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The Headless Horseman
Publisher: Mount Parnassus Games
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/02/2021 06:58:15

Variant on the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The forest encounters are innovative. The aftermath is satisfyingly open-ended.

Possible improvement: provide maps, especially of the forest and locations where the party might investigate (and make deductions).

Should be a fun adventure. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Headless Horseman
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Star of Alladore: The Official Rangers of Shadow Deep Fanzine
Publisher: Joseph A. McCullough
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/30/2021 11:32:30

A collection of (not directly connected) missions, mostly for beginning and less powerful rangers. A welcome opportunity for other authors. The emphasis is on missions that can be repeated, and make sense whatever the current state of the war. Some spoilers in the following reviews of individual adventures.

Treason in Tallis

A mission defending the palace in the capital against a disloyal noble. An intriguing switch to fighting the enemy within. Ripe for prequel expansion. I added:Lady Anne's Ball (with the board set up a ballroom with adjoining gambling tables) to gain gossip about potential traitors and their plans; Raid on the Townhouse, a burglary of Baron Audric's residence in the capital, to find clues to where, when and how the attack will take place. Information picked up in the social encounters give bonuses for the raid; success in the burglary triggers the Treason in Tallis scenario as the climax of the mission.

In play, the loyalists won twice, managing to save some innocents from the fires, and defeating the Baron after a tough struggle.

To Help the Sick

A variant on Blood Moon, with Shadow Deep agents to unmask and information to gain from a contact. Excellent use of foreboding as undead forces increase at the edge of the board, waiting for "all is revealed" to attack. The heroes gather clues to trigger the event, also determining who are the healers, who are the imposters. An innovative event deck with some cards replaced, others discarded. Play one was touch and go at the point when zombies attacked, but a fire wizard turned the tide and the rangers and retinue achieved near total success. The second group also tottered when the undead storm was unleashed, but managed to triumph with the loss of one companion.

Possible improvement: no experience point listing for defeating wolves or agents of shadow deep.

The Baleful Tower

Fast moving and fun mission for one highly experienced ranger. In the first scenario, the "healing pool" adds extra options. I like the mechanic of double cards after one run through of the event deck to encourage the ranger to enter the tower. There is flexibility in the second scenario, as you can decide whether or not to risk battle (for a fine reward) with a fearsome monster. In play I added one companion, mainly to pick up clues, etc. Outstanding success in the first play through, albeit with some unlucky rolls by the Chimera in the climatic encounter; the Dark Light Axe (Mandalorian anyone?) was claimed. A weaker ranger was overwhelmed by a horde of skeletal knights adjacent to the tower in a second play.

Possible improvements: scenario one, the example layout has a missing clue marker (near the centre); scenario two, strange event deck cards, the red queen is missing for no obvious reason.

From the Shadows

Some optional rules for using stealth presented, then a simple but challenging scenario to save villagers from a gnoll force. In a first play, a strong martial group ambushed the gnolls, then won by force of arms (and spells). The party lost a companion; they were fortunate the gnoll reinforcements did not arrive quickly, the heroes can end up facing a sizable force. In the second play, the ranger and retinue concentrated on quiet rescues and fighting retreats. Resolved quickly, one companion detected, surrounded and slain, five villagers rescued.

The Evacuation

Party escorting villagers being moved to safer locales. The protection of carts on the trail seems the more challenging scenario, as there are some potentially nasty ambushes; opponents when guarding the camp are less numerous, although the ranger and retinue may have been weakened. Excellent replay value: any two plays are likely to trigger different encounters (although the chances of fighting a troll seem very slim). Already tried and tested, as an earlier version has been freely available for some time.

Group one fared badly on the long road as they tried to fight a rearguard against gnolls as the carts moved to safety, only for the latter to suffer an assault by zombies. A depleted force managed to defend the campsite. A second group was menaced by zombies, then gnolls, and a zombie attack from further up the road. They were more successful in fighting one set of enemies at a time, and took no losses, but arrived late at camp. Night attacks were repulsed with relative ease.

Possible improvement: add a 50% chance of "you have a bad feeling about this" to the spooked horses entries, to give a greater variety of opponents at the campsite in replays.

Overall Impression

A fine collection of repeatable adventures, filling a gap in the material published thus far: you can develop a new ranger and followers without replaying corebook scenarios.

Regarding pricing, the pdf and physical copy combination offers best value.

Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star of Alladore: The Official Rangers of Shadow Deep Fanzine
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Meryon Woods – a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
Publisher: Red Ruin Publishing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/10/2021 08:53:53

Minor spoilers follow.

Solo adventure, traversing a forest to deliver an important message: a classic Dragon Warriors theme. Quick to resolve, but replay value as there are alternate routes to reach the abbey. Generally forgiving until the climactic combat.

Possible improvements: (i) entry 40 refers to your trapped leg, but the PC may have avoided/escaped from the wolf trap; (ii) some entries tend to overlong.

Well illustrated. Big clear print. Captures the Faerie Forest atmosphere. Could be adapted to other systems. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Meryon Woods – a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Green Water, Crimson Stag – a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
Publisher: Red Ruin Publishing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/07/2021 08:28:49

Mild spoilers follow.

Solo adventure exploring a classic Dragon Warriors theme. One main path, but some interesting detours that could give an advantage, if you are prepared to take a risk. Ample opportunities to gain clues regarding the nature of the evil. Well balanced between exploration, combat and problem solving; locations can be revisited, and sometimes it is wise to do so.

Possible improvements: (i) entry 80, cross the river, 49 seems a better link than 95 (which loops back to 80); (ii) double use of keyword Elm (see 37 and 52), choose a different codeword for 52 (unless this was a design choice). Otherwise links seem accurate; highlighting these and other key information is a good feature. Could be modified to other systems with a little work.

Fun adventure. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Green Water, Crimson Stag – a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Village of the Damned – a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
Publisher: Red Ruin Publishing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2021 05:48:44

Mild spoilers follow.

Solo quest to lift a curse on a village. Replay value as there are multiple routes to success, some easier than others. Some "puzzle book" elements: secret instructions, with one complete message very difficult to find in a single play; a pair of linear simultaneous algebraic equations to solve. A number of rousing combats.

Appropriate content and themes for a Dragon Warriors adventure, although conversion to other systems would not be too hard. Links seem accurate. Possible improvements: (i) Make the beggar encounter easier to find; (ii) A mystic or sorceror with appropriate knowledge could be given a chance to find "the ritual solution" despite not having all the clues.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Village of the Damned – a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Beginners Bundle for T&T
Publisher: Flying Buffalo
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/19/2021 12:01:52

Review of Journey to Buffalo Island. (Mild spoilers.)

Classic escape the island scenario. Makes the most of its small number of paragraphs: a number of variations possible, definite replay value. A choice of possible escape routes; some exploration is required to gather items needed to use them. Sometimes tongue in cheek; enjoyable. Links work. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Beginners Bundle for T&T
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Master of Ravens
Publisher: Leo Winstead
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2021 06:21:14

Solo quest to identify and track down an assassin. Replay value, as there are three paths investigations might follow. An improvement on the core book adventure "The Dauber's Dilemma": (i) better integration of Courtly Rumours into the rest of the adventure; (ii) more variety in the combats, and other skills get more use; (iii) characters less at the mercy of extreme d20 random rolls; (iv) some flavourful non-essential encounters, extra chances to gain points of Favour.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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The Village of Frogton - a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
Publisher: Red Ruin Publishing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/24/2021 05:51:10

Spoilers follow. Your solo character arrives in Frogton, with a number of almost immediately achievable tasks to perform. Frogton is populated by those waiting for strangers to turn up to do necessary courier work; the town guard are not the brightest, they do not seem to have checked the guard tower when seeking their missing colleague.

Links seem to work. Properties of the magic gemstone (see entry 3) do not seem to be discussed. Minor quibble: the name of the elven sorceress (see 13) seems to have multiple spellings (Talena/Talana).

Solo adventures are challenging to write as the text needs to have accurate links, be concise, yet do the referee's work of conjuring an interesting and vivid place to adventure. Some descriptions head in the right direction, for example: "Gavin, a local Hotblood". But the whole comes across as bland generic fantasy rather than Dragon Warriors. (This does make it easier to convert to other systems.)

Tries to do too much over a small number of entries. But free fan material should not be rated too harshly.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Village of Frogton - a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the honest review. When we do a revision we'll address the points you make about the gemstone and the elven sorceress' name. We've added your points about atmosphere and number of entries to the list of things to take into account with the next solo we do. Thanks for downloading. It's appreciated.
Tower of the Moon
Publisher: Night Owl Workshop
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/21/2021 11:18:40

Minor spoilers follow. Enjoyable exploration of a tower with a moon worshipping/werewolf theme; undead are the main opponents. More than just a treasure hunt, as there is a captive to rescue, rival adventurers, and various items with which one can interact. Consistent tone: the seemingly bizarre spectral dance makes sense after later revelations; imaginative magic items which fit the backstory. Treasure might be a touch light, but there are interesting items for which you will need to find the right buyers. Some rousing combats to win.

One aspect that could be improved is the presentation of immediately important information in room keys: possibly bullet points or short boxed text could be used. The adventure does address attempting to enter via upper windows. Maps are clear, and the repeats of individual levels in the text are helpful.

In play, the party scared off the rival group, gained useful information from the Wise Wolf, and triumphed after some tough battles; they recruited Mariya.

Familiar themes, but stylishly done, well crafted. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tower of the Moon
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The Palace of Unquiet Repose (DCC Version)
Publisher: The Merciless Merchants
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/07/2021 03:33:12

Highly imaginative adventure, dripping with swords and sorcery flavour. The Palace itself is a deadly dungeon, but some of the most enjoyable play may come from working out how to enter safely; there are three untrustworthy factions with whom the heroes are likely to have interactions. Intelligent play is encouraged, there are a number of opportunities/resources that might be exploited. A hallmark of these authors is distinct and interesting magic items, and this module does not disappoint. However it really shines in the new monsters: Dusk Stalkers have a touch of the Predator about them, and sample tactics; Guardians of Uyu-Yadmogh are mummy-like creatures that have taken their abilities and avarice into the afterlife; a number of memorable unique creatures. The Palace reeks of antiquity and foul magics that mortals were not meant to know. A smart group will have a translator along, and make a run for it if they strike it rich in treasure and/or magic items.

Some complicated encounters that the referee will need to study before running; clear layout, easy to read text; helpful maps, including overviews and player versions; good use of tables; flavourful art.

Highly recommended, and available in DCC, LL or OSE versions. Choose your favourite and give it a play!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Palace of Unquiet Repose (DCC Version)
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Rangers of Shadow Deep: Across the Wastes
Publisher: Joseph A. McCullough
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/27/2020 13:12:04

First part of an epic rescue mission: a series of encounters in a desert behind enemy lines. The heroes are ambushed by variant monsters in a sandstorm in scenario one; the second may be the most innovative, the party must discover the true name of a Djinn before they can defeat it; more emphasis on horror in the next encounter, undead to battle, bodies and skulls to find, and a captive to rescue, in a leaning tower; the final scenario has the most tactical decisions, how to split your forces, attack at night or during the day, as well as a formidable mutant to battle.

Welcome variation in the mission set ups and opponents to be faced. There is a mechanic for hunger/thirst penalties due to desert travel, and the best chance of avoiding these is to keep your camels (and handler) alive. Having overarching considerations beyond individual scenarios makes the overall mission more coherent. One omission: no experience listing for the gnoll shaman, warden, or guard dog in scenario 4.

In play, the heroes won all scenarios, but the oasis encounter would have been close if the Djinn had not rolled poorly, and a companion was lost to the skeletal knights in the tower. The toughest opponent was the Humpback in the final scenario: it killed a companion before falling to a wizard.

A strong start to The Rescue. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rangers of Shadow Deep: Across the Wastes
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In the Shadow of the City-God
Publisher: First Hungarian d20 Society
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/11/2020 04:13:30

Spoiler light read through review, more may be added after play.

Interesting mix of intrigue and dungeon crawling in a distinctive city. The unique features of the city and plots in motion are concisely described. Probably best described as a framework, as the referee will need to do a little work for this adventure to achieve its undoubted potential. Some extra supporting material (which might not get used) would be welcome, for example details of: (i) how the abduction of the wife took place, and any clues investigation might yield; (ii) an encounter with an information broker; (iii) the waking of a certain figure, and the devastation that follows.

An observation and a suggestion: (i) the two riddles in the Hall of Madness, area 8, are very close to ones posed in the Hobbit; (ii) plenty of playtesters have been credited, but it would he helpful to have details of what happened (possibly in an appendix).

The ruins of a Roman noble villa and surrounds, now inhabited by cavemen raiders, are described in a bonus adventure at the end, The Valley of the Skull. Some evocative descriptions in this one.

In the hands of a skilled referee, this could be a memorable adventure. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
In the Shadow of the City-God
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Creator Reply:
Thank you very much for your detailed appraisal! Your remarks and criticism are much appreciated, and I will also forward them to the author.
Inn Over Your Head! (T&T Version)
Publisher: Beautifulharmony Multimedia
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/07/2020 04:38:03

An extortionist is threatening your uncle's inn. Various strategies are possible, including: hiring help; buying items; taking the fight directly to the enemy; attempting to make a run for it. Considerable replay value.

Fun solo (with some comedic elements). In play, direct action worked surprisingly well; hiring help led to some exciting battles, with the hero just prevailing.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Inn Over Your Head! (T&T Version)
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The Ghosts of Knapsford Hollow
Publisher: Tavernmaster Games
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/04/2020 04:12:49

Lively solo adventure. The background information is given economically, and then you are plunged into a haunted wood scenario full of familiar elements such as headless horsemen, werewolves, spirits and zombies, but mixed up in a refreshing way. Plenty of replay value; one play with a stronger character capable of defeating the horseman in combat would be entertaining. Links seem to work.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Ghosts of Knapsford Hollow
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Rangers of Shadow Deep: Menagerie
Publisher: Joseph A. McCullough
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/19/2020 13:48:40

Mission where the company is (accidentally) ambushed, and then has a chance to ambush an enemy wagon train in return. Heroes have an opportunity to gain an animal companion in the latter scenario, and there are other potential beneficial finds.

Missing from the experience table for scenario 1: +3XP for any boar killed by the heroes.

In play, the first attack seems dangerous as the company is disorganised at the start, and casualties were taken; the wagon ambush can be carefully planned, with remarkable success on one occasion: no losses, civilians successfully rescued, spellbook found, tiger befriended, and all but one wagon opened, none escaping.

An expanded bestiary of animal companions is included.

A solid adventure, perhaps lacking the wow factor of some previous scenarios, but enjoyable nevertheless. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rangers of Shadow Deep: Menagerie
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