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Deathswamp (Small SCRAWL 2)
Publisher: Slloyd14
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/31/2020 06:52:11

Quest to stop a blight spreading across a region. Some spoilers follow. Ample clues regarding what to do, although the vital role of herbs to enable the druid to brew potions is not apparent at first. The corrupted creature is tough to defeat without magical aid. Satisfying mechanic for time elapsed during travel and other activities. Definite replay value as certain encounters are only triggered by random rolls; it will take a couple of plays to work out an optimal strategy.

Some possible improvements: entry 44 should direct to 40 after resolution; on reaching 58, gain the codeword Offering; in 84, it would be better if a codeword is given if the shrine is repaired (so you cannot benefit from repeatedly restoring it).

An enjoyable solo; recommended. In play, succeeded at the second attempt.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deathswamp (Small SCRAWL 2)
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UK3 The Gauntlet (1e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2020 02:08:50

Spoilers follow.

Top class module which shows it is possible to have epic adventures at low levels. A sequel to UK2 The Sentinel, although an alternative start is provided. Various elements of gameplay are skilfully interwoven: dungeon-crawling, puzzle-solving, roleplay and negotiation, strategic use of defences, and desperate combat are mixed in a very satisfying way. Making use of the Sentinel's powers, the PCs gain special access to the Keep, and if they listen carefully to the artifact and avoid combat against the (somewhat drunken) garrison until as high up as possible, should take it. Then comes the jaw-dropping twist of having to defend what they have just captured from a second stronger force. Having beaten off a first assault, negotiations begin, and the PCs have to solve a puzzle under time pressure, with a greater attack threatened. The action climaxes with a rousing battle against the Gauntlet.

Some may not like the inclusion of a number of Fiend Folio monsters; however screaming devilkins are bound to be fun to play. Some pretty maps. A triumphant party will have gold and glory.

Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
UK3 The Gauntlet (1e)
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Raiders of the Crusaders' Temple (Small SCRAWL 4)
Publisher: Slloyd14
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/05/2020 06:54:41

Solo treasure hunt inspired by the dungeons at the start of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the end of Last Crusade. Many traps to avoid, and much ancient lore to translate; a magic item which helps with the hieroglyphs is easily found. Some tactical decisions to make; many ability checks required. Several nods to the movies, for example having just enough time to pick up your hat before a doorway is blocked. A linear gauntlet, but some replay value as you can retreat from the entrance, walk around and find Satipo: he is an interesting ally. Links seem to work. I would replace the last line in entry 79 with "If you look elsewhere, turn to 81", to avoid repeating an action already taken. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Raiders of the Crusaders' Temple (Small SCRAWL 4)
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Farmyard of Fear (Small SCRAWL 3)
Publisher: Slloyd14
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/01/2020 04:50:41

Simple but effective solo adventure, saving a farm from demonic possession. More forgiving than some in this series, with plenty of aid and second chances available. Success can be achieved very quickly; some of the more interesting paragraphs are only reached by those that flee or attempt to cast spells from a grimoire.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Farmyard of Fear (Small SCRAWL 3)
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Khazan City Chaos
Publisher: Slloyd14
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/24/2020 03:36:13

Refreshingly different and fun solo adventure. A hunt for stolen items in a city, where one of the tasks is to determine exactly what you are seeking. Success will be measured in items found and returned, and monies gained. There are many opportunities for financial gain, and some financial loss traps for the unwary. More martial characters will have opportunities for combat, but it can be (largely) avoided.

Possible improvements: (i) for consistency, entry 25 should refer to a ring rather than a necklace; (ii) you might decide the jewelled broadsword is one of the royal heirlooms you are seeking (and amend entry 50 accordingly).

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Khazan City Chaos
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Murder at the Dour Dryad
Publisher: Limitless Adventures
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2020 05:12:47

Welcome attempt at a mundane murder mystery. However it seems to concentrate on the wrong sort of information and has some bizarre restrictions. Why would investigators not be allowed to break a lock to enter a room where the murder was done, or to cast divination spells? (For sure, a court should insist on hard evidence, otherwise an illusionist could run riot.) A list of statements from the suspects would be more helpful than their statistics. There is some confusion about the murderer's motive: is it jealousy, as in the Synopsis, or to protect another, as hinted at in the Conclusion. Some of the clues are good: pack with clothing in the Hay Loft, fine quality but old clothes of the victim. Fragments of letters turning up in strange locations is not so good: why not have these as readable remains of the burnt letters in the fireplace?

I would make the PCs members of the watch on patrol. With rewrites, this could be a good adventure.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Murder at the Dour Dryad
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Vampire Hunter Belladonna (The Fantasy Trip)
Publisher: Gaming Ballistic, LLC
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2020 11:08:43

Solo hexcrawl, hunting for vampires in a region of towns, villages and countryside. The main hunter should be powerful, with useful magic (and other) items; a sturdy companion should accompany. (An example is given: Belladonna, whose past actions provide some of the backstory.) Excellent variety in the encounters: sometimes good tactics or investigation tips the odds in the PC's favour; other times you need to rely on martial strength as combats find you. The master vampires have different quirks and abilities; other monsters appear; no two combats are too similar. Some of the battles are very exciting, the result on a knife-edge. Opponents are sketched in a few flavourful details; there is a plot afoot with the PC picking up snippets from letters or conversations. There are sufficient rumours to follow up to keep play moving. It is important to map, and the region has enough geographical variation to be interesting without creating bottlenecks. Occasional random encounters prevent play becoming too predictable. You can vary constraints such as time allowed and starting money to give replay value.

Links seem to work, with two exceptions: in 181, it would be better to ignore 160, as those who don't investigate have to refight a combat they recently completed; in 163, linking to 27 is preferable to 140. Two minor errors: in paragraph 92, "He" rather than "Her"at the start of an early sentence; in 163, missing "in" before "his past". Well crafted, and should provide hours of enjoyable play. Good art. With a little imagination, could be restatted for a system like WFRP or Runequest. Some similarities to Grailquest, (with a few key encounters near the edge of the map to encourage exploration,) but this is even better.

One of the best solos ever written. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire Hunter Belladonna (The Fantasy Trip)
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TS5 - Boathouse of Whitecap the Wizard
Publisher: Adventures in Filbar
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2020 07:13:55

Decent solo adventure, exploring the boathouse of a wizard. Links appear to work, only spotted one minor error: in paragraph 2D, 7C should be bolded.

Strengths: some interesting and distinctive magic items, useful rather than powerful.

Weaknesses/Cautions: (i) some sensible actions, such as trying to avoid combat with unintelligent creatures, have little/no chance of success; (ii) something of a funhouse, it would make more sense to replace crabmen with looters (who can be reasoned with), or keep the crabmen in the dock area.

Would be improved by including a mystery to solve, e.g. did actions of the wizard create the gigantic bees?



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
TS5 - Boathouse of Whitecap the Wizard
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Dungeon of the Orc Boss (Small SCRAWL 7)
Publisher: Slloyd14
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2020 11:40:00

Solo dungeon crawl. Mainly combats, but there is navigation of the maps, and a puzzle to solve to unlock the main treasure room. You can choose a route to the orc boss that minimises encounters, or explore and potentially gain clues to the puzzle. Simple but fun, some replay value.

Worth a play.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon of the Orc Boss (Small SCRAWL 7)
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Madness on the Mountain (Small SCRAWL 1)
Publisher: Slloyd14
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/30/2020 06:35:47

Treasure hunt in a mountain range. Good variety in opponent type and physical obstacles. Simple but effective travel mechanics; random encounters (some harsh weather) at night. Reasonably enough, there are a limited number of mountain passes, and the PC is somewhat funnelled, but there are opportunities to pick and choose fights and areas to explore.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Madness on the Mountain (Small SCRAWL 1)
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B10 Night's Dark Terror (Basic)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Robert D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/22/2020 09:26:27

Outstanding module, excellent variety, packed with material, beautifully crafted. Some features: (i) A number of superb set pieces: the siege at Sukiskyn is terrific; the creepy mine with a stalking spider, and orcs who worship it; (ii) Magic is magical again: finding the needle, and then the gold thread forming a path to the Lost Valley on the map; (iii) Well described locations: the petrified forest; the mist laden area with ominous heads on spikes, howls; (iv) Goblin tribes are actually differentiated in clothing, equipment and favoured tactics; past actions have consequences, as the remnants of the Red Blade goblins are enslaved after their defeat at Sukiskyn; (v) In the Lost Valley, there are shades of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly as there is a genuine choice of potential allies, both of dubious morality but not immediately hostile. There is a Lovecraftian beastie to battle. (vi) There are some beautiful maps.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
B10 Night's Dark Terror (Basic)
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Rangers of Shadow Deep: Ghost Stone
Publisher: Joseph A. McCullough
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/09/2020 09:38:33

A change of pace as the heroes are directly involved in the war: they form elite units in actions crucial to the outcome of a major battle. The enemy plan (and what must be done to stop it) gets revealed in satisfying chunks. The four missions have good variety: a holding action, whilst wounded soldiers retreat; a lightning strike to decimate opposition commanders and discover their plans; a diversion, with stealth key; the final combat, something of a meatgrinder, with a potentially spectacular ending. Success (and items gained) in previous missions (can) influence how difficult the subsequent missions are. Missions one and three are for inexperienced rangers; two and four for grizzled veterans.

In two plays, ultimate success both times. The first group succeeded in all missions, doing very well in the first two, then losing a companion in both missions three and four. The second group did well in the initial mission, before losing two companions in the second mission; they were unable to burn/steal many stores in mission three before retreating, but managed to triumph in the finale with only one companion lost. The third mission seemed the trickiest, groups being menaced by respectively spectres and a swimming troll when making a forced escape by boat; it seems you can only knock out so many sentries by stealth before an alarm is raised. The extra companions were a real boon in the brutal final combat. The event deck mechanic kept things fresh and different in the replay.

Some may dislike the need for "junior", an inexperienced ranger and retinue. However many of the previous scenarios are enjoyable when replayed, and there are also very good fan adventures (for low experience rangers) such as Evacuation Mission, Black Hart and At Any Price available at BoardGameGeek, so blooding "junior" ready for play should be fun.

There is a welcome list of magical items, mainly weapons but distinctive and well described.

Very enjoyable, highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rangers of Shadow Deep: Ghost Stone
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Adventures in the Wild Woods
Publisher: Old School Role Playing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/18/2019 09:00:41

Another village on the edge of civilisation beset by various problems, including raiding bandits; there are also past mysteries to unravel. Solid effort, with several good mini-dungeons to explore. The whole is easily adaptable to an existing campaign, or could be used as a "book of lairs". Magic items and treasure are of standard type. The troll doesn't have a treasure hoard, which is strange as he charges a toll for crossing a bridge.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in the Wild Woods
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Hostile Takeover
Publisher: Witherwind Games
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2019 06:34:54

Nice maps, which the adventure does not need; having details of combats in an appendix is good organisation. However this is over very swiftly: one charisma check (with a combat if failed) and a simple one on one "boss fight" and you're done. The entries are overlong, and choices are few.

Some suggestions for a rewrite: (i) Have various tasks, with points awarded for success; if you accumulate (say) 5 points, you can challenge Ephram to a duel for the leadership; if you reach 10 points, Ephram flees (and you win automatically); (ii) Tasks could include: killing a fearsome monster; influencing important local figures; rescuing a trapped child; finding a treasure trove; taking part in the local log-lifting competition; intimidating (or charming) Ephram's thugs.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Hostile Takeover
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Avalon’s Solo Adventures System, Sidetrack Adventures, Book 1
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2019 13:47:19

A series of short unconnected "Choose your own adventure" style solos for a group of PCs. Excellent variety in the adventures, and more forgiving than others by these authors: manageable combats and opportunities to triumph even after failed skill rolls. There is a good balance between story awards and experience points from fighting. There is also a mechanic to make combats more challenging for stronger groups.

A possible improvement for Vicious Secrets: succeeding in part 5 ought to gain the information in part 8. In A Few Coins, it would be better if failure in part 19 directed the PCs to, say, part 17; part 29 refers to non-existent part 37, perhaps part 33 was intended.

Recommended. A good place to start for anyone wishing to try this type of campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon’s Solo Adventures System, Sidetrack Adventures, Book 1
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