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The Iron Secret for 4th Edition D&D $2.99
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Timothy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2014 15:46:23

I just ran this adventure as a one-off during my kids' Christmas break from school. I was surprised by how much they enjoyed investigating the causes of the unrest, rather than simply jumping head-first into combat at every opportunity. The author does a nice job of painting the picture of a city in a state of tension, ready to explode if the right spark sets off the powder keg. My players were immediately interested in keeping the peace, and did a nice job of role-playing encounters that could have easily devolved into combat.

This adventure makes extensive use of the D&D 4th Edition version of the Midgard Bestiary. Fortunately, I already own this, but if I hadn't, I would have needed to substitute every monster in the adventure with something else. That wouldn't have been a terrible thing, but the unusual and downright unique monsters in the adventure are part of its charm, in my opinion. There were several monsters my players had never heard of, or unusual twists on classic monsters, that made them feel fresh again. It would have been nice to have at least had the stat blocks for these monsters included in the adventure. There's plenty of cool content in the Midgard Bestiary that would still make it a valuable supplement, in this case. This is one reason why I didn't rate this adventure as 5/5 stars.

My only other complaint is that the author doesn't suggest some possible motivations for the "shadow forces" at work in this adventure. If my players had approached the adventure as a hack-and-slash (and I'm sure many do, especially as a low-level/introductory adventure), this probably would have never made any difference. However, my players were keen to get to the bottom of the mystery, and that left me to figure it all out. I think my ad lib skills were sufficient in this case, but it's always nice for the author to provide some ideas in situations like these, for DMs who are new or are just having an off night. Plus, that would have been an opportunity to tie this adventure more closely to the Midgard Campaign Setting and its Powers-That-Be, yet give some other options for DMs who placed the adventure in their own setting. For as much intrigue as is going on, I was surprised to get to the last page, and not be given any motivation for the villain.

Besides these fairly small flaws, this was a fun adventure, with a good balance of combat and intrigue. While appropriate for low-level characters, I think it could easily be adopted for higher level play, if players are already involved in the politics of the city. I also want to take a moment to thank Kobold Press for continuing to support the 4E community with fun and innovative adventures such as this one.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Iron Secret for 4th Edition D&D
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