Oracle of Orcas is a free, single adventure module (Exploit) for Dungeons & Dragons designed with a generic theme allowing it to be dropped into virtually any adventure series or campaign. The adventure has a somewhat vague storyline that allows a GM to create much of the details as to why these encounters are occurring and even when.
Oracle of Orcas is designed for characters of 9th Level and part of Alea Publishing Group’s Feudal Lords campaign setting. However, the actual encounters are standard enough that they can easily be fit into any campaign setting.
Oracle of Orcas is a great set of encounters that can be played in a single-game session or tied into an ongoing campaign. This module could be inserted in-between an overall storyline or used as a launching point for new adventure ideas. Considering it is designed for 9th Level characters, you can’t simply use it as a launching point for a starting campaign. However, the underlying story points can be extracted so that a new campaign can be created with these items in mind.
Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
Many publishers release free products but don’t keep with a high-quality publication. Oracle of Orcas has a wonderfully smooth layout and presentation with only a few minor issues here and there. One thing to note is that, for a free product, the stat blocks look great and are extremely easy to read.
Storyline: 6 out of 10
The storyline is loosely developed throughout. This has its own inherent positives and negatives. As an adventure that is able to be placed within any campaign, a loose storyline allows the DM a certain level of flexibility in how they use the encounters. The negative side, which is fairly important, is that the individual encounters are not tied together well bringing the PCs from the end of one encounter to the beginning of the next encounter. There is a definite storyline that the adventure aims to create, but key points to the storyline seem to be missing.
Desire to Play: 9 out of 10
The encounters are very well written, easy to use, and should be fun (unless you’re only into strict dungeon crawls or pure role-playing). The collection of encounters is geared toward groups who like a combination of combat and non-combat with the option for a certain level of role-play. Another key point that makes this adventure more desirable is the flexibility of the setting, giving DMs the opportunity to place it within the campaign they have already created.
Overall: 8 out of 10
Overall Oracle of Orcas is a great set of encounters, and you cannot beat the price. For a free adventure module, it is a very high-quality publication and a great combination of combat and non-combat. Oracle of Orcas is also a great, free demonstration of Alea Publishing Group’s ability to make quality publications.