Making an exciting political adventure requires a writer who can carefully weave layers of plot while not neglecting the combat and challenges a PC expects. These layers of plot must be sparse enough so never to railroad the PCs and just dense enough to insure that a proper direction is always visible. The Road to Revolution: Puncture the Blackened Vein, is a text-book example of maintaining an exciting adventure sandwiched with delicious layers of intrigue and mystery. Though it sometimes exceeds its ceiling of plot digestion, Blackened Vein always maintains a solid structure to engage the players.
Road to Revolution is a six-part urban adventure series based on the Great City, the home campaign world of t 0Ones Publishing Company. Puncture of the Blackened Vein is the fourth installment and revolves around a grand plot by a secretly wicked church to convert the Temple Ward of the city to their deity. To do so, they plan a devastating catastrophe topped off by a miraculous event to catapult their church into limelight. While they manipulate another deity’s followers they themselves are being manipulated as well by an even darker god. The players are injected into the thick of this plot after being sent to find an accountant. The adventure takes them to the streets of the Great City, to a grand parade and into the underground sewers as they pursue this lead.
This adventure felt the least campaign specific of the series, making it far easier to take out of the Great City and into your home campaign. The constant DM sidebars prove to be quite helpful in facilitating the adventure and remembering the various factions and how they play a part in the adventure. Blackened Vein weighs in at 70 pages and is written for a balanced party of 8th to 10th level. Most of this is the adventure with the last dozen pages dedicated to explaining the gods of the Great City.
For the Dungeon Master
This is a well plotted adventure. Often times, mystery and political intrigue can come at a party like a hammer to a nail with little finesse. Blackened Vein starts off small and gradually ups the ante of the adventure, never loosing the players.
The Iron Word
Road to Revolution: Puncture of the Blackened Vein has a fairly complicated plot and is not for PCs who lack the concentration of paying attention to plot threads. That is not to say that players can get lost, but there is the chance of players missing a small clue here and there. The adventure runs very easily and the writers have loaded some very simple boxes to keep the DM on point. This is one of those adventures that the PCs will feel like they truly accomplished something when it is completed.