Saturday, May 7, 2011
Review: Dungeon Module F1 The Fane of Poisoned Prophecies
Dungeon Module F1 The Fane of Poisoned Prophecies By Guy Fullerton
(24 page AD&D adventure for 5 to 7 player characters levels 4 to 6)
Front Cover Artist: Peter Mullen
Back Cover Artist: Jason Braun
Interior Artists: Jason Braun, Andy "ATOM" Taylor
Cartography: Guy Fullerton
If you are planning on playing in this adventure STOP READING NOW! - The rest of this review has been booby-trapped
This adventure was more than a pleasant surprise. Excellent maps, nice artwork that actually shows places and events taking place in the adventure, and an intriguing scenario that needs no alteration or conversion. A DM should be able to read through and run this module with no problem.
I have sampled the later editions of Dungeons & Dragons and have no taste for them. Finding an actual AD&D adventure is a treasure, but this particular adventure is a real gem. It is almost entirely well balanced and challenging. The background is interesting, the level of detail amazing, and the possibilities are great for further adventures either created by the DM or hopefully from Chaotic Henchmen Productions.
I loved the almost-Otus cover art and the fact that the outer cover was not stapled to the interior booklet. A wilderness map is provided, and detail maps of several small buildings surrounding the central location itself. There is a cut-away view of the main building and a drawing of it seen from the outside (The same illustration on the back of the cover as on the front of the booklet. It would have been nice to have an extra illustration).
The adventure starts out at a slow pace with some encounters that should be combat and some that provide detail, background and clues. There is one encounter with an extremely powerful guardian that could easily slaughter the party and, to me, the chance that this encounter could get out of hand is too great. A trap, a tomb and an 18HD iron golem. I would provide a more detailed warning than a single corpse as well as giving the players a greater chance to withdraw. I'd hate to have an evening's game with established player characters come to a sudden end because a side encounter was far too lethal. Easily altered or toned down. Nice illustration though.
The central building and the core of the adventure is a nice mix of traps and monsters. My personal preference would be for greater and more varied types of combatants and probably a darker theme to the plot. But this is a nice straightforward adventure that has room for many possible additions from a creative DM. It is also a pick up and play adventure and includes a full set of pre-generated characters. If not used by the players the DM could add them to the scenario as NPC competition or even possible allies for the player characters.
While this adventure is only 24 pages the print is very small as are the margins. There is a great deal packed into the module and I'd equate these 24 pages with at least 40 pages of material from other publishers.
Anyone running an AD&D campaign and looking for published adventures should snatch this one up and keep an eye out for the sequel.