Old School Fantasy #8 - Light and Dark is a 60 page pdf adventure for the Fantasy Craft RPG system. This is the eight instalment in Reality Blurs' line of old school fantasy adventures, and sees the heroes battle against the horrors of a deadly plague and deep-seated corruption and power in the walled city of Hopewell. While this product has some ties with Old School Fantasy #7, it can be played as a stand-alone product should the GM choose to do so. The product has a Menace of III (Challenging) to IV (Dangerous) using sliding DCs to adjust encounters to fit the GM's party and adjust the Threat level.
Layout and design of the product are fairly simple, but the product makes up for it with some excellent organisation and encounter layout. Each encounter and scenario are clearly deconstructed to make running easier, and adventure summaries are well-written to give a clear and concise overview of the adventure right from the start. Large parts of the adventure are deconstructed to give an overview of important persons, locations, and each of the key scenarios of the adventure. Writing and editing are good, and overall the product had a very good presentation level. The product could've done with some maps to round out the presentation, as there are none, but the generic nature and structure of the adventure mean that this isn't an inhibition.
Light and Dark takes place almost entirely within the city of Hopewell, barring some initial encounters that should entice the characters to travel to the city. While not much in the way of maps or information is given on the city itself, the general encounter layout and background information gives you enough to go on to construct a city of the brink of destruction, plagued by a nasty disease that's threatening to wipe out the entire city. The plague is not the only threat that the characters will have to deal with, as there are deeper evils in the city, and few allies to help them as they try and save a city in desperate need. The adventure is divided into nine individual scenes, each that progress the adventure to its next stage, ultimately driving towards the culmination of the action and the discovery of the larger threat to the city. This format means that the timing of each scene can be customised, allowing creative GMs to use the chaos of the city to create further atmosphere or further larger campaign goals or plots.
I was quite pleased with this adventure. While the concept of a plague ridden city isn't new, the adventure provides exciting action within this framework so that the characters are never far from the action, and there are plenty of things to keep them busy. The chaos of the city and the nature of the adventure provide plenty of opportunity for roleplaying, although with the sketchy details on the city, this could be challenging if the PCs venture off the beaten track. Encounters are well-scoped and challenging, and will provide enough drama and conflict to make them exciting not only for the combat value but also their location within a plague-filled city of innocents. Light and Dark is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure, well worth looking at and with plenty of scope for expanding and incorporating other ideas. The city of Hopewell could easily be used as a sandbox-type city, and the adventure is fairly easy to customise if needed. Grand adventure, lots of action, good roleplaying, but missing some maps and a few details here and there. Good product and recommended.
[4 of 5 Stars!]