a roleplaying heavy adventure - combat encounters are few and far between and even the fixed combat locations/dungeons don't offer much in terms of continuous challenge. LLs might want to use random encounters in the environs to challenge the PCs in this area a little further.

The adventure itself can actually be quite short, and without long combat encounters, the roleplaying can be handled fairly quickly. The PCs need to be proactive, though, otherwise the players might get bored if they're not getting much in the way of information and it can easily feel like you're not getting anywhere. Some encouragement might be needed here and there. I think the final solution to the adventure is quite clever, and I think the players will enjoy it once they've discovered the culprit and managed to find out how to deal with it. If this adventure is treated as a sandbox in some regards, these issues can easily be addressed, and creative LLs will make this and enjoyable adventure.

Overall, I think this is a good adventure. I love the detail behind the NPCs and the town, the premise is interesting, and the freeform nature of the adventure makes for an interesting change of pace from the linear style of many adventures. The combat is a bit lacking in several areas, but that can be addressed while investigating the town environs. Proactive characters will find there's plenty on offer here, and will enjoy piecing together the pieces of the puzzle, while LLs might need to encourage other groups to ask the right questions and investigate the right areas. A good introductory adventure for characters, particularly from a roleplaying point of view.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the kind words - as always. Glad you liked it!

Pete Spahn
Small Niche Games
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LLA005: The Stealer of Children
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