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Ruins of Bonn Kanach $7.95
Publisher: Chaosium
by Gary [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2024 19:19:08

This scenario is on the lower end of acceptability. I was able to use it without too much difficulty and the players enjoyed the session.

The Good: The opening is strong. The map of Stone Cross is well appreciated; especially since the follow-on scenarios use the village. Lauren Whitemane is an interesting enough character. The initial encounter is very clever and plays well to the man-beast dynamic in the valley.

The maps of the ruin interiors are functionally useful, but are lacking in detail. These maps would reasonably fit into an adventure written in the 1970s or 1980s, but are lacking for a modern audience. Most of the tactical maps fit well into the VTT environment and the scaling was reasonable. The map for the citadel, however, is way too big.

The area descriptions underneath the arena are boring. The GM is supposed to randomly generate the contents of the room and any treasures that can be found. The randomly generated room contents are mostly one-line entries like "Large pile of firewood." This might have been acceptable in the 1970s, but I expect far more from a scenario writer in the 2020s.

Spoilers Follow:

There's a dangerous predator that lairs inside the arena. However, the location of the lair is not specified. There is no description of the lair and no associated treasure with the lair. There are several areas specifically detailed within the arena, but strangely this area isn't detailed.

The cliff tombs are boring. Each tomb has a small random chance of an encounter and minor treasure. It's way too repetitive and seems to exist simply to chew up time. Only one of the tombs is interesting. On the other hand, it did seem realistic that the tombs were looted by other adventurers long before the PCs show up. It makes sense, but it's not interesting.

The bugheads were an interesting inclusion in the scenario. There are some interesting non-combat options available here.

I chose not to present the aquifer to my PCs. While there are some room descriptions, the entire area is essentially bereft of interesting content.

The citadel is another large area similar to the arena. It has several areas described in some detail. But the rest is randomly rolled room contents, creatures, and treasure. This is very disappointing.

Finally, the scenario indicates the canopic jars are a key element to some master plot in Beast Valley. But no reference is made in part 2 of the campaign (Velhara's Mirror). The promised part 3 has never been released (as of June 2024).

[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Ruins of Bonn Kanach
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