Bird in Hand is a must have scenario for Monster Island, the most useful sword and sorcery sandbox I have used in the past 40+ years of GM’ing (I have GM’d Monster Island since 2013). Monster Island setting and the scenario itself can be used almost anywhere and in many settings from sword & sorcery to pulp among others. In the Monster Island and in the scenario city people are humans and natives of the island are lizard people but that is easily changed to other kind of jungle dwelling natives. The scenario itself is easy to drop into any ongoing Monster Island campaign – adjusting or adding the hooks and NPCs accordingly. In my campaign it was sword and sorcery based setting, humans from the continent in the port city and headhunting human tribes in interior. We played with characters in mid level skills and long history of roleplaying.
The scenario starts in Grimsand – the only civilized town in Monster Island and the writing brings Grimsand to life. There are multiple interesting NPCs that you can interact with and get in trouble with. The actions your players can have an effect on the NPCs, plotlines on the scenario and also on your future in Grimsand. The first part of the scenario stays in the city and a session or two will be spent there with plenty of opportunities for roleplay, using variety of skills to figure out what is going on and dealing with the increasing number of forces interested in the maguffin. I liked that there were multiple options written out for the various paths players may take. As in great scenarios there are multiple paths thru the first part of the scenario. Eventually the party needs to brace themselves and head into the jungle for most likely a two or three session romp but it could be more. Monster Island interior is deadly so players better be prepared and they will be lost in the jungle if you push into the green interior without the right combination of skills and help. If you are quite lucky and resourceful you may be able to tackle the jungle part with one long session but I would not push it that way.
Hex crawl rules at the end of the scenario are pure gold – making the island itself an adversary that needs to be tackled. They will be used extensively in my ongoing campaign on Monster Island and would be useful also in other jungle or difficult terrain based campaigns.
This is a scenario that melds with the tone and the spirit of Monster Island. It is a worthy addition to Monster Island, Mythras and a great sword and sorcery scenario – and that is high praise indeed.