DriveThruRPG.com
Close
Close
Browse









Back
Mini-Adventure 2: The Black Mist $9.99 $4.99
Average Rating:3.5 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
0 0
0 2
1 1
0 0
0 0
Mini-Adventure 2: The Black Mist
Click to view
Mini-Adventure 2: The Black Mist
Publisher: Dream Machine Productions
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2013 06:25:32

Although described as a "mini-adventure" this is really a sandbox setting - albeit one based around a series of events rather than a specific locality. It's also worth noting that that, of the 65 pages, only 45 are actual content (indeed, many of the other 20 are entirely blank), and 4 of those are duplicate copies of player handouts in slightly different formats. The font size is quite large too, so, again, the book isn't as large as it appears at first glance. Still, for $5, the length is quite reasonable.

The book concerns the effects of a terrible plague on a fantasy city. The plague, of course, has to be immune to Cure Disease, and similar spells, or it frankly wouldn't be much of a threat. Which means that you would have to able to accept that such things are possible within your game world. The source of the plague is never explained, although there are some suggestions as to what it might be; however, the intent is clearly to bring some of the horror of real-world medieval plagues (the black death, the sweating sickness, and so on) to a game. In other words, its supposed to be about how the PCs react to something beyond their power to prevent, only to mitigate. This might not work well for all groups.

The content covers the course of the plague, including a whole series of events that occur throughout the city as it progresses. These include rioting, fires, unpopular civil ordinances, and, of course, the fact that the city is quarantined from the outside world. Although PCs might be helping to enforce, or possibly break, the quarantine, the main piece of "traditional" D&D action is the potential fight with some necromancers who briefly try to take advantage of the plague to unleash a horde of zombies from the mass graves. Like the other scenes in the book, though, this will need fleshing out by the GM, although stats are provided.

The book has new rules as well. Obviously, there's the plague itself, but there are also rules for mob action, rioting and urban conflagrations, as well as four new spells and a template for applying to undead. A major issue here may well be the plague rules; since it obviously can't be fought with magic, and has to be deadly to be scary, there's no obvious reason that the PCs won't catch it, with potentially disastrous consequences.

I like this book because it's original and different. It tries to bring something that medieval people were genuinely, and rightly, scared of, and tries to bring that same sense into a d20 fantasy setting. It sweeps the characters up in a horrific situation, giving them the opportunity to focus on the small aspects of life, presenting them with individual challenges framed against a larger, and more implacable, backdrop.

But it won't be to everyone's taste, and a GM may need to approach with caution.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Adventure 2: The Black Mist
Publisher: Dream Machine Productions
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/17/2007 14:37:17

A whole year of French culture and I still do not have an appreciation for abstract art. Of course I spent eight years in French classes and can barely order a steak at a Canadian restaurant. When it comes to abstract adventures, I obviously still have not acquired that appreciation.

Mini Adventure 2: Black Mist, by Dream Machine Productions, is an abstract adventure in the since that it does not follow a particular story or plot. Instead, it is a series of events that take place in the days following the outbreak of a deadly Plague. The plague is detailed as it ravages a town over a span of 30 days. Quite a bit of importance is put into what happens each of the 10 days, which was very enjoyable.

The concept behind a template type adventure is not new. A lot of DMs use adventures simply as templates. When I use an adventure in my actual campaign, I tend to strip away the plot anyway and replace it with my own, but having it prestripped gives me a rather vague feeling as I read through Black Mist. I think all the material is there for a solid adventure, but its scattered about, despite the excellent job of bookmarking, the placement of rules and events left me flipping around a lot. The layout itself could use some work as there is entirely too much whitespace and blank pages throughout the book. The book does a good job of detailing the days events, but there are other places in the book where they discuss a suggested rule or a suggested encounter that fits into an earlier event. For instance, there is a fire that happens between days 9 and 10, but the rules on fire are tucked away towards the end of the book. This makes for a ton of places that feel disjointed.

Its ashamed too because the material is very creative and provides a good sense of a dreadful plague. Though it would have been helpful to DMs if a model city was provided, the writers do a decent job of describing what the city needs to include.

For the Dungeon Master The additional rules in the back give some solid instruction on how to use mobs, riots and fires in the game. I also liked the timeline of the events that was included.

The Iron Word Mini Adventure 2: Black Mist has a lot of good ideas that make it up, its just a shame that the layout was not up to par. The lack of direction and a stable understanding of what should happening can be frustrating some, but for the DIY DM whom does not mind a tab bit of work, the style of this Mini Adventure can be quite helpful. Just remember that you are only getting three quarters of an adventure.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Adventure 2: The Black Mist
Publisher: Dream Machine Productions
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/08/2007 11:42:34

Mini-Adventure 2: The Black Mist is a 65 page d20 adventure for four characters of levels 5 to 7. This is the second adventure in Dream Machine Productions' Mini-Adventure line, the first adventure being The Complex of Zombies. In this adventure the PCs are challenged by a city wracked by a deadly plague, and must attempt to deal with the city's terror, or flee the quarantine imposed by the city officials. The adventure is suitable for easy insertion into any campaign world, and in particular any large city in that campaign world. This adventure is compatible with the revised d20 core rules.

The product comes as a single pdf file. There are no bookmarks, but there is an extensive table of contents (which unfortunately refers to actual page number rather than pdf page number, and in this instance they're about 6 pages different). The product is decently formatted and presented, barring the odd blank page and the occasional white space, with some good art from a variety of different sources, and good use of boxed text, useful playtest tips, good handouts and well-identified subsections. Writing and editing is good as well, with some solid mechanics for the new material and the various statistics provided. Overall, a nice looking product, although probably something that could've been condensed into less pages with better formatting and layout.

This adventure is an event-based and location-based adventure taking place in a large city. Given the nature of the adventure, it's probably best to set this adventure in a city that can support the adventure, in particular the nature of the city defences (number and level of NPCs), and the large number of people needed for riots and mobs. The adventure background is fairly simple - a city is affected by plague, a deadly one, and the PCs are drawn in, willingly or unwillingly, to deal with it and the effect that the plague has on the city.

As such there is no specific format to this adventure, being loosely presented, with major and minor events highlighted within a specific timeframe, and additional random encounters and ideas given. The city itself is not detailed at all, and, given the intricacy of the adventure, one must probably have a decent city map with well detailed information and locations to make this adventure work well. This includes, of course, city personalities, shops and other locations. To run this adventure smoothly, would probably require a fair amount of work, but work that will most likely be worth it.

The adventure is all about a deadly plague affecting a large city. The PCs have the choice of either helping to combat the plague or attempt to hole out and possibly flee the city. The latter will be quite difficult given the city's defences, and most PCs will be inclined to do the former, but both options are dealt with effectively. Threats that the PCs will face include dealing with mobs, catching fleeing city folk to avoid spreading the disease, fires, necromancers raising the dead in the city, and of course the deadly plague itself.

The plague is something quite akin to the Black Death, and I often wondered if it wasn't too deadly given the timeframe of the adventure. While the plague is staged, a few poor saving throw rolls can easily spell out the death for a particular PC. The restrictions on magical aid against the plague make it particularly difficult for PCs to deal with it and the effects of the plague, such as ability score loss. A few failed saving throws can really hurt. Over large timescales, the plague can almost not be avoided, and PCs will have to hope they survive and can help the city in their weakened state.

The adventure provides plenty of new material to add some spice to the game and make things run smoothly. These include the rules for the plague, new templates for diseased undead, various new necromantic magical items, new spells, rules for running mobs and large crowds, and rules for handling large fires in a city. As such there's plenty of new material to digest, and plenty of new things that will challenge the PCs as they try to survive the plague and defend or flee the city, both tasks that will require the utmost care and a little luck to avoid the worst of the plague.

Overall, though, I find this a refreshing change from most adventure that you find on the market these days. While it is by no means problem free or won't require some work and possibly some tweaking, it's a challenging and different adventure that will both terrify and challenge the PCs. Having to deal with mobs, armies of undead, fires and a deadly plague make for a chaotic scenario that can be quite breathless, for both players and DMs (who need to keep track of everything in the adventure). The lack of a city plan and details means DMs will need to come well prepared to throw the players and the plague into the city, and to make the adventure come to life with real people and lasting consequences. I was pleased with the adventure, and would certainly recommend running it if you're after something different.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 3 (of 3 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates