The Living Airship (LA) is an adventure set in Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved 3.x setting. Published by Rite Publishing, the module is designed for four to six PCs between 7th through 10th level. Though LA does not specify party composition, I recommend a melee-oriented party, with champions, mageblades, oathsworn, and -- especially -- warmains forming the bulk of the group. Oh, and someone to cast a fly spell (or spells!) would be really, really useful in certain parts of this dungeon crawl.
And it is a dungeon crawl. That's what "captain" (design & development) Soren Keis Thurstrup writes and that's what LA delivers. The module is a basic search and retrieve mission, with some effective opposition.
Before I continue on the content, let's discuss the product itself. The price garners two pdfs, one with the stunning front and back colored covers and a more printer-friendly version. Note that both come with colored maps and interior illustration, with several asides also in color.
Text layout is in standard two column format. Sections were nicely divided by the use of different fonts and formatting. Plenty of surrounding whitespace keeps things easy on the eyes even in the full-color version. My biggest irritation was the inconsistent use of paragraph space. Sometimes paragraphs were separated by indentation, sometimes by space, and sometimes by both.
Editing was good, which means I saw no obvious spelling or grammar mistakes. The tone can be very familiar at times, with the author interjecting their opinions including even how they ran the game (e.g., Adventure Hooks). I found it more surprising than intrusive.
WARNING: Potential Spoiler Information
The adventure is broken into two major sections. The first involves dealing with the entrance guardians with the second fighting through the main bad guys to get to the ship. Neither is a cakewalk: the guardians of the first section, with both their natural abilities and modifications, are tough, with a couple harboring some real nasty surprises. (I must use them in my own games).
The second section, on the other hand, has some very deadly terrain. Remember my warning about a fly spell? I also recommend GMs thoroughly review this section, the numerous opponents, and gage the party's resources. There's really no time to rest between the two secions, and a badly wounded party could be sent tumbling into oblivion.
So what's my overall opinion? For GMs and players who like to hack-n-slash their way through a module (and who doesn't?), they'll find the Living Airship filled with plenty of interesting foes and a neat terrain to test their tactics.
Those who like to use diplomacy will find it less so, though stealthier parties get a kick in bypassing many of the encounters.
This review is based on review copy provided by Rite Publishing.
[4 of 5 Stars!]