DriveThruRPG.com
Close
Close
Browse









Back
Other comments left by this customer:
Matters of Vengeance (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/27/2016 10:40:47

Set in and around the village of Three Forks, you can place this adventure in any remote section of your campaign world that is a few days' ride from a city. The area you select should feature nearby forested regions and be able to accommodate an abandoned village and a nearby manor house as well. The adventure is best run during the winter, but can be run at whatever time of the year suits your campaign best.


An extensive background for the DM reveals a bitter tale of lost love and vengeance and undeath some two hundred years old. Now a descendant of the former lord of the manor seeks to regain his domain...


Several hooks are supplied or you can merely have the party hired to rid the old manor of an infestation of undead. Ideally, even if you have attracted their attention through one or more of the hooks, they need to meet with the aspiring lord of the manor before getting involved as this will give them a better idea of the underlying history behind the events that are about to unfold.


The adventure proper begins once the party arrives in Three Forks, the deserted village. A map is provided and the adventure starts with location-based encounters as they explore. Eventually they will reach the manor house itself and will need to explore it and deal with the evils therein. Although most of the opposition is undead, there's a very live band of mercenaries around as well - they, at least, might be open to conversation, most else of what is encountered will need to be engaged in combat. However, the Big Bad Guy at the centre of the adventure is likely to engage in negotiations with the party, undead he may be but he retains a lively mind and a thirst for vengeance.


Notes for follow-up adventures encompass several outcomes and draw rather neatly on the backstory. Overall this is a well-crafted adventure with a certain melancholy that should live on in your group's memories.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Matters of Vengeance (3.0)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Lochfell's Secret (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/27/2016 10:37:00

This adventure tells the tale of the small port of Lochfell, which has been seeing some problems of late. The background describes, for the DM's benefit, what is actually going on: all the locals know is that people are vanishing, a few folks have reported seeing a monster, and they need some help to deal with it. Several hooks are provided to bring this matter to the party's attention.


However you get them there, the adventure begins when the party arrives in Lochfell. The town is buzzing with rumour, as not only is there a possible monster on the rampage, someone has started grave robbing as well. There are opportunities to ask around a bit, which should lead the party to the place most people seem to have been near when they disappeared. Going there will lead to a good brawl and a lair to explore... and that has a few surprises, including several exotic monsters and someone hatching a plot that even the original monster didn't know about!


The lair complexes are clearly mapped with good room descriptions showing you what's where. The main adversaries have detailed stat blocks - it will be worth your time getting fully conversant with their abilities to run them to best effect - they should be played to the full to provide intelligent and challenging opposition. It's a fairly standard delve, but enjoyable and providing a real sense of satisfaction once everything's cleaned out and set to rights. There's little in the way of follow-up adventures suggested, although one antagonist had friends who might lament his passing...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lochfell's Secret (3.5)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Advanced Arcana Volume III
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/26/2016 08:36:05

Like the previous two volumes, this one opens with a letter to a student mage from a well-wishing family friend (or is it his step-father... the friend seems close to his mother and there's been mention that his father is dead?), enclosing the gift of a rather tasty spellbook... the rest of the volume being the spellbook itself.


As before, the spells therein are organised around several innovative themes. This time they are 'opportune' spells that can be cast speedily when specific conditions arise, 'arcane well' spells that give access to unlimited use of a minor effect but only until you cast the parent spell, metamagic spells which alter other spells (somewhat akin to metamagic feats) and 'ascension' spells which are more than one level at once. You may well ask how that works...


The foreword by Kabaz Anvitz is even more philosopical than before, speculation on the nature of spells and of magic itself, and again makes for a good read and inspiration for those spellcasters who like to delve deep... or characters who like to muse over the campfire of an evening! Playing with the underpinning theory of ones trade is a constant habit of the academic, and if you like to portray your wizard character thus, it can prove entertaining. (One wizard character of mine described it as 'contemplating the ultimate which-ness of the why'... and the GM presented me with a beautiful mandala for him to gaze at when he did so!) Of course, the author reaches no conclusion after running through several theories, but says that he's presenting spells that challenge existing notions of what spells are and what you can do with them.


This is followed by an out-of-character explanation of the core themes and basically how they work, along with notes of how you might introduce these new spells into your game in a meaningful and effective manner. If you choose to make it more difficult to acquire or learn such 'exotic' spells than it is to access the 'common' magic as presented in the core rule books, some optional game mechanics are presented to make that happen - anything from making them harder to cast to making them harder to locate, needing to be researched from scratch or even acquired via the black market because for some reason or another they are not permitted. If you go for a more plot-based route, one of the appendices has biographical material and stat blocks for some of the mages who invented these spells - your characters can have an opportunity to study with a true master!


After notes on the game mechanics of the novel spell types, we get to the actual spell lists (by every type of spell user) and the alphabetical list of full spell descriptions. Hours of fascinating browsing... and the spell lists are hyperlinked so if you are reading on-screen you can dive straight to the one you want. Throughout, sidebars add interesting commentary and speculation.


Finally, the appendices present a selection of alternate potions, scrolls and wands - such as an aromatic potion that exists in gaseous form rather than a liquid, some new sorcerer bloodlines that are true lineages of arcane power, and some unique witch patrons with real personality! And there are some legendary mages, instrumental in creating some of the spells in this book, all ready for your characters to meet.


All in all, another fascinating delve into the craft of magic, something to keep the most bookish of wizards absorbed!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Arcana Volume III
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Advanced Arcana Volume II
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/24/2016 10:44:18

Following on from the first volume of Advanced Arcana, this one starts with a similar letter to a student who has now completed his first year at Aubergrave Academy of Magecraft. Likewise, the foreword to the book proper reveals that it was written by the same academically-minded mage, Kabaz Anvitz. This time, he says, he wants to concentrate on useful spells rather than those picked to challenge commonly-accepted principles of magical thought... but of course, he's ended up doing that as well. For a start, he explains - in a wonderful mix of in-character theory and game mechanics - just why a wizard 'prepares' spells in advance in terms of how spell energy is stored and used. At least, a rationale for the game mechanic! It's always been something that bugged me - ok, it's the game rule but why does it have to be like that?


This book presents over an hundred new spells ranging from first to ninth level, and the underlying theme of many of them is the idea of spells which can have more than one effect depending on anything from caster whim to the conditions under which it is cast. There are more of the multi-part or 'segmented' spells introduced in the first volume, which require several spell slots and require extended casting time as well. A full explanation of the mechanic is provided in case you do not have access to Advanced Arcana I, however, and then expands it to encompass layered segmented spells and variable segmented spells, which are new to this book. There are also notes on various ways to introduce new spells into your campaign, a process that causes some GMs no end of difficulty whilst others take it in their stride. The problem of introducing new spells to spontaneous casters who are not limited as to how many spells they know just how many they can cast in a day is also covered. These notes should help enable all GMs to handle novel spells with confidence.


Explanations done, the spells are presented first as spell lists for each spell-using class and then alphabetically with full descriptions. An example of a variable segmented spell is Ardesalf's instant biography which inscribes facts about the target being into a blank book or scroll, the more times cast (one to five times) the more you find out about your target... and there are many more innovative and interesting spells to be found here.


The Appendices are well worth reading too. The first contains notes on some of the distinguished mages who devised the spells herein. Perhaps they will turn up in your campaign, or merely be legends young wizards hear about during their training. The second deals with spellbook customisation. Perhaps a wizard would like a fancy binding or wants to write his spells on something other than paper, parchment or vellum... here are some ideas, their costs and their properties. Oh, and don't forget the ink... Other appendices deal with really wierd familiars (how about a bookworm?), alternate arcane bonds and exotic spell components - if you use one of these along with whatever's required for the spell you are casting, you may get some fascinating additional effects.


This is the sort of book that makes you wish magic were real... but inasmuch as it is within your game, it makes an excellent addition to magical knowledge!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Arcana Volume II
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Advanced Arcana
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/23/2016 11:39:54

How does magical education work in your game? There's quite a trend within Pathfinder RPG product to suggest that you can go to school to study magic, just as you or I in the real world can take classes in history or computer science... a reasonable assumption in a setting where magic is part of everyday life. This book takes this view, opening with a note penned to a newly-accepted student by a family friend, an older mage who wishes him well. This explains the purpose of the work, a collection of spells that should prove useful to any aspiring mage. Three specialist groups of spells are mentioned: 'quick' spells which are lesser-powered versions of spells that can be cast fast in an emergency, spells which refresh the mind and enable the re-casting of spells already used for the day, and 'segmented' spells that occupy several slots rather than one, but allow pretty amazing things to be done.


Next are some delightful philosophical thoughts by the original author of the book, clearly someone who takes magic seriously and doesn't view it merely as a list of actions for use when brawling! Much of this skilfully blends an in-character approach with recognition of the underlying game mechanics... as example, "According to the ancient sage Drawzi of Astocthes. the cost of a spell is measured in mental energy, with spells being classified in nine tiers based on the amount of energy the spell consumes when cast", which is prehaps the most delightful way of describing that spells come in levels and the higher level your character is, the higher level spells he can cast that I have read! It's a very academic approach, some readers may find it a bit heavy going, but if you want to play a spell-caster who takes a studious approach to his magic it will give you some wonderful ideas to throw around in casual conversation to bemuse your colleagues who swing swords or pick locks for a living.


Following an outstanding illustration of a 'Young Mage' lounging with a book in his hand, a couple of sidebars explain the mechanical implications of segmented spells, showing how they play out, and notes on how best to incorporate the spells from this book into your game. A wizard wishing to buy his own copy of Advanced Arcana needs to come up with 25,000 gp, for example!


Now getting down to business, spell lists are followed by full write-ups of each new spell. There are lists of spells for alchemists, bards, clerics, druids, inquisitors, paladins, rangers, sorcerers/wizards, summoners, and witches. The full spell descriptions are presented in standard format, and merely reading through them conjures up many an idea for using them to effect...


As example of the novel concept of the segmented spell, have you ever wondered how places consecrated to a particular deity have all those cool effects associated with them? Perhaps high-level clerics devoted to that deity spent a lot of time and money casting holy presence there: it builds up over six castings of a spell that takes four hours and material components of incense and oils costing 1,500 gp (that's for each of the six castings, mind you) but provides several effects that make it clear that this is indeed a holy place. Even better, you can customise these effects from a list so that they best reflect the interests and concerns of the deity in question.


Then Appendix 1: On the Assembly of this Tome contains a delightful account of the life and times of Kabaz Anvitz, the ostensible author of this spell book. Excellently written and entertaining, it continues the 'academic' theme of his introduction - and demonstrates clearly how being a bookish and scholarly mage can provide plenty scope for adventure! Other appendices present new clerical domains and sorcerer bloodlines, as well as what are termed focussed wizard schools. These allow a wizard to develop a narrower speciality in their magic than the standard schools. Oh, and there are some new familiars tucked away here, if you fancy something a bit exotic - an animated object, perhaps, or a poison frog. Or maybe you'd rather have a rabbit familiar.


The whole book is a delight, with thoughtful spells, an endearing academic approach to the study of magic, and some fantastic illustrations. Just the thing to give to an aspiring mage...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Arcana
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Grand Safari
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/17/2016 10:59:23

One of the delights of Traveller is exploring new parts of the universe... and here's a whole campaign about doing just that. Set in the Gypsy Knights Games alternative Traveller universe, it puts the party as members of the Gentlemen's Club of Dashwood (an society you'll find in the book 21 More Organisations) who have booked themselves onto a hunting safari into the unsettled Hannibal Subsector (Leonidas Sector) which is located to spinward of the Dade Subsector in the Clement Sector. You can read about the Dade Subsector in the work Dade Colonies too. Nine pre-generated characters are provided but you can use your own - provided they are 'posh' enough (reckon on SOC 8+) to join the Club or can wangle an invitation from a member to join the trip. There are also safari staff and ship's crew roles, but these are probably best filled by NPCs.


What we have here is a series of loosely-linked adventures which can be played in any order, linked by the theme of the Safari, which is a competition. Various activities accrue points, and these accumulate towards a prize and enhance standing within the Club. The game begins at a Club meeting on Dashwood or at the first stop, a skills training day on Aisha, after which the party should be allowed to choose from a list of available safaris (adventures) which ones they want to do and in what order.


There's plenty of detail to help you run this campaign, from planetary data to the Clubhouse on Dashwood. The safari contest rules are introduced and then it's on to Aisha for Skills Day. Here, the party has the opportunity to demonstrate prowess at various activities: rifle marksmanship, archery, horseback riding, climbing, stealth, and making a shelter out of native materials. Points are awarded for all these activities - and characters who do well despite being unskilled in a given discipline may gain rank 0 in the appropriate skill. The party is then shown a list of six expeditions and can decide the order in which to visit them.


Each expedition is the presented in detail. For each one, there is a defined objective and the party will have a certain amount of time and the appropriate equipment to undertake it. Interestingly, sometimes the task is being done for someone else - for example, in the Sea Hunt the Club has been contracted to capture certain fish for a research group. Some of the tasks involve killing, but there are enough places in which capturing or even making recordings of the target animals or plants will garner points so that those who are uncomfortable with the idea of hunting for sport will find plenty to do. Naturally, each location visited boasts more than the target creature and there are extensive random event charts and other encounters to further enliven affairs. Once the six hunts have been undertaken, the party returns to Aisha where points are added up and prizes awarded.


Full details of all the systems in the Hannibal Subsector are provided, at least to the level that they are known to the Club. As far as is known, none of them have been settled yet... but there's sufficient detail in the system write-ups to allow for that if the party choose to do so in later adventures, or for you to write your own campaign around exploring and settling any one of them. Many do not even have names yet, just catalogue numbers, although some have acquired unofficial names bestowed by the Club during earlier safaris. The ship on which the safari will be undertaken is also presented, complete with deckplans and full details including those of a surface (wet) boat provided for ocean travel during the trip. Finally, there are a few ideas about other things that might be going on in the area...


This presents an exciting and original campaign framework, with loads of detail to support the adventures provided or indeed facilitate your own in a virtually unexplored subsector.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grand Safari
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Stone Dead (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/16/2016 11:36:52

This adventure is set in Respite, an isolated town along the banks of a river fed by a nearby hot spring, which is renowned far and wide for the practice of the healing arts - you can place it anywhere suitable in your campaign world. But all is not well...


There is some lengthy background that explains the combination of happenstance and malign action that has brought about the current situation and a synopsis of how the adventure should play out - pretty straightforward, the party has to find out what's going on and deal with it! Some hooks are provided to get them to Respite in the first place - perhaps they have encountered a refugee, as many of the townspeople have fled, heard rumours, or have reasons of their own to be visiting the place anyway.


The approach to town is covered in some detail, as there are some odd features which the party may pick up on - although they serve more to indicate that something is amiss than give clues to the actual problem. There's a map of the gatehouse and one of the town centre - if you want detail of the rest of the town you will have to supply it for yourself. The maps these are based on come from March 2001 entries in the Map-a-Week series on the Wizards of the Coast website, but are no longer accessible from the link provided in the PDF.


There are plenty of opportunities to build up suspense as the party explores what appears to be a deserted town, and once they find the Bad Guy there will be an epic brawl to defeat him... and his monstrous sidekick (a decidedly nasty new monster born of dark magic) as well. Once their dastardly plot has been defeated - and, boy, it's an excellent one! - the task of rebuilding can begin.


It's a sneaky adventure that kind of grows on you, at first glance it doesn't seem much, then you realise how atmospheric it can become, especially if the party has visited Respite in the past. It's worth considering having this happen just so that the effects of this visit are really shocking!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stone Dead (3.0)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Ill Wind in Friezford (3.0)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/16/2016 11:33:18

Misfortune often comes all at once, and this certainly has been the case for the once-prosperous village of Friezford. The opening notes explain all, but it's not completely clear how much of this background the party should actually know in advance...


This is a classic ghost adventure, with the ghosts requiring certain things to be done for them by the living before they can return to everlasting rest and peace. So of course, the trick is to figure out what they want and survive long enough to accomplish it. Needless to say, it's not only the undead which will pose problems... and there's a whole bunch of new ghost special abilities to make even the ghosts more potent. One of these, the ability to manifest a solid object (even whilst the ghost manifesting it is still, of course, incorporeal) is quite interesting and worth considering for other ghosts in your game.


There is a run-down of all the ghosts around (and there are quite a few), along with the single specific condition that will allow them to depart to their rest. Only then do we get to the hooks to get the party involved with the situation and the information that they can gather (or access via bardic knowledge) once they decide to investigate further. There's not a lot, because it was apparently over an hundred years ago that the village was overrun and common knowledge is by now not very detailed.


Four events are provided, which may be run in any order as is appropriate given the party's actions. These should provide plenty of action and excitement. There is a map of Friezford and its environs, and a good detailed run-down of the locations - and of course what happens should anyone visit them. Some of them are really quite 'spooky' and can be played up to emphasise the atmosphere of the ghost town.


The main problem with this adventure is the very specific terms under which most of the ghosts can be laid to rest... to be precise, how difficult it is to firstly discover them and then put them into effect. At one point, only two very specific spells will work which the characters may or may not have: and if they do not, it's airily waved aside as a sidetrek that's up to the DM to arrange to gain access to them... even though it's never made clear just how they are supposed to discover which spells they need in the first place!


That aside, the actual ghost town and events going on there should provide a fair bit of quality spooky entertainment for your group.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ill Wind in Friezford (3.0)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Dawn Adventures 2: Hell's Paradise
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/16/2016 11:16:39

Rooting around the Dawn Sub-sector - next door to the Cascadia Sub-sector of the Gypsy Knights Games alternate Traveller universe Clement Sector - this adventure sees the party in a Cascadia Colonization Authority search and rescue ship looking for an exploration ship that has gone missing. The Trailblazer-class scout ship the party is in is the same as the one provided for Dawn Adventures 1: The Subterranean Oceans of Argos Prime - and indeed the adventure starts on Argos Prime. Nine pre-generated characters are also provided, as well as a map of the Dawn Sub-sector and listing of the systems therein. Naturally, you can use your own characters and ship, and indeed set the adventure somewhere in your own Traveller universe without too much amentment necessary if preferred.


The target system of Calliope is detailed extensively - at least, what is known of it - with the main world shown as being largely covered with water with just three small land masses. There is extensive sea life but little to be found on the land. It is not yet settled by anyone, but the Nordic Exploratory Society have been surveying it with an eye to locating suitable sites for a colony. It is their survey ship that has gone missing.


In a neat tie-in to Dawn Adventures 1: The Subterranean Oceans of Argos Prime, the search and rescue ship complete with the party on board have been sent to Argos Prime to assist with the disaster that befell the planet during that adventure. If you want to use the same party you did for that adventure, you'll need to have them reassigned to new duties in order to get them involved in this adventure. Representatives of the Nordic Exploration Society request help, and the party is tasked to investigate. There's a fair bit of background about the Nordic Exploration Society, how much actually needs to be shared with the party is unclear, but this may be made available if they are interested.


They will have to stop and refuel at Biocca, which is a friendly frontier world. As well as the fuel they can pick up some information and a meal whilst here, but they ought to be on their way to Calliope quickly.


Once there, the investigation can begin. The ship itself can be found quite easily... but where are the crew? There's a decklan of the survey ship, assuming the party decide to search it, with full descriptions of all that is to be found there. Eventually the reason for the ship being here, rather than returning as scheduled or even reporting in, will become apparent... but will the party be able to figure it out and how to deal with it before suffering a similar fate?


This is a nice treatment of what is, once discovered, a fairly standard risk of interplanetary exploration, with a few neat ideas to make it less predicable. It proves good fun to run, but is possibly more suitable for a one-off game using the characters provided than as part of an ongoing campaign with cherished characters... yet, it's dangerous out in the black, sometimes parties need to be reminded of this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dawn Adventures 2: Hell's Paradise
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Dawn Adventures 1: The Subterranean Oceans of Argos Prime
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/15/2016 08:59:49

If you think Traveller is all about exploring new worlds, then this adventure is for you... because in it the party is hired by the Cascadia Colonization Authority to go explore parts of Argos Prime, a strange world where the surface is barren and the interior contains bodies of water and other necessities for life. It's set in the Gypsy Knights Games custom universe, but it ought not be too hard to find a suitable location in your own campaign setting if you prefer. Likewise, pre-generated characters and a survey ship are supplied, but are not essential.


There is a map of the Dawn Sub-sector with brief details of all the worlds therein, two of which have already been settled by the Cascadia Colonization Authority (the Dawn Sub-sector is next along from the Cascadia one). The target world, however, has been independently colonised by peoples of Greek and Slavic origins although negotions are in progress to plant a colony there as well. The Argos Prime government has also allowed a couple of mining companies to begin work, primarily in the world's two asteroid belts but also on the surface... unfortunately these companies do not get along, and bickering has turned to brawling on more than one occasion.


Full details of Argos Prime are provided - everything from physical geography (quite remarkable and unique) to government and cultural information. System data is also provided as well as maps of Argos Prime, both the frigid surface and the subterreanean areas where people can live. There are also full details and deckplans for the ship provided.


Then things get interesting. Rather than a fully-scripted adventure, you are provided with a situation, a disaster (which is variable in nature, you decide how severe it is) and some suspects... the aim of the adventure is for the party to figure out what - and who, if applicable - caused the disaster... and they thought that they were here just to survey and assess potential locations for new colonies. There is a lot of tension and distrust between various factions and organisations, which is likely to spill over into events.


The parameters for the surveys are laid out precisely: both location and what the party needs to do whilst they are there. Charts are supplied from which you can give them the relevant data once they settle down to collect it, and each location that is to be surveyed is detailed as well. Also, randon encounters tailored to each location are supplied to liven things up a bit.


Then we get to the impending disaster. The general nature is outlined in some detail, but its severity and just where it happens is left to you. The party will - assuming that they survive - be hauled off their survey duties and asked to investigate. Six different options for what caused it are provided, along with a whole bunch of NPCs to question and various 'clues' which may or may not point to the guilty parties, depending on whom you decided was behind it all. Red herrings abound and it can be quite easy for the party to go off along a completely different track - it's recommended that you limit the red herrings so that the party do eventually home in on the correct suspects. Or of course you may decide that it was a freak accident and, despite all the evidence to the contrary, nobody was responsible. Then the party will have to debunk all the conspiracy theories flying around!


Overall it's a delightful mix of exploration and investigation with an innovative methodology that allows you to determine what was actually going on without having to make everything up for yourself. Great fun - but it repays careful preparation although it is well-enough organised that you could run it on the fly if necessary!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dawn Adventures 1: The Subterranean Oceans of Argos Prime
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Cascadia Adventures 3: Fled
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/14/2016 08:48:37

As with the previous two adventures in the Cascadia series, this one is set in the alternate Traveller universe created by Gypsy Knights Games - it takes place in the Cascadia Sub-Sector which is part of Clement Sector. Again, the whole thing starts with the Razz Casino on Chance, a planet in Cascadia. Pre-generated characters and a ship are provided, or you can use your own. The advantage of the characters provided is that they are embedded into what is going on with links to the Casino and an array of useful contacts who pop up during the adventure to help - but if using your own characters it's not too hard to work them in. Likewise, if you are not using the alternate universe it will be possible to amend the adventure to fit in with your own. If you have either of the previous two adventures, there is some repeated material - the pre-generated characters, the ship, and details of the Razz Casino itself - primary for the benefit of those who only have this work. Each adventure stands alone, so if you like this one, go back and try the other two!


The plot is quite straightforward - or at least appears to be when first introduced. A fellow called Hawthorne, part of Razz Casino security, has stolen a large amount of money from the Casino and the owner, Carrie O'Malley, wants not just the money back but Hawthorne's head on a platter as well. The party will be tasked with going to Cascadia, where Hawthorne used to live, and visiting his ex-wife to find out if she knows anything about the theft or Hawthorn's whereabouts. They'll have to be discreet, as this lady has since remarried... to one of Cascadia's leading politicians.


Once the party has accepted the offer - and it is, shall we say, in their best interests to do so - they can begin to make their way to Cascadia via Dimme, another world where they can refuel. Throughout, scenes are presented as 'essential' (necessary to the plot), 'optional' (flavour and role-playing opportunities, but not contributing to the plotline) and 'contact' (where the party has a chance to gather useful inforamation) - a neat trick to keep things moving yet create a sense of reality in your game.


There's a spot of local colour - and time for a meal - at Dimme, then on to Cascadia where the main part of the adventure takes place. There's a lot going on, particularly on the political front with a major election coming up and the party soon gets caught up in it all. There are copious details of Cascadian politicians and their parties to provide background and substance to what is going on. Many of them could make useful contact for the future. Or enemies, of course, depending on the interactions the party has with them. Many in the Cascadian political scene play the game hard and with deadly sincerity.


It all builds up to an exciting climax at a political rally. There's a plan of the auditorium and full notes about what's where and what is taking place. Guile rather than brute force is likely to win the day, indeed this is the case throughout the adventure. Parties who plan their actions and come up with inventive schemes to achieve their goals are likely to do best... but fear not, at several points there are opportunities for a brawl, although the consequences may not be to participants' liking.


A well-written taut adventure that could leave the party with some measure of renown - or notoriety - as well as powerful friends and equally powerful enemies. And a ship.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cascadia Adventures 3: Fled
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Cascadia Adventures 2: The Lost Girl
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/13/2016 12:53:49

The second in a series of loosely-connected adventures set in the Cascadia Sub-Sector of Gypsy Knights Games' Traveller setting, there is some duplicated material from the first adventure (Save Our Ship) as a convenience especially for those who do not have a copy of that adventure. This includes the ship and pre-generated characters provided - they are worth considering as everything is neatly linked in to the setting and plot. However, if you have your own characters and ship the story will work equally well with a little thought, and it can be translated into your own preferred location without much difficulty.


The adventure starts at the Razz Casino on the planet Chance in the Cascadia Sub-Sector. The casino's owner has been asked by a former employee for help in finding his daughter, who has gone missing and hasn't been heard from for the better part of a year... and so the party has been called in to render assistance. If you are using the pre-generated characters, there's ample reason for them to be asked to help, you will have to come up with your own reasons for why the casino owner should turn to the party otherwise, although some suggestions are given.


In a scene at the Razz Casino, the party gets its briefing: to find Frida Moskalawicz. A neat trick is the use of different types of scene within the adventure: there are 'essential scenes' which need to take place for the adventure to progress, 'optional scenes' which provide added colour and role-playing opportunites but can be safely ignored without risk to the story, and 'contact scenes' specifically set up to allow the party to gather necessary information. The default is to use the extensive network of contacts each of the pre-generated characters has, but each of these is provided in sufficient detail to run as an NPC and you can find your own ways to work them in relatively easily if your party doesn't already know them. Those who wish to may engage in optional scenes of drinking, gambling and watching shows whilst they are at the casino as well as talking to those who have useful information.


It is likely that the party will proceed to Gagnon, the planet where Frida Moskalawicz had been a university student. They will need to refuel along the way, the most efficient route takes them to a planet called Slaren - oh, and they've been given a voucher for fuel to redeem there. While there, they have the opportunity to get a bite to eat (with several restaurants being available) and hear that there's a lot of pirate activity at the moment.


Then on to Gagnon and the core of the investigation. Various avenues are provided to aid you in running this, and the party ought to be able to figure out what has happened reasonably easily. Location and NPC descriptions are excellent giving a good feel of the places and people involved.


The climax of the adventure involves a raid on a well-guarded establishment... and there's a good chance of having to use violence, although stealth may also work, depending on what your party prefers. The conclusion of the adventure covers several alternatives, depending on what the party manages to do... and they might end up with an extremely powerful enemy!


It's a well-presented and resourced adventure, if a little linear and straightforward. Good fun to run...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cascadia Adventures 2: The Lost Girl
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Cascadia Adventures 1: Save Our Ship
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/12/2016 11:10:52

This adventure makes some assumptions: the party operates out of a planet called Chance in the Cascadia Subsector which is part of the Clement sector (Gypsy Knights Games custom Traveller setting) and works mostly as interstellar merchants (ethically challenged or not, it doesn't matter) with the odd side-job for the Razz Casino. This holds good for all three episodes in the Cascadia Adventures series, although they do not form a story-arc, you can run them in any order or pick and choose which ones you will run at all.


Before you get to the actual adventure, there are full details - including a sketch and deckplans - of the ship the party is assumed to be using, a Rucker-class vessel called Dust Runner. Then there are a full nine pre-generated characters, all with links to each other, the ship and even the casino. Naturally you can substitute existing characters (and indeed their own ship), or use some of them as NPCs, but if this is the first adventure you are running in a campaign they are worth considering because they are already embedded in the setting. They also all have contacts which will be useful as the adventure proceeds - details of these are supplied where they turn up along with notes on how to use them with either the supplied characters or your own.


And so to the adventure itself, beginning with a overview that explains what is going on. Basically, the Razz Casino had been hosting a politician who was about to run for high office on another planet, and had sent one of their ships to fetch him - but ship and politican failed to arrive. The party's task is to find out what has happened and to sort it out. The adventure background contains all the information that you will need, and in succeeding pages various locations and events are provided for you to run the adventure.


Events begin in the Razz Casino, and this may be a place that your party likes to hang out anyway. A sidebar explains a neat way of presenting adventures with 'essential scenes' which a key to the plot, 'optional scenes' which add flavour and encourage role-playing but can be left out without harming the story, and 'contact scenes' which help advance the plot as they provide opportunities for the party to find something out that they need to know. The casino 'optional scenes' include details of the games of chance and shows on offer, in case the party wish to indulge.


From the beginning in the casino, the adventure should take the party to the politician's departure point, his homeworld of Roskilde, where they can commence their investigations. Plenty of ways for them to find things out are provided and it should be relatively straightforwards to piece together what has transpired and lead them to the casino ship's current location. Once they get there, they have various situations to deal with - including some other folks also trying to find the missing ship - before they can complete their mission and return triumphant.


Overall it's a cracking adventure and great fun to run (I cannot speak for playing it, but they did seem to enjoy it...). It fits beautifully into the Gypsy Knights Games setting, but would not be too hard to transplant elsewhere if you want to drop it in to your own Traveller universe instead.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cascadia Adventures 1: Save Our Ship
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Kopru Ruins (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/11/2016 12:19:34

Originally issued as a free web enhancement for Stormwrack, the maritime environment supplement, this is an underwater adventure that takes the party to visit a ruined city at the foot of an uninhabited island - one in any suitable chain of tropic islands in your campaign setting will do just fine. Suggestions for suitable locations are made for those using the Forgotten Realms or Eberron campaign worlds.


The backstory for the DM tells the story of the underwater city and the wars that left it in ruins... and what's going on there now. A brief adventure synopsis describes what the party needs to do and there are some hooks to attract their attention - including a suitably vague treasure map (provided) and hints of loot to be had. There's a couple of others if that doesn't appeal to your party.


As it's a site-based adventure (the ruins), actually getting there is left to you, although there are brief notes about possible hazards on the way. Once there, a plan of the ruins (suprisingly small) and detailed notes of what is to be found therein are provided. It is all underwater, so the party will need some means of breathing, but at least the water is warm even if it is quite deep. No individual encountered there is interested in conversation, so there is plenty of combat to be had.


There are extensive notes on the ancient race that once inhabited the ruins, the kopru, and brief notes on possible follow-up adventures. The real challenges here are the environment - especially if not familiar with being underwater, the party may struggle to cope with traps they'd breeze through on dry land - and meeting an unfamiliar race.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Kopru Ruins (3.5)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Legend of the Silver Skeleton (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/09/2016 12:16:20

Written to introduce the winning entry in the Creature Competition: Head-to-Head run on the Wizards website in the summer of 2005 to your party, this adventure begins at a wayfarer's inn that has plenty to attract passing adventurers: good beer, comfortable beds and rumours of nearby buried treasure. What's not to like?


The background gives you plenty of information about what (and who) is to be found nearby, and even suggests several locations for the adventure if you are using the Greyhawk, Eberron or Forgotten Realms campaign worlds. Nice idea, would have been better had the author troubled to state which campaign world each location suggested was situated in! There's an adventure synopsis and several hooks to get the party into the action.


The adventure begins when the party arrives at the Hostel of the Sacred Stone, the establishment in question. There's loads of detail to enable you to bring it to life for your players. The 'sacred stone' in question is a relic of a renowned stone giant paladin, Saint Sonnlinor Stoneheart, and regulars will regale newcomers with plenty of stories about Stoneheart, who used to prey on pilgrims to a monastery dedicated to a dwarf deity until one courageous cleric converted him... to the extent that he became a paladin dedicated to that very same god!


The dwarves had built an underground aqueduct to supply their monastery, and that's where the rumoured treasure is to be found... and where the second part of the adventure takes place, assuming the party head out to try and find it. Asking around in the Hostel will glean them quite a bit of useful information before they go. It makes for a good delve, although some of the monsters do rather give the impression that they just sit around waiting for adventurers rather than having their own lives to lead! The descriptive detail is good, however, although the map is a bit small and not very clear. And as for what they might find... and the party likely will think it's merely treasure!


The neat bit is, this is not the end of the adventure. If the party take what they find back to the Hostel, more will be revealed which in turn leads to a second delve. If the party is successful here as well, the final truths will be revealed... better hope your web-search skills are good, as references are made to information on the Wizards website at the time, some of which are no longer there or take a bit of finding at best. Whatever transpires, the party will have attracted the notice - if not emnity - of some really powerful beings, which you can weave into further plotlines as appropriate. It's quite a devious little adventure, containing far more than appears at a first glance, and has the potential to take your campaign in some quite unexpected directions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Silver Skeleton (3.5)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 2037 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates