A village is on edge. A pilferer that has come to be referred to as the Moonlight Burglar has been stealing from villagers for months, leading to no end of frustration and dismay. No one has ever so much caught a glimpse of the thief, so no one has any idea who the culprit is or where to find them. But everyone agrees that the Midnight Burglar must be stopped. Enter the PCs.
And thus is the premise behind The Moonlight Burglar, the second in the Tiny Terrors line of brief introductory adventures by Crimson Terrain.
The adventure is a sandbox mystery, wherein the PCs follow leads however they wish. It’s a welcome change of pace from the standard introductory adventure. Also welcome is the absence of the monsters that typically populate such modules – there is nary a skeleton or goblin in sight. Instead, the story has a bit of a folklore feel to it, which can be played up nicely by the GM if they so choose.
The village feels alive. More than a dozen NPCs are mentioned, each with a brief paragraph detailing basic personality and, where relevant, their desires.
Even though the Moonlight Burglar is freeform and has been specifically designed to encourage improvisation, the adventure is easy to run. Perhaps the only oversight is a lack of staging tips. GMs might benefit from leads that could be dropped should players grow frustrated with lack of progress, or from suggestions on how encounters with the slippery ne’er-do-well might run should (as is very possible) it escape from their first meeting.
In addition to the adventure itself, we get a new monster that plays a pivotal part in the mystery, and three new magic items (again, with a distinct folklore feel to them). Nice additions.
The writing and editing are very solid, layout professional, and the map perfectly serviceable. Sadly, there is only one piece of stock art, and it doesn’t illustrate the new monster.
As a whole, author Anthony Qualkinbush’s adventure has a great deal going for it. The story is easy to follow and run, if feels fresh, and the mystery is just deep enough to keep players entertained. The Moonlight Burglar is a pleasant surprise.