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A Witch's Choice $9.99
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Joel A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2009 19:49:19

A Witch's Choice is a 46 page pdf adventure, set in the Land of the Diamond Throne, the default setting for Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved ruleset. A Witch's Choice, or WC, is published by Rite Publishing, and is part of the company's massive 25 "Rituals of Choice" Adventure path.

WC's is the fourth Rite Publishing supplement I have reviewed and, visually, it's the most stunning one so far. Both the front and back covers are in full color and in keeping with the Arcana Evolved design. Inside, each page is framed by a single rune-covered border, and the sections are broken up by colorful titles and plentiful whitespace. Art is primarily the major characters, and the battle maps gorgeous enough to be posters. Layout is a simple two column format, and editing is adequate.

WARNING: Potential Spoiler Information Ahead

WC is designed for 1st level PCs. Though party makeup is not discussed, I recommend at least one verrik PC (preferably more). Same with akashics; there's a lot of information to gather in WC. Greenbonds and totem warriors will do well due to the environment. Oh, and a witch, of course, given the title of the module.

My biggest concern about A Witch's Choice is the content. The plot's simple: escort/guard the main NPC to her destination. There are 20 main encounters, with many subdivided into 2 or more sub-encounters, and there's a lot of information at each one. GMs who are concerned about providing enough information for those nosy akashic PC will breathe a sigh of relief, while more immersive gamers will have plenty of meat when role-playing due to the NPCs' histories, motivation, and backgrounds. With a few exceptions, the information is provided in bite-sized pieces: GMs won't be pulling their hair out trying to find the right page about a particular scene or creature.

This information, though, is definitely geared to the Land of the Diamond Throne and the adventure path in particular. And it's epic: the PCs actions have consequences, and the plentiful Designer's Notes cover not only the relevance of the encounter to WC, but to the adventure path as a whole as well. GMs planning to use WC in their non-Diamond Throne campaigns will have to strip/change a significant amount of material to be useful. I would have liked more guidance just on how to use the encounters as a whole: are the PCs supposed to go from to the other? And what happens if they don't go through a particular encounter?

Finally, I found some of the encounters to be questionable. In Plain of the Blind and and Name's End, there's a chance to permanently cripple the PCs, something players, in my experience, will not enjoy expecially at this level.

Why is there combat stats for an epic level creature in this module? Same with a CR10 NPC.

What happens if the encounter at Harbingers escalates to violence? Normally Rite Publishing modules provide tactics at combat encounters. (Thank you.) I found this omission curious especially with the Designer's Notes instruction at the encounter.

There are more, but these particular ones stood out. I recommend GMs to review each encounter careful, not only to make sure it's balanced to your players' abilities, but to apply their actions' consequences in future modules.

In my opinion.... A Witch's Choice is a solid start of the Rituals of Choice adventure path despite a few encounter bumps. It is decidingly epic from the get go; PCs will definitely know they're the heroes in this adventure. (The opening first couple of scenes alone read like something from a good fantasy novel.) Arcana Evolved GMs and players will be in for a treat as they explore the Land of the Diamond Throne, while GMs using different settings will find WC's to be less useful.

This review is based on review copy provided by Rite Publishing.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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A Witch's Choice
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