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A04: Forest for the Trees $6.99 $4.99
Publisher: AAW Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/30/2012 07:45:21

This adventure is set in Adventureaweek's beautifully-detailed campaign world, near places which characters who have played earlier adventures (particularly Champion's Rest, will already know. It would fit into a suitable locale in your own campaign world, but if you are enjoying this series of adventures, consider subscribing and get access to a wealth of campaign world resources as well.

The opening situation is simple. Local villagers have started a logging operation in West Wood, which is a much nicer place than the nearby Dark Wood - a place that you don't want to visit after dark, and you'd best stick to the path even during daylight hours. Anyway, something odd just happened. A wind out of nowhere, darkness in broad daylight and a whispering voice scaring loggers half-to-death as it warned them to get out before they drop dead one by one... They scarpered, and the village mayor asks the characters, brave adventurers that they are, to investigate. A couple of alternate hooks are provided if your characters do not get on with the local authorities, but both are of the 'please help' variety. Characters who are not the helpful sort are not catered for, I suggest you find a reason for them to be travelling the woods and hear the threatening voice for themselves.

The adventure proper starts with getting to the West Wood, no easy matter due to a heavy snowfall. The snow is not all that they will have to contend with either, but eventually they can reach the logging camp itself, where the scared loggers can explain what they have observed so far and point them in the right direction to begin their investigations. There's a good description, worth remembering for whenever you might need a logging camp in your game, never mind for now. The loggers are not only scared but pretty angry, and there is the opportunity for some role-playing here to ensure that they don't turn on the party! Eventually they should find their way to the location where the eerie voice was heard. This area has been subjected to extensive clearance, with the associated environmental damage, and if the party stays to look around they soon will hear the eerie voice for themselves. If they listen closely, they can track it to its source and have a chance to determine the nature of the problem... although addressing it will involve undertaking several quests and some delicate negotiations to bring matters to a happy conclusion.

The adventure makes quite a lot of assumptions about how the characters will react to what they discover, and the GM will have to be quick on his feet if they choose a different course of action. The quests are quite difficult and will require a delicate touch - groups who just wade into combat to achieve their ends are liable to come to grief! Even if they cooperate with the plotline, they end up having to make a decision that won't please everyone affected - the sort of choice that can lead to memorable role-play with players prepared to throw themselves into the spirit of the game. There is no right or wrong answer, there are just consequences whatever is decided.

Consider carefully if your players are suitable for this adventure, rather than the other way around. Those who like to think and who appreciate that there are sometimes no easy answers, will enjoy this adventure; while those whose characters are mercenary types in it for what they themselves can gain alone will find this frustrating (and maybe even more deadly without much of the reward that they seek). With the right party, however, you have scope to alter your entire campaign based on their choices, food for many a camp fire tale in the years to come!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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A04: Forest for the Trees
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